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I recently attended EdCamp Leader and I came away inspired and have a challenge for you. Will you accept the challenge?


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#EdTech Thought

  • We’re Teachers. We’re Leaders. Now What?
    • An EdCamp Leader reflection

#EdTech Recommendation

  • Do You Accept My Challenge?
    • Learn to do something new, using Youtube, and report back to me with what you learned. Recently, as an example, Katelyn learned how to tile a backsplash and added this great decorative feature to our 1st floor 1/2 bath. I know how to do a lot of things but tiling isn’t one of them…YET!
    • If you accept the challenge leave a comment below.

House of #EdTech VIP

Melissa Butler - Melissa is a middle school English/LAL teacher at South Orange Middle School (NJ).

Melissa is a proud graduate of SUNY Potsdam with my Bachelors of Arts Degree in both Elementary Education and English/Writing, Hofstra University with my Masters of Science Degree in Special Education, and Montclair State University with my Masters of Arts degree in Educational Leadership.

Butler Attends numerous EdCamps and conferences and is an avid Edmodo user and presenter.

Connect with the Melissa Butler:

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Thanks for listening, reading, viewing, and sharing!

Mr. Christopher J. Nesi


Jill Dobrowansky appeared on #shiftED on June 21, 2016, and the conversation is MUST LISTEN as we dive into Summer learning and growth for teachers.



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#EdTech Thought

  • Attend Conferences!

#EdTech Recommendation

Featured Content

  • Jill Dobrowansky is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Wall Twp. Public Schools and Jill shared her views on Summer learning for educators.

House of #EdTech VIP

Mark Barnes - is a longtime educator, bestselling author, Founder of Times 10 Publications and the creator of the Hack Learning Series. Mark is the author of six education books, including Assessment 3.0, Role Reversal (a 2013 Best Professional Book), and two books in Corwin’s Connected Educators Series.

Mark co-authored Hack Learning’s Flagship Book: Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School. Reaching nearly 5 million people every month on Twitter, @markbarnes19 is one of education’s most recognizable engagers.

Mark also owns and operates Brilliant or Insane–a Teach100 Top 25 education blog. Mark is a popular keynote speaker and education presenter

Connect with the Mark Barnes:

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Thanks for listening, reading, viewing, and sharing!

Mr. Christopher J. Nesi


Summer vacation is a time to relax and recharge in education. Here are some great reads to improve multiple aspects of your career and your student's experience in your classroom.


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#EdTech Thought

  • Do you need to be a 'Connected Educator?'

Featured Content and #EdTech Recommendation

  • Sparking Student Creativity: Practical Ways to Promote Innovative Thinking and Problem Solving
    • Patti Drapeau
    • Teaching isn't merely transmitting knowledge to students; it’s also about teaching students to approach learning in engaging and unexpected ways. In Sparking Student Creativity: Practical Ways to Promote Innovative Thinking and Problem Solving, author and researcher Patti Drapeau explores and explains research related to creativity and its relevance in today’s standards-based, critical thinking–focused classroom.
    • In addition, the book includes 40 "grab and go" ideas that infuse lesson plans with a spirit of exploration.
  • Upgrade Your Curriculum: Practical Ways to Transform Units and Engage Students
    • Janet A. Hale & Michael Fisher
    • Amid a confluence of messages regarding accountability, the Common Core State Standards, teacher effectiveness, and student performance, educators everywhere are looking for ways to revitalize their curriculum design and instructional practice. Upgrade Your Curriculum: Practical Ways to Transform Units and Engage Students offers a solution: providing students with meaningful, relevant units of study developed by the educators who actually teach them. The authors, both curriculum experts, advocate a gradual approach to transforming curriculum in which teachers work collaboratively to upgrade one unit at a time.
    • This indispensable guide offers strategic, practical knowledge that will enrich your school's curriculum mapping efforts and help you create authentic, engaging learning environments that prepare students for the future.
  • Real-World Projects: How do I design relevant and engaging learning experiences?
    • Suzie Boss
    • In this book, project-based learning expert Suzie Boss explains how real-world projects engage and motivate students while teaching relevant, rigorous content and skills that align with standards and put learners on the path to active citizenship. You'll learn why students need to be able to identify and solve authentic, project-worthy problems in their own communities and beyond; how to connect with real-world experts, allies, and audiences; and what practical, field-tested strategies are essential for planning, assessing, and using technology to support successful projects.
  • Grading Smarter, Not Harder: Assessment Strategies That Motivate Kids and Help Them Learn
    • Myron Dueck
    • In this lively and eye-opening book, educator Myron Dueck reveals how many of the assessment policies that teachers adopt can actually prove detrimental to student motivation and achievement and shows how we can tailor policies to address what really matters: student understanding of content.
    • Grading Smarter, Not Harder is brimming with reproducible forms, templates, and real-life examples of grading solutions developed to allow students every opportunity to demonstrate their learning.
    • Written with abundant humor and heart, this book is a must-read for all teachers who want their grades to contribute to, rather than hinder, their students' success.

House of #EdTech VIP

Melissa Morris Inoa - Melissa is the Supervisor of Instructional Technology for New Brunswick Public Schools. Prior she worked with Stacey Lindes and Dan Gallagher in West Windsor-Plainsboro as a teacher resource specialist for technology at the high school level.

I re-connected with Melissa at EdCamp Leader 2015, and I say reconnect because we both went to Spotswood HS. She was a senior when I was a freshman.

Melissa is an educator and life-long learner. She also writes and is always evolving, innovating, and updating herself constantly.

Melissa is a wealth of knowledge and someone you should connect with and learn from.

Connect with the Melissa Morris Inoa:

Ask your questions, share your feedback, and connect with me

Thanks for listening, reading, viewing, and sharing!

Mr. Christopher J. Nesi
I recently completed my first semester as a Guest Lecturer at Rutgers University's School of Communication and Information. You might be wondering how I was hired to teach higher ed so here's the quick version...

I came to this position via my usage of social media and my podcast, House of #EdTech. I was assigned the course titled Leadership in a Digital Context, a course in the Digital Communication and Information Minor (DCIM).


Of all the students I've worked with, I can say with absolute certainty that I will always fondly remember the students I worked with from my student teaching experience, the students from my first full-time position, and this first group of college students.

I knew when I was planning this course that I wanted it to be different and really give the students the opportunity to have a wonderful experience and learn throughout the semester. I spoke with Katelyn after the course ended and explained to her the final exam project and some other feedback I had received from students and she said, "You know why you had fun and the course was successful? You ran the course like a graduate class."

That statement sealed the deal for me in my reflection. Higher Ed didn't become fun until I got to the graduate level. I enjoy discussion-based learning and sharing my ideas and points of view on topics with other people. Clearly, I enjoy speaking and conveying my message with audio.
I enjoyed this class so much because I was free to share my beliefs and opinions. [Prof. Nesi] was a good motivator to me and kept me engaged in class the entire time. -- Surveyed Student
The act of teaching also became enjoyable because I didn't have to report to anything I planned with anyone. The freedom to do what I thought was best worked out well. There was never a session where I arrived with a complete plan for the meeting time afforded us in the hybrid model. I allowed room to see where discussions could go and what new topics would come up. I can be honest and share that sometimes it was like pulling teeth to foster conversations with my students and among themselves. I fostered a lot of collaborative activities and conversations from week to week while I sprinkled in my perspective on the world and gave these young people something to think about.

This course in leadership was more about bringing out the qualities that the students already had as well as installing new ideas and new ways of thinking in them. I replaced their paper midterm with a passion project which really was unchartered water given how much was left up to each student to decide for their project. They struggled with this large amount of freedom to choose their learning. Some students even questioned what they needed to do as late as one week before they were going to present.

Every Monday night session began with a simple conversation. I would ask each student a question about their previous week. Something simple like, "Tell us about the most exciting thing happened to you since last class" would get things moving. The simple conversations served a few purposes. First, it would get the students talking and second, the simple conversation would springboard us into the topic for that session which might be an ethical or decision-making scenario related to the readings.

In the 14-week semester not once did I lecture or present a poorly produced presentation or read from a slideshow. I guided my students through one long conversation about leadership and life and how to make the most of the opportunities that will be presented to them.

I liked how [Prof. Nesi] presented the material in a better way other than just lecture. -- Surveyed Student

The reward was not in their final grades or even being told how much they enjoyed the class and that this was the best course they've taken during their time at Rutgers but rather when they told me they've never taken a class where they really got to know the other students in the class and were looking forward to remaining connected or even friends beyond the course.

One of the fatherly pieces of information I shared with them was that they needed to remember the experience of the course and the people they met because now they were empowered to go on and be a connector. This is not about networking for themselves, though it's OK, but I told them, "You never know when you will be able to connect two different people who will find value in each other."

Leadership, as I presented it, is not about being the boss or getting paid the most money, or even all the decisions that will be made. Leadership is about relationships and working with people to build positive connections. Leadership is about inspiring others and developing the positive skills in others to develop better people who may one day move into leadership positions.

[This course] helped me to effectively use technology that I already had at my disposal to the best of my abilities. It also helped me to pay attention to how I assert myself into a leadership position and to be mindful of the way I do things and to see things from all perspectives and I've utilized the things I've learned in class towards my job. -- Surveyed Student

This experience is drastically different from my current daytime position and teaching this course was just what I needed professionally to recharge me as an educator. I have been invited to return in the Fall of 2016 to teach the same course and I couldn't be happier to be going back to college.

Thanks for reading, viewing, and sharing!

Mr. Christopher J. Nesi


Meghan Davis
from GoEnnounce stops by the podcast to update us on some new developments to their platform and I record LIVE from EdTechNJ 2016 in Edison, NJ.


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Featured Content

House of #EdTech VIP

Dr. Greg Goins - Dr. Greg Goins is a school district superintendent, adjunct professor, podcast host and passionate advocate for re-imagined schools.

​​As an innovative school leader, Dr. Goins is a dynamic presenter who speaks passionately about digital leadership and the Future Ready Schools movement. has presented on Connected Leadership, Re-imagined Schools, Learning Spaces, Social Media in Schools, Community Engagement, Edcamp Planning and Digital Tools for School Administrators.

Dr. Goins is the host of The Goin' Digital Show, a podcast for K-12 leaders that is part of the Teach Cow Educational Broadcasting Network (www.TeachCow.com). The show features many of the nation's top school superintendents, principals and innovators in public education.

Connect with the Dr. Greg Goins:

Ask your questions, share your feedback, and connect with me

Thanks for listening, reading, viewing, and sharing!

Mr. Christopher J. Nesi


Stephany Hesslein, uses blogging in her 1st-grade classroom and her students are knocking it out of the park.


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Feedback, Shoutouts, and Links

  • Thanks for feedback:
    • Lindsey James (@lindzmj) - Audio feedback about EdPuzzle (ep 60)
      • iTunes: I listen to this podcast for specific takeaways I can use in my classroom that day or the next day. Podcasts in general are sometimes stressful for me because there is allot of "busy talk" and "chit chat". I love how this podcast stays on topic, gets to the point, gets you information quick, and gives specific ideas. Love it!
    • Jacob Dunn (@JacobDunn) - Twitter - I have learned many interesting ways to use tech in my class. You make it fun.Keep up the hard work.
    • Sean Farnum (@MagicPantsJones) - Twitter - enjoyed the conversation I had with Jennifer Gonzalez!
    • Special shout out to new listener Angela Cleveland (@AngelaClevelan1), School Councilor and Anti-Bullying Specialist from NJ. Met @ TCT16!
  • Google Classroom
  • ClipChamp
  • VideoFX Live
  • EduBuncee

Featured Content

  • Stephany Hesslein
    • Stephany Hesslein is a first-grade teacher for Middletown Public Schools here in New Jersey.
    • She works in a 1:1 Chromebook classroom.
    • As a Google for Edu Certified Trainer & Educator she is passionate about using Educational Technology to accelerate student learning.
    • She is also one of the co-moderators for the #njed Twitter chat.
  • Connect with Stephany Hesslein

House of #EdTech VIP

Monica Burns - Monica Burns is an EdTech & Curriculum Consultant, Apple Distinguished Educator and Founder of ClassTechTips.com. In her role as a classroom teacher she used iPads 1:1 with her students to create engaging, differentiated learning experiences. Monica has presented to teachers, administrators and tech enthusiasts at numerous national and international conferences including SXSWedu, ISTE, and EduTECH. She is a webinar host for SimpleK12 and a regular contributor to Edutopia and Channel One News. Monica is the author of Deeper Learning with QR Codes and Augmented Reality: A Scannable Solution for Your Classroom (Corwin, 2016).

Monica visits school across the country to work with PreK-12 teachers to make technology integration exciting and accessible. She also provides support to organizations using technology to reach children and families in need.

Connect with the Monica Burns:

Ask your questions, share your feedback, and connect with me

Thanks for listening, reading, viewing, and sharing!

Mr. Christopher J. Nesi
Google recently launched Spaces. They wanted to build a better group sharing experience that lets people get people together instantly to share around any topic. Group sharing isn’t always easy but with Spaces, it’s simple to find and share articles, videos and images without leaving the app, since Google Search, YouTube, and Chrome come built in.


Features for Education


  • Easy sharing. With Spaces, the conversational view lets you see what the group is talking about without missing a thing.
  • Never miss a thing. If you want to find something that was shared earlier—articles, videos, comments or images—quick search lets you pull it up fast.
  • Quick to setup and share. You can create a space for any topic and invite members via messaging, email, a social network, or whatever way you like.

Applications for Education


  • Spaces for Departments. Create a virtual space for your department colleagues to share links and conduct conversations. This would also work well for elementary grade level teams.
  • Spaces for Clubs & Activities. Document club meetings and events with notes and pictures.
  • Spaces for Group Learning. Have your students create spaces when collaborating on group projects.
  • Spaces for Digital Citizenship. Use the Spaces platform as another tool to promote digital citizenship as a space where your students can get more experience in a digital environment.

Downside to Spaces

Currently, the negative to spaces for education is that the platform is not a part of the Google Apps for Education Suite. So if you want to use it you're going to need to use a personal Google account to access the platform.

Spaces is available on Android, iOS, desktop, and mobile web for all Gmail accounts. Give it a try and create your first space today.

If you have other ideas for using Google Spaces in education please share them in the comments below.


Thanks for reading, viewing, and sharing!

Mr. Christopher J. Nesi


Jennifer Gonzalez, a fellow podcaster who hosts the Cult of Pedagogy Podcast shares a variety of #edtech tools and resources that every teacher needs to be aware of.


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Featured Content

  • Jennifer Gonzalez
    • Former Middle School Language Arts  teacher (7 yrs).
    • One of her passions is creating content for other teachers. Her creative efforts lead to the creation of the Cult of Pedagogy website and podcast. Jennifer is working to create a vibrant, encouraging, stimulating community of teachers, supporting each other toward excellence.
    • She believes we can reach across the limits of geography, find each other, and that there’s no limit to the amazing things we can accomplish.
  • Connect with Jennifer Gonzalez

House of #EdTech VIP

Alyssa Miller - Alyssa is an Educational Technology Specialist who works in Middletown, NJ!

BA in psychology, MA in Teaching from Rutgers, and M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology (with certification in Students Personnel Services) also from Rutgers and she also recently completed the Supervision Certification program from Rowan University.

She presents workshops and collaborates with teachers on digital citizenship, Nearpod, BrainPOP, digital storytelling and Minecraft!

At her school, she works with a group of dedicated fifth graders who stay after school for a coding club.

Alyssa is a Google Certified Trainer and regularly provides training to staff on Google Apps and other tools and strategies for integrating technology effectively into the classroom.

Connect with the Alyssa Miller:

Ask your questions, share your feedback, and connect with me

Thanks for listening, reading, viewing, and sharing!

Mr. Christopher J. Nesi


AJ Bianco and Stacey Lindes have broken into the House of #EdTech and taken over the show. What have they done with this opportunity? The best guest they could get? Me.


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EdTech Recommendation

  • Kanbanchi - is a free kanban software for task management, project management, and collaboration. Online kanban board helps manage projects the agile way.
    • Visual kanban board with the simple drag-and-drop interface will help you focus on what matters most – your tasks.

Featured Content

  • Christopher J. Nesi
    • Here I am. After 58 episodes this episode let's you into my head like you haven't experienced before.

House of #EdTech VIP

Jamie Bianco - is a veteran New Jersey math teacher who has taught middle school Pre-Alegra and Algebra and now teaches math-related electives.

Jamie also coaches the middle school girls soccer team.  Additionally, she has two little boys and is married to AJ Bianco.

Connect with the Jamie Bianco:

Ask your questions, share your feedback, and connect with me

Thanks for listening, reading, viewing, and sharing!

Mr. Christopher J. Nesi


AJ Bianco and Adam Schoenbart guest co-host this episode and we discuss great approaches to what you can do after attending an EdCamp. We share tips and recommendations to get the most out of your unconference experience.


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EdTech Recommendation

Featured Content

  • Life After EdCamp
    • Bring the ideas to your classroom.
    • Share ideas with your department/team and administration.
    • Continue to connect with people you met at the conference.
    • Review Google Doc notes for sessions you were not able to attend
    • Review notes/doc on the App Smackdown, if applicable.
    • Verbalize your experience with colleagues.
    • Work to bring the EdCamp culture to your building and help shape building and district professional development.

House of #EdTech VIP

Bruce Reicher - Bruce is a Father, Apps/TV Production Teacher for Upper Saddle River Schools (NJ). Brude is a Google Certified Teacher, Leads Professional Development for his staff as well as conferences around the state.

Bruce has presented and NJPAECET2, NJAMLE and a variety of EdCamps. Reicher is also a member of his local BOE as well as NJASCD North NJ and the NJ Educational Computing Cooperative.

Bruce enjoys teaching students about computer apps and television production. I also teach professional development classes in my district and at state conferences. He is also a big fan of the NY Giants and NY Mets.

Connect with the Bruce Reicher:

Ask your questions, share your feedback, and connect with me

Thanks for listening, reading, viewing, and sharing!

Mr. Christopher J. Nesi


March Madness is in the air and the actual Final Four is upon us! This is the third annual #EdTech Final Four and I am pleased to recommend four valuable technology tools for your consideration.


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  • I share my thoughts for a question submitted by Junaid Ahmed, from China!

    EdTech Thought

    • More live streaming from conferences!

    Featured Content

    • 2016 #EdTech Final Four
      • Blab.im
        • What is Blab? Blab let’s everyone have their own show. A Blab show allows 1-4 people to broadcast live and discuss any topic they choose. These content and topic driven conversations provide an opportunity for participants to be highly engaged. You can use the built-in chat or take callers and let other people into your Blab. These conversations can also be recorded and when you’re finished you can download the .MP3 audio and/or the .MP4 video file, you can also export the video right to your Youtube channel. If you’re looking for a platform that will allow you to create and share awesome content this a great place for beginning and expert content creators.
      • Anchor.fm
        • Anchor is a free iPhone app that makes it easy to broadcast short audio clips to a global audience in seconds. Think of Anchor like Twitter, but with audio. Your listeners can talk back, sparking instant group conversations that were never before possible. When not recording, listen to authentic humor, knowledge, inspiration, and debate from Anchor’s global collective of personality.
      • Walla.me
        • Hide messages in the real world. Leave a message on the wall, or somewhere in a real place, that can be seen only by those you want. It's a funny way to hide private messages in public places. Take a picture of a wall near you, add pictures or freehand sketches and share your creation with your friends. 
      • Versal
        • Versal is a new way for anyone to teach virtually anything, interactively. Everyone is an expert at something. But right now if you want to share knowledge online, you're mostly limited to blogs, videos and slide decks. But learning experiences are so much more powerful when they are interactive. Versal is a new way for anyone to create interactive online learning experiences and share them with the world. From full courses to short lessons and homework assignments, people can create unique experiences for students and embed them virtually anywhere on the web.

    House of #EdTech VIP

    Jami Joshua - A high school math teacher, who I have the pleasure of working with is interested in flipping his classroom and connecting with other like-minded professionals.

    He is a dedicated educator to his students and his colleagues. A must for your PLN!

    Connect with the Jami Joshua:

    Ask your questions, share your feedback, and connect with me

    Thanks for listening, reading, viewing, and sharing!

    Mr. Christopher J. Nesi


    Teachers should be offered choices around topics, presenters, and how their PD is structured. Teachers are told time and time again to differentiate, personalize, and meet their students where they are. Why doesn’t the same ring true for professional development?


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      Featured Content and EdTech Thought

      EdTech Recommendations

      • TelePromptor
        • TelePromptor teaches you how to speak like a professional, using patent-pending technology powered by over ten thousand speeches. Using the average phonetic duration technique, you can sound just like the pros!
        • Hosted in the cloud, TelePromptor is a professional teleprompting application with a clean, engineered user interface aimed toward anyone who needs to read a script into a camera.
        • With patent-pending PromptTimer technology, your speeches will flow like a pro using years of research that counts the average duration you should spend on each part of your speech. Down to the letter.
        • You can even add multiple speakers with ease and each participants words are easily identified with different colors.
        • The cost, FREE! Basic TelePrompter functionality on desktop or mobile can be yours no cost, forever.
        • TelePrompter would be a welcome addition to your school's news, whether it's video or not. You can even have student use this technology when presenting in class or even during assemblies.

      House of #EdTech VIP

      Brent Warner - Is the founder of EdTech.tv and the host of the EdTech.tv Podcast

      Brent has his Master’s in Teaching from the University of Southern California. Brent defines his approach to teaching about Ed Tech as an enthusiast who wants to find interesting ideas in teaching and technology and share them with you. He has been teaching for over a dozen years and focuses his areas of interest in three zones:

      * Education
      * Communication
      * Technology

      These three zones are intrinsically intertwined, and Brent loves to explore how each of them can help make better teachers.

      He is currently a professor at both USC and Irvine Valley College.

      Connect with the Brent Warner:

      Ask your questions, share your feedback, and connect with me

      Thanks for listening, reading, viewing, and sharing!

      Mr. Christopher J. Nesi