September 19, 2014
Highlighting vocabulary words; underlining passages; drawing stars and smiley faces in the margins—these are the hallmarks of ninth grade English class. Students are encouraged to interact with the text, almost holding a conversation with it, so they can be prepared to comment and discuss. Yet when the teacher prompts her class—“Does anyone have something interesting to share about the reading from last night?”—she is greeted with silence, broken only by light whispers of book pages.
Most of us remember these uncomfortable moments the same way we remember the awkward haircuts and wardrobes that accompanied them. But now, picture a computer screen covered in hashtags and “at” signs—#shakespeare and @3rdperiodenglish. Lively debate and direct quotes continue to fill the threads four hours after school has ended. Students upload pictures of their annotated texts and ask their classmates to help them understand the nuances of iambic pentameter.
via Bringing Twitter to the Classroom – The Atlantic.
September 18, 2014
One of the most intimidating aspects of infusing technology into curriculum is that educators often believe that they will have to master and then teach their students to use new technology tools before assigning a project. These concerns are understandable as our time for professional development is finite and school curricula are already packed. However, consider the impact if, rather than focusing on new tools, we explored the skills students need to learn and then incorporated the most effective digital resources to accomplish those objectives.
via When Students Get Creative With Tech Tools, Teachers Focus on Skills | MindShift.
September 18, 2014
MinecraftEdu is a school-ready remix of the original smash hit game Minecraft, played by over 30 million people worldwide. Created by teachers for classroom use and officially supported by Mojang, the company behind Minecraft, MinecraftEdu contains a set of powerful yet simple tools to fine-tune the Minecraft experience for learning. Teachers in over 40 countries use MinecraftEdu in every subject area from STEM to Language, to History, to Art.
September 18, 2014
A new generation of educational games is harnessing students’ love of video games and turning them into voracious learners — without them even realizing it.That’s the promise, anyway. Unlike previous educational games that functioned like glorified worksheets or tech-enhanced tests, the latest game developers say they are closer to figuring out how to unlock kids’ passion for gaming.While some programs still use video games as the primary mode of instruction, other developers think kids’ passion for gaming is so strong that they will want to build their own games.
via Latest games are finally unlocking the key to making learning more fun | The Hechinger Report.
September 12, 2014
How can technology infused into the curriculum promote the development of skills and attitudes for lifelong, self-directed learning?
In spite of the emphasis on the word “self”, Malcom Knowles (1975) suggested that self-directed learning often involved others – teacher, mentors and even friends as assistants in the learning process. Today in our digital society, with information doubling every 72 hours in an ongoing information explosion, that form of assistance may involve not only individuals that are close at hand, but individuals from around the globe. With the vast knowledge explosion there is not always a “sage on the stage” to direct the learner, but there are helpers available on the side even when they are across an ocean.
via Self-Directed Learning and Technology | LFA: Join The Conversation – Public School Insights.
September 11, 2014
As school districts around the country consider investments in technology in an effort to improve student outcomes, a new report (link is external)from the Alliance for Excellent Education (link is external) and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (link is external) (SCOPE) finds that technology – when implemented properly -can produce significant gains in student achievement and boost engagement, particularly among students most at risk.
“This report makes clear that districts must have a plan in place for how they will use technology before they make a purchase,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “It also underscores that replacing teachers with technology is not a successful formula. Instead, strong gains in achievement occur by pairing technology with classroom teachers who provide real-time support and encouragement to underserved students.”
via Report: Technology can close achievement gaps, improve learning | Stanford Graduate School of Education.
September 11, 2014
Instagram is a hugely popular social network for photo sharing. Though the use of social media in the classroom may have skyrocketed, Twitter and Facebook definitely reign supreme as the key social media tools for schools and teachers. Somehow, despite the widespread popularity of Instagram, few teachers are employing it in the classroom.We’ve heard from a few of you that your concerns lie in the privacy arena. Since sharing photos that may be of students in your classroom should obviously be a concern – make sure your classroom account is private. You can choose to have a single account for your class, which would be the ‘safest’ way of approaching these privacy concerns. The teacher should be the only one who can vet followers – and they should only be associated with the class parents, students, other classes in your school. Using a group hashtag for a particular project or theme is a good way to keep track of what they’re doing, eg: #edudemicclassproject14.
via 10 Ways To Use Instagram In Your Classroom | Edudemic.
September 5, 2014
If we were to tour schools across the country, we would see technology in many schools and classrooms. We’d see some students using mobile devices, laptops, interactive whiteboards and tablets to learn in new ways. We’d see many more students using devices to do what they’ve always done, such as take notes and search for information. The push to digital learning started decades ago, so why, when we talk about education, do we want to separate learning and technology? Students today don’t know a world without technology. We need teachers to evolve their practice to effectively facilitate student use of these new tools and resources to learn differently.
via The Missing Question: How Are Schools Using Technology? | LFA: Join The Conversation – Public School Insights.
September 4, 2014
Next gen tools provide meaningful ways teachers and students can explore, question, reflect and share–leading to Deeper Learning and blended and personalized opportunities for students. Here are 25 ideas for using next gen tools this year in your classroom.Rich Content. Next gen tools provide rich content for blended blocks of social studies, science, and math and help spur thought-provoking discussions, Socratic Seminars, writing prompts, and opportunities for extensions into real world settings. The tools below are multi-disciplinary and multi-sensory.
via 25 Next Gen Tools for the Inquiry Classroom | Getting Smart.
September 2, 2014
Starting this semester, all class materials — resources, content and assessments — for biology students at Walters State Community College in Tennessee will be available in digital form, accessible by mobile device.The new arrangement is the result of a partnership between the community college, which has about 10,000 students and four campuses throughout the state, and McGraw-Hill Education.This is the most recent development in Walters State’s three-year-long mEngage mobile learning initiative that has allowed the college to be named an Apple Distinguished program twice.
via Tennessee College To Offer All Biology Course Materials Via Mobile Devices — Campus Technology.