Friday, October 24, 2014

Catch my MiGoogle Conference sessions on live streaming

The Michigan Google Conference will live stream my two featured sessions Become a SAMR-ai with Android Devices and These ARE the Droids you are looking for via live stream beginning at 1:10 EST on Tuesday November 4.The conference will also stream the keynote from Cyrus Mistry, head of Chromebooks at Google, as well as Kelly Kermode's featured morning  sessions.

The action kicks off at 8:30 EST.

Live-Stream - migoogle14.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Teachers learn a ton at conferences. Kids can too.

This past Monday I had the opportunity to attend the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association conference in Lansing with thirty-five Hamilton High School journalism students and their teachers Mark Behnke and Kevin Weed.

Not only did I pick up some great ideas for assessing my own students' work and supporting scholastic journalism efforts, I also realized that students enjoy learning in the conference format as well.

Students from the school's newspaper "The Thunderhawk" and sports media class "Covering Hawkeyes Sports" share their reflections on getting out of the building for a day and engaging in some self-directed learning.


Hamilton High School attends MIPA Journalism Conference - YouTube.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Only 2 weeks left to register for the Michigan Google Conference

Register NOW for the  2014 Michigan Google Summit (miGoogle) at Brighton High School on November 3-4, 2014. Registration deadline is 12pm, October 30, 2014.


Four conference highlights you DONT want to miss:

  • 8 Full and half-day Hands on Workshops! Additional sections added due to high demand. REGISTER NOW!

  • Opening Keynote - Cyus Mistry, Senior Product Manager, Chromebooks for Education, Google. LEARN MORE

  • 95 breakouts sessions on every imaginable Google topic. Click to view sessions!

  • Closing demo slam featuring 8 top technology using educators and product give-away! LEARN MORE

 Click to register 

Registration deadline is Thursday, October 30, 12:00 pm.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Teach with the passion of Clark Little

As Blue Star Elementary principal said today in our staff meeting, this video has absolutely nothing with teaching and absolutely everything to do with teaching.

Bottom line: Do what you love and stay stoked after you get smacked in the face. Enjoy and check out more of Clark's work.


Use Google Slides as an online Academic Vocabulary Notebook

In Hamilton, part of our district and building improvement process includes increasing student academic vocabulary capacity.

John Marzano has laid out six steps for teachers to follow when introducing new content-specific words.


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="694"] Marzano's six steps  -[/caption]

In my elementary technology classes, third and fourth graders are performing step 4 now in Google Drive with a digital notebook.  All I did was adapt one of Marzano's notebook templates and created it in Google Slides. I made the deck public and kids created their own copies and shared them with me.

Kids write the definition in their own words, they rate their understanding of the word, and also find a non-linguistic representation of the word. The template I created makes it really easy for the kids to add and record their knowledge of the words.

Doing it this way takes advantage of all of the benefits of Google documents like ubiquitous access and sharing.

Find and create a copy of the slide deck here.  Feel free to use it and share it.

[caption id="attachment_801" align="alignleft" width="866"]Academic Vocabulary Template Academic Vocabulary Template[/caption]


Monday, October 13, 2014

Anything you tweet can and will be used against you...

I should know better. I spend all week working with kids and technology, reminding them to watch their digital footprints. It is as simple as the Miranda warning. Anything you tweet can and will be used against you. None of my students got hung out to dry digitally (at least that I know of)this weekend. It happened to me.

After watching a great high school football game on Friday night between Fennville (where my dad coaches) and Saugatuck (where I used to coach, my wife teaches, and my daughter attends) I was unwinding before bed with a little time on Twitter. One of the Holland Sentinel reporters was tweeting a little bit about the game so I shared a couple of thoughts, specifically that I thought Fennville could have taken advantage of interior matchups and run more between the tackles. Here are the tweets.

What I didn't expect was to have the reporter quote my tweet about what Fennville should have done in his story of the game. When I called my dad on Sunday morning, the first thing that he wanted to know was what the heck the Holland Sentinel was doing quoting me questioning their play calling. Yeah, instant tummy ache. The cool thing about my dad is that he actually thought it was funny.

As I would later tweet to the reporter, I was not expecting some meaningless post-game chat to be quoted. But, like I also stated to him, "I know Twitter is public. My big mistake."

This guy must have really been digging for filler if he is taking some random guy on Twitter's thoughts about small town high school football. In a later tweet I didn't bore you with, I told the reporter that my dad was the Fennville offensive line coach. You would think he would understand how publishing a quote that sounds critical might cause some drama. Maybe that was the goal all along.

Bottom line: I should've known better.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Winter will suck. #CUErockstar Florida will not suck.

We are taking #CUErockstar back to the beach...but keeping it in the Eastern Time Zone. Rock Star Teacher Camp Melbourne, Florida will take place from January 17-19 at Stone Magnet Middle School just a few blocks from the Atlantic beaches.

I had a blast coordinating Rock Star Saugatuck last summer and am tickled to be the lead learner for this Southeastern version of the best professional development on the planet.

Two guys we are proud to announce as faculty for this extravaganza are Rushton Hurley and John Sowash. Both are immensely talented at working with small groups of learners and have literally traveled the world sharing their knowledge.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="229"] Rushton Hurley[/caption]


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="385"] John Sowash and Family[/caption]

We are accepting applications for additional faculty through November 1 and encourage educators ready to take the next step in their career as a facilitator or presenter to the next level. Apply now.

Conference Format

All CUE Rock Star Teacher Camps are purposely designed, focused, small group everts that have three items in common:
Hands-On Learning Sessions 
All three days consist of two, two-hour sessions allowing attendees to "dig in deep" and really get to know their topic and build resources to use next year. Morning sessions are repeated in the afternoon so that attendees have two different opportunities to attend a workshop.
Small Presenter to Attendee Ratios
CUE Rock Star events are built so that there is one presenter for every ten attendees, and the events sell out at 60-70 attendees. This allows participants to get hands-on support and learn directly from knowledgeable educators.
Time for Collaboration and Networking
We purposely start late, end early, and take extended lunches so that all attendees have ample opportunities to collaborate and network as part of a learning community.

Daily Schedule:
9:00 Coffee - Pastries (provided)
9:30 Shred Sessions
10:00 Hands-on Session 1
12:00 Lunch (provided) / Networking
2:00 Hands-on Session 2 (complete with ice cream break)
4:00 Closing

My mantra for organizing and leading events like Rock Star Teacher Camp is simple: "Treat teachers like they have never been treated before." Feedback from Saugatuck attendees was that we knocked that out of the park. I will personally guarantee that will happen for this one as well.

Winter will be here all too quickly and it is going to suck. Book your trip to escape it in Florida now...and experience amazing professional learning along the way.

Register now.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Learning Google Slides with The Avengers

With Jon Corippo's "Learn Keynote with Chuck Norris" as inspiration, I present to you "Learning Google Slides with the Avengers"

This slide deck takes users through a number of skills for creating solid presentations and taking advantage of some advanced features. Check out and make yourself your own copy.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Take your kids into the Shark Tank


Shark Tank isn't just a TV show for entrepreneurs to get their big break. The same format of pitching to a panel of experts can be a great culminating event for any project.

Last week Ted Malefyt and Nate Alkire, teachers of the integrated math and science STREAM School class at Hamilton Middle School, took their students into the shark tank.

To add a level of awesome to the experience classes made the short trip to the world headquarters of Haworth Inc., an office furniture manufacturer in Holland, Michigan.

Students had to pitch their solutions to the driving question "How might we minimize the impact school groups have on the high school wetland?". A diverse panel of sharks assembled and asked poignant questions of all thirteen  groups. Not only did the kids deliver a number of well researched and practical solutions, they also had an intelligent answer for anything thrown at them by the sharks.

This was a true display of deep learning and not just the recitation of facts from a study guide. Make your kids dig deeper, take them into their own shark tank experience.

Below are nine-and-a-half minutes that capture just a taste of the hard work and stellar presentations on display last Thursday.

Shark Tank STREAM School Edition - Hamilton Community Schools - YouTube.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Use Pear Deck as an engaging assessment tool with GAFE

Pear Deck is built into your Google Apps for Education account and a great way to engage a classroom of learners.

Create a deck of slides and students can interact with each one. Their responses are shown anonymously and reported back to you. It's simple and slick.