Friday, August 18, 2017

"Break Out" of the Classroom

Have you “Broken-Out” yet? The idea of an “Escape Room” might be seen as a novelty activity, however, planning a “Breakout” or “Escape Room” experience for your students might be just what your classroom needs. These types of experiences are rich ways to asses, gamify, build community and comradery in the classroom and just plain have fun!

What is a Classroom Breakout?
This type of Breakout is a series of puzzles that students must solve in a specified amount of time to unlock various locks on a box to reach whatever is placed inside the box. Unlike other “Escape Rooms” students are not trying to escape a physical location, they are instead trying to solve a series of puzzles to reach an end goal. A Breakout can be done using a physical box and locks, in a virtual format, or a combination of the two. This type of activity builds classroom community as the students must work together either in partners or small groups to complete the task. Breakouts are also great for assessment. Want to see if your students can add or subtract 3 digit numbers? Give them a Breakout task that uses these skills and watch the magic happen!

Ready to get started with your first Breakout? Let’s explore some options...including some budget friendly options below and a Breakout lesson plan ready to use! #teacherbudget

Option#1:
One of the most popular options is BreakoutEDU.
BreakoutEDU offers an immersive game platform, with all the tools necessary including lesson plans and games, to implement a Breakout experience in your classroom. The physical kit with box, locks and other tools starts at $125. Then simply choose a game, download, setup according to the directions and play.



Option #2:
The second option is a “Virtual Breakout.” These types of breakouts are done completely digitally using Google Sites. The teacher shares the link to the Breakout with each student or group of students to complete the breakout as a team. You could also have the class complete the breakout together using one device and having a “team captain” input the information for each lock to move on. The site could be displayed on a SMARTboard so all students can see clues, etc. to keep the game progressing.

The Virtual Breakout still consists of a timer and various locks (just like physical ones) that students must unlock to complete the Break Out. These locks are created using Google Forms and embedded onto your Google Site. [See example below created by my friend Lucia Perrotti for our Chromebook Camp.]



You can create your own Virtual Breakout or you can search for pre-made options in the Sandbox curated by BreakoutEDU digital. Can’t find exactly what you are looking for? Then why not create your own? BreakoutEDU digital also includes an entire “build your own” website with complete with videos and hyperlinked resources to put right into your virtual breakout! When you finish, be sure and upload your Break Out to the Sandbox for other users to try. #togetherwearebetter

Option #3:
Build your own custom Breakout! This year with my 2nd grade kiddos I decided to create my own custom end of the year Breakout using a combination of physical locks and a box as well as digital resources from BreakoutEDU.

First, I went to my local Dollar Tree and purchased a locking toolbox, a red bike lock, a green bike lock and a keyed lock. Since it was the end of the year I also snagged a box of cookies to put inside for my kiddos to share once they unlocked the box. Those cookies never tasted so sweet! Total cost $5.



For the task itself, I decided to design my Breakout around the last day of school. Here was the synopsis:


The teacher’s aren’t ready for the school year to end so they have locked the doors to the school! Will the students be able to “breakout” in time to enjoy their summer break or be destined to spend the entire summer in school with their teachers?



I created a Google Slide presentation with the directions for game play and embedded a timer. You can snag that presentation here. I also decided what three puzzles I wanted to use for the game. I decided to create my own puzzles (worksheet format) for the students to solve as a team. The first was a reading comprehension passage, the second was 2 and 3 digit addition and subtraction with regrouping, and the third was a fun cypher code. You can snag those puzzles here.

When students solved each puzzle it gave them a code to input on the Locks App from BreakoutEDU $1.99 in the App Store. I set up the locks in advance which would then give the students a riddle to solve which would unlock one of the physical locks on the box. (see facilitator's guide below for lock codes)



I also created a facilitator's guide for myself and other team mates (who were also going to be completing the Breakout). This was a great way to ensure that the game went smoothly in all classrooms and that each teacher knew exactly what to do. Think lesson plan. That’s here too with information on how to set up locks and set up gameplay.

When it came time to Breakout…. I have never seen my students so engaged. I kept thinking to myself, why did I wait so long to implement this in my classroom? This option did take a little time for set-up and creation but can be used year after year and did I mention it cost me all of about $7 and required only one digital device?


In the end, finding what works for you and your class is what is important about planning your first Breakout. Whether it’s a kit from BreakoutEDU, a virtual option using Google Sites or a combination of digital tasks using the Locks App and a physical box. Finding what fits your teaching style and your budget is what is most important.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to Breakout!





Jennifer Reaves
TIS/ Former 2nd Grade Teacher
Morgantown, WV
@jzwvu07
jreaves@k12.wv.us

Thursday, August 17, 2017

3 Take Home Messages from the Google Innovator Academy

It’s has been a week since the Google Certified Innovator Academy concluded in Washington DC (#WDC17) and I am still processing all that happened. From the application process, the face-to-face Academy and as I jump into the year long project, it has been an experience that has taught me a lot about myself and helped me to figure out who I want to become. As I begin to reflect on my experience, I am going to take a small nugget of what I learned from my coach Mark Garrison and use the rule of 3 to capture a small glimpse of my experience.

Serious Beginner
In Aikido, a Japanese martial art, there are no coloured belts as you progress, just white belts and black belts.After countless hours of training, sparring tests and learning from your sensei, you may be able to earn your black belt. The black belt doesn’t symbolize that you are a master at Aikido, but is a visual symbol that you are a “serious beginner”. Similarly, becoming a certified Google Innovator is just the start of my learning where I am now a serious beginner when it come to changing education. Hearing about past accomplishments and future visions from my cohort showed me there is so much more to experience and learn. As I embark on my project, my mindset is a serious beginner, where I am driven and dedicated to bringing my vision to life, but know this year will be a year of growth.

Family
One of the common pieces of feedback you hear about the Google Innovator Academy is that your cohort is your family. No surprise here, but I completely echo the sentiment! Family is all about unconditional support and in the academy there are times where I failed hard and failed fast. It is always tough to rebound from failure and acknowledge it, but the beauty of the cohort is that everyone from the leads, coaches, cohort; they all have your back and even help raise you up. With our projects, we were taken through the design thinking process and one of the coaches, Jennie Magiera lead us through an activity as described by Amy Burvall (coach) as “kill your darlings” where we determine the flaws in another person’s project. I left this activity heartbroken about my project, but not about myself - a small demonstration of the unconditional support received.



Heart Full
Stepping into Google Innovator Academy, I had the little voice inside my head doubting why I was included in the cohort - self-doubt comes too easily with me. What was impactful for me was at the academy nobody cared what your resume looked like but cared that you were there. One of my favourite moments was the first day where we had an opportunity to share a story that impacted us as an educator within our teams. Every story shared was emotional and real and it was amazing to have such an authentic experience rooted in a shared common passion for improving education. The Google Innovator Academy is sometimes described as the best professional development of your life, but I would describe it as the best personal development. There is a striking difference between professional development and personal development. At the end of a EdTechTeam summit, I often leave with my head full ready to try different things, but at the end of the Google Innovator Academy, I left with my heart full and inspired to change the world.




For more information about the Google Certified Innovator Academy and application for the next cohort visit: https://edutrainingcenter.withgoogle.com/certification_innovator

Applications for the next cohort in Stockholm, Sweden are open. Apply today!




Jason Trinh
Secondary Teacher
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Google Certified Innovator
@jasontries

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

10 Reasons Why I Have #FlipGridFever!


Cross-posted from The Technology Infused Classroom.
Use the promocode: HOLLYCLARK to get 90 days of FlipGrid Free trial.

Have you caught #FlipGridFever yet? If not, its time you did! This is arguably one of the best apps of 2017. It has so many layers of thinking it can uncover. At first view – it is a video response platform – but it is so much more, so layered, and so effective in helping teachers capture rich information about student learning and growth. Let’s take a look…

What is a FlipGrid?

In simple terms and from the website, “A grid is where your students go to view your topics, record their responses and reply to their classmates." These grids can be open or locked.

Why I love FlipGrid:

1. Everything presented in an organized grid – which makes it highly visual, easy to navigate, and assess.

Photo Source- flipgrid.com

2. The grid environment promotes metacognition – it provides an easy way for students to watch other student videos; self reflect, learn from each other, and compare their learning with that of their peers. This allows them to “think about thinking” and naturally throws them into a state of metacognition. Boom! Now that is good pedagogy!


3. Set up is really easy. You just name a grid, ask a question and let the video reflections begin. Each grid can have limitless topics – For example, name a grid “The Outsiders”, and have many topics or discussions within that one grid.

4. Provides a rich platform for pedagogical learning strategies like assessing prior knowledge, checks for understanding and reflection.

5. Works for EVERY subject – see below for 10 great ways you can use it in the classroom.

6. FlipGrid helps students to use video as an educational tool. It also teaches the digital citizenship lessons of commenting and communicating effectively with others via video and media (note: teachers need to spend a bit of time talking about proper commenting and meaningful replies first – students don’t naturally know how to do this in a constructive way).

7. Every student benefits from other students' perspectives. Students spend their lives taking videos, selfies and interacting on social media with a global audience – now teachers can harness the power and fun of social media in their classrooms.

8. Video responses often prompt further discussions among students and the class.

9. Allows you to hear from every student – even the ones who are shy or slow to respond – the students who don’t typically raise their hands. It works great for some students just need a bit more time to process and then post. I have seen shy students who don’t love posting their own face use SnapChat and filters to gain comfort posting. They might use the animal face filters to gain a sense of comfort around posting. It also allows students to build articulate verbal reasoning skills as they post and respond.

10. It meets students where they are – in our classrooms are kids who are hyper-connected and have the world as their social circle – and FlipGrid is a platform built for this type of Generation Z learner.

Read 15 Ways to Incorporate #FlipGridFever into the Classroom

Go ahead – try one out its easy. Just sign up at Flipgrid.com.

For more fun ideas like these check out our new book The Google Infused Classroom out now!


Holly Clark
NBCT
Google Certified Teacher
Author of The Google Infused Classroom
Educational Strategist and Head of Publishing
EdTechTeam
California
@HollyClarkEdu

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

EdTechTeam México- CEPAC Innovates!

En los días del 31 de julio al 2 de agosto EdTechTeam México tuvo la oportunidad de capacitar a un grupo de 21 maestros del Centro Educativo Para Altas Capacidades (CEPAC) que abrirá sus puertas este septiembre 2017, siendo la primera escuela pública de especialidad e innovación educativa del nivel básico, orientada a atender a alumnos diagnosticados con altas capacidades o superdotados en el estado de Jalisco en un espacio adaptado y equipado especialmente para llevar a cabo el aprendizaje integral que demandan y bajo la tutela de maestros capacitados para enfrentar este gran reto. El grupo de 21 maestros se dividió en dos grupos. El primero estuvo formado por 13 maestros con conocimientos muy básicos de las herramientas de GSuite para Educación. El segundo grupo conformado por 8 profesores ya habían tomado el curso para certificarse como educadores de Google en el nivel 1. Los maestros llegaron desde Guadalajara Jalisco en un autobús y a pesar de las largas horas de viaje, mostraron siempre una actitud positiva y comprometida. Durante tres días de intenso trabajo los maestros recibieron la capacitación para certificarse como educadores de google en los niveles 1 y 2 respectivamente. Debido al poco espacio que tenemos en nuestra oficina, Google México nos ofreció usar sus instalaciones para realizar esta capacitación. Durante estos días, los maestros también estuvieron expuestos a una sesión de expediciones, durante la cual el asombro y el entusiasmo dieron un toque muy emocionante a la sesión. Los maestros recibieron un trato muy especial por parte de Google, ya que fueron invitados a hacer un tour por las instalaciones y a comer en el comedor de Google, lo cual representó para estos maestros momentos muy especiales. EdtechTeam México así como Google México estamos muy entusiasmados con este proyecto que promete brindar a estos alumnos una educación basada en la innovación y en la colaboración. Felicidades a la SEP de Jalisco por tan extraordinario proyecto.



From July 31 to August 2 EdTechTeam Mexico had the opportunity to train a group of 21 teachers from the Educational Center for High Ability (CEPAC) that will open its doors in September 2017. CEPAC is the first public school of specialization and innovation, designed to assist students diagnosed with high capacities or considered gifted in the state of Jalisco, in a space adapted and specially equipped to carry out the comprehensive learning that these students demand and under the guidance of trained teachers prepared to face this great challenge. The group of 21 teachers was divided into two groups. The first consisted of 13 teachers with very basic knowledge of GSuite tools for education. The second group comprised of 8 teachers that had already taken the course to be certified as Google Educators at level 1. Teachers came from Guadalajara, Jalisco to Mexico City on a bus, and despite the long hours of travel, always showed a positive and committed attitude. For three days of intense work, teachers received training to be certified in levels 1 and 2 respectively. Due to limited space in our office, Google Mexico offered us their facilities for this training. During these days, teachers were also exposed to a Google Expeditions session, during which the wonderment and excitement gave an exciting touch to the training. Teachers received a special treatment from Google, as they were invited to tour the facilities and have lunch at Google, which accounted very special moments for this amazing group of teachers. We at EdtechTeam Mexico and Google Mexico are very excited about this project that promises to give these gifted students an education based on innovation and collaboration. Congratulations to the SEP of Jalisco for such extraordinary project!





Paty García
Google Certified Innovator
& Trainer
Director of Professional Development
EdTechTeam
Mexico




Aprende más sobre ImpactoEDU haciendo click aquí. Contáctanos a través de este formulario o mandando un correo a ImpactoEDU@edtechteam.mx


Friday, August 11, 2017

Connecting Coding to Robotics with Sphero

I love teaching robotics and coding! Sometimes, learning to code can be a struggle for students if they can’t see a direct application to the work they are doing. As a teacher, I wanted an easy-to-use robot I could incorporate into my classes and Makerspace that would help students see coding in action. After researching options and reading reviews, I decided on the Sphero SPRK. I love the Sphero because coding the robot is easy, even for beginners. Simply connect the robot to your device via Bluetooth, and start coding with the free Lightning Lab app. The Sphero is durable, too; it can handle a drop off with a surface under 3 feet high, go for a swim, and be used with paint! The Sphero SPRK model was $129. Through Donors Choose, I was able to acquire two Sphero SPRKs for my classroom and Makerspace two years ago. I teach students in grades 6, 7, and 8, and the Spheros are one of the most popular items at our Makerspace. Students have created paintings with our Spheros, built obstacle courses in hallways and classrooms, and have taken them for a swim!


Our local university, Black Hills State University, hosts GEAR UP in the summer. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a competitive grant program of the U.S. Department of Education that increases the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education by providing States and local community-education partnerships six-to-seven year grants to offer support services to high-poverty, middle and high schools. A component of the South Dakota GEAR UP Program includes a 3-week Summer Honors Program for students from the grant’s Partner Schools. From https://www2.ed.gov/programs/gearup/index.html and Peggy Diekhoff, BHSU GEAR UP Project Manager


I was asked to teach a technology course for the GEAR UP class at BHSU this summer. My 2 weeks of class time was to be focused on programming. My students would be in grades 9, 10, 11, or 12 next school year. Many students did not have experience with coding or robots in their schools. I knew that I would have access to LEGO Mindstorm robots, Sphero SPRK Robots, CodeCombat licenses, iPads and laptops.

At the start of our class time, students answered questions about their experience with coding and robotics, as well as their interest in different opportunities in class the next 2 weeks. On the first and second day of class, students were introduced to the Hour of Code through Code.org’s video What Most Schools Don’t Teach and coding lessons with the Hour of Code.



During the first week of class, the first and third class periods could work on LEGO Mindstorms in groups of 2-3 (if they had an interest in robotics on the survey). Alternatively, students could work on CodeCombat.com (link) curriculum, different course levels were available in the areas of Game Development, Web Development, and Computer Science. The second and fourth class periods could work on Sphero SPRK Robots in groups of 2-3 if they were interested in robotics or the CodeCombat lessons mentioned above. Students had access to iPads with the Lightning Lab app installed. They were encouraged to figure out how the Sphero operated and then to combine code blocks to cause their robot to create a shape. Students figured these tasks out quickly and began building their own obstacle courses. Students had cardboard, painters tape, and small empty storage containers they could use to create their courses. Students designed a maze with multiple entrances and exits, a maze with a ramp, and a course that was more like a race track with a ramp.

While working in their small groups students began to connect the code blocks to control the Sphero. Students immediately made connections to the different Hour of Code activities they had tried and the mechanics of the Sphero programming. Each day that students came back they scouted out their same iPad from the day before so they could continue to work on their code. Once students had enough code to get the Sphero through one of the courses, they would continue to refine the code, working on making it faster, adding noises and different colors.


After the first week, the different groups switched. The students who started with the Spheros and moved to the LEGO Mindstorm robot and software had a much easier time programming their robots than the first group. Students who worked with the Spheros before attempting the more advanced Code Combat lessons were better able to problem solve and persevere as they learned more complex coding statements.

The Spheros were such a hit that I brought my 2 Spheros from school the last few days of class. Students who had expressed no interest in learning robotics during our time together were asking to work on the Sphero with other students and creating code with the help of their peers.


At the end of our time together, I asked students questions about the Spheros. Students who used the Spheros in class said that the Sphero helped them learn to code. Many students said they would like to have Spheros at their school. I asked students what they would tell others about Spheros if they were thinking of using them to learn about coding or robotics: “I would say that Spheros offer a simple method of coding and it’s fun. Also, Spheros are a combination of robotics and coding”; “It’s fun; makes coding easier to learn because it’s engaging”; “That it’s a great choice and would benefit them in the future”; “Yes, use the Spheros! They help teach coding to many and it’s very fun”.

Many robots are available for purchase today. Thinking about who will be using the robots is important--as well as what you hope to accomplish with its use--when you are deciding which robot to purchase. I love that the Sphero is accessible for a wide range of learners (ages 8+). The easy-to-use controls in the Sphero apps provide a great entry point for using a robot and allow for users to gradually explore more control with coding. Spheros are a great tool for students to see coding in action.



Teri Bauerly
STEM Educator
Spearfish Middle School
South Dakota

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Classroom 2.0 Live: The Google Infused Classroom


Cross-posted from The Technology Infused Classroom by Holly Clark

Welcome back to a new school year! We are so excited to have two amazing educators and authors, Holly Clark and Tanya Avrith, to help us kick off our new year! They will share ideas from their new book “The Google Infused Classroom” which is based on the premise that we need to fuse great pedagogy with powerful technology tools to create meaningful learning experiences for our Generation Z students. They will go over some of the concepts from the book, as well as showcase some fun ways you can really get at student understanding in your classroom! This webinar will be a great way to get inspired for the upcoming school year – and learn ways to take learning to the next level.






Get your copy today!




Wednesday, August 9, 2017

EdTechTeam Online Teacher Leader Cohort- Tells All!

Looking to make it your Best Year Yet?

Have you heard of the EdTechTeam Online Teacher Leader Cohort?

Here are 6 common questions the Teacher Leader Cohort alumni helped us answer!

Take advantage of the early bird pricing available until August 20 and sign up for our Teacher Leader Cohort starting on September 11!
Six courses that will challenge you to make positive changes in your classroom and school everyday! EdTechTeam Online Teacher Leader Certificate

1. Too busy to go to another PD session or workshop?


As Ryan Clark (January 2017 cohort member) says, “The teacher cohort is a tremendous vehicle to professional development. Here are the reasons that it worked for me. The coursework fit within my hectic schedule as a father and professional. Courses were delivered in two week increments which was enough time to be flexible but not enough for me to be apathetic."


2. Is it affordable?

Ryan Clark goes on to say: "The cost of the cohort was a good financial value. Compared to other graduate credits I have earned, these credits were less expensive and had a more significant impact my pedagogy. The learning was personalized based on my choices. I could merely investigate material that was foreign to me or dive deeper into the topics that I was previously familiar with or that inspired me."

3. Think you already know how to flip a classroom?


Cory Kulak-Berndt (June 2017 cohort member) says: "I had always heard of the flipped classroom, however I saw it as listen to instruction at home and then complete questions etc. in the classroom. I did not see the potential for differentiation, short movies with questions embedded and the ability to collaborate and work on projects during class time. The flipped classroom allows students greater independence and activities they complete to have a lasting impact on their learning."

4. Will the courses even apply to me?


Amy Garoutte says: "I found every class useful and immediately applicable in improving the learning experience for my students. After the class, I try to apply at least one of the topics from the Teacher Leader program to each lesson. The knowledge I gained from the Teacher Leader program was truly and immediately transformational. This was without a doubt one of the best experiences of my teaching career!"

5. How will I expand my own PLN or grow as an educator if all the courses are online?


Debra Segiet says: "It was great to meet and collaborate with people from all over the world that could provide insight into how they teach certain concepts and share their resources. I learned so much and have expanded my personal learning community and toolbox of resources! This experience has inspired me to constantly reflect on my teaching and make changes where applicable...and to feel confident that I have a community of support when I need assistance in making those changes!"



6. Which course has had the biggest impact in your teaching career?



Shelley Emslie: "Although the every course was fantastic, Visual Literacy, had a profound impact on my teaching. I may be aging myself here, but when I was in school and communicating with my friends, we read textbooks and passed handwritten notes in the halls after class. We did not have Snapchat, Instagram, or any social media. As I watched my daughter the two weeks of that course, I realized she did in fact, mostly communicate through pictures, not words. We, as teachers, need to help our students decipher messages visually, in addition to teaching the core subjects. "






Tracy Purdy
Director of Online Learning
EdTechTeam
Google Certified Innovator
and Trainer
Minnesota, U.S.A
@trapurdy






Dominque Dynes
Director of Professional Development
Latin America
EdTechTeam
Google Certified Innovator and Trainer
Guadalajara, Mexico
@DominiqueDynes






Tuesday, August 8, 2017

One Year Later: 2nd Cohort of New Innovators Finish Their Yearlong Cohort

The #COL16 Cohort from Boulder, Colorado of #GoogleEI Innovators has completed their yearlong support towards completing an Innovation Project after the Innovation Academy last June. Cohort members met this last month to share some of their projects and next steps, and here’s a few great highlights to get you involved and inspired.

IMG_7646.JPG

“It's been amazing having the opportunity to seek out others in the cohort as a resource.  My entire career, I've been on an "island" or worked in districts with closed mindsets when it comes to teaching with technology.  Even schools who went 1:1 still stressed counterproductive practices.  Being hooked into this community helped keep me in an innovative place and really grow both within and outside of my workplace.”

Screenshot 2017-08-02 at 4.10.39 AM.png
Dan Sharpe
Mentor: Justine Driver
BadgeU aims to reclaim your classroom through intrinsic self motivation by capturing those moments that grades could never capture. Things like kindness, empathy, tenacity and creativity can now be acknowledged, celebrated and captured using a digital badge!


Innovator: Stephanie Filardo
Mentor: Joanna Sanders
A resource to help parents understand GSuite for Edu and how their child may use it at school.


Innovator: Brooke Whitlow
An initiative designed to provide opportunities to expose and empower young girls in STEM related fields and inspire them with positive, female STEM mentors.


Innovator: Shelanna Sturgess
Mentor: Fanny Passeport

Play is a universal, engaging teaching practice. I have a created a website that hosts a series of game templates that teachers can copy and adapt for their own teaching practice. Play is a powerful teaching and learning practice, because all cultures in the world play games and most students love to learn through play.

Innovator: Mike Filipetti
Mentor: Sylvia Duckworth
In order to help preserve the Ojibway Language, I have created a project to add the use of Ojibway Syllabics to Google Input Tools.  This would allow users worldwide, access to type in traditional Ojibway Syllabics.


Innovator: Steven Hopper
Mentor: Dan Leighton

Why do calls for "redefined" teaching and learning remain unanswered, even after the introduction of 1:1 devices? Are educators prepared to design instruction for digital classrooms? Discover how the Technology Integration Planning Cycle (Hutchinson & Woodward, 2013) can prepare teachers to think differently about lesson design in a 1:1 environment.

Innovator: Melissa Oliver
Mentor: Jeffrey Humphries
Create Accessibility is about Improving access of online media for people with disabilities by building awareness and resources regarding accessible design for educators and their students.


Innovator: Dee Lanier
Mentor: Isabel Moares
A Smashboard is a Hyperdoc that leads students through the design-thinking process, involves app-smashing, collaborative goal-setting, and iteration. The main objective is for learners to create a unique product that solves a real-world problem.

Innovator: Carlos Galvez
Mentor: Matt Hayes
Began by inspiring 2 young dancers at my school to form a crew.  I never told them it was me.  I actually made up a student who didn't really exist to motivate them through a gamified project.  The idea has morphed into thepassionincubator.com, a website for teachers to get inspired to start passion projects in their own schools and the final idea will be to create physical incubators in schools for teachers to handle the ideation process for these programs themselves.

Innovator: Tom Mullaney
Mentor: Delaine Johnson
Tom Mullaney has worked with students in grades four through twelve in urban, suburban, and rural schools during his fourteen years in education. On Sustainable Teaching, he talks with fellow educators about making the profession sustainable and the school day exciting for students.



Innovator: Jeremy McBrayer
Mentor: Aaron Slutsky
Linking community partners with students for the purpose of no strings attached WiFi access.


Innovator: Austin Houp
Mentor: Nate Gilhardt


Create A Collaborative Space For Students to: Explore Large Scale Questions, Categorize Completed Projects, & Ultimately provide students around the world the opportunity to work together collaboratively via ConnectEDU!


Innovator: Desiree Alexander
Mentor: Danielle Filas

Educator Alexander Consulting, LLC will create a worldwide network of educators focused on the constant and consistent improvement of education for our students.

Innovator: Patrick Donovan
Mentor: Scott Moss
Crowd sourcing examples of gamification models that are being used in classrooms or for teacher learning. The site (gamifyschool.com) has a form for teachers to quickly fill out in order to share out their model on the site. The site will be updated with resources and other information as more and more teachers share.

Part of being an Innovator is having an existing Innovator paired with you as a mentor; here’s a few great words about COL16 mentors!

 “Shaelynn was so helpful in getting me thinking about the early phases of my project and narrowing my focus to visual literacy. She also supported me in my new coaching role and provide some great resources for me to check out.”

 “Sylvia Duckworth has been so much more than a mentor to me...She is a total professional and a role model.”

 “Fanny helped with a book chapter that I wrote on gamification. I loved having someone I could talk to and ask questions. Fanny was always so inspiring and encouraging. I will be travelling to India to work on ERP system and I am hoping times line up so that I can meet Fanny in person.”

“She is amazing! She helped me so much and we worked so well together! She is the best!”

Check out the EDU Transformation Center Innovator Project Directory for even more great Innovation projects, and apply now for the next cohort in Sweden this October.