View Post

Diving into Tech with My #EdtechDad

In EdTech, Equity by rafranzdavis0 Comments

For the past few years, I’ve shared many social media postings about my #edtechdad, who earned that name because of his adoration of tech company branded t-shirts. He has never actually used any of the products that he freely advertises around town but that doesn’t stop him from talking about them. As a matter of fact, until a month ago…aside from his former employee entry computer, my father has never been on an internet enabled device himself. Back in February, after engaging in an online mission to disrupt the Slave Simulation game, created by Mission US, I started researching the slave …




View Post

5 Questions You Should Ask Concerning EdTech, But May Not Be

In EdTech by rafranzdavis0 Comments

A few weeks ago, I attended a great session led by Katrina Stevens (US Office of Edtech) and Chike Aguh (Advisory Board Company) called, “Building an Edtech Bill of Rights“. In this session, Katrina and Chike masterfully facilitated a necessary discussion on purposeful innovation amongst teachers, EdTech leaders, researchers, entrepreneurs and students…with a focus on teacher/student voice. During the session, we were challenged to listen to teachers about current educational problems and come up with some “technology based” way of solving them…in a limited amount of time. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been on many sides of edtech but this …




View Post

Let’s Have Edu Gamathons, Not Just Gamification

In EdTech, Equity by rafranzdavis0 Comments

This past weekend, I had the unique opportunity to serve as a teacher mentor for the Austin Education Game Jam, hosted by Globoloria, Atlassian HipChat and Skillpoint Alliance. This “Gamathon” event challenged development teams to create high-quality, commercially viable video games that were content focused while also empowering learning through more meaningful and engaging experiences. From a spectator standpoint, it was interesting to see teams, with most having only met that day, thinking about what gaming in education could be and then making plans to create that experience. Each group, bringing their own experiences as student learners and entertainment content creators, took great care …




View Post

Is This All There Is? An EdTech Rant of Sorts

In EdTech by rafranzdavis18 Comments

Yesterday, I taught one of our Google Drive trainings for school paraprofessionals and I left feeling something that I haven’t felt in a very long time…pure joy and bliss. It was a feeling that I haven’t experienced since I taught my own math class. It wasn’t about the teaching of anything related to Drive. It was purely about knowing that we were empowering these ladies in a training that is often not available to paraprofessionals in many districts which makes zero sense. I am so proud of my district for valuing the growth of our entire community because in addition to these “during the day” …




Digital Icebreaker 1: End of Summer Tackk Challenge

In EdTech by rafranzdavis2 Comments

Back in the day, I used to have kids complete a survey sharing fun facts about themselves. This is how I used to get to know my students. Thankfully, technology offers us different ways of sharing and learning about each other. When I train teachers, I love to challenge them to share stories about themselves when learning how to use new storytelling tools in the classroom. This is especially effective when working with teachers who are still a bit reluctant or afraid to go out on a limb and allow kids to express themselves. For this activity, I am using …




View Post

How We Used TACKK To Share Braeden’s Puppet Story

In Braeden, EdTech by rafranzdavis0 Comments

It may have been two weeks ago when Michelle Baldwin‘s class tweeted that they were inspired by Braeden and making puppets. We’ve shared every bit of his process in doing this across twitter, instagram and facebook. One thing that I did not consider was putting the entire story together in one place to make it accessible to anyone that wanted to read it. So, when I saw the tweet from Michelle’s class, it was a no-brainer that this one last component needed to happen so I created the TACKK below. TACKK is a simple FREE tool for creating digital posters. …




View Post

Tools for Digital Storytelling in the Secondary Classroom

In EdTech by rafranzdavis0 Comments

When most teachers hear the phrase, “digital storytelling”, they probably think of telling a story as it would be in a book. For that reason, many teachers struggle with understanding what this is or should be. Stories that are similar to those that students would read in books are only one type and may not apply in every content area or lesson. There are other types as well. Digital storytelling in my classroom was rarely the “storybook” kind. They were almost always a collection of details that allowed students to bring content together and into focus from their point of …




View Post

Make Your Blogs Interactive with Embedly (My New Favorite Blogging Tool)

In Blogging, EdTech by rafranzdavis0 Comments

I love when I run across tools that are quite useful…completely by accident. I found embedly as I was working on a post about digital storytelling with instagram for secondary students. (posting shortly after this one) Embedly is a tool that allows users to embed any linkable content to a website with an interactive responsive card that is then easily sharable across networks. I no longer have to grab an image, edit it and upload it to my blog. I simply paste the link into the blank on Embed.ly. A card is generated that I can then edit further to …




View Post

iMix, iWonder, iCreate: Digital Storytelling in Math

In EdTech, Google, Ipad, Math by rafranzdavis0 Comments

Yesterday, I presented my digital storytelling in math session for the second time and in doing so made some pretty hefty improvements. The gist of the session is to get teachers to place control of learning into the hands of kids. I have to say that I was super impressed with the openness and excitement of each teacher that attended. It was truly inspiring. Digital storytelling isn’t new but for some reason we often negate its value in math. For my students, their ability to connect learning to ideas that held their interest was truly powerful. I cannot speak enough …




View Post

Make Your Gmail Sing with MoveNote

In EdTech, Google by rafranzdavis0 Comments

If you haven’t heard of Movenote yet, please stop reading and go check it out. As a matter of fact, download the app and use it on pretty much any device that you happen to be using. It’s a great tool for doing simple task like visually communicating an idea or even telling an amazing digital story because with movenote, you become a part of the story which means that your personality gets to shine through in lieu of text only. In schools, we use movenote with our kids utilizing chromebooks. They have the power to record and share video …