Wednesday, December 28, 2016

What can make a classroom more engaging and interesting? Turn the class into a newspaper. Publish a newspaper once a week (on a blog or website) and issue updates daily via twitter or other methods. Create a broadcast station. Ask students to digest and republish news

The atmosphere of a school is so important, and all of the issues I’ve discussed here are equally important to the creation and maintenance of a positive atmosphere. When all of these things are present, a school becomes like a great newspaper office, bustling with excitement, everyone busy and engaged, working together and working on their own projects with purpose and passion.
The typical school principal pats his or her belly with satisfaction and smiles proudly when he or she walks through silent halls. To me, a silent school is not a school at all. Dewey has great stuff to say on this. First: “The nonsocial character of the traditional school is seen in the fact that it erected silence into one of its prime virtues.”6 But even better, he says, “Enforced quiet and acquiescence prevent pupils from disclosing their real natures.”
Dennis Littky, The Big Picture page 53

What can make a classroom more engaging?
What if it really becomes a NEWSROOM (as Dennis Littky describes in A Big Picture)

What if studnets and teachers post the best news that they received each day?

That woudl qualify as READING
SYNTHESIS (create a daily report to the editor)
PRODUCTION Of a newspaper or summary of the news for the rest of the school.

What if students collected and filtered through 30 or 50 or 90 email summaries each week?

What newsletters are on your list of "MOST IMPORTANT NEWSLETTERS"?
Or how about Twitter feeds?

Sciences and History
Smithsonian Magazine
Discover Magazine
National Geographic

Wall Street Journal
Financial Times of London

50 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs |

Other magazines
The New Yorker

Magazines by subscription (wiki list)

NY Times
LA Times
Washington Post
Boston Herald?
Times of London

CNN Student News -
CNN Student News is a ten-minute, commercial-free, daily news program designed for middle and high school classes.

Sports Illustrated

Can you put each of these titles into a category?
Which of these would you want to look at at least once a year?

I want to see The Atlantic and Harper's  (I love to read the Harper's Index)

compare these magazines with
the magazines in other countries

Writers about marketing and the future
Seth Godin

Author Blogs  from

Fast Company's newsletters


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sponsorship -- Fully registered participants will get free attendance and free accomodation

For readers of this blog, I wish to share an announcement of an excellent conference.

If you want to promote the Postman Questions, this might be an interesting place to start.   What questions are appropriate for younger learners?   That is the key question that I plan to focus on in my presentation.  How can we combine the experience of Montessori and Sudbury with Neil Postman's subversive questions?

Teaching languages to younger learners... hmmmm

Here is the conference info

Dear Colleagues,
We are pleased to announce that The International Conference on Teaching Languages to Young Learners will be held in Ephesus, Turkey on 16-18 May, 2017. This conference will be organized as part of the SBATEYL: A Web and School-based Professional Development Project for Foreign Language Teachers of Young Learners” funded by the European Commission under Erasmus + Key Action 2 program.
Project Web Site:

Conference Web Site:
The conference will be convened at the beautiful Palm Wings Ephesus Hotel, Ephesus - Turkey. We believe the venue and timing of the event is as charming as the idea of sharing and disseminating our work. The conference hotel is a gorgeous five star luxurious resort, operating on an all-inclusive basis for our presenters' joy and comfort. Ephesus and the region should also be extremely pleasant and fragrant in this merry month of May. We believe our participants will be able to find plenty to do in their free times.
We are therefore pleased to organize The International Conference on Teaching Languages to Young Learners to bring theoreticians, researchers, and practitioners together to discuss the issues surrounding the area of early language teaching. We would like to welcome researchers, teacher educators, ESL/EFL experts, and practitioners from across the globe to submit papers to report their research findings; explore issues related to early language teaching; and share their classroom practices to foster the professional development of early language teachers and accordingly their classroom teaching practices in primary schools.
We are also glad to have very distinguished scholars in the area of child second language acquisition, early language teaching and learning as plenary speakers in our conference. The plenary speakers are:
Helena Curtain, University of Wisconsin, USA
Belma Haznedar, Boğaziçi University, Turkey
Fiona Copland, University of Stirling, United Kingdom
Graham Hall, Northumbria University, United Kingdom 
Yasemin Kırkgöz, Çukurova University, Turkey
We are also pleased to announce that the first 60 fully registered international participants of the GlobELT 2017 Conference ( ;18-21 May 2017) will be granted free attendance and accommodation at The International Conference on Teaching Languages to Young Learners 2017, Palm Wings Hotel, Ephesus, Turkey. All-inclusive accommodation and registration fees will be fully covered by EU Funds, thus making attending GlobELT and The International Conference on Teaching Languages to Young Learners an enticing 2-in-1 academic feast.  
I hope you will not miss on this golden opportunity in a unique venue.
Hope to see you in Ephesus in May!
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hacer Hande UYSAL
Conference Chair


Matt Miller has organized a DIGITAL SUMMIT.

I'm reproducing below the email that I received because I signed up for his DIGITAL SUMMIT

On to today's featured presentation ...

Really early in this video, 2013 foreign language teacher of the year Noah Geisel suggests something that may catch you off guard (no matter what grade level or content area you teach).

In teaching, we see planning as a non-negotiable.

But having everything perfectly planned isn't the best way to teach.

This is the crux of his presentation he titles, "Don't get ready, get started." If you've gathered lots of ideas and found inspiration in the Digital Summit to this point, this video will help you put all of it into action.

Click here to view the Day 9 presentation: Noah Geisel

Remember, even though this is the last video in the Digital Summit, it isn't the last day to watch.

If you're behind on videos, you're not alone! Lots of people have presentations they still want to watch that they haven't gotten to see yet.

That's why the videos stay live until Dec. 31 -- next Saturday.

Next Saturday is when the summit closes and all of the videos become unavailable. This online conference has a start and an end like any other conference. When it's over, it's over ... so make sure to get those videos watched over the next week before they disappear.

Have a merry Christmas, a happy Hannukah, a wonderful Kwanzaa ... please enjoy your holiday time, and I'll see you here in your inbox in a few days to check in.

Matt Miller
Founder and host, Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit
Twitter: @jmattmiller

PS: Need to catch up on any of the presentations? Just use one of the links below.


After I click, I see the following screen

I assume that the DIGITAL SUMMIT website will be taken down after the summit ends, but at least you get the idea of the event.


Here are the items in the PDF that John talked from

Matt Miller kindly offers the following points to others who might want to organize a DIGITAL SUMMIT

I'm happy to provide help with organizing a digital summit like mine. The website for mine is Here are the basics on how it was put together:
  • I featured nine presenters/speakers. I recorded video presentations (where I asked them questions and they answered) using YouTube Live/Google Hangouts on Air. I have kept them as private videos until it's time to make them available during the conference. To make them available, I would change them to public.
  • I put together a simple website as the home base for my summit. I used a self-hosted WordPress site that I created with a free theme. However, a simple Weebly or Google Sites website could be the home base as well.
  • I used MailChimp as an email service to let people sign up for the summit. They registered to receive emails during the summit. I created an email list for the summit, and I used the signup form as a place for them to sign up.
  • I spread the word about the summit as widely as I could. I have an email list for people subscribed to my blog, so I told them about it several times. I shared about it on social media, and I asked the presenters to tell their followers about it as well.
  • The summit runs from Dec. 16-31. From Dec. 16-24, I released a new video presentation available each day. I have kept the videos available from Dec. 25-31. After Dec. 31, I'm going to take the videos down because it's the end of the conference.
  • On each day that I release a new video, I embed the video on the speaker page of the website. I then send an email out to the email list for the summit with a link to the day's video.
  • For each video, I also made PDF presentation notes available. I listened to each presentation video and typed notes in a Google document ... then went to File > Download as ... > PDF.
  • For each video, I also let viewers create a certificate of completion that they could submit for professional development credit. I did that with Google Forms and Autocrat, an add-on to Google Sheets. This was one of the most complicated parts of the summit. If you'd like more details on it, feel free to email me.
That's a pretty basic summary of what I did. If you have any questions, feel free to email me here!
Matt Miller



1.  The PDF that accompany the email is EXCELLENT.  I get the main idea quickly.
2.  The contact info is useful for followup
3.  The DIGITAL SUMMIT is wonderful because I don't have to travel to get some professional development.
4.  BRAVO that he included John Spencer

1. The videos could be edited  SEE AN EXAMPLE
2. The videos could have some headlines so it would be possible to scan through the video and get five or six points.
3.  Perhaps speakers could hold up some headlines when they talk.

This format can be improved by asking the presenter (John Spencer) to hold up items and small signs or headlines to guide the viewer.   


The presenter can hold up small signs.

The interviewer could hold up the PDF
that comes with the presentation

Point the camera at a paper with KEY SENTENCES.
Here are 9 ways to improve a classroom
Here is an example.  9 key statements that the viewer can follow

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Hello -- What are the Questions that Neil Postman asked? You can get the 23 questions FREE

What procedures can we use to promote the 23 Postman Questions?

VIDEOS   DOWNLOAD the Postman Questions

Part 1   START


He quotes Bernard Shaw about "the walls that professionals build with their vocabulary to confuse the public."

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Svein Osterud hopes to write about Postman's relevance for students who seek "world citizenship."

How about this?
Thank you very much for your initiative. I feel honored that you have used my 2005 conference paper which I did not even know  was available on the net. The poster is great and summarizes my interpretation of Postman´s legacy.
Next term I hope to embark on a  chapter about curriculum development in Norway around the turn of the century. Then I will definitely return to Postman´s books, and I may be able to publish a text about his relevance to "education for the world citizenship".
I tried to remind my research colleagues about the importance of Postman´s perspectives on education in the last decades of the 20th century, but they are far more technology-oriented than me, and they hesitate to engage in a more humanistic project like the one you invite us to participate in.
I would be very pleased if you could keep me informed about what is happening in the project.

S. Osterud

YOU CAN WRITE TO Dr. Osterud at   and you can post notes to encourage his colleagues to take a look at Neil Postman's warnings about the effect of electronic technologies on the mind.   See also "Dimitri Christians media child mind tedx"  and click LIKE

EXCERPT:  The impact of media is a growing topic of research. And for good reason.  
In 1970, the average age at which children watched television was four years old. Today, the average age is four months. The typical child before the age of five is watching 4 ½ hours of television per day, 40% of their waking hours!
Recent studies on the impact of media have linked television to the over-stimulation of an infant’s brain, leading to the development of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in young children.

Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington, says that in the first two years of life, the brain triples in size. Connections that form in the brain, or synapses, are based on early life experiences. Prolonged exposure to rapid image changes during these first years of critical brain development preconditions the mind to expect high levels of stimulation. This, in turn, leads to inattention in later years. Studies on the impact of media have shown that the more kids watch TV before the age of three, the more likely they are to have attention problems in school.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Neil Postman died in 2003. His questions about the impact of technology on our minds continue to echo

                      • Whose problem is it?
                  • What new problems might be created by solving the original problem?
                  • Which people and what institutions will be most seriously harmed by this new technology?
                  • What changes in language are being forced by these new technologies?
                  • What sort of people and institutions gain special economic and political power from this new technology?
                  • What is the problem to which this technology is a solution?

This video was recommended by Mario Llorente Leyva.
To communicate with Mario, write to

This is an online ongoing conference and you, as a visitor, are encouraged to participate by contacting posters and by sending responses and original blog posts to

go ahead, read the book.