Ditch That Textbook

10 add-ons to Google Classroom you MUST try

Ditch That Textbook

The basic functions of Google Drive and Google Classroom are only the starting point for the innovative and creative uses one can use in the classroom. Alice Keeler, my co-author in our upcoming book Ditch That Homework, proves that again and again.

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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.

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Catch the Flipgrid fever! 15+ ways to use Flipgrid in your class

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If you haven’t heard of Flipgrid yet then you will soon be seeing it everywhere. I had my first experience with Flipgrid (flipgrid.com) on March 2nd in a #Ditchbook chat.

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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.

12 tips for using Google Apps with young students

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There’s a common misconception with students and Google Apps: sometimes, they’re just too young to use them yet. Not so, says Christine Pinto. She teaches kindergarteners and previously taught four-year-olds in a transitional class. Regardless of their age, her students use Google Apps.

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Teaching through the camera lens: 10 activities with photos and video

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Once, it was so handy to carry one of those disposable film cameras around in our pockets. Once, we were so thankful for our point-and-shoot digital cameras because they made instant photography so much easier. Today, so many of us carry cameras around in our pockets.

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10 engaging Google Drawings activities for classes

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Using a document in Google Apps or Microsoft Word is perfect for many activities, but sometimes they can be so limiting. They’re restricting. They force you to enter information in a fairly linear fashion, and linear just doesn’t cut it sometimes.

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2 BRAND NEW tools to help students display work, reflect

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Google Slides is such a versatile tool in G Suite (Google Apps). It goes much further than creating a slide presentation to show on the screen to the entire class.

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Join SETDA: Affiliate Memberships Now Accepted

SETDA's Affiliate program connects non-profit education membership organizations with state leaders. SETDA's mission is to build the capacity of education leaders to improve learning through technology policy & practice. Benefits include: SETDA conferences, webinars and news feeds.

20 Google Apps activities for classroom innovation

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Google Apps for Education has made new ideas and activities possible in classrooms all over the world. They’ve allowed for creation and collaboration in ways that weren’t possible in the past.

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Touchscreen Chromebooks: the iPad killers in schools?

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I have worked with all sorts of digital devices in my own classroom — desktop computers, laptops, Chromebooks, iPads, student cell phones and a variety of others. Hands down, the best experience for me has been Chromebooks.

10 research-based insights on how the brain learns

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I remember struggling with social studies classes in high school and college. The content fascinated me. I loved hearing the stories of conflicts and resolutions. Wars and strategies. Politics and leverage. Power and influence.

The Magic Automatic Lesson Planner with Google Forms

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Traditional lesson plan books have their limitations. Being paper-based, they’re not searchable and they’re not easily shareable. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to search quickly for a specific lesson plan instead of flipping back page by page? How about being able to share lesson plans with others without making photocopies? You can use [.]. Ed Tech automation edtech educational technology gafe google apps for education google forms lesson planning

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10 sources of free interactive content for your class

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Years ago, textbooks served a different purpose. Information was at a premium, and textbooks filled the void. They were chock full of it — a one-stop shop for the curious student. Today, things have changed. We don’t have a lack of places to learn new things.

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6 new free Google tools to upgrade your classroom

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When my students and I work with Google Apps, there are two common struggles that we face: 1. Options for slide templates are scarce (and the ones in Google’s directory aren’t very good). When we add Creative Commons images to our work, adding accurate attribution can be tricky.

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10 Google Apps tips EVERY teacher should know

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Most of us have worked for years with Microsoft Office before Google Apps was unveiled.

20 practical ways to use Google Forms in class, school

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Everyone wants data. Schools want it to track student performance. Companies want it to learn about their customers. We track data in our own personal lives (fitness data, banking data, even social media data).

5 ideas for using Google Classroom’s new differentiation and grouping feature

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One huge drawback of using Google Classroom has beenthe inflexibility of creating assignments. Everything you assigned had to go to every student. Deliver assignments to small groups? Differentiate to subsets of students? Until now. Google announced a few changes to Google Classroom, and this one was the bombshell: assign activities to small groups [.]. Ed Tech differentiation edtech educational technology g suite for education gafe google apps for education google classroom grouping gsuiteedu

10 Google Slides activities to add awesome to classes

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At one point, creating a PowerPoint presentation to show to the class was cutting-edge classroom technology. Those days are gone, and now, online presentations enable so much more for students.

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8 interactive Google Slides activities for classroom excitement

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So often, people think of presentation slides as just that: a visual aid for delivering a presentation in front of an audience. But these slide apps (like Google Slides and PowerPoint in Office 365) really are powerful tools for delivering interactive user experiences.

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10 MORE digital bell-ringer activities to kickstart class (Part 2)

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We have a golden window of time at the beginning of any class. For these first five or ten minutes of class (OK, probably more the five than the ten), we have our students’ most attention. It’s the most focused they’ll likely be for us all day. If we squander that time, the rest of […]. Ed Tech bell ringers edtech educational technology flipgrid formative padlet prior knowledge screencastify

10 Google Classroom time savers for teachers

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If you and your students are using Google Apps in the classroom, Google Classroom can save you tons of time and effort. It helps you assign, collect, grade and return work seamlessly. But, like anything else, there are tricks that can help you do the same work in less time. They make you more efficient [.]. Ed Tech edtech educational technology efficiency gafe Google Apps google classroom time management

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10 great virtual field trips to check out in 2017

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In 2004, I was about to start my first teaching job. That’s when I got introduced to the world. I went on a 10-day mission trip to Uruguay. We drove the streets of Montevideo, a world capital that reminded me a lot of life in the United States.

Deep learning with Google tools: 20 ideas

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It’s so easy (maybe too easy) to do shallow, superficial work with Google tools. One one day, we’ll do this activity. The next day, we’ll use a different tool to do a different one. What if we want to investigate a topic thoroughly instead of going “a mile wide and an inch deep”? Google’s got [.]. Ed Tech creative teaching edtech educational technology gafe Google Apps google classroom google docs google slides

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10 creative alternatives to research reports and papers

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In high school and college, I suffered through quite a few research reports and papers. I gathered data, cited sources, followed MLA style and double spaced. I turned in my papers. Then I never did anything else with them.

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10 tips to use Google Classroom effectively and efficiently

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Google Classroom streamlines the management of student work — announcing, assigning, collecting, grading, giving feedback and returning. It has certainly saved many teachers hours of work. Without a solid workflow and some strategy, grading digital work can be cumbersome.

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Safe teaching is risky teaching

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I remember lots of important moments from my time in all levels of school. Many of them are my times with friends, conversations at the lunch table, sports competitions, etc. I remember some lessons from the classroom.

10 keys to success in blended learning

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In our eighth-grade math prototype and our elementary math programs, I’ve watched teachers as they adapt to blended learning. For many of them, the idea isn’t a strange one, and it has provided some unexpected surprises (both good and bad).

Google Greatness: 9 Google tricks I had never seen

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I’m kind of a geek. Going to technology professional development on a weekend actually sounds like fun to me. When you make it tech PD that’s Google-focused, I’m going to look forward to it for weeks.

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12 ways to use Google Cardboard in your class

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Virtual reality used to be the thing of science fiction books and movies. Now, it’s inexpensive, works with the technology we carry in our pockets, and can transform us to real and imaginary places.

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12 ways to really make Genius Hour work in your class

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Lots of schools and classrooms are making innovation a priority and changing how day-to-day school is done. Don Wettrick’s students take it to a whole new level. Don teaches “Innovation Class,” where students take on a project that connects with their passions.

The NEW Google Forms: 9 classroom uses

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For years, educators have been using Google Forms to gather data, assess learning and create fun techy learning experiences. Recently, Google Forms got a facelift, and even more recently, it added some new features.

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10 ways to collaborate digitally + visually in class

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In my own high school Spanish classes, this happened all the time. We talked in class. I wrote and drew notes on the board, creating a great summary of our discussion. Guess what the students wanted to do at the end of class. Yep, you guessed it: take a picture of the whiteboard. I’m not [.].

7 big Google changes and how they help educators

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Tens of millions of students and teachers worldwide use Google tools in the classroom. Students are creating and collaborating, researching and sharing. Teachers are managing more efficient digital classes and offering more engaging, thought-provoking learning opportunities.

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Improve retention, re-teach less with this learning technique

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What if you didn’t have to spend so much time re-teaching material to your students? What if that material was securely saved in their minds, ready for recall whenever necessary? And they could apply that knowledge to whatever they were learning at the moment?

10 innovative Google lessons from the EduOnAir Conference

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Technology isn’t the genius in education, but it can be the catalyst for amazing things. It was a given that the Education on Air Conference, put on by Google for Education, would produce a long list of great ideas and tools that can be leveraged for impressive learning experiences.

6 easy ways to start flipping your classroom now

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Flipped classroom is definitely a buzzword in education. It has been for years. And rightfully so — the model leverages technology to create an environment that can make a huge difference in many classrooms. Some people see the flipped classroom as something complex or hard to reach.

How to create media-rich, interactive maps for deeper learning

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If we want to use technology in the classroom, we can’t just do the same kind of learning we did before it. Technology should improve the learning. Kick the lesson up a notch. Otherwise, our technology isn’t any better than our paper and pencil lessons, right?

15 ways to use Snapchat in classes and schools

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Companies are starting to flock to Snapchat. McDonald’s and Taco Bell are using it to get Snapchatters interested in their products. The NBA and MLS are giving behind-the-scenes footage from their sports worlds.