On Education

Google Assisted Assessment - the video!

posted May 18, 2016, 11:55 AM by Samuel Landete   [ updated May 18, 2016, 11:57 AM ]

And in written version for the old school like me:

Corrección asistida por Google: Flubaroo, Doctopus y Goobric

posted Mar 3, 2016, 1:11 PM by Samuel Landete

Common Sense Media

posted Jul 23, 2015, 3:20 AM by Samuel Landete

Common Sense Media is my one-stop webpage for Digital Citizenship. It has a detailed scope and sequence with detailed lesson plans that contain excellent materials. If you are an educator and did not know about this, have a look and consider the Digital Citizenship certification.

Common Sense Media Scope & Sequence

On image search, licenses and attribution

posted Jun 15, 2015, 12:17 PM by Samuel Landete   [ updated Jun 15, 2015, 4:16 PM ]

Teaching like the conductor of an orchestra

posted Apr 29, 2015, 4:31 PM by Samuel Landete   [ updated Apr 29, 2015, 4:49 PM ]

I have been listening to TED talks for the past month. This is Benjamin Zander's "The transformative power of classical music":


The talk is remarkable for various reasons and by all means you should make time and watch it. But I am writing here about what he says around minute 17: 

"I was 45 years old, I'd been conducting for 20 years, and I suddenly had a realization. The conductor of an orchestra doesn't make a sound. [...] He depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful. And that changed everything for me. It was totally life-changing. People in my orchestra said, "Ben, what happened?" That's what happened. I realized my job was to awaken possibility in other people." 

We teachers do not make a sound either. Our job is also to make our students powerful, to allow learning to happen.

"And of course, I wanted to know whether I was doing that. How do you find out? You look at their eyes. If their eyes are shining, you know you're doing it. [...] If the eyes are not shining, you get to ask a question. And this is the question: who am I being that my players' eyes are not shining?"

We teachers should too aim to engage our students so that their eyes shine. And our job should be measured not by the materials we create for students, but by the materials our students create. 

We are the conductors of an orchestra. Our students must play.

Summary of "Differentiating Instruction with Technology: A Framework for Success"

posted Apr 26, 2015, 12:14 PM by Samuel Landete   [ updated Apr 26, 2015, 12:34 PM ]

Last Thursday I attended yet another free webinar offered by EdWeb where Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher, classroom teacher/ IT Director - Westwood Schools spoke about techniques to cater for all the different learning styles and motivations present in a normal classroom.

How to innovate for busy teachers

The first thing mentioned are Vicki's 2 essential concepts of change:
  1. Innovate like a turtle: moving forward a tiny bit every day.
  2. The big three: keep the next three things that you are going to learn visible at all times.

What is the most essential ingredient to differentiate?

Vicki's big secret: have good classroom management so that you have the time and energy to differentiate.

Vicki's framework

  1. Educational network
    1. Do not mistake "social network" with "educational network": if you do something in class, it is educational.
    2. Give them ownership on their blogs / pages.
    3. A student without a blog is a student without a voice.
  2. Wiki-centric classroom: a public place for all resources. Vicki Davis clasroom wiki.
  3. Student productivity tools: the key is students should know how to manage time, capture & retrieve info and minimize distractions
    1. Calendar
    2. To Do list
    3. eNotebook
    4. "App of the week"
  4. Audio (audacity).
  5. Video: they should understand and apply visual grammar (storyboards, shots, etc.). She recommends the video production model offered by CTE.
  6. Collaborate globally: students should interact with peers, experts and other audiences (ISTE Nets Standars!!) + audience is important and can engage students. The way to start is widening the circle: you start with students collaborating in the classroom, then with other classrooms in your school, then with other schools and so on and so forth.
  7. Virtual worlds (currently Minecraft)
  8. QR codes
  9. Cloud storage / paperless
  10. Video game / programming
  11. Simulation environments
  12. Formative assessments (she uses Socrative and Kahoot)
  13. Flipped classroom: it is important to be consistent on the videos so that they know where to find resources like essential questions, assignments, etc.
  14. Mobile app development
Vicki dedicated roughly one year to master each one of those tools.

Digital citizenship

About digital citizenship, just read "What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship" in Edutopia.

How to choose tools that help differentiate?

Vicki chooses digital tools that differentiate naturally, and to know that, the tool has to hit all the learning styles shown in the picture below: 
Vicki Davis learning styles
Vicki Davis' learning styles

Big takeaways from this webinar that you can see joining the Amazing Resources for Educators commuinity at Edweb and visiting the web archives.

Taking part of ds106: an assignment

posted Apr 16, 2015, 2:53 PM by Samuel Landete   [ updated Apr 16, 2015, 2:57 PM ]

Today I joined ds106, and as anything coming from Jim Groom it is hard to define. It is a MOOC on digital storytelling and according to this interview it is the reincarnation of EDUPUNK sans political statements. There are 800+ assignments, and each is rated with stars. You have to complete 10 stars to complete a category, but the assignments you complete are up to you, and there are no deadlines. Autonomy! But ds106 is more than that: there's a radio, a daily create list for inspiration, etc.

This is an assignment I completed, with tags 
AnimatedGIFAssignments, AnimatedGIFAssignments1162

Batman and Robin running from textbooks seemed apt.

Resources to teach coding in elementary from the webinar by Trish Cloud in EdWeb

posted Apr 15, 2015, 4:51 PM by Samuel Landete   [ updated Apr 16, 2015, 3:51 PM ]

I just saw the recording of the webinar Building an Elementary School Coding Club: One Teacher's Experience with Trish Cloud, Technology Instructor, Grand Oak Elementary, Huntersville, NC offered by EdWeb. You can access the webinar recording at the webinar archives of the Teaching kids to code EdWeb community - it is free.

a screenshot of the webinar

I recommend you watch it, and then try all the websites mentioned, in no particular order:

  • Code.org -- includes curriculum, lesson plans and pretty much everything you need to let your students learn, at any grade level.
  • Codecademy -- courses of the most common programming languages, for experienced students.
  • Kodable -- like code.org, just point your students to the page and let them learn!
  • Scracth -- MIT hosts this amazing programming platform. Loads of tutorials!
  • Lightbot -- to start with, help a robot acomplish missions.
  • Codecombat -- fun javascript: students have to program their way and defeat enemies in a medieval maze game.
  • Hakitzu: robot hackers - actually an app compatible with android and iOS where they will have to program their robots to win battles.
  • Tynker: yet another place you can direct students to learn by themselves while playing.

What I do in the shadows

posted Feb 18, 2015, 4:52 PM by Samuel Landete   [ updated Feb 18, 2015, 4:59 PM ]

The title is an homage to the movie "What we do in the shadows", a really funny mockumentary that follows the night life (death?) of 4 vampires. It comes to mind because I am going to share what I do at night lately: 

I learn from the best education specialists from all over the world


For free!

edWeb webinar with Katherine Quinn-Shea of Net Texts about OER (Open Education Resources)
I join the most interesting webinars from 

The times are normally convenient: 4:00 pm Eastern time translates into 23:00 CET which is perfect for night people like me. Some even provide a certificate and in general can be viewed with just the browser.

And if you cannot make it they normally offer a recording to download afterwards which you can view offline at your convenience.

It's a win-win combination that all teachers should try!

Reflective blogging day 5 - Picture of my classroom

posted Sep 15, 2014, 4:15 PM by Samuel Landete   [ updated Sep 15, 2014, 4:15 PM ]

What I see: The High School computer lab seems to be designed after the Panopticon: the teacher controls all the students' screens from the back of the class, since all computers are facing away from the wall forming a U shape. The undesirable consequence is students face the wall... not ideal when showing examples. The good part is that there is a big table in the center of the room.


What I would like to see: I would like to see spaces for collaboration and students moving freely between a noise-isolated room with windows for meetings, different sized tables and chairs and plugs everywhere to allow for any kind of cooperation.

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