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Shake Up Learning Show

Jun 4, 2019

One of my favorite EdTech gurus is Cool Cat Teacher herself Vicki Davis.

She's a classroom teacher who has implemented full-scale project learning. She's also an instructional technology director.


Quick announcement: I will be doing a LIVE recording of the Shake Up Learning Show at ISTE! Join me on Tuesday, June 25th at 11:00 AM in the Flipgrid booth! If you will be attending ISTE and want to be a contributor on the show, fill out the form to get in the lineup! Details are here.


I’d like to give a huge shoutout to Amanda Casamento for her review on The Google Certified Educator Level 1 Academy, today, June 4th, 2019 is your last chance to sign up for the summer.


This episode is sponsored by Pear Deck which brings powerful learning moments to life through presentations. They are also part of Be Internet Awesome and integrate with Google Apps for Education. Shake Up Learning listeners can try Pear Deck Premium for 60-days for free.


Vicki Davis is one of my friends and mentors. She is on her 500th episode of her 10 Minute Teacher Podcast and her passion for learning and teaching is contagious. She teaches technology, blogging, photography and more. She is also the IT director at her school.


When she goes home, she blogs and podcasts. She also has three kids and several cats and dogs. You could either say she works all the time or that she never works, because she is living her passion through her work. It is such a pleasure to have her on the show today.


We talk about how Vicki brings her students passions to light by using technology to get them to create projects based on things that they are actually interested in. We talk all about project based learning and innovative ways to teach using technology, some of the amazing projects her students have worked on, and our shared passion for teaching.


In This Episode:

[06:02] Vicki teaches grades seven and eight. She teaches keyboarding, digital film, and blogging. She teaches introduction to computer science to ninth graders. This where they program apps, make , and record podcasts.

[06:29] She also teaches digital film, and is the IT director at her school Sherwood Christian Academy.

[06:41] She works with teachers to help them with their technology integration. At night, Vicki blogs and podcasts and she is a mom of three.

[07:50] Vicki teaches regular photography. Then she tries to get her kids to understand the power of the closeups. They put tiny people on pictures on a high quality monitor.

[09:28] These tiny people could be used as story starters.

[11:17] It's Vicki's goal to find the strengths of every student and to point those out. She also records her lessons and puts them in Edpuzzle.

[12:30] She wants her students to understand how to learn and pick up new skills using things like YouTube.

[13:11] Using Edpuzzle allows Vicki to clone herself. She also uses Nearpod.

[14:18] Technology can be used for learning, assessment, and feedback.

[15:41] Videos should only be for four to six minutes, because it takes longer to work through them with pauses.

[16:12] Vicki keeps it all about the kids and what they are interested in, but she also uses VR, AR, and 3D to really drive the point home.

[16:23] She had some kids in her class who really love to fish, so they are making an app about fishing.

[17:02] It's amazing to see what kids will do when you sparked their interest.

[17:24] Kids have to ideate to come up with app names, but the whole model is based upon their interests and what their personal masterpieces are.

[19:09] Project-based learning is learning while you do the project.

[20:19] Since these kids have been working on apps that they care about, they're more positive and energetic about school, learning, and life in general.

[21:03] Let kids pitch their ideas. Using the principle of the growth mindset, give them a yellow light, where they can move ahead once certain requirements are met. Production starts after getting the green light.

[22:37] Differentiate instruction with technology. This consists of rubrics, milestones, and checkpoints.

[24:24] There will be positive and negative checkpoints often wrapped in a compliment sandwich.

[25:32] Project-based teaching and learning is a very engaged process. There are also project managers who report at the beginning of the class.

[26:30] Vicki uses everything for her feedback loop from verbal comments to Google comments.

[28:08] Podcasting is some of the greatest professional development. Vicki has the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast. Teachers need knowledge and encouragement. Her 500th episode is also coming up.

[29:30] Vicki's strategy is to innovate like a turtle or take small baby steps every day.

[32:36] We should make our world a little brighter by doing what inspires us.

[34:09] Vicki began blogging, but was surprised when people actually started reading her work. She is building a source of inspiration and pride.

[37:03] We need to encourage the power to share our voices.

Podcast Question of the Week:

  • How do you unleash the passions of your students? How can you and your students “innovate like a turtle” and use Vicki’s tips?
  • Post your answers in the Shake Up Learning community or on your favorite social platform.

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Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

The Shake Up Learning Show

The Shake Up Learning Community on Facebook

Join the Shake Up Learning Book Study!

Shake Up Learning: Practical Ideas to Move Learning from Static to Dynamic by Kasey Bell

Education Podcast Network

LIVE Recording of The Shake Up Learning Show with Flipgrid at #ISTE19!

Cool Cat Teacher

Cool Cat Teacher Newsletter

@coolcatteacher on Twitter

10 Minute Teacher Podcast

House of #EdTech Podcast

Pear Deck

Be Internet Awesome

Pear Deck Premium for 60-days for free

Little People Doing Big Things



The Buck Institute