Archives for : technology and education

5 Ways Your C+ student Can Successfully Get Into College.


My university announced that they will require a 3.6 Grade point average from incoming freshman students in 2016. Immediately I thought of my son who left high school with 2.6 GPA. In the senior magazine he was listed as “undecided” as to his college of choice. At the time I said “what are you undecided about?” His 2.6 left him one choice-the local community college which he tackled and graduated and then did well at the four year university and graduated. After graduation he took the LSAT, was admitted to law school and passed the bar the first time. He’s now a lawyer working in construction law and earning a nice salary.

What does my story tell you? That some students are late bloomers…..late to the college admissions business. Not mature, not interested or just not in a hurry. It can be done though as my son proved to me. At each challenge his sisters said he would not be do it. He just kept on facing challenges and moving forward.

Here’s the 5 ways…and I hope they are helpful.

1. If your high school student has mediocre grades and shows no signs of improving them the community college for a two year period is a great option. Many parents send their children to a state or community college that is located near the four year university of their choice. It’s motivating, maybe. We found that our son still needed some encouragement to get the work done so he lived at home those two years.

2. Foster any area in which your student has success.
If he’s an athlete, artist, musician, entrepreneur or you can foster an interest in them in community service. There’s no talent required but effort is paramount. Your child can build a great portfolio of community service projects that may encourage interest from colleges. These projects can become family projects passed from one child to the next. One family started a school supplies drive and continued it after the kids graduated.

3. Consider smaller private universities if you can afford the tuition. After the recent recession smaller schools are hurting for students. They may have an interest in your reluctant student.

4. Can you encourage your student to consider leadership classes or programs? One is Boys/Girls State programs sponsored by the American Legion chapters in your area. It’s an essay contest but some chapters have problems findings students to send. It is in the summer of junior year of high school and is free to participants. One counselor told me that students who participate in this program are prized by colleges. They also earn college credit for their week long stay.

5. Major universities are starting hybrid online/in person programs for students that do not meet their in person standards. The University of Florida has the Pathways to Campus program and complete online degree programs. It might be appropriate for your student to start in a program like this and transfer later.

Hope this helps your student find their success in higher education!


Lowe’s Educational Foundation is Making Grants!



Lowe’s Charitable and Education Foundation has announced the opening of its Spring 2015 Toolbox for Education, an initiative aimed at supporting projects that encourage parent involvement in local schools and help build community spirit.

One-year grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded in support of projects that have a permanent impact on a school community, such as a facility enhancement (indoor or outdoor) or landscaping/clean-up project. Toolbox grants also can be used as part of a larger-scale project as long as the funds are used to complete a phase of the project achievable within twelve months of the award date.

To be eligible, applicants must be a public K-12 school or nonprofit parent group associated with such a school. Parent groups (PTO, PTA, etc.) applying for a grant must have an independent EIN and official 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.  The web address is

Project Yellow Light Scholarship Video Contest

The Hunter Garner Scholarship

Deadline is March 17, 15.

The application is here.

Must be a High School Junior or Senior or a full-time college student.

Make a 25 or 55 second video promoting safe driving habits.

Free Sources of Sound effects and Music for Video Projects

Zach, markie gal and nick tiny for website


Retrieved from Free Technology for Teachers

Check out the education page on Royalty Free Music. As an educator you can request to use music free of charge for student projects.  It takes some persistence but it is worth the effort if you have a specific piece of music in mind.  I once contacted Imogene Heap successfully to get permission for a student to use her music in their video.  It became an international prize winner that earned the student a trip to Italy.

The Internet Archive hosts an extensive collection of music and other audio recordings that you can download for free. Students  need to look at the usage rights closely when they find things on the Internet Archive. Not everything that is available to download for free is eligible to be reused for free.

Sound Bible is a resource for finding and downloading free sound clips, sound effects, and sound bites. All of the sounds on Sound Bible are either public domain or labeled with a Creative Commons license. You can find sounds for use in podcasts, videos, slideshows, or other multimedia creations.

SoundGator offers free sound recording downloads. There are twenty-three recording categories that you can browse through to find the perfect sound for your project. You do have to register on SoundGator in order to download recordings. After registering you can download recordings directly to your computer to re-use in your projects.

The Free Music Archive provides free, high-quality, music in a wide range of genres. The content on Free Music Archive is used under various creative commons licenses.

Be sure to check out the various Creative Commons licenses and the rights and obligations of each.

Send us your links to your films!

A Teacher’s Guide to Google Drive for iPad FREE!

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 1.09.27 PMA Teacher’s Guide to Google Drive for iPad

Great Tool for Using Google Drive on your iPad.

Use Prezzi and Update from Powerpoint Presentations

Buying a tablet, points to consider



Tablets in Education – How To Choose?

  • User friendly student interface
  • Dynamic hardware: can it be upgraded with SD cards or usb hardware?
  • Displays all types of content: quickly show photos and videos
  • Standards based:  Check out the common core requirements
  • Easy implementation: want out of the box utility
  • Professional development provided:  is there a rep in your area for inservice training?
  • Classroom management: what about breakage, security and storage?
  • Affordability: more or less than an ipad
  • Supervision and control
  • Built for education: will it run educational aps?

Students Get A Year of Free Cell Service from Best Buy and Sprint


Can you get by with a cheaper phone and free service for year?

Students can get 12 months of free cell phone service vaued at $70 a month with an offer from Sprint and Best Buy.

Students can get free talk, text and 1 GB of data in the Unlimited, My Way plan with purchase of a qualifying phone at Best Buy stores. Prices run $249 to $899 and include LG, iPhones and Samsung Galaxy models. There is a $36 activation fee.

This offer could make sense if you buy the cheaper phones, like the Samsung Galaxy Victory for $299. Cell service for a year at $70 a month adds up $840.

  • You must provide student verification to Sprint that participant are enrolled in elmentary school, middle school, high school, full- or part-time college, university or vocational school.

Click here for the deal. The offer ends on Jan. 4.

Urban Schools have Good Results with IPADS


via Education Dive

When the iPad first came out in 2010,  Jennie Magiera made fun of her friends for buying them: “Nice job–you got a giant iPhone that can’t make phone calls!!”  But when a grant bought iPads for her fourth and fifth grade class, the teacher quickly found a path to transforming her teaching and learning practice. While tests are only one measurement of success, she went from having just one student out of 15 “exceed” on state tests in fourth grade, to having 10 “exceed” the next year.

Just three years later she has gone from the classroom to helping other teachers implement one-to-one iPad programs, as the digital learning coordinator of the Academy of Urban School Leadership, a network of 29 public (non-charter) schools that are 90% free and reduced lunch. Her focus is on using technology to make good teachers better, and to let students be the best they can be.

“I could seriously sit here till we both passed out telling stories of powerful things that happen every day,” Magiera says.

he students in Magiera’s network are not “digital natives.” Most of them don’t have access to devices at home because of family income. Nevertheless, they are engaged by and excited about using computers, and because the teachers are learning to use them along with the students, there’s sometimes a role reversal in the learning process.

“We had three girls who came in during recess because it was cold and wanted to help us provision the tablets,” says Magiera, meaning setting them up to run certain kinds of apps. “Right away they started problem-solving: ‘She already hit that button…’ ‘Why don’t you try the green box in the upper left hand corner, since you already did the blue one in the lower right?’” They learned the term “microUSB” and created an organizing system to see which iPads were charged.  In this mundane technical activity, Magiera saw the students take on a real problem and work alongside adults in a way that seven-year-olds don’t always get a chance to do.

With so much focus on the troubled iPad rollout in Los Angeles, it’s nice to remember that iPads do have the potential to be a powerful learning tool if set up and used properly.

October 24, 2013

via The Journal

Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus Free for Students Beginning Dec. 1

Microsoft is making Office 365 ProPlus — the edition of Office that includes the desktop applications — free for students beginning Dec. 1. The announcement was made at the Educause 2013 conference, taking place this week in Anaheim, CA.

Microsoft as made its Office 365 cloud-based suite free for education for about a year and a half now, but the ProPlus edition includes the full core suite of Office desktop applications — Word, Excel, and PowerPoint — in addition to the cloud productivity and collaboration tools (e-mail, document sharing, Web conferencing, Web site creation, cloud storage, calendaring, instant messaging, and the Web app versions of Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel).

Through the new Student Advantage program, institutions that license Office 365 will be able to provide the software to students at no additional charge.

According to Microsoft: “Beginning December 1, 2013, education institutions worldwide that license Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for staff and faculty can provide access to Office 365 ProPlus for students at no additional cost. More than 35,000 institutions are automatically eligible to deliver the Student Advantage benefit to their students.”

Students will be able to install the desktop components locally on up to five devices.

In addition to the new student offer, Microsoft also revealed the results of a jobs skills study conducted by IDC. According to the report, which reviewed 14.6 million job postings in 2013, Microsoft Office was the third most-required skill overall (out of more than 11,000 skills identified), with other Office-related skills making the top 20 as well.

“Students use Office every day for school work and activities that are most important to them. Office not only helps students stay organized and get their work done today but at the same time develops skills that will be required when they enter the work force. In fact, no other software or services show up in the top 20 most important skills identified in the research report,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Public Sector Education at Microsoft, in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled to offer Student Advantage to schools across the globe so students have access to the latest, most up-to-date version of the world’s leading set of productivity tools in order to give them a competitive advantage when entering the workforce.”

According to Microsoft, Office 365 now has about 110 million users worldwide.

Additional details are available on Microsoft’s education portal.

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