Tagged: new features

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Exciting new feature: TEACHER VOICES

teachervoices
I think this is hilarious and should be the logo of TEACHER VOICES. 🙂

favicon Hi everyone. I’m very excited today to announce a major new feature on Iserotope: TEACHER VOICES.

If you’re a founding reader of the blog, you’ll remember that I used to write quick reflections back when I was an English teacher. The posts described my successes and failures, my roller-coaster emotions, my incessant attempts to figure things out, and, from time to time, my minor epiphanies.

Several of those posts were very popular, and many of you wrote comments to cheer me on, push my thinking, and engage each other in dialogue. I liked very much the community these posts helped build. Yes, I do like comments!

The reason those posts were popular, I think, is that teacher voice is essential and illuminating. Teacher voice cuts deeply through the educational debate rhetoric mumbo-jumbo that too often obfuscates what’s really happening in our classrooms.

Ever since I became an instructional coach two years ago, that critical part of Iserotope — real stories by real teachers — has been missing.

Until now.

This year, I’m inviting a few of my colleagues to tell their stories on Iserotope. Some will post just once; others may, I hope, become consistent contributors to the blog. Though many of them share my passion for reading, they’ll write about whatever they like.

I encourage you, my dear Iserotope readers, to get to know these teachers, to listen to their stories, and to engage in conversation by leaving brilliant insights. Everyone is welcome: You don’t have to be a teacher to leave a comment. And please, tell your friends — the more, the merrier!

Please let me know your thoughts! Do you like this? What kinds of stories would you like to read? favicon

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Don’t have an old Kindle to donate? Not a problem!

favicon Today I spent a sunny and splendid afternoon with two good friends. They’re big proponents of the Kindle Classroom Project.

One friend, Lesley from Menlo Park, has been a generous donor in the past, plus she’s encouraged her friends and coworkers to donate Kindles as well. Go Lesley!

The other friend, Preeti from San Jose, came to the cafe prepared. She was not fooling around. Why do people have to donate old Kindles? she asked. What if she wanted to buy a new one instead?

Um, er…um. Right! You’re right, Preeti! This is pretty spectacular idea.

Up until today, if you wanted to purchase a new Kindle for a student, it wasn’t too easy. You had to contact me and find out my mailing address and ask which model my students wanted. Why not make the process easier?

Preeti was right, and now it is done.

Go ahead, try it out, click on the box, see what happens! You’ll go directly to the Amazon Kindle page, and if you order one for $69 (no need for a charger), it’ll get shipped directly to me. (Note: Click “This will be a gift” and select “Gift Registry Address” for easy shipping.)

Pretty snazzy. I wish I could take credit for the idea, but that goes to Preeti (and to Lesley, for affirming Preeti’s brilliance).

Will Preeti’s idea send oodles of Kindles hurtling in my general direction? I think so. I will keep you posted.

Update, April 22: This — from the Wishlist — is pretty good evidence, don’t you think? 🙂

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 8.48.03 AM

Update #2, April 22: Um, three already? Is this for real? Can’t believe how great this is!

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 10.49.32 AM

In case you can’t find this post later or want to refer your friends to this startling development, I’ve also updated the Contribute and Donate Your Kindle pages to reflect Preeti’s idea.

Thank you, Preeti! favicon

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On the go? Save Iserotope articles to your Pocket

pocketfavicon If you’re a loyal Iserotope reader, you’re serious. You don’t want to miss any articles.

You likely follow Iserotope via Facebook or Twitter or Google+ or RSS feed or Instagram or email.

That’s great. But what if you find yourself in the middle of an article and don’t have time to finish? Or what if you want to save an article for later?

Most people email articles to themselves, and that’s OK. Perfectly great, good work.

But I have something better: Pocket.

Pocket is my favorite save-it-for-later service (even more than my previous favorite, Readability). You can save articles, videos, and images and read them later on your computer, tablet, or computer.

New to Iserotope: At the end of every post, you’ll see that there is a Pocket button. Try it out. You won’t be disappointed. And while you’re there, you might as well share the post with your friends, right?

Is there anyone out there who already uses Pocket? If so, let me know! favicon

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Another new feature: Iserotope Mobile

favicon So far, I’m getting good feedback about Iserotope Extras. If you haven’t done so already, go check it out and let me know what you think.

Today I launch another feature geared to encourage you to read Iserotope anywhere and everywhere you go: Iserotope Mobile.

The next time you visit Iserotope on your phone, you’ll get a mobile version of the site that loads more quickly but still offers all the content.

Here are a few screenshots:

Sorry that the photos aren’t centered (I’m still getting used to my camera), but you get the point.

The first shot is the home page, where you get a list of the posts’ headlines. When you click on one, you get access to the entire post, including photos, video, and the comments section.

Advanced users: Feel free to click on the “Menu” button up top for some fancy features.

Let me know what you think. Is this better, or do you want the original Iserotope back? And do you even read very much on your phone in the first place? favicon

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New feature: Say hello to Iserotope Extras!

favicon I’m very pleased to announce a new feature today: Iserotope Extras(Update: Extras is now The Highlighter.)

As you know, I care about (in other words: am obsessed with) teaching, reading, and technology. So I think about all this stuff and write about it and invite loyal Iserotope readers to comment about it. (Thanks, readers!)

But what I do, more than anything else, is read about it.

Now I want to share the very best of what I read with you.

Click on Extras at the top of the page and a new tab will open to a beautiful list of articles to read, along with a little blurb of what I think. (Credit goes to Bundlr for the design.)

Even better: You can share individual articles (or the entire list!) to email, FB, Twitter, and more.

The only negative is that you can’t leave comments about these articles, which would be cool. But feel free to tweet me @iserotope. That’ll have to do for now until I come up with some better idea.

Anyway, I’m really excited, and I hope you are, too. I know that several of you have asked me, “Mark, where do you find those articles?” and “How do you come up with your crazy ideas?”

Now you know!

Please let me know what you think! Is this a good new feature, and if so, what topics do you want to read about? favicon