Thursday, October 30, 2014

Invitation to Participate: Speak Up 2014

Invitation to Participate: Speak Up 2014

Calling all K-12 Students, Staff, Administrators & Parents
to share their ideas about the use of technology for learning

Speak Up is facilitated by Project Tomorrow a national education non-profit organization.

Visit to get started and
preview student surveys

About Speak Up 2014:
  • Online surveys are now open through December 19th, 2014.
  • Surveys are available this year for: K-12 students, teachers, librarians, principals, district administrators, technology leaders, parents, business partners and community members.  The parent survey is also available in Spanish!
  • Elementary teachers have the option of administering a group survey.
  • All information is 100% confidential.
  • Project Tomorrow annually shares the nationally aggregated data with Congress, the US Department of Education, research organizations and many state governments.
  • Survey question topics include:  
learning and teaching with technology, 21st century skills, science/math instruction, STEM career exploration, online and blended learning, mobile devices, e-textbooks, flipped classrooms, professional development, school-to-home communications, digital citizenship and investment recommendations for 21st century schools.  

Choose a survey
Look up your school by state and then school
Inline image 1The secret word for students is: speaknow

Contact Liane St. Laurent at if you are not able to locate your school.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Spotlight on Parkside

The Middle School at Parkside will be featured in a Spotlight Session at the 2014 Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference on Tuesday, December 2, 2014.

Principal Forrest Ransdell and teachers from Parkside will lead a panel discussion on how their school has focused on the use of technology as a tool to change both teacher and student experiences in the classroom.

Hear about what they discovered and how they made the transition from "device-based" planning with a focus on how to use specific devices in instruction to technology planning that is driven by learner and teacher needs to create efficiency, improve access to technology, and expand outcomes. They will also focus on Google Apps for Education and will share a variety of useful resources. Parkside Middle School is also a participating school in the Manchester School District T21 Teaching for the 21st Century program.

students prepare a cart of Chromebooks for classroom use
Students prepare a cart of Chromebooks for classroom use at Parkside

A student library assistant enrolls Chromebooks
A student library assistant enrolls Chromebooks 

A student assistant with library media specialist Robin Tafe and principal Forrest Ransdell
A student assistant with library media specialist Robin Tafe and principal Forrest Ransdell

Free Workshop and Save the Date for the Hour of Code

Hour of Code 2014

The 2014 Hour of Code will take place during Computer Science Education Week from December 8 - 14, 2014.  

The Hour of Code is a one hour introduction to Computer Science for students of all ages. You don't have to be a computer whiz to promote or host an Hour of Code. (But if you are, that's great!) There are options for all age and experience levels from kindergarten and up! Host an event at your school:

Here's what happened during last year's Hour of Code:
  • More girls tried computer science than in the last 70 years
  • 15 million students worldwide learned an Hour of Code
FREE Workshop for Elementary teachers: is offering a FREE 1-day teacher workshop for elementary teachers, library media specialists, administrators, technology teachers, after-school providers and home-school teachers. 

Attendees receive the free curriculum AND can register to receive supplies needed to run the "unplugged" lessons in the classroom. In addition, a light lunch will be provided and attendees will leave with a "swag bag".

Two workshops are currently scheduled:

10/25/2014 -- Maple Street School, Contoocook, NH (Click to Register)
11/15/2014 -- Maple Street School, Contoocook, NH (Click to Register)

For more information visit:

Questions? Comments? Can't make these dates? Please contact Karen Locke at to be included in a mailing list for future workshops and locations.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Why good ideas fail

In the classroom, just as in business and life, innovation and creativity is the key to success.

Why do good ideas fail?  This article from Victor W. Hwang in Forbes magazine is well worth the read.