February, 2020

Classroom tech: Should I use it? 10 considerations

Ditch That Textbook

Classroom tech CAN be transformational. But when should we use it? And what does that look like? Here are some ideas.When schools provide technology for students, many teachers find themselves asking, "What am I going to do with all these devices?" One might think the "Should I use classroom tech? And how?" is a one-time, "yes/no" […]. The post Classroom tech: Should I use it? 10 considerations appeared first on Ditch That Textbook.

What’s edtech got to do with growth mindset?


I remember it as if it was yesterday. It was the first week of fifth grade and I was so ready to learn History. I had spent the previous summer poring over an Ancient Egypt book so it had to become my favorite subject.

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It’s 2020: Have Digital Learning Innovations Trends Changed?


In early 2017, organizations that have focused on digital learning came together to better leverage their strengths and capacities for a common goal: improving student success.

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How Online Learning Can Improve Your Teaching

Ask a Tech Teacher

Online learning has become not only a common alternative to physical classes, but a well-regarded change maker in the education ecosystem.

Need Remote Learning NOW? Get Online Quickly & Easily With This Can’t-Miss Guide

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!

“That’s Not Fair!” The Myth About Assistive Technology

Ditch That Textbook

Some label assistive technology as unfair. We hold onto myths about it. In this post, Catherine Day identifies and dispels some of those myths. This post is written by Catherine Day a graduate student at Edinboro University currently majoring in Reading and Literacy. Day currently resides in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. You can connect with her […]. The post “That’s Not Fair!” The Myth About Assistive Technology appeared first on Ditch That Textbook. Guest Blog Teaching

More Trending

Trust and Grace in the Classroom

The CoolCatTeacher

Alana Stanton talks about what matters in the classroom From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter Each year, many educators select a word or two for the year.

Meaningful Technology Integration in Math: Ideas for Designing Online Stations

Catlin Tucker

In this post, Sarah Dunn , a high school math teacher, shares her favorite technology tools and online activities. In an English or social studies class, students may use computers frequently to write papers or compose a response to a writing prompt.

How Can Technology Coaches and Content Coaches Work Together?

Digital Promise

As classroom coaching grows rapidly as a form of teacher professional development, districts are increasingly outfitting schools with not just one, but multiple coaches, with each playing a different role.

Multimedia content personalizes learning

Ask a Tech Teacher

Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Josemaría Carazo Abolafia, is an educational researcher and teacher who lives in Spain–and doesn’t own a car! He has a Masters in Ed from Penn State University (any Nittany Lion fans out there?) and is working on his EdD.

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.

Knowing Where We Are Paves the Way for Change: The Impact of Coaching

A Principal's Reflections

I often tell audiences during keynotes and workshops that my role isn’t to tell anyone what to do, but instead to get educators to think critically about what they do.

Universal Skills for Learners: Increasing School Relevancy

User Generated Education

Kids are learning – but for way too many it occurs outside of the school environment rather than during school.

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Misconceptions About Kids With Learning Differences in the Classroom

The CoolCatTeacher

Dr. Rebekah Dyer helps us understand how to reach all learners From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter As students with learning differences are put into general classroom spaces, many teachers have misconceptions about including these special students in their classrooms. Dr. Rebekah Dyer talks about these misconceptions and how we can work to reach every child. Listen to Dr. Rebekah Dyer talk about reaching every child Listen to the show on iTunes or Stitcher Stream by clicking here. Subscribe to the Show Get Credit! Some schools, districts, and organizations allow credit for listening to podcasts. Whether they do or don’t, to get the most out of listening you can use this Podcast PD Template Hyperdoc. Just make a copy and adapt it for your use or print it. If you don’t have Google Docs, just use this PDF. Dr. Rebekah Dyer – Bio as Submitted Dr. Rebekah Dyer is an associate professor in the college of education at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. The courses that she teaches focus on special education. She is the faculty advisor for two clubs on campus; Best Buddies and Canyon Inclusive. Both clubs focus on the inclusion of individuals with disabilities. She is the current president of the Arizona Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. She graduated from Arizona State University West with a bachelor’s degree in special education and a dual certification in both regular and special education. She completed her master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. Dr. Dyer graduated with a doctoral degree in organizational leadership with an emphasis in special education from Grand Canyon University in the Fall of 2018. Her dissertation research focused on the inclusion of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in disability ministry programs. She presented her research at an International Autism Conference in Nanjiing, China. Linked In: [link] The post Misconceptions About Kids With Learning Differences in the Classroom appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow! Elementary Grades 1-5 (Ages 6-10) Equity High School Grades 9-12 (Ages 13-18) Middle / Junior High Grades 6-8 (Ages 10-13) Parents Special Needs Teachers Students Teachers Wonderful Classroom Wednesday

Interdisciplinary Project Planning Framework

Catlin Tucker

When I was at TCEA last week, a teacher approached me after one of my sessions to ask if I had ever written about my experience planning interdisciplinary projects. I realized that I had not written specifically about the process of planning a project with teachers who taught other subject areas.

6 eLearning Trends in Custom eLearning Solutions

Most digital learning trends focus too much on the "digital" and not enough on the "learning". It is not enough that content builders master available tools. We need a return to core learning fundamentals. Get Inno-Versity's eBook for 6 of the most important trends coming to digital learning.

Co-designing Powerful Innovations with Teachers and Families

Digital Promise

In order to build a safe and useful house, we rely on the knowledge and experience of many: architects help design spaces that are functional and aesthetically pleasing, engineers ensure the designs are structurally sound, and contractors coordinate construction so that plumbers, electricians, and many others work in coordination. None of these folks, however, know the needs, preferences, and constraints of the specific family who will ultimately reside in the home. Having everyone’s input when generating a blueprint and during construction can ensure the family makes the best use of their new home. The same is true of education innovations. If our goal is to develop resources that are likely to be adopted at home or school and are consequential for learning, we must bring educators, families, researchers, and designers together to brainstorm, co-design, and research innovations. Our Early STEM team at Digital Promise is working towards this goal, and has learned some important lessons along the way. Co-design a blueprint. One of the most important lessons we’ve learned is the need for documentation that clearly details the shared learning goals. For instance, what do we mean when we say we want to “develop resources to promote early math”? Is it for children to learn to count with one-to-one correspondence, identify shapes and their properties, or understand how to use standard tools to measure? Each of these goals can be further subdivided; for instance, if the goal is to use tools to measure, children may learn to place the ruler correctly, understand and identify the numeral that represents length, and to compare measurements. Clearly defining these learning goals helps articulate a shared understanding and provides everyone with common language. This “ learning blueprint ” can serve as an anchor document that can be referred to when resources are designed and reviewed, and when research tools are selected or created to evaluate outcomes. Invite all stakeholders to share their unique expertise. We’ve noticed teachers sometimes feel that researchers hold more knowledge than they do on a domain of learning. Additionally, parents often view teachers as experts who know more than they do about how their children learn. Sometimes neither teachers nor parents see themselves as designers. In our experience, it has been helpful to explicitly highlight the expertise each stakeholder uniquely contributes. For example, teachers are experts about what it’s like to be in the classroom, parents have a unique understanding of what may resonate with children’s everyday lives, designers know what is possible on the backends of apps, and researchers understand how children build knowledge and can collect data to make inferences about learning. Only by bringing each of these crucial perspectives and skill sets together can we design powerful and effective resources for early learners. Share imperfect examples as “seed ideas”. Brainstorming ideas in a group can be challenging, especially when tackling something new. For example, when our team began a project on computational thinking , stakeholders were often wary about sharing ideas on topics they were not yet confident about. Plan to kick off your co-design project by sharing imperfect “seed ideas.” These sacrificial ideas may have obvious flaws, but the goal of sharing them is to improve the ideas as a group, and to facilitate conversations about why they may not work. For example, are these ideas not targeting a set learning goal; is it hard for parents to feasibly find the required materials at home; are designers finding it difficult to build an interface that would allow desired features? These conversations usually lead to the emergence of alternatives and help co-design groups get in the habit of thinking through challenges together. Be prepared for tensions and critical feedback. The co-design approach involves giving and getting critical feedback along the way, which is not easy. Being on the receiving end of critical feedback can be exhausting and demotivating. Stakeholders involved in co-design must learn to communicate ideas and honest feedback while being responsive and kind. It’s important to note it is common and normal to encounter design tensions when working together. For instance, a designer may be focused on how to keep children engaged, while a researcher is focused on how to ensure the activities are consequential for learning. Ultimately, a design solution that does both is better. When working in silos, designers may find researchers to be critical of the learning value of their products, and researchers find it hard to hear from experts in game design that their games are boring. Co-designing from the start increases the likelihood of striking a balance between usability, learning, and fun. Build in time and resources for multiple rounds of iteration. Co-design efforts require time and funds, as well as the flexibility to change course as needed. Designers often work much faster than researchers do. In order to strike a balance and for the process to be effective, researchers may need to be more nimble and designers may need to slow down to allow the processing of data to inform iterations. Involving educators and families may also require everyone to think creatively about when to schedule meetings and discussions. While co-design may require additional time and funds upfront, it is ultimately worth the investment as this approach centers the needs and experiences of the stakeholders closest to the learners we strive to support. Learn more about our National Science Foundation-funded efforts to co-design innovations to promote early STEM learning across preschool and home, and discover Digital Promise’s vision for partnering with diverse stakeholders, “ Designing a Process for Inclusive Innovation: A Radical Commitment to Equity ”. The post Co-designing Powerful Innovations with Teachers and Families appeared first on Digital Promise. Developers Educators Learning Sciences Partnerships Research Researchers

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How One Teacher Found Innovative Solutions to ELL Issues

Ask a Tech Teacher

I met Dr. Bill Morgan through a shared interest in keyboarding for youngers (see this article on A Conversation About Keyboarding and this article on Preparing Young Students for Home Row Keyboarding: An Unplugged Approach ).

Edtech Tools for SPED, Math, and Reading

A Principal's Reflections

Over the past two years, I have been blessed to partner with District 205 in Elmhurst, IL.

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2020 School Technology Budget Tips


Between shrinking budgets and increasingly IT-dependent school systems, budgeting for the cost of technology in education can be tough. We’ve collected 6 best practices in school budgeting to help you get the most out of your 2020 tech funds. Tools and Tips Data and Trends 1 to 1

EdTech at School

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

What Really Engages Students

The CoolCatTeacher

Heather Wolpert-Gawron talks about current research From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter Heather Wolpert-Gawron surveyed over two thousand students from every US state and type of school to find out what engages them in learning.

AR is here. Is your classroom onboard?


Augmented Reality (AR) is more and more present in a variety of domains. Education is one of them. And this is not surprising since the current generation of students have lived all their lives surrounded by technology and always in contact with it.

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL): Helping teachers to address their children’s emotional needs

The Journal

Continuing with our blogs that investigate SEL (social and emotional learning), in this week’s post, we explore the role that the classroom teacher can play in helping our children develop those critically important social and emotional skills and habits.

What is Constructivism and How Does it Fit Your Class?

Ask a Tech Teacher

Constructivism is a student-centered philosophy that emphasizes hands-on learning and active participation in lessons. Constructivists believe that learning is an active process so the most effective way to learn is through discovery.

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.

Bookend Pedagogy

A Principal's Reflections

As I work with more and more schools in a coaching role, I am beginning to see specific trends emerge. Now, before I go any further, it goes without saying that I see fantastic examples of sound pedagogical practice and innovative strategies that are leading to improved learning outcomes.

When Empowered Teachers Drive Their Own Development

Education Elements

There’s a school in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas, TX that brings a one-size-fits-one approach to every learner in their community, including their teachers.

Student Leadership Through a Student-Led Podcast

The CoolCatTeacher

Hans Appel with the Award Winning Culture Podcast From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter Award-Winning Culture is a student podcast led by teacher Hans Appel.

Improve Student Engagement and Learning with Technology Coaching

Digital Promise

At Emerald STEAM Magnet Middle School in El Cajon, California, a digital simulation of the annex where Anne Frank lived in hiding brought history to life and allowed students to develop a better contextual understanding of the play they were reading. “I

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.