10 tips to more meaningful Skypes in the classroom

Skype is a powerful tool that can bridge a gap of a thousand miles between schools. It can make conversations and activities happen that never could exist otherwise. It can also fall apart and lead to wasted classroom time and opportunities because of certain pitfalls. I’ve missed Skype calls altogether. I’ve seen entire class periods […]

About Mystery Skypes/Hangouts and why we need more

One of the most transformative effects the Internet can have on classrooms is opening them up to the world. Before the Internet, global communication was expensive and slow. Think long-distance phone calls and letters, even world travel. Now, the world is at our classrooms’ beck and call:  Social media can connect us to anyone. Video […]

The Meaningful Tech Workshop by Ditch That Textbook

SMCAA Fall Conference

Find this page at: DitchThatTextbook.com/SMCAA

meaningful tech workshop image


Getting started

The Voice of the Active Learner: Education from a Digital Native’s Perspective (YouTube link)

voice active learner

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.

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.

COLLABORATE.

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:

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:

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.

The tools

Google Hangouts: hangouts.google.com
Skype: skype.com
Facetime (iPad, iPhone)

Mystery location calls

Finding video chat partners

Other resources

 

THE ESSENTIAL TECH TOOLKIT FOR TEACHERS

  1. Google Apps / G Suite (drive.google.com)
  2. Stackup (stackup.net)
  3. Formative (goformative.com)
  4. Flipgrid (flipgrid.com) (Ditch That Conference Flipgrid)
  5. Twitter (twitter.com)
  6. Skype (skype.com) and Google Hangouts (hangouts.google.com)
  7. Quizizz (quizizz.com), Kahoot! (getkahoot.com) and Quizlet Live (quizlet.com/live)

ABOUT YOUR PRESENTER

matt headshot (2)Click here to learn more about Matt. Click here to see Matt’s book, Ditch That Textbook, on Amazon.

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.

The Meaningful Tech Workshop

Ditch That Textbook

Find this page at: DitchThatTextbook.com/MTW

meaningful tech workshop image


Getting started

The Voice of the Active Learner: Education from a Digital Native’s Perspective (YouTube link)

voice active learner

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.

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.

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.

COLLABORATE.

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:

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:

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.

The tools

Google Hangouts: hangouts.google.com
Skype: skype.com
Facetime (iPad, iPhone)

Mystery location calls

Finding video chat partners

Other resources

 

THE ESSENTIAL TECH TOOLKIT FOR TEACHERS

  1. Google Apps / G Suite (drive.google.com)
  2. Stackup (stackup.net)
  3. Formative (goformative.com)
  4. Flipgrid (flipgrid.com) (Ditch That Conference Flipgrid)
  5. Twitter (twitter.com)
  6. Skype (skype.com) and Google Hangouts (hangouts.google.com)
  7. Quizizz (quizizz.com), Kahoot! (getkahoot.com) and Quizlet Live (quizlet.com/live)

CONCLUSION: PUT IT ALL TOGETHER.

Let’s take some time to process what we’ve learned and thought about today. (video)

Plus:

girls first ski jump

ABOUT YOUR PRESENTER

matt headshot (2)Click here to learn more about Matt. Click here to see Matt’s book, Ditch That Textbook, on Amazon.

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.

The Meaningful Tech Workshop

Logansport, Indiana

Find this page at: DitchThatTextbook.com/logansport

meaningful tech workshop image


Getting started

The Voice of the Active Learner: Education from a Digital Native’s Perspective (YouTube link)

voice active learner

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 PowerPoint 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. OneNote is 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.

Photo comic strips. Take photos of students using a webcam and add them to a OneNote. Add speech bubbles to the photos. Then save those images side by side for a comic strip. Here’s a Google Site about Comics with Google Tools and Creativity Games for examples and more details.

COLLABORATE.

Shared space in OneNote. Create a OneNote Classroom with a section for your activity. Each student gets one page. 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:

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:

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

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.

CONNECT TO THE WORLD.

The tools

Google Hangouts: hangouts.google.com
Skype: skype.com
Facetime (iPad, iPhone)

Mystery location calls

Finding video chat partners

Other resources

 

THE ESSENTIAL TECH TOOLKIT FOR TEACHERS

  1. Google Apps / G Suite (drive.google.com)
  2. Stackup (stackup.net)
  3. Formative (goformative.com)
  4. Flipgrid (flipgrid.com) (Ditch That Conference Flipgrid)
  5. Twitter (twitter.com)
  6. Skype (skype.com) and Google Hangouts (hangouts.google.com)
  7. Quizizz (quizizz.com), Kahoot! (getkahoot.com) and Quizlet Live (quizlet.com/live)

CONCLUSION: PUT IT ALL TOGETHER.

Let’s take some time to process what we’ve learned and thought about today. (video)

girls first ski jump

ABOUT YOUR PRESENTER

matt headshot (2)Click here to learn more about Matt. Click here to see Matt’s book, Ditch That Textbook, on Amazon.

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.

10 great ideas from Ditch That Conference #DitchCon2017

“An analog conference for a digital world.” Ditch That Conference 2017 was a hit, helping educators think about the face-to-face/digital balance and providing TONS of ideas on how to make it happen. This was the first conference of its kind and truly a dream for me. I got to imagine an event, organize it, recruit […]

The Meaningful Tech Workshop

Alden-Hebron School District #19

Find this page at: DitchThatTextbook.com/hebron

meaningful tech workshop image


Getting started

The Voice of the Active Learner: Education from a Digital Native’s Perspective (YouTube link)

voice active learner

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

CONNECT TO THE WORLD.

The tools

Google Hangouts: hangouts.google.com
Skype: skype.com
Facetime (iPad, iPhone)

Mystery location calls

Finding video chat partners

Other resources

MAKE CREATORS, NOT CONSUMERS.

Animation. This is a great hack (i.e. non-traditional use) of PowerPoint 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/OneNote 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.

Photo comic strips. Take photos of students using a webcam and add them to a Google Drawing/OneNote. 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.

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. (You can open these files and go to File > Download as … > PDF so students can annotate on them with OneNote.)

COLLABORATE.

Shared presentations. Create a slide 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:

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:

Some great Twitter hashtags to check out:

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

HOW MUCH HOMEWORK?

Let’s discuss our homework practices. How beneficial is homework? How much should students actually have? What would class look like if we didn’t give homework at all … and how can we make that more of a reality? I’ll share my journey to being homework-free and what research says about homework. We’ll discuss our own homework situations and thoughts we have about it. Go to: DitchThatTextbook.com/homework

 

THE ESSENTIAL TECH TOOLKIT FOR TEACHERS

  1. Google Apps / G Suite (drive.google.com)
  2. Stackup (stackup.net)
  3. Formative (goformative.com)
  4. Flipgrid (flipgrid.com)
  5. Twitter (twitter.com)
  6. Skype (skype.com) and Google Hangouts (hangouts.google.com)
  7. Quizizz (quizizz.com), Kahoot! (getkahoot.com) and Quizlet Live (quizlet.com/live)

CONCLUSION: PUT IT ALL TOGETHER.

Let’s take some time to process what we’ve learned and thought about today. (video)

Plus:

girls first ski jump

ABOUT YOUR PRESENTER

matt headshot (2)Click here to learn more about Matt. Click here to see Matt’s book, Ditch That Textbook, on Amazon.

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.

Ditch That Homework workshop

Practical Strategies to Help Make Homework Obsolete

Ditch That Homework horizontal

Find this page: DitchThatTextbook.com/HW


About your presenter

Matt headshotMatt Miller is an educator, blogger and the author of “Ditch That Textbook,” a book about revolutionizing the classroom with innovative teaching, mindsets and curriculum.  He has infused technology and innovative teaching methods in his classes for more than 10 years. Matt is a Google Certified Innovator, PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator and two-time Bammy! Awards nominee. He writes at the Ditch That Textbook blog about using technology and creative ideas in teaching. Reach him at matt@DitchThatTextbook.com or on Twitter at @jmattmiller.


About the book

ditch that homework coverIn Ditch That Homework, Matt Miller and Alice Keeler discuss the pros and cons of homework, why teachers assign it, and what life could look like without it. As they evaluate the research and share parent and teacher insights, the authors explore some of the benefits for ditching homework:

  • Better education for all students
  • Reduced stress for families
  • More intentionality with lesson planning
  • Increased love of learning
  • More time for teachers to focus on learning at school and enjoying their after-school hours

And that’s just the beginning. Miller and Keeler offer a convincing case for ditching — or at a minimum greatly reducing — homework. They also provide practical guidance on how to eliminate homework from your lessons. You’ll discover strategies for improving learning through differentiation and student agency and by tapping into the way the brain works best.

For more information about the book, click here.


Untitled drawing (15)

There’s LOTS of research about homework — and about other factors that contribute to homework. We know that we’re supposed to know about the research and use research-driven best practices. But how much have you actually dug into the research yourself? Let’s do some digging by spreading the work around a little at a time.

We’ll “Iron Chef” this activity — everyone digs into a little research and then presents their findings to the group via a shared Google Slides presentation. This way, we create something AND everyone teaches and learns.

Click here: Homework research Iron Chef activity

Untitled drawing (16)

Remixing traditional lessons for maximum impact

Doing lessons the same old way day after day, year after year gets you AND your students in a rut. If we can put a fresh spin on old ideas — or if we can use old activities to inspire brand new ones — students will be engaged and inspired in their work. Here are some ideas:

Untitled drawing (17)

Sometimes, something old can be inspiration for great new things! Remember the Madeline Hunter lesson plan from college? I (Matt) was recently at a conference that dusted off this old standby lesson plan template and used it to create some pretty cool lessons.

Let’s try it! We’ll remix a lesson — making it a modern, engaging lesson — as a group using the Madeline Hunter lesson plan template.

Madeline Hunter Lesson Plan Template

Click the image for full-size.

 

Untitled drawing (18)

If you’re going to make big changes — like reducing or ditching homework — there’s bound to be resistance. Here are some ideas for helping parents get on board with your big changes. (And here’s an accompanying blog post about the idea.)

Getting parents on board.001

Click the image for full-size.

Often, if parents have a reason for homework, it’s that it shows them what’s happening in the classroom. Instead of communicating with parents through graded homework, let’s try this:

  • Creating a window into the classroom using social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or (gasp!) Snapchat
  • Reaching out to parents with a messaging service like Remind
  • Creating an email newsletter customized for each student (see a blog post on how to automate the process!)
delzer twitter

Click image for full-size.

Untitled drawing (19)

The feedback loop for traditional homework is way too long — 48 hours if we’re really on our game. If we provide students with feedback in the moment that they need it, they’re more likely to internalize it.

018 The Homework Cycle DitchHW

In this session, we’ll talk about strategies for getting students feedback in the moment that they need it. You’ll become the student, using Quizizz to learn something new!

Go to: Quizizz.com/join

Untitled drawing (20)

The way the brain prefers to learn isn’t always the way we try to learn. Sometimes, it’s opposite what we expect. Here are some things we’ve learned about brain science and how it can apply to the classroom.

Click here: Cognitive Science Smackdown!

More brain science resources:

Untitled drawing (21)

The real world isn’t looking for compliant kids, the ones who will appease the teacher and fill in the right bubbles. They’re looking for people who can create, who can communicate, who can work on a team, who can solve a problem.

024 REVISED Skills of the future

Click for full-size image.

How can we help REALLY prepare students for college and the real world? Here are some ideas we have …

  1. Solid study skills
  2. Decision making and independent learning
  3. Critical thinking skills
  4. Digital research skills
  5. Authentic deadlines
  6. Teamwork
  7. Short-term goal setting
  8. Informal learning

Untitled drawing (22)

Relationships matter. We know that how we connect to students has a direct impact on their learning. Here’s a great reminder of that from a TED Talk.

Click here: Every kid deserves a champion