Author - Shannon Tabaldo

Open Educational Resources

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Open Educational Resources, or OER, are educational resources that are legally available for public use. As educators, it can be difficult to find good, usable content that is free and not protected by copyright laws. The OER and OER Commons hope to change that by providing an online public library where educators can create, discover, and collaborate on outstanding educational materials that can be available for use in classrooms around the world.

Kristina Ishmael is one of the foremost leaders in the area of Open Educational Resources, spearheading the #GoOpen movement which encourages teachers to turn to OER for materials, rather than other alternatives. Kristina has discussed her work for OER on the MyTechToolbelt Podcast, and she will be giving a Speaker Session at CUE19 about information literacy for digital citizens, so be sure to check both of those out!

Formative & Google Classroom


It’s no secret that many schools know and love Google for Education. The capabilities of the apps, along with the research and solutions for teachers and students allow for seamless technology usage within the classroom. The popular learning management system, Formative (previously Go Formative) has partnered with Google for Education to create a new and exciting application.

The Formative app will allow teachers to manage assignments and assessments online, with an immediate link from your Google account to give immediate feedback to each student. Now, teachers are able to assign things to individual students, an important feature for personalized learning strategies. There is also a range of exciting new updates that can be explored HERE.
Check out Episode 8 of the MyTechToolbelt podcast to hear about the vision co-founder, Craig Jones has for Formative, and how teacher, Danielle Moore uses Formative in her classroom.

Building Blocks for Edu


When it comes to building blocks for education, there is no better platform than Minecraft Education! With an infinite workspace and a full arsenal of weapons, building tools, farming equipment, chemistry supplies, and magical items you and your scholars can create just about anything you can imagine.

Why not use Minecraft EDU pre-made and standards aligned lessons for Math, Science, Biology, Literature or simply as an opportunity for a scholar to demonstrate mastery of content? Check out the Minecraft EDU website for lessons, tutorials and more! Follow them on Twitter @PlayCraftLearn

Check out episode 25 of the My Tech Toolbelt Podcast where they interview James Pike, who is building Common Core Math Lessons for MinecraftEDU and Neal Manegold from the MinecraftEDu team for inspiration in using this amazing platform to transform learning.

Podcasting to Educate Podcasting for Freedom

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There are so many categories of Podcasts to choose from. You can listen to the news, political, true crime stories, historical, lifestyle, celebrity interviews, gardening, money management, education, technology and just about anything else you can think of.

In California, there is a San Quentin inmate, Walter “Earlonne” Woods, who is the co-host of the podcast ‘Ear Hustle‘, whos “path to freedom was podcasting.” The Ear Hustle Podcast is a podcast about life in San Quentin that has over 20 million downloads worldwide and Woods is not only the co-host he is also the co-producer. California prisoners can earn parole by showing they are rehabilitated, that could include becoming a pastor, a drug counselor or even a world-famous podcaster!

We as educators can use podcasting as an educational tool, we can create content and better yet our students can create content. Podcasting is a tool that sparks emotions and creativity in those who create it and those who listen. Podcasting can impact listeners and those who create them, in ways we can only imagine, just like Woods. Why not try podcasting in your classroom today and let us know what amazing creations are being produced and how they are impacting your students!

Share your podcasting with us on Twitter: @CUEInc and @MyTechToolblet

Here are a few articles about Woods and the Ear Hustle Podcast:

San Quentin Inmate Behind Popular Podcast ‘Ear Hustle’ Is Released From Prison After Sentence Is Commuted, But Show Will Go On (KTLA)

‘Ear Hustle’ podcast explores life inside San Quentin State Prison

Benefits of CUE Membership

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Did you know CUE Membership is now FREE? If you are a teacher or school administrator you should have a CUE membership! The 22,000+ member network that is CUE is a PLN that I am grateful everyday. There is a premium membership for only $40/year, and it offers so many perks that the discount on Spring CUE registration alone almost covers the cost!

Listen to Cate Tolnai, Director on Member Engagement at CUE, talk about why you should become a member and seriously consider a Premium Membership

Digital Literacy: More Important Than Ever

In a world where our students are bombarded with media, the topic of Digital Literacy is on the minds of teachers and administrators alike.

What is Digital Literacy? How do we decipher media for relevancy? What is “Fake News”? What are the ethical implications of Digital Literacy? How do we teach Digital Literacy? All of this and more will be discussed in over a dozen sessions at the 2019 SXSW EDU conference this year.

Click here to read more about the SXSW EDU sessions on Digital Literacy. 


Share Your Best Work

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Peter Paccone describes 8 ways you can share your best lessons, ideas and more with your fellow teachers!

In a recent Edutopia article, Peter Paccone writes that teachers who share their work are reflective in their practice and striving to be better teachers. You might want to share a successful lesson, a reflection on your lesson, a reflection on your teaching, or even student work products.

You can read the full article on Edutopia: Sharing Your Best Work With Other Teachers 

(share lessons, video & photos via social media)

Twitter: @mytechtoolbelt and @PeterPaccone

Instagram: My Tech Toolbelt

Peter is a good friend and supporter of the My Tech Toolbelt Podcast, and recently recorded an episode on how he uses Kahoot in his AP US History class.

For more information, to contact Peter, or to get links to resources mentioned in this episode see our website: http://www.mytechtoolbelt.com/episode-020.html


Dream, Design, Create… 3D Printing

3D Printing

My Tech Toolbelt Podcast episode 22
3D Printing – Dream Design Create – Brian Adams

Have you thought about exploring the world of 3D printers?MTT logo

Do you have a 3D Printer, but not sure what to do with it?

Join us in our conversation with Brian Adams where he tells us about different types of printers, price points, maintenance, and things to look for in a quality printer. He also gives us resources for templates to get you started right out of the box!

Brian Adams is the Educational Technology Curriculum Integration Specialist and teaches Advanced Placement Computer Science for Bishop Montgomery High School, in Torrance, California.  Brian has taught students from K-12, in a wide range of subjects from typing and MS Office to AP Computer Science. His main goals are to increase the saturation of technology on campus and to help teachers develop curriculum that integrates technology and supports the development of tech based skills.  

3D printing is a great tool for developing interested and skill in 3D modeling, can lead to creative/problem based curriculum, and is a great tool to create classroom realia or supplemental physicals for student projects.  3D printing is a great tool to tap into a student’s creativity and the design process.

For more information, to contact Brian or to get links to resources mentioned in this episode see our website: http://www.mytechtoolbelt.com/episode-022.html

(share video & photos via social media)

Twitter: @mytechtoolbelt

Instagram: My Tech Toolbelt

Want More Hour of Code?

My Tech Toolbelt episode 18 Hour of Code

Hour of Code

With Computer Science week ending, you don’t have to stop coding with your students. Keep doing Hour of Code in your classroom every week.

Take a listen to the My Tech Toolbelt Podcast episode 18, featuring Jillian Hoffman a 4th grade teacher in Torrance, CA, as she talks about how she started Hour of Code at her school site and the grant she wrote to support the project.

After listening to the episode, let us know how your students reacted to Hour of Code via Twitter:
(Click below)

Hoffman's scholars CS week 2018

Hoffman’s scholars CS week 2018


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