Saturday, October 26, 2013

YouTube RSS Beta - Query Explained

Did you know adding a YouTube Channel to an RSS Feed Reader is as simple as adding the YouTube Channel address to your feed reader?  It will auto discover the feed and anytime your favorite channel receives a new upload it will be delivered right to your reader application!  Pretty cool in and of itself right?

But what about searches?  Well that's a little trickier but possible thanks to YouTube's API Beta Demo tool.  When opening that link you will be greeted by a page that looks like this:
Follow the YouTube API Demo link and it will take you to a very powerful search engine that will allow you to add keyword searches to your feed reader as well.  Let's walk through this step by step.
First locate the video feeds Query link and select it.
Then scroll down and in the categories and keywords section choose the Atom/RSS readers radio button and type in a keyword you would like to search for in this case "edtech" and use the AND button to add it to the search.
Next scroll down to the Request Parameters segment of the form.  There are many options but the two most important are checking the RSS 2.0 Output Format radio button and selecting Published as the option for Ordering (this will give you the most recent videos uploaded).
Scroll down to the Resulting URI section and click submit.  This is where the magic starts to happen.  It will create an XML document specific to your search.  But, you don't have to worry about that.
Instead copy out the first part of the link in the Resulting URI section (typically and append what appears following the GET command in the Request section.  So our link that we would paste into our feed reader would look something

Now any uploaded videos tagged with the keyword you choose will be sent directly to your RSS Feed Reader!  You no longer have to search that keyword at YouTube - instead it will come to you!  Gotta love RSS!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

CUE and EdReach Announce Creation of The #EduWin Awards to Recognize Awesome Moments in Education


Chicago, IL | Walnut Creek, CA – and CUE announce the formation of The #EduWin Awards. The #EduWin Awards piggy-back off the grass-roots movement where teachers hand out Edu- “Wins” online through Twitter and other social media. What is an #EduWin? An #EduWin is a recognition of something fantastic happening in education. Teachers and administrators often share great moments on Twitter using the #EduWin hashtag or at Starting in October, by going to, anyone can nominate an educator, a parent, a student, a citizen, or a proprietor. The #EduWin Awards board will decide five (5) monthly winners. Those winners will have the chance to be recognized at theAnnual CUE Conference, March 20-22, 2014 in Palm Springs, Calif.
“CUE has always been a fan of celebrating educational achievements both big and small,” Mike Lawrence, Executive Director of CUE shared, “We’re proud to be involved in celebrating these through The #EduWin Awards and look forward to the outstanding stories that will follow.”

James Gubbins, of the podcast #Eduwin Weekly, said, “We are so thrilled to continue to help move the #EduWin movement forward! The #EduWin Awards will enable an even larger and wider forum to celebrate educational victories and to learn more about the stories behind them.”

The motivation for #EduWin came from educators and administrators reacting to all the negativity in the media about education. There are amazing things happening in teaching every day, but not enough people hear those stories. #EduWin was created to bring the focus back to the students and to the positive impact teachers can have on students’ lives. With The #EduWin Awards, this is, perhaps, a chance to recognize education in the most authentic way possible: through the eyes of educators.

About EdReach
EdReach Global LLC ( is based out of Chicago, IL and was founded in 2012. The EdReach Broadcasting Network has hundreds of education contributors in the US, Australia, Singapore, Shanghai, the UK, and abroad. Thousands of educators every month turn to EdReach for the latest in innovative teaching practices, learning models, tools, ed news, and resources.
About CUE:

Ed Tech Professional Development is at the core of CUE’s work. We are passionate believers in advancing student achievement through technology. By providing Ed Tech professional development to schools, districts, and local educators on the infusion of emerging technologies, we can help better prepare students for college and careers ahead. |

Saturday, October 19, 2013

#WWDD What Would Dewey Do?

Earlier this morning, as I scrolled through my Twitter feed, I noticed the following tweet from Steven Anderson (@web20classroom). "Are we teaching for yesterday or tomorrow? #edscape" Apparently, he was listening to a talk from George Couros (@gcouros), which I'm hoping was archived somewhere. At any rate this got me thinking even more about the leaders in child development and education that laid the foundation we rely on today. Individuals like John Dewey who said "If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow." A timeless and poignant quote that may be even more meaningful in today's technology driven world. But I had to stop and think: What Would Dewey Do?, if he had been an educator today? Or Piaget, Bloom or Erikson for that matter. Suddenly an educators version of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure is swirling in my brain. If we could somehow transport yesterday's thought leaders into modern times and sit them down with Daniel Pink, Sir Ken Robinson, Marc Prensky and the like, what would that conversation look like?
Today's students are learning at an accelerated pace that is well beyond exponential growth. They are saturated with information and require guidance and facilitation more than ever to weed through all of it. Status Quo is simply not acceptable in our rapid fire ever changing 21st century reality. Would the greatest mind's from days gone by embrace our methods of assessment and use of technology or would they chastise us for not allowing their theories to stand without adaptation. I think you know the answer.
How many of us heard growing up that television was going to rot our brains? Expanding on that thought, what could the Internet be doing to our DNA? OK, that's a bit of a stretch. But, this type of thinking is based on fear of the unknown and caution can create apathy and atrophy. Are we pushing the boundaries or merely keeping our heads above water? Believe it or not, I think we are on the side of breaking through barriers. The educational system is slowly evolving thanks today's educational leaders. And I'm not talking about the leaders in government and special interest groups. I'm talking about those who push you to think, evaluate and assess what you are trying to achieve.
I had the pleasure of recently attending a gathering which included a talk from David Jakes (@DJakes) who asked if it was a good idea to slap Web 2.0 tools onto Bloom's taxonomy. My immediate and surprisingly vocal response was yes. And here's why...By putting the use of today's tools into a framework today's teachers easily relate to, there is a hope that technology will be infused into more lessons. This however, is not enough! We also need to start educating teachers on new theories that help us assess and evaluate our use of instructional technology. Ideas like the SAMR model and the Technology Integration Matrix. We do not need to raze the old foundation. Our classic theories still hold weight. But we are doing ourselves and our students a great disservice if we do not continue to establish new ideals which could not have even been conceivable a century ago.
So next time you find yourself with a new educational opportunity or teachable moment. I hope you ask yourself "What Would Dewey Do"!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

2013 Reform Symposium E-Conference #RSCON4

I'm excited to share that in less than 24 hours, I will be presenting at the #RSCON4 online conference October 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm CDT.  I will be co-presenting with a teacher I worked with last year on a 10 week Digital Story Telling Unit that focused on Urban Legends with students from the Alternative Resource Center with which I work.  This was an exciting project that was challenging but at the same time extremely rewarding.  I hope that you will be able to join myself and Juli Amidei as we explain the genesis of the project, lay out the design & share some wonderful examples these students produced.  If you have ever wanted to try digital storytelling this session will give you everything you need to know and more!

But more importantly, the 2013 Reform Symposium E-Conference is going to be an amazing FREE event! Over 110 presenters, 10+ keynotes and much more over the course of 3 days!  Make sure you follow the link above to get all the details.  This is what professional development in education should be all about.  Educators from around the globe will be turning out to share the exciting and positive things they are doing in their learning spaces.

Recently, I have been finding myself avoiding the use of the word "classroom."  It's just too claustrophobic. Learning should happen everywhere and continue for a lifetime and this conference sets a fine example in that respect by utilizing the Blackboard Collaborate environment to share knowledge and wisdom globally.  So, sometime tonight or even tomorrow morning, I encourage you to look over the schedule and pick some of the most interesting sessions to spend some time attending.   Hopefully, one of those will be "Urban Legends Through Digital Storytelling" at 4:00 pm CDT October 11th, 2013, it would be wonderful to see some familiar names show up in the chat session! Connect with old friends and make some new ones this weekend, you might just learn some amazing things and expand your horizons along the way!
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