Eleven Ways to Improve Online Classes Blog Post

I sit in front of the computer, staring at the screen. I have a general syllabus with little more than standards and goals. The university is giving me a crazy amount of freedom to design this online course. I shake my head, unsure of what…

Creative Work Is Slow at First Blog Post

Over the last few weeks, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with illustrated videos.  Here are three of my examples:   One of the questions people ask is, “How did you make these?”  This is often followed up by a second question, “How long did it take?” That…

Seven Ways to Break the Consumer Mindset in Schools Blog Post

For the last eleven years, I asked my students to fill out a survey about how they use technology. Although I am now teaching university students, I think I’m going to do a similar survey. The questions are both about technology use (have you ever…

Ten Alternative Assessment Strategies Blog Post

It’s easy to bust on standardized tests. They suck. They’re boring. They’re virtually meaningless. They kill instructional time. But what’s the alternative? If we’re not using multiple choice tests, what are we using? If we want a more creative classroom, what types of assessments exist…

Eight Stages in the Teacher Technology Journey Blog Post

A few years ago, I was a technology coach and I noticed a trend. Teachers tended to go through certain stages as they adopted and integrated technology. I have found these trends to be true of my own experience when it comes to certain platforms…

Eight Ways to Keep Informational Texts Engaging Blog Post

One of the biggest complaints I hear about Common Core is the push toward informational texts. This is often accompanied by the complaint that we are no longer allowing students to read for the sake of reading. Just yesterday, a teacher said to me, “I…

When Kids Craft BYOD Policies Blog Post

It started out with a standardized writing prompt and was never intended to move outside of the small testing window. However, when students finished writing a persuasive text on whether students should  be allowed to have cell phones and MP3 players (a student aptly pointed…

Ten Things I’ve Learned in Going Project-Based Blog Post

It’s a few days before Christmas and I expect a challenge. Students will be checked-out or hyper. However, to my surprise, they are fully engaged in a project that combines reading, writing, global awareness and critical thinking. I’ve mentioned before that this year has been…