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Back to school is getting close. And as we get closer, many educators are thinking about how remote learning fits into their teaching plans. As we make those plans and create strategies, there are two important words to keep in mind, and how we balance them will have a lot to do with our students' success. In this episode, we will talk about those …
 
There are lots of digital tools out there to help students record their thinking. video tools. Audio tools. There's a lot to choose from. but what if we, as teachers, use some of those tools to give our students instructions? This could be especially important during remote learning. In this episode, I'll talk through the idea, which was first show…
 
When we do instruction remotely, it's nice to be able to record videos for your students. You can record instructional videos, daily check-in videos, announcements, and more. Lots of educators are using Flipgrid (flipgrid.com) for this. In this episode, I share a couple of quick tips to level up your videos for your students on Flipgrid.…
 
Are you a Google-using educator or a Microsoft-using educator? Both companies offer training for educators that goes WAY beyond simple support pages. Google has the Google for Education Training Center, which helps you get Google certified and provides courses for learning their products. The Microsoft Educator Center offers lots of courses on a wi…
 
Imagine a conference you could attend that had lots of really, really good presenters. Imagine they were presenting on lots of topics that really interested you. Now imagine that conference happening for free, every day, and virtually. That's the idea behind the Global EdTech Academy, a project by CUE and Microsoft. They include lots of presentatio…
 
YouTube has some pretty fun videos to watch. That should be no surprise. it is the second largest search engine in the world! YouTubers have found very creative ways to engage their viewers. We can look to YouTube for inspiration on the activities we ask our students to do! In this episode, I share a fun idea for your next video activity with your …
 
I love having a whiteboard to write on whenever I'm in a classroom! But when we are doing remote learning, or when we want to engage students in digital spaces, sometimes the whiteboard doesn't translate into those spaces easily. What can we do? In this episode, I will share lots of options for recreating a whiteboard in digital spaces.…
 
We have had to do a lot of adapting and learning in a short period of time with our adjustments to remote learning. To help provide some ideas and solutions going forward, I have created a free online course about remote learning. in this episode, I will tell you what to expect if you enroll and a little bit about what you might learn.…
 
After a hiatus of more than a month, I'm back! My new book, Tech Like a PIRATE, is now finally available! In this episode, you will hear all about it. Plus, I will share where you can find lots of free resources whether you buy the book or not! Plus, you can read the "lost chapter" of the book, the one I wrote that didn't make it in print!…
 
when all of our students don't have equal access to the internet, what can we encourage them to do to keep learning going? In this episode, the third in a series of activities you can do with no internet, I share four final ideas to help keep the learning going and help students develop themselves as learners.…
 
When students don't have equal access to the internet, what's a teacher to do? There are lots of options for students who don't have regular access to the internet. We can encourage them to do certain activities that will help them grow in our content areas and as lifelong learners. In this episode, we will talk about three more ways to build our l…
 
If your students don't all have equal access to the internet during remote learning, you are not alone. Many educators have concerns about the equity of access during remote learning. However, there are still lots of activities students can do to advance their learning and make themselves better learners. In this episode, I will share three ideas t…
 
Could you handle a little extra happiness in your day? I recently found an app that helps you track and reflect on what you are grateful and happy for. This could be a great tool for us as educators. It could certainly help our students. And the prompts inside of it could make for great discussions and reflections for students!…
 
With the world changing -- and our class situations changing -- during this time of pandemic, what do students need from us? Their needs may be different than they were when we were last face-to-face in class with them. On the OnlineLearningIdeas.com website, Holly Clark and I discuss five things we think students need from their teachers right now…
 
lots of educators around the world are connecting with their students through video calls. There are lots of different platforms to use. But once you get on a video call, what will you do with your students? There's so much more to it then direct instruction! In this episode, I share three ideas for using video calls with your students.…
 
When we want to give students step by step instructions, sometimes we turn to a screen recording video. Those videos are clear, but they can be big files that are hard to access for students with slow internet speeds. An alternative that uses very little data is Iorad, a tutorial tool that lets you create web-based instructions. In this episode, I …
 
When students have a slow internet connection at home, remote learning can be difficult. It's especially difficult if teachers are providing large video files for them to watch. there are some steps we can take as educators to make those videos smaller and still effective. In this episode, I share a trick for creating smaller video sizes that will …
 
if we want to keep learning going at home, having some ideas for learning activities can be helpful. In this four-part series, I am sharing some activity types that you can use when your students are learning from home. In this episode, I share a handful of video activities and video tools that students can use. There are even options when students…
 
there is so much that students can do to learn from home! Whether they have internet access or not, slide presentations offer lots of options. And they don't have to look like the standard oral reports we have done on slides for years! In this episode, I share lots of creative ideas for using slides to demonstrate learning.…
 
As we try to wrap our brains around what distance learning looks like, it's helpful to have some ideas and examples. In the next four episodes, I'm going to share several different types of activities you can provide students while they are learning from home. In this episode, we talk about the power of graphic organizers to help students navigate …
 
When students take control of their learning, amazing things can happen. They go from being compliant followers to commanders of their own future. In his session at the NCTIES Conference, author John Spencer shared tips from his book about how to empower students. He encourages teachers to move up the spectrum from compliance students to engaged st…
 
We love games, and so do our students! When we can pull elements of games into class, it has potential for great engagement. North Carolina educator Chris Goodson shares some of his favorite game hooks in this episode. With some of his ideas, you may spark your own ways to make learning more like a game!…
 
virtual reality is beginning to spread, and so many of its uses have to do with consumption. What if students were able to create with VR? Darcy Grimes, a North Carolina educator and former state teacher of the year, shares how Google Tour Creator can help students learn how to create in virtual reality. You don't even need any fancy gear to make i…
 
The beginning of class is a crucial time everyday. Those first several minutes can set the tone for the entire day of instruction! If we want to make the most of those minutes, we can give students learning activities that really engage them and stimulate them. And our digital devices can help! In today's episode, I share several ways to kick off c…
 
My new book is coming out in April, and I want to celebrate by giving you lots of great free resources! The book, Tech Like a Pirate, shares how we can create memorable learning in the classroom with technology. It will be lots of fun! For the next 10 weeks, we will be sharing lots of free resources on the Ditch That Textbook blog. They will be rel…
 
Have you ever heard of the "6 degrees of Kevin Bacon" game? You're supposed to be able to connect any actor to Kevin Bacon with no more than six connections to other actors. Making connections can be a powerful classroom activity! Nate Ridgway, my co-author in the book Don't Ditch That Tech, has shared a whole folder of templates that help your stu…
 
Infographics are very brain friendly. They blend together visuals and text in a way that's very sticky for the brain. I recently found a video tutorial by Claudio Zavala that shows how to create those using Adobe Spark Post. In this episode, I will share a few of the tips I learned from his video and show you where you can watch the whole thing on …
 
many of our students are very interested in social media. We can tap into that excitement and enthusiasm, and we don't even need students to use those apps! There is an inherent draw that every social media platform has that gets us interested in it. If we know what that draw is, we can infuse our lessons with it. In this episode, I share a few of …
 
Chrome extensions add extra super powers to our Google Chrome web browsers. Teachers and students all over reap the rewards of them, too! In this episode, educator Michael Bertoni shares A few useful Chrome extensions from his presentation at the PETE&C Conference In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
 
Podcasting is on the rise. When we use it in the classroom, it gives students a voice. They are able to create with what they learn. Teacher Heather Kelly has seen great benefits from podcasting in the classroom with her students. In this episode, she shares the simple way she is publishing her students' audio work and tips for helping reluctant st…
 
We want students to be good citizens and productive members of society. But how can we advocate responsibly for the democracy that we all hope for? Pennsylvania teacher Mike Soskil (Twitter: @msoskil) is the editor of a book that will be published soon. It collects thoughts from classroom teachers and academics about this subject. In this episode, …
 
It can be tricky to discern fact from fiction these days. It can be even trickier to help our students navigate the digital waters of fake news and fact. In this episode, I share a good fake news self-assessment. It comes from the book Fact vs Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of Fake News by Jennifer LaGarde and Darren Hudgins.…
 
Virtual field trips are so much fun. We can take our students to places all over the world without leaving the comfort of our classroom. Thankfully, lots of these virtual field trips are available for free. They include live video calls with people in museums, historic sites, and national landmarks all over the United States and beyond. In this epi…
 
Voice is on the rise. Podcast listenership continues to grow. Smart speakers are selling like hotcakes. With all of this buzz around audio content, maybe now is the time to incorporate podcasting in your classroom. However, it doesn't have to be complicated. You can do it with a simple tool you may already use -- Google Slides -- and a free audio r…
 
We use Google Classroom to assign, collect, grade, and return work with students. Many teachers will use Google Classroom in a web browser on their laptop or desktop computers. But have you tried the Google Classroom mobile app? It has a couple of superpowers that the regular browser version does not. In this episode, I'll tell you about two of tho…
 
As teachers, a lot of times we like to assign students work using templates. Google slides is a great choice for doing that! But what do you do when students make mistakes and need to go back to a previous version? In this episode, I talk to Maria Sohn, who teaches technology and stem. She has a couple of unique ideas to share!…
 
Augmented reality is showing up in more and more schools all over. But how can we use augmented and virtual reality in meaningful ways in the classroom? I love the approach that David Saunders used to upgrade 9th grade history textbooks with augmented reality. I found this example in the book Reality Bytes: Innovative Learning Using Augmented and V…
 
When I was a beginning teacher, I thought that technology use in the classroom was good no matter what. It didn't take me long to change my views on that, though. When we use tech in the classroom, we have to ask ourselves, " How is it improving learning? " In today's episode, I share a few questions we can ask ourselves to see whether we should be…
 
Your Google Classroom can get pretty organized sometimes, can't it? This is a pain point for so many who use it and other learning management systems! A couple of little tips can go a long way to getting it neat and tidy. At the TCEA conference in Austin Texas, I hosted a session on organizing your Google Classroom. Some of the suggestions from the…
 
So many of us educators turn to Twitter and Pinterest to get ideas and connect with each other. But there's a new social media that's developed specifically for educators that's coming out soon. in this episode, I interview one of the founders, Michael Crawford, to get all the details.
 
Many times, when we see the cool things that teachers are doing with Google products, we might assume that the same things can't be done with Microsoft. But that's not necessarily the case! Scott Titmas Share some of his favorite tips and tricks for making Microsoft products work for you in the classroom.…
 
teachers love to have choices in their professional development as much as students love to have choices in their learning! In this episode, Stacy Saia shares how her school district is giving teachers choice and how they learn professionally -- and how they are reaping great rewards from it.
 
So many of our students are fascinated with social media. any mention of one of their favorite apps can instantly grab their attention. We can pull elements of social media into our learning activities to engage those students! In a recent post on the Ditch That Textbook blog, We shared several templates and websites that can help you accomplish th…
 
In so many schools around the United States and the world, we see a wide variety of native languages. Providing support to students and their families in their own language can pay great dividends in student learning. The Microsoft translator app lets educators connect with students and their families in their native languages and a wide variety of…
 
Understanding how the brain works and learns can help us teach and our students learn with more power. Understanding that each student's brain doesn't learn the same way is important, too. In Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond, she shares how we can understand culture, how it is wired into our students' brains, and how …
 
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