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.
We usually use sticky notes in the physical world to gather and save ideas. But by smashing the Post-It app and Google Drawings together, your students can do some unique digital brainstorming. Kelli Lane, a tech integration specialist from Illinois, shares how.
Quizizz is a fun, student-centered study tool. Many teachers use it to help students review material they've studied. But other teachers are innovating and using Quizizz in very clever ways. Deepak Cheenath, co-founder of Quizizz, shares some ideas.
Sarah Kearns has spent her entire career in the corporate world, now working as Director of Marketing for ViewSonic. Her perspective helps us see what the work world really wants from students and how we can help prepare them for it.
Missouri administrator Lance McClard and I participated in a panel discussion at the ISTE Conference in Chicago. Lance shares some of his takeaways and his responses to questions, including: "What happens when everything blows up in your face?"
What if your students could partner with organizations outside of school? If they could brainstorm solutions to big problems together? Sidekick Education is making that happen. Sarah Shaw shares how all sorts of classes are starting these projects.
Kahoot! games don't have to be limited to the students in your classroom. Steve Auslander (of Indiana, USA) and Steve Sherman (of Cape Town, South Africa) share how a video call can turn your traditional Kahoot! game into a "Connected Kahoot!" game.
The first person to set foot on Mars has likely been born, and there's a chance that she/he is in your classroom. What will that person need as a student, and how do we need to change as educators/schools to provide it? Rachael Mann, author of The Martians in Your Classroom, shares ideas from her book.
One of the coolest professional learning experiences I've seen was at a zoo. We did PD at a ZOO. I got to reflect with Kari Espin and Andi McNair of Region 12 ESC in Waco, Texas, about the experience and how classes/schools could do the same.
I found an amazing way to merge student art and creations with augmented reality at a recent visit to Region 12 educational service center in Waco, Texas. We talk about how it could be used in schools and the classroom.
Google recently announced that teachers could impose "locked mode" when giving students quizzes in Google Forms. This prevents students from switching to other tabs while taking a quiz. Lots of teachers certainly asked for this feature, and I can imagine why. But it feels like a move that moves us in the wrong direction heading into the future of education.
Mike Pennington learned early in his education career that instruction isn't limited to the teacher standing in the classroom. He shares how he co-taught with teachers beyond his state -- and how YOU can too!
Animated GIFs are these fun, very useful moving images you see all over social media. But you can make your own -- so can your students -- and they can support teaching and learning! Jake Miller shares his expertise in this episode.
Todd Shriver teaches the "History of the 80s" elective class. There are no textbooks available for that class! He brings the luminaries of the 80s to his students. My takeaway from this episode: you never know who you can get until you ask!
Teachers can be hesitant to let students provide each other feedback. We can't control what they'll say and it takes effort to coach them to do it well. But student feedback is POWERFUL and we should consider all the potential benefits.
It's easy to let ourselves slip, to express our frustration to students (and colleagues) in not so helpful ways. A study shows the negative effects of this and suggests some corrections to help. It's a great reminder.
What can students do when they've learned about civilizations all over the world? How about create their OWN country in a world created by the class? Texas social studies teacher Ben Lewis caps off his year with this project. Even if you don't teach social studies, this is an inspiring project.
Alexis Crutchfield, Katrina Yang and Brittany Bondy are believers in Seesaw, a platform for student digital portfolios and parent communications. Hear how these teachers use it in their classes at Sampson Elementary School in Cypress, Texas.
Genius Hour can put a spark in your class, giving students opportunities to pursue their passions. Fourth-grade teachers Kayla Swonke (Twitter: @kaylaswonke) and Lyndsey Kubos (Twitter: @lyndseykubos) share some ideas and lessons from implementing it in their classrooms.
Our why focuses our lives. It's our reason for being. It's easy to lose sight of our why, and many times, our why changes over time. What's your why, and how has it changed over time? It's big questions like these that we tackle in this video: http://ditchthattextbook.com/part3
Google's machine learning is improving lots of its products. Now, it can help us create multiple-choice questions without brainstorming incorrect answers. See how these smarter Google Forms can make your life easier.
Repetitions help students make new concepts permanent. But mindless repetitions are a lot of action without great results. But creating engaging repetitions can make for sticky learning! Learn more about this in the video at http://DitchThatTextbook.com/part2.
How can we incorporate more passion-driven learning and more hands-on projects into our classes? I found this advice from Don Wettrick (@DonWettrick on Twitter). It's a framework for crafting our classes. It's an interesting take and one that could have HUGE benefits.
When we let too many digital tools into the classroom, it can be overwhelming for students. And tech overwhelm is DEFINITELY an issue for teachers. Can we find ways to do new things with the tech students are already comfortable with?
Our students have their favorite websites, apps and digital tools. We don't have to require them to use those apps/sites to get the same experience in class. Recreate the experience without the app! This is one idea from a free video series I'm doing in May. More details: DitchThatTextbook.com/series
I've stumbled upon a new digital assessment/review tool that shows promise. It's like Kahoot with a store where students can buy power-ups to use in the game. It's called GimKit (gimkit.com). The free version is limited, but it's definitely worth checking out.
At the end of the school year, it's the perfect time to take stock of what's working and think about different ways of teaching in the future. I talked about this idea on Classroom 2.0 LIVE, a weekly web show at http://live.classroom20.com. Check this one out as well as future episodes!
TED Talks have inspired millions. How can they influence our classes? Rachael Mann of Teach Like TED talks about how we can empower student voice and help students express their ideas and their learning more effectively.
Some of the fundamentals of computer programming / coding, like if/then statements and logic, are likely already present in your class. By identifying them and changing how you talk about them, you may be able to highlight coding in class without changing much. Code Breaker author Brian Aspinall discusses that and more in this show.
When we switch our teaching from traditional means to the online world without making modifications, we miss out on the greatest parts of digital instruction. Michele Eaton shares how to make the most of it.
This quote by Haim Ginott had a HUGE impact on me as a young educator. It still speaks to me today. At the end of the school year, it's something we have to keep in mind. We have ENORMOUS power on the climate of our own classrooms.
I (Matt) didn't major in education in college. It was journalism. I worked several journalism jobs before becoming a teacher. I wouldn't change it, though. Here are some great skills I learned from the journalism world that helped me as a teacher.
It's happened to all of us. A lesson is going great and ONE kid is spacing out -- OR giving you the death stare. That student is all we can think about afterward. Remember that ONE disconnected student doesn't mean failure in teaching.
Inquiry is a great way to help students own their learning and learn how to pursue their curiosity. KQED Learn is a platform that's set up for students to start exploring, discovering and sharing. It's free and it's ready for you to use immediately!
I was inspired by a story in the book "The Wild Card" by Hope and Wade King where a student had lunch with different groups of students for an entire month. How could that have a great impact on your relationships with students?
Do you struggle with students creating naughty nicknames in Kahoot! games? Kahoot! has created a new feature to eliminate the temptation of typing a naughty nickname. Check it out and see if it's a good fit for your class.
Student voice is a hot topic in education right now. But how can you give students that microphone in an authentic, doable way? Andrew Fenstermaker and his fifth-grade students show you how! Twitter: @a_fenstermaker
Sketchnoting (or visual notetaking) is a very brain-friendly way of learning ... and it's TONS of fun! Hone your sketchnoting skills (and introduce it to your students) with #Sketch50! Check it out at sketch50.org or the #sketch50 hashtag on Twitter.
The band OK GO has the coolest music videos! There's a lot of math and science behind these videos. They have recently created a fantastic resource for the classroom to help you inspire students academically with their music videos: OKGOsandbox.org.
Students that use Google Classroom are greeted by header images every time they log in. Create your own custom Google Classroom header image. To give it some added flair, use animated GIF images to make it move! Hat-tip to Paul West (@pdubyatech on Twitter).
March Madness and the men's college basketball tournament has people all over the United States buzzing with excitement. How can we use brackets to carry that excitement over into the classroom? Check out Brackify.com as a free digital tool to use.
How can hip hop influence and inspire students at a middle school in Bronx, NY? The effects can be farther-reaching than you might think. Listen as a principal, musician and filmmaker combine to influence student lives. More info: casadocumentary.com.
Augmented reality and virtual reality are becoming a reality for classrooms. Mike Drezek shares some cool ways teachers can start incorporating this cutting-edge technology in class for little to no money. (Mike's Twitter: @m_drez)
Genny Kahlweiss's students sent a flag to a research station in Antarctica, where it was flown for three days. They video chatted with scientists and named penguins. How cool! How did she do it? She shares how YOU could do these things, too! (Genny's Twitter: @kahlweiss)
Flipgrid's short video response platform has taken the education world by storm. What are some of the coolest ways teachers are using it? Flipgrid's Joey Taralson and Adam Parker-Goldberg share some ideas!
Branding isn't about making money and being famous. It's about sharing your story and letting people know what you stand for. Ben Cogswell and Josh Harris share how students and schools can benefit from a little branding.
March Madness is upon us, and America will be watching lots of college basketball. How can we use this in the classroom? Dave Burgess, author of Teach Like a PIRATE, shares some ideas you can start using right away. (Dave's Twitter: @burgessdave)
There's a trough in our thinking abilities in the afternoon. It can have a profound effect: as much as having a couple alcoholic drinks. How can we position students to succeed -- in class and on standardized tests?
With online documents and slides, we often stick to the status quo for size. If certain work isn't going to be printed -- or displayed on a projector -- why do we keep it in traditional letter size? Here's a case for rethinking our digital working spaces.
How to Fix the Future is a book by Andrew Keen, a self-proclaimed Internet pessimist. He's written five books about how destructive technology has been to our lives, but this book is an optimistic one about how we can act more responsibly for a brighter digital future. It's a great fit if you use or talk about technology in your classroom and/or personal life. (I think that covers most of us ...)
I believe in voice typing! Also called dictation, it's when you speak and your device converts it to text. It's SO much faster than typing with your fingers (or thumbs). Imagine what you could do if you got through your emails or other work just a little faster ...
Twitter is the BEST thing that happened to my teaching career. It really saved it. However, there's a balance to be maintained, and if we're careful, Twitter (and other social media) can consume our lives instead of help them.
GIFs are super fun. They're those moving image files you see all over social media. There's this fun tool you can use to record your own animated GIFs with your webcam. Add them to student work for feedback, to a class website, to Google files ... almost anywhere!
So often, we encourage students to study by putting info into their brains by re-reading notes and chapters. But brain science tells us it's more effective if we study by pulling info FROM our brains. A great strategy for this is the digital brain dump.
Podcasting is a growing medium. It let's you learn by listening -- consume content -- while doing something else. Students can share learning with an authentic audience by creating a free podcast. Learn how!
Google Drawings is a great tool to help teachers and students create eye catching images digitally. There are some cool tricks to it that you might not know. In this episode, we cover some of them. You won't want to miss it!
Padlet, the web tool that lets you add digital sticky notes to a virtual bulletin board, has been around for a long time. But with new features -- take pictures, record video, and more -- there's more to love than ever. If you haven't checked it out recently, it's worth looking at!
I'm so excited to start this podcast! My goal is to equip, inform and inspire educators five days a week. In this episode, I will tell you what to expect from this show and tell you a little about myself.