Monthly Archives: February 2010

Sweet Search – Search Engine for Students

I recently received an email from a Diigo group (I apologize I don’t recall the person who submitted the link) featuring the URL of a new search engine for students. ‘Sweet Search’ describes itself as a safe engine for use with students. The search engine has a database of biographies for over 1,000 people as well as listings of websites for educators and students that are categorized by subject area and grade level.

According to their website,

SweetSearch is a Search Engine for Students.

Most search engines search billions of Web sites and return tens of millions of results; some are from reliable Web sites, some are not.  SweetSearch searches only 35,000 Web sites that have been evaluated and approved by a staff of Internet research experts at Dulcinea Media, and its librarian and teacher consultants.

SweetSearch excludes results from the unreliable sites that rank high in other search engines, and waste your time.  It lets  students choose the most relevant result from a list of credible results, rather than having them waste time on unreliable sites. is owned and operated by Dulcinea MediaClick to learn more about our Company and staff.

The search engine was developed by Dulcinea Media stating its mission that is to help students effectively conduct research on the internet. Dulcinea Media’s website, ‘finding Dulcinea’, is designed to help users find accurate and credible information online. The ‘finding Dulcinea’ website describes itself as the ‘librarian of the internet’ and offers the following on the website:

Web Guides provide a road map to exploring hundreds of topics online, with links to the best resources, ordered logically, and woven with narrative, insights, and research strategies. Web Guide categories include dozens of academic subjects, as well as health, technology, careers, and other topics.

On This Day covers a broad array of intriguing historical events, with links to the best online resources that give a full exposition of the event – what led up to it, what happened that day, what has happened since. In each paragraph of these articles, we cite to the online resource where we found the information.

Happy Birthday celebrates inspiring people, both historic and contemporary and from all cultures and walks of life, with a biographical profile that links to the best online information about the person.

Beyond the Headlines provides a 360-degree view of topics in the news by cohesively weaving together information from multiple sources, and offering opposing viewpoints on controversial topics.

All of the web links and internet resources that are generated by searches using ‘Sweet Search’ are approved and evaluated by librarian, teachers, and expert internet reseachers so teachers can be confident that all search results are safe and reliable. Using Google or other general search engines can pose a risk that the search results are from untrustworthy sources or contain inaccurate information. Unlike ‘NetTrekker‘, the Sweet Search engine is free and offers more than just a reliable search engine. In today’s economy, ‘free’ services are a rarity and definitely a welcome entity to education.

CRSTE CyberConference

The Capital Region Society for Technology in Education (CRSTE) is hosting an completely online conference titled ‘CRSTE CYBERCONFERENCE’. Great speakers are scheduled to present throughout the conference period and I am extremely honored to be one of the conference presenters and will be presenting on web conferencing in the classroom. Walter McKenzie, CRSTE Director and CyberConference Organizer, has done a fabulous job of gathering guest speakers to present on topics important to educators and technology coordinators everywhere. This will be a fantastic opportunity to gather with like minded educators to gather, share, collaborate and discuss a variety topics relating to education and technology.

There are several formats for the conference sessions that include synchronous and asynchronous events. Session strands are as follows:

  • Blogs and Collaborative Tasks
  • 21st Century Skills
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Instructional Innovation
  • Leadership and Vision
  • Managing Technology
  • Transforming Education
  • Web 2.0 Instructional Applications

You can view the conference catalog and register for individual sessions on the CRSTE site or click here. The last day to register for the free cyberconference is this Saturday, the 20th. The conference opens February 21st and runs through March 5th. Elluminate is a sponsor of the conference so all live sessions will be held in Elluminate rooms.  Time is running out so act quickly! You won’t want to miss this

Are you an Innovative Educator?

Are you an innovative educator? PBS Teachers is sponsoring a contest looking for innovative educators! If you think you are an innovative educator then I encourage you to apply. To be eligible for the contest, you must meet the following criteria:

To be eligible, an entrant must be a legal resident of the United States or its territories. Contest entry is limited to one (1) photo or one (1) video per person. You may only enter the contest one time. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Employees and immediate family members of employees of PBS or its public television member stations are not eligible to participate in this contest. No purchase is necessary. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify ineligible entries; such entries will not be returned.

Entrant must be one of the following:

  • PreK-12 Classroom Educator (Public, Private, or Charter School)
  • PreK-12 Library Media Specialist or Technology Coordinator
  • PreK-12 Homeschool Educator

To enter, click here and do the following:

Submit a video clip or a photograph showing us how you inspire your students. Be sure to have the video or image ready before you click “Enter Now”.

The PBS Teachers Innovation Awards runs January 25th through March 12th.

Winners will be announced April 5, 2010 and winning entries will be featured on the PBS Teachers web site.

To find out more information, visit the PBS Teachers Innovative Awards contest page.

Doors to Diplomacy: Scholarship Competition & Exhibition (Ages 12-19)

I received the following in an email from a Linkedin colleague, Yvonne Marie Andres, CEO, President and Founder of Global SchoolNet. This competition could be a great way for students to earn money for college tuition.

Doors to Diplomacy

*Please help us get the word out by sharing with your colleagues!

— Doors to Diplomacy: Scholarship Competition & Exhibition (Ages 12-19)
— Projects due March 23, 2010

— The U. S. Department of State sponsors the “Doors to Diplomacy” educational challenge – to encourage middle school and high school students around the world to produce web projects that teach others about the importance of international affairs and diplomacy. Each student team member of the winning “Doors to Diplomacy” Award team receives a $2,000 scholarship, and the winning coaches’ schools each receive a $500 cash award. Additional prizes may be provided by sponsors.

— Arts; Business; Language; Leadership; Physical Education/Sports; Social Studies; Mathematics; Science; Technology; Information Technology; Vocational Education; Community Interest; Health; History; International Relations; Multicultural Studies; English as Foreign Language

— Information Exchange; Peer Feedback; Intercultural Exchange; Global Classroom; Electronic Publishing

— Doors to Diplomacy Overview

The U. S. Department of State sponsors the “Doors to Diplomacy” educational challenge – to encourage middle school and high school students around the world to produce web projects that teach others about the importance of international affairs and diplomacy. There are four components to the Doors to Diplomacy challenge.

Collaborative Web Project: Doors to Diplomacy is a collaborative project, where small teams are formed consisting of two to four student members and up to two adult “coaches.” Research can be conducted both online and offline, and then the findings are assembled to produce an educational web project. Students are also encouraged to become spokespersons for their projects.

Project Narrative: Each Doors to Diplomacy project also includes a Project Narrative that explains how the project has been organized, what challenges had to be overcome, and how the project supported local content standards. Many wonderful community building success stories often emerge from these “behind the scenes” narratives.

Peer Review Process: As part of the competition, teams must also participate in a Peer Review activity, in which they evaluate at least four other projects, using a web-based evaluation rubric.

Awards: Each student team member of the winning ?Doors to Diplomacy? Award team receives a $2,000 scholarship, and the winning coaches? schools each receive a $500 cash award.

Each team who submits a completed project receives a special Doors to Diplomacy certificate. Winners are announced in May.

Competition Organizers:

The Doors to Diplomacy Award is funded by the United States Department of State. The educational portion of the competition is managed by Global SchoolNet Foundation (GSN).

Global SchoolNet Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization, which has been linking classrooms around the world since 1984. GSN creates educational programs that engage students in meaningful content and personal exchanges with people around the world — in order to develop literacy and communication skills, create multi-cultural understanding, and prepare youth for full participation as productive and effective citizens in an increasing global economy.

— Doors to Diplomacy is an international project learning activity designed to:

* raise awareness about the importance of international affairs and diplomacy
* teach students communication and collaboration skills
* use technology to benefit humanity


Good luck to those who enter the competition!

Time to Vote for More WeAreTeachers Microgrants

The WeAreTeachers (WAT) community is sponsoring another microgrant opportunity. The topic for this round of microgrants is ‘Measurable Improvement, Meaningful Progress’. To apply, click on this link and submit your microgrant proposal about strategies for implementing Response to Intervention activities or

Is there any more rewarding moment in a teacher’s career than when you are able to put a struggling student on the path to success? Response to Intervention is a key part of bringing outlying students into the fold and unlocking their true potential, but it can also be a trying and time consuming puzzle. We want to hear your best Response to Intervention ideas and strategies, and we want to help you implement them.

Submit your Response to Intervention idea and then get your friends and family to vote for it online! The ideas that garner the most votes win $200 and a Flip Video camera. Use the cash to make your idea happen and the camera to capture your work in action!

Application deadline is February 23. Voting is open February 25 – March 11. Winners are announced March 15.

Voting fopened on February 2nd for microgrant proposals submitted for the ‘Literacy: Reading is my Favorite Thing’. To vote, click here and look through the fantastic submissions by educators. Voting will close on February 16, 2010 so vote as soon as you can!

Net Generation Education Project: Call for Classrooms

Flat Classroom™ Project

Many of you are aware that I am the Project Administrator for the Flat Classroom™ Project. We have been busy starting the new Digiteen 10-1 and Flat Classroom 10-1 Projects. We are excited to announce the call for classroom participants for the 2010 NetGenEd Project. Below is the announcement for the start of this projec t.

Written by Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay

Award winning author, Don Tapscott, and award winning global collaborators Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis (co founders of the Flat ClassroomTM Project) are excited to announce the 2010 NetGenEd Project, another global collaboration to envision the future of education and social action by inspiring today’s students to study leading technology trends and create their vision for the future.

This is the second NetGenEd Project collaboration between the two organizations with the 2009 project announced at the Flat Classroom conference in Doha Qatar 2009. The 2009 Net Generation Education Project was the replacement for the Horizon Project and included 10 schools with more than 300 students. The application process is now open for schools who wish to participate in the project in March – May of 2010.

In this project, students will study and “mash up” the results of the 2010 Horizon Report from the New Media Consortium and Educause and Tapscott’s book Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World. Students will study the current research and create wiki-reports with their student partners around the world analyzing current trends and projecting future happenings based upon this collaborative analysis. This project is managed by the students who assume roles such as project manager, assistant project manager, and editors of the various wikis.

After compiling their wiki reports based upon current research, and encouraged by “expert advisors” (subject matter experts in the industry), students will then create a video in one of two strands. Video strand I competition will be the NetGenEd Challenge where students are asked to envision the future of education based upon current global technological trends. Video Strand II Competition is the Macrowikinomics Challenge where students envision the future of global social action based upon their research in current global technological trends. The video challenge will also be open to the public for submissions beginning March 1st.

“We are particularly excited about this year’s project because we’re not only asking students to envision the future of learning and the classroom but also how this media can be used to impact and improve society itself. This generation is the Net Generation and they are uniquely suited to speak for themselves in casting a vision for their own future,” says project organizer, Vicki Davis.

This project is unique in that Tapscott will interact with students in forum posts throughout the project as they discuss Tapscott’s research into NetGen and also current research as being compiled for Tapscott’s forthcoming book (being written with Anthony Williams) MacroWikinomics. Additionally, he will keynote the project via a Youtube video released in March along with a student keynote to be recorded at the Flat ClassroomTM Mini-conference at ASB Unplugged in Mumbai, India in February.

Additionally, the Discovery Educator Network is going to host a series of webinars demonstrating how to tell a compelling digital story as well as leading a book club group for educators related to the NetGenEd project. The Flat Classroom Projects are global collaborative projects organized by Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay and sponsored by Elluminate.

If you are ready to have your students collaborate globally and follow the best practices as used in the award winning Flat ClassroomTM, Horizon, and Digiteen projects fill out this form before February 9th and apply now!.

NetGenEd Application

2010 Timeline

  • 2/1- 2/12 – Application process for classrooms
  • 2/12-2/18- Selection Process (classes will be notified as soon as they are selected)
  • 2/15 – Ning, wiki, and google group are “live” by this date
  • 2/18 – Final announcements of Classrooms
  • 3/5 – Greeting from Don posted to the Ning via video
    • Weekly- discussions posted to the forum
  • 2/20-3/5 – “Handshake process” – Students join Ning – post introductions
    • 3/1 – Teams announce
  • 3/15-4/10 Research phase of project
    • 4/10 – Wikis complete
  • 4/1 – Student Keynote
  • Some time in March, there will be a live session with Don Tapscott
  • 4/10-5/8 – Movie Artifact phase of project (note that there will be some overlap between Research and Movie Artifact)
  • *Storyboarding
  • *Outsourced video requests posted to the Ning by 3/10
  • 5/10 – Final Deadline for All Movies to be posted
  • 5/10-5/20 – Post project reflections, student summits, awards

Doodle 4 Google Time

Google announced that the Doodle 4 Google‘ contest began so be sure to register your school so your students can submit their doodles to Google. Below is the information from the Google site regarding the contest:

If I could do anything, I would...

  • …Figure out a cure for cancer
  • …Build a movie theater on the moon
  • …Be an underwater explorer

Welcome to Doodle 4 Google, a competition where we invite K-12 students to work their artistic will upon our homepage logo. At Google we believe in thinking big and dreaming big, so this year we’re inviting U.S. kids to exercise their creative imaginations around the theme, “If I Could Do Anything, I Would …”

We’re looking forward to the kids’ answers too. Gather those art supplies and some 8.5″ x 11″paper and encourage your students to enrich us all with their creative visions for what they would do in the world, if they could do anything.

This year, a group of “Expert Jurors“, well-known illustrators, cartoonists and animators from organizations like The Sesame Street Workshop, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, The Charles Shultz/Peanuts Museum and Pixar Animation Studios, will be helping us select the 40 finalist doodles as well as attending our awards ceremony to personally meet our winners.

Registration closes at 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) on March 17, 2010, and entries are due by March 31, 2010 no later than 11:59:59 P.M. Pacific Time (PT). The winning doodle will be featured on our homepage on May 27, 2010.

What a fantastic theme for the contest! I can’t wait to see the winning doobles as I love to explore the doodles students have made in the past. The doodles are so creative and elaborate! You can view the winning doodles from previous contests here: Spring break would be a good time for students to work on their doodles. Register today and good luck the winning doodlers!

Below is the ‘Doodle 4 Google’ event video from the 2009 student contest.