May 21

The 3 Things Digital Classrooms Really Need

By: Steven Anderson

studennts“My first experience with technology in the classroom was the good ol’ Apple IIe and endless hours playing Oregon Trail and Math Blaster. That evolved to an after school coding club in high school where I learned how to make a square and a flower using BASIC. I got my first personal computer as a freshman in college (1998) and finally got Internet at home when I came home at the Holidays the same year.
And look at where learning is today…

The classroom is becoming less about the physical space it occupies and more about the cloud. Today, many teachers are beginning to shift their instruction from stand and deliver to more interactive, engaging and participatory styles of teaching and learningTo add to the physical changes happening in the classroom, they way students interact with each other, both in the class and outside the class, is shifting as well. With 1:1 and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs taking hold across the country (and the world) students have access to just about all known knowledge at their fingertips.” To read further please click here:  http://blog.web20classroom.org/2015/05/the-3-things-digital-classrooms-really.html

May 21

How To Choose An eLearning Authoring Tool

By:Ashok Sharma

elearn“Online course delivery reduces administrative costs, instructor requirements, classroom rentals, and allows employees to complete training on their own schedule. In short, online courses can help save your organization significant time and money when training new workers, renewing compliance for regulated industries or implementing an employee development plan.

But, like with any new system, these savings come at an initial cost. Course development takes time, learning curves are flexible and frequently depend on a variety of factors, including course material, technical requirements, and the time required to train staff in course creation and administration.

While it is possible to push all of these concerns on a Learning Management System provider, many companies choose to undertake the task of course development on their own, and for good reason—new eLearning authoring tools are making the task more efficient and user friendly every day.

In order to properly navigate the technical side of online course development and select an eLearning authoring tool that fits your business, it’s important to understand your course requirements and a few things about where eLearning authoring tools sit in the eLearning family tree, what they do and, most importantly, how they interact with other programs and file formats.” To read further please click here: http://elearningindustry.com/choose-elearning-authoring-tool

May 21

7 Things Every School IT Department Should Do Before Next School Year

By: thegooru.com

google classrooms“Summer is almost here and, along with the enthusiastic sounds of students heading off for summer vacation, you need to prepare your Google Apps domain for the upcoming school year.

This can be a complicated process involving multiple systems and processes. But don’t worry, from adding new teachers to Google Classroom to automatically blocking inappropriate emails, we’ve got you covered.

This is our list of 7 things we believe every school’s IT department should take care of as part of their preparation for the new school year.
1. Add Teachers In Google Classroom”

To read further please click here: http://www.thegooru.com/7-things-every-school-it-department-should-do-before-next-school-year/

 

May 19

Inquiry in the Classroom: 7 Simple Tools To Get You Started

By: Pamela DeLoatch

alber-how-to-use-data-to-inform-instruction-2“We know certain characteristics can be encouraged, but not taught, like curiosity. But teachers who use an inquiry based approach can provide techniques that help students learn the questions to ask that may spark a natural interest.

Often used by science professionals to work through problems and research, an inquiry-based approach, or inquiry cycle, is also used in classrooms for scientific and non-scientific topics to encourage students during the learning process. The Center for Inspired Teaching, an organization that provides teacher training, explains that in an inquiry-based approach, teachers help students generate their own appropriate questions and guide the investigation.” To read further please click here: http://www.edudemic.com/inquiry-in-the-classroom/

May 19

Mystery Science: Lessons for elementary teachers

By:Richard Byrne

scientificMystery Science is a relatively new service that is offering nice science lessons for elementary school students. The lessons on Mystery Science feature a series of videos and images arranged around a science subject. After each video there are questions that students can answer on their own or work through with your guidance. The lessons don’t stop there. After the initial videos and questions you can extend the lessons by leading students in hands-on activities that reinforce the concepts shown in the videos. Mystery Science provides materials lists and detailed directions for each hands-on activity.
Applications for Education
Mystery Science lessons are arranged in thematic sets. For example, there is a set of lessons titled Plant Adventures. In Plant Adventures you will find eight lessons tackling questions like do plants eat dirt? You can use the lessons in the sequence in which they’re presented or simply pick the ones that best fit your needs. .”

To read further please click here:http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2015/05/mystery-science-great-science-lessons.html

May 19

R U going 2 class? Strategies and Tools for Engaging the Texting Generation

By: Kelly Walsh

345“Students and Smart Phones Go Together Like Reading and Writing. Let’s Put Them to Use in the Service of Learning!

In the U.S., and increasingly abroad, students of high school and college age require a smart phone as a standard part of their lifestyles. In fact, the pervasiveness of these devices can be a real distraction for teachers, who often have to ban the use of them in classrooms.

Of course, it is also possible to embrace these ubiquitous gadgets, and put students to work on them!

There are many types of assignments and tools that can be used to engage students using their beloved devices. Here we examine many tools and techniques that can engage students using smartphones. Many of these can also be completed on a tablet or computer as well, to help provide for students who do not have the luxury of a personal cell phone.” To read further further please click here:  http://www.emergingedtech.com/2015/05/strategies-tools-for-engaging-the-texting-generation/

May 18

Design a “Breaking News!” Screenshot

By: Russel Tarr

ipad class“In order to get students thinking about the essence of a topic, ask them to produce a “Breaking News!” screenshot using the ClassTools Breaking News Generator

Students will have to reflect on the key location (top left), the title of the news channel, the headline, the ticker with related news and the most appropriate image. The completed designs can be downloaded and printed off to form an attractive display. You can also send them directly to your Twitter newsfeed!

Taking it further

Produce a timeline of events (e.g. from a historical event, or a novel being studied in literature) and then divide it between different students so they can produce one screenshot each. The finished results can be displayed as a timeline in class.Encourage students to adopt a biased editorial tone. For example, a newsflash on the Battle of Hastings could be produced from both a French (“Norman News!”) and an English (“Anglo-Saxon Herald!”) perspective.” To read further please click here:http://www.classtools.net/blog/design-a-breaking-news-screenshot/

May 18

Banning mobile phones is cargo cult science

By: Jose Picardo

iphones“Making waves this week on twitter and blogs is this study by the London School of Economics suggesting that schools that have enforced a mobile phone ban have seen an improvement in their results.

Delve into hoo-ha further and it appears that what these schools have done is to toughen their behaviour policies generally, with the ban on mobile phones being a part of it. This has led to an improvement in high-stakes test results within individual schools, especially in those schools with low achieving students. The research did not look at whether banning mobile phones improved results, say, in comparison with other schools that do allow their use on occasion. This is an important distinction.

Leaving to one side my concern about the belief that whatever improves high-stakes testing must be good for children, there is also the issue of (deliberately?) conflating mobile phones with other mobile devices, such as tablets. For example, you may be surprised to hear that, in my setting, though children are given a tablet, the use of mobile phones is generally not allowed unless a teacher specifically allows it.” To read further please click here:

http://www.educate1to1.org/banning-mobile-phone-is-cargo-cult-science/

May 18

Create a Kidblog for Your Classroom

By: Ron Farrow

kidblog3“While we all strive to give our students more writing opportunities every day, we struggle with how we can do so online in a safe and meaningful way. Social media can be a great tool for engaging kids in the writing process, but how can we ensure that our writing is meaningful, and that the instrument we use is safe and secure? Kidblog may be just the solution.

Kidblog is a powerful blogging site for teachers. The simple interface allows teachers to quickly setup a class site for their students, and control every aspect of the blogging experience from who can view the posts, to who can comment. You can have the posts locked down to only you and the individual student, or you can share your class blogs with classes from around the world. You control the environment and have the flexibility to change this environment at any time.” To read further please click here:  http://blogs.atomiclearning.com/create-kidblog-your-classroom-guest-blog-post

May 18

The 4 biggest mistakes that teachers make when integrating technology

By : Craig Kemp

techos“In classrooms all around the globe, educators are introducing new and exciting technological tools to engage their students in learning. Many educators are successful when integrating these technologies, but unfortunately many are not for a variety of reasons.In my opinion, and from my experience in classrooms around the world, these are the biggest mistakes that educators make when integrating technology into the classroom:

Technology before pedagogy

Sadly, educators see the latest gadgets and feel the need to use them without giving a thought to ‘why’. Education is all about purpose. Integrating technologies into our learning environments needs to be relevant and purposeful; it needs to make learning easier and more engaging for our students. Ask yourself ….. Why am I using this technology and how will it improve learning in my classroom? Think Pedagogy (and curriculum) before Technology.” To read further please click here:  http://www.theedadvocate.org/the-4-biggest-mistakes-that-teachers-make-when-integrating-technology/

May 17

Teachers using pens and paper in the classroom “not fair” to students, Microsoft official says

By:Stephen Hui

technoolog;y“Pens and paper have no place in the modern classroom. And chalkboards? They should be banished from our schools too.That’s what Lia De Cicco Remu, director of Partners in Learning at Microsoft Canada, told the Georgia Straight ahead of the Microsoft Summit 2015 in Vancouver, which is set to be attended by around 200 teachers.

“When was the last time you used a piece of chalk to express yourself?” De Cicco Remu, a former teacher, asked by phone from Toronto. “Kids don’t express themselves with chalk or in cursive. Kids text.”

 

“It’s a way for teachers to get the professional development they need to bring relevant teaching practices into the classroom right now, because our kids are getting killed,” De Cicco Remu said. “They’re not getting the teaching style that they need for now and for the future. We’re still teaching them the way we did a hundred years ago.”

According to De Cicco Remu, both teachers and students are already using the latest digital technology to communicate outside of the classroom. She asserted that teachers need to “start rolling with the way these kids communicate”.” To read further please click here:

http://www.straight.com/life/452561/teachers-using-pens-and-paper-classroom-not-fair-students-microsoft-official-says

May 17

5 Ways to Storyboard the Assessment Design Process

By: Angela Stockman

assessment“Walt Disney gave us the storyboard: a set of images or illustrations that help designers visualize, experiment with, and sequence critical shots in a narrative. Defining key scenes, taking the time to flesh them out, and considering the influence of order on meaning serves filmmakers, artists, novelists, software designers, and animators well.

As someone who frequently facilitates assessment design, I’m loving how storyboards can power up the process.

Often, the teachers I support are in the midst of shifting their understandings about assessment. Some still define it as a thing that is given rather than a process we engage in. When I share other perspectives and approaches, eyebrows raise a bit at first, and then, a sort of relief tends to wash over the room.

“You mean, I don’t have to give a test in order to assess?”

That’s correct.

“I don’t have to give grades?”

You don’t have to give grades.” To read further please click here:

http://www.brilliant-insane.com/2015/05/5-ways-to-storyboard-the-assessment-design-process.html

May 16

How to Use OneNote at School: 10 Tips for Students & Teachers

By: Saikat Basu

microsoft“It makes it easier to think during class—and I’m doing less busy work.
Stephanie is just one of the 950 students at Sammamish High School in Seattle who have taken wholeheartedly to Microsoft OneNote along with their teachers.

Across the country in Ohio, teachers gave their students “blizzard bags” when schools got closed for bad weather. These teaching “bags” use OneNote Class Notebook to share interactive lessons. The “school closed” notice is no longer an excuse for celebration.

Lugging around a satchel full of books pales a bit in comparison, doesn’t it?

The notetaking member in Microsoft’s suite is a cross-platform productivity application. There are many unique ways to use OneNote, and using it to change the way you teach or study could be the best one. Come aboard. OneNote has loads of tips for the teacher and the student. And before you forget — OneNote is free!” To read further please click here:http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/use-onenote-school-10-tips-students-teachers/?linkId=13972730

May 16

A Teenager’s View on Education Technology

By: Soroya Shackley

classroom2Remember when a TI-84 was the most technologically advanced tool in the classroom? I don’t! Tech has always been a part of my high school reality. But as digital and traditional learning mix and mingle, reactions have exploded over whether “EdTech” is enhancing or hindering education.On this question, we usually hear from teachers, parents, administrators, tech companies, and investors clamoring to fund them. Now, it’s time for teens to talk. Let me tell you what my friends and I really think about technology in the classroom. Some of it’s great, but for those EdTech enthusiasts out there, well, hold on because the truth may hurt.

Tablets

For as much educational value as tablets can contribute, they also come with the unending source of entertainment called THE INTERNET! If you look at the screens of kids in my class, you’ll likely find apps like Minecraft, Candy Crush, and don’t forget Netflix on mute with subtitles. School administrations basically play Internet whack-a-mole as they try to enforce firewalls and blocks that students continually find ways around.The point is that tablets are unwieldy. If left unchecked by teachers, there’s no telling what kids are doing behind their screens.” To read further please click here:  https://medium.com/bright/a-teenager-s-view-on-education-technology-4d92a018ddf9?source=tw-504c7870fdb6-1431626509485

May 16

Six Ways to Drive a Successful BYOD Initiative

By: Eric Sheninger

what happens when teacher turns back“Let’s face it—the various devices that our students use daily are an important part of their lives. Instead of viewing smartphones, tablets, or other technology as a distraction on campus, how can we use these technological tools to provide real learning opportunities during the school day? With increased Wi-Fi access in many districts across the country, even the most reluctant teachers are starting to see the benefits of creating Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives. But such programs need proper planning and support.

The overall goal of any BYOD initiative should be to support and enhance student learning. Any use of student-owned devices must be aligned to specific learning outcomes and ultimately improve productivity, research, and students’ overall digital literacy.

Before rushing into a BYOD initiative, however, you need to make sure that all students have equal access to mobile devices. By including a variety of devices in your program and incorporating the technology that already exists in your school, you can ensure that all students have the same opportunities to use technology as a learning tool.

Taking full advantage of mobile learning technology requires careful planning. The following are six key drivers of a successful BYOD initiative:

  1. Infrastructure. Make sure that your school’s Wi-Fi setup can handle the volume of mobile devices accessing the network. There is nothing worse than developing a lesson that integrates mobile devices only to have the Internet slow down to a snail’s pace or crash and affect the entire school.”

To read further please click here:   http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol10/1017-sheninger.aspx

May 16

MIEE TV – Expert Educators using Minecraft in the Classroom

By: Andrew Robertson

minecrafft“As we continue our blog series detailing the creative uses of technologies and teaching techniques in and around the classroom by our Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators, we’re amassing some fantastic examples that can be put into practice by teachers in their very next lessons. So far we’ve covered the following topics:

Surface in the Classroom
OneNote in the Classroom
Sway in the Classroom
Office Mix in the Classroom
Skype in the Classroom
Inking in the Classroom

Today we’re going to look at some of the ways in which Minecraft has been utilised by members of the MIEE community in order to help students work their way through concepts and problems by using a medium that is not only familiar to them, but hugely engaging. And that’s half the battle with teaching in general – creating an environment in which the children actually want to learn.” To read further please click here:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ukschools/archive/2015/05/14/miee-tv-expert-educators-using-minecraft-in-the-classroom.aspx

May 15

4 Strategies To Recharge Your Teaching

By: Paul Moss

teacherr“The last month of teaching was quite hard for me.

I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated in the classroom, less tolerant, less friendly, and worst of all, sarcastic. As a result, I became utterly exhausted. Something needed to change. I needed to take a step back and reflect on what was happening. Why had things changed? Where had the love gone?

Had the students changed, or was it me? It was of course me. And it all came down to planning. My lessons were boring, and so students were naturally disconnected more often. Their attention waned easily, and inevitably, their behavior deteriorated. As I looked back over my planning, I saw a lot of attention given to addressing outcomes, but a distinct lack of focus on deep learning.

I decided to invest some time into designing a new lesson plan template, forcing me to explicitly incorporate into my planning elements that I know work, which engage students, and satisfy epistemology inherent in me, which is reflected in the image above. Each lesson must incorporate several strategies that I’ve used to recharge my teaching:

Constructivism

Movement

Collaboration

Differentiation”

To read further please click here:

http://www.teachthought.com/teaching/4-strategies-to-recharge-your-teaching/

 

May 15

6 Ways To Get Your Staff To Engage With Technology

By:Rachel Jones

techoMany schools are either; paid up members of the use-technology-in-lessons club, or are slowly coming round to understand that children’s use of technology is not likely to diminish, and as such they can take the learning to the children in their classrooms taking advantage of using children’s own devices.

For those enthusiastic staff, the challenge of using technology is embraced, and many schools have trailblazers of staff who really enjoy experimenting with using devices. Well, splendid for them – but what about your average classroom teacher who has a basic knowledge of technology and already feels time pressured, and so ‘doesn’t have time’ to sit and play within and become more familiar? And what about the teacher whose classroom practice is good and supporting good pupil outcomes?

This piece looks at six ways that you can encourage staff to move from consideration of how and when devices can be used though to building their confidence in using technology and develop their practice in lessons to support student learning.

1. Give the reason they need to learn a context.

Teachers, on the most part respond well if you can demonstrate the why they need to learn something new. The best reason you can give them is that will improve their students performance, attainment and therefore impact on improved life chances. In fact, find me a teacher who doesn’t want this, and I will show you someone who needs to move to different profession. With that in mind, some staff respond well to being engaged with the educational research about the impact of the use of technology. You might like to share snippets of the NAACE report on the impact of iPads at Longfield academy.” To read further please click here:

http://www.innovatemyschool.com/industry-expert-articles/item/1410-6-ways-to-get-your-staff-to-engage-with-technology.html

May 15

How we’re using Minecraft to engage pupils in our school

By:”Darren Currie

minecrNow that Northern Ireland is officially embracing the game for teaching, Derry teacher Darren Currie looks at how he’s using it to teach History and more.

 

“Stop throwing snowballs at those pupils or I else I’m going to have to freeze you!”

When you enter the world of MinecraftEdu, be prepared to say some pretty surreal things to pupils during your lessons. I used the exact words above a few days ago during a lesson using Minecraft when a pupil went ’virtually’ off-task, had figured out how to procure snowballs, then promptly began a one man crusade against his classmates! Happily no major incident ensued and the situation was easily remedied. After a few clicks on the teacher control panel, said pupil was frozen out of the world for a few minutes, reprimanded and the class continued. There are risks in trying something new in teaching and MinecraftEdu is not any different in that regard.

Our school participated in a MinecraftEdu training event as part of CultureTech week in September 2014. We were one of a limited number of schools to obtain a free license for the year, and we asked our IT department to nominate two IT teachers to take part in the training. At this point, I knew very little about the potential of Minecraft as a learning tool and I – without too much thought – believed that the software would be an ‘ICT thing’ and that it wouldn’t be very useful to other subject department areas including my own. However, staff feedback from the training they attended was extremely positive, and it wasn’t too long before we were planning on how to develop the use of the software to enhance learning in our classrooms.

We are currently at a very early developmental stage with a year 9 History project on the Plantation of Ulster, but already the pupils involved (a group of low to average ability students) are really enthused about using Minecraft as a learning tool. We have undertaken some preparation work during History class on the background to the Plantation, and have looked at some of the difficulties that English and Scottish settlers would have had arriving and then establishing settlements in Ulster. One area in particular the pupils wanted to look at was how the settlers defended themselves against the native Irish population. This traditionally would most likely have been taught via History textbooks or worksheets with (or without) audio/visual aids. Pupils would have been expected to draw and label various structures built by the planter population.”To read further please click here:

http://www.innovatemyschool.com/industry-expert-articles/item/1403-how-we%E2%80%99re-using-minecraft-to-engage-pupils-in-our-school.html

May 15

5 Tips for Planning Classroom Group Work

By: Richard Canning

groupwork“As teachers, we find it challenging to plan and manage high-quality group work in the classroom. Undeterred, we try to find ways to make it happen because we know that effective classroom group work makes differentiation easier and allows us to spot and tackle individual needs. We also try to make it happen because well-structured classroom activities are the only way we can teach young people the skills they need to work successfully with others. It follows that, if we can equip young people with these skills in school, they will take those skills out into the world and stand a better chance of becoming successful employees, entrepreneurs, partners and community members.

So, when planning for a group activity, we need to know what to look out for in order to make it as effective as possible. We’ve all stood amongst tables of chattering students and felt that awful dropping feeling in the stomach when we realise that, at best, only half of them are engaged in our carefully planned activity and even fewer are actually moving themselves forward. In an effort to avoid that mid-lesson stress, here are five key things to consider that should help plan a successful group activity:

1. Engage every member of the group

All too often, a great group activity suffers because the dynamics of the group mean not all the students are able to make a contribution that helps them with their own understanding. This results in members of the group ‘coasting’, while others work in a way that only meets their own needs” To read further please click here:

http://www.innovatemyschool.com/industry-expert-articles/item/1409-5-tips-for-planning-classroom-group-work.html

May 14

Michaela School: Route One Schooling – David Didau: The Learning Spy

By:David Didau

teacher arguing“learned two very important principles from my visit to Michaela:

  1. You can do whatever you want as long as you hold your nerve and accept the consequences.
  2. You can always go a lot further than you first think is possible.

The first principle is embodied in Head Teacher, Katherine Birbalsingh’s explanation of how to get the culture you want: you just don’t compromise. If a teacher sees or hears a phone at Michaela it’s confiscated until the following term. It doesn’t matter whether the phone accidentally slipped out of a pocket, and it doesn’t matter whether the parent is going into hospital and really really needs to ring their child. There are no excuses. When parents have inevitably come in to explain why their circumstances are unique and why and an exception needs to be made in their case, they’re given a choice: you either abide by our decisions and support our rules or you find another school for your child. Let me be very clear: this does not mean they boot unruly kids, it means some parents decide they will not support the school.” To read further please click here:  http://www.learningspy.co.uk/featured/michaela-school-route-one-schooling/

May 14

Google Classroom: Posting a Daily Warm-Up

By: Alice Keeler

google classroom“If you give a daily warm-up, you can use Google Classroom to facilitate the administration. Create a generic Google Form. Link to the live Form view in the “About” tab of Google Classroom. Have students use the same form every day to fill out the “5 a day.”

Create a Google Form

Go to Google Drive and create a Google Form for your daily warm up. In order to re-use the Google Form every day make the questions generic. Ask for the answer to Question #1, Question #2, etc…  Use “Paragraph text” for the response options. If you want to share the warm-up form with multiple teachers, create a question type of choose from a list to allow the student to choose their teacher.” To read further please clik here:

http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2015/05/13/google-classroom-posting-a-daily-warm-up/

May 14

School sends inspiring letter to kids before exams: ‘You are smart!’

By:Eun Kyung Kim

examss“The letter, signed by three teachers at by Buckton Vale Primary School in the U.K., went home Friday to all Year Six students taking the upcoming series of educational assessment exams known as SATs. Pronounced as one word, these exams are not the SATs that Americans are familiar with, but they probably give the students taking them the same type of anxiety and heartburn.

Letter from faculty members at Buckton Vale Primary School in the U.K., reminding students that there were more important facets of their education than test scores.

“We know how hard you worked, but there is something very important you must know,” the letter said. “The SATs test does not assess all of what makes you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you the way that we do and certainly not in the way your families do.”” To read further please click here:  http://www.today.com/parents/buckton-vale-primary-school-sends-heartwarming-letter-kids-taking-exams-t20491

May 14

An Excellent Educational Platform for Teachers

By: Med Kharbach

adobe education“Adobe Education Exchange is a great educational platform that hosts a wealth of resources for teachers and educators. You can use it to access a wide variety of teaching and learning materials such as tutorials, lesson plans, course projects and many more. Adobe Education Exchange is also a social networking hub where you get to meet teachers from all around the globe to network, share and collaborate with each other.

Under the “Resources” tab in Adobe Education Exchange, you will be able to browse through the different materials featured there using three main criteria : subject, age level or by product. There is also another section titled “Professional Development” which features some valued resources to help teachers grow professionally and enhance their teaching practice. The “Discussions” section is where you can start your own discussion or join others discussions.  While Adobe Education Exchange is free, to create your profile or engage in discussions requires a sign-up. Watch the video below to learn more about this Adobe Exchange Education.”To read further please click here:

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2015/05/adobe-education-exchange-excellent-platform-for-teachers.html

May 13

Five ways teachers can improve student feedback

By:Richard Bruford

Feedback-300x279“A lot of evidence has pointed to the significant positive impact of feedback on student learning and performance over the last 10 years. Many schools have placed great emphasis on tackling how teachers give students feedback to ensured that it has the desired effect – improving learning.

Feedback is quite an easy aspect of teaching to collect data on. Oral feedback is easily observable in the classroom and we can record what is being said, so it forms the basis of professional dialogue afterwards in terms of its effectiveness. We can also measure when either individual or group feedback is being given. It is possible to see from the work returned to students whether the group feedback correlates with the patterns of what students are doing correctly and incorrectly in their work; to determine whether group feedback helps each individual. In terms of written feedback, samples of student work can be collected for discussion with the teacher.

Focused discussion surrounding feedback can throw up many ways that it can become more effective. The five feedback strategies below are ones that, from my recent experiences, through teacher self-reflection and coaching usually form the basis of commencing a journey to improving the effectiveness of feedback:

  1. Beware of the amount of feedback given to students: Giving more feedback to students does not necessarily mean better. If a student receives a piece of work back they should not have to be confronted with lots of comments. There should be two or three suggestions at most that tell the student what they need to improve upon for next time. This forces teachers to find the most important areas for improvement as opposed to highlighting everything that needs to be addressed.” To read further please click here:http://connectedprincipals.com/archives/11570
May 13

Teaching Listening Skills: Ready to Listen, Ready to Learn

By: Monica Brady-Myerov

reading book“Most children come to school armed with only one way to learn – listening.  Almost all of us were born doing it.  Indeed, for the first few years of formal education, listening is an integral part of teaching.  But something happens around first and second grade, when students learn to read.  Slowly the read aloud books and storytime are phased out, replaced instead by silent reading.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with silent reading.  I’m a big reader myself.  But I grew up in a family that loved listening, especially to the news.  From an early age I learned to tune in closely to the tone, subject, background noise in a story.  My love of voice and listening led me to my career as a public radio reporter.

 

We spend 65-90% of our time listening and yet it’s a skill that is almost entirely overlooked in the K12 classroom.  Once a student learns to read, there’s no time spent on improving listening.  And yet research shows that listening comprehension is closely tied to reading comprehension through 8th grade and beyond.  Our education system needs to do better.

The new Common Core standards have recognized the importance of this skill.  The Common Core seeks to improve students’ skills and knowledge across a wide spectrum of learning skills.  And for the first time in the history of education, it elevates listening to an anchor skill, cutting across the curriculum and applicable in kindergarten through 12th grade.  The Speaking and Listening Standard requires students to interpret information from diverse media formats and to delineate specific arguments and claims.” To read further please click here:

http://www.edudemic.com/teaching-listening-skills-ready-listen-ready-learn/

May 13

Does Technology Belong in Classroom Instruction?

By: Lisa Nielson

imagesCAF1CB64“There’s no disputing that digital technology plays a major role in education. Millions of students are using personal computers, tablets and even smartphones to research and complete assignments, communicate with each other and with teachers about their courses and sometimes collaborate on school projects.But that still leaves plenty of room for disagreement on whether technology should play a major role in the classroom itself—that is, whether teachers should rely on digital tools for a significant portion of their classroom instruction.On one level, the question boils down to how best to take advantage of classroom time.

Some see a great opportunity for teachers to expand their students’ horizons by drawing on the vast resources of the Internet to supplement classroom lectures and discussion. And computers can help individualize instruction, which some people see as a way to help ensure that every student is getting the most out of being in school, without either being held back by the slower pace of others in the class or getting lost as the class zooms ahead.” To read further please click here:http://www.wsj.com/articles/does-technology-belong-in-classroom-instruction-1431100454

May 13

Preparing Teachers for Blended and Online Environments

By:Jayme Linton

teac123“There is a growing need for today’s pre-service teachers to be equipped with skills and competencies for blended, online, and technology-rich teaching and learning environments. As teaching candidates progress through teacher education programs, they should beexploring, evaluating, and applying methods and tools for effective instruction in the dynamic learning environments that exist in today’s K-12 schools.

At Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina, faculty in the School of Education have developed pathways to help teaching candidates gain experience exploring, evaluating, and applying methods for online and blended instruction. Elementary, middle grades, and secondary teaching candidates at Lenoir-Rhyne University have the option of pursuing a track in blended or online learning as part of their teacher preparation program. We believe that graduates from these programs are better equipped to meet the needs of today’s learners and adapt to changing teaching and learning environments.”To read further please click here:

http://www.fractuslearning.com/2015/05/11/preparing-teaching-candidates-blended-online-environments/

May 11

3 Strategies To Integrate Technology Into Any Lesson

By:Sandra L.  Love

techoo“In today’s classroom, we have moved beyond teaching reading, writing and mathematics through rote memorization.We must push students to dig deeper and ask clear, thoughtful questions so they build the critical thinking skills essential for success in school, college and life. Technology has played a huge role in the development of the modern classroom, progressing from something that’s “cool” or “different” to a key piece of the critical thinking puzzle.While technology is an important part of the education equation, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Teachers play a bigger role than ever in developing an engaging well-rounded curriculum, though integrating technology into the mix presents its own unique set of challenges. Many teachers have been reluctant to replace their print materials due to cost and dissatisfaction with the available digital options. According to the MDR 2014 State of the K–12 Market Report, there’s a growing demand for solutions that improve teaching and personalized learning and educators are willing to consider new instructional models.So, how do we build an engaging curriculum based on the components of critical thinking, while incorporating technology into the mix – without sacrificing the basics? Here are a few simple tips to integrate technology into almost any lesson.”To read further please click here:

http://www.teachthought.com/technology/3-strategies-to-integrate-technology-into-any-lesson/

May 11

Edtech in Practice: Flipping the Classroom with EDpuzzle and Educreations

By:Karen Lien

teacher-degree“We know that edtech is most transformative when it’s in the hands of great teachers and administrators. I’m continually impressed by the innovative educators we meet who embrace new tech for supporting their students’ learning and for managing their schools and classrooms.
Over the next few months, we’ll be publishing a new series on this blog featuring interviews with educators from around the country and highlighting their inspiring examples of edtech in practice. In this first article of the series, we focus on two teachers using technology to flip the learning in their classrooms. (What is flipped learning?) These teachers show us how tech tools can create space for interactive learning and enable deeper relationships between educators and students.
Let’s meet the teachers!

 Introducing Mr. Barber
Bobby Barber teaches math at Millville High School, a Title I school in New Jersey. Mr. Barber’s calculus students have always come to class with lots of thoughtful questions about their homework assignments, but when Mr. Barber was busy introducing new math concepts in class every day, there just wasn’t enough time left to assess every student’s understanding and address all of their questions. That’s why Mr. Barber began flipping his class four years ago, giving the students video lectures to watch at home and focusing on math practice in class. He started off by assigning videos from Khan Academy and Brightstorm, but soon decided to record his own lectures using a simple FlipCam setup in his classroom, eventually building up a library of custom math lessons hosted on EDpuzzle. ” To read further please click here: http://www.imaginek12.com/blog/edtech-in-practice-flipping-the-classroom-with-edpuzzle-and-educreations