Academic Skills through Ed Tech (ASETs)

The ASETs are an academic toolbox - they are practically useful, but also embed important ways of thinking. 

Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset is the attitude to life that deals with challenges, positively, learns from failure and mistakes, and is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to develop. There are two key aspects: Effort - work hard, don't give up Strategic thinking - if something is not working, try a different way While the concept is easy to understand, its implementation in the classroom can be, well... challenging.

Project Based Learning (PBL)

How do you move away from test-driven, superficial, rote learning, and promote creativity, engagement and real learning? Project-Based Learning is an approach that promises to do that. It is particularly powerful when used in tandem with an intentional link to the Habits of Mind.

Teach with Tech

Ed Tech is great. But it must always be used in service to educational goals. Here are some practical ways of using tech in the classroom.

Teaching and Learning

Re-think some of the "tried and tested" ways of doing things in the classroom. Here are some ideas to play with.

Tech Tips

Here are some simple tips and tricks to make your life easier.


The Teach Like a Champion books by Doug Lemov offer many useful ways of organising and running lessons in the classroom. There is little there about how tech might be integrated into lessons. Here are some ideas of how to marry Tech and TLAC.


Theory plays an important role in assisting us when making design decisions. Our ideas about education, people and the world we live in shape and guide all that we do as teachers.  

Peer assessment is a great idea. It means you can get students to really work with the rubric, and in the process learn to self-assess and reflect on their own learning, those super-valuable metacognitive habits of mind.

BUT it can be a logistical problem. 25 class members multiplied by 25 assessments, with say 5 criteria to assess. That's 3125 items of data! What are you going to do with that? Well, you can start by using a Google Form to collect the data, and then analyse the data with a pivot table. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Create your form based on your rubric. Keep it simple and short, while still retaining the main skills which you would like students to really think about.
  2. Include a question: who is being assessed? Pre-populate this with a list of students in your class. TIP: you can copy a list off a spreadsheet and paste it.
  3. Include a question: who is doing the assessment? Provide the options: A classmate, Myself, The teacher
  4. Include a glows (positives) and grows (suggestions for improvement) open-ended text question.
  5. Whan all the assessments are complete, open the spreadsheet where the responses are recorded.
  6. Select Insert > Pivot Table from the menu. Create a new sheet.
  7. Under Rows, select: who is being assessed and who is doing the assessment.
  8. Under values select each of your rubric criteria and set them as follows: Values as Columns; Summarise by Average.
  9. This should give you 3 scores for each student for each criterion. It is interesting and useful to compare them. Does the student undervalue or overvalue herself in relation to you and/or the peers? This can lead to a useful discussion.
  10. To get a single score for each, close up the student by clicking the minus.
  11. The way I use the scores is to add them to a rubric for a bigger project/assignment in Google Classroom. Eg if this peer assessment is for a presentation, I score the technical aspects of the presentation in a rubric and then add the peer assessment criteria to the same rubric. 
  12. The way I use the glows & grows is to copy all the relevant cells from the main spreadsheet and paste them into the comments section of the assessment screen in GC.

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