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Microsoft Enters Tablet Market

SurfaceNo, that image to the left is not an iPad surrounded by SmartCovers. That is the Microsoft Surface. Not to be confused with the giant table-sized computer the company released a while ago, the Surface is Microsoft’s entry into the tablet market.

Attempting to take a page out of Apple’s playbook on several levels, Microsoft revealed the Surface during a mystery press event in California. What those in attendance saw was an iPad knock-off that is heavier, boasts shorter batter life and an inferior chip. To be fair, the Surface does have an impressive cover that contains a fully functioning keyboard, but that is an accessory that must be purchased.

Microsoft has two versions of the Surface in the works, each for a very different audience. There’s a “consumer version” that will run Windows RT and a “business version” that will run Windows 8.

Microsoft isn’t saying exactly when the Surface will be available for purchase, or how much it will cost, but experts are predicting the “consumer version” to fall in the $500 price range with the “business version” to come in at over $1,000. The pricier version does have better overall tech specs than its cheaper brother, but that improved performance comes at the cost of weight and, of course, cost.


What's Your Rep?

Reputations are like shadows. They follow you everywhere!

We often tell our students that their reputation is important, and that it will follow them to the next grade. But how often do we think about our own reputation?

If there is one thing that I have learned, it's that the goodwill we build as educators can make or break our career. In the past five years, I have changed teaching jobs twice. Both times I received a job offer based on the recommendation of my previous...

Rubrics for Assessment


Differentiation in the classroom is a given, and one way to differentiate is by changing up the product for different level/interest of the learner. Of course, if you are allowing...

Advocating for Children

As a constituency, children receive little attention in federal budget discussions. Today in Washington, and indeed leading up to the implementation of the Bipartisan Budget Control Act (BCA) (aka sequestration) next year, federal expenditures will be on the tip of everyones tongue.

According to the Kids Share 2012 report, just released by...

Seton Hall Giving Windows Away...Sort Of

Seton HallSeton Hall University is partnering with Microsoft to outfit all 2012 incoming freshmen with a bundle of Windows devices in an effort to better prepare them for the 21st Century workplace.

Included in the package of tech includes a Nokia Lumia mobile phone featuring Windows Phone 8 and Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook running Windows 8. Schools...

Timeless Teachings

Good teaching stands the test of time.

Like a classic novel, great piece of music, or beautiful painting, the principles of effective teaching don't really change. Maybe the names of these methods change, maybe new buzz words are used to describe them, but the essence of these concepts remain untouched.

I was reminded of this recently when I dusted off an old book written by a teacher, who became famous for creating a magazine project with his students in the 1980s...

Would You Ever Get Rid of Your Desk?


I know some are looking at the computer like it has alien doodads coming out of the top of it, but think about how much space a teacher desk takes up, and how often you use it. Of...

Please, Take a Number

Please,Take a number!
In order to help keep things organized when students wished for help during study hall or during a seat work activity, I took an idea from the deli at the local supermarket. I made a sign that said Please, Take a number and had several decorative number tags for students to pick up. When one student was done, I would call for the next number. This really helped!
What ideas do you use to keep things organized in your classroom? Please share.
Gail Hennessey...

What ideas do you use to get borrowed...

I always had lots of pens/pencils to loan the students that didnt seem to come prepared to class. So often, the loaned pens/pencils never seemed to return at the end of class and the supply would quickly dwindle. Eventually, I started the idea that if you wanted to borrow a pen/pencil from my desk, you had to give me a shoe....when they returned the borrowed item, the shoe was returned. It was something they always remembered to return to me.
What other ways do you use to get loaned...

Is School Funding Fair?

Not in most states, according to a national report card dedicated to answering that question.

Back in 2010, the first edition of a national report card on school funding and fairness was released. Considering fair school funding to be a state finance system that ensures equal educational opportunity by providing a sufficient level of funding...

Measuring Success

How do you know you're a good teacher? How do you know you are successful in the classroom? Test scores, the kids are behaved, parents are satisfied, a strong evaluation from the principal?

It's a good question, one that I think educators begin to ask themselves as they gain years of experience in the classroom. Without defining success, it's easy as a teacher to get discouraged, to work hard but not know whether you have arrived.

Recently, I was talking with...