Nov 08

Provoking Pause: 5 Classroom Adjustments for ADD Students

By:GEI Editorial Team

balloons“Though ADD is not indicative of intelligence, students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) have trouble staying on-task, and this can pose a threat to academic success. There are several measures teachers can take to ensure ADD students experience quality classroom learning. In addition to dialogue and lesson plan alterations, teachers can make small changes to their physical classroom setup to accommodate ADD students.

What is ADD?

According to the CDC, approximately 11 percent of children age 4-17 in the United States have been diagnosed with ADD. Children with ADD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, or be overly active. These symptoms can be especially disruptive in a classroom setting, where students are required to sit still and pay attention for an extended period of time.” To read further please click here:

Nov 08

Colour coding in maths

By:Claire Lotriet

mathema“So, this week in maths was all about multiplication. The majority of my maths group struggled with long multiplication from the get go. I went back to basics and we practised multiplying by a single digit and then tried to move onto 2-digits by 2-digits. It didn’t go well. Errors littered throughout. We worked through examples together, I went around to give feedback as usual, but it wasn’t sinking in. Obviously, at the end of that lesson, I knew we’d need to spend more time on it, but I was thinking about what exactly it was that was holding them back and it became quite clear: they were getting confused with the layout, what goes where and the relationship between it all. When multiplying by one digit, they were ok, but as soon as another digit was added into the mix, it threw them. Moving onto that second line, to multiply the tens column, was causing us a world of pain.Then an idea about using colour coding to reinforce the layout and the calculations relating to the different columns hit me. This could well be down to the fact that we’d had a staff meeting on colourful semanticsjust this week – an approach that colour codes different types of words to help children develop their use of grammar. Anyway, here’s what we tried yesterday.”To read further please click here:

Nov 07

5 Important Tips on How to Better Annotate YouTube Videos to Use with Your Students

By: Med Kharbach

Youtube“YouTube video editor is absolutely a powerful video editing platform to use in your instruction to create and edit videos. It provides almost all the pro features you normally find in a premium video software and all for free. Our YouTube for Teachers series here in EdTech and mLearning attempts to help teachers make the best of YouTube in their teaching by providing them with educational channels designed specifically to tend to teachers educational video content as well as resources featuring  tips and tricks on how to create and edit  instructional videos on Youtube. In today’s post we are introducing you to a very important feature called annotations.” To read further please click here:

Nov 07

16 Websites and Apps for Making Videos and Animation

By:Ellen Holderman

apps3“For this week’s Top Picks List Friday, we are featuring websites and apps for making videos and animations. 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 to get kids’ productions edited and polished.To see the rating of each app, game, or website, visit the Top Picks List, Websites and Apps for Making Videos and Animation.” To read further please click here:

Nov 06

9 Amazing Augmented Reality Apps for Teaching and Learning

By:Suzette Marabel

augmented“We’re Seeing an Explosion of Free and Low Cost Augmented Reality Tools for Education

Augmented reality (AR) has evolved in recent years and its application in classrooms is limitless. Educators don’t need to feel overwhelmed when trying to introduce AR in their classroom because there are many great apps that don’t require a lot of knowledge in the field. There are useful apps for every subject and there are also apps that when a teacher is ready they can create their own AR targets.Augmented reality works well in schools because it brings close to real life experiences to the classrooms. It’s fascinating to see the faces of students when they have the opportunity to explore space, the human body, cells or chemistry elements. You appreciate how eager and engaged they become with some simple AR apps.” To read further please click here:

Nov 06

How can we use comics in the classroom?

By:Mathew Sullivan

comicmasterComics as a writing stimulus

In 2010, I introduced comics as a writing stimulus for the first time with a small group of high ability Year 6 pupils. If comics could be used to engage the brightest, most competent, well-read pupils in the school, I thought, then that might help to alter their perceived ‘low-brow, dumbed-down’ status.At the time, pupils in Year 6 happened to be studying World War Two. What better character to look at, then, than a superhero created, essentially, as war propaganda: Captain America.With a new film due out, and trailers and exciting imagery floating around the internet, there was no better time to introduce pupils to a character who had first appeared in Captain America Comics, way back in 1941. The children were instantly engaged, and thoroughly excited, when I told them that we were going to write the story of Captain America.But we didn’t write the story of Captain America.”To read further please click here:

Nov 05

Tech Tools That Have Transformed Learning With Dyslexia

By:Holly Korbey

dys“Fifth-grade teacher Kyle Redford remembers with emotion the day she unwittingly put an iPad in the hands of one of her 10-year-old dyslexic students, a day she called “a complete game changer.”While the rest of the class was working in a writers workshop, she handed the student an iPad and told him to try and experiment with its speech-to-text feature. With minimal expectations, Redford figured that the newness and the boy’s curiosity would at least keep him busy during writing time, which he usually found frustrating.While Redford described the boy as “very bright,” he “couldn’t even compose a sentence to save his life” because of his dyslexia. Any classroom assignment having to do with writing made him moody. So, as Redford guided the rest of the class through the workshop, the student stepped outside the classroom and spoke his ideas for his writing assignment into the iPad.” To read further please click here :

Nov 05

Increasing student engagement with Book Creator in Special Education

By:Catriona Tynan

special ed“Rising up to the challenge of teaching students who have difficulty communicating their ideas, how can creating ebooks help? My name is Caitriona Tynan and I’m an iPad and Proloquo2go coach at a Special Developmental School in Melbourne, Australia.Roughly 80% of our students are currently non-verbal with both intellectual and physical disabilities. Our students sit on an IQ of less than 50 and over the last 6 months we have implemented a 1:1 iPad program.My role as a coach is to support all teachers and classroom aides to develop their skills in effectively using iPad apps within their teaching and learning.This post offers a case study on how we solved the challenge of teaching a new topic with ebooks.” To read further please click here:

Nov 04

How to Transform Your Classroom With Augmented Reality

By:Patricia Brown

arrr“Augmented Reality is changing education. What started out as something that was simply “cool” has become a way to engage learners like never before.In fact, while I was first introduced to Augmented Reality through theAurasma App, I never imagined that while walking through a trendy neighborhood in Washington D.C. this past summer, I would come across the first public interactive augmented reality mural dedicated to the life of the actor Paul Robeson. Designed by artist Corey L. Stowers, this mural allows viewers to scan and thus trigger images of his artwork with their mobile devices, accessing historical videos and original content that depict the life of the great athlete, performer, and civil rights activist.” To read further please click here:

Nov 03

How We Introduced Coding to Kids using Tynker Puzzles

By:Vicki Davis

coding3Tynker is an excellent way to teach children in elementary school the basics of programming or coding cool games. This tool can be used to teach children from grades K to 5 but some at higher levels can enjoy it too. The games on theTynker page are ranked from beginner to intermediate to show the difficulty of coding or programming involved.We used Tynker to help teach for the Hour of CodeTM. We showed the children a video, and told them how Tynker works. We then let the children loose and let them start one of the games in Tynker. The children understood how to program or code when we used the educational games, like Puppy Adventure (Mini) or Lost in Space, that simply showed them the basics of coding. We took the children through step by step helping and congratulating them along the way as they made their progress through the educational games.” To read further please click here:

Nov 03

Beginner’s Guide to Maker-ize An Elementary Classroom

By:Mary Wade

makerspace“When most penny-pinching, time-crunched, and exhausted teachers hear about lofty ideas like the MakerSpace movement in education, they are likely to dismiss it as another passing and impractical fad. However, the more we investigate, the more convinced we are that there are practical–and profoundly meaningful–ways for teachers to implement its ideals, even in an elementary school classroom.

Benefits of Maker Spaces

“Makerspaces come in all shapes and sizes, but they all serve as a gathering point for tools, projects, mentors and expertise. A collection of tools does not define a Makerspace. Rather, we define it by what it enables: making.” (MakerSpace Playbook)


For students who already love doing, they will love this outlet to get their hands on a myriad of resources. For students who feel that they are lacking in creativity, they will have an opportunity to rekindle their inborn wonder and curiosity.” To read further please click here:

Nov 02

Edmodo Adds Enterprise Tools


ed“With almost 60 million users, Edmodo is the leading K-12 learning platform. The intuitive platform makes it easy for teachers to create private groups and manage assignments. Teachers can create and share libraries of content. A unit of instruction can be easily differentiated for several groups.Edmodo has lots of content partners. Cambridge Press recently added lots of GCSC content. Snapshot, a powerful formative assessment service.Recently Edmodo launched three enterprise tools, PD Tools, Management, and Collections.Edmodo PD Tools. Create and lead local or global professional learning communities (PLCs) to build capacity. Foster collaboration, award badges, and share best practices.

Edmodo Management. Gain insight into user activities through a secure, real-time interface with the ability to manage a customized subdomain, single sign-on and rostering, and premium analytics. Edmodo Management lets you oversee:

  • Administration: Manage your Edmodo community in a customized secure subdomain for your school. Verify educators and reset student passwords.
  • Daily Activity: Understand how teachers are using Edmodo with comprehensive data dashboards. Follow Posts, Assignments, and Groups to see where support is needed. Gain visibility into user accounts in the event of a safety or security concern.
  • Provisioning: Automate rollout and onboarding by integrating with existing systems.” To read further please click here:
Nov 02

An introduction to Scaffolded Social Learning

By: Julian Stodd

kkidsWhat is Social Learning?

Formal learning is what we do in classrooms, in eLearning modules, in workbooks. Formal learning is any type of learning that is written and delivered by the Organisation and sent out to people to complete. Formal learning is what many organisations rely on to get people to learn ‘stuff‘.Social Learning is about the conversations that surround this: it’s about the wisdom of the community and the wealth of experience that this is founded upon

. Social Learning is about helping each other, building learning networks, solving problems together and sharing stories. This is sometimes called ‘tacit‘ or ‘tribal‘ knowledge, and it’s the things you already know, alongside what everyone you know knows.When we talk about creating Social Learning within an organisation, we mean creating a learning journey that incorporates both of these elements: the formal and the social.” To read further please click here:

Nov 02

Gamification? Pointless for learning

By: David Dodgson

games for class“Gamification’ is a term that has indeed been around for a few years now.  Yet, like many terms and buzzwords it seems to mean different things to different people. It often gets confused with one of my favourite educational terms: ‘game-based learning’. However, they are quite different.I won’t go into too much detail as I have covered this before on my ELT Sandbox blog, but in briefgamification is the application of game-style elements, such as points, levels and challenges, to a non-gaming context (e.g. the language classroom) whereas game-based learning is about the actual use of games in the learning process as a source of and an inspiration for learner language.Each term has its problems: gamification suffers from the issue of being over-used as a superficial way to motivate students with ‘points’; and game-based learning suffers from being confused withgamification!As shamelessly plugged just above, I run a blog about game-based learning but this confusion often leads to people asking me about gamification. And they are often surprised by my response: that I believe it simply isn’t worth the effort to make it work properly.” To read further please click here:

Nov 01

Looking back at Marie Curie’s radical discovery: How the Mother of Modern Physics might have used Google Apps

By: Erzsi Sousa

goog“Consider what Marie Curie accomplished in the face of adversity and with few resources. Despite being refused a place at the French Academy of Sciences and almost denied her first Nobel Prize for being a woman, she continued her work undeterred, securing a second Nobel Prize in Chemistry and developing methods for treating cancer with radiation therapy. To celebrate her, we explore how she might have worked in a different time — by using some of the tools we use today.
The radioactivity in Curie’s lab was so strong that it harmed her health — archivists today still use protective gear to handle her papers. Instead of carrying these radioactive documents, Curie could have kept them in the cloud with Google Drive, allowing for easy access whenever and wherever she needed them, without risking her well-being. Drive’s organization features could also have helped her organize her files and notes in folders, easily distinguishable by color and category.” To read further please click here:

Oct 31

Teaching Strategies: What to Ask Before Assigning Homework

By: Jordan Catapano

homework33“Homework seems like a foundational component of school. It’s a pillar of education, a rite of passage for school-aged children everywhere. It is so fundamental to how we approach education that it feels like a given, and only on the rare occasion do we question or re-evaluate how we use it as part of our assemblage of teaching strategies.Homework involves a teacher requiring that students make time outside of class to focus on their subject.” To read further please click here:

Oct 31

Some Ideas for Personalizing Learning in the Younger Grades

By:Pernile Ripp

ipad in class“Personalizing learning in the younger grades has always been something I felt slightly clueless about.  After all, most of the kids I have taught have been older than 9.  Yet, by watching what Thea is experiencing in her 1st grade classroom, I have a few ideas for how learning can become more personalized in the younger grades in order to create more passionate learners.

Give  scaffolded topic choice.  While this seems like a no-brainer, I think giving choice looks a lot different in a 1st grade classroom versus a 4th grade.  I know that 6 year olds often have many ideas, which can either lead to brilliance or indecisiveness, so I have seen how a limited amount of choice in specific areas can really help them get engaged.  In Thea’s science project she was told to study a Wisconsin animal and was then given a suggested list to select from.  She knew right away when we read the words “Coyotes” that they would be her choice, however, her teacher also left it wide open for any animals not on the list as long as they were found natively in our state.  Having choice, but with limitations helped Thea get straight to work, and helped her get excited about her topic.” To read further please click here:

Oct 31

5 Ways to Engage Parents Using Google Drive

By: Jackie Myers

parentts“There are plenty of adaptive and personalized learning tools along with online homework and assessment engines. And just about everything a student needs can be found inside a learning management system. So if students and teachers are doing everything online, why hasn’t parent communication made its way there as well?Parents are just as consumed with technology as their children. If you’re having a challenge reaching parents, it might be because your methods are outdated. Consider trying a little technology to encourage parent engagement. You can start with something simple like using the various apps in Google Drive.” To read further please click here:

Oct 28

Design Thinking for Personalized Learning

By: Megan Mead

kkids“Technology has drastically and quickly changed the way we live, work and play. It has also opened new doors for how we learn, teach and engage. Developing a personalized path for students that engage them more deeply and accelerate their learning is not only possible, but necessary to improve the way that we currently do school.We may not be able to list the jobs that will exist 30 years from now, but we can assume that critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, empathy, communication and passion will be in high demand. Personalized Learning allows schools to be more responsive to the future needs of society by engaging students in the right lesson at the right time, encouraging them to take ownership over their learning and placing an emphasis on interest that is often missing in more traditional models.” To read further please click here:

Oct 28

How to Teach Student Organization

By: Julie Pettersen

small-child-going-to-school“We all have those students. It’s dismissal time and they are lined up for the bus.  In a moment of panic, a little darling hands you a note that they are supposed to be picked up today. The note is crumpled, ripped and partially wet.  Ummm….thanks. This is the same student that can’t find their homework, they have no idea where that signed permission slip went, and their cubbie could rival a college dorm room
Before I had kids I swore I was not going to raise an insufficient human being on this planet. And then….I had kids.
Rather than remind Tyler 75,000 times to make his bed I just did it for him.  I had to get to work on time so it was easier to put his homework in his backpack for him. Who the heck has time to watch a 9 year old stand with the cabinet wide open for 10 minutes staring at the cereal boxes as if the decision he is about to make is as important as world peace? ” To read further please click here:

Oct 27

How Autism Apps Help Kids on the Spectrum

By: Dina Roth Port

autismTechnology is helping children with autism master decidedly non-technical skills.

Children with an autism spectrum disorder can have a range of special needs, such as social or communication difficulties and restrictive or repetitive behaviors.While technology has always held promise as a therapeutic tool, the customization and personalization of the latest apps are helping children with autism learn to communicate, socialize and master routines in new ways.“Apps are transformative — they have been shown to improve communication skills, the effectiveness of behavioral therapy and learning and school performance among people with autism,” said Dan Smith, Ph.D., vice president of innovative technologies for Autism Speaks, a leading autism research and advocacy organization.” To read further please click here:

Oct 27

Google Classroom Essentials Infographic

By: Alice Keeler
Google_edu-300x229“This Google Classroom essentials infographic shows some of the key items in Google Classroom. There is a lot more features this does not cover, including the student perspective. Check out the student guide to Google Classroom. I also have over 90 blog posts on Google Classroom at feel free to use this graphic with schools, teachers, students and in trainings. Please do not publish the graphic publicly” To read further please click here:

Oct 27

5 Ways to Accelerate your Digital Curriculum

By: Mark Barnes

techoo“If you have computers in your classroom, periodically use laptops or tablets or, better still, teach in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environment, you have a digital curriculum. You may not refer to your lessons and activities as a digital curriculum, but using technology for teaching and learning means you are going digital.

As this infograpic, by SoftChalk Cloud, suggests, rolling out the mobile laptop cart or inviting students to grab their smartphones doesn’t automatically lead to learning. A digital curriculum must have more than just objectives and hardware; it requires a clear strategy.You may be acknowledging the existence of your own digital curriculum and asking yourself,Do I just have technology, or do I have students learning with technology?It’s okay if you’re not sure right now; just make certain that you have a plan when you return to your classroom tomorrow. The infographic below is a good place to begin.” To read further please click here:

Oct 25

Assessment for Learning strategies

By: Kate Jones

learning1“AfL was initially an area of my teaching that I would describe as a weakness, especially the plenary task at the end of the lesson. I would find myself running out of time, rushing and not spending enough time on reflecting and setting targets. I’ve done lots of research into this area of teaching  from reading articles online by Dylan William, books including 100 ideas for Secondary teachers: Assessment for Learning by David Spendlove and finding what other teachers have shared online via Twitter, TES etc. I now feel more confident about my AfL strategies, that I have embedded into every lesson and not just including a more thorough plenary. Here are some strategies I have adapted and collected from other teachers and I have created myself. These idea’s have been tried in my classroom and proven to be successful and other teachers have adapted these ideas to work within their lessons and with their students. ” To read further please click here:

Oct 25

5 YouTube science channels primary school teachers need to know about

By:Fran Barnes

Youtube“Why should primary teachers use YouTube?YouTube is now an essential part of the internet and for many young people, it’s almost entirely replaced TV. For every Minecraft tutorial out there, there’s an education channel dedicated to providing high-quality teaching content. And because it’s on YouTube, it’s completely free and a goldmine for primary teachers.We’ve listed channels below that are great for quickly getting up to speed on science topics and some that are great for showing to your class at the start of a lesson.

Our top five ‘science for all’ YouTube channels:

1. SciShow – really useful YouTube channel. Clear explanations of some tricky concepts. Lots of frequently asked, fun science questions. Has a collection of videos all about key figures in science (past and present), which would be perfect for children’s research.” To read further please click here:


Oct 24

How to Have Courageous Conversations With Your Child’s Teacher

By:Pernille Ripp

parents“Every year it has happened to me, you check your email or your voicemail not expecting much and there it is; a message from “that” parent that makes you so upset.  That message that makes you question everything you have been doing, everything you are trying to do.  And you cannot help but get a little angry, but get a little defensive, to immediately want to protect yourself rather than stop and think.  It is so hard sometimes being in a world where communication is so easy and words can be interpreted in a million ways.  And while those messages may seem hurtful at first, they can become the biggest inspiration for growth, if we let them.

No one sets out to be “that” parent.  No one sets out to send an email that can be read a million ways, to make a phone call that you know might dampen someone else’s day.  But sometimes we have to start the types of conversations that we hope to never have with our child’s teachers.  Sometimes we have to ask things that may be seen as questioning them.  And it is so hard.  Especially when you are a teacher and you know exactly how something can be taken.” To read further please click here:

Oct 24

Reaching The Community With Periscope

By:Steven Anderson

periscopee“I am on the road a lot. Traveling the country, working with teachers and districts to improve the way they use technology and bridge the gaps in the way they communicate with their communities. And while I have the best job in the world, that means I miss many opportunities to be involved with my first grader and what’s happening in her school. Parent-Teacher Conferences, After-School Events, other meetings, are just out of reach.

Or are they?

Periscope is a live video streaming app that lives on your mobile device. To broadcast, simply fire up the app, give the broadcast a title and go. No complex set-up. No special equipment needed. You carry around a full fledged broadcasting station in your pocket with the power of one app.

To view, one gets a notification on their device that a broadcast has begun and they can tune in. While watching they can type comments and even favorite individual parts of the broadcast by touching the heart in the bottom right.” To read further please click here:

Oct 23

Digital Spaces: 12 Best Practices for Multimedia Learning

By:Michelle Manno

happy-classroom“Google searches for “classroom design” or “science of classroom design” yield helpful results on how to set up your classroom for student success. Yet, with the increasing use of educational technology, student learning isn’t limited to the physical classroom. According to a 2012 study by Evergreen Education Group, roughly 275,000 students are enrolled full-time in online education.

The growing popularity of online education may be due, in large part, to innovations in multimedia learning and instruction, defined as “presenting words and pictures that are intended to foster learning” (Mayer and Moreno, 2003). Richard Mayer, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, identifies the essential pieces of multimedia learning in his 2001 study, 12 Principles of Multimedia Learning (PDF), which we’ll consider below.” To read further please click here:

Oct 23

Teach Students How to Email

By: Alice Keeler

Teach Email

Who taught you how to use email professionally? We’ve all been victim to the colleague who thinks an email is a book, replies to all with “thanks,” or does not include a subject line. Considering how much email we send as a professional, this tool should not be something we overlook with our students.

With so many schools having Google Apps for Education (GAfE), many students have email. This gives us the opportunity to  use the tool as a platform for assignments. Ask students to craft an email to demonstrate their learning. Include requirements such as “Send an email to your group and the teacher using BCC” or “Write an email with a subject line that indicates what class you are in.”” To read further please click here: