Ditch That Textbook Podcast :: Education, teaching, edtech :: #DitchPod

106 EpisodesProduced by Ditch That TextbookWebsite

Helping you teach with less reliance on the textbook through technology, creativity and innovation. Hosted by Ditch That Textbook author Matt Miller.

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107: Keyboard shortcuts to save you time

September 21st, 2018


Minute by minute, you can buy back time for what matters most with keyboard shortcuts. In this episode, I share some of my favorites that you can use to make yourself more efficient!

106: How does storytelling fit in your lesson?

September 20th, 2018


There's a story in everything. Our brains are wired for story. How can we incorporate elements of storytelling into teaching and learning?

105: How to "mixtape" your curriculum, 80's style!

September 19th, 2018


We used to use cassette tapes to record our favorite songs on "mixtapes" that we'd listen to over and over again. (At least I did.) Instructional coach Stephanie DeMichele suggests that we "mixtape" our instruction! She …

104: Repetition suppression: The case for novelty

September 18th, 2018


Drive the same route to school for a while and you'll do it on autopilot. Why? It's easier on your brain that way. It can ignore what it's doing. …

103: FREE Ditch Summit presentations. Hurry!

September 17th, 2018


Until Sept. 21, 2018, eight FANTASTIC video presentations are available at DitchSummit.com! You'll get practical ideas and inspiration from all of the presenters. But don't worry if you miss it. There's a Ditch That …

102: The power of the pause

September 14th, 2018


When we're teaching or presenting, we get in a state of speaking flow. The ideas are coming and we're spitting them out. But many times, we're moving faster than our listeners can process. A pause is a breath of fresh …

101: Some focus in the middle of digital distractions

September 13th, 2018


Students get bombarded by media and messaging all day long. Cell phones. Social media. Videos. And the communication that comes through all of them. How can they maintain a balance and live their best lives? Michigan …

100: Lessons from 100 podcast episodes

September 12th, 2018


Wow, 100 episodes! It's been a fun learning experience for me, and I hope it has been for you. I do a little reflection on the creation of this podcast and share three things I've learned from having created it. THANK …

099: Google Classroom: Differentiate like a NINJA

September 11th, 2018


Google Classroom lets teachers customize their students' learning experiences. But what are the best ways to do that? Michigan teacher Jacqueline Pora (@lasenorapora) shares several clever Google Classroom …

098: Solid gold lesson planning ideas

September 10th, 2018


Good teaching practices should be at the heart of what we do, and it's definitely at the heart of the HyperDocs framework. Sean Fahey (@SEANJFAHEY) …

097: Make learning ADDICTIVE with Brian Romero Smith Sr

September 7th, 2018


When learning is addictive, kids want to come back for more, says Brian Romero Smith Sr. (@brianrsmithsr). But how do we create that addictive learning environment? It all comes down to a few things, Brian says, and he …

096: Tips to make your HyperDocs rock with Sean Fahey

September 6th, 2018


Have you caught on to the HyperDocs craze? Sean Fahey (@SEANJFAHEY) has made lots of HyperDocs in his own classroom. He shares tips to help your HyperDocs succeed in your own classroom!

095: Flipgrid + scavenger hunt = Fliphunt!

August 24th, 2018


it's a Flipgrid scavenger hunt! Kathi Kersznowski (@kerszi) tells us all about her newest creation and how we can bring it in the classroom.

094: Learning in the pause with Shaelynn Farnsworth

August 23rd, 2018


One of our most powerful tools as teachers is silence. It can reclaim students' attention. It can give students space to think. Sometimes, we just …

093: Big changes for student voice with Flipgrid

August 22nd, 2018


Flipgrid, the video response tool, is now totally free for anyone. And recently, lots of new features became available. In this episode, we'll …

092: Google Classroom changes, 2018 version

August 21st, 2018


It's August, which means exciting changes to many of the tools we use in the classroom. Google Classroom has a facelift and some new features. We …

091: #EducatorGoals with Keven Rinaman

August 20th, 2018


If you're starting a new school year (or have already started one), goals may be top of mind right now. Keven Rinaman talks about goal-setting …

090: Ditch Those Exams with Stephanie DeMichele

August 17th, 2018


Are traditional exams -- especially standard multiple-choice ones -- serving our students? Can we do better? Stephanie DeMichele, an instructional …

089: Firefly Classrooms with Troy Cockrum

August 16th, 2018


Did you ever spend time catching fireflies (or "lightning bugs") as a child? Author Troy Cockrum believes that learning should be more like that, …

088: A sticky note tech app smash!

August 15th, 2018


We usually use sticky notes in the physical world to gather and save ideas. But by smashing the Post-It app and Google Drawings together, your students can do some unique digital brainstorming. Kelli Lane, a tech …

087: The Quizizz you never knew ...

August 14th, 2018


Quizizz is a fun, student-centered study tool. Many teachers use it to help students review material they've studied. But other teachers are …

086: What the work world is begging us for

August 13th, 2018


Sarah Kearns has spent her entire career in the corporate world, now working as Director of Marketing for ViewSonic. Her perspective helps us see what the work world really wants from students and how we can help …

085: Ditch That Panel with Lance McClard

August 10th, 2018


Missouri administrator Lance McClard and I participated in a panel discussion at the ISTE Conference in Chicago. Lance shares some of his takeaways and his responses to questions, including: "What happens when …

084: Real world connections with Sidekick

August 9th, 2018


What if your students could partner with organizations outside of school? If they could brainstorm solutions to big problems together? Sidekick …

083: Try the Connected Kahoot!

August 8th, 2018


Kahoot! games don't have to be limited to the students in your classroom. Steve Auslander (of Indiana, USA) and Steve Sherman (of Cape Town, South Africa) share how a video call can turn your traditional Kahoot! game …

082: Teaching for the long game

July 20th, 2018


Sometimes, the most important things we do in the classroom or school doesn't give us immediate results. We need to focus on the long game, according …

081: The Martians in Your Classroom w/@rachaeledu

July 19th, 2018


The first person to set foot on Mars has likely been born, and there's a chance that she/he is in your classroom. What will that person need as a …

080: Let's do PD (or class!) at a destination!

July 18th, 2018


One of the coolest professional learning experiences I've seen was at a zoo. We did PD at a ZOO. I got to reflect with Kari Espin and Andi McNair of …

079: Create easy augmented reality in the classroom

July 17th, 2018


I found an amazing way to merge student art and creations with augmented reality at a recent visit to Region 12 educational service center in Waco, …

077: Three FREE online conferences for teachers

July 16th, 2018


Now's the time to get FREE inspiration and ideas online! Check out three "digital summits" -- awesome speakers you can watch from the comfort of home on your time!

078: Concerns about "locked mode" in Google Forms quizzes

July 16th, 2018


Google recently announced that teachers could impose "locked mode" when giving students quizzes in Google Forms. This prevents students from …

076: Co-teaching across the world from your classroom

July 12th, 2018


Mike Pennington learned early in his education career that instruction isn't limited to the teacher standing in the classroom. He shares how he co-taught with teachers beyond his state -- and how YOU can too!

075: Awesome animated GIFs with Jake Miller

July 11th, 2018


Animated GIFs are these fun, very useful moving images you see all over social media. But you can make your own -- so can your students -- and they …

074: TONS of places to go virtually with students

June 18th, 2018


Looking for inspiration on using Skype, Google Hangouts and the like in the classroom? Ohio educator Ann Radefeld has plenty of experience and shares her ideas with us!

073: Video call guests: Just ask them!

June 15th, 2018


Todd Shriver teaches the "History of the 80s" elective class. There are no textbooks available for that class! He brings the luminaries of the 80s to his students. My takeaway from this episode: you never know who you …

072: How to make your OWN Google Expeditions

June 14th, 2018


Indiana educator Ryan Mitchell created an Expedition with his students of their town. He shares how they did it and tips to help it succeed.

071: 7 keys to providing stellar feedback

June 13th, 2018


How can we best help students to improve? The late Grant Wiggins provided a fantastic framework and suggested these 7 keys in a post on ASCD.

070: The benefits of student feedback

June 12th, 2018


Teachers can be hesitant to let students provide each other feedback. We can't control what they'll say and it takes effort to coach them to do it …

069: Optimal spacing between reviews

June 11th, 2018


How long is too long between review sessions of old material? How short is too short to be effective? Research has some guidance for us.

068: The power of #ISTE18 from home

June 8th, 2018


One of the best professional learning experiences you can get from home in the summer is #iste18 on Twitter. Learn how to tap into it!

067: Are you an over-consumer?

June 7th, 2018


Podcasts, blogs, social media, books ... They're all fantastic for ideas and inspiration. But still some point, it's time to do something.

065: Research says to ditch that rudeness

June 1st, 2018


It's easy to let ourselves slip, to express our frustration to students (and colleagues) in not so helpful ways. A study shows the negative effects …

064: Organizing and archiving Twitter with Wakelet

May 31st, 2018


Wakelet will let you save the web -- tweets, social media posts, links, images -- into curated lists. It's great for organizing and storing tweets for later.

063: How I make the videos in my online course

May 24th, 2018


Looking for a way to kick up your video creation game? Hear how I created the videos for my online course, Tech to Learn. (More info: http://DitchThatTextbook.com/part4)

062: The Create a World Project

May 23rd, 2018


What can students do when they've learned about civilizations all over the world? How about create their OWN country in a world created by the class? Texas social studies teacher Ben Lewis caps off his year with this …

061: Several Seesaw tips from the teaching trenches

May 22nd, 2018


Alexis Crutchfield, Katrina Yang and Brittany Bondy are believers in Seesaw, a platform for student digital portfolios and parent communications. …

060: More power for your Genius Hour

May 21st, 2018


Genius Hour can put a spark in your class, giving students opportunities to pursue their passions. Fourth-grade teachers Kayla Swonke (Twitter: @kaylaswonke) and Lyndsey Kubos (Twitter: @lyndseykubos) share some ideas …

059: What's your WHY, and has it changed?

May 18th, 2018


Our why focuses our lives. It's our reason for being. It's easy to lose sight of our why, and many times, our why changes over time. What's your why, and how has it changed over time? It's big questions like these that …

058: Google Forms Quizzes are getting smarter

May 17th, 2018


Google's machine learning is improving lots of its products. Now, it can help us create multiple-choice questions without brainstorming incorrect …

057: Creating engaging repetitions

May 16th, 2018


Repetitions help students make new concepts permanent. But mindless repetitions are a lot of action without great results. But creating engaging …

056: The 50/30/20 model for learning

May 15th, 2018


How can we incorporate more passion-driven learning and more hands-on projects into our classes? I found this advice from Don Wettrick (@DonWettrick on Twitter). It's a framework for crafting our classes. It's an …

055: Avoiding tech overwhelm for students AND teachers

May 14th, 2018


When we let too many digital tools into the classroom, it can be overwhelming for students. And tech overwhelm is DEFINITELY an issue for teachers. …

054: You don't need the app to create the experience

May 11th, 2018


Our students have their favorite websites, apps and digital tools. We don't have to require them to use those apps/sites to get the same experience …

053: GimKit: Like Kahoot with power-ups

May 10th, 2018


I've stumbled upon a new digital assessment/review tool that shows promise. It's like Kahoot with a store where students can buy power-ups to use in …

052: Perfection is the enemy of your goals

May 9th, 2018


It finally happened. I missed a day in my daily podcast. Actually, I missed two. So, according to Jon Acuff's book "Finish", today is the most important day in my podcast goals: the day AFTER perfect.

051: Now's the perfect time to reflect

May 4th, 2018


At the end of the school year, it's the perfect time to take stock of what's working and think about different ways of teaching in the future. I …

050: Love TED Talks? Teach like them!

May 3rd, 2018


TED Talks have inspired millions. How can they influence our classes? Rachael Mann of Teach Like TED talks about how we can empower student voice and help students express their ideas and their learning more effectively.

048: You are already teaching coding ...

May 2nd, 2018


Some of the fundamentals of computer programming / coding, like if/then statements and logic, are likely already present in your class. By identifying them and changing how you talk about them, you may be able to …

049: What do our assessments reward?

May 2nd, 2018


How can we create.assessments -- and assess student learning -- that truly demonstrates what they know? Brian Aspinall returns to the show to …

047: Making the most of online learning

April 30th, 2018


When we switch our teaching from traditional means to the online world without making modifications, we miss out on the greatest parts of digital instruction. Michele Eaton shares how to make the most of it.

046: Escalate or de-escalate? Humanize or de-humanize?

April 27th, 2018


This quote by Haim Ginott had a HUGE impact on me as a young educator. It still speaks to me today. At the end of the school year, it's something we …

045: 4 teaching skills I learned in the journalism world

April 26th, 2018


I (Matt) didn't major in education in college. It was journalism. I worked several journalism jobs before becoming a teacher. I wouldn't change it, …

044: How to create Bitmojis for students

April 25th, 2018


Bitmojis are so fun! They're like cartoon versions of ourselves, and we can communicate via Bitmoji. Some are inappropriate, though, and the terms of …

043: Hearing from EVERY student

April 24th, 2018


"If you're not hearing from every student in every classroom, you're doing it wrong." What do you think of this quote? Technology can help teachers …

042: About that ONE kid that's not paying attention ...

April 23rd, 2018


It's happened to all of us. A lesson is going great and ONE kid is spacing out -- OR giving you the death stare. That student is all we can think about afterward. Remember that ONE disconnected student doesn't mean …

041: Use KQED Learn to learn and share with an audience

April 20th, 2018


Inquiry is a great way to help students own their learning and learn how to pursue their curiosity. KQED Learn is a platform that's set up for students to start exploring, discovering and sharing. It's free and it's …

040: The power of lunch with students

April 19th, 2018


I was inspired by a story in the book "The Wild Card" by Hope and Wade King where a student had lunch with different groups of students for an entire …

039: Battling naughty Kahoot! nicknames

April 18th, 2018


Do you struggle with students creating naughty nicknames in Kahoot! games? Kahoot! has created a new feature to eliminate the temptation of typing a naughty nickname. Check it out and see if it's a good fit for your …

038: Internet access for any assessment?

April 17th, 2018


What would happen if we allowed "open internet access" during any assessment? I saw this question on Twitter from John Eick (@John_Eick) over the …

037: 4 tips to live by on Twitter

April 16th, 2018


Social media can be our lifeblood of classroom ideas, inspiration and connections. Here are some suggestions for making the most out of Twitter / social media for educators.

036: My daughter Cassie reviews Poptropica!

April 13th, 2018


Poptropica is one of my sixth grade daughter Cassie's favorite games. She makes the case for using it to help kids learn.

035: On copy/paste cheating and "making" kids stop

April 12th, 2018


It's so easy to Google almost anything ... especially assignments. Can we "make" students stop? What's the solution?

034: Google Apps for Littles: Believe they can!

April 11th, 2018


Littles can use Google tools too! In this book by Christine Pinto and Alice Keeler, they show you how!

033: What to do now that Padlet isn't totally free

April 10th, 2018


Padlet, a digital bulletin board-style collaboration tool, recently announced that it is no longer totally free. How should we deal with digital …

032: Student podcasts with @WeVideo and @Flipgrid

April 9th, 2018


Student voice is a hot topic in education right now. But how can you give students that microphone in an authentic, doable way? Andrew Fenstermaker and his fifth-grade students show you how! Twitter: @a_fenstermaker

031: Learning sketchnoting with #Sketch50

April 6th, 2018


Sketchnoting (or visual notetaking) is a very brain-friendly way of learning ... and it's TONS of fun! Hone your sketchnoting skills (and introduce it to your students) with #Sketch50! Check it out at sketch50.org or …

030: Using OK GO's phenomenal music videos in class

April 5th, 2018


The band OK GO has the coolest music videos! There's a lot of math and science behind these videos. They have recently created a fantastic resource …

029: Making FUN animated Google Classroom headers

April 4th, 2018


Students that use Google Classroom are greeted by header images every time they log in. Create your own custom Google Classroom header image. To give it some added flair, use animated GIF images to make it move! Hat-tip …

028: Using brackets in class with Brackify

April 3rd, 2018


March Madness and the men's college basketball tournament has people all over the United States buzzing with excitement. How can we use brackets to …

027: The future of technology in education ...

April 2nd, 2018


What's it going to look like? Really, it's anyone's guess how tech will influence education in the future. But an interview with Microsoft's CEO piqued my interest and got me thinking about it.

026: Bringing a hip hop program to middle school

March 29th, 2018


How can hip hop influence and inspire students at a middle school in Bronx, NY? The effects can be farther-reaching than you might think. Listen as a …

025: Where to start with AR and VR in the classroom

March 28th, 2018


Augmented reality and virtual reality are becoming a reality for classrooms. Mike Drezek shares some cool ways teachers can start incorporating this …

024: Student connections all over the world

March 27th, 2018


Mike Drezek connected students to India. Those students' worldview was widened. How can you make similar connections? It may be easier than you think. Mike shares some ideas. (Mike's Twitter: @m_drez)

023: Introduce your students to penguins and Antarctica

March 26th, 2018


Genny Kahlweiss's students sent a flag to a research station in Antarctica, where it was flown for three days. They video chatted with scientists and …

022: Fabulous @Flipgrid ideas!

March 23rd, 2018


Flipgrid's short video response platform has taken the education world by storm. What are some of the coolest ways teachers are using it? Flipgrid's …

021: A full-color yearbook with Google Slides?!?

March 22nd, 2018


Can you really produce a whole yearbook with Google Slides? Jennifer Scott's school did, complete with full color and a fancy cover. The total cost: …

020: Sharing your brand with Ben and Josh

March 21st, 2018


Branding isn't about making money and being famous. It's about sharing your story and letting people know what you stand for. Ben Cogswell and Josh …

019: Alice Keeler and conversation in the math classroom

March 20th, 2018


Alice Keeler says there's something missing from math instruction. It's dialogue. Math is more than putting your head down and completing problems. She talks about what we can do to change that.

018: Dave Burgess and March Madness in the classroom

March 19th, 2018


March Madness is upon us, and America will be watching lots of college basketball. How can we use this in the classroom? Dave Burgess, author of …

017: The afternoon dip, and how it affects students

March 16th, 2018


There's a trough in our thinking abilities in the afternoon. It can have a profound effect: as much as having a couple alcoholic drinks. How can we …

016: Our digital work doesn't have to be 8.5"x11"

March 15th, 2018


With online documents and slides, we often stick to the status quo for size. If certain work isn't going to be printed -- or displayed on a projector -- why do we keep it in traditional letter size? Here's a case for …

015: The juice that makes @Flipgrid even better

March 14th, 2018


We spend so much time helping students with their writing skills. Giving them some guidance on speaking can have huge benefits. Here's a model for it, and it works GREAT with Flipgrid.

014: The fear of the blinking cursor

March 13th, 2018


Have you ever started a project and got stuck before you ever got started? There are some things we can do to help students overcome that obstacle and get started.

013: A small nudge toward growth mindset

March 12th, 2018


Many of us know of "growth mindset" as the idea of "yet" -- I can't do it *yet*. But there are other small adjustments we can make in the classroom to help students better develop growth mindset.

012: A fascinating read: How to Fix the Future

March 9th, 2018


How to Fix the Future is a book by Andrew Keen, a self-proclaimed Internet pessimist. He's written five books about how destructive technology has …

011: How voice typing can free up your teaching life

March 8th, 2018


I believe in voice typing! Also called dictation, it's when you speak and your device converts it to text. It's SO much faster than typing with your …

010: Educators -- Do this, DON'T do that in social media

March 7th, 2018


Twitter is the BEST thing that happened to my teaching career. It really saved it. However, there's a balance to be maintained, and if we're careful, …

009: Personally created GIFs can make your students' day!

March 6th, 2018


GIFs are super fun. They're those moving image files you see all over social media. There's this fun tool you can use to record your own animated …

008: Studying the way the brain craves

March 5th, 2018


So often, we encourage students to study by putting info into their brains by re-reading notes and chapters. But brain science tells us it's more …

007: Push this button for more learning

March 2nd, 2018


There's a button we use in many digital learning tools to keep kids from cheating. But it can do more than that! Learn how it can be used to help …

006: Why you need a class podcast -- and how to make one for FREE

March 1st, 2018


Podcasting is a growing medium. It let's you learn by listening -- consume content -- while doing something else. Students can share learning with an authentic audience by creating a free podcast. Learn how!

005: The power of student voice

February 28th, 2018


How can we encourage students to use their voice -- in learning, in positive ways, to make a change -- in class and throughout our lives?

004: Google Drawings: Tricks you didn't know!

February 28th, 2018


Google Drawings is a great tool to help teachers and students create eye catching images digitally. There are some cool tricks to it that you might …

003: Using Story Speaker w/Google Home in class

February 26th, 2018


Story Speaker lets you create interactive "stories" or interactions with your Google Home. Learn how you can create them with NO CODING ... just a Google Doc and this add-on!

002: Padlet: New features, new possibilities

February 23rd, 2018


Padlet, the web tool that lets you add digital sticky notes to a virtual bulletin board, has been around for a long time. But with new features -- …

001: Welcome to the Ditch That Textbook podcast!

February 23rd, 2018


I'm so excited to start this podcast! My goal is to equip, inform and inspire educators five days a week. In this episode, I will tell you what to expect from this show and tell you a little about myself.

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