February, 2016

Inspiration Stations: A Creative Spin on the Station Rotation

Catlin Tucker

This year, I’ve focused on using the Station Rotation Model to: create smaller learning communities within our larger class. spend more time working in small groups with students. more effectively differentiate instruction. make the most of our limited technology. Most of the time our Station Rotation lessons are focused on academic topics, but last month I experimented with a new spin on the Station Rotation Model that I called Inspiration Stations.

Join Maine’s Learning Through Technology Team!

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The Learning Through Technology Team at the Maine Department of Education is looking for a high energy, entrepreneurial-thinking, collaborative educator who would like to work with us. Are you making great things happen in your classroom, school, district, or region? Consider joining us and make great things happen across Maine! We currently have one opening for a Regional Education Representative: Digital Learning Specialist (and anticipate two more in the coming months).


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Reinventing Curriculum: The Underlying Challenge to Moving Education Forward

The Journal

This blog post kicks off a new blog theme: Reinventing Curriculum. Like teacher and pedagogy, curriculum is one of the keys to a successful learning experience. Due to three trends, we will argue, curriculum – its development, its distribution, and its use — is in a state of real turbulence. The educational community, in general, and educational technology, in particular, needs to focus on the “next turn of the crank” in curriculum

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Doing Things at School That Can’t Be Done At Home

User Generated Education

Many kids and teens are spending a lot of their time doing solitary screen-related activities. This most often occurs at home with their own devices. We are also living in an age where practically any and all content can be found via the Internet. The educator is no longer the gatekeeper to information. Internet resources can present and teach content better than a lecturing educator.

Intent Signal Data 101

Intent signal data helps B2B marketers engage with buyers sooner in the sales cycle. But there are many confusing terms used to describe intent data. Read this infographic to better understand three common areas of confusion.

The NEW Google Forms: 9 classroom uses

Ditch That Textbook

For years, educators have been using Google Forms to gather data, assess learning and create fun techy learning experiences. Recently, Google Forms got a facelift, and even more recently, it added some new features. These features make some new things possible in the classroom, and they make some things easier — and prettier — than before. [.]. Ed Tech edtech educational technology flubaroo gafe google apps for education google forms

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Differentiate Reading with Rewordify

Catlin Tucker

In an earlier post titled How Challenging Is that Online Text ? , I shared the Readability tool that can help educators determine how hard an online text is to see if it is a good match for their students. Then in a training last week, someone asked me if there was a tool that could make a challenging text simpler. Yes, there is! Rewordify allows the user to: Simplify the wording of a text for improved comprehension. Learn new vocabulary. Design engaging lessons.

Digital Literacy–What is it?

Ask a Tech Teacher

‘Digital literacy’ is one of those buzz words floated by experts as being granular to 21st century students. It’s everywhere, on everyone’s tongue, but figuring out what it means can be daunting. ‘Literacy’ is simple: the ability to read and write– so ‘digital literacy’ should be achieving those goals digitally. Not that simple.

Confused about what ‘Open’ Means in Education? Inconceivable!

Doug Levin

I’ve established that I am a fan of open educational resources (OER) and think that K-12 educators and policymakers would benefit from thinking more deeply about the ownership of instructional materials. I’ve even offered up ideas on issues the K-12 OER movement needs to confront and work through in the coming years as it struggles with the success of greater adoption.

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Why Social Media Education Is Needed In Schools

User Generated Education

Social media is an intimate part of a large majority of tweens’ and teens’ lives. The following graphs about teens’ social media use come from Pew Research’s Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015: For young people, social media is not an add-on nor an extracurricular activity. Social media is like eating, bathing, talking. It is intertwined in everything they do. It is a part of their identity.

The Guide to Accessible Learning for Associations

Speaker: Dan Streeter, Vice President of Learning Strategy & Development at Blue Sky eLearn

In this 45-minute webinar, we’ll share real-world accessibility solutions and hidden tools in the applications you use every day such as Zoom, Microsoft Suite, Adobe Acrobat (PDF), Articulate Storyline 360, and Articulate Rise 360. This webinar will help you evaluate the accessibility of your current learning efforts and learn about the tools needed to ensure your eLearning is in alignment with the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (proposed WCAG 2.2).

5 lessons to teach with timelines

Ditch That Textbook

Timelines are excellent tools for showing spans of time, but many people forget to use the tools for critical thinking and meaningful lessons. Timelines are great graphic organizers because of their linear, but discrete, nature. Each event is separated on the line itself – and two events can occupy the same time, just on opposite [.]. Ed Tech edtech educational technology storyboard that timelines visual learning

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Only Truly 1-to-1 is Truly Transformative

The Journal

The dominant pedagogy in classrooms today is still direct instruction, the pedagogy underlying so-called computer-based, “personalized learning” environments. But, we argue in this week’s blog that truly 1-to-1 implementations, which are only now becoming feasible, are the opportunity needed to transform classrooms and support educators in moving to an inquiry pedagogy, a pedagogy that develops students’ critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration

New Podcast from MindShift: Stories Teachers Share

Catlin Tucker

In the last ten years, the narrative about teaching and education has struck me as extremely negative. I hear about schools failing students and bad teachers hiding behind tenure. As an educator pushing for innovative change in this space, I recognize that education must evolve to prepare students for an unknown future. However, the wonderful work teachers are doing every day is often lost in the conversation about education.

3 Whiteboard Apps for Teachers and Students

Ask a Tech Teacher

Whiteboards have long been a de rigeur staple in classrooms, occupying pride-of-place at the front of the room. Despite the popularity of hi-tech Smartscreens, the simple whiteboard remains the favored method of sharing information during class time. But one change has revolutionized their use: They can now be projected from your iPad. Before introducing three amazing must-have whiteboard apps, let me note that there are dozens of options , all with varied traits and prices.

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Increasing Equity and Access: A Canvas Case Study of Virtual Arkansas K-12

Virtual Arkansas, a fully online school, had a mission to provide high-quality courses in rural and urban areas throughout the state. How would they simplify content creation while enhancing learning? Discover 3 key insights to transform your classrooms.

Communication With Parents: More Than A Grade

Battelle for Kids

Volume 3, Issue 2, Number 9. Driving Question: What if I do more than share grades with parents? I recently met with two parents and their son. It was a conference to discuss how he was doing in class and what they could do at home to help. If that kind of interpersonal communication is the "Gold Standard" of analog communications, we have to concede it's not the only way we can communicate with families, nor is it the most sustainable.

6 Ways Awesome Administrators Help New Teachers Face the First Year with a Smile

The CoolCatTeacher

Leadership and Support of the New Teaching Professional From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter. The first year is the toughest. Pretty much every teacher will tell you that. It is when the students will try you. The first year is often when colleagues are the most unsupportive. You don’t know everybody’s names. You aren’t aware of their agendas, so sometimes you step into a problem without realizing it.

20 ways Snagit can improve life in the classroom

Ditch That Textbook

If you’re like me, you have just a couple of go-to digital tools. For me, those tools make my life easier and I can’t imagine my life without them. For me, Snagit is one of those tools. In fact, I use the full paid version of it for Windows, and it’s one of a few [.]. Ed Tech edtech educational technology google classroom images screencasting snagit video

Chromebooks: Things we Love, Things We Love Not So Much

The Journal

Reportedly some 30,000 Chromebooks come online in K-12 each day. There are positive and negative aspects to that, though, as far as we can tell, the Chromebook invasion is mostly a good thing for education

Keeping Students Safe and Productive on Devices

Speaker: Aaron Webb, Jamf

In our webinar, we’ll explore the full range of Jamf education products to protect students, including quick and easy tools for IT admins, powerful apps for teachers to ensure student safety anywhere, and parental engagement tools.

The Maker as a Reflective Practitioner

User Generated Education

This coming year, I am doing several keynotes and workshops on the reflecting on the making process. Two elements from my training as educator lead me to really embrace this topic: Background in Experiential Education. Studying the Reflective Practitioner During Graduate School. Experiential Learning. Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing.”

A Conversation about Keyboarding, Methods, Pedagogy, and More

Ask a Tech Teacher

Bill Morgan and I have engaged in several months of spirited conversation about keyboarding, pre-keyboarding, and how it can best serve students. Bill is the brilliant creator of Keyboarding Arts and the giant floor keyboard for classrooms. His experience teaching keyboarding often informs me in my art as I adapt to the ever-changing needs of the students in my classes.

Learning Targets and Student-Led Conferences More Pathways to Communication

Battelle for Kids

Volume 3, Issue 2, Number 7. Driving Question: How does a 21st century classroom communicate student outcomes? Learning targets and student-led conferences are proving to be a powerful vehicle for informing our school community at Katherine Smith Elementary about what and how our students are learning. At the same time, they showed us another opportunity to develop our students' speaking and writing communication. In this two-part post, we will share our story. P21 Blogazine

Redesigning the Learning Experience

Tom Murray

This post is sponsored by Samsung. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Having traveled the nation and spent extensive time in schools throughout 2015, there’s one thing I can say for sure: Many of today’s classrooms have amazing 21st century tools sitting in 20th century learning environments. Quite often, a student’s hard metal desk is separated by a packet of worksheets on one side, with a dynamic learning tool on the other. Is this really what we’re proud of in 2016?

Unlock the Power of Formative Assessment

Learn how a thoughtful formative assessment approach can help teachers understand where students are in their learning, inform instruction, and in turn, positively impact student learning outcomes. Get the guide today!

20+ resources for engaging game-based learning

Ditch That Textbook

Our society thrives on games. They’re everywhere, from our social lives to our work lives to our school lives. People kill time on the bus, in a doctor’s waiting room and even in the bathroom (eww … but true!) playing games on their smartphones and tablets. The sports world is a force to be reckoned [.]. Teaching ditchbook edtech educational technology explore like a pirate game-based learning gamification tlap xplap

You Matter: Before You Help Students, You Must Help Yourself

The CoolCatTeacher

Every Classroom Matters episode 211 From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter. Stress caused me to lose half my hair and gain weight. Stress put Angela in the hospital three times in a year. As much as we love caring for children, we’ve learned very hard lessons that mattering starts with loving yourself enough to take care of yourself.

Schools as Learning Playgrounds! 20 Ideas & Resources

Teacher Reboot Camp

“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.” ” – Diane Ackerman. In Chapter 26, Goal: Encourage Play, of The 30 Goals for Teachers , I talk about the importance of play for our learning, development, creativity, and mental wellness. With so much standardized testing and stress on data, play is being taken away. Children are being tested as early as Kindergarten. The 30 Goals Challenge.

3 Fresh Art and Music Apps for the Classroom

Ask a Tech Teacher

Fifty years ago, Albert Einstein warned ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ ’ The ability to solve problems by thinking creatively is more important than knowing how they were solved in the past. Now, in today’s connected classroom, creativity has become the newest transformative tool, the buzzword that indicates a curriculum is on the cutting edge, that teachers are delivering their best to students and differentiating for varied needs.

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The Best Ways to Use Managed Apple IDs at Your School

Speaker: Aaron Webb, Jamf

In our webinar, How to Best Use Managed Apple IDs at Your School, hear the real-world experience of Steven Palomo, IT Director at Beverly Public Schools, regarding how he successfully managed his entire tech stack.

Communicating With Parents

Battelle for Kids

Volume 3, Issue 2, Number 11. Driving Question: How Can We Communicate 21st Century Learning to Parents?What What is the enduring value of narrative? Students in our classrooms have parents who attended elementary and secondary school in the 20th century. Many are struggling to understand what their child does in class or is expected to do for homework.

Visions of Education Futures Floating Around in My Head

User Generated Education

Walk into a classroom in any part of the United States, even the world, and you most likely will scratch your head in disbelief asking yourself questions such as: Why do the classrooms look pretty much like the ones in which I, my parents, and my grandparents learned? Many students (of all ages) own computers in the form of their cell phones that are more powerful than all of the computer power of NASA back in 1969, when it placed two astronauts on the moon.

How to become a teacher who innovates

Ditch That Textbook

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’m just not one of those innovative teachers. Creative ideas don’t just pop into my head.”? ”? This post and this video are for you. Know someone who thinks that? Maybe you can pass this along to him/her.) I’ve felt this way most often at teaching conferences. I’ll sit in [.]. Teaching creative teaching growth mindset innovation mindset motivation

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