Find this page at: DitchThatTextbook.com/SMCAA
The Voice of the Active Learner: Education from a Digital Native’s Perspective (YouTube link)
TAKE STUDENTS THERE.
Maps and mapping tools can reach so many content areas and grade levels:
- Distances and scale in math
- Geography in social studies
- Locations of settings of literature in English
- Physical science (environment, weather, etc.)
- Culture in world languages
These mapping tools can take students places the bus can’t. Go to: DitchThatTextbook.com/mapping
Google Maps: http://maps.google.com
Google Maps Treks: https://www.google.com/maps/about/treks/#/grid
MAKE CREATORS, NOT CONSUMERS.
Animation. This is a great hack (i.e. non-traditional use) of Google Slides that could take some time to complete but yield amazing results. Check out this video, where the creators made an impressive animation with 450 slides in a Google Slides presentation just by clicking through the slides quickly.
Interactive posters. Google Drawings are great for bringing images, text and shapes together. Those elements combine for a great digital poster. But these digital posters are way better than a regular one made of poster board. Various elements in the poster can be clicked, delivering webpages and other online content to viewers.
Make video. These tools will help students use their creativity to make and share good-looking video.
- YouTube Capture app: Shoot video from a mobile device and share it directly to YouTube.
- Screencastify: Record video of your screen or through your webcam.
Photo comic strips. Take photos of students using a webcam and add them to a Google Drawing. Add speech bubbles to the photos. Then save those images and add each one to a different slide in a Google Slides presentation. Here’s a Google Site about Comics with Google Tools and Creativity Games for examples and more details.
Infographics. Using images and text together is very brain-friendly. Instead of sticking to the traditional essay or research report, have students create infographics instead. These very visual products of learning can be created with text, shapes and icons from The Noun Project (thenounproject.com). Here are some ideas for creating infographics with Google Drawings.
Annotating images. This one is very basic, but it can be very powerful. Find images by using the image search built into the Google tools. When the picture is pulled into a Google Drawing, use shapes, lines, arrows and text to mark up the image. It’s a great way for students to demonstrate what they know right on top of an image of what they’ve been studying. Here’s an example of what that might look like (and see image at right).
Graphic organizers. Drawings gives users a blank canvas where they can add text, shapes, lines, etc. When done, they can save their work as image files or PDF files and can add those images to documents, slides and spreadsheets. It’s a perfect medium for creating graphic organizers. I’ve created 15 of them that can be copied, saved, changed, tweaked or completely redone to fit your needs and your students’ needs.
Shared presentations. Create a presentation with one slide per student and give students permission to edit it. Then assign an activity — some quick Internet research, a writing prompt, an image search to find an example, etc. When they’re done, show the presentation on a projector. It’s student work instantly on display.
For more fun, creative uses of Google Apps, go to:
- 20 Google Apps activities for innovative classrooms
- 12 ways to use Google Classroom’s newest features
- See LOTS of Matt’s Google resources here: http://ditchthattextbook.com/ncp/
MAKE CLASS ENGAGING!
Use free technology tools and engagement hooks from “Teach Like a PIRATE” to create exciting learning opportunities your students won’t want to miss!
Go to: DitchThatTextbook.com/pirate to get your copy of Matt’s free ebook, “The Digital PIRATE” and to see examples of several of the activities that YOU can use in your classroom.
QUICK FOCUS: GET NEW IDEAS
Using social media is a great way to gather new ideas and connect with other educators like you. Using Twitter professionally as an educator has had the greatest impact on my teaching of anything in my career!
My Twitter for Teachers guide: DitchThatTextbook.com/twitter
Some social media resources to check out:
- Shake Up Learning (Google): ShakeUpLearning.com
- Cult of Pedagogy (general education): CultofPedagogy.com
- Cornerstone for Teachers (general education): TheCornerstoneforTeachers.com
- The Teaching Channel (general education): TeachingChannel.org
- Teacher2Teacher (teaching community): teacher2teacher.education
- #TLAP Twitter hashtag (student engagement): twitter.com/hashtag/tlap
- #DitchBook Twitter hashtag (innovative teaching): twitter.com/hashtag/ditchbook
- #edchat Twitter hashtag (general education): twitter.com/hashtag/edchat
- #edtech Twitter hashtag (educational technology): twitter.com/hashtag/edtech
SHORTEN THE FEEDBACK LOOP.
If we want students to practice new skills with homework, the feedback loop is pretty long … often two days or more from assigning to returning to students. Shorten the feedback loop with some of these great tools to assess your students. Plus, they’re a lot of fun! Go to: DitchThatTextbook.com/gameshow
CONNECT TO THE WORLD.
Mystery location calls
- Skype in the Classroom site (your go-to destination for all things Skype): SkypeInTheClassroom.com
- Skype Etiquette and Mystery Skype: http://mrsmorgansstars.edublogs.org/skype-etiquette/
- So You Want to Do Mystery Skype? http://pernillesripp.com/2011/10/25/so-you-want-to-do-mystery-skype/
Finding video chat partners
- Skype in the Classroom (create a lesson saying what you’d like to do OR find a lesson you’d like to participate in): http://skypeintheclassroom.com
- Twitter: Send a tweet to #mysteryskype, various educational hashtags or @SkypeEducation asking if anyone would like to connect classrooms via Skype.
- Google Plus community: Mystery Location Calls
- Google Plus community: Google Hangouts in Education
- Google Plus community: Mystery Hangout
- Google Plus community: Educators on Google Plus
- Colleagues, family and friends: Spread the word about what you’d like to do.
- Matt: He’s glad to tap into his network of contacts to find someone!
- Mystery Location Call Roles (jobs that students can do while the call is going on): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UkFXBUyseKZN6yfVpW9Mye6hbSc8JNHl_yu3ExLanMA/edit?hl=en&forcehl=1
- Matt’s global classroom resources page: http://DitchThatTextbook.com/connect
- Virtual field trip ideas: http://ditchthattextbook.com/2015/09/10/go-where-the-bus-cant-10-virtual-field-trip-ideas/
- Find the perfect virtual guest for your class: http://ditchthattextbook.com/2015/09/17/where-to-find-the-perfect-virtual-guest-for-your-class/
- 10 Ways Skype Can Enhance the Classroom Experience: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1i1VFD84QHmCyQSi7J3KO8xEIfniJ1EWMPHQomy2DXJ8/edit
- Todd Flory’s class Skype map (using MyMaps to create a custom map for pinning your Skyping locations): https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=17VNVWbdI_8LT8wiVw1rqeaigLwU
- Matt’s global classroom resources page: http://DitchThatTextbook.com/connect
- Born to Explore with Richard Wiese (Microsoft/Skype): https://education.microsoft.com/borntoexploreskype
- A Dog-Tastic Mystery Skype Adventure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqCdfC5BaoE
- Link to video in the session: Connect Classrooms Globally with Skype
THE ESSENTIAL TECH TOOLKIT FOR TEACHERS
- Google Apps / G Suite (drive.google.com)
- Stackup (stackup.net)
- Formative (goformative.com)
- Flipgrid (flipgrid.com) (Ditch That Conference Flipgrid)
- Twitter (twitter.com)
- Skype (skype.com) and Google Hangouts (hangouts.google.com)
- Quizizz (quizizz.com), Kahoot! (getkahoot.com) and Quizlet Live (quizlet.com/live)
ABOUT YOUR PRESENTER
Matt Miller is available to present at your school or event! He presents to thousands of teachers all around the United States on a wide variety of technology and innovative instruction topics. See his “Work With Matt” page for more details.