Ed Tech

Ditch That Textbook’s Best of 2014

This year was an exciting one! These are my top 10 posts from the year, and many of them feature Google and Google Classroom. (Public domain image via Pixabay)

This year was an exciting one! These are my top 10 posts from the year, and many of them feature Google and Google Classroom. (Public domain image via Pixabay)

What a difference a year makes.

At this time last year, I was just wrapping up my tenth month of writing this blog. Now, as I reflect back on 2014, I have a full year of blogging to look back on. It feels like I’ve been doing this forever (in a good way!), but 2014 was the first year that I blogged from January to December.

As the year winds down, I just want to take a moment to thank you for reading Ditch That Textbook. You’re the best part of what I do here and are a huge motivation for me. I love interacting with you in the comments, seeing which posts you find the most interesting and connecting in social media.

I’ve learned so much from my readers this year and am excited to see what is coming next year! I hope that 2015 will be even better!

To wrap up this year, I’ll carry on my practice from last year of summarizing some top posts from 2014. As I compiled this list, I was reminded of a few things:

  1. Google Classroom was a hit! I wrote three posts on it and they all made the top 10.
  2. You love list posts. Nine of the top 10 have a number in the headline.
  3. Half of the top 10 are about Google in general (Classroom, Google Apps activities and add-ons), which renews my commitment to writing about using these powerful tools in 2015.
  4. Some topics never get old! One of these posts (online flashcards) was in the top three for 2013 and another (Sir Ken Robinson quotes) was written in 2013.

Here it is — the 10 most popular Ditch That Textbook posts of 2014:

1. 20 video project ideas to engage students — In my classroom, video usually equals instant engagement. Students love to record it, but they love to watch it even more. These project ideas cross many subject areas.

2. 20 collaborative Google Apps activities for schools — The way that Google Apps is interactive and easy to share is powerful. There’s so much you can do with these apps in class to get students — AND teachers — working together.

3. 20 useful ways to use TodaysMeet in schools — TodaysMeet is so simple yet so versatile that it has become one of my go-to digital tools. It creates a personal chat room that you can set up and invite people to.

4. 10 ways Google Classroom will make learning better — Google’s launch into the learning management world was received with a lot of buzz. This post showed how I hoped it would improve life for me and my students in my classes.

5. 12 great ways to start using Google Classroom now — After Google Classroom came out, we wanted to know how to make the most of it. This post outlined tangible things you could do with Classroom.

6. Flip, flip, flip: Who is king of online flashcards? — There are lots of online flashcard options out there. I reviewed several of them and gave the crown to the king of the flashcard sites.

7. The Google Classroom Quick-Start Guide + tips and tricks! — This post navigated users of Google Classroom through the basics of this new Google tool, walking them through the basic functions to get them started.

8. 28 ways Google’s new add-ons can help teachers now — Google reworked its scripts (as they were called before) and created add-ons, which planned to make these useful functions more user-friendly. These are ways you can start using several add-ons in class today.

9. Sir Ken Robinson’s 10 most motivational quotes — Sir Ken has stirred my soul for incorporating creativity and doing things differently. These are some of his best quotes.

10. 10 lessons Frozen can teach us about tech, teaching — As the father of two little girls, I’ve seen the movie “Frozen” many, many times. It reminded me of several things (some tongue-in-cheek) that we can learn as teachers.

[reminder]What were your main lessons, take-aways or tools for 2014?[/reminder]

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