Sat.Aug 27, 2016 - Fri.Sep 02, 2016

50 Minute Periods Are Killing Teacher Creativity

Catlin Tucker

“I’d love to do [ fill in the blank with some creative idea or activity ], but I just don’t have time. My classes are only 50 minutes.” ” I hear this lament frequently when I lead professional development. Teachers get super excited about integrating technology or want details about a project, assignment, or routine I do with my own kids.

Ensuring Access and Opportunity; Supporting At Home Connectivity

Tom Murray

This post is sponsored by Samsung. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. According to a report released by the Pew Research Center, approximately 5 of the 29 million households with school-aged children lack access to high quality broadband internet while at home. The research indicates that almost one-third of households whose incomes fall below $50,000 and with children ages 6 to 17 do not have a high-speed internet connection.


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How to create beautiful online courses: colors


Have you ever bought something not because you really needed it, not because it offered much value to you, but simply because it had a nice packaging? Don’t be ashamed if you did; you’re not the only one. It’s not your fault. It’s your brain’s. We simply have this weakness for beauty. Everyone that ever bought a MAST chocolate bar fell into this trap. The company allegedly melted other commercial chocolate, while claiming they were making bean-to-bar chocolate.

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Be Inspired This Saturday at the EduPassions Web Conference!

Teacher Reboot Camp

Tomorrow, on Saturday, Sept. 3rd, join Sarah Thomas ( @SarahdaTeechur ), Shelly Sanchez Terrell ( @ShellTerrell ), and 20+ inspiring educators around the world for the EduPassions free web conference. The presenters will be sharing their edumovements, projects, lesson ideas, and tips in 5 to 15 minute live video presentations. It is easy to attend.

Intent Signal Data 101

Intent signal data helps B2B marketers engage with buyers sooner in the sales cycle. But there are many confusing terms used to describe intent data. Read this infographic to better understand three common areas of confusion.

20 easy ways to collaborate globally with your class now

Ditch That Textbook

The world is our classroom’s playground. We can see and talk to practically anyone around the world (with an Internet connection) for free. Video calls and collaborative digital tools let us connect in powerful ways. They let our students experience and learn from others in diverse locations in deep ways. Unfortunately, it’s one of the [.]. Ed Tech creative teaching edtech educational technology global classroom global collaboration google hangouts skype video calls

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Fun Videos from BoomWriter That You’ll Relate to

Ask a Tech Teacher

One of my new favorite online writing tools is BoomWriter. It is a free group writing website for teachers where their students can develop and enhance their writing, reading, vocabulary, and peer assessment skills through three collaborative tools. I won’t go into detail today–that’ll come later–but I did want to share this humorous video I got from them about the Pre-Conference–that meeting teachers have with the principal before he comes in to observe your class.

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Goal: Have a Conversation with Your Leadership

Teacher Reboot Camp

Welcome to Cycle 7 of The 30 Goals Challenge: Make it Meaningful ! “Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” ” – Henry Ford. Goal: Have a conversation with your leadership about implementing an idea or making a change to the school environment. Many of us have innovative ideas to improve our classrooms or school environments. It is important to try and get our leadership to support our initiatives.

7 Great NonProfits Changing the Face of Professional Learning

Tom Murray

As mentioned in my previous post 16 Great NonProfits Working to Support EdTech in Schools , prior to my role as the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, I spent 14 years in a public school in Pennsylvania as an elementary and middle school teacher, middle school and elementary principal, and district level technology director. During my time as a public school employee, I’d occasionally hear about educational organizations that were working to support schools in some capacity.

Voodoo Doughnuts: How to create a buzzworthy class

Ditch That Textbook

After a presentation in Portland, Oregon, in May, I was waiting to board a plane to head back home. Everyone was crowded into the boarding area with their luggage, food and other items. One person stood out to me, though. She was holding this pink box. So, what’s the natural thing to do to satisfy [.]. Teaching creative teaching lesson design lesson planning student engagement voodoo doughnut

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The Guide to Accessible Learning for Associations

Speaker: Dan Streeter, Vice President of Learning Strategy & Development at Blue Sky eLearn

In this 45-minute webinar, we’ll share real-world accessibility solutions and hidden tools in the applications you use every day such as Zoom, Microsoft Suite, Adobe Acrobat (PDF), Articulate Storyline 360, and Articulate Rise 360. This webinar will help you evaluate the accessibility of your current learning efforts and learn about the tools needed to ensure your eLearning is in alignment with the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (proposed WCAG 2.2).

16 Websites to Teach Mouse Skills

Ask a Tech Teacher

I repost this article every September because I get so many requests for mouse resources for those youngest keyboarders. Enjoy! One of the most important pre-keyboarding skills is how to use the mouse. The mouse hold is not intuitive and if learned wrong, becomes a habit that’s difficult to break. Here are some images to assist you in setting up your newest computer aficionados: Here are 16 websites students will enjoy, including 3 for adults new to computers: Mouse Skills. Bees and Honey.

A great website to use when teaching dialogue.


Today I taught an English lesson which focused on dialogue between characters. I wanted to motivate the students and found an excellent website to do so. First, I paired the students up and they did some hot-seating in character. Next the students got their ipads and loaded . It is a great website which allows you to create a fake text message conversation – perfect for a whole range of lessons.

A Glitch in the EdReform Matrix: The 2016 EdNext Poll on Blended Learning

Doug Levin

Last year at this time, I had some words about the treatment of technology in the 2015 EdNext Poll on School Reform. My critique (along with that of others who may not have been so public) resulted in a public rejoinder and reconsideration by Paul Peterson and Michael Horn of the magical percent of instructional time that should occur on computers in American high schools.

3 Ways Teachers Can Say to Parents, “We Want To Be On the Same Team”

The CoolCatTeacher

Setting Up Your Classroom to Win From Day One From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter. As a teacher, I want to have a great relationship with my students and their parents. But there are things I can unknowingly do to sabotage (or improve) that relationship. In today’s show, we’re talking with Mike Hall about how to have the best start of the school year ever with our parents. Parents and teachers should be partners in student progress.

Increasing Equity and Access: A Canvas Case Study of Virtual Arkansas K-12

Virtual Arkansas, a fully online school, had a mission to provide high-quality courses in rural and urban areas throughout the state. How would they simplify content creation while enhancing learning? Discover 3 key insights to transform your classrooms.

13 Tips for New Tech Teachers You Don’t Want to Miss

Ask a Tech Teacher

Here are thirteen of the top tips for teachers new to technology, according to Ask a Tech Teacher readers: Top 10 Reasons to Sign Up for Summer Learning with Ask a Tech Teacher. 169 Real-World Ways to Put Tech into Your Class–NOW. 6 Tech Best Practices for New Teachers. New to technology? Follow my classes. How Teachers Learn About New Edtech Products (Round-up). New Tech Teacher? I Understand You. 5 Must-have Skills for New Tech Teachers Plus One Extra.

Introducing the Research@Work Video Series

Digital Promise

Educators and educational product developers understand the value of using research to inform their work, but it can be overwhelming to find the most relevant and promising research findings. To make this process easier, we are pleased to launch the Digital Promise Research@Work video series, introducing 12 research topics that support education practice.

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How to create beautiful online courses: fonts


They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but all eyes are connected to a brain, which works the same in all humans. I’ve always been fascinated by the subtlety of fonts in any written piece. At first, I could say if I liked a pair of fonts or not, but I couldn’t explain why. As time passed, I learned that there are some elements that make a pair of fonts either ugly or beautiful — in the eyes of all beholders.

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Making Ed-Tech a Habit Through Student Rewards

Ed Tech from the Ground Up

In my last post , I discussed the importance of finding a cue, or an emotional trigger, to encourage the use of ed-tech as a habit. Equally important is the necessity to incorporate psychological rewards to inspire the feedback loop necessary to foster new habits.

Keeping Students Safe and Productive on Devices

Speaker: Aaron Webb, Jamf

In our webinar, we’ll explore the full range of Jamf education products to protect students, including quick and easy tools for IT admins, powerful apps for teachers to ensure student safety anywhere, and parental engagement tools.

Need an LMS next year? Here are three to consider

Ask a Tech Teacher

An LMS — Learning Management System — is a digital tool that tracks a wide variety of student-teacher interactions such as homework, grading, sharing of resources, parent communication, assessments, and more. It allows teachers to create, distribute and track class materials anywhere, on any device. That means it’s accessible from school or home, with any platform (including Macs, PCs, Chromebooks, and tablets).

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A Digital Promise for Professional Development in Adult Education

Digital Promise

Just over a decade ago, June Rall, Director of the Institute for Professional Development of Adult Educators (IPDAE), was working as an executive in a major U.S. apparel company. She was at the pinnacle of corporate success, yet something was missing. A few years later, after staying home to raise her daughter, June knew she wanted to find some way to give back to the community. “A A friend of mine told me about an Adult Education program at Indian River State College (IRSC).

PBS to Present “Spotlight Education,” A Special Week of Programming Featuring Reports About America’s Students and New Models of Learning, September 12-17

EdNews Daily

This is an important documentary series for everyone. Please share this information. FRONTLINE, POV, NOVA, TED TALKS, AMERICAN GRADUATE DAY Among the Featured Programs, with Special Reports from PBS NEWSHOUR and PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND; Funded by CPB as Part of American Graduate. Week Will Kick Off “Teach Boldly” Year-long Teacher Support Program.

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In the News: On the Future of Maine’s Laptop Program

Doug Levin

As quoted in: Herold, Benjamin. Maine 1-to-1 Computing Initiative Under Microscope.” Education Week. 30 August 2016. Such uncertainty speaks directly to the need for better monitoring of technology’s use and impact in K-12, said Douglas Levin, the president of EdTech Strategies LLC, a consulting organization.

Unlock the Power of Formative Assessment

Learn how a thoughtful formative assessment approach can help teachers understand where students are in their learning, inform instruction, and in turn, positively impact student learning outcomes. Get the guide today!

Tech Ed Resources for your Class–Lesson Plans

Ask a Tech Teacher

I get a lot of questions from readers about what tech ed resources I use in my classroom so I’m going to take a few days this summer to review them with you. Some are edited and/or written by members of the Ask a Tech Teacher crew. Others, by tech teachers who work with the same publisher I do.

Experiment & Iterate: How to Implement Effective Education Technology

Digital Promise

“When you see them light up because they see they have the power to learn,” you know you have the right match between ed-tech and your learners, says Adult Education Director Jon Engel from Community Action, Inc., (CAI) CAI) of central Texas. Trying something new, adjusting, and trying again are key to finding, developing, and implementing the right ed-tech products for your specific adult learners.

Free Virtual Clinic To Provide Parents in California With Education Support

EdNews Daily

Free Virtual Clinic To Provide Parents in California With Educational Support Regarding Challenges and Questions. Needs include: Special education. School discipline. Discrimination issues. The Parental Readiness and Empowerment Program (PREP) of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law will launch its innovative e-clinic on September 6th for parents in California.

A Glitch in the EdReform Matrix: The 2016 EdNext Poll on Blended Learning

Doug Levin

Last year at this time, I had some words about the treatment of technology in the 2015 EdNext Poll on School Reform. My critique (along with that of others who may not have been so public) resulted in a public rejoinder and reconsideration by Paul Peterson and Michael Horn of the magical percent of instructional time that should occur on computers in American high schools.

The Best Ways to Use Managed Apple IDs at Your School

Speaker: Aaron Webb, Jamf

In our webinar, How to Best Use Managed Apple IDs at Your School, hear the real-world experience of Steven Palomo, IT Director at Beverly Public Schools, regarding how he successfully managed his entire tech stack.

Promotional Post: An amazing platform which uses virtual reality to participate in lectures, interact with other students, view galleries, and visit various locations around the world.


ENGAGE is a new free to use education and presentation platform that seeks to transform how people share ideas and teach lessons to each other globally by harnessing the power of virtual reality technologies such as the Oculus Rift & HTC Vive. Engage is a social learning platform where educators will be furnished with the tools they need to enable them to create their own lesson plans and immersive experiences transforming how educational content is delivered to their students.

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Designing Your Own Home of Learning

Education Elements

My Education Elements teammates and I recently compared our work with school districts to building a house. We traditionally start our work by building a strong foundation around what personalized learning is and what it can look like for a school district. Similar to finding the perfect home for a family, our first step is clearly defining the vision of personalized learning in the school district. Then, we determine what structures and support need to happen.

High Fidelity for High Technology

Voyager Sopris Learning

Here’s the most excellent example of stating the obvious in the history of educational research. When an intervention is implemented with high fidelity, it is more effective than when it is implemented with low fidelity. Really, it’s that simple … and obvious. So, what is this fidelity of implementation thing? Simply put, fidelity of implementation describes the extent to which delivery of an instructional practice adheres to the protocol on which it was developed or field tested.