Why branding shouldn’t be a dirty word in education

Creating a brand is all about identifying who you are and what you stand for. Teachers and schools can do this without feeling sleazy. (Image via Mix by FiftyThree)

I’m a teacher, and for the last two years, I’ve been trying to promote my own personal brand. I know that by writing this, many in the education world will instantly equate me with a sleazy used car salesman peddling worn-out sedans. I’ve seen several blog articles and posts on social media calling out such educators […]

10 ways YouTube can engage your classes now

YouTube can help teachers and students create powerful, engaging, creative videos. These options can help take your videos to the next level. (Flickr / Esther Vargas)

YouTube is a behemoth. Each month, more than 1 billion unique users visit the site to view 6 billion hours of video per month. It’s the second-largest search engine in the world, bigger than Bing, Yahoo!, Ask and AOL combined. It’s not out there just for watching practical jokes, how-to’s on renovating your house or ridiculous […]

10 thoughts on how to go digital and why we should

Flickr / University of the Fraser Valley

Our world is becoming more and more digital, but our classrooms look much the same as our ancestors’ classrooms. Desks. Students seated. Chalk. Chalkboards. Teachers up front. If education is going to remain relevant — and the work of teachers is to remain relevant to their students — we must change. A thought by Sir […]

How to easily record video of your classes online (step-by-step)

Using Google Hangouts on Air can enable teachers to create an online repository of videos of their classes. Students can watch them as needed.

The walls that kept classes from learning together are slowly starting to topple. In the past, students were often confined to the classes they could take on campus. Teachers were often confined to teaching students face-to-face. Now, with video options like Google Hangouts and Skype, teachers and students can meet with each other — or […]

My one word: Giving students a big voice in class


I usually make my best professional goals in the summer. It’s the perfect time. I’m coming off several conferences in the summer that energize me and give me great ideas. The school year is starting fresh, which is ideal for implementing new ideas. The start of the school year is best for goal-setting and goal-implementing. […]

Using search, book data to tell compelling stories

mouse and keyboard

In many ways, education is all about telling stories, right? What connects us and excites us about something new often has some sort of connection to stories. History, literature, creative writing — they’re all about stories. Math, science, foreign language, art, music — they’re the language we use to tell interesting stories. Stories draw people […]

6 ways Google Hangouts can make any teacher’s life better

Google Hangouts are easy to use and help people and classrooms get connected easily. Some of its features can be game-changing! (Flickr / U.S. Department of Agriculture)

As the calendar year changes over, I’ve thought about my most game-changing technology over the last 365 days. I’m thinking about the one I’ve picked up that’s made the most difference. It has to be Google Hangouts, Google’s “video chat but so much more” tool. Google Hangouts often makes me think of the movie “Back to […]

11 class activities with sensors you didn’t know your phone had

rebecca vieyra

Smartphones and tablets are powerful devices that people use every day to make their lives easier. They’re even smarter than we give them credit for. Most of them have sensors we never knew they had. For example, many devices have: an accelerometer that measures acceleration forces a magnetometer that measures magnetization/magnetic fields a light sensor […]

A blueprint for Twitter and cell phones in class from Joe Marquez

Twitter and cell phones can exist in harmony with your instruction. Just ask Joe Marquez, who incorporates social media in his science classes. (Google Hangout screenshot)

“Twitter” and “cell phones” are bad words in many classes. In Joe Marquez’s classes, though, they’re a way of life. Marquez, a science teacher instructional technology specialist at Alta Sierra Intermediate School in Clovis, Calif., considers his students’ cell phones as important as textbooks. Maybe more important. Students record labs and engage in discussions about […]