Dr. Rob Presenting at #KySTE17 in Louisville, KY

Register now for the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education (KySTE) Spring Conference, March 8-10, 2017 at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY. Registration Link Dr. Rob will be presenting on March 9; at 10:30 am attendees will be asked to participate in the Are You Future Ready Challenge and at 2 pm, Dr. Rob will be discussing Motivating the Reluctant Reader. Keep up with the conference by using hashtag #KySTE17 Share your thoughts with us by posting on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook using the hashtag #DrRobAnswers!

Coming Spring 2017! The Future Ready Challenge by Dr. Rob

Dr. Rob’s newest book, The Future Ready Challenge, published by ISTE will be out in just a few months. “Future Ready” is an 18 week challenge that will help educators create a classroom/school that is based on skills for the future. Consider it a self-help book for those who need that jump start into 21st century teaching. Here’s a sneak peak at the cover as well as some advance reviews…. The Future Ready Challenge by Rob Furman has given us a sure plan to begin addressing twenty-first century skills into daily lessons. The strategies provided are easy to integrate into the content areas and the scaffolding that is suggested will begin to imbed these skills in the planning and delivery of instruction. Time to move away from the old delivery model of education to one that is preparing our young people to be successful and to be contributors in the technology driven society in which they will be members. – Len Ference In his latest success, Dr. Furman accurately outlines the elements critical to 21st century learning. In this work, he provides an accessible way for any teacher to make the critical shift from teacher-centered, knowledge-based teaching to student-centered, skills-based Read More …

Public Education Must Evolve or Become Extinct

I recently presented to a group in Virginia about the need for educators to look at relevance in their teachings and subjects. We can do away with handwriting and spelling. We can save time by eradicating the pointless subjects and archaic skills and replace them with skills we know our students will need in their future. There was one participant that got upset with me. She was upset by my comparison of no longer needing a horse and buggy or needing the skill of reading and writing in hieroglyphics to the need to still use handwriting or learning to spell. There are just some things of which we can let go. At first I felt badly about this participant being upset. But then I realized that more people should get upset, but not at the reality that things need to change. Get upset with the people who are unwilling to adapt and change for the betterment of their students. I had a teacher the other day tell me that he still lectures and has traditional homework assignments “because that’s the way I teach”. Never once did he say anything about the way his students learn. Never entered his mind! Education Read More …

Top 5 Things To Do on Your Brand New School Issued Google Chrome Book

“So I got my Chromebook, now what?” This is a common phrase immediately after receiving a school sanctioned device. After taking about 2 minutes to test all of your normal internet haunts and realize that your device can not get beyond the reaches of the school filters, it is time to find something to do with this thing. This short guide will give you the Top 5 Things To Do on Your Brand New School device. Start a conversation with your friends. Ok I guess you didn’t expect that one, but really it is only a matter of time before you figure out that this machine can be social as well. Honestly, we want you to be social and enjoy conversations with your friends; we just want you to do it in a safe and smart way. So, open up a google doc and share it with your friends. This will be the same experience you will use when doing group projects and collaboration work anyhow so the experience will be useful. Read the News For you older students, or students that like to stay current, create your own Google newspaper. Google news is a great resource for just about Read More …

A Teacher who gets it!

I was wandering around the educational blog world and I found this really simple looking site about math. As I looked around I found this post: http://new-to-teaching.blogspot.com/2016/06/clash-royale-and-unit-rates.html The person who wrote it is named Trevor Reech. Congratulations man! You get it! This article is about using a video game called Clash Royale. He uses this game to not only have students working with math on their interest level, but he gets them to think and problem solve. He makes them defend their decisions based on math and results of the game. He makes them WRITE!! OMG!! If anyone ever wants a real world example of how to use video games in a classroom this is a prime example of a job well done! Thanks Trevor for doing it the 21st century way. Share your thoughts with us by posting on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook using the hashtag #DrRobAnswers!

Warning! Music Class Will Never Be the Same!

I have never been shy when it comes to asserting my opinions about the need for educators to “get with the 21st century program”. My recent post on the need for a video game curriculum met with a very positive response. This post is along the same lines and deals with accommodating students in the field of music with a video game curriculum. One of those video games is titled Rocksmith, and being a former music teacher, I found this to be a very exciting and innovative approach to teaching music. Rocksmith has its roots in the rhythm-style games of the late 90’s, such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Many gamers who were enjoying games like Guitar Hero were probably wondering, “Why don’t we use a real guitar to play these games”? Just imagine if kids were spending hours playing these rhythm games, and learning to play an instrument at the same time. I would venture to say that these kids would be rock gods! Used with Permission Ubisoft (the company who created Rocksmith) saw an opportunity to take these rhythm-style games and offer gamers the opportunity to become musicians. Thus Rocksmith was born. This is significant because for Read More …

The 5 Things You Should Either be Hearing or Saying about EdTech

Even today, we still have teachers across the country fighting the integration of educational technology into the classroom. Many use similar excuses as to why they should not waste their time. The simple fact is that they typically are nervous to learn something new and possibly failing. I think everyone can understand that feeling of not wanting to fail (especially in front of their peers or students). So, they make up a variety of reasons why they think it is a bad idea or they simply just close their door and leave the technology in the corner of the room. Here is a list of the top 5 things you should say to your teachers in regards to educational technology. It’s OK to take a risk. We tell our teachers to make sure their classroom is a place where students feel they can take risks. We want students to experiment and move beyond their comfort zone to reach out to their full potential. This is exactly the same for teachers and technology. You have to create an environment that lets teachers experiment with technology without feeling like it is a pass or fail experience. Let teachers move outside their comfort Read More …

The Top 2 Myths About Using Apps in Education

The app invasion sweeping education is crazy and the benefits for student learning are staggering. However, there are several myths that need to be dispelled about apps in education. If we continue to let these myths be thought of as fact then we will not only waste some of the greatest changes in educational history but we will hurt the future of our students. Myth #1 I would rather my child use education apps than play video games. At first, this statement sounds rather good. But after thinking about it, this is all wrong. A good educational app should feel like a video game. Video games are OK to play and should have an educational component. I agree that there is a LOT of video games out there that are not worth the time. But in terms of educational apps, there are a host of great games that teach a lot. For example, there is a bridge building game that teaches about engineering. The game Words with Friends is excellent for vocabulary development. The game 2058 is a great game to explain multiplication. There are a lot of great video games that are teaching our children as they are having Read More …