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01 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

10 great obscure Google tricks for school, life

Google is such a behemoth. It’s next to impossible to count all of the apps it has produced, let alone all of the extra services and goodies that hide within its catacombs. Google has a unique work atmosphere. It’s famous 20 percent time program (where employees have had freedom to pursue projects that interest them [...]

28 August 2014 ~ 3 Comments

10 ways to electrify class with Kahoot!

10 ways to electrify class with Kahoot!

My students have begged for it almost every day. I’ve used it to entertain family and my children (8, 6 and 5 years old) love to play it. It’s educational and engaging. Oh, and it’s FREE. It’s Kahoot! (getkahoot.com), and if you haven’t heard of it, it could be your new favorite digital tool of [...]

25 August 2014 ~ 2 Comments

Four ways to create a Disney-quality magical experience in your classroom

Four ways to create a Disney-quality magical experience in your classroom

There’s a reason Disney Parks have the slogan “Where Dreams Come True.” There’s magic everywhere, from the entrances to the parks to the little details that children uncover to the big experiences everyone looks forward to. The reason that pixie-dust feel permeates everything points right back to the founder, Walt Disney. He was an innovator. [...]

21 August 2014 ~ 14 Comments

12 great ways to start using Google Classroom now

12 great ways to start using Google Classroom now

After waiting all summer, Google Classroom is finally available to all Google Apps for Education teachers and students. Google’s venture into the world of learning management systems seems to be a pretty solid one. My first impressions: It looks and feels like a Google product (which it should and which is a good thing) It’s [...]

18 August 2014 ~ 4 Comments

10 timeless tips for teaching with technology

10 timeless tips for teaching with tech

For me, it was the timeless classic Oregon Trail. When I started teaching 10 years ago, it was webquests. Today, it’s iPads, social media and creation tools on the Web. There are three certains in life: death, taxes and changing technology. What students are using today will be way out of style when most of [...]

14 August 2014 ~ 0 Comments

A Summer of eLearning in 10 lessons learned

A Summer of eLearning in 10 lessons

Some people spend most of their summer vacations at the beach, in the back yard or at the movies. Not me. (Although I did spend some time at each of those!) Much of mine was spent at educational technology conferences. Indiana had 19 of them all over the state, and I was fortunate to attend 12 of [...]

11 August 2014 ~ 17 Comments

The reason I’m rethinking my digital classroom

What used to be a tiny notebook or calendar in my pocket has now become Evernote on my iPhone. From time to time, in college and soon after, I regularly had a ballpoint pen and some sort of paper in my pocket. At that point, I was a newspaper reporter, not a teacher. When new [...]

07 August 2014 ~ 7 Comments

Living with the tension of “Can I really do this?”

In a couple weeks, my fourth-year Spanish students are going to have their lives turned upside down. School starts at my school next Tuesday. The first week has a lot to do with setting the climate of the class and teaching some necessary tools for the rest of the year. The second week is where English [...]

04 August 2014 ~ 6 Comments

5 great digital tools to kick-start your school year

End of school year toolbelt

One advantage of going to lots of summer ed-tech conferences is learning about great tools to integrate in my classroom. When all of your students are connected to the same kinds of devices, it’s much easier to know whether a tool will work for everyone. But what if they’re in a BYOD (bring your own device) [...]

05 June 2014 ~ 3 Comments

Visual notetaking and focusing on big ideas

Where do blogs and online media outlets go to present information? Infographics. They’re visually stimulating. They’re accessible to almost anyone. And they don’t overkill with too much information. I’ve had a couple encounters with these ideas in the last couple weeks that have me thinking about how I could teach better and differently. Amy Burvall, [...]