Monthly Archives: September 2017

7 Reasons You Need to Try Voice Typing in Google Docs | Shake Up Learning

Jim Lerman: “One tiny little feature that packs an amazing punch is Voice Typing in Google Docs. This is a speech-to-text feature that is built-in to the most popular word processor in the world, and it is available to you and your students if you have a microphone in your devices.”
~ Thanks for the tip Jim!   ~ Dennis


Save your hands!  Use technology to save time and avoid typing. 


One ‘dominator’ can damage a group project – Futurity

Love them or hate them, group projects are a staple of college coursework. New research identifies a key aspect of successful teams.


Online group work can be the best of times or the worst of times. A little planning and insight go a long way. Solid article with good links to current research.  

Teaching Is Crazy Demanding—So I’m Making These Promises at Home

With the new school year fast approaching, I can already feel the jarring shift from attentive husband and doting dad to harried English teacher. I know I’ll soon be lost in trying to grade a set of essays, plan a new lesson on subject/verb agreement, prep for club meetings, and cheer on my students in their extracurricular endeavors. Every year I lose track of aspects of family life that have been so wonderful all summer. This year I am trying to make some changes to my teacher work-life balance.

These are the promises I am making to my family this year. 


All online teachers seek a work life balance.  Few attain it, especially early in their online careers.  It is easy to be ‘on’ 24×7. What promises do you make to yourself and your family as the new semester begins?

Examining the Helicopter Professor Label

We can withhold the guidance and support that makes learning experiences positive and constructive. The more interesting question is how we know whether we are doing too much or not enough. It’s a question that applies to individual courses, the programs to which they belong, and within our institutions.


Successful build self directed learning skills. Knowing how long to wait before entering a discussion is as important as knowing how quickly you should answer an e-mail.  Creating independent learners should be an objective for every course we teach. 

WGU Audit: Likely impacts for fragile movement of competency-based education –

A great deal of the perception of CBE is that there are “hundreds of schools” developing programs, often driven by a 2015 Public Agenda survey. What is happening in reality is that hundreds of schools are very cautiously dipping their toes in the CBE waters with no real commitment to make the model work, and they are only playing with courses and individual programs.


Competency Based Education is a modern response to market demands for education tuned to the marketplace. The recent WGU audit may upset the CBE movement. At a time when so many are calling for change in Higher Education,  the impact of this audit may echo for years. 

Google Extends Digital Literacy Training to Teachers

The tech giant’s Be Internet Awesome campaign now includes a free course for teachers.


Here is the path to some great online tools that will help you teach digital and information literacy.

7 Questions Principals Should Ask When Hiring Future-Ready Teachers

“I’m fascinated by trying to look forward rather than looking at what schools look like now,” said Alan November during a presentation at the conference. November has long been invested in education, first as a teacher and now has a consultant and speaker. He suggests that to fundamentally change, education leaders need to define a new role for learners and then hire teachers who can help nurture those qualities. With that in mind, November proposes seven questions that he thinks should become standard in the interviewing and hiring process.


I’ve been working with education technology since the 1980’s.  I can attest to the reality that schools (and teachers) are slow to change.  This article shows how principals can stack the deck when they hire ‘future ready teachers’. 

Learning theories and online learning | Tony Bates

Chapter 3 of my open textbook on ‘Teaching in a Digital Age‘ is about theory and practice in teaching for a digital age, which I am still in the process of writing. I have to admit that I approached writing about learning theories with some dread. In particular I was concerned (in order of dread) that:


This is why I often say, “When Tony Bates speaks, I listen.” ~ lessons from a master!