There are preset standards that most everyone accepts without a second thought. It takes extra effort to alter the defaults, so we end up trusting them. Defaults tend to work for most people, but sometimes unchecking the default opens up greater possibilities. Tony Vincent makes the case for taking the time to tinker with your standard settings and explore what can happen when you control the settings (instead of them controlling you). In addition to changing defaults, Tony explores the concepts of repurposing, working around obstacles, and hacking together innovative solutions.
Some of the best learning projects set out to make a dent in the universe. That dent might be big or small, but knowing their projects are making a difference in the world is great motivation for students to push themselves toward deeper learning. Tony Vincent is ready to share important ideas for making student projects powerful, which include making a difference, encouraging student ownership, and having an authentic audience.
Bring content to life through animation! You probably know how to find exciting animated GIFs online, but how about creating your own? Teachers and students can create animated GIFs to grab attention, illustrate ideas, break down a process into steps, show a sequence, and make content memorable. Learn how to create your own animated GIFs about any subject with free online tools, including with Google Slides.
Get schooled on emojis! Emojis aren’t just cute cartoons you can type. They are now a part of the fabric of modern society. Let’s explore the history of emojis, what they mean, and how they affect communication. You should know that emojis are not confined to smartphones and tablets; their charm can be put into action on mobile devices and computers. Tony Vincent is ready to demonstrate how emojis can inspire learning and creativity. He is somewhat obsessed with emojis and has dozens of clever ideas that any teacher can use. His innovative suggestions include illustrating ideas, offering feedback, reinforcing vocabulary, presenting math problems, kickstarting the writing process, and assessing learning.
Google Forms is awesome, but you already knew that. It’s great how responses feed directly into a spreadsheet for easy access and analysis. You can create assessments, surveys, checkout forms, and quizzes for students. You can also poll colleagues, collect information from parents, and keep logs. If you dig into the settings, you can do even more! Let’s take a look at things like limiting response length, pre-filling responses, tweaking confirmation messages, locking a form with a passcode, and authoring interactive stories. Let’s also explore add-ons that can send email notifications, turn off a form automatically, randomly pick names, and more.
Turn a potentially boring lesson into a brilliant one! Make learning irresistible by hooking your students' senses, connecting to background knowledge, making predictions, and building mysteries. Experience pixelated pictures, redacted text, research scrambles, locked content, customized Mad Libs, mystery maps, emoji messages, and other inviting ways to captivate learners.
Tony Vincent didn’t want his class to be known as Mr. Vincent’s Fifth Grade. Rather than making himself the mascot, he co-developed a class identity with his students. His 2018-2019 class named themselves Pixel Paws. Tony notes that when students rally around an authentic brand, they feel a strong sense of community, work harder, and achieve more. See the brand in action, understand how it was developed, and consider how you might give your class, club, or team a unique identity.
Google Drawings is great for designing graphics, and it’s also a handy interactive whiteboard. Teachers are using this whiteboard in clever ways, and Tony Vincent has collected dozens of ideas. The kinds of activities include: fill-in, arranging, sorting, labeling, meme creation, and math manipulatives. Some activities are ones you’ll want to copy, modify, and give to your students. Others might serve as inspiration for making your own from scratch.
Did you know you can print on sticky notes using your computer’s printer? It’s true! And, you can design your own customized sticky notes in an online app you already know how to use: Google Slides! Examine loads of examples of educator-designed sticky notes, and see demonstrations of design techniques to make your notes look absolutely awesome when printed.
Teachers often make videos for the purpose of documenting—videos to record events, report achievements, archive learning, capture classroom activities, facilitate reflections, and celebrate learning. Get advice for filming and editing that can help your productions be super snazzy. See demonstrations of handy apps in action, and see the end results. Find out where to get copyright friendly music and how to edit that music to match your visuals.
Teachers and students can do amazing things with Google Slides! Let’s take a look at how to use this great app app to be creative and to collaborate! You’ll get to take part in making a digital booklet and fashioning an interactive digital poster. That’s in addition to seeing an array of fantastic ways of putting Slides to good use. Inventive ideas include publishing collaborative alphabet books, building animations, constructing timelines, creating infographics, publishing newsletters, and making narrated presentations.
There are much better ways to study than gazing at a stack of flash cards. Let’s see how technology can turn studying into a game! Tony Vincent has collected some of the best websites to help students learn and retain information. Websites like ClassTools.net and PurposeGames.com let students customize what they want to study and turn it into a series of activities and games. After playing some sample games from various websites, you’ll see why when students make their own study aids, it aids their studying!
Instagram isn’t just for posting photos of your food–it can be a powerful learning and communication tool for teachers. Tony Vincent shows you the ins and outs of Instagram, starting with the basics of who to follow and ending with how to craft an awesome post.
Got a smartphone or tablet? Then you could be drawing your own illustrations, clipart, and avatars! Tony Vincent has examples to showcase and techniques to demonstrate for creating your own artwork, even if you don't consider yourself an artist. Tony's technique is based on tracing photos, so don't worry if you are embarrassed by your drawing skills. This session features the free Adobe Illustrator Draw app for iOS and Android, and the techniques can certainly be applied when using other drawing apps.
Learning academic terms and phrases doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, learning new words should be exciting and fun! It’s time to start looking at digital ways to expand students’ vocabulary. Let’s explore apps and websites that are so irresistible, students can’t help but be motivated to learn. We’ll take a good look at representing words visually, creating multimedia, and playing games. Yes, the technology can be mesmerizing, but it’s important to use techniques and strategies proven to work. That’s why pairing technology with Robert Marzano’s Six Steps for Vocabulary Instruction is a powerful combination.
Knowing students’ interests, strengths, and weaknesses help teachers adjust learning experiences for their students. Formative assessment involves the teacher collecting information about what students know, don’t know, and want to learn. It can play a part in checking for understanding, surveying background knowledge, reviewing content, and getting a general pulse of the classroom. Let’s explore and compare free feedback and formative assessment tools like GoFormative, Recap, and Quizizz. Let's also talk about what to do with the gathered information.
Not only do projects motivate students because they can be an authentic use of technology, they also facilitate active learning, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity. In this session Tony Vincent showcases several inspiring projects. Each project begins with a driving question—an open-ended question that focuses the project by creating interest and curiosity.
Writing effective driving questions is surprisingly challenging. You want the question to be irresistible to students, which means it cannot sound like a test question. Tony Vincent gives strategies for refining driving questions that lead to student-focused inquiry. The group will write and share some of their ideas for driving questions.
Web widgets can breathe new life to a classroom site. A widget is a little bit of code you embed into a webpage or blog. Once a widget’s code is pasted into a page, it can grab updated information or display interactive content. Learn about places to find, customize, and use free embed code that displaysinformation right on your own website. Examples include daily vocabulary, educational videos, audio files, talking pictures, games, and polls. In fact, many of your favorite tools offer widgets, like Google Slides, Quizlet, Twitter, Wonderpolis, Instagram, and Adobe Voice. Your website will thank you for the fresh, new content!
An infopic is a photo with text layered on top that is designed to communicate a message. Some are simple while others are enhanced with awesome photography effects. An infopic's message might be a summary, quote, definition, notes, data, weblink, or other informational tidbits. The information might come from a conference, workshop, activity, lesson, video, book, a conversation, etc. Infopics can help us process, remember, and convey information in an appealing way. See loads of examples and learn about apps, websites, and techniques that teachers and students can use for making their own infopics. Read more about infopics.
Wouldn’t it be handy to be in more than one place at a time? Let’s explore some ways you can record yourself and get that audio or video online. Once online, it’s a matter of copying and pasting to generate a QR code (a quick way to get students to online content). Providing recordings to your students means you can reteach concepts, differentiate instruction, give directions at centers, communicate with parents, and be heard and/or seen anytime and any place.
The collection of activities teachers provide students at a center can be enhanced with technology, even if there’s only one computer or tablet in the classroom. Whether you use centers for reading, writing, listening, speaking, or exploration, it’s great to know about online resources that are perfect for independent and cooperative activities. Learn to leverage technology to give learning centers a boost, especially when it comes to setting the course, providing content, supporting creativity, and capturing responses. All resources are free, so you can get to retooling your learning centers right away!
There are six principles of sticky ideas according to Dan and Chip Heath, authors of Made to Stick. Sticky ideas are ones that we can plainly understand, clearly remember, and easily retell. When teachers and students make educational media, whether visual, audio or video, we want them to be sticky. Let's look at examples so we can make our own (and our students') ideas stick.
Whether you're flipping your classroom, app smashing, blogging, moviemaking, storytelling, or presenting, visuals are not just important, they are essential. Since it's not legal, ethical, or cool to steal any old image you find on the web, it's great to know that there are alternatives to theft. Let's become familiar with resources for finding copyright-friendly images, and learn some tips for designing your own visuals to illustrate your ideas.
Got an iPad? Then you've got a toolbox that you can fill to help you be an even better teacher! Discover how iPad can be your handy assistant by spending time learning about apps and services that you'll wonder how you ever lived without.
This presentation is all about verbs, that is, the things an educator can do with an iPad. Those actions include showing your screen on a projector, managing the classroom, assessing student work, interacting with students, accessing your files, making instructional media, and expanding professional learning. You can accomplish those tasks with a variety of apps and websites. The workshop focuses mostly on free apps that you'll be able to put to use immediately. Those apps will turn iPad into a timer, interactive whiteboard, voice recorder, document camera, calendar, magazine, and notebook. See how iPad can help you capture learning artifacts, plan lessons, poll students, visualize concepts, share demonstrations, and much more.
Nowadays students have a variety of ways to show what they know and to express themselves. Let’s take a look at some of the hottest websites and apps for showing, explaining, and retelling. In fact, these tools can turn students into teachers and are great for sharing their answers to project-based driving questions. Tony Vincent shares examples and demonstrations of apps for making audio recordings, editing movies, creating comics, recording digital puppet shows, narrating drawings, crafting digital books, and more. You’ll also learn about ways to assess projects and the importance of reflection. This presentation is great for those already familiar with project based learning (PBL).
Learning academic terms and phrases doesn't have to be boring. In fact, learning new words should be exciting and fun! It's time to start looking at digital ways to expand students' vocabulary. Let's explore free tools and websites that are so irresistible, students can't help but be motivated to learn. We'll take a good look at representing words visually, creating multimedia, fueling collaborative learning, and playing games. Yes, the technology can be mesmerizing, but it's important to use techniques and strategies proven to work. That's why pairing what Chromebooks can do with Robert Marzano's Six Steps for Vocabulary Instruction is a powerful combination.
Nowadays it's easier than ever for teachers and their students to be digital authors! Whether it's an eBook, website, podcast, video, comic, cartoon, or online magazine, there are online tools and services designed to give anyone a platform for publishing. Take a look at some of the hottest websites and iPad apps for creating and publishing digital work and see examples of what students have produced. Digital publishing takes many forms. Check out what youngsters have put in Apple's iBookstore. Find out how students can craft and share their own Choose Your Adventure stories. Experience how a QR code can lead a smartphone or tablet user to a narration or video. Not only can publishing online be free of charge, but it can help students produce quality work by giving them an authentic audience.
Information is power! What was once limited to paper has gone digital. Now teachers can send announcements, survey their classes, offer exit tickets, track behavior, and assess students with a variety of innovative and free online tools.
While most of the tools require students to have some sort device that can connect to the internet, there are some that work when students have no technology at all—they work by digitizing and grading what students have done on paper!
Bring your laptop and a tablet or smartphone so you can assume the role of a student to receive text announcements, submit answers, contribute to a word cloud, and participate in game-based classroom response systems. After you have the student experience, you’ll learn the ins and outs of the tools so that you can use them with your students. You’ll surely want to put many of these tools to work right away in your classroom!
As a busy school leader, you receive dozens of emails a day, deal with scheduling meetings, and have an endless to-do list. Never fear! There are tools, apps, and strategies to help you keep your head above water by helping you stay organized and connected. Productivity is described by guru David Allen as “advanced common sense,” and by applying some simple strategies, you can unclutter your inbox, browse the web more efficiently, keep a centralized to-do list, manage voicemails, and much more.
Nowadays many of us carry mobile devices like a smartphone or iPad, keep a digital calendar, and work from multiple computers. Chances are you feel like a slave to email, having hundreds of messages in your inbox. You probably spend a lot of time online and might have trouble managing all of your files among your devices. Instead of blaming technology, let's use that technology to make you more productive.
The heart of many of our problems is our email inbox. Much time will be spent learning how to spring clean your inbox and keep it that way. Other topics include keeping to-do lists, managing memos, improving meetings, boosting web browsing, and dealing with voicemail.
Wow your students and colleauges with compelling presentation techniques! Tony Vincent shares his insights on making memorable and effective presentations. He covers his presentation philosophy, Keynote and/or PowerPoint software features, slide design, handout advice, and much more. You'll leave empowered and excited to make your next presentation!