Online Course: Edmodo and Google Integration (Spring 2018)

Edmodo recently launched some exciting new features on their platform which has served to tighten the integration with the Google Suite and has made the facilitation of online courses better than ever!

In tandem with these releases, Edmodo partnered with MisterEdTech last Spring to promote an interactive online course titled, “Using Edmodo and Google to Facilitate 21st Century Learning”. The course has ran twice before and was so well-received that it’s back by popular demand! The course will begin again on April 2, 2017, will last six weeks, and will cost $129 per participant. Everyone is welcome to participate, and 20 clock hour credits will be offered through ESD 171 for Washington State teachers for a cost of $40 extra to be paid directly to the ESD. These clock hours count as TPEP clock hours.

Participants will be asked to spend 3 hours and 20 minutes per week engaging in the course and will learn the baseline technological knowledge needed to integrate Edmodo and the Google Suite. The course will also focus on best practice and will ask teachers to be reflective about their pedagogical applications of these tools.

If you are interested in the course, click the “buy now” button. After you make the payment, you will be directed to an Edmodo link that will let you join the course after you log in with your Edmodo account! You can check out the course syllabus here and/or send Randy an email at if you have any questions or have difficulty joining. Hope to see you there!



Let Them Create!

by Randy Fairfield, 2/1/18

Kids like to make things. When I leave my kids to their own devices, my son goes off and builds stuff with Lincoln Logs and Legos, and my daughters go off and draw pictures. It’s just what they do. And of course whenever they are done making whatever it is they’ve made, the first thing they do is run up and say, “Mom! Dad! Look what I made!” Being a growth mindset conscious parent, I make sure to let them know how proud I am of all the hard work they put into their creation and then ask them reflective questions about what they thought they did well and what they thought they could make even better and so forth. Creating things and then sharing them with other people that care is a very human thing to do.

And then they get to school. And they get asked to show their learning on worksheet after worksheet and on test after standardized test. Or write papers only their teacher will ever see. And while some kids like mine are resilient enough to put up with all of these stale demonstrations of rote learning, there are a lot of kids that aren’t. And the one question just about all kids ask their teachers is this: What does this really have to do with anything? And too often the answers they get to those questions really suck. Since our assignments and tests are inauthentic and irrelevant, we have to say things like, “Stick it out and do your work to get your points so you can get good grades so you can go to college.” Why do we do this to kids?

There are a lot of things we can blame—like laws passed by politicians far-removed from the classroom and administrators handing down stale curricula and expecting it to be taught with fidelity. But for as much as teachers can control, every opportunity ought to be taken to quit “doing school” and start engaging students in meaningful learning. During my time in the classroom, the biggest challenges I faced were threefold when it came to facilitating a student-centered classroom that allowed my students to be creators of authentic content: (1) I had a hard time coming up with great ideas for projects tied to standards; (2) Coming up with a budget and the time to get materials was daunting; and (3) Finding an authentic audience for students to share their creations with was challenging. Nowadays, I don’t think any of those challenges really present much of an obstacle.

We live in an exciting age where we don’t have to recreate the wheel all the time because, guess what, there are a lot of educators out there that like to create and share stuff too. Do a Google search. Search the #pbl hashtag and follow other educators on Twitter. Check out Pinterest. There are tons of ideas and resources on Edmodo Spotlight. If your school is using Hapara, there are public Workspaces out there that teachers have spent tons of time working on that are being given away. Check out the amazing HyperDocs on “Teachers Give Teachers.” Check out Project-Based Awesome. Access to high-quality vetted content and ideas is quite literally a few searches and clicks away!

Attending a three-day Buck Institute training this past summer was also useful in helping me help teachers generate ideas for projects. There are so many different ways for students to demonstrate their learning besides worksheets and tests!!!

The best part is students are increasingly getting regular access to technology in the classroom, which gives them the ability to create stuff without the teacher having to scramble for resources. The web also gives students access to a global audience for their work! It’s far more exciting to share with the world than it is to share with just your teacher and classmates. Students can use the Google Suite almost exclusively to produce and share most of the projects listed above, and there are free web-based applications for video, photo, and audio editing that just a few years ago cost hundreds of dollars! Yet far too often, Chromebooks are used for little more than testing and Google Classroom is used for little more than digitally reproducing and distributing of the same old worksheets. Google Classroom is great and can be used for more of course, but I think the robust features offered by Hapara’s Workspace and Edmodo are a lot more conducive to the deeper learning I’m interested helping educators facilitate, which is why I’m always championing their platforms. As educators, we have a duty to prepare our students for the world they are in and are going into, and this is what the world is asking today’s students be capable of:

I like to create and share stuff with people too, which is why I just wrote this blog post, why there will be plenty more posts laden with ideas, and why there’s already a bunch of stuff I’ve already shared here on my website. Take a gander if you’re so inclined! I also really like leading professional development to help teachers help students become creators rather than consumers of content. Reach out if you’re ever interested in having me come out to your site! Have passport, will travel. 🙂


Edmodo + GAFE = Project-Based Learning Platform

by Randy Fairfield, 6/9/16

Learn how to leverage the social learning platform that is Edmodo by integrating it with the Google Suite for Education to take project-based learning in your classroom to new heights! Used in the right way, Edmodo and the G Suite can be an incredible combination to enhance student collaboration.

YouTube Video:

Google Slides Presentation:


BlendSpace: An Amazing Tool for Project-Based Learning and More!

Blendspace is one of my most favorite ed tech tools of all-time! It’s an incredibly visual way to aggregate all sorts of things such as links, pictures, video clips, Google Drive files, text, and standards. This is a must have for project-based learning and can be useful in a whole host of educational contexts. What a great way to encourage higher-order thinking in the way of synthesis!!!