70 Practical Things Teachers Should Know

Apple for the teacher cartoon

Yes, another list.  I promise the next post here won’t be a list (but I can’t promise this for the post after that…).

Again, another great post from the veteran educators at Te@chThought.  This list is a good refresher for us experienced folks and likely a great primer for the rookies.

Which of these items is the most true for you?  Which ones make you laugh?  Which ones make you cry? Which ones do you think are most vital for a teacher to remember?

 

70 Practical Things Every Teacher Should Know

  1. How to manage their time with military-like precision
  2. The difference between complex, rigorous, and just plain hard
  3. How to deliver instruction to students from a wide range of religious, socioeconomic, and ethnic backgrounds
  4. How to authenticate and contextualize academic content for students
  5. How to use class walls effectively
  6. How to deliver lessons and activities from units that are based on a scope and sequence or pacing guide
  7. The purpose of assessment
  8. How to fake it or pretend (that you gave the probe, watched the video, read the email, etc.)
  9. How to promote ideal behaviors in students
  10. How to get out of the students’ way
  11. That students come to school for different reasons
  12. How to collect money (and how to respond when a student doesn’t have any)
  13. How to self-direct their own professional development
  14. How to best spend the 1-2 planning periods a week they’ll actually get
  15. Where your mailbox is, and when to send attendance and to whom
  16. How to differentiate otherwise standardized content based on readiness or interest
  17. How to work with/on multiple committees, teams, and related groups
  18. How to bypass district internet filters, if only so you know how the students will do it
  19. That they’ll likely have to sponsor and support one or more extra-curricular activities
  20. How to master and maintain software for class rosters, grading, parent communication, etc.
  21. Where teaching has been, where it is, and where it’s going
  22. How to wash their hands
  23. When they’re working too hard
  24. That every student has something really, really special in them
  25. The difference between teaching, covering, and learning
  26. When to push, and when to pull back
  27. That your time with a child is just a blink of an eye in the span of their life
  28. What it means to understand something
  29. How to see students, not a class
  30. That students love the water fountain so very much
  31. When during the day to make copies, or how to go paperless
  32. How to fix a broken copier
  33. Which meetings you can skip, and which you can’t
  34. How to use technology better than the students
  35. When to say no
  36. What to do when you suspect a child is being abused at home, or bullied in school or online
  37. Who to go to for what
  38. How not to get caught sitting at your desk by the administrators
  39. How to organize and optimize digital and physical learning spaces
  40. How to organize physical and digital documents
  41. That you can’t save them all, but that can’t stop you from trying
  42. How to build a compelling classroom library (and this goes for any content area or grade level)
  43. How to balance content knowledge with knowledge of learning models, instructional strategies, and student needs and backgrounds
  44. How to really, truly evaluate assessment data
  45. How to capture a child’s imagination
  46. When a student is about to puke
  47. How to help parents and families understand and support
  48. How to motivate students like it’s your job, because it kind of is
  49. How important it is to not to get on the librarian’s bad side
  50. How to have a short memory for student mistakes
  51. How to give literacy probes and other “non-content”-based assessment
  52. How to work with resource teachers to meet IEP and 504 needs
  53. How to hide in their room so they can actually get something done
  54. What they can say, in person and online, that will get them fired
  55. How to meet IEP and 504 needs without a resource teacher
  56. How to use the best parts of their personality to craft a teacher voice and personality that works
  57. How to demonstrate leadership within team and department activities and initiatives
  58. How to keep students safe while making sure each student is heard and related to
  59. To be aware of and respond to all student medical conditions
  60. How to do the dog-and-pony show (in case they want to)
  61. Dozens of team-building exercises
  62. How to entertain students
  63. The best ways to get a busy, loud, disruptive, or otherwise inattentive classroom’s attention
  64. How to begin, end, and dismiss class
  65. How to eat fast
  66. How to coordinate and execute a field trip
  67. How to get the class to school activities (gym, assemblies, library, cafeteria, etc.) efficiently
  68. How to teach every second of every day with the awareness that a single word, gesture, or missed connection can stay with a student forever
  69. How to be accountable to students, colleagues, administrators, media, communities and other sources of what is at best, well-intentioned support and, and is in worst cases, pressure
  70. How to reflect on and refine one’s view of one’s self as a growing educator

 

15 Essential Apps for the Organized Teacher

15 Essential Apps

After the general list of the previous post, here’s a list targeted specifically for teachers who want to be better organized (and that’s really all of us isn’t it?)

Here’s a list of the suggested apps.  For links to the various versions of them, be sure to visit the Te@chThought link above:

  1. SimplyCircle – Group Communication
  2. Google Drive
  3. YouTube
  4. Evernote Scannable
  5. Dropbox
  6. Paperless Assignments with Dropbox or Google Drive
  7. Pocket
  8. Newsify
  9. Allcal – Social planning app
  10. Remind: Safe Classroom
  11. Microsoft One Note
  12. TeacherKit
  13. Seesaw: The Learning Journal
  14. Nearpod
  15. Socrative Teacher

A Gaggle of Google, Part II

Google

A few months ago, I posted a list of links related to the Google universe.  It happened to be the 100th post.  Now, we’re approaching 150 posts and I thought it was time to send out another, updated list of Google items.

A couple of notes.  First, I did not renew my Office 365 account when it expired a month ago.  The $70 or so they wanted for another year wasn’t worth it to me.  So, I’m planning on migrating all of my files over to the Google trio exclusively.  I mention this as I’m keeping an eye out for useful posts on Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Next, my school does not use Google Classroom as our LMS is Buzz, built on the platform of BrainHoney.  I note this as I generally don’t look out for Classroom postings.  You may see one or two in this list, but it’s not a focus for me.

Without further ado, here’s good stuff I’ve seen recently on Google:

10 Reasons to Love Google Docs

A Collection of Some of the Best Chromebook Apps for Teachers

Must Have Chrome Apps for the New School Year

14 Essential Google Search Tips for Students

10 Back to School Tips for Teachers Using Google Docs

5 Important Chrome Tips for Teachers

PDF My Google Drive Folder

Back to School With Google Chrome: The Complete Guide

Launch Desktop Application from Google Drive Preview in Chrome

Explain Everything – On Chromebooks!

6 Google Tips – Infographic

Two Important Google Slides Updates Teachers Should Know About

5 Under Appreciated Google Tools for Teaching Social Studies

72 Google Drive Shortcuts You Should Know About

Some Great Educational Resources From Google

Google Classroom: Sharing or Submitting a Google Drive Folder

Excellent Google Sheets Tools for Assessment and Grading

12 Ways to Use Google Classroom’s Newest Features

Some Teacher Tested Notable Chromebook Apps to Use with Students

Top 90 Educational Apps for Android

Google Brings It’s 360 Degree Storytelling App to the iPhone and iPad

Here is a Great Alternative to Google Forms

A New Look for the Google Docs, Slides and Sheets Viewer on the Mobile Web

Google Apps and the Brain Friendly Classroom – Collaborative Learning

Treasure Trove of Historical Footage Now Available on YouTube

6 Most Popular Google Docs Templates for Teachers

Teacher’s Top Educational Chrome Apps for 2015-2016

3 Important Google Drive Updates Teachers Should Know About

100 Ways to Use Google Drive in the Classroom

411 on Google’s Educator Certificates

Google Forms: Using Summary of Responses Repeatedly

3 Excellent Google Sheets Tools to Enhance Workflow

A Handy Google Drive Tool for Annotating PDF’s

24 Google Docs Templates Which Will Make Your Life Easier

Top 5 Android New Aggregator Apps for Teacher

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Enjoy the wide ranging list!

 

 

DISCOUNTS! 30 Companies Which Offer Teacher Discounts in 2015-2016

weloveteachers

How much of your own $ have you spent getting your classroom and teaching tools ready for SY 2015-2016.  Fortunately, a nice list of national businesses give teachers a discount on purchases of various types.  Some of these are quite formal and require registration – like Barnes and Noble Teacher discount.  Others seem to be like a “flash your teacher ID” and save.

In perusing this list, I discovered the International Teacher Identification Card.  It’s clearly a money making operation for someone as the base level card is $25 (plus shipping!?!).  If it truly provides as many as discounts internationally as it claims to, it might be the teacher equivalent of the well-known AAA travel discounts.

Also, check with your local library as both of the ones for which I am eligible offer Educator Cards which offer extended check-out and reduced (or eliminated) late fines.

Lists and More Lists of Apps and Tools for Teachers and Students

Periodic Table of iPad Apps

As promised, here’s the big post with lots and lots of lists.  I know that during this busy time of year, neither you nor I will be able to play around with more than a few of the resources accessed through these links.  Heck, you might not even be able to do more now than just read this introduction!

Please bookmark this post (and this blog in general) and return here again and again to explore a list or two.  If I can discover one or two blockbuster (or even just pretty good) apps or sites (Kahoot is an awesome one that I discovered via a list) every month or so, than I feel like perusing lists a few minutes a week is time well spent!

Note: Image above is from this link: Two Great Periodic Tables on Educational iPad Apps

6 New Ed Tech Tools for Teachers

Free Digital Formative Assessment Tools

50 Web Tools and Mobile Apps for Showcasing Student Work

21 Grab and Go Teaching Tools for Your Classroom

Free Teacher Tested Tools to Try in Your Classroom

Four Top Websites for Teaching and Learning (Tackk; PearDeck; SoundTrap; Appsbar)

Twenty Popular Apps and Web Tools Made by Students

20 Cool Tools for Creating Info Graphics

Another Great Tool for Creating Buzzfeed Style Quizzes

Literacy in the Digital Age: 5 Effective Writing Tools

Two Useful Game-Based Learning Tools for Teachers (Brainrush; ClassXP)

Some of the Best Web Tools and Mobile Apps for Taking Students on Virtual Field Trips

A List of Useful Resources on Teaching Information and Digital Literacy

A Collection of the Best Web Tools and Apps for Creating Educational Screencasts

Eleven Great Digital Homework Helpers for Your Kids

Six Must-Have Apps for Teachers’ Back to School Tool Kits

Here is a Collection of New Web Tools and Apps for Teachers

Excellent Story Writing Apps for Students

15 Free Apps for Classroom Management

Four Useful Tools for Creating Non-Traditional Quizzes

Teacher Recommended: 50 Favorite Classroom Apps

Excellent Strategy Games to Teach Kids Logical Thinking

A Collection of the Some of the Essential Web Tools for Teachers

(Part 1): Forty Educational Websites for Your Summer 2015 Toolkit

(Part 2): Forty Educational Websites for Your Summer 2015 Toolkit

(Part 3): Forty Educational Websites for Your Summer 2015 Toolkit

(Part 4): Forty Educational Websites for Your Summer 2015 Toolkit

9 Ways to Get Your Grammar Game On – A Playlist

July’s “Best Lists” – There are 1,459 of Them!

4 Good iPad Apps for Seamlessly Managing Students’ Assignments

The 37 Best Websites to Learn Something New

55 Best Free Educational Apps for the iPad

A New Collection of Educational Web Tools for Teachers

Two More Tools for Making On-line Learning Games (eQuiz Show, Teachers-Direct)

Top 25 Tech Tools for Teachers 2015

23 Tools for Students to Publish What They Learn

Lets Present! 21 Digital Poster Tools and Tips

15 Apps to Change Your Brain

Safe, Student Tested Tools to Use in Class

Best Note-Taking Apps

Educator Recommended Tools to Enhance Your Visuals

These 44 Apps Will Make You More Productive

11 Apps That Will Make You Smarter

Some Great Educational Resources From National Geographic

4 Important Apps for a Paperless Classroom (Showbie, Teacher Toolkit, Socrative Teacher, NearPod)

Top 4 Presentation Tools for Teachers (Prezi, Haiku Deck, ThinkLink, Glogster)

10 On-line Tools to Engage Students in the Studying Process

7 Free Tools for Anyone Who Wants to Become a Better Writer

10 New Educational Web Tools for Teachers and Educators

10 On-Line Tools to Upgrade Students’ Writing Skills

21 Essential Data Visualization Tools

Some Good Educational Web Tools Recommended by Teachers for Teachers

5 Great Apps Students Can Use to Display Their Learning

10 Great Classroom Management Apps for Teachers

6 of the Best iPad Apps for Digital Storytelling

7 Great iPad Apps for Digital Whiteboarding

Special thanks to Educational Technology and Mobile Learning as many of these links were from that excellent site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Educational Technology Trends for SY 2015-2016

3d_printing-Image

Before we think about the specific tech tools to use in class (I’ll soon post many, many lists of valuable tools), it’s useful to step back and get the big picture of the trends which are shaping the broader educational landscape.  So here’s a few lists telling the present ed tech story:

Upside Learning offers a succinct presentation of “10 eLearning Trends for 2015,” along with compelling, supporting evidence.

  1. It’s a Multi-device World
  2. Out with Flash. In with HTML5
  3. Of Games and Gamification
  4. Augmenting Reality
  5. Book a MOOC
  6. Learning Management
  7. Learn at Your Own Pace
  8. BYO Device
  9. Wearable Learning
  10. Learning on the Go

From the always informative, Edudemic blog here’s “6 Important Trends in Educational Technology”:

  1. The need to develop cultures of innovation
  2. Increasing collaboration between institutions – a. Tech is expensive, but also increasingly important.  b. Schools can share data and content
  3. Possibilities of assessment and measurement
  4. Proliferation of Open Educational Resources
  5. Increase in blended learning
  6. Redesigning Learning Spaces

Here’s a categorized and opinionated list: “Education Technology: Your Cheat Sheet to 10 Fads, Trends and WTF’s!”

Trends:

  • BYO Device
  • Open Educational Resources
  • Freemium
  • Flipped classrooms
  • Student data privacy
  • Edtech investment bubble

Fads:

  • Going 100 percent digital
  • Coding classes and camps

WTF’s:

  • Open Badges
  • MOOC’s

From a slightly difference perspective, Forbes offers “What Cutting Edge Looks Like in a School in 2015”

Clue 1: The teachers are resourceful and creative.  They can turn anything into a tool for teaching.

Clue 2: The school invests in effective delivery, not just quality content.

Clue 3: Technology is purchased wisely and used efficiently.

Clue 4: You see kids actually playing at school because the school understands that play is not a treat.

Note: This list looks sparse here.  Do check out the article as the author gives links to great examples of each “clue.”

Here’s a piping hot fresh list from edSurge: “Get on Top of these Four Edtech Teaching Trends:”

  1. Open Educational Resources
  2. Formative assessment with live analytics
  3. Paperless workflow
  4. Collaborative, real-time learning

Again, visit the article for descriptions of each point along with links to tools.

One final list for this post, again with a slightly different slant: “30 Examples of Disruption in the Classroom”

My two favorite, which I don’t think I can figure out how to work into my Religion classroom are: #21: 3D printing and #26: Robotics in the classroom.

 

 

Using Twitter For Your Classes and With Colleagues

Twitter 26 Ways - 2

I’ll be honest – I was a late-adopter for Twitter.  I skipped MySpace.  Got on board facebook (of course) and LinkedIn for my professional life.  I’ve not jumped in to Instagram or some of the younger focused platforms.

The more I use Twitter personally, the more I think about how it could be used in the classroom – at least at the high school level.  Apparently, I’m not the only educator thinking along these lines.

Class Twitter Account: How Your Students Can Tweet

Trick for Creating a Class Twitter Account

26 Ways Educators Use Twitter (home of this excellent info-graphic):

Twitter 26 Ways

Here’s how to use it with colleagues:

A Teacher’s Guide to Creating a School Twitter Chat

And here’s some other educators to follow:

100+ Education Twitter Accounts to Follow

Here’s another, shorter list of educator tweets to follow. And another similar list.

Lastly, an interesting look at how Twitter is central in political debates, particularly over the Common Core and the “opt-out” movement.

 

 

 

10 Things to Not Lose Sight of This Year

Advice For Teachers

And now this thought-provoking list from the always helpful Te@chThought:

10. Schools should be ready for students, not the other way around.

9. The school year is a marathon, not a sprint.

8. You don’t need a million tools and strategies to teach well.

7. People change, and students are people.

6. The students should talk more than you do.

5. A growth mindset includes a sustainable mindset.

4. You’re a professional, and you control your own attitude.

3. How you make students feel can last a lifetime. Careful.

2. It’s not your job to prepare students for “the real world”

1. The students are always watching you.

Good reminders for newbies and vets alike.

iPads are the Worst Technology Students Will Ever Use

Aviary Photo_130730967195843595

Since my colleagues and I began this blog last November, I’ve read quite a few articles on educational technology.  Few have remained in my thoughts as much as the one from Te@chThought entitled “Education Technology as a Matter of Principle.”

Blogger Terry Heick reminds us that using technology to facilitate learning has always been an essential part of educational methodology.  Over time, this usage inevitably evolves from lower to higher complexity and functionality. Using chalk on a blackboard progressed to writing with dry erase markers on a whiteboards and then to using virtual “pens” on SMART boards.  Every classroom at my school has an LCD projector and Apple TV which any teacher can use with his or her iPad to project “whiteboard” apps like Explain Everything. As a result, the portable SMART boards purchased only a few years ago are obsolete.  We do still occasionally use them though, along with semi-erasable markers, as “whiteboards on wheels.”

So the question isn’t “should teachers use technology in their teaching,” but rather “which forms should be used?”  And I think a related question is: “How central to the learning process in our classroom is the use of “higher” and emerging forms of educational technology?”

The sentence which stands out for me the most is when Heick observes:

iPads are the worst technology students will ever use.

Wow. How true. And how often I am so enamored and amazed by what the iPad can do that I forget this simple fact.

Heick continues:

When today’s elementary students are 40, they’ll remember iPads the way (many of us) remember cassette tapes. It will be funny that they used to hold large, heavy glass rectangles in their hands, and had to open up apps separately. And had to know which app did what. And had to “Google” information. And sometimes weren’t even connected to the internet because WiFi signals were unreliable.

My experience confirms this.  When I was in elementary school I remember playing Oregon Trail (this version and not this revised one) on a green-screen Apple IIe.  In the late 1980’s when I was in college I typed and printed my papers on an all-in-one word processor.  People who are older than me remember before there were palm sized transistor radios.

It’s hard to imagine how outdated iPads will seem in 5 or 10 years.  While there’s no shortage of predictions about what the future of consumer technology will hold, we can’t ever predict it accurately.  When I got my first Walkman in 1985 could I possibly believe that 20 years later I’d have an iPod which held a ridiculous amount of music?

My takeaway from the inevitability of the rapid and unanticipated evolution of technology is two fold.  First – Don’t get too wedded to any one particular form of hardware or software as ‘this too shall pass.”  More importantly – I should teach my students how to learn about using technology rather than simply having them learn content via technology.

Let me share an example from my freshman class this Spring.  Recently I had my students pair up to create “social media” pages from the perspective of a character in Genesis.  I had them use the Tackk platform for this assignment.  Meanwhile, my colleague who teaches the other freshman Religion classes used Blendspace as the platform for a similar assignment.

I’m planning to assign my students a similar project to create a “social media” page for a Judge, King or Prophet.  Should I have them use Tackk again in order for them to develop their novice skills on that platform?  Or is there more learning potential in having them use Blendspace, even if their output will be of a beginning level?  Governed by the philosophy of teaching students how to learn about using technology, I think I’ll opt for the later and not former option.  Sure, there will be more of a learning curve for me as well, but I think learning how to pick up a new technology and use it effectively is a 21st century skill equal to the other ones on the typical lists of these skills.

As always, I’ll let you know how Blendspace works out for my students and me.

 

100th Post! A Gaggle of Google

Aviary Photo_130724140276684247

It’s the First of April and the 100th post on Ed Tech Emergent!  And no, this is not a clever April Fool’s Joke like the one put forth today by Redbox in their introduction of the companion Petbox with videos and games for dogs and cats.

I’ve been collecting interesting, education-related links for more than six months and I have far too many I’ve not posted yet.  To celebrate one hundred posts, I share many (31 actually) links to tips, tricks, and devices all from the world of Google. Here goes:

Google’s Art Project Chrome Extention – A beautiful way to customize the “new tab.” In the midst of the wide range of art that appears, buttons to key funtions can be accessed. Here’s a couple of the artworks which came up for me today:

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Aviary Photo_130723822012666333

 

11 Handy Chrome Extensions You Should Try Today

Google Sheets: Click Here to Tweet

Here’s a Good Way to Annotate and Grade Google Drive Files

Make the Most of Your Gmail With These Excellent Apps

Google Puts Chrome OS on Your TV With Its Own HDMI Stick – I first saw this exciting announcement today, so hopefully it’s not an April Fool’s Joke.  What it appears to be is a gum-packaged sized stick, dubbed the Chromebit, priced at about $100, which will essentially turn your TV into the functionality of a Chromebox (by adding a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard).

Aviary Photo_130724140566917505

Five Myths About Google

A Guide to Google Tools: Tips and Tricks You Can’t Live Without

8 Good YouTube Channels for Teachers

 Withgoogle.com – A pretty amazing and mysterious portal which I learned about from this article.  Here’s the link to the site itself. 

6 Good Chrome Notetaking Apps That Run Offline

Two Good Google Drive Templates to Create Fake Facebook Pages

15 Amazing Features in Google Apps You Probably Don’t Know About

7 Great Chrome Apps to Help Students Become Better Googlers

Create an HD Fly-Through Video Tour in Google Earth Pro – This is one that I’m hoping to try out during Easter Break.  If you’ve not yet downloaded your free copy of Google Earth Pro, do it now!

7 Great Google Forms for Teachers

10 of the Best Chrome Apps for Math Teachers

How School Admins Can Harness the Power of Google Drive

Google Offers These Powerful Storytelling Apps for Free

10 Google Slides Activities to Add Awesome to Class

5 Things Every Teacher Should Be Able to Do on YouTube

Everything Teachers Need to Know About Google Scholar Library

Interactive Learning Menus Using Google Docs

Excellent Speech to Text Tool Integrated with Google Drive

Chrome Extension Turns YouTube into a Serious Music Player

Using Google Spreadsheet for Creating Flashcards

Teacher’s Easy Guide to Creating Quiz Shows on Google Drive

5 Great Google Plus Communities for Teachers

11 Steps to Create a Google Plus Community for Your Class

Create a Badge with Google Drawing

Excellent Tutorials to Create Presentations on Google Drive