The Importance of Thinking In- and Out-of-the-Box How to encourage creativity in a tech-based environment. GUEST COLUMN | by Wendy Marshall How do you teach a student to be creative? It used to be that educators encouraged innovation by telling children to “think outside the box” via a “sky’s the limit” approach. 10 Video Projects Every Teacher Should Try Making classroom movies has gotten much easier now that cell phones, tablets and other devices feature video capabilities that are high quality and simple to use. And happily, we’ve found that students love to use video—it’s a format that they understand and that sparks their creativity. Here are ten ideas to try in your classroom today. Make a Book Trailer: Challenge students to design a movie-style trailer that excites their classmates about a must-read novel or nonfiction book. Try Digital Storytelling:Digital storytelling is a great format for students to share more about their lives or to present about a person in history.
9 Strategies to improve your students thinking skills It is a common complaint that our students lack the ability to think for themselves. Maybe we should look at whether they have had the opportunity to learn thinking. We learn most things by observing with our senses, imitating what we have seen/heard and then modifying what we have learned to fit into our values, beliefs or abilities. The problem with thinking is that it is largely invisible. What skills will you need to succeed in the future? Top 10 skills for the successful 21st-century worker 100 Ways To Use Twitter In Education, By Degree Of Difficulty Twitter may have started off as a fun social media site for keeping up with friends and sharing updates about daily life, but it’s become much more than that for many users over the past few years as the site has evolved and grown. These days, Twitter is a powerhouse for marketing, communication, business, and even education, letting people from around the world work together, share ideas, and gain exposure. It has become a staple at many online colleges and campuses as well, leaving many academics wondering just how and if they should be using Twitter both in the classroom and in their professional lives. So we’ve revised our our original 2009 list to get you started or up to date. Whether you’re an academic or just interested in building your Twitter profile, keep reading to learn some tips and tricks that can help you take the first steps towards using Twitter for coursework, research, building a professional network, and beyond. The Basics
Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices When presented with new material, standards, and complicated topics, we need to be focused and calm as we approach our assignments. We can use brain breaks and focused-attention practices to positively impact our emotional states and learning. They refocus our neural circuitry with either stimulating or quieting practices that generate increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, where problem solving and emotional regulation occur. Brain Breaks 5 TED Talks to Support Innovation “Laura Devaney from eSchool News has 5 innovative TED Talks she wants you to look at—see them all at the links below in this article.” Every educator needs some inspiration now and then, and these days, such inspiration can be found online in just a few seconds. The internet brings inspiring and motivational speakers and experts to anyone with a connection and an internet-ready device. TED Talks are some of today’s most popular examples of the internet’s power to expand learning opportunities to all.
The Other 21st Century Skills Many have attempted to identify the skills important for a learner today in this era of the 21st century (I know it is an overused phrase). I have an affinity towards the skills identified by Tony Wagner: Critical thinking and problem-solvingCollaboration across networks and leading by influenceAgility and adaptabilityInitiative and entrepreneurialismEffective oral and written communicationAccessing and analyzing informationCuriosity and imagination Today I viewed a slideshow created by Gallup entitled, The Economics of Human Development: The Path to Winning Again in Education. Here are some slides from this presentation.
Technology Instructional Strategies for Pre-K and Kindergarten Adding technology to a preschool or kindergarten classroom is always a little bit tricky. You have to walk a fine line. On one hand, we know that when delivered in the right fashion, technology instruction can be beneficial for young children. Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves Editor's Note: This piece was adapted from Building a Community of Self-Motivated Learners: Strategies to Help Students Thrive in School and Beyond by Larry Ferlazzo, available March 21, 2015 from Routledge. My previous post reviewed research on extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and described the four qualities that have been identified as critical to helping students motivate themselves: autonomy, competence, relatedness, and relevance. In this post, I'll discuss practical classroom strategies to reinforce each of these four qualities. Autonomy Providing students with freedom of choice is one strategy for promoting learner autonomy.
What is Connected Learning Ninth-grader Charles Raben has seen first-hand that by connecting the many spheres of his life -- peers, interests and academic pursuits -- new learning experiences can and will present themselves in both organized and unstructured ways. In the summer of 2012, Charles utilized his photography skills and the petition website Change.org to capture and share the story of Jerry Delakas, a longtime local newsstand operator who was in danger of losing his New York City license over a technicality. "I wanted to have that experience of creating change myself." The petition-making process proved to be a life-changing learning experience for the teen. Charles has become even more engaged in school, and all of his academic work is improving as a result of all of these activities because he has an identity now. A single sentence on his photography blog eloquently bares this newfound identity: "Each face tells a story and I try to capture just that."
11 Ways to Incorporate Blended Learning into Kindergarten Kindergarten: it looks different, sounds different, and even smells different. And in an age where technology is increasingly found in elementary classrooms, many teachers are left asking when and how technology should be introduced to youngsters. There are a number of learning opportunities when technology is integrated effectively into the classroom: learning can be individualized, students can collaborate, and teachers become facilitators. Recognizing this, I opted to give blended learning a try in my own kindergarten classroom.
10 Great Homework Help Websites for Students April 15, 2014 The web is teeming with good places where your students and kids can get help with their homework. Sometimes it does take a lot of time to find such good resources, however, to save you time and to provide you with some excellent platforms to start with when recommending homework help websites, I compiled the list below featuring a variety of web resources for this purpose: BrainPOP BrainPOP creates animated, curricular content that engages students, supports educators, and bolsters achievement.All lessons starts with a video introduction and cover various topics.