The Mysterious Benedict Society:  Episode 28

Ctrl-Alt-Deliver Podcast. Exploring EdTech Websites and software that will enhance your teaching and learning.

The Mysterious Benedict Society: Episode 28


CTRL-ALT-DELiver We look at Shelly Terrell, Tracy Bishop, and The Mysterious Benedict Society!

Being an educator and a technology advocate, I was particularly interested in the article from Good Education entitled “Handing out laptops….need to train teachers, too” I have followed the One LapTop Per Child initiative since the beginning and I wish it the best of luck. As we have always known, though, technology is not the one-pill, cure all for education, but simply another method of delivering content, accessing information, and assessment. It is an exciting method that offers new and creative ways to learn, but as my favorite statement in the article puts it: “Just as sitting a kid in front of a library doesn’t automatically make her a better reader, simply handing technology to students isn’t going to boost student achievement on its own. “

My school is excellent about sharing great learning resources and encouraging teachers to take risks with using technology. Where some schools are lacking, though, is teaching the teachers HOW to use the technology. We can all find a website and click through links. But it is in the nuances of the programs that we use that the strength lies. Accelerated Reader is a good program for assessing reading comprehension, but some teachers just look at the report that it generates for the student, signs off on it, and moves on. There are many other great diagnostic tools, though, that provide a much more comprehensive plan for you to assist your students. When we took the time to do a staff development on this, teachers were amazed (and appreciative) for the new tools. We have been given document cameras, WhiteBoards, and FlipCameras. Teacher training is essential to get the most out of the tools so that you can pass that on to your students and truly prepare them to be 21st century learners.

Continuing in that vein, I wanted to share this post with you from It is entitled 100 Tech Tools for Teachers and Students  As the name implies, it covers resources for both teachers and students. It is broken down into categories like Random and Cool, Integrating Mobile Devices, and Test Prep. I highly recommend that you check it out. Let me know which ones are your favorites and let me know what you feel might have been a glaring omission in a category. Be sure to follow @DailyTekk on Twitter for more great resources.

This week’s Audible pick is The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests. (And you, dear listener, can test your wits right alongside them.)

Only four children – Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance – succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it, they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they’ll find in the hidden labyrinth of the school’s underground tunnels is more than your average school supplies.

To download your free audiobook today go to Audible Trial  for your free audiobook!

Our Audible Pick and KidLet Author of the week is Trenton Lee Stewart (is an American author best known for the Mysterious Benedict Society series.  Stewart is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He lives with his wife and two sons in Little Rock, Arkansas.  It was difficult to find much else about him. His response on the goodreads site gives a little insight as to why.

Thanks, Best Wishes, Apologies
Many thanks to all of you who have sent messages and/or requested goodreads friendships with me. My sincere apologies as well, as I do not regularly check in and am far too mysterious to cultivate any internet friendships. I really do appreciate your interest and support, though, and in my own mysterious way am sending you mysterious best wishes.

This week’s EdTech spotlight falls on Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is an education thought-provoker,  teacher trainer, author, and international speaker. She is also the host of American TESOL’s Free Friday Webinars and Social Media Community Manager for The Consultants-E. She has co-founded and organized the acclaimed educational projects, Edchat, ELTChat, The Reform Symposium E-Conference and the ELTON nominated Virtual Round Table conference. The New York Times learning blog has included her on its list of the top 78 educators to follow on Twitter and recently she has been listed as one of the Top 20 most influential tweeters in eLearning, training and HR. Her projects have been listed in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many more notable publications.  Visit her education blog, Teacher Reboot Camp, to find resources about the effective integration of technology with English language learners.

Shelly’s posts, like Becoming a 21st Century Teacher in 24 Hours  and 15 Sites for Finding Images and Clip Art for Education are timely and meaningful. A prime example is  the post that she shared about Zoe Weill’s great look at the 50 words that the NY City DOE wants banned from Standardized Testing These are words that they feel may bring up unpleasant emotions from students. As we approach the CRCT next week and are reviewing our Science curriculum for the year, education chancellor, Dennis Walcott woud ask me to not mention catastrophes such as hurricanes and tsunamis. A little difficult when you teach constructive and destructive forces of nature to do it without mentioning them. And slavery? Although, yes, I know that there is much more to it, it isa little difficult to discuss the American Civil War,and not mention slavery at all. This post alone is worthy of a much more lengthy discussion.

Check out Shelly Terrell’s LiveBinders Page and follow her on Twitter @shellterell.

And now for our feature on KidLit

This week’s KidLit Spotlight is on Tracy Bishop, Children’s Illustrator @tracybishopart. Check out her own artwork at It is colorful and whimsical. I want to make sure that I take time in our KidLit section to emphasize wonderful illustrators as well as authors. One of the things that I found to be delightful about Tracy is that she is supportive of other artists. It was her post about Anna Walker  that led me to spotlight Tracy. Anna Walker provides a wonderful walkthrough of the process in creating her book about Peggy, a chicken that gets blown into the city. You can follow Tracy @tracybishopart and Anna @basementbird

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