Sunday, December 3, 2017

Facebook Takeover Time

This next week I'm sharing a bit about my upcoming book on the Project Learn Inspired by EdTechTeam Press Facebook Page. If you are interested in infusing your classroom with a bit of YouTube creativity and fun, then please do join me over at the above mentioned page and join in the conversation!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Why Subscribe on YouTube?

YouTubers are always asking for you to subscribe to their channels.  And you should, if you like the videos being produced.  By subscribing to a particular YouTube channel, and depending on your notification settings, you'll be alerted when the channel uploads new content.  Additionally, the new content will be highlighted on the "home" page whenever you head over to YouTube.  Speaking of subscribing, if you are wanting more tips and tricks for using YouTube in an educational setting, you should subscribe to my channel, where I'm publishing 20 tutorials to go with my new book 50 Ways to Use YouTube in the Classroom.  

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Filter a YouTube Search to Find the Good Stuff

There are tons of educational videos on YouTube. In fact, there are over 1 billion views each day on learning-related YouTube videos.  One strategy for zeroing in on the best stuff is to filter your search by channel or playlist.  If you filter down to channel, you're search results will surface producers (channels) that are related to your search topic- organizations that will continue to create material related to your topic.  And if you filter by playlist, you'll search will surface collections of videos that other users have bundled together - which might help you to find a number of quality videos on the same topic. In this video, I'll show you how to filter your YouTube search. If you're interested in viewing the other 19 videos being produced as part of 50 Ways to Use YouTube in the Classroom, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

 If you are looking to expand your use of YouTube, check out my book 50 Ways to Use YouTube in the Classroom over at

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Blocking Communication Tools in Schools

Over the course of the last 24 hours I was asked (over Google+ and Twitter) the following questions:

1. Does your school allow or block Google Hangouts for student use?
2. How can you convince a school district to stop blocking YouTube?

Both questions are about limiting or restricting the student use of communication and information tools, and the irony is that these questions were asked using online communication tools. If I were to answer these questions with questions I would ask:

1.  Why would a learning institution block tools that allow students to communicate, to connect with experts, to globally collaborate and ask questions and get answers?

 It seems to me that schools should be in the business of teaching communication and providing increased access to information. While the YouTube question requires more time and will be the subject of a future blog post, I've done my best to answer the Hangouts question here.

Does your school allow or block Google Hangouts for student use?

At my school, students K-12 have a Google (GSuite) account with everything turned on. Starting in grade 5 students take the devices home each day. We have high expectations for our students around digital citizenship and when our students go outside the bounds of those, our counselors and principals would get involved and work with those students.

Specifically to Hangouts, it is a video conferencing and chat software. Video conferencing and chat are relevant tools that are important for our students to have access to and training in. Hangouts enable global communication and collaboration which are two of our desired student learning outcomes. Additionally, without practice in those areas, our students would be at a disadvantage as far as college and career readiness. Now the truth is, I don't know how much our 3rd graders are using Hangouts, but I know that in Middle School and High School our students are connecting with peers and experts around the world whether with a mentor on a passion project or through language classes where they practice communicating with native speakers.

In a nutshell, since communication and collaboration are so important to what we do in learning institutions today, we wouldn't consider blocking or disabling the tools that enable those practices. In fact, we want to engage our students in using these tools so that we can coach and guide and help them to learn appropriate use.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The YouTube Classroom Book Website is LIVE!

The website is up!  Check out where you can:
1.  Read some early reviews of 50 Ways to Use YouTube in the Classroom.
2.  Sign-up for the mailing list so you'll be notified when the book is available on Amazon.
3. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to get free supplemental tutorials for each chapter.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Coming Soon: 50 Ways to Use YouTube in the Classroom

I'm excited to announce my latest project: 50 Ways to Use YouTube in the Classroom launches this November with EdTechTeam Press.  The best way to make sure you don't miss anything is to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Monday, May 18, 2015


Jason Cone and I had an opportunity to attend the 99U conference focused on Making Ideas Happen.  The conference aligned with Singapore American School's R&D process, and we hoped it might give us insights as we embark on actioning recommendations from the Development Teams.  I left the conference feeling more inspired by the conference than probably anything else I have ever attended. We did a short interview with 21CL Radio as a way to share out our learnings, and I’ve also included a few other thoughts and links below.

A Few Takeaways

  • Attending a non-education conference was enlightening.  Getting out of the education “bubble” and actually immersing in industry provided all sorts of insights into the work world that our students will enter.
  • Failure was a theme. It kept coming up.  A lot of learning comes through drafting, re-drafting, reflection and iteration.  Are our schools built with this in mind? Are our students able to take risks, fail, and try again?
  • There are many non-traditional jobs out there.  We aren’t just teaching students who will become doctors, lawyers, teachers and firemen.  Many people will become entrepreneurs, designers, freelancers, writers, etc.  Are schools preparing students with the skills that these non-traditional jobs require?
  • Learners who excel in collaboration, communication, problem solving and design skills can do anything and they don’t necessarily stay in the same industry because their skills are transcendent and don’t limit them.  How would we prioritize our DSLOs and where does content knowledge fit in?
  • Portfolios exist in the “real” world. Behance, who put on the conference, is an online portfolio host.  Creatives use the site to post their work, to get noticed and to find jobs.

A Few Links

Speaker Recaps. The conference format included three speakers each on the following themes: Fueling Collaboration and Innovation, Rewiring your Mindset, Startups, Scaling New Ideas, The Creative Process, and Changing the World.  

5 Tips to Make Your Portfolio a Success. Check out Behance’s Creative Career Startup Guide.

Unstuck is your online digital coach for creativity and productivity.  They have a free iOS app that gives you advice on getting un-stuck, and you can even purchase the analogue version in the format of a deck of cards.

Institute of Play. The institute of Play creates learning experiences rooted in the principles of game design—experiences that simulate real world problems, and require dynamic, well-rounded solutions. Here are their teacher resources. Lots of great articles on productivity and creativity.  You can subscribe to a feed or use your email to get on their mailing list.