Posts

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 have been aware of the concept of “Clear to Neutral” for quite a while. I think I first heard about it 5+ years ago on a College Info Geek video. Over time I have heard either the same term or the same concept described by many people in the productivity space, but I have never been able to keep it up as a habit.

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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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A few years ago, I made a video to show my students how to be more productive by using the Pomodoro Technique.

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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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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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Once a year I use a really helpful Siri Shortcut to schedule and plan for a year of meetings.

This shortcut makes calendar events and OmniFocus projects for each of my department meetings so I am never caught off guard.

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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.

A while ago I shared a post from David Sparks about automating greetings in emails to reduce typos and increase accuracy in written communication. That post got me thinking about the other things that I do in my day-to-day written communications that could benefit from the accuracy and precision that comes from automation. I realized that dates were what I should try to address.

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