My thoughts on defining homework for today’s educator

The newly appointed president of the Vienna Board of Education has reportedly declared he would like to see schools without homework, no doubt causing many teachers’ eyes to roll. Homework remains a point of contention, a matter of fervent debate at all levels and in all school types. Many teachers view it as necessary evil, a fact of life, a given, without which learning cannot take place. Other teachers question its validity and efficiency, especially in the 21st century classroom, where the individual needs of students should be put first and foremost. You likely fall into one of these camps and have made your own experiences and observations. What does it look like from my perspective in the Austrian Middle School classroom?  „My thoughts on defining homework for today’s educator“ weiterlesen

My flipped teaching routine: it keeps getting better!

For the first time this school year I’ve had the chance to implement this strategy with a group of 14-year old English language learners. Would there be technical obstacles? Could I really produce videos myself or rely on external ones? And most importantly: how would my students react to this “innovation”? Here is the state of things after almost one full semester.  „My flipped teaching routine: it keeps getting better!“ weiterlesen

A tale of 2 educational conferences: #DED15 & #ELDF15

Last week I had the privilege of attending two conferences for educators interested in digital learning and teaching: the eLearning Didaktik Fachtagung in Linz, Austria on 23rd October and the Digital Education Day in Cologne, Germany on 24th October. The latter was a lucky coincidence so to speak, as I was in town visiting relatives so I decided to stop by and meet my fellow #EDchatDE twitterers.

I say privilege because it’s always an opportunity for me, not only to meet friends and get to know new ones, but to learn a lot. And by a lot, I mean a great deal. Whenever I leave a conference I have a very long to-do list – articles to read, apps to try, links to check out, people to contact or actions to follow up on. And still, it remains one of the most enjoyable aspects of the teaching profession in my view. Here’s why … „A tale of 2 educational conferences: #DED15 & #ELDF15“ weiterlesen

10 reasons (I think) teachers should use Evernote

Recently I was invited to hold a short workshop at an educational conference here in Austria on using Evernote as a teacher.

Evernote has been part of my extended brain for many years now. It is literally a catch-all, hold-all, find-all media library – where I collect and organize all types of materials, information, snippets and tidbits that I use for the preparation, delivery and organization of my classes. I thought I’d post the reasons here on why I recommend teachers use it, and why I think it has the potential to enrich your workflow.

„10 reasons (I think) teachers should use Evernote“ weiterlesen

Learning to Manage Learning – Why I opted for Google Classroom

Post-it Notes

I read yesterday that Adobe is working on its own LMS, even though there may be already over 600 in existence! This epitomizes the challenge posed to us educators. Finding the “best” solution for our classroom needs means investigating the offerings, evaluating them, then choosing the right one. In the educational sector there are so many being used that it’s hard, even for connected teachers, to gauge the added value of each, to be able to make this kind of decision.

I myself tried to get my head around two this past year – Moodle and LMS.at (an Austrian LMS), which have a great number of useful features like timed assignments, calendar, grading, course administration, communication etc. LMS.at is visually more appealing to me than Moodle and has the advantage that it is adapted for the Austrian school system. Still both left me with a feeling of “not quite what I need”. Moodle seems to be the number one choice in education and in business, but I checked out many others like Edmodo, Schoology, Blackboard, Fishtree, Chalkup, not to mention the ones that each publishing house seems to build as an accompaniment to their printed or electronic publications. With so many to choose from, it’s important to me to find something with a manageable learning curve for both students and fellow teachers (who may be eLearning beginners), with an attractive UI and with a simple, easy-to-use workflow. I settled on Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom. Here’s why:  „Learning to Manage Learning – Why I opted for Google Classroom“ weiterlesen