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Get the Free Next Generation Science Standards App


NSTA is excited to announce, in partnership with MasteryConnect, a free app for the Next Generation Science Standards.


MasteryConnect, the makers of the most downloaded app for the Common Core (with over 700,000 downloads), has created a great way to get the standards in the palm of your hand ... through an app on your tablet or mobile device.


The Next Generation Science Standards app gives you multiple ways to view the standards including DCI and Topic arrangements, and also includes convenient search functionality. The app also makes referencing standards in the Common Core simple by providing a linkage between the NGSS App and MasteryConnect's Common Core App.


As part of the partnership with MasteryConnect, NSTA is providing additional free resources within the app, including several articles from NSTA's peer reviewed journals, and free chapters from its line of NGSS-related titles, including The NSTA Reader's Guide to the Next Generation Science Standards and Science for the Next Generation: Preparing for the New Standards.

You can download the Next Generation Science Standards app (as well as MasteryConnect's other free apps) by searching "MasteryConnect" or "Next Generation Science Standards" in your app store or visiting the iOS Store or Android Marketplace. Look for the app to be available in the Windows Store soon.

Please take a moment to watch.


Relationships matter.


What do we teach? ONE right answer - KIDS.


Put Kids first and everything else will work out.


Original Blog Post Link:


#1: They believe.

Successful people believe they are adding value to your day, on and off social media. My Forbes colleague David DiSalvo opened his very popular post: The 10 Reasons Why We Fail with a Yoda and Luke conversation:

Luke: I can’t believe it.

Yoda: That is why you fail.

If the Yoda reference doesn’t do it for you, then just watch the Jennifer Lawrence video. She believes — in herself and in her abilities to influence you with that unfortunate fall and more graceful rise.


#2: They share what they had for lunch.

Just kidding. The real #2 is: Successful social media people listen. Listening means they monitor, observe, and respond based on what they learn.  They engage. My colleague Kelly Clay shared on Twitter: They use that listening mode to share and promote others content.


Before I continue with the rest, this post is inspired by HubSpot. If you are a business owner or marketing executive, you have no doubt heard of this online marketing powerhouse that invented (at least from all I can remember) the term “Inbound Marketing” and then proceeded to completely own it. They offer all-in-one marketing software, but what makes them so remarkable is their dedication to providing truly useful content.


A couple of weeks ago they posted: 30 Terrible Pieces of Social Media Advice to Ignore. The post has been quite popular and I’ve flipped many of the entries to the positive (instead of “terrible”) and here are many of their pointers, based on research or experience.


#3: They don’t try to dominate every single social network.

Essentially, you find where your audience is and go there. Common sense, but not so easy to do it if you listen to the buzz instead of your customer. Most often, the top 3 can meet your need: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. But you may find that Pinterest or FourSquare ring the bell. Pick a few and focus there.


#4: They don’t focus on one social media network.

HubSpot points out that no one network is the Holy Grail. You need to play in more than one sandbox


#5: Social media leaders still use email.

Sounds funny, but with the advent of social media, many so-called social media experts claimed that email is dead. Far from it. Email is part of what allows a deeper conversation.

#6: They still believe in SEO.

Social media allegedly does away with the need for search engine optimization (SEO), according to the pundits. Untrue says HubSpot as well as the entire SEO community. Their post points out: “It’s just another case of two marketing strategies working better when they’re together. Social media posts now show in search results, social media engagement influences search rankings, and SEO can drive more people to your social profiles and posts.”


#7: They are genuine.

Genuine results in not automating all your updates. You might automate some, but without real engagement, real connecting time, you miss out. Sure you can have 50,000 followers or fans, but will they know you if you call?


Tied to this is #8. They do not send auto DM to all their new followers.

HubSpot goes so far as to beg you not to do this: “Whether you want to thank them, tell them to visit your website, or anything else, please please please don’t send an auto direct message (DM) to every new follower you get. Auto DMs are incredibly impersonal and perceived as spam by most. Sending auto DMs not only seems inconsiderate, but it also makes you look like a complete newbie who doesn’t understand social media etiquette.”

#9: They use hashtags judiciously.

Hashtags can be useful for specific events, such as a tweetchat or live event, but people are not monitoring those tags as often as you think.

#10: Successful social media users (clearly) don’t believe the hype that prospects aren’t using social media.

You may have said it or heard it: My customers are not using social media. According to Pew Research Center, 69% of adults use social media. You have a very tiny niche market if you think none of your prospects are in that stat. Check out this HubSpot post to see how many people on each site actually fit into your target market.


#11: They publish more quality, not just quantity.

If you have read Brian Clark or Jon Morrow at CopyBlogger, you already know about content marketing. The bar is rising for content.

#12: They understand that one message does not fit all networks

This is related to automation, but specifically means you tailor each message to each network. Twitter lends itself to greater frequency, Facebook to longer updates and photos. Follow Mari Smith for Facebook advice that works. See the website resources at the end, one of which often has Mari’s advice in it.

#13: Social media leaders don’t let friends outsource.

After Tim Ferriss book, Four Hour Workweek, many jumped on the outsourcing bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of having a team to help you, but you cannot outsource your voice, at least not very well. As Sahil Parikh from DeskAway shared with me on Twitter: “Be genuine!” HubSpot shared how AT&T had social media outsourcing (combined with automation, not less!) go terribly wrong. If you’re considering outsourcing your social media marketing, check out this post first.

#14: They hire interns, but they use them wisely.

I have to cite HubSpot directly on this one: “Who’s even less qualified to talk about your industry than an outsourced social media consultant? A college student with no real-world work experience. Now, that’s not to say that all interns are unqualified for such a job. The point we’re trying to make here is that social media is not just some throw-away marketing strategy; it’s a public face of the company. Would you let that same intern do an interview on behalf of your company for a TV spot?”


15: Success in social media demands that you get personal.

I find it laughable that CEOs join social networks only to post about their companies. There are , no doubt, some high profile CEOs that people follow regardless, but most knowledgeable executives understand you have to get personal. That above lighthearted joke about what you had for lunch is not what I mean. “People don’t fall in love with hex colors and logos — they fall in love with people” @RedHeadWriting

#16: They know that social media is not free, but earned.

Social media, like any marketing, takes time, which isn’t free. So to be effective in social media, you’ll need to invest in human resources. You need to invest in it, period.


#17: They measure social media.

A couple of years ago I did a project for Optify – which specializes in helping companies score and rank social media and web traffic in terms of prospect lead value. What I learned from them is that you need to track and monitor and measure.

#18: They know that fan/follower growth is secondary to getting paid.

Most business owners and executives get on social media to improve their sales and marketing. You can argue with me in the comments, of course, about how you are there to serve without selling at all. But at the end of the day, you have a reason, a goal, for being there. That’s why fan /follower counts don’t matter as much as figuring out how to get people engaged enough to buy. The number of fans/followers does matter, to be clear, just not as much as some egos would have you believe.


#19: They believe in their network and leverage it.

You are part of a community, if you’re doing this right. Some may argue that you cannot ask people to comment or follow or retweet you. There are no rules, folks. We’re making this up as we go. It can be done in an ethical and conscientious way – and it works. Ask for help. I’m just finishing a post for Yahoo! Small Business on the power of networking (no link yet, sorry), but I do plan to tell part of the story here later.

HubSpot studied that a simple call-to-action like “please retweet” can go a long way to generate more social activity. In fact, their research has shown that including “please retweet” actually leads to 4x more retweets! Start your social media day with more retweets and shares is what I advocate.



6 Steps To Becoming A Better Twitter User

Added by Colleen Lee on 2013-02-03

As I began to build my personal learning network (PLN) I didn’t know a hashtag from a MT. But I knew something exciting was happening for educators on Twitter. The road to a robust PLN begins with the signing up for Twitter – then the journey begins…

  1. 1. Who you are - I noticed that I followed people that shared a bit about who they were – and what they are interested in. I made sure my profile tells a bit of that. Also I quickly learned to get rid of the egg. If you don’t want to share your photo there are lots of publicly licensed images to draw from. People share a lot on twitter and your profile is an indication that you will too.
  2. 2. Follow - As I began to build my personal learning network (PLN) I didn’t know a hashtag from a MT. But I knew something exciting was happening for educators on Twitter. So I began with a direct search (‘languages twitter teaching), then I learned about hashtags. I followed a few who seemed to have something to say. I also look to who they follow for more possibilities. Tailor your PLN to what you want easily this way. You may at times edit who you follow – and this is okay too as it shows you are becoming more purposeful in constructing your PLN.
  3. 3. Lurk - Most of us start as ‘lurkers’…watching the stream, finding out information. Initially maybe I wasn’t sure that I had much to say. I was excited to see what was out there – so I watched, found people to follow, expanded my PLN gradually and thoughtfully. Lurking is the first step as you take time to learn more about what Twitter can offer. I know many who right now only lurk – but I’ll be eventually they will be confident enough to begin to share!
  4. 4. List - As you follow I recommend that you start to list. Make the lists based upon why you chose to follow in the first place – if you looked at the profile. Maybe you follow for more than one reason. As you follow more and more lists make it easy to cut through the noise and get a ‘hit’ of what you want. For me – I visit my ‘edtech’, ‘langchat’, and ‘japanese teachers’ when I can and I love that my stream is sorted into these convenient categories.
  5. 5. Retweet then Tweet - I started with easily with a few RTs (retweets) – something I felt was pertinent and relevant. At first I wasn’t confident enough that I had much to say. Then I began to MT – modify the retweet and add my own quick thought or perspective. Finally I found my voice and started to share thoughts, resources and ‘finds’ that inspired me in the classroom.
  6. 6. Chat - The scheduled ‘chat’, for me #langchat, is the most powerful pro-d I know of – each week something new to learn and discuss. We often work in isolation and the chat gives us a community to share and learn from. I use Tweetdeck or Tweetchat during these to allow me to follow the stream exclusively. Introduce yourself and your reason for being on the chat. Some chats are huge and the stream flows. Many chats will publish a digest – like #langchat does – that allows you to see the ‘big’ takeaways from the time. If you find yourself noticing certain tweets more than others that just may be someone to follow!

It is said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step…I encourage you to dip your toe into Twitter and begin constructing a PLN – your teaching will be the better for it!

As leaders of school-based agricultural education convene next week in Indianapolis to address the critical issue of the crisis of a supply qualified agricultural educators in America, I think this video should be required viewing for all!


It is most definitely TIME TO DANCE!


Well, I always need to teach Bloom's to my teacher candidates and I wanted to use this clip to help.


But alas, I am old and Seinfeld does not reasonate with my teacher candidates!!!


I thought some of you might enjoy this: 14 min 50 secs.



Nicholas Alan Cope / Getty Images

Nicholas Alan Cope / Getty Images


You won’t get rich as a teacher, right? That’s no longer true for a small but growing number of educators who are making big bucks selling their lesson plans online. On a peer-to-peer site called TeachersPayTeachers (TPT), Georgia kindergarten teacher Deanna Jump has earned more than $1 million selling lesson plans — with names like “Colorful Cats Math, Science and Literacy Fun!” — for about $9 a pop. Since the site launched in 2006, 26 teachers have each made more than $100,000 on TPT, which takes a 15% commission on most sales. In August, Jump became the first on TPT to reach $1 million. Her success has been aided by the thousands of followers of her personal blog who get notified each time she retails a new lesson. Another reason she thinks her stuff sells so well: “I’ve used it in my classroom,” says Jump, who just kicked off her 16th year of teaching. “I know it works.”


Standards and testing may hog the spotlight in education, but they spell out only what students should be able to do, not how to get kids to learn those skills. Lesson plans are teachers’ tools: lend someone a better hammer, and he’ll do a better job. But a lousy carpenter can’t fake it even with the greatest tools money can buy, and the lesson plans that come with textbooks often aren’t very engaging or aren’t in line with the Common Core State Standards that 45 states recently agreed to adopt. There’s a lot of concern among teachers about meeting these standards, particularly since more states have started tying teachers’ evaluations to their students’ performance. And the rising popularity of lesson-sharing sites like BetterLesson, which in June signed up its 100,000th teacher, points to one of education’s most ironic problems: teachers don’t share very much with their colleagues. Yes, there are master teachers who help coach less effective co-workers, but faculty members still get relatively little time with one another. Schools don’t prioritize it, and teachers’ contracts spell out their day down to the minute. What we consider schools are often just loose confederations of independent contractors, each overseeing his or her own classroom.

The need for more collaboration helps explain why the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the U.S.’s second largest teachers’ union, launched a site this summer called Share My Lesson, where teachers can get free lesson plans. It’s unclear how the union’s corporate partner, TES Connect, intends to make money from the venture or whether the Deanna Jumps of the world will post their material on the site, given that it doesn’t pay for content. “If teachers don’t want to share, they don’t have to,” says AFT president Randi Weingarten. “But this is a huge opportunity for teachers to work with each other to improve our craft.”


That may sound like a raw deal until you think about what’s been happening in higher education, where more and more colleges are getting professors to put their syllabus and, more recently, videos of their lectures online. But it’s a new frontier in the long insulated K-12 world. And as a legal matter, it’s not cut and dry: if teachers produce a lesson as part of their regular work, even if it’s on their own time, does their school or school district have any right to profits from it? In 2004 a federal court in New York said yes. Look for more litigation as the money involved with these sites grows.

Of course, not everyone thinks crowdsourcing lesson plans is the smartest solution, including one of the companies that lets teachers download free lesson plans à la carte. BetterLesson’s main goal, which has interested several venture-capital firms, is selling schools and districts customized curriculums in multiweek chunks that come with daily lesson plans and work sheets. Founded by a Teach for America alum, BetterLesson summed up its philosophy in a recent post on the company’s blog: “Give a man a random resource, he teaches for a class period. Give him inspiring examples of complete units on poetry, narrative writing and sentence structure, his next few months of instruction are transformed.”

Regardless of who foots the bill for more-effective lesson plans, this sort of professional sharing is long overdue. Too many teachers are on their own. It’s a sink-or-swim system, as Weingarten has often noted, but it doesn’t have to be that way.


Rotherham, a co-founder and partner at the nonprofit Bellwether Education, writes the blog Eduwonk. The views expressed are solely his own.

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