Show 30: Teaching IB History

Guiding Question: With so much pressure on IB teachers to deliver content knowledge to students, how can IB teachers design and facilitate more student-centered learning experiences?

Guest: David Riehl of Washington International School

Here are a few of the strategies that David sent as follow up to support what was shared in the podcast.

Some strategies that I try to employ in order to process and internalise content include:
  • The use and development of historical models eg. when teaching “The Origin and Development of Authoritarian States/ Wars" - these allow for the "layering of content" into a very visual/spatial construct while addressing bigger picture questions like "Are there discernible patterns in History?".  ie, Chunking of information.
  • The use of manipulatives eg.  When the order of events is key to understanding, type out the events in order.  Have the students cut them into strips (fun!!) and then place them back in correct order.  These can be kept in envelopes and reused for review. Just now as we are looking at the post-Lenin power struggle. I created Bolshevik cards where the students collect biographical information on the back side and positions vis a vis NEP for example. As we read a text or watch a movie the students should move the cards around to suit.  Good for checks for understanding etc. Again useful for review.
  • A primary source on a large poster size paper where a pair group must discuss material. Skills - agree on a message/meaning, value/limitations using the OPVL skills taught in the IB program. Ask key questions - What happened before this source was produced?, What happened after?  What can we determine from the source/what questions remain? Display of this work where possible illustrates/builds a thinking culture aesthetic and not just one of information.
  • Nothing beats a field trip or a guest speaker. I have been fortunate in my previous schools abroad to be near to centres of key events.  Right now I live in one.  Whatever the barriers/obstacles/demands on our time, I have found the investments worth it and trips memorable.

Tips of the Week:

David C: Two Edweek posts by Larry Ferrlazzo on using Ed Tech to support the learning process where he presents several bloggers and their viewpoints. Post 1 of a multi-part series.

Mark: The Microsoft Partners in Learning Network is a great resource for teachers and instructional technology folks. The PiL network is a massive, active community of educators and offers rich tutorials, great collections of tools, learning activities, and discussion groups.

David R: for history lovers, community-based: journal articles, media, etc. Series by the BBC on “People’s Century” for turning points in the 20th century. Storytelling and oral history.

Show 29: Overview of the IB Diploma Program

Guiding Questions: What are the learning goals set out by the IB organization for students taking IB courses in high school? What are ways IB teachers use technology to enhance learning?

Guest: Greg Moncada, STEM Coordinator for Bainbridge School District

Tips of the Week:

Greg- to get an overview of the progams. Look for blogs there was well.

Mark- Linoit is a great collaborative corkboard tool that is great for sharing notes, resources and links around a topic. It offers some of the same advantages as something like Pinterest or, but can also opportunities to discuss, through a series of post-it notes, along with the resources posted. You can also embed video clips, images, and links to documents. I’m looking forward to using this as a discussion board tool in my courses this spring.

David- World War II Learning Pursuit web site. I created this web site to house all the information for my IB HL and SL classes when we studied WWII. It uses technology in the form of Google Docs and online mind maps to provide the mechanism for students to record, process and reflect upon their learning. The resources section of the site lists links to a wide assortment of media. At the end of the school year the Google Docs and mind maps for each unit of study formed the basis for the study guides that teams of students constructed in preparation for their exams. I really pushed the students to use a wide variety of skills to not only gather and curate information but to push them to answer the much bigger essential questions often by working together.

Show 28: TPACK- It Takes a Village!

Guiding Question: How can we draw on distributed expertise to help pre and in-service teachers develop their TPACK?

If you are new to the term “TPACK”, do listen to our previous podcast on TPACK and the Learning Activity Types. You can also review the TPACK website.


Tips of the Week:

David- Jonathan Martin in his 21K12Blog shares insights and information about how to assess HOTS. He draws from the book How to Assess Higher Order Thinking Skills authored by Susan Brookhart. Jonathan is an incredible writer who goes in depth on the topics he covers. If you are not following him, definitely start to.

Mark- Creaza is a really amazing Web tool that enables teachers and students to create really feature-rich mind maps, create amazing cartoons, and edit audio and video all in the Web browser. All the apps are integrated and can be shared either publically or privately online. Free and premium versions are available.

Future Shows: We will have guests on to talk about the IB diploma program.

Show 27: Peter Pappas and iBook Publishing

Guiding Question- What are the promises and pitfalls of creating books in iBooks Author?

Guest: Peter Pappas

Tips of the Week:

David: Edgamer show where they speak with the creator of the Quandry role playing online game to give students opportunities to learn about ethical decision-making. Edreach also has a new podcast featuring my old podcasting partner, Jeff Utecht, along with fantastic thinkers and leaders like Kim Cofino. The show is called COETAIL Presenters and look to listen to hear how international schools are really leading in ICL integration.

Peter: on iBooks Author  Publishing with iBooks Author

Mark: The Teaching Channel is a great collection of inspiring teaching videos. It’s a great collection of robust and powerful classroom examples. I really liked a STEM-focused science lesson on heat loss. There’s also a really interesting middle school social studies lesson focused on maps and migration using interactive maps. They don’t all incorporate technology, but they would be a great starting point to think about ways in which some of the lessons might be enhanced through technology.

Additional Links:


Show 26: Peter Pappas

Guiding Question: How might technology be used to foster and support higher level thinking in our schools?

Guest: Peter Pappas


Tips of the Week:
Peter: Ken Watanabe - Problem Solving 101 - interesting in that he designed the book to teach Japanese children critical thinking. It caught on with adults and has since spread. It includes a variety of problem solving strategies. Great inspiration to incorporate in the classroom. Slideshare on Students as Historians.
Mark: is a site that allows you to “stitch together” Web content into a sequential collection. It is great for creating resource links, but even better for creating guided explorations of topics for your students online. With each site or bit of content you link to, you can create a title and brief directions at the top.  
David: Andrew Taylor in his blog adds to the conversation about digital textbooks. Also, we have spoken about the idea of creating menus of instructional and assessment strategies to be built into units of study when your curriculum collaboration teams meet. This means teachers can have lots of choice in deciding which learning strategies work best to differentiate lessons. There is an excellent series of books entitled Differentiating Instruction With Menus for Language Arts, Social Studies, etc. written by Laurie Westphal published by Prufrock Press that offers this same model. The books are filled with learning activity types as we spoke about in our last show. They are presented in a menu fashion for students to have choice over how they communicate their understanding. Here is a link to a Amazon listing of all the books. Thanks to Kathy Heyder of Alexandria Country Day School for sharing these excellent resources for differentiated instruction.

Next Show: We continue our conversation with Peter.

Show 25: TPACK and the Learning Activity Types (LAT)

EQ: What is TPACK? What are the Learning Activity Types (LAT)? How can they support teaching and learning in your school?

Tips of the Week:

  • TPACK site
  • A listing of articles about learning activity types that Mark and Judi Harris wrote for Learning and Leading with Technology. Go to the navigation area on the left to choose articles by subject area.

Mark: Spundge is a really interesting site to build collections around different topics. At first it looks like Pinterest or or any number of “pinning” sites. What’s different about Spundge though is that the site automatically pulls in content related to the topic from Twitter, YouTube and other social services. The content is a little hit or miss in terms of relevancy for the topic, but it pulls in some resources that you might not otherwise stumble upon.

David: I have two resources from the world of independent schools in the US. The first is a publication by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) about efforts to integrate blended learning into independent schools.

The second resource is an excellent blog called the Learning Pond authored by Grant Lichtman who is the CFO of a west coast independent school. Grant is currently on sabbatical traveling the US looking for innovative practices in independent schools. Grant’s very thoughtful and insightful writing gets at the change process highlighting specific schools while offering his take on the process.  

Next Show: Peter Pappas. Educator, blogger and consultant. Checkout his blog at:

Edtech Co-Op Show 24: Update on STEM

EQ: Where are we headed with STEM?

Guest: Greg Moncada

STEM blog Greg runs for Bainbridge School District

Tips of the Week:

David: A teacher put together the ClassBadges site where you can create accounts for your class or school so that each student can have a record of badges he/she is working towards and earning. Very nice artwork on the badges and an easy way for teachers to target specific benchmarks and skills they want their students to learn.

Mark: In my class at William & Mary, my students have been developing Mightybell spaces to curate collections of content specific Ed tech tools and resources. We've developed collections in the core content areas. For each entry students describe the tool, discuss the connection with the curriculum and identify affordances and constraints for using them in the classroom. Please email the show using the contact info on the Ed Tech Co-Op blog for an invitation.

Greg: Look for the Researcherswithoutborders for the STEM visualization page. You will find a critical components infographic there.

Show 23: The ISTE Standards for Coaching

EQ: How do the ISTE standards for coaching measure up in real world practice?

Tips of the Week:

- ISTE NETS-C And look to download the white paper on Technology, Coaching and Community
-The Standards section of David’s eFolio
- Link to Judi Harris’ articles in Learning and Leading with Technology on Ed Tech Professional Development

Mark: Kerri Mahoney just shared with me the excellent copyright resources from the Media Education Lab at the University of Rhode Island. Be sure to check out the Best Practices document and great videos.

David: The Teacher Channel provides video recorded classroom examples of instructional and assessment strategies. Many of the strategies support differentiation.

Next Show: Greg Moncada, the STEM Coordinator for the Bainbridge Island School District, joins us to talk about the latest trends in STEM education.

Show 22: Universal Design for Learning

EQ> How can technology tools and resources help teachers meet the diverse needs of students in the classroom?

Tips of the Week:

Mark- Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) , Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age

UDL Mightybell Space-  Community created by Mark to discuss and share UDL resources, if you’d like to join the space, email us with the request and we’ll invite you with your email address.

David- Tyranny of the Textbook by Beverlee Jobrack. Excellent book where the author explains one more component of K-12 education that is not shifting to support School/Learning 2.0 principles. The chapter on technology is concise covering why money spent on technology usually does not lead to changes in instruction and student learning. Ms. Jobrack sings our tune expressing the value of developing curriculum that is well-designed pushing teachers out of their comfort zones.

Shifted Practice: How to improve your new teacher orientation.

Next Show: We discuss the ISTE standards for coaching with educational technology.