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John Hardison

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John Hardison is an interactive facilitator of learning and blended learning specialist at East Hall High School (Studio 113 & EPiCC). Follow him on Twitter: @JohnHardison1

5 Apps to Lower Teacher Anxiety & Raise Student Voices

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The art of teaching sure has changed since I nervously stepped into my first class of thirty-two, energetic students fourteen years ago. I remember feeling pressure from the prescribed sage-on-the-stage pedagogy. Fortunately, I soon discovered that not only was I far from an academic scholar, but I also wasn’t the most important factor. The students demanded they be a vital part of the classroom and curriculum creation. That was okay with me. Opening up the pressure valve a tad never hurt anyone.

11 Steps to Gamify Your Next Lesson

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With so many educators today discussing the possibilities and promises of online learning, one key aspect of education often forgotten in the quest to tear down these learning walls is the ability to create classroom magic within those very same walls. Along with blended learning, flipped classrooms, gamification and many other new instructional buzz words, virtual classrooms are unquestionably valuable educational instruments in a teacher’s pedagogical toolbox.

Life Is Writing: 2 Apps for the Reluctant Writer

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I can’t even begin to quantify how many times I have been blessed with the challenge of working with a reluctant writer. Taking natural writers to the next level is also a daunting task, but I will forever be grateful for those who stare at the paper with confusion and anxiety while hoping words will magically fill up the empty lines. Their apathy for writing shakes me to the core in such a way that leaves me scratching my hairless head and searching for any angle to prove how essential self-expression is to living. To me, life is writing.

The Talent & the Agent: My Desired Class

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Leaning on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s famous “frightening conclusion” quotation, I am Zen-like in my focus on the classroom atmosphere and I intend to create - the talent and the agent this upcoming school year. By developing flexible lesson plans, implementing interactive learning structures, and engaging the customers with passion-based projects, the class of my dreams will be a reality.

ISTE Reflections: Balance Moving Forward

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Perhaps the best idea I had for ISTE this year was to arrive in San Diego a day early. It was there, outside of the conference, that I was reminded of a powerful truth in education. Meandering through the meticulously manicured sidewalk shrubbery, the majestically purple Jacaranda trees, and the polite, bayside strollers, I allowed the gentle and cool breeze to nudge me forward ever so slowly under a sunny, cloudless sky. But my steps quickly came to a halt with the sight of an old-school magician whose skin bore witness to the subtle effects of a deceptively hot sun.

How to Showcase an Army of Talent Through Tech Projects

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Just last week I was fumbling through a cupboard spilling over with drinking glasses and java cups, and I found myself staring at a coffee mug that was given to me many years ago. It reads "The three biggest reasons to teach: June, July, & August." I giggled to myself at the absurdity of the written words. First of all, what happened to three months?

No Enclosures: Creating the Environment for Summer Learning

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As I sat staring at my son's chicken coop plans that morning and wondering how to make his dream a reality in a covenanted subdivision, I was reminded of a recurring educational topic of discussion this month: "How do we continue students' learning through the summer break?" I was quickly reminded of a tweet quoting Lao Tzu that said, "To lead the people, walk behind them."

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