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140 Twitter Tips for Educators

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 20 October, 2016 - 12:24

Help for teachers curious or skeptical about Twitter

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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The curious teacher opened up Twitter. In the teacher’s lounge this morning, an excited teacher was talking about a new tool she’d found on Twitter that had her students raving. Rather than ask anyone, the curious teacher opened up Twitter (there was less pressure that way.) Oh, my! She thought Twitter made no sense. She saw these #’s going by and didn’t know what they were. And she saw some things she didn’t like, too. As a result, she wondered if she could filter that stuff out. What was that teacher so excited about this morning? If you’re that curious teacher, let’s give you tips to make sense of Twitter.

This example with “curious teacher” is a common one. In fact, many teachers look at Twitter and just don’t get what they’re seeing. I would say it is because they don’t have a Twitter account. While lurking on the site is OK, creating a Twitter account lets you FILTER tweets in powerful ways (even if you never tweet yourself.)

First, when you set up your Twitter account, you can follow just those people you want to see. Second, it also even makes following the hashtags  (those things that start with the #) make a little bit more sense. Third, you can even message people privately when you have an account. All without having to post even one tweet.

But, as today’s guests show us, Twitter can do so much more for you and your classroom.

Listen to this show on BAM Radio Network | iTunes 

In today’s episode, we make Twitter simple with some cool Twitter tips. Brad Currie and Billy Krakower, two of the three authors of 140 Twitter Tips for Educators, share with us the basics of Twitter.  Specifically, they talk about how to get started and how Twitter is used in schools.

I know people who refuse to try anything new.

But as a 92-year-old precious “Miss Alice” said this past week in my Sunday school class,

“I’m so glad I haven’t learned yet. I’m still learning. Learning means you’ve got something new to learn, and you’re not done. Because when you’re done learning and you’ve learned it all, you’re done with living.”

In that case, Mrs. Alice gives the best introduction for why we should all try something new. Share today’s show with skeptics and curious teachers as a low-pressure way to see if Twitter might help them be better teachers.

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Get the Bloomz App

Show Notes:
  • Why should educators get on Twitter?
  • How do class in school and district Twitter accounts work?
  • How should you get started when you get on Twitter?
  • Is Twitter for every educator?
  • Are there some drawbacks and worries about being on Twitter?
  • How do you find the right Twitter chat for you?
  • Is it okay just to be a lurker on Twitter? And what is a lurker?
  • For some other resources for getting started with Twitter?
  • 140 Twitter Tips for Educators by Brad Currie, Billy Krakower, and Scott Rocco

Who are Brad Currie and Billy Krakower?

Brad Currie  @bradmcurrie is the co-founder of #satchat, a weekly Twitter discussion for current and emerging school leaders. Brad is a Vice Principal and Supervisor of Instruction for the Chester School District in Chester, N.J. Billy Krakower is a co-moderator of a weekly Twitter discussion for current and emerging school leaders called #Satchat. He is one of the Lead Organizers of edcampNJ.

Billy Krakower@wkrakower   is currently a Computer & Resource Reading Room Teacher in Woodland Park, New Jersey.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. Oh and if this show meant something to you, will you leave a review?

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to edit and post it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.)

The post 140 Twitter Tips for Educators appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Top Tips for Fast Formative Assessment that Works

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 20 October, 2016 - 11:23

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

You’re teaching your heart out. All of a sudden, you look in their eyes and wonder if they understand. But in due time, you decide enough of them know the material and it is time for a test. After they take the test, you start grading. In a moment, you realize that while one or two know the material, that you were hopelessly unaware that most of them needed some more teaching. I’ve been there and it is one of the worst feelings of teaching. When it happened to me, I felt like quitting. I felt like a failure. But no more.

Now, when I teach difficult concepts like binary numbers, I can teach them and know in the moment what they know. No more waiting. No more guessing. That’s because, formative assessment is in my toolkit and I’m empowered to poll the whole class with a click.

As shown above, we can do better than the old fashioned guess and stress mode of teaching and testing. Formative assessment is here.
Listen to this show on BAM Radio Network | iTunes 

Different from summative assessment, the goal of formative assessment is to know what they know as knowledge is forming in their minds. Equally important, the point of formative assessment is NOT to take another grade. While you might be tempted, DON’T DO IT! (Unless they all surprise you and make perfect scores!  Then, by all means take a grade and do a dance while you’re at it!)

As an illustration of the many ways you can assess formatively, Steven Anderson and I continue in the second episode of a three-part series on formative assessment. (See the first episode with Tony Vincent linked below.)

Given the points I’ve made already, I believe that formative assessment is one of the key tools for the 21st-century educator’s toolbox.

GradeCam: Today’s Sponsor is a Formative Assessment Wonder

Formative assessment options can save you time. GradeCam is a quick grading tool for formative AND summative assessment. You get instant feedback on what students know. GradeCam lets you print out bubble sheets, use your smartphone, to take a picture of your students’ quizzes, and GradeCam will grade the quizzes for you! GradeCam allows you to quickly collect and assess student learning in the moment and adjust your lessons in real-time. GradeCam also works with laptops, desktops, tablets and any device that has a camera connected to wifi. GradeCam can also quickly transfer all of the scores into a grade book

If you visit Gradecam from this blog post, you can get a 60-day free trial. You can also listen to a bonus episode I recorded about the “Biggest Formative Assessment Mistake that People Make” with Tony Vincent. 

Easy Grading with Gradecam

Show Notes:
  • What story can you use to introduce formative assessment to teachers?
  • Is there a trap teachers fall into of thinking they have to grade everything?
  • What is the central purpose of formative assessment?
  • How can teachers use formative assessment to self-assess their own teaching?
  • Are there some fast easy ways to use formative assessment?
  • What are Steven’s favorite formative assessment tools?
  • Episode 1 in this Formative Assessment Series

Who is Steven Anderson?

Steven W. Anderson @web20classroom is the director of instructional technology for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in Winston-Salem, NC. He also regularly travels the country talking to schools and districts about the use of social media in the classroom. He has been the recipient of the Twitterer of the Year Award, and in 2012 he was named an ASCD Emerging Leader, which recognizes young, talented, educational leaders in their field.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to edit and post it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.)

The post Top Tips for Fast Formative Assessment that Works appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Sonicaid - Music for working cycles - For teachers

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 19 October, 2016 - 22:48


  • Play this music during work cycles - one hour of relaxing positive instrumental music - Gaby K. Slezák

Tags: schools, music, concentration, learning

by: Gaby K. Slezák

Categories: International News

Free Masterclass: 15 Best G Suite Tools for Schools

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 19 October, 2016 - 11:14

Note: G Suite is the new name for Google Drive

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

If you only used 15 tools in Google Docs and Apps, what would they be? Don’t be overwhelmed with all the choices.  I can help. In this free masterclass, I’m going to share my 15 Best G suite tools for Schools and how to use them in the classroom. Join me on October 25 at 4pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time(EDT). You’re invited.

Register Now! (It’s free.)

Back when Google Add-ons came out, I wrote my 15 Best Google Add-ons for Education. So, when one of the original add-on makers that I mentioned in the first article (Texthelp, the makers of Read&Write) reached out, I told them I’d love to update the list. We’ll make the announcement live in the webinar of my favorite 15 G Suite Tools for Schools! Fun!

This will be a one-time-only webinar. I won’t be selling this one in any of my stores. You get one chance. You’ll want to come.

You can register here to join us.

15 Best Tools for G Suite Users

When: October 25, 4pm EDT

Where: Webinar Link

Who: Vicki Davis will present for 50 minutes with a 10 minute Q&A.

What will happen in the session?

During this masterclass, I’ll overview each tool, how it is used in the classroom, and give you some basic features. We’ll answer questions at the end.

Who might not like this masterclass?
  • This webinar is not for those who want to know how to administrate Google Apps for Education. (I recommend joining one of the Google+ groups for admins to get that kind of content. )
  • If you’re not in the education industry, you’ll also not be a good fit for this masterclass.
  • If you want step-by-step instructions for every tool, we don’t have time for that. But if you like a tool, I know you’ll want to go there. So, we’ve prepared a handout for you at the end with links to give you that information.
Who will get a lot out of this masterclass?
  • This webinar will benefit any educator using G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Education) and wants to use it successfully in the classroom.
  • Literacy Coaches
  • IT Coaches or Integrators
  • Those who help students with special needs
  • Math teachers
  • Reading or Writing Teachers
  • Curriculum Directors
  • Educators who want to know what they can do with G Suite.

This webinar and blog post are sponsored by Texthelp. They are the creators of Read&Write, Fluency Tutor, and Speech Stream. I have recommended the Read&Write Tool for Google Chrome for quite some time and am excited to talk about these tools in addition to other #GAFE tools I can’t live without.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to edit and post it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) 


The post Free Masterclass: 15 Best G Suite Tools for Schools appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Staples and Katy Perry Impact 1072 classrooms and 98,609 students!

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 18 October, 2016 - 22:10

A Big Thank You to Staples for their Support of Teachers and Students

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Almost one hundred thousand students (98,609 to be exact) were impacted by the $1 million donation that Staples made to DonorsChoose.org this past June. As I blogged this past June, Staples partnered with Katy Perry to help classrooms across the country. They made a one million dollar donation this past April and have been giving it away since then! It is now time for an update on what happened!

See the full press release

Here are the results:

  • 1,072 classroom projects funded
  • 787 teachers in 402 schools
  • 98,600 students
  • $1 million donation from Staples

In addition to this, Staples customers donated more than $330,000 to DonorsChoose.org in-store and at StaplesforStudents.com. (These numbers don’t even include all the Staples and DonorsChoose.org cards we gave away on our Back to School Twitter chat in August.)

Katy Perry Scholarship Results

Global superstar Katy Perry and Staples for Students Sweepstakes grand prize winner Patricia O’Keefe and her son Matthew and William Durling of Staples, attend the sweepstakes Winners VIP Celebration on Thurs., Oct. 13, 2016, in Los Angeles. The sweepstakes grand prize included a $50,000 scholarship and a trip to Los Angeles with a guest to meet Katy Perry. In April, as part of the Staples for Students program, Staples partnered with Perry to announce a $1 million donation to DonorsChoose.org. As a result, Staples fulfilled 1,072 classroom projects on DonorsChoose.org, providing 787 teachers and impacting 98,609 students across the country. Additionally, Staples customers donated more than $330,000 to DonorsChoose.org at Staples stores and at www.StaplesForStudents.com throughout the back-to-school season. (Casey Rodgers/AP Images for Staples)

Katy Perry presented the grand prize winner of the Staples for Students Sweepstakes, Patricia O’Keefe and her son Matthew, Deep River, Conn., with a $50,000 scholarship at a Winners VIP Celebration in Los Angeles on October 13th . Matthew is a senior in high school and is currently applying to colleges for enrollment in fall 2017. Four lucky first prize winners and one guest each also joined the celebration and met Katy Perry. (See picture.)

What did teachers do with this money?

Some teachers haven’t applied for grants because they don’t know where to start. This is one of my favorite grants received as part of this project:

For example, Mr. Shull at Quincy Upper School will receive core school supplies like pencils, erasers, highlighters, folders and more in addition to a MacBook Pro for his Speech Therapy students. His students will use the MacBook Pro to shoot and edit films like “How to Ace a Job Interview” and to write journalism articles. Projects like these will help his students develop language, content, writing skills and advance their computer skills at the same time.

See Surprise Donation of More than 435,000 funds local school projects. (Staples funded every project in Boston and Metrowest)

Take a look at the full press release.

I’ve been honored to work with Staples since 2015 to support their back to school initiatives. It is my go-to store for Back to School. I also appreciate how they donate so much to help teachers and students who need it. I like to work with companies who support teachers. We need all the encouragement and help we can get!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to edit and post it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) 




The post Staples and Katy Perry Impact 1072 classrooms and 98,609 students! appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Leaders as readers

Bluyonder Greg Whitby - 18 October, 2016 - 11:13

In 2012, John Coleman wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review titled ‘For those who want to lead, read’.  Coleman observed that business professionals were reading less despite their being wide-ranging benefits to leadership.  According to Coleman, deep and broad reading habits have been the ‘defining characteristic of our greatest leaders’ catalysing ‘insight, innovation, empathy, and personal effectiveness’. Coleman goes on to say that evidence suggests that when leaders read broadly and apply insight to their organisations, they are more likely to ‘innovate and prosper’. Philosopher AC Grayling also suggests that literature provides us with open windows, which is what education is all about.

I am often surprised when I hear that teachers and leaders don’t have time to read despite expectations that students will themselves develop healthy reading habits.  One of the questions I often ask during interviews is ‘what are you reading and how are you applying it to your work?’ The response is telling because the act of reading reflects an appetite for gaining greater understanding and wisdom. It reflects a curiosity that ideally grows and deepens over time.  As Coleman suggests, reading cultivates the knowledge, habits and skills needed to improve organisations.

As educational leaders, it serves us to read regularly and broadly.  I believe there is a canon of educational books that challenge assumptions, inspire new thinking/practice and promote new research; and, most importantly, stretch our imagination. This canon is not defined by academics alone. It includes anything that enriches our thinking such as Dr Seuss’ Hooray for Diffendoofer Day, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. There is much to learn from the human experience in these texts and how they shape our approach to learning.

One recently published academic book that will be added to our system’s canon is Stephen Dinham’s recently published, Leading Learning and Teaching.  This isn’t a how to guide or blueprint for action so much as  a considered reflection and research on both past and present approaches to improving schooling. Dinham unpacks the major implications for practitioners and the critical challenge of leading learning and teaching.

This book makes no claim of finding the definitive approaches to improving schools. Neither is it a lecture or beating of the drum. What you get is a thorough walk through of the central issues facing educators and schools in today’s world. Most importantly the book shows a deep respect for teachers in its open and accessible prose.

Reading this book reinforced my view that the profession is more than capable of meeting the challenges of transforming schooling if we continue to read widely and as Dinham says become ‘critical consumers of research’ and evidence-based in our practice.







Categories: Planet

10 Essential Characteristics of a 21st Century Educator

The Principal of Change George Couros - 18 October, 2016 - 08:40

This is a first draft and I am trying to learn through reflection.  Would love your thoughts on the ideas below.

People have come to loathe the term “21st Century Education”, or “21st Century Teacher”. The argument is that “we are 16 years into the 21st century!”, yet I would argue, we have 84 years to go!  I could have not predicted the iPad, Chromebooks, Pokemon Go, or anything else like this.  Yet, as I was thinking about that very idea, it is why I believe there are some very important traits that educators need right now.  We are in the 21st century, we are educators, so what does that mean and look like in our world and for education?

It is not  technology that is having the biggest influence on what we do; it is the speed of change being thrust upon us. We also have more access to information and ideas, so we can do better. If you know better, you have to do better.

Here are ten characteristics that I am exploring and starting to see as crucial for educators in the 21st century and beyond, as we continue to live in a world that is continuously changing, and moving at tremendously fast speeds.

Relationship Builder

50 years ago, relationships were the most important thing in education, and 50 years from now it will be more so. Do our students feel valued when they come to school?  Do we seek to simply engage them in content, or do we seek to empower them to create?  I have argued for years that we need school teachers, not just classroom teachers.  Every child in the school is all of our responsibilities.  In a world that is becoming more and more complex, students need to know that they can trust the educators to see them as individuals, and that they are valued.  None of the other strategies or approaches will matter without this foundation.


The only constant that we can count on education is change.  We know that this is true.  You could have been an amazing educator 10 years ago, but if you have changed nothing since then, you could become irrelevant.  As the world continuously moves forward, if you stand still, you are ultimately falling behind.  This doesn’t mean that some things in education don’t stay true forever.  We do not have to change everything, but we need to continuously evaluate our practices and the impact on students to grow and get better.  New resources and initiatives will always be part of education, and we need to critically think about them, and ask questions to move forward, but we need to model the same openness to learning and change that we expect from our students.

“If we create a culture where every teacher believes they need to improve, not because they are not good enough but because they can be even better, there is no limit to what we can achieve.” —Dylan Wiliam


Do we want everyone to think the same by the time to walk out of our classrooms or schools? If we do, it is not really thinking; it is compliance.  Our classrooms are becoming so much more diverse in so many aspects, and this is something we need to embrace.  Every single individual has different experiences and strengths that they bring to the classroom, and we are all better if we look to tap into those strengths and build a community around them.  


Information is coming our way faster than ever.  If anything, we need to slow down and critically analyze it, not simply accept everything that we hear.  Reflection becomes essential in this process.  This is crucial that we embed time in our days and the days of our students to not only reflect, but make their own connections to learning.

How could you possibly move forward without looking back?

“We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.” John Dewey


When you hire anyone for a job, you do not just hire them, you hire their entire network. Networks consist of both “online spaces” and face to face collaboration.  Creating diverse networks in and out of education is crucial, understanding we can learn a great deal from the person across the hallway, as we can from the person on the other side of the world.  To create the best experiences for students, you need access to the best ideas; this can come from anyone and anywhere.  When you are networked, great ideas often find you, not the other way around.

As David Weinberger states, “The smartest person in the room is the room.” If that is true, how big is your room?  How do you access this “room” to be better for your students?


We do not only need to embrace meaningful change, but we need to create it.  Innovation is about creating “new and better” things; it can be iteration (a remix of something) or invention (something totally new), but it has to be better.  As the skills that students need in our evolving world become increasingly complex, we have to be in the mindset where innovation in the norm, not the exception.  How do we look at what our students need and create opportunities for them to learn in deeper and meaningful ways? How do our students become these same innovators? They will need to become this in their world, and hopefully it is because of us, not in spite of us.

Remember…innovation is probably not in your curriculum, but neither are worksheets.  


The notion that “everyone is a leader” is something that has been challenged a great deal over the years, yet what does being a “leader” mean?  It is not being a boss.  There are some principals who are not leaders, and some teachers who are amazing leaders.  What is crucial to think about is whether or not you have the ability to influence others to positively move forward in specific areas.  In our schools we have leaders in curriculum, technology, community building, and so many other areas.  We not only empower people to lead, but give them the opportunities to lead from where they are.  If only a few people are “allowed” to lead, meaningful change will happen at a much slower pace.


“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  ― Rudyard Kipling

“Lecture” has become a bad word in many education circles, while Ted Talks have exploded.  Many see this as irony, but what I see is that these aren’t lectures as much as they are stories.

If we want meaningful change, we have to make a connection to the heart before we make a connection to the mind.  People have to feel something.  Simply sharing information is not a way to create this connection, but we have to think about how we create this connection.  Telling stories helps people create their own connections and meaning, and in a world that is information rich, we are vying for the attention of our students.  These stories we tell are the ones that stick with our students longer than simply sharing ideas.  We need to look at not simply sharing ideas, but helping share information in different ways that are memorable and compelling. Your story and stories matter, and will resonate long after our time with our students.

You might not feel you have anything meaningful to share, but we all have a story to tell.

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”  ― Brandon Sanderson


The learning environment matters.  How does the space make people feel?  Do they have options to learn in a variety of ways to suit their needs?  I talk a lot about the Starbucks; many people do not go there for the coffee, but spend time there for the feel of the space.  The notion of the “designer” is not only in how we create our spaces, but the experiences that are created for learning as well.  I often ask,  “would you want to spend the whole day learning in your own classroom?”  The point of this is to think about learning from the viewpoint of those you serve, not simply your own.  We have to understand what possibilities exist in our world today, and be extremely thoughtful in how we design learning experiences to maximize space, resources, and access for all learners.

Are your learning experiences designed to meet the needs the of the unique learners in your context?  How do you ensure that you are building on the strengths and passions of all learners?  How does the space and environment you create factor into the learning experiences?  These are all important considerations for how we designing learning experiences today.


I have been thinking about the idea of “educator as artist” a lot more recently, and love this quote from John Steinbeck;

“I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”

When you see what you do as an art, and you realize that the minds you help shape are a beautiful canvas, teaching is more than a job, it’s an art.  Small details matter more.  Access to tools become crucial.  Great educators are artists, plain and simple.  We need to embrace this thinking and empower teachers to hone their craft and allow them the resources and space to do what’s best for the learners in their classrooms.


My hope is that I have shared characteristics that are timeless and will be still relevant and crucial 84 years now in the year 2100, and beyond.  We know that information will continue to be thrown at us in rates that we can’t comprehend. We also understand that change is something that will continuously happen, and that we will have to not only deal with, but understand and create ourselves.  As educators, we need to constantly think about the world that we live in, and how important it is to capture and develop the hearts and minds of the learners we serve.  The characteristics that I have listed above should be timeless, and are crucial to ensuring schools are not only relevant, but leaders in our global communities.

Categories: Planet

K–12 Computer Science Framework Released

Computer Science Teacher Alfred Thompson - 18 October, 2016 - 04:12

After over a year of hard work by a lot of people (I had a small role myself) the K–12 Computer Science Framework is now officially out.

Frankly I expect some criticism. This is computer science after all and we argue more than politicians or theologians. I think it is a good start for people to build on though.

The official announcement follows below. Check it out for yourself.

After over a year of hard work and countless writing workshops, stakeholder convenings, and lots of hotel food, I couldn’t be more pleased to announce today’s news.

The Association for Computing Machinery, Code.org, Computer Science Teachers Association, Cyber Innovation Center, and National Math and Science Initiative are incredibly excited to announce the launch of the K–12 Computer Science Framework. This is a big moment for the computer science education movement in the United States. Check out this video.


Thanks to the leadership of fourteen states and four districts, the hard work of twenty-seven writers and twenty-five advisors, and the support of leaders in the corporate, nonprofit, and education sectors, there is now a framework for implementing K–12 computer science. The framework promotes a vision in which all students critically engage in computer science issues; approach problems in innovative ways; and create computational artifacts with a personal, practical, or community purpose. To achieve this vision, the framework offers a set of guidelines to inform the development of standards, curriculum, and computer science pathways, and also help school systems build capacity for teaching computer science.

A number of corporations, nonprofits, institutions, technology professionals, and notable members of the computer science education community have announced their support of the framework, including Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, International Society for Technology in Education, Project Lead the Way, Southern Regional Education Board, New York City Department of Education, and professors from universities such as Stanford, Harvard, and Duke. A full list of supporters is available at http://k12cs.org.

A webinar about the Framework will be held on Wednesday, October 19, at 12 PM Pacific / 3 PM Eastern. Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmxyZ1DFBwk for more details and to watch the webinar on the 19th.

Personal note: To all my friends in the computer science education community, thank you for your support of the framework’s development—the unity shown has been the most encouraging part of the process. Now the work of implementing the framework begins!

For more information about the K–12 Computer Science Framework, including a list of practices and concepts, visit http://www.k12cs.org.

Pat Yongpradit, on behalf of the K–12 Computer Science Framework

Categories: Planet

Interesting Links 17 October 2016

Computer Science Teacher Alfred Thompson - 17 October, 2016 - 21:11

Lots of announcements from the Computer Science Teachers Association this past week. We’ll start with them for this week’s links.

NCWIT: Recognizing females in high school in Computer Science by @dougbergmanUSA Talks about the 2017 Award for Aspirations in Computing  for high school girls.

Bill the Lizard: Books Programmers Don't Really Read – an interesting look at some books that programmers read or say they read. 

Ford CEO Mark Fields on self-driving cars and Henry Ford   Is Ford a technology company? Where does code fit in? A lot of interesting things in this interview.

Using Minecraft in Education: 30 ideas for using Minecraft in the classroom 

What Makes a Program Elegant?  Software developers are always talking about elegant code but I’ve never been sure what that means. This article gives some idea of how one person looks at the idea.

Categories: Planet

2017 CSTA Conference Call for Proposals

Computer Science Teacher Alfred Thompson - 17 October, 2016 - 02:32

The CSTA Annual Conference is my favorite conference for computer science education. I have been privileged to attend most of them over the years. And honored to present at several.  This is the conference where people doing interesting things in K-12 computer science education come together to share ideas in workshops, concurrent sessions, birds of a feather gatherings and informal conversations. If you are doing something interesting, fun, or new teaching computer science you really should submit a proposal to present here.

The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) invites you to participate in the 17th Annual CSTA Conference. This event will be held July 9-11, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.

The CSTA 2017 Program Committee seeks proposal submissions related to the practice of teaching and learning computer science and information technology in K-12. This year, the conference is seeking 3-hour workshops, 1-hour sessions, 20-minute mini-sessions and 1-hour Birds of a Feather.  Proposals for all session types must include:

  • the names and contact information for all presenters
  • an overview of the session
  • a description of the intended audience (level, knowledge, …)
  • a description of session activity (in sufficient detail for an informed decision)
  • presenter background and presentation experience

Proposal must also include an expanded description (to be submitted as a PDF attachment) that provides the following information:

  • background for the topic to be presented
  • description of the information to be covered
  • description of why this information is relevant/useful to K-12 computer science and information technology teachers
  • description of what the attendees will learn from this presentation, and
  • description of any handouts

Presenters will have the use of a computer projector and screen. If additional equipment or facilities are required, this should be clearly requested in the proposal; it may be possible to accommodate such requests but this cannot be guaranteed. Presenters will be required to pay for their conference registration.

All proposals will be submitted through the online conference submission system that can be found at https://www.xcdsystem.com/csta/member/index.cfm. If you encounter a problem with the submission system, please contact Chris Crucetti at c.crucetti@csta-hq.org or Tammy Pirmann atsubmissions@csta-hq.org.

The deadline for proposals is midnight (Hawaiian time) on November 4, 2016. Review of proposals will occur shortly thereafter and notification of a decision will be made around December 5, 2016.  All submission will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • technical quality
  • writing and presentation
  • relevance to CSTA (focus on K-12 computer science)
  • uniqueness
  • general conference theme and needs

Successful proposers should expect to be asked to submit a draft copy of their presentation by May 8, 2017. Draft presentations will be posted on the website for attendee reference and note-taking. All final presentations will be gathered by room proctors at the end of each session. Some sessions may be selected for videotaping, which will be shared online post conference. All workshops and sessions will be photographed.

Why present at CSTA 2017? The CSTA annual conference is the only CS conference specifically dedicated to meeting the needs of K-12 computer science educators. Come network with your peers, present your great ideas, and learn best practices. Here is what some 2016 conference attendees had to say about the conference:

  • “Best session and workshops I’ve ever attended at CSTA conference!”
  • “This was my first year as a CS teacher, and I’ve heard a number of good ideas that I’m excited to research further and implement in my classroom”
  • “CSTA has very welcoming presenters, participants and volunteers”
  • “Excellent conference! Very informative and exciting!”
  • “Networking opportunities and new friendships are invaluable!
  • ‘Best conference value for my PD dollars that I have found to date!”

Additional conference details can be found at http://www.csteachers.org/page/2017Conference.

The deadline for proposals is midnight (Hawaiian time) on November 4, 2016.

We look forward to receiving your proposals and to your attendance at the conference.

Categories: Planet

Shaping the Curriculum - Exploring Integration — The Learner's Way

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 16 October, 2016 - 19:53


  • After two days of talking about curriculum, integration, STEM, STEAM and HASS I am left with more questions than I started with. In some respects, the concept of curriculum integration is simple. It is after all something that Primary teachers almost take for granted. But for Senior and Tertiary educators the question of curriculum integration is inherently complex. At all levels questions emerge of what curriculum integration might achieve, what purposes it serves, what it could and should look like and how it should be supported by curriculum planners. In the current climate, with its debate around the role of education within an innovation economy, shaped by technology and confronting demands for a STEAM enabled workforce the shape of our curriculum is under pressure.  - Nigel Coutts

Tags: curriculum, integration, learner, teaching, collaboration

by: Nigel Coutts

Categories: International News

“Blogging is your job.”

The Principal of Change George Couros - 16 October, 2016 - 04:04

“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” John Dewey

In a conversation with a principal yesterday, she asked me how I keep up with blogging.  I then proceeded to ask her if her door is “always open”, to which she replied “yes”. My response? You have to close it sometimes.  Reflection is a crucial part of the work that we do, and without looking back, it is almost impossible to move forward.  Ultimately, I told her, “blogging is your job.”

When you look at it as an extra, it will not likely get done. When you see it as part of your job, it will get it done.

Make appointments with yourself.  Keep them.  Fight through writers block. Take time to reflect.

People may ask, “Why do you have to blog? Why not just reflect?”  When you reflect on your own, you are accountable to yourself. When you blog, you are accountable to yourself and others.  Others need to hear your voice.

Adam Schoenbart writes about dealing with writer’s block, and how he deals with, by also sharing ideas for upcoming posts.

There’s not too much rhyme or reason to what I write about when beyond passion and inspiration. Sometimes a topic will be timely and will take precedence. Often, my teaching or coaching work will inspire new ideas. I try to only write about the things that I’m excited about and to turn my passions into reflective pieces and learning opportunities, both for myself and for others.

Coming up on the list right now, there’s:

  • How I Made the New School Year Fun: Reigniting My Love of the Classroom
  • Coaching Reflections: How I Want to Be a Better Coach
  • What If?: Exploring My Admin Internship and Problem Solving
  • Perusing Pear Deck: #OssiningPride Explores Pear Deck
  • An Argument Against Absolutism in EdTech: Is there always a best practice?

If you see reflection as crucial to what you do, don’t find time; schedule time.

You may feel like you have nothing to say, but you do have a story to tell.

Categories: Planet

Security and the Internet of Things

Computer Science Teacher Alfred Thompson - 14 October, 2016 - 20:35

Yesterday I wrote about Cars and Code about the intersection of transportation and software development. As a teaser I mentioned secure code and the need for that with our software dependent and increasingly connected cars. Car makers are talking about cars sharing information with each other about things like road conditions and weather. Great stuff as long as everyone has good intentions. That is a bit much to expect though.

The Internet of Things is growing and we are only starting to think about what that means. If you haven’t started thinking about it this cartoon from joyoftech.com may get you started.

Categories: Planet

Education is a Team Sport

The Principal of Change George Couros - 14 October, 2016 - 05:14

Every time I have a speaking engagement or consult, I hope the people that I serve have very high expectations of what I do.  Not only do I want them to have high expectations of my work, I want to exceed their expectations. Having extremely high expectations of yourself, can be numbing and discouraging, as you tend to look at little details with a higher significance.  One of my favourite quotes that I have heard recently was from former NBA basketball player Jalen Rose;

Happiness is a function of expectations.

Simply put, the higher our expectations are for ourselves, the harder it is to be happy with a job simply well done.  It has to be better than that.

But there are very few positions in any organization, where the success of an individual isn’t tied to the work of the team.  Some people seemingly get more glory than others (which can be frustrating), but for any one thing to be successful, there are always several components behind the scenes that others don’t see.  These small details in the hands of others, are crucial to success.

I thought of this last night when I was stuck on a plane on the tarmac for an hour, just waiting to pull up to the gate.  I do my best to not be frustrated by travel, or else I would be frustrated all of the time.  What struck me though was as we were sitting on the airplane, the pilots apologized for the delay and said, “Just to let you know, this is not due to a mistake of the airline, but of the ground crew.”  As we got off the plane, one person complained to the ground crew, and their response?  It was the airline’s fault.


It is so much easier to place blame than to take responsibility.

As I was listening to people blame one another for the poor service, I was thinking of Bill Belichick’s ‘ mantra, (head coach of one of the most successful NFL franchises, the New England Patriots) “Do Your Job”.

In this article regarding the connection to this mantra and leadership, “Do Your Job” simply can mean, “being prepared, working hard, paying attention to the details and putting the team first.”  The article then goes on to acknowledge five key components on why this mantra is crucial to building a successful organization:

  • Communicate the Game Plan
  • Set Expectations for Each Player
  • Practice the Fundamentals
  • Provide Immediate Feedback
  • Encourage Trust and Inspire Confidence

In education, the magic that happens in a classroom is not only because of the teacher. The principal, the custodian, the secretary, the IT department, transportation department, and a plethora of other groups are crucial to create an experience for students that will not only be amazing and unforgettable, but of great value.  The thing that is frustrating for many teachers that work directly with students is that a lot of the “magic” is out of their control and the responsibility of someone else.  When we all don’t “do our job”, we have to understand that we all look bad, not just the teacher in the classroom.

Education is a team sport.  Let’s make sure that we each do our part and exceed the expectations of those that we serve. Every detail and job counts.

Categories: Planet

Cars and Code

Computer Science Teacher Alfred Thompson - 14 October, 2016 - 03:28

The other day I heard someone talk about what it might be like if car makers or other manufacturers released products the way most companies released software. Think about it. “We think the wheels will stay on but we’re looking for beta testers for our new car.” Anyone want to sign up? Probably not. And yet a lot of software is widely released so that other people can do the final testing for the company. Think about beta releases of Windows for example.

As I mulled that over during the day I found myself listening to part of an interview with the CEO of Ford Motor company. (Ford CEO Mark Fields on self-driving cars and Henry Ford) During the interview he said that the Ford F-150 has something like 150,000,000 lines of code. Ok that is a fairly meaningless number in many regards but it does highlight the amount of computing power and related dependence of software in modern cars and trucks.

Self-driving cares, which Fields also talked about, will be even more dependent on software. If that doesn’t make you at least a little nervous you probably never worked on the development of commercial software.

We probably need to think a bit more seriously about software testing and quality control for software designed for self-driving cars than we do for video games. But wait there is more!

More than it works and doesn’t kill people? Yes actually. There is the whole security question. (Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It)

We really need to get more serious about writing good, secure code.

Categories: Planet

6 Riveting Ways to Make Reading and Writing Fun for Students

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 13 October, 2016 - 10:49

Creative Literacy Lessons with Kids

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Therapy dogs. Lunch bunch. Reading groups. These are just of a few ideas you can use to excite students about reading and writing. Writing can be fun. So can reading. Let’s discuss lots of creative ideas that work.

In today’s show, librarian Margo Janzi has a wealth of ideas. Additionally, she also talks about getting out of her comfort zone. Not only can you use robots, green screens, and iPads to excite kids, but you can use some more traditional ideas in new ways. Remember that there’s no match for the creative librarian and teacher. In conclusion, it is our job to inspire and encourage reading and writing. This inspiring show will get you started.

Listen to this show on: BAM Radio Network | iTunes  Today’s Sponsor: Write the World Write the World is a fantastic free tool to encourage writing in your classroom. Not only can teachers run writing contests but they can also assign classroom writing prompts. Also, students can join the monthly contests and global writing prompts with other students around the world. Furthermore, Write the World has a schedule of their writing prompts for the year. So, when you’re planning, include these cool contests.

Write the World is a powerful, fun community for writing. Even more importantly, the site is easy it is to use.

Make writing exciting this year in your classroom. There’s no cost for teachers to join with their classrooms.

Writing Competitions

Given all these benefits, I recommend this site for writing teachers of students aged 13-18. So, join Write the World and get kids excited to write!

Show Notes:

  • Can therapy dogs be used in reading programs?
  • What is the format of a successful “lunch bunch?”
  • How does Margo target students who may not love reading to get them excited?
  • What is a book trailer?
  • How does Margo help kids make book trailers?
    • Doink app
    • Publishing: Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo
  • Do robots have a place in a library? (And how did she use them to celebrate Beverly Cleary’s birthday?)
  • How does Margo get students excited about writing?
  • What happened when they published books?

Who is Margo Jantzi?

Margo Jantzi is a teacher librarian at a Title I school with 630 students in PreK-Gd. 5. Her passion is to inspire students to read widely, think deeply and act kindly.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.

The post 6 Riveting Ways to Make Reading and Writing Fun for Students appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Teaching For Change

Computer Science Teacher Alfred Thompson - 12 October, 2016 - 23:43

This post by Valerie Barr (How We Teach Should Be Independent Of Who We Are Teaching) really resonates with me. A lot of what education is about is helping students develop into the people they need to be to make society better. While content knowledge is usually seen as the big piece, if not the whole piece, helping students see how that knowledge can be used for good needs to be part of it as well. We need to help students see computing as inclusive and as a force for making the world better. And not just as a force for making money.

We need to teach everyone that computer science is for everyone. It is not enough to teach girls that they can do it. We need boys to understand that girls can do it as well. In fact that part may even be more important in order to create a culture and environment where women can succeed as well as men. We already know that the big reason why women drop out of engineering and computing isn’t in the classroom. But I think that in the classroom we can start building for change if were teach our students, especially the boys, the right way to live. That starts with teaching my example even more than by words.

The more I learn about how computer technology is being used and misused the more convinced I am that ethics is an important part of teaching computing. I just ordered a copy of Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy which I heard about this morning via an interview with the author. We’re using algorithms that people assume are unbiased but which actually support unconscious biases.

My first degree was in Sociology and maybe that makes me more sensitive to the societal aspects of computing. Then again the societal aspects of technology was a big part of the undergraduate Systems major I also completed. Today though it sees as if technology and its impacts are not always given the attention that it should get. The more technology influences society the more we need students to understand that just because something can be done does it mean it should be done. The consequences and the people aspects have to be taken into account.

As teachers we need to think about that and help our students to also think about it.

Categories: Planet

How to Make Flipped Classroom Better

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 12 October, 2016 - 13:30

A Candid Conversation with Jon Bergmann

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Make videos for students. They can watch them in class or for homework. Then, spend your time in class helping students. Reduce or almost eliminate lecture. Students can stop and start the videos as they wish. They go at their own pace. You help those who need it. Flipping your classroom (or in-flipping it as I do) can make a lot of sense if your conditions are right. Flipped classroom co-founder Jon Bergmann talks candidly about the flipped classroom model.

Prepare for criticisms. Understand challenges. Learn from the mistakes others have made. I love using videos to teach the point and click software lessons in my classroom. Whether you’re advanced or a beginner, this conversation brings you to the leading edge of instructional design.

Listen to this show on: BAM Radio Network | iTunes  Today’s Sponsor: My Simple Show Need a quick explainer video? Already have a PowerPoint? My Simple Show is a simple way to explain anything. My simple show is an easy to use video creation tool that makes it perfect for creating flipped learning videos.

You can start by typing in a script or do like I did and import a PowerPoint file. Then, after you get your script done, the POWER begins. With a click of a button, My Simple Show’s suggestion engine adds suggested pictures and graphics for the animation. You can change it or import your own photos. Then use their narrators or record your own narration!

What a great way to build an animated film to explain, introduce, or teach just about anything. Right now the tool is free. Get started now!

Create Videos

Show Notes:
  • What are some common criticisms that students have about the flipped method of teaching?
  • What types of videos work best – those with the teacher’s voice or without?
  • Why don’t we need to get too upset about “hearing our own voice” on film?
  • How is the flipped classroom movement moving forward?
  • What are some common mistakes being made by those trying flipped learning?
  • How can teachers avoid those mistakes?

Who is Jon Bergmann?

Jon Bergmann co-wrote the book, Flipped Classroom, and is a co-founder of the Flipped Learning Network. Jon is a teacher, educational coach, and writer who has had the privilege of helping educators “turn learning on its head.” He is considered one of the pioneers in the flipped class movement.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.

The post How to Make Flipped Classroom Better appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Why We Should Not Lead with Fear in Education

The Principal of Change George Couros - 12 October, 2016 - 10:12

Original from: http://www.anirudhsethireport.com/fear-is-a-path-to-the-dark-side-fear-leads-to-anger-anger-leads-to-hate-hate-leads-to-suffering/

The principal’s office was a scary place when I was a kid.  If you were sent there, you were very likely to be yelled at, and it could be a daunting place for a kid.

I did not want to be seen as this type of principal by my students. Although many of them were scared to ever be sent to the office, I did my best to not make judgments, but let them work through their own problems.  Here were the two questions I asked:

  1. Why are you here?
  2. What would you do if you were me?

That simple.  I would wait for a long time for the answer to the first, but what was an important was that kids learned to focus on themselves, than focusing on me.  They would walk me through it, and after that was done, their thoughts on what should happen were often way worse than anything that I would have suggested.

The hope of this process is kids would learn to deal with themselves when I wasn’t around. What many people believe is that this might be soft on kids. This is actually far from truth. My expectations for students were extremely high, but often many of our students that get into these situations, need a gentle hand, instead of harsh consequences.  The focus is developing students not only as learners, but as people.

Yet there are still many educators that lead with fear.  The focus is on compliance, not engagement, or empowerment. It is simply, “Do as I say”, or “because I said so”, mentality.  This approach is short-sighted.  Does it focus on you short term, and ignore students long term?  Will kids be able to learn on their own after your class? Will they be inspired to continue learning?  They might have done well in your class that year, but your impact is often seen long after your time with kids.

I have seen administrators do this as well, and almost wear it as a badge of honour.  Again, the vision is short-sighted.  Again, this doesn’t mean that you should be friends with your staff, or that you don’t have high expectations.  But teachers that live in a culture of fear, often create a culture of fear within their classrooms.  This quote from, “Five Characteristics of Fear Based Leaders“, is quite powerful:

People who feel bad often try to make the people around them feel even worse. A grade-school teacher has a lot of power and control over the kids in his or her classroom. Likewise, a manager or supervisor has a lot of power over the people in his or her department.

Is this the culture we want to trickle down into our learning environments?

We have to remember who serves whom in education.  I have long believed that the higher you go up in any organization, the more people you serve not the other way around.  We all serve students, and our focus should not only be on this moment, but how they will develop as people long term.  This is definitely easier said than done, but it is still important to do.

If we don’t thrive in a culture of fear, what in the world would make us think that our students would either?

(Here is the second episode of #LeadMoment talking about the above.)

Categories: Planet

Epic Guide To Game Based Learning

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 11 October, 2016 - 11:18

100+ Game Based Learning Resources to Get Started in Your Classroom

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Games are fun. We can use them to teach. It isn’t that hard. Game based learning excites learning in my classroom. It can ignite your classroom too. In this post, I’ll share what I’m doing in my classroom. Additionally, I’ll give you 100+ of my favorite game based learning resources. These links and ideas will jumpstart your journey. 

This post is sponsored by Samsung. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Game Based Learning in My Classroom

Three houses are at war in my keyboarding classroom. Not only do they battle the monsters of ignorance in quiz battle-games but when they type faster, they earn gold coins to buy awesome outfits for their avatar. Ordinarily, each day begins with a random event of the day. While the whole class is a game, there’s serious learning happening.

And despite what some may think, the game is not required to motivate great behavior because I don’t even try to reward everything. In essence, I’ve entered the realm of Game Master and I’m never going back!

What are serious games?

Welcome to serious games. Despite what some may think about the games, serious games are designed for a purpose. In essence, serious games are not just for entertainment. As shown below, well-designed serious games can teach, educate, and inspire. In summary, serious games done right can engage students and help us become better teachers.

Not only do we want our students to be excited about learning but we also want them to be intrinsically motivated. Simply put, intrinsic motivation comes from within. In the final analysis, it is demotivating to “point-ify” everything students do. But in the long run, adding a game based layer to your classroom can get students hungry to win in the classroom and life.

Interestingly, as can be evidenced by the kids running to my keyboarding classroom each day, effective game-based learning does release dopamine (which activates the pleasure centers of the brain.) It can become a powerful and positive motivator for this reason.

Nevertheless, just because an activity has points and is called a game doesn’t make it an effective game-based learning tool any more than putting me in a Doritos bag makes me a chip.

Therefore, we educators need to educate ourselves on game based learning. We should learn how to do it right. We should also learn how to avoid the pitfalls of poorly implemented game based learning.

Let’s dig deep into the resources, research, and tools that will help you become start using game based learning in your classroom. 

I’ve also included my Quicknotes that I use to reference the most important Game Based Learning information that I want at my fingertips.

100+ Game Based Learning Resources Blog Posts and Current Resources

School-Wide Game Based Learning

These are my notes on the essentials of Game Based Learning. I keep Quicknotes like these with me as I work to become better at implementing effective game based learning in my classroom. Also note that quite a few items from the Gamifi-ed project are also included in my quick notes because I find them a useful reference. 

Interviews with Experts

Matt Farber – game design

Tools to Help You Implement Game Based Learning in the Classroom Websites
  • Games for Change – This website and organization sponsors contest to create games for change. You’ll find many ideas for game based learning for social good on this site.
  • Common Sense Education – formerly Graphite, this organization ranks and evaluations apps, games and activities for kids. I like that they recently added a feature to evaluate the privacy policies and COPPA compliance of websites. A great place to find games.
  • Gamifi-ed Website – 9th Graders in the classroom of Vicki Davis (author of this blog) and Masters students at the University of Alaska Southeast analyzed and tested more than 50 serious games. This website has many resources and an overview of what makes an excellent serious game.
  • Appolicious – This site pretty much evaluations iPhone/iPad games but has lots of them in the index.
  • Game Based Learning Insights on the Samsung Insights Website has articles on recent implementations of game based learning in more fields than just K12 including health care, retail, etc.
  • Builder Bowls – Builder Bowls revolve around a wide range of immersive technologies, including Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), simulations, video games, caves and domes, 3D printing and robotics.
  • Game On – a WordPress plugin used by teacher Kevin Jarrett and others to make their whole classroom a game.
  • Classcraft – This is the game tool I use to turn my keyboarding class into a game.
  • Rezzly – Used to be 3D Game Lab
  • Student Shark Tanks – I wrote this about how we had a competition to see which apps would get funded.
  • Drama in the Classroom: 2 Bellringers with Activities – Drama in the classroom can have game-based elements. I use this all the time in my classroom.
  • Kahoot – This fun gaming tool is being used for classroom tool and review games everywhere. Students can play as individuals or in team mode.

Pedagogy first, then technology. Kae Novak. This applies to games as well.

Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Social Studies and Geography Economics & Financial Literacy Literature and Composition Health and Physical Activity

With the explosive growth of wearables and the increasing use of gamification in health care, we’re going to see more apps for physical education that will gamify PE class. (See Wearables Market Has Potential to Dramatically Increase Student Engagement for information on how this is already being used in higher education.)


These books are listed in alphabetical order and are part of my personal library at home. I reference all of them. Some great ones here!

Game Based Learning Research and White Papers

Boyle, E. A., Hainey, T., Connolly, T. M., Gray, G., Earp, J., Ott, M., … & Pereira, J. (2016). An update to the systematic literature review of empirical evidence of the impacts and outcomes of computer games and serious games. Computers & Education, 94, 178-192.

Carvalho, A. A., & Araújo, I. (2016). What Do Portuguese Students Play on Mobile Devices: Inputs for the Development of Educational Games. In ICT in Education (pp. 69-95). Springer International Publishing.

Donahoo, D. (2016). Playing games teaching human rights. Ethos, 24(2), 22.

Gee, James Paul. “Good Video Games and Good Learning.” (n.d.): 1-13. Web. 2 Oct. 2016. <http://www.skatekidsonline.com/parents_teachers/Good_Video_Games_and_Good_Learning_Updated.pdf>. Summary: Jim Gee has examined what makes a good game and found that identity, interaction, production, risk taking, customization, and agency make a game “good.”

Hacker, D. J. (2016). The role of metacognition in learning via serious games. Handbook of Research on Serious Games for Educational Applications, 19.

Slota, S. T., & Young, M. F. (2014). Think games on the fly, not gamify: Issues in game-based learning research. Journal of graduate medical education, 6(4), 628-630. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4300/JGME-D-14-00483.1

Build Your Game Based Learning PLN Game Based Learning Hashtags
  • #gbl – Game Based Learning Hashtag
  • #ipadgames – Games for the iPad
  • #minecraftedu – A hashtag about all things Minecraft
  • #Gamification – I’ve typically found more on gbl but sometimes people who don’t know the other hashtag will use this one and you can still find some good articles.
Game Based Learning Pinterest Boards Twitter Accounts Who Share about Game Based Learning Game Based Learning Video Resources

The Gamifi-ED Open Online Community was co-created by Verena Roberts, Dr. Lee Graham, Colin Osterhout and me. We spent three weeks digging up ever interview of every awesome Game Based Learning expert we could find. These 17 videos include many experts on the leading edge of game based learning.

Jane McGonigal: The Game That Can Give You 10 Extra Years of Life

Michael Matera – Realm of Nobles

This interview on the Gamifi-ED OOC forever changed my view of how we can use games in the classroom. 

Yu-kai Chow: Gamification to Improve the World

Primary Years and Early Childhood Panel: Why Games?

Alice Keeler: Getting Started with Game Based Learning

Higher Education Panel: Why Games?

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to edit and post it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.) 

The post Epic Guide To Game Based Learning appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet
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