31 Days of Digital Goodies

Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar

One way to engage students is to create interactive digital calendars. December is the month for advent calendars, so I’ve created the Digital Ideas 2014 Advent Calendar to give you a hands-on example of how this works. Throughout December, you will discover free web tools, apps, and resources by clicking on each day in the calendar below. You will also be given a challenge so that you are motivated to try out these ideas. Keep reading to find out how to make your own interactive digital calendar. Check out the 2013 Digital Ideas Advent Calendar for more great ideas!

Create Your Own

Create your own interactive digital calendar with Google Docs and Thinglink, a free tool and app to make clickable images. Feel free to use my Google template to make it quick and easy. To create your own:

  1. Copy/download my Google Calendar template so that you can edit as you like. Click FILE then MAKE A COPY and it will open in your Google Drive or Click FILE then DOWNLOAD AS to save as a Word Document.
  2. Edit the calendar or have students create their own.
  3. Take a screenshot of your calendar. I recommend Awesome Screenshot if you don’t know how to do this.
  4. Upload this image to ThingLink. You can create a free Thinglink account. The educator plan allows you to add your students as contributors without them having to create an account. Thinglink also has an awesome app for Android and iOS devices.
  5. Add links, a video, an audio clip, an image, or a reflection each day.

Ideas

With my Google Calendar template  you can easily create a calendar for any month by right clicking the first numbered cell and changing the date. The calendar will automatically update to that month. Here are a few ways to implement this:

  • Kindness calendar– each student creates their own calendar in which they add an act of kindness they did and a reflection. Get them to do this for a series of days. They can add pictures, videos, or audio clips to illustrate their actions.
  • Game, learning app, or web tool recommendation calendar
  • Is It True calendar– post a fact about your subject and have students search the web to determine if this was made up or actually happened.
  • Who Said It and Why calendar– post a quote and challenge students to determine who said it and the reason behind the quote. 
  • Parent events calendar– share free community events and activities with parents.
  • Writing prompts calendar– students check the calendar to find a writing prompt for their journals or blogs. You can find awesome writing prompts created by other teachers in this post.
  • Wacky experiments calendar– post quick science experiments they can try out
  • Math tricks calendar 
  • Brainteaser, word scramble, Sudoku, riddle or optical illusion calendar
  • Solve a mystery calendar– reveal a new clue each day
  • Joke or meme calendar– you can find tons of jokes and memes for math, science, etc and have them reflect on the concept, theory, or knowledge illustrated.
  • Goals calendar– each day students mark progress on their goals or a quote, song, or video to help them focus on their goals.
  • Mission & digital badge calendar– add a learning mission for students to accomplish each day and have a digital badge they will receive if they succeed. Find a video about this here and the slides, Meaningful Learning with Missions and Badges.

Challenge:

Create your own interactive digital calendar.

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics. Subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

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