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.
Whether you are looking to land your first teaching job or have been in the classroom for years, there is always something new to learn in the world of education.
Even if you have already talked the ear off of every teaching veteran you know, attended all the district professional development opportunities you could stand, and completed all the expensive college courses you could afford, there is still so much to learn.
Thanks to the plethora of quality, education-focused podcasts, a pair of earbuds may be the most impactful professional development tool in your arsenal. Whether you listen while cooking dinner, mowing the lawn, or driving to work, these great podcasts can help improve your teaching practice a little bit each day.
In no particular order, here are some of the best podcasts for educators to dive into!
Over the past 20 years, advancements in science, technology, and communication have transformed our world. If you trace any one of these advancements back to their roots, you are likely to uncover the story of a person or team who dared to break from traditional thinking and approach a common problem in a new way.
Whether it’s a billionaire visionary like Bill Gates who transformed the way the world uses computers, a team of innovative mathematicians like the women featured in the hit film Hidden Figures who revolutionized space travel, or a student inventor like Alexis Lewis who transformed how first-responders save lives, this is what innovation is all about.
In today’s world, the demand for innovation continues to grow. As a result, the focus of traditional learning paradigms needs to shift.
In the 21st century, simply finding creative ways to expose students to curricular content isn’t enough. Educators, whether teachers or tutors, have a responsibility to include opportunities for students to apply knowledge in innovative ways. One great way to bring this type of opportunity to your students is through participation in innovation competitions…
Improving literacy skills can often be a complicated proposition. Successful readers and writers use a combination of several skills such as print awareness, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension skills, grammar, and spelling to be able to both understand and create meaningful text. Improving a student’s overall literacy skill-set requires a multifaceted approach that deals with the individual skills as well as practice putting the skills together.
Of all of these skills, vocabulary is literacy’s toolbox. The more words a child knows, the more that child can understand and the more ways that child can express him or herself. In this article, let’s start improving literacy skills by focusing on three ways you can boost a child’s vocabulary.
Any teacher or parent of adolescents will tell you, kids love to argue! With some effort, you can harness this natural inclination in your classroom as a way to improve your students’ content knowledge and literacy abilities.
Two of the targeted initiatives in the Common Core standards are a focus on developing students’ speaking and listening skills and a focus on developing students’ abilities to support claims with evidence. Debating is a way to address both of these concepts in a fun and engaging way.