Ditch That Textbook

Google Slides templates for Snapchat games in class

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People all over the world are flocking to Snapchat to share photos and videos that reflect what’s going on in their lives. To be specific, it’s more than 300 million monthly active users. The magnitude of Snapchat’s impact is huge (source): 3 billion photos and videos are created every day on Snapchat. 78 percent of […]. Ed Tech snapchat classroom activities snapchat in the classroom social media with students using social media in class

20 virtual field trip ideas and activities for your classroom

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Imagine your class traveling to see the Great Pyramid of Giza, touring the International Space Station, or having a face to face conversation with a beloved author. All of these experiences are possible through virtual field trips. Virtual field trips allow us to take our students on adventures we never could before. They are fun, […].

Ditch That Marking: 5+ ways to improve grading

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I had a pile of assessments to mark (grade). I knew was going to take the best part of four hours to get done. I seemed to be writing the same comments as feedback: “Use a quotation to support your argument.” ” “Include a religious view as an alternative.” (I

5 ways to teach students to be future-ready

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Today’s students face a technology-infused, innovation-filled world in their future. We’re already looking at the possibility of widespread smart houses, autonomous cars and artificial intelligence that can talk to us and work on our behalf.

5 Costly Inventory Management Mistakes Schools Should Avoid

If your school is like most, inventory and/or asset management plays a critical role in daily operations.

Google Classroom: How to differentiate like a ninja

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Teacher confession: I have bored kids to tears in my class because they were not challenged. In fact, who needs Ambien when you have drill and kill homework assignments on material you have already mastered?! I felt my hands were tied with a textbook, overhead projector, and traditional worksheets. Fast forward eleven years to […]. Guest Blog Teaching differentiate with google classroom differentiation educational technology google classroom small groups with google classroom

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Why feedback is SO time consuming — and how to fix it

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Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’re chained to your desk grading papers. It’s getting monotonous, but you feel like you need to do it because it’s important. You hand those papers back to the students, and where do they end up? Yep, the trash. Even if you make them keep that homework in a […]. Teaching effective feedback in the classroom how to make auto-graded quizzes providing digital feedback save time feedback to students

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Google Slides icon boards for low-prep, visual thinking

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I’m a huge fan of infographics. They let students create a great verbal/visual mix with the content they’ve learned. Plus, they’re lots of fun to look at and share, too. I’ve written about creating infographics in the classroom with Google Drawings. I’ve made my own infographics, ranging in topics from teaching frameworks to the ripple […]. Ed Tech google drawings google infographics google slides visual thinking activities

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Google Maps walking tours with Street View and Screencastify

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Think about a meaningful trip you’ve taken far from home. Maybe it was a vacation with family. Maybe it was a study abroad opportunity during college. Regardless, when you got your feet on the ground in that location and took it all in, it probably changed your worldview — and your feelings about that location. […]. Ed Tech classroom video activities video activities for class video projects for students virtual walking tours

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15 ways to gamify your class

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A quick way to start a conversation is by asking someone about their favorite game. Whether it’s the latest video game craze (Fornite takes the cake there), a beloved childhood board game or the local sports team they never miss watching, games are an engaging topic. As adults we love games. And so do our […].

50 ideas for using video in the classroom

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Video is an incredibly effective medium for showcasing something that we want to share with others. We send videos we create or find to our friends and family through various social media platforms. Videos help us tell our story. They allow us to share our voice. Adding video to a lesson can increase the engagement […].

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Today’s Curriculum for the Higher Ed HR Leader

Speaker: Joseph Clay, Business Transformation Strategist at Oracle, and Jeffrey Haynes, Director with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

Today’s universities and colleges face many challenges ranging from reconciling financial pressures, to ensuring student success, to managing complicated workforce dynamics. One thing they all have in common: Their head of HR must align the HR function to best support the institution as it navigates this current landscape.

6 ways to get your classroom groove on with Allihoopa

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Start singing “Conjunction junction,” and you’ll likely hear someone continue singing, “what’s your function?” ” Many of us remember singing along to Schoolhouse Rock, Sesame Street, and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. The use of music as a learning tool is nothing new, but now, there’s a social media community and app that takes this idea beyond the […].

35 ways to get your classroom connected

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Our classrooms can be as big as we want them to be. If we can get our students connected then the world becomes their classroom. Connecting our students can be as simple as having a buddy class at your school. Or it can be as big as participating in the Global Read Aloud Project. By […]. DitchBook Twitter chat classroom connection connected educator google hangouts google hangouts in the classroom gridpals skype skype in the classroom

10 lesson upgrades for learning with tech

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Many times, we don’t have to totally redesign our lesson plans to get the most out of the technology we have available to us. A little upgrade can make a big difference. And even though technology won’t make your lesson sing by itself, it can unlock some pretty powerful teaching and learning. You can find […]. Ed Tech harnessing technology for deeper learning tech integration models upgrade learning with technology using technology in the classroom

Google Chrome extensions galore! 50+ for the classroom

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Record a video of your screen. Split the screen of your web browser. Block ads. Keep digital sticky notes. Even make your phone ring to end a conversation that’s gone on too long. Google Chrome extensions turn your Chrome web browser into a veritable Swiss Army knife of versatile options.

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The ripple effect of a teacher: How far does it reach?

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As teachers, we make microdecisions in our classrooms constantly. We’re always analyzing and trying to do what’s right for our students. In a short period of time, we might think … Is she having a hard day? Maybe she needs a pat on the back and some encouragement. He really seems to gravitate toward that […]. Teaching impact of a teacher teacher inspiration teacher motivation

10 low-prep, high-return activities for class TOMORROW

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Low-prep doesn’t have to mean less learning. Technology allows us to be more efficient and effective in the classroom in many ways. When we focus on sound teaching and learning, we can do high-quality learning in less time — AND take less time to prepare for it!

Student collaboration in shared Google Slides

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Part of the reason social media has taken off so much are the connections. Seeing other people’s reaction to what you’ve shared. Learning from others. We can get the same attraction when we do collaborative learning in the classroom. Google Slides makes this possible.

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10 ways Google tools can make the end of the year ROCK

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When the end of the school year is in sight, it’s a time of excitement coupled with the importance of finishing the year STRONG. The end of the year is a time unlike any other. State tests are behind us. Many students are working on big projects or papers. It can be a great time […].

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10 strategies for lightning-quick feedback students can REALLY use

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Using homework assignments to give feedback is pokey. Inefficient. Think about the length of the feedback loop for traditional homework assignments: Teacher assigns homework to students. Students take it home (maybe) and work on it (maybe). Students turn it in the next day.

20+ Hyperdocs tips, ideas and templates to use right away

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HyperDocs are are NOT just a doc with links. They are purposefully designed digital lessons and can transform your class. The creators of HyperDocs — Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton and Sarah Landis — describe them as a transformative, interactive Google Doc replacing the worksheet method of delivering instruction, the ultimate change agent in the blended learning […].

9 reasons why HyperDocs can transform your class

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I have been enjoying creating, sharing, and using HyperDocs in my classroom for the past three years now after learning about them during the very first night of the inaugural #DitchBook book study Twitter chat. Ever since then, I have been a diehard shouting “HYPERDOCS!”

15+ must have resources for teaching digital citizenship

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Our students are living their lives online. They can share everything and anything with the world with just a tap of a button. It seems like every day we are hearing about the latest popular app among teens and kids. And with it comes a new way to connect. It’s nearly impossible to keep up. With technology […]. DitchBook Twitter chat Teaching digital citizenship digital citizenship ideas digital citizenship resources teaching digital citizenship

30+ ways to Ditch That Textbook: Ideas for teachers by teachers

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The best thing about Twitter is the community of educators who share freely with others. Aaron Hogan, the author of Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth, wrote that “Twitter is not going to change your life, but the educators you meet there will.”

Eliminate worksheet homework with the Fast and the Curious EduProtocol

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Repetition-based worksheet homework frustrates teachers and students alike. It often struggles to get results and you never know who’s doing the work. Plus, the feedback to students comes very, very late. There’s an alternative. Try the Fast and the Curious EduProtocol, an idea from Marlena Hebern and Jon Corippo’s book, “The EduProtocol Field Guide.” ” It […]. Screencasts Teaching eduprotocols fast and the curious jon corippo marlena hebern

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What students say about creating podcasts on WeVideo and Flipgrid

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Fifth-grade students in Andrew Fenstermaker’s class in Iowa are creating podcasts about what they’re learning — and what ignites their passion. They take a planning sheet and think through the entire process. They create an image to represent their podcast. They plan some episodes.

Sketchnotes: A mini-course and #Sketch50 challenges!

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Let’s see if you sound like many people I’ve talked to about sketchnotes (and the former version of myself): “I’d love to be able to do that. I’d love for my students to be able to do it. But I can’t draw! I’m not an artist.”

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Using Google Drawings to create blackout poetry in the classroom

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Blackout poetry takes standard text (from a newspaper or magazine article … really any text you find). The artist then uses a marker and blacks out all of the words except for a select few, leaving a pithy piece of prose behind. I was first introduced to blackout poetry by Austin Kleon, author of the […]. Ed Tech Screencasts blackout poetry creative google drawings creative lesson plans digital blackout poetry

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5 things you might not know about Kahoot!

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When I do presentations and workshops with teachers all over the United States and beyond, hands go up all over the room when I ask if they’re familiar with Kahoot! It launched in August 2013 and has taken off like a rocket. In May 2017, it had 50 million monthly active users.

20 great podcasts for educators (and how to get them)

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Podcasts are learning on the go: in the car, while working out or as you garden. Here are some great ones for educators. Icons via TheNounProject.com) Podcasts are my lifeblood for generating new ideas, processing the ideas I already have and entertainment.

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Teaching digital citizenship with picture story books

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Teaching digital citizenship in a meaningful way can be daunting. These picture books illustrate important concepts beautifully. This post is written by Eleni Kyritsis, a Year 3 teacher and Leader of Digital Learning and Innovation from Melbourne, Australia. She was named the 2017 ACCE Australian Educator of the Year. Find her on Twitter (@misskyritsis) and […].

20+ ideas for maximizing student voice

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All student have a voice. Some students share their voice often, some rarely, and some almost never. We want to hear from ALL of our students. But what does encouraging student voice really mean? How do we creatively incorporate ways for students to showcase themselves in our lessons?

Fighting the battle of copy/paste cheating

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It was a simple activity. One that I thought my students would have no trouble completing. In my Spanish 3 class, I had asked them to find some facts about an artist from the Hispanic world and write a paragraph about that person. One paragraph. In Spanish. No big deal, right?

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20 ways to use Pear Deck to engage students

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The standard lecture has plenty of detractors, and rightfully so. Done poorly, it can be an uninspired stream of facts, delivered in sit-and-get style that get forgotten quickly. However, we can turn the standard lecture — and its tool of choice, the presentation slide! — on its head.

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Using Google Slides to create Instagram Stories in class

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Instagram is social media behemoth, and it keeps growing. It has eclipsed 1 billion users, and it’s the second most popular social media platform with teenagers behind Snapchat, according to a report. Although one statistic says it has more daily teenage users than Snapchat. It’s just one of a variety of social media and other […]. Ed Tech creative google apps ideas instagram google slides instagram in the classroom social media in classroom

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Unlocking motivation in the classroom: Strategies and tools from fellow educators

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Getting to the gym. Folding that pile of laundry. Writing a new blog post.Some projects we find easier to get motivated for than others. The same is true for our students, our fellow educators and ourselves in the classroom. Motivation has a powerful impact in education.

10+ tips for ensuring success for your flipped classroom

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Starting to teach in a flipped classroom environment can be daunting. Here are tips to help it succeed start to finish. This post is written by Nate Ridgway, a history teacher at Beech Grove High School in Indianapolis.

The golden age of podcasting: listening and creating for teachers and students

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The Golden Age of Podcasting During the Golden Age of Radio, families would sit around their radios to be entertained by shows of Little Orphan Annie or the early crime drama of the Shadow read and created by a 22-year-old old actor, Orson Welles. Other stars include Jack Benny, Bob Hope and the husband & […]. Guest Blog best podcasts for educators podcasting podcasting with students podcasts podcasts in the classroom teaching with podcasts

Bitmojis for your students: How to create and share them

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Bitmojis are so much fun! They’re these little cartoon character images of yourself that let you express emotions and communicate. I’ve seen educators use them all over the place: in text messages, in emails, in slide presentations, in documents and on social media.

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Five questions to ask before assigning homework

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After co-authoring Ditch That Homework, I’ve participated in LOTS of meaningful discussions about the subject. And they haven’t all been about “homework is evil and we should ban it all the way across the board.”

Consuming vs creating: Is there room for both?

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Consuming vs creating, sounds like it’s one or the other. But don’t our students need to do both? Sometimes our students are consuming information and sometimes they are applying what they have learned by creating something. Its all about balance and knowing the why behind your lesson.

40+ ideas for making technology integration meaningful

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Almost daily teachers are bombarded with shiny new apps designed for education. It can be enough to make our heads spin. We WANT to use technology that is meaningful and manageable for ourselves and our students.