If we insist on lectures being the way they’ve always been, which is a one-way recitation, then let’s simply have students watch best-in-class recordings instead of the wasteful act of recreating them live, every time. But if we’re going to do it live, then let’s actually do it live.

Seth Godin, Break the lecture
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As you can see from this post about using Google sheets to grade Quizlet progress, I have ingrained Quizlet into the infrastructure for my human body systems class. I am a massive fan of the automatic feedback and learning that happens with using Quizlet for this vocabulary instruction, and my students frequently comment about how helpful it is.

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You might imagine that I would be a big fan of using novel presentation technologies like Prezi or FlowVella. I am… sometimes… but pretty rarely. Much more frequently I would prefer to use Google Slides or PowerPoint. I also think it is a better idea to teach students how to use these ubiquitous tools rather than have them rely on a flashy and/or proprietary format.

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I am a big believer in the helpfulness of digital calendars. Both at home and at school I have detailed calendars marking out all of my temporal obligations for as far out into the future as I can.

My school, like I am sure many others, has a rotation schedule that matches no calendar software on the planet. For many years I was forced to copy and paste each of the four calendar permutations throughout the school year to get my class rotation into my school calendar.

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I have a longer post about how I have students go through a reflection process for the presentations they give in my classes.

As part of my process for developing their presentation skills we watch this video a few times and talk about all of the phenomenal displays of oration that Guy Pierce demonstrates in this video.

I plan on writing a post all about Hazel in the future but I wanted to share a specific use case for Hazel that others might benefit from.

In short Hazel is a very cool macOS tool for automating the moving and naming of files. I know that does not sound very fun but it is awesome. Again I will talk more about that in the future but let me just show you what I wanted to do:

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I just started listening to the Cult of Pedagogy podcast. This episode about mastery learning is a strong start to the show and gives me hope that I might have found an educational podcast that is actually good!

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Since I was a kid, the start of the school year has always been a sour point in my year, not because that meant Summer was over, but because the tedium of Welcome activities was fast approaching. In this post, I share my process and product for making the first day of school a little more bearable.

I find mindmaps to be helpful tools and I love MindNode the macOS and iOS app for making very pretty mind maps. Unfortunately, MindNode is not a collaborative app. Coggle.it lets you make very nice mind maps collaboratively!

Producing and using your own videos in your classroom is as powerful as a cheat code. However, it can take too much time to do this well, unless you use Clips for iOS.

“Memorization” is not a dirty word in education. However, it should be technology (not teachers) helping students memorize facts. Honestly, Quizlet is probably better at it anyway. Read this post to find out why you should be using Quizlet in your classes and how I have implemented Quizlet in mine over the past 3 years.

Teachers in my building wanted an easy, high-impact way to send positive notes home to parents. I designed and sourced a custom postcard to add this tool to teachers toolbelts. I also saved my school a considerable amount of money over buying this product off the shelf.