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Chad Kliefoth

Live Curious, Go Beyond Traditional Education?

I am continuing to push education in ways that move it outside the classroom.  I combine classroom instruction with online student learning and discovery.  By focusing on pedagogy and incorporating technology, I am able to focus on helping students use real-world situations to achieve a deeper understanding of course material.  Students are able to gain the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they need to be college/career ready.  By students taking ownership of their learning in the classroom it becomes more meaningful and personalized.

Areas of expertise: Learning Management System, Collaboration tools, GAFE, Blended Learning,  

Smartboard, Curriculum and Instruction

Twitter Handle: @kliefothc


Active vs Engaged Learning

posted Oct 30, 2015, 8:03 AM by   [ updated Oct 30, 2015, 9:37 AM by Brian Hamm ]


Technology has had an incredible impact on the way we educate our students.  It has opened the door to possibilities only thought about when I was in school (many years ago).  As educators, we need to be careful how we are using technology in our classrooms.  Technology is taking center-stage in many classrooms just as it does in our students' everyday lives.  The underlying focus in any good classroom will always be pedagogy, but technology is a great tool we can use to expand what students have access to.

With buzz words like blended learning, design thinking and flipped growing in popularity we have to make sure we are using these concepts to create engaged learning and not active learning in our classrooms.  YES, there is a difference.  When I first began incorporating technology in my first years of teaching, I was guilty of creating active learning, not engaged learning.  I thought I was making learning in my classroom more meaningful, but what was really happening was augmenting tasks normally done in class.  I was using technology to reach students outside of the classroom, but it wasn't enhancing the material from class it should have been.  Students were feeling they were just getting more work and not being engaged in the learning.  After taking a step back and reflecting on what was actually going on, I too agreed it was more like busy work.  That was not my intention at all.

My hope was to create materials that gave students the opportunity to break out of the four walls of the classroom and explore resources that allow them deeper understanding of material.  What happened was me creating the same assignments in a little different way through the use of technology.  My students were active, but not engaged.  I went through some trial and error in my classroom with the intention of making students the curators of the content where they were building course content and taking ownership of the learning.  It took some work and many tries, but I have reached a point where blended learning is thriving in my classroom.  Students are in charge of their own learning and I am a facilitator, there to help guide them and bring it all together.  Below you will find a sample of what is happening in my classroom and I "refine my blend."  My teaching still has a long way to go in order to be completely blended, but there is a definite shift happening.  Moving from teacher-centered learning to more student-centered learning allows students to take ownership of material and when they take ownership of material it becomes more meaningful to them.

I challenge you to "refine your blend."  Find a way to allow students to be the curator of content and take ownership of their learning.

To check out more information on tech integration, check out my personal blog here

Connected Educator Month

posted Oct 14, 2015, 11:15 AM by

My passions for education and technology fuel my drive to stay ahead of the curve.  I am always looking for ways to enhance lessons in the classroom and change the way I teach or, more importantly, adapt to the way students learn.  Not everyone has the drive to be out researching best practice in educational technology.  The great thing is...You don't have to hours searching for blogs and sites that help you push education.  You can easily have those resources find you.

With October being Connected Educator Month (#ce15), I thought is would be a great opportunity to share some resources you can use to stay connected.  There are a number of blogs and edtech sites I follow on a regular basis, but remembering and bookmarking them all is quite a task.  Setting up an //">RSS that will deliver content straight to you is a lifesaver.  But don't be nervous about figuring out an RSS feed as there are a number of sites that will do this for you.

One of my favorites, and one I use quite regularly, is Feedly.  This site allows you to follow resources by category and topic or by simply entering a web address.  Below is a great tutorial via Richard Bryne (@rmbryne) at  He walks you through the set up and describes many of its amazing features.

Free Technology for Teachers: Connecting Educators Who Are Nervous About Being Connected - #ce15

During Connected Educator Month there will be millions of Tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media interactions between teachers. But what about the teachers who don't want to get involved in a social network? What can we do to help them become connected in some way?


Flipboard is another great sites that allows you to follow/find "the topics that matter to you."  You are able to choose content to build a "magazine" of resources based on topics you find important.  Below are some great resources to get you started with this great site.

Tutorials - Flipboard

Find the content that matters to you. There are over 34,000 topics to choose from, beautifully paginated articles from the world's premier publishers, and millions of magazines curated by the Flipboard community.


These are both great sites to call on for some extra help in your classroom.  One of the best places to start looking for inspiration is right in your own school.  If your school is like mine, there are many great resources within.  Take an hour or two during a week and travel around to different classrooms to see what happening.  I bet you will be amazed at the things going on right in your own backyard.

With so many great educational technology resources out there, it is nice to have some help finding them.  You don't have to spend hours searching for items to use in your own classroom.  Remember, technology should help enhance the learning already taking place in your classrooms.  Take a few minutes this week to get connected and I promise you will not be disappointed.

Wearables in Education

posted Oct 14, 2015, 11:13 AM by


With technology changing each and every day, it is difficult to keep up let alone predict what it will look like next month, next year and in five years.  Students in today's classrooms have access to so many tools and websites that allow them to have access to information "just in time."  This is a paradigm shift and students no longer learn information "just in case" that might need it later like many teachers did.  Technology is reshaping education and it is important to understand, see and embrace this in the classroom.  No one really likes change, but we must see it and adapt or our students lose an opportunity to be successful and compete for tomorrow's jobs.

One way in which we can enhance classroom learning is through wearables.  Wearable technologies (smartwatches, fitness bands and smart glasses) are becoming more and more popular and have multiple uses in the classroom.  From tracking and analyzing data to taking a virtual field trip to navigating a map, students will be able to call on wearable technology to better understand classroom concepts.  Below are ten ways in which wearable technology will revolutionize education from the article "10 ways in Which Wearable Technology is Changing Education" by Sammie Smith:

  1. Connecting Pupils

Systems to connect teachers to students have been taking over schools in the last few years with platforms designed to help with homework assignments to school interaction. Wearables will enhance this by allowing students to share questions or work with their teacher in order to get faster replies.

Teachers will be able to get in touch with their students to alert them of any last-minute room change or class cancellation with a set of tasks to do during that gap.

  1. Facial Recognition

Facial recognition will save teachers time and will make students feel more welcomed and included. Armed with a pair of Google Glasses for example, lecturers with hundreds of students will be able to call them by their names as the inbuilt app, which recognises faces, will tell the user the names of those in the audience.

No matter if there are 20 or 2000 people in the room, teachers will always know the name of who wants to ask a question and even possibly view a small profile of that same student.

  1. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality will open many doors in many different fields, especially education. Visiting sites will be completely different in the classroom of the future. People in Sydney, for instance, could show the city to students seated in a primary school in Wales. Or for political university students, they could visit conflict zones like Kiev in 2013 to see and understand how protests influence politics.

Currently, the only technology out there to do this at a close to real scale is Oculus Rift. Samsung is close approaching with the recent launch of Samsung’s VR collection allowing 360 degrees environments to be created using the Note 4 as a canvas.

  1. Sports Training

Everyone remembers that football pass that took months to come out perfect. Looking at someone doing it is not quite the same as doing it yourself. Using AR for example, a coach can show a technique to his students via the device.

Either kicking a ball or rowing down the Thames, pupils will see exactly what their teacher sees and does to recreate the movements and faster sports learning.

  1. Augmented Reality

3D, 4D and even 5D will recreate many opportunities for pupils. A history book in the future will not just show 2D pictures and plain text. It will be built to display 3D images and even videos that will play through a pair of 3D glasses. Some e-books already have the technology to display 3D content and interacted with the reader.

  1. Learning Apps

Learning applications are not something new but the way wearables will utilise them to teach students will be the next great classroom revolution. Apps are at the core of technologies used by most (smartphones, wearables, and many others). Apps like Mathway for example, can give the answer to a mathematical problem but will not show how to solve it.

Other applications such as the Street Museum iOS app lets students walk through the streets of London and see how they looked in the past. There is an endless set of apps for education currently being rethought to function on wearables.

  1. Safety & Security

Using wearables to recreate dangerous experiments will keep students safe, especially in laboratories. For example, a chemistry class in Edinburgh might witness firsthand the collision between electrons with a real scientist transmitting to the pupils via a Google Glass device.

Wearable tech will also give teachers the opportunity to keep track of their students at school or during field trips. By wearing a bracelet or a smartwatch real-time maps can be populated with students to see where they are.

  1. Use Experts

Teachers know a lot but not everything, but experts “visiting” the classroom could give a full briefing to students on a range of topics. As mobile technology evolves and new solutions are being explored for wearables, kids all over will no longer face barriers when it comes to knowledge.

A class in Liverpool might not know a single word of Korean, but that will not stop Samsung’s CEO telling them how their smartwatch measures their heartbeat through inbuilt sensors.

  1. Experimental Learning

Experimental learning will gain a completely new set of features as wearable devices become more mainstream amongst younger generations. Using virtual and augmented reality, students will see things that they would have never been able to see because they were either too dangerous or expensive for the school to cover.

  1. Navigation

Everyone has studied somewhere where they lost themselves in the complex or campus. Designed for big scale schools and universities, institutions will use wearables to guide students around the campus.

For example, in a university that has put together several buildings throughout the years, confusions are more likely to appear. With a pair of smartglasses or a smartwatch the university could guide each one of the students through the corridors and help them get to classes in time.

The possibilities are endless and the future is unknown, but with technology in the classroom, students are sure to have a more meaningful learning experience and see things many of us could only imagine years ago.  Technology allows students to learn in the "just in time" environment in which they live in.

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