10 Characteristics Of An Authentic-Based Learning Classroom
FEBRUARY 13, 2017
Along with my good friend and literacy expert Shaelynn Farnsworth , we examine what authentic learning means and what these classrooms truly look like. Reimagining education is frequently sparked by advancement in technology. From the introduction of the No. pencil to the streaming of video in to support learning and teaching, technology is typically the driver to change. Download the Post Image.
How TED Talks Make Tough Conversations Easy
DECEMBER 29, 2016
We've all been there. We are sitting in a group of peers or strangers ready to discuss a topic but no one wants to take the lead and get things going. You need that one focal point for everyone to rally around to get things moving. Videos and images are a great way to jumpstart creative thought and to get folks talking. The same is true in the classroom. That is why I love the TED Talks.
Flipping Out For Professional Learning
NOVEMBER 21, 2016
During a professional development session a while back I thought I killed someone. He didn’t respond when his name was called. He didn’t respond I tapped his shoulder. Finally, he responded when I shook him a bit harder. Lucky for me (and him) he was just asleep. But it was a wake up call to me and the way I approached delivering Professional Development. Who is going on the field trip?
3 Ways To Encourage Creativity In Your Classroom This Year
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
This post is in partnership with ACER. Over the next few months I will be writing and sharing many of the exciting classroom products they offer like tablets, desktops and more! while back I was having a conversation with a colleague about creativity in learning. We debated back and forth about what creativity looked like and could you really teach creativity. But does that mean I am creative?
Quick List STEM Resources For The Classroom
MARCH 15, 2016
This post is sponsored by Samsung. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Science Technology Engineering Math STEM. I had the honor of being both a Middle School Math and Science teacher. Those were some of my fondest times in the classroom, blowing things up (it happened once!) while at the same time being able to connect the math to the science we were doing. Heck, I even married a Math Teacher!).
3 Untapped Social Media Resources Worth A Second Look
FEBRUARY 20, 2017
In a world where we are constantly bombarded with information as adults and as educators, there are still many untapped resources to learn from and share with and grow, especially through social media. Being a connected educator doesn’t mean sticking to one favorite platform and having that singular lens to learn from. They just updated their social media data for 2016. Of All U.S Social Media
Technology Resources For Early Childhood Learning
JUNE 26, 2016
I am the father of 2 daughters. Reaghan is 7 and Chesney is almost 3. As a Dad and an educator I am constantly looking for the best resources to provide for them at home to supplement the learning they are doing in their schools. Especially with Chesney. Every parent wants their child to have a jump start on learning and ensure they are prepared for a world of learning, especially with technology.
Why Open Education Resources Matter #GoOpen
APRIL 18, 2016
This post is sponsored by Samsung. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Imagine you need to run to the store to get the ingredients to make a cake. You get the mix, eggs, oil, everything you need to make this most awesome cake. When you get home you decide that cake isn't really what you want afterall. No, you want another dessert. Then a knock at the door. All open and all free. GoOpen !
Quick List of Classroom Blogging Resources
OCTOBER 29, 2015
I originally wrote this in 2013. Since then a few resources have changed and I've come across some different ones. Enjoy! Blogging is an important part of who I am as a professional. I can use this space to share resources with you, reflect on my own practice and try to figure out how to be a better educator. It is my public reflection on technology, leadership and learning. You write an essay.
A More Holistic Approach To Technology Planning
AUGUST 3, 2015
When I was a Director of Instructional Technology I was deeply involved in the technology planning process from one end to the other. Regularly I had to sit through presentations of new products, listening with a skeptical ear while instructional promises were made. I'd also council administrators who felt that the next flashy thing they saw walk through their door, their school had to have. Great!
Evaluating Technology? Here's What To Look For.
JUNE 3, 2015
In my former life as a Director of Instructional Technology I worked with school leaders to make the best choices when it came to technology. We would spend great deals of time looking at funds and how they could best be used to make an impact on student learning. believe many districts do that. began looking at technology after the purchase. Who is using the technology? By the students?
Teaching Educator Digital Literacy With A Pinterest Party
DECEMBER 4, 2015
This post is sponsored by Samsung. All thoughts and opinions are my own. will freely admit that Pinterest is one of those services that I haven't been a big user of. When it first appeared my wife took to it instantly. Now, she is a teacher but she didn't go in the hunt of resources for the classroom. As soon as we turned them loose to get started, multiple hands went into the air. Pinterest Party!
Think Before You Flip Your Classroom This Year
AUGUST 28, 2015
For a while now I've been saying something provocative about Flipped Learning. It's the worst idea in the history of teaching." I own that. I've said it. I say it that way to get educators attention. Because I like to have a conversation about it. First a little knowledge leveling. It's an idea thats been around for a while and some teachers have said they've found success with it. Maybe not.
The 3 Things Digital Classrooms Really Need
MAY 19, 2015
My first experience with technology in the classroom was the good ol' Apple IIe and endless hours playing Oregon Trail and Math Blaster. And look at where learning is today. The classroom is becoming less about the physical space it occupies and more about the cloud. Engaging Content -It is clear that students want to be more engaged with their learning. Blogging in the classroom takes many forms.
Ideas For Providing Internet Access At Home
OCTOBER 7, 2016
This post is sponsored by Samsung. All thoughts and opinions are my own. When I was an Instructional Technology Director one of the challenges I faced was working to ensure that students, no matter where they lived in my district, had access to the same tools and opportunities. Often, much time and decision making power is spent on the device chosen, rather than if it can be used at home.
Why Formative Assessments Matter
JUNE 4, 2014
Back in my first year, I was teaching a unit on the parts of the Periodic Table. The students needed to know where they could identify elements that were typically metals, non-metals, gases and be able to identify elements based on their Atomic number among other tasks. At the time, I believed I was doing exactly what my standards said I had to. Atomic number, Lanthanide Series, electrons.
4 Inexpensive (or Free) Google Apps That Help Students Collaborate
SEPTEMBER 18, 2015
This post is sponsored by Samsung Business. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Bringing technology into the classroom can feel like an uphill battle. But as we know, engaging with students on devices and platforms that they are already comfortable with creates a better, more natural learning environment. That number is only growing. All are supported on smartphones , tablets and Chromebooks. 1.
Which Device Can Support Different Learning Styles?
SEPTEMBER 8, 2015
One of the strongest arguments for classroom technology is the ability it gives teachers to easily adapt curricula for different abilities and learning styles. Give students a choice in how they receive information—and how they interact with it—and their ability to absorb and recall educational material improves immensely. Neil Fleming’s VARK model groups student learning into four styles: 1.
Overcoming The Barriers To Creativity And Innovation
NOVEMBER 25, 2014
It''s been a few weeks since I returned from Doha, Qatar and the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE). If you aren''t familiar, this conference centers around scalable, actionable ideas for the future of education worldwide. It is, by far, my favorite conference I get to attend each year because of the level of conversations that are had there. But there is always a focus on actions.
Making The Most Of Social Media In The Classroom
SEPTEMBER 28, 2015
This post is sponsored by Samsung Business. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Social media often gets a bad wrap when spoken in the same breath as education and learning. Ask around and many folks might consider it to be a time suck or a place where very little learning happens and therefore has no place in the classroom. But they can be very useful in the classroom as well. She learned lots!)
Let's Build Something Together-Maker Spaces and 20% Time
JULY 31, 2014
Maker Movement 20% Time Genius Hour The idea of students looking away from ridged content focus all throughout the school day and giving them back some time to explore and make is gaining a foothold in many classrooms. Educators are turning towards ideas like the Maker Movement and 20% Time to foster creativity and innovation in their classrooms and to get their kids thinking and doing more.
Creating A Professional Learning Collection With @appoLearning
JULY 17, 2015
Last time you read about this new site I had been checking out, appoLearning. have really enjoyed getting to know this new platform and even create a collection myself. And I think for educators it can be a great way to organize sites, apps, videos and more so they are more easily shared with students, colleagues, even parents and the community. Curation is a super important topic to me.
Thinking About Redefining Professional Development
MAY 12, 2014
As a former Director of Instructional Technology my job was to provide technology embedded professional development (PD) to a district of 4000 teachers. The traditional forms of sit-and-get PD are giving way to MOOCs, webinars, Edcamps and flipped learning. But what does all that mean? What does this transition to innovative PD practices mean and where can we find these new forms?
8 Education Books For The Digital Age: The Connected Educator Series #CorwinCE
AUGUST 19, 2014
From The Shameless Promotion Department, I am proud today that I become a published author. My book, The Relevant Educator ships today. Below is a post (thanks to the most awesome Mark Barnes) about the entire Connected Educator Series from Corwin. Enter Corwin Press and the Connected Educators Series. The first books in the series will be published in August and September.
Embracing Formative Assessments This School Year
AUGUST 2, 2016
For me, the beginning of the school year was the best time of year. always enjoyed getting back into my classroom, setting things up and getting pumped for the journey ahead with my students. The beginning of the year was a good reset. could reflect back on the previous year, examine what I had learned over the summer and plan for a better year coming up. Mainly, embracing formative assessment.
Make Your Classroom Truly Global
FEBRUARY 1, 2016
This post is sponsored by Samsung. All thoughts and opinions are my own. One of the great things about being a connected educator is the conversations that happen on a regular basis with colleagues and learners from across the globe. Being connected means that educators can think and learn, grow and reflect with not just those directly around us but also those in the far reaches of the globe.
Curating Content with @appoLearning
JUNE 12, 2015
Curation, as many of you know, is near and dear to my heart. Heck I even wrote a book on the subject!) And especially now, for teachers, its becoming increasingly important as more and more digital devices begin to enter the classroom. Finding the right apps, videos or other digital resources can be tough. And keeping it all organized can be even tougher. I was excited to learn about appoLearning.
Encouraging Authenticity In Learning
NOVEMBER 11, 2014
In the last several years, a major shift in instruction began to happen. Instead of students having access to handheld technology (tablet, laptop, etc) only part of the school day, more and more students began to have access when they need it. Either 1:1 or BYOD or some combination of both is giving students the opportunity to discover learning or create new information in a variety of ways.
3 Things We Need To Remember For Every Professional Development
JANUARY 30, 2014
I remember my first professional development as a teacher. I was fresh out of college. The PD centered around how to use clickers in the classroom. I saw great potential there. The idea that I could get realtime information back on my students, I saw as a great help to me. The PD itself was boring and useless. The presenter leading did little to engage us. There never seems to be a good time.
Why #Edcamp Is So Awesome
APRIL 21, 2014
This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending another Edcamp. This one makes 7 for me. EdcampElon was another event in a long like of teacher-driven professional development that can have a lasting impact on the learning of all who attend. Don''t know what an Edcamp is or looks like? My experience with Edcamp has been that of a participant and an organizer (EdcampNC!). But why?
Why Curation Matters
MAY 20, 2014
I spend a great deal of time looking up stuff. Whether that stuff is blog posts to get a pulse on what is happening in the edusphere or researching new tools to share with teachers, I come across a wide variety of resources that I need to save, catalog and be able to come back to later. Curation is a large part of my day. But what is curation? Why is it important and how can you do it easily ?
Being Digital Isn't Just About Technology-#DLD15
MARCH 8, 2015
Digital has truly made our world smaller. From the desk in my classroom I can travel to far off places and talk to friends via Skype or share my thoughts through my blog or experience historic sites like never before. The digital tools we have available to us for both teaching and learning is (and will continue to have) dramatic effects on both. Educators, Schools and Districts around the U.S.
Innovative Ways To Improve School:Home Communications
AUGUST 16, 2016
My oldest daughter, Reaghan, is getting ready to be a 2nd grader. Heading back to school with her is one of the busiest times of year. There are lots of meetings, papers to read and fill out, and new things to learn about her school. As a parent, I rely heavily upon the communication efforts of the district and her school. We still have 2 weeks to go! Share links to any of the other ideas below.
Fostering Creativity In The Learning Process
AUGUST 11, 2014
Several months ago I was having a conversation with a colleague about creativity in learning. We debated back and forth about what creativity looked like and could you really teach creativity. All this stemmed from a comment I made about me not being creative. Sure, I’ve written books, I talk in front of teachers a lot and create professional development to deliver. No explanation, no feedback.
Quick Collection Of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Resources
JUNE 12, 2014
More and more districts are realizing the power that Bring Your Own Device can have on teaching and learning. Students get the opportunity to use the technology they are familiar with and be exposed to how technology is being used by their peers. But while students are embracing BYOD with loud applause, educators are taking a step back and thinking about the impact BYOD has on their teaching.
What Does A Relevant, Connected Educator Look Like-Part 2
JANUARY 27, 2015
If you haven''t had a chance, check out Part One of this series. Last week we looked at the first four qualities that Tom Whitby and I layout in our book The Relevant Educator and believe all Relevant, Connected educators posses. Just to recap: Practices and Models Lifelong Learning -For educators, learning should never stop. Sharing, reflecting and collaborating together is an imperative.
Why LIbrarians Are Awesome #TLChat
MAY 12, 2015
Librarian Media Coordinator Teacher-Librarian Superman Whatever you call them, those folks who work in our libraries and media centers are amazing. And you should be paying more attention to them. From an early age my Mother instilled in me the value of reading. I was read to constantly as a child. I was surrounded by books. wasn't into Monster Trucks or Sports. liked stories. Of course not.