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What Comes First: the Curriculum or the Technology?

What Comes First: the Curriculum or the Technology?
It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when handing a student a calculator to work through algebraic equations caused many teachers and parents great consternation. It makes you wonder what type of pushback the creators of the abacus faced! In both cases, while the tools students were using may have been more advanced than previous generations’, the goal remained the same – to enhance classroom learning. But before moving forward with technology integration, every school must first have a great, robust and adaptable academic curriculum. Photo via Flickr Creative Commons by Brad Flickinger A Few Questions to Consider We live in an era where schools are praised simply for putting iPads in the hands of their students. Regardless of the technology, what’s the most important lesson for students to learn? Think Curriculum Enhancements, Not Technology Implementations 1) Learn How Students Are Using Technology at Home 2) Don’t Use Technology for the Sake of Using Technology In Short

Saskatchewan teacher gives grade one class standing desks A Saskatchewan teacher has implemented standing desks in his grade one classroom to improve the health of his students. Justin Sauer raised the height of his students' desks at Delisle Elementary School in September after discovering research that sitting for long periods of time can lead to health problems in kids and adults. According to a study by the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, sitting too long can cause increase blood sugar in children, as well as fat. This can then lead to diabetes, obesity and heart problems in the future. While you'd think recess would help combat this issue for school kids, Toronto researchers who looked at data from 41 international studies found that this was not the case. This research alone was enough to motivate Sauer to convert some of the school's older desks into standing desks for his students. Although the kids have standing desks, they do have the option to sit and move around during the day. Credit: Twitter 1 of 11 Cardboard files

Digital Learning and Teaching Tweet Wrap for Week Ending 02-14-15 Inspiring, informative, useful, or just plain fun tweets about education and instructional technology articles, resources, etc. (Originally posted on Twitter by @EmergingEdTech over this past week … collected here to share with our blog readers). This week’s Tweet Wrap features some interesting activities to encourage self-directed learning, some different ‘flipped’ model to get you thinking about your classroom and teaching approach, how to cite social media in academic writing, crowdfunding tips, and a dictionary of technology and learning model. 7 Activities to Encourage Students to Take Ownership of Their Wow! Arne Duncan reminds schools how to take advantage of e-rate and get “up to speed” w/wifi: 7 unique #FlippedClassroom models — Which is right for you? What Comes First: the Curriculum or the Technology? About Kelly Walsh

Book Writer: App Allows Students to Create Their Own eBooks After reading online reviews and testing the app with my students for several weeks, I can endorse Book Writer as the best eBook creator for iOS. Compared to similar apps, Book Writer offers more multimedia features and is better suited for a large age range. With this app, teachers can incorporate technology into the creative process, motivating and empowering students to bring their stories to life. Because Book Writer offers more tools to facilitate the book-making process, it rises above the competition. Read on to learn more about the app’s features and what makes it the best in its class. Scores User-Friendliness (5/5) My students had no trouble with the simple, self-explanatory interface. Teaching (4/5) While pedagogical features aren’t built into Book Writer, its educational value is still significant. Support (4/5) I found answers to most of my students’ questions in the app’s eight-page manual. Methodology Book Writer App Review Background How Do You Use It? Other Book Writer Reviews

Teachers, Stop Being Scared of Cellphones | Make: Teachers can create easy HTML5 webpages on tools like Wix. Screens are everywhere these days, in the restaurants, on the subways, in front of our faces. The only ones we seem able to control are those little screens on our tablets and cellphones, but bring those things into a classroom and who is in control, the student or the teacher? How can teachers capture and keep the attention of the students in their classrooms if they aren’t in control of the screens on their phones? Mobile app invention can be done on the fly with TouchDevelop. From apps like Google Classroom to website creation tools that are easily accessible on smartphones and tablets, teachers have the ability to create classroom tools that harness the power of student devices. Having the power to create a tool or app usable on a cellphone can help teachers customize their classroom, but it can also be an awesome project for students to tackle. To that end my school will be hosting a Mobile Apps Hack-a-thon in March.

32 Characteristics Of High-Performing Classrooms 32 Characteristics Of High-Performing Classrooms: Spotting The Holes In Your Teaching by Terry Heick Instructional design is the strategic creation of learning experiences through intentional planning, sequencing, and data-based revision of learning. This process includes both the ways content is accessed, and the learning needs and objectives (and how they are determined) themselves. This puts instructional strategies, literacy strategies, curriculum mapping, standards unpacking, assessment design, digital literacy, and a dozen other facets of education beneath its umbrella. With that in mind, we’ve created the following 32 characteristics of higher-level instructional planning to help you spot the holes in your teaching. Technology Integration Cognitive Demand Lesson Planning Assessments Curriculum Mapping Learner Choice Classroom Management Student Support Image attribution flickr user flickeringbrad; 32 Characteristics Of A High-Performing Classroom

Digital skills teaching in schools needs radical rethink, says report The teaching of digital skills in schools should be regarded as equally important as lessons in numeracy and literacy, according to a report published on Tuesday. The study by the House of Lords digital skills committee calls for a radical rethink of education and says digital literacy should be treated as a third core subject. It also says the internet should be regarded as a utility on a par with water or electricity, in order to ensure unimpeded access for all. The report says urgent action is required to support teachers who are currently not equipped to deliver the new computing curriculum, and insists no child should leave school without basic digital literacy. An estimated 9.5 million people currently lack a minimum level of digital skills and the report warns the UK risks becoming “a branch economy, much less prosperous and influential” if it doesn’t pursue a digital agenda.

Engaging Students: Online and Offline | Dr. Mariappan Jawaharlal Learning is inherently satisfying. All of us have experienced the joy of learning and discovery at some point in time in our life. Learning leads to better understanding, new knowledge, skills and expertise. Whether it is learning how to ride a bike, read a book, write code, or build something -- children are inherently excited about learning. They learn because they are engaged. How do we define engagement, and how do we engage students? Engaging is an overused word these days. Something captures your attentionYou feel compelled to do somethingYou are self-motivated You are involved in hands-on activitiesYou make a connection between what you are being taught and it's applications in the 'real world'It feels personally meaningfulThere is drama and dilemma As I write the elements used to identify engagement, it almost sounds similar to someone in love. Many of my colleagues say it is nearly impossible to engage engineering students because we deal with equations.

8 Great TED Talks to Watch with Your Kids February 19, 2015 Looking for some TED talks to inspire young minds? The list below contains some wonderful talks to watch with your kids. The talks highlight the importance of creative and imaginative thinking in unlocking the doors of possibilities and knowledge. 1- Science is for everyone even kids "What do science and play have in common? 2-A teen just trying to figure it out "Fifteen-year-old Tavi Gevinson had a hard time finding strong female, teenage role models — so she built a space where they could find each other. 3- A promising test for pancreatic cancer…from a teenager Jack Andraka talks about how he developed a promising early detection test for pancreatic cancer that’s super cheap, effective and non-invasive — all before his 16th birthday. 4- If I should have a daughter "If I should have a daughter, instead of Mom, she's gonna call me Point B ... " began spoken word poet Sarah Kay, in a talk that inspired two standing ovations at TED2011.

Videotaping teachers the right way (not the Gates way) This piece, written by teacher Larry Ferlazzo, provides important context to a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in which teachers are being videotaped while giving lessons and then evaluated by outsiders. Ferlazzo, who teaches English at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, explains why he thinks the Gates project takes the wrong approach and describes a different kind of videotaping exercise at his school that he finds useful. Ferlazzo writes a popular resource-sharing blog, and his third book, “Student Responsibility and Engagement in Your Classroom: A Practical Guide to Classroom Management and Instruction,” will be published this year. He is a member of the Teacher Leaders Network. This piece appeared on the Education Week Teacher website. By Larry Ferlazzo "Today is an opportunity for you to challenge and push me to become a better teacher, and a time for you to challenge and push yourselves to be better learners." A Transformative Experience "Mr. "Mr.

A valuable school and principal — but you wouldn’t know it by the test scores If you’ve never heard of HONY, or the Humans of New York project, this post will introduce you to it, and its relevance to school reform. The author of the post, Barnett Berry, tells the story of a wonderful school (highlighted in a HONY piece) that is embraced by its community but, unfortunately, doesn’t shine when it comes to standardized test scores. Berry is the founder, partner and chief executive officer at the Center for Teaching Quality, a national nonprofit organization that helps teachers transform their profession. By Barnett Berry Blogger and photojournalist Brandon Stanton roams the streets of the Big Apple, drawing out the stories of strangers he encounters. Millions follow Brandon’s daily Humans of New York (HONY) posts on social media, appreciative of his keen recognition of the moving moment or distinguishing detail. On January 19, Brandon interviewed a young boy in the Brownsville neighborhood: Brandon: Who’s influenced you the most in your life? As Ms.

Which of These 4 Instructional Strategies Do You Use in Your Class ? February 21, 2015 Instructional strategies, according to Alberta Learning, are “techniques teachers use to help students become independent, strategic learners. These strategies become learning strategies when students independently select the appropriate ones and use them effectively to accomplish tasks or meet goals.” the strength of instructional strategies is that they determine how teachers can go about realizing their teaching objectives. Instructional strategies are derived from different educational theories. Here some examples of 4 key instructional strategies as identified by Gayla S. Keesse : 1- Direct Instruction This is what some refer to as the traditional method. 2-Interactive Instruction As its name indicates, this strategy consists of creating learning environments conducive to interactions and discussions. 3- Experiential learning One of the seminal works in experiential learning is Dewey’s "Experience and Education".

Top education systems around the world do things a lot differently Canada ranks among the top countries in the world for our education system. Last year, Pearson released their global report on education, noting the top 10 education systems. Based on factors such as GDP, literacy and graduation rates, South Korea came in at number one, followed by Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong respectively. According to the report, these Asian nations all held top spots because they regard effort more important than inheriting smarts or talent. Interestingly, Finland, which was number one in 2012, dropped to fifth place, while other countries like Israel and Russia jumped up from spot 29 to 17 and from 20 to 13, respectively. The 2014 study notes that the rankings of these countries change based on varying factors. While these kinds of trends are interesting to note, we thought we'd take a look at what we can learn about education from countries around the world.