The Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit

9 Amazing Presentations...and Totally FREE!

dtt-ds-500x600This opportunity is simply to good too pass up. Matt Miller , the DBC Inc. author of Ditch That Textbook, has
put together an unbelievable professional development virtual conference and has talked a world class line-up of speakers into contributing. And here’s the most amazing part…in an act of absolute lunacy, he has made it 100% free to register and participate!

It is appropriately called, The Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit.

There will be one presentation each day from December 16th through December 24th. No need to travel anywhere, no need to dress up, and no need to watch the videos live. One video will be released each day and you have until December 31st to watch. Watch them in your pajamas if you want to…we won’t tell a soul.

So who did Matt convince to be a part of this?

Presenters include:

  • Two Global Teacher Prize finalists
  • A New York Times best-selling author
  • State and national teachers of the year
  • Creators of some of your favorite teaching resources online

Presentations topics include:

  • Integrating technology in the classroom
  • Creating engaging, exciting lessons/classes
  • Infusing lessons with inquiry and student choice
  • Connecting students to people and experiences worldwide (for free!)
  • And much, much more!

You want more details?

So how do I sign up???

It’s easy! Just go RIGHT HERE and register for free. DTT_Front-Cover

Want to know more about Matt and his book? Read this blog post that I wrote when we released Ditch That
Textbook to the world. It has had a huge impact on educators who have read it and it has sparked a wonderful online community on Twitter in the #DitchBook hashtag.

Sign up!! I’ll “see” you at the summit!




Using Snapchat to Create Amazing Reading Reflections

Now THIS is cool!! The always innovative and inspiring educator from Lawrence, Kansas, Tara Martin, has agreedmqicmvzd-jpg-large to contribute a guest post for my blog on how and why she creates #BookSnaps. Snapchat gets a bad rap sometimes…but here is a way to use it to promote the forces of good! Have students or staff make their learning and thinking VISIBLE by creating powerful reflections of their reading. Follow Tara on Twitter and be sure to visit her R.E.A.L. blog for more edu-awesomeness!

Here’s Tara! (Be sure to read until the end for a contest!!)


Snapping For Learning – #BookSnaps 

According to the cell phone data report, it is safe to say that the Snapchat app occupies a high percentage the Martin-bill usage. My fifteen-year-old makes certain of it! He’s steadily snapping pictures of his daily interactions and sharing them out with his buddies locally and all over the globe. I must admit, Snapchat is an app I did NOT see a need for until a recently sparked idea. I participated in an educational Twitter chat several weeks ago, and one of the teachers shared out this notion of snapping book quotes to increase interaction with a book study. It got my mind reeling; now THAT might be a productive use of Snapchat that I’m willing to explore.

So, just as a4m9zpgrc-jpg-largeny curious pirate would do, I began the voyage to find BookSnap treasures. enfunihe-jpg-large
The timing was perfect; my colleagues and I had just set up a book study with Launch by A.J. Juliani and John Spencer. We immediately began snapping images of our favorite quotes and adding them to our “Snap Story” for daily viewing between face-to-face meetings.

While keeping student learning as the key motivator to try a concept such as this, a few questions came to mind as we created and posted BookSnaps.



Using #BookSnaps with Students!!

1.) How might we find ways for students to use this method for reflecting about the content they are learning?

2.) Will speaking their Snapchat-language encourage more interaction with the book, content, or topic?

3.) How might students share BookSnaps with teachers via media outlets such as Google Classroom, SeeSaw, Twitter classroom, etc.?

You are likely asking, what the heck is a BookSnap and how does it work? Fear not, you’re in safe hands! I’ve been trained by the Master Snapchatter, my fifteen-year-old, Kaleb. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

1.) Download Snapchat from the App Store

2.) Add your book study pals by clicking the little ghost and “Add Friends by Username.”

3.) Begin documenting your reflections as you read

To create #BookSnaps watch this quick little how-to video. You will be guided to navigate the features of Snapchat, create adorable visuals and upload the images to your Snap Story and other social media outlets so we might visibly see what you’re thinking.

How to Create #BookSnaps

taraIf you would like to follow my #BookSnaps:

1.) Simply open your Snapchat app

2.) Take a picture of this image on the right – the SnapCode

3.) Add as Friend

4.) Or, you can add me at taramartinreal

Please comment below and/or share on Twitter @TaraMartinEDU if you try this in your class or with your colleagues. Let’s flood Twitter by including the hashtag #BookSnaps with each image posted. I’d love to hear about your “Snapping for Learning” adventures.


Here are examples of #BookSnaps I’ve created for Innovators Mindset, Kids Deserve It, Teach Like a Pirate, and Learn Like a Pirate:







Thank you, Dave, for this incredible opportunity to share my latest BookSnap experiences. What an honor to guest post for my EduHero–The Pirate!

~Tara Martin

* If you’d like the link to my blog on Snapping for Learning


Wow!!! Thank you, Tara! Okay…the challenge has been thrown down! Create a #BookSnaps of a DBC Inc. book and tweet it using #tlap and #BookSnaps. We will choose 3 winners to receive DBC, Inc swag!! Deadline to submit BookSnaps for the contest is Friday, 11/18.


Horse Algebra Goes Viral!

When a math problem goes completely viral on the internet…I sit up and pay attention. This is an absolutely amazing problem to spark a math discussion in  your class. It looks deceptively simple. Let me tell you something…it isn’t! Don’t get overconfident! Take your time and give it a shot right now!



Do you have an answer???

There is an incredibly HUGE chance that you are WRONG…even if you are supremely confident!!

Thousands…literally THOUSANDS of people across the world have been baffled by this simple problem. I’m not talking about just the general population either…I’m talking about MATH TEACHERS, too!!

It’s an example of a super fun way to spark a spirited debate and discussion about math. As people try to justify their answers it leads down wonderful paths to explore.

If you like this way of thinking…taking viral stories and issues from the world around you and using them in class, you are going to absolutely LOVE Instant Relevance by Denis Sheeran (to be clear, the above example is not from the book)! It is our latest book release and it is not only hilarious, but also filled with practical ways to make learning fun and relevant. Many, but not all, of the examples are from math classrooms. It is much more about a mindset, though, as opposed to the math. Always ask, “How can I use that?”

This could be a great way to spark a conversation at the dinner table, too! In fact, that is exactly what we did last night and the results were unbelievable! Total engagement. Total fun. AND…it was all about math!! For more examples of bringing math home in a fun way, check out this TABLE TALK MATH post.

Wait!!! Are you still reading down here because you want to check your answer????

Where would the fun be in that!! If I just let you scroll down and get the answer it takes you off the hook. The fun is in the journey!

But…I will reiterate…YOU ARE PROBABLY WRONG! Don’t look up the answer to this until you have shown it to at least 5 different people (or all of your classes) and you have seen for yourself how outrageously different the answers will be.

It is INSANE!!

Okay…if you get really desperate to know you can beg in the comment section or hit me up on Twitter at @burgessdave.

Remember! This is a problem to be shared and discussed! Some things are WAY more fun when done with others. (Hey! Relax! I’m talking about MATH!)

Let me know how it goes!