Sonoma County Office of Education

21st Century Learning

21st Century Learning Blog

21st Century Learning BlogThe intent of this blog is to empower, inspire, and support teachers as they incorporate 21st century learning with the Common Core Standards and technology. The blog will share resources, ideas, and events and highlight what’s working in education in Sonoma County and around the world.

Author | Matt O’Donnell | Email | Follow on Twitter
Guidelines | SCOE Blog Protocols (pdf)
See also | Web Tools for Educators (Google doc)

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Learning From Pittsburgh's Maker Community
We visited Pittsburgh last week to deliver a keynote at the Pittsburgh Fab Institute and to connect with maker educators in the area. We had heard of the amazing things happening there over and over again and wanted to see it first hand. Pittsburgh has a vast network of connected makers including libraries, universities, museums and schools. Read More...

Game Based Learning at the Pacific Coast Air Museum
On June 6th, fifty seven educators from Sonoma County visited the Pacific Coast Air Museum as part of the 21st Century Summer Institute hosted by the Sonoma County Office of Education. The teachers were engaged in a week of learning and designing focused on creating a climate of possibility in classrooms and schools by incorporating creativity, innovation, and student voice. To kick off the week, the participants competed in teams to win a scavenger hunt at the museum. Read More...

5 Minute Film Festival Video Recap

It is Time to Ditch the Projector
As more and more schools move to 1:1 environments the need for an LCD projector is quickly declining. While it is nice to display documents on a screen in front of the room, there are several shortcomings often present with this approach. Many of the classrooms I visit have an LCD projector that is on a cart or on the teacher’s desk with cords going everywhere making it difficult to move around the front of the classroom. The teacher or student presenting often moves in front of the screen causing viewing problems. These projectors are often too close to the whiteboard (or screen if there is one) which makes the viewing area too small for students in the back of the room to see. Read More...

2017 5 Minute Film Festival
The Sonoma County 5 Minute Film Festival is back for the third year and this year’s theme is DISCOVERY. The festival is open to all Sonoma County students grades TK-12. The deadline to submit films is March 17, 2017. Please visit for more information. Read More...

Virtual Reality With Google Cardboard
Creating VR content is a great way for students to showcase learning and experiences that take place outside of the classroom. Students can create VR content about different ecosystems they visit and share it in science classes and with other students anywhere in the world. Teachers can create VR content at historical or literary sites for virtual field trips; the curricular opportunities are unlimited. Read More...

Videos from the reMAKE Education Summit
Last month 250 educators from around the country came to 180 Studios in Santa Rosa, California for the first annual reMAKE Education Summit. Here are the videos from the general session keynotes. Read More...

First Graders Leading the Way with PBL
First grade students at University Elementary at La Fiesta in Rohnert Park, California engaged in project based learning to design a new train for Sonoma-Marin Area Rapid Transit. After hearing from an engineer from SMART, students in Mr. Kurda’s class designed and built a life-size, 16-foot long model of the new SMART train out of cardboard. They also created a custom logo, and route map. Read More...

Radical Collaboration at SXSWedu
One of the great things about the SXSWedu conference is the collaboration between different groups of people. There is a good mix of participants attending and presenting including educators, edtech professionals, educational non profits and policy makers. The national scope of the conference allows participants to gain a broad perspective of what is working in education and where things are headed. Read More...

Productive Chaos in Fourth Grade
This week I visited Vicky Hill’s fourth grade class at Oak Grove Elementary to help them finish their films for the 2nd Annual Sonoma County Five Minute Film Festival. Vicky had no experience with filmmaking on iPads in her classroom before she embarked on this venture two weeks ago, but she was willing to take a risk and see what her students could do. She felt that the two weeks were a period of “productive chaos.” Read More...

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