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!

Decisions

Some decisions bring us closer to our goals and some take us further away from them. Reflection and time are the only two ways I know to know which is which.

Professional Development: Focusing on Student Choice

Great illustration of the differences between differentiation, personalization, and empowered learning. And, it all is in an effort to answer this single compelling question: ‘What decisions am I making for students that they could make for themselves?’

Embed HTML and JavaScript in the new Google Sites

In a huge update to the New Google Sites, you can now include dynamic information from other sources (including Twitter, iFrame websites, and data dashboards).

Leading News Outlets Establish Transparency Standards to Help Readers Identify Trustworthy News Sources

 In order for our students to become true digital citizens, we must seek out resources to support them in knowing how to determine trustworthy information online. This is one extremely compelling project that helps in this effort.

Next

It is our job to prepare kids for what comes next. The unfortunate part is most of us can’t tell the future. Fortunately, though, the skill of thinking will never go out of style or be outmoded. Think for yourself, and model your thinking for/with kids.

Hour of Code

Create your own Google logo WITH CODE! This is a great Hour of Code project that you can do easily with kids, in any classroom.

Meet Remote for Google Slides, a new way to control your presentation slides

This is a great new resource for both student and teacher presentation in the classroom. Use your phone to view slide notes and advance slides!

Paper Signals by Isaac Blankensmith & Smooth Technology – Voice Experiments

Just click on ‘Launch Experiment’ to see how easy it is to make physical objects that can react to voice and triggers on the web. This is a great way to show the potential impact of coding in the real world!

Underneath

We don’t always know what is hiding underneath a question from our students (or from our colleagues, for that matter). We can’t always see the motive for inquiry, but we can support that inquiry no matter what. We can count all questions as genuine.

Tackling the ‘homework gap’ with the National AfterSchool Association

I really like thinking through how after school programs can be an integral part of our learning ecosystem, especially when it comes to digital skills and engagement.

PD, Planning and Tech Investment Are Integral to Blended Learning Success

Some of the conclusions in this report seem obvious (I.e., teachers need support!), but the advice for creating change is in our classrooms is more than welcome.

Easily add a site-wide footer in the new Google Sites

While it may be a minor update to some, the ability to have a consistent header on a Google Site is going to make things a lot easier for those using the tool for portfolios and classroom websites.

Do

There is a great deal of power in what you choose to do. Your actions show priorities and they show promises you are making to yourself and others. Our actions also tend to beg us to ask the highly reflective question, “What am I doing?”

Product vs. Process?

A short meditation on what approach we should take to prepare students for the “real world”.

Time for a refresh: meet the new Google Calendar for web

A most beautiful and super useful update has arrived for Google Calendar and it is available to all aurorak12.org accounts! Just click “Use New Calendar” and enjoy!

A ‘Roadmap’ to Implementing Micro-credentials

Strong advice for how to move forward with a professional Learning model based upon demonstrating skills rather than seat time.

Thanks

Giving thanks is not a measure of someone else’s worth. It is a measure of our own. The more that we give thanks, the more that we understand just how much others have done for us and how others have supported us in getting to where we are. Do it, always.

How to Force a Docs Copy WITH Pre-Loaded Comments to Help your Students

This is an amazing feature that can be used to support students with important links and resources to further learner opportunities.

Shouldn’t PD be more like kindergarten too? – Home

I really love the metaphor of PD as kindergarten. With all the choices, the collaboration, and the learning! Adult learners deserve all of these too.

Better tests don’t lead to better teaching, study finds

Some interesting findings on the value of teaching vs. test preparation. Great news for those who love impactful instruction and student engagement!

Braille

Sometimes you can feel the raised bumps of a message through the day. Telling you to move forward, to move faster. The divots and tiny mountains of understanding that we must listen to from others and from ourselves. They spread across our daily routines.

The Most Common Mistakes Teachers Make Trying to Manage Cellphones

What should we do about cell phones in the classroom? Ban them or use them? Hide them or let them stay on the tables? In this piece of advice, an educator talks through many different things that he has tried and exposes what has worked for him/others.

Collaborative Computing vs One to One

It is always good to look at alternative models to 1 device per student. This quick blog post has great resources for how to make instructional decisions about using devices in your classrooms and schools.

SeeSaw – The Making Thinking Visible Machine!

Having a go-to tool for making thinking visible in the classroom is incredibly helpful, both for setting up routines in you classroom/school as well as for empowering students to know something deeply rather than hopscotching from one thing to the next.

I’ve been so excited about the updates to Doctopus and Goobric over the last few weeks that I just had to post in…

I’ve been so excited about the updates to Doctopus and Goobric over the last few weeks that I just had to post in here!

Everything is working as expected, but I did want to ask about a feature that may or may not yet exist in the tool.

Is it possible for students to receive the text-based feedback in Goobric if the document they are getting feedback on is a Google Sheet? I know that you can have the text feedback (and the rubric scores) inserted into a Doc, but I don’t yet see any way of notifying students of a peer review or the comments if it is a spreadsheet. Is this possible?

The Wind

Sometimes wind is flying directly at our faces, making it hard to see ahead. Other times it is at our backs, making everything easier to move forward. Whatever way the wind is blowing, know there are people alongside you, locking arms and making progress.

Making Student Feedback Work

How can we listen to our students better, especially about what they want in their classrooms from teachers and learning experiences? This research helps to tell that narrative.

New languages now supported in Google Docs and Slides files, as well as Docs editors templates

Great news for our kids who need language support in our classrooms and schools! You can create templates in kids’ native languages and do better translation using Google Docs features.

K-12 Policy Updates: Mandatory Fall Reading for Every Education Entrepreneur – EdSurge News

Sometimes educational policy that affects our classrooms flies under the radar. This summary and analysis is an attempt at making sure that doesn’t happen.