Monday, October 5, 2015

Ditch That Textbook Week 5: Ditch That Textbook Part 1

In this section of the book, Matt gets down to more of the specifics and logistics of how to ditch the textbook, specifically where to put the content and what that content is or could be. How far have you gotten down this road? Have you located or created online content? And if so how are you sharing it with your students? If you are not this far yet, what do you think you want to try first? What questions do you have for your fellow readers who might have some experiences from which they have learned?

It is so exciting to see all of your comments come in each day and I love seeing the connections you are making. Keep up the good work! For next week we will be reading and discussing chapters 28-33.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ditch That Textbook Week 4: Ditch That Mindset Part 2

In chapters 15 and 16 Matt talks about cheating and "minimum effective dose." What are your thoughts about these 2 concepts and how do you "work smarter, not harder" in and out of your classroom to balance the different parts of your life? It seems that every book we read gets around to the importance of being a connected educator. Please share your Twitter handle (if you haven't already) and/or a resource you have found helpful: a Twitter handle or hashtag, a blog, a Pinterest user or specific board. Did something else in this section of the book jump out at you? Share your thoughts with the group.

This week marks our halfway point in the book club. If you have colleagues who would like to join, please tell them it's not too late. New participants just need to start with the introduction in week 1. For next week we will be reading the first half of section 3, chapters 23-27.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Ditch That Textbook Week 3: Ditch That Mindset Part 1

First of all, congratulations to blog participant Kari Catanzaro who was mentioned and quoted in chapter 8! It's great to see deserving Indiana educators in the spotlight.

The hard thing about reading fairly large chunks of the book at a time is that there are so many things to discuss. I'm going to throw out a couple of things that jumped out at me, but if you want to question or discuss something else, please feel free. I liked the idea of students either owning or renting their education. How do you encourage your students to own their education? Matt talks about the limitations of technology in the classroom. I'm sure you all are implementing technology to some extent in your classroom. How do you determine when it is appropriate to use technology and when it is not?

As you are participating in this blog discussion, please make sure you are logged into your Google account before you comment. Also, be sure that your profile is complete. We've had several people whose comments are showing up as "Unknown." I cannot give you credit toward your PGP points if I do not know who is making the comments.

For next week we will be reading and discussing the second half of the section "Ditch That Mindset," chapters 15-22.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Ditch That Textbook Week 2: Why Go Digital?

Why go digital? Have you asked yourself this question? Of the seven reasons that Matt made to go digital, which one is most important to you? How have you already seen change in any of these areas in your classroom because of the implementation of technology?

As I've been looking through comments I've noticed several people's names are showing up as Unknown when they comment to blog posts. Please ensure that you have completed your profile. I need to know who is making comments so that I can award PGPs at the end of the book club.

Next week we will be reading and discussing chapters 8-14, the first half of the section "Ditch That Mindset."

Monday, September 7, 2015

Ditch That Textbook Week 1: Introduction

Welcome to the fall eLearning book club. We are excited to read Ditch That Textbook: Free Your Teaching and Revolutionize Your Classroom by Indiana educator Matt Miller. The digital and paperback versions of this book can be purchased from Amazon. If you don't have the book already, don't worry. You can jump into the conversation a little late if you need to. Just catch up as soon as you're able to.  

Here are some particulars to help you as you participate in the book club:

  • A prompt or question will be posted here in the blog every Monday morning.
  • To receive notifications when posts are made, click Join this site or Follow by email in the bar to the right.
  • Respond to our post and/or respond to a comment by another participant each week. The more interaction there is between participants, the richer and more beneficial the conversation will be.
  • In addition to the amazing connections and powerful learning of being in the book club, participants who make a meaningful contribution to every week's discussion will be awarded 10 PGPs. Additionally, we will award one $1000 professional development grant at the conclusion of the summer book club. Educators with a public school corporation who earn all 10 PGPs are eligible for the grant.
  • **There is no official sign up for the book club. Your first week's assignment is to introduce yourself in a comment to this blog post. Just click the comments link below this post and enter your comment in the text box. You will need to be logged in using a Google account. In your introduction be sure to include your name, school and/or corporation, and what your role there is. (If you have any problems commenting, please email Meri Carnahan at 
  • Your reading assignment for next week is the introduction and Section 1 Why Go Digital chapters 1-7.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer Book Club Follow-Up

This was by far the most popular book club we have had. We had 120 educators make over 1400 comments to the blog posts and, even more importantly, to other participants' comments! Great job! Hopefully you all have found a few ways to get and stay connected this school year.

I sent out PGPs yesterday to everyone who participated in at least 5 weeks' conversations. That email would have come from I was not able to locate everyone's email address, so if you did not receive a message and participated in 5 or more weeks' discussions, please email Meri at

Congratulations to Kathryn Evans from Chesterton Middle School who is the recipient of the $1000 professional development mini grant. Another grant will be awarded to a participant of the fall book club.

If you missed the announcement last week, we will be reading Ditch That Textbook: Free Your Teaching and Revolutionize Your Classroom by Indiana educator Matt Miller. The digital and paperback versions of this book can be purchased from Amazon. If you have a group of participants at your school or district of more than 5 people and are interested in purchasing paperback books in bulk, please contact Shelley Burgess at Our fall book club will kick off on Monday, September 7th.

Monday, August 3, 2015

What Connected Educators Do Differently Week 10: Conclusion

It's hard to believe that our 10-week summer book club is ending. Some of you started school last week, many start this week, and others have an additional week to get ready. As you're starting your school year, what are you taking away from this reading and our discussions that you will use in your classroom? How will you be more connected or maintain your connectedness?

Don't forget to catch up on your reading and commenting this week. In order to receive 10 PGPs and be eligible for the $1000 professional development grant, you must have commented to all 10 week's blog posts by this Friday, August 7th, at 5:00pm Eastern. Also, be sure your introduction from the first week includes your school so that I can locate your email address.

Thank you to the book club participants who were able to participate the #INeLearn Twitter chat this past Thursday and a big shout out to Chantell Manahan who co-moderated the chat. It really was a great conversation! If you were unable to participate, be sure to check out the archive here. Check out the #INeLearn Chat blog to get more information about the chat, including other chat archives and upcoming topics.

With this book club winding down, I wanted to let you know that we are ready to announce our fall book club selection. We will be reading Ditch That Textbook by Indiana educator Matt Miller. More details coming soon.