November, 2015

Top Education Tweets of the Week: November 14, 2015

The CoolCatTeacher

Trends and Topics on Twitter A subtle shift is happening in language as seen in the top education tweets this week.

Hour of Code Suggestions by Grade Level

Ask a Tech Teacher

Here are ideas of apps and websites that teachers in my PLN used successfully in the past during Hour of Code: Kindergarten. Start kindergartners with problem solving. If they love Legos, they’ll love coding. BotLogic –great for Kindergarten and youngers. Code –learn to code, for students.

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Student Voice Comes With Teachers as Listeners

User Generated Education

This piece was actually sparked by an interview of Lady Gaga by Soledad O’ Brien at the Born This Way Emotion Revolution Summit where Gaga stated, “It’s time to stop telling learners what to do and start listening for we can do for them.”

Design a Thematic Art Gallery with Google Art Project

Catlin Tucker

At the end of Lord of the Flies , there is a section titled “Notes on the Lord of the Flies,” in which William Golding says, “The theme [of the novel] is an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature.

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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!

Identifying the Top Four Challenges in K-12 Education

Digital Promise

Aubrey is the Research Director at Digital Promise. You can reach her on Twitter at @aubreyfrancisco. Kelsey is the Research Communications Manager at Digital Promise. You can reach her on Twitter at @kelseye144.

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Top Blog Posts for Teachers This Week

The CoolCatTeacher

News and Trends: November 8, 2018 As I hinted in yesterday’s summary of the week’s top tweets , teachers are talking about flipping kids. An offhand comment by my friend Kevin Honeycutt seems to be growing into a larger conversation.

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Hour of Code–the Series

Ask a Tech Teacher

Coding–that mystical geeky subject that confounds students and teachers alike. Confess, when you think of coding, you see: …when you should see.

Quick Ways to Teach Vocabulary With Limited Class Time

Ed Tech from the Ground Up

Vocabulary instruction is important, but it can be really hard to find time for it with limited class time. Here are some ways to teach vocabulary that won't take up a lot of time. Click the headline to read the full post. Questions? Email

Teaching and Parenting…a Delicate Dance

Catlin Tucker

Confessions of a Teaching Parent. I remember when I first began teaching at the age of 22, my mentor teacher told me, “Teaching will make you a better parent and being a parent will make you a better teacher.” ” The wisdom of these words has stayed with me.

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.

10 creative alternatives to research reports and papers

Ditch That Textbook

In high school and college, I suffered through quite a few research reports and papers. I gathered data, cited sources, followed MLA style and double spaced. I turned in my papers. Then I never did anything else with them.

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Cross Curricular Maker Education Activity That Addresses Common Core Standards

User Generated Education

My primary job is that of educating pre and in-service teachers with a bit of teaching elementary students along the way. I often say that there is not enough time during the school day and the school year to teach isolated and singular content area topics.

8 Great Ways to Level Up Game Based Learning in the Classroom

The CoolCatTeacher

Play Good Games, Get Great Results Game based learning in the classroom should not be worksheets with points. It should be engaging and exciting. Here are eight ways to level up game based learning. Because, face it, many educational “games” fall short. Chocolate on broccoli.

5 Best Typing Tutors for Everyone

Ask a Tech Teacher

Keyboarding is always a concern with educators, and one of the most questions is–how do you teach it? Adam Fort, an education strategist at Ratatype , has five ideas: Typing tutors are aids that enable users to increase their own typing speed, skills and touch typing techniques.

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.

The Challenge of Change is Not You

A Principal's Reflections

“The hardest challenge you will face is not changing yourself, but convincing or empowering your colleagues to embrace change.” – Eric Sheninger If you are reading this blog, trying out new ideas, implementing innovative strategies, or attending meaningful professional learning opportunities then chances are you embrace change. Additionally, you are more than likely to be using social media for your Personal LearningNetwork (PLN) to push your thinking like never before. It is an exhilarating feeling to be exposed to an array of knowledge, resources, and ideas that can be used almost immediately to improve professional practice. In all of the examples mentioned above, or others that I have failed to list, the desire to change is clearly evident to you. The fact of the matter is that change is desperately needed in the majority of our schools and districts. Employing the same old thinking will continue to result in the same old results. A major point of frustration that I had as a principal and what I see now in my work with educators all over the world is the unwillingness of others to embrace change. Many of us have now been exposed to the work of innovative thought leaders and practitioners that has shown us what is truly possible in our schools. What tends to be more or less demoralizing is when we travel back to our districts, schools, and classrooms and continue to see a narrow focus on the same initiatives, programs, and practices that are not in the best interests of our learners. This reality is brought up in virtually every workshop or presentation I facilitate. Image credit: [link] Changing perception and behavior in your colleagues who either have their heads in the sand or possess the ultimate fixed mindset could possibly be the hardest task you ever take on. Change is hard. It is even harder for people that are stubborn, unwilling to overcome fears that they might have, burnt out from excessive reform, or really have no passion for working with kids. Regardless of the reason, the question becomes what are you willing to do about it? Every student in every classroom and school deserves excellence. A true testament to an exceptional leader, regardless of position, is his or her ability to convince, persuade, or inspire others to change, especially those who do not want to. It’s not now about trying to get buy-in , but moving others to see the value in the change through embracement. The hardest, but most gratifying, work you might ever engage in is empowering your colleagues to change. Consider trying the following strategies to assist your colleagues to begin the process of changing their professional practice. Real change comes from colleagues modeling expectations for others. Lead by example even when initially it might be a lonely place. Share current research and practices that support the change you are championing. Encourage colleagues resistant to change to attend professional learning opportunities with you, especially administrators. Get him/her involved in quality professional development related to the change effort. Beg, barter, or plead to get your colleague to attend and learn with you. If that doesn’t work make sure you present what you learned at any recent learning experience either during a faculty meeting or one on one. Tackle fears head on to alleviate concerns. Help others see the value of the change on their own. Clearly articulate how the change will improve professional practice resulting in improved student learning and achievement outcomes. Be patient. Treat your colleague like a student and remember how satisfying and rewarding it was when you helped that student succeed. Get your students involved. There is no better way, in my opinion, to convince others to change when educators can see firsthand the impact it has on kids. Work on building better relationships. By doing so this could open the door to embracing change that otherwise might have been resisted. Keep in mind that the context of each suggestion above can be adapted to your respective position. Always remember that the hardest work involved with the change process involves moving the masses to scale the initiative for the betterment of all students. It also requires the right mindset. If you are willing to put in the time and work while acknowledging some of the aggravation and stress that naturally comes with dealing with difficult people, a potential positive outcome will be that much sweeter. Change Leadership

Design Digital Newsletters for Parents

Catlin Tucker

When my daughter began kindergarten, she would come home with notes pinned to her shirt–informationa about upcoming events, permission slips for field trips, and monthly newsletters.

10 engaging Google Drawings activities for classes

Ditch That Textbook

Using a document in Google Apps or Microsoft Word is perfect for many activities, but sometimes they can be so limiting. They’re restricting. They force you to enter information in a fairly linear fashion, and linear just doesn’t cut it sometimes.

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The Future Belongs to the Curious: How Are We Bringing Curiosity Into School?

User Generated Education

What is curiosity? The word is associated with the irregular form of the Latin verb cura , which can mean worry or care about or cure. The word closest in meaning is inquisitive, which also has a Latin root: quaere , to search into, to seek. ( How Can Teachers Foster Curiosity? ).

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.

How we can stop TEACHING TO THE TEST and start empowering learning (for a change)

The CoolCatTeacher

Every Classroom Matters Episode 189. I’m sick and tired of excuses. Everyone makes them but the biggest, most obnoxious dumbest excuse we’ve adopted is “we have to prepare kids for THE TEST.” ” Sure the test has become a reality.

Hour of Code: Scratch Jr.

Ask a Tech Teacher

ScratchJr. ages 5-7. Overview. ScratchJr (released July 2014) is an introductory programming language for ages 5-7 similar to the wildly popular Scratch (for 3rd grade and up).

Free Resources to Support Your Makerspace

A Principal's Reflections

The embracement of the maker movement is being seen in K-12 schools and districts across the world. As a result, makerspaces are being instituted to allow students to tinker, invent, create, and make to learn.

Revamping the Student-Teacher Portfolio for Real-Time Results

Ed Tech from the Ground Up

Despite evidence that preservice teachers often view electronic teaching portfolios in a negative light, they are staples of most teacher education programs. It turns out they're fantastic ways to reflect on practice and learn from your own mistakes. Click the headline to read the full post.

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.

Teaching 6 grades in 1 day, and the activities we did

Ditch That Textbook

As a high school Spanish teacher, my life has consisted of teaching six classes a day for the last 11 years. Six classes a day is the norm. No big deal. But teaching six different grade levels in a day? I’ve never done that.

LED Throwies Meet the Magnetic Board

User Generated Education

I have been offered an opportunity to teach maker education again at a local summer enrichment program during summer, 2016.

Top Education Tweets of the Week: November 7, 2015

The CoolCatTeacher

Trends and Topics on Twitter This week’s top education tweets of the week have lots of interesting nuggets for us busy teachers. But one topic is flying around: flipping kids. No, not flipping them off. Not flipping your classroom — flipping a child like you flip a house.

Hour of Code–Why Not

Ask a Tech Teacher

I took a Classroom 2.0 Live webinar last year on rolling out the Hour of Code in the classroom. There were so many great things about that webinar, but one I’ll share today is why teachers DON’T participate in Hour of Code. Here are what the webinar participants said: How about you?

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.