A few years ago, I fell down the spreadsheet rabbit hole. I was always intimidated by and unclear of what I should be using spreadsheets for, and I decided to change that. I am so glad I challenged myself to explore this world!

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The next book on my list to read is Understanding How We Learn: A Visual Guide, I read the first chapter, and I was blown away. I can’t wait to pick it up and finish reading it!

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As a teacher of advanced high school students, I have such a different job than many of my peers in my building; but when I walk into my son’s elementary school, I can not get over how different his teacher’s day is from mine. I could never handle their job, and I would never want to try.

However, secretly, I have always been a little bit curious/envious of the behavior management/parent communication apps that are available for elementary school teachers. ClassDojo looks like such a cool tool that I have my fingers crossed that one of my son’s teachers will use it so I can see what it is like.

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I am a huge fan of Nancy Duarte’s presentation philosophy, I own three of her books, and I build my presentation rubrics in my class around her guidance. Here are two quick videos to serve as a starting point to make better presentations.

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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.