Whatever Happened to Carmen Sandiego?…

…did she die from dysentery on the Oregon Trail? Ever since the Apple II began making its way into homes and classrooms the software market has been making games and other applications designed to be educational. How have they evolved?, Are they any good?, and Where can I find my old favorites? are just a few of the questions that today’s post looks at, as well as handing out some gold stars to some of the early developers of this now multi-million dollar industry. Read the rest of this entry »


The First Days of School

As a child, was the first day of school a time of nervous excitement?, or maybe a day that was dreaded all summer long?… well, many teachers tend to feel the same way. Not because they hate being there, but because they want everything to be perfect and know the importance of making that all-important first impression. With the school year already begun, perhaps this post is a little bit late, but it should still be helpful for many. Today’s post reviews The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher by Harry K. and Rosemary T. Wong – a book that TeacherJay likes to read every summer as a reminder of how to be the most effective teacher possible; and he gives out a gold star. Read the rest of this entry »

Paying for An Education

Don’t be confused, this post is not about the differences between private and public schooling… TeacherJay has already put forth his opinions on that over at Karl Frank Jr.’s blog. This post is however about pilot programs that are paying students for good grades and test scores, as well as the high test scores on economics that are showing up nationwide. In a school near you, students may soon be paid actual cash just for coming to school and doing what they are supposed to be doing… learning. Is this an innovative method of getting kids interested in going to school or just a ploy to turn them into capitalist drones? Read the rest of this entry »

Jing Project

Screencasting, the practice of capturing what is on a user’s screen, is a growing trend. The technology can be used to create training videos when teaching software, or other computer-related tasks. Several software publishers have come out with some large and expensive software for this task, such as RoboDemo, Captivate and Camtasia, but TeacherJay wanted to take a moment to tell his readers about the Jing Project, and some its many uses. Read the rest of this entry »

Center on Education Policy

In a recent New York Times article, a recent study by the Center on Education Policy would appear to show that a fewer number of schools have increased time in Reading and Math, the two subjects that the No Child Left Behind Act focuses on, than previously thought. Today’s post contains some of TeacherJay’s opinions on the CEP and NCLB.

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Wikipedia in Education

Wikipedia Globe

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit has become a source of information for millions. The site has close to 2 million articles in English and, while less is offered, is also available in dozens of other languages. Many students at all levels, but especially in high school and college, may use the site for research. Is this a good idea? What do they need to know when evaluating the veracity of Wikipedia articles? How should the site be used responsibly? Should it be ignored altogether? Today’s post gives some suggestions on using the site, but also asks more questions. Read the rest of this entry »

How Hard Can It Be?

David Herszenhorn has been covering the Education beat for the New York Times for over four years. He has spoken to many veteran teachers, and many administrators that can all attest to the fact that teaching is difficult work. In an article appearing on July 11, Herszenhorn recounts an event in which mayor Bloomberg gave a group of 7-year-olds a set of four directions all at once, and out of sequence. TeacherJay chuckled at the way a man who built himself a multi-billionaire dollar empire and speaks about how important education is to our children did not recognize how to give age-appropriate directions. The reason for the story was not to embarrass the mayor, but rather to point out that a teacher’s job is more than just going through the motions of a lesson and keeping a classroom orderly. Read the rest of this entry »