Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Reblog: 101 e-Learning Tips From Experts

Recently I was asked to provide some tips on the topic e-Learning along with some other educators for an article by Scott Hawksworth and Sarah Bass. I really enjoyed reading the tips and so I wanted to pass it along to my fellow blog readers.

Educational technology, and more specifically e-Learning, offers tremendous value to both students and teachers. Both are constantly evolving, and as such, challenges are inevitable. To that end, we surveyed hundreds of e-Learning experts in search of useful tips for teaching and learning online. Our search generated 101 amazing tips, which are presented below. For the first timer to the seasoned e-Learner, you’re likely to find many valuable tips to help you succeed online. Check out the article here:

All of the expert contributors are also listed here with links to social media profiles so readers can connect and learn more about their work:

Students Creating with iPads

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” By George Bernard Shaw

To often lately I have been walking into classrooms and students are on iPads but all they are doing is either using it for research or to play a game. The iPad is a tool that allows our students to create content verses only consuming. Students can use higher order thinking skills to apply what they know when using many apps. The students then own the learning because they are applying concepts verse regurgitating information. Here are some of my new favorite FREE iPad apps and some oldie but goodies.

  1. Koma Koma – is a stop-animation app. It is simple to use with only four commands — shoot, delete, play and save.
  2. Adobe Slate –  create visual stories easily with this app.
  3. Shadow Puppet Edu – create videos in the classroom to explain ideas. There is also 30+ lesson ideas supporting Common Core too! (Great for all ages but I love that it is easy enough for K-1 students to use as well)

Oldies but goodies that I still use in the classroom:

  1. Thinglink
  2. ShowMe
  3. Tellagami
  4. StoryMe
  5. Adobe Voice
  6. Toontastic
  7. Padlet
  8. Haiku Deck
  9. iMovie
  10. ReadWriteThink Apps such as Trading Cards

All these Apps I have shared can be used across all content area and in many different ways from tasks to projects.

Helping Students Prepare For Online Testing

“The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today.” By Elbert Hubbard


Computer based (online) testing is coming no matter if we agree with it or not; it is inevitable. The best way to prepare our students is to be integrating technology into all subjects, daily and in a variety of ways. Here are some tips below of things you can start doing in your classroom this week to help your students.

Model and teach….

  • … how to use a toolbar.
  • … students to use a calculator that is online (not just the ones you have in your classroom).
  • … students to read online text; including how to use strategies such as using an online highlighter and notes.

This past week I modeled how to do a stop and jot (annotate) using an online text from Tweentribune and Bounce. Here are some other web-tools and sites you can use in the classroom to help prepare your students:

  1. Diigo
  2. Dreambox
  3. Compass Learning
  4. Khan Academy
  5. Zeal
  6. LearnZillion
  7. Illustrative Mathematics
  8. Schoolnet or Mastery Connect
  9. Discovery Education Techbook
  10. Chrome Extension:
    1. Read & Write works with all sites, including Google Drive.
    2. Yellow Highlighter  with any site/article like NewsELA

If you have another way to help your students prepare for online/computer based testing please share in the comments.

Motivational Video Toolkit

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” By Ralph Marston

Below I have compiled some of my favorite motivational videos I like to use in no particular order:

  1. You Can Learn Anything
  2. Growth Mindset: World Best Motivational Videos for Students
  3. New Bell’s South Africa TV Ad — The Reader
  4. Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion
  5. Rubik’s Cube: A Question, Waiting to be Answered
  6. 212 Degrees
  7. Broken Escalator
  8. Piano Stairs
  9. What Adults Can Learn From Kids
  10. Kid President Video Playlist
  11. Disrupting Education 
  12. This I Believe

I am always looking for more motivational videos so please share in the comments your favorites to help build the toolkit.

Creating Quick Assessments with Zeal

“Data itself is useless. Data is only useful if you apply it.” Todd Parker


Zeal is a new FREE site that makes grading exit tickets easy. Within 10 minutes I was able to create my free account, view Zeal as a student and as a teacher with their easy tutorial and create my class. The items are Common Core-aligned with 15,000 a question bank and sends the data instantly to the teacher and student in order for them to track their data.  Zeal also ‘gamifies’ for the students by offering them to earn coins, move up the leaderboard and use the coins to upgrade their own avatar.

They even make it easy for you to offer quick PD to staff. Check out our there Professional Development Resources to learn how to best use Zeal in your classroom/school. Like most sites you do need to be aware of the COPPA Law because you do need to have parent permissions to use; unless your district is like mine and has a different form that covers all sites.

The Need for Play

“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.” By Diane Ackerman

Play is a critical component of developing minds. Research shows play is as important as sleep and food; so why don’t we promote more play?  

Kevin Carroll is one of the guru’s of why we need play in our lives both as adults and children. He is the reason I started learning more about play a few years ago when I heard him as a keynote at ISTE14. He got me thinking about how we could incorporate play more into the classroom. Kevin is an author of three highly successful books published by ESPN, Disney Press and McGraw-Hill., a speaker and change agent i.e. Katalyst, you can read more about him here. I highly recommend watching some of his Ted Talks and videos on his site.

Three ways to integrate play into education:

  1. Create Makerspaces in your classroom or school to allow creative play
  2. Utilize missions or design thinking projects
  3. Purposeful play at recess 

Resources about Play:

National Institute of Play

Institute of Play

How Finland Keeps Kids Focused Through Free Play

Play in Education: the role and importance of creative learning

The Power of Play

Play is…Video

34 Reasons Why Play Matters - - Infographic

Tools to Help Students Build a Growth Mindset

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” By Thomas A. Edison

Growth Mindset = the belief that intelligence can be developed. Helping students build growth mindset helps motivate students and improves student achievement. So how can we build growth mindsets in the classroom? Below are five ways and a toolkit of resources to also help.

  1. Teach students about the malleability of the brain and how it works. For example: The brain is a muscle. Also see Brainology® infomation below.
  2. Give authentic feedback (also known as process praise) verse praise. For example: You completed that project well vs you are smart.
  3. Value mistakes! Did you know…our brain is more active when we make mistakes.
  4. Change our language. For example:  Adding ‘yet’ to our words. – I am not good at fractions. vs I am not good at fractions yet. 
  5. Purposeful and meaningful learning that is relevant. 
    1. Pointless = de-motivating & frustrating
    2. Meaningful = motivating & energizing


Perts Mindset Toolkit and Perts Mindset Meter

Mindset Works – Especially the Brainology®


The Power of Believing That You Can Improve 

How Mistakes Make You Smarter

You Can Learn Anything

Kid President Videos


Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change By Stephen R. Covey

Daniel Pink’s Books


Six ways to teach growth mindset from day one of school

Growth Mindset: How to Normalize Mistake Making and Struggle in Class

Mindsets and Student Agency

If you have any resources to share to help educators build growth mindset, please share them in the comments.


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