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1 iPad, No problem! Try Google Expeditions!

The 1 iPad classroom can be confusing to teachers, which I understand. You have 1 device and X number of students. VR in education is also a confusing thing for some people. Which I also understand. It's a confusing, futurist scenario that can seem like kids playing on a device.  However, putting them together just makes sense! Allow me to explain myself.

Google Expeditions is a VR experience that allows you the opportunities to drop yourself just about anywhere around the globe in order to have rich experience exploring! We've been talking about teleportation since the advent of The Jetsons and Expeditions seems as close as we've gotten so far! 

In fact, look at all the experiences and places you can transport yourself to with Google Expeditions! This spreadsheet link gives you a list of Expedition locations, their correlating panoramas that you can stop at, along with possible lesson materials. Each expedition has interactive overlays that will allow you or your students t…

New Schoology Assessments Series: Multiple Choice

The new Schoology Assessments tool was released on Sept. 20, 2017, and it has so many great features held within it! I want to take the time to highlight some of the key transformative features that you'll see in each of the question types in Assessments.

Let's start with a common question type: Multiple Choice

First, you can make standard Multiple Choice questions that will automatically grade, but that could be pretty boring! You can step up your game a few different ways!
Use the Rich Text Editor which appears when you click into the field to apply formatting such as bold and italics, or to insert images or tables. Hover your mouse over the individual icons to view the tooltip explaining the function of each button.
You can also add Distractor Rationale feedback, which will give a learner and you insight into why the answer that was chosen was incorrect. Check Distractor Rationale under the Options to add rationales to each answer option. This is not a student feedback featur…

Time is Precious, Lesson Plan for Multiple Purposes

We all dread the four letter word of education: TIME! I want to talk a little today about how you can get more out of your time with your kids, how to plan to hit multiple skills and domains at once.

This post is the start of a series of posts that I have in mind, on how you can multiply the number of skills that you are working on with your kids as you plan for lessons. I am going to make a few assumptions:
You believe that you are teacher of the whole child, not just your content area. (If you don't believe this please take some time to evaluate your position!)You believe that all skills, like content, can and should be taught. It is our job to teach these skills in school, for example the 4 Cs (you know the 4 Cs, right? 😏, just in case they are listed below.)CommunicationCollaborationCritical ThinkingCreation Let's say you want your kids to do a research project. When lesson planning you could simply through a rubric together or find one online, hand it out to the kids, and…

Blogging and Growth Mindset, More Connected Than You Think.

This morning has been about Growth Mindset and blogging. The two go hand in hand... stick with me.

Growth Mindset is all about the idea that we do not contain a fixed set of abilities, talents, and intelligences. Growth Mindset is really the idea that we can develop abilities, talents, and intelligences by dedicating time to solid and mindful practice.

Blogging is all about developing the ability to create a voice as a writer, content to share, putting together a message that connects with others, and connecting to others through the blog. Many of the things that take place through a blog do not happen overnight. You can start a blog and write your first post within minutes of each other, sure. It takes time to develop a voice, find your niché, evolve your interest, and most importantly connect with others that can embolden and/or challenge your potential.

Blogging and Growth Mindset have a huge place in education and can have a reciprocal relationship! This mindset and activity get o…

Classroom Benefits to Screencasting

Screencasting is the effort of recording your device's screen while narrating the actions taking place on the screen, similar to a think aloud while reading a book. Screencasting is a great way for you to transform your learning environment regardless of subject!
Benefits of Screencast: Frees you as the facilitator to guide learners that may need additional support or enhance content for those that need pushed!Could be used to flip the learning environment. Screencast the lesson ahead of time, post the video to the LMS, and have learners watch it the night before to come to class prepared for a project or class discussion. It can be used as a formative/summative assessment tool!It supports to the Rotational Model, mentioned in this post, as a portion of the Independent stations. You could have your learners create screencasts demonstrating their learning of a process, making their learning visible to you and the other learners within the class!We can also reach that Redefinition l…

Rotational Model of Hybrid Learning

In my local IU there has been a lot of discussion about the Rotational Model of Hybrid Instruction. I like the model! In this model the class is split within three groups, helping to differentiate for individual needs, where there are 3 stations within the classroom: Teacher Led, Collaboration station, and Independent Work station. Here is a fantastic EdSurge article on the model. It's also outlined in the video below. 



I came across an article on the model that I liked which provides additional options for the the rotational model on top of the Teacher Led/Collaboration/Independent. You can find the article at this link. 

I like that the additional models discussed in the article, such as the “Lab Rotation” may be able to meet additional needs that some learners have such as need for repeated exposure or hearing topics in more than one way, as well as possibility for assessment within the rotation. 


Let’s say you use the Lab Rotation model for a day, a learner that requires multiple…

Student Engagement

There are so many ways and tools out there right now that aim to increase student engagement during a lesson, of course the topic and content have to be high quality for any of them to even stand a chance of working! Below I'll outline a few different tools that can assist with student engagement, once you've got the relationships with kids and content in place.

Google Slides Q & A:

When you start your next slide presentation, consider using Google Slides with the new(ish) Q & A feature. Google has baked a back channel directly in to your Google Slides, which can be used as collaborative notes, a parking lot, or just a space for learners to put their questions while you are presenting. Once the Q & A has be used you can choose to keep the back channel when doing your next presentation or begin a new one! It's a great way to produce conversations around the topic you are presenting!

EdPuzzle: If you don't like the traditional slides approach to presenting and …

Bringing it all together

I know most of you have likely seen the graphic of coffee and SAMR, created by Kathy Schrock, that is widely circulated around the internet. I've decided to put my own spin on the concept. I love music, as well as coffee, but I think the analogy below is apt for what technology can do for classrooms and has also done for the music industry. (I should also mention that I happen to love and collect analog music, especially vinyl, so no hate in the comments about the comeback of analog music. I am single-handedly trying to buy enough records to make the comeback myself!)

We are currently in the renaissance of doing the work of changing school to a customized, personalized space just like as the music industry has evolved over the course of years past. A playlist is a great analogy for how things could look for our kids in the future of schools. The ability to pick and choose courses based on competencies vs prescribed tracks as we've seen in the past is a real possibility. Accele…

Blogs as Learning Portfolios

This week I had the privilege of attending the Mid-Atlantic Personalize Learning Conference. There were a lot of inspiring people doing great things for kids and adults in their learning environment one of which was the amazing George Couros, which performed Wednesday's Keynote and a breakout session. Below is one of George's TED talks for your enjoyment:


During his breakout session George talked about helping our kids (and ourselves) create a positive digital footprint. He noted that as the person in charge of hiring for his district that if an applicant didn't have a positive digital footprint they went in the piles of applications he would NOT consider for the job. This is a critical learning for all educators because if we aren't helping our kids create that positive digital footprint we are leaving it up to chance that all our and our learner's hard work will reach it's potential. I don't know about you, but I don't like to leave things up to chanc…

The Magic is in the teacher's implementation, not the tool.

A point that I keep coming back to often right now is technology doesn't make learning happen. Technology doesn't make learning better; inherently anyway. Technology doesn't in and of itself motivate kids.

It's what the facilitator in the room does with the technology that makes learning happen.  It's what the facilitator in the room does with the technology that makes learning better: more authentic and engaging. It's what the facilitator in the room does with the technology that makes activities more motivating.

Images like the one below are meant to depict that there is a relationship between your implementation of a technology gauged by SAMR and the learning taking place as gauged by Bloom's Taxonomy. What people in the #edtech field know is that images like this one are often taken as: If I use X app, I'll be in the Modification stage of SAMR and my principal said I should be above the transformation line, so I'll use X app and be good! Nope! S…

Video: A Most Powerful Tool for Schools

This week's Tech. Tip Friday comes in the form of an Edutopia article on the use of audio and video in the classroom to help you and learners customize the learning experience that is appropriate for them. The article describes how three different Tech. Integrators implement video into their schools use of technology to help customize learning pace for kids! 

Video really is a game changer in how it can help our kids learn. Whether you make the videos yourself, pull them from sources available online, or a mixture of the two, video allows kids to pace their own learning, 24/7 access to the content and your teaching. When you add in the use of tools like EdPuzzle(the one below is from Nina Gore on EdPuzzle.com)



PlayPosit, or Google Video Formsthe possibilities for learning become even greater, because you gain insight in to just what the learners did and did not grasp! 


Below is an example of a Google Video Form, feel free to participate if you'd like to see what it's like f…

Quizalize your next Assessment

Quizalize combines two critical components to a learning experience: Formative Assessment and Collaboration.



Quizalize assessment games can be used to assess learning of any topic, spiral review topics, or create differentiated games that assess learning.



(Thanks to Richard Byrne from http://www.freetech4teachers.com/ for creating the above video!)
Each Quizalize game offers you individual learner feedback as well as collaborative team results. You can even play a collaborative game of basketball! It can be a reward alternative for your next formative assessment!