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NearPod-Sharing-Group

Engaging instruction, student centered learning, and a classroom foundation built upon creation is the goal of every educator. But, often the question is HOW do I accomplish this? How do I “change” my classroom, and design an atmosphere that is more beneficial for the many different ways students learn today?…

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Well, it’s that time of year again, the summer is winding down and school is back in session. Students are boarding the buses and spending their days in the classroom. Before long the homework will pick up, the assignments will get a little more rigorous, and the school projects will…

Mobile Networking

School leaders need to focus on their districts network capacity when planning for 1-to-1 and BYOD implementations.  Though goal setting and teacher preparation are critical to the impact of your program, the devices have to work seamlessly or you risk creating frustration instead of innovation.  One of the great challenges…

Apps

By now, it’s practically impossible to make it through the day without encountering a QR code.  Whether on a restaurant menu, a box of cereal, or embedded in a blog (yep, like the one you’re reading right now!), QR codes provide instant accessibility to content.  So, how can we use…

SAMR-Model

Redefining instruction using the SAMR model is easy in the digital classroom. You are loaded with the tools you need to transform your instruction, not just enhance it. Here are my suggestions for moving your instruction above the line for a greater impact. Allowing students to record you and making…

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You have a great idea… Your Teachers Pay Teachers budget is gone and you’ve resorted to sitting down and creating a handout yourself. You want it to be wonderfully creative and intriguing for their young eyes (like you see EVERYWHERE), the task is daunting. The room is quiet, computer is on, and you’ve got all the time in the world. {A teacher’s world that is, so let’s go with 10 minutes, once your kids leave, and before you finally get to go home. Sound about right?} But there’s a problem; everything is ready to go but your creative mind. What do you do?

Take these tips and steps and break that creative block… Give your students a stimulating worksheet to encourage task completion using your original thinking.

Now you’re probably telling me, ‘I don’t have the software I need to be creative.’ You’re wrong. You do, right there in your Google Drive, which you should be using because it’s an essential tool for a digital classroom. What’s it called? Google Drawings, and it’s going to rock your socks.

iPad vs Chromebook Showdown
@KeithTIS @MrPiercey

I was asked to go head to head with  a well-known Google Certified Trainer, Donnie Piercey (@MrPiercey) at a training yesterday. Our topic? Chromebook vs iPad.

Although we’ve talked smack the past few months, when it comes down to it, my personal opinion is that both have the power to transform the teaching and learning in a classroom. Also, one is a mobile device for creation and the other is a laptop with the power of Google; therefore, it’s really like comparing apples to oranges. Both have positives and negatives. Make no mistake, I was asked to represent the iPad, so I did my best to highlight the attractive features of the iPad (and show Donnie up). Donnie and I go back five years, so the competition was fierce, but playful.

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There are so many interactive and engaging apps available to teachers today. With one search of a button you can find yourself surrounded with hundreds of apps on any given topic. So as a teacher, I asked myself this question: With all these great resources, why should I limit my students to only using one app at a time?

I’ve found one of the most beneficial uses of apps in the classroom forms when you begin giving students choice over which apps to use and promoting the smashing of multiple apps to create one product. In my classroom I saw  increased student engagement and greater retention of learning when I introduced my students to this process, referred to as App Smashing.

Now, I know what you’re thinking “Use more than one app at a time? Yeah right, I just figured out how ONE app works, how am I supposed to use it in conjunction with three or four others?”  The answer? YOU aren’t. THEY are.

BYOD

I remember vividly the joy and excitement of rolling out one of the first large scale 1 to 1 programs using tablets in our region of the country. We had spent two years planning, piloting, researching, holding public forums, and building a general excitement around the “roll out”. We challenged teachers to change the way they think about content delivery and assessment, teaching them the skills needed to give students 24/7 access to content by leveraging our LMS and creating a hybrid “flipped” classroom. We used the implementation as a change agent to reassess how teaching and learning were occurring in our classrooms.

Today we work with 1 to 1 and BYOD programs across the country and have found that they are all unique in their organization, execution, and measures of success. However, I have noticed a growing trend of schools claiming that they have a BYOD initiative, but upon further examination – they aren’t really a program at all. The school has just made the technological leap to compete with McDonalds, Starbucks, and your local hotel, in allowing students to connect their devices to the network.

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