Technology Chopped Champions!

One of our favorite television shows is Chopped on the Food Network.  What an experience to open a basket with four unknown ingredients in it that you must use to create a winning dish!  What if you took that same model to a technology competition?  Well, one of the Geeky Teachers did just that!  She joined the VSTE Chopped Championship at the recent Virginia State Technology for Education Conference.   

Requirements included an application proving that your were a power user.  Teams were selected and met head to head in one room full of judges and other technology integrators and teachers watching ans supporting the competition.  
  • Four secret instructional technology resources were revealed that must be used in the creation of a lesson that ingnites student learning before time runs out.  
  • Each team had to roll two dice to determine their lesson goals.  We got project based learning and productivity.  The other teams rolled for their challenges.  
  • The room had two wireless active panel white boards courtesy of Promethean that the people in the room could watch while the teams were taken to another room to complete their challenge. 
  • Part way through the work, one team member was given 5 minutes to run back into the audience room to ask for help (think phone a friend).  They fired suggestions and when the time was up, the team member had to run back to give the suggestions.  
  • After 30 minutes, each team was given 5 minutes to explain their lesson plan.  
  • The room voted in real time using a google form.  
  • There were judges there who asked questions and were on hand in case of a tie breaker.  
Take Aways:
We accomplished almost a complete lesson in 30 minutes using this format (they kept the documents but we created a personalized learning pathway for students to use as a menu of options for their own voice and choice in learning!  
This could be used as a brainstorming model for training presentations, lessons or new ideas.  I found myself thinking of how our whole team could host a Chopped Championship and within an hour we could whittle down to what we really need in a presentation or lesson.  

Short, powerful, effective!  Brainstorming on steroids!  Loved it!  AND this may be the one and only time that I can be referred to as a State Champion of Anything!  


NCSS 2018 STEAM, Breakouts and Educator Information with Primary Sources!

We are excited to be at NCSS 2018 in Chicago presenting with the Teaching with Primary Sources Metro Denver Group!  We are having a wonderful time sharing ideas, primary sources and ways to engage students!  Using the 1893 Chicago World's Fair as our backdrop for resouces, we hosted an all day clinic for teachers interested in ways to use Primary Sources to teach the STEAM subjects!  Think you can't teach engineering with a primary source?  Think again!  Check out the resources, lesson plans, ideas and fun linked in our  NCSS 2018 Primarily Speaking Primary Source Strategies to Support Literacy and STEAM Agenda

Join us at the Library of Congress Poster Sessions focused on ways to incorporate primary sources and museum collections in all curriculum areas!  Ask about the QR code business cards and how we use them in the classroom!  They rock!

Breakout of the Ordinary and Join two geeks to explore how exemplary primary sources can be paired with literature and other resources to create engaging and hands-on inquiry-based digital breakouts for your students. Step by step directions and ideas are included in our presentation Breakout of the Ordinary with Digital Breakouts!


Take Your Classroom Around the World in 80 Ways!

We are working to take our classrooms beyond the 4 walls of our school to help students understand how to communicate, collaborate and think critically on a global scale.  Concentrating on our authentic audience when we plan our PBL (Project Based Learning) units has encouraged us to start using some of these resources to expand our global collaboration and to bring experts and the power of place into our classrooms through virtual field trips! 
This slide show will give you ideas and check out this link to a document with even more ideas to get you started!  We can't wait to see where you go! 


What's New With Google?

Google G Suite for Education has made a few upgrades that help teachers to be more efficient, save time and add resources to their classrooms!  From canned responses, applied digital skills, Google Arts & Culture, Google Classroom and Forms, there is something for everyone.  

Check out some of our favorite geeky upgrades:


Fake News and Media Literacy: Resources for Educators

As a teacher and teacher-librarian, we often collaborate with others on the effective use of media in the classroom, how we can help our students be media savvy, and understanding the positives and negatives of being online. As we work with others, particularly the Teaching with Primary Sources team from the Western Region of the Library of Congress,  we continue to find amazing resources to share and are listing them here as reference. Take a look and share them with your students and hep them understand fake news! 

Resources for Understanding a Digital Footprint:

Teaching Students How to Evaluate Websites:

Infographics on Fake News:

Presentation on Media Literacy - In cooperation with the Library of Congress Western Region of the Teaching With Primary Sources team: 

Reference Articles and Presentations:

Library of Congress: Fake News
The Media Myth and Fake News from the Library of Congress

Lesson Plans: