Jan 31

Student Blogging: Not Just Kids’ Play

By: Carmela Maraan

blog11“Young students today are intuitively adapted to technology, and many educational systems have long integrated the use of the Internet in their curriculum. Some of the online references that students use for research are blogs, which may also spark an interest in budding creative writers and journalists in the classroom.

For safety reasons, it’s more advisable to introduce blogging to students in their early teens. Although many children ages 12 and below are already attuned to the use of the Internet and social media, and there are several notable child bloggers as well, they’re exposed to more risks that come with online socialization. At least with teens, they’re more developed at navigating current linguistic and cultural trends of their peers, yet can still be monitored closely by their parents, teachers, and guardians.How can blogging benefit students?” To read further please click here:

Jan 31

How Student Centered Is Your Classroom?

By:  Rebecca Alber

schoolss“In the education world, the term student-centered classroom is one we hear a lot. And many educators would agree that when it comes to 21st-century learning, having a student-centered classroom is certainly a best practice.

Whether you instruct first grade or university students, take some time to think about where you are with creating a learning space where your students have ample voice, engage frequently with each other, and are given opportunities to make choices.

Guiding Questions

Use these questions to reflect on the learning environment you design for students:

Jan 31

Two Great Tools for Creating Interactive Timelines

By: Med Kharbach

timeline“In today’s post I am sharing with you two important web tools that you can use with students in class to create interactive timelines. These timelines can include a wide variety of multimedia materials including: text, images, video, maps and many more. And in the case of Silk, there is even the possibility to invite collaborators to help with editing. Also, both of these apps are available for iPad users.

1- MyHistory

‘Watch and read thousands of fascinating timelines, or create your own. Complete with text, video and pictures to create a dynamic timeline mashup. Using myHistro, you can combine maps and timelines seamlessly into one great presentation, convert any public timeline into a personal pdf file, or export it into Google Earth format for offline storage. All completed timelines can be embedded into your blog and websites for maximum exposure.’” To read further please click here:

Jan 31

OneNote in the classroom


onenote“Microsoft OneNote 2010 gives teachers the ideal place to store their myriad resources and materials in a single, easy-to-organize location.

Discover tips on helpful ways to refresh your lessons, manage class assignments, make quick work of daily tasks, and share information with colleague, students and parents. Microsoft OneNote helps organize class lessons, web articles, videos, and other multimedia class content in one convenient application.To read further please click here:

Jan 30

How to Engage Your Students in Writing

By:Robert Morris

google kid“Your students can think of hundreds of reasons to avoid writing a paper you assign. It seems impossible for you to explain why academic writing skills are important for their future in any profession. However, you also need to make an attempt to understand them. How many times have you faced a writer’s block when you tried to write an extraordinary academic piece or unique coursework material? Instead of forcing your students to get inspired and start writing focused content, you should find a way to inspire them and make the entire process more interesting for them. The following tools will help you achieve that!

1. Oflow

This is one of the best apps designed to help writers get unstuck and come up with fresh ideas. Your students can access over 150 cool writing prompts, as well as tips that will inspire them to take a creative approach.
The app features a simple design that won’t get the students more confused than they already are. Oflow Creativity App can also be used for setting daily creativity reminders, bookmarking the best ideas and keeping notes. It is also a great tool to use for team projects, since it enables the users to share ideas by email, Facebook and Twitter.” To read further please click here:  http://learningonlineinfo.org/how-to-engage-your-students-in-writing/

Jan 30

Advantages of Online Learning


onlinelearn“We are living in a Digital World, that we know for sure. One thing I love in this world is that, technology is an old acquaintance that helps save time. That is why we need technology, right? It is meant to make our lives easier and more comfortable and in return increasing our productivity and make the world a better place. Learning online education is increasingly in vogue and offers many positives. Get to know 10 advantages of online learning

This is why we will talk about the Advantages of Online Learning. Learning Online is increasingly becoming the way to learn and the world has embraced Online Learning. This is most seen in academic institutions that offer distance learning. Smart Kenyan Academy is one great place that will enable anyone in the world to learn a skill, a course or profession remotely. You can learn anything from teachers worldwide and be a better person through this platform.Get to know 10 advantages of online learning

So today we are going to learn about the advantages of online learning that this platform and many other Digital schools offer to students.

Advantages of Online Learning

1. Learning Online Saves time

Technology is an old acquaintance that helps save time. Instead of looking for something in books, word by word and maybe the meaning of somthing in the traditional dictionary, we can use up the online dictionaries. Teachers no longer need to write on the board the content when they need to make a presentation, etc.” To read further please click here:  http://www.smartkenyan.com/advantages-online-learning/

Jan 30

Using Old Tech (Not Edtech) to Teach Thinking Skills

By: Raleigh Werberger

werberger-using-old-tech-to-teach“I’ve been trying to use Google Docs to good effect in my ninth grade history classroom. It’s a critical tool in that it lets me see the students puzzle out answers to their questions (especially with a heavy reliance of the “see revisions” function).

I’ve viewed classroom technology as the means to sharing knowledge, in addition to acquiring or manipulating it. Yet I find that not only has the computer itself become something of a distraction, but the students aren’t making enough use of the tech’s “share-ability” — that is, they struggle to work effectively together on it, and to have their ideas cohere in an intelligible way. It occurred to me that co-editing in a Google Doc is a skill that itself needs to be taught and practiced before it can become effective in the classroom.

I also started thinking that perhaps one fault of technology is that it brings the world to the student, rather than spurring the student to get up out the chair and go find it. I have noticed personalities in the class that like to work standing up, or who find reasons to walk around while thinking. Could there be a way to restore a kinesthetic element that had begun to disappear from the room with my reliance on web tools?”To read further please click here: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/old-tech-teach-thinking-skills-raleigh-werberger

Jan 29

6 Ways Teachers Can Harness The Power Of Pinterest

By: Sharen Stuart

pinterest“When you think of social media sites, you think about sharing pictures and videos and connecting with friends. But, there is one website that is truly ideal for teachers… and it is called Pinterest. Pinterest allows teachers to do many great things in terms of teaching and learning in a very convenient and fun manner.If you are a teacher, then get ready to explore a new and exciting world of opportunities that Pinterest brings to you. They will enhance your productivity in no time

1. Pinterest Can Be Used To Share Assignment Details
It’s easy for teachers to create pages with detailed instructions related to new assignments for their students. This practice will allow students to see the instructions whenever they want. They will not have to go through their worksheets every now and then to see the requirements. It will be easy for teachers to share complete details with one click.As a side note, students can also look for assignment help on Pinterest. There are many writing services that help students who can’t write their assignments.” To read further please click here:

Jan 29

Enhancing student learning using educational technology

By: edtechschools.com

frog-learnThe idea

If you asked your Year 11 class to go and revise using suitable websites and expected them to know which past papers to download, on which exam board website, and which option papers to click on, could they all do it? Even if your students do this, the trawl for information can be extremely time consuming for students. Moreover, exam board websites aren’t always the most user-friendly environments for students

This was the problem we faced, until we found a great solution using FrogLearn.

Together, with a head of house, we planned the idea of a Year 11 revision centre that would know the subjects that each student studied and it would provide them with a personalised revision centre of exam papers and websites that would match their needs.


Our VLE is FrogLearn, and, while the product is incredible, it isn’t natively strong in terms of individually personalising itself to meet the needs of different users. You can assign sites to groups and students, but Frog doesn’t instinctively lay itself out to match the subjects and key stages of students. However, the powerful new APIs that Frog released have allowed us to easily, and quickly, create a personalised Year 11 revision centre.”To read further please click here:  http://edtechschool.com/

Jan 29

Guide to Student-to-Student Teaching With Online Video

By: Edudemic Staff

videoss“You may already be using video to support your lessons, but have you considered encouraging your students to create them? Student-to-student videos enhance student understanding of a subject as well as student creativity and critical thinking skills. In a recent KQED MindShift article, Katrina Schwartz lauds peer-created videos for their ability to reach struggling students in ways that you as a teacher cannot. No longer are videos a distraction or a tool used only by teachers; videos can create a richer learning experience.
Why Use Student-to-Student Video
As teachers, we often adopt the “sage on the stage” attitude, in which we project knowledge onto our students. After all, we’re older than they are, we’ve been teaching for years, so it should follow that we know more than they do. While that may be true, all the knowledge in the world may not effectively reach the student who is struggling with the material. Who can reach those students? Their fellow classmates.”To read further please click here:

Jan 28

Is this the online learning model of the future?

By: Rony Zarom

online“Fostering student-directed learning and discipline-centered skills—like creating searchable notes, performing real time research, peer-to-peer feedback, social network collaboration and more—are both crucial to increasing student engagement, according to the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.

Empowering students to make personalized learning choices in the classroom motivates them to take charge of their success early on, and allows educators to tailor learning tracks to keep pace with students who are ahead of the learning curve or have specific challenges that require additional guidance.

Furthermore, online learning options allow Gen C students to manage their learning much like they would a job—honing time management skills to complete high priority work on time, working remotely when needed, connecting in peer discussions to deliver projects, etc.

With numerous institutional and student benefits associated with flex learning, the time is ripe for educators to build online learning options into current programs. So how can educators find the right tools and develop the right strategy to implement flex learning options? Here are three tips to keep in mind to jumpstart your online learning program:” To read further please click here:  http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/flex-online-class-338/2/


Jan 28

Google Classroom: Use This Image for Students Turning in Work

By:Alice Keeler

Google_edu-300x229“In Google Classroom when you attach a Google Document to a lesson set where every student gets a copy the student does not see the thumbnail image of the document. The student needs to click on “OPEN” to view the attached Google Document. Note that in Google Classroom the copy of the document is not made until students click on “OPEN” and click on the attached file.
Attach an Image
I have created an image that I attach with each Google Classroom assignment to remind students to click on “OPEN” and either “MARK AS DONE” or “TURN IN.” I have saved the images in my Google Drive so I simply click on the Google Drive logo when attaching files in a Google Classroom assignment and insert the image.” To read further please click here: http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2015/01/26/google-classroom-use-this-image-for-students-turning-in-work/

Jan 28

Five Minute Film Festival: Video Boot Camp

By:Bill Selak

video123“The rapid adoption of devices in the classroom has fundamentally changed the way we can create video. Every part of the creation process — writing, recording, editing, and distributing — is possible on the devices that can fit in our pocket. Vision is the most dominant of the five senses. Research shows that concepts are better remembered if they are taught visually. This is called the pictorial superiority effect, and it’s why video is such a powerful learning tool.

A video is created three times: when you write it, when you shoot it, and when you edit it. There are several formats that can be used to write a script for the classroom: a Google Doc, a dedicated app (ex: Storyboards), a Google Form, or a production organization document. Whichever format is used, emphasis should be placed on how it will be used in the classroom, and what the goal of the video is. When recording, it is important to incorporate basic rules of composition, such as the rule of thirds, into your video. Being aware of the environment (basic concepts like lighting and room tone) makes it easier to edit.” To read further please click here:http://www.edutopia.org/blog/five-minute-film-festival-video-boot-camp

Jan 28

4 Education Technology Trends To Watch

By: Curtis Franklin Jr

arr4“Gamification, the maker movement, augmented reality, and distance learning aren’t the first things that come to mind when you consider your local schools. Yet, these were among the hottest topics discussed at the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando on Wednesday.

Now in its 36th year, FETC brought together 9,000 educators and technologists to explore how best to incorporate high-tech instruction and testing into classes. While the focus here was on teaching kids, many of the technologies and techniques discussed can be applied to corporate learning and IT training as well.

The first big topic started years ago. Today, we call it “gamification” instead of the old “making learning fun.” Though the methods may have changed, the goal remains the same: To improve information retention and critical thinking by applying game design principles to curriculum development and teaching practice. There are a couple of new wrinkles in this old topic, though. The first is that gaming principles are being applied to testing as well as instruction. The second is that teachers and technologist aren’t apologizing for turning classrooms into gaming centers. They have research to back up gamification’s effectiveness, and the push is on to include it in more and more classrooms.” To read further please click here:

Jan 27

SNAP! Digital Lesson for Guided Reading

By: classtechtips.com

reading3SNAP! Learning has a digital solution for managing guided reading groups in your classroom.  Perfect for any type of tablet, teachers can first launch the program on their device then pick the grade level, lesson and study guide they would like to access.  The app helps students build background knowledge on a topic through visuals and interactive activities.

With SNAP! Learning students can work on learning new vocabulary words from stories they read and answer questions to demonstrate their comprehension.  The graphic organizers included within this app will help students keep track of events in a story and while giving you insight into their mastery of key content.” To read further please click here:  http://classtechtips.com/2015/01/21/snap-digital-lesson-for-guided-reading/

Jan 27

Can You Measure an Education? Can You Define Life’s Meaning?

By:Peter Gray

meaning of llife“We, in America and many other modern nations, are obsessed with measurement.  Our motto seems to be, “If you can’t count it, it doesn’t count.”  We’re especially obsessed with measuring children’s education, and, with No Child Left Behind, we’ve run amok with that obsession.  Our children have become pawns in contests that pit parent against parent, teacher against teacher, school against school, and nation against nation in the struggle to see who can squeeze the highest test scores out of their kids.  We are depriving our children of sleep, depriving them of freedom to play and explore—in other words depriving them of childhood—in order to increase their test scores.” To read further please click here:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201212/can-you-measure-education-can-you-define-life-s-meaning

Jan 27

45 Great Free Choice Activities For Preschool { Use At Home Too

By:Allison McDonald

kindyy“Way back when my son was tiny and just starting preschool I was waiting to pick him up when another parent who wasn’t familiar with the class ( a co-op preschool ) was expressing their dismay about the amount of free choice time the 2 hour class had. ” They are just playing!” Well yes they are, but they are learning too. After spending some time in the class with the amazing teachers and parent volunteers he came to understand that learning through play at school isn’t the same as what they do at home although both are equally valuable.

In that class as well as my classroom { and many others) teachers carefully set up learning environments so that it’s fun, playful, and there are all different kinds of learning to try every time the children come to school. There are many great ways to parent and there are many great ways to teach but I thought today I would share with you some of my favorite free choice activities grouped in their areas of learning you can set up in your class or at home. I did many of these activities with my kids at home during my hiatus from teaching and they work wonderfully as activities at the kitchen table or family room floor.”To read further please click here:

Jan 27

3rd Grade Sight Word Sentences–Manuscript


Child writing on book“Are you looking for a fun way to have your 3rd grade students practice their sight words? Look no further!I’ve had a ton of requests for a manuscript version of my 3rd grade sight word sentences, so today I’m sharing the 3rd grade sight word manuscript sentence printables with you. (I have 3rd Grade Cursive Sight Word Sentences here.)


Each worksheet has the sight word along with a funny sentence. Students will practice tracing the word, reading the word several times, then writing it on their own.

They will also fill in a sentence using the word as well as practice reading the sentence.

Students will also cut out the letters then glue them on the sheet to spell the word correctly to complete a sentence. This not only makes the activity more hands-on, but it also helps with spelling practice.

I have also added letter tracing to this activity to help with handwriting practice.” To read further please click here:

Jan 27

3 Things Great Teachers Do With Technology

By: Tom Daccord

teacher63 inspiring examples of how teachers turn technology into relevance and make learning count

Too often, we see teachers putting the proverbial cart before the horse. They find an app or tool they like, so they introduce it in their classroom. The students might find it cool and engaging—but if the teacher hasn’t defined why they’re using that tool, its integration has no clear, educational purpose.

If, instead, you begin with a learning goal in mind and choose apps and devise activities in support of it, then you’re on a path to meaningful technology integration.

To help educators develop a vision for using technology in their classrooms, here are a few examples of what great teachers do with these tools.

1. They Empower students through creativity

Shawn McCusker has been teaching high school social studies for nearly two decades. For years, he would have his students demonstrate their understanding of the great industrial philosophers by writing a comparative essay.

Two years ago, Shawn was involved in an iPad pilot program, and he gave his students a choice in how they would demonstrate their knowledge: Students could write an essay, or they could tap the creative potential that existed in their iPads.” To read further please click here: http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/01/26/great-teachers-technology-072/

Jan 25

Pre-K teachers lurch between feeling like heroes and feeling like the enemy

By:Launa Hall

kindyg“It’s a Tuesday morning in Room 132, and standing before me is a 4-year-old boy asking for a graham cracker. I’ll call him Josue. His swinging arms are about to topple a crayon cup on my desk, so I steady the cup with one hand and reach for the crackers with the other.

“Ggg — graham cracker. What letter is that, Josue?” I ask, because in the public pre-kindergarten program where I taught for four years, a graham cracker was never just a snack. Every detail, from ceiling to circle-time rug, pulled double duty in pursuit of our mission: to battle the achievement gap. I had just one school year to fill in an early-literacy spreadsheet with categories in uppercase and lowercase letters, letter sounds, rhyming and writing. When Josue went to kindergarten, he would be expected to read.

I am prideful about my completed spreadsheets. A neat row of good scores next to a child’s name reassured parents, lightened the load on my kindergarten-teaching colleagues, and made it easier and less stressful for my students to meet the next round of assessments.

At the same time, I am deeply troubled about the way I pushed Josue and many other children. Early-childhood education studies suggest that hurrying kids to read doesn’t really help them. As Defending the Early Years and the Alliance for Childhood put it in an elegantly simple reportthis month: “No research documents long-term gains from learning to read in kindergarten.” And all the time spent discreetly drilling literacy skills to meet standards imposes a huge opportunity cost. It crowds out the one element in early-childhood classrooms proven to bolster learning outcomes over time: play.” To read further please click here:

Jan 25

5 keys to a successful STEM program at your school

By:Todd Tyner

stem“One principal reveals the science behind starting a successful STEM program

Interested in making the jump to STEM learning at your school? Mine was too. As an elementary math magnet school for nearly two decades, Mound Schoolwas looking for a way to further incorporate science into the curriculum. After receiving a federal grant from theMagnet Schools Assistance Program, we altered our approach and sought to transition to a STEM curriculum.

Now in our first full year of implementation, we have a few suggestions to help other schools replicate our success.

1. Integrate hands-on practice
Historically, our curriculum was primarily focused on math integration with some teachers offering science lessons a couple times a week, while others only a couple times a month. In order to properly become a science magnet school, we needed a new approach. One way we sought to better integrate science into our curriculum was by dedicating one classroom as the science lab, a space for students (and teachers!) to practice science in a hands-on way.” To read further please click here:

One principal reveals the science behind starting a successful STEM program …


Jan 25

On Teaching Fashion: Personal technology in the classroom – friend or foe?

By: Olga

what happens when teacher turns back“As the New Year starts and I return to teaching after a long break, I wonder whethertechnological gadgets are a friend or foe in a classroom setting. When I last taught, I did not have to be concerned about mobile phones in the classroom, let alone tablets or ipods. This is because just a few years back, mobile phones were very basic and could only send and receive calls and text messages. Do you remember those days?

My students at a boarding school in England thus never once looked at their phones during class. And when I taught a summer program in Paris, my hard-working students – who had come to Europe mostly from the USA – were rendered to using cheap calling cards in combination with the school’s land line to communicate with their families. But technology has rapidly evolved and now everyone seems to have personal smart technology on them. For me it is a concern and I need to find the right approach or else I fear ending up like Mrs Krabapple in the Simpson’s episode “Bart gets a Z”. It’s a funny episode which – in the first 10 minutes or so – shows a disaster situation in a classroom where every single child is busy with a smart mobile device. Poor Mrs Krabapple confiscates them all in her desperation, but then looses her job for the duration of the episode.

Personally, I find that smartphones have the power to be extremely distracting and I am much more productive when I put it away or even turn it off. Recently I overheard two high-school girls speaking on the bus: “Don’t worry,” one of them addressed her friend, “I will make you switch off your phone and lock it away while we study for the exam. You won’t believe how well you will learn!”

Jan 25

4 Education Technology Trends To Watch

By:Curtis Franklin Jr

standoutstartupsEducational technology is changing rapidly. These four trends will influence learning in schools — and in corporations.Gamification, the maker movement, augmented reality, and distance learning aren’t the first things that come to mind when you consider your local schools. Yet, these were among the hottest topics discussed at the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando on Wednesday.

Now in its 36th year, FETC brought together 9,000 educators and technologists to explore how best to incorporate high-tech instruction and testing into classes. While the focus here was on teaching kids, many of the technologies and techniques discussed can be applied to corporate learning and IT training as well.

The first big topic started years ago. Today, we call it “gamification” instead of the old “making learning fun.” Though the methods may have changed, the goal remains the same: To improve information retention and critical thinking by applying game design principles to curriculum development and teaching practice. There are a couple of new wrinkles in this old topic, though. The first is that gaming principles are being applied to testing as well as instruction. The second is that teachers and technologist aren’t apologizing for turning classrooms into gaming centers. They have research to back up gamification’s effectiveness, and the push is on to include it in more and more classrooms.” To read further please click here:

Jan 24

Amazon delivers Kindle Textbook Creator

By:Steven Sande

kindle2“For the past three years, Apple has had a free Mac app – iBooks Author – available for creating textbooks compatible with the company’s iBooks app. Today, Amazon announced a beta version ofKindle Textbook Creator, designed to let educators and authors create Kindle books from existing materials and immediately make them available on the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform.

While Kindle Textbook Creator can be used to create any type of book for reading on iPad, iPhone, Fire tablets, Android, Mac and PC, it’s definitely targeted at educators. According to Amazon’s press release, some of the features provided in books created with Kindle Textbook Creator include:

  • Multi-Color Highlighting-Highlight and categorize key concepts for easy reference.
  • Notebook-Capture key passages, images and bookmarks and automatically add them to the notebook. Students can add their own notes and easily access them from one location.
  • Flashcards-Create flashcards and study important terms, concepts, and definitions in each chapter with a simple, easy-to-use interface.” To read further please click here:


Jan 24

5 Ways to Keep Creativity Alive in Your Common Core English Class

By:Amanda Ronan

VIDEO IN CLASS“The Common Core State Standards have generated a lot of new buzzwords in English classrooms. All of a sudden it’s not enough for students to read, but now they must perform close reading. And it is not enough to answer simple questions, but students must become experts in answering text-dependent questions. Informational and opinion texts are in, and literary texts are out. Argument writing is taking the place of creative, narrative writing. Skills like analyzing and evaluating a text are taking precedent over the now passé act of making personal connections. To many English teachers, teaching to these shifts feels like cheating their students out of a love of literature and creative writing. In fact, the word “creative” does not seem to exist in the Common Core lexicon.

However, there are many ways to work within the constraints of the Common Core standards and still foster creativity in your classroom. The key can be summed up in one, Common Core-friendly term: synthesis, or combining ideas from multiple sources and creating a new theory or system of ideas. Let’s take a look at some ways that working with your students on synthesizing can promote creativity in your English class.” To read further please click here: http://www.edudemic.com/5-ways-to-keep-creativity-alive-in-english-class/

Jan 23

6 Tips So Your Child Won’t Get Overlooked in the Classroom

By: Dave Kanegas

bologic“As parents we face an incredible array of issues with our children. They never seem to end. A common one is that for a variety of reasons they often don’t express what’s on their minds — no matter how great the relationship we share. It requires vigilance and stamina to make sure your child’s needs are being met. Aside from the home, nowhere is this more important than in school. This article is about the ‘overlooked child.’ The youngster who sits quietly in class, does well academically and rarely raises a fuss. This little one needs just as much attention as all the others. It’s about the need for recognition and appreciation.   As much as education has changed through the years, it’s basically stayed the same. Teachers are overworked, often underpaid, have too many students and are either very dedicated, mediocre or just not very good. – See more at: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/6-tips-child-wont-get-overlooked-classroom” To read further please click here:  http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/6-tips-child-wont-get-overlooked-classroom/

Jan 23

Study Habits: New App Helps Students Get Organized and Motivated

By:Ann Elliot

byood“After testing the app for a month with two classes of students, I can endorse Study Habits as the best student productivity app for iOS. Compared to its competitors, Study Habits provides the richest array of features and augments its planning capabilities with proven study aids.

The app enables students to manage their time, monitor their GPAs, and adopt effective study habits. Thanks to its educational-psychology-based learning and motivation strategies, Study Habits is unparalleled in the productivity app market. Read on to find out what Study Habits can do and why no other student planning app compares.” To read further please click here:  http://www.edudemic.com/study-habits-new-app-helps-students-get-organized-and-motivated/

Jan 23

Future Proof your Learning Environment

By: ipad4schools.org

blogbut-app141“Did you know, there’s an app for that?” In fact, there’s 100s of new apps everyday and many teachers are put off technology because of it’s rapidly changing landscape. “How can I possibly keep up with what I should be asking the kids to use?” is a common question. The secret is to not worry about which app is the right one. Let the kids collectively do the ground work and worry about keeping abreast of the generic technologies and capabilities that numerous apps are making available.

But before you even worry about overall technologies, worry about what skills your teaching (regardless of content) might be developing. It is becoming a much talked about subject that any particular content schools might have “delivered” in the past is diminishing in value as A) it all becomes available on-demand on the internet in both written and video format and B) the world changes at an increasingly faster rate and priorities change year-on-year.” To read further please click here:  http://ipad4schools.org/2015/01/21/future-proof-your-learning-environment/

Jan 22

Remixing great lessons: Rigour

By: Mark Anderson

learn“Great lessons have key characteristics. Many edu-bloggers have discussed the characteristics of great lessons but for me, the one person that nails it is as discussed in my introductory post to this series is Tom Sherrington. In his series he discusses the topic in some detail across ten posts. In my series I will be looking at how we can take these ideas and remix them while integrating technology in to the mix; not to take away the classic teaching methods he discusses but to augment them to help bring about new learning opportunities. In this post I’ll be looking at rigour.

In his post on the topic, Tom breaks it down in to some central themes:

The nature of rigour can be highly subject specific, but there are some over-arching characteristics:

  • The teacher pitches the material very high; there is no doubt that the most able students in the room are challenged and engaged.
  • The teacher presents a strong command of the subject and uses that to select appropriately probing questions and tasks… this may come across as ‘passion’ but not necessarily. Rigour isn’t about excited enthusiasm; that is not what we’re talking about here.
  • The teacher can respond intelligently to questions and can back-fill or widen discussion with examples, counter-examples and tangential ideas.
  • Students are required to give precise answers, extended answers and answers that focus on the Why and How… not just the What.
  • The use of accurate subject specific language is expected and reinforced.
  • The teacher is prepared to challenge and accept challenge back; it matters”

To read further please click here: http://ictevangelist.com/remixing-great-lessons-rigour/

Jan 22

Teaching tech to the teachers

By: Simon Day

tecchnology“The first rule of Zombie Robots Group at Taupaki Primary School is you don’t talk about Zombie Robots Group.

Principal Stephen Lethbridge puts a star in his window when new robot kits arrive. The students in the group then have to come up with creative ways of getting out of class to come to his office, where they build and programme robots from scratch.

The group is part of the west Auckland school’s investment in teaching computer science.

The children learn to programme computers and build software to solve real-life problems.

“It isn’t really about the technology, it is not about coding,” Lethbridge says.

“It is about a philosophy of learning, and having kids who problem-find and can then problem-solve.”

Many schools are getting pupils to do their schoolwork on digital devices, but precious few are teaching the skills needed to take control of them: computer science and programming.

Teachers and curricula are being exposed as underskilled and unprepared, and schools complain they get little Ministry of Education support to teach programming.

What makes this especially troubling is that the digital technology industry is New Zealand’s fastest-growing sector. In the last six years, exports have doubled to more than $7 billion, making it New Zealand’s third-largest export earner after dairy and tourism.” To read further please click here:http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/65158708/Teaching-tech-to-the-teachers