DraftEDU: With the Number 1 Pick Hack Learning Selects

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I live in Cleveland, and for Cleveland Browns fans, NFL draft time is the best time of the year, because it is the “season of hope.”

Shortly after the Super Bowl, we begin discussing the draft and the potential next “great” player who might land in the #Cle and save one of the worst franchises in all of sports.

This year, with the Browns having the Number 1 and Number 12 picks overall, the draft chatter has been louder than ever. This omnipresent discussion got me thinking about what I’m calling, DraftEDU.

If you could pick your “players” — those players being blogs, EdTech tools, and rapport-building strategies — and you had picks in the Top 3 for each category, which would you select? Which of these would forever change the future of your franchise?

For #DraftEDU 2017, I’ve selected three positions of need and have target my Top 3 in each area.

Now, drafting is not a legitimate science. There’s always guesswork and opinion involved. So, check out my picks, and let me know the ones I didn’t pick that you would select and which you’d add to your own draft.

Top 3 Blogs for Educators

1 – Cult of Pedagogy — Cult is the blog where “Teachers nerds unite,” says Cult of Pedagogy creator Jennifer Gonzalez. Cult brings you insights on education technology, books, and best practices, presented in gracefully-written posts and podcasts. Plus, Gonzalez writes with an engaging style that few other bloggers have.

2 – Edutopia — The George Lucas Foundation’s informative site provides a vast library of articles and resources from great educators, like Lisa Dabbs, who shares¬†The Power of the Morning Meeting¬†— one example of the kind of unique content you can find at Edutopia.org.

3 – We Are Teachers — Separated by Topics and Grades, We Are Teachers gives new meaning to “teacher life.”

Top 3 EdTech Tools for Teachers

1 – Voxer — I’ve been touting this walkie-talkie app for years. Voxer gives all students a voice.

2 – Twitter — The ultimate social channel for connecting with your Personal Learning Network (PLN), Twitter is constantly updating its features, making microbloging the easiest way to connect with students in and out of class.

3 – SurveyMonkey — Arguably the best formative assessment tool available, SurveyMonkey empowers teachers to quickly and easily create surveys and polls that make assessment easy and fun. Beware, though, if you use SurveyMonkey, your kids might just ask you to give them a quiz.

Top 3 Rapport-Building Strategies

1 – Celebrity Couple Nickname Game — Remember Brangelina? That’s former married celebs Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Hacking Engagement author James Sturtevant combines his students names in a similar fashion in his Celebrity Nickname Game — a fabulous rapport builder and great way to remember your students.

2 – Greet Kids at the Door — In his article 10 Reasons to Greet Kids at the Door, Virginia school principal Reed Gillespie says that this excellent rapport-builder is a simple way to have brief conversations with all students. For some, this may be the only meaningful conversation they have in a given day.

3 – Give students choice — Ask, “How would you like to learn this?” In many cases, you’ll find that the paths students choose to learn are not too far from how you’d enjoy teaching your lesson. Give kids choice, and they’ll feel better about your teaching methods and about you as a person.

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Author: Mark Barnes

Mark Barnes is the Founder and CEO of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Join more than 150,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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