Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology and other Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague


Pledge of Allegiance Anniversary

Teague flag

photo by Helen Teague

On October 12,1892  the Pledge of Allegiance was recited for by over 2 million students for the first time. The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a Baptist minister Francis Bellamy to mark the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ exploration to North America.

If you are on break from school tomorrow, Happy Columbus Day!



World Laughter Day Classroom Activities

Celebrate World Laughter Day this Sunday, May 4, for a raucously great time. Rain or shine, since 1998, World Laughter Day has provided chuckles to bahaha’s on the first Sunday of May.

Google “World Laughter Day” to find an event near you.

In the classroom either prior to World Laughter Day, have a little fun with the comics section of your favorite print or online newspaper. Ask a caricaturist to speak to your class and draw a few caricatures. Watch a few minutes of “Who’s On First” by Abbott and Costello or TCM Carson Moments, or classic comedians such as Carol Burnett, Bob Newhart, and Johnny Carson.

Image Source


Fun Friday Easter Activities

http://www.makeandtakes.com/on-a-hunt-for-mixed-up-eggsAre your home-grown students (aka your own kids) home today? with you? all day?
Is this why you have already escaped to your laptop?

Here is are some sanity rescues….Here are some great ideas from the Make and Takes blog

Easter Eggs dying with no mess

Little Q-Tip bunny

Easter chalkboard cards

Organize the Holiday Chaos with Easter Crafts

Yarn Egg Wreath is Pretty Perfect for Easter

Easter Bunting with Plastic Eggs

and more ideas in this post

Thanks Make and Takes blog!


Using Technology to Monitor Classroom Quiet

The calendar pages turn to the active month of October…temperatures drop and noise levels tend to rise.  Students, familiar enought with class procedures to test them and excited enough about sports, Halloween, and each other to forget them, turn to chatty Cathy’s and Cliff’s.

Here is a fun site to monitor the energy level (notice the emphasis on “energy” rather than “noise”)

Click over to the Bouncy Balls site from ICT Magic. Once you click on the microphone icon in the yellow box, the website monitors the “energy” of your class, your book club, and/or your kitchen. When all is quiet on the learning front, the multi-colored spheres line up in attention. Fun!

Idea first seen on this blog post


Start the Week With a Smile

Keep on getting stronger…start your week with a smile from will.i.am’s Sesame Street video



Tuesday Tidbit

Would you like a subtle way to change the world.

Include a link to a charitable cause in your email signature.
Information without intrusion.
Suggestion without speaking.
Help without hollers.

After your email signature and contact information, just place the title of your cause and the weblink.

Helen 4OOPS
The Plaza Hotel
New York
Save free blogs for educators:


The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule is one of the most helpful of all concepts of time and life management. It is also called the “Pareto Principle” after its founder, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who first wrote about it in 1895. Pareto noticed that people in his society seemed to divide naturally into what he called the “vital few”, the top 20 percent in terms of money and influence, and the “trivial many”, the bottom 80 percent.

He later discovered that virtually all economic activity was subject to this principle as well. For example, this principle says that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results, 20 percent of your customers will account for 80 percent of your sales, 20 percent of your products or services will account for 80 percent of your profits, 20 percent of your tasks will account for 80 percent of the value of what you do, and so on. This means that if you have a list of ten items to do, two of those items will turn out to be worth five or ten times or more than the other eight items put together.

I wonder…how would this apply to the classroom?


Memphis School District Accountability Feature

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Peer Review


 For generations, the academic community has relied on peer review as a way of enhancing the knowledge base and encouraging serious scholarship. Peer review can offer many of the same benefit to students… [and] computers [can] mediate the interaction among peers. Gehringer (2000)


·        Peer Review reflects constructive guidance at its collaborative best.


·        As an application to the classroom, Peer Review helps students and the teacher.


·        Anonymous Peer Review provides a framework for students to learn balanced reasoning at a time when modern discourse often descends into shouting and insults (and that is just on CNN and MSNBC!)


·        When using a thinking schema such as P*M*I, anonymous Peer Review teaches students how to offer points of help, practice proofreading, and strengthen other communication skills.


·        Peer Review introduces and encourages diversity of opinion


·        Peer Review models the importance of checking work before it is turned in. When the audience is the teacher alone, sadly, many students are apathetic. But when the audience is the students’ fellow classmates, an extra attention to detail emerges.


·        Peer Review offers students a practical application in this real-world review.


Peer Review provides a review committee for the teacher who often has, to butcher Robert Frost, “miles to grade before she sleeps.”



If you would like more information on methods for Student Use, please refer to this link:


For forms to use with students, see this link: http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/peerreview/forms.html  and http://www.scribd.com/doc/2205303/English-122-paper-one-peer-review


Quote Source: Gehringer, E.F., 2000. Strategies and Mechanisms for Electronic Peer Review

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