The Web20Classroom

5 Easy Ways To Make Your Digital Content Accessible To Everyone

The Web20Classroom

Reaghan is my oldest daughter and about to start third grade. At 2 years of age I noticed she wasn’t talking much and when she did talk you couldn’t really understand what she was trying to say. After talking to her pediatrician it was decided to have her evaluated for her speech.

Wanna Know If Students Are Learning? Ask Them These 4 Questions

The Web20Classroom

It can be a struggle to best help students understand what they are learning or for students to articulate their learning in meaningful ways. This was especially difficult for me starting out in on my teaching journey.

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Creating Learning Centers in a Blended Literacy Classroom

The Web20Classroom

Written with Shaelynn Farnsworth , post is sponsored by ThinkCERCA , an online platform designed to empower teachers to personalize literacy instruction across disciplines.

3 Ways To Encourage Creativity

The Web20Classroom

A while back I was having a conversation with a colleague about creativity in learning. We debated back and forth about what creativity looked like and could you really teach creativity. All this stemmed from a comment I made about me not being creative.

5 Costly Inventory Management Mistakes Schools Should Avoid

If your school is like most, inventory and/or asset management plays a critical role in daily operations.

Doing More With The Classroom Makerspace

The Web20Classroom

When I was 6 or 7 years old I was at home on a boring rainy weekend. Being an inquisitive kid and generally looking for mischief I found some tools in a closet and decided something in my house needed taking a apart.

4 Easy Ways To Improve Professional Learning

The Web20Classroom

Professional learning for educators comes in many flavors: Face-to-face, blended, online Content-driven, instructional practices, Edtech focused Faculty meeting, half-day, conference session If we were all to think long enough we could come up with a list of the best professional learning we've participated in and what made it great. For me it was learning where I connected to the presenter and the presentation immediately. And where the presenter helped me make connections to what I was learning and why it was important. We could probably make a much longer list of the professional learning that wasn't so great and why that was. For me it was the times where I was forced to sit in a room with other educators who didn't want to be there, learning something that was of little value, wasn't aligned to anything we were aware of and where our experience wasn't taken into consideration. What separates good from great professional learning isn't particular to one type of learning or one style of presenting. To improve professional learning I believe there are only four considerations anyone who delivers professional learning needs to focus on to improve. Create Communities of Practice -Perhaps one of the strongest and most rewarding ways to improve professional learning is to move from the one-off, disjointed learning events and move towards creating communities of practice (CoP). CoP's are formed when educators engage in a process of collective learning to improve their overall practice together. The purpose is to bring all voices to the table to learn and grow together. Everyone from educators to leaders to coaches should be participating as a collective unit. CoP's align directly with collective teacher efficacy , which research and evidence shows is one of the best things educators can do to help students improve. Within the CoP members share and learn and grow together, defined by a shared outcome. Everything from identifying the goals of the CoP to the steps taken to meet those goals, to the evaluation of where to go next is done within the CoP. Examine Relevancy -Thinking back to all the professional learning I did as a classroom teacher there were many times I sat in a room for hours on end wondering what I was doing there. The learning may have been valuable to some in the room but it was not obvious to me. What is often lacking with professional learning is clear relevance to the participants. Our minds crave understanding, especially when we are learning. What may be obvious to the presenter may not be to those in the room. And even more critical is the alignment of the learning to things like walkthroughs, school improvement plans, the goals of the Communities of Practice or other measurable outcomes. Therefore, not only should relevancy be driven by the needs of the participants but also the overall needs of the group. Andragogy Isn't Pedagogy -Modeling is an important aspect of professional learning. Certainly, if we are learning a new instructional practice or an enhanced way to teach specialized content, then engaging in modeling can be beneficial. However, much of the way that professional learning is taught is done so using skills rooted in pedagogy. And it makes sense, right? Much of professional learning is lead by educators. Pedagogy makes up the foundation of our skills. However, the teaching of adults, Andragogy, looks much different. Adult learning is rooted in the synthesis of knowledge rather than memorization of skills. Admittingly, there is overlap in pedagogy and andragogy. When we look at the 7 Principles of Adult Learning , there are some differences, such as learning is best in informal situations or how previous experiences shape our learning now. The takeaway is that understanding adult learning theory (andragogy) by those that delivery and participate in professional learning is as important as understanding student learning theory (pedagogy). Reflection Is How We Grow -It's easy to participate in professional learning and leave it behind when it's over for both the participants and the presenter. When we do that we miss an opportunity to not only improve but to put into practice what we learn. Time for reflection must be built into professional learning, both guided an open-ended. These opportunities for reflection do two things. The first, reflection acts as a formative assessment for the presenter. Understanding where learners are in their learning and where we are in our teaching is just as important with students as it is as with adults. The second, when the presenter engages in deep reflection about what they have presented we discover, what worked, where we have been with our teaching and what areas are ripe for growth. What are we doing well and how will that lead us to improvement the next time around? Professional Learning is an important part of our growth as educators, yet it is often overlooked for improvement. By focusing on building Communities of Practice, improving relevancy, understanding the needs of adult learners and building in deep reflection, those that deliver professional learning can create a culture that craves these opportunities for improvement. Professional Development professional learning

Taking The Stigma Out Of Learning With Immersive Reader

The Web20Classroom

I love to read. If I am not working or spending time with my daughters I am reading. But when I was in elementary school reading was what I dreaded the most. In my classes we had the "blue birds" and "red birds" reading groups. I was a blue bird. A weak reader.

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Improving School:Home Communications With @IFTTT

The Web20Classroom

Recently, I was talking with a few school administrators on how they could better communicate with their parents and the community. One obstacle that many schools and districts face is figuring out the most effective ways to ensure all are well informed and have all the information.

Why All Educators Need SAMR And TPACK

The Web20Classroom

Lately, the work I’ve been doing with teachers and leaders has centered around the engaging and effective use of technology.

Custom eLearning: What to Consider as an L&D Manager

A custom eLearning project is an exciting opportunity, but any L&D Manager will also tell you it can be challenging. Inno-versity shares 5 points to consider before kicking off your project. These concepts are critical to addressing the most common pain points which, IF addressed, will ensure success.

Tweet, Snap and Gram Your Way To Better School Communications

The Web20Classroom

My oldest daughter, Reaghan, is getting ready to be a 5th grader while my youngest, Chesney, will be a 1st grader this year. Heading back to school with them is one of the busiest times of year. There are lots of meetings, papers to read and fill out, and new things to learn about her school.

4 EdTech Ways to Differentiate in a Student-Centered Classroom

The Web20Classroom

Co-Written with my friend and business partner Shaelynn Farnsworth In all the work that Shaelynn and I do with teachers across the US and beyond we see educators creating amazing learning environments for students.

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Engagement Doesn't Often Mean Effectiveness

The Web20Classroom

A few weeks ago I asked a group of teachers to describe a lesson where technology was used effectively to impact learning. After some thinking, one of the teachers described a lesson where students were using Google Maps to take a tour of different parts of the world.

Managing And Protecting Digital Identities

The Web20Classroom

It started with some tweets. You are a vile human being!" "I I can't believe you are allowed to say the things you do." "I I want you dead." I was hurt, confused and shocked. What had I said or done to make people say these things to me? And they came in a flood.

Teachers’ Guide to Plagiarism

This article provides teachers with a step-by-step guide on how to handle plagiarism in the classroom: it examines the definition of the term "plagiarism" and its types with examples, describes common reasons students plagiarize, and provides tips for teachers to detect and prevent plagiarism among students.

Going Digital Is About More Than Just Devices.

The Web20Classroom

Going digital has truly made our world smaller. From the desks in our classrooms we can travel to far off places and talk to friends via Skype or share thoughts through blogs or experience historic sites like never before with virtual reality.

3 Essentials for Success in a Blended [Literacy] Classroom

The Web20Classroom

This post is sponsored by ThinkCERA , an online platform designed to empower teachers to personalize literacy instruction across disciplines. The use of digital learning spaces has exploded in use in classrooms nearly everywhere.

3 Ways Leaders Can Support Ongoing Professional Development

The Web20Classroom

When I was leading an Instructional Technology program, one of the hurdles my team had to overcome was the lack of involvement from our leadership on the professional development we were delivering.

The 6 Truths Of Effective Educators

The Web20Classroom

In all the work I have done with countless educators from across the world I believe we can break them down into two groups. Good Teachers and Great Teachers. What separates the two is effectiveness. Effective Educators are those that have a set of truths that they live by. It's what they wake up everyday thinking about and striving for. It doesn't mean they aren't human. Quite the contrary.

Key Elements for Successful eLearning Projects

Discover how this rapid development process creates engaging, custom learning solutions on a timeline that works for you, why a strong learning culture is important, and how to showcase your Return on Learning (ROL) using data to tell the story.

Rebuild The World With @Lego_Education

The Web20Classroom

I recently returned from a trip to Billund, Denmark. To many, a trip to Denmark is one of a lifetime. For me it was especially so as Billund is the home of LEGO. From the time I was a kid I have been surrounded by legos.

The Tech-Savvy Educator: 6 Areas Of Development

The Web20Classroom

These are truly incredible times to not only be a learner but an educator as well. The access to information we have is unlike anything we’ve had before. And the tools we have to create a learning environment where all students can succeed are ever increasing.

3 Things To Remember For Every Conference

The Web20Classroom

Written with my friend Shaelynn Farnsworth we break down the simple things any learner can do to make the most of their conference experience.

Taking Collaboration And Teacher PD To Another Level With Verso Learning

The Web20Classroom

When I was teaching Middle School Science I always tried to encourage academic discussion among my students. As a group we would debate results from various experiments, attempt to understand current events in science and talk about how science was all around us.

The Ultimate 12 Step Guide For Choosing The Perfect Learning Management System

Picking the wrong LMS can cost you. Don’t settle for a disconnected, hard-to-use, expensive system that doesn’t meet your needs. Follow these 12 steps crafted by Lambda Solutions' LMS experts, and find your perfect eLearning solution!

8 Math and Science Simulation Resources For Any Classroom

The Web20Classroom

"Science is fun. Science is curiosity. We all have natural curiosity. Science is a process of investigating. It's posing questions and coming up with a method. It's delving in." Sally Ride I was a Middle School Science and Math teacher.

What 15,000 Kids Taught Me About Creativity

The Web20Classroom

When I walked into the Houston Convention Center a few weeks ago I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had never attended a FIRST LEGO League World Championship. Walking through the doors I was in awe.

CommonLit-Free Informational And Literary Texts For Any Classroom

The Web20Classroom

Recently, I was talking with my friend and literacy expert Shaelynn Farnsworth about the shifting definition of literacy and how we are all teachers of literacy.

Ideas For Providing Internet Access At Home

The Web20Classroom

This post is sponsored by Samsung. All thoughts and opinions are my own. When I was an Instructional Technology Director one of the challenges I faced was working to ensure that students, no matter where they lived in my district, had access to the same tools and opportunities.

Leveraging Learner Variability to Elevate Equity in EdTech

Speaker: Vic Vuchic, Chief Innovation Officer & Executive Director, Learner Variability Project

In this webinar, Vic Vuchic, Chief Innovation Officer of Digital Promise, will share his insights into the modern boom in neuroscience and learning sciences research. You'll discover how much more we know now about how students learn - and how we can use that knowledge to create EdTech-enabled classrooms that can meet the diverse needs of all students.

Language Should Never Be A Barrier

The Web20Classroom

I recently returned from a trip to Paris, France where I attended a gathering with over 250 educators from across the world. In their respective countries, these educators were the best of the best; innovative, creative and focused on creating student-centered learning for everyone.

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Discovering The Learning (And Magic) Of #DisneyYouthPrograms

The Web20Classroom

Ever since I was a little kid I have enjoyed anything Disney. Even with my own daughters I have enjoyed seeing their faces light up when they walk down Main Street at the Magic Kingdom and they see Cinderella's Castle, even though they've seen it several times.

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Work With Me! Enhancing Leadership For Administrators and Teachers

The Web20Classroom

Last week I had the honor to work with educational leaders and teachers from Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. Our goal was to examine the role of technology leadership in and out of the classroom and to better understand how technology can enhance learning.

Overcoming The Barriers To Better School:Home Communications

The Web20Classroom

As a teacher, I always looked forward to the first day of school. Getting my room put together, planning new lessons and meeting new faces was something I couldn't wait to do. As a parent, I dread the first day of school. And this year was no different.

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EdTech at School

This E-book is designed to support educators with case studies of education technology use at school.