Are you a Google-using educator or a Microsoft-using educator? Both companies offer training for educators that goes WAY beyond simple support pages. Google has the Google for Education Training Center, which helps you get Google certified and provides courses for learning their products. The Microsoft Educator Center offers lots of courses on a wide variety of topics -- on Microsoft products and others. In this episode, I'll tell you all about them both.
Imagine a conference you could attend that had lots of really, really good presenters. Imagine they were presenting on lots of topics that really interested you. Now imagine that conference happening for free, every day, and virtually. That's the idea behind the Global EdTech Academy, a project by CUE and Microsoft. They include lots of presentations, master classes, and office hours you can attend for free. In this episode, I'll tell you all about it and where to get signed up!
Summer is a great time for us to renew and recharge. But once we have, sometimes we want to level up our teaching skills. In this episode, I'll share a handful of courses you can take on edtech tools that will widen your teaching repertoire.
YouTube has some pretty fun videos to watch. That should be no surprise. it is the second largest search engine in the world! YouTubers have found very creative ways to engage their viewers. We can look to YouTube for inspiration on the activities we ask our students to do! In this episode, I share a fun idea for your next video activity with your students -- The unboxing video!
I love having a whiteboard to write on whenever I'm in a classroom! But when we are doing remote learning, or when we want to engage students in digital spaces, sometimes the whiteboard doesn't translate into those spaces easily. What can we do? In this episode, I will share lots of options for recreating a whiteboard in digital spaces.
We have had to do a lot of adapting and learning in a short period of time with our adjustments to remote learning. To help provide some ideas and solutions going forward, I have created a free online course about remote learning. in this episode, I will tell you what to expect if you enroll and a little bit about what you might learn.
After a hiatus of more than a month, I'm back! My new book, Tech Like a PIRATE, is now finally available! In this episode, you will hear all about it. Plus, I will share where you can find lots of free resources whether you buy the book or not! Plus, you can read the "lost chapter" of the book, the one I wrote that didn't make it in print!
when all of our students don't have equal access to the internet, what can we encourage them to do to keep learning going? In this episode, the third in a series of activities you can do with no internet, I share four final ideas to help keep the learning going and help students develop themselves as learners.
When students don't have equal access to the internet, what's a teacher to do? There are lots of options for students who don't have regular access to the internet. We can encourage them to do certain activities that will help them grow in our content areas and as lifelong learners. In this episode, we will talk about three more ways to build our learners without focusing on the internet.
If your students don't all have equal access to the internet during remote learning, you are not alone. Many educators have concerns about the equity of access during remote learning. However, there are still lots of activities students can do to advance their learning and make themselves better learners. In this episode, I will share three ideas to keep learning going and help students develop themselves as learners from home.
Could you handle a little extra happiness in your day? I recently found an app that helps you track and reflect on what you are grateful and happy for. This could be a great tool for us as educators. It could certainly help our students. And the prompts inside of it could make for great discussions and reflections for students!
With the world changing -- and our class situations changing -- during this time of pandemic, what do students need from us? Their needs may be different than they were when we were last face-to-face in class with them. On the OnlineLearningIdeas.com website, Holly Clark and I discuss five things we think students need from their teachers right now. In this episode, I summarize those five things.
lots of educators are using video calls to do remote learning. But once you and your students are on a video call, what can you do? In the previous episode, I shared three ideas. In this episode, we take it to the next level with three new ideas!
lots of educators around the world are connecting with their students through video calls. There are lots of different platforms to use. But once you get on a video call, what will you do with your students? There's so much more to it then direct instruction! In this episode, I share three ideas for using video calls with your students.
When we want to give students step by step instructions, sometimes we turn to a screen recording video. Those videos are clear, but they can be big files that are hard to access for students with slow internet speeds. An alternative that uses very little data is Iorad, a tutorial tool that lets you create web-based instructions. In this episode, I share how you can use Iorad to give students instructions.
When students have a slow internet connection at home, remote learning can be difficult. It's especially difficult if teachers are providing large video files for them to watch. there are some steps we can take as educators to make those videos smaller and still effective. In this episode, I share a trick for creating smaller video sizes that will work better for students with slow internet speeds.
if we want to keep learning going at home, having some ideas for learning activities can be helpful. In this four-part series, I am sharing some activity types that you can use when your students are learning from home. In this episode, I share a handful of video activities and video tools that students can use. There are even options when students don't have regular internet access at home!
there is so much that students can do to learn from home! Whether they have internet access or not, slide presentations offer lots of options. And they don't have to look like the standard oral reports we have done on slides for years! In this episode, I share lots of creative ideas for using slides to demonstrate learning.
As we try to wrap our brains around what distance learning looks like, it's helpful to have some ideas and examples. In the next four episodes, I'm going to share several different types of activities you can provide students while they are learning from home. In this episode, we talk about the power of graphic organizers to help students navigate their thinking instead of just recall facts.
When students take control of their learning, amazing things can happen. They go from being compliant followers to commanders of their own future. In his session at the NCTIES Conference, author John Spencer shared tips from his book about how to empower students. He encourages teachers to move up the spectrum from compliance students to engaged students to finally empowered students.
We love games, and so do our students! When we can pull elements of games into class, it has potential for great engagement. North Carolina educator Chris Goodson shares some of his favorite game hooks in this episode. With some of his ideas, you may spark your own ways to make learning more like a game!
virtual reality is beginning to spread, and so many of its uses have to do with consumption. What if students were able to create with VR? Darcy Grimes, a North Carolina educator and former state teacher of the year, shares how Google Tour Creator can help students learn how to create in virtual reality. You don't even need any fancy gear to make it happen!
The beginning of class is a crucial time everyday. Those first several minutes can set the tone for the entire day of instruction! If we want to make the most of those minutes, we can give students learning activities that really engage them and stimulate them. And our digital devices can help! In today's episode, I share several ways to kick off class with digital bell ringer activities. I'll also share the blog post -- with a free ebook and a tutorial video! -- where you can find 20 of them.
My new book is coming out in April, and I want to celebrate by giving you lots of great free resources! The book, Tech Like a Pirate, shares how we can create memorable learning in the classroom with technology. It will be lots of fun! For the next 10 weeks, we will be sharing lots of free resources on the Ditch That Textbook blog. They will be related to each of the eight ways to Tech Like a Pirate. In this episode, I'll tell you more about it and where you can find those resources!
Have you ever heard of the "6 degrees of Kevin Bacon" game? You're supposed to be able to connect any actor to Kevin Bacon with no more than six connections to other actors. Making connections can be a powerful classroom activity! Nate Ridgway, my co-author in the book Don't Ditch That Tech, has shared a whole folder of templates that help your students to do this. In this episode, I'll tell you about this activity and where you can get those templates!
Infographics are very brain friendly. They blend together visuals and text in a way that's very sticky for the brain. I recently found a video tutorial by Claudio Zavala that shows how to create those using Adobe Spark Post. In this episode, I will share a few of the tips I learned from his video and show you where you can watch the whole thing on YouTube.
many of our students are very interested in social media. We can tap into that excitement and enthusiasm, and we don't even need students to use those apps! There is an inherent draw that every social media platform has that gets us interested in it. If we know what that draw is, we can infuse our lessons with it. In this episode, I share a few of those draws that I see in a variety of social media.
Chrome extensions add extra super powers to our Google Chrome web browsers. Teachers and students all over reap the rewards of them, too! In this episode, educator Michael Bertoni shares A few useful Chrome extensions from his presentation at the PETE&C Conference In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Podcasting is on the rise. When we use it in the classroom, it gives students a voice. They are able to create with what they learn. Teacher Heather Kelly has seen great benefits from podcasting in the classroom with her students. In this episode, she shares the simple way she is publishing her students' audio work and tips for helping reluctant students to dive right in.
We want students to be good citizens and productive members of society. But how can we advocate responsibly for the democracy that we all hope for? Pennsylvania teacher Mike Soskil (Twitter: @msoskil) is the editor of a book that will be published soon. It collects thoughts from classroom teachers and academics about this subject. In this episode, Mike shares a couple of things we can do from the classroom to promote a solid democracy.
It can be tricky to discern fact from fiction these days. It can be even trickier to help our students navigate the digital waters of fake news and fact. In this episode, I share a good fake news self-assessment. It comes from the book Fact vs Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of Fake News by Jennifer LaGarde and Darren Hudgins.
Virtual field trips are so much fun. We can take our students to places all over the world without leaving the comfort of our classroom. Thankfully, lots of these virtual field trips are available for free. They include live video calls with people in museums, historic sites, and national landmarks all over the United States and beyond. In this episode, I will tell you about five great virtual field trips and where you can find more. Did I mention that they are free?!?
Voice is on the rise. Podcast listenership continues to grow. Smart speakers are selling like hotcakes. With all of this buzz around audio content, maybe now is the time to incorporate podcasting in your classroom. However, it doesn't have to be complicated. You can do it with a simple tool you may already use -- Google Slides -- and a free audio recording tool. I ran across a blog post by Jen Giffen (@virtualgiff) and love her solution for it. In this episode, I will share the steps that Jen provides for podcasting with Google Slides. Link: http://virtualgiff.blogspot.com/2020/02/podcasting-in-classroom.html
We use Google Classroom to assign, collect, grade, and return work with students. Many teachers will use Google Classroom in a web browser on their laptop or desktop computers. But have you tried the Google Classroom mobile app? It has a couple of superpowers that the regular browser version does not. In this episode, I'll tell you about two of those features and why they are really helpful.
As teachers, a lot of times we like to assign students work using templates. Google slides is a great choice for doing that! But what do you do when students make mistakes and need to go back to a previous version? In this episode, I talk to Maria Sohn, who teaches technology and stem. She has a couple of unique ideas to share!
Augmented reality is showing up in more and more schools all over. But how can we use augmented and virtual reality in meaningful ways in the classroom? I love the approach that David Saunders used to upgrade 9th grade history textbooks with augmented reality. I found this example in the book Reality Bytes: Innovative Learning Using Augmented and Virtual Reality by Christine Lion-Bailey, Jesse Lubinsky and Micah Shippee.
When I was a beginning teacher, I thought that technology use in the classroom was good no matter what. It didn't take me long to change my views on that, though. When we use tech in the classroom, we have to ask ourselves, " How is it improving learning? " In today's episode, I share a few questions we can ask ourselves to see whether we should be using technology in our lessons.
Your Google Classroom can get pretty organized sometimes, can't it? This is a pain point for so many who use it and other learning management systems! A couple of little tips can go a long way to getting it neat and tidy. At the TCEA conference in Austin Texas, I hosted a session on organizing your Google Classroom. Some of the suggestions from the participants were fantastic! I share them in today's episode. To catch the session resources from that presentation, go to http://ditchthattextbook.com/organize.
So many of us educators turn to Twitter and Pinterest to get ideas and connect with each other. But there's a new social media that's developed specifically for educators that's coming out soon. in this episode, I interview one of the founders, Michael Crawford, to get all the details.
Libraries in schools are getting a makeover. They don't just have to be a room full of dusty books! Kelly and Crystal from Pasadena, Texas, share how they're using technology to engage students in their media center.
Many times, when we see the cool things that teachers are doing with Google products, we might assume that the same things can't be done with Microsoft. But that's not necessarily the case! Scott Titmas Share some of his favorite tips and tricks for making Microsoft products work for you in the classroom.
teachers love to have choices in their professional development as much as students love to have choices in their learning! In this episode, Stacy Saia shares how her school district is giving teachers choice and how they learn professionally -- and how they are reaping great rewards from it.
So many of our students are fascinated with social media. any mention of one of their favorite apps can instantly grab their attention. We can pull elements of social media into our learning activities to engage those students! In a recent post on the Ditch That Textbook blog, We shared several templates and websites that can help you accomplish that!
In so many schools around the United States and the world, we see a wide variety of native languages. Providing support to students and their families in their own language can pay great dividends in student learning. The Microsoft translator app lets educators connect with students and their families in their native languages and a wide variety of circumstances. In this episode, I share four places where it can strengthen family communication and instruction.
Understanding how the brain works and learns can help us teach and our students learn with more power. Understanding that each student's brain doesn't learn the same way is important, too. In Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond, she shares how we can understand culture, how it is wired into our students' brains, and how we can reflect that in our teaching.
When we learn how the brain prefers to learn, We can learn smarter instead of harder. I got so much valuable information and insight from the book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zarretta Hammond. in it, she talks about how we can teach in a way that recognizes all students in our classes and optimizes learning for their brains. in this episode, I share her insights on the three phases of information processing.
When students take activities home to do, sometimes they struggle. Sometimes the parents struggle! To add a layer of assistance to your activities, you might try what Nate Ridgway calls the Flipgrid 5. It's an easy way to add a short instructional video to paper-based assignments that you give your students. You can learn more about it on his website, TeachingFromTheRidge.com.
Quizizz is one of several formative assessment tools that teachers are using all around the world. After loading it up recently, I noticed a few newer features that really impressed me. in this episode, I'll tell you what those features are and why you should be excited about them, too.
We have so many mechanisms in our life to keep us from boredom. We check our phones. We listen to music and watch TV. But our brain likes to be bored! It does it's best thinking that way many times. I recently heard author Manoush Zomorodi talking about this idea on the Vrain Waves podcast and had to share some of my takeaways from it!
During the FETC Conference, there were lots of tools and apps shared in a variety of sessions. During the Tech Share Live, The four prisoners shared some of their favorites. In this episode, I have picked four of them that are super interesting to me!
When is the best time to do analytical work? Or administrative tasks? Or insight work? In his book When -- and in his keynote address at the FETC Conference -- author Dan Pink shared what science knows about how to optimize our day. There are fascinating takeaways from it for the classroom and for our daily lives.
Timing is important in so much that we do in schools, whether it's the start of the school day or when we do different types of academic work. In his keynote at the FETC conference, author Dan Pink shared how schools and education can make better decisions on when to do certain things in schools. his insights were fascinating, and I share a few of them in today's episode.
When designing our learning spaces, many times we think about going to Pinterest before we think about turning to research. In today's episode, The Space co-author Bob Dillon shares some practical things you can start doing right away to optimize your classroom for solid student learning.
If you use Google tools very often, you are probably familiar with the feature to make a copy. You can find it under the file menu. In Google Slides, there's a new feature. Make a copy of a slide presentation and only take the slides with you that you need. In today's episode, we hear how to do it and how you might be able to use it.
We all know the importance of building those close relationships with our students. But did you know that being close in proximity helps us develop relationships too? Neuroscience tells us that being in personal space, between two and four feet from a person, can help us develop relationships. How often do we take the time to communicate with our students on that personal level?
Flipgrid lets students respond to a topic or a prompt with a short video clip. Many times, teachers simply ask a question And have students respond to it. What if students recorded those video responses with a new twist? How can we look at those video responses through a different lens that lets students play a different part? I have a couple of ideas you can try!
Lots of teachers have seen great success with gamification. they incorporate the elements of games into their classrooms. If you haven't tried this and are thinking about it, you might be overwhelmed with getting started. You might worry that you don't have all of the pieces in place. In her book, Make Learning Magical, Tisha Richmond offers these two tips to encourage you to give it a try anyway.
It's so easy to get distracted by small tasks ... The kind of things that don't move the needle in the right direction in our lives. For me, that means emails, social media, meetings, and other things. It's important to keep the first thing as the first thing. This quote that I share in today's episode really reminded me to keep my priorities straight.
Have you heard some of the buzz about augmented reality and virtual reality? they are starting to make more and more of a presence in the classroom. During the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit, Jaime Donally shared some of her favorite apps and ideas for using augmented reality and virtual reality. In this episode, I share some of her suggestions so you can check them out yourself!
If you need to create quick tutorials or instructions for students or parents, You definitely need to check out Iorad. This app creates tutorials on the web, not as a video, so the creation process is really fast and it isn't as data intensive. Use these to give students differentiated instructions for activities and even to share with parents too.
When we only ask students a select few questions on a quiz or a test, it can lead to a game of gotcha. It's almost like we say, gotcha! I figured out what you didn't know! Instead, how can we create assessments that encourage students to show us what they know? in the last episode, I shared a couple of strategies to use. Today, I share two more.
When we give traditional quizzes and tests, it's easy to play a game of gotcha with students. By asking only a select few questions, we are penalizing students for what we caught them not knowing. Instead, we could be empowering them to show us what they do know. In this episode, I'll share a couple of strategies for making that shift on your assessments.
Memes have become so commonplace in social media and online. They can be a great learning tool! They can help students find the essence of what they're learning, expressing it with brevity and a bit of humor. Learn how to help students make memes quickly and easily using Google Drawings. This idea was shared in my presentation in the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit (DitchSummit.com).
Don't just teach a lesson. Create an experience! When I read that line in Dave Burgess's book, Teach Like a Pirate, it changed the way that I would teach. I started thinking about ways to teach that way with technology and the list grew and grew. This spring, I will release my newest book, Tech Like a Pirate, with tons of ideas you can use in class tomorrow!
Is your Google classroom a mess? Wish it could be more organized? there are a couple simple strategies you can use to take control! Your students will thank you when they can find what they need quickly.
do you ever stop to think about your big wins? You know, the things that have gone really well over the last day, week, or month? or the last semester? Or your entire career? It's so easy to get wrapped up in our to do list and think about what we haven't accomplished instead of what we have.
in a presentation during the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit, Toney Jackson talked about using rap, poetry, and hip hop in his classes. He encourages his students to have a creative outlet, and he does that purposefully through the culture he is creating in his classroom. Have you thought about the kind of culture that you are creating in your own classroom?
You may have noticed at the beginning of every episode that I mention that I'm a member of the Education Podcast Network. The EPN is a great resource full of great educational podcasts to check out. there's a huge variety of topics, and I'm sure there's something that will be right for you. In today's episode, I talk about some of the great shows in the network.
I learned so much from listening to podcasts. I can listen to them while I'm working out, while I'm on the road, or while I'm mowing the grass. There are so many great educational podcasts out there! I wanted to share a handful of my favorites in case you wanted to subscribe and listen to them as well.
Sometimes, teachers who are reluctant to use technology don't know where to start. We know that we don't want to Substitute what we used to do with a digital version of the exact same thing. Learning doesn't improve that way. However, we can take an activity those teachers are comfortable with and do a tech upgrade. In this episode, I talk about an example of a tech upgrade -- multimedia interactive posters with Google Drawings.
I'm a big fan of taking notes on paper notebooks. I have used a variety of digital note-taking apps. However, this one app is changing my mind about how I take notes and keep them organized. That app is OneNote (OneNote.com). It's available for free. Plus, the ability to draw freehand with a stylus or pen is fantastic.
The Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit is a free online conference for teachers. Watch inspiring, practical videos. Get certificates for PD credit. In this episode, you'll get to know the speakers in the summit! Register: ditchsummit.com
When you're a student, it's tough to things at once -- like listen to a teacher and take notes. You can't give your full attention to either one. with the practice of retrieve taking, students give their undivided attention to listening and then give their full attention to taking notes. It's an idea from the book Powerful Teaching that will be featured in the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit. Register at DitchSummit.com.
Sometimes, it's nice for students to be able to without an internet connection. when they are at home or on the bus or somewhere else that doesn't have Wi-Fi, this is where offline access is really valuable. This is especially timely in Indiana, where I live, because of e-learning days for snow cancellations. Here about some options for offline access in this episode!
Google Earth calls itself the world's most detailed globe. It lets you look digitally at 3D maps, zooming in and out and gathering information. To this point, it has been largely a consumption tool. However, with the new creation tools, students can now create with Google Earth. You'll hear all the details and how you can use them in class in today's episode!
It's an online conference for teachers, Netflix style! The Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit brings you dozens of fascinating video presentations. Earn professional development credits for watching them. And do it all from the comfort of your couch in your pajamas! December 21st through January 9th. Register: ditchsummit.com
Coding and computer science are skills that are in demand in the workforce now. Want to encourage your students to learn more about them? The Hour of Code is an excellent opportunity! It takes place December 9th through the 15th, 2019.
We used to use cassette tapes to record our favorite songs on "mixtapes" that we'd listen to over and over again. (At least I did.) Instructional coach Stephanie DeMichele suggests that we "mixtape" our instruction! She offers a framework for doing it, too.
Drive the same route to school for a while and you'll do it on autopilot. Why? It's easier on your brain that way. It can ignore what it's doing. That's "repetition suppression": you ignore what you do repeatedly. This isn't a good thing in the classroom. We don't want students to ignore. This makes the case for novelty!
Until Sept. 21, 2018, eight FANTASTIC video presentations are available at DitchSummit.com! You'll get practical ideas and inspiration from all of the presenters. But don't worry if you miss it. There's a Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit every December. Head to DitchSummit.com to sign up for updates so you don't miss it!
When we're teaching or presenting, we get in a state of speaking flow. The ideas are coming and we're spitting them out. But many times, we're moving faster than our listeners can process. A pause is a breath of fresh air and some mental processing time. It's powerful!
Students get bombarded by media and messaging all day long. Cell phones. Social media. Videos. And the communication that comes through all of them. How can they maintain a balance and live their best lives? Michigan educator Paul Murray has some suggestions.
Wow, 100 episodes! It's been a fun learning experience for me, and I hope it has been for you. I do a little reflection on the creation of this podcast and share three things I've learned from having created it. THANK YOU for being a listener and being on this journey with me. Here's to 100 more episodes -- and more!
Google Classroom lets teachers customize their students' learning experiences. But what are the best ways to do that? Michigan teacher Jacqueline Pora (@lasenorapora) shares several clever Google Classroom differentiation ideas that she uses in her class!
Good teaching practices should be at the heart of what we do, and it's definitely at the heart of the HyperDocs framework. Sean Fahey (@SEANJFAHEY) and Karly Moura (@KarlyMoura) took that powerful framework and shared examples of how it could be spread to many areas of instruction with digital tools. Check it out!
When learning is addictive, kids want to come back for more, says Brian Romero Smith Sr. (@brianrsmithsr). But how do we create that addictive learning environment? It all comes down to a few things, Brian says, and he shares them in this episode.
One of our most powerful tools as teachers is silence. It can reclaim students' attention. It can give students space to think. Sometimes, we just don't think of it -- or don't realize its potential. Iowa educator Shaelynn Farnsworth (@shfarnsworth) and I discuss.
Flipgrid, the video response tool, is now totally free for anyone. And recently, lots of new features became available. In this episode, we'll outline some of them so you'll be ready to start using them this school year!
Are traditional exams -- especially standard multiple-choice ones -- serving our students? Can we do better? Stephanie DeMichele, an instructional coach from Ohio, and I presented on this concept at a conference recently and share some ideas from it.
Did you ever spend time catching fireflies (or "lightning bugs") as a child? Author Troy Cockrum believes that learning should be more like that, where we capture our students' interests. He talks about the ideas he shares in his recent book.