There’s no question that the concept of literacy is undergoing a transformation in the 21st century. We are all consuming more information through multimedia instead of just through text. And the text we encounter is more and more likely to be digital than print-based. Read more about Reading Digital vs Reading Paper: New Challenges
Although the idea of personalized learning has been around for a long time, the availability of technology has made it more practical for today’s classrooms. Teachers who have been working in traditionally teacher-centered environments are now thinking about how technology can make their classrooms more personalized, leading to more engaged students and improved academic achievement. Read more about Hi-Tech, Mid-Tech, Low-Tech: The Personalized 21st Century Classroom
We keep hearing how important creativity is in the workplace and how schools have to teach creativity along with math, science, collaboration, and dozens of other skills. When I started teaching, creativity was something we teachers valued. We claimed we could recognize it if we came across it, but we didn’t identify it as a specific learning goal. Some kids were creative and some weren’t. I don’t think it occurred to any of us that we could do anything to enhance our students’ creativity beyond rewarding it when we saw it. Read more about Teaching Creativity—Can We Do It? And If We Can, How?
Although the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics are still the subject of considerable controversy, they are probably coming to your classroom in the near future. You may need to build some new skills and implement some new kinds of instruction to make sure your students are successful. Read more about Are you ready for the Common Core?
I love audiobooks. I have a monthly subscription to audible.com and love the free books from librivox.org. So lately I’ve been thinking about the use of audiobooks in the classroom.
I’ll start with the obvious. Listening to a book is pleasant. For very young children, it’s more than enjoyable, it’s a critical part of their literacy development. Listening to books helps children develop a positive attitude about books and increases their motivation to read. Read more about Can You Read with Your Ears
For those of us who have been in education for over 20 years, the evolution of educational technology from computer labs to classroom computers to mobile labs to one-to-one programs has been nothing short of astonishing. There’s no question that computers have had an effect on teaching and learning. But has technology delivered on its promise for student achievement? And does more technology, as in one-to-one programs, make enough of a positive difference to justify the expense? Read more about One-to-One Computing: Not a One-Size-Fits-All Idea
The Common Core State Standards Lifestyle.
With their adoption by forty-five states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense, the Common Core Standards will be part of almost all teachers' lives, if not now, certainly within the next few years. Read more about Common Core, Common Tech, and Uncommon Learning
The digital world where today’s students live, connect with others, and learn, is one that is often only partly understood by their teachers who have used technology in more traditional ways. How many teachers have posted a home-made video to YouTube or shared photos of dubious value on Facebook? And do you have a hard time understanding why your students feel compelled to post so much about themselves online?Read more about Digital Citizenship
Child development experts have long advocated for early and frequent discussions with children about sex, advice which is rarely acted upon with comfort or ease. In today’s technological environment, parents are now asked to have similarly serious, although probably not as awkward, discussions about their children’s online behavior..Read more about Parents—It’s time for “The Talk” (No, Not That One!)
For me, preparing to take a trip is more fun than the actual trip. And it’s a good thing since my trips only last about a week, and I can plan for months! I just returned from a trip to Dublin, Ireland, and I discovered a great way to share my trip through iPhoto without making people listen to me drone on and on about what I saw and did! It’s easy to see how the tool could be used in the classroom to share presentations. Read more about The iPhoto Journal—A Useful (and Fun) Tool!
In this age of budget cuts and shortfalls, many schools are exploring Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs. At first glance, it seems like a great solution to a problem, a way to implement one-to-one computing without the expense of buying computers for every student. While many educators are enthusiastic about BYOD, others object to such initiatives, citing both practical problems and philosophical disagreements. Read more about Is BYOD Right for You?
As teachers, we are used to being the center of attention. Unlike students, we can pretty much talk whenever we want to, interrupt anyone for any reason, and say whatever we feel like. Even those of us committed to student-centered instruction probably dominate talk and activity in the classroom far more than we think we do. This is often painfully obvious in classroom discussions that are supposed to be places where students interact about important content-related toopics. We want students to take the lead in discussions, but that is more easily said than done. Read more about How Much Participation Is Too Much?
Why do we hate and love quizzes? We hate them in school, especially the “pop” variety, but we love taking them about everything else from “Which Brittany Personality Are You” to “The Nerd Test.”
Online quizzes can be very useful tools for teachers, especially for differentiation. You can use online quizzes to help students review prerequisite knowledge and skills before starting a new unit and to help students identify areas where they might need more practice. Read more about And the Answer Is...
More and more teachers and classrooms are getting iPads, and it is exciting to explore the ways that teachers can use apps on these addictive devices to engage students, organize tasks, and get creative. Here are some great iPad apps for teachers.
*indicates that the app is also available on iPhones and iPod Touches. Read more about Cool iPad Apps for Teachers
On March 20, 2012, I attended the Instructional Technology Strategies Conference in Portland. I had a great time and learned a lot, so I thought I’d share some random thoughts about the conference and my experiences. Read more about Random Thoughts on ITSC 2012
What a brave new world it will be? A world nurtured by the free exchange of ideas. Elevated discourse on important topics. The world of the Internet!
Well, not so much. Jeff Jarvis on the podcast, “This Week in Google,” had this to say about comments on blogs and web sites, “Whenever the recipient loses control, it becomes noise.”
How scary is the Internet? A quick search for “online safety” yields almost a billion hits! According to what we read and hear--Very scary! Entire businesses, web sites, curricula, books, blogs, and media, are devoted to helping parents and schools keep kids safe on the Internet. Read more about How High of a Fence Should We Build around the Internet?
In mid-July, I presented on formative assessment of 21st century skills at the AMFIE, Asia-Pacific Ministerial Forum on ICT in Education, conference in Manila, Philippines. The conference was sponsored by UNESCO, KERIS (Korea Education Research Information Services), World Bank, and Intel, among other organizations. What an experience it was! The discussions I heard confirmed my expectations in some ways and surprised me in others.