Empowered learners are motivated learners.

I really enjoy creating content. I like writing, graphic design, podcasting, and video production.

I don’t consider myself an expert in any of these spaces — at least not yet. But it’s always a thrill to practice, learn more, and improve. It’s the sort of learning that feels like fun.

I do not enjoy learning how to assemble IKEA furniture. Or fix cars. Or cook. Or complete home renovations. These are tasks that I will do to the extent that I have to, but they don’t interest or inspire me. …

Whiteboard.fi makes student learning visible in efficient, empowering ways.

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One of the things I’ve found about teaching Math is that it helps to have a regular, real-time sense of student learning. For ALL of my students.

As we take on new skills (or scaffold off older ones), what is their current proficiency level? Do they really understand a concept, or are they just keeping their head down and bluffing, hoping to evade detection? Who are we leaving behind?

For years, teachers have used whiteboards around the classroom to solve this problem. In my last teaching context, I was blessed with…

Let’s give our students the power to create incredible things.

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Recently I was asked how I could justify the publishing of student work. What was the educational value in sharing student content on podcasts that can be listened to throughout the world?

That’s a fair question, and it deserves a thoughtful answer. Because we don’t have to publish student-created content. Students can learn a great deal and build strong communication skills simply by recording and creating audio content that stays within the LMS, the building, or the local learning community.

So this post won’t waste time defending the value of…

This year, I want to simultaneously stream and be a stream: flowing with consistency, connecting others, and bringing life.

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I ran my first One Word experiment in 2019 with create: create new content, new learning, and new relationships. It was a fitting focus and a rewarding experience. With many of my creation goals realized by the end of December, I decided to continue with the One Word concept in the following year.

In 2020, I resisted all the vision-related puns and went with write. I was determined to do more blogging than ever, aiming for at least 52 education posts…

We can avoid the work of other educators to protect our self-confidence, or we can embrace comparison in order to build competence. It’s an issue of mindset.

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In my last teaching context, our middle school teaching team ended each week with an hour of professional learning. Fridays were intentionally shortened to send students home early, allowing teachers the bliss of professional conversations that didn’t start after the final bell. Relieved of the mental burden of preparing lessons for the next day and armed with a plate of delicious snacks, I enjoyed these opportunities to build on my practice.

As seen in our middle school

One of…

These two learning management systems are a match made in LMS heaven.

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My history with Google Classroom

I’ve been using Google Classroom since 2016. I’ve taught in a total of three Google-hosted schools in the years since I first started using Classroom, so I’ve had plenty of time to build competence and confidence with this learning management system.

For the uninitiated, Google Classroom is a platform that utilizes the storage and sharing powers of Google Drive. It’s not especially powerful and doesn’t offer the nicest user experience. But it’s clean, efficient, and does most of what teachers, students, and parents need it to do.


These powerful programs support communication, collaboration, creation, curation, and curiosity for learners in any context.

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

Back to school has never looked like this. Teachers, students, parents, and districts across the globe face an uncertain future as they navigate the experience of learning through a pandemic. Thankfully, schools with a baseline of internet access and technology resources can turn to a growing host of apps and platforms that create new opportunities for learning.

For schools, districts, and educators looking to improve their K-12 instructional programs, here are my top ten digital tool recommendations.

1. The G Suite

If I could have nothing else in my…

Hmmm. Can you elaborate, Mike? In jurisdictions where governments have mandated a return to F2F instruction, how would you like teachers to respond? Genuinely curious.

With the return to school looming for many districts, there’s no shortage of things to complain about or people to be mad at right now.

People are afraid.

Parents are afraid of the return to school. They’re afraid schools won’t follow proper precautions. They’re afraid that their children will be infected, bring home the virus, and infect their elderly loved ones. They’re afraid that governments are acting irresponsibly. They’re afraid that no one is listening to the science.

Teachers are afraid, too. On my commute this week, I listened as well-meaning educators encouraged teachers to set their affairs in order…

Thoughts from a rookie assistant principal.

A lot has changed since I was a rookie teacher in 2001.

Back then, I didn’t own a laptop. My school didn’t have wifi and my classroom didn’t have a desktop computer. My teaching practice leaned heavily on the photocopier, chalkboard, and an overhead projector.

My entry into the profession was difficult. I was the only seventh grade teacher in a small inner city middle school. I had an encouraging and forgiving principal, but there was no team to walk me through grade-level curriculum and instruction decisions or coach me on classroom management.


Tim Cavey

Host of the @TeachersonFire 🎙podcast. MS Teacher. Big believer in Growth Mindset. EdTech should promote the 5 Cs. MEdL.

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