Ed Tech

Ditch That Textbook’s Best of 2018

2018 was a great year! Catch up on the hottest posts you may have missed AND the latest with Ditch That Textbook!

That’s a wrap on 2018!

As technology in the classroom continues to settle into the mainstream, we continue to see new players enter the space (like Wakelet, one I’m keeping my eye on). All the while, other mainstays like Google Classroom and Kahoot! continue to add new features and grow.

Educators seem to have the “what can you tell me about technology?” mindset less and less. I’m seeing more and more of, “How can we use technology to make learning better?” And that’s the key!

This year has had some new beginnings, some continuations and the spark of some exciting projects for 2019:

  • I branched out into the online course world! I launched the Tech to Learn online course, showcasing several areas where tech can help move the needle for learning. It’s a new arena where I can help spread ideas to places where I can’t travel.
  • A new book is coming! I wrote and wrapped up a book about using tech to differentiate with Indiana educators Angie and Nate Ridgway, a mother-son team. It’s going into the editing process as I write this.
  • I’m writing a PIRATE book! I’m super excited to publish “Tech Like a PIRATE”, coming sometime in 2019. It’s an awesome blend of what solid learning, tech and engagement can do when used all together.
  • This was the third year for the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit, and we nearly reached 20,000 people around the world! The summit offers FREE awesome video presentations with ideas and inspiration for the classroom. There are now 35 video presentations in its library!
  • The Google Teacher Tribe podcast published its 68th episode in 2018. Co-host Kasey Bell and I have enjoyed continuing this podcast to support teachers in using Google for learning in their classrooms.

In 2018, I was at 51 schools, school districts and events in 18 different states! I added Canada to bring my list of countries where I’ve presented in person to three. I also did a fun virtual presentation in Austria!

Eleven presentations were in my home state of Indiana. Second place was Illinois with seven. Texas, where I seem to do a lot of presentations, slipped to third this year with six. Missouri was fourth with five.

This is my sixth “best of” post (here’s 2017here’s 2016here’s 2015here’s 2014, and here’s 2013).

The Untied States was tops again for readers in 2018, followed by Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. (Same order as last year!) Just like 2017, India, New Zealand, Spain and the Philippines were next.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for … the most popular posts from 2018 from Ditch That Textbook:

1. The Google Classroom Quick-Start Guide + tips and tricks! — Want to get started with Google Classroom? This post — updated in 2018 — gives you everything you need to set up your Google Classroom and use it in class.

2. 15 FREE Google Drawings graphic organizers (and how to make your own) — Graphic organizers can help students organize their thoughts. They’re WAY better than drill-and-kill worksheets. Google Drawings lets you create graphic organizers students can manipulate digitally.

3. 10 add-ons to Google Classroom you MUST try — These are tools you can add to what you do in Google Classroom. They’ll make you more productive and open doors to some new activities! They include add-ons, scripts and a couple Chrome extensions.

4. Catch the Flipgrid fever! 15+ ways to use Flipgrid in your class — Having a discussion in class? Have you tried having it with short video responses? Flipgrid is a video response tool, and it has taken education by storm. This post — updated in 2018 — has tons of ways to use it in class.

5. Game show classroom: Comparing Kahoot!, Quizizz, Quizlet Live and Gimkit — There are SO many review tools out there. Which should you use? What features do they have? This post — updated in 2018 — compares four of my favorites.

6. 8 interactive Google Slides activities for classroom excitement — Google Slides is such a versatile tool. It’s so much more than presentation slides! Here are eight awesome ways to use it in class.

7. 20 practical ways to use Google Forms in class, school — Google Forms lets you take surveys and give quizzes. But it can be your powerful tool for collecting and distributing data. There are SO many ways it can be used in the classroom!

8. 20 video project ideas to engage students — Video is an integral part of so many of our lives. It’s projected to account for 80 percent of Internet traffic by 2020. How can we use video to help students demonstrate understanding and showcase their creativity? This post — updated in 2018 — has some ideas!

9. The “secret menu” for Google Slides, Docs, Drawings and more — Have you ever been to a restaurant that has a secret menu? I visited In-N-Out Burger this year and learned of their secret offerings. So many Google tools have features you might not know about … kind of like a secret menu!

10. 10 digital bell-ringer activities to kickstart class (Part 1) — Those first few minutes of class are crucial. You likely have the most of your students’ attention that you’ll have all day. Here are 10 ideas for kicking class off with a bang. Check out part 2 for more digital bell-ringer activities, too!

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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