Mr. R Davidson’s Blog

Kingswood Regional Middle School

How to Get a Real Education-Kurt Vonnegut

April 16, 2014 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

Kurt Vonnegut on getting a real education from the Huffington Post. Someone asked an author friend of mine why he bothered to write? Here’s the answer in a letter from Kurt Vonnegut written to a high school . “How to Get a Real Education”

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Twitter for Teachers by Erin Klein

April 16, 2014 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

It is worth checking out this short YouTube Video on using Twitter for Teachers from Erin Klein of Klienspiration.  Twitter is really a great staff development tool for teachers.  Even if you are not interested in “tweeting” yourself, Twitter offers the opportunity to follow the top people in education and just about every other field for that matter.  I presented on this topic at the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference last year and will do so again.  I consider this to be one of the most useful tools on the Internet. Who would have believed years ago that we could all have a direct connection to the top people in our curriculum areas?

More food for thought on my Scoop It 


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30 Ideas for Teaching Writing from the National Writing Project

March 24, 2014 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

The National Writing project has created some great guidelines for teaching writing.  Each item listed in the “Table of Contents” is linked to expanded examples and suggestions on how to implement the idea.  This is a great site.

 “30 Ideas for Teaching Writing”

30 Ideas for Teaching Writing received a first-place Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP).

New Links on my Scoop It

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A Great Blog Post from “Langwitches Blog” on Blogging in Education

March 3, 2014 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

Langwitches Blog is one of the best resources for educators on the Internet.  This series of articles is a very complete guide on the aspects of successfully introducing students to blogging. These are the links to the complete series:  Reading, Writing, Student Writing, Commenting, Connecting, Reciprocating,  Consistency and Quality.  Blogging is a great way to meet Common Core standards and this blog gives you what you need to know to get your students started.  Student blogs are also a great addition to student portfolios.


My Scoop It links

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Kaizena-Add Voice Over Comments to Google Docs

February 18, 2014 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

Kaizena is an app that can add voice over comments and more to Google Drive  documents.  Check it out.  This could be quite cool for Blizzard Bags.  Click here to view a YouTube Video on Kaizena by Stacy Behmer.


20 collaborative Google Apps activities for schools from “Ditch That Textbook”  The link to Kaizena is number 16 in the list of Google Apps activities.

Scoop it links

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What one School has to say about Google Apps after Five Years

February 17, 2014 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

This is a video that illicits both student and staff observations of five years of using Google Apps at Eisenhower Middle School in Wychoff, NH.  The video was produced by Harold Olejarz.  Google Apps Five Years After

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“Touch Develop” Programming

February 3, 2014 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

“Touch Develop” lets anyone create their own games.  This is a great follow up to the “Hour of Code” .  Students can continue to learn the basics of programming while creating and publishing their own games.  There are  easy to follow tutorials  that use real code.


Here is a game that I created: (Peculiar Game)


My Scoop it links

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A great Tutorial for Using Google Sites by Eric Curts

January 28, 2014 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

This is a very detailed tutorial on how to work with Google Sites.  The instructional document was created by Eric Curts.

 New Scoops on Scoop It

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True Grit: The Best Measure of Success and How to Teach It from Edutopia

January 15, 2014 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

In his book “How Children Succeed” , Paul Tough questions whether success is the result of  measurable cognitive skills.  He suggests that research shows that  non-cognitive skills such as grit, self control, persistence, curiosity, and self-confidence are more important in achieving success.     Tough contends that  character development results from facing and overcoming  failure.  Upper income children are often overly protected from failure  but  also pushed to over achieve.  Lower income students face so many challenges that they give up.   Neither, in many cases, develop the resilience they need to face and overcome obstacles in life.

EDUTOPIA   offers some tips on how to teach the “performance values”  our students  need to succeed.    True Grit: The Best Measure of Success and How to Teach It   My guess is that overly testing cognitive skills is not the answer to providing students with the character traits they need to succeed.  The administrators  gave  ”How Children Succeed”  to all of the staff members in my district.   At the very least the  research in this bookshould be considered as we redefine how we teach in the 21st Century.


My Scoop It

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A Good Reminder for the New Year

January 8, 2014 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

At the moment, I don’t seem to have much time to create my own blog posts.  However I do find using my blog to curate articles has helped me with my personal learning community and with my self directed staff development.  In my district we all have to submit a mid year reflection.   I’m sharing mine as I hope it might give the readers of this blog  an idea of what I am trying to accomplish as a technology integration specialist.  Also check out the “A Good Reminder for the New Year”   It is a real eye opener.  This a slide show so move forward through all of the slides.
Click here for a:
More curated articles in Scoop It
Here are my mid year reflections for January 2014:

The 2013-2014 is my first official year working as the district Technology Integration Specialist. I have been collaborating with K-8 teachers.  Last year at this time I noted the ever increasing acceptance of Google Apps in the middle school.  This year I am seeing that teachers and students throughout the district are using Google Apps for sharing, collaboration, and creativity.  Compared to a year ago, this year’s first blizzard bag day saw far fewer calls for help, This further underlines the fact that everyone is more comfortable using cloud computing. As I have visited different buildings, I have encouraged everyone to continue to implement all of the district’s ICT standards. I have continued to concentrate on the Citizenship, copyright issues, and the availability of creative commons resources.  I have been using the SAMR model as a guideline for technology integration. The main focus of technology in education is no longer how to use essential hardware and software; it is rather how to move from substituting and augmentation to modifying and redefining how we teach.  In essence we must move toward engaging students in powerful learning by taking advantage of resources that didn’t exist in the past.  We can now perform new task that were previously impossible.  We must also use technology to address all levels of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy.  Technology can help students move beyond remembering to understanding, applying, analyzing and in the 21st Century most importantly creating. Technology can help our students become lifelong self-motivated learners.  It can also help to them to become adaptable problem solvers and critical thinkers.  I am seeing more and more teachers showing a desire and willingness to try new things using technology.  Many educators in our district are starting to move beyond basic multimedia projects to higher level products incorporating traditional mathematics, science, reading and writing skills along with the use of video and sound recording, etc.  We have started to see collaboration among staff members I would like to see more sharing on the ICT site and expanded participation in technology cafes.  Educators need to use technology to create personal online learning communities that can take advantage of the vast amount of educational resources on the Internet.  I would like to see us continue to encourage teachers to use their own websites and blogs to communicate with students, each other and the community at large.  I have continued to search for and utilize resources that align technology with the common core guidelines. We do need to continue to find ways to replace and acquire the devices to provide each student with available access to technology when needed to accomplish educational tasks. I will continue to encourage teachers and students to take risks and to try something new.  Technology provides the means for everyone, adults and students alike, to take charge of their own learning and to become responsible productive members of the world.  We are making progress.  The successful implementation of Google Apps was a first step.  I will continue to collaborate with everyone in order to help as all, including myself, accomplish what was once impossible and in many cases unheard of before.


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