50+ Ways to Use Technology in the Classroom [Video]

From the Cool Cat Teacher YouTube Channel

Looking for new ideas for using technology in the classroom? Trying to figure out what’s next? Well, recently I had to record a video just in case the weather wasn’t so great in Pittsburg, Kansas for my virtual keynote. I thought that some of you might be looking for a little summer PD and would take the 45 minutes or so to learn something new. I also share my simple 2-step strategy of innovation.

If you can’t see this video in your RSS reader or email, then click here.

If you want the links to be clickable from the presentation, you can use the 50+ Ways to Use Technology in the Classroom Slides from Slideshare below.

Here are 50+Ways to use technology in the classroom

If you can’t see this slideshow in your RSS reader or email, then click here.

I think that the most critical take-away is the strategy of innovation that works for anyone. Let’s also dispel the myth about age and innovation in education by talking about one of my heroes!

You can use technology in the classroom. Take time for some personal PD today by watching this or the countless tutorials you can find on YouTube and throughout the web. Level up a little every day!

QUESTION:What are some new technologies that excite you? Please share! You can leave a comment by clicking here.

The post 50+ Ways to Use Technology in the Classroom [Video] appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.

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6 Events You Absolutely Must See in Vancouver This June

Though Vancouverites suffer from long, cold winters less than the rest of Canadians, summer is a much-anticipated season for them as well. The days are getting longer and there are tons of ways to celebrate warmer weather and enjoy the pleasant summer breeze by participating in outdoor events and sharing unforgettable moments with your friends.

Here’s our essential guide to where to go this June in Vancouver. Create a perfect itinerary to kick off your summer!

1. Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival: June through late September

Bards on the Beach TentsUndoubtedly, Shakespeare is one of the most popular writers in history. There is a great number of outdoor theaters and workshops devoted to Shakespeare’s masterpieces happening worldwide at various times of year, and Canada is no exception.

Known for its magnificent setting on the waterfront in Vancouver’s Vanier Park, Canada’s largest professional Shakespeare Festival will celebrate its 26th season this summer. 2015’s line-up features: King Lear, The Comedy of Errors, Love’s Labour’s Lost and Shakespeare’s Rebel. Head towards the iconic white tents to indulge in a world of classic literature!

See more at: http://ift.tt/1mYoHoB

2. Doors Open Richmond 2015: June 6 and 7, 2015

Minoru ChapelDoors Open Richmond is a lovely celebration of arts, culture and heritage.
Thanks to a beautiful partnership between the Richmond Museum Society and the City of Richmond, 16 kilometres from Vancouver, the festival’s visitors get a chance to explore 44 partner sites offering free activities across the city.

This year they also offer six bus tours, each with its theme: faith, farming, works on wheels infrastructure and harvest power bus tours. Seats are $5.00 per person per tour.

For more information, please visit: http://ift.tt/1FdITg6

3. GoodLife Fitness City Chase: June 27, 2015

Running ShoesThis year, GoodLife, a popular fitness club chain, hosts Canada’s largest urban adventure race for people who love to stay active and embark on quests.

Participants join the race as a team of two, and run across the city, following clues on a clue sheet, in order to find “ChasePoints”. During the game, City Chase participants will test their wits, athletic ability, teamwork, good looks, speed, intelligence, and personal limits.

This event may become one of your great summer memories and deepen your friendship. Register now on http://ift.tt/1B5GTnh/! Think hard, play hard, and laugh harder!

4. FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015: June 8 – July 5, 2015

USA Women Celebrate a Goal at 2003 FIFA World Cup
This is the seventh FIFA Women’s World Cup to take place in Canada. Nine games will be held at BC Place Stadium, including the final match on July 5.
Check the schedule at http://ift.tt/1yiboHRand cheer for your favourite team at the stadium. Women’s soccer will heat up the summer!

5. Vancouver International Jazz Festival: June 20 – July 1, 2015

Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2014
Named the “best jazz festival in the world” by the Seattle Times, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival has become an iconic summer event for people in Vancouver.

Every year this annual concert series attracts more than 500,000 people for 12 days of jazz, blues, R&B, pop and more. If you’re lucky enough to be in the city during the event, you can enjoy outstanding performances everyday and most of them are free!

6. Music Waste Vancouver: June 4-7, 2015

Music Waste is one of a kind in every way. This independent festival features Vancouver’s most exciting and innovative music, art, and comedy.

All the festival’s sites are within walking distance of one another. The pass is only $15! This audience-friendly system enables you to get an idea of what’s happening in Vancouver’s thriving creative communities. You may discover your favourite artists just before they become huge!
For more information: http://musicwaste.ca/

We hope you have already found the event you’d like to visit the most this June! If you want to explore more, please check http://ift.tt/T7NIVA for more festivals and events.

Gabriela Jandova

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Must-See June Events in Toronto

June is finally around the corner. Nice summer weather is a predisposing factor for spending more time in the open air and doing more outdoor activities. This blog features some well-known, mostly annual, festivals and events to look forward to this June in Toronto. They are a great opportunity to make new friends, explore the city and become familiar with the Canadian culture.

1. Pride Week: June 19 – 28, 2015

Dyke Pride March Toronto 2010 - 3
If you have already spent some time in the city, you may know about this super famous and popular annual event in Canada. Pride Toronto is a non-profit organization that represents the history, courage, diversity and future of Toronto’s LGBTTIQQ2SA* communities.

Pride Week celebrates not only sexual diversity but also the variety of histories, backgrounds and cultures that make Toronto what it is: diverse and dynamic. Don’t miss the colourful, fabulous parade on the 28th, with over a million people in attendance!

Find more at: http://ift.tt/1i1BLs7

* LGBTTIQQ2SA is an acronym used to represent Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer/Questioning, 2 Spirited, Allies

2. Honda Indy Toronto: June 12 – 14, 2015

Raphael Matos
Great news for motor sport lovers: the Honda Indy Toronto is back!

This annual race takes place on the streets next to Exhibition Place. It is cool to watch cars race, bullet-speed, through the city! In addition to the adrenaline-pumping race, the event will include other festival attractions, including: craft beer, food trucks, interactive games, live entertainment, charity events and celebrity appearances.

For more information, visit: http://ift.tt/181bfcu

3. Luminato Festival: June 19 – 28, 2015

Luminato was born out of Toronto’s cultural mix and creative energy. With its unique and bold approach for artists and audiences, this festival of arts and creativity has become iconic in North America.

Luminato embraces all sorts of creativity and encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration, while transforming theaters, parks and public spaces in the city into the artists’ atelier. The outlets of expression are quite diverse: theatre, dance, music, literature, food, visual arts, magic, film, and more.

See more at: http://ift.tt/1CcgoRA

4. Bestival : June 12 – 13, 2015

The first Bestival to take place outside the U.K., it will take place on Toronto Island! This renowned music event has attracted music lovers in the United Kingdom every year for over a decade. For those who want get a ticket to the festival, we strongly recommend getting it in advance, as they may be sold out soon.

For more check the website http://www.bestival.ca/

5. Ontario Craft Beer Week: June 12 – 21, 2015

Beer sampler
If you are over nineteen and you love beer, this event is for you.

This 10-day long event is happening not only in Toronto but all over the province. Come to discover the Ontario craft beer industry, learn its culture and, of course, enjoy premium quality beer. More than 50 craft brewers will present their products at the event this year.

For more information visit http://www.ocbweek.ca/

6. NXNE : June 17 – 21, 2015

Danny Brown @ YDS NXNE 2014
North by Northeast (NXNE) is an annual music and arts festival best known for its large number of participants, bands and performers. There are so many interesting things happening at the festival that you may find yourself very busy for these five days.

Plan ahead, so you won’t miss your favourite performers! Check the program on the website http://nxne.com/

There are many more events going on out there and we wish we could have mentioned everything on this blog! If you want to check more events please visit : http://ift.tt/Qvq1Ti

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10 Stress-Busting Secrets of Great Teachers

Sail Through the Stress of the Storm

10 Stress Busting Secrets of Great Teachers

If I look through a window pane and see teaching as weather, teaching would be the thunderstorm. And as we sail our classroom ship on this maelstrom of hormones, stress, conflicting priorities, and distractions, it takes rock-solid habits of mind and life to be the kind of self-assured captain who can weather the storm.

“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”
JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Health professionals believe that 80-90% of all disease is stress related. Gallup’s 2014 State of American Schools reports half of teachers claim they have significant daily stress. (The highest of all careers polled.)

This month’s Global Search on Education question is “What are the quick ways to combat teacher’s stress in a classroom? ” You’ll see all of the answers collected here.

Here are some time-tested research-proven ways to be that Teacher-Captain with nerves of steel.

Stress Busting Secret #1: [MENTAL] Kill Worry By Accepting the Worst and Working to Improve It

“Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear.” Corrie ten Boom

Many teachers house an internal storm between their ears. Worry rips through peace and electrocutes purpose.

The best technique for dealing with anxiety comes from Dale Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. Carnegie interviewed Willis H. Carrier the engineer and founder of the Carrier Corporation, the company many of us use for our air conditioning system. Early in his career, Carrier had made a mistake and installed a massive air handling system that didn’t work. After nights of not sleeping, Carrier adopted three steps that changed his life.

  1. Analyze the situation fearlessly and honestly and figure out the worst that can happen as a result.
  2. Accept the worst outcome
  3. Calmly devote time and energy to improve upon the worst which has already been accepted mentally.

When I’m worried, I grab pen and paper and start by listing the worst thing that can happen. I go ahead and accept the worst, and then, I start improving it. As it says in Luke 12:22,

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Secret #2: [MENTAL] Interrupt Negative Thought Loops and Replace Them With Positive Ones

Your thoughts can swirl into a tornado — taking you to places of purpose or pathetic places of self-induced agony.

Your thoughts create a mental momentum that spills over into your physical world. On a recent episode of Every Classroom Matters, Sir John Hargrave, author of Mindhacking, talked about “thought loops.” Thought loops are those repeated loops of things we say to ourselves. Part of self-awareness and metacognition is the ability to pull back and observe your thoughts from a distance.

For example, early in my career I was struggling with classroom management. I found myself thinking “I can’t manage my classroom.” The more I said this, the more helpless I became. I quickly switched this stinkin’ thinkin’ to “I will learn how to better manage my classroom and become a better teacher.” I did. Gandhi said,

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with his dirty feet.”

Sometimes our thoughts come from things people have said to us. We can master our thoughts and redirect our abilities.

Secret #3: [MENTAL] Keep a Joy Journal

The captain’s log of ancient yore tell stories of events but also serve as part-confidante and self-reflection for those lonely sea captains. Teacher-Captains are lonely too. You can see remarkable benefits from logging your thoughts.

Research has shown that keeping a joy journal will improve your “long term well being” more than winning a million dollars in the lottery.

Looking for joy is like looking for a color. If I ask you to look for the color blue – you see it everywhere. Now, I ask you to look for red – there it is. Most of us are naturally tuned to notice certain things. Some people always see the negative, like old Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh.

Winnie the Pooh: Lovely day, isn’t it?

Eeyore: Wish I could say yes, but I can’t.

You can start saying yes when you notice the blessings in the storm. The kind word, the fun time you had playing with the dog, the romantic dinner you had last night, the surprise phone call from an old friend. We all have moments of joy if we start noticing them instead of feeling blue.

Secret #4: [PHYSICAL] Make Sleep a Priority

A tired teacher is a powderkeg looking for a match.

When I enter the most stressful times of the year, I set an evening alarm in my bedroom to remind me it is time to go to bed. Sleep loss makes it harder to think, harms your health and worsens your mood. Women who sleep less than seven hours a night are more likely to be obese. Norbert Schwarz says,

“Making $60,000 more in annual income has less of an effect on your daily happiness than getting one extra hour of sleep a night.”

Brooks and Lack found that a ten-minute nap was ideal, but that even a five-minute snooze was better than nothing.

Secret #5: [PHYSICAL] Drink Enough Water

What a tragedy to die of thirst in a sea of salt! Yet, even in a country where water is not scarce such as the US, 75% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. (I would imagine many other countries are astounding as well.)

We thirst for self-discipline. We suffer not from lack of water, but an inability to take time to drink it. The effects of dehydration are real and especially detrimental to teachers who must stay positive and think clearly. Dehydration is shown to impact your mood and cognitive processes negatively.

I apply the “mud puddle principle” and put a glass by each sink in my home. I also drink a whole glass of water at the beginning of break and lunch. Drinking water must become part of your habits, so you do it automatically.

Secret #6: [PHYSICAL] Exercise (preferably outside)

Sitting is the new cigarette. Every 90 minutes you need to MOVE. We’re not stuck on a ship, after all, we can walk around the building or visit a friend across campus. Some of us can even walk to work.

You can have a positive mood-enhancing impact after just five minutes of exercise. If you want even more of a boost, exercising outdoors will increase your positive mood further.

Secret #7: [SPIRITUAL] Make Time for Faith

“If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm.” Mahatma Gandhi

There is a strong correlation between religion and positive mental health. For many of us, research-proven ways of handling stress including meditation, deep breathing, aromatherapy, listening to music, visualization and prayer as part of our faith practice.

Mother Teresa worked in the harshest of situations with the poor in Calcutta. If there has ever been a person sailing a ship on the red blood of despair, death, and poverty, it is this precious woman. She said,

“The simplicity of our life of contemplation makes us see the face of God in everything, everyone, and everywhere, all the time.”

Secret #8: [RELATIONAL] Develop deep relationships

Every captain needs a comrade.

Take the time to have deep relationships with others. As humans, we need intimacy. When you’re with these people, don’t always talk about your stressful career, however. While journaling your problems is shown to reduce stress, just talking about them with another person is not. And cynical gossip has an intensely negative impact on your life. Build healthy relationships of mutual respect and common interests.

Secret #9: [RELATIONAL] Make Physical Affection Part of Your Day

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia, Author

Kissing, hugging, sex, and even massages are proven ways to reduce stress. Even a simple, appropriate hug or pat on the back can help.

Secret #10: [TECHNOLOGY] Unplug, Recharge, and Focus

A distracted captain can run his ship aground. A distracted person is a danger to himself and those he cares for most.

The constant interruptions of your  phone and notifications can make us feel like a human doing and not a human being. Three essential technology practices will help all of us live richer less stressful lives.

UNPLUG: Stop Using Technology One Hour Before Bedtime

First, we need at least an hour before bed when we are not looking at or around our brightly lit devices. Technology devices wake us up an interrupt our circadian rhythms, making it difficult to sleep.

RECHARGE: No Phones in the Bedroom

Second, we need to charge our phones outside of the bedroom. Even in airplane mode and do not disturb, some of our apps can interrupt us and wake us up.

FOCUS: Have Do Not Disturb Time

Finally, we need uninterrupted moments I call this DND (Do Not Disturb) time. For example, I use an app on my iPad to read my Bible in church. However, I put the iPad in airplane mode and “Do Not Disturb” so that nothing else will interrupt me. For the most part, it works.

Any time you’re at an event and want to focus on the event, set your phone to DND, particularly if using your phone as the camera. This way, you won’t be interrupted with an “urgent” email when you go to snap a picture of a never-to-be-repeated moment.  You will also be more productive at work. Teachers who mess around with computer instead of focusing on students, make a mess of great teaching opportunities.

In Conclusion: Sailing Our Ship

It would be nice to calm the storm and sail quiet seas all the time. But some of the most hated weather by sailors is dead calm. You have nothing to propel you forward — no wind. When you teach, you have to accept the weather we navigate. What you do not have to accept is that you have to stress out about it and have no quality of life.

For, when I read Walt Whitman’s words, I always think of a teacher.

Oh Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,

The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,

Here’s to you, teacher. May you weather the storm and laugh in the rain. This profession may be stressful but is is never boring. Our destination is purposeful. We captain a great ship on an epic quest to educate the minds of men and women. We sail towards tomorrow.

The post 10 Stress-Busting Secrets of Great Teachers appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.

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Episode 146: Mind Hacking: Missing Skills We’re Not Teaching Students

Sir John Hargrave on the Every Classroom Matters Show

Sir John Hargrave has taken the research on the mind and related it to current self-help practices to help us learn what works. In today’s episode, we learn about essential thought patterns we should understand to be successful educators.  Metacognition is an essential skill of the most successful students. I also share how I overcame my own negative thought loops caused by four years of bullying.

Sir John Hargrave teaches mind hacking

Listen to Episode #146 Online

Listen on iTunes

Some of the fascinating takeaways from this show are:

  • Concentration as a missing skill in the classroom
  • How to Overcome Negative Thought Loops that Keep Us From Being Our Best
  • The Important Metacognitive Skills We Should Teach Students
  • Steve Job’s “Reality Distortion Field” Technique

Sir John Hargrave’s book Mindhacking is FREE (at least through Fall 2015) at http://ift.tt/1PMX80l

Metacognition and a growth mindset are essential areas for every educator to understand. Listen to the show and dig into the research of mind hacking and metacognition.

The post Episode 146: Mind Hacking: Missing Skills We’re Not Teaching Students appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.

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Top 5 Patios in Vancouver

Do you want to go out for lunch or dinner with your friends, but don’t know where to go? Well, put your sunglasses on because patio season has arrived, and we are going to tell you about the best 5 patios to visit this spring and summer in Vancity!

1. The Roof at Black and Blue

A photo posted by Cheska Zarah (@cheskazarah) on Mar 14, 2015 at 2:55pm PDT

This lounge-style restaurant patio offers a gourmet menu that will make your visit unforgettable. The Roof at Black and Blue is a wonderful choice to have dinner by the fire on Vancouver’s largest rooftop patio.

2. Gallery Café

A photo posted by Matty Lambert (@mattyrlambert) on Aug 30, 2014 at 3:20pm PDT

Explore the Vancouver Art Gallery and get lost in a delicious salad or quiche at the Gallery Café. This restaurant is relaxing and refreshing, great for a calm afternoon with your friends.

3. Bridges

A photo posted by Rosa Tang (@_rotang) on Jul 11, 2014 at 10:02pm PDT

If you visit Granville Island this summer, do not miss the opportunity to visit this Vancouver classic located by the waterfront. Bridges offers the ambience of your choice, whether you’re looking for a romantic and elegant set-up, or a more casual scene.

4. Joe Fortes Seafood and Chophouse

Joe Fortes If you’re passionate about seafood, this award-winning restaurant will amaze you with their wide selection of freshly grilled seafood and wine, excellent service, and an extensive list of over 300 wines.

5. Yaletown Brew Pub

A photo posted by David Hutchinson (@hutchydave) on Mar 10, 2015 at 5:54pm PDT

With pool tables, TVs and entertainment, the Yaletown Brew Pub is always a great choice for a fun time! They specialize in freshly-brewed beer and offer a mix of cuisine styles, creating some of the best dishes in Yaletown!

Gabriela Garcia

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Top 5 Patios in Toronto

As the end of May approaches, Torontonians embrace the warmth and welcome summer by having a refreshing drink and delicious food on a patio.

If you’re new to the city or have never been to a patio, this is your chance! Here we’re going to tell you about the top 5 patios in Toronto you should go this summer.

1. The Amsterdam Brewery

A photo posted by Boateng (@kingbohten) on Sep 20, 2014 at 8:27am PDT

Located right on Toronto’s Harbourfront, the Amsterdam Brewhouse will be one of your favourite spots this summer! Delicious food, a beautiful view and fresh beer brewed in-house make this location a must-visit. *photograph courtesy of @bohten eyewear

2. Panorama Lounge / The One Eighty

A photo posted by The One Eighty (@the51stfloor) on Feb 26, 2014 at 3:26pm PST

Nothing compares to having dinner on the 51st floor in one of Toronto’s trendiest neighbourhoods: Yorkville. The breathtaking view of the city will pair beautifully with the exotic cocktails and dishes prepared at this patio restaurant.

3. The Madison Avenue Pub

Madison Ave Pub

Picnic tables and good music will make you want to come back to The Madison Avenue Pub on hot summer evenings. And if you want to keep the party going, wait until the place turns into a crowded bar at night!

4. Jack Astor’s Yonge & Dundas


Jack Astor’s at Yonge & Dundas is a downtown Toronto classic. Overlooking Dundas Square from the third floor of 10 Dundas Street East, this location opens its patio for the public to enjoy during the summer. If you’re looking for a casual restaurant to eat and have drinks, this is the place to be! You could also visit the smaller patio at the Jack Astor’s right beside the ILAC advanced building.

5. Drake Sky Yard

Sky Yard: Oasis

Open year-round, it’s never too cold for the rooftop patio at the Drake hotel. Serving a young, hip crowd, this place is a great destination for meeting new people over brunch.

Gabriela Garcia

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