Sep 25

Examples Of Student Work From My ELL History Classes

By: Larry Ferlazzo

classdisplayI’ve previously written posts about using the 3-2-1 strategy in classes (see The Best Ways To Use “3-2-1″ As An Instructional Strategy) and about using inductive learning (see The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching).

I thought readers might be interested in seeing some work representative of what’s being typically done in my English Language Learner U.S. and World History classes using those two strategies.

First off, World History students read a chapter on Hunter-Gatherers and, after applying a number of reading strategies, had to create a poster with these elements:

* Three words they thought are critical to understanding the chapter, what they mean, and why they think the words are so important

* Two phrases critical to understanding the chapter and why they think they are important

* One quotation critical to understanding the chapter why they think the quotation is important

* A drawing representing something important about the chapter

Students then shared them in a “speed-dating” style with multiple classmates, including asking each other questions using an academic question-starter sheet ” To read further please click here:

Sep 25

Can We Talk About Sustained Silent Reading?

reading3By: Amber Rain Chandler

“I have this theory. One day I’ll write a dissertation about it, but for now, humor me. I think there’s a direct relationship between making middle school students write about their independent reading and the sudden onset of groans when they are then given time to read books of their choice.

Think about it. Early elementary students all seem to love reading, even as they struggle with it. Then, around 3rd or 4th grade, students are required to fill out reading logs, double entry journals, and the like. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all about accountability – but over the years I’ve heard all types of students express their dread when asked to “read for enjoyment” because they’ve always been required to write something while they’re supposedly falling in love with reading (that’s the point, right?).” To read further please click here:

Sep 24

The Ed Tech Toolkit : 5 Essential Tools for Teachers

Student_ledBy:Danny Nicholson

“Here’s a shortlist of 5 essential web-based tools that every teacher should have in their edtech arsenal. There are many more I’m sure but for this list I’m sticking to tools you can access via a web browser, rather than apps.

There’s another blog post brewing for essential iPad apps for teachers, but that’s something for another day. The tools in the list below can all be accessed by a simple classroom computer.

In addition to this list, I’d also add access to Google Drive/Apps for Education and/or Dropbox as a way of storing and sharing files. Being able to use these will depend on whether your school decides to block them or not.”To  read more

Sep 24

A Step By Step Guide On How to Create Assignments in Google Classroom

By: Med Kharbach

googless“Google Classroom allows you to easily create, share and collect assignments with your students paperlessly. Being integrated with other services such as Gmail, Drive and Google Docs, Classroom provides teachers with an intuitive platform preeminently geared towards enhancing the assignment flow between teachers and students.

As a teacher, you have access to several features related to your assignments. You can, for example, use the same assignment in different classes. You can also choose whether you want your students to work on individual copies of the assignment or work on the same copy. Moreover, Classroom lets you share individualized feedback with your students and track how they are  faring on their assignments.
Here is an illustrative visual from Google Class help page explaining the assignment flow between teachers and students:” To read further please click here:

Sep 23

Appreciating Terrific Teachers: 10 Things Parents Can Do to Show Their Support

By: Angela Stockman

teacher6“October typically marks the end of the back-to-school honeymoon in our home, and this year, the transition has been easier than ever. My daughter Laura is a freshman in college this year, and my daughter Nina is a high school sophomore. Both girls are enjoying their classes and thoroughly appreciating their teachers, and I can’t tell you the satisfaction this brings to our entire family.

Each day, one of them has a new story to share about something they’re learning, something they’re discovering about themselves as learners, or something their teachers have done that they deeply appreciate. My children are older, and they certainly aren’t clamoring for my up close and personal involvement in their schooling, but a huge part of me wishes I could follow them around to all of their classes. I’d love to be able to thank their terrific teachers in person each day because I know from experience that this is a rare occurrence.

I’m wondering what you do to support the terrific teachers who serve your family so well. These are the best ideas I’ve gathered over the years. Some are my own, and in fact, some of my kids’ former teachers may recognize them.  A few of these things were inspired by my friends and by the kindness of my colleagues too, though. If you have an idea to share, I hope that you’ll jump into the comments. This is certainly a list that’s worth building on.” To read further please click here:

Sep 23

A Brilliant Resource For Students That Think They Hate Writing

By: Ken Haynes

homework“As teachers and parents bemoan – and studies affirm – more technology has not necessarily translated into improved writing skills for most students.

In fact, the negative effects of excess screen time and shorter attention spans due to social media are corroborated by recent studies that show only a quarter of American high school students are proficient in writing assessments, and one out of five have “below basic” writing skills.

But teachers must stick to the curriculum, and with all that they have on their plates to address the ever-evolving standards of learning, there is very little extra time in the school day to devote to improving students’ writing. As a former teacher, assistant principal and writing program director, I know firsthand that helping students improve their writing skills requires a solution that’s engaging, easy to use and academically effective.

That’s why I left the classroom to help develop a solution: BoomWriter, a free, interactive, web-based platform for group writing that engages students in writing projects for all subject areas to help them improve their vocabulary and develop their nonfiction writing and storytelling skills.

Teachers are realizing the benefits of BoomWriter in more than 25,000 classrooms in 60 countries, along with the poetic justice of using technology to undo some of the negative effects of technology on their students.” To read further please click here:

Sep 22

4 Reasons to Promote Math Success through Games

By: Shannon Duncan

mathema“Why do educators try to use games for learning, especially with math content? Is it just to make learning fun? This is an important question; we see the difference in achievement when students are engaged and participating. So making learning fun is a big part of our goal.

However, I’ve discovered that the best kinds of game-based math learning will actually boost students’—and teachers’—ability to reason, understand underlying concepts and find solutions to complex math problems.

These are some thoughts I’ve collected from my 13 years of experience with game-based math learning. But this is just a jumping-off point. The goal for educators is to continue finding and facilitating the kind of instructional activities that help students understand the concepts behind the math problems—games that motivate them to find creative solutions and take an active part in accelerating their own learning. Imagine if this could happen while they’re having fun!

Here are some reasons to work toward creating transformative game-based learning opportunities:” To read further please click here:

Sep 22

Google Classroom: Link to Other Google Classes

By: Alice Keeler

goog“One thing I love about Google Classroom is that it is not rostered. I can create a Google Classroom class for any purpose. After school club, collaboration groups for my students, differentiated spaces, special projects, challenge activities, remediation resources, etc…

          Class Within a Class

There are many good reasons to have multiple Google Classroom classes within a single class. For example if I teach high school algebra I can create an additional Google Classroom class for

  • Practice resources. Skills such as common denominator can be challenging for some algebra students, but is not part of the Algebra curriculum. Provide videos, digital practice quizzes and other resources to help support students with pre requisite skills.
  • Problem of the week. I might want to create a Google Classroom class to allow students to explore challenging problems. Since the problems are optional I would not want to put them in my regular class as if it were an assignment.
  • Differentiated project groups. If students are working in groups on real world problems that demonstrate “persevering in problem solving.” The projects require students to add to it and work over it a long period of time. A separate class might be the way to organize that.”To read further please click here:
Sep 21

A Simple Tool to Create Stunning Video Animations for Your Class

By: Med Kharbach

VIDEO IN CLASS“Biteable is a web-based tool that allows you to create beautiful explainer videos to share with your students. Explainer videos are short animated clips that make use of a wide variety of visuals and multimedia materials to communicate a message in a concise and comprehensible way. You probably have already seen some examples of Explainer videos on ads played on YouTube, several companies use this kind of videos to advertise their products.
However, as a teacher, you can create explainer videos to explain key concepts, create instructional guides and tutorials to share with students and many more. You don’t need advanced video editing skills to useBiteable” To read further please click here:

Sep 21

Don’t Apologize for Using Pen and Paper

By:Jennifer Hogan

cbt“Working at school with a 1:1 Chromebook initiative, there is an expectation that technology will be used in the classroom, and most of our teachers are proficient in using online learning management systems such as Canvas or Google Classroom.  A lot of our teachers will bring their Chromebooks to meetings to use to take notes, schedule future meetings, or access other information.
Sometimes, teachers will come with paper and pen. Most of the time, when they do bring paper and pen, they apologize or share why they didn’t bring their Chromebooks. They’ve also apologized for having their students to take notes on paper instead of on their Chromebook.
To ALL teachers everywhere who want apologize: Don’t!”To read further please click here:

Sep 20

4 Inexpensive (or Free) Google Apps That Help Students Collaborate

By: Steven Anderson

studentsss4“Bringing technology into the classroom can feel like an uphill battle. But as we know, engaging with students on devices and platforms that they are already comfortable with creates a better, more natural learning environment.

In addition to helping teachers modify curricula for different learning styles, classroom technology also primes students for research and collaboration in higher education and beyond. In fact, 83% of organizations support tablets in the workplace, according to a2015 Spiceworks survey. That number is only growing.
Here are four Android™ apps—available through Google Play for Education—that enhance collaboration and make the most of limited school budgets. All are supported on smartphones, tablets and Chromebooks.

A free thought-mapping tool that helps students organize their ideas by creating visual diagrams with little assistance from their teacher. Students can share their mind maps in small groups. Grades: 3 to 12. Subjects: All.” To read further please click here:

Sep 20

Five Essentials for Basic Classroom Management

By: Chris Lambert

classroom555” Classroom management. It’s the one thing you wish they had covered more extensively in your educator prep program. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of easy solutions to share. The book won’t give you all the answers to the challenges you will face throughout your tenure as an educator. It’s something that develops slowly throughout a career, constantly in adjustment, and constantly revised and reworked. Although there’s no “one size fits all” for classroom management, Education World has some tips for how to begin thinking about the facilitation of your classroom’s natural personality.

Meet the parents.  Including the parents and guardians of your child into your behavioral and academic plans can be an incredibly powerful tool in any educator’s toolbox. ” To read further please click here:

Sep 20

Do Educational Books Impede Our Progress?

By:Ross Cooper

books“A few months ago I was consulting with a principal who was planning to roll out differentiated instruction professional development in her school. A great deal of this planning time was dedicated to researching/deciding what book should serve as the basis for the learning.

After some conversation we started to ask ourselves if it was truly necessary to distribute a book to the teachers.

The Problems and The Solutions

When promoting change, we want to avoid or eliminate as many obstacles as possible, but often times we are creating yet another obstacle when we place a book in the hands of our coworkers.

Here are three ways in which books can impede our progress, along with a solution or two for each potential problem:” To read further please click here:

Sep 19

Skype Connects Classrooms With Field Trips Around the World

By:Frank Smith

skype“Skype’s video chats have developed into an innovative tool for global classroom collaboration.

With today’s connected classrooms, field trips aren’t limited to your county, your state or even your country. Students are taking virtual field trips to some of the world’s most amazing locales with experts as their guides, thanks to Skype.

Skype field trips allow educators to let their students experience the world. The website hosts a series of tours covering a wide range of educational subjects. For example, students can interview a Yellowstone National Park ranger to learn more about geology, ecology and more from the historic park; learn about the endangered African penguin, and speak with an underwater videographer and shark diver.

The tours are free and last from 15 minutes to an hour.

Another popular way to use Skype in the classroom is Mystery Skype, a global guessing game that connects classrooms from around the world. In 2014, Today Show host Natalie Moralesparticipated in a Mystery Skype experience that connected two classrooms 4,000 miles apart.” To read further please click here:

Sep 19

How To “Amp Up” Your Traditional Lesson Planning in Today’s Classrooms

By:Erin Klein

lesson planning“Any observer can see the vast amount of student collaboration transpiring online from teachers sharing their classroom practices via Twitter chats, class blogs or websites, Instagram, Periscope and more.  Likewise, we see the rich discussion educators are having about their pedagogical practices on weekly Twitter chats, Facebook groups, blog post comments, and more.  However, what happens next?  Granted, we (as educators) are pushing each other’s thinking and offering ideas, but how are we taking our practice a step further and truly connecting with those who we collaborate with online?
I recently shared about a great [New] resource to find content.  In my recent post titled, “Google + Pinterest + Dropbox – a Lesson Planning Dream,” I share how users can find engaging resources, save them online, and share them openly.  In a follow up post, I share how you can use it for students and parents, too!  This resource is appoLearning.
appoLearning is about better teaching through digital resources. It can support teaching and learning in a variety of ways (many of which you will see in action below). appoLearning helps teachers prepare for class lessons by quickly searching through thousands of previously submitted lessons and collections (I’ll talk more about collections in a moment) and enables teachers for the very first time to move into a next generation of real world collaboration through use of their platform. The best part of appoLearning though it allows me to not only share resources but to also have conversations around those specific resources as I collaborate with others in more meaningful ways.”: To read further please click here:

Sep 19

Getting in on the Green Screen Scene

By:Justin Birckbichler

greenscreensMy fourth grade students have met George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Robert E. Lee. They have traveled from the forest to the desert to the beach in a matter of seconds. How is this possible? Through the magic of green screens.

What are green screens? They are exactly that; a green (or sometimes blue) surface that actors perform in front of, to which digital effects are added. Sorry to burst your bubble, but Chris Hemsworth really can’t fly [Ed. Note- WHAT!?! Lies!], Sandra Bullock really didn’t float through space, and The Great Gatsby wasn’t really filmed in 1920s NYC. Through movie magic, actors can travel to any place imaginable: past, present, or future.

As with any educational technology endeavor, it is critical to understand why you should implement this into your classroom. Do you teach history, science, or language arts? Can you take your students back to the founding of America, shrink your students down to explore an atom, or have them travel to any setting they wish? With a green screen, the answer is yes. You can create a more immersive experience for your students, which in turn will help them to remember the lesson for years to come. Additionally, it becomes a more fun and engaging experience, which is something that all students need.”To read further please click here:

Sep 19

Schooling the Terrible Teacher: 10 Things Parents Should Never Do

By:Angela Stockman

teachh“If you’re the parent of school-aged children, you’re probably still well acquainted with 4:00 am. This is when you once fed your hungry babies and nursed them through bouts of whooping cough, ear infections, and tummy aches that shook you out of your dreamless half-sleep. Those were the days when you assumed you’d return to full nights of sleep once your babies grew older and started school, weren’t they? Yeah, me too. Ah, to be young and naive.

While it’s true that the parents of school-aged children may have more hours of uninterrupted sleep available to them, when their kids are unhappy, it goes unused. Those babies eventually go to school, and when they do, they introduce us to a world of new dilemmas: foreign routines, separation anxiety, learning problems, performance issues, and social tension.

Great teachers help children assess their strengths and needs. They help them develop a growth mindset and self-advocacy skills that help them negotiate the scary stuff and thrive. They teach kids how to name what they need, and they work hard to help them get those needs met, even if it means changing their preferred approaches or plans.” To read further please click here:

Sep 18

Homework: Give It Purpose or Give It Death!

By:Jeff Zoul & Marcia Faust

homewoerk2“My daughter, Jordyn, is 21 and a senior in college. Marcie’s daughter, Valerie, is a 9-year-old third grader. In commiserating with Marcie about Valerie’s recent homework experiences, we realized that not much has changed in the quality of homework assignments during the 12 years that have passed since Jordyn finished, and Valerie began, third grade. Marcie became so frustrated with the inane assignments her daughter was expected to complete that she posted this video capturing her daughter completing a word search (38 minutes that neither of them will ever get back) on a recent evening:” To read further please click here:

Sep 18

How To Make The Most Of Your 10 Minutes With The Teacher

By: “Elissa Nadworny

parents“So you finally get the chance to meet one-on-one with your child’s teacher — now what?

Like a good Scout, be prepared: Educators agree that doing your homework before a parent-teacher conference can make a big difference.

The Harvard Family Research Project’s Tip Sheet for Parents suggests reviewing your child’s work, grades and past teacher feedback. Ask your child about his experience at school and make a list of questions ahead of time to ask during the — a website that matches parents with child caregivers — created a list of questions to print out and take with you.

A good parent-teacher conference, experts say, should cover three major topics: the child, the classroom and the future.

The Child

Most experts suggest telling the teacher about your child. Describe what they’re like at home, what interests and excites them, and explain any issues at home that may be affecting your child at school.” To read further please click here:

Sep 18

How Technology Should Have Already Changed Your Teaching

By: Terry Heick

tech friendly class“A little bit of technology doesn’t change much. Can make things a little easier by automating them. It could make a lesson here or there gee-wiz flashy, or even engage hesitant students. Tacked-on learning technology can do this.

But deep integration of technology–real at-the-marrow fusion of learning model, curriculum, and #edtech? That changes everything.

10 Ways Technology Has Changed Education: The Iconic Actions #edtech Should Disrupt

1. Giving letter grades

You may need appreciate the way gamification can improve the visibility of the entire learning process. You may dislike standards-based reporting, using labels like “proficient,” or grading with a 1-3 scale. You may not even like pass/fail.

This is okay. With technology, the name of the game is publishing. Sharing. Fluid documents and processes. Iteration. Reflection. Crowdsourcing. Digital communities. Authenticity.

You can still give letter grades–the parents will revolt and the children may be confused if you don’t. Give them whatever grade makes them feel better. But use technology to provide the kind of self-awareness and self-directed revision of work that a letter grade could never promote.” To read further please click here:

Sep 17

Elementary Classroom: Making the Most of the First Month


classroom-to-classroom“Starting off school in the right way is important, as it is in many areas of life. Folks at Responsive Classroom have been studying this process in grades K–6 for years, and have compiled great advice. I’d like to share with you some essential ideas, from them, and from my own experiences in schools.

Setting Goals

The first month of school is about inspiration and security. It may sound like an odd combination, but it’s what kids need. Specifically, your first 30 days should explicitly address the following five things:

  1. Create a sense of belonging and purpose. Students are part of a school and a class that are special and for which students’ presence and attendance are important.
  2. Learn classmates’ names and something about them. Keep it simple and age-appropriate.
  3. Learn and practice some key routines. Routines provide reassurance and a sense of security for students. Take ample time to cover these and practice them. Remember, what is routine for you is likely still a source of apprehension for many students.
  4. Feel excited and motivated about what’s to come. Give kids a sense of how what they will learn will help them.
  5. Reassure and excite parents. Communicate to parents before and during the first week much more about the exciting things to come and your care for their children than about requirements and tests.” To read further please click here:
Sep 17

A warning about computers in the classroom

By: Erik  Sherman

ipad in class“When it comes to improving education, many have pointed to the importance of technology in the classroom. Using computers is supposed to make students more excited to learn, enable them to absorb concepts at their own pace and stay focused for longer periods.

However, that may not be the case, according to a new study from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, a global group with 34 member countries interested in progress and world trade. According to the OECD’s results, “students who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in reading, even after accounting for students’ background.” And difficulty in reading could also hamper advancement in mathematics and science.

The self-described “first-of-its-kind internationally comparative analysis” of digital skills and learning environments found “no appreciable improvements in student achievement in reading, mathematics or science in the countries that had invested heavily in (information and communication technology, or ICT) for education.”” To read further please click here:



Sep 17

The Benefits of Music and Music Therapy For Children With Special Needs

By: Kris Cullum

special needs“Music can be a motivating and fun way to teach all children and in particular children who have special learning needs. It’s unquestionable that through the medium of music many essential and enabling life skills can be learned and thebenefits that playing and learning music can have on a child’s growth and development are immeasurable.

All children have the same need to express themselves and playing a musical instrument can provide an outlet for creative and emotional expression. When we think of music we don’t often think of it as therapy. But it can be.

The playing of good quality percussion instruments during music therapy sessions can be of inestimable value for children who have difficulties in hearing, seeing, moving, thinking or responding. Each can experience the music in their own unique way. The music isn’t the goal of music therapy. Cognitive stimulation, self-expression, self-awareness. Increased motor movements are some of the goals that music therapy can focus on and the music itself is simply a tool to achieve these goals.” To read further please click here:

Sep 16

The Classroom Video Manifesto: Resources, ideas and more

By: Matt Miller

VIDEO IN CLASS“Every day, millions of hours of YouTube videos are watched by its 1 billion users. Every minute, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube.

It’s no surprise that video engages students in our classrooms.

It’s in their pockets — on the mobile devices that many of them come to school with every day. (Or their parents’ devices that they love to use …)

It’s on their minds — the viral videos that “everybody is watching” are a common topic of conversation at school at ALL levels.

It’s on their fingertips — clicking “record” to save their moments, whether they’re publishing them or not.

Instagram – where many teens and tweens are posting videos and pictures — is growing by leaps and bounds. It has more users than Twitter as of the beginning of 2015. More than half of young adults (18 to 29) are on Instagram and a quarter of U.S. adults.”To read further please click here


Sep 16

Twitter With Meaning? 5 Authentic Roles For Twitter In Your School

By: TeachThought Staff

teaching-with-twitter-fi“We’ve theorized before that learning through social networks is the future. Twitter in the classroom? This is also an idea we’ve covered in the past.

But what about a simple process for schools to use begin using twitter meaningfully? With that question in mind, and in conjunction with USC Rossier School of Education, we developed the following graphic. We kept it basic with 5 pathways: Resources, Student Learning, PLNs, Emerging Trends, And PD.

5 Authentic Roles For Twitter In Your School

  1. Find resources
  2. Develop Student Thinking
  3. Help Teachers Engage With A Global Professional Learning Network (See also 20 Ways To Improve Your PLN)
  4. Monitor Emerging Trends
  5. Find Professional Development

To read further please click here:

Sep 16

A Look at Blogging in the Classroom as we Start a new School Year

By: Mike Wallagher

blog11“Blogs Seeing More Academic Use as ePortfolio Platform, and for Collaboration, Discussion, & Resource Sharing

In 2013, reported that 74 percent of teachers agree that technology in the classroom helps motivate students to learn and allows teachers to reinforce learning concepts. Furthermore, 68 percent expressed an interest in having more technology in the classroom.

So where have the last two years taken us? Classrooms are becoming more and more technology focused. Online class enrollment, for instance, increased by 4.68 percent from 2013 to 2014. Previous research projected that at least 25 million students would be taking an online course by 2015.

With the rise of technology in the classroom, students are interacting with computers, tablets, and video chat software more than ever before, but there’s still one technology concept that is still working its way into the everyday classroom: Blogging. Read on to learn more about the state of blogging in the classroom in 2015.

About The Edublogger Research

If you sought definitive feedback on how many classrooms, teachers, and students currently use blogging, the question would probably yield few well researched statistics. The concept continues to emerge and not a lot of research has been done on the subject.Edublogs, a leading educational-oriented blogging platform, however, is one institution that has researched the topic.”To read further please click here:

Sep 15

12 Emerging Educational Uses of Technology That Are Most Exciting Right Now

By:Kelly Walsh

technologggy“As we Enter a new School Year, Which Uses of Technology Hold the Most Promise to Impact Learning?

Well, it’s that time of year again … the start of a new school year. With it often comes the irresistible urge to make another list, or even better … many lists! Lists help us to plan, and they can also help us reflect and assess.One list I really enjoy putting together as we head into a new academic year is an updated look at which educational uses of technology have shown the most promise over the last year. Which tools and techniques most excite me as I look forward to another year of striving for continuous improvement as a teacher, technologist, and #edtech advocate? And as different technology uses take the spotlight, which are standing out a little less?So, looking back and thinking forward, here are a dozen instructional uses of technology that are the most compelling right now. Some of these are BIG ideas, driving real change in our classrooms and schools, and some are simpler concepts that are making small but meaningful changes in how we engage our students on a day to day basis.

Augmented Reality

AR is just so much fun and comes in many different flavors.” To read further please click here:

Sep 15

Getting real about grit: 6 things every teacher needs to know

By: Angela Watson

grit““Grit” is a huge buzzword right now that’s used to refer to perseverance and resilience. Many schools are rushing to adopt grit curriculums and character education programs so they can teach their students about how to put in the effort and determination that’s needed in order to be successful.

But here’s the thing about grit. I’ve done a lot of research on this topic, and I’ve seen grit get a lot of pushback because it’s been misused and misinterpreted. And while I believe in the value of teaching grit to students, I think we as educators have the responsibility to be informed about what being “gritty” really means, and what it doesn’t mean.


Let me first define what grit is NOT.

1. Grit is NOT an excuse for giving boring, inauthentic assignments.

We can’t photocopy a stack of multiple choice worksheets and call that our lesson, and then accuse students of not showing enough grit when they’re disengaged. We can’t fill the school day with busywork and rote learning and then blame kids’ lack of growth on the fact that they didn’t try hard enough. Grit is not supposed to be a guilt trip that places a burden on someone to complete meaningless tasks.

Grit is about persevering toward goals that we care about. We have to give kids real problems to solve. We have to make their learning matter in the real world. Yes, they need to take the responsibility for learning, but we have to give them things worth learning about. We have to empower them to take on student-led projects, and teach them how to take ownership of their learning.” To read further please click here:

Sep 14

Distance learning taps in to virtual reality technology

By: Lucy Jolin

untitled“Eddie Chauncy is no stranger to traditional universities – he already holds a degree in English literature from Cambridge. But 20 years after first graduating, when he realised that a knowledge of psychology would benefit his career as a business and finance trainer, he chose to study with the Open University (OU).

“I knew the OU from when I was a kid and I used to watch the maths lessons on TV,” says Chauncy, who graduated from the OU with a psychology degree in 2012. “I’d recommended it to one of my delegates and when I got home that night, I thought: why don’t I make a life change as well? My children were coming to the end of their schooling and my son was doing A-levels, so I had to be around to support him. I also had to earn a living. So it was the only option that worked. It was a wonderful experience and really helped me move forward with the kind of training I could offer.”

Distance learning is a much better fit for people like Chauncy, says Julie Stone, director of online learning at the University of Derby, points out. “Online learning offers a number of benefits that face-to-face campus based studies can’t – namely around flexibility,” she says. “People can learn at a time and place that suits them, fitting study time around work and family commitments. Few mature students can commit to fixed campus-based lectures week in, week out and technological advancements have enabled people to gain a respected education through online methods.””To read further please click here:

Sep 14

70 Practical Things Every Teacher Should Know

By:Terry Heick

teacher“Recently I found out that my best friend is in school to become a teacher.

David (I call him Gravy. Or Big Bear. Long story.) kept this one quiet–had no idea until he was already in school and taking classes. To be fair, we’re not 17 anymore. I’ve known him for 30 years, and it’s easier to hang out at 15 than 40. Life slides right on by.

This is a second (or third) career for him having spent most of his life doing craftsmanship of various kinds. He told me some of the things they’re studying in his teacher prep program, and he asked me if I thought it was valuable. Certainly having a solid base in theory makes sense, but the interviews he was doing with educators–“Why did you become a teacher?”–seemed only vaguely useful to respond to the demands of his newly-chosen craft.

In response, I created a list of random things teachers have to know in order to survive. I’ve written lists like this before, as well as lessons on teacher survival. I’ve written about How To Burn Yourself Out As A Teacher. Some of these ideas overlap, but the big idea of this list is to show the wide range of things teachers have to know that are actually practical. Useful. A daily matter of survival. The hammers and nails and screwdrivers and saws and ladders of teaching.

So, to the list. I didn’t get too Terry Heick with it. Kept the talk about wisdom and students-as-human-beings, and thought, and learning models, and compelling technology use, and play, and self-direction, and inquiry to a minimum. The rule here is day to day practicality.

There are 70. Why 70? I don’t know. I had 40 and they kept coming. I stopped at 68, but then had two more. So it’s 70. That may be too many. That in and of itself may reduce the practicality of this list. Maybe numbering things instead of waxing on poetic will help there. I may add more. Add yours to the comments below.”To read further please click here: