Todd Finley

Blog Posts

Tags Technology Integration
August 29, 2012

Technology can enhance academic conversations, says Anna Des Roches, a community development officer for Collaborize Classroom. The American Association of School Librarians (AALS) agrees, naming...

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Tags Student Engagement
August 8, 2012

High school writers often fail to include dialogue in their stories. Perhaps this is because they over-rely on telling narratives. Or perhaps skipping dialogue is a strategy that allows students to elude the...

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Tags Student Engagement
June 28, 2012

Of the thousands of 18.5-year-olds that I've taught, some could not manage the challenges of college while others attacked higher education responsibilities with full uh-rah commitment. It is from observing the later group's mojo that I...

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Tags Technology Integration
April 23, 2012

"We want to find a person behind the pen." -- Professional Writing Retreat Handbook

Last weekend I attempted to draft an inspirational message for my English education majors. Maybe because I haven't yet mastered a grownup man voice -- I'm 48 -- or because of the...

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Tags Project-Based Learning
March 27, 2012

Did you check out Open Education Week this month? The international event highlighted free lesson plans and materials, searchable by subject, grade and quality. I spent a couple days throwing keywords into OER (open education resources are digital...

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Tags Technology Integration
March 9, 2012

Protégé of Plato and instructor to Alexander the Great, Aristotle was the archetypal learner-teacher whose contribution to modern writers were three rhetorical proofs: pathos, ethos and logos. When combined with 21st century communication platforms, Aristotle's proofs shower rocket fuel on...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
January 31, 2012

Start with Courage

In 1969, RAND political analyst Daniel Ellsberg risked espionage charges by photocopying secret Pentagon Papers that documented how U.S. presidents lied to the American public about military escalation plans in Vietnam and lied about its chances of success. In the...

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Tags New-Teacher Support
January 11, 2012

In a Buick LaCrosse crowded with English teachers on the way to a wine bar in Raleigh, Dr. Lil Brannon explained her trouble with rubrics: "Did you ever watch kids play Dance Dance Revolution, the video game where...

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Tags New-Teacher Support
December 1, 2011

I am addicted to searching for inspiring writing prompts. Like playing Pachinko, clicking through education resources soothes and focuses me. My coffee goes cold as I hunt through Twitter and Diigo posts for just one more idea. But for a few years now, guilt has bled some joy from my ritual of...

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Tags Education Trends
October 21, 2011

Along with the National Writing Project, Figment, and The New York Times Learning Network, we are celebrating the...

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Writing Pedagogy, Engagement, Literacy, and New Media