Experience

I cannot give you my experience.

Rather, I can only be with you in your experiences, letting my past inform your future.

Pop Up Classroom – Classroom Design that Fosters Creativity and Agency

When students have ownership over their learning spaces, they’re much more likely to own the learning that happens there. This protocol, which has numerous examples from different grade levels, can help create new learning opportunities in our classrooms.

Oh yeah? Your face is Digital Citizenship! – Noah Geisel

In a current example of ‘giving away your privacy’, Noah Geisel explores the ways in which we trade our private information for something we want, whether frivolity or product access. It is a great lesson for both us and our students.

Stop Using the Label ‘Struggling Reader,’ Author Jacqueline Woodson Advises

I really appreciate this approach to the ever-changing nature of our skillsets. Struggle is not a constant state for our readers, writers, and promising mathematicians and scientists. It is a part of the process, on our way to becoming successful.

What are you reading?

There is no question that I find to be more telling about someone’s learning life than ‘What are you reading?’ If the answer is anything other than ‘nothing’, you have a recommendation. If the answer is ‘nothing’, you can make one of your own.

New ways to comment on Microsoft files (and more) in Google Drive

Some great news for folks who really like Microsoft Office files and/or PDFs, but would like to use Google Drive cloud storage. Commenting and collaboration for all!

10 Characteristics of Professional Learning that Inspires Learner-Centered Innovation

Teachers must experience personalized learning in their professional growth in order to support students with Personalization. Here are some amazing suggestions for how to make that happen in our PD.

‘Library Extension’ Helps You Find Books At Your Local Library While You Shop for Books Online

What if you could browse amazon and instantly find out if the book you are about to buy is available from your local library? What if you could use Amazon’s awesome recommendation engine to help kids find engaging ebooks from their library? You can.

The Crust

I often cut off the crust of my youngest son’s PB&J. I don’t do this for my two older children, though. At some point, they just got used to the rough edges and the more difficult texture, even coming to like the hard crust surrounding their meal.

How to Use YouTube Video Essays in the Classroom

Video essays provide for some of the most engaging content available, and they make for amazing multimedia assignments if you ask students to create their own. Check them out.

Three Ways to Add Audio to Google Slides

There are lots of reasons that you (or your students) might want to add audio to a slideshow. Check out three new ways of doing so with Google Slides!

An American Chromebook Crisis: new report shows sad trends of how students are using the devices

Chromebooks are now a pervasive technology in many of our classrooms. And yet, their use is not altogether transformative or particularly engaging in many cases. How do we ensure that low level math practice is not the full extent for using these tools?

Processing Time

We all need processing time, just some more than others. It is easy to move forward believing that everyone has had the processing time they need because you have had yours. But, it pays to provide more. It pays to listen to what others need.

Picademy North America

Become a Raspberry Pi certified educator right here in Denver! For the first time, these training opportunities are available outside the UK. Apply to be a part of the first US cohort for free!

Ben Forta | Blog

What wonderful news! Adobe Spark has always been a great resource for our kids (and for us) to create high quality visuals, especially those involving text and persuasion. The premium features will now be free and students can login with Google.

What’s Your Priority? Passion or Proficiency

Clearly it is not one or the other, but I do think it is worth considering your priorities for Passion and Proficiency within your classroom or school.

Render

There is a time between when you are done with a project and when it sees the light of day. For video, the last step is for the video to be ‘rendered’ so that it can be shared and played. Too often, we get stuck editing and rendering, and never sharing.

HyperDrawings: Creating AMAZING Flipped and Blended Learning Activities for Math Class.

Google drawings is finally starting to get the respect it deserves as a power tool for student engagement and content creation. Check out this activity structure to see more!

You and that Darn Flip-A-Grid Thing!!!

I love the authenticity of this teacher’s voice as she is describing the ways in which Flipgrid (and tools like it) can lead to more student voice in the classroom.

Please stop delivering content (and stop saying ‘AI’ while you are at it)

A rather raw reflection on the notion that we must use our classrooms for delivering content to students or that technology is/should be helping us to deliver content better, faster, or more efficiently.

Surprise

I am surprised often. By others, and even by myself.

Mostly this is because my expectations are a few degrees off (or massively). I am surprised each time, and I chuckle to myself that I should probably have predicted behavior different. But I don’t.

Laptops And Phones In The Classroom: Yea, Nay Or A Third Way?

We are still engaged in this debate about devices in the classroom, at all levels. But, knowing why you believe they should or should not be there is probably more important than just believing it. See what others think here!

FERPA Ruling Provides Privacy Advocates and Educators with Clearer Interpretation of Rights – EdSurge News

This conversation about student data privacy will continue to expand in importance. Fortunately, we are moving forward with more guidance and understanding.

The Why and The Way of Inquiry and PBL

In this podcast episode and article, Barbara Bray interviews and expands upon ideas of PBL from Ross Cooper. I particularly like the discussion of how teachers can create a space that promotes risk taking.

Coffee

I didn’t know how to make coffee when I first started teaching. Another, more experienced teacher, had to show me how. I learned a lot of life skills from those who came before me, not the least of which was how to make strong (and essential) coffee.

16 Ideas for Student Projects using Google Docs, Slides, and Forms

Sometimes you just need to see how others have used a tool or process to great success in their classroom. Sometimes that is all it takes to unloose a torrent of ideas for your own classroom or school. Have at them.

Student Ownership Over the Making Process

How can students make things that matter to them? One way is to give them ownership of the process. This article tackles the topic head on!

5 Ways to Link to Parts of Google Docs

The transformative idea of the internet is the hyperlink. With it, you can link two ideas, two people, or simply two parts of a document together. Here are some great suggestions for how to use the internal linking of Google Docs to create great things!

Doors

Sometimes it is hard to know which side of the door has the lock. Are we being locked out of something or being locked in? And, sometimes it is just easier to take the lock off entirely and leave the door open.

Building Trust with Challenging Conversations

This article is so honest about how difficult some educator conversations can be, and I appreciate the measured approach advocated for here. We can and should build trust through these conversations, and we should also learn from each one.

Here’s An Innovative Idea: Give Students A Say In Teaching

One of my favorite educators, Dan Sharpe, is the lead in this article about how many schools in the metro area are providing more student agency and ownership. While no school is perfect, knowing that there are educators making progress is encouraging.

The Friday Institute Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Online Course for Students

This student course is all about finding out what kind of learner you are and better advocating for your own personalized learning needs. What an amazing opportunity!

Read More

Whenever I find myself too focused upon the struggles of my working or waking life, I know that one sure fire way to process them is to read more. No matter what I read, making meaning of words helps me make meaning of so much else.

If You Struggle With the Implementation, Revisit the Why

This is a great story for really understanding the purpose of using digital tools rather than focusing on the tools themselves. And, even if you know ‘the why’ it is important for you to learn how to revisit it with others on your team.

Our 17 favorite education moments from 2017

Many folks made huge contributions to learning in 2017, not the least of which was the educational exploits of Google. Some great research and digital citizenship projects went live last year!

Google Forms + Certify’Em = Custom Certificates for Students!

Although not quite as strong as implementing digital badges in the classroom, this might be a great step for helping kids (and adults) to understand the value of demonstrating their learning through digital means.

Does your phone make you happy?

I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. It both connects me to the world and distracts me from it. So, I decided to do something about it. I uninstalled apps that don’t make me ‘happy.’ I went from over 200 apps, to 50. Which apps could you delete?

Why ‘Unlearning’ Old Habits Is An Essential Step For Innovation

What was the last thing that you unlearned? This article makes the case for providing yourself with time to reflect upon what you might need to let go of to move forward. Great time to do it!

30 Free Google Drawings Graphic Organizers

I’m a huge fan of both Graphic Organizers (for organizing both kid and adult thinking!) and Google Drawings. This is the best of both worlds.

Clearer picture of what hurts kids online, globally: Research

Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship is more than just stopping kids from cyberbullying. Research confirms that our children need us now more than ever to protect and educate.