10 digital bell-ringer activities to kickstart class (Part 1)

One of the hooks from the book Teach Like a PIRATE that’s most memorable to me is the Board Message Hook. In a book about engaging students, the idea of meeting students with something that’s eye-catching and thought-provoking — a statement or a picture or whatever — really resonated with me. Put a photo of something seemingly random on the […]

Belief matters: How a growth mindset unlocks confidence and achievement

Recently, I had a rather enlightening conversation with my son and three of his friends. Two of his buddies absolutely hate school. They struggle and muddle their way through. Of course, they have their own special gifts; basketball is an area where they excel. But things like reading, writing, and math? Those don’t come as […]

Updates abound: New features for Flipgrid, Google Classroom, Formative and Kahoot!

This year is no exception. In fact, just yesterday (the day before I publish this post), Flipgrid threw a HUGE bash at their Minneapolis headquarters to release the all new Flipgrid and a slew of new features. It’s a good time to be in education, folks. Technology makes all sorts of meaningful, engaging education accessible […]

My name is Matt, and I ditched my homework. Here’s why

Most of my teachers gave me homework as a student. Most of the teachers in my building assigned homework when I started teaching. I just assumed I was supposed to give homework. Teachers have been doing it for all these years, I reasoned. It must be a proven best practice to improve student learning. So, as […]

15 building blocks to a meaningful #ISTE17 (or any conference)

When you go to a conference — even for a single day — you’re investing hours of your life into the experience. And if that’s the case, it’s always best when you get a good return on the time investment. The ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference (iste.org/conference) takes place every summer. It’s […]

Catch the Flipgrid fever! 15+ ways to use Flipgrid in your class

If you haven’t heard of Flipgrid yet then you will soon be seeing it everywhere. I had my first experience with Flipgrid (flipgrid.com) on March 2nd in a #Ditchbook chat. I was hesitant to try it out and almost skipped the chat because I wasn’t sure about trying to learn how to use yet another […]

Touchscreen Chromebooks: the iPad killers in schools?

I have worked with all sorts of digital devices in my own classroom — desktop computers, laptops, Chromebooks, iPads, student cell phones and a variety of others. Hands down, the best experience for me has been Chromebooks. I’ve outlined why I choose Chromebooks for a 1:1 initiative or, as I had, for carts that stay […]