Sep 262014
UEN Professional Development offers an amazing 6-week online course on Project Based Learning. You can learn more about this course here. Below are some good foundational & informational articles and resources from this course to help you get started with PBL in your classroom:


The Power of Project LearningScholastic Administrator
This article highlights how project-based learning helps to prepare students for their future in the workforce by allowing them to focus on real world issues while working collaboratively and using available technology to generate answers and solutions while still addressing curricular goals.

Start With the Pyramid: Real World Issues Motivate StudentsEdutopia
This article illustrates the benefits of engaging students by using hands-on, real-world problems to achieve learning goals. Watch the video, “Project Learning: An Overview” embedded in the article which shows examples of some authentic projects that students are working on around the country.

What is PBLBuck Institute for Education

Why is Project-Based Learning ImportantEdutopia

Videos that show project-based learning in action in Elementary and Middle Schools:

How Does Project-Based Learning Work?Edutopia
This reading will walk you through the steps required to implement meaningful, project-based learning experiences.

Characteristics of Well-Designed Project-Based UnitsIntel

What Makes a Good Project?Gary Stager
In this article, the author highlights eight characteristics of a good project and then gives you questions to ask yourself as you begin to formulate your ideas to ensure a meaningful project design.

Design Principals for Effective Project-Based LearningPBL Online

Getting A Grip On Project-Based Learning: Theory, Cases And RecommendationsMichael M. Grant

PBL TutorialsIMSA PBL Network

Aug 182014


Chromebooks: Educational Tools & Resources

Collaboration Made Easy with Google Drive

Getting Started with Google Classroom

Create and grade quizzes with Google Forms & Flubaroo. 3 Minute Video on how it works.

Need a student account in Garfield? Request one here.

Aug 162014


Google Classroom

Curious about Google Classroom? Hopefully I can answer your questions or take a look at my Getting Started with Google Classroom video (YouTube) or presentation here.

What is it?

  • Classroom is a brand new tool from Google that was designed hand-in-hand with teachers using Google Drive with their students to help them save time, keep classes organized, and improve communication with students.
  • It’s like a super light version of Canvas
  • Classroom = an easy to drive VW Beetle, Canvas = a Ferrari with all of the bells and whistles
  • Take a look at this Classroom Overview

What can it do?

  • Create classes with a click
  • Add students to classes by email or a student entered code (automatically generated)
  • Class ‘Stream’ for discussions
  • Create assignments using 1 or multiple uploaded files, Drive docs, YouTube videos or web links
  • Open discussions in assignments, or private notes/discussion on individual assignments
  • Online assignment turning in, grading and returning
  • Automatic Drive folder and document creation – everything is created, shared and organized automatically for teachers and students!
  • Download assignment grade spreadsheet
  • Lots more now, and much more to come!

Take a look at Google Classroom in action.

A few things to know first…

  • Classroom has JUST been officially released… We are still figuring out the administration side.
  • To start with, teachers and students must both have the same email address domain to use Classroom (this may change in the coming months)
  • Let your district Tech folks know you’d like a student account!

How do I get started?

  • Get a student Google Apps for Education account in your school district (if you are not already on the same domain as your students)
  • Head to
  • Log in using your new student account
  • On this page, choose ‘Teacher’ as your role, and submit.
  • You should now be ready to use Classroom!
  • Click the ‘+’ on the top right of the page and create a class
  • Give your class a name and section/period if you’d like
  • Once your class is open, head to the ‘About’ tab.
  • Give your class a title, description, & room number.
  • Lower on the ‘About’ tab you can add any class materials like:
    • Syllabus
    • Rules
    • Links to class Web site or other sites
  • Now, head to the ‘Students’ tab
    • Add a student or two to start via email address
    • Students can self-enroll by using the class code at

Where do I go from here?

  • If you just want to see the highlights and ‘figure it out’ on your own, watch this.
  • If you’d like a step-by-step tour that you can view and complete at your own pace, please watch this.

Complete step-by-step instructions are here.

Aug 152014


Welcome to Beaver County School District! I don’t have a set agenda for today, so we’ll let your questions guide where we go and what we do. Below are links to other posts and presentations from my site that will help after and go beyond what we cover today:

Aug 102014


This is an exciting time in Beaver County. It will be amazing to see just what you, your teachers and students can accomplish with 24/7 access to Chromebooks, Google Drive, the Internet, and the World. We have a LOT to cover today – here’s our ambitious agenda. All of the information and resources we will cover today are accessible from the presentation below:

Aug 082014


Thanks for joining me today to go beyond the basics of your SMARTBoard and the Notebook software. Here’s what we will cover today:

  • Lesson Activity Toolkit review
  • Activity Builder
  • Linking to websites & other resources
  • Animate Objects
  • Page Recording & Floating Recorder
  • Balloon Pop
  • Timer with Transparent Background option
  • Using Video
  • Free Student Response Systems (if time permits)

You can download the Notebook files that we will be working with today:

Watch the recording of our session here or find it on my YouTube Channel.