April 28th-May2nd

I must apologize for the two week hiatus. It was an unfortunate melding of exams, quarter turnaround and the Spring break. Here are the wonderful tidbits of technology I have acquired:

Here is a great poster explaining the writing process:


For my friends in the Math Militia here are some weapons of math instruction:

Ted Talks

Math Glossaries

Charting/Graphing Tools

Check out these apps:

Hands-on Learning

Teacher Resources

More Teacher Resources

This page takes you to a great survey tool.

This page highlights 10 great homework-help sites.

We all know a picture is worth a thousand words. However, if that isn’t enough for you try this!

Feel like some of your students have their heads in the clouds? Use these tools to help them put their words there.

If you are thinking of trying portfolios with your students, this might be helpful.

Psst…need an ebook?  Openculture has 600 for you…free!

For those of you who missed Wendy James MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) invite on Digital Citizenship, here is the registration link.  Alec Couros is a distinguished educator from whom I’ve been fortunate enough to learn.

Have a great weekend!







March 31st-April 4th

Another week has flown by faster than a KB on a Gigabit router….never mind! Those of you who actually read this will notice a facelift to the blog. This weeks post has some nice techy tidbits…

This page has a great 9-step process to creating presentations on Google Drive:


This next page claims to be a comprehensive list of web resources by subject but it managed to leave out ELA:


This link provides two quiz tool resources which seem good but come with a price tag. Both offer free trials though:


This think is to a page that highlights the top 50 educational blogs. Actually the main page has access to over 600! Maybe I’ll be there some day LOL:


This page highlights the 5 elements students should be using to evaluate web content. In my humble opinion this is some great CRAAP-check out the neat video:


Stop worrying, technology will never replace teachers and Teacherswithapps tells us why:


Multiple choice tests can be great for formative assessment. Vanderbilt University tells us how to maximize their potential:


For all my History peeps out there, this page promises a treasure trove of timelines to use in your classes:


For those who are unsure how to integrate technology into instruction, this page has some valuable tips:


More on this page regarding project-based learning:


This site offers 3 tools to create audio infused presentations:


This visual takes Blooms taxonomy to the next level by offering a digital focus:


The associated video on this page offers a great explanation for students on primary and secondary sources. The Commoncraft tool used to create it is pretty awesome too!


If you navigate the Twitterverse, check out these educational chats:


Thanks for reading and remember:

Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.
-Bill Gates



March 24th-28th

Another week has sped by…here are my latest tech tidbits…

I just came across this Bloom’s Taxonomy Teacher Planning Kit.  It has some great ideas and excellent references to the type of questioning and activities that should be happening at each level.  A real keeper:


This one is for all you Grammar Geeks out there:


You may or  may not have heard that Microsoft released Office for iPad Thursday.  Now your students can compose and create right on their iOS device.  That being said, check out these citation apps for iPad:


In that spirit, this link explores apps for student researchers:


This link will give your students two key tips for using Google Scholar:


Tweet This!  Tips on how to use social media in the classroom:


A cheat sheet for students when conducting Google Searches…don’t tell them its good for them:


This link may help you flip your classroom in the right way:


Ever wonder how many ways you could use Google Forms?  Here’s 80:


Here are some interesting ways to…:


Stop getting upset with students using their mobile phones in class and MAKE them use their mobile phones in class:


That’s it for this week folks.  Remember, when exploring technology it’s not the size of your input that matters, but the quality of your interface!






March 17th-21st

This has a great week for me in my own learning.  I had two great opportunities this week that were great learning experiences.  The first one was the opportunity to attend a session with Troy Hicks via Google Hangouts about digital writing.  It was great to see some of the things that I have been touting as the future of writing actually being done.  The best part of the learning is that the teachers in the session all had to try their hand at some writing.  Nothing enriches the teaching experience more than having the opportunity to share the experience our students will have when we ask them to do something.  The second great opportunity for me was working with my son’s grade 4/5 class at Alvin Buckwold.  I did a mini lesson with them on iMovie for iPad and then stayed to help them film and edit their Anti-bullying videos.  The biggest learning piece for me however was reaching the understanding that what makes them great learners is their willingness to share that they don’t know.  Even more resilient, is their ability to accept failure and learn from it.  Not once did they get upset when the video didn’t turn out.  They just redid it until they got to a place they could accept.  These are important things for us to remember as educators.  On to other tech news…

This is a great piece on the common elements of good storytelling:


In that vane, here is away to use google to create stories:


This next link references a tool to create interactive pictures.  Much of the buzz in educational technology is around augmented reality.  This might be a great way to take baby steps toward it:


This site offers links to 100 sites for gamification of learning:


Ever wonder how to cite social media?  Do I have a Tweet for you!


For all my History peeps out there. this one is a gem.  It could be even more amazing if we had access to 3D printers:


I’m pretty sure I’ve shared this before, but in case you missed it…


This is another Google to tool to help students write:


Finally, this is a great Google feature to support student research:


Hope your week was as productive and enjoyable as mine!

March 1-14th

Sorry, the past couple of weeks have been a blur so here are the gems I’ve collected:

1. This visual revisits the SAMR Framework mentioned in a previous post as it relates to the next evolution of education:




2. This next one is a great matrix of iPad pas for teachers and students across subject areas:


3. This link gives you some great book creating apps:



4. Another one for the iPad folder.  This link clues you in to the best note-taking apps:


5.  Getting grief for giving homework?  Check out these alternatives to traditional homework.  Bonus-students take responsibility for their learning in many of these:


5. Still trying to master the art of giving feedback?  Here are 20 pretty solid tips:


6. This one shows you how to create collaborative diagrams and mind maps:


7.  Another top 20 but this time it’s to stimulate creativity:


8.  Here are a couple of goodies from Leslie Ruo:


Click on the above link to see how you can install software from the Software Center tile.  You can only do the above while at school!

I also made some corrections to the SITL Tips from yesterday (and added some information about learning how to use Adobe Acrobat)

February 24-28

The following few links are all related to Google apps.  They include using various tools in the classroom to video tutorials on how to use them:





This page highlights 3 tools for helping students with the writing process:


The next pages are related to video in the classroom:



These next two sites offer copyright-free  images and web tools for photo editing that do not require software downloads.  This is especially important if you can’t install software or have limited HDD space:



This page is about using Nearpod in the classroom.  The context here is elementary but it transfers quite easily to high school.  This tool works best in a BYOD setting:


This next page offers a free ebook about the uses of gamification in the classroom:


For the art teachers, this page demonstrates how Pinterest can be a resource:


The next few links support teacher development around a variety of topics including e-learning to digital portfolios:






More digital story telling using the iPad:


I hope these can help you on your journey to becoming a techy teacher!

The Changing Currency of the Knowledge Economy

Last week I had the good fortune of participating in a teachers conference in Saskatoon that featured two amazing keynotes. They were no other than Pasi Sahlberg and Sir Ken Robinson. Now, if you aren’t somehow connected to education these names might not mean a lot; no matter. In one of the sessions Sir Ken referenced the ” knowledge economy” otherwise known as intellectual capital. He went on to relay how this concept played out in the classroom. What caught my attention most was what was missing. That realization bore the fruit that unfolds in this post. It seemed to me that Sir Ken failed to mention a very important fact to teachers: the currency in the knowledge economy is changing. Very much in fact, and not unlike the way virtual currencies like Bitcoin are changing the monetary economy.
What I’m referring to is the plethora of virtual resources and e-learning opportunities that exist for our students to take advantage of.  Khan Academy, Lynda.com, iTunes U and YouTube have opened the door to learning that can exist out side the classroom.  So too have LMSs (Learning Management Systems) like Canvas, Schoology, Edmodo, Moodle and Blackboard.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, I name them simply to illustrate my point.  We as educators must recognize that we are not, nor should we have to be, the students’ sole source of learning.  In fact, by embracing these new “currencies”, we are enriching our students’ learning experience.  The concept of the “flipped” classroom is a prime example of this model.  In the flipped classroom, students access the learning/lecture portion of a lesson independently via video or virtual classrooms(LMS).  The time in class is then spent engaging in related inquiry, rich discussion or application of the knowledge.  This is just one example of how we can embrace our roles as coaches and facilitators of the learning and let go of the “teacher as knowledge keeper” paradigm.  More importantly, this allows something to happen that we all hope for-students can take responsibility for their own learning.  Remember, this is not the end of teaching but a new beginning for how we teach.  Our students still need our guidance to navigate the complexities of these processes and it is important that we build our capacity within the profession to do so. The digital world offers  great wealth in the “knowledge economy” and just like we need good financial advisors, our students need us to be their advisors in the knowledge transactions they perform.