How to Embrace an Open Culture in Your Classroom

Learning and Sharing Can Spread from Teacher to Teacher with George Couros

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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As a teacher, there is nothing worse than irrelevant, impractical and (dare I say it?) boring professional development. In fact, I learn more from other teachers both in my school and online than I have from most professional development. This type of learning is called an open culture of learning and George Couros, author of the Innovator’s Mindset, shares how it works.

Welcome to episode 300 of the Every Classroom Matters podcast. In this episode, George Courosand I discuss how to bring teachers and schools into an open culture of learning and teacher improvement. Check out the full series.

Listen to the Audio

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What is the definition of open culture and learning?
  • How does open culture relate to teacher professional development?
  • What are some ideas for creating a more open culture in your school?
  • What is the impact of trying to keep your school as a closed culture?

Check Out Today’s Sponsor

Turnitin has a new tool, Revision Assistant. Turnitin’s new tool, Revision Assistant automates the process and delivers personalized, immediate feedback. The colorful icons and simple feedback can help students improve their writing. Check it out!

Learn about Revision Assistant

http://www.bamradionetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&layout=embed&tmpl=component&id=4222&catid=91&Itemid=1181

About Us

George Couros is joining us for a series of shows on Every Classroom Matters where we talk about the eight characteristics of the Innovator’s Mindset (George’s new book.) This is part 8 of the series. See the full series here

Host: Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher is a full-time classroom teacher in Camilla, Georgia. Winner of the ISTE Online Learning Award 2006  and Best Talk Show Host in Education 2014 and many Best Teacher Blog awards, Vicki seeks to shine a spotlight on what works in education wherever it happens in the world. Vicki has created more than 30 global collaborative projects, programmed apps with her students, and is now shooting a full-length movie with her digital film class. Read more about her here.

The post How to Embrace an Open Culture in Your Classroom appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/embrace-open-culture-classroom/

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How to Create Meaningful Learning Experiences

The 8th Innovator’s Mindset with George Couros

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Students often look at the teacher and ask, “why is this important?” Students wonder what a subject means! George Couros talks about how to make learning meaningful in our classroom. When he says that innovative classrooms have less classroom management issues, I’ve found this to be true!

Welcome to episode 299 of the Every Classroom Matters podcast. In this episode, George Courosand I discuss how to make meaningful learning experiences. This is the eighth aspect of the Innovator’s mindset. Check out the full series.

Listen to the Audio

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How can we make more meaningful learning experiences for teachers?
  • Can innovation experiences improve classroom management?
  • How can we make time for innovation in the curriculum?

Check Out Today’s Sponsor

Turnitin has a new tool, Revision Assistant. Turnitin’s new tool, Revision Assistant automates the process and delivers personalized, immediate feedback. The colorful icons and simple feedback can help students improve their writing. Check it out!

Learn about Revision Assistant

http://www.bamradionetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&layout=embed&tmpl=component&id=4223&catid=91&Itemid=1181

About Us

George Couros is joining us for a series of shows on Every Classroom Matters where we talk about the eight characteristics of the Innovator’s Mindset (George’s new book.) This is part 8 of the series. See the full series here

Host: Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher is a full-time classroom teacher in Camilla, Georgia. Winner of the ISTE Online Learning Award 2006  and Best Talk Show Host in Education 2014 and many Best Teacher Blog awards, Vicki seeks to shine a spotlight on what works in education wherever it happens in the world. Vicki has created more than 30 global collaborative projects, programmed apps with her students, and is now shooting a full-length movie with her digital film class. Read more about her here.

The post How to Create Meaningful Learning Experiences appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/create-meaningful-learning-experiences/

Innovate Like a Turtle

A simple strategy any teacher can use to improve teaching

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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We teachers are too busy. There’s too much to do! But eleven years a go, I hit upon something that works for me. I realized that I didn’t have much time, but I could take 15 minutes just two or three times a week to learn and try new things. That is when “innovate like a turtle” was born. Since then, my classroom has changed. My students are more excited. I’m a better teacher. And as I travel and tell my simple story of powerful transformation, other teachers are doing it too with incredible results. Join us. It isn’t that hard.

innovate like a turtle

But what does it mean?

Welcome to episode 297 of the Every Classroom Matters podcast. In this episode, Annette Lang and I discuss how her decision to “innovate like a turtle” has transformed her classroom. Understand how this can work for you.

Listen to the Audio

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How can a teacher innovate when they have no time?
  • Does slow, steady innovation really work?
  • Can any teacher apply these principles and make their classroom better?

Check Out Today’s Sponsor

Bloomz is your one-stop solution for parent-teacher communications. More than just connecting with their cell phones, you can send long or short messages. You can share pictures and links. You can even coordinate volunteer schedules, donations, and parent-teacher conferences. I’m using Bloomz in my classroom.

Learn more about Bloomz

http://www.bamradionetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&layout=embed&tmpl=component&id=4175&catid=91&Itemid=1181

About Us

Today’s Guest: Annette Lang

Annette Lang@msalang has been a technology teacher for over 12 years, with a Master of Arts in Teaching. She completed her library endorsement and worked as a district librarian. She has taught middle school through high school. Currently, she is working as a technology educator to Freshman and Sophomores at Bio-Med Science Academy.

Host: Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher is a full-time classroom teacher in Camilla, Georgia. Winner of the ISTE Online Learning Award 2006  and Best Talk Show Host in Education 2014 and many Best Teacher Blog awards, Vicki seeks to shine a spotlight on what works in education wherever it happens in the world. Vicki has created more than 30 global collaborative projects, programmed apps with her students, and is now shooting a full-length movie with her digital film class. Read more about her here.

Subscribe to the Podcast

If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe:

iTunes     RSS

Tell Your Friends

If you enjoyed the show, please rate this show on iTunes and leave a review. Thank you for helping other teachers find the show.

The post Innovate Like a Turtle appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/innovate-like-turtle/

A Simple Guide to Podcasting in the Classroom

How to improve learning and listening in the classroom

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Teachers want their students to create, but don’t want to fight with clunky technology. Listening skills and learning can be improved with podcasting. Today’s show will help you understand one of the simplest technologies to use in the classroom: podcasting. Podcasting sparks imagination, creativity, and builds listening skills. Just about any teacher with a smartphone and an internet connection can have their students podcasting quickly!

A simple guide to podcasting in the classroom

In this episode, Tom Daccord and I discuss how to using podcasting in the classroom.  Welcome to episode 298 of the Every Classroom Matters podcast.

Listen to the Audio

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How is podcasting being used in the classroom?

  • How can students publish podcasts for the world?

  • What kind of impact can podcasting have on learning?

  • How can you use podcasts to improve listening skills?

Check Out Today’s Sponsor

Listenwise is a fantastic way to use podcasts in your classroom and improve listening skills at the same time. I like that you can search by standard and topic (they have a ton of great books like A Wrinkle in Time, Beowulf, and Catch-22 as just a few listed this week. These podcasts aren’t a reading of the book, but relate the topics to the real world!  Check Them out! 

Learn about Listenwise

http://www.bamradionetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&layout=embed&tmpl=component&id=4210&catid=91&Itemid=1181

About Us

Today’s Guest: Tom Daccord

An educational technology speaker, instructor, and author, Tom Daccord @thomasdaccord  is Director of EdTechTeacher and has worked with schools, colleges and educational organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Host: Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher is a full-time classroom teacher in Camilla, Georgia. Winner of the ISTE Online Learning Award 2006  and Best Talk Show Host in Education 2014 and many Best Teacher Blog awards, Vicki seeks to shine a spotlight on what works in education wherever it happens in the world. Vicki has created more than 30 global collaborative projects, programmed apps with her students, and is now shooting a full-length movie with her digital film class. Read more about her here.

Subscribe to the Podcast

If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe:

iTunes     RSS

Tell Your Friends

If you enjoyed the show, please rate this show on iTunes and leave a review. Thank you for helping other teachers find the show.

The post A Simple Guide to Podcasting in the Classroom appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/podcasting-classroom-listening-skills/

Free Webinar: Notetaking Skills for Top 21st Century Students

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Note taking has changed since the days of pencil, paper, and lecture lecture lecture! Now, students have a variety of tools and sources of information. From lecture, to videos, to projects – how should students be coached to take notes? In this free webinar, I’ll help teachers learn how to help your 21st Century learners […]

The post Free Webinar: Notetaking Skills for Top 21st Century Students appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/free-webinar-notetaking-skills-top-21st-century-students/

One Simple Way to Screencast with Office Mix

A 2-Minute Technology Tip on Screencasting

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

A screencast is when you record the screen. While there are many great options out there, Office Mix is so simple, I’m using it for most screencasting.

In this example, students have written a few lines of code in Scratch. Then, they open Office Mix. They use the screen recording tool to capture their program in action. Finally, they make the video and upload it to PowerSchool Learning.

This tutorial video shows everything except the uploading process.

How Did I Record This Quick Video?

Now, on a more technical note, recording a screencast of a screencast is a tad tricky. In order to show how to use Office Mix, I had to use my second favorite screencasting too, screencastomatic, to record the tutorial. This is because I have to use a different program than is being demonstrated.

Basically, I’m recording how to make a recording. So, if you need to make videos of Office Mix in action, you have to pick another program to do the screencast.

Popular Screencasting Tools and Tips for a variety of devices

  • How to Screencast in 3 Simple Steps (a tutorial I made on screencastomatic)
  • Screen-cast-o-matic – This tool runs in a web browser.
  • Explain Everything – This tool is perfect for iPads. Math teachers make quick “explainer” videos about how to work math problems. This tool is perfect when you want to hand write in your video. (iPad)
  • Screenflow – Tony Vincent shared this tool with me. I use it to capture my iPhone and iPad and more. (Mac)
  • Office Mix for Powerpoint  – Office Mix is a plugin that you add to PowerPoint 2013. This tool is the easiest video creation tool. I’m convinced any teacher can learn to make a quick video in minutes. (PC only)

The post One Simple Way to Screencast with Office Mix appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/one-simple-way-screencast-office-mix/

“Not Normal” [Video]

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Video Post
We spend way too much time trying to be normal.

David Salyers, VP at Chic Fil A says,

“Normal can never be amazing.”

The truth is that normal is average. Normal is every day. It is truly not normal to be amazing.

So, from now on I want there to be nothing normal about my life or my classroom or my family or my friendships.

How about you? Who’s in for awesome?

Let’s stop being normal.

Hat tip to my former student, Carlton Brooks, for this jewel. 

The post “Not Normal” [Video] appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/videos/not-normal/