Ten Favorite Things

“We need to make the positives so loud that the negatives are almost impossible to hear.” George Curous – TCEA 2016

2016 is a GREAT year to be part of education. From inspiring minds to incredible advances in technology, there’s no limit to new materials, tools, methodologies, and thoughts available to transform our classrooms and communities. We’ve had the opportunity to converse, play, and observe – in the spirit of shouting out the positives, these are some of our favorites from the conference circuit to date.

Inspiration:

  • Genius – Angela Maiers: http://www.angelamaiers.com “You are a genius and the world needs your contribution” is her message to students and teachers alike. No one should sit on the sidelines because they don’t have time. We will lose our kids if they keep being spoken at instead of engaged in thought changing/provoking exercise, hence the “Genius Hour.” In collaboration with Microsoft, Maiers is offering a free e-book to help teachers implement a “Genius Hour:”
  • Passionhttp://www.donorschoose.org/ Help a teacher out today by funding a project you’re passion about, or be inspired by Charles Best’s (Donors Choose founder) TED talk.
  • Transformation – Most Likely To Succeed, by Best Buy Education: mltsfilm.org. This film shows what can happen when teachers and students re-imagine possibilities.
  • Positive Connection – George Curous: http://georgecouros.ca/blog/about-me Make a connection to the heart so that you can make a connection to the mind. “We need to make the positives so loud that the negatives are almost impossible to hear.”
  • Community – At TechNinjaTodd’s school, every teacher sent out an encouraging welcome letter to each student prior to the first day of school. He went out into the community and invited business owners to come to the open house to see what the school was doing. The result? A thriving community. Check out his blog for more inspiring ideas.

Technology:

  • Create – Want an online game that aligns specifically with your teaching?? With an easy creation interface and the ability to add media, etc., you can create your own learning game in minutes: Kahoot!
  • Learn – Who doesn’t love a great math game? One of our favorites is www.prodigygame.com. It’s adaptive, fun, and free! Each student is placed at the correct level and advances according to their personal needs.
  • Develop – There are so many things we wish we’d had when we were kids – coding games are at the top of the list. CodeMonkey is a fantastic start to learning coding.
  • Experience – 3D Printing may be the coolest thing. Ever. We watched visions come to life at a conference in January. What a way to bring home the lesson – truly experiencing a vision with a 3D printer like the Variquest Trifecta.
  • Engage – With all the inspiration and cool technology out there, it’s more important than ever to keep family and community in the loop. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention ourselves! We’re still passionate about LivingTree’s full community network approach for truly engaging all levels of an organization – https://www.livingtree.com

It’s only February and there’s already so much to share. 2016 is a great time to be in education!!

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