Minecraft Club starts at LAC!

Minecraft Club starts at LAC!

Over 47 students, grades 1-8, eagerly awaited for the PM bell yesterday for the official roll-out of the LAC Minecraft Club. This would have never happened if it weren’t for two great members of my PLN; Kyle Calderwood and Kevin Jarrett. My barrage of questions, comments, and what-if’s got me to the picture above. We had a huge amount of technical problems yesterday, but that was expected. We learned quite a bit, and I can’t wait for next week! Onward!

I got nominated for a what?!?

As I was falling asleep last night, this happened…

I was speechless.  I was excited.  I was nominated for something that’s WAY out of my league after seeing who else is in the category. With all due respect, I am no where near the likes of Joe Sanfelippo, Scott Rocco, Tim Purnell, and everyone else that’s been nominated.

Thanks Chris; this means a lot. At the very least, I plan on heading down and celebrating with everyone come September (side-note: Tom & Gwen – I went to school in DC… albeit a while back, I am still familiar with Street names and venues.)

Jay Eitner has been nominated  for Honors in the Category of Superintendent of the Year  at THE 2014 Annual Bammy Awards.

Supporters can vote online to help recognize  the contributions to the education community that led to the selection of Jay for this prestigious education community honor at http://www.bammyawards.org.

Lower Alloways Creek, NJ: Jay Eitner announced today that he has been nominated for honors in the category of Superintendent of the Year at the 2014 Annual Bammy Awards.

Presented by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences, the Bammy Award is a cross-discipline award recognizing the contributions of educators from across the education field.

“All across the nation, nominees like Jay Eitner are doing some pretty amazing things to educate our children often under very difficult circumstances.  Students are not the only ones who need validation. More than ever before, educators need to be validated and the stories about what’s going right in American education need to be told,” said Errol St. Clair Smith, executive producer of the Bammy Awards. “We are delighted to be part of this collaborative, nationwide effort.”

Honorees will be announced on September 27th at a red-carpet event in Washington, D.C. The Bammy Awards are presented by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences, which includes leading educators, education professors, journalists, editors, researchers, commentators, advocates,  activists, visionaries and pioneers. The Academy is comprised of a board of governors, a council of peers and the executive committee.

About Jay Eitner:

Jay Eitner is a proud product of the New Jersey public schools.  A graduate from Union High School in 1997, Jay attended The American University in Washington DC with a BA in interdisciplinary studies. He began his teaching career in Roselle, NJ teaching a variety of subjects, including social studies, computers, and literacy. Known for being ‘outside of the box’ and for strong technology infusion, Eitner strived to make a learning environment that was both student centered and data driven.  Jay received his Masters Degree in 2004 and was hired to teach 8th grade social studies in the nationally recognized East Brunswick Public Schools. During his time in East Brunswick, Eitner has written & received over $140,000 in grants for his students.  Grants ranged from podcasting equipment to creating a fully-interactive gold-rush experience, where students dug for gold during their westward expansion unit. Jay obtained his supervisor, principal, and school administrator certificates from the NJPSA NJ-EXCEL program in 2009.   Administratively, Eitner has served as a middle school Assistant Principal, a K-12 Supervisor of Social Studies, and currently serves as a Superintendent for The Lower Alloways Creek School District.  He has presented a series of workshops on digital leadership, technology infusion, and student achievement for grades K-12.

Jay’s blog can be found at jayeitner.com and can be followed on Twitter under the name @iSuperEit.

About the Bammy Awards:

The Bammy Awards is a cross-discipline award that identifies and acknowledges the good work being done all across the education village. The Bammy Awards was created in response to the tremendous national pressure on educators and education leaders to improve student outcomes, the impact of high stakes accountability and the intense scrutiny that today’s educators face.

The awards aim to foster cross-discipline recognition of the collective contributions being made to educate children, encourage collaboration in and across the various domains, elevate education and education successes in the public eye, and raise the profile and voices of the many undervalued and unrecognized people who are making a difference in the field.

 The Bammy Awards is organized by BAM Radio Network, which produces education radio shows for the nation’s leading education associations.

I’d appreciate your vote if you have a minute to spare.  Onward!

Check out “The House of #Edtech” podcast

I had the opportunity to be on Chris Nesi’s show “The House of #Edtech” this past week.  It was a super conversation about technology, leadership, and life.  Certainly worth a listen to.

Keep tweeting, they ARE listening!

Still combing blogs and lurking on twitter? Still think there’s just a bunch of goofballs ranting and raving and their message is falling on deaf ears or is purposely being ignored?  You can keep thinking that, but before you dig your feet into the sand, allow me to share with you a brief clip of a conference that was held on April 3 with over 400 attendees that featured members of NJASCD and the NJDOE.

OK, the NJDOE and NJASCD work together all of the time.  You got me.  What’s the catch?

This conference (which I wasn’t at, but received most of the resources and pretty much virtually there through the tweets on #NJCCLS) had one message that was consistent from top NJDOE officials (including Tracey Severns, Bari Erlichson, and Pete Schulman): we are here and we are listening.

Yeah yeah, how was today different?

Bari Erlichson (@BariErlichson), Assistant Commissioner at the NJDOE, presented on feedback form PARCC over the past few weeks.  Not just any feedback, but tweets exclusively from the #NJED chat that took place on Tuesday evening.  The New Jersey Educators Chat (#NJED)  had Bari on as a guest moderator where she took on a gauntlet of questions, comments, and concerns.  Bari answered just about everything that was asked, and if she didn’t answer it in the chat, Bari assured she would get back to you with the correct information.

The chat covered everything from positives & pitfalls to what educators have done to help other navigate through testing.  Matt Mingle (@mmingle1) was a champion of tweeting out during the actual testing to PARCC (@PARCCplace); his feedback (two-sided feedback, which is commendable) was discussed as critical and helped out others when they started.  Natalie Franzi (@NatalieFranzi) took the 100+ page PARCC testing manual and chopped it down to around 10 meaningful pages to help those administering it get what they really need during the test. It was shared on the chat.  Tim Charleston (@MrCsays) spoke about various devices he was going to use this week for the testing, and how everyone giving all of this feedback has helped him prepare for his district. Based on everyone’s dialogue, I was asking an array of questions (since I didn’t get to pilot), and an array of ‘tweeps’ answered my questions, putting some concerns to rest.

Bari took several of these tweets and incorporated them into her presentation today.  She addressed several questions, comments, and concerns that arose in the chat and delivered it to an audience of over 400 dedicated movers-and-shakers in the NJ education field, many of which have not fully embraced the digital PLN yet. The twitter followers in the room lit up with delight (their phones and computers did too, giving shout-outs to everyone who was mentioned).

If seeing the Assistant Commissioner of Education embed tweets into her presentation to an audience does not change your opinion, I don’t know what will.  Until then, keep tweeting… they ARE listening.  Onward!