Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Teaching Tolerance: Love Thy Neighbor Sketchnote


Sketchnote guru Sylvia Duckworth is back again—this time with another amazing drawing highlighting a very significant message for all of us: The importance of being kind, tolerant and respectful of one another regardless of race, religion, socio-economic status and/or sexual orientation.

Today, more than ever, our students interact with a variety of individuals. Classrooms are increasingly diverse, reflecting the communities where families live and work. These differences enrich our culture as they bring new ideas and energy to our lives.

That said, use the sketchnote shown below as a way to remind students to be respectful to each other no matter what the circumstances might be. Adopting such an attitude fosters an environment in which all students feel welcome, safe, accepted and valued—all of which will create a solid foundation for learning.

love thy neighbor

Classroom Connection:

Success in our connected world depends on being able to understand, appreciate and work with others. Therefore, we must teach our students to be tolerant and respectful of all individuals. This type of mindset will create opportunities in education, business and many other aspects of life.

Thank you Sylvia for this awesome visual but more importantly, for reminding us all of this one world, one heart concept!

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The 12 Ways to Recharge Over the Holidays Infographic


So, you’ve made it to the holiday break—perhaps completely frazzled and worn out, but yes… You, Have. Made. It! As you use this time to relax and enjoy family, friends and/or whatever else makes you happy in life, here are some ideas to help you recharge the batteries before your return to your respective educational spaces in 2016.

12 ways to recharge over the holidays

A shout out to Sylvia Duckworth for creating this very cool sketch note!

By the way—I’m totally into #1, 9 & 10 today! ♥

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10 Reasons for Students to Blog Infographic


blogging toolsSo, you want to increase motivation for reading and writing, improve confidence levels and/or encourage ICT literacy? Well, regardless of the rationale, blogging is a very powerful learning tool that can assist teachers with these goals.

Still not convinced that blogging is a meaningful activity? Then check out the nifty sketch note shown below, one that illustrates ten additional reasons you should get your blog on with your students.

10 reasons for students to blog

A high five to Sylvia Duckworth for creating and sharing this very useful infographic. Click here to view a full screen version of this sketch note.

Classroom Connection:

Not that you asked for it, but here’s my personal opinion regarding the value of blogging in the classroom…

The educational benefits associated with providing students with the opportunity to blog are countless. This activity is an innovative way for students to express themselves with an authentic audience. From brainstorming to organizing to writing, revising, and peer review, blogs are natural tools that lend themselves to the writing process in any content area. Because blogs can have viewers in addition to the teacher, students are engaged in sharing, communicating and exchanging ideas on a larger scale and see a permanency to their words that an essay or research paper can never equal.

Blogging in education provides a communication space that teachers and students can utilize to develop a concept, share ideas and/or reflect on current and past assignments. Not only do these networks promote reading, writing, and critical thinking, blogs create a viable classroom outside of the traditional learning environment, giving the students and the teacher more flexibility in the learning process.

Blogging is incredibly easy to do. It takes very little time, it’s free, and it’s a great way to open your classroom to a world of ideas!

That said, if you haven’t experimented with integrating one of the many blogging tools—like Edublogs—into your lessons, you should really give the idea some serious consideration. Not feeling that adventurous? Then start small with a few students that live in your classroom. Trust me—it’s a win-win situation for both the student(s) and teacher!

Check out my most favorite student blog written by one of those kids that reinforces why you chose this profession—Simply Aubree. Her space was voted the Best Student Blog of 2014!

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The 10 Reasons to Use Technology in Class Infographic


OK, so here it is… Technology is everywhere. It’s basically twisted and tangled into every part of our lives in some sort of way. It impacts how we work, socialize, shop, play, and most significantly, how we learn. With devices, tools and apps increasing their presence in our lives, it only makes sense for educators to influence the learning process with relevant and real world technologies. Check out the nifty infographic shown below, one that illustrates ten ways in which going digital can create more meaningful classroom experiences for students.

10 reasons to use tech in class

A shout out to Sylvia Duckworth for creating and sharing this very useful visual. Click here to view a full screen version of this sketch note.

Classroom Connection:

Use the infographic as a reminder regarding how technology can be used effectively in the classroom.

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10 Reasons to Teach Coding


codeSo, why just use technology, when you can build it, right? But first—students need the programming know-how… And that begins with you!

Whether you choose to embrace the concept or not, it’s becoming more and more important to equip students with coding skills. Having this knowledge not only strengthens general skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, but it will become invaluable in their future as a wide range of industries are eager to hire individuals with programming abilities. Furthermore, this field that is projected to have 1,000,000 more jobs than there are qualified people to fill them by the year 2020! Seriously!

That said—here’s a cool inforgraphic denoting 10 reasons to teach students how to code.

10 reasons to code

A shout out to Brian Aspinall for giving me the green light to share his work (illustrated by the sketchnote guru Sylvia Duckworth) on my space!

Classroom Connection:

The founders of Google, Microsoft and Facebook all started their journeys with just one line of code. Like these successful entrepreneurs, our students should have the opportunity to create the technology of the future, not just use it!

And by the way—I realize that coding sounds intimidating to some, but if your students can type, they can code! And you know what? You can even learn, too!

It’s summer! Time to relax and recharge the batteries indeed, but it’s also time to gear up for another year of making a difference in the lives of our students. Why not make a plan to incorporate some coding into your classroom activities!

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The 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship Infographic


digital citizenship transDigital access, commerce, communication, literacy and etiquette… What do these words have in common? Well, for starters, they are all components of digital citizenship. In fact, these concepts—and many more—are part of an online code of ethics students need to know about in order to develop and maintain a positive digital footprint and online presence.

As with any other type of education, we—as educators—can’t make assumptions that students have the necessary knowledge to make good decisions when surfing the web. And even if they do—they’re kids, so yeah, they constantly need to be reminded of what’s cool and what’s not.

With the wide variety of resources available for teachers, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be promoting the importance of behaving safely and responsibly in the digital world. Speaking of resources, check out the nifty infographic shown below, one that can be used to address various aspects of digital citizenship.

photo (22)

Props to Sylvia Duckworth for creating and sharing this very useful visual. Click here to view a full screen version of this sketch note.

Classroom Connection:

Use the infographic to teach students about how to be safe and respectful when utilizing digital networks and social media sites so they can create a positive online identity—one they can be proud of now and in the future.

For more info about digital citizenship, check out the Teacher’s Guide to Digital Citizenship, a recently published article on Edudemic written by 

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

Be sure to add this awesome tool to your tech-box!

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