Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Last night I was sitting on the couch watching my 10 year old daughter have piano lessons with her great grandma.  I blinked and she was 2 months old, crying her head off in our apartment. I blinked again and she was 3, running up and down the hallway in our apartment building, saying she was playing in her "backyard." I blinked a third time and I was dropping her off at kindergarten, watching her wave as I drove away, hoping she would be okay. My fourth blink brought her back to the present, a 10 year old girl playing the piano. I blinked 4 times and 10 years past. It makes me nervous to keep blinking. I'm afraid that if I blink, she'll be entering high school, then graduating, then going to college, then graduating, then having her own family. I don't want to blink. Instead, I want to grab time with my bare hands and use all my strength to stop it, or at least slow it down... Appreciate the time you have and the experiences you are able to share with you family. Put the iPhone down and "be in the present," which is something I still struggle with and need to be reminded of frequently. I don't want to be looking down at my screen while my kids grow up, and when I finally do look up from the screen, I'm left wondering what just happened.  Keep your eyes open and focused on what's really important because eventually, you will have to blink.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Real people of Wax Museum 2013

These are the real people of the 2013 Wax Museum. Can you figure out who they are?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wax Museum dominating my time

With the Wax Museum less than a week away, my time has been eaten up getting ready for it. Because of this, Techno.ED posts will be sporadic at best. However, once the Wax Museum is over, I plan to have a big Techno.ED finish to the school year.
Thank you for reading and using this site.
-Dan Klumper

Monday, April 15, 2013

You are Invited to the 2013 Wax Museum

You are Officially Invited to the 2013 Wax Museum. We would love to see you there!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Garden of your Mind

Mr. Rogers may have worn corny cardigans and taken a pain-stakingly long time to change his shoes but behind all that, he was a very wise, insightful man. He was able to make it feel like he was your favorite grandpa or the friendly old-guy neighbor. He made it seem like he was talking directly to you. Now days, if kids watched more of Mr. Rogers and less of Family Guy, perhaps we would have more quality kids, nicer kids, more respectful kids. Perhaps if both kids and adults alike watched the above video, there would be more creativity and less zombie-like staring at screens or less neediness/helplessness. I love the name of this video: "Garden of Your Mind" because it is just that. Things don't just grow automatically in a soil garden and neither do they in a brain matter garden. A real garden in the dirt needs sun, it needs the weeds to be picked, it needs water and it needs care. Your mind is your garden. It needs things to grow as well, like learning, exploring, thinking, and creating. In our mind gardens, we do not grow sweet corn or green peppers, we grow ideas. One of our greatest responsibilities as teachers is to help and teach our students grow ideas in the "garden" of their minds. If we aren't growing anything in the garden of our minds, how can we expect our students to? Do things that put your mind in a position to grow ideas. That can be different for everybody. Maybe that's reading non-fiction, maybe that's reading Game of Thrones, maybe that's doing projects off Pinterest. Maybe that's building something with your hands or exercising. Whatever it is that you do to help you grow the garden of your mind, make sure you make time for it. Share it with your students and talk about things that they can do to help their mind grow and flourish. So, what ideas have you been growing in your mind lately? I suggest picking up a rake and tending to your garden.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Organizing Techno.ED

Over the weekend, I organized Techno.ED to hopefully provide you with a better resource and to allow you to get more out of this site. When I post tech tools/ideas, they are on the site for a few days but as I keep posting new things, the old posts keep getting bumped down until they are no longer showing on the home page. There is a "label cloud" that you can use to find old posts, but I wanted to make it even easier to find posts from the past. I have organized all the posts on Techno.ED into various categories. I then made a new "page" for each category. The pages are at the top of this site, right below the title. My goal was to make it easier for you to find tech tools/ideas. Check out the pages and browse through to get a better feel for what is there. As always, let me know if you have any questions. 
April and May are great months to try some new tech tools. Click on the "create" page above and pick one tech tool to try before the school year is over. Make it your goal to try at least one. If it doesn't work? No big deal. Just move on and try something else. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

How are we treating kids?

How are we treating kids? It is a question we need to ask ourselves from time to time to make sure our answer is what it should be: with care, respect, and compassion. In the video, Rutgers coach Mike Rice, who has since been fired, shows us how NOT to treat kids. Though this is an extreme case, is it that rare? Though we may not chuck basketballs at kids' heads or yell the F word at them, kids can be just as hurt with the way they are treated and talked to. In a position like ours, as teachers, we are around kids constantly. Everyone is human and it is only natural to get frustrated at times. How do we deal with our frustration? Do we take it out on the kid? Do we respond with sarcasm? Do we belittle kids? Talk down to them? Act superior to them? We can hurt a kid just as bad as Mike Rice did without ever throwing one basketball or yelling one curse word. Sometimes we can get so frustrated with a kid but we need to make sure we check ourselves before saying something that will hurt the situation, not help it. We need to remember that kids have home lives and some are really bad. We need to be conscious of their feelings and make sure they feel better after talking to us, not worse. Even in cases where you're just sick of the bad attitude or the lack of effort, sarcasm in a volatile situation is still not the answer. I'm not saying you can't get after a kid sometimes and get firm with them because there is a time and place for that and some kids need that. Still, that firmness and "tough love" can come without sarcasm. I watched the video and was appalled at what I saw this guy doing. Though I have never even come close to doing something like that, it still made me reflect on how I treat kids. It reminded me of the position we are in and the awesome power we have to make kids feel better about themselves and build them up. So, the next time you are about to throw an imaginary basketball at a kids head and rip them with sarcasm, stop and instead throw some words of encouragement and compassion. 

(Note: Mike Rice got fired, as did his assistant coach and the AD of Rutgers University)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Another classtools.net product: Fakebook

We've all heard of Facebook obviously, and perhaps you've heard of Fakebook or even tried it. Either way, I thought I would share this tool in case it is something you could use as a review tool or learning tool. Classtools.net provides a "fakebook" template. Students do not need an account to use this tool, yet they can save it and work on it at a later time, which is nice. To get started, go to the link and start filling out the "required fields." Students enter name, bio information, choose facebook friends, write wall posts, etc. I have done something like this on paper and online and students do get into it and enjoy making fakebook pages about a famous person they are learning about, famous place, building, etc. They do not have to be people. Students could make a facebook page of the Colosseum, Hunger Games arena, anything. 
This could be used as a learning tool or a review tool. The option of saving it gives students the chance to share their work with their classmates. Play around with it and see what you think!   

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Screencast-O-Matic: Great screen recorder

Screencast-O-Matic is a screen capture tool that I have found very useful. Screencast-O-Matic allows you to record what you are doing on your computer, save it as a video file, publish it to YouTube and share. Screencast-O-Matic is a free tool that does not require an account to use. However, if you want to publish your screen recordings to YouTube to share, then you will obviously need a youtube (google) account. Simply go to the site and hit the big blue button "Start Recording" and your set. You can also talk while you explain what you are doing on the screen. This gives even more help to what you are trying to show/demonstrate. In order to do this, you need a microphone hooked up to your computer. 
Applications for Education: If I were a technology integrationist, this would be one of my most useful tools because it would allow me to show teachers how to do things, rather than just trying to explain it. I also use this tool for my classroom. In trying the "flipped" idea a couple times, I recorded myself building a manor system, which the students watched and then built their own. If a student is struggling to figure out how to do something online, record yourself doing it and share it with them. Anything you want your students to see or something you need to demonstrate, this is a good tool for you.  

Monday, April 1, 2013

"Today's Meet" allows for online discussion (Try it below!)

I have been searching for a web tool that would allow my students and I the ability to discuss and communicate online. The days of calling on one student at a time to share their thoughts and opinions while the rest of the class sits there, happy to not have been called on are becoming less and less. Getting everyone involved in class equals getting everyone involved in learning. We want students "into it" and participating, not sitting back while the others do the participating. With "Today's Meet" everyone is involved. Today's Meet allows you to open a "chat room" for a certain amount of time and and communicate online with your students. It is a free service. Simply go to Today's meet.com, name your room, select how long you want the chat room to be open for, and then simply share the link on your website for students to access it. Once the chat room has been created and the students have clicked the link, they simply enter their name to join the room and begin discussing whatever the topic might be. One the right side, they can type (talk) and on the left side, they can read all the dialogue (listen).  
Application for Education: If you are going to use "Today's Meet," I would suggest starting out by taking your class to the computer lab so you can all do it together. This will allow you to show how it works, how to get in the room, and proper etiquette and citizenship. This is a great way to get all your students involved with any discussion. Pose a thought-provoking topic, discuss a current event, discuss a reading passage, answer questions, etc. I have done a variety of things with Today's Meet. I have had "challenges" in which I post a question and the first one to find and share the answer wins. This competition angle makes students more engaged. Now, you don't want to do stuff like that the entire class period, but a couple challenges are good. Today's Meet could also be used as a "homework helper" tool. Create a chat room and have it be available the night before a test or during the week to be available for help. Students think it is really cool that they can get help from their teacher from their house, knowing you are actually in the room too. 

(closes by 11:00 p.m. Tuesday)