My Columns

vine voice

I’m a Vine Voice

Amazon Vine Voice

Launched in 2007 in an effort to encourage top-notch reviews, Amazon selects individuals with unbiased, well-written, balanced reviews to join a cadre of Amazon reviewers called Amazon Vine Voices. They are offered free products, then asked to review these for Amazon. There is no pay involved, just the free products like books, CD’s, movies, computer products, food–anything that is sold on Amazon. Every time they review a product, be it from the list awarded by Amazon or one of their own selection, it carries the logo for ‘Amazon Vine Voice’.

Twice a month (assuming I completed all my assigned reviews), there’s an email in my e-mailbox. From that list, I select which products I am willing to review. Amazon takes care of shipping them to me. When my review is ready, I post it as I would any review.

A question I’m often asked is, Do I get paid? Absolutely not. That would destroy the authenticity of the review. In that way, I feel no pressure to post anything but the truth.

PrintCurriculum Study Group

Once a week, I meet with teachers on Google Hangouts to discuss a tech topic that is critical to their classroom–Common Core, literacy, using tech to collaborate/share/publish. Group members can ask questions, clear up confusion, get resources, hear how other teachers do what they’re struggling with.


Once a week, I write a 500-1000 word article for a teacher’s ezine called TeachHUB, an all-encompassing overview of helpful hints and materials for education professionals. They assign a topic or I suggest one–either way. They range from the impact of the changes in teaching standards on your child’s classroom to new online websites that will improve education to long-range goals and trends of the K-8 schools. I love writing these. I research them by chatting with fellow educators in my PLN (Personal Learning Network), see what their thoughts are, and then distill a cogent response that I hope helps TeachHUB’s readers better understand the topic. Along the way, I learn a lot about what make education tick.

examinerExaminer is a dynamic entertainment, news and lifestyle network that serves more than 20 million monthly readers across the U.S. and around the world. It is fully powered by thousands of writers who are self-motivated independent contributors. Each of us is able to express through words and photos a deep expertise in a topic. Our knowledge is enhanced by a viewpoint unique to our experiences and oftentimes, where I live.

I write two columns for, one on technology in education and one on every facet of the United States Naval Academy (where my daughter went to school and the subject of my book, Building a Midshipman). I publish my articles a couple of times a week and meet a lot of great people through the experience.


writingToday’s Author

Today’s Author is an eclectic collection of international writers who get together daily to discuss topics that affect writers. Topics I cover range from my fears, likes/dislikes of being a writer, tricks to help when I’m stuck, or pretty much whatever is on my mind that three hours, when I sit down to create my column. Very fun.


I have room for one more gig. Any ideas?

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