Friday, November 30, 2018

How are teachers and students curating content?

This week, I decided to start a video reflection series on Blended Learning. 

Topic 1: Content Curation.

I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about content curation. I find so many great articles and infographics online, just to lose them in the ocean of information that is the internet. I have yet to find the perfect tool for myself, but I think I'm getting closer. Check out the video below, and feel free to add comments on you favorite tools!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Digital Assessments: More than an online quiz

There is a sea of assessment tools out there in the EdTech world: Kahoot, Google Forms, GoFormative, Nearpod, Socrative... the list goes on and on. All of these types of tools are good. They can give students instantaneous feedback, and can become more engaging. The but the question is, how are these tools more than just a digital worksheet?

There are many reasons that districts jump on the 1:1 digital bandwagon. The biggest arguably being that technology allows for great support of Personalized Learning. So is taking a quiz and putting it in Google Forms personalized learning?

EdTech gives us the opportunity to add Voice & Choice to how the students want to be assessed. We now have audio, video, graphic design, and many other tools at our students fingertips!

Thinking "Outside the box" on Assessments

1. Graphic Design Displays - Designing posters and infographics no longer takes hours of time with scissors, construction paper, and poster board. Students can use tools like Canva, Adobe Spark, & Piktochart to easily create graphics to display and/or explain their learning. Wouldn't your students take more ownership in their learning if they were developing a social media graphic about the causes of the Civil War as opposed to filling out a google form?

2. Video & Multimedia - There are so many video and media tools available these days. Screencastify, Explain Everything, Educreations, SeeSaw, and FlipGrid are all simple tools for students to record with. With these tools, we can ask every student to explain how they solved a problem as they submit an answer. When the student reviews their video explanation before submitting, they are checking their metacognition! How often does a multiple choice test do that for us?

3. Global Publishing - This option comes with a disclaimer - students under the age of 13 are not legally permitted to use social media accounts.
For our middle - high school students, we can allow them to share their learning through a blog, mini blog (twitter), or other social media outlet. This allows them to ask for feedback from others. Think about the effect of meaningful conversations with others, including experts, would have on the learning of a topic.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Summer Learning for Educators: The Someday/Monday Approach

Image result for someday monday
This post is week 6 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for educators from To find out more, click here.

Summer learning for educators; there can be so much of it. Conferences, book studies, twitter chats, sessions at the local co-op. etc... The question always is, "how am I going to implement all of these great things into my classroom next year?" The answer is, "you may not... and that's okay." 

A few years back, Feb of 2015, I was able to attend a summit from the EdTechTeacher team. At the summit, I was able to see a fantastic member of their team, Tom Daccord. At the end of Daccord's presentation, he gave some advice: Take the Someday/Monday Approach.

The Someday/Monday approach is simple, but important to those of us that love to soak in tons of professional learning. 
  1. Think of your "someday." That is what your classroom will be like once all of these pieces are fully implemented. "Someday my classroom will ________." Write it down, capture your vision. This may even be a multi year plan. 
  2. What is the first step on "Monday" that you can accomplish towards this goal? Keep it simple, keep it small. Don't try to change too much all at once. 
The key is to constantly revisit your "someday" and check on your progress towards it. Once a step is made/implimented, plan the next step. 

I invite all of my fellow educators to create your Someday/Monday plan, before day one of the school year! Feel free to share in the comments below.