Mr. Michael Boll

Director of Professional learning at 21 Century Learning International Group


Michael Boll is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Podcaster and Technology Coach at Concordia International School Shanghai. Michael enjoys helping educators, parents and students harness the transformative powers of technology. Michael is an enthusiastic instructional designer and presenter. He works to make his courses and presentations information packed, slightly provocative and fun. Michael has a teenage son with profound autism and is keenly interested in the special needs community and its population of diverse learners. This interest led Michael and his wife, Lori Boll, to open an innovative school in Shanghai ( for their son.

I teach: Technology

To ages: 1 to 22


January 24, 2016


Padlet is a visual collaboration tool. Students add virtual sticky notes to a virtual bulletin board. Add text, video, images, links and more to sticky notes.padlet_blog_300


When students move content around on a Padlet board, it’s tough to see who is doing the moving. Makes it easy for students to mess with each other’s work.

Sample Uses

* Note taking (collaborative)
* Exit ticket
* “Living webquest” (add new links at a moment’s notice)
* Field trip documentation
* Digital posters
* See for 20 ways to use it!

Do I Plan to Use It?

Yes! I’ve used it with students and teachers with lots of success.

Commitment and Learning Curve

Low. Free account means little commitment. It’s easy to start your first Formative assessment and add questions to it.

Best for ES MS or HS?

Can be used for any level. Even elementary school students can double-click to add a note to Padlet and add text/media to it. Cost Free

April 7, 2015

Appear In seems to fully understand that reducing friction is an important element to an apps success as the cost or functionality. Appear.In makes connecting a video conference with up to eight people super easy and with no login required.

Here is how it works:
Head to their website,
Create a room with an address you create. Example: Appear.In/TalkTime
Share the link with others

That is it. So simple and quick. Their servers are fast and it works well even in China!

If you decide you want to sign up for the service you can create your own room, choose a background, save contacts, have a chat feature, etc.

Lastly, they just came out with their iOS app.

Sample Uses
Sample uses for Appear.In are similar to any other video conferencing software, except there will likely be less friction and tech hurdles at the beginning.

Connect with experts around the world
Sponsor a debate between various schools or groups and record the video conference
Create music together with instruments or singing
Work collaboratively with another classroom where teachers share their expertise and take turns running the lesson
Reading buddies with students around the world
Add a missing parent to a parent teacher conference
Staff development

Do I Plan to Use It?
Yes! The biggest thing will be a habit change from using Skype and Google Hangout.

Commitment and Learning Curve
Low to none. You just use it; that is what makes it the most appealing.

Best for ES MS or HS?
All grades can use this. Especially the younger ones. They really benefit from reduced friction.
Totally free.
Website Link
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