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.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Google Maps Engine Lite - Embed Video

I've worked with a number of educators on some really cool collaborative Google Maps over the years.  I've been holding on to the classic "My Maps" in Google Maps because the new Google Maps Engine Lite didn't allow for embedding video - which is such a powerful component.  Well, now you can embed video in Maps Engine Lite.  Couple that power with the ability to import data (functionality My Maps never had) and it is time make the move to the new Maps Engine Lite for good.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

#learning2 Sketch

I learned a lot this weekend at the #learning2 conference. I had an amazing opportunity to be in the presence of so many creative educators that good things were bound to rub off on me (and fittingly for Kelly's theme, it was absolutely NOT a waste of time). I was fortunate to attend a 1 hour session on "visual note-taking" where the unbelievably talented Nicki Hambleton (@itsallaboutart) got us going taking notes on an iPad with Adobe Ideas. The section on "A Whole New Mind" in my sketch is what I completed during her session, and the rest of the stuff on the page is some doodling I did afterwards, plus some photos taken along the way (thanks, +Jay Atwood +Nicki Hambleton @klbeasley )

I've been inspired. I'm purchasing a stylus and there'll be no turning back for me!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="960"] #learning2 Sketch[/caption]

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

And We're Live...

I haven't blogged for 9 months.  I've been busy.  And (with the help of @heza and others) now we have a 1:1 Laptop Program at SAS Middle School - and from here forward, plenty of amazing learning to blog about.  Below is the story of the last two days.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Reflections on a Year of YouTube and Flipping the Classroom

This past summer, I was fortunate to be selected to participate in a full day of training in screencasting and flipped teaching at the YouTube Teacher Studio at the Google offices in Kirkland.  It was a fantastic day of learning and connecting with other educators doing great things to improve learning.  Many thanks go to Will Houghtelling, Jim Sill, James Sanders and Ramsey Musallam for the fantastic professional development they offered.  And also to excellent new colleagues like Karen Mensing who contributed heavily to my personal learning network.

Often times when we go back to the realities of our regular jobs, the excitement of our new learnings fade, and we don't follow through with those big plans we had.  I was determined to really make an effort to incorporate YouTube and Flipped teaching into my work with teachers this year.   Each month I contributed playlists to YouTube/teachers - and about half the time I teamed up with a content specialist to on this partly because I don't have any specific classes of my own, and partly to promote the use of YouTube.  Additionally I teamed up with a fantastic Physics teacher and co-led two 45 minute Flipped Teaching Salons (designed to spark interest amongst other teachers) during a Professional Development day.  The sessions were well received by the 25 attendees.  These salons were the spark for many 1 on 1 follow up sessions where I worked with teachers to be able to use the tools on their Mac to record instruction then post to YouTube.  Two teachers I work with have really gotten into the method.  The Physics teacher I mentioned with YouTube channel "druceisp" (although it is still private) has uploaded 294 videos to date, and is completely restructuring how he organizes his courses.  Our guitar teacher is getting started on recording EVERY lesson for his beginning guitar classes (tonyackermanguitar). He only has about 10 public at this time, but will be "releasing" them as appropriate, timed with his classes next year. I've really enjoyed the thoughtful conversations that have come about while supporting teachers in this methodology.

Wanting to use YouTube to host some excellent, creative, student content, I helped the European Student Film Festival design a channel and get all of their student submissions and "24 Hour Challenge Films" online for viewing by a larger audience.

I also made a commitment to do more screencasting myself.  When ever I was asked a question that was best answered by showing, I tried to take the time to do it with a video so that I would have it to use again the next time I was asked.  Similarly, when working with teachers on longer projects, such as an interview project in Psychology where the final product was a podcast, I used video to record instruction that could be accessed at anytime, making the instruction so much more meaningful to the various groups of students.  My screencasting skills have improved over the year, and I'm much quicker now (although it is still difficult to listen/watch my own videos).

Looking back, I'm so grateful for the training I received at the YouTube Teacher Studio, and thankful for the connections and friendships made.  YouTube is an extremely flexible and relevant tool that is easily adapted for use in the educational realm.  Screencasting and YouTube are now just part of my daily work flow.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stop Motion on iPhone

One of our Apple Certified technicians was having some fun testing iMotion on his phone to make a stop motion video.  He showed me the video and I asked him if iMotion does all the transitions and text as well.  "No," he said, "that was done in iMovie".  I assumed he put the footage onto his Mac and then made the movie in iMovie.  But, no.  He did the whole thing on iMovie on his phone.  And if you can do this quickly on an iPhone, I'm sure it is an even better experience on an iPad.  Maybe iPads/iPhones are more of a creative tool than I thought.  Hmmmm....