EdTech Guru Explains The Power of Mission-Minded Learning

Shelly Sanchez Terrell, author of Hacking Digital Learning Strategies, is taking education technology integration to new heights with her EdTech Missions and mission-minded learning.

In Episode 102 of the Hack Learning Podcast, Shelly explains how Mission Learning makes kids and their world better, and how teachers can launch EdTech Missions immediately with 27 ready-to-use resources in her Mission Toolkit.

Shelly Terrell Sanchez says …

While writing about Mission Learning–an amazing way to integrate lifelong technology skills into any classroom–I wanted more than just a how-to book. I wanted to give teachers a blueprint and resources that they can use immediately to launch EdTech Missions in any class.

By Shelly Sanchez Terrell

Teaching is hard, and you don’t need to spend additional hours creating assets for students, if it’s not absolutely necessary.

This is why I created the Mission Toolkit, as an additional free resource inside Hacking DLS

I’m so proud of this 38-page Mission Toolkit because it can be used immediately. It comes with:

  • mission examples
  • student surveys
  • email templates
  • Mission Cards
  • discussion starters
  • blank activity templates
  • Badges, and much more

Best of all, you can copy or download and distribute these ready-made lesson supplements immediately.

Here’s some of what’s inside the Mission Toolkit that comes as a free, additional resource inside Hacking Digital Learning Strategies.


People are raving about Hacking Digital Learning Strategies, and I couldn’t be happier–especially considering that what they love most is the FREE Mission Toolkit, inside the book. — Shelly Sanchez Terrell



You can start using the entire 38-page Mission Toolkit today. Just grab your copy of Hacking Digital Learning Strategies, available now in three formats.

Ask Shelly about it

Want to discuss the EdTech Missions and the Toolkit? Join Shelly Sanchez Terrell Sunday mornings at 10AM ET on Twitter for a live chat about digital learning strategies at #EdTechMissions. Also, join the video chat on Shelly’s Flipgrid here.

Teacher Dress Unraveled: Hack Learning Chat

Click a button below and subscribe

itunes button

Hack Learning podcast on Stitcher



This #HackLearning chat was hot. Professional dress was one topic, and the opinions, both for and against dress codes or “dressing up”, were shared openly. Check it out and let us know what you think.

View Chat Archive

Click image to see entire chat archive

Share your thoughts on our Facebook page here and on Twitter at #HackLearning.

How Mantras Reduce the Stress of Parenting

Kimberley Moran is a parent, a former teacher, and an editor at We Are Teachers and We Are Parents. As a teacher, she found herself being asked question after question about parenting.

During conferences, she spent more time discussing parenting than student work. Even teachers would ask her what to tell the parents of their students. The more questions she was asked, the more she developed easy ways to talk about some of the most important aspects of parenthood.

In order to help parents remember what to remember, she coined the term Parent Mantras. “This will be your mantra,” she would say to them. “Begin at the end.”

After reading lots of the books in the hack learning series, she realized she wanted to write one about the kids in those classrooms and the parents they went home to at night. The result was her new book, Hacking Parenthood: 10 Mantras You Can Use Daily to Reduce the Stress of Parenting.

Available now

What Moran says about Parent Mantras

In this book, I’ve gathered 10 mantras for cutting out the stuff that doesn’t really make you a better parent, instead focusing on what you need to do in each moment to move your parenting strategy forward.

Each mantra shows you how to assess a situation and your child in it and then make a plan or use your intuition to help you and your child grow.

Mantras were created thousands of years ago by people in ancient India who understood that sound is a pathway to reaching enlightenment.

Mantras became medicinal sound formulas to calm the self.

I hope to help you use mantras to drown out the noise of the world a bit like sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting “La la la la, I can’t hear you!” These mantras should also help you hone in on what matters when things seem out of control.

When we decide on a mantra to guide our parenting, the simple act of repetition takes us beyond our everyday boundaries and allows for our mantra to seep into who we are as a parent.

We create an intention behind our actions. We strengthen an extremely powerful tool, our voice. When we commit to the act of using mantras in every aspect of our parenting, we are staying in touch with our deepest desire about who we want our children to be.

It allows us to release, relax and surrender to our parenting intention.

I really do use every one of these mantras to help me in my parenting. I love them because they aren’t judgmental. I get to decide what I’m going to do, but my mantras help me focus and be consistent.

This is the key to good parenting I think. If one of these doesn’t work for you, let it go. Being flexible is also a great parenting skill.

Download the Mantras

Want to have your own list of parent mantras to use? Click here

Want the Mantras sent to you via Facebook Messenger? Click here

Want to buy an advance copy of Hacking Parenthood? Click here

give kids books

What Is Your Inspirational Story?

While it may seem cliche, tragic times require inspirational stories. Sometimes the tragedies breed the story. Other times, we need an inspirational story to help us cope with daily stress.

In Episode 98 of the Hack Learning Podcast, embedded below and available on iTunes, Mark Barnes shares a story about Emily–a seventh grader who, shockingly, came to his class as a young teen who had never before voluntarily read a book.

Please subscribe to the Hack Learning Podcast

itunes button

Hack Learning podcast on Stitcher



The Problem: Many kids hate reading. When kids aren’t surrounded by books and read to from very young ages, they will likely become reluctant readers.

If teachers force feed classroom novels on students, never giving them choice in what they read, their reluctance often turns into hatred, and they may never voluntarily read a book.

The Hack: Spark their interest. The easiest way to inspire even the most reluctant readers to gravitate to books is to help them find something that interests them, no matter what kind of book it is. Show them books. Invite them to hold them, smell them, peruse them, and take them home.

What You Can Do Tomorrow: Start building a library. Surround your students and your own children with books. Build a library in your classroom, no matter what subject you teach. Kids must see books, if they are to join the culture of readers.

Building a classroom library is easy and can be inexpensive. For great strategies on building a classroom library, check out Hacking Literacy, by Gerard Dawson.

Share your story

Please share your own inspirational story in comments below or on the Hack Learning Ambassadors Facebook group or on Twitter at #HackLearningStory.

James Sturtevant author of Hacking Engagement and Hacking Engagement Again

Better Presenting for Teachers and Learners with Engagement Guru James Sturtevant

Engagement guru James Alan Sturtevant provides simple hacks for better presenting for teachers and students, from his latest book, Hacking Engagement Again: 50 Teacher Tools That Will Make Students Love Your Class.

Sturtevant, host of the Hacking Engagement Podcast, shares some of his best engagement tools and strategies for being the Sage on the Stage (yes, it’s okay when done right), but not boring students, and for eliminating those awful student-presentation days that most teachers (and students) hate.

Sturtevant shares EdPuzzle and other cool EdTech tools and a couple of tricks for engagement that don’t require any technology.

You’ll love Sturtevant’s style, in his interview for the Hack Learning Podcast, embedded above. As he says, Buckle up … you’re going to love the episode.

Engage Leaners with Better Flipped Presentations (from Hacking Engagement Again)


Okay, here’s my problem. In my World Civilization class, all my lectures are flipped. My students are remarkably complimentary of this delivery method.

I feel like my recorded lectures are far superior to my live performances. I guess that’s why I always give a thumbs-down to Pandora’s live tracks; they’re just not quite as smooth as the recorded versions. I wasn’t certain, however, that students were watching my flipped presentations in their entirety.

Hacking Engagement Again

Click the image and look inside now

After all, one could copy lecture notes from a peer. That’s not being engaged; that’s being a slacker. I didn’t think it happened a lot, but I was certain it happened some. Also, I felt a bit disconnected because kids watched my flipped lectures outside of class. I wanted my students’ flipped presentation experience to be more collaborative and engaging.

When I’m stumped, I ask for help. For a more engaging flipped presentation quest, I consulted Jennifer Gonzalez’s magnificent book, The Teacher’s Guide to Tech. This downloadable resource is updated yearly. The version I’m consulting contains one hundred and thirty tech tools. I can’t wait to see what’s added next year! Jennifer’s book contains a section on flipped instruction. I found my solution in minutes!


EDpuzzle is a remarkable free tool. You simply upload your flipped video and then strategically embed prompts. It reminds me of watching an on-demand program. Many cable providers will not allow you to fast-forward, so you must watch the commercials. You can set EDpuzzle so students can’t fast-forward either! They must watch the segment and then respond to the prompt before moving on. The prompts can be multiple choice or extended response.

Another presentation hack from Hacking Engagement Again

Once kids have answered, they hit submit. Teachers can easily access student responses and see if the student even watched the video. It’s a wonderful flipped presentation accountability tool, and it even works seamlessly with Google Classroom. This tool ultimately makes flipped learning more engaging, and it solved my issue perfectly.


Create an EDpuzzle account. EDpuzzle is free and you can use your Google login.

Upload a video. Select CREATE and then NEW VIDEO or UPLOAD VIDEO. EDpuzzle has a vast library to choose from, or you can upload your own YouTube video.

Insert questions using EDpuzzle. . . .

For the rest of this Hack and 49 more from 33-year veteran teacher and student engagement guru James Sturtevant, check out Hacking Engagement Again.

Hacking Engagement Again debuts No. 1 on Amazon!

For more podcast episodes and show notes, visit HackLearningPodcast.com.