Category Archives: Technology

Does Hands-up Damage Classrooms?

Does Hands-up Damage Classrooms?

Great post!

I just worry here: “There should be no place to hide for kids that are unwilling or presently unable to engage in their learning.”

What if the student is emotionally not ready to participate for reasons unknown to the teacher? For example, I remember watching a movie, years ago in teachers college, where a student was not participating in class, but was still coming to school. What the teacher did not know was that he was going home every day to a mother and sole caregiver who had died and was still in his home.

This is an extreme case.

But I think of myself as the student. On certain days, I do not want to be called on and I am not emotionally ready; Maybe I was dealt bad news, maybe I am extremely tired and not ready to engage, maybe there is some other emotional reason that I have.

In any case, I offer this solution:
An adaptation to popsicle stick – with a check-in method where students walk into class and and if they cannot participate they can take their popsicle stick out and put it in the “stop” or “please don’t call upon” holder.

If the educator notices a trend in the move of the popsicle stick, they can have a conversation with the student about why or refer them to a counsellor. It could be a win/win for educator and learner.

Education Rickshaw

I recently watched BBC’s Classroom Experiment with Dylan William (YouTube video above). While the program is interesting on so many levels, I was especially drawn to William’s first intervention that effectively bans hand-raising from the classrooms he works with, and replaces the practice with popsicle sticks. You can also read more about it in, “Where Hands-Up In Class is Banned”.

While watching the segment on hands-up (from about 5:20 – 16:16), I jotted down notes about my beliefs on student engagement and participation. I think they’re pretty standard:

  • Every child deserves a level playing field that is not dominated by those that demand the teacher’s attention.
    • Students that monopolize the conversation need to give way for participation from other students.
  • Teachers need to hear from students that do not participate.
    • There should be no place to hide for kids that are unwilling or presently unable to engage…

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PODCAST: #RunYourLife

13495163_10157116396435445_2761635682743991100_nThis is my first-ever Podcast experience. Andy Vasily, an educational consultant, co-author with me, former colleague, and friend of mine involved me in this. At first, I was leery, nervous even, but Andy made me feel at ease with his questioning and banter.

The range of conversation covers ideas about: perspective and cognitive dissonance; rethinking SAMR; differentiation and personalisation; reframing educational experiences; blended learning; findings from John Hattie, Richard E. Clark, Seth Godin, and others; and even God.

Find out for yourself why I might even Podcast again, if asked in the far-off future:


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Design and Presentation Checklist

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 12.30.50 PMI have seen too many mishaps and boring presentations.  Because of this, I decided to make a checklist that can be freely shared to help those who might be getting ready for their presentation.  Find it below as a PDF and .Doc:

Presentation notes and checklist.doc

Presentation notes and checklist.pdf



Do jobs run in families?

Do jobs run in families? Are twins more likely than siblings to choose the same profession? We tackle these questions with interactive visualizations.

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The Best Youtube Channels You Can Work Out to Right Now

It’s cold. The gym is crowded. Might as well stay home and watch videos…workout videos. Here are some of our favorite ways to get fit with YouTube.

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I have said before, but I am proving it now – I love lists of useful things – I love working out – and I love technology.  Here is a combination of all of this.

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Posted by on January 12, 2016 in Technology


John Hattie’s apples and oranges

First, I love stats and especially ones that can shape my theory to guide my practice.  Hattie, some could argue is one of the gurus of educational stats because he has been looking at such vast amounts of data through his meta-analysis.  The article I cited at the bottom explained a main argument against Hattie’s grouping and rankings, which can be found here:

It would be interesting for a researcher to delineate these two types of studies that could be derived from Hattie’s findings:

APPLES: “The truth is that Hattie sometimes uses ‘effect size’ to mean ‘as compared to a control group’” (EC, 2012)
One group is a control – the other is the treatment

ORANGES: “and other times uses it to mean ‘as compared to the same students before the study started.'” (EC, 2012)
There is no control, but an effect size can still be determined.

It would be further applicable if the studies were broken down by age, skill level, or grouping.
For example, primary school children, middle school, and high school.

EC, 2012 –

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Posted by on November 4, 2015 in Technology


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What is leetspeak?

Computer dictionary definition for what leetspeak means including related links, information, and terms.

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This is one of the most appropriate resources to demonstrate LEET SPEAK.  It has a LEET generator, that also creates may other outputs: Upside Down, Pig Latin, Gibberish, Binary, ASCII,  morse code, stats, and more.

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Posted by on October 27, 2015 in Technology

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