7 Productivity Secrets for Educators

Every Classroom Matters episode 206

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Productivity expert Dr. Frank Buck teaches us how to select the productivity tools to stay organized. Learn these seven productivity secrets to getting organized. Face it, educators have unique challenges and needs. In this show, Frank shares his “Magnificent 7” or the seven questions you should ask before you pick an electronic tool.
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7 productivity secrets dr frank buck

Productivity is a passion and hobby for Frank. If you’re struggling or know someone with a messy desk, listen to this show (or buy Frank’s book) to help them get organized.

Sometimes we have amazing people in charge; they just have horrible organizational systems. Post it notes – lists that they lose and write again and re-lose. These heroes are in hiding. They are hiding behind poor planning. We can unleash them by showing them systems that WORK.

If you care, share. We need great leaders who love kids. If they have that — they’re halfway there. But lots of leaders love children but can’t remember to show up for a meeting. None of us are born organized. And there are times we have to level up or get knocked down. If you know someone struggling with planning and organizing — help them by pointing them in Dr. Buck’s direction (or at least some direction of someone who knows how to organize!)

Essential Questions: 7 Productivity Secrets for Educators with Dr. Frank Buck

  • The one productivity secret for school leaders.
  • How paper and electronic tools need to work together.
  • The only file folders you need for organizing your paperwork.
  • What are the seven questions you ask about any productivity tool?
  • How to use Evernote with your classroom observations.
  • The two habits effective educators do every day.

Educator Resources from this Episode

Dr. Frank Buck productivity secrets

Your productivity system is only as good as your habits.

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7 Productivity Secrets for Educators

The post 7 Productivity Secrets for Educators appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

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Mattering Secret #1: “I See You”

Mattering Mondays with Angela Maiers

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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How can you help kids know that they matter and are important? Success in life and the world begins not just with self-esteem but with kids knowing that they matter. Angela Maiers is our guest today to talk about Mattering. Listen Now

Angela Maiers: Mattering Mondays

In 2016 we will have a few guests who will be part of an ongoing series. Angela Maiers will star on “Mattering Mondays” on Every Classroom Matters. Every other Monday, we’ll release an episode about mattering with ideas and inspiration to help kids know they matter. If you want to know more, pick up Angela’s free ebook Liberating Genius and join the Choose to Matter network!

Essential Questions: Why Your Students Need to Know that You See Them

  • What is one of the most important things you should say EVERY DAY so kids know they matter?

  • Three examples of knowing kids and the impact on students and parents. (You’ll realize why it is so important.)

  • How can you make time for every single child every week when you’re busy and have NO TIME to add anything else?

  • How did Angela bridge the gap with her son after he went to college? (I am using this idea and it is working for me and my son! Wow!)

Educator Resources from this Episode

I See You: Mattering Secret #1

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You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.button-itunes

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The 7 Devices of Transformation in Education

What Most People Don’t Realize About Change

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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I’m in the airport heading home from Miami Device as I draft this post. I learned so much; I’m exhausted. But some of the biggest things I appreciate are the people. Back in May, I purchased a Mac to use at home, and there are tons of tricks I still don’t know. When I plugged my computer into the projector, I saw something I didn’t know how to fix. Tony Vincent jumped up and showed me about four tricks to help me!

7 Devices of transformation in education

Now, one thing on my “Big 3” list is to study up on Keynote. Adam Bellow and George Couros convinced me of that. So, Richard Wells spent about 10 minutes with me one on one. He showed me some shortcuts, tips, and pointers on both Mac and Keynote. Wow.

Perhaps biggest and best of all, I spent some one on one time with Angela Maiers, Randy Turner, and many others. Those quiet conversations were fascinating and transformative.

But as I reflect on change, here are some principles of change that I gleaned from the many conversations, experiences, and sessions I attended.

Device of Change #1: Innovation is Done by Innovative People.

In the end, I’m reminded of one big thing:

The most transformative, innovative things in education wear flesh and walk around with skin on top.

When students, teachers and administrators become innovative – we innovate. The most innovative tool on the planet is an innovative teacher. (Perhaps only topped by the empowered, innovative student, but without the first, we cannot, sadly, have the second.)

Device of Change #2: Never Accept Wasted Time.

I’m struck by just how fast time goes.

Kid-ship comes with an expiration date that seems to be ending earlier and earlier.  Time is short, and we can’t waste kids.

When you waste time in school, you waste opportunities. Time is precious because children are precious.

I get a rare opportunity — I’m teaching my child. I am teaching my classes like I want my own son to be educated because I AM teaching him.

Device of Change #3: Empowered People Have the Power to Make Change Happen.

And we need teachers now, more than ever. No buzzwords, just people buzzing around excited about learning.

When school boards stop buying STUFF and start empowering PEOPLE, change will happen.

When they put as much energy into picking principals as they do designing school buildings or picking jerseys for the football team, we’ll see change.

Device of Change #4: Invest in technology and people.

I love what George Couros said in a leadership session,

“The question when you’re spending money is: is this an expenditure or is this an investment?”

And, my friends, this is a world of difference.

When you buy a laptop for every child and do not invest in training for teachers, you’ve created an expense:The lack of training will increase the expenses because of breakage. There’s also an opportunity cost that happens when kids don’t get to use the excellent technology that dims and dulls with age.

  • The lack of training will increase the expenses because of breakage.
  • There’s also an opportunity cost that happens when kids don’t get to use the excellent technology that dims and dulls with age.

Technology depreciates even faster when it is not appreciated with good use.

When you expense a 1:1 iPad program without a vision for how they will be used – you’re depreciated. If you don’t make an investment in the teachers, students, and programs to make them work, you’ve got an expenditure.

“Without vision, the people perish,” says Proverbs.

And that is most true.

Device of Change #5: Invest in Relationships

I’m a teacher. I work each and every day in investments. I don’t sell and buy stocks and bonds; I invest heavily in futures: the futures of children. I don’t waste time because that wastes lives. I don’t waste energy because that is an expenditure I can’t make. But investments — investments always pay back.

Once my son was struggling with a teacher. I was in agony to build a bridge. I said, “son, what do you wish your teacher knew about you.” His answer upset me greatly,

“I wish she knew my name.”

He felt like that the teacher never knew his name because she never said it.

There is no excuse — learn their names. Learning the names and calling the names of kids is an investment. We invest in relationships.

When you champion a child, you invest in the child. When you whine and complain, you expend your energy on wasted activities and diminish your ability to invest in kids.

Device of Change #6: Invest in Yourself

But here’s the thing about investments: you have to have something to invest. You have to have something of worth. You have to have energy, strength, and stamina to be able to invest. Sometimes you even need patience, forgiveness, and love.

An investment in yourself, is an investment in the kids you serve.

When you work day in and day out and never take time for a walk or to eat healthy food – you are spending your life, you’re not investing in it.

Investing always multiplies itself to give you more to invest. Expenditures are a bottomless pit.

In the End: Technology Change is About People

So, as I’m pondering the learning at Miami Device – the sessions were epic – they really were. But the biggest, deepest, fastest changes happened one on one when people invested their time in me. When I as student tuned all I had into what Tony and Richard as a teacher had to teach me — we had a powerful learning experience.

And that is often how the greatest changes have happened: one on one. Teacher and student. Investor and Investee.

It is all about relationships.

Device of Change #7: Decide to Be the Device

Technology is great, but technology is not the answer. We are. You and me. Together we move ahead and learn. Alone we struggle. We need each other. Our kids need us. They need us to be the transformational technology in the classroom.

For, my dear friends — THE one single best classroom innovation is the teacher who decides to learn, grow, and help her students do the same. Is it too much to ask to invest? How many more wasted expenses does it take before we realize that we are spoon chucking more money out the back door than we can bring in the front door with a wheelbarrow. (As my grandfather used to say.)

For that kind of change is unstoppable. That kind of change is what we need.

Flip your switch if you want to be the change. Make the investment and change your career and the course of the lives in your classroom.

Let’s be the innovation. Let’s be the change.

Let’s be the device.

Dear friends, sometimes it takes a little while for blog posts to make it live. Miami Device is an awesome event that happens each November. Thanks Felix Jacomino for inviting me in 2015. It took me a while to process all I learned. Sometimes the profound observations happen when you get lots of innovative people together and realize that lots of people HAVE technology but few have innovation. The people are the difference.

The post The 7 Devices of Transformation in Education appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

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MAD about Mattering: A New Global Collaborative App Project #steam

The Next Step in Global Collaboration

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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MAD about Mattering is a new project that is a dream come true for me! Last year, my students learned to program apps using MAD-Learn and released two apps onto the app store. Students were highly engaged but also pushed to new levels of knowledge and achievement in Computer Science as they developed their own apps. But we are ready to collaborate.

MAD about Mattering compassion driven innovation

This year, it is time to level up. So, I’m excited to announce a project I’ve co-created with my friends Angela Maiers from Choose2Matter, and Alefiya Bhatia from Crescerance/MAD-Learn to create the MAD about Mattering global collaborative app development project. (Press release below with hyperlinks to everything. My dear friend and former Flat Classroom administrator Lisa Durff is also involved.)

We are working to unleash student creativity and compassion as they collaborate, innovate, and learn together.

This first project will be smaller. We’ll document and publicly share what we’re doing. In the fall, some of you can join in with us, or create your own based upon the principle’s we’ll be sharing.

So, start small, perfect the process and scale up. This project is based upon the work I’ve done previously on projects like the Flat Classroom Project, Horizon Project, NetGenEd, Digiteen, Digitween, Eracism, a Week in the Life, Physics of the Future, Gamifi-ED and now MAD about Mattering!

Can you imagine kids collaborating and creating apps together? It is going to be so exciting! Please read the press release, visit the website, and watch the video if you want to know more. If you want to join us, apply on the website.

What is happening in the MAD about Mattering Project?

Visit madaboutmattering.com


MAD about Mattering: A Global Collaboration Among Students To Build Apps that Matter To Our World

ATLANTA, GA — MAD-learn by Crescerance, Choose2Matter, and award-winning global collaborative teaching and learning pioneer Vicki Davis announce the new “MAD about Mattering” global collaborative app development project. This new project will take the best of compassion driven innovation, mobile app development, and global collaboration to create a new model of collaborative engineering between students of all ages.

Students will be asked to consider their heartbreak to create an app that makes a difference to the world.

Following your heartbreak is the single most effective way to help individual and organizations to discover their purpose and find an innovative way to act on it,” says Angela Maiers, author of the best-selling book The Passion Driven Classroom and founder of the Choose2Matter movement.

“Innovation is not an event; it is an invitation to use your genius to better the world.  We are not only inviting students; we are imploring them to create something that could make the world a better place” says Maiers.

This project will happen this semester as teachers develop and share best practices for collaborative app development. A toolkit for teachers will be made available at the end of the 2015-2016 school year as an OER (open education resources), allowing other teachers across the world to follow this method of quad engineering.

“So far, many students have collaboratively written, researched, created video, and even built virtual worlds, but now it is time to engineer together,” says Vicki Davis, author of the award winning Cool Cat Teacher Blog and an original founder of the Flat Classroom Project, winner of the ISTE 2006 Online Learning Award. She has founded more than 20 global collaborative projects spanning the globe with thousands of students of all ages participating. “This is truly the next generation of global collaboration and we’re recruiting top classrooms to help perfect this method and share it with the world,” says Davis.

Vicki Davis was one of the earliest adopters to implement the MAD-learn program in her classroom, and quickly realized that it was an ideal tool for global collaboration.“We’ve seen students around the country do amazing things in their classrooms when they are given the ability and access to create technology in a simple fashion”, says Crescerance co-founder, Alefiya Bhatia. “Just imagine the potential of connecting these bright minds that exist in every country and enabling them to work TOGETHER to solve their heartbreaks!”

The MAD about Mattering project will kick off on February 1 and culminate with an online MAD-shark tank competition the first week of May as students pitch their apps to potential investors and vie to launch their apps to the world.

“We’re eager to create a network where students can not only create amazing apps that help our world, but also get access to mentors, industry experts, and investment to help take their ideas to the next level. We hear about phenomenal entrepreneurs all the time who have received investment from angel investors or VCs, why not a 15 year old?”, asks Alefiya Bhatia, co-founder of Crescerance and creator of the MAD-learn program being used in the project.

To learn more about this project please visit www.madaboutmattering.com or contact madaboutmattering@crescerance.com. You can also follow the movement on social media with the hashtag #appsthatmatter.

Media Contact:

Kathryn Brannen





The post MAD about Mattering: A New Global Collaborative App Project #steam appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

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