In the year 2020...

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This is from Tech & Learning...Research by the Institute for the Future released in a report entitled “Future Work Skills 2020″ shows that preparing for a specific career area based on content is difficult and, instead, people should be developing certain broad skills. These same skills are important for our students to learn. The report explains each of the skills in detail, and also goes into the implications for education and policies.  Below is a list of skills and some links to applications that might help develop them.


Sense-making. The ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed

Social intelligence. The ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions

Novel and adaptive thinking. Proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based

Cross-cultural competency. The ability to operate in different cultural settings

Computational thinking. The ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning

New-media literacy. The ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms and to leverage these media for persuasive communication

Transdisciplinarity. Literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines

Design mind-set
. Ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes

Cognitive load management. The ability to discriminate and filter information for importance and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques

Virtual collaboration. The ability to work productively, drive engagement and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team

Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. The zoomable canvas makes it fun to explore ideas and the connections between them.

Today's Meet
Encourage the room to use the live stream to make comments, ask questions, and use that feedback to tailor your presentation, sharpen your points, and address audience needs. is an online curation service that allows people to post information as well as help them to catalog resources.

MIT Open Courseware
Free lecture notes, exams, and videos from MIT.  No registration required.

Art of Problem Solving

TED Talks
TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.

World Digital Library
U.S. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington proposed the establishment of the WDL in a speech to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO in June 2005. The basic idea was to create an Internet-based, easily-accessible collection of the world's cultural riches that would tell the stories and highlight the achievements of all countries and cultures, thereby promoting cross-cultural awareness and understanding. UNESCO welcomed the idea as a contribution toward fulfilling UNESCO's strategic objectives, which include promoting knowledge societies, building capacity in developing countries, and promoting cultural diversity on the Web. UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura designated UNESCO's Directorate for Communication and Information, led by Dr. Abdul Waheed Khan, to work with the Library of Congress to develop the project.

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like.

World Mapper
Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest.  There are now nearly 700 maps. Maps 1-366 are also available as PDF posters. Use the menu above to find a map of interest.

Brain Development

As a student, did you ever help another student study for a test because you knew the material COLD and when you got the tests back the person you helped did better than you?  I call that brain leak...the knowledge leaks from your brain into another person's brain.  Or more likely, you knew the facts but did not understand the material.  What makes learning easier?  What helps the understanding process?  Here are a few links that might give some insight.

Cache Cab: Taxi Drivers' Brains Grow to Navigate London's Streets 

Memorizing 25,000 city streets balloons the hippocampus, but cabbies may pay a hidden fare in cognitive skills.  Click here to read more....

Brain Quiz

This Brain Quiz was created to introduce some of the basic concepts concerning early brain research in a way that challenges us to think critically and creatively about what we have heard about the research. Test yourself to see what facts and misinformation you have heard concerning infants and brain development.

Brain Development and Intelligence Linked, Study Says

The brains of very intelligent children appear to develop in a distinctive and surprising way that distinguishes them from less intelligent children, a federal study reported yesterday.

The study is the first to try to measure whether differences in brain development are linked to intelligence, said researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health, who did several brain scans on 309 healthy children between the ages of 6 and 19.  Click here to read more...

And what about general abilities?

“What makes a great violinist, physicist, or crossword puzzle solver? Are experts born or made? The question has intrigued psychologists since psychology was born—and the rest of us, too, who may secretly fantasize playing duets with Yo Yo Ma or winning a Nobel Prize in science."  Click here to read more....

From the HP Teacher Experience Exchange...

Check out these sites to publish student work:

  • Yudu: Lets you upload all sorts of content including Word documents and PDFs. It will quickly convert the documents into an impressive virtual magazine with flipping pages. Account creation is optional but an email address is required. You can also set privacy settings to public or private.

  • Flipsnack: Very similar to Yudu and is extremely easy to use. The only caveat is the document you upload must be in PDF format. If you have a copy machine at school that scans into PDF, load it with student work, create a PDF and convert it into a virtual book.

  • Issuu: Pronounced "issue", is another option to upload almost any document format and transform it into a virtual flipping book. Of course, you can share and or embed the resulting creation. For example, you can embed the book on your classroom homepage or wiki.

  • Tikatok: Aimed at younger students and is a wonderful tool for story creation. Students begin with story starters or a completely blank book. Text, images and imagination are added and an amazing digital book is created. The final product can be viewed online and a print copy can be ordered.

  • Mixbook: Very similar to Tikatok but features some sophisticated editing tools perfect for middle or high school students. The site includes numerous templates and images to ensure a professional-looking book. Mixbook also offers accounts designed for teachers.

  • Epubbud: Allows you to convert and existing document into an e-book or create the book on the site itself. The difference is that it converts the book to the epub format, which is compatible with numerous readers and tablets. The user interface is not as elegant as some of the other website choices but is an efficient way to generate an epub format book.

  • Lulu: Like a combination of Epubbud and Mixbook. You have the ability to upload a document and convert to epub format. In addition, the site contains photo book tools very similar to Mixbook. Add images and text to tell a story. Tools are also available for creating poetry books and digital portfolios.

  • Scribd: Arguably the best known online publishing site. Upload any file or even import from Google Docs. One drawback for the school setting is the number of advertisements.

  • YouPublish: YouPublish is similar to Scribd. Upload virtually any type of file, including video, and it will be viewable and shareable. It's very easy to upload content and this site works well for older students.
Link to tools for web 2.0 

Ann Walker Smalley, Director of Metronet <> and LeAnn Suchy, Program Manager at Metronet <> presented the MPA faculty with a set of new and interesting tools to try out and use as we move into the web 2.0 realm.

One of the most useful links was to collections of educational videos:


Free educational videos, over 20,000 included, and arranged in categories and by age level. All videos reviewed by educators.


Khan Academy

Collection of videos showing processes or of class lectures. But if you log in, you have access to thousand of lesson plans and teachers can monitor student work.


TED Talks

Collection of videos from the TED conferences. Videos can be a great starting point to discuss something in the classroom.

Extra video site, for all you English teachers out there:

60 Second Recap

60-second recaps of great pieces of literature. 60 seconds on plot, 60 seconds on character, 60 seconds on them, etc. Very engaging videos to get you interested in the literature.

I would also add this specialized site.  If you need a logo or just a pretty title and don't want to open Photoshop, this site will create logos in any color and a variety of fonts and sizes.  Go crazy, click here!

"Radio took 38 years to reach 50 million users, television took 13 years, the internet just 4 years, the iPod only 3-and what about Facebook? The current king of social media added 100 million users in less than 9 months."  What's next?  And how long will it take?

Throughout history, humans have (re)used local resources to create not only buildings and fortifications, but monuments, roads, and a wide variety of other structures. For countless generations, artists, composers, and writers have freely incorporated elements from local and distant cultures to create new visual, musical, and textual forms.  What effect has this had on issues like copyright?

In the Web 2.0 World, the open (re)combination of multiple media has become commonplace in many venues, practices that Lawrence Lessig, founder of Creative Commons and others, would characterize as emblematic of a 'Remix ' or 'Read/Write' culture. Indeed, from his point of view, “the health, progress, and wealth creation of a culture is fundamentally tied to this participatory remix process."

In the recently-released Horizon Report 2008 - a joint publication of the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), six emerging information technologies and practices that are expected to significantly impact educational organizations are profiled: Grassroots Video, Collaborative Webs, Mobile Broadband, Data Mashups, Collaborative Intelligence, and Social Operating Systems.

February 2012

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This site is maintained by Upper School Technology Coordinator Theresa Reardon Offerman.


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