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Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom
With such a dizzying array of mechanical and virtual help at our disposal, it can be a challenge for educators to know where to start. Educator and technology consultant Monica Burns can relate. Monica wrote this book to share strategies, tools, and insights that teachers can use, regardless of subject or grade level. Monica will teach you to effectively incorporate technology in the classroom focusing on the “three Cs” of technology implementation—creation, curiosity, and collaboration.
Tasks Before Apps offers K–12 teachers:
- Detailed advice and copious examples of tech-infused lessons that help students meet learning goals while also developing vital digital citizenship skills.
- Customizable checklists and graphic organizers for planning tech-enabled activities; choosing appropriate programs, devices, and platforms; and setting unit and lesson goals.
- Recommendations for and links to apps and online resources that can facilitate and energize learning.
- Reflection and brainstorming questions for use in book clubs and PLC discussions.
Between content-hosting websites, video conferencing apps, grade- or subject-focused social media accounts, knowing how to navigate technology wisely is essential for both teachers and students. Whether you are a novice or a veteran, teach kindergarten students or high school seniors, this book is an indispensable guide to learn how to communicate effectively.
Teach your students to communicate on posts and message boards, locate credible information on search engines, and select efficient, cost-effective equipment furthering academic skills, social development, and digital aptitude in the classroom.
Praise for Tasks Before Apps:
“Monica Burns is one of the leading authorities on the effective use of educational technology. Her latest book does not disappoint, as she compels educators to be more purposeful when it comes to digital tasks. She skillfully leads readers through a thoughtful process that emphasizes a doctrine of pedagogy first, technology second. If you want to get more out of technology, then this book is for you.” —Eric Sheninger, Senior Fellow, International Center for Leadership in Education
“Whether you are eager to integrate even more digital tools or are feeling over- whelmed by all the apps and options, Monica Burns is here with practical, classroom- tested advice. In Tasks Before Apps, she wisely keeps the focus on learning goals while showing us how tech tools can scaffold and strengthen students’ curiosity, collaboration, and creative potential.” —Suzie Boss, author of Reinventing Project-Based Learning, Real-World Projects, and Bringing Innovation to School
Click here to order Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom
40 Ways to Inject Creativity into Your Classroom with Adobe Spark
Adobe Spark is a fun, free content-creation tool that anyone can use. Easily accessible on web browsers, Chromebooks, and mobile devices, Adobe Spark’s intuitive and easy-to-use design makes it the perfect tool for learners of all ages to create . . .
- Video book reports
- Modern, responsive webpage “papers”
- Video journals
- Science posters and videos
- Web newsletters . . . and so much more!
In the hands of creative educators, Adobe Spark provides students with a fun way to embrace critical communication and creativity skills. But what if you don’t consider yourself a “creative educator” or just aren’t sure where to start?
That’s where 40 Ways to Inject Creativity into Your Classroom with Adobe Spark comes to the rescue! Experienced educators Ben Forta and Monica Burns offer step-by-step guidance on how to incorporate this powerful tool into your classroom in ways that are meaningful and relevant. They present 40 fun and practical lesson plans suitable for a variety of ages and subjects as well as 15 graphic organizers to get you started. With the tips, suggestions, and encouragement in this book, you’ll find everything you need to inject creativity into your classroom using Adobe Spark.
Praise for 40 Ways to Inject Creativity into Your Classroom with Adobe Spark:
“Adobe Spark is a digital creation game changer and educators Burns and Forta have created the resource to empower any teacher to make students thinking visible and their learning come alive with this simple, yet powerful, tool. 40 Ways to Inject Creativity into your Classroom with Adobe Spark is a clear and practical guide to take student communication,reflection and creation to the next level. Burns and Forta don’t give us a ‘how to use AdobeSpark,’ instead they focus on “how to make student creation the driver of learning.” This book is standards-driven keeping the focus on the learning and not on the tool.” — Rebecca Hare, Art and Design Educator and Author of The Space: A Guide for Educators
“This comprehensive collection of innovative Adobe Spark projects is a creative shot-in-the- arm for anyone seeking to diversify the digital learning artifacts produced in their classrooms. Ben and Monica provide proper insight and inspiration to get learners of all ages creating and communicating original media content. Their detailed lessons are easy-to-follow and ready-to-use tomorrow.” — Andy Leiser, Elementary Integration Specialist, Hastings, Minnesota
Click here to order 40 Ways to Inject Creativity into Your Classroom with Adobe Spark
#FormativeTech: Meaningful, Sustainable, and Scalable Formative Assessment With Technology
The forces of technology and formative assessment combined! Formative assessment is a must for educators, but it can be difficult to juggle with all the demands on a busy teacher’s to-do list. #FormativeTech shows how technology tools can energize teacher practice by providing easy ways to implement formative assessment every day. In #FormativeTech, you’ll find:
- Practical tips to use #FormativeTech with the whole class, small groups, and individual students
- Ideas for assessing project-based and inquiry-based approached
- How to evaluate data and communicate results with families
In this book you’ll find tips to make formative assessment meaningful, sustainable, and scalable.
Praise for #FormativeTech:
“This book is an ideal read for educators looking to grow more agile in their use of data to individualize and personalize instruction.” — Dr. Robert Dillon, Director of Innovative Learning
“#FormativeTech is approachable and full of ‘use it on Monday’ ideas. I can’t wait to share this with my colleagues!” — Jennie Magiera, Educator and Author, Courageous Edventures
Click here to order #FormativeTech: Meaningful, Sustainable, and Scalable Formative Assessment With Technology
Taming the Wild Text: Literacy Strategies for Today’s Reader
Taming the Wild Text: Literacy Strategies for Today’s Reader provides teachers with the best practices for teaching reading to 21st century students. This resource guides teachers in how to meet the changing needs of today’s readers while still meeting today’s rigorous standards. The big ideas and actionable lessons can be tailored to different grade levels, different types of devices, and different technology plans. Students are reading multiple genres on multiple platforms, and this resource emphasizes integrating technology and finding a balance in the literacy classroom between print and digital texts.
Each chapter is devoted to helping students develop the Five Habits for Reading: reading widely, reading critically, reading deeply, reading closely, and reading purposefully will enable students to tackle texts across all genres and platforms. Each section provides descriptions of key reading skills and strategies that teachers need to introduce and practice in their classrooms, and these strategies are closely tied to today’s college and career readiness standards. By providing structures and techniques that support the growing reader, teachers can launch their students into the world of 21st century reading.
Taming the Wild Text: Literacy Strategies for Today’s Reader includes:
- 21st Century Reading Tips
- Resource Sidebars
- Graphic Organizers
- Shareable Parent Letters
- Classroom Examples
- EdTech Spotlights
- Technology Tips
Click here to order Taming the Wild Text: Literacy Strategies for Today’s Reader
Deeper Learning With QR Codes and Augmented Reality: A Scannable Solution for Your Classroom
Discover scannable technology and how to use it in your classroom, including QR codes and augmented reality. An easy read packed with useful information, examples, and exercises to create engaging and differentiated learning experiences with QR codes and augmented reality, this handbook is a resource for educators and administrators. Through Monica’s ACES Framework, teachers learn how to create learning experiences that focus on educational value rather than technological “wow” factor.
What if your students’ mobile devices became an instructional asset rather than a distraction? Discover how free, scannable technology can enrich learning, while captivating students. Best of all, these technologies are easy to quickly implement within your classroom.
- Learn about QR codes and Augmented Reality (AR)
- Reach each student with new, hands-on learning opportunities
- Embrace the ACES Framework for teaching with scannable technologies: Access, Curate, Engage, and Share>
- Promote self-directed learning and showcase students’ creations
- Leverage technology to connect classroom activities with students’ families and the broader community
Praise for Deeper Learning With QR Codes and Augmented Reality:
“This is a book that you will not want to put down. I found the examples and suggestions so exciting that I wanted to try them out immediately. At the same time, I couldn’t wait to see what valuable prompts for learning the next page turn would reveal. This is an easy read packed with practical applications.” –Debra Las, Science Teacher
“Monica Burns provides educators with simple, practical ideas for integrating QR and AR in the classroom. As AR, QR, and VR continue to play a bigger role in education, this book is a great starting point for teachers who want to integrate engaging, powerful tools and strategies in their classrooms.” –Zachary Walker, Professor and Educational Consultant
Click here to order Deeper Learning With QR Codes and Augmented Reality: A Scannable Solution for Your Classroom.
EdTech Reboot: How To Recharge + Energize Your Classroom Instruction with Monica Burns
In this self-paced course you’ll learn how to take your current practice to the next level to create interactive learning experiences that transform students into creators while honoring their curiosity and providing opportunities for collaboration.
After completing this course you will be able to:
- Design engaging, purposeful learning activities with technology
- Create opportunities to check for understanding with the digital tools in your classroom
- Turn students into content creators
- Connect students to authentic audiences
- Get started with virtual reality
- Use technology to differentiate instruction
What you’ll get…
Access to four modules of content including:
- 8 how-to videos
- 4 audio podcasts
- Downloadables like graphic organizers, posters + more
- Curated resources like lesson plans, collections + more
Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)
After completion of this course, you will receive a digital badge that recognizes 10 hours, which may be used toward renewal credits per your school/district process. You may want to get approval before you sign up. We have a certificate we can generate for you upon request – other teachers have used this for PD credit at their school, but every school is a bit different with their policy.
Who this course is for…
- Classroom teachers, technology integration specialists, media specialists, and administrators interested in learning about technology integration strategies
- Educators with access to any type of technology: Chromebooks, iPads, PCs, Macs, or even just a cell phone in their pocket
What people are saying…
Here’s a quote from Laurie Prewandowski, District Technology Integrator, New Hampshire who signed up for the course in July: “Tasks Before Apps” is the mantra of the EdTech Reboot course for Energizing your Classroom Instruction and it delivers! Each lesson begins with a review of sound pedagogy before technology tools are even introduced. The lesson ends with participants practicing with innovative technology tools to enhance and energize instruction. There is something for every teacher whether strong in technology or just a beginner.
Click here to access this self-paced course.
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I can't wait to share my favorite EdTech tips, tools and lesson ideas with you!
Yours in Learning, Monica :)