Ditch That Textbook’s Best of 2013

Ditch That Textbook's Best of 2013

2013 is in the books. Read about the year’s best posts, resources and tweets from Ditch That Textbook.

2013 has been an exciting year.

I launched this blog in February for good (after a few months of sporadic blogging in 2012) and it has been an interesting ride.

Now, 27,000+ page views and 108 blog posts later, I’ve learned several things:

  1. Doing something twice a week for an entire year (minus June and July) is a high hurdle to clear.
  2. There were times when I was highly motivated to write and others when I was totally stumped. But I learned to write the best I could on that day anyway.
  3. As soon as you think you have this education thing sort of figured out, you find people and viewpoints that remind you that you don’t.
  4. Social media (Twitter, Google Plus, etc.) has opened me up to people that have changed the way I think and teach and have pushed my beliefs.

To close out 2013, I thought I would gather some bests from the year that might benefit you. Here goes:

Top Ditch That Textbook posts of 2013:

1. 20 percent projects: 7 ideas to think about — If you’ve ever considered following Google’s “20 percent time” program — where you work on something that inspires you for 1/5 of the day, week or month — this article gives you some things to consider before you start.

2. Flip, flip, flip: Who is king of online flashcards? — There are lots of online flashcard sites out there, and most boast a nice option that the others don’t. This article shows the benefits of several and picks the “king of online flashcards.”

3. 12 ideas to prepare students for jobs that don’t exist yet — As our world changes, it becomes more digital and we rely more on our digital tools. It looks different today from even a few years ago. This article suggests timeless skills that will help students thrive in any time.

Top resources linked to from Ditch That Textbook of 2013:

1. Classtools.net — This diverse suite of educational resources gives teachers lots of choice for integrating technology into the classroom. They include Twister and Fakebook (to create fake Twitter/Facebook accounts as a class activity) and a host of games to practice vocabulary lists.

2. Futurework — This U.S. Department of Labor report shares trends and challenges for work in the 21st century. Its eight major sections are broken down into smaller, easily-linkable subsections. It discusses, among other things, wages/benefits, workplaces, technology.

3. Free Tech 4 Teachers — This great blog, written by Richard Byrne, publishes very frequently about technology tools that can be applied to education. If you’ve never checked out this blog, it’s a must-see.

Great tweets of 2013:

1. From @justintarte: Alternatives to homework

2. From @adambellow: Louder than buzzwords

3. From @sjunkins: Is this what we’re preparing our students for?

Happy New Year! Here’s to a year full of new discoveries, new practices, better relationships and lots of fun!

What blog post, resource, tweet or other bit of useful information would you include in your “Best of 2013” list? Add it in a comment here!

(For notifications of new Ditch That Textbook content and helpful links, “like” Ditch That Textbook on Facebook and follow @jmattmiller on Twitter!)

Matt is scheduled to present at the following conferences this school year:

Interested in having Matt present at your event or school? Contact him by e-mail!

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