Thursday, June 26, 2014

Students can become volunteers for "Doctors without Borders" for animals... Learn about the Peter Emily Foundation

When a doctor travels, he can bring his skills to the communities that they visit.   One of my students is going to Indiana to give her vet skills to animal sanctuaries.

If you would like to turn your vacation time into a volunteer opportunity, read on...
You can find a center and be a volunteer while on vacation.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How to share Google Drive files (videos, audio files and documents) with friends and colleagues

Here are some audio files and videos that are about the future of Education.   I'm posting on this blog with the hope that my readers will look at this collection and (1) benefit from the items and (2) suggest additional pieces

Another collection is

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Announcing the creation of the John Paul Vornle Libraries

John Paul Vornle built a list of annotated list of books that he respected.  That list and the books themselves are collected in the John Paul Vornle Libraries online and in centers around the planet.   The first Center, JPVLC00001, is located in Miami.

JPVLC00002 is in my home

If you would like to sign up to host a collection of books recommended by JPV, please contact me at   (954) 646 8246

There is also an online collection of the titles that have been scanned.  Here is the location.

the start of the John Paul Vornle Library 

JPVLibrary Centers will be hosted by fans of John Vornle

Stephanie Vornle and Mario Llorente have copies of the annotated list of books that JPV recommended

Friday, June 20, 2014

If you are a trainer or a teacher or a tutor in South Florida, consider volunteering time and expertise to the SEED in Miami

Here is a video that 60 Minutes showed three years ago.

Here's the letter that I recently sent to Eric Adler at the Seed Foundation.


Mr. Adler

I saw this video

and I read this part of your profile

 A few bright, lucky students from inner-city Baltimore were brought to St. Paul’s on academic scholarships, but Eric noticed that even with the same teachers, books, and classrooms as all the other students, the scholarship students seemed to struggle.  It was this observation that caused Eric to ask himself “What would it take for these students to be able to succeed?”  The idea of an urban, public boarding school planted itself in Eric’s mind.  Eric went on to earn an MBA in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He worked as a management consultant to Fortune 500 clients, the principal of an investment advisory firm, and an adjunct faculty member of the Johns Hopkins University Graduate Division of Business and Management.  He then was introduced to Raj Vinnakota, who had a similar idea about building a boarding school for at-risk children.  They teamed up to found The SEED Foundation and, in 1998, opened the first-ever SEED School in Washington, D.C. 


and now I’m hooked   …  I had heard about the SEED (I saw the 60 minutes profile) and I’m moved to contact you to offer more.

My colleague Mario Llorente and I give workshops about transforming classrooms (turning teachers into ex-lecturers, asking students to participate more).   The phrase “student-centered classroom” is the driving concept.

We are translating Dennis Littky’s 2004 book The Big Picture into Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish to take these ideas to other countries.   We believe these ideas need to be read by teachers and parents in other countries in their native language so that the “change” percolates into their brains more directly than through English.

Here are links to Littky’s book  chapters 1 and 4

   If you are planning on building a library of materials that can be used by parents, I highly recommend Littky’s book because parents can get the parables that help them see the role that parents and students can play as more-active participants in the learning process.  

Three other colleagues, Dennis Yuzenas, Omar Vasile and Matt Blazek, offer their experience to your schools.   Mario and I have learned many tips from Matt and Dennis and I hope the links will encourage you to invest a bit of time in watching them explain their use of projects in the classroom.  

Omar Vasile has applied projects to the middle school classroom. 

Please feel free to use and share these materials.   The links at  and at are our materials (posters, ebooks, videos) and we gladly share them.  If you need in-person trainers for workshops or mentors by phone or skype, call on us.  We call ourselves the Visual and Active team of facilitators.  We support teachers who want to expand their capabilities.

I am going to follow this e-message with a box of our ebooks that have been printed through the Createspace program.

We are available to train your teachers at no cost.  We want to support your SEED in Miami…. and elsewhere.  

Steve McCrea

I hope you will use whatever you find helpful in these materials.

If you want to invest more in projects

if you want to have your students become “builders of a digital portfolio”
please visit to see examples of a digital portfolio

Steve McCrea

[ end of letter ]

I hope other teachers will volunteer their time and materials.

Let's support this organization

A report from 2002 is available on the SEED website.  Two of the three schools in the study have closed.   This process of building a residential charter is challenging!

The language (tense) shows that BURCS and Proctor Academies have closed

CLICK here for the report

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Consider these quotes by Bastiát

Is it possible to go 56 years without hearing of the educational philosopher Claude Bastiat?  "Don't make a rule that people are unlikely to follow."

This is the phrase that comes to mind when we hear about a rule that forbids students from using social media or playing video games during the week.


Bastiat's quotes

More links

Recommended by Mario Llorente

His life is profiled in

Fee Website 

More quotes by Bastiát

The SEED is coming to Miami... and I hope they hire my colleague Mario...

Here's the pitch letter I wrote to introduce the "transformation of education."


I saw the 60 Minutes report about THE SEED about four years ago.  I’ve been hoping that your organization would come to Miami.

I would love to work for you, but I am located in Broward.  I would like to become part of your fundraising advocates.  I am sending a check for $50 to get started.

I’d also like to make available the resources that a team of educators has assembled.   Free ebooks and training…

This email lists some of those resources.  I’m also going to send several ebooks in later email messages.

This is what a boarding school (and
any school) can be about...  LINK
How do we get more taxpayers to see
this video?
I am a graduate student at Nova Southeastern University.    I’m currently studying methods of learning and I’m an advocate of the transformation of schools.  I attended a boarding school and it changed how I viewed education.   I became a better student because I did not have the distractions of my home environment.  

I have taught at charter schools  … the core population of students in these schools need the emotional and social skills that an effectively operated boarding school can deliver.

(1) List of Projects
I like projects for the “integrated curriculum.”  Projects also require emotional intelligence and collaboration.  

Two mentors

Matt Blazek   (415) 990 3608
YOUTUBE link    Youtube video   

Dennis Yuzenas  (561) 358 6884
YOUTUBE link   “Dennis Yuzenas 9 minutes”

When you are looking for training of staff, you will get good results by contacting them.

(2) Digital Portfolios
High Tech High in California asks students to post their work.  “By their work you will know us.” shows an exemplary digital portfolio.  I used this student’s work to guide my short book about “how to make a DP.”   I attach that ebook.

I’d be happy to be an online mentor and volunteer to assist your school in using websites and blogs to allow students to safely post their work and build digital portfolios.  You can contact me at (954) 646 8246

LINK to a blog post
an article showing how I trained several students at a New Jersey school

(3)  Extraordinary Teacher:  Mario Llorente
I conclude this letter with a testimonial about Mario Llorente.  He has been my partner in compiling ebooks to explain procedures that transform classrooms.  He helped with my interviewing of Dr. Fischler to produce Fischler’s book of commentaries (to be sent separately).

Mario has an innate way of knowing how to gradually increase the student’s role in learning.  He pointed out to me that quotation that the purpose of education is "to gradually increase the student’s responsibility for his own learning."

I believe he is planning to take the Subject Area exam for English Literature and get the result next week.  I highly recommend his ability to get int he mind of a teenager and figure out how to develop inner motivations. His strength is ESOL and he is a talented advocate of Literature.   I hope you will consider him for the English language position.
(702) 689 1982
I hope you will contact Mario and suggest that he tour your school.

Thank you for taking time to read this far.  Good luck with your school and please call on me to assist in fundraising.  I’m very impressed with The SEED and I look forward to someday visiting your campus.

Steve McCrea
2314 Desota Drive
Fort Lauderdale FL 33301
(954) 646 8246  mobile

Friday, June 6, 2014

Follow Your Effort and you will find your bliss... Mark Cuban's advice

Go here.  Be a maverick.

Here's what started a flurry of comments from my mentors...


one of my mentors (Wes Green) commented:

So what's a passion? Along with certain particular vocations, I'd include making lots of money, however you can manage to do it, and the thrill/challenge of running your own company. Seen in that light, "passions" of one kind or another drive almost all entrepreneurial activity. And for a variety of different reasons, most small businesses eventually fail to be viable—including many small businesses founded by formerly successful entrepreneurs. That's just an unfortunate fact. So what's his point? That we should all be hunter gatherers?
Wes Green


From my mentor Noel

The statement and conclusion is too "simplistic" and is not constructive advice. People should follow their dream or passion but keeping in mind that desire alone will not guarantee a successful result.


My mentor Will Sutherland,, has these words:

I have seen this poster and these views expressed before.  It is like all things, if you go to far it does not work.

This is why I always say “What would you like to be selling?”  That has to be your passion!  You then have to become one of the best at it “Mastery” if you are really going to succeed.   -- Will


A comment on the Cuban piece.


From Mark Cuban:
click here

I also like these 14 points from a Forbes Magazine blogpost

A regional organization called UDEEEWANA will bring together some educational trends in Eastern Europe, West Asia and North Africa

UDEeewana is an organization that aims to bring together the region of Eastern Europe, West Asia and North Africa

The organizer, Ugur Demiray, is a professor at Anadolu Universtiy, a leader in the world of distance education.

Learn more at

Monday, June 2, 2014

An invitation to teachers and students: Visit, look at their Digital Portfolios, and then start building YOUR DIGITAL PORTFOLIO (contact me for tips)

Here is a link to a book called SHOW YOUR WORK  How to Make A Digital Portfolio

This book allows students to build on the work of Dr. Fischler, who promotes the use of computers, projects and discussions in classes.

that link is going to a document that can be downloaded from Google Drive.

I'm interested in working with students who want to create their digital portfolios and PUT THE PORTFOLIOS ONLINE.   This will raise the profile of this important procedure.

You can see digital portfolios at   Ben Staley's DP at HighTechHigh.   I encourage you to share this invitation to students and ask the students to contact me if they want help in organizing and displaying their DP. is the location of other digital portfolios.   <<< See the page    Lots of Examples of DPs   
These links will take you to the place where High Tech High displays its students' DPs.

This effort builds on tips that Dennis Yuzenas and Matt Blazek have given about HOW TO USE PROJECTS in the classroom.

Steve McCrea    (954) 646 8246     What are you doing with your school projects?  It's the end of the school year... will you take photos?  Will your students preserve their work for later evaluation?

  1. 2 of 5 Projects Workshop with Matt Blazek on 5 September 2013 Miami

    Matt Blazek's workshop about projects was given in Miami in September 2013. His CD of projects can be obtained by calling him ... 
    • HD
  2. blazek CD 640.m4v Matt Blazek's CD of Projects, Digital Portfolios and Discussions

    Contact Matt Blazek to get a demonstration CD. 
  3. Tips for Projects by Matt Blazek

    Blazek compres Common Core and International standards matt blazek
  4. 5 of 5 Projects Workshop with Matt Blazek on 5 September 2013 Miami

    Matt Blazek's workshop about projects was given in Miami in September 2013. His CD of projects can be obtained by calling him ... 
    • HD

Will your students be able to find examples of their work to show future teachers and to refer back to learning that took place earlier this year?

Will some of their projects be available online to REINFORCE the learning that happened earlier this year?

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.   Margaret Mead

If people are coming to work excited, if they're making mistakes freely and fearlessly, if they're concentrating doing things, rather than preparing reports and going to meetings - then somewhere you have leaders. - Robert Townsend

  • Dennis Yuzenas Visual and Active edu-taining ... - YouTube
    Sep 10, 2009 - Uploaded by visualandactive
    Electronic portfolios are kept on disks and hard drives. For more information contact Dennis Yuzenas at ...
  • Dennis Yuzenas describes portfolios in Schools ... - YouTube
    Sep 23, 2009 - Uploaded by getaheadbook
    Dennis Yuzenas, technology mentor and edu-taining teacher and teacher trainer, spells it out for parents and ...
  • words by Abraham Fischler Dennis Yuzenas and ... - YouTube
    Aug 25, 2010 - Uploaded by LanguageAcademyFLA
    Free Lesson about Portfolios. Learn from Steve McCrea, one of hundreds of people who want to help Abe ...
  • CD for Parents Part 1 by Dennis Yuzenas ... - YouTube
    Sep 23, 2009 - Uploaded by getaheadbook
    Dennis Yuzenas has been using EBOOKS since 1993. ... copy of the book, he created a collection of materials ...