I'm always on the lookout for new edtech tools to improve student reading skills. Check out my Wakelet collection with Online Reading Tools
This year I decided to use ReadTheory with my students. What I like about this tool is that it personalizes reading for each student. The tool automatically recognizes the student's reading level and matches it with the appropriate text and questions. The teacher does not assign reading texts, the tool does. After students take a placement pretest, they are placed at a level and are assigned reading passages at random from within that level for the student. Students are continually challenged to improve their reading skills and move to the next reading level. Text complexity is measured with the Lexile Framework for Reading. Students can also earn knowledge points, e.g. 1 KP per question, 2 KP for a challenge question, 30 KP for getting a perfect score on a quiz, etc. KPs are solely motivational in nature and can be used to facilitate in-…

Learning Menu - Plastic Challenge

Now when schools in so many countries are closed, here is a learning menu that you can use and adapt to your context. As I wrote in this post, learning menus can be used to differentiate instruction and provide students with choice. Students can decide how they will explore a concept and how they will show what they have learned. 

The topic of the learning menu is tackling plastic pollution.  It contains three sections - Appetizer, Main Course and Desert, each consisting of three tasks.

The tasks in the Appetizer section are compulsory - students have to complete all of them. In the Main Course section students can choose one task they want to work on. The Desert section is optional, however, the activities in this section are simply irresistible and students will most likely be happy to do them.

You can download this learning menu here

Teacher PD Choice Boards, Learning Menus and Playlists

In most of my technology training workshops there are teachers of different levels of digital competence and it's difficult to find activities that would suit individual needs of each participant. Not only our instruction needs to be differentiated but also teacher professional development shouldn't follow the one-size-doesn't-fit-all approach. So I came up with an idea to use choice boards for teacher PD.

Choice boards are are used to differentiate instruction and boost student engagement because they allow students to decide how they will learn a concept and  how they will show what they have learned.  (Read more about using choice boards in the classroom below.)
TIC-TAC-TOE CHOICE BOARD Choice boards are in fact graphic organizers that come in different shapes and sizes with Tic-Tac-Toe format being one of the most common. As in the popular game, the task is to choose and complete three activities in a row - horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

Here's an example…

Your chance to have an impact on the future of digital education

Take part in our global movement #DigiEduHack and showcase your skills to the world! Join us in hacking the future of digital education!
I'm deligthed to be on board of the Steering Group for the Digital Education Hackathon,an EIT initiative under the European Commission’s Digital Education Action Plan, led by EIT Climate-KIC and coordinated by Aalto University. 
On 3 October 2019 we are bringing together more than 50 organizations in Europe and beyond to solve real challenges in digital education, with more than 2500 participants teaming up creating innovative solutions during 24h hackathons across the globe. The teams with the best solutions will be awarded 5000 euros each in a final global award contest.
WHO? Our host organizations are schools, universities, research institutes, higher education institutions, NGOs, companies or any organization that wants to join in hacking the future!  WHAT? DigiEduHack is a participatory 24 hour event that will take place in multiple locations ac…

That time of year

It's that time of year again. And what a year it has been!

In my last year's reflection I wrote about career change and imagine what! I have a new job!

Well, kind of. I'm still employed at my school, but I have been seconded to the Ministry of Education and currently I’m working as a Teacher Trainer with the International Expert Working Group for the Implementation of the Curricular Reform in Croatia at the Croatian Ministry of Education. 

I'm one of the mentors to teachers in the experimental program School for Life.

My job involves teacher training, writing curriculum guidebooks for teachers, developing course materials and resources, digital technology implementation and moderating virtual classrooms for teachers. It's a very creative job and I love it!

In 2018, I delivered 48 workshops in Belgium, Croatia, Finland, Italy, Malta and the UK and I moderated the ITELab pilot MOOC on the European Schoolnet Academy.

In January, I visited BETT for the first time and was …

EU Key Competences 2018

The Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning has now been published. It repeals and replaces the 2006 Recommendation. So what's new? What are the competences European citizens need to acquire? Some have been slightly updated, while others have undergone significant changes.

There's is also a significant change of terminology: it is recommended that DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIESbe used instead of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and IST (Information Society Technology) because "it is considered the most appropriate term to refer to the full range of devices, software or infrastructure. With the increased, varied and embedded use of mobile devices and applications, references to 'computers' and 'the Internet' are removed, but are still classed under the broad term of digital technologies." I think it really hits the mark.

The Proposal lists the following 8 competences along with explanations: LITERACY COMPETENC…

Workshops, Keynotes, Twitter Chats and More

Professionally, 2017 seems to have been a great year for me: As a teacher trainer I have:
delivered 42 workshops, 2 keynotes and one 5-day course,
led 8 webinars,
designed and facilitated one 12-day eTwinning online learning event,
moderated 4 Twitter chats and one 5-day long Twitter marathon
travelled to 7 countries to give workshops and keynotes.

I've been lucky to have closely collaborated with some of the most inspiring educators from all over the world.

With my students I successfully completed:
1 global project on climate change,
2 eTwinning projects (both recognized with European Quality Labels),
1 Erasmus+ project (recognized with two awards)
and started a new Erasmus+ project.

But besides these nice things, 2017 has also been a year of many rejected applications, failed and unfinished projects and far too many disappointments. That's life, I guess. Or a sign for a career change maybe.