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20 Classroom Technology Tools You Might Not Know The use of technology in the classroom is no longer up for debate. It's now extremely clear: the effective use of classroom technology drives student results. But, any competent education professional would be quick to point out that student results are only positively impacted when they are introduced to the right tools. What’s Wrong with Extra Credit? – Teachers Going Gradeless Sifting through the #extracredit hashtag on Twitter, it seems there are more extra credit opportunities than learning opportunities. If the situations I share below look familiar, it’s probably because many teachers are providing similar options for extra credit. Of course I took some liberties: I had to try to make some of it funny, because otherwise writing this post would make my blood pressure rise. Being so far removed from extra credit myself, it’s hard for me to put myself in the shoes of someone who still uses extra credit to motivate students.

Periodic table of #STEAM iPad apps First things first. As I started in my last periodic table post, it’s never just about the apps. End of. That said being guided around tried and tested apps from the classroom can be really helpful. This new periodic table looks at #STEAM apps, namely those that can link through to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths. My massive thanks go to Brett Salakas, Cathy Hunt, Dean Pearman and Rachel Smith for letting me run the table under their gaze and for feeding forward some of the app ideas too.

New Teachers So, new teachers, you've just graduated. You’ve spent years working, weeks anticipating and hours studying. You’re thrilled. You’re ready to take on the world. Bud the Teacher – Inquiry & Reflection for Better Learning Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit in on a conversation with some smart folks in the maker education community1. We were continuing a conversation we started on Twitter a month or so back. You can watch a recording of yesterday’s piece of the conversation here. You should listen/watch the conversation. I learned a lot […]

The path to paperless: 13 tech tools for teachers on a tight budget Flipgrid Holly Clark, education strategist and coauthor of The Google Infused Classroom, says video discussion platform Flipgrid is a great tool for teachers to capture information about student learning and growth. Flipgrid is a free app where teachers can post a question or other cues for student response, and students can then reply with short videos. InsertLearning The InsertLearning tool is a Chrome browser extension that allows teachers to turn almost any web page into an interactive classroom lesson. Teachers can highlight text; add questions, comments, and videos; and test students inside the app with a Google Classroom code.

Mrs. Willyerd's Virtual Classroom: project-based learning It's been a long time since our last science update, but the seventh graders have been busy working on the Travel Channel Commercial Challenge. Students were challenged to research an assigned biome and create an infomercial that would make Travel Channel viewers want to visit that biome on their next vacation. Students not only had to develop their scientific knowledge with biomes and the biodiversity of plants and animals but they had to use their social studies skills to understand the location of the biomes and language arts skills to create persuasive scripts for their infomercials. Students also learned how to research and got a lot of practice summarizing online articles. Now that the biome unit is wrapped up, we are starting to study the water cycle. There are lots of neat activities that the students will be doing as we venture into the water cycle, the atmosphere, and weather in the coming months!

Resources and Downloads for STEM STEM Is Jambalaya: Internalize this food metaphor to shift into a STEM mindset. (Edutopia, 2014) How to Get Your School Ready for STEM This Year: Discover a few straightforward tips for preparing your school to launch STEM learning that don’t require access to large amounts of funding. (KQED's MindShift, 2013) 10 Innovative Ways to Bring STEM to Schools: Explore ideas for bringing STEM learning into schools, including teacher research and development teams, inviting guest scientists, organizing clubs, and convening parent focus groups.

edutopia Journaling Education blogger Vicki Davis writes 20 things she is thankful for in a joy journal, citing research studies indicating that this practice produces greater long-term happiness than winning the lottery—serious happy. Some of my students volunteered to write joy journals before each class this semester.

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