- Why mistakes help deepen students’ learning Allowing students to make mistakes and become frustrated puts them on a path to deeper learning as their struggle can help lead them to a better grasp of the material, according to instructional coach David Ginsburg. Teachers should anticipate students’ mistakes, allow them to make the errors and have a plan to help them troubleshoot, Ginsburg writes. Education Week Teacher/Coach G’s Teaching Tips blog (1/2)
- Ideas on differentiating instruction to meet students’ needs Educators and experts reflect in a blog post on best practices for differentiating instruction to meet students’ individual needs. Among them, authors Kimberly Kappler Hewitt and Daniel K. Weckstein suggest that differentiating is an ongoing commitment rather than a list of strategies, while Megan Allen, Florida’s 2010 State Teacher of the Year, advocates differentiated “construction” that can and should be applied to all subjects, not just guided reading. Education Week Teacher/Classroom Q&A blog
- 5 Things I Have Learned From Students About Education Technology… Sometimes as I write about what I am teaching my students in the high school, it probably makes it seem as if that is a one-way street. The truth of the matter is that it is often a two-way conversation that is very healthy. I thought I would write about a few of the things I have learned from the students I teach:
- Four Types of Assessment and How They Can Be Used – In this Education Week item, Sarah Sparks compares the key characteristics of different approaches to gathering and using student learning data:
- Formative learning assessment – Teaching students how to set goals for their learning, identify their growth toward those goals, evaluate the quality of their work, and identify strategies to improve.
- Formative diagnostic assessment – Frequent on-the-spot checks of students’ progress to pinpoint learning problems and identify strategies to improve teaching and learning.
- Benchmark or interim assessment – Periodic during-the-year tests (perhaps quarterly) to compare students’ understanding or performance in a curriculum unit (or a semester) against a set of uniform standards.
- Summative assessment – Year-end (or end-of-course) tests to compare students’ performance against a set of uniform standards.
“Types of Assessments: A Head-to-Head Comparison” by Sarah Sparks in Education Week, November 11, 2015 (Vol. 35, #12, p. S3), http://bit.ly/1QHx4aV; these two Education Week videos http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/formative-assessment-videos.html show fourth-grade teachers modeling formative assessment strategies.
- Build Your Own Books – Textbooks are a multi-billion dollar industry — an estimated $3.5 billion for the K-12 market alone. But the growing availability of digital content and open educational resources (OER) is giving schools the opportunity to bypass some of the traditional expenses of textbook purchasing. It’s also giving teachers the opportunities to build their own textbooks.
Technology In the Classroom
- How digital content helps teachers customize textbooks Teachers can customize textbooks using available digital and open educational resources, writes journalist Audrey Watters. Having teachers help build digital textbooks allows them to deliver relevant instruction and align textbooks with lesson plans, Watters writes. She suggests resources to help teachers create their own texts. Edutopia.org/Audrey Watters’ blog
- Can iPads help schools differentiate instruction? Some educators in Olympia, Wash., schools are using iPad tablet computers as part of a pilot program aimed at using the devices to differentiate instruction for students. “We’re really trying to get our teachers to meet the needs of the learner, and the iPads are able to accommodate that for different learning styles,” Olympia High School principal Matt Grant said. Students use the devices in class for numerous tasks, including working on assignments, taking notes and listening to audio books. The Olympian (Olympia, WA)
- District considers allowing students, teachers to use Twitter School district officials in Chappaqua, N.Y., are considering changing the district’s social media policy to allow the use of Twitter for academic purposes. The proposed change, prompted by requests by educators to use the microblogging site as part of classroom instruction, would have students and teachers using accounts that are registered with district-issued e-mail accounts. Patch.com/Chappaqua-Mount Kisco, N.Y.
- How to help teachers find online resources for lessons High-school English teacher and technology-integration specialist Nicholas Provenzano offers four suggestions for educators who need online resources to support their lessons. He suggests asking questions that help narrow down the search, sharing the results of a Google search on a particular lesson topic, using social-bookmarking tools to develop collections of resources and consulting other professionals using Twitter. Edutopia.org/Nicholas Provenzano’s blog (12/20)
- 5 basics for using Facebook in the classroom There are five fundamentals that educators need to know when incorporating Facebook into classroom lessons, says Linda Fogg-Phillips, Facebook’s adviser on education. Among them, teachers should be sure to use the site’s privacy settings to control the information they share, realizing that some information, such as name, city and “likes,” is never private, she writes. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/SchoolBook blog
- Digital literacy in the classroom Technology should be part of the daily routine in schools, writes ASCD EDge user Celina Brennan. “Students should have frequent access in an authentic manner,” says Brennan, adding that tools such as blogs and digital cameras can help students share their thoughts and foster collaboration. In her recent blog post, Brennan explains what digital literacy is, how to incorporate it into the classroom and professional development, and more. Read on.
- 6 design elements of a successful high-tech classroom Successful 21st century classrooms are not just filled with technology, but designed to maximize the benefits of technology on student learning. Key elements of such classrooms include furniture designed and arranged to support collaboration, enough electrical outlets to provide adequate power supply to charge students’ and teachers’ devices and a “smart” teacher lectern equipped with USB ports and other features. T.H.E. Journal
- The All-Digital How to create engaging lessons using mobile technologySchool Technology Director Anthony Luscre suggests in a blog that educators capitalize on students’ engagement with mobile devices as communication tools to provide more dynamic and interactive learning opportunities. Luscre debunks common concerns about using the devices for lessons, suggesting that teachers utilize the many websites that are not commonly blocked by school filters and recognize texting and tweeting as modern-day vehicles for student writing. T.H.E. Journal
- Teacher Uses Cell Phones in the Classroom – You won’t find Willyn Webb telling her high school students to put away their cell phones, even though they are technically banned in her Colorado district. She’s been using cell phones to augment her lessons at Delta County Opportunity School for years. It all started when she forgot a stopwatch to time a student’s speech, and another student whipped out a cell phone and used its built-in timer.
- Should blogs be used to replace the traditional term paper? More educators in the U.S. are replacing traditional academic research papers with blogs as a vehicle for teaching writing to students. Advocates of the method, including Duke University English Professor Cathy N. Davidson, argue that the medium is more fun and engaging for students. But critics defend the traditional term paper, saying it requires more student reading and is a better tool for teaching students critical-thinking and other important skills needed in the job market.The New York Times (tiered subscription model)
- Note Taking on The iPad – http://www.darcynorman.net/2012/02/12/on-note-taking-on-an-ipad/
- Redefining Instruction With Technology – 5 Essential Steps – In the fall of 2010, I was awarded a grant that brought 32 iPads to my classroom. I had high hopes that this would revolutionize teaching and learning in my class. These devices would help me to create a magical, collaborative learning environment that met all my students’ individual needs. These seemed like lofty goals—but they all came true. Eventually. First, I had to learn a hard lesson: Just bringing new technology in your classroom and working it into day-to-day routines isn’t enough.
- How technology has transformed learning The emergence of widespread Internet connectivity, social networking and mobile computing all have contributed to the creation of a new type of learner, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. “These three elements together have changed the context of learning,” said Lee Rainie, director of the center’s Internet and American Life Project. Students today are more self-directed, more inclined to collaborate and rely on feedback from peers, and are better-equipped to obtain information, the article states. T.H.E. Journal
- Students gain independence through technology Special-education students at a New Jersey elementary school are using iPads, laptops and other technology to learn and communicate. “Using technology like this fosters independence and that’s what we want for all of our children, regardless of what grade they are in,” said Jill Troisi, a physical therapist and member of the district’s Assistive Technology Team. “We would rather provide students with a device than send them out of district to a private institution,” she added.Patch.com/Wayne, N.J. (1/30)
- 9 Web 2.0 Tools to Publish Student Work -Publishing content online in eye-catching formats is easier than ever. Use these easy-to-use tools to publish, share and celebrate student work. Students love to publish their projects online and share with their family and friends. Use these easy-to-use tools to publish, share and celebrate student work. For example, in the article Harvest time, a season for learning, several project ideas were mentioned for cross-curricular integration of the fall season. The following web 2.0 tools would be perfect to showcase these types of student projects.
- 5 Ways Twitter Strengthens a School’s Learning Community – This year, our k-6 staff began learning in a new virtual way using Twitter. After a couple staff in-service trainings and after school workshops, parents and teachers ventured into this new educational Twitterverse.
- ProProfs Flashcards – Create online flash cards with ProProfs free flashcards maker. Perfect for printable, downloadable flash cards or online study using free flashcards software.
Library as a Media Center
- School incorporates technology into hybrid library design Officials at Simsbury High School in Connecticut have created a new hybrid library that combines the technology of a modern media center with the physical space and some print resources of a more traditional school library. The new design allows students a place to collaborate on projects, download titles for their e-readers and receive instruction in information literacy. T.H.E. Journal
Creating a Professional Learning Network (PLN)
What is a PLN? A PLN is a way for you to make connections and share ideas and resources. You have one with colleagues that you work with. You can also have one online where you can reach and connect with educators from around the state, country, and world. Talk about a great resource! And, it doesn’t cost anything!
Functions of a PLN: Connect – Collaborate – Contribute
Benefits of a PLN: Teachers become: Aware, Connected, Empowered, Confident, LEARNERS! (oh, and everything listed here is FREE!)
How to get started with a PLN:
Sign up for an account with one of the resources. Start looking around and find people and groups with the same interests as you.
Ning-Classroom 2.0, Discovery Educator Network, PBS Teacher Connect and Google Educators Forum
are great places to start. (see links below)
With Twitter – follow someone you know, like me (@daveandcori) and see who they follow.
Some other educators to follow on Twitter: @rmbyrne, @web20classroom. Search for blogs and web sites that cover topics you are interested in and subscribe to them via email or RSS feed. See who they follow and blogs they subscribe to also.
Resources for PLN:
Ning – http://www.ning.com/ – host collaborative communities.
Classroom 2.0 – http://www.classroom20.com/ – Great site for 21st Century Learning
Educator’s PLN – great site to use for creating a PLN
Twitter for Educators – interact – 140 character messages, conversations, share resources.
http://twitter4teachers.pbworks.com/ – great place to find great people to follow.
Hastags – “#” – #edchat – Tuesdays at 7pm – great discussion! “@” is in front of username
Creativity in The Classroom
· Iowa State University – Techniques for Creative Teachinghttp://www.celt.iastate.edu/teaching-resources/classroom-practice/teaching-techniques-strategies/creativity/techniques-creative-teaching/
· Teaching for Creativity: Two Dozen Tips –http://www.cdl.org/articles/teaching-for-creativity-two-dozen-tips/