Binge Watch-Worthy PD

Image from Pixabay

Have you ever had a time when you have so much to do, say, watch, read, or share and you don’t know where to start? Well, when that happens to me, I put things on pause, section things off, and then just move through them in order of importance. I have had several things to share while at the same time, I have several books to read, have had meetings, etc. so I have focused on finishing my book so I can get to the other things I want and need to do like share these great tools, tips, and sites.

Escape Rooms are all the rage (though recently, Axe throwing seems to be surpassing if my Groupon and Living Social emails are any indication). We did it with two other families and I can proudly say that we broke the code and got out in about 38 minutes! Well if you didn’t know, there are Breakout games you can create and use in your classrooms. What is a Breakout? You can learn about it this summer at ISTE but you can take a look at the pre-conference materials here. Of course I click on everything so here is Tom’s Digital Breakout Sites and the GSuite Escape both of which you can use to create your own digital breakouts. My very own colleagues Andrew loves using breakout games with his class and he and another colleague Sally created their own using the GSuite Escape so he would be a great resource as well.

Next up is DITCH Textbook’s own Matt Miller with his CUE Live session, “Tech Like a Pirate”. Nope, that is not a typo. If you are familiar with Dave Burgess, you will recognize the play on words of his Teach Like a Pirate book (and video) and Miller’s is another in the series of “Like a Pirate” ed books due to come out soon. Like Burgess who shares how to bring your lessons and content alive by hooking your students and making your content “sticky”, Miller shares how you can do these things using technology. You’ll want to watch the whole thing but if you feel like you want to jump around a bit, you can fast forward to time-stamped content that Miller has kindly listed in his post.

I have shared great tips and tools from Richard Byrne several times before. Today I am sharing his “Best of the Web- Spring 2019″ In less than one hour you will hear about tools for creating and remixing, workflow and management, exploring and more. Along with the video are the accompanying slides. A number of these I have written about before like Flipgrid, Google Science Journal, and GoFormative, and just as many are new to me like Go Synth, Game On World and Triventy. The next things I want to try are Go Synth, Brush Ninja, and Google’s VR Tour Creator. If you are like me and like to browse the web and social media, you might want to try the Recall Study Time extension. In addition to the great things he shares in this video, if you do not have your video in full screen and you don’t have your distraction free extension activated, you will see along the sidebar that Byrne has 602 videos you can scroll through and watch for other cool tips and tools.

Lastly, Earth Day is a week away and you can still sign up for activities to do with your class from Microsoft in Education including a Skype interview with Jane Goodall that Susan Reilly’s third grade class did and find lessons from PBS Learning Media. For even more ideas, head over to Roots and Shoots where you can browse projects and see ways you and your students can take action.

Flipping Math, Go Noodle, ISTE Ignites, and Innovator’s Mindset

13122827834_9b0e1a5e13A short and sweet share today of articles, posts, and tools that I recently read and heard about.

Thinking about Flipping, then you might want to start with math for these reasons.

Teaching algebraic concepts? Try personalizing the lessons towards the interests of the students. See why here and here.

So you could not make it to ISTE15, that’s ok. ISTE has a YouTube channel with videos from keynotes, TED talks, and Ignite sessions like this one here: 14 presenters, 20 slides, 5 minutes to “share their passions.” From Karen Lirenman’s presentation she says, “Students are never too young to learn from the world” and from Pernille Ripp of Global Read Aloud fame, “students need to thrive in school, not just survive” and she asks us to ask ourselves, “Would I want to be a student in my own class?” 

Do you feel like you are constantly doing a song and dance to get your students’ attention? Perhaps your class just needs a brain break. That’s where Go Noodle comes in. I learned about it from one of the ISTE presenters from the Ignite session above. It’s free and it offers fun, engaging, silly brain breaks, energizers, and movement activities you can do with your class. Go Noodle and get moving!

Last, a thought-provoking blog post from George Couros that poses a question from his book, The Innovator’s Mindset, “If you were to start a school from scratch, what would it look like?” It is an interesting question and one of his colleagues had a great response that a teacher does not have to wait for the school or system to be transformative, the teacher can be innovative tomorrow. For more on The Innovator’s Mindset, you can read this post, “8 Characteristics of ‘The Innovator’s Mindset.’”

photo credit: Backflipping at the Boating Lake via photopin (license)