Today’s highlight from the Pivotal Magazine

This freeware helps kids learn the fout processes of mathematics.

Check it out on our kids page.

Today’s blog posts

From Pivotal Public Speaking

Public Speaking tip – Watch your language

From Pivotal Personal Best

Review of Great Taste no Pain

From WRB

Study: E-books take longer to read than print

From Pivotal  Kids books

Free online reading tools for kids

From Pivotal Teachers

Quote for the Day about teachers and teaching

Quote for the Day about teachers and teaching

The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called “truth.”

~Dan Rather

Today’s ezine – Pivotal Inspiration

The Pivotal Inspiration ezine is now online.

You get quotations, videos, a story and articles all aimed at inspiring and motivating you to be the best you can be, and to have the best day you can.

Download it at

Fun in the classroom – How to make a Mummy

A fun classroom resource for students wanting to see an Egyptian Mummy being made.

Use Online Video in Your Classroom

It’s one thing to talk about Mount St. Helens erupting in science class. It’s another thing altogether to watch a video of the mountain’s summit exploding into dust. Teachers all across the country are finding that judiciously chosen videos help students engage more deeply with the subject matter, and recall the information they’ve learned longer.


Today’s blog posts

From Pivotal Personal best

Is it time to change career?

From Pivotal Public Speaking

Writing a speech? Make Numbers Work for You

From Pivotal Kids

25 Ways to simplify your life with kids

From Pivotal Teachers

Re-Examining the Need For Using Technology in Instruction

For your Sunday – Inspired Faith

Psalm 90:14 asks of the LORD: Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Sometimes Christians are far too good at “gloom and doom.” Our serious faith in a holy God is right and good, but we can never forget that our righteous, holy God is also a God of joy. In fact, Psalms also says that the fullness of joy is in God’s presence! (Psalm 16:11)

How often do you ask God to fill you with His joy? As He satisfies you with His unfailing love, no matter what’s going on in your life, you’ll be able to sing for joy!

Today, to give you a “joy boost,” …

Finding Joy w/Dvd

From: Inspired Faith

Re-Examining the Need For Using Technology in Instruction

The implementation of technology into classroom instruction has been a major focus in California public schools for several years. Prospective teachers in credential programs across the state are drilled as to the importance of exposing students to the technology tools available to access important data and information to use in their academic and professional life. Given the recent explosion of computer and cellular technology, such a focus is logical and well-reasoned. To be sure, current and future students will have to stay abreast of the ever-changing world of technology should they hope to stay competitive with their peers both in the classroom and in the boardroom. But, as with the case of many well-intentioned educational goals, this objective is one that looks much better on paper than it does in reality.

While its hard to argue that students need to be able to learn how to use technology to ease the accessibility of information and knowledge, I wonder how much the average classroom teacher can teach students much that they already don’t know. High School Students today now use technology several times a day, the vast majority of which view their iPod or iPhone as an appendage rather than a non-living device. A good deal of students not only use computers and related devices-they are quite masterful at doing so. They complete homework faster than ever and know where to look for getting just enough information to complete an assignment They also know the quickest ways to do something truly “valuable,” such as how to illegally download music without being caught and which proxies are the best to bypass the security firewall on the school’s network.

I wonder then, how much can the average teacher teach THEM about technology? And, will the students really get anything new out of using it-other than a slight, temporary relief from their boring teacher? Another problem is in the very nature of most internet or technology based lesson plans, as virtually all are by nature are designed for the student to research and collect parts of information to arrive at a conclusion of sorts. The problem is that the majority of today’s high school students have one thought when receiving an assignment-“What is the fastest, shortest way to the correct answer?” With students bypassing much of the investigatory “fact finding” elements of the assignment, little to nothing is gained and the time is wasted.

Virtually all students now have adequate tech skills. Further, many use them to engage in academic dishonesty. I regularly catch several students each year submitting cut and paste essay papers, and a good number more in the “pocket iPhone” attempt of accessing online information during a test. The alarming thing is that many students do not see the harm in plagiarism-especially if it is using cut and paste “just a little” when writing a paper.

Again, it is not my intent to argue the importance of students gaining high tech skills. Rather, my point is that most students already have more than enough, and are rather unlikely to gain much more from a teacher who did not grow up as part of Generation Text (I just made that up). Actually, I would like to see more emphasis on students learning how to complete their work while NOT using technology. Here is a concept. How about we keep the technology focus, but include standards regarding the traditional research and academic work? As I remind my students, there was a time without the internet, when people went to a place called the library. No, it wasn’t like the library where you go to use the computers. No, back then, the library was a mystical place that had these strange, cumbersome objects that people used to find the info needed to complete term papers. Yes, these great devices were made of paper, and didn’t require batteries or electricity, and were wireless. The main problem, though, is that they required actual effort to use them!

Troy Alexander is a High School Social Science teacher and owner of

Today’s blog posts

From Pivotal personal best

Get service

From Pivotal public speaking

Thought for the day

From Pivotal Kids

The rhino song – lots of fun counting!

Louisiana cyberbullying law takes effect

Today’s read – “Character is destiny”

From WRB

Today’s must-read “The Pacific” was made into a miniseries for television