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.

Closer or Further Away

Some folks make resolutions.

I just ask myself: ‘Will this get you closer to, or take you further away from, your goals?’ If it gets me closer, I do that thing. If it takes me further away, I don’t do that thing. It makes a lot of decisions easier.

How the Heck Do You Grade Choice-Based Learning?

Portfolio approaches to grading allow for students to own their learning to a greater degree. If this fits for your classroom/school, I highly recommend trying some of the advice found here.

The Personalized Learning Toolkit – EdSurge Guides

If you are looking for research and exemplars in the area of Personalized Learning, look no further than this guide from EdSurge. Find your entry point!

Bringing digital citizenship into the school curriculum

As we look to be our better selves on the internet in 2018, it is good to have a strong curriculum to guide us (and our students). The Be Internet Awesome digital citizenship curriculum for students & the accompanying teacher training course are great.

Must

There are 2 types of ‘must’ experiences. The first is where you are forced by someone else to do something (i.e., ‘You must’). The second is where you feel compelled to do it for your own reasons (i.e., ‘I must’). How many ‘I must’ moments are you having?

Using Picture Books in the Middle School Classroom

Picture books are an content incredible resource that isn’t just for elementary classrooms. Find out more from one of our favorite educators who blogs about her practice regularly.

Storify Bites the Dust. If You Have WordPress, You Don’t Need Another Third Party Clown Service

Many folks have used Storify to capture tweets and other social media for professional learning and working with content in classrooms. Now that Storify is going away, here is a good alternative and discussion of how to choose tools wisely.

Using Google Keep for Grading Comments in Docs

Google Keep is one of the most under utilized apps in the G Suite, but this is a great way to start incorporating it into your student feedback workflow!

Twice

When I taught in a middle school with only 7th and 8th graders, I realized that doing something one year made it an experiment and doing something two years in a row made it a tradition. What are your 2 year traditions?

Educational Leadership:Getting Personalization Right:Student Engagement: Key to Personalized Learning

ELL students needs personalization as much (if not more) than all of our other students. Here is a great set of resources for doing just that!

11 Great EdTech Podcasts

There are so many amazing educator podcasts out there, and these are just a few. If you haven’t gotten into listening to podcasts just yet, this might be your chance.

Google Document URL Tricks

Sometimes you need a Google Document to act like a PDF, or you need to make a copy for a bunch of people in a PD session, or you need to use it as a template. Well, with a few modifications to the link, you can!

Courage

We must share our courage with others, in our schools and in our lives. The stories of when we stand up for what we believe and start (and continue) to build the things our kids deserve. How can we best wear our courage on our sleeves?

The Art of Reflection

Student Portfolios (particularly those aided by digital spaces for collecting work) are an essential part of our modern classrooms because of their emphasis on Reflection and self-assessing progress. That doesn’t mean they are easy… Here are some tips.

Micro-credentials Symposium

Making sure Professional Learning is more about outcomes than seat time is a huge part of how we embrace Personalization for adults. This symposium brought together resources and people to help make that a reality!

How A Deregulated Internet Could Hurt America’s Classrooms

Today, the FCC voted to end Net Neutrality. Here is how it might impact our classrooms and schools.

Surprise

You can tell a lot about someone by how they deal with surprise. Do they fear it, hoping for a return to ‘normal.’ Or, do they embrace it and see the wonder in what new opportunities lay ahead?

When was the last time you were truly surprised?

Why Student Data Should Be Students’ Data

When kids track their own data and understand where they are in their learning, two things happen. First, the culture changes to be more student-centered. Second, assessments become useful to kids and teachers alike.

Ten Creative Alternatives to Showing Movies Before the Break

There are so many amazing ways to learn in the days between Thanksgiving and Winter Break. Here are just a few from one of my favorite educators.

Google Chrome’s remote desktop tool is now available on the web in beta

 If you have ever wanted to remotely use another computer or Chromebook, including from your phone/tablet, you can use this Google tool. It has now been updated to be even simpler to use because it is now on the web!