While you didn’t study to be a teacher, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to let your kids think you can’t be as organized as their favorite one!

You need your household and their lives to run as normally as possible to keep everyone sane during this unique time!

Here’s a great sample schedule for you to use when thinking about organizing your students’ day at home for the next few weeks!

Feel free to download it and use it for yourself! – ENJOY for FREE!


We spend so much time saying that screen time is detrimental to our childrens’ development and now we are faced with a plan to put them in front of a computer screen for potentially 5 hours a day…on top of their social media and gaming screen time.

While this is temporary, it’s an alarming reality we must face as parents, educators and instructional designers. It is paramount, we address at home learning in meaningful ways away from technology!

With little time for planning, many educators and adminstrators leveraged the benefits of 1:1 computing to their e-learning plan in order to avoid a required make up for missed school days during the Covid-19 school closure. Students comfortable with taking home their devices daily, allows for a quick and seemless transition to e-learning. However, these students are not enrolled in a University “online program” where that might happen, and in the course of a traditional students’ day, we would never expect five hours of screentime, nor would we allow it!

One might argue that desperate times lead to deperate measures. No! That cliche should be rejected as a weak response by those unwilling to respond to the needs of our students in desperate times. Have we become so dependent on technology that we cannot create meaningful work for them without a computer screen? Can we not capitalize on this time when they are free from the distractions of their peers in a classroom and ask for more rich, meaningful and relavant assignments?

If we think back to simpler days, engaging our kids in tasks at home was a meaningful way to connect concepts from the classroom to the real world. While some of us might feel right at home doing that, and may do it already, it’s easy for us all to get caught up ourselves with the technology and let the time drift away. So, I’m including a few simple ways to help us ask our kids to close the chrome book, laptop, power down the IPad, and just unplug with a fun, engaging and learning activty for students of all ages. And who knows, you might have some fun too!

Games/Ideas for Math



How to read a Map/Atlas

  • How to read a Map/Atlas
  • Map a trip
  • Convert Distances/Learn scale
  • Geography of the US/World


  • Baking
  • Measuring
  • Nutrition/read labels!
  • Safe Food Prep practices!

While this is a temporary situation we are all finding oursleves in, these are just a few ideas that you can implement to keep your child and household from excessive screentime taking over your live! Remember that you know your child best, build on what they like and go from there!

The goal of this new editor is to make adding rich content to WordPress simple and enjoyable. This whole post is composed of pieces of content—somewhat similar to LEGO bricks—that you can move around and interact with. Move your cursor around and you’ll notice the different blocks light up with outlines and arrows. Press the arrows to reposition blocks quickly, without fearing about losing things in the process of copying and pasting.

What you are reading now is a text block the most basic block of all. The text block has its own controls to be moved freely around the post…

… like this one, which is right aligned.

Headings are separate blocks as well, which helps with the outline and organization of your content.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Handling images and media with the utmost care is a primary focus of the new editor. Hopefully, you’ll find aspects of adding captions or going full-width with your pictures much easier and robust than before.

Beautiful landscape
If your theme supports it, you’ll see the “wide” button on the image toolbar. Give it a try.

Try selecting and removing or editing the caption, now you don’t have to be careful about selecting the image or other text by mistake and ruining the presentation.

The Inserter Tool

Imagine everything that WordPress can do is available to you quickly and in the same place on the interface. No need to figure out HTML tags, classes, or remember complicated shortcode syntax. That’s the spirit behind the inserter—the (+) button you’ll see around the editor—which allows you to browse all available content blocks and add them into your post. Plugins and themes are able to register their own, opening up all sort of possibilities for rich editing and publishing.

Go give it a try, you may discover things WordPress can already add into your posts that you didn’t know about. Here’s a short list of what you can currently find there:

  • Text & Headings
  • Images & Videos
  • Galleries
  • Embeds, like YouTube, Tweets, or other WordPress posts.
  • Layout blocks, like Buttons, Hero Images, Separators, etc.
  • And Lists like this one of course 🙂

Visual Editing

A huge benefit of blocks is that you can edit them in place and manipulate your content directly. Instead of having fields for editing things like the source of a quote, or the text of a button, you can directly change the content. Try editing the following quote:

The editor will endeavor to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.

Matt Mullenweg, 2017

The information corresponding to the source of the quote is a separate text field, similar to captions under images, so the structure of the quote is protected even if you select, modify, or remove the source. It’s always easy to add it back.

Blocks can be anything you need. For instance, you may want to add a subdued quote as part of the composition of your text, or you may prefer to display a giant stylized one. All of these options are available in the inserter.

You can change the amount of columns in your galleries by dragging a slider in the block inspector in the sidebar.

Media Rich

If you combine the new wide and full-wide alignments with galleries, you can create a very media rich layout, very quickly:

Accessibility is important — don’t forget image alt attribute

Sure, the full-wide image can be pretty big. But sometimes the image is worth it.

The above is a gallery with just two images. It’s an easier way to create visually appealing layouts, without having to deal with floats. You can also easily convert the gallery back to individual images again, by using the block switcher.

Any block can opt into these alignments. The embed block has them also, and is responsive out of the box:

You can build any block you like, static or dynamic, decorative or plain. Here’s a pullquote block:

Code is Poetry

The WordPress community

If you want to learn more about how to build additional blocks, or if you are interested in helping with the project, head over to the GitHub repository.

Thanks for testing Gutenberg!


Education through the lens of a learner looks very different than that of an administrator. One looks at application and the other timelines. One looks to schedule while the other looks to benchmarks.  While all concerns are equally valid, meeting everyone at a middle, where they will have open ears to innovate and move forward, takes a unique balance. 20 years of experience allows understanding this need for balance through 20 years of experience allows me to provide actionable and practical PD translating into stakeholders that can self-assess and evolve into an engaged innovative partnership, building toward a learning culture.

By investing in smart professional development, schools and districts can dramatically increase their educators’ confidence with educational technology – while better ensuring that their investments in such tools will boost student outcomes.


A version of this piece originally appeared in eSchool News online publication.

As the school year begins, teachers are undoubtedly beginning implementation of a great new technology to support classroom learning that was introduced during the back to school professional development meetings. These teachers – enthused to get to know the new faces sitting in the chairs before them – must also balance incorporating these new technologies in to the classroom environment. In order to support this transition for educators, administrators are increasingly in considering alternative strategies that can bring together innovation – preparing students for the 21st century – while ensuring educators have the support necessary to implement these new technologies.

Schools and districts are spending billions on educational technology, even while questions continue to swirl around whether such investments yield solid returns. Few companies can reliably ensure the educational outcomes that teachers and administrators expect, and according to one estimate, just 35 percent of edtech tools purchased are actually being implemented.

Barriers to successful implementation often have little to do with the technology itself or teachers’ comfort with technology overall. Instead, success is impeded by a lack of strategy on how to integrate the technology into the classroom. Even as they spend up to $18,000 per teacher per year on professional development, schools and districts have underinvested in quality professional development that focuses on the skills and know-how educators need to make educational technology effective in the classroom. It’s not from a lack of demand, though—research nearly always suggests that educators are asking for more and better training.

Districts and schools must meet this demand and provide the very best educational technology professional development—focusing less on the technology itself and more on fundamental pedagogical strategies that can bridge the divide between investments, implementation, and outcomes.


The promise of educational technology stems, in part, from its ability to generate data that can inform instructional strategies. Data can inform small group instruction, help teachers pair students, identify gaps early, and even challenge conventional wisdom about how and why learners construct knowledge.

Whether that means using AnswerGarden to collaboratively build a word cloud to assess how a class is absorbing material or using Perusall to review a group of students’ “confusion report,” there are plenty of tools teachers can leverage to make data-informed decisions about their instruction.

Effective professional development should share best practices and tools that will support teachers in maximizing their instructional time by using the information they get from edtech tools to become laser focused on students’ specific needs.


Education can be an isolating profession. Teacher-innovators often feel like they are working in a vacuum that offers few opportunities to engage with and learn from the experiences of their peers. That’s not surprising when so much of their professional development seems to ignore the value of collaboration. Just 9 percent of professional learning opportunities offered to teachers have collaborative formats.

Effective professional development should provide teachers with opportunities to learn and engage in meaningful collaboration. Collaboration is at the core of the professional development services offered by AVID. Participants have opportunities to work with one another, ask questions, share ideas, and challenge thinking in every activity. Relationships are carefully developed throughout the training to produce a safe, trusting environment where participants experience rigorous, hands-on activities that can be taken directly back to the classroom.

This sort of interaction also lays the foundation for conversations that challenge existing views and pedagogy—allowing teachers to consider the more innovative and inclusive teaching practices afforded by digital tools.


Effective professional development should provide teachers with instructional strategies that go beyond explicitly teaching a new technology. The focus should be on learning goals first, and digital tools second. Tech-savvy educators approach instruction by defining the content students need to learn and creating the context to ignite their curiosity. Only then do they determine how learning will occur and which digital tools might support and enhance that learning process.

During a professional development session, for example, educators could take part in what AVID calls a digital jigsaw, researching best practices for digital organization and sharing their findings on Padlet or other real-time collaboration tools. The use of Padlet allows for group members to take notes collaboratively and have focused discussions within the tool. This emphasis on note-taking in a digital environment helps educators support students in their construction of meaning using tools that match individual learning styles—digital ink, links to relevant resources to reinforce cognitive connections, meta-tags, graphic organizers, video, and sound.

Individually, these are disparate tools, but taken together, they form a toolbox that can be accessed with a larger goal in mind. These strategies would be much more difficult to accomplish without the use of Padlet or a similar technology, but learning how to use the technology is should not be the only goal. The professional learning experience should be one where learners collaboratively gather and discuss notes in a way that encourages them to process information in a more meaningful, deeper, and efficient way.

By investing in smart professional development, schools and districts can dramatically increase their educators’ confidence with educational technology—while better ensuring that their investments in such tools will boost student outcomes.

Thuan Nguyen, a former school district assistant superintendent and CIO, is executive vice president for AVID, where he oversees technical operations, products, and services and is responsible for AVID’s digital strategy.

Interested in learning more? Please join us at the AVID National Conference where District Superintendents and College Presidents receive a FREE registration.