Friday, September 3, 2010

Tread Softly on the Dreams of Our Students!

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)

Ken Robinson read this quote at the end of his last talk at TED. He reminds us that we should not tread on the dreams of our students. And we surely have been doing that, collectively, as part of the national educational system.

Please see the next post related to the state of education today.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2010-11 Workshop Schedule and back-to-school discounts

Our 2010-11 Regional Workshop Schedule is online! We have some cities back on the schedule that we haven't visited for while - San Francisco and Washington, DC.

Our first city this school year is Las Vegas where we will hold the following workshops:

Media Literacy - an In-depth Investigation on Oct. 20 and 21.

Designing the 21st Century Classroom on Oct. 22 and 23.

And to sweeten the deal for you we are (for a very limited time) offering huge discounts on paid registrations received by August 30!

The regular fee for each two-day workshop we offer is $525. But you will pay only $425 for any two-day workshop on the schedule - provided we receive it on or before August 30!

The regular fee for each one-day workshop we offer is $299. You will pay only $225 for any one-day workshop on the schedule - provided we receive it on or before August 30!

Monday, August 2, 2010

21st Century Schools Wallwisher by anneshaw21

21st Century Schools Wallwisher by anneshaw21


Hi, everyone. Visiting some other blogs today - as a result of my becoming a group member at Classroom 2.0 - I discovered a fun tool called Voki. It's the character you see to the right in a cowboy hat. You can create your own character using your own voice. A nice way to make your blog or web page more personal. Try it!

Check out the Baby Mail, too!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Salute to Some Special Educators

It's been a busy summer, and school will be starting before we know it. I've enjoyed some travel this summer to work with educators in fantastic Paducah, Kentucky, fabulous Upper St. Clair, PA, and awesome Newaygo County in Fremont, MI. I'm looking forward to my trip to Elyria, OH next month! And it looks like I will be making some international trips this year, as well - India, England and maybe others!

Additionally, I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to meet and work with some very dedicated educators from three residential schools attending our Summer Institute on the River Walk in San Antonio. We had teams from Girard College in Pennsylvania, from Boys Ranch ISD in Texas, and from Virginia Episcopal School! But let's not forget one incredible math teacher from Manitoba, Canada! It was one great week of building community, learning together and teaching each other, and creative collaboration! Thanks to all of you who were there for making July 12-16 a wonderful experience for me and everyone else!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Global Collaborative Classrooms Project - Join Today!

Join our new Global Collaborative Classrooms Project - Food and Culture!

This is not your typical pen-pal type of collaborative project. It's much more. Students will be engaged in authentic, meaningful and rigorous research focused on real-world issues from fitness, health and nutrition to cultural studies, environmental studies and social issues.

Your students will be collaborating with students from around the world. Our goal is to have students from every country on the planet participating!

Whether you have one class period a week to devote to the project or you want to make it a six-week unit or a full-year project, it's flexible enough for you to participate meaningfully. It's also a great project for an After School program!

The curriculum will be aligned to the United Nations Millennium Goals, to the United States White House Issues, and to national standards for the USA. We invite additional information on alignment to standards in other countries or to programs such as International Baccalaureate.

Students will develop critical 21st century skills such as collaboration, creativity, problem solving, adaptability, multicultural skills and this project provides them with a way to make the content of the curriculum relevant. Service learning and multiple literacies will be built in as well.

Register Today!

Monday, May 31, 2010

One Day on Earth

Be watching for more news about the One Day on Earth global collaborative project. This is one in which you should definitely have your students involved! They can become a part of living history.

Join the Wiki for 21st Century Schools

Please join us on the new Wiki for 21st Century Schools. This is another place where we can collaborate, design, create and share news. Join today!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Please sign up to Follow this blog!

We are seeing many visitors to our blog today, and we are thrilled!

PLEASE click the Follow tab at the top of the blog so that you will receive all the updates. Also, please register to receive updates on Posts and Comments via RSS.

Finally, we really want to see your comments. Post comments! Thank you.

ARRL Field Day is June 26-27, 2010

Many educators do not think of "ham radio" as a 21st century tool. Often, it is the only form of communication possible when disaster strikes. Amateur radio plays a significant role in everything from disaster relief to weather reporting.

For the classroom, it is a wonderful way to engage students. They love talking to people around the world and even talking to the astronauts on the International Space Station!

Once a year the ARRL celebrates Field Day, and many student groups around the country participate.

ARRL Field Day is the largest on-the-air operating event in Amateur Radio. It draws tens of thousands to the airwaves each year. Everyone is welcome, hams and non-hams alike.

ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. Each year over 35,000 amateurs gather with their clubs, friends or simply by themselves to operate.

ARRL Field Day is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat it as a contest, most groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities. It is an excellent opportunity to see Amateur Radio demonstrated and learn how you can become an Amateur Radio Operator.

For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar. To locate a Field Day site near you, use the Field Day locator!

Also see our ARRL page for information on free teacher workshops, and on classroom applications. It is a great, and important, activity for after school and summer programs!

San Antonio Summer Institute

Our 2010 Summer Institute will be held in San Antonio this year, at the La Mansion del Rio, an Omni Hotel.

The River Walk alone is worth the trip. But you will love the professional development, and it will definitely prepare you to start the next school year better prepared and with a more 21st century, exciting unit than ever before.

July 12 & 13 - Media Literacy, an In-Depth Investigation.

July 14 - Greening the Classroom and the Curriculum

July 15 & 16 - Designing the 21st Century Classroom

Register today to join us in San Antonio!

New York City was fantastic!

New York City was a fantastic experience! We had a very talented international group of educators from Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, New York, Michigan, New Jersey, Canada and India! The sense of community, the level of dedication and intelligence, and just a great group of people made this one of the best weeks ever. They worked hard. They learned and they laughed. They created!

(That was a one second video of them laughing - what an irony - I am teaching a media literacy workshop and I mess up on filming that group's presentation. As you can see, we enjoyed it. I think I bumped the pause button and didn't notice. Darn! It was an incredible production.)

We did two workshops in NYC - one of them was our Media Literacy workshop. In this workshop the participants learned the basic concepts and principles of media literacy, then applied them as they filmed and edited a movie, designed a television commercial, and they created and performed skits as performance-based assessment demonstrating their knowledge of media literacy.

The movies they created were truly awesome. The variety was wonderful. They were creative and intelligent.

The other workshop was Designing the 21st Century Classroom. That too, was fun and hard work. In the end, the participants left with some incredible ideas for units which they will implement at their schools. These ranged from a second grade unit on the month of May, a first grade unit on Weather, a 12th grade project based upon technology and Habitat for Humanity, a middle school unit on the Roots of Rap and a 6th/8th grade global classrooms project! Impressive!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jamie's Food Revolution

Fresh food not French fries! Sign the petition to make school lunches better. Plz RT. #foodrevolution

Monday, March 1, 2010

Earth Hour and Earth Day 2010

It's time to start working on Earth Hour and Earth Day projects. I have created an Earth Day wiki where people can collaborate to bring together the most resources - web links, films, images, recommended reading, children's literature, etc. Please join our wiki and enter your resources.

Earth Hour is on March 27, 2010 from 8:30 to 9:30 pm. People all over the world, entire cities, will turn off all their lights for that hour!

Earth Day is April 22, 2010!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Share This!

We finally have a "Share This
" button at

We hope you'll visit and share our web site on all your social networks.


Anne Shaw, Director
21st Century Schools

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Green New Year

Happy New Year! And new decade!

I have decided to make some changes by focusing more on Green (education, cities, and living). As you know I recently relocated back to Austin (from Pensacola). The cityscape is totally changed from when I left 3 years ago. And not for the better.

Austin, of course, is much larger than Pensacola. There are several new very tall buildings shaping the Austins skyline now, dwarfing, actually rendering invisible, the Capitol Building.

And driving around the city I couldn't help but be struck by the seemingly endless miles of plain brown roofs on huge apartment complexes (which are plentiful here), and the rising walls of steel and glass on our new downtown. NO GREEN ANYWHERE!

After having conducted intensive studies on green living during the past six months, I was particularly dismayed - and disgusted - that apparently no one (or very few) buildings in Austin are actually taking advantage of the many possibilities there are to make our environment not only healthier, but more beautiful.

I learned about green roofs which can provide assistance with heating and cooling, flowers, food, reduce stormwater runoff, provide water for use in the building, areas of retreat, rest and recreation for workers or children in day care (yes, we would have fences). I learned about vertical gardens (indoors and out) - actually, the fantastic Whole Foods store downtown has an impressive inner vertical garden. I learned about vertical farming - on skyscrapers!

Instead of green, it seems that the Austin landscape is an endless array of brown shingles, glass and steel all just soaking up the heat from the sun (and, by the way, a very noticeable lack of photovoltaics!)

I think I'll investigate this more.

AND I am in the process of creating a new curriculum unit on green living and education, and I have an idea for a new global collaborative classrooms project - very exciting stuff!

Happy New Year!