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June 15th - Week 1: Blogging

(1) Set up your blog

To participate in 23 Things, the first thing you must do is set up a blog and create a test post. Choose whatever blogging platform suits you! Once you’ve got your blog set up, just submit the URL in the form linked at the top of this page. Read more...

(2) Check out some edtech blogs

Check out some education blogs, some tech blogs, or some edtech blogs. Find an RSS reader you like and then add links to blogs you want to follow. Read more...

(3) Try an RSS Reader

An RSS reader is a web application that collates feeds from all your favorite blogs in one place so you can stay up to date without having to visit each blog’s individual site. Read more...

(4) Microblogging

Microblogging is blogging in its most abbreviated form where posts are pared down to a few sentences or even just a few words. Popular platforms for microblogging include Twitter and Facebook status updates. Read more...


The first 23 Things project was started by a librarian by the name of Helene Blowers to help employees of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County learn new Web 2.0 tools. This summer, Castilleja is hosting its own 23 Things project. To participate, simply complete one or more of the activities listed each week and blog about what you tried and learned (so you really only have to try 9 things, not all 23). You’ll notice the first activity is to set up a 23 Things blog and submit the URL to us! Any Castilleja employee that completes a blog post for each of the nine weeks by September 1st, 2014 will receive a prize! There will also be additional prizes awarded in a few special categories including best blog. Even if you don’t work at Castilleja please feel free to follow along! We cannot offer you a material prize, but you will win the much more valuable self satisfaction that comes from trying new things and expanding your knowledge. Use the View Blog button at the top of the page to view featured posts from the blogs of our participants. And submit the URL of your own blog so we can feature you too!


June 22nd - Week 2: eBooks

(5) Download a free ebook or audiobook

Try downloading a free eBook or audiobook to your tablet or laptop. Many classics which are out of copyright are available digitally for free. Click Read More for a list of places to look for your favorite classics as well and instructions on how to download books from each of these repositories. Read more...

(6) Check out an ebook from your local library

Check the website for your local library to see what options are available for checking out ebooks. Read more...

(7) iBooks Author

Play around with iBooks Author, a free application you can download to your Mac to create interactive ebooks for the iPad. You don’t have to create a whole book, just check it out. Read more...

(8) Try out Book Creator on your iPad

The iPad app Book Creator allows you to create ePub books right from your iPad. Integrate text, photos, drawings, videos, and audio into your own masterpiece. Read more...

June 29th - Week 3: Gone Google

(9) Try out a Google product of your choice

In addition to Gmail and Google Drive, Google has a large suite of apps and products you can access with your Castilleja email account including Google Keep, Google Scholar, and Google Hangouts. Read more... 

(10) Customize your Google Calendar

There are lots of ways to customize your Google Calendar and tools built into the Google Apps environment to make managing your calendar more efficient. Add some pizzaz to your Google Calendar by checking out some of the tips and tricks below:

Google Calendar Tips and Tricks

Google Calendar: 8 Hidden Tips and Tricks

Power Through Schedules with 21 Google Calendar Tricks

5 Google Calendar Tips and Tricks for Power Users

(11) Learn some Gmail shortcuts

Try your hand at mastering a few gmail keyboard shortcuts which allow you to navigate your mail without ever having to take your hands off the keyboard. To turn on keyboard shortcuts in gmail, click the gear in the top right corner of your mail inbox and select Settings. Find the "Keyboard shortcuts" section and select Keyboard shortcuts on. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page. A comprehensive list of shortcuts can be found here. Read more...

(12) Check out the new Google Sheets and Google Docs iPad Apps

Google has spun off it’s Google Drive app for the iPad into two new apps, Google Sheets and Google Docs (I should note these are also available on Android). The old Google Drive app is still around, but the most up-to-date version is now read-only. Download the new Sheets and Docs apps and check them out! Post your review to your 23 Things blog.

July 6th - Week 4: Creative Commons

(13) What is Creative Commons?

The internet is full of Creative Commons licensed work that you are free to reuse and remix under certain restrictions. There are also lots of photos, videos, and other creative works in the public domain that can be reused without any restrictions at all. For a refresher on Creative Commons and copyright, check out the resources below while you ponder these questions: Have you ever used Creative Commons or public domain content in your work? How do you try to approach copyright in and outside of your classroom? Is this something you address with your students?

What is Creative Commons:

About Creative Commons:

Copyright for Educators and Librarians:

Copyright on Campus:

Educators Guide to Copyright:

Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright:

(14) Finding Creative Commons and other copyright-free content

Check out some of these great repositories and search engines for Creative Commons and public domain content! If you know of any other great sites for finding Creative Commons content, blog about them and I’ll make sure to add them to the 23 Things blog. Read more...

(15) Remix something

Try remixing some Creative Commons or public domain work! ThingLink is a great tool for remixing images and making them interactive. Also did you know there is a remix button on Creative Commons YouTube videos that will copy a video and open it YouTube’s video editor for you to make changes? Read more about it here.

Or if you’d rather check out some remixed work (as opposed to making it yourself), take a look at Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s HitRECord, an open-collaborative production company where artists from all over the world remix each others’ work. Maybe you’ll be inspired enough to join in!

July 13th - Week 5: Wiki Wiki

(16) Try a wiki and share your thoughts

A wiki is a website or web-based document that allows for collaborative editing. For a very basic introduction to wikis check out this CommonCraft video.

There are lots of tools out there with wiki-like capabilities. Google Drive and Sites allow many forms of collaborative editing. Padlet can be used as a multimedia-enhanced wiki, it supports not only text, but images, videos, and embedded websites as well. And for something a little more traditionally wiki, try Wikispaces Classroom. Try out one of these tools or share your thoughts (positive, negative, or otherwise) on one you’ve already used. Are there any uses you would recommend or discourage? Are there any new ways you could envision using wiki tools in the future? Also, check out this list of 50 ways to use wikis in the classroom.

July 20th - Week 6: Flipping the Classroom

(17) Create a screencast or try out a flipped classroom tool

Flipping the classroom is a form of blended learning in which lectures are viewed outside of class (during the time which used to be allocated to homework problems) and in-class time is instead dedicated to working through these "homework" problems together in an environment where the teacher is available to facilitate and guide student work. There are lots of ways to apply flipped teaching in your classroom without necessarily committing to flipping your entire course. Try out some screencasting tools such as Explain Everything, Quicktime, or Jing. Or look into some other flipped classroom tools such as EDpuzzle or Blendspace.

(18) Share your thoughts on flipped learning

Or simply share your experiences with and/or thoughts on flipping the classroom and blended learning in general. Check out these articles if you’re interested in reading a bit more about flipping the classroom:

July 27th - Week 7: Communication

(19) Try a new video conferencing tool

Video conferencing can be a great way to connect with experts, go on virtual field trips, or work collaboratively with team members all over the country or even the world. Try out a video conferencing tool you’ve never used before or share your thoughts on one you’ve already tried. Some great tools to start with include Skype and Google Hangouts. Look here for more information on getting started with Google Hangouts and check out this article suggesting classroom integration options. If you’re looking for something more lightweight, check out which allows you to make video conference calls without installing anything or even creating an account. Also take a look at Google’s Connected Classrooms which offers virtual field trips all over the world from learning about how cheese is made to speaking with Buzz Aldrin.

(20) Try out a backchannel tool

Earlier this year we used Backchannel Chat to create a discussion backchannel for the screening of Wasteland during Global Week. Check out this tool or Today’s Meet which are both easy-to-set-up options for creating discussion forums. Or look no further than your own backyard, the Activity Stream feature available on all Portal class pages can also be used for class discussion. Check out how Jason used it last year with his C&C students by going to Academic Tech’s Teacher Spotlight page.

August 3rd - Week 8: digital workflows

(21) Try out some digital workflow tools

Putting together an efficient digital workflow is not a trivial task, but there are lots of tools out there designed to make moving digital content faster, easier, and more orderly. Some heavy hitters worth taking a look at include Pocket, Evernote, Showbie, Dropbox, and of course Google Drive. If you’re already a big Drive user, you might want to try out a Google App script like Doctopus - designed for managing student Google Docs. It is installed from the Google Script Gallery on the per spreadsheet level so if you want to play around with it just create a new blank Google spreadsheet. Click "Tools" in the toolbar at the top of the spreadsheet and select Script Gallery. Search for Doctopus and press install. While you’re in the Script Gallery, take a look at other scripts you might want to try out too.

(22) Share a workflow

Is there a particular workflow or tool that has worked well for you in the past? How have you solved workflow problems before? What recommendations would you make to others?

August 10th - Week 9: Your Choice!

(23) Try out a tool of your choice

What’s something you’ve been itching to try out? Or that you would recommend to others? Try out a new tool and let us know what you think!

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