Matt Miller is an educator, blogger and presenter from West Central Indiana. He has infused technology and innovative teaching methods in his classes for more than 10 years. He is the author of the book Ditch That Textbook: Free Your Teaching and Revolutionize Your Classroom and writes at the Ditch That Textbook blog about using technology and creative ideas in teaching. He is a Google Certified Innovator (Austin ’14), a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator, a Bammy! Awards nominee, and winner of the WTHI-TV Golden Apple Award.
After trying to do the traditional “teach by the textbook” for a few years, he launched into a textbook-less path where learning activities were often custom-produced for his students as well as infused with technology. He likes the results a lot, and his students do, too.
Matt has presented to thousands of teachers at dozens of workshops on a number of topics related to educational technology, world language instruction and more. He combines a conversational, engaging speaking style with loads of resources, leaving teachers equipped and inspired to move forward.
HOW DID YOU GET TO BECOME AN EXPERT IN EDTECH?
I taught high school Spanish for 11 years in small, rural public schools in West Central Indiana. As more and more tech resources became available, I loved experimenting and finding creative, innovative uses for them to kick learning up to another level. I don’t consider myself an “expert” — just someone who’s willing to experiment, create and share what he’s doing.
WHAT AREAS OF EDTECH ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
- The collaborative nature of many tech tools, where students are able to work together and improve teamwork, communication, etc. while doing classwork.
- The global nature of tech, where we can invite other classes and experts into our classes for free and as easily as doing a FaceTime call to grandma.
- The ability to create learning products to demonstrate learning that are better and/or different than creating them by hand in the real world.
WHICH EDTECH INFLUENCERS INFLUENCE YOU?
I’m a huge fan of the Shake Up Learning blog by Kasey Bell, who is my co-host for the Google Teacher Tribe podcast. The #DitchBook Twitter community constantly impresses me and pushes me with the innovative things they’re doing with tech.
OUTSIDE OF EDTECH WHO ELSE INFLUENCES YOU ?
I love listening to podcasts, and one of my favorites right now is StartEdUp by Don Wettrick, which gets a take on education from movers and shakers in the entrepreneurship world. Seth Godin‘s books (Tribes and All Marketers Lie/Tell Stories) have had a huge effect on me. I love creatives like Austin Kleon who encourage people to create. I’m big into sketchnotes, so Mike Rohde (author of The Sketchnote Handbook) is a favorite of mine.
WHICH BRANDS OR PRODUCTS STAND OUT FOR YOU IN EDTECH?
The powerhouses of Google and Apple are undeniable in education, and students are doing great things with them every day. Digital tools like Formative, Flipgrid and Quizizz are ones I recommend on a regular basis.
IF A BRAND WANTED TO WORK WITH YOU, WHAT OFFLINE / ONLINE ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN?
I do a lot of speaking to teachers right now, so that’s probably the best opportunity.
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY FOR A BRAND TO CONTACT YOU?
You can email me on: matt@DitchThatTextbook.com