Category Archives: Inspiration

2014 Professional Development Planning

Shawnee High School Teachers have the option to join discussion groups for the following topics:

  • Basic Computing Techniques and Questions
  • Eboard Ideas
  • Google Documents, Spreadsheets, Forms, and Presentations Ideas- Collaboration and assessment tools.
  • Build a free website using Google Sites.
  • Build a free Website using WordPress.
  • IPad Apps Discovery Group
  • Edtech tools in your classroom discussion group.
  • Share a lesson you think is awesome discussion group.
  • Digital Design and Layout Group-Photoshop, Editing Files for Presentations.
  • Flipped classroom video creation tools, delivery and assessment.
  • Join the Schoolwires Pilot Program Group.

and anyone can sign up for the group here.

We will use Wiggio for group discussion via email, or it can be set up for text messages.  The goal is to share useful information with everyone.  You can post messages to the group in Wiggio or send a group email using the group address.  Replies via email or Wiggio will be sent to the group; you can set your mail preferences when you log in to Wiggio.  If you’d like more information on using Wiggio in your classes or clubs click here:

It has been very useful for Shawnee TV!


Time Saving Rubric Sites

I usually struggle to find useful template rubrics for my subject area ( TV Broadcasting Technology, for those of you who don’t know), but this article provided 3 awesome sites that have tons of great rubric ideas for my subject.  Perhaps you might find if useful for your classroom; please leave a comment if you do:

2013 Shawnee Edtech Poll Results and Questions

The polls are in!  There were a few surprises I did not anticipate- the most used technology is YouTube, with eBoard a close second.  The most important thing I’d like to promote is discussing how we use technology.  We’ll be promoting successful uses of technology in the classroom at our meetings.  The most successful collaboration we’ve had at Shawnee quickly showcased different edtech tools on the web, and we discussed how we could use it in our classrooms.




  • What is the most exciting thing about YouTube specific to your class?
  • What type of collaboration happens beyond the video?
  • Do you use a comment or public forum online?


  • What is successful about using eBoard?
  • Is there anything you’d like to change or do differently?

Google Docs:

  • What has been successful?



  • What apps are proving successful in the iPad pilot program?  Is anyone else finding use for apps?
  • The other technologies in the poll are more for communication and collaboration- what has been successful?



  • Do you have a need to have all the websites important to you get “fed” to you in one place?
  • Do you find different information via print, television, on the internet?  Do you share that information with your classes or colleagues?  How?

Case Study: Google Calendar

In the spirit of learning from experience, lets look into classrooms for officially tested tried and true technology.  Mike Casey sets up effective (and easy to use) Google Calendars (with cell phone and other mobile device access and reminders!) for individual studies teachers, sports teams, clubs and other planning requirements.  He put together an awesome presentation on his website:

If you have been using technology that helps in the classroom, please share your story.

Not Boring: Faces of Immersion. Children’s Faces Filmed While Playing Video Games

Have you ever “leaned into” a video game, maybe while playing a car racing game? If so, you know the feeling: total immersion.  Bill Seng showed us this video from a recent New York Times post during our iPad pilot:


He asked us if we ever saw faces like this in our classroom.  I have seen my students make these faces.

Then I started thinking about when I saw these types of immersion faces, then I started thinking about how often I see those faces, then I started thinking about the faces I see when I lecture, then I thought about how often I lecture.  I’d say that I lecture less than 15% of total class time, but in that 15% I’ve seen some awfully bored faces, students napping, and avoidance behaviors.

The immersion face is always during project work and performance: experiential learning at its best.

I am attempting a totally flipped (video instruction tutorials for all concepts, learned at intervals, self-paced for faster, more interested students) no-lecture classroom this year.  Time spent in the room will be totally task and project based.

My anonymous course evaluations submitted by students have all shown the same sentiment.  Drop the lecture, give us more projects.

I know the overall level of productiveness and the products students are creating have improved with my current teaching style, but still so many students are not fully satisfied with the course.

Every year I teach foundation skills and have students analyze and refine their work more and more, and get to less projects.  Last year was the worst year in terms of how many projects my classes worked on.

This year will be DIFFERENT.  I’m not sure if that is better, but I’ll report back on it at the end of the year.

I printed the results of the study by Katherine Weber and Rodney Custer:

Gender-based Preferences toward Technology Education Content, Activities, and Instructional Methods

This will be sitting in a frame on my desk as a reminder:


I’m excited for change.  I’ll let you know if anything interesting happens…

Please share your thoughts on dropping lecture and creating instructional video, interactive learning (or games) and project based-experiential learning.

NPR: Physicists Seek To Lose The Lecture As Teaching Tool

The buzz words are out there: flipped classroom, guide on the side vs. sage on the stage, or as Ian Jukes calls it, “full frontal”.

On January 12th,  NPR’sAll Things Considered” aired a story on education titled Physicists Seek To Lose The Lecture As Teaching Tool.

The story quotes analytic proof where lecture produced worse results than small group collaboration, where the groups had simply read the material to be discussed PRIOR to the discussion.

Making sense of the information with a small group of peers in class seems to be where the real learning takes place.  The transfer of information can be done by reading or doing a simple Google search.

The physics professors used polleverywhere to ask a question at the beginning of a class after students had read the material.  The question had 3 multiple choice answers.  The results were shared with the class, then a small group discussion took place.  The poll was taken a second time and the results always improved.

I’d like to test this concept at our meeting.  Familiarize yourself with the following  prior to the meeting:

“I understand how to use an iPod (or cell phones) with WIFI, Safari and to conduct a live poll in class.”

We’ll take the first poll (baseline data) at the meeting, discuss in small groups with ipods, then take a second poll.  We should quickly see improvement.

Maybe this concept and the technology used can be implemented in our classes.

If you are using polleverywhere or have experience with flipping your classroom, please leave a comment below on your experience.

While we wait for our students to be allowed to use Google+ let’s get ahead of the them…

Google+ is a free social network that has features similar to Facebook and Twitter combined.  In my opinion, it’s best feature is the simplicity of sharing information; Google+ gives you the option to specify which friends or “circles” of friends you share information with.

Google+ currently restricts users to be over the age of 18.  I’ve been itching to use this with my students for months, and am waiting eagerly for Google to grant access to our students age group.

In the meantime, I propose we all start to use Google+ to collaborate and share with each other as colleagues. 

For those of you who already have a Google+ account please add me.  I’ve created a few school related circles to sort the people I’ve added (LRHSD, Shawnee TV Parents, ect…)  I enjoy seeing what other teachers are doing in their classes across the district and follow many teachers and administrators across the country.  The ability to sort and send information to different groups of people is pretty easy and effective.

If you do not have a Google+ account, you’ll need a Google account then click the +you button at the top left corner of the Google website.  There are many great tutorials out there explaining Google+ and how best to use it in your classroom or profession.