How school can look more like an episode of Phineas and Ferb

Phineas and Ferb are always in search of adventure, creating and imagining. Schools should look a lot like that on their best days. (Disney Television Animation)

With three elementary-aged kids at home, I’ve seen my fair share of Disney Channel shows. It started with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse many years ago and has since evolved to Good Luck Charlie. (I’ll actually get the theme song for that one stuck in my head and sing it all day. Not by choice.) I’ll tolerate […]

13 ways to create unforgettable multimedia with Adobe Spark

Creating great images, pages and video can spark students' interest in learning. Adobe Spark makes that possible for free. (Public domain image via

Multimedia is one way that technology is impacting what we do in the classroom. Just look back 10 years. To create impressive video, audio and images in the past, it used to take expensive equipment. Video mixers. Audio boards. Design software. Now we have high-resolution (or high-definition) creation tools right in our pockets. Smart phones, […]

6 steps to transition to digital

Looking to go digital in your classroom in a meaningful way? Here are the six core steps to making it happen. (Public domain image via

The “paperless classroom” is a buzzword that flies around education and edtech discussions a lot. It’s for good reason, too. A paperless classroom can … promote discussions at any time in any place. bring in information, perspectives and experiences from all over the world. give classrooms great efficiency. boost the creativity factor in new ways. help […]

Google Apps “GAFE Smashing” activities — Part 4: To the next level

Smashing multiple Google tools together can create amazing classroom experiences. Check out these two "GAFE Smashes" for some new ideas. (Public domain image via

Using Google Apps like Docs, Slides, Sheets, Drawings and MyMaps give you access to features that can take your activities to the next level. However, when you use them together — smash them — you can pull the best of several tools into one superb activity. In today’s post, Karly Moura and Sean Fahey introduce […]

Should learning be hard?

Research tells us that effortful learning is more durable. But we want to make it easy for students to learn, right? Should learning be hard? (Public domain image via

The Calvin Cycle was the bane of my existence as a high school freshman. I was in a biology class. In the midst of surviving swimming practices, working part-time at Burger King and trying to navigate all of my other classes, I was required to learn the Calvin Cycle, start to finish. (It didn’t help […]

An unknown future? Prepare students with these timeless skills

The future is uncertain for our students. But some skills have served people through the ages. If we can help students develop them, they'll be more prepared. (Sketch by Matt Miller)

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that 65 percent of today’s schoolchildren will be employed in jobs that don’t exist today. Think of how you would have felt 10 years ago if someone said these would be full-time, paying jobs: Search Engine Optimization Specialist User Experience Manager Social Media Manager Telecommuting Coordinator Online Advertising Manager Medical […]

Google Apps “GAFE Smashing” activities — Part 3: Breakout EDU Digital

Problem solving. Critical thinking. Teamwork. And lots of fun. What's Breakout EDU Digital all about? Check out this post. (Logo from Breakout EDU)

Breakout EDU is an immersive learning platform developed by James Sanders and Mark Hammons. After visiting an escape room (a room where you are locked in and have to solve clues and riddles to escape) with a group of students, James and Mark noted how engaged the students were while working on the escape. Realizing […]

7 big Google changes and how they help educators

These Google Changes -- including Classroom, Keep, Calendar and more -- can boost productivity and create new possibilities in the classroom. (Image via Steve Jurvetson / Flickr / CC-BY-2.0)

Tens of millions of students and teachers worldwide use Google tools in the classroom. Students are creating and collaborating, researching and sharing. Teachers are managing more efficient digital classes and offering more engaging, thought-provoking learning opportunities. When new features or changes happen with Google products that affect education, it’s a big deal. In recent days and […]

End of the Year THRIVE-al (Not Survival) Guide


As I write this, my kids have a little less than three weeks left of school yet. It’s the time of year when attention spans get shorter and countdowns start appearing on white boards in classrooms. There’s this saying in education that I love AND despise (depending on the day): Don’t count down the days. Make […]

Google Apps “GAFE Smashing” activities — Part 2: Digital Differentiation

Google Apps gives teachers great opportunities to reach students at their own unique level. By smashing YouTube with other apps, great digital differentiation can happen.

When students and educators start smashing Google Apps together, creative activities start to emerge that aren’t possible with a single app. We’re exploring “GAFE Smashing” in a series of posts. In our last post, we saw two creative examples of “dynamic docs” — ways to use Google Docs in conjunction with other apps. The result […]