Browsing "Books"

Collaborative Learning


Collaborative learning is a great way to teach for the 21st century. Today’s largest companies create and move their businesses by using collaborative meetings. Companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft have teams that meet often to come up with the next big thing. Even programming companies work on large code projects with many programmers coming up with ideas and each writing a piece of the code.

Today’s education, for the most part, is leading this new way of educating children from elementary to high school and even in the college setting. With the help of great tools such as interactive whiteboards, Google Suite and Office 365 and much more. Smartphones can also be a great collaborative learning tool. The focus is getting students to learn together much like the businesses of today.

I enjoy walking into a classroom and seeing a teacher walking around the room and assisting the students in learning in group settings. The day’s of the teacher standing in front of the classroom and lecturing have been put back into the dark ages of education.

If you do teach or even lead teams in a business find ways to have each person or student contribute to the overall lesson. You will find great rewards when you see how much your students or staff know.


Teaching for Modern Times

Tech Teaching Tools

Teaching students to be prepared for the modern world is a hard task. Teaching using technology can be default because it is ever changing. Adapting to those changes can be a challenge. But as you can see from the picture above many great tools have been created for us to use in our lessons. I try to adopt at least one new tool a year to help with education. You also have to have a good clear vision when adopting new tech tools. You never want to have your students feel that they are on tech overload.

I like to see a blend of online learning with a mixture of book and classroom instruction. This way we can reach all types of learners. Some students will learn better at a self-pace while others strive to keep pace in the classroom. Using a good mixture of both will keep all of the students engaged on the subject matter.

I do believe in digital notes. How many times have you wanted to refer to a note to find you left it in the office or classroom? With digital notes and using a tool such as Evernote or Google Keep, I can always have my notes on every device I carry. Besides, it is easier to carry my phone in my pocket then carry around my paper notebook.


Good Reads Challenge

Good Reads

When you set a Good Reads Challenge it gives you a goal to get some reading done throughout the year. So how do you reach your goal? First set a little time aside each day to put your feet up and grab your book and relax and read. I have found that you can give yourself an hour after work each day to steal a little time for yourself. Another tip I can give you is to always carry your book with you. I have found that by reading on my Kindle and by using the Kindle app on my smart phone I always have my book with me. Better yet the book will use whisper sync and keep all your devices up to date on whatever page you are on. Stephen King once said, “You can read in chunks or you can read as a marathon.” All Mr. King is saying is read. I talked with one older women once who I found reading and I asked her, “What is the best time to read?” Her response, “All of the time. The only time you should never read is when you lay down for bed.” She went on to tell me that your body knows it’s time to sleep, so don’t waste your time. The main tip I can give you is to read. If we just watch TV and movies you will miss out on so many great works or writing.


College Courses Changed Forever

Online Courses

I am once again deep into my college courses. As I talked about in my last post that colleges now offer online course work you can go back to school even if you are working full time. Pictured above is my class room in my kitchen. I don’t have to go out and get in my car and fight traffic to get to a classroom. I can open an iPad and read my course work where ever I may be. I then use a laptop and EverNote to take my notes and write my papers and projects to submit to the professor. I find myself at times doing course work early in the morning or late into the evening. Attending online classes allow me to work on my free time without fighting to make a class on time. I must say this type of learning does take dedication and devotion to learning. You are still giving up your time to attend but it’s on your time. I spoke with a high school teacher the other day and she feels that in another 20 years there will be no more brink and mortar schools? I disagree. I told her when you are young you need the structure that the classroom provides. I have heard of many young people trying online learning and felling because they can’t give up their free time on their own. Not to say that this is everyone. We did go to a graduation party where the young girl completed her high school requirements using a Cyber School. Online learning works for me, but if you are not sure look at your life style and that will dictate which type of learning you should choose.

Oct 25, 2016 - Books, Thoughts    No Comments

College On Your Time


College today is created not for just the young men or women coming out of high school. They are now creating online courses that allow you to attend college courses even if you have a full time job. There are a lot of colleges out there online so the choice is really up to you. I am taking courses online and really had to do some research on which school to choose. I started with price per credit, then went to looking up reviews from current and past students. I knew I didn’t want a college that is all online because I don’t feel they hold the weight once you get your degree. I wanted a college that has a campus. I also knew I wanted a college that I could study on and off campus. So if you are older and working a full time job don’t think you can’t further your education. And as I found the best time is now to increase your knowledge.

Apr 9, 2016 - Books, EReaders, Thoughts    No Comments

Free Books

Free Books

If you have a Kindle E-Reader or even if you just have the Amazon Kindle app then you might want to read this post?

I have been reading for years. Sometimes when you are at one of your local discount stores you might be walking by a book rack a cover might catch you eye and the next thing you know it is in the cart. In today’s Internet world we find ourselves browsing online book stores. I choose Amazon mainly because I have a Paper White Kindle Reader and it just makes it easy to download the books from their site. I have also bought a lot of ebooks just from browsing. But what if, just what if you don’t want to keep tossing money at books? You still want to read but you find it a good idea to watch your spending. So how can you read and not spend a dime?

It is really easy to find something to read for FREE. Log onto Amazon and in the drop down menu choose Kindle Store. Next in the search box type FREE. Now you will find a large selection of books that are FREE, that’s right no charge at all. Why is this you might ask? Well you will find self published works from people you never heard of, Steven King was once unknown until someone gave him a shot. And besides once you start a book if you are not getting into the story or if it is poorly written stop reading it. I on the other hand can’t do that, once I start I finish the book. Another reason this is done is to get you into a new series. The author will put up the first book for FREE and if you want to continue with the story you might have to pay $3.99 for the other volumes.

At the end of the day FREE is good. It gives you a chance to find new authors that you never heard of and it just might put you into their court. I have found many new authors that I really love reading all of their work. Do I still buy books? Of course I told you at the beginning that I am a long time reading. I really enjoy getting lost in a good book. And I do have my list of well published authors that I read.

Feb 25, 2016 - Books, EReaders, News, Thoughts, Writing    No Comments

Proofs From Publisher


My proofs are in from the publisher. I have found a few issues that I have to correct. It is a great feeling having this in my hands after working on it for a year. It proves to me that writing does take time. You start with free writing, where you get your thoughts onto the page. Then there is the clean up. Then you have to have a few reads to dig into the details.

Once I get my final touches on the book and have a few test readers read the book I will be able to have a release date. But for now I am enjoying sharing the pics of my first run copies of the book.

Little about the story. This is a look into what can happen when a really good family meets evil. I started this story just like anyone else does with an idea. I was walking in the mall one day watching as people walked by. I turned to my wife and asked her what she thought of an idea for a book? She turned to me and said that it sounded like a really good idea for the book. So I went home that evening and began writing Random Numbers.

I am not sure yet how to dig up test readers? Keep watching this blog also please drop me a comment if you would like to be considered.

Jan 31, 2016 - Books, EReaders, Thoughts    No Comments

What To Read Next


Books, books and even more books. When you read a lot which I tend to do. You will fall into what I call The Next Story. You finish a good book and close the cover you begin to ask yourself what do I want to read next. Or in my mind I ask what kind of story do I want to read now? You could play it safe and pick your next book from the best sellers lists. A lot of people do this because they want to be able to talk about the next great book. Or you can search high and low for a story that you would be interested in, horror, crime, love, mystery. Or you can search Good Reads for a book that everyone is talking about. I did that when I found Girl On The Train. I was not disappointed when I did this. But most times I look for authors that you don’t hear about in everyday mainstream. Some I have read are from brand new authors. So the question is still there. How do you pick a book that you are going to spend countless hours with? Really I guess I don’t have the answer. Even as I am writing this post I have been searching for a new book to read. I do know one thing. There are more books in print and electronic format today then you will ever have time to read in a life time. And also remember you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. But once you start a new story and it begins slow, don’t toss it aside to quickly. Give the story a chance to unfold and next thing you know you will be wondering once again. What Shall I Read Next?

Aug 26, 2015 - Books, Thoughts    No Comments

Fall Weather WHAT?

I was sitting here and I looked at this blog and found that the last post was talking about spring time. Now as I sit in my kitchen I can feel the cool air coming through the window. It seems that we are now going right into fall. Where has the summer gone? You walk into any store and you will find Halloween candy ready to be purchased and fall decorations. It seems that the stores control the weather that we all must live with. I for one don’t think I am ready to put my motorcycle away and pull out the winter clothes but I guess that is how life goes when you live in PA. The one thing colder weather brings is more time in the house working on my novel and reading more. Well I hope my next post is not talking about spring again. I keep saying I will vow to write more on this blog but in the end who really reads it but me? Check back and we will see what this mind will release the next time.

Aug 16, 2014 - Books, Thoughts    No Comments

First Novel Completed

Finishing my first novel has been a real treat for me. Coming in at just under 110,000 words I feel like I have been writing it for a year. In reality it has only been six months. I am now in the polishing phase. This is where I get to read my book for the first time and make cuts and additions to the story.

At the same time I am currently working on my second novel. I am creating a murder mystery. When you write fiction your mind seems to never sleep. Some nights I wake up at two or three just to get a few lines done in the book.

Taking writing classes through a local college has been a treat. The instructors have been very helpful and lead you to the path of good story telling.

In my final thought. A lot of you who bought my first short story have asked me to write the second part. I started it, then backed off. I have so many ways to take that story and when I decide on the way I want to move then I am sure I will complete the second book on that series. Another Remembered Day. Thanks to all of you who bought it. And to those of you who did not I must ask why not?

Even if you have never written a book at least pick one up once in awhile and read a book. Books will open your mind and sometimes land you in a place that you never thought you would be!