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Lately, I’ve been busy grading my students’ digital products. Each year my students accomplish so much with technology, such as brainstorming, collaboration, annotation, editing, research, and so forth. My students also create several digital products throughout my courses, such as mind maps, infographics, posters, presentations, video commercials, audio interviews, comics, ebooks, portfolios, visual prompts, speaking avatars, etc. These digital projects, or what I often call, “learning missions,” are adaptable and can be used to teach different age groups (children to adults) and subjects and achieve various learning objectives. I’ve also gotten students to complete their projects when we’ve had access to very little technology and no Internet access. Below, I’ve broken down the general process and routine we follow in six steps and have provided resources. Students will have a lot of questions, need assurance, and need guidance the first couple of times as can be expected with anything new, but then they get used to the process and accomplish so much! I hope this process makes it easier for you to integrate technology in your upcoming classes.

If you like these ideas, take one of my courses or check out one of my books. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com! The Process

This is an outline of my process, but feel free to adapt it to meet your needs. Note that before implementing the process, I already know what digital product I want students to create (timeline, infographic, video, etc.) and have determined the topic/unit/chapter we are covering and outlined the objectives and standards.

Step 1. Evaluate an Example

The first step is to evaluate examples that are age and topic appropriate. For example, if students are producing a tv commercial about a historic invention for math, science, history, etc., then students might evaluate successful and famous tv commercials you discovered on YouTube.

  • During this step, students are provided with a general definition or description of the digital product, a list of elements the product generally includes, and relevant vocabulary. This is important, because many students, for example, may not know the difference between a digital poster and infographic or what goes into producing a stop motion video.
  • Students also determine the author’s/creator’s purpose and the intended audience. They critically reflect on the information and ideas shared.
  • Students also evaluate the design of the product (layout, color scheme, use of visuals, font size, etc.).
  • Students work in pairs or small groups to create a list of what makes the example awesome. We discuss the lists and decide on one set list of criteria which we use to guide the design of our digital creation. This criteria is also included in the rubric used to evaluate the creations.
Step 2. Assigning the Project/Mission
  • During this step, make sure to provide the students with a meaningful purpose and have them reflect on their audience. Due to social media and the Internet all digital projects have a purpose and audience and usually some kind of message.
  • You might also want to present the assignment as a mission to be accomplished. In my book, Hacking Digital Learning with Edtech Missions, I provide Mission Cards that outline each project’s audience and purpose. These are other examples of missions created by teachers who’ve taken my online courses.

  • The assignment and all necessary materials should be easily accessible in one area, such as an assignment page on a learning management system (LMS), a page on a class website, a desktop/Google folder, or a curated board (Educlipper). The assignment page/folder might include simple instructions, due dates, a checklist, the rubric or scoring guide, recommended tools (a digital sandbox), templates, tutorials, student choice menus, or curated websites, articles, or media students should use for research.
Step 3. Completing the Project/Mission
  • During this step, students brainstorm and plan (ex. sketchnote, outline, storyboard, concept map, script) the design and layout of information, keeping in mind the audience, purpose, and criteria.
  • Students then conduct research about the topic. I provide a curated list of bookmarked websites, videos, infographics, etc. so that students do more than Google the topic or look at Wikipedia.
  • Then students create the digital product. If we are using an app or web tool then I let them choose from the digital sandbox of suggested web tools and provide templates when needed.
Step 4. Peer Editing

During this step, students evaluate each other’s digital products and provide feedback based on the criteria and also check for grammar, spelling, and other errors. Peers list what they like about the creation and offer a few suggestions for improvement. Students then have the opportunity to make any edits based on this feedback.

Step 5. Share/Present/Publish

During this step, students turn in the finished product and share their work with the intended audience so they experience how their creations make a real world impact and mean something to someone else. This audience might be their peers, their family, another class, the school, the community, a charity, or the general public. The creation also might be included in a digital portfolio.

Step 6. Feedback/Evaluation

Students are assessed and receive feedback in a variety of ways:

  • Self-evaluation- students assess their effort, creativity, time management, organization, and product. This may also include an assessment of their performance as a team member if this was a group project.
  • Peer-evaluation- peers assess the finished product and any presentation given. This may also include a group evaluation.
  • Teacher-evaluation- after reviewing the above evaluations and the rubric, I provide feedback to enhance future products.
  • Audience feedback- students receive feedback from the audience who experienced and viewed their creations.
  • Digital badge– students might also receive a digital badge for their completed projects.

Challenge: Come up with your own process for integrating technology to save you time and help your students get into a routine.

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Sign up for my new In-Service / Graduate Fully Accredited online courses this summer, Connected Educators: Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Professional Development, and Methodologies for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. 

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“Proper perspective brings about clear direction.” – Mike Anthoni, Author of The Blueprint

One way to truly inspire innovation is to send students on learning missions or challenges to invent or imagine a new app, vehicle, machine, building, or system that solves a problem. I’ve sent students on missions to imagine a house or vehicle for people to live on in space. I’ve challenged them to invent apps to solve real world problems they face or to help a superhero. I’ve gotten them to pitch a new business or invention. These are wonderful ways to spark ideas, but we can push this further by getting students to visualize and mock up their innovations through blueprints and floor plans. It isn’t enough to have incredible ideas if students aren’t able to present them to others, plan them out, or actualize them. Teaching students how to draw out, mock up, and map out the brilliance in their minds helps them tremendously throughout their lives. This gives them the key to transforming their world with their innovations. Creating a blueprint or floor plan also meets Science, Technology, Engineering, ART and Math (STEM/STEAM) standards. Students use math, science, and the Engineering Design Process. Below, find my presentation, STEAM UP Learning, and free web tools to help students, even toddlers, design and visualize their innovations. Some of these tools even help students 3D print their designs. Find tons of my STEAM inspired lessons and resources collected here.

Get your copy of Hacking Digital LearningThe 30 Goals Challenge, or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com! Design and Blueprint Tools

Most of these tools should have a free version, but might not be available for all countries. As with any technology, you should always make sure the tools are approved by parents and your school administration.

  • The Draw and Tell iOS app is perfect for toddlers and children to mock up their inventions. They can use the graphing paper feature and add stickers or draw on it. Students also get to record themselves describing their inventions. Discover more ideas about using this app in the Teach Outside the Box blog.
  • Home Styler is a web tool for designing floor plans and blueprints that was recommended to me by Kelly Jake Duncan who teachers high school students.
  • Lucid Chart is available on the web and on iOS and Android device. Get access to 2 different floor plan templates that students can easily edit. This tool also has an education version.
  • Home Design 3D allows students to create blueprints and print their designs with a 3D printer.
  • Cospaces allows students to use virtual reality and augmented reality technology to create virtual buildings and innovations. This tool also has an education version.
  • With Minecraft (not free, but does have an education version) students can also design, visualize, and build in a virtual space.
  • Room Sketcher is a blueprint tool with the ability to drag and drop furniture and other shapes.
  • Art Space allows you to create a 3D virtual gallery and is pretty simple. They do have upload limits.
  • Students can use this virtual museum Google Slides template from David Lee Edtech.

Challenge: Get students to mock up and blueprint their innovations.

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We recently began the summer session of my new online courses. We announced a scholarship and were so moved by the personal statements and bios that we decided to award a few scholarships for the summer session. Below is the bio and an excerpt from the personal statement of Jamil Ahmed, a teacher from Bangladesh, who was the recipient of the Connected Educators: Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Professional Development course scholarship. I’m excited about his contributions and the perspectives he will share in our Google+ Community.

You can still register until July 12th for the summer session of any of the online accredited courses offered by Edtechnology Specialists and Andrews University.

Jamil Ahmed, a Teacher from Bangladesh

Personal Statement Excerpt: I am preparing to open my Digital School in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It will help me to get organized about every aspect of teaching specially including performance analyze, game-based learning and flipped learning, etc. In Bangladesh, there is huge population and a lot of talented young people but they don’t have the proper guidelines to move forward. So, it would be great if I could be able to learn from experts like you and implement that in Bangladesh to move forward the young generation with Digital Education.

Bio: Jamil Ahmed is the CEO of “Reinforce Lab”. He is a Pharmacist with experience of working in several pharmaceutical companies over 5 years in International Business. He is very passionate to write about Digital Marketing, Small Business Startups, and Entrepreneurship. He also writes about the ways to succeed in online business by building relationships and telling stories.

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We recently began the summer session of my new online courses. We announced a scholarship and were so moved by the personal statements and bios that we decided to award a few scholarships for the summer session. Below is the bio and an excerpt from the personal statement of Dalia Fakash, a teacher from Turkey and Syria, who was the recipient of the Methodologies for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages course scholarship. I’m excited about her contributions and the perspectives she will share in our Google+ Community.

You can still register until July 12th for the summer session of any of the online accredited courses offered by Edtechnology Specialists and Andrews University.

Dalia Fakash, a Teacher from Turkey/Syria

Personal Statement Excerpt: Having to live and work as a refugee in a Forgein country requires a lot of work and effort to support oneself and the family. Therefore updating myself with the recent professional trends will maintain the security of my life and the adequacy of my professional expertise.

Bio: Dalia is a Syrian educator with 15 years of International teaching experience. She is a holder of a BA in English literature and a Masters degree in Special Ed from University of Phoenix, USA. Dalia recently moved to Turkey due to the war in her country, Syria. There she is attempting to infect a positive change in the future of the Turkish language learners.

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On July 5th, we began our summer session of my new online courses. We announced a scholarship and were so moved by the personal statements and bios that we decided to award a few scholarships for the July 5th summer session. Below is the bio and an excerpt from the personal statement of Jesus Sosa, a teacher from Venezuela, who was the recipient of the Methodologies for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages course. His personal statement is truly inspiring and I’m excited about his contributions and the perspectives he will share in our Google+ Community.

You can still register until July 12th for the summer session of any of the online accredited courses offered by Edtechnology Specialists and Andrews University.

Meet Jesus Sosa, a Teacher from Venezuela

Personal Statement Excerpt: This opportunity will allow me to continue with my own learning process. I would be able to share my experience and how teachers in Venezuela manage to still have a positive impact on education, sometimes from scratch. This opportunity would also give me the chance to learn from other teachers, and maybe adapt their experiences to provide new ones to my students.

As a teacher trainer, this opportunity will also allow me to take this knowledge and share it with other teachers in my country and abroad, and find new techniques to encourage and motivate them, thus increasing the impact of these courses and making it reach new places.

Being part of the #TeamTech in education, the need to make people aware of being digitally literate and develop XXI Century Skills has always been a priority in my teaching practice, and I do believe that these would be crucial skills to make our country and future generations go back to a better place.

We don´t surrender, we fight. Some of us want to still be here, make people join our cause, and show the world the power education has when it comes to making a change during a difficult situation. I´m here, I´m trying to make a difference, and these courses will give me the tools to keep trying.

Bio: Jesus Sosa is a teacher at the School of Modern Languages of a Public University in Venezuela (Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida-Venezuela). He teaches both students from Modern Languages (linguistics related) and from Foreign Languages Education. His students’ age ranges are from 18 to 22 y/o in most cases, and he works with around 80 students per semester. He mainly teaches reading and writing courses, but also has taught courses related to all language skills through linguistics. Jesus has also been invited by the School of Education to teach ICT skills related sessions. He is the head of the Department of English, and the Coordinator of the Culture and Extension Unit of the School. Teacher training wise, Jesus is part of a teacher training program where they teach pre-service and in-service teachers about developing ICT skills for EFL. Finally, he is also part of VenTESOL´s Executive Board, as an Editor and member of the Media Team.

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I’m excited to announce that on July 5th my two new online courses begin, Methodologies for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and Connected Educators: Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Professional Development. One of the many reasons I enjoy working with the team at Edtechnology Specialists is that the company believes in giving back. These are the charities Edtechnology Specialists supports. In addition, we will also be awarding scholarships to a teacher in need. If you or any teacher you know of could benefit from taking these online courses, then please complete this scholarship application. It shouldn’t take too long to complete. The scholarship can be applied to the July 5th session or the upcoming Fall, Winter, or Spring sessions. I will announce the recipient for the July 5th session soon, but the application can continue to be considered for the upcoming sessions. Below are some more reasons educators will truly benefit from the engaging online accredited courses offered by Edtechnology Specialists and Andrews University. Scroll to the end to for the embedded scholarship application.

Get your copy of Hacking Digital LearningThe 30 Goals Challenge, or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com!

Ed Technology Specialists Promo - YouTube

Reasons Edtechnology Specialists’ Courses Rock!
  •  The courses are taught by education technology thought leaders and many are certified trainers, authors, teachers, and innovators.
  • The courses are engaging with hands-on learning, real world application and community support emphasized. Each course has a Google Community where participants share and offer feedback.
  • Courses cover a variety of topics, such as game-based learning, flipped learning, integrating Google tools, digital storytelling, writing strategies, assisted technology, and much more.
  • Some districts offer teachers bonuses and higher salaries for earning a determined amount of Continuing Education Units or Credits (CEUs). The courses are Fully Accredited so can count as accepted CEUs. See the different options to choose the one that meets your district’s requirements.
  • In each course, educators learn how to use different types of web tools and apps to complete the assignments and better engage and support their students.
  • The courses are online so take them from the comfort of your home or anywhere you are connected. You have some flexibility when completing and turning in assignments. We begin July 5th, but if you are a few days late you can still catch up!

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This past week the incredible Alan November and I delivered mini keynotes for the Rethink Learning Summit hosted by ItsLearning. Huge thanks to Noah Geisel (@senorg) for recording both keynotes. In the recording, you will first be blown away by Alan November‘s keynote, which would motivate any teacher to see the powerful ways students learn with technology. He also provides insights about the Internet of Things. I follow with my talk about transforming classrooms into thriving learning communities with a Learning Management System (LMS). Below, I’ve shared my slides and the recording.

My Keynote Slides

The Recording

Listening to @ShellTerrell and Alan November #iste18 #PasstheScopeEdu @itslearning https://t.co/bg1hblmjwy

— Noah Geisel (@SenorG) June 26, 2018

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Receive a copy of my digital guide, Ways to Enhance Literacy With Technology. Just complete this form.

Sign up for my new In-Service / Graduate Fully Accredited online courses this summer, Connected Educators: Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Professional Development, and Methodologies for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. 

Get your copy of Hacking Digital LearningThe 30 Goals Challenge, or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com!

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At the recent ISTE conference, I was excited to be part of the team to help spread the word about the new, Global Problem Solvers: The Series (GPS: The Series), a free educational initiative that introduces adolescents and preteens to real world problem solving through critical thinking, social entrepreneurship, collaboration, and the use of technology. Learners watch a series of cool videos starring a team of teen superheroes who inspire them to solve real world issues like lack of water and education. Each episode is accompanied by a teacher’s guide, storyboards, and scripts. To make sure the series reaches adolescents and teens worldwide, Cisco has made GPS: The Series available in English, Spanish, French and Hindi. Below is just one of the incredible resources, the Anatomy of a Global Problem Solver infographic, which could be used to spark a discussion with students about what it takes to tackle world issues.

@Shellterrell, @iamvlewis, @mbfxc, and @fmargret at ISTE hanging with Huti the Owl at the GPS: The Series booth
Subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!  Sign up for my new In-Service / Graduate Fully Accredited online courses this summer, Connected Educators: Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Professional Development, and Methodologies for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.  Get your copy of Hacking Digital LearningThe 30 Goals Challenge, or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com!
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