Friday, October 28, 2011

Carpentry Skills Workbook - Another Great Product from CIMC

I would like to announce another new curriculum product from CIMC...

Carpentry Skills WorkbookNew!

This student workbook includes 60 job sheets addressing skills in residential and commercial carpentry. It contains step-by-step procedures featuring 200+ illustrations, equipment and supplies list for each job sheet, an evaluation rubric for each job sheet, and a blank profile of training mastery (for teacher sign-off on student's skill mastery).

It is ideal as a resource for each student to supplement in-depth textbooks or as a job aid.

Job sheet categories include:
  • Residential door installation (10 job sheets)
  • Residential roof framing (8 job sheets)
  • Wall & ceiling framing (7 job sheets)
  • Stair framing (1 job sheet)
  • Cornice and gable ends (2 job sheets)
  • Exterior walls & trim (4 job sheets)
  • Cabinets, shelves, and built-ins (2 job sheets)
  • Floor finishing (4 job sheets)
  • Roof finishes (4 job sheets)
  • Column forms (2 job sheets)
  • Beam forms (3 job sheets)
  • Above-grade slab systems (4 job sheets)
  • Bridge deck forms (1 job sheet)
  • Fireproof encasement forms (1 job sheet)
  • Commercial door installation (7 job sheets)
Contact the Customer Service Division at 800.654.4502 to place your order today!

You might also like:
Communications in Agriculture
Fundamentals of Nursing
Passport to Financial Literacy Act

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Do You Use or Misuse Social Media to Reach Your Students?

Does your school or state agency use social media to reach your students, potential students or other interested parties?

I no longer think a website, no matter how slick and shiny, can make that "connection" with students or potential students. I think students are looking for a social connection and not from just the adults. They want to hear what their peers are saying about a school and/or a program. Does it scare you to provide an uncensored look at what you do? I admit, the thought can scare me as well, but I think it is best to deal with the truth and try and control the discussion.

It has been said for years that athletes on a college football team are the best recruiters for future players. Why doesn't that same line of thought hold true for your school or your business? To be honest, your students or co-workers are your best salesmen. If you provide a great program and a great environment with a chance for future success, why wouldn't you want the word to spread about what you have created?
According to a recent study by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, 100% of universities surveyed use social media to communicate with students, up from 61% in 2007-08. The study found that 98% of the responding colleges have a Facebook page and 84% have a Twitter account.
What about your school? Are you where your customers (students) are at? Are you willing to have an open, online discussion with your students? Are you willing to let your students join your marketing efforts? To be totally honest, social media is well past the "fad phase" and its use will only continue to grow. I think students will take pride in promoting their school and in their program of study. It will also help them develop a feeling of ownership in their school as well. 

Please read the thought-provoking CNN article by Umika Pidaparthy entitled, "How colleges use, misuse social media to reach students" for more information about using social media in your school.

Also see's "Top 100 Social Media Colleges," which classifies the universities on how well they use social media. It also provides great social media examples from many of the universities.

Monday, October 24, 2011

When Will Your School be Using Cloud-Based Solutions for IT?

Mark Brumley states in his Digital Learning and Environments blog:
My prediction is the 2012-2013 school year will be the tipping point when the majority of schools move to the cloud and by 2016, non cloud-based schools will be rare.

Brumley also discusses how cloud-based computing will reduce costs for school districts and state governments and how competition between Google and Microsoft will continue to keep costs free (or low) and packed with more and more features.

As an individual. I like Brumley's third major point and that is because cloud-based computing allows me to be connected anytime, anywhere. I want a seamless transition between my work and personal life and that is what the cloud and mobile devices allow.

When do you think your school or state agency will switch to cloud-based computing?

Please read Your School Will Be in the Cloud by Mark Brumley.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Intelligence in Teenagers Can Increase or Decrease Over Time

I always thought that intelligence was fixed, but apparently there is hope for teenagers (mine included).

Cognitive abilities can increase or decrease during the teenage years and it's important to keep children mentally active and off the couch. I've often "preached" how some people give up on certain kids, but these findings demonstrate how important it is that we challenge every student. Will this affect how you teach?

In the article, As Brain Changes, So Can IQ, published in the Wall Street Journal by Robert Lee Hotz, the author states, "the new findings by researchers at University College London, reported online in Nature, suggest that IQ, often used to predict school performance and job prospects, may be more malleable than previously believed—and more susceptible to outside influences, such as tutoring or neglect." As the article states:
A teenager's IQ can rise or fall as many as 20 points in just a few years, a brain-scanning team found in a study published Wednesday that suggests a young person's intelligence measure isn't as fixed as once thought.

The researchers also found that shifts in IQ scores corresponded to small physical changes in brain areas related to intellectual skills, though they weren't able to show a clear cause and effect.
"If the finding is true, it could signal environmental factors that are changing the brain and intelligence over a relatively short period," said psychologist Robert Plomin at Kings College in London, who studies the genetics of intelligence and wasn't involved in the research. "That is quite astounding.".....
...."An important aspect of the results is that cognitive abilities can increase or decrease," said Oklahoma State University psychometrician Robert Sternberg, a past president of the American Psychological Association who wasn't part of the study. "Those who are mentally active will likely benefit. The couch potatoes among us who do not exercise themselves intellectually will pay a price."
Another great resource on this subject is: Larry Ferlazzo's: The Best Articles On The New Study Showing That Intelligence Is Not “Fixed”

I hope you will take the time to research this subject further:
Nature: Verbal and non-verbal intelligence changes in the teenage brain
The Atlantic: Study of the Day: IQ Rises and Falls During Teenage Years
The BBC: IQ in teenagers 'can change more than thought'
Education Week: Study: Adolescents Can See Dramatic IQ Changes
Science: IQ Is Not Fixed in the Teenage Brain
Science: What Does IQ Really Measure?
The Los Angeles Times: IQ changes in teens as brain changes, study finds
The Wall Street Journal: As Brain Changes, So Can IQ

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

10 Open Educational Resources That You Should Know About

Social media is a funny thing and I'm sure there are some deep-rooted sociological reasons for its success, but people truly have a need and a desire to feel connected and to learn from each other. I have to agree with Richard Byrne as he recently stated that Personal Learning Networks (PLN's) are better characterized as Personal Sharing Networks. "Sharing" is truly the essence of social media, especially when used for professional/educational reasons.

In the spirit of sharing resources, I wanted to draw your attention to a Mind/Shift article, 10 Open Education Resources You May Not Know About (But Should), in which Audrey Watters states:
We have looked here before at how OCW has shaped education in the last ten years, but in many ways much of the content that has been posted online remains very much “Web 1.0.” That is, while universities have posted their syllabi, handouts, and quizzes online, there has not been — until recently — much “Web 2.0″ OCW resources — little opportunity for interaction and engagement with the material.

But as open educational resources and OCW increase in popularity and usage, there are a number of new resources out there that do offer just that. You probably already know about: Khan Academy and Wikipedia, for example. But in the spirit of 10 years of OCW, here’s a list of 10 cool OER and OCW resources that you might not know about, but should know:
Click HERE to read the list!
I hope you will become members of the CareerTech Testing Center's PLN by following us on this blog, Facebook, Twitter, and/or our wiki, iTeach-CareerTech.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Satellite Tracking Systems Used to Prevent Exam Theft

Is testing a big business or what?

Bruce McDougall reports in the October 17, 2011 issue of the Daily Telegraph how the theft of a box of completed NAPLAN tests from a primary school in Australia caused a change in test security policy.

The article, entitled "War on HSC Cheats Beefed Up With New Satellite Tracking Technology to Prevent Exam Paper Theft" discusses how "The 13 million pages of exam papers and 1.75 million answer booklets will be sent to test centres across the state in hi-tech tamper-proof packaging with special bar codes that can pinpoint their location at any time." Exam authorities are also cracking down on cheating in the exam room and are requiring students to take a special course on ethics, plagiarism and copyright.

I think it is interesting how technology is being used to handle a "low" technology (paper and pencil) test.

Click HERE to read the article in its entireity.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Quora - a Question and Answer Website

I wanted to introduce you to Quora which is a question-and-answer website created, edited and organized by its community of users. Quora continually improves a collection of questions and answers and the most important thing is to have each question page become the best possible resource for someone who wants to know about the question.

Quora also combines Q&As with social networking, so you can search for people and follow them to see what topics they're interested in. When somebody answers a question, you can 'vote up' their answer, just like you would on Digg, and you can endorse users in much the same way as you can hit 'Like' on Facebook or say something nice about a colleague on LinkedIn.

Do you think Quora has possibilities or is this niche already saturated with Yahoo Answers, Google, Facebook Questions, Wolfram Alpha, etc.?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Great Resource for Educational iPad Apps

Just wanted to share a blog called Apps in Education written by Gregory Swanson that seems to be a great resource for teachers. As Swanson states, "One of the hardest thing with using the iPad in the classroom is finding the time to go through all of the apps in the iTunes Store listed under the education banner. We have started to list some of the apps we've found under each of the Key Learning Areas."

Here are a couple of posts that I thought were interesting:
10 Best Apps 4 Teachers

As always...let us know your thoughts!

Also, thanks to Tommi Leach at the The Career Advisor  Newsletter for letting us know about this site!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The CareerTech Testing Center and Sharing

Please follow thr CarerrTech Testing Center Blog

The purpose of this site is to share information about testing issues and free educational resources that teachers, instructional designers, and diagnosticians can use in the classroom.

I believe that testing involves an "individual" and a test is simply a point in time reference of a student's ability on a set of predetermined standards/objectives. I think there are two primary views that most people consider when testing and I would hope that we consider both of these views and others when evaluating results: One view is to determine whether or not a student has mastered the objectives. Another view is to help the student by diagnosing academic strengths and weaknesses that are relative to that individual student.

As you can tell, I really like to focus one the "core" reason for testing which is the individual and not to get hung up on all of the legislative reasons for testing.

I also believe that when used correctly, technology has the power to improve student engagement and student achievement. I think technology gives teachers and other educational professionals the ability to form powerful, global, professional learning communities. These communities, or what I frequently refer to as a personal learning networks (PLN's), allows us to expand expand our professional learning opportunities beyond the traditional in-service days, occasional conferences, and graduate courses.

Writing this blog has given me the opportunity to work with some great people in the education community and I hope you will take a few moments to SHARE the CareerTech Testing Center Blog with other educators or anyone that has an interest in testing or educational technology. We will never sell advertising on this site and making money isn't our purpose. Again our purpose is to share with you and to learn from you.

Please take the time to SHARE this site with others or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and/or our wiki...iTeach-CareerTech.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Remembering Steve Jobs' 2005 Commencement Address

Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder and former Chief Executive of Pixar Animation Studios, died yesterday, October 5th, and the web is full of tributes for him. Besides the Apple I, then II, other Apple products include the Macintosh, iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad and the iTunes Store. Pixar is an Academy Award ®-winning computer animation studio which developed Toy Story (1995),  A Bug's Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), Cars (2006), Ratatouille (2007), WALL-E (2008), Up (2009) and most recently Toy Story 3 (2010).

For me, one of the most influential things he did was his commencement speech to Stanford University in 2005. It’s been viewed on YouTube over 6.5 million times, but if you haven’t seen it before I’ve embedded it below or you can click on the link HERE.

As he states in the commencement address:
"No one wants to die," he said. "Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true."

If you just want to read the text version, it’s located in the Stanford University News.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Advertising and Design Curriculum is Now Available

We are happy to announce that MAVCC's Advertising and Design curriculum is available for purchase!!

Advertising and Design is available as a Teacher Edition and as a Student Edition. The Teacher Edition includes a Teacher CD and one Student Edition. The Student Edition consists of a Student CD and a spiral-bound Student Guide.

The Teacher CD contains customizable Word files for the learning activities sheets, written tests, and unit reviews, as well as PowerPoint presentations for each unit. Test banks are also available for each written test and unit review. These RTF files can be used in testing software, such as ExamView.

The Student Edition consists of a spiral-bound Student Guide that contains the unit objectives, information sheets and student supplements, and a Student CD that contains interactive assignment sheets and job sheets. The Student CD also contains various student resource files, as well as two optional units and a printing supplement. Please note that you will receive a discount, if you order six or more Student Editions.

These competency-based materials are structured so that instructors and students have a clear understanding of what will be covered and how students will be evaluated as they move through each unit of instruction. The contents of Advertising and Design are tied to measurable and observable learning outcomes that align with PrintED’s Advertising and Design competencies.

To download a sample unit from this book, the Instructional/Task Analysis, PrintED Crosswalk, and Basic Skills Matrix, visit

For more information about this publication or to place an order, visit the MAVCC online catalog, or contact their customer service department at 1.800.654.3988, or e-mail Cheryl Dorris at

Monday, October 3, 2011

The A-Z Dictionary of Educational Twitter Hashtags

What is a hashtag?

The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark a keyword or a topic in any Tweet. A Twitter user can categorize or follow topics with hashtags.Those hashtags (usually) mean something and are a great way to get a tweet to appear in search results or discussion monitoring. Some of my favorite hashtags are #CareerTechTest#CTE, #acte, and #CareerTechEd.

Please read The Full List of (Nearly) All Educational Hashtags (390 educational hashtags) on

I hope this helps you find some great Twitter chats to follow, like #edchat, and it will also help your Tweets gain additional exposure.

Please follow the Career Tech Testing Center on Twitter for information on testing, skills standards and educational technology issues.

34 Interesting Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom

So you have what? Try a great resource by @tombarrett on the EDTE.CH blog entitled 34* Interesting Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom!

This is a Google Doc presentation and it's constantly updated with new ideas. Take a look and I hope you can add some great ides!

Also look at:
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