Thu.Feb 13, 2020

4 Ready to Go tips for Project Based Learning and Maker Spaces

The CoolCatTeacher

Nicholas Provenzano gets us started From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter How do you get started with project-based learning (PBL) and Maker spaces?

Why buying a mattress is like choosing a college

The Christensen Institute

On the face of it, comparing buying a mattress to choosing a college might feel apocryphal. Insulting even. College encompasses a series of experiences—from the classroom to extracurricular activities and social opportunities—that, in the best of scenarios, are transformative.

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20 digital bell ringer activities to kickstart class

Ditch That Textbook

Quality bell ringers are crucial — quick activities to get students going at the beginning of class, when the bell has just rung. For these first five or ten minutes of class (OK, probably more the five than the ten), we have our students’ most attention. It’s the most focused they’ll likely be for us all […]. The post 20 digital bell ringer activities to kickstart class appeared first on Ditch That Textbook.

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5 reasons why impact investments and market-creating innovations go hand-in-hand

The Christensen Institute

It has never been easier for investors to support causes that matter to them. Hunger to do good has resulted in the growth of impact investments, conscious capitalism, and social entrepreneurship movements.

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.

Project Based Learning at the Elementary Level: Nine Inspiring Examples


By Tom Driscoll ( @TomDriscollEDU ). I recently had the opportunity to work with an incredible group of elementary educators from Nauset Schools on Cape Cod. We capped off our PBL workshop by designing project sketches that the teachers would implement later this school year.

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5 Steps to take for successful PD for teachers


With increasing numbers of edtech devices, software and apps that are used in the classroom, various improvements to teaching methodologies, and overall significant efforts to personalize learning and boost the academic outcomes of students, it’s easy for school leaders to take for granted one link that can make or break the chain of success: teachers. Educators can’t know it all and do it all by magic; they also need to learn. They need to learn about differentiated instruction , flexible learning environments, how to make the most of the school LMS, educational apps, or even VR and drones. They need to learn how to be resourceful in their classrooms and how to forge relationships with like-minded people across the school board and across the world. And they need all the support they can get in all of these endeavors. Professional Development programs for teachers exist precisely because of that. But there are many factors that can negatively influence their impact. The fast pace of changes within the industry, the failure to align school objectives with teacher objectives or plain communication issues are just a few examples. Overcoming these — and more — is no easy feat. But it’s not impossible either. 5 Steps to take for successful PD for teachers. School leaders who want to create and deliver successful PD for their teachers are in for a struggle. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to it, as teachers themselves would know. However, there are some aspects that should always be a part of teacher PD. Here are five of them: Establish the basics. Every single journey begins with a first step. That first step in teacher PD is to look around and determine what you need in order for it to be good. Don’t just jump straight in. Prepare. Depending on how large your organisation is, gather all teachers, or at least some representatives, and ask them what they think their training needs are. Not only that, listen to what they have to say. Their feedback at this step can really make a difference later on. Then you need to decide on what tools to use. Since teachers have to work with edtech when teaching, why not use the same edtech for when they’re learning? Maybe you could use your school LMS to create training courses for teachers; that way, they’ll get more familiar with it and see what it’s like to use it as a student. Read more: 3 reasons why you should use a school LMS to deliver PD for teachers. Last but not least, plan on when and where exactly teacher PD will happen: a few hours each week, a few days each month, a couple of weeks in the summertime? At school or outside of it? There is no one best answer to these questions, but it’s always good to plan teacher PD throughout the year. Provide relevant courses. Relevant means different things to different people. The discussion you had with your teachers before you planned the PD program can offer some great suggestions on what kind of PD courses teachers need. Of course, it’s always good to pinpoint some exact problems that might be solved by teacher training but remember that some things are better solved in other ways. For instance, before you set a course on time management as mandatory, make sure teachers can actually perform their admin work in the considered time frames. To cover as many needs as possible, try to plan both courses about the latest findings in pedagogy or subject matters, and courses on edtech and how to make the most of it. The TPACK framework is a good starting point. Diversify your delivery. Mixing things up is always worth it. The thing is, every one of the teachers that work in your school is different than the other — and they learn differently too. Just like their students, actually. Diversifying your methods of training will only respond to more learning needs of teachers. There is more than one way to do that. You could diversify the courses format: face-to-face instruction, online courses, or try out a blended approach. Then, you could diversify the courses content: text-based guides, video content, interactive scenarios, gamified content, and so on. There really are many ways in which you could diversify the delivery of a PD program, and that phase where you established the basics along with your teachers should have come with a few suggestions on how to do that exactly. Promote collaboration. You can’t think of teacher PD as a one-time shot and then call it a day. Learning is almost like an organic process that happens within informal settings just as much as (or maybe even more than) it does during official training. Teachers learn from one another and your organisation should support and nurture that. Offer your teachers as many chances to collaborate as possible. Encourage the formation of Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) and Communities of Practice (CoPs) and other forms of teacher communities where they can exchange ideas, find a support system and improve their practice. You can do this with the edtech that you’re already using in your school or through social media. If you support the communities in any kind you’ll find that these communities will support your teacher PD program. Read more: Learning and growing as educators. Offer continuous support. Learning never stops. Neither should the professional development of teachers. If you expect them to constantly get better at what they do, then you should be prepared to constantly offer them support. You want them to actually implement a 1:1 program in their classroom? To reorganize the furniture or buy new things so that they can set up flexible learning spaces for students? To do what they learn in the PD courses? They need your support in getting all the necessary funds. You want them to know the school LMS and other educational software like the palm of their hands? They need you to get the most knowledgeable people (a dedicated team or person from the vendors) to give them the most on-point training to use those programs. You get the point. Great PD for teachers happens continuously and so should your support for them. Read more: How to create an LMS training program for schools: A step by step guide [INFOGRAPHIC]. Conclusion. Teaching teachers is paramount to the great performance of an educational institution. School leaders who are aware of this are already one step ahead. While designing successful PD programs for teachers means something different to everyone, establishing the basics from the very beginning, providing relevant courses, diversifying delivery, promoting collaboration and offering continuous support, are among the things every school leaders must consider if they want to ensure the program will have positive results. A version of this post was originally published on The Educator Australia on January 20, 2020. The post 5 Steps to take for successful PD for teachers appeared first on NEO BLOG. School Management

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Employers Pay for Job Referrals. Now Job Seekers Can, Too.


Getting hired can feel like a game of chance, but it’s actually one of strategy. And one of the best ways to improve the odds of landing a particular job is to ask an employee at the company to recommend you as a top candidate.

Zenbo, the Social Robot Teaches Cyber Safety


A cross-disciplinary collaboration at the University of Delaware has developed a teaching tool to deliver cybersecurity training in classrooms—Zenbo, the social robot

Parchment Merges with Credentials Solutions to Take On Transcripts and Certifications


The world of credentials and school transcript providers has gotten smaller after the merger of two companies that facilitate more than 18.5 million academic records exchanges a year. Steering this deal is Brentwood Associates, which acquired a controlling stake in Credential Solutions in 2018.

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.

Higher Ed Faculty: Your Students Need To Know Their Grades and Get Feedback


Can Your Students See all of Their Grades and the Feedback You've Provided (you did provide feedback, right)? Are You Sure? If you are a teacher in higher education and you regularly provide feedback. Please click on the post title to continue reading the full post.

Innovative Learning: Letting high schoolers design the future of space food

The Hechinger Report

Ava Liepins and Owen Ford, sixth graders at Kennedy Middle School in Natick, Massachusetts, demonstrate their drone-programming skills at the LearnLaunch Across Boundaries conference. Photo: Tara García Mathewson/The Hechinger Report.

Win the White House: How to Run a Presidential Campaign


Win the White House is an iCivics game available on the web and as an iOS or Android app that places students in control of a run for the U.S. presidency

How to Structure an Effective Coaching Conversation


Teachers hate meetings, they just do. If you ask a teacher how a meeting went, they’d likely respond with, “it could’ve been an email.” We’ve all been there. I’m even guilty of giving that response. My theory as to why teachers hate meetings is because meetings take time.

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.

Designing Data to be Actionable

MIND Research Institute

It seems to me that the value of data is in how it’s used. At MIND Research Institute, we use data to drive decisions on a daily basis. Internally, we monitor student success data and make program adjustments in response to that data.

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Ridiculously Amazing Schools: Creating a Culture Where Everyone Thrives

eSchool News

[ Editor’s note : This is an excerpt from Chapter 5 of Ridiculously Amazing Schools, by Tracey Smith and Jeff Waller, republished here with permission.]. CHAPTER 5: NURTURE. NURTURE. NATURE HOLDS THE ANSWERS. Like humans, plants are continually exposed to toxins.


Product Spotlight: Fortigate Fortinet 60E Gives Schools High-Level Security

EdTech Magazine

Common security concerns for K–12 districts, particularly the frequent targeting for cyberattacks, are generally not balanced by increased budgets for defensive technology or talent. And although smaller facilities have become front-line targets, many regional and satellite schools must make do with shared IT resources and personnel.

Helpful Resources to Teach Kids Coding

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

On the occasion of Computer Science Education Week, we are sharing with you this updated collection of helpful resources to help you introduce and teach kids and young learns everything they need more

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.

CoSN's CETL® Certification Program

EdTech Magazine

CoSN's CETL® Certification Program


8 things to ask about your first makerspace

eSchool News

You wouldn’t just randomly choose a tool from your toolbox and feel confident it was the right one to cut a board or attach a hinge. Same goes for a school makerspace. Like everything in ed tech, it’s not enough to have a bunch of shiny gadgets in your makerspace.

4 Ways to Develop a Team of Forward-Looking Tech Enthusiasts

EdTech Magazine

Technology plays an increasingly critical role in K–12 classrooms. From collaboration apps to VR/AR equipment, digital learning tools are making instruction more innovative, engaging and inclusive of all students. It’s no surprise, then, that educators strongly believe in its value. A 2019 Gallup survey found that 85 percent of teachers, 96 percent of principals and 96 percent of administrators support the increased use of tech in their schools.

Hands-On Archaeology: Digs for Youngsters


Help middle graders connect past and present using the easy-to-understand lessons in Hands-On Archaeology. Teacher educator Linda Biondi says the authors show us how giving kids opportunities to ‘dig’ in and out of class can build team skills and cross-curricular learning.

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!

Product Spotlight: Fortigate Fortinet 60E Gives Schools High-Level Security

EdTech Magazine

Common security concerns for K–12 districts, particularly the frequent targeting for cyberattacks, are generally not balanced by increased budgets for defensive technology or talent. And although smaller facilities have become front-line targets, many regional and satellite schools must make do with shared IT resources and personnel.

Infusing Narrative into Nonfiction Writing


If we want students to be better writers and communicators, we need to teach them real world writing. Liz Prather’s Story Matters is exactly the guide teachers need to blend narrative, argumentative and information writing, says English/history teacher Michelle Voelker.


CoSN's CETL® Certification Program

EdTech Magazine

The CETL® certification program demonstrates K-12 education technology leaders have mastered the knowledge and skills needed to build 21st century learning environments. Get started today

Board Games for Kids: The Ultimate List


If there’s one thing every parent knows, it’s that there are only so many times you can play Monopoly during family game night. This list of more than 50 board games for kids (and adults!) will help you cut down on screen time, and turn your next game night from this: to this: […].

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.