Ditch That Textbook Podcast :: Education, teaching, edtech :: #DitchPod

Ditch That Textbook Podcast :: Education, teaching, edtech :: #DitchPod

ditchthattextbook.com
Helping you teach with less reliance on the textbook through technology, creativity and innovation. Hosted by Ditch That Textbook author Matt Miller.


189: Two words to guide your remote teaching and learning
Jul 29 • 6 min
Back to school is getting close. And as we get closer, many educators are thinking about how remote learning fits into their teaching plans. As we make those plans and create strategies, there are two important words to keep in mind, and how we balance…
188: Press record to give students instructions
Jul 28 • 5 min
There are lots of digital tools out there to help students record their thinking. video tools. Audio tools. There’s a lot to choose from. but what if we, as teachers, use some of those tools to give our students instructions? This could be especially…
187: A fun tip for recording remote learning videos
Jul 27 • 6 min
When we do instruction remotely, it’s nice to be able to record videos for your students. You can record instructional videos, daily check-in videos, announcements, and more. Lots of educators are using Flipgrid (flipgrid.com) for this. In this episode, I…
186: Awesome Teacher Summer #3: Google/Microsoft training
May 27 • 7 min
Are you a Google-using educator or a Microsoft-using educator? Both companies offer training for educators that goes WAY beyond simple support pages. Google has the Google for Education Training Center, which helps you get Google certified and provides…
185: Awesome Teacher Summer #2: Global EdTech Academy
May 26 • 6 min
Imagine a conference you could attend that had lots of really, really good presenters. Imagine they were presenting on lots of topics that really interested you. Now imagine that conference happening for free, every day, and virtually. That’s the idea…
184: Awesome Teacher Summer #1: EdTech tools
May 25 • 9 min
Summer is a great time for us to renew and recharge. But once we have, sometimes we want to level up our teaching skills. In this episode, I’ll share a handful of courses you can take on edtech tools that will widen your teaching repertoire.
183: Student-created unboxing videos
May 21 • 6 min
YouTube has some pretty fun videos to watch. That should be no surprise. it is the second largest search engine in the world! YouTubers have found very creative ways to engage their viewers. We can look to YouTube for inspiration on the activities we ask…
182: 10 options for online whiteboards
May 20 • 9 min
I love having a whiteboard to write on whenever I’m in a classroom! But when we are doing remote learning, or when we want to engage students in digital spaces, sometimes the whiteboard doesn’t translate into those spaces easily. What can we do? In this…
181: A FREE remote learning online course!
May 19 • 5 min
We have had to do a lot of adapting and learning in a short period of time with our adjustments to remote learning. To help provide some ideas and solutions going forward, I have created a free online course about remote learning. in this episode, I will…
180; Tech Like a PIRATE is out!
May 18 • 5 min
After a hiatus of more than a month, I’m back! My new book, Tech Like a PIRATE, is now finally available! In this episode, you will hear all about it. Plus, I will share where you can find lots of free resources whether you buy the book or not! Plus, you…
179: No-internet remote learning (part 3)
Apr 9 • 8 min
when all of our students don’t have equal access to the internet, what can we encourage them to do to keep learning going? In this episode, the third in a series of activities you can do with no internet, I share four final ideas to help keep the learning…
178: No-internet remote learning (part 2)
Apr 8 • 7 min
When students don’t have equal access to the internet, what’s a teacher to do? There are lots of options for students who don’t have regular access to the internet. We can encourage them to do certain activities that will help them grow in our content…
177: No-internet remote learning (part 1)
Apr 7 • 7 min
If your students don’t all have equal access to the internet during remote learning, you are not alone. Many educators have concerns about the equity of access during remote learning. However, there are still lots of activities students can do to advance…
176: An app for your daily gratitude
Apr 2 • 5 min
Could you handle a little extra happiness in your day? I recently found an app that helps you track and reflect on what you are grateful and happy for. This could be a great tool for us as educators. It could certainly help our students. And the prompts…
175: What do students need from us now?
Apr 1 • 5 min
With the world changing — and our class situations changing — during this time of pandemic, what do students need from us? Their needs may be different than they were when we were last face-to-face in class with them. On the OnlineLearningIdeas.com…
174: What to do on video calls (Part 2)
Mar 31 • 6 min
lots of educators are using video calls to do remote learning. But once you and your students are on a video call, what can you do? In the previous episode, I shared three ideas. In this episode, we take it to the next level with three new ideas!
173: What to do on video calls (Part 1)
Mar 30 • 6 min
lots of educators around the world are connecting with their students through video calls. There are lots of different platforms to use. But once you get on a video call, what will you do with your students? There’s so much more to it then direct…
172: Step by step instructions without video
Mar 27 • 5 min
When we want to give students step by step instructions, sometimes we turn to a screen recording video. Those videos are clear, but they can be big files that are hard to access for students with slow internet speeds. An alternative that uses very little…
171: Recording video for slow internet speeds
Mar 26 • 6 min
When students have a slow internet connection at home, remote learning can be difficult. It’s especially difficult if teachers are providing large video files for them to watch. there are some steps we can take as educators to make those videos smaller…
170: eLearning activities: #3 video activities
Mar 19 • 7 min
if we want to keep learning going at home, having some ideas for learning activities can be helpful. In this four-part series, I am sharing some activity types that you can use when your students are learning from home. In this episode, I share a handful…
169: eLearning activities: #2 creative slides ideas
Mar 18 • 7 min
there is so much that students can do to learn from home! Whether they have internet access or not, slide presentations offer lots of options. And they don’t have to look like the standard oral reports we have done on slides for years! In this episode, I…
168: eLearning activities: #1 graphic organizers
Mar 17 • 7 min
As we try to wrap our brains around what distance learning looks like, it’s helpful to have some ideas and examples. In the next four episodes, I’m going to share several different types of activities you can provide students while they are learning from…
167: Empowering students to own learning
Mar 11 • 6 min
When students take control of their learning, amazing things can happen. They go from being compliant followers to commanders of their own future. In his session at the NCTIES Conference, author John Spencer shared tips from his book about how to empower…
166: Finding game hooks to use in class
Mar 10 • 7 min
We love games, and so do our students! When we can pull elements of games into class, it has potential for great engagement. North Carolina educator Chris Goodson shares some of his favorite game hooks in this episode. With some of his ideas, you may…
165: Creating in VR with Darcy Grimes
Mar 9 • 6 min
virtual reality is beginning to spread, and so many of its uses have to do with consumption. What if students were able to create with VR? Darcy Grimes, a North Carolina educator and former state teacher of the year, shares how Google Tour Creator can…
164: Digital bell ringer activities to kickstart class
Mar 6 • 7 min
The beginning of class is a crucial time everyday. Those first several minutes can set the tone for the entire day of instruction! If we want to make the most of those minutes, we can give students learning activities that really engage them and stimulate…
163: 10 WEEKS of freebies for my new book!
Mar 5 • 6 min
My new book is coming out in April, and I want to celebrate by giving you lots of great free resources! The book, Tech Like a Pirate, shares how we can create memorable learning in the classroom with technology. It will be lots of fun! For the next 10…
162: 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon/connection makin’
Mar 4 • 6 min
Have you ever heard of the “6 degrees of Kevin Bacon” game? You’re supposed to be able to connect any actor to Kevin Bacon with no more than six connections to other actors. Making connections can be a powerful classroom activity! Nate Ridgway, my…
161: Making infographics with Adobe Spark
Mar 3 • 6 min
Infographics are very brain friendly. They blend together visuals and text in a way that’s very sticky for the brain. I recently found a video tutorial by Claudio Zavala that shows how to create those using Adobe Spark Post. In this episode, I will share…
160: Social media hooks for classroom use
Mar 2 • 6 min
many of our students are very interested in social media. We can tap into that excitement and enthusiasm, and we don’t even need students to use those apps! There is an inherent draw that every social media platform has that gets us interested in it. If…
159: 5 Chrome extensions to check out
Feb 26 • 6 min
Chrome extensions add extra super powers to our Google Chrome web browsers. Teachers and students all over reap the rewards of them, too! In this episode, educator Michael Bertoni shares A few useful Chrome extensions from his presentation at the PETE&C…
158: Podcasting in the classroom with Heather Kelly
Feb 25 • 6 min
Podcasting is on the rise. When we use it in the classroom, it gives students a voice. They are able to create with what they learn. Teacher Heather Kelly has seen great benefits from podcasting in the classroom with her students. In this episode, she…
157: Promoting a solid democracy in schools
Feb 24 • 6 min
We want students to be good citizens and productive members of society. But how can we advocate responsibly for the democracy that we all hope for? Pennsylvania teacher Mike Soskil (Twitter: @msoskil) is the editor of a book that will be published soon.…
156: A good fake news self assessment
Feb 21 • 6 min
It can be tricky to discern fact from fiction these days. It can be even trickier to help our students navigate the digital waters of fake news and fact. In this episode, I share a good fake news self-assessment. It comes from the book Fact vs Fiction:…
155: 5 FREE virtual field trips to check out
Feb 20 • 6 min
Virtual field trips are so much fun. We can take our students to places all over the world without leaving the comfort of our classroom. Thankfully, lots of these virtual field trips are available for free. They include live video calls with people in…
154: Student podcasts in Google Slides
Feb 19 • 6 min
Voice is on the rise. Podcast listenership continues to grow. Smart speakers are selling like hotcakes. With all of this buzz around audio content, maybe now is the time to incorporate podcasting in your classroom. However, it doesn’t have to be…
153 Your Google Classroom secret power
Feb 18 • 5 min
We use Google Classroom to assign, collect, grade, and return work with students. Many teachers will use Google Classroom in a web browser on their laptop or desktop computers. But have you tried the Google Classroom mobile app? It has a couple of…
152: Google Slides templates and fixing them
Feb 17 • 5 min
As teachers, a lot of times we like to assign students work using templates. Google slides is a great choice for doing that! But what do you do when students make mistakes and need to go back to a previous version? In this episode, I talk to Maria Sohn,…
153: Ask this question for better results
Feb 14 • 5 min
I ran across a really helpful question in a post on Twitter. It may help you, too!
152: Upgrade that textbook with augmented reality
Feb 13 • 6 min
Augmented reality is showing up in more and more schools all over. But how can we use augmented and virtual reality in meaningful ways in the classroom? I love the approach that David Saunders used to upgrade 9th grade history textbooks with augmented…
151: Classroom tech: Should I use it?
Feb 12 • 6 min
When I was a beginning teacher, I thought that technology use in the classroom was good no matter what. It didn’t take me long to change my views on that, though. When we use tech in the classroom, we have to ask ourselves, ” How is it improving learning?…
150: More Google Classroom organization ideas
Feb 11 • 6 min
Your Google Classroom can get pretty organized sometimes, can’t it? This is a pain point for so many who use it and other learning management systems! A couple of little tips can go a long way to getting it neat and tidy. At the TCEA conference in Austin…
149: A new social media for educators
Feb 10 • 6 min
So many of us educators turn to Twitter and Pinterest to get ideas and connect with each other. But there’s a new social media that’s developed specifically for educators that’s coming out soon. in this episode, I interview one of the founders, Michael…
148: Bringing tech into the library
Feb 7 • 7 min
Libraries in schools are getting a makeover. They don’t just have to be a room full of dusty books! Kelly and Crystal from Pasadena, Texas, share how they’re using technology to engage students in their media center.
147: Flipgrid, information literacy and coaching
Feb 6 • 6 min
I’m at the TCEA conference in Austin, Texas! There’s a lot to learn here. In this episode, I share several of my key takeaways from the first day.
146: You CAN do that with Microsoft! with Scott Titmas
Feb 5 • 6 min
Many times, when we see the cool things that teachers are doing with Google products, we might assume that the same things can’t be done with Microsoft. But that’s not necessarily the case! Scott Titmas Share some of his favorite tips and tricks for…
145: Offering custom PD with Stacy Saia
Feb 3 • 7 min
teachers love to have choices in their professional development as much as students love to have choices in their learning! In this episode, Stacy Saia shares how her school district is giving teachers choice and how they learn professionally — and how…
144: Social media-inspired learning without the app
Jan 31 • 6 min
So many of our students are fascinated with social media. any mention of one of their favorite apps can instantly grab their attention. We can pull elements of social media into our learning activities to engage those students! In a recent post on the…
143: Real-time classroom translation for free
Jan 30 • 6 min
In so many schools around the United States and the world, we see a wide variety of native languages. Providing support to students and their families in their own language can pay great dividends in student learning. The Microsoft translator app lets…
142: Brain-based ways to reach diverse students
Jan 29 • 7 min
Understanding how the brain works and learns can help us teach and our students learn with more power. Understanding that each student’s brain doesn’t learn the same way is important, too. In Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta…
141: Three phases of learning for the long term
Jan 28 • 7 min
When we learn how the brain prefers to learn, We can learn smarter instead of harder. I got so much valuable information and insight from the book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zarretta Hammond. in it, she talks about how we can teach in…
140: Take the Flipgrid 5 for student accessibility
Jan 27 • 5 min
When students take activities home to do, sometimes they struggle. Sometimes the parents struggle! To add a layer of assistance to your activities, you might try what Nate Ridgway calls the Flipgrid 5. It’s an easy way to add a short instructional video…
139: Free music/sound effects for class projects
Jan 24 • 4 min
Lots of students do media projects when they need music or sound effects to make them sound their best. The YouTube Audio Library is a great source of downloadable songs and sounds.
138: 3 things I’m loving about Quizizz now
Jan 23 • 6 min
Quizizz is one of several formative assessment tools that teachers are using all around the world. After loading it up recently, I noticed a few newer features that really impressed me. in this episode, I’ll tell you what those features are and why you…
137: Being bored and brilliant in class
Jan 22 • 7 min
We have so many mechanisms in our life to keep us from boredom. We check our phones. We listen to music and watch TV. But our brain likes to be bored! It does it’s best thinking that way many times. I recently heard author Manoush Zomorodi talking about…
136: Four tools to check out from #fetc Tech Share Live
Jan 21 • 7 min
During the FETC Conference, there were lots of tools and apps shared in a variety of sessions. During the Tech Share Live, The four prisoners shared some of their favorites. In this episode, I have picked four of them that are super interesting to me!
135: The optimal times to do different types of work #fetc
Jan 20 • 7 min
When is the best time to do analytical work? Or administrative tasks? Or insight work? In his book When — and in his keynote address at the FETC Conference — author Dan Pink shared what science knows about how to optimize our day. There are fascinating…
134: Timing matters in schools from Dan Pink #FETC
Jan 17 • 7 min
Timing is important in so much that we do in schools, whether it’s the start of the school day or when we do different types of academic work. In his keynote at the FETC conference, author Dan Pink shared how schools and education can make better…
133: Learning space design with Bob Dillon
Jan 16 • 5 min
When designing our learning spaces, many times we think about going to Pinterest before we think about turning to research. In today’s episode, The Space co-author Bob Dillon shares some practical things you can start doing right away to optimize your…
132: Google Slides: Copy selected slides
Jan 14 • 4 min
If you use Google tools very often, you are probably familiar with the feature to make a copy. You can find it under the file menu. In Google Slides, there’s a new feature. Make a copy of a slide presentation and only take the slides with you that you…
131: Building relationships by being close
Jan 13 • 6 min
We all know the importance of building those close relationships with our students. But did you know that being close in proximity helps us develop relationships too? Neuroscience tells us that being in personal space, between two and four feet from a…
130: 2 ways to mix up your Flipgrid activities
Jan 10 • 6 min
Flipgrid lets students respond to a topic or a prompt with a short video clip. Many times, teachers simply ask a question And have students respond to it. What if students recorded those video responses with a new twist? How can we look at those video…
129: 2 tips to start gamification in your class
Jan 9 • 6 min
Lots of teachers have seen great success with gamification. they incorporate the elements of games into their classrooms. If you haven’t tried this and are thinking about it, you might be overwhelmed with getting started. You might worry that you don’t…
128: Get busy on what you want to be known for
Jan 8 • 6 min
It’s so easy to get distracted by small tasks … The kind of things that don’t move the needle in the right direction in our lives. For me, that means emails, social media, meetings, and other things. It’s important to keep the first thing as the first…
127: 5 ways to start with AR/VR in class
Jan 7 • 7 min
Have you heard some of the buzz about augmented reality and virtual reality? they are starting to make more and more of a presence in the classroom. During the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit, Jaime Donally shared some of her favorite apps and ideas…
126: Iorad: quick tutorials and instructions
Jan 6 • 6 min
If you need to create quick tutorials or instructions for students or parents, You definitely need to check out Iorad. This app creates tutorials on the web, not as a video, so the creation process is really fast and it isn’t as data intensive. Use these…
125: Part 2: Avoiding the “gotcha” game on tests
Jan 1 • 6 min
When we only ask students a select few questions on a quiz or a test, it can lead to a game of gotcha. It’s almost like we say, gotcha! I figured out what you didn’t know! Instead, how can we create assessments that encourage students to show us what they…
124: Part 1: Avoiding the “gotcha” game on tests
Dec 31, 2019 • 6 min
When we give traditional quizzes and tests, it’s easy to play a game of gotcha with students. By asking only a select few questions, we are penalizing students for what we caught them not knowing. Instead, we could be empowering them to show us what they…
123: Making memes in class with Google Drawings
Dec 30, 2019 • 6 min
Memes have become so commonplace in social media and online. They can be a great learning tool! They can help students find the essence of what they’re learning, expressing it with brevity and a bit of humor. Learn how to help students make memes quickly…
122: Tech Like a PIRATE
Dec 27, 2019 • 7 min
Don’t just teach a lesson. Create an experience! When I read that line in Dave Burgess’s book, Teach Like a Pirate, it changed the way that I would teach. I started thinking about ways to teach that way with technology and the list grew and grew. This…
121: Organize your Google Classroom
Dec 26, 2019 • 7 min
Is your Google classroom a mess? Wish it could be more organized? there are a couple simple strategies you can use to take control! Your students will thank you when they can find what they need quickly.
120: What are your big wins?
Dec 25, 2019 • 6 min
do you ever stop to think about your big wins? You know, the things that have gone really well over the last day, week, or month? or the last semester? Or your entire career? It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our to do list and think about what we haven’t…
119: What kind of culture are you promoting?
Dec 24, 2019 • 6 min
in a presentation during the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit, Toney Jackson talked about using rap, poetry, and hip hop in his classes. He encourages his students to have a creative outlet, and he does that purposefully through the culture he is…
118: A network full of podcasts to check out
Dec 23, 2019 • 6 min
You may have noticed at the beginning of every episode that I mention that I’m a member of the Education Podcast Network. The EPN is a great resource full of great educational podcasts to check out. there’s a huge variety of topics, and I’m sure there’s…
117: The podcast about podcasts
Dec 20, 2019 • 6 min
I learned so much from listening to podcasts. I can listen to them while I’m working out, while I’m on the road, or while I’m mowing the grass. There are so many great educational podcasts out there! I wanted to share a handful of my favorites in case you…
116: The “tech upgrade” with interactive posters
Dec 19, 2019 • 6 min
Sometimes, teachers who are reluctant to use technology don’t know where to start. We know that we don’t want to Substitute what we used to do with a digital version of the exact same thing. Learning doesn’t improve that way. However, we can take an…
115: Why OneNote is my notetaking app of choice
Dec 18, 2019 • 5 min
I’m a big fan of taking notes on paper notebooks. I have used a variety of digital note-taking apps. However, this one app is changing my mind about how I take notes and keep them organized. That app is OneNote (OneNote.com). It’s available for free.…
114: Who’s speaking at the DTT Digital Summit?
Dec 17, 2019 • 6 min
The Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit is a free online conference for teachers. Watch inspiring, practical videos. Get certificates for PD credit. In this episode, you’ll get to know the speakers in the summit! Register: ditchsummit.com
113: Instead of note taking, RETRIEVE taking
Dec 16, 2019 • 5 min
When you’re a student, it’s tough to things at once — like listen to a teacher and take notes. You can’t give your full attention to either one. with the practice of retrieve taking, students give their undivided attention to listening and then give their…
112: Snow days, shaky Wi-Fi and offline access
Dec 13, 2019 • 5 min
Sometimes, it’s nice for students to be able to without an internet connection. when they are at home or on the bus or somewhere else that doesn’t have Wi-Fi, this is where offline access is really valuable. This is especially timely in Indiana, where I…
111: NEW creation tools in Google Earth
Dec 12, 2019 • 4 min
Google Earth calls itself the world’s most detailed globe. It lets you look digitally at 3D maps, zooming in and out and gathering information. To this point, it has been largely a consumption tool. However, with the new creation tools, students can now…
110: Ditch Summit, a FREE online conference for teachers
Dec 11, 2019 • 5 min
It’s an online conference for teachers, Netflix style! The Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit brings you dozens of fascinating video presentations. Earn professional development credits for watching them. And do it all from the comfort of your couch in…
109: Join the Hour of Code Dec 9-15
Dec 10, 2019 • 4 min
Coding and computer science are skills that are in demand in the workforce now. Want to encourage your students to learn more about them? The Hour of Code is an excellent opportunity! It takes place December 9th through the 15th, 2019.
108: The Ditch That Textbook Podcast is back!
Dec 9, 2019 • 3 min
It’s been more than a year since I published an episode to this podcast. I’m excited to say that I am back! The podcast will feature short daily episodes with tips, tricks, ideas and more.
107: Keyboard shortcuts to save you time
Sep 21, 2018 • 8 min
Minute by minute, you can buy back time for what matters most with keyboard shortcuts. In this episode, I share some of my favorites that you can use to make yourself more efficient!
106: How does storytelling fit in your lesson?
Sep 20, 2018 • 5 min
There’s a story in everything. Our brains are wired for story. How can we incorporate elements of storytelling into teaching and learning?
105: How to “mixtape” your curriculum, 80’s style!
Sep 19, 2018 • 5 min
We used to use cassette tapes to record our favorite songs on “mixtapes” that we’d listen to over and over again. (At least I did.) Instructional coach Stephanie DeMichele suggests that we “mixtape” our instruction! She offers a framework for doing it,…
104: Repetition suppression: The case for novelty
Sep 18, 2018 • 5 min
Drive the same route to school for a while and you’ll do it on autopilot. Why? It’s easier on your brain that way. It can ignore what it’s doing. That’s “repetition suppression”: you ignore what you do repeatedly. This isn’t a good thing in the classroom.…
103: FREE Ditch Summit presentations. Hurry!
Sep 17, 2018 • 4 min
Until Sept. 21, 2018, eight FANTASTIC video presentations are available at DitchSummit.com! You’ll get practical ideas and inspiration from all of the presenters. But don’t worry if you miss it. There’s a Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit every December.…
102: The power of the pause
Sep 14, 2018 • 5 min
When we’re teaching or presenting, we get in a state of speaking flow. The ideas are coming and we’re spitting them out. But many times, we’re moving faster than our listeners can process. A pause is a breath of fresh air and some mental processing time.…
101: Some focus in the middle of digital distractions
Sep 13, 2018 • 8 min
Students get bombarded by media and messaging all day long. Cell phones. Social media. Videos. And the communication that comes through all of them. How can they maintain a balance and live their best lives? Michigan educator Paul Murray has some…
100: Lessons from 100 podcast episodes
Sep 12, 2018 • 6 min
Wow, 100 episodes! It’s been a fun learning experience for me, and I hope it has been for you. I do a little reflection on the creation of this podcast and share three things I’ve learned from having created it. THANK YOU for being a listener and being on…
099: Google Classroom: Differentiate like a NINJA
Sep 11, 2018 • 10 min
Google Classroom lets teachers customize their students’ learning experiences. But what are the best ways to do that? Michigan teacher Jacqueline Pora (@lasenorapora) shares several clever Google Classroom differentiation ideas that she uses in her class!
098: Solid gold lesson planning ideas
Sep 10, 2018 • 7 min
Good teaching practices should be at the heart of what we do, and it’s definitely at the heart of the HyperDocs framework. Sean Fahey (@SEANJFAHEY) and Karly Moura (@KarlyMoura) took that powerful framework and shared examples of how it could be spread to…
097: Make learning ADDICTIVE with Brian Romero Smith Sr
Sep 7, 2018 • 6 min
When learning is addictive, kids want to come back for more, says Brian Romero Smith Sr. (@brianrsmithsr). But how do we create that addictive learning environment? It all comes down to a few things, Brian says, and he shares them in this episode.
096: Tips to make your HyperDocs rock with Sean Fahey
Sep 6, 2018 • 6 min
Have you caught on to the HyperDocs craze? Sean Fahey (@SEANJFAHEY) has made lots of HyperDocs in his own classroom. He shares tips to help your HyperDocs succeed in your own classroom!
095: Flipgrid + scavenger hunt = Fliphunt!
Aug 24, 2018 • 5 min
it’s a Flipgrid scavenger hunt! Kathi Kersznowski (@kerszi) tells us all about her newest creation and how we can bring it in the classroom.
094: Learning in the pause with Shaelynn Farnsworth
Aug 23, 2018 • 5 min
One of our most powerful tools as teachers is silence. It can reclaim students’ attention. It can give students space to think. Sometimes, we just don’t think of it — or don’t realize its potential. Iowa educator Shaelynn Farnsworth (@shfarnsworth) and I…
093: Big changes for student voice with Flipgrid
Aug 22, 2018 • 6 min
Flipgrid, the video response tool, is now totally free for anyone. And recently, lots of new features became available. In this episode, we’ll outline some of them so you’ll be ready to start using them this school year!
092: Google Classroom changes, 2018 version
Aug 21, 2018 • 5 min
It’s August, which means exciting changes to many of the tools we use in the classroom. Google Classroom has a facelift and some new features. We dive into several of them in this episode.
091: #EducatorGoals with Keven Rinaman
Aug 20, 2018 • 9 min
If you’re starting a new school year (or have already started one), goals may be top of mind right now. Keven Rinaman talks about goal-setting strategies and how to have a successful year with them.
090: Ditch Those Exams with Stephanie DeMichele
Aug 17, 2018 • 11 min
Are traditional exams — especially standard multiple-choice ones — serving our students? Can we do better? Stephanie DeMichele, an instructional coach from Ohio, and I presented on this concept at a conference recently and share some ideas from it.
089: Firefly Classrooms with Troy Cockrum
Aug 16, 2018 • 10 min
Did you ever spend time catching fireflies (or “lightning bugs”) as a child? Author Troy Cockrum believes that learning should be more like that, where we capture our students’ interests. He talks about the ideas he shares in his recent book.
088: A sticky note tech app smash!
Aug 15, 2018 • 4 min
We usually use sticky notes in the physical world to gather and save ideas. But by smashing the Post-It app and Google Drawings together, your students can do some unique digital brainstorming. Kelli Lane, a tech integration specialist from Illinois,…
087: The Quizizz you never knew …
Aug 14, 2018 • 5 min
Quizizz is a fun, student-centered study tool. Many teachers use it to help students review material they’ve studied. But other teachers are innovating and using Quizizz in very clever ways. Deepak Cheenath, co-founder of Quizizz, shares some ideas.
086: What the work world is begging us for
Aug 13, 2018 • 5 min
Sarah Kearns has spent her entire career in the corporate world, now working as Director of Marketing for ViewSonic. Her perspective helps us see what the work world really wants from students and how we can help prepare them for it.
085: Ditch That Panel with Lance McClard
Aug 10, 2018 • 8 min
Missouri administrator Lance McClard and I participated in a panel discussion at the ISTE Conference in Chicago. Lance shares some of his takeaways and his responses to questions, including: “What happens when everything blows up in your face?”
084: Real world connections with Sidekick
Aug 9, 2018 • 4 min
What if your students could partner with organizations outside of school? If they could brainstorm solutions to big problems together? Sidekick Education is making that happen. Sarah Shaw shares how all sorts of classes are starting these projects.
083: Try the Connected Kahoot!
Aug 8, 2018 • 5 min
Kahoot! games don’t have to be limited to the students in your classroom. Steve Auslander (of Indiana, USA) and Steve Sherman (of Cape Town, South Africa) share how a video call can turn your traditional Kahoot! game into a “Connected Kahoot!” game.
082: Teaching for the long game
Jul 20, 2018 • 6 min
Sometimes, the most important things we do in the classroom or school doesn’t give us immediate results. We need to focus on the long game, according to Megan Hacholski and Michael Abramczyk.
081: The Martians in Your Classroom w/@rachaeledu
Jul 19, 2018 • 6 min
The first person to set foot on Mars has likely been born, and there’s a chance that she/he is in your classroom. What will that person need as a student, and how do we need to change as educators/schools to provide it? Rachael Mann, author of The…
080: Let’s do PD (or class!) at a destination!
Jul 18, 2018 • 8 min
One of the coolest professional learning experiences I’ve seen was at a zoo. We did PD at a ZOO. I got to reflect with Kari Espin and Andi McNair of Region 12 ESC in Waco, Texas, about the experience and how classes/schools could do the same.
079: Create easy augmented reality in the classroom
Jul 17, 2018 • 5 min
I found an amazing way to merge student art and creations with augmented reality at a recent visit to Region 12 educational service center in Waco, Texas. We talk about how it could be used in schools and the classroom.
077: Three FREE online conferences for teachers
Jul 16, 2018 • 5 min
Now’s the time to get FREE inspiration and ideas online! Check out three “digital summits” — awesome speakers you can watch from the comfort of home on your time!
078: Concerns about “locked mode” in Google Forms quizzes
Jul 16, 2018 • 6 min
Google recently announced that teachers could impose “locked mode” when giving students quizzes in Google Forms. This prevents students from switching to other tabs while taking a quiz. Lots of teachers certainly asked for this feature, and I can imagine…
076: Co-teaching across the world from your classroom
Jul 12, 2018 • 7 min
Mike Pennington learned early in his education career that instruction isn’t limited to the teacher standing in the classroom. He shares how he co-taught with teachers beyond his state — and how YOU can too!
075: Awesome animated GIFs with Jake Miller
Jul 11, 2018 • 11 min
Animated GIFs are these fun, very useful moving images you see all over social media. But you can make your own — so can your students — and they can support teaching and learning! Jake Miller shares his expertise in this episode.
074: TONS of places to go virtually with students
Jun 18, 2018 • 6 min
Looking for inspiration on using Skype, Google Hangouts and the like in the classroom? Ohio educator Ann Radefeld has plenty of experience and shares her ideas with us!
073: Video call guests: Just ask them!
Jun 15, 2018 • 7 min
Todd Shriver teaches the “History of the 80s” elective class. There are no textbooks available for that class! He brings the luminaries of the 80s to his students. My takeaway from this episode: you never know who you can get until you ask!
072: How to make your OWN Google Expeditions
Jun 14, 2018 • 5 min
Indiana educator Ryan Mitchell created an Expedition with his students of their town. He shares how they did it and tips to help it succeed.
071: 7 keys to providing stellar feedback
Jun 13, 2018 • 5 min
How can we best help students to improve? The late Grant Wiggins provided a fantastic framework and suggested these 7 keys in a post on ASCD.
070: The benefits of student feedback
Jun 12, 2018 • 5 min
Teachers can be hesitant to let students provide each other feedback. We can’t control what they’ll say and it takes effort to coach them to do it well. But student feedback is POWERFUL and we should consider all the potential benefits.
069: Optimal spacing between reviews
Jun 11, 2018 • 4 min
How long is too long between review sessions of old material? How short is too short to be effective? Research has some guidance for us.
068: The power of #ISTE18 from home
Jun 8, 2018 • 4 min
One of the best professional learning experiences you can get from home in the summer is #iste18 on Twitter. Learn how to tap into it!
067: Are you an over-consumer?
Jun 7, 2018 • 4 min
Podcasts, blogs, social media, books … They’re all fantastic for ideas and inspiration. But still some point, it’s time to do something.
065: Research says to ditch that rudeness
Jun 1, 2018 • 5 min
It’s easy to let ourselves slip, to express our frustration to students (and colleagues) in not so helpful ways. A study shows the negative effects of this and suggests some corrections to help. It’s a great reminder.
064: Organizing and archiving Twitter with Wakelet
May 31, 2018 • 5 min
Wakelet will let you save the web — tweets, social media posts, links, images — into curated lists. It’s great for organizing and storing tweets for later.
063: How I make the videos in my online course
May 24, 2018 • 5 min
Looking for a way to kick up your video creation game? Hear how I created the videos for my online course, Tech to Learn. (More info: http://DitchThatTextbook.com/part4)
062: The Create a World Project
May 23, 2018 • 6 min
What can students do when they’ve learned about civilizations all over the world? How about create their OWN country in a world created by the class? Texas social studies teacher Ben Lewis caps off his year with this project. Even if you don’t teach…
061: Several Seesaw tips from the teaching trenches
May 22, 2018 • 4 min
Alexis Crutchfield, Katrina Yang and Brittany Bondy are believers in Seesaw, a platform for student digital portfolios and parent communications. Hear how these teachers use it in their classes at Sampson Elementary School in Cypress, Texas.
060: More power for your Genius Hour
May 21, 2018 • 5 min
Genius Hour can put a spark in your class, giving students opportunities to pursue their passions. Fourth-grade teachers Kayla Swonke (Twitter: @kaylaswonke) and Lyndsey Kubos (Twitter: @lyndseykubos) share some ideas and lessons from implementing it in…
059: What’s your WHY, and has it changed?
May 18, 2018 • 5 min
Our why focuses our lives. It’s our reason for being. It’s easy to lose sight of our why, and many times, our why changes over time. What’s your why, and how has it changed over time? It’s big questions like these that we tackle in this video:…
058: Google Forms Quizzes are getting smarter
May 17, 2018 • 4 min
Google’s machine learning is improving lots of its products. Now, it can help us create multiple-choice questions without brainstorming incorrect answers. See how these smarter Google Forms can make your life easier.
057: Creating engaging repetitions
May 16, 2018 • 5 min
Repetitions help students make new concepts permanent. But mindless repetitions are a lot of action without great results. But creating engaging repetitions can make for sticky learning! Learn more about this in the video at…
056: The 50/30/20 model for learning
May 15, 2018 • 5 min
How can we incorporate more passion-driven learning and more hands-on projects into our classes? I found this advice from Don Wettrick (@DonWettrick on Twitter). It’s a framework for crafting our classes. It’s an interesting take and one that could have…
055: Avoiding tech overwhelm for students AND teachers
May 14, 2018 • 5 min
When we let too many digital tools into the classroom, it can be overwhelming for students. And tech overwhelm is DEFINITELY an issue for teachers. Can we find ways to do new things with the tech students are already comfortable with?
054: You don’t need the app to create the experience
May 11, 2018 • 5 min
Our students have their favorite websites, apps and digital tools. We don’t have to require them to use those apps/sites to get the same experience in class. Recreate the experience without the app! This is one idea from a free video series I’m doing in…
053: GimKit: Like Kahoot with power-ups
May 10, 2018 • 6 min
I’ve stumbled upon a new digital assessment/review tool that shows promise. It’s like Kahoot with a store where students can buy power-ups to use in the game. It’s called GimKit (gimkit.com). The free version is limited, but it’s definitely worth checking…
052: Perfection is the enemy of your goals
May 9, 2018 • 6 min
It finally happened. I missed a day in my daily podcast. Actually, I missed two. So, according to Jon Acuff’s book “Finish”, today is the most important day in my podcast goals: the day AFTER perfect.
051: Now’s the perfect time to reflect
May 4, 2018 • 5 min
At the end of the school year, it’s the perfect time to take stock of what’s working and think about different ways of teaching in the future. I talked about this idea on Classroom 2.0 LIVE, a weekly web show at http://live.classroom20.com. Check this one…
050: Love TED Talks? Teach like them!
May 3, 2018 • 10 min
TED Talks have inspired millions. How can they influence our classes? Rachael Mann of Teach Like TED talks about how we can empower student voice and help students express their ideas and their learning more effectively.
048: You are already teaching coding …
May 2, 2018 • 6 min
Some of the fundamentals of computer programming / coding, like if/then statements and logic, are likely already present in your class. By identifying them and changing how you talk about them, you may be able to highlight coding in class without changing…
049: What do our assessments reward?
May 2, 2018 • 6 min
How can we create.assessments — and assess student learning — that truly demonstrates what they know? Brian Aspinall returns to the show to discuss.
047: Making the most of online learning
Apr 30, 2018 • 7 min
When we switch our teaching from traditional means to the online world without making modifications, we miss out on the greatest parts of digital instruction. Michele Eaton shares how to make the most of it.
046: Escalate or de-escalate? Humanize or de-humanize?
Apr 27, 2018 • 5 min
This quote by Haim Ginott had a HUGE impact on me as a young educator. It still speaks to me today. At the end of the school year, it’s something we have to keep in mind. We have ENORMOUS power on the climate of our own classrooms.
045: 4 teaching skills I learned in the journalism world
Apr 26, 2018 • 5 min
I (Matt) didn’t major in education in college. It was journalism. I worked several journalism jobs before becoming a teacher. I wouldn’t change it, though. Here are some great skills I learned from the journalism world that helped me as a teacher.
044: How to create Bitmojis for students
Apr 25, 2018 • 5 min
Bitmojis are so fun! They’re like cartoon versions of ourselves, and we can communicate via Bitmoji. Some are inappropriate, though, and the terms of use are 13+ years old. Here’s a safe way to get Bitmojis in the hands of our students.
043: Hearing from EVERY student
Apr 24, 2018 • 5 min
“If you’re not hearing from every student in every classroom, you’re doing it wrong.” What do you think of this quote? Technology can help teachers hear from every student in ways we couldn’t before.
042: About that ONE kid that’s not paying attention …
Apr 23, 2018 • 5 min
It’s happened to all of us. A lesson is going great and ONE kid is spacing out — OR giving you the death stare. That student is all we can think about afterward. Remember that ONE disconnected student doesn’t mean failure in teaching.
041: Use KQED Learn to learn and share with an audience
Apr 20, 2018 • 4 min
Inquiry is a great way to help students own their learning and learn how to pursue their curiosity. KQED Learn is a platform that’s set up for students to start exploring, discovering and sharing. It’s free and it’s ready for you to use immediately!
040: The power of lunch with students
Apr 19, 2018 • 4 min
I was inspired by a story in the book “The Wild Card” by Hope and Wade King where a student had lunch with different groups of students for an entire month. How could that have a great impact on your relationships with students?
039: Battling naughty Kahoot! nicknames
Apr 18, 2018 • 4 min
Do you struggle with students creating naughty nicknames in Kahoot! games? Kahoot! has created a new feature to eliminate the temptation of typing a naughty nickname. Check it out and see if it’s a good fit for your class.
038: Internet access for any assessment?
Apr 17, 2018 • 5 min
What would happen if we allowed “open internet access” during any assessment? I saw this question on Twitter from John Eick (@John_Eick) over the weekend and it had me thinking. What would happen?
037: 4 tips to live by on Twitter
Apr 16, 2018 • 6 min
Social media can be our lifeblood of classroom ideas, inspiration and connections. Here are some suggestions for making the most out of Twitter / social media for educators.
036: My daughter Cassie reviews Poptropica!
Apr 13, 2018 • 5 min
Poptropica is one of my sixth grade daughter Cassie’s favorite games. She makes the case for using it to help kids learn.
035: On copy/paste cheating and “making” kids stop
Apr 12, 2018 • 5 min
It’s so easy to Google almost anything … especially assignments. Can we “make” students stop? What’s the solution?
034: Google Apps for Littles: Believe they can!
Apr 11, 2018 • 5 min
Littles can use Google tools too! In this book by Christine Pinto and Alice Keeler, they show you how!
033: What to do now that Padlet isn’t totally free
Apr 10, 2018 • 6 min
Padlet, a digital bulletin board-style collaboration tool, recently announced that it is no longer totally free. How should we deal with digital tools we have to pay for?
032: Student podcasts with @WeVideo and @Flipgrid
Apr 9, 2018 • 9 min
Student voice is a hot topic in education right now. But how can you give students that microphone in an authentic, doable way? Andrew Fenstermaker and his fifth-grade students show you how! Twitter: @a_fenstermaker
031: Learning sketchnoting with #Sketch50
Apr 6, 2018 • 5 min
Sketchnoting (or visual notetaking) is a very brain-friendly way of learning … and it’s TONS of fun! Hone your sketchnoting skills (and introduce it to your students) with #Sketch50! Check it out at sketch50.org or the #sketch50 hashtag on Twitter.
030: Using OK GO’s phenomenal music videos in class
Apr 5, 2018 • 4 min
The band OK GO has the coolest music videos! There’s a lot of math and science behind these videos. They have recently created a fantastic resource for the classroom to help you inspire students academically with their music videos: OKGOsandbox.org.
029: Making FUN animated Google Classroom headers
Apr 4, 2018 • 6 min
Students that use Google Classroom are greeted by header images every time they log in. Create your own custom Google Classroom header image. To give it some added flair, use animated GIF images to make it move! Hat-tip to Paul West (@pdubyatech on…
028: Using brackets in class with Brackify
Apr 3, 2018 • 5 min
March Madness and the men’s college basketball tournament has people all over the United States buzzing with excitement. How can we use brackets to carry that excitement over into the classroom? Check out Brackify.com as a free digital tool to use.
027: The future of technology in education …
Apr 2, 2018 • 6 min
What’s it going to look like? Really, it’s anyone’s guess how tech will influence education in the future. But an interview with Microsoft’s CEO piqued my interest and got me thinking about it.
026: Bringing a hip hop program to middle school
Mar 29, 2018 • 10 min
How can hip hop influence and inspire students at a middle school in Bronx, NY? The effects can be farther-reaching than you might think. Listen as a principal, musician and filmmaker combine to influence student lives. More info: casadocumentary.com.
025: Where to start with AR and VR in the classroom
Mar 28, 2018 • 7 min
Augmented reality and virtual reality are becoming a reality for classrooms. Mike Drezek shares some cool ways teachers can start incorporating this cutting-edge technology in class for little to no money. (Mike’s Twitter: @m_drez)
024: Student connections all over the world
Mar 27, 2018 • 7 min
Mike Drezek connected students to India. Those students’ worldview was widened. How can you make similar connections? It may be easier than you think. Mike shares some ideas. (Mike’s Twitter: @m_drez)
023: Introduce your students to penguins and Antarctica
Mar 26, 2018 • 6 min
Genny Kahlweiss’s students sent a flag to a research station in Antarctica, where it was flown for three days. They video chatted with scientists and named penguins. How cool! How did she do it? She shares how YOU could do these things, too! (Genny’s…
022: Fabulous @Flipgrid ideas!
Mar 23, 2018 • 7 min
Flipgrid’s short video response platform has taken the education world by storm. What are some of the coolest ways teachers are using it? Flipgrid’s Joey Taralson and Adam Parker-Goldberg share some ideas!
021: A full-color yearbook with Google Slides?!?
Mar 22, 2018 • 5 min
Can you really produce a whole yearbook with Google Slides? Jennifer Scott’s school did, complete with full color and a fancy cover. The total cost: $10. Plus, she has resources so you can do it, too!
020: Sharing your brand with Ben and Josh
Mar 21, 2018 • 8 min
Branding isn’t about making money and being famous. It’s about sharing your story and letting people know what you stand for. Ben Cogswell and Josh Harris share how students and schools can benefit from a little branding.
019: Alice Keeler and conversation in the math classroom
Mar 20, 2018 • 7 min
Alice Keeler says there’s something missing from math instruction. It’s dialogue. Math is more than putting your head down and completing problems. She talks about what we can do to change that.
018: Dave Burgess and March Madness in the classroom
Mar 19, 2018 • 7 min
March Madness is upon us, and America will be watching lots of college basketball. How can we use this in the classroom? Dave Burgess, author of Teach Like a PIRATE, shares some ideas you can start using right away. (Dave’s Twitter: @burgessdave)
017: The afternoon dip, and how it affects students
Mar 16, 2018 • 4 min
There’s a trough in our thinking abilities in the afternoon. It can have a profound effect: as much as having a couple alcoholic drinks. How can we position students to succeed — in class and on standardized tests?
016: Our digital work doesn’t have to be 8.5”x11”
Mar 15, 2018 • 4 min
With online documents and slides, we often stick to the status quo for size. If certain work isn’t going to be printed — or displayed on a projector — why do we keep it in traditional letter size? Here’s a case for rethinking our digital working spaces.
015: The juice that makes @Flipgrid even better
Mar 14, 2018 • 4 min
We spend so much time helping students with their writing skills. Giving them some guidance on speaking can have huge benefits. Here’s a model for it, and it works GREAT with Flipgrid.
014: The fear of the blinking cursor
Mar 13, 2018 • 4 min
Have you ever started a project and got stuck before you ever got started? There are some things we can do to help students overcome that obstacle and get started.
013: A small nudge toward growth mindset
Mar 12, 2018 • 4 min
Many of us know of “growth mindset” as the idea of “yet” — I can’t do it *yet*. But there are other small adjustments we can make in the classroom to help students better develop growth mindset.
012: A fascinating read: How to Fix the Future
Mar 9, 2018 • 4 min
How to Fix the Future is a book by Andrew Keen, a self-proclaimed Internet pessimist. He’s written five books about how destructive technology has been to our lives, but this book is an optimistic one about how we can act more responsibly for a brighter…
011: How voice typing can free up your teaching life
Mar 8, 2018 • 4 min
I believe in voice typing! Also called dictation, it’s when you speak and your device converts it to text. It’s SO much faster than typing with your fingers (or thumbs). Imagine what you could do if you got through your emails or other work just a little…
010: Educators — Do this, DON’T do that in social media
Mar 7, 2018 • 4 min
Twitter is the BEST thing that happened to my teaching career. It really saved it. However, there’s a balance to be maintained, and if we’re careful, Twitter (and other social media) can consume our lives instead of help them.
009: Personally created GIFs can make your students’ day!
Mar 6, 2018 • 4 min
GIFs are super fun. They’re those moving image files you see all over social media. There’s this fun tool you can use to record your own animated GIFs with your webcam. Add them to student work for feedback, to a class website, to Google files … almost…
008: Studying the way the brain craves
Mar 5, 2018 • 4 min
So often, we encourage students to study by putting info into their brains by re-reading notes and chapters. But brain science tells us it’s more effective if we study by pulling info FROM our brains. A great strategy for this is the digital brain dump.
007: Push this button for more learning
Mar 2, 2018 • 4 min
There’s a button we use in many digital learning tools to keep kids from cheating. But it can do more than that! Learn how it can be used to help kids learn too.
006: Why you need a class podcast — and how to make one for FREE
Mar 1, 2018 • 5 min
Podcasting is a growing medium. It let’s you learn by listening — consume content — while doing something else. Students can share learning with an authentic audience by creating a free podcast. Learn how!
005: The power of student voice
Feb 28, 2018 • 4 min
How can we encourage students to use their voice — in learning, in positive ways, to make a change — in class and throughout our lives?
004: Google Drawings: Tricks you didn’t know!
Feb 27, 2018 • 4 min
Google Drawings is a great tool to help teachers and students create eye catching images digitally. There are some cool tricks to it that you might not know. In this episode, we cover some of them. You won’t want to miss it!
003: Using Story Speaker w/Google Home in class
Feb 26, 2018 • 5 min
Story Speaker lets you create interactive “stories” or interactions with your Google Home. Learn how you can create them with NO CODING … just a Google Doc and this add-on!
002: Padlet: New features, new possibilities
Feb 23, 2018 • 4 min
Padlet, the web tool that lets you add digital sticky notes to a virtual bulletin board, has been around for a long time. But with new features — take pictures, record video, and more — there’s more to love than ever. If you haven’t checked it out…
001: Welcome to the Ditch That Textbook podcast!
Feb 22, 2018 • 4 min
I’m so excited to start this podcast! My goal is to equip, inform and inspire educators five days a week. In this episode, I will tell you what to expect from this show and tell you a little about myself.