Teacher tricks: Grading & assessment


Welcome to the third and final post in this series focusing on teacher workload, and how technology can assist teachers with the three greatest time heavy activities. In my first post in the series we explored how redefining what your data is for and how best to capture it can save many hours of tedium and time wastage. The act is an attempt to bring back some element of control with the recommendation for having fewer tests, of higher quality.

How to Qualify Online Tutoring Services

Ask a Tech Teacher

At some point in your child’s education journey, you’re going to feel the need for tutoring. She lives in Illinois with her two-year-old Bridgette (who already knows how to count from one to ten) and a pet dog. Riley wrote a great summary of the critical elements to consider as you make that homework helper decision: Online tutoring service has become very popular in recent years. Do you have the time to arrange a tutorial session for your child?

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How to Teach the Human Body and 16 Sites to Help

Ask a Tech Teacher

For many, study of the human body starts in second grade with an introduction to what’s inside that stretchy, durable skin that coats our bodies. Whether schools classify these topics as ‘health’ or ‘science’, the importance of understanding the processes that allow us to survive can’t be overstated. Click to view slideshow. Once this is mastered, students attempt to link a health problem to the organ affected.

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Can “playful assessments” tell us whether maker education works?

The Hechinger Report

Frame by frame, the simple round face sketched by seventh grader Annabelle Bechtel erupted into laughter in stop-motion animation, as she and her classmate Audrey Chung wove the face into a video they were making to explain satire. The kids worked at tables surrounded by craft supplies, 3-D printers and woodworking tools in the maker space of Corte Madera School, a public school for grades 4 to 8 nestled in the San Mateo County hills. I want them to be intuitive.”.

How To Add Rigor To Anything

TeachThought - Learn better.

How To Add Rigor To Any Lesson, Unit, Or Assessment. It is also among the most troublesome due to its subjectivity. And more importantly, how can you use to promote understanding? Barbara Blackburn, author of “Rigor is not a 4-Letter Word,” shared 5 “myths” concerning rigor, and they are indicative of the common misconceptions: that difficult, dry, academic, sink-or-swim learning is inherently rigorous.

How to Make Standards Mastery Accessible to All


Before many states adopted extended (accessible) educational standards for students with unique needs, we began developing differentiated materials to provide students with the ability to learn skills, demonstrate knowledge and raise the bar for educational expectations. Now, federal and state mandates, such as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), require each state to have grade-specific challenging academic standards.

How to boost math skills in the early grades

The Hechinger Report

Small-group math work at Prairie Oak Elementary in Berwyn North School District 98 where, two years ago, just 14 percent of third-graders were able to do grade-level math. While instruction may challenge kids with no previous exposure to math, it is often not engaging enough for the growing number of kindergarteners with some math skills. During the last school year, only 40 percent of fourth-graders nationwide scored at a proficient level in a nationwide math assessment.

How to Build a High-Functioning Remote Team for Your Edtech Company


It’s no secret that remote work is growing rapidly, thanks to advancements in communication and productivity tools. Here’s how we did it. Key to assembling a high-functioning distributed team is hiring the right people and equipping them with the right tools and processes to succeed. Hiring At Big Universe, we tried to limit our hires to the U.S. Hiring outside and field sales reps is another geographic consideration when selling to specific states.

How to Boost Math Skills in the Early Grades


While instruction may challenge kids with no previous exposure to math, it is often not engaging enough for the growing number of kindergarteners with some math skills. During the last school year, only 40 percent of fourth-graders nationwide scored at a proficient level in a nationwide math assessment. Understanding and being able to work with numbers “is a fundamental skill for success in almost any occupation you might choose,” said economist Greg J.

How to Weave Advisory into Academics — Plus 10 Resources for Teaching SEL


“Mister, why do we have to do this? I was a certified high school math teacher, but like so many of my peers, I also taught advisory—working with students to develop their social skills and help them explore college and career options. It took a couple of years for me to finally figure out that teaching social skills in isolation is absolutely ridiculous. It took a couple of years for me to finally figure out that teaching social skills in isolation is absolutely ridiculous.

We Know SEL Skills Are Important, So How the Heck Do We Measure Them?


Whatever you call them, a growing body of research suggests these non-academic, social-emotional competencies deserve our attention. The biggest challenge in measuring SEL skills is having a true standard. Today, they are committed to assessing students’ progress towards SEL mastery, which they see as essential to understanding where students are at—and to proving their SEL curriculum works. We take a look at how it’s going. Soft skills.

We Asked Teachers What They Want From Edtech. Here’s What They Said.


From IBM’s test scoring machines in the 1930s to the Speak & Spells of the 70s, innovators and educators have been trying to improve education with technology for decades. Edtech initiatives that reduce teachers to the role of facilitator often overlook the important role the teacher plays in activating rich learning experiences for students. We’ve made it our mission to build lessons that nurture 21st century academic success and empower extraordinary teaching.

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Can Individual Tests Really Measure Collaboration?


That’s the idea at least behind the latest summative assessments from Project Lead the Way , a project-based STEM curriculum, which is introducing new tech-based question types to measure a raft of noncognitive skills from collaboration to general problem solving (in addition to subject-specific questions about engineering or coding concepts). “We Is it important to measure those skills? Is it important to measure those skills?


eSpark–Self-paced Learning for Math and Reading

Ask a Tech Teacher

If you’ve heard the buzz about eSpark this summer at conferences or training sessions, you already know it’s more than “just another math and reading learning platform” Sure, it is that but what sets it apart is eSpark’s clever blend of learning tools that encourage students to progress at their own pace in their own way, to review when needed and move ahead when they get it. How to get started.

I Never Asked My Students About Their Aspirations. Don’t Make That Mistake.


I spent the next four years in my assigned seat among the rows of desks, trying to listen to the teacher at the front of the room, completing homework assignments from textbooks, and preparing for tests by making countless flashcards. I was a well-behaved student and earned As and Bs, so most of the adults in the building didn’t pay much attention to me. It was as if going to college was the end goal, and it didn’t matter what came afterward.

Turning ‘Google Maps for Education’ From Metaphor to Reality


In his latest EdSurge column , Michael Horn laid out how Google Maps offers an aspirational metaphor for what the future of educational tools could look like. To bridge the gulf, it will take a similar open-data ecosystem to support learner navigation. Yet there are several initiatives, some of which I’ve had the privilege of working on, that aim to support the educational data ecosystem necessary for learner navigation.

Teenage Brains Are Elastic. That’s a Big Opportunity for Social-Emotional Learning.


At Harvest Collegiate High School in Manhattan, students know what to do when they face a mysterious math problem. Take a breath, recognize a “maze moment,” and retrace their steps to find an alternative to their temporary dead end. But these “maze moments” at Harvest, along with a half-dozen other schools in New York City that have adopted the theme, give teenagers a new way to understand and articulate their roles as not-yet-perfect masters in school and in life.

In Successful Edtech, Pedagogy Comes First—Devices Second

Digital Promise

In these classrooms, teachers face a seemingly impossible task -- providing effective instruction to all the unique students under their care. Many school districts -- including mine in Middletown, NY-- are leveraging the power of technology with adaptive assessments and instructional software. These tools help us identify and then address -- through intervention or enrichment -- individual students' needs around each of the major academic standards.

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FETC Future of Educational Technology… Orlando Florida… Please Join Me!

21st Century Educational Technology and Learning

I am really hoping you make your way to FETC in Florida this next week. Before reading on, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans. Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs. If you are deciding at the last minute to attend I highly suggest it. Most of all I would like to meet you and hope to see you at one of my workshops or session. Welcome to the Future!


Less Is More: 4 Strategies To Streamline Your Curriculum

TeachThought - Learn better.

Less Is More: 4 Strategies To Streamline Your Curriculum. Educators often wonder how they are going to meet all the demands of Common Core. One important point is that the standards require more depth and less breadth. Meeting these standards can be done by doing less, not more. In this post, we’ll look at three effective ways to do this: integrating curriculum, combining test prep into daily learning, and cutting topics. Use Power Standards.

How State Reform in New Hampshire Led to Teacher Autonomy


This story is part of a series from EdSurge Research on how schools are redefining student success using MyWays , a framework created by Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC). But at Memorial Elementary School , one of two elementary schools in New Hampshire’s Sanborn Regional School District , administrators and teachers are given the freedom to experiment with cutting-edge ideas not in spite of district and state guidelines, but because of them.

Big Tech Needs to Treat Our Children Better


I’m a believer in the merits of technology and have written about how technology can be used to broaden access to knowledge , connect people and even improve empathy. Technology is, in fact, already touching nearly every part of our public education system, from assessments to communication to professional learning. But I’m afraid this progress will stall if we do not urgently tend to an issue that is truly fundamental to our education system.

Who Should Bear the Cost of Data Interoperability in K-12 Education?


This isn’t because the internet is down or due to a device malfunction—it’s because the online gradebook isn’t able to share data with the student information system (SIS). When two systems don’t “speak” to one another or store data in the same format, it makes it hard to pass information back and forth. And it’s scenarios like this that put pressure on edtech companies to make their tools more interoperable. There’s a lot of nuance to the schema.

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What’s New


Tech & Learning Rounds Up a Summary of New Tools for Schools Software & Online GOOGLE FOR EDUCATION UPDATES ( edu.google.com ) Google for Education announced updates and new tools to help teachers keep innovation alive in their classrooms. Combined, Faria and Rubicon will serve over 10,000 schools in 130 countries with curriculum support for over 600 academic standards. These workshop modules offers efficiency, flexibility, and choice to Texas teachers.

How Technology Should Have Already Changed Your Teaching

TeachThought - Learn better.

How Technology Should Have Already Changed Your Teaching. You may dislike standards-based reporting, using labels like “proficient,” or grading with a 1-3 scale. But use technology to provide the kind of self-awareness and self-directed revision of work that a letter grade could never promote. Also to fret? WiFi signal, outlets, access to frequently move around the class, ways to not disrupt other classrooms with “noise.”

Behind Closed Doors: Edtech Entrepreneurs’ Biggest Challenges in 2018


If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in an edtech company’s board meeting, or what keeps founders up at night, here was your chance to find out. To date AT&T has made 27 investments. The program’s fourth and latest cohort include: Caribu (Miami) allows any trusted adult to read and draw with children, through an interactive video-call, no matter how far apart. makes it effortless for teachers to integrate music into lessons. Don’t try to beat ‘em.

“It’s unfair” special education students lag behind under Common Core in Kentucky

The Hechinger Report

Since Kentucky became the first state to adopt the Common Core in 2010, the achievement gap between students with disabilities and their nondisabled peers has widened slightly – despite sweeping expectations the more rigorous standards would help eliminate disparities in academic performance. But to expect that the Common Core – or any standards – alone will move the needle is overreaching, he said. They’re probably going to have poor outcomes,’” she said.

High schools fail to provide legally required education to students with disabilities

The Hechinger Report

Read the whole series, “ Willing, able and forgotten: How high schools fail special ed students,” here. As a teenager, Michael McLaughlin wanted to go to college. He had several disabilities, including dyslexia and bipolar disorder, which threatened to make the road ahead more difficult. With help, he should have been able to graduate alongside his classmates, ready to pursue higher education. We could get no one to listen or do what was needed.”.

Does Common Core Ask Too Much of Kindergarten Readers?


Sandwiched between preschool and first grade, kindergarteners often start school at very different stages of development depending on their exposure to preschool, home environments and biology. For states adopting Common Core, the standards apply to kindergarten, laying out what students should be able to do by the end of the grade.* There’s a wide age range for learning to read,” said Nancy Carlsson-Paige on KQED’s Forum program.

13 Ways Education Could Change In The Next 13 Years

TeachThought - Learn better.

The focus of that piece was technology, and how it might impact the way students learn in the coming decades. Note that all of these pieces are necessarily speculative, presented to hopefully promote conversation, illuminate possibility, and help us to stop and think where this all might be headed. Though that balance tends more towards literacy than it does in most high schools, this minor adjustment is insufficient to meet the needs of a modern world.

Can Common Core reading tests ever be fair?

The Hechinger Report

She moved to Newark with her family at age 4. Esteves’ teacher gives her books to take home, part of the school’s push to keep students reading outside of school. The Common Core standards, a set of English and math guidelines adopted by more than 40 states, challenge many commonly held beliefs — including how best to teach children to read. When I started teaching, we had standards, but they weren’t broken down as they are now.

Closing gap for immigrant students under Common Core in Kentucky is a moving target

The Hechinger Report

Four 6-year-olds sat cross-legged around teacher Dyan Ogbe as she asked each to give their own ending to a song by saying what they’d buy with different amounts of money. The song was not only a chance for students to practice math skills but was also an opportunity for the young English as a Second Language learners to stretch their limited English. Strong language skills are key as part of the state’s Common Core standards.

After years of neglect, Mississippi takes baby steps to boost school readiness

The Hechinger Report

What started as a treasure hunt had become a logic game in Quitman’s state-funded pre-K classroom, a free early learning experience that’s only recently become available to a small number of students in Mississippi. That’s why the kind of early learning experiences the twenty 4-year-olds are getting in Ruth Shows’ classroom on a daily basis hold so much promise for educators and parents, who are already seeing how far children have come since the start of the school year. “I

Virginia district launches summer kindergarten readiness initiative

eSchool News

The Smarty Summer by Achieve3000: Diving into Early Literacy Initiative aims to prepare children for kindergarten reading success. Achieve3000 and Virginia Beach City Public Schools have partnered to create Smarty Summer: Diving into Early Literacy, a new kindergarten reading readiness initiative exclusively for Virginia Beach students. Our differentiated instruction solutions will give these kindergarteners-to-be the right start on the road to college and career success.