EdSurge Guide

From School to Shining School: 52 Stories from Educators Across the U.S.

EdSurge's 2014 Fifty States Project

New Mexico

How Common Core is Changing Math Instruction (For the Better)
How Common Core is Changing Math Instruction (For the Better)

How Common Core is Changing Math Instruction (For the Better)

By Carolyn Torres

Indiana

Self-Expression at a Young Age: Bringing Blogging to the Classroom
Self-Expression at a Young Age: Bringing Blogging to the Classroom
Student Voice

Self-Expression at a Young Age: Bringing Blogging to the Classroom

By Aimee Rigsby

South Carolina

​Inside the Special Education Classroom: How Tech Can Help Students With Special Needs
​Inside the Special Education Classroom: How Tech Can Help Students With Special Needs
Special Needs

​Inside the Special Education Classroom: How Tech Can Help Students With Special Needs

By Stacey Humienny

Puerto Rico

How the Academia del Perpetuo Socorro and Redbird are Reimagining Blended Learning in Puerto Rico
How the Academia del Perpetuo Socorro and Redbird are Reimagining Blended Learning in Puerto Rico
Blended Learning

How the Academia del Perpetuo Socorro and Redbird are Reimagining Blended Learning in Puerto Rico

By Dr. Angel Cintron Opio

Tennessee

How STEM Transformed a Failing School
How STEM Transformed a Failing School
STEM

How STEM Transformed a Failing School

By Julie Hasfjord

Wisconsin

Embracing Collaboration with Google Apps: From the Halls of Kettle Moraine School District
Embracing Collaboration with Google Apps: From the Halls of Kettle Moraine School District

Embracing Collaboration with Google Apps: From the Halls of Kettle Moraine School District

By Chris Flood

Florida

3D Printing to Raspberry Pi’s: How a Quiet Florida School Library Got Transformed by a Makerspace
3D Printing to Raspberry Pi’s: How a Quiet Florida School Library Got Transformed by a Makerspace
Maker and DIY Movement

3D Printing to Raspberry Pi’s: How a Quiet Florida School Library Got Transformed by a Makerspace

By Susan Bearden

Alaska

How Alaska's Chugach District Changed Education Through Performance-Based Learning
How Alaska's Chugach District Changed Education Through Performance-Based Learning
Competency-Based Learning

How Alaska's Chugach District Changed Education Through Performance-Based Learning

By Bob Crumley

Montana

The ‘Connected Kinders’: Turning iPad Experiments into Adventures in Innovative Learning
The ‘Connected Kinders’: Turning iPad Experiments into Adventures in Innovative Learning
Language Arts

The ‘Connected Kinders’: Turning iPad Experiments into Adventures in Innovative Learning

By Courtney Niemeyer

Ohio

Catalyst: Sparking Change in the Kindergarten Classroom
Catalyst: Sparking Change in the Kindergarten Classroom

Catalyst: Sparking Change in the Kindergarten Classroom

By Tracey Dunn

Vermont

Missions and Network-Building: How One Rural District is Making the Edtech Transition
Missions and Network-Building: How One Rural District is Making the Edtech Transition
School Infrastructure

Missions and Network-Building: How One Rural District is Making the Edtech Transition

By Ned Kirsch

Louisiana

Going Google: Lessons Learned from Rolling Out 1200 Chromebooks
Going Google: Lessons Learned from Rolling Out 1200 Chromebooks
Blended Learning

Going Google: Lessons Learned from Rolling Out 1200 Chromebooks

By Brandon Phenix

Texas

10 Things That Will Surprise You If You Put Kids In Charge
10 Things That Will Surprise You If You Put Kids In Charge
Personalized Learning

10 Things That Will Surprise You If You Put Kids In Charge

By Jeff Sandefer

Alabama

From the Diary of a Flipped Classroom Newbie
From the Diary of a Flipped Classroom Newbie
Flipped Classroom

From the Diary of a Flipped Classroom Newbie

By Lawrence Whisenant

Kentucky

How a District Ended Student Dropouts with Personalized Learning
How a District Ended Student Dropouts with Personalized Learning
Personalized Learning

How a District Ended Student Dropouts with Personalized Learning

By Roger Cook

Oregon

From Guilt to Google: Experimenting with Tech Tools to Improve Writing Feedback
From Guilt to Google: Experimenting with Tech Tools to Improve Writing Feedback
Language Arts

From Guilt to Google: Experimenting with Tech Tools to Improve Writing Feedback

By Kim Hoffman Kanof

North Dakota

Using AudioBoom in the Classroom to Improve Reading Fluency
Using AudioBoom in the Classroom to Improve Reading Fluency
Language Arts

Using AudioBoom in the Classroom to Improve Reading Fluency

By Kayla Delzer

Oklahoma

The Why’s and How’s of Gamifying Your Classroom
The Why’s and How’s of Gamifying Your Classroom
Game-Based Learning

The Why’s and How’s of Gamifying Your Classroom

By Scott Haselwood

Idaho

Tips and Tools for Involving Students in Lesson Planning and Content Delivery
Tips and Tools for Involving Students in Lesson Planning and Content Delivery
Student Voice

Tips and Tools for Involving Students in Lesson Planning and Content Delivery

By Marita Diffenbaugh

Maine

A 7-Step Guide to Creating Your Own Open Educational Resources
A 7-Step Guide to Creating Your Own Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resources (OER)

A 7-Step Guide to Creating Your Own Open Educational Resources

By Julie Willcott

New York

​‘Picture This’: A Step-by-Step Guide on Digital Learning Portfolios in the Classroom
​‘Picture This’: A Step-by-Step Guide on Digital Learning Portfolios in the Classroom

​‘Picture This’: A Step-by-Step Guide on Digital Learning Portfolios in the Classroom

By Rudy Blanco

Nevada

How To Build Your Professional Learning Network Online and Offline
How To Build Your Professional Learning Network Online and Offline
Professional Development

How To Build Your Professional Learning Network Online and Offline

By Sara Boucher

California

How My Students Learned English by Making Movie Shorts
How My Students Learned English by Making Movie Shorts

How My Students Learned English by Making Movie Shorts

By Ricardo Elizalde

Illinois

How to Cultivate Blended Learning Leaders and Grow a Better Pipeline
How to Cultivate Blended Learning Leaders and Grow a Better Pipeline
Blended Learning

How to Cultivate Blended Learning Leaders and Grow a Better Pipeline

By Jin-Soo Huh

Connecticut

From Dropbox to Flash Drives: Tips and Tools for Backing Up
From Dropbox to Flash Drives: Tips and Tools for Backing Up

From Dropbox to Flash Drives: Tips and Tools for Backing Up

By David Andrade

Michigan

How Relationships Make or Break a Low-Income Edtech Classroom
How Relationships Make or Break a Low-Income Edtech Classroom

How Relationships Make or Break a Low-Income Edtech Classroom

By Margina Parker

Massachusetts

How Real Kids Create Real Infographics
How Real Kids Create Real Infographics
Project-Based Learning

How Real Kids Create Real Infographics

By Kerry Gallagher

North Carolina

Reaching 800 Students With A Stylus and an Ipad
Reaching 800 Students With A Stylus and an Ipad

Reaching 800 Students With A Stylus and an Ipad

By Romain Bertrand

District of Columbia

Tales from The Oregon Trail: Traversing the Digital Content Terrain
Tales from The Oregon Trail: Traversing the Digital Content Terrain
Blended Learning

Tales from The Oregon Trail: Traversing the Digital Content Terrain

By John Rice

Iowa

Closing the Opportunity Gap with #FutureReady
Closing the Opportunity Gap with #FutureReady
Surveys

Closing the Opportunity Gap with #FutureReady

By Jimmy Casas

West Virginia

Tests Don’t Build Skills, Teachers Do: Remembering the Role of Technology
Tests Don’t Build Skills, Teachers Do: Remembering the Role of Technology

Tests Don’t Build Skills, Teachers Do: Remembering the Role of Technology

By Erin Sponaugle

New Hampshire

How Edtech Tools Have Revved Up 21st Century STEM Instruction
How Edtech Tools Have Revved Up 21st Century STEM Instruction
Maker and DIY Movement

How Edtech Tools Have Revved Up 21st Century STEM Instruction

By Bill Church

Georgia

How Can Brain-Based Learning Change the Classroom?
How Can Brain-Based Learning Change the Classroom?
Learning Research

How Can Brain-Based Learning Change the Classroom?

By Connie White

Utah

When the Pen is Mightier Than the (Chromebook) Keyboard
When the Pen is Mightier Than the (Chromebook) Keyboard
Language Arts

When the Pen is Mightier Than the (Chromebook) Keyboard

By J. Derek Larson

Missouri

Creating a K-12 Culture of 'Yes'
Creating a K-12 Culture of 'Yes'

Creating a K-12 Culture of 'Yes'

By Robert Dillon

Hawaii

Hawaii Brings Teacher Voice into Edtech Integration
Hawaii Brings Teacher Voice into Edtech Integration

Hawaii Brings Teacher Voice into Edtech Integration

By Mark Adato

Colorado

Why Everyone Should Pay Attention to PARCC’s Released Test Items
Why Everyone Should Pay Attention to PARCC’s Released Test Items
Assessments

Why Everyone Should Pay Attention to PARCC’s Released Test Items

By Jake Firman

Washington

The Myths and Realities of the Edtech Community
The Myths and Realities of the Edtech Community

The Myths and Realities of the Edtech Community

By Lindsey Own

Minnesota

Let’s Solve This Problem Together
Let’s Solve This Problem Together

Let’s Solve This Problem Together

By Christopher Danielson

Pennsylvania

Digital Learning Day Ignites the Blended Flame
Digital Learning Day Ignites the Blended Flame
Blended Learning

Digital Learning Day Ignites the Blended Flame

By Thomas C. Murray

Nebraska

When Vendors and Districts Collaborate on Professional Development
When Vendors and Districts Collaborate on Professional Development
Professional Development

When Vendors and Districts Collaborate on Professional Development

By Rob Dickson

Kansas

How You Can Actually Teach Beyond Your Classroom’s Walls
How You Can Actually Teach Beyond Your Classroom’s Walls

How You Can Actually Teach Beyond Your Classroom’s Walls

By Brandi Leggett

Arkansas

Start Flipping Out! Changing Professional Development
Start Flipping Out! Changing Professional Development
Professional Development

Start Flipping Out! Changing Professional Development

By Laura Conley

Wyoming

‘Talk Less and Say More:’ #edchats in the West
‘Talk Less and Say More:’ #edchats in the West

‘Talk Less and Say More:’ #edchats in the West

By James Kapptie

Delaware

A Blueprint for Personalized Professional Development by Teachers, for Teachers
A Blueprint for Personalized Professional Development by Teachers, for Teachers
Professional Development

A Blueprint for Personalized Professional Development by Teachers, for Teachers

By Patricia Dallas

Mississippi

'When Wooing Leads to Woes': Consulting Peers Before Buying Edtech
'When Wooing Leads to Woes': Consulting Peers Before Buying Edtech
Personal Learning Networks

'When Wooing Leads to Woes': Consulting Peers Before Buying Edtech

By Matty Bengloff

Arizona

When Professional Development Underperforms
When Professional Development Underperforms
Professional Development

When Professional Development Underperforms

By Rodney Turner

South Dakota

Twitter Supports These Changing Times in Education
Twitter Supports These Changing Times in Education

Twitter Supports These Changing Times in Education

By Adam Shaw

Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s ‘Fuse RI’ Trains Pioneers to Lead Blended Learning Initiatives
Rhode Island’s ‘Fuse RI’ Trains Pioneers to Lead Blended Learning Initiatives
Blended Learning

Rhode Island’s ‘Fuse RI’ Trains Pioneers to Lead Blended Learning Initiatives

By Carrie Sorensen

New Jersey

Charting the PD Waters With Badges in New Jersey
Charting the PD Waters With Badges in New Jersey
Maker and DIY Movement

Charting the PD Waters With Badges in New Jersey

By Laura Fleming

Maryland

Pleasant Surprises At The EdSurge Baltimore Summit
Pleasant Surprises At The EdSurge Baltimore Summit

Pleasant Surprises At The EdSurge Baltimore Summit

By Jenna Shaw

Virginia

'Makers' Of Their Own Learning
'Makers' Of Their Own Learning
Professional Development

'Makers' Of Their Own Learning

By Pam Moran
Hover over a state to see an article written by an author from that state

Oh, say can you see--amazing educators using edtech!

For the past twelve months, we’ve been collecting stories written by educators--teachers, edtech coordinators, librarians, superintendents and others--from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

We call it The Fifty States Project, an initiative to showcase educators and their stories of supporting learning by using technology.

We celebrate the art, knowledge and best practices shared by educators across urban, suburban, and rural communities, wielding technology to make a real difference for kids. To personalize learning. To help a struggling student find his or her way. To open doors and save other educators time and effort.

We’ve organized these rich, varying and honest accounts into four categories:

  • Taking a National School Tour: Educators invite you on a detailed tour of their schools and districts. Hear from teachers and superintendents about how they’ve retooled their classrooms and districts with technologies new and old.
  • Water That PD, Grow Those Networks: Personalizing PD is all the rage, and these educators are doing it to the fullest. Check out this section out for ideas and practices on badging, Twitter, fellowships, free conferences and more.
  • Good Old American “How-To’s”: Looking to get the most out of iPads? Not sure what a great digital portfolio looks like? These educators will take you step-by-step through their most innovative practices with how-to’s and guides.
  • Say It Loud, Say It Proud: How do educators really feel about technology, Common Core, and testing in the classroom? These pieces put their perspective at the forefront of the design and use of technology.
  • 2014 Popular Edtech Tools from Coast to Coast: We list the edtech tools mentioned throughout these 52 pieces, uncovering 90 distinct tools--and 13 standouts.

And how about “saying it loud, saying it proud” with your own voice?

Join EdSurge and these educator-writers on Monday, December 22 at 5:00 PM Pacific Time on Twitter for a very special #edtechchat. We’ll share more tales from the classroom and all widen our personal learning networks. See you in the Twitterverse!

Finally, we’re compiling these 52 pieces into a nifty book with a bit of help from Lulu. The books will be available at cost (nope, we’re not keeping a penny!). Reserve your copy today!

Thank you for reading and supporting these innovative educators. We celebrate them, we celebrate you and can’t wait to see where we’ll go in 2015.

By: Mary Jo Madda (Fifty States Project Leader) and Charley Locke (Fifty States Project Associate)

Educators Share: Taking a National School Tour

Educators Share: Good Old American “How-To’s”

Yes, we saw tool diversity! When we tallied up the number of edtech tools mentioned throughout these 52 pieces, we uncovered a total of 90 distinct tools. A few stood out. Here are the most frequently mentioned tools--along with the stories that describe their use.

Product Description Price Who wrote about this tool?
Google Apps for EDU
A collection of free Google tools, apps and collaboration services for K-12 and higher-ed
Free Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Twitter
Popular networking and microblogging platform Free Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming
Educreations
Whiteboarding app and platform that lets teachers and students record lessons to share and access online at any time Free Alabama, Idaho, North Carolina, Rhode Island
Edmodo
Education-centric social network for teachers, parents and students Free Alabama, Maine, Oklahoma
Evernote Note-taking app with option to attach audio, video, web links, or files for any device Free Connecticut, Georgia
Padlet
Collaborative virtual sticky note app where users can post video, images, links and more Free Idaho, New Jersey
Voxer App where users can send text, photos, and instant voice messages to individuals and groups Free Nevada, Wyoming
YouTube Video-sharing platform Free Alabama, Virginia
Schoology Cloud-based Learning Management Software (LMS) for K-12 and higher education Freemium; free for teachers, license for districts Alabama, Maine
DropBox Storage platform for files, photos, and more Free to Start; $9.99/month for 100GB Alabama, Connecticut
iMovie Video-editing and sharing software for Mac Free for Mac OS X and iOS users; $15 for Mac users with older model California, Georgia
Raspberry Pi Credit-card sized PC to help young children acquire basic programming and IT skills $35 per basic unit Florida, New Hampshire
Blackboard Learn Learning Management Software (LMS) for higher education and K-12 License cost varies per school/district Maine, Virginia

Buy the Fifty States Project Book!

Looking for something to make your bookshelf super smart? Reserve your copy of the “Fifty States Project” book today! We’ve compiled these 52 articles into a nifty book with a bit of help from Lulu. The books will be available at cost (nope, we’re not keeping a penny!). Share your email; we’ll ping you when the book is ready.

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