Jul 21

Top 22 Ways To Use Technology in the Classroom

techoBy: Jacqui Murray

“f your state adopted the Common Core State Standards, 75% of you will administer yearly assessmentsonline. If students haven’t used online tools or software for classwork, this can be a daunting task. Having computer devices as optional education tools is much different from requiring students to use those devices for graded assessments. This can be intimidating for both students and teachers.The good news: It doesn’t take as much time and practice as you might think to prepare for these tests by utilizing technology in the classroom. What it does require is a techie mindset: An acceptance that technology is part of the daily academic landscape, that it be integrated into assignments, practice, modeling, homework, assessments, projects,portfolios, grading rubrics, expectations.There are ways to use technology in the classroom that won’t
take much out of your already-packed day (these
were covered in this article, and include ideas like practicing keyboarding and basic tech skills, building up student stamina by using tech academically, and honing tech problem-solving skills).” To read further please click here: http://www.teachhub.com/top-22-ways-use-technology-classroom

Jul 21

This Is What Today’s Online Learning Content Tells Us About The Future Of School

By: Jordan Shapiro

classroom 6“Today’s children are extremely savvy. They’ve grown up in a world where information was always just a button away. Buttons? Soon, they won’t even need buttons. With Windows 10, they’ll simply say, “hey Cortana.” She’s more like the world’s greatest librarian than a personal assistant. She delivers content on command. In the future, after children have mastered reading, writing, and arithmetic, will more formal schooling still be necessary?

I watch the way my own children (boys 7 and 10 years old) learn to play video games. They use Google to search for tips and tricks. They watch seemingly endless YouTube tutorials. Even when they’re trying to do something more complex, such as building their own Minecraft Server on a Raspberry Pi, I barely help. I tell them to search the web by themselves. If one blog’s instructions fail and they whine with frustration, I encourage them to start from scratch and try a new source” To read further please click here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2015/07/19/this-is-what-todays-online-learning-content-tells-us-about-the-future-of-school/

Jul 20

2 Bullying Lesson Plans Designed For Teachers Or Parents

bullying2By: topeducationboard.com

“If you’d like to find out what those-in-the-know have to say about bullying lesson plans? The information inside the article below comes straight from well-informed experts with special knowledge pertaining to bullying lesson plans.Most of this information will come straight from the bullying lesson plans pros. Attentive reading to the end basically guarantees that you will know what they know.Being a new teacher finding out how to approach bullying behavior in the classroom for the first time, it is critical to have bullying lesson plans, especially due to the nature of growing violence in schools. These bullying lesson plans will offer the new teacher far more self-confidence in how to cope with this not to easy topic.

Lesson Plan 1

Brainstorm with the students acts of bullying. The total number of times during the past year have they personally seen some of these bullying behavior at school?Draw a graph or chart on the board with one column being the particular act of violence and the following columns simply being the rate of frequency. Example: Never, Once, Several times, Many Times. Students can either copy the chart or perhaps you can do it right alongside the students where they mark off the proper columns.” To read further please click here: http://topeducationboard.com/2-bullying-lesson-plans-designed-for-teachers-or-parents/

Jul 20

20 Things You Can Do In (About) 10 Minutes For A Smoother Running Classroom

learning-environment-620x445By: teachthought.com

“When the school year begins, teachers spend a lot of time getting the classroom ready, planning lessons, and getting to know his/her students. The following list includes 20 ideas that you may not have thought of that can help produce a successful classroom. Each item takes no longer than an hour and can make a big difference throughout the year.

1. Set up your classroom in an “active learning” format (15-30 minutes)

Traditional classrooms are normally arranged in a linear format with all the desks facing one direction. Studies suggest that creating a room with no “obvious” front helps students to take a more active role in learning, rather than looking to the teacher.

If your room allows it, arrange the desks in small groups with no obvious front. You can do your instructing from the center of the room instead.

2. Stop starting the day with roll call (5 minutes saved)

To get the day off on the right foot, start with an inspirational quote or quiet meditation. Roll call is a tedious necessity, but you shouldn’t have to take up time in your day to do this. The beginning of the day is the most crucial moment for getting off on the right foot. Why not have a sign in sheet when kids walk in?” To read further please click here:


Jul 20

Improving Reading by Playing With Words: Four Classroom Activities

By:Liana Heitin

portgen“This morning at the International Literacy Association conference here, renowned reading expert Timothy Rasinski shared some of his favorite ways for developing students’ foundational reading skills—many of which involve word play.

“I’m going to talk about the most important part of reading,” began Rasinski, a professor of literacy education at Kent State University. “Well, actually, it’s not; it’s the least important part. … The most important part, we agree, is comprehension. But to get there, you have to be able to decode words, sound them out, and spell them.”(Before that, Rasinski really started the session, endearingly, by getting the group to sing a song, which he said calms his nerves.)His talk served as a counterpoint to the notion that phonics instruction is a necessary but tedious task—the medicine students and teachers choke down to get to the good stuff (real reading). The crowd was engaged and playing along during his hour-long talk.

Here are a few of the activities he posed:

1) Making Words

Remember when your teacher would put a long word on the board after recess and then ask the class to make as many small words as possible with those letters? Rasinski does a variation on this activity, with a bit more scaffolding for the struggling reader. ” To read further please click here:


Jul 19

Here Is How to Use PowerPoint to Create Educational Infographics

By:Med Kharbach

infographic“Here is an interesting short video from Microsoft in Education showing you how to use PowerPoint 2013 to create educational infographics and design communicative visuals. The tutorial particularly highlights two key processes: the use of Merge Shapes  and Office Mix. The earlier provides students with five options to work on when designing shapes including: Union, Combine, Fragment, Intersect, and Substract. Each of these options is visually illustrated in the video. Office Mix is used to record slide narrations complete with video and digital annotations. For more web tools to use with students to create infographics, check out these resources.” To read further please click here:


Jul 19

Establishing a differentiated, responsive classroom

By: Debbie Crockett

lighthouse“I’ve been reading the book, Mindsets in the Classroom by Mary Cay Ricci,  and just finished chapter 3.  It was a real eye opener.  Through all of my years of teaching I thought I was differentiating by planning and implementing reteaching and enrichment lessons and activities as my class worked through a unit.  But in this chapter I learned how important it is to start the differentiation before the unit even begins!

This process begins with the preassessment. So much valuable information can be gathered before you begin teaching a unit.  The purpose of the preassessment is to find how much students understand about the content before you plan and teach the unit.
Jul 19

How to Use Periscope for Education

By: pikemalltech.com

twitteratschoolgraphicPeriscope, Twitter’s live video streaming app, is taking the education world by storm.  Since its debut in early 2015, teachers and administrators are trying to figure out how to use Periscope for education and not just as a way for students to stream silly human tricks on live video to their friends.

Before we can get into how to use Periscope for education, let’s first define what exactly Periscope is and how you use it for those of you that are clueless for now.

An Introduction to Periscope
As such, those of us in education should probably take notice and figure out how we can use this app to our advantage.
Periscope is a live video streaming app that Twitter purchased before Periscope launched to the public. That fact alone should make you stand up and take notice about how important a company like Twitter thinks that live streaming video really is in today’s social media landscape.The great thing about Periscope is that it integrates directly with your Twitter account.” To read further please click here:


Jul 19

How Technology Can Increase Rigor In The Classroom

By: Barbara A. Blackburn

teac123“Instructional rigor is a concept we can agree is important, despite the debate about the use of the word itself. Rigor is “creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels; each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels; and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).” But how does technology relate to rigor? As with any instructional tool, educational technology is critical to increasing rigor in the classroom.  There are five ways technology can be used to increase rigor.

Technology can promote higher-order thinking.

Technology that increases rigor promotes higher order thinking, not rote level tasks. There are times it is appropriate to do lower level tasks, but they should build to higher levels of thinking. In other words, look for technology that is more than a basic worksheet on the screen. One tool that can be effective is using real-world simulations, which require students to analyze, reflect, synthesize information, and create solutions. (You can find some sample math examples here.)

Expectations can be raised.

In a rigorous classroom, expectations are high for everyone, even though the product may look different for a student with special needs and one who is an honors student.” To read further please click here:


Jul 18

Google Apps and Chromebooks for Special Education and Special Needs

By:David Andrade

special needsChromebooks and Google Apps are excellent assistive technology (AT) that help students with special needs access curriculum and information. Google Apps and Extensions in the Chrome Web Store provide many supports to students with learning challenges.

Chromebooks allow students to access curriculum while avoiding their triggers. Online curriculum and resources allow them to work without distraction, which lowers anxiety.

Chromebooks also allow students to access additional resources to support their learning and address their individual needs.

There are specialized web apps, screen readers, text-to-speech and speech-to-text, screen magnifies, curriculum resources, lesson ideas, collaboration tools and so much more.

The following links provide an overview of extension and apps available to support students with special needs.” To read further please click here:  http://educationaltechnologyguy.blogspot.com/2015/07/google-apps-and-chromebooks-for-special.html

Jul 18

Twitter for the Classroom

By: teachertoolkit.me

twitter for teachers“So, you’ve been using Twitter personally and professionally, but you’re not quite sure how to get started in the classroom. Here are a few tips to get started and a few questions to ask yourself before you get started.

Welcome to Twittersphere!

I started using Twitter in the classroom in 2010, using the account @Ask_Mr_McGill. It was a fantastic revision tool for my 6th form students and lesson. However, the success of using social media in the classroom started spreading across the school with other colleagues in and out of my own school. I then had to re-think how I could use Twitter in my professional work, particularly as a direct outcome of teaching less and less 6th form classes as I moved from middle to senior school leadership.

How could I continue to use Twitter to enhance my own professional development, as well as a tool for learning in my classrooms?

“Set up your own Twitter account; share your experiences and reflect on good teaching over time with the help of social media!”

Despite my ever-changing rationale, I started to reflect in how I could use social media to improve the overall quality of teaching and learning my my classroom. This blog serves as a simple start-up guide for all teachers to consider; for teachers (considering) using Twitter in the classroom, as well as important safeguarding issues to consider”To read further please click here:  http://teachertoolkit.me/2015/07/16/twitter-for-the-classroom-by-teachertoolkit

Jul 18

Developing Digital Skills in your Classroom


3“Join us on this exciting course covering the hugely important topic of developing digital skills in our classrooms. Digital skills are already an essential requirement for young people to succeed in an increasingly digitized society. Not only are these skills demanded for an increasing number of jobs, they also are a requirement and a right of citizens, if they are to be functional in today’s society.

Schools and teachers therefore need support to work with their students to develop a wide range of digital skills that ensure young people leaving school have the skills required by the labour market and by an increasingly digitized society.

The course therefore aims to guide teachers in how to develop a range of digital skills and to introduce them to the tools and resources that are available to them. At the end of the course, teachers should be able to design lessons that focus on a range of digital skills, make use of innovative tools to assist their own and the students’ work in this area.

The course is organized around thematic areas of digital skills that are relevant at all levels of primary and secondary schooling. In 6 modules it explores the definition and role of digital skills generally and then looks at specific skill areas and how to address them in the classroom. The focus of these modules is on how pedagogically the skill area can be addressed and what tools there are available to help the teachers and students.” To read further please click here:  http://www.europeanschoolnetacademy.eu/en/web/developing-digital-skills-in-your-classroom/course

Jul 17

Google Classroom: Creating a Discussion Board

By:Alice Keeler

google classroom“While I want threaded discussions in Google Classroom, I do not want them in the stream. Multiple student responses will clutter up the Google Classroom stream quickly. I always say “the answer is always a spreadsheet” so I created a way to use Google Sheets for a threaded discussion and use it in Google Classroom. It is not perfect, I’m a teacher not a programmer.

The advantage to using a spreadsheet for discussions is… it is a spreadsheet!! Google Sheets are in your Google Drive, easy to locate. It can be embeded into another website or linked to from just about anything. Information in the spreadsheet can be sorted and organized. Formulas can be applied, Add-On’s can be used, charts can be generated. Since the discussion board is not in another platform, it is easy to save the discussion board.

Since a spreadsheet has tabs, this allows you to conduct multiple discussions over the course of a unit.” To read further please click here: http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2015/07/16/google-classroom-creating-a-discussion-board/

Jul 17

If My Kid Is Being An Asshole, I Want You To Tell Me

By:Susie Johnson

bullying“In the past couple of weeks, I have found myself in a few different awkward positions where I haven’t quite known what the right thing to do is.In one situation, one of my kids got hurt by a friend’s kid. Like struck in the head with a rock.Should I say something? It was an accident. I knew the kid felt bad.I wanted to say something, but I never did.

Another situation did not involve my kids. But I was told that the teenage child of someone I’m not super close friends with but someone I like and see around once a week or so has been engaging in behavior that is unhealthy. And illegal. Stuff that would devastate me if I found out it was one of my kids.” To read further please click here:  http://www.scarymommy.com/articles/if-my-kid-is-being-an-asshole-tell-me?section=the-mom-club&u=JACx8bj39u
Jul 17

7 things Microsoft OneNote does that Evernote can’t

By: James A. Martin

onenote“Microsoft OneNote and Evernote are two top-notch options for all of your digital notebook needs, and both have unique strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a detailed look at seven ways OneNote outperforms Evernote.

We’re moving deeper into the modern “walled garden” of digital life. Generally speaking, you choose the garden you like best — be it Apple, Google or Microsoft — and the more time and money you invest, the more painful it is to leave that ecosystem.

Similarly, many people pick Evernote or Microsoft OneNote as their repository of choice for digital scraps, doodlings and scanned documents. Then they usually stick with that choice, because it’s not easy to toggle between them or switch.

About a year ago, I chose Evernote over OneNote, and I started amassing my own digital archive. At the time, Evernote’s Mac software was far superior to OneNote’s Mac app. However, Microsoft has continually upgraded OneNote for Mac and iOS, and today it’s a legitimate Evernote rival; if I were facing the Mac Evernote versus Mac OneNote decision today, it would be a different situation. If you’re a Windows user, the choice is even more challenging, because the OneNote 2013 Windows desktop app has valuable features that aren’t available in Evernote or OneNote for Mac.”To read further please click here:


Jul 17

Here Is How to Use iPad As A Document Camera in Class

By:Med Kharbach

chip“An interesting way to use iPad with students in class is through turning it into a document camera. The concept is very simple, you use your iPad as a mirroring device to project documents to a bigger screen. The whole class will be able to follow with you as you go through the document. For this to happen, you will need to connect your iPad to a projector either through a VGA Adapter Cable or wirelessly using a third party app. Check out Learning in Hand’s post to learn more about the different options you can utilize to connect your iPad to a projector.
You can use iPad as a document camera for a wide variety of purposes. For instance, it can be used when working on group projects, brainstorming a new topic, collaborative editing, group mind mapping, recording video tutorials and many more. Check put this post to learn more about the different ways to use iPad document camera with your students. Jonathan Wylie also has this wonderful article with more details on how to use iPad as a document camera in classroom.
There are two ways to use iPad as a document camera. The first easy way is to use the camera app on your iPad. The second way is through using third party apps which will also enable you to do more with your docs such as annotating, highlighting and many more. Below are some of the best document camera apps to try:” To read further please click here:http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2015/07/here-is-how-to-use-ipad-as-document.html

Jul 15

Stop Giving Homework

By: Alice Keeler

homework2“One of my favorite lines is “technology allows us to do things differently, so we do things differently.” Now that we have technology, how do our classrooms look different from when we were students? Start by challenging assumptions. Many things we accept as norms for school may not be because they are best for learning but instead are a response to the culture and technology of a time long gone.


As a parent of 5 children, I do not want my children doing homework. I have yet to see anything of value that necessitated doing work at home. I have tried having conversations with my kids and do things with them only to be told that they have to fill out this worksheet of stuff they already know. The assignments are not differentiated for their ability level. When my son did not know about the commutative property for his 3rd grade math homework I had to teach him the math lesson. First, doing 3rd grade math is not my idea of a good time. Secondly, I have a degree in math and can explain this to my son. However, I really question how many of the other parents could have taught the commutative property to their kids. If I could not have helped my son he would have been frustrated and spent an inordinate amount of time struggling and possibly crying. We have all cried over homework, I know I have.” To read further please click here:  http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2015/07/13/stop-giving-homework/

Jul 15

Serving Gifted Students in General Ed Classrooms

By:Elissa Brown

genius2“Gifted students who are served in general education classrooms frequently finish their work sooner than other students. This can happen in one subject area, such as mathematics, or in all subject areas. Due to their rapidity of thought (VanTassel-Baska & Brown, 2007), they typically finish assignments before other children. Then they may act out because they are bored. What is really going on is a mismatch between the academic needs of the student and the pace and depth of the curricula and instructional program.

Following are suggestions for how to best serve these students — and what not to do.

Don’t. . .

1. Use these students, whether formally identified as gifted or not, as teacher assistants.

Using gifted students as tutors or teacher assistants for other students in the classroom is inappropriate and unethical, and it does not provide for their social-emotional or academic needs. When an appropriately differentiated education is not provided, gifted learners do not thrive in school, their potential is diminished, and they may even suffer from cognitive and affective harm.” To read further please click here:  http://www.edutopia.org/blog/gifted-students-general-ed-classrooms-elissa-brown

Jul 15

Show What You Know with Media

By:Wesley Fryer

multimediaa“Show What You Know With Media” is a book series and website created by Dr. Wesley Fryer to serve as a menu, handbook, andmap for teacher-leaders and learners in the twenty-first century who seek to develop digital literacies as multimedia communicators and help students “show what they know with media.” * Mapping Media to the Curriculum (Volume I) explores the first six products in the framework: Interactive WritingNarrated ArtRadio Shows5 Photo StoriesVisual Notetaking, and Narrated Slideshows / Screencasts. Videos in each chapter (hosted on YouTube) are directly linked for compatible eReaders and also linked via QR codes, so readers can optionally use a smartphone to view them.

On the accompanying website (ShowWithMedia.com) and in the books, readers will find definitions, suggested workflows, suggested tools, and student examples related to each tool in the framework. Like a menu at a restaurant, the website and framework are designed to offer a broad view of available options teachers and students can utilize to communicate ideas and demonstrate knowledge, understanding, and skills. The Mapping Media framework is aligned to the ISTE NETS for Students as well as Common Core State Standards. Educators focused on digital literacy and interested in students building digital portfolios to“show what they know with media” will find Mapping Media a gold mine of practical ideas.

“Show What You Know With Media” eBooks are available in multiple formats from different sources. Links and tips for transferring eBooks to your eReader or computer are available. Each format has different benefits as well as limits:

  • ePUB (works on most eReaders, including iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch and Android tablets)
  • MOBI (the Amazon Kindle eBook format)

To read further please click here:  http://showwithmedia.com/about/

Jul 15

The Scoop on Periscope: Broadcast Live Video to the World

By:Tony Vincent

vldeo in education“I find myself explaining Periscope and how I use it a lot lately. Educators are eager to live broadcast to connect to each other and maybe use it in their classrooms. So, what better way to explain my take on this new video streaming service than in an infographic? See below for what I’ve come up with. I’ve included an overview of Periscope, some of its limitations, and my top tips.

Click to download a PDF version that is easier to read and has clickable hyperlinks. Alternatively, you canclick to view in Google Drawings where you can download in various formats.

Since Periscope broadcasts are only available for replay online for 24 hours, I archive most of my broadcasts on YouTube in my Periscope Broadcasts playlist. You can get a feel for what I broadcast by watching the archives. I really wish the archived videos had comments and hearts because those are two things that really make Periscope broadcasts special.

You’ll notice the I use a microphone in many of my broadcasts. A handheld microphone is great because it reduces background noise in loud rooms and allows me to pan the camera without affecting the volume of my broadcast. I’m really liking the microphone I currently use with my iPhone. It’s an iRig Mic HD, and it’s $89 on Amazon (affiliate link).” To read further please click here:  http://learninginhand.com/blog/periscope

Jul 13

How do you get students to read for pleasure?

By: David Didau

digital textbooks“For most people, this is uncontroversial. We talk a lot about the power of books and the need to get more children to read for pleasure. But how do you get students to read for pleasure? I have no idea. Neither does anyone else, not really. This is an endemic conundrum which troubles all teachers and parents. But it’s a bit of an odd question when you think of it: how do you make someone enjoy something they don’t enjoy? There are lots of expensive ‘solutions’ out there, all trying to give students some sort of reward for the time invested in reading books. These solutions are great at producing graphs showing how much reading is being done but they’re hopeless at showing whether someone is enjoying reading. Maybe we’re asking the wrong question?” To read further please click here:  http://www.learningspy.co.uk/reading/reading-for-pleasure/

Jul 13

How Today’s Technology is our Best Hope for Helping Struggling Readers

By:Edward Francis

big datta“Well-made programs that use advanced technology could mean a lot for people with reading disabilities. Learning is built on literary, both in life and in school. It helps people get a job, climb out of mediocrity and paucity, and become a productive citizen. Today’s educational system is challenged to help struggling readers keep up.

For starters, students who have difficulties reading can’t be regarded as developmentally equal with students who don’t have to face this issue. Some of them have fluency issues, others struggle with comprehension, and last but not least, there are those students who are a few years behind and still read at a basic, or below basic level. As much as it pains us to say it, there are students with acute learning disabilities; others are immigrants who can’t speak English. Advanced technology can help with all of these issues.

Time shouldn’t be wasted

Being a teacher to a group of students with divergent needs is nearly unattainable, even for the most skilled teachers and instructors. Generally speaking, struggling readers shouldn’t waste their time. They are compelled to learn faster than their peers in order to keep pace. They require individualized, besieged assistance, and they must have intensive and deliberate skill practice. In a class with 20 students with different needs, this can be challenging to attain.” To read further please click here:


Jul 13

Google Classroom: Change the Class Code

By: Alice Keeler

googless“To have students join my Google Classroom I project the stream from my class onto the board. I zoom in (Control +) to show the class code. Students are directed to go tohttp://classroom.google.com and login. After clicking the plus button at the top right, they choose “Join class” and enter my class code.

Change the Code

Click on the arrow to the right of the class code and you have the option to reset the code. I keep choosing “Reset” until the code looks easy. I do not want any zeros, L’s, 5’s, o’s, 1’s since they can be confused for a different number or letter. Sometimes I luck out and the class code almost makes a word. Try resetting your class code until it is something you like. It is kinda fun to try out!”” To read further please click here: http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2015/07/12/google-classroom-change-the-class-code/

Jul 12

Delivering 21st century learning with a single computer and projector in the Classroom

By: Dovi Weiss

blending“The paradigm shift of educational technology is called One-to-One Computing (1:1). 1:1 incorporates technology in the classroom to create a teaching-and learning environment by providing each student with a digital device. The major advantages for 1:1 learning are that it offers adaptive learning and data-driven teaching. For example, in a 1:1 classroom, every student can request narration to support reading activities and the teacher can identify students who are having difficulty, based on their performance data, and to address their specific needs.

However, 1:1 is not a common infrastructure for most K12 educational systems around the world. This initiative requires ongoing management, maintenance, and technical support resources that most schools and education systems simply do not have. Even in the United States, the leading country in the 1:1 movement, only 16% of all classrooms have the requisite 1:1 infrastructure.

Does the low level of 1:1 integration mean that schools cannot benefit from technology? The answer is a resounding “No” and also a cautionary “but”.

No” because even with classrooms that are equipped with a computer for the teacher, a projector, and access to the web, there is still the possibility of gaining many of the benefits of educational technology. Such classroom configuration is called One to Class (1:Class). Under this configuration there are three common blended learning setups:
Basic 1:Class – Teacher’s computer, projector, and access to the web or an interactive whiteboard.” To read further please click here: http://www.timetoknow.com/blog/21st-century-skills/delivering-21st-century-learning-with-a-single-computer-and-projector-in-the-classroom/

Jul 12

The Great Gift of Reading Aloud

readinggsBy: Meghan Cox Gurdon

The first time I read aloud to one of my children, the experience ended in tears. It was a sweltering July afternoon 21 years ago, and my husband and I had, incredibly, just been permitted to leave a Tokyo hospital with our firstborn, a daughter.Immediately upon entering our apartment, feeling foggy about all but one thing, I carried the infant to the little room we had prepared for her, sat down in the rocking chair that I had painted before her arrival, and began to read aloud from a book of fairy tales.“Long ago there lived a widower who had one daughter,” I informed the pudding in my arms. “For his second wife, he chose a widow who had two daughters. All three had very jealous natures . . .”

The hot summer sun slanted through the windows. My voice sounded querulous and strange. The child lay oblivious. Was she even listening? Was I supposed to show her the illustrations? With a sudden sense of personal absurdity, I started to bawl. Things quickly improved, but honestly, what kind of a maniac reads “Cinderella” to a newborn?Reading aloud was probably always going to be important in our family life, but it might never have acquired its tinge of benign extremism without the influence of my friend Lisa Wolfinger, who had started having babies a few years before I did.” To read further please click here:


Jul 12

Eddie Woo’s maths program Wootube proves a hit

mathemaBy:Kristie Kellahan

“Two years ago Eddie Woo started Wootube, his online maths tutorial channel on YouTube, to help a boy in one of his classes. Today Wootube has more than 8000 subscribers and has received more than 850,000 views from students in 223 countries.

“A boy in one of my classes had been diagnosed with cancer and had to take weeks and weeks off school for treatment,” says Woo, Head Teacher of Mathematics at Cherrybrook Technology High School.

“This really struck a nerve with me because my family had been deeply affected by cancer when I myself was at high school. As a maths teacher, I also knew that the deeply interconnected nature of all the concepts and skills in my subject made it very difficult to understand things if you missed time; like trying to assemble a puzzle when you haven’t got all the pieces.”” To read further please click here:


Jul 11

Hidden Gems: 20 Awesome Web Tools for Teachers


teacher“Most teachers today use technology in the classroom. Many are eager to utilize more tools to enhance their lessons and give their students more opportunities to learn and create. Web tools can be used in so many ways and can make keeping up with assessments easier for the teachers while making work requirements easier. And since students today use web tools and apps on a regular basis in their personal lives, adding web tools will engage your students, and help prepare them for work in the future.

One problem is that there are so many web tools available, and it can be confusing to find the right ones for your classroom. A few of them are well known, but that still leaves a vast amount of lesser known ones that may be perfect for your class. It can take hours to hunt down the tools that fit your needs and those of your students, and then you still have to research the tool to make sure it does what you want, test it, and see if it works with your technology permissions.” To read further please click here:  http://edutech4teachers.edublogs.org/2015/07/10/hidden-gems-20-awesome-web-tools-for-teachers/

Jul 11

How a 21st Century Librarian Enhances Student Learning

By:Dan Gordon

libraryTHE Journal: How do you see the role of the school library in enhancing student learning?
Susan Gauthier
: We talk a lot about the importance of addressing digital literacy, and to me that’s the secret sauce: It’s bringing in today’s world for the student. So, for example, I’m working on bringing makerspaces into our middle and high school libraries and coding in the elementary libraries. We’re using LiveBinders to develop portfolios for our librarian compass rubric, and we’re piloting a fiction e-book project. Anyone can check in and check out a book, but it’s about going a step beyond and bringing a different venue to the students.

THE Journal: What have you done with makerspaces?
Gauthier: To me we’ve always had this tool; they just weren’t called makerspaces. They were book clubs, crafting clubs, enrichment clubs … a makerspace to me is just labeling this cool space for you to go in and get in touch with your creativity. For nearly all of our middle and high schools, we are sharing what they’re doing to inspire ideas. Many of our schools don’t have a lot of resources, so we’re going to create MOMs — Makerspaces on the Move — with crates that the librarians can check out, bring in and use as something like a pop-up makerspace, whether it’s for physical items or for great apps.

THE Journal: How is this advancing student learning?
Gauthier: You might say it sounds like play time, but I see this eventually evolving into a curriculum connection: having that librarian talking to the science teacher and saying, “You are covering forces in motion? What’s something I can do with these Hot Wheels cars and tracks to reinforce that lesson?” You always hear teachers say that they’re so tied to the curriculum they can’t do the fun stuff; this brings that in.” To read further please click here: http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/07/09/how-a-21st-century-librarian-enhances-student-learning.aspx

Jul 11

Skype + Math = Engaged and Inspired Students in Kansas – Stacey Ryan, USA

By: Anthony Salcito

skype“Great things happen when students do uncomfortable things. In fact, for Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and math teacher Stacey Ryan, being “thrown in” to an uncomfortable position early on was the catalyst for her career path.“I volunteered in the classroom when I was in high school and the teacher showed a lot of trust in me,” says Ryan. “She sometimes would even leave the room and let me be in charge.After 14+ years of teaching math in the same community where she grew up, Ryan’s passion for empowering her students hasn’t waivered. And she has found a secret weapon to help her: Skype.

“I love to use Skype to connect what we’re learning in class to the real world,” says Ryan. “That way students don’t think it’s just a ‘standard’ we have to cover. It’s about making it relevant and making it inspiring.” To read further please click here:  http://dailyedventures.com/index.php/2015/07/09/stacey-ryan/

Jul 11

Are you signing up for Google’s Computational Thinking course for Educators?

By: edugalaxy.com

google classroom“Google are going all in on coding and computer science in an effort to improve the learning opportunities for teachers and students.  On July 15 they will begin running a free course for educators to train them in how to use ‘computational thinking.’ in the classroom.  The course is open to all educators and there is a set time frame allocated to complete the course.I have enrolled and would encourage others to do the same.  The course will be broken into five different modules exploring

  • Introducing  Computational Thinking
  • Exploring Algorithms
  • Finding Patterns
  • Developing Algorithms
  • Applying Computational Thinking”

To read further please click here: