learning + technology + innovation

Reflection after Friday’s Lunch and Learn with Alan November

Reflection after Friday’s Lunch and Learn with Alan November

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to this blog via e-mail or our RSS feed. We also are each on Twitter (see sidebar on right). Thanks for visiting!   Alan November, leader of November Learning, shared his passion for meaningful student learning…

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Option B

Option B

Option A: students complete a paper (or electronic) worksheet of low-level knowledge and/or procedural skillsOption B: something else Option A: students read pages from a dry-as-toast textbook and then answer publisher-provided regurgitation questionsOption B: something else Option A: students sit quietly and take notes while…

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WWTSD? aka What Would Taylor Swift Do?

WWTSD? aka What Would Taylor Swift Do?

Yep. I’m going there. Oh Taylor, you had no idea you would take the education world by storm in addition to topping the charts, did you? Okay, “taking by storm” might be a bit much, but I am going to proudly announce right now that…

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Stuff.

Stuff.

Students might publish stuff with a lot of errors. Yup. Students might not want to do stuff with a class from another place. And? Students might not collaborate letting one person do all of the stuff. Uh-huh. Students might say/do stuff that is inappropriate. So? Unfortunately,…

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#MWGS Highlight: Caroline Haebig & Collaborative Reflection with Google Hangouts on Air

#MWGS Highlight: Caroline Haebig & Collaborative Reflection with Google Hangouts on Air

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Midwest Google Summit in Wisconsin, which was a great event. One of the things that I noticed was the amount of sessions on reflection. Student reflection and capturing student though process throughout a project or assignment…

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Stop. Start. Share. #mwgs

Stop. Start. Share. #mwgs

Mark Garrison, Director of Technology at White Bear Lake Schools, kicked off the Midwest Google Summit in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Garrison shared his inspirational story of adventure, technology, and commitment to improve continually with technology integration. Garrison organized his keynote with the following prompts: Stop,…

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Allegory(ish) of the Pen

Allegory(ish) of the Pen

When did the (pen) stop being named a tool and become exactly what (it) is… not a punishment or reward not a motivation or resource not a reason or cause not an avenue or bridge an intricate definition crafted and created by the one who…

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Don’t forget to vote!

Don’t forget to vote!

Pardon me while I hop off my #edtech podium for a second. The Social Studies teacher in me would like to make an appearance. As we approach election day this week, I see more and more posts and conversations complaining about campaign ads. I get…

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Thinking about Research: Guest Blog from Amanda Mefferd, Newell-Fonda

Thinking about Research: Guest Blog from Amanda Mefferd, Newell-Fonda

Amanda Mefferd, Newell-Fonda High School English teacher, shares her reflection as she ponders the research process… Students in my college composition class are currently writing a position research paper. After some grumbling, difficulty finding sources, and a few long discussions about finding a topic that…

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Spooky Reading and Writing Ideas

Spooky Reading and Writing Ideas

I am not a fan of scary movies. I would rather laugh than scream. Despite my viewing preference, I do enjoy reading a thriller. There is something captivating about stories that create suspense, that unveil mystery, that reveal inner darkness. And those stories-fact or fiction-make…

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What makes a quality STEM activity? Find out in 5 days!

What makes a quality STEM activity? Find out in 5 days!

Hope you’ll join Mike Anderson and me for our K12Online presentation on October 30!

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Technology grants for Iowa teachers

Technology grants for Iowa teachers

Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency is working with the CenturyLink Foundation to award technology grants to Iowa teachers. As we said on our web site, The goal of this grant program is to fund INNOVATIVE uses of digital learning tools by students and educators. Don’t…

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So what is a connected educator, anyway?

So what is a connected educator, anyway?

October is Connected Educator month and I have had an amazing month reconnecting with colleagues, members of my PLN, and making new friends. My wonderful friend Erin Olson and I are even teaching a class on connected education. But what does that even actually mean?…

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Is this what we mean by ‘close reading?’

Is this what we mean by ‘close reading?’

85 questions assigned by a high school teacher to start off To Kill A Mockingbird… Is this what we mean by ‘close reading?’ Who is this book dedicated to? How old was Jem when he broke his arm? What is Jem’s full name? Who does Scout…

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Nobody likes to hear it

Nobody likes to hear it

Nobody likes to hear that they need to change. Nobody likes to be told that they’re not there yet. Nobody likes the unrelenting messages that we need to do things differently. And therein lies the challenge. Because we DO need to change, we DO need…

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Time: Making, Organizing, Understanding, Appreciating

Time: Making, Organizing, Understanding, Appreciating

Time, the treasured abstract noun, has woven itself into my learning opportunities during the last few weeks. As I considered my learning and growth, I noticed the connection of the subject’s insight being shared indirectly and directly with me. Just passing this along… Making Time…

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Can we really call it learning?

Can we really call it learning?

If a student holds on to something she read, heard, or did in class just long enough to regurgitate it back on an assessment but has little to no memory of it a few weeks later, can we really call it ‘learning?’ How much of…

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Our technology messages are important

Our technology messages are important

When we take away technology access because of student behavior concerns, we send the message that digital devices and the Internet are optional, ‘nice to have’ components of schooling rather than core elements of modern-day learning and teaching. When we ban teachers from using social…

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#WhyTeach: 15 seconds

#WhyTeach: 15 seconds

This morning I was listening to the voxes in the Minnesota Educator Voxer group (yes, I know I’m from Iowa) and Jenny Wamsley (@JennyWamsley) issued a challenge – share a 15 second video about why you teach. Being the safe driver that I am, making a…

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Shoes Don’t Dunk a Ball

Shoes Don’t Dunk a Ball

If you haven’t seen the movie, Like Mike, watch this movie trailer.  As you see in the movie, Calvin got Air Jordan shoes to be able to play on a NBA team just like Michael Jordan. Now take this same idea and apply it to…

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