Category Archives: Uncategorized

Assassin’s Creed Discovery Tour. Yes. It’s a video game. So . . . yes, it’s also an awesome teaching tool

Assassin’s Creed Discovery Tour. Yes. It’s a video game. So . . . yes, it’s also an awesome teaching tool

Glenn Wiebe writes about the value of video games as educational experiences. One day perhaps all educational content will look like this.

History Tech

The video game Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag came about five years ago. And as an avid fan of Assassin’s Creed, my son and his friends were some of the first in line to purchase it. And play it.

A lot.

If you’re not familiar with the Assassin’s Creed line of video games, they’re basically an action adventure featuring a centuries old struggle between two groups of people – the Assassins, who fight for peace and free will, against the Templars, who believe peace comes through control of humanity. There’s fighting, walking around, some fighting, sneaking around, more fighting, some running, and then some more fighting. Fairly typical video game.

The thing that makes the series a little different than many other action adventure or first person shooter games, is the creators of Assassin’s Creed have been very deliberate about mixing the historical fiction of Assassins vs. Templars with real-world historical events and figures. In Assassin’s Creed III…

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Posted by on June 1, 2018 in Uncategorized


5 Chrome browser extensions that you probably haven’t heard about but need to be using

5 Chrome browser extensions that you probably haven’t heard about but need to be using

A great post on essential plugins on Chrome that teachers need to have a look at.

History Tech

It’s not a secret. I say it a couple times a week:

“If Google was a person, I’d marry it.”

And not just for it’s money. (Though that would be nice.) I love how the Google universe has something for everyone. Elementary. Middle and high school. Different content areas. A variety of tools for consuming and creating. VR. Digital literacy.

You don’t have to look very hard before you find something you can use.

But one of the easiest things you can use is the Google Chrome browser and what Google calls Chrome extensions.

A Chrome extension is basically a small piece of software that you download from the Chrome Web Store and add to your Chrome browser. These little pieces of software extend the capabilities of the browser across multiple web sites and do something that the browser itself can’t do. Most extensions add a button to your browser’s taskbar to…

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Posted by on May 9, 2018 in Uncategorized


Take the Leap.. to the OneNote for Windows 10 App

Take the Leap.. to the OneNote for Windows 10 App

Integration Innovation

Anyone who knows me knows that this sign on my desk is pretty indicative of the way I go about things:


I’m a risk-taking, jump-right-in, what-could-possibly-go-wrong, all-in kind of girl.  So when I heard OneNote desktop version is being sunsetted, I just sort of moseyed on over to the Windows 10 app and moved in.  I’ve been living there almost full-time because if that’s going to be my new OneNote, I want to really start to form a friendship with it.  I know, I know….it doesn’t have ALL the cool stuff from OneNote 2016 desktop yet, but it will.  So for now, I still just pop in for visits with 2016 when I need a certain tool, but for the most part, I’ve migrated!

windows10appSo if you haven’t even looked at the app yet and are brand new to all of this, take a look at the image above.  #1…

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Posted by on April 30, 2018 in Uncategorized


Using Listening to Improve Historical Understanding


This school year, two colleagues and I have been conducting some research on speaking and listening skills in our classrooms. Part of this work was funded by an ASCD Teacher Impact Grant and will be presented at their Empower 17 conference in Anaheim on March 25, 2017. Thanks to the Constitutional Rights Foundation and WestEd some of this work will continue for the next two years due to an additional grant focused on expanding teacher practice networks.   

As part of this work, we piloted some listening assessments with Listenwise, a company that aligns National Public Radio content with content standards in ELA, Social Studies and Science. I assigned 11 listening quizzes to my students. On average, students were able to answer 72.8% of the questions correctly. This represents a substantial improvement on a Stauffer, Frost & Rybolt (1983) national study, which found that people, on average, only remember 17.2%…

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Posted by on April 25, 2018 in Uncategorized


Technology Will Not Replace You…Unless You Let It

Technology Will Not Replace You…Unless You Let It

Learn. Share. Repeat.

Stop it.
Just stop it right now.
Online learning is not going to take your job.
Technology will not replace teachers.

I wish this wasn’t the case, but every time I hear a teacher (or even worse, administrator) flirt with the idea that technology is going to replace educators my blood boils. From the pit of my stomach up to my eye-balls I feel a fiery anger because it simply is not true.

We aren’t trying to create robots who regurgitate information

I get to work with some of the most fabulous educators and educational technology leaders. I can confidently say that not a single one of them is for destroying all brick and mortar school buildings and sitting kids in front of devices all day long. We work, tirelessly, to ensure that the experiences students have with and without technology are meaningful and relevant. We want to use the best of…

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Posted by on April 23, 2018 in Uncategorized


Teaching Computational Thinking across an Entire University, With Guest Blogger Roland Tormey

Computing Education Research Blog

During Spring Break, Barbara and I were invited to go to Switzerland.  Sure, when most people go someplace warm for Spring Break, let’s head to the mountains!

Roland Tormey organized a fascinating workshop at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland (see workshop page here) to inform a bold and innovative new effort at EPFL. They want to integrate computational thinking across their entire university, from required courses for freshman, to support for graduate students doing Computational X (where X is everything that EPFL does).  The initiative has the highest level of administrative support, with the President and Vice-President of Education for EPFL speaking at the workshop.  The faculty really bought in — the room held 80-some folks, and it was packed most of the day.

Roland got a good videographer who captured both of the keynotes well.  I had the first keynote on “Improving Computing Education with Learning Sciences: Methods for…

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Posted by on April 22, 2018 in Uncategorized


Cartoons on Teaching English

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

For this month I have turned to cartoonists who draw on their experiences in English, reading, and language arts lessons. Enjoy!













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Posted by on April 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

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