Read It, Share It, Try It

Read it: Kids Deserve It!: Pushing Boundaries and Challenging Conventional Thinking

When likeminded teachers Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome met on social media they realized they were kindred educator spirits. They began writing together, and eventually formed the Kids Deserve It community, "a place for passionate educators who don’t allow their circumstances to limit them." They host a blog, an online KDI talk show, a Twitter chat, and create inspirational quotes to share with others. Their book, Kids Deserve It! Pushing Boundaries and Challenging Conventional Thinking is based off of their teaching experience and inspiration from their community. It comes highly recommended by educators and administrators alike, who call it encouraging and well-written, and a think outside-the-box approach to teaching.

Check out the description: "What if learning was exciting? What if students felt important and empowered every time they walked into the building?What if parents looked forward to calls from their children's teachers and principals, instead of cringing when the school's number popped up on their phones? To Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome, those aren't far-fetched what ifs; they can (and should) be a reality for every teacher, school, parent, and student. In Kids Deserve It!, Todd and Adam encourage you to think big and make learning fun and meaningful for students. While you're at it, you just might rediscover why you became an educator in the first place.

  • Learn why you should be calling parents to praise your students (and employees).
  • Discover ways to promote family interaction and improve relationships for kids at school and at home.
  • Be inspired to take risks, shake up the status quo, and be a champion for your students."

Share it: #personalizedPD

#personalizedPD explores and celebrates personalized professional development on Twitter. A quick search of the hashtag turns up thousands of resources, photos, videos and articles on the subject. There's also a #personalizedPD chat hosted every Tuesday evening, from 8-9PM CDT. Topics range from peer coaching to gamification, PD resources to reflection.

Last night, we participated in a #personalizedPD chat about gamification, moderated by Josh Gauthier (@mrgfactoftheday). Check out the five questions he posed to participants below, and consider how they could improve your PD approach. (And be sure to keep an eye out for a #personalizedPD chat hosted by Chrome Warrior in April!)

  • What types of games do you like to play (board, sports, video, etc) and why?
  • What elements of those games might be most relevant to #personalizedPD?
  • What are some of your biggest struggles when it comes to getting your colleagues (or yourself) to try #personalizedPD?
  • How might gamifying #personalizedPD help teachers get off the bench and take part?
  • What are some “incentives” that you or your colleagues would be willing to pursue that they could earn for doing #personalizedPD?

Try it: EDpuzzle

Looking to seamlessly integrate technology into your classroom? Then check out EDpuzzle, a 100% free website that lets teachers transform videos into interactive, assessable learning opportunities. Videos are a great resource to introduce or supplement learning material, whether you're using an obscure clip from a historical event, or a TED talk on collaboration. With EDpuzzle, you can edit a clip to highlight the most important material (the website suggests that students are most engaged with videos that are seven minutes or shorter), and add interactive questions along the way. You can track whether or not a student watched the video, how many times they replayed a segment (to see what information you should reinforce or revisit in class), and if they turned their assignment in on time.

EDpuzzle is a great resource for anyone applying the SAMR method to their teaching, as it allows you to modify or redefine the traditional video assignment. With EDpuzzle, you can present a video without having to stop in order for students to participate, or assign a quiz to evaluate, as students can engage simultaneously, in realtime, with the video.

Try the quick tour provided on the EDpuzzle website to learn more.

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