From the outset of my teaching career, integrating technology into my lessons has remained a constant priority. Whether it was piloting SmartBoards in a district elementary school, using iPads to digitize workflows, or making the switch to Chromebooks, technology has been at the forefront of how I prepare and deliver content to students.
In the first half of my decade in the classroom, being “the technology guy” meant that students engaged with content in a totally unique way in my room compared to the classrooms of my more analog-focused peers. The bells and whistles of screens, interactivity, and digital customization opened doors to a creative and unique pedagogical world that I was able to capitalize on to promote student interest and growth.
Fast-forward to today. The ubiquity of technology has transcended the novelty. For one thing, many of my students now carry phones in their pockets that are more powerful than the computer on my desk. In many schools, Chromebooks and iPads are now looked at as common educational tools – similarly to how we used to look at textbooks and binders.
Ever in search of ways to recapture the magic once created by technology in the classroom, I have turned to an unlikely medium for drawing students in: good, old-fashioned paper. What’s more, it has worked!
It turns out, there are several, research-backed reasons why working in the physical space needs to remain a part of today’s pedagogy.
From: The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Blog – Guest Post on behalf of Teach.com – July 5, 2017 –
The educational landscape is awash with initiatives to make learning more authentic and problem-based. For these differentiated approaches to work, students and teachers need networks of support to ensure that students can follow their own felt needs for learning. Who better to support that journey than the modern school librarian?
Forget Dewey decimal quizzes and overdue notices; today’s school librarians are the linchpins for modernizing the educational system. In the era of belt-tightening and budget cuts, school librarians are crucial pieces in the educational infrastructure that need to be both protected and cherished if our students are to receive the best education possible.
Read more at The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Blog : The Constantly Evolving Role of the School Librarian
GettingSmart.com GUEST COLUMN | by Sheldon Soper:
Students who participate in high-quality project-based learning develop skills, processes and products that are an ideal match for the demands of the 21st-century, but creating authentic projects is key for engaging them.
Read more at GettingSmart: Making Project-Based Learning Authentic | Getting Smart
HowToLearn.com GUEST COLUMN | by Sheldon Soper
There has been plenty of pushback against the claims that learning styles are a sure bet when it comes to facilitating student understanding. As with everything in education, there is no panacea to make learning magically happen. However, that does not mean learning styles have no place in a teacher’s toolbox.
By recasting learning styles through a lens of student learning preferences, educators can ensure they are offering academic help and support in ways that significantly up the likelihood of student engagement and, in turn, growth.
Taking things a step further, this same understanding can lead to purposefully differentiated instruction practices. Mixing and matching teaching techniques aimed at different learning styles can give students the opportunity to turn diverse learning experiences into complex understandings.
Read more at HowToLearn: Using Learning Styles to Reach Students | How To Learn
Prevent technology gaps from creating achievement gaps.
EdTech Digest GUEST COLUMN | by Sheldon Soper
Technology-driven classroom workflows need analog components to ensure students without reliable access to technology outside of school are not left out. Otherwise, the technology gap between those with access and those without will quickly manifest as an achievement gap.
Read more at EdTech Digest: A Fair Opportunity for Success