“Eat Your Vegetables!”

Recipes for Ed Tech “veggies” I cannot live without.

It’s amazing how we adapt to change. First, we resist, deny, work around, and try the old chestnut: “If it’s not broken, why fix it?” Then, we are pulled into the change vortex, and we express frustration, but realize our protests are not likely to make a difference.

Someone comes along to convince us it’s worth a try, even if it doesn’t work for us. Someone says to us, like we’re kids who don’t like broccoli, “Hey, how do you know it’s bad unless you try it?” It’s a time-tested and parent-approved tactic that works. Perhaps you have noticed it has worked on you recently as you have adjusted to teaching using a hybrid or remote model.

The openness to change might take some time to take hold, but after you sample the “broccoli” and find out it tastes a lot better than you thought it would, then you may find you are more willing to try another “vegetable,” and the resistance you feel isn’t as overpowering as it was. The next thing you know, you’re contemplating the value of vegetarian meals a day or two a week and buying cookbooks.

Yup, that’s how change goes oftentimes.

Here are recipes for five ed-tech “vegetables” I tried and can no longer live without.

Crispy Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes: Digital Doc Cam

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 tablet (e.g., iPad Pro)
  • 1 computer (e.g., Macbook Air)
  • 1 web conference app (e.g., Google Meet)**
  • 1 app for digital notes (e.g., Good Notes)
  • 1 palm-rejecting stylus (e.g., Apple Pencil)

**Ensure the web conferencing app you are using can be used with the tablet and that you can share your tablet screen in the conference.

Recipe Procedure

  • Add the text you need to share (as a PDF, image, document, etc.) to the digital notes app as you prep for the conference.
  • Launch the conference from the computer, and then join from the tablet.
  • Share the tablet screen and navigate to the digital notes app.
  • Using your palm-rejecting stylus, annotate the document while you discuss it with students.

Preserve your work by exporting it as a PDF or image and adding it to the LMS.

Parmesan Roasted Carrots

Roasted Carrots: The LMS

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 well-designed, robust, sophisticated LMS
  • 1 easy-to-follow template for course design
  • 1 excellent training program for students and teachers
  • 1 healthy pinch of patience
  • 1 healthy pinch of optimism
  • 1 healthy pinch of a willingness to take risks

Recipe Procedure

Add the template and training program to the LMS, and liberally sprinkle the last three ingredients throughout the user community.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Lesson Planning Tools

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 paradigm like UbD (Understanding by Design)
  • 1 student-centered teaching philosophy
  • 1 reflective practice

Recipe Procedure

Combine ingredients until creamy-smooth and apply liberally to lesson planning.

Easy Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Broccoli: Robust Digital Resources

Recipe Ingredients

  • Several excellent, innovative, and participant-centered PD opportunities
  • Many resources for teachers, who are always creative and innovative
  • 1 healthy budget for apps to reinforce fundamental skills and concepts at a student’s pace, or apps that personalize learning
  • 1 printer package per student and teacher
  • 1 robust suite of office apps like Google or Microsoft, free to all

Recipe Procedure

Prepare the environment with excellent, innovative, and participant-centered PD opportunities and by providing access to resources for creative teachers. Using a healthy budget to procure apps that reinforce fundamental skills and concepts at a student’s pace, combine teacher-created resources with the reinforcement to reinvigorate the curriculum. Make sure that these resources can be used offline by providing a printer package for each student and teacher. Provide office apps to all to continue creating, reinvigorating, reinventing, and exploring all they need to teach and learn.

Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus: Excellent Web Conferencing

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 Robust Web Conferencing App
  • Many powerful devices
  • Consistent Internet access

Recipe Procedure

Mix all ingredients until well-blended and serve immediately.

Happy New Year!

I hope you find 2021 to be full of lightness, brightness, joy, kindness, love, and laughter. Thank you for reading!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s