DAILY INSIGHT: 21 things every 21st-century teacher should do this year, part 2

More fun ideas for your teachers to try. 
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More fun ideas for your teachers to try. 

By Carl Hooker, CIO Advisor

11. AppSmash something

Besides just fun to say, you should definitely take multiple apps on whatever device you use and smash them together into a project. Check out this post for the basics and remember, it doesn't have to be you who is doing the smashing. Let your kids come smash too!

12. Participate in a Twitter chat

Twitter can be like drinking information from a fire house at times, but finding a good twitter chat on a topic and participating can be a great way to learn and grow as a teacher. Check out Cybraryman's list of twitter chats and times to find one that interests you. Don't see any you like? Make your own! Remember in step #7 when you created your own class hashtag?

12. Make part of your classroom "Augmented"

Why not make take an app like Aurasma and hide some easter eggs around your room? You could make them about a project or just secret nuggets about you. It'll keep kids (and parents during back-to-school night) engaged and turn dead space in your classroom into an interactive learning opportunity. Need some ideas? Check out Lisa Johnson'sList.ly List. (Remember, you know how to make those now from #8!) of over 50 Augmented Reality apps.

13. Create a recipe on IFTTT.com to make your life easier

With all of these tools and social media platforms, it might be a good idea to create some ways to automate tasks in your classroom. IFTTT.com has some great pre-made "recipes" to combine some of your accounts into simple workflow solutions. You can even have your plant email you when it needs water.

14. Create a Class Instagram account

Have a daily student photographer whose job is to post an example of something your class/students did that day. If you don't want to mess with "do not publish" lists, you could ask that it be of an object or artifact, not a person. This would also be a good time to talk about when and how to ask permission to take someone's photo. Mix in your class hashtag (#6), throw in an IFTTT (#13) recipe, and all of a sudden you can also auto-post selfies (#9) to your class Pinterest board (#9).

15. Perform in a LipDub video

This can be either a solo project or for even greater effect, tie in your parody song (#3) and have your students act out their learning throughout the video. Don't forget to hashtag it. Bonus points if said video goes viral.

16. Make a class book

The ease with which you can publish books now is amazing. Using a tool like Book Creator or iBooks Author, you can publish to the iBooks store or Amazon. Don't want to do something that intense? Keep it simple and make a book using Shutterfly and then have it printed as a keepsake.

17. Participate in a Mystery Hangout

This sounds a lot scarier than it is but essentially think of playing the game 20 questions with another classroom somewhere in the world. Here's a link to a community page with more resources. It's a great way to increase cultural and global awareness and you could event invite the other class to add to your Pinterest board (#10), vote on your List.ly (#8), comment on your blog (#1) or maybe co-collaborate on an eBook (#16).

18. Produce a class audio podcast

Have students create a podcast highlighting classroom activities, projects or students. To get it to the web quickly, post it to SoundCloud. For the more advanced user, use a podcasting site like PodBean and actually get the podcast posted to iTunes. That way mom and dad can listen to the weekly recap while going on their evening walk or driving to work.

19. GHO on Air with an expert

With so many resources and experts available, it makes sense to bring in someone from the real world. This not only creates interest in the topic, it adds an air of authenticity. Using Google Hangouts On Air means you can record this session on the fly and post it to your class site or embed it on your blog to generate discussion at home.

20. Become an activist for a worthy cause

If the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge can teach us anything, it's that sometimes a little creativity is all you need to bring awareness to a cause. Whether it's helping a country in need or finding a cure for a disease, our newly connected society can be a powerful thing when galvanized for good. Participating in a global project gives students perspective on their own lives while helping others with their own life challenges.

21. Let your students drive the learning

While you could do all of these challenges by yourself, the real power comes in letting students own a piece of it. They have the curiosity and the digital acumen; it's the teacher's job to give them instructional focus and empowerment. We live in wonderfully connected times. Despite all of technology's perceived misgivings and the apocalyptic fears that we are losing ourselves as a society, why not use some of this power for good?

Just know that as a teacher in the 21st century you ultimately hold the key to unleash this creative beast. So try something on the list this year that may force you a bit out of your comfort zone because there is no better way to learn than trying.

Just be sure you blog about it when you are finished, as learning in isolation helps no one.

Oh ... and be sure to hashtag it.

Carl Hooker is director of innovation & digital learning at Eanes ISD in Texas and blogs at Hooked on Innovation, where this is cross posted.