Teacher’s Guide to Ed Design

» 23 June 2015 » In Ed Tech, How To, Presentations » No Comments

Devsigner conference logoI’m pleased to be presenting at the Devsigner Conference in Portland Ore June 27-28. As the organizers describe it

The Devsigner Conference features sessions and workshops focusing on front web design and development techniques, tips and tools. We also aim to inspire our technically inclined creative community with amazing session topics that bridge the gap between art and code. Join us June 27-28th in Portland, Oregon for our second annual celebration of Devsigners.

Devsigner guyConfession - I’m not a dev. But I have spent years designing learning experiences. So my session is titled the Teacher’s Guide to Ed Design. (Sat 11:45am-12:30pm).

My workshop session will offer perspectives on designing engaging learning experiences that motivate students, provoke their reflections and monitor their progress as learners. It should be useful for educational content providers or anyone interested in instructional design. This post provides an overview of my session and provide links for my workshop attendees.

My key takeaways for ed designers:

  1. Have the courage to be less helpful. Are students making choices, reflecting on decisions and sharing their thinking with an audience beyond the teacher?
  2. Teaching is not telling. Teaching is designing learning experiences that provoke 
learner reflection. This happens best when lessons have a social component and an authentic audience.
  3. Let the student be the historian.. . or scientist, mathematician, etc. Think of the art class. Would you expect to see the students passively watching the art teacher paint?

More on info on the my session's themes and examples:

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The World Is My Audience: Using iBooks Author and Book Creator to Change Student Writing

» 12 March 2015 » In Guest post, Literacy, Publishing, Reflection, Students » 4 Comments


Guest post from teacher Jon Smith details the story of his student-written iBooks. Jon and his students have published 44 iBooks that have been downloaded over 32,000 times from iTunes bookstores across the world.

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First Ladies as Political Symbol: A Visual Literacy DBQ

» 03 March 2015 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, Publishing » No Comments


Image-based DBQ explores the how first ladies are used as political symbols. Great tool for middle school students to develop visual literacy.

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Combat Troops in Context: A Visual Literacy DBQ

» 16 February 2015 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, Publishing » No Comments


This DBQ project explores posters, videos and other media that contribute to the popular image of the soldier in the minds of the American people.

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New Deal Poster DBQ: Public Persuasion or Propaganda

» 03 February 2015 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, Publishing » No Comments


This DBQ uses WWII-era WPA posters to examine how art can be used to influence public opinion. Key questions guide student through a close reading of the works.

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America Divided: Teaching Media Literacy and Political Polarization

» 21 October 2014 » In How To, Strategies » No Comments


Survey tools and interactive data visualization for teaching media literacy and political polarization in America. Based on research by Pew Research Center.

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How to Read Documentary Films

» 26 August 2014 » In History / DBQ's, How To, Strategies » 2 Comments


Lesson on using films as documents to develop historical thinking skills in sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating and close reading. The lesson compares two documentary films detailing the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. The first film was made in 1943 by the US government to justify the action. The second film was made in 2014 and features interviews with Japanese American incarcerees.

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How to Read Documentary Photographs

» 12 August 2014 » In History / DBQ's, How To, Strategies » No Comments


Lesson on using photographs as documents to develop historical thinking skills in sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating and close reading. Features material from “Uprooted” a museum exhibit and website that showcases the photography of Russell Lee, staff photographer for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and his work at the Japanese American farm labor camps of WWII.

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Free iBook Explores Ancient Egypt

» 06 May 2014 » In History / DBQ's, Publishing » No Comments


Ancient Egypt is interactive resource for teachers and students in grades 6-12. Chapters include: Government and Wealth, Power and Protection, Gods and Goddesses, Journey to the Afterlife and a very interactive guide to reading hieroglyphics. Free at iTunes.

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A Satiric Lesson in Media Literacy

» 27 March 2014 » In How To, Literacy, Strategies, Visualizations » No Comments


Kendra Eash’s essay becomes a satiric video skewering the clichéd corporate message ad as a meaningless montage of grandiloquent pablum. Used as a prompt for a lesson in visual literacy.

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