Ed Tech

Ditch That Textbook’s Best of 2015

2015 was full of change, and 2016 is full of promise. Here are the top 10 best posts from Ditch That Textbook for 2015. (Public domain image via Pixabay)

2015 was full of change, and 2016 is full of promise. Here are the top 10 best posts from Ditch That Textbook for 2015. (Public domain image via Pixabay)

2015 was a whirlwind year full of change.

In education, Google Classroom was around for its first full year and became a mainstay in classes around the world. New tools like Periscope and Seesaw became more popular than ever. More and more educators became connected, joining Twitter, Voxer and other social media.

For me and my family, 2015 was an adventure. I presented to teachers more times in more different states than ever. My book, “Ditch That Textbook,” was published by Dave Burgess Consulting Inc. It was my second full year of blogging. Plus, my family and I moved into a new house.

Bring on 2016! After doing some reflecting and setting some goals for the coming year, I’m excited about what’s to come and what I’m hoping to bring to you here at Ditch That Textbook.

This is my third “best of” post (here’s 2014 and here’s 2013).

My blog is a WordPress blog, and WordPress publishes annual reports for all its blogs, providing some neat insights into who’s viewing and what they’re doing. (Click here if you’d like to see the whole thing yourself.) Here are some things I found out:

The United States was the top country for viewing my blog. No surprise … I live in the United States and the vast majority of my email subscribers are from there. Canada was second, and Australia and the United Kingdom rounded out the top four.

I’m always fascinated to see the countries where English isn’t the main language. Norway made the top 10 list, thanks in large part I’d imagine to Martin Johannessen, the biggest Ditch That Textbook fan in the country!

countries 2015My top blog commenter this year was John Bennett, a UConn emeritus professor of engineering from Coventry, Conn. He’s a forward-thinker in education and always pushes my thinking in his comments and on Twitter. If you’re on Twitter, John is a great one to follow!

commenters 2015OK, the moment you’ve been waiting for … here are this year’s most-viewed posts from Ditch That Textbook:

10. 12 ways to use Google Classroom’s newest features — Over the summer, Google released several new features for Google Classroom. This post helps you make sense of them and see how you can use them in your classroom.

9. 20 collaborative Google Apps activities for schools — Real-time collaboration in Google Apps files is one of the most powerful features of Google Apps. Here are 20 activities you can do to harness that potential.

8. 20 Google Apps activities for classroom innovation — The #DitchBook Twitter chat (7pm PST / 10pm EST Thursdays) discussed using Google tools in the classroom. Here are 20 activities they suggested.

7. Flip, flip, flip: Who is king of online flashcards? — This was one of my first blog posts and it’s still popular! Quizlet is still my go-to even though many new flashcard sites have been developed since this post.

6. 12 great ways to start using Google Classroom now — Teachers want to know about Google Classroom, but more importantly, they want to know how to use it. This post gives you some ideas.

5. 6 new free Google tools to upgrade your classroom — This list includes Slides Carnival, Photos for Class, Speech Recognition, Smarty Pins, Move It and Google Translate with Word Lens.

4. The Google Classroom Quick-Start Guide + tips and tricks! — Did I mention that there’s lots of interest in Google Classroom? Here’s my guide to getting started with it.

3. 10 Google Slides activities to add awesome to classes — Google Slides is my No. 1 go-to Google tool, and it’s not just to make presentation slides. It’s a versatile tool that can be used creatively in any class.

2. 15 FREE Google Drawings graphic organizers (and how to make your own) — I was home on a snow day when I wrote this post. I created these graphic organizers and thought, “Will anyone actually use these?” I guess so!

1. 20 video project ideas to engage students — This post has been around for almost two years and is often found through Google searches by teachers and students looking for video project ideas. Here are 20 of them!

[reminder]What makes your personal ‘Best of 2015’ list? Do you have any goals or ambitions for 2016?[/reminder]

For notifications of new Ditch That Textbook content and helpful links:

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

Matt is scheduled to present at the following upcoming events:

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