By: Cari Schneider
“Recently I had the opportunity to learn alongside my seven-year old daughter, as we used the occasion of yet another snowed-in February day to scratch the itch of one of her many curiosities. Driven partly by me and largely by a friend at school, she’s been talking a lot lately about computers and how they work so we sat down together to try the Hour of Code. It was fun for the two of us to share a learning experience that we were both coming to completely new.
So many of our experiences alongside our children often involve us teaching them things that we ourselves have already experienced or mastered. It didn’t take long, however, before I realized the greatest lessons for me in that hour wouldn’t be about coding. What I gained that snowy afternoon was a set of new insights into how my daughter learns, what motivates her, what frustrates her and how my interactions either supported or discouraged her learning. I was floored by how much she was able to learn in just one hour–the same hour that could’ve instead been spent watching half a movie or playing another spirited round of tag with her sister through the house.” To read further please click here: http://gettingsmart.com/2015/02/3-ways-parents-can-spot-student-centered-learning/
By: Singapore Maths Is Fun Blog
“Preschool is the time in a child’s life where some of the most basic concepts of education such as reading, writing and arithmetic are introduced, and the fundamentals for future learning are set out. At this tender young age, it’s better to introduce these concepts with play, stories and games as opposed to straight up teaching, since children learn best through activity. Try some of these preschool math games to get children well on their way to adding and subtracting.
Incorporating Math into Everyday Activities
Instead of merely setting aside a special time for preschool math games, try incorporating math into everyday activities. While children are picking up toys, have them separate the toys into sets based on whatever they prefer: color, size, or function. After the toys have been separated, help them count the number of toys in each pile.To read further please click here:
By: Terry Heick
“Failing Forward” is a relatively recent entry into our cultural lexicon–at least as far has headlines go anyway–that has utility for students and teachers.
Popularized from the book of the same name, the idea behind failing forward is to see failing as a part of success rather than its opposite. Provided we keep moving and pushing and trying and reflecting, failure should, assuming we’re thinking clearly, lead to progress, So rather than failing and falling back, we fail forward. Tidy little metaphor.
So what might this look like in your classroom?
Failing Forward In The Classroom: 21 Ideas To Help Students Keep Their Momentum
1. Design iterative work (i.e., work that deserves and is conducive to revision and iteration)
How does this promote failing forward? If there’s no stopping point, then mistakes are simply opportunities.
Say: “Your design work on the app blueprint is coming along nicely. Awesome job using the feedback from the subreddit you got the idea from.”
2. Use project-based learning”
To read further please click here: http://www.teachthought.com/teaching/failing-forward-21-ideas-to-help-students-keep-their-momentum/
“When Montserrat Alonso Alvarez, a teacher and psychologist from Spain, first heard Malala was going to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, she had a flash of inspiration. She would use Malala’s story to educate children about human rights and values like respect, tolerance and responsibility.
“Malala is the perfect hero: a brave, determined and courageous young girl. Somebody who would certainly be the ideal role model for children when learning human values,” says Montserrat.
Malala’s mind map includes the words “justice,” “solidarity,” “liberty,” “women” and even “cupcakes.”
A trained psychologist with more than 16 years of experience, Montserrat developed a special teachers’ guide and curriculum around Malala for her students at the Virgen de la Peña School in Bembibre, Spain, which she showcased on the International School Day of Peace and Non-Violence on January 30. Her material combines art, music, recordings, games and roleplaying to help children ages 6-12 learn valuable social skills.
“What has impressed the children most about Malala’s story is her strength to make decisions, and especially being so mature for her age,” she says. “I find it touching to see their faces when we speak of Malala – their mouths are open, ready to ask questions.” To read further please click here: http://community.malala.org/montse-1006825610.html
By: Alice Keeler
“A teacher was telling me that her students were asking for a printed version of the Google Classroom directions. No printing is needed if students resize the windows on their computer to have Google Classroom directions on one side of the screen and their work on the other side. If students are using Google Chrome there are many Chrome extensions that might be helpful for students to create side by side windows. If students are not able to install Chrome extensions the Google Apps domain admin can push the extensions out to the student accounts.
Tab Resize allows students to manage multiple websites at once. Clicking the Chrome extension gives the student options to split the browser at that tab and to arrange the layout of the windows next to each other vertically or horizontally.”To read further please click here:
“Microsoft has launched a free tool to help teachers and school staff to collaborate more effectively on curriculum development, administrative duties and internal policies.
OneNote Staff Notebook for Education lets education staff leaders — like principals or faculty heads — set up shared workspaces for teachers and administrators and enable them to organize and share internal information, event and meeting schedules, student progress, parent feedback, lesson plans and more.”To read further please click here:
By: Brian Greenberg
“In terms of buzz amongst educators, blended learning ranks right up there with the adoption of Common Core and Jon Stewart stepping down from the Daily Show. But with so much buzz, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. In our role at the Silicon Schools Fund, we have a front row seat to some of the best efforts to personalize learning, and we think it’s real.
Yet, we don’t think it is as easy as some might have you believe. Over the last three years, we’ve helped launch or flip sixteen schools in the Bay Area towards more personalized learning” To read further please click here:
“Teachers know that video making is a tried and true way to get kids engaged in building, demonstrating, and sharing knowledge. These apps and sites feature user-friendly tools and features that make it more fun than ever before to get kids’ productions edited and polished.” To read further please click here:
By: Terry Freedman
“Ask children and young people about the esafety messages they’ve been told by parents, carers and teachers and they will mumble with disdain:
‘Never share personal information online’
‘Never talk to someone online who you’ve not met in ‘the real world’.’
‘Tell a trusted adult if you are worried.’
‘If you are being bullied online then just turn off your device and go outside and play with real friends.’
Too many parents, and adults responsible for young people, reinforce messages that are glib, meaningless and underpinned by; ‘I don’t know anything about this new stuff – I just wish they would ban Facebook.’
If we are to accept we have a role to provide guidance and support for young people in our care then we must be much more proactive in developing our own knowledge and understanding of social media and online opportunities and challenges. Similarly we must be seen by our young people to model appropriate behaviour and to empathise with young people rather than make false distinctions between ‘the online world’ and ‘the real world.’” To read further please click here:
By: Kevin Zahner
“We want our kids to be lifelong learners, to think more deeply about what they are learning in school, and to make connections to their own experiences. We want them to be engaged beyond the classroom, and it can happen with a short message.
We want our kids to be lifelong learners, to think more deeply about what they are learning in school, and to make connections to their own experiences. We want them to be engaged beyond the classroom, and it can happen with a short message.
I use Remind for things like returning signed forms or announcing a quiz, but the most important way I use the app is to prepare students for lessons by kindling thought the night before.” To read further please click here:
“There’s no denying that education has evolved from a pen, paper and textbook affair to using smart boards, iPads, online resources and even mobile apps. With all the technology available at our fingertips and our move towards becoming a completely connected global community, incorporating it into the classroom only makes sense.
If you’re aiming for a career in education, utilizing technology effectively is a crucial skill that you’ll need to be able to demonstrate. It’s a skill that can set you apart from the rest of the crowd, whether you’re applying for your first job in education or you’re trying to show your employer why you’re a valuable asset to the school.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the gap in technology skills in teaching, how technology is enhancing the learning revolution, what future educators need to know about technology in the classroom and what future trends may be on the horizon for technology and education. With this information, you’ll be equipped to begin your own learning journey and understand how you can use technology to enhance your students’ learning as well as your own teaching methods and value.” To read further please click here:
By: Nicole Comforto
“We often write about how technology can help teachers, but sometimes it’s useful to take a step back and consider how teachers influence technology. As with other subjects, the knowledge and enthusiasm that teachers show for technology in the classroom will have long-term effects on students, and the nation as a whole. A tech-savvy nation starts with tech-savvy teachers.
Teacher Tech Enthusiasm Can Change the Course of Tech Development
Imagine for moment if all teachers were technophobic. What would that mean for technology development in the long term? Sure, we’d have some self-taught geniuses, like Bill Gates, who would figure out computer programming all on their own. But they would be outliers, and the majority of students would grow up with the same fear of technology as their teachers. Studies have already shown how this happens with math: a recent survey of seven hundred elementary school teachers found that over a third of them had math anxiety, leading their students to also develop anxiety about the subject.
This means that teachers can have a profound effect on whether their students embrace technology, in the classroom and beyond. The way that teachers present technology skills will also affect what kinds of technological thinkers their students become. Teaching coding as a stand-alone skill is a great way to train future computer programmers. Integrating technology into other subject areas such as history, English and the arts will teach students to use creative, technology-based problem solving skills in many areas. Both are great skills to have.” To read further please click here: http://www.edudemic.com/teachers-will-change-the-future-of-tech/
By: Matt Miller
“Technology in education is transformational. Revolutionary.Today’s technology in our pockets can do what cost us thousands of dollars in equipment in the past.It can connects us to people and places and events virtually anywhere in the world.But it’s not the be-all, end-all in education. It’s not the silver bullet.
And there are times when we shouldn’t use it at all.
That’s right. In my own classroom, there are times when we set all technology aside. I’m a huge advocate for the power of technology in the classroom, but I go unplugged in class on a regular basis.” To read further please click here: http://ditchthattextbook.com/2015/02/23/5-reasons-you-should-ditch-your-edtech/
By: Kenneth L.Parker
“In the spring of 1991, I returned to teaching after more than five years as a Benedictine monk. The monastery had been founded in China in the 1920s, and when exiled after the Chinese Revolution, the community had relocated to the Mojave Desert in California. During my novitiate, I had taken up a private study of modern Chinese history, even though my research and academic formation at Cambridge University had been in early modern English puritan studies. When my community sent me to study theology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, I also studied the history of missiology and continued to read about the modern emergence of Christianity in China. So when the history department of a small liberal arts college in Santa Barbara asked me to teach a non-Western course after I left monastic life, I suggested Modern Chinese History. I recall my fear, walking into class that first day. Twenty-five eager students greeted me expectantly. My plan for the first two weeks filled me with uncertainty. I explained that they needed to divide up into teams of two or three, do research on a Chinese province, and come into class with handouts and a report on what they had learned. These were bright students and eager to learn. They enthused about the prospect of the project and returned the next several sessions with excellent presentations and dynamic discussion about the interconnectedness of a region of the world that had previously been a mystery to them. Their engagement in the work reassured me, as we moved on to the next stage of the course: my lectures. ” To read further please click here:
By: Alice Keeler
“The Chrome Extension Gradebook Split automatically places your students digital work on the left of your screen and opens up your gradebook on the right hand side of the screen.
When grading student work that is digital, the challenge can be efficiently entering feedback and scores into the gradebook. The trick to entering feedback and scores into the online gradebook is to have 2 windows side by side. Student work on the left, your gradebook on the right. I commissioned a programmer to create a Chrome extension specifically for teachers. Clicking the extension launches your gradebook in a window on the right hand side of your screen.”To read further please click here:
By: Rachael Roberts
“When I was first learning to teach, someone told me that students have to learn a word 9 times in order for it to really ‘stick’. I have no idea where that little gem came from, but I’m pretty sure someone made it up! Experience tells me that we grasp some items of vocabulary pretty quickly, while others slip through our fingers. There are probably various reasons for this: how much we ‘need’ the word, whether it is similar to a word in our own language or ‘makes sense’ to us in some way, how memorable the context was in which we learnt it and so on.
However, while I don’t think there’s a magic number, repetition is certainly a key part of learning, and if we keep coming across a word or phrase while reading it will either make more and more sense to us, because we’re seeing it in different contexts, or we may even be motivated to go away and look it up.
However, even if we read a lot, only pretty high frequency words will keep coming up time after time. This is where a concept called ‘narrow reading’ comes in. The idea here is that learners are encouraged to read around the same topic for a while, thus increasing their chances of coming across the same, topic-related, lexical items again and again.” To read further please click here:
“Today I’m celebrating the low tech practical. Practical where the equipment looks basic. Then put together it shows off an amazing effect. Last week I made telescopes with year 11. They needed 2 lenses, 2 lens holders, blu tack and a metre ruler. They were underwhelmed when they saw the equipment, but all of them made it work and ended up really enjoying the lesson AND seeing the theory behind how a telescope works in action.
Book on a string and a straw to show resonance:
The benefits of keeping it simple: it works for all students. The basic physics concept doesn’t get lost in the complication of the experiment. It’s easy to set up and run too and helps build basic practical skills, but the most important benefit is the first one: it works.” To read further please click here:
By: Terry Heick
“YouTube is popular. How popular?
- More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
- Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth
- 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
Over 3 billion videos are viewed each day. Each month, YouTube will see approaching a billion unique visitors. And projected estimates for 2015 includes over a trillion video playbacks.
Whatever mechanisms YouTube uses to deploy content works. Clearly the learning process is far more complicated than digital media hosting. What might happen if education experimented with some of the lessons YouTube’s staggering success has taught us? What might those lessons be? What works for YouTube?
How To YouTube Your Classroom”
To read further please click here: http://www.teachthought.com/technology/how-to-youtube-your-classroom/
By: Med Kharbach
“Newsletters are very good forms of communication and as teachers you can use them to communicate with parents and school community or with your own students. Both Windows and Mac have integrated apps that you can use for this purpose. To this end, we are sharing with you two interesting videos to walk you through the process of creating a newsletter. The first video is for Windows users and it shows how you can use Microsoft Word to create a newsletter and the second one is for Mac users explaining how to use Pages for the same purpose. The process in both videos is very simple: you simply select a theme or template from a wide range of pre-made newsletter templates and start tweaking it inserting text, images, changing text fonts…etc.” To read further please click here:
By: Brad Jones
“Ever have a thought slip away and wish you had written it down? Grab one of these modern note-taking apps, and you’ll be able to jot down a promising idea at the drop of a hat.
For some people, there’s no replacement for pen and paper when it comes to taking notes. However, if you’re open to a more high-tech way to record your thoughts, you might get more mileage from one of the many note-taking apps that are available to download for free from the Windows Store.
Whether you’re taking down shopping lists or writing HTML code, there’s a notepad app out there that will suit your needs perfectly. Here are some of the very best modern apps to help you record your ideas and keep them organized.” To read further please click here:
By: Adam Webster
“There is a suggestion that rolling out a 1:1 iPad project will be a great equalizer in the classroom. Indeed many criticisms of BYOD revolve around the problem of inequality – some students will have a better device than others and then there are those that don’t have any technology at all.
So, equality being the name of the game, let’s assume we are standing in front of a 1:1 classroom. What do we see? Well, we see the old Orwellian truth, that some are more equal than others. This manifest itself in two fairly obvious ways: one inequality rises from the fact that some students will be more tech-savvy than others. Despite Prensky’s idea that our students are digital natives, this is only true to a point and in certain arenas. They are very good at social media, they are great at photo and video media, but unsurprisingly, they are not experts at using technology for learning, because until you put these devices in their hands, they’d never had to be. The second inequality arises in the fact that you may have x number of students with the same device, but they are still all very different personalities: some will be more loud, more quiet, more confident, more shy, and so on…
However, I feel that there are some features of this setup that do help bring your introverts onto a more level playing field with the extroverts in your class. It’s easy for introverts to hide in a classroom full of louder, more confident students. It’s very challenging for teachers to coax comments, discussion points, sometimes even a noise out of these students. So what follows is a few ideas of how to help these students have a voice that may be metaphorical, but can be as loud and as widely heard as anyone else’s in that classroom.” To read further please click here:
” I recently took part in a design workshop at a school that is shifting from traditional instruction to project-based learning (PBL). To kick off the day, teachers interviewed students about how they learn best and what they wish were different about school. Then teams of educators and students worked together to brainstorm ideas that could be game changing.
One of the most provocative suggestions came from a high school student. She asked: “Why don’t we rethink assessment so that we aren’t punished for mistakes? What if we could learn from our failures?” Every adult at the table nodded in agreement.” To read further please click here: …
By: Elena Aguilar
“Teachers make thousands of decisions each day, say the experts, as well as those of us who have been in the classroom. Making decisions can feel exhausting and draining, or efficient and effortless. Decisions are easier if we have clear guiding principles or ideals as we are making them. When these don’t exist or we haven’t articulated them, our decision-making process can be haphazard.
A motto is a powerful way to encapsulate the principles, values, and ideals which guide us as teachers and from which we make decisions. So teachers, what’s your motto in the classroom?” To read further please click here:
“These days, finding out almost anything is easy. Want to know the answer to a question? Just Google it. Want to get career advice? Poll your peers on LinkedIn. Need to see the latest breaking news? Watch it broadcast online.
While this type of immediate access to information has its benefits, it also has its drawbacks. Employer and employee expectations are out of synch. Employers have higher expectations on staff to remain in the know. Yet, they often do not provide employees with instant access to the information they need. Employees expect the information they require should be at their fingertips. When it isn’t, they search outside the organization to get it.
This conflict poses a huge challenge for those responsible for corporate training because they can no longer control the information employees receive and there is an increasing risk that the information they uncover themselves is outdated or completely inaccurate.
Besides these misaligned expectations, today’s information deluge means employees face more distractions than ever before that interfere with daily tasks. Incoming tweets, emails and texts, combined with websites, videos and apps all vie for learners’ attention. In fact, throughout the workday, interruptions disturb employees as frequently as every five minutes and two thirds of knowledge workers complain they don’t have time to do their jobs (according to the “Meet the Modern Learner” “To read further please click here: http://elearningindustry.com/go-engage-modern-learners-heres
“In a post we published a few months ago, we talked about WeVideo and how teachers use it to create videos and short animations in Google Drive. Today, we are introducing you to PowToon Edu, another equally powerful tool to use to create engaging videos and animated presentations.
Pontoon Edu allows you to animate difficult topics and engage your students using a wide variety of tools. You can easily drag and drop characters and props into your slides and assign it an animation, choose from different pre-designed templates and style libraries.Videos and animated presentations you create through PowToon Edu can be exported in various ways. You can share them on YouTube or Facebook, download them to your computer. You can also export them as MP4 file to embed in your classroom blog or website.” To read further please click here:
“I previously tweeted and posted a link to an excellent piece by Ekuwah Moses titled 3-2-1 and The Common Core Writing Book. In it, she shares a simple summarizing exercise she uses where people identify three words, two phrases and one complete quote from a text. I’d strongly encourage you to read what she has to say about it.
I suspect that many teachers have been using a version of this for awhile, but I hadn’t. Since I learned about it, I’ve had both my World History and United States History English Language Learners use a slightly modified version for a chapter in our textbooks.” To read further please click here:http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2015/02/19/three-two-one-is-a-simple-effective-summarizing-strategy/
By: Kasper Spiro
“If you ‘flip your classroom‘ you reverse the lecture and homework elements of a lesson: lecture at home and do homework at school. The idea is that you replace instruction by a video or an e-learning course. This gives the student the opportunity to apply his knowledge under supervision of their teacher. This isthe advantage of the flipped classroom. In this blog I will explain what the flipped classroom is and how you can start flipping your own classroom. But I will also show you how flipping your classroom together with the right use of eLearning tools can increase the retention significantly. You will see that technical skills or a large budget are no longer a requirement to make this happen. Everybody can flip his classroom now. I believe all teachers and trainers who do face-to-face lessons or training should at least consider this option.
Flip your classroom?
The ‘old school’ method is preparing at home (hopefully), the classroom lecture, and an assignment at home.With the flipped classroom you switch the lecture and the homework. Originally the flipped classroom idea was done very simple. You record a video of your lecture and the students watch this at home. This frees up time in your class, so you can spent time on assignments that focus on the higher levels of learning.” To read further please click here:
“Games offer space to explore historical action. Stephen Ortega suggests bringing games into the history classroom as a way to look not only at the representation of history but also at the impact of action: as Ortega explains, ”games give the player the opportunity to explore historical possibilities and to consider the issue of historical contingency.” It’s easy to dismiss games as flawed, oversimplified representations of history, and of course most games give players agency that makes it impossible to present history as a fixed narrative. In Ortega’s syllabus, however, that very lack of nuanced representation becomes a strength of using games to inspire discussion and research.
- Writing about games can be an exercise in communication. Stephanie Vie explores the possibilities of video game walkthroughs, an overlooked genre that gamers consult for solutions to difficult puzzles or boss fights. Such walkthroughs demand the writer to be attentive to the needs of their audience and focus on clarity of communicating, as Vie notes: “It can excite students about the fundamentals of professional and technical communication while also introducing students to the rhetorical notion of revision for a particular audience.” This type of project is particularly great as students can see the results of their communication when someone tries to follow their walkthrough in play.
To read further please click here: http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/lessons-from-teaching-with-games/59247
By: Danny Nicholson
“While I am a big fan of the Interactive Whiteboard, they can often to lead to situations where the teacher is firmly stuck at the front of the class to “deliver” content to the students. Some schools are looking to move away from this format, and use iPads as an IWB replacement, although I still think the best way forward should be an interactive screen at the front of the class, coupled with tablets.
Anyway, if you do want to move away from the front of the class, then there are several options available to you. The iPad can be displayed wirelessly via Apple TV or software such as AirServer. Check this post for more on how to display an iPad to your class.
The newest version of Smart Notebook even allows for iPad connectivity to your classroom computer, giving proper two-way control. Apps such as Explain Everything and Doceri are essentially screencasting apps, but the drawing and annotation features make them very useful. Children can take photographs of their work, then annotate and highlight key features or important aspects.Here’s 8 ways that you turn your iPad into an interactive presentation tool:” To read further please click here: http://www.whiteboardblog.co.uk/2015/02/8-apps-turn-ipad-interactive-whiteboard/
By: Stewart Riddle
“We all want young children to be given the very best opportunities to become successful, engaged and passionate readers. The teaching of reading is constantly mired, however, in a tired old debate between proponents of “phonics” (sounding out words) and “whole language” (which focuses on meaning and using the context to decipher unknown words).
This argument is an unhelpful and misleading dichotomy given the evidence actually supports a balanced approach to literacy, which goes well beyond being able to recognise words on a page.
What is a balanced approach to literacy?
The biggest review of scientific research on reading was conducted by the US National Reading Panel in 2000. The panel was clear in finding:
Systematic phonics instruction should be integrated with other reading instruction to create a balanced reading program.” To read further please click here: