Education Update #2

This week’s collection of articles for educators cover a wide range of topics, from the latest technologies for teachers and students, social media and digital literacy, teaching and learning strategies, bullying and school culture, an examination of the most successful education systems and a reminder about why teaching is the best job in the world. There is literally something for all teachers amongst this diverse collection of more than 25 articles gathered from a range of websites and online publications.

Education News

Beyond Blocking: Social Media Schools

Social media pervades all aspects of modern society, particularly with the rapid influx of mobile devices. If used in meaningful and appropriate ways, it can transform a student’s learning experience, improve communication with parents and community members, as well as support professional growth….read more

The Two Minds Of A Teacher

In his essay Two Minds, Wendell Berry, unsurprisingly enough, offers up two tones of thought produced by two kinds of “mind”—Rational, and Sympathetic. One is driven by logic, deduction, data, and measurement, the other by affection and other wasteful abstractions—instinct, reverence, joy, and faith. These minds struggle for to manifest in our collective behavior. That is, they both seek to control our actions–what we say and do….read more

10 Free Online Educational Game Sites

Web-based games can prove to be a treasure trove of learning opportunities, and there are a variety of content-areas, age ranges, and skill levels to choose from….read more

4 Phases Of Inquiry-Based Learning: A Guide For Teachers

According to Indiana University Bloomington, Inquiry-based learning is an “instructional model that centers learning on a solving a particular problem or answering a central question. There are several different inquiry-based learning models….read more

Game-Based Storytelling

All games tell stories. Unlike other media (books, television, film), the interactivity puts the player in the role of protagonist. Writing games can be quite complex and involve more than characters and dialogue….read more

12 Reasons Teachers Have the Best Job in the World

We know that teaching can be the hardest job in the world (and don’t get us started on those so-called summers off), but we also know that it can be the best job in the world. Here are 12 reasons why….read more

A Crash Course in Building Effective Learning Relationships With Students

It was December 18, three days before the end of the semester. I had just been hired as a last-minute replacement at a comprehensive high school with more than 60 percent of students on free or reduced lunch. I was scheduled to start teaching after students returned from winter break—which left me only three days of classroom observation to learn everything I could about my 90 new students….read now

10 classroom routines that get kids talking (and writing) about math strategies

Most kids find it challenging to explain how they solve math problems and to put what they know about math into words. These ten simple classroom routines can help make math talk a regular part of your day….read more

5 TED Talks Teachers And Students Should Both Watch

Education is one of the most integral parts of our lives and something that tends to influence who we are, what we do and where we go in life. However, like everything in our fast changing world, it too is moving forward at an amazing pace and new research, technology and ideas are coming to the fore at an alarmingly fast rate….read more

Teachers Can Help Students Preserve Their Dignity in the Face of Bullying

Author, speaker and curriculum developer Rosalind Wiseman urges teachers and educators to tread carefully in their interactions with young people….read more

5 Dimensions Of Critical Digital Literacy: A Framework

Digital Literacy is increasingly important in an age where many students read as much on screens as they do from books. In fact, the very definition of many of these terms is changing as the overlap across media forms increases….read more

10 Free Web Tools Teachers Should Try Out

In this course, we walk through 10 of the most popular and useful web tools available today. From a free way to write your own blog to monitoring classroom behaviour, these tools should help you do a whole lot more in a lot less time….read now

10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Trying New Technology

If you look at the ten reasons listed below, we’re pretty sure you’ll find at least a couple that you’ll benefit from, or are already trying to do in another way. If you read each item as a sort of question to yourself, they can also serve as a handy little go-to list that you should be asking when you’re implementing anything new in your classroom….read now

10 Social Media Sites For Education

Our kids live on social media these days. One crucial way to make learning relevant is to meet ‘em where they live, which means finding social media sites that work in the classroom. Social media organically dovetails with subjects like language arts and social studies, but tech savvy teachers know that collaboration can work in any classroom….read more

A Simple, Open-Ended Assignment: Explain When You’re Creative

Ken Robinson defines The Element in the first book you read earlier this year with the same name. Within that text he explains that we all have talents and gifts. When those talents and gifts work in concert with our passions, we are functioning within a productive, sweet spot called The Element….read now

3 Ways to Make Meaningful Connections with Your Students

Too often, I’ve heard teachers talk about how helpless they feel when it comes to reaching out to their students. The days of being the person whose job it is to exclusively provide students with an education — and nothing more — are long over….read now

15 Tips For Facilitating Online Discussion

Facilitating discussions between students is one of those things that is infinitely easier when you’re teaching in a physical classroom rather than online. When the students are all in one room, discussions happen more naturally. Facilitating the same type of productive, useful discussion when teaching online is more of a challenge….read more

Meaningful Learning With Photography

What if there were a way to use a technology in a meaningful way that promoted inquiry, deeper levels of thinking and sparked conversations in your classroom? Would you use that technology? What if I sweetened the pot and said that the technology requires little training, just about everybody already carries one and probably already knows how to use it….read now

Finland’s Formula for School Success

Early intervention and sustained individual support for every student are keys to educating the whole child in Finnish schools….read more

6 Simple Ways Teachers Can Begin Using Technology

There is no getting around technology in the classroom. You can try to wrench the smartphones from a student’s iron grip, or you can cater to that desire to explore technology. Not every piece of technology is easily accessible, but focusing on even one of these assets will help your students learn and grow outside the classroom….read more

Teaching Disruptively

Disruption has been a key theme of the information age. To clarify, disruption is about, among other things, permanently unsettling existing power sets and structures for immediate redistribution. Shaking things up to the point where it all breaks. Much like an outspoken student can disrupt a class, a disruptive teacher too seemingly has a negative connotation, but it doesn’t have to be that way….read more

A Guidebook for Social Media in the Classroom

The myth about social media in the classroom is that if you use it, kids will be Tweeting, Facebooking and Snapchatting while you’re trying to teach. We still have to focus on the task at hand. Don’t mistake social media for socializing. They’re different — just as kids talking as they work in groups or talking while hanging out are different….read more

Why (And How) Students Are Learning To Code

Coding is more important now than ever before. With computer related jobs growing at a rate estimated to be 2x faster than other types of jobs, coding is becoming an important literacy for students to have and a more integral part of education and curricula….read more

6 Scaffolding Strategies to Use with Your Students

What’s the opposite of scaffolding a lesson? It would be saying to students something like, “Read this nine-page science article, write a detailed essay on the topic it explores, and turn it in by Wednesday.” Yikes — no safety net, no parachute, no scaffolding — just left blowing in the wind….read more

30 Of The Best Apps For Group Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning is a matter of identifying needs and opportunities (using an app like flipboard), gathering potential resources (using an app like pinterest), collecting notes and artifacts (with an app like Evernote), concept-mapping potential scale or angles for the project (using an app like simplemind), assigning roles (with an app like Trello), scheduling deadlines (with apps like Google Calendar), and sharing it all (with apps like OneDrive or Google Drive)….read more

5 Apps for Making Movies on Mobile Devices

Every year at Hollywood award shows, we see fantastic movies celebrated for their rich storytelling and dynamic performances. Your students can become moviemakers, too, thanks to some powerful apps for mobile devices….read more

Positive School Culture: How one school transformed from violence to haven.

Christian Fenger High School had a bad reputation. Located on the south side of Chicago in a neighborhood known for crime, poverty and violence, Fenger had long been a less-than-ideal educational environment. But when 16-year-old honors student Derrion Albert was beaten and murdered in 2009 while walking home from school, Fenger catapulted into the national news. The school was in crisis, and everyone—from politicians down to neighborhood activists— agreed something had to change….read more

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