Jul 31

How to Create Your Own Podcasts

By:Richard Cobbet

podcastss“You’ve got a microphone. You’ve got some web space. And you have a great idea for a podcast. Now, it’s onto the fun bit — the recording. Even if you’ve had a couple of false starts, don’t worry —  this is completely normal, especially if you haven’t had much recording practice. If you’re ready to get serious, though, you’ve come to the right place. This step-by-step tutorial will help you master the art of making your own podcast.

Before beginning to record, and whatever your specific equipment, take time to prepare and give yourself the best chance of a good-quality recording. Ideally, use a room that has plenty of space for you to work and that contains primarily soft furnishings — this cuts down dramatically on echoes/reverb, which can’t really be removed in post-production.”  To read further please click here:

Jul 31

Going Paperless: How I Simplified My Tag Organization in Evernote

By:Jamie Todd Rubin

Evernote-Search-1-550x412Last time, I talked about how and why I simplified my notebook organization in Evernote. Today, I’ll discuss how I’ve simplified my tag organization. Both are still works in progress, but the tags more so than the notebooks.

To start, let me say that I’ve never been much of a tagger. There are several reasons for this:

  1. Evernote has a powerful search engine that usually allows me to find whatever I’m looking for in just a few seconds.
  2. With such a good search engine, adding tags is usually counterproductive for me, since it takes time to add them to a note, but I can find the note just as easily without them.
  3. Tags have a tendency to grow like weeds. I’d end up with a huge number, and when I look at them, I find that more than half my tags have less than 10 notes associated with them.” To read further please click here:
Jul 31

5 Ways Video Conferencing Is Bringing Exciting Collaborative Interaction To Teaching and Learning

By:Dwayne Sanders

video lesson“Many of us are familiar with the use of computers, iPads, Smart Boards, and other technological tools in today’s classrooms. One relatively untapped tool for our classrooms is video conferencing. There are so many exciting possibilities that come with being able to see, hear, and communicate with people all over the world from the comfort of your classroom (or wherever you are learning).  Let’s check out a handful of fun ways that there increasingly affordable solutions are being leveraged in our schools!” To read further please click here:  http://www.emergingedtech.com/2014/07/ways-video-conferencing-bringing-collaboration-teaching/

Jul 31

This Is How to Create Videos in Google Drive

By: Med Kharbach

google drive“This week’s tip for teachers is about creating videos in Google Drive. As you know, since the  time Google made it possible to integrate third party apps into Google Drive, there appeared a wide variety of excellent applications that are deemed to enhance the overall performance of your Drive . One of the essential apps that I think every teacher should connect with Google Drive is called WeVideo.

WeVideo allows you to easily create and share videos and short animations. Using WeVideo app with Google Drive will enable you to create videos right from your Drive. The video below will walk you through the entire process of how to do it. ” To read further please click here:

Google Drive, there appeared a wide variety of excellent applications that… …


Jul 30

The power of digital student portfolios

By:Matt Renwick

digital portfolioo“This past spring, I was asked to substitute teach in one of our first-grade classrooms. There were no guest teachers available that day so, as the elementary principal, I was it. Being a former fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, I was a bit out of my comfort zone. How would I document what students learned during their time with me?

During the literacy block, I found moments to capture learning with my iPad. Using the device’s camera, I was able to take photos of both the students’ work and of them actually working. Along with images, I typed up reflections from our experience. In addition, I recorded audio of one student reading aloud their own writing to me. All of this information — text, images and audio — were stored within one note in Evernote. When I was done, I emailed the note to the classroom teacher. Once shared, the teacher was then free to add any or all of the content from this one note to the students’ digital portfolios within Evernote. View the note. ” To read further please click here:

Jul 30

Enhancing presentations for the multimedia generation

By:Tracey Duffy

multimediaaToday sees the launch of our new infokit “Enhancing Presentations for the Multimedia Generation”, which aims to provide guidance on best approaches in using presentation software such as  PowerPoint, Prezi and SlideShare, looking at their advantages and disadvantages, using multimedia to enhance the content as well as sharing with students and learners. It will also explore the possibilities of using new tools that have now emerged to further enhance presentations.

Presentation of learning material is a key task for institutional staff, and meaning can often be lost or misinterpreted if such areas as design are not considered. With the use of multimedia, in order to enhance the content, there are further considerations to take on board. However, learners are looking for more engaging and timely ways of receiving learning content and with the examples of new tools discussed in this infokit help to address this need.” To read further please click here:


Jul 30

5 Reasons Why You Need a Personal Branding Website Now

By:Kristina Ericksen

personalbrandingwebsite“Your personal brand serves a variety of purposes. When done right, it does the work for you by representing your values and mission. It serves as an introduction and first impression to new acquaintances. Because a brand can serve as a testimonial to your character, it can also help you achieve professional goals. If you ever find yourself out of work, a personal brand can be leveraged to demonstrate your abilities, drive, and commitment.

The perfect accompaniment to your personal brand is a website dedicated to it. A website is not only essential to your brand, but it is also essential to your professional wellbeing. ” To read further please click here:

Jul 30

The Golden Rules of Student Small Groups

By:Jordan catapano

comprehend“Teachers increasingly recognize the role that small group work plays in the overall educational experience of a student. Small groups allow young minds to think out loud, discuss and develop ideastogether, account for one another’s weaknesses, and to take part in a collaborative process. But truth be told, small groups often work better in theory versus their real-world implementation. For instance, students might:

  • Disagree obstructively.
  • Not stay focused on the assigned task.
  • Not understand or work on the assigned task.
  • Not work collaboratively.
  • Not trust one another.
  • Not equally contribute.
  • Not properly account for the amount of time they have.

The lot of these problems requires teacher trial and error to help iron out how their students can perform best. Here are some of the “golden rules” of setting up more effective work sessions for small groups:” To read further please click here:

Jul 29

4 Keys To Designing A Project-Based Learning Classroom

By: globaldigitalcitizens.org

pbl“Traditional American classrooms tend to fit a particular mold: Students face the front of the class where teachers lecture.

Students take notes, finish assignments at home, and hope to memorize enough information just long enough to pass a test.

Engagement and passion are often in short supply — among students and teachers. The system does not necessarily accommodate all learning styles, and even those who fair well may be missing out on other important work-life lessons, like how to creatively solve problems, stay focused, work as part of a team, and organize their thoughts in a way others will understand.

This is where project-based learning enters the equation.

What is Project-Based Learning?” 

To read further please click here:  http://globaldigitalcitizen.org/4-keys-to-designing-a-project-based-learning-classroom/?relatedposts_hit=1&relatedposts_origin=15032&relatedposts_position=2

Jul 29

A Job Description For Teaching

By:Grant Wiggins

teachh“A rarely discussed weakness in education is the lack of a true job description for teachers in hiring. Being told that “you will teach US History” or “we are hiring you to be a 4th grade teacher” is not a job description. It doesn’t say what you are responsible for causing. It merely describes the content and level you will be teaching. It doesn’t demand that you achieve anything in particular. It only says that a certain slot and set of roles should be filled and certain content should be covered.

A real job description would be written around the key learning goals and Mission-related outcomes. What am I expected to cause in students? What am I supposed toaccomplish? Whatever the answer, that’s my job.

The Danielson Framework for Teaching doesn’t really address this problem, despite its many strengths. All the domains are about skills, not achievements; inputs, not outcomes: Planning and Preparation, the Classroom Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities. Couldn’t you therefore have these skills but not be an achiever of outstanding results? Vice versa: I have known many teachers who do little more than cause learning, yet would be found wanting on many of the components (think: Jaime Escalante or any gruff loner – but respected veteran teacher).

Interestingly, job descriptions in other fields are typically far clearer about results sought. Here is an excerpt from a job description for a manager of marketing (arguably just a different version of “teacher”) from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development” To read further please click here:  http://www.teachthought.com/teaching/job-description-teaching/


Jul 29

How Technology Is Helping Students Take Ownership Of Their Work


students following dirctions“As a teacher who has been using technology in my various learning environments for the past seven years, I pride myself in never doing the same project twice. When I taught high school physics two years ago, I was guilty of doing too much of the work for my students.

I had just begun using iBooks Author so I would spend hours creating fancy units of study for my physics students. If they made an iMovie or a Keynote I would certain bundle that material in the book; however I was still doing most of the hard work. Also, the audience who viewed the book was limited to the four walls of my classroom.

The fact that I did not allow my students to extend and expand their learning beyond the four walls of their classroom is a crime. Anything I did with my students and technology would certainly be an enhancement to their learning but it was not transformative teaching or learning.” To read further please click here:  http://www.edudemic.com/technology-ownership-students/

Jul 29

Three Good Interactive Visuals on SMAR Model for Teachers

By:Med Kharbach

smar“In today’s post I am sharing with you three interactive visuals on SAMR model created on ThingLink. Besides providing iPad apps that fit in with each of the categories of SAMR: redefinition, augmentation, modification, and substitution, these apps are also hyperlinked so you can access them with one click and right from the visual itself. For more resources on SAMR please see this page.

For those you not yet familiar with SAMR model, SAMR was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentadura as a model for technology integration into the classroom. It is presumed to help teachers make a better leverage of technology in their teaching. SAMR stands for :

This is the stage where you use technology to substitute what you could have done with pen and paper. one popular example of this is using word processor to type a story instead of handwriting it.” To read further please click here:

Jul 29

The 4 Cornerstones Of Smart Classroom Management

By: Michael Linsin

disruptive in class“Every strategy we recommend here at Smart Classroom Management falls under the heading of one of four core principles.

These principles, or cornerstones, form the heart of what we believe to be the solution to the scores of behavior-related challenges facing teachers today.

From disrespect to inattentiveness, and everywhere in between, their consistent application has the power to transform any classroom—regardless of where you teach or who shows up on your roster.

We hear from teachers every day who put our simple approach into practice and experience rapid and dramatic improvement—and not just with behavior, but with learning, motivation, and attitude toward school.” To read further please click here:

Jul 28

Starting the Year Off Right: Communicating with Parents


parents“Communicating with parents is one of the hardest (if not THE hardest) aspect of our job. Each and every day, the light of someone’s entire world walks into our classroom doors.  It is only natural that we keep them informed of what is going on in our room and with their child.

With that being said, it is something that I struggle with each year. Keeping 30+ students’ parents informed of the goings on in class is challenging to say the least. But there are some things that I have done to at least try to keep the lines of communication open. Here are a few ideas for you that I use in my classroom. “To read further please click here:

Jul 28

Two Excellent Web Tools to Create Story Maps in Class

By:Med Kharbach

classroom2“The two web tools I m sharing with you today are ideal for creating and sharing mapped stories. Students can use them in class to organize, narrate and present information through the means of geography. Both of these tools are easy to use and are also student friendly. Have a look and share with your students.

1- Odyssey
Odyssey is a cool web tool that allows you to create mapped stories. Students can use it to create and tell their stories with the help of maps and without even having to register. The concept of Odyssey is to provide users with a tool to create maps illustrated by narratives.”To read further please click here:  http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2014/07/two-excellent-web-tools-to-create-story.html

Jul 28

Google Sites: Creating a Blog Style Page

By:Alice Keeler

googlesites“There are many things I like about Google Sites website creator. One of the best features is the ability to create multiple blog style pages. The advantage is to be able to have multiple courses, such as algebra and geometry, in one website.

Blog Style

A blog style webpage allows you to post an “article” everyday but not lose the previous content. When you post a new blog, the previous blog article goes below the new article. For teaching this is really important. I post the daily agenda on a blog style page. For students who were absent or need to look something up from previous days they only need to scroll down to find the previous content.” To read further please click here:  http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2014/07/26/google-sites-creating-a-blog-style-page/

Jul 27

Bing in the Classroom: Free Lesson Plans

By:Alice Keeler

bingEveryday on Bing.com a high quality photo image is displayed. Microsoft’s Bing in the Classroom provides free search lessons to go along with the image of the day. In the bottom right hand corner of the image of the day is a photo info button. Click on this to find out more information about the picture and also to find a link to the lesson of the day.”To read further please click here: 


Jul 27

5 Strategies For Engaging Students With Video

By:James Cross

classroom video“Online video is taking the world by storm, and today’s students are the biggest consumers of online video content — they’re the ‘Netflix Generation’. These students have grown up in a world where video is available instantly, on-demand, and on any device.

Combined with the rise of flipped and blended learning methodologies, it’s natural that today’s educators are seeking innovative ways to take advantage of video.

But video is complex – and in the past, it’s been difficult for educators to make use of it for learning. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to take advantage of online video; with cloud video delivery becoming increasingly intuitive and affordable, cutting–edge video technologies are now firmly within the grasp of universities and instructors.” To read further please click here:  http://www.teachthought.com/technology/5-strategies-engaging-students-with-video/


Jul 27

Learning To Read May Take Longer Than We Thought

By:Anya Kamenetz

books“Most of what we know — or think we know — about how kids learn comes from classroom practice and behavioral psychology. Now, neuroscientists are adding to and qualifying that store of knowledge by studying the brain itself. The latest example: new research in the journal Developmental Science suggests a famous phenomenon known as the “fourth-grade shift” isn’t so clear-cut.

“The theory of the fourth-grade shift had been based on behavioral data,” says the lead author of the study, Donna Coch. She heads the Reading Brains Lab at Dartmouth College.

The assumption teachers make: “In a nutshell,” Coch says, “by fourth grade you stop learning to read and start reading to learn. We’re done teaching the basic skills in third grade, and you go use them starting in the fourth.”” To read further please click here:

Jul 27

A sneak peek at the new Google Classroom

By: dailygenius.com

goog“There’s a whole new classroom management tool on the block and it’s designed to streamline the tools you’re already using. It’s called ‘Classroom’ and it’s by the education team over at Google. They’ve basically made it quicker and easier to use their current apps in one cohesive online environment.

Essentially, Google Classroom lets you create an online, well, classroom that enables you to post on a ‘stream’ (just like on Facebook) and share assignments (via Google Drive and simple uploading) with a group of students. The folks over at EdTechTeacher got a sneak peek at what it looks like and how it works. ” To read further please click here: http://dailygenius.com/a-sneak-peek-at-the-new-google-classroom/

Jul 27

Guidance for Schools Issued on How to Keep Parents Better Informed on the Data They Collect on Students

By:U.S. Department of Education

parentts“The U.S. Department of Education today announced new guidance for schools and districts on how to keep parents and students better informed about what student data is collected and how it is used.

In the guidance issued by the Department’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center, schools and districts are urged to be proactive in communicating how they use student data. Information should be available to answer common questions before they are asked.

“Now more than ever, schools need data to monitor academic progress and develop successful teaching strategies,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “At the same time, parents need assurance that their children’s personal information is being used responsibly. This guidance helps schools strike a balance between the two.” To read further please click here:

Jul 26

Teachers need more than one formula for student success

By:Andrew E. Kelly

apicture“The battle around “what works” in education continues to rage nationally and in our great state. What is the best way to ensure that each of our kids, regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status and personal background are able to successfully meet our educational standards and move through elementary, middle and high school to graduate prepared for college and a career?

One argument centers on whether schools should use direct instruction, a teacher-centered approach that commonly uses call-and-response, or a more free-flowing structure where students talk out their thinking and make sense of what they already know to build the scaffolding for their future.” To read further please click here:

Jul 26

Multiple Perspectives on Collaborative Learning

By:Kevin Scott

Positive-Collaborative-Learning-300x300“Remember when we did everything we could to avoid eye contact with the teacher so we wouldn’t be put in a group with students we didn’t want to work with? To me, that was collaborative learning—avoidance.

As a teacher, I was reluctant to try collaborative learning. My first year of teaching was awkward because I was hired after the first quarter was over. I tried desperately to get my middle school history classes caught up, which was a challenge on its own. I was new, a little scared, and didn’t want to give up control. As an experienced teacher, I turned to collaborative work at any opportunity. One of my favorite strategies was conducting simulations. I found any excuse to try one. Simulating a cattle drive with balled up newspapers (cattle), brooms, and hockey sticks (to drive the cattle)? Sure, why not? An Ellis Island simulation where students act as immigration officials? What could possibly go wrong? History was perfect for experimenting with collaborative learning because it gave the students the latitude to voice their opinions and guided them into problem solving creatively. The “real world” lessons were real. It’s powerful to ask a group of 12-year-olds what they would do in a situation like the Bay of Pigs or the Cuban Missile Crisis before telling them that it was a major world event.” To read further please click here:

Jul 26

Teachers: Five Ways to Ease Back into School

By:Elena Aguilar

swimming“Does the thought of returning to school result in a tense knot in your stomach, or a joyful flutter in your heart? For most of us, it’s probably a mixture of both. I love my work — I wake up on a Monday morning feeling excited and grateful, and I love weekends and vacation. Sometimes by mid-July we can start feeling a wave of dread creeping up as our summer winds down and we start getting emails about returning to school.

Here are some strategies to manage those feelings, focus on the possibilities, and ease back into the rhythm of teaching:

#1 Take Little Steps

For some, a cold plunge back into work and teaching might be the only way. ” To read further please click here:

Jul 26

Create Alphabet Books on Your iPad

By:Richard Byrne

alpphalphabet Organizer is a free iPad app offered by Read Write Think. The app is designed to help students learn the alphabet and learn new words.

Once you have created a profile or selected a profile onAlphabet Organizer you are ready to start building alphabet charts and books. In the first screen you will given the choice of making simple word lists or making word lists with pictures and definitions. Should you choose to use pictures you will have to find the pictures somewhere outside of the app and import them to the app. You can make lists for every letter of the alphabet or make lists for just a few letters at a time. After making your lists you can move on to having those lists used in printable charts or picture book pages.” To read further please click here:

Jul 25

New Maker Tool Lets Students Build Apps and Games from Tablets

By: Stephen Noonoo

tynkerr“A new app from maker movement startup Tynker lets students build custom apps, like games and interactive stories, directly from tablets like iPads.

Using the platform, students start with a general template–like a puzzle or storyboard–and drag-and-drop visual programming blocks to input simple commands based on step-by-step prompts, which in turn build the student’s app. Generally, languages that use programming blocks are often considered ideal for young children with no previous programming experience, and can help build problem solving, spatial reasoning, and algorithmic thinking abilities.

As students’ skills advance with the tool, they can tackle larger, more open projects that require additional programming. Completed projects can then be accessed by any iOS, Android, or web device, regardless of where it was built.” To read further please click here:



Jul 25

From the Classroom to the Cloud – Skype and the Future of Learning

By:Tim Bush

skype-granny“How do children learn in places so remote there is no formal access to teachers or schools? How do children with learning disabilities prosper?  How do children with a passion to learn more than is expected in class, stay inspired and engaged?  Do children learn more working in groups or working alone?  These kinds of questions have been asked by researchers and educators for decades.  Hypotheses are tested every day throughout the world, and thanks to innovation, philanthropy, and technology, great progress is being made.  Children are learning in ways they never could before.

Another tool has now entered the sphere of innovation around learning that begins to address many of the questions above.  It won’t arrive in a box or in a student’s backpack.  And it won’t cost a thing.  This new offering comes in a cloud – the School in The Cloud.  This is the work of Professor Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University in England.  The School in the Cloud is a free web platform where groups of young children join volunteer educators via a Skype video call to find the answers to “big questions”, using the internet and their own collective brainpower.  The educators, “Skype Grannies” as they are referred to by the children, are there to encourage curiosity and give support, but not to teach.  The children teach themselves.  Sugata calls it self-organized learning.” To read further please click here:

Jul 25

Technology in the classroom: myth vs reality

By:Charlie Harrington

techoo“Today, learning materials are shifting from print to digital and textbooks are becoming more dynamic — meaning that data about how students learn can be measured and analysed.

Education, by its very nature, produces huge amounts of data and we can use this data to provide teachers with a deeper understanding of precisely what a student knows and what he or she still needs to learn.

Furthermore, these measurements make it possible to provide every student with a constantly updating, personalised textbook, with exactly the exercises and information he or she needs to study in order to master the course material and get ahead. This is exciting because it means students come to class better prepared; fewer students fall behind.

A teacher can see exactly how well her students understood that tough lesson on meiosis at the beginning of the week. She can see that Jane needs extra help understanding cell biology, and can look at what percentage of her students are prepared for a forthcoming exam. A teacher can use this data to tailor class time and help students grasp tough concepts or further challenge an advanced student.” To read further please click here:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/10985494/Technology-in-the-classroom-myth-vs-reality.html

Jul 25

Smart Homework: Can We Get Real?


“Opinions run strong

homewoerk2It doesn’t have to be this way. Homework can be one of the most renewing and exciting aspects of teaching middle school, but we have to be smart about its structure, assignment, and assessment.

Homework policies and practices press people’s buttons; opinions run strong. Every year some parents commented that I didn’t give enough homework and others said that I gave too much. Teachers and schools are considered rigorous if they give a lot of homework, almost regardless of the type of homework that is given or the quality of the classroom instruction. Those who teach well but are light on homework are considered weak or not challenging enough.

What’s more, many middle school students pass or fail purely on whether or not they did their homework, not necessarily on whether or not they mastered concepts. With so much riding on homework, a clear examination of its purposes, management, and motivation is warranted.” To read further please click here:   http://www.middleweb.com/16590/smart-homework-can-talk/

Jul 24

Before you go back to school, choose just one tool

By:Amanda Dykes

tecchnology“Summer is wrapping up. If you are like me you probably attended conferences, read a lot of blog posts and books, or spent more time than usual on social media learning about new things to use in your classroom. But now you are getting ready for back to school.  It can get overwhelming to try to use all the new information you learned about, especially if that includes new technology tools.

When you start school this year, choose one tool to use all year long. Not just for one cool lesson, but one that you can introduce at the beginning of the year and build on as the year goes on. This will give you and your students a common technology to use regularly.  Then take the others and insert into one unit you teach. This will give you time to be more comfortable with it as well as give you a chance to choose one that fits with the pedagogy and theme of your unit.” To read further please click here: