The Mi Moot! Learn about best practices in blended learning

Registration is now open for the MI MOOT – Transforming Classrooms on August 1 & 2, 2017 at Lansing Community College West.

This energizing and impactful event is focused on best practices in blended learning. Attendees will explore blended learning resources, discover the latest trends, practice new skills, network with like-minded educators, and have some fun.

More info is at:


#blended-learning, #innovation, #learning

Inquiry Learning by Breaking Out of the Box

I want to introduce you to Kelly Kermode, Integrated Learning Strategist at Forest Hills Public Schools in the greater Grand Rapids area.  Kelly is an educator who has been in a number of roles for the past 16 years and is a Google Certified Innovator, Adobe Education Leader and MACUL Special Interest Group leader… along with about 15 other things. She is always looking for innovative ways to engage students in their learning to reach higher outcomes.

In late November, I visited Kelly in her native environment-that is, at a school and as usual, up to her elbows in making school more awesome for kids. On this day, she was deploying a very cool inquiry based learning adventure called Breakout EDU.

BreakoutEDU started as an idea pitched by James Sanders at the Illinois Future Ready Schools summit in 2015.  James is currently the Chief Innovation Officer, EdTechTeam.

At the keynote, James shared his idea about what are called “breakout rooms” and gave background about how they all came about. He went on to explain that there are these escape rooms around the world where you pay to get “locked in” a room with friends and try to escape by solving puzzles and unlocking codes. There was even an episode of Big bang Theory around this game.

James was with some high school students in Edmonton, Canada playing one of these escape room games and he was amazed at how engaged and hard these students were working to solve the puzzle during this game. James wanted to turn this incredible learning experience of problem solving and fun and into something that can be used in the classroom.

Shortly after, James launched the BreakoutEDU website which includes links to pre-created learning adventures and turn-key kits so you can run your own BreakoutEDU game.

Here’s how BreakoutEDU works.

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How breakouts are being used

Breakouts are being used to teach core academic subjects including math, science, history, and language arts. Each adventure has embedded standards that apply problem solving strategies within a real world OR collaborative context.

A feature of BreakoutEDU is that the quest to solve the mysteries is very much rooted in inquiry based learning where learning or solving a particular problem revolves solving a central question.

The framework of the learning game ensures that Involvement that leads to understanding, and that players are Converting information and data into useful knowledge.  The learning is centered around the process of figuring the problem out, all in a student centered, collaborative manner.  

As you watch the game unfold, you will see the learners collaborate, question, investigate, and observe each other’s thinking.  

For more information on how you too can make the magic happen in your classroom, check out these resources:

BreakoutEDU Webpage –
BreakoutEDU Facebook Group
BreakoutEDU Overview 
BreakoutEDU Interview

Ron Houtman – @ronhoutman

#breakoutedu, #experiential, #forest-hills, #grand-rapids, #inquiry, #learning, #macul

You Won’t Want To Miss The Michigan Flip Teaching Conference

The 4th Michigan Flip Teaching Conference will be February 20, 2016 at the Steelcase University Learning Center. This is a FREE conference for educators from around the Midwest and beyond.

In addition to sessions on best practices around implementing the flipped classroom, new strands on Blended Learning and Classroom Design will be included. Steelcase Learn Lab

If you are interested in presenting, please fill out the call for proposals form.

If you’ve never been to the Steelcase Campus, you are in for a visual treat.  Your visit will allow you to take in the many unique spaces and furnishings that will spark your imagination as you think about redesigning your own learning environments.

Register for free today, and keep an eye out for the keynote announcement and other details by following @MiFLIP on Twitter and by visiting the MI Flip website.



#blended-learning, #conference, #flipped, #learning, #professional-development

We still have room for you at TechCamp 2015!

We still have room for you at the Kent ISD TechCamp 2015!  Where else can you find top shelf professional learning for the rock bottom price of $30?  KISD TechCamp 2015

You’ll be treated to hands-on learning in a relaxed atmosphere with some of the most knowledgeable ‘camp counselors’ from across Michigan.

Check out the agenda and register today!

We’d love to have you learn a few awesome ‘techy’ things that you can use right away in your teaching and learning practice, and then plan to use when the kids come back to school in late summer.

See you there!

#learning, #professional-development, #techcamp2015

Encourage your teachers to celebrate Digital Learning day with this FREE resource


Did you know?      

❖      There will be one million more computing jobs than students over the next 10 years. (That’s more than $500 billion in salaries!)

❖      More than 50% of all projected math and science occupations are in computing.

❖      Computing jobs are among the highest-paid positions for new graduates. Yet fewer than 3% of college students graduate with a degree in computer science.

❖      Less than 20% of AP Computer Science students are women. Less than 10% are black or Latino. Crazy!

Join our upcoming event increase educational access to high-quality digital learning tools for all Kent County’s students. We want you to join us in celebrating Digital Learning Day on March 13th.

The center for Digital Learning & Policy has created a powerful web resource that we would LOVE for you to share with your teachers. This site will provide a variety of resources designed to help your teachers find an entry point for digital instruction or discover new methods for furthering the digital experience of their students.

To access free lesson plans, digital tools and resources in the areas of Digital Citizenship, Language Arts, STEM and Social Studies/Civics, visit the website here.

•      Explore free educational digital tools for all ages

•      Integrate ready-made lesson plan ideas for Superhero digital citizens, storytelling and problem-solving

•      Browse a compilation of teacher-approved online resources by grade-level

West Michigan Tech Talent includes over a dozen local leaders and local sponsors dedicated to developing (K-12), retaining and recruiting West Michigans computer sciences talent base.   The mission of WMTT is to promote and engage the community with local and national technology events that encourage learning in computer sciences. If you are looking for more ways to get students  involved in the dynamic industry of Information Technology, feel free to contact Lindsey Tilley, KISD Career Exploration Coordinator, to learn how this group hopes to reach out the education community.

#core, #grand-rapids, #learning

The CUE Rock Star Teacher Camp is Coming July 7-9!

CUE RockstarLooking for a great educational technology camp to attend in a wonderful destination?

The CUE Rock Star Teacher Camp hosted by MACUL will arrive in Saugatuck, MI from July 7 through 9, 2015.

All three days consist of two, two-hour sessions allowing attendees to “dig in deep” and really get to know their topic and build resources to use next year. Morning sessions are repeated in the afternoon so that attendees have two different opportunities to attend a workshop.

The CUE Rock Star events are built so that there is one presenter for every ten attendees and the events sell out at 60-70 attendees.

Check out the website for more information and registration and read some Tweets about the event here #CUERockstar

You really deserve a learning vacation with awesome people from across Michigan.

#cue, #educational-technology, #learning, #macul, #pd, #professional-development