60-Morph your Kids into Photojouranalists…Starring Alexandra Lang

Certainly, you’ve heard the old cliché A picture is worth a thousand words. I did some research on this statement and was delighted to learn that prior to photography, individuals used to say, A painting is worth a thousand words. Images, whether captured or manufactured, are powerful. I cannot remember that last Tweet I sent that was imageless. Social media is fueled by compelling images. We need to capitalize on this natural human attraction.

Here are five iconic images from American history:

  • The painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware
  • The WWI Uncle Sam recruiting poster
  • The Marines hoisting the flag on Iwo Jima
  • Lyndon Johnson taking the oath of office beside a stunned and blood-stained Jackie Kennedy
  • Associates of Dr. King standing over his body pointing towards an assassin

Do any of these descriptions conjure up mental images? Do they inspire emotions, or perhaps personal narratives? If you weren’t familiar with some of these images, did you Google the description out of curiosity?

This episode will demonstrate how to use images in 3 powerful ways:

  1. To help students understand and a profound concept
  2. To empower students to create and manipulate images to express themselves
  3. To hook students in preparation for an impactful lesson

To help in this noble quest, is Alexandra Lang. Here’s Alexandra gazing at a provocative image on her Chromebook.

Alexandra Lang

We talk about why images are important and powerful and strategize as to how teachers can use them. Here are 2 images we discuss in the episode. In the first, Vishvarupa stands and delivers in front of a reluctant Arjuna. In the second, Anekantavada means that individuals may process the world in diverse ways:

It’s also important for students to create and manipulate images. Please navigate to this link which is my blog prompt on Chinese landscapes. The Prizma app takes images and morphs them into impressionistic paintings. Your students will love this app!

And finally, follow this link to see the gruesome images I to draw my kids into the horrifying but fascinating story of the Rape of Nanking.

Episode Template

The Problem:

Images are underutilized in most classrooms.

The Solution:

Use images to explain, empower kids to create and manipulate images, and also use them as a powerful hook.

What you can do tomorrow?

  • Create a Google Slide presentation with compelling images about tomorrow’s lesson.
  • Present with Pear Deck.
  • Challenge students to create their own Google Slides presentation based on your template.
  • Create a prompt where students must create their own images. 

A picture is worth a thousand words, so save your breath and liberate kid’s imaginations.

Listen to “60-Morph your Kids into Photojouranalists…Starring Alexandra Lang” on Spreaker.

59-Sometimes you Need to be the Sage on Stage…let Pear Deck Help

Modern educators are discouraged from being the sage on stage. As the overused cliché goes…Instead of being the sage on stage, be the guide on the side. I’m not a huge fan of this mantra. I understand the need for presentation styles to evolve, but sometimes you need to jump up in front of your kids and inspire them! Even though much of my instruction is flipped, it’s still important to present in front of students. While my kids enjoy my recordings, periodically I treat them to a live performance. A few years ago, my wife and I watched Jersey Boys on the big screen and then we saw it live on stage. There was no comparison. Sometimes, you have to go all Broadway on your kids. Sometimes, you need to be the sage on stage.  

And here, is where Pear Deck makes its dramatic appearance.

Infuse your presentation with highly interactive engaging prompts by utilizing this amazing tool. Morph your static sit and listenfests into intense student collaborationfests. Transform your lectures into twenty-five separate and simultaneous student-teacher conversations. Pear Deck allows you to do the following:

  • upload an existing presentation in Google Slides or PowerPoint.
  • permits students to follow your presentations on their devices, while you control the pace.
  • empowers instructors to insert engaging prompts before and during your performance.
  • hides student responses till the teacher decides to display them and student names remain a mystery.

Episode Template

The Problem:

Modern educators need to sometimes be the Sage on Stage.

The Solution:

Make your live presentations powerfully engaging with Pear Deck.


What You Can Do Tomorrow?

  • Watch this brief Pear Deck tutorial.
  • Select or create a brief Google Slides or PowerPoint Presentation.
  • Insert a fabulous hook into your first slide.
  • Prompt students through Pear Deck to respond.

Pear Deck creates a collaborative and engaging presentation environment. Embrace this new way to present and enthrall your kids.

Listen to “59-Sometimes you Need to be the Sage on Stage…let Pear Deck Help” on Spreaker.

58-Dishin’ with the HyperDocs Girls

Kelly Hilton, Lisa Highfill, and Sarah Landis are the HyperDocs Girls

Kelly Hilton, Lisa Highfill, and Sarah Landis are the co-creators of HyperDocs and authors of the HyperDocs Handbook. These ladies have designed a remarkable website providing teachers with digital lesson templates and plenty of sample HyperDocs. Aside from outstanding organization, the templates are beautiful, which should never be underestimated. To begin creating, simply FILE>MAKE A COPY and complete the stages of the lesson cycle by adding instructions and resources.

I became aware of HyperDocs because of my mentor Kristen Kovak. I featured Kristen in Episode 39 which is on the paperless classroom. My mentor is a grand total of 24-years-old. As I mentioned in the last episode, older teachers like me, need to get over themselves and learn from the youngins. Not long ago, Kristen waltzed into my room and challenged your humble narrator to start utilizing HyperDocs. My initial reactions was, Oh great! Here’s another thing I’m going to have to figure out. The good news is that mastering HyperDocs was easy. You create them by making a copy in Google Docs and then morphing the HD Girls’ templates and then BAM…you upload your creation to Google Classroom. Here’s the link for the HD I created for the Korean conflict.

My final plug for the HyperDocs Girls website is important. Many virtual tools that I utilize have a free version and paid version. I’m careful about what I pay for out of my own pocket, or solicit my administration to fund. I’m certain I’m not alone in this concern and the HD Girls are here to help. All their templates are free for the copying and please investigate the Teachers Give Teachers tab on their website.

Episode Template

The Problem:

Your Google Classroom feed is an uninspiring jumbled mess.

The Solution:

Introduce inspiration, organization, and beauty with HyperDocs.

What You Can Do Tomorrow?

  1. Peruse the HyperDocs Girls’ lesson templates.
  2. Insert one of your lessons plan into one of their templates.
  3. Post your creation to Google Classroom.
  4. Debrief your students to see how you can improve with your next HyperDoc.

HyperDocs is a tool you’ll use weekly, if not daily!

Listen to “58-Dishin’ with the HyperDocs Girls” on Spreaker.