“We’re going on an expedition!” – pypchef How exciting does that sound? OMG! We’re doing what???!! Announce the title of this post to your students and behold the wonder in their eyes! What could an expedition sound like / feel like / look like? ELT Rants, Reviews, and Reflections In my last post, I looked at some blog posts I wished I’d commented on in 2013. In this post, I’d like to share some newer blogs that have caught my attention. Please do click through to them if you don’t want me to get all stroppy. Please also let me know in the comments about other new ELT blogs which have caught your attention and I will happily list them too. This is not my first time to share new ELT blogs.
A Look Back: Giving Teachers the Opportunity to Say “Yes” to Ed Tech Next February, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Leading up to it, I’m re-starting a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ll be re-posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years.
Deeper learning What does it mean to be a "teacher leader?" Is it working for the United State Department of Education, like Tch Laureate Sean McComb? Is it using Teaching Channel Teams in conjunction with the State of Iowa to help fellow educators transition to the Next Generation Science Standards, like Tch’s Next Gen Science Squad members Kyla Burns and Susan Lyons?
8 Tech Tools to Get to Know Your Students for Back to School The first day of class can be daunting. Students are curious about the new faces around them, intimidated–even frightened by the prospect of so many people they know nothing about. As a teacher, you might feel the same way. You knew everything about last year’s students, got excited when their baseball team won the playoffs, cried with them when a favorite pet passed away, cheered when they got an A in math. Those details–that intimate knowledge–helped you understand what motivated them so you could differentiate instruction to reach each of them where they were.
5 Video Game Principles that Motivate Endless Play and Learning Everyone is well aware that video games captivate audiences around the world. By 2015, their annual market share is projected to be $111 billion. If we can understand what makes video games so engaging (their core principles, not superficial mechanics), we can harness these principles to make our schools more effective. From my experience researching and designing math games for MIND Research Institute, here are five basic principles video games embody to create engaging experiences for players: Concept learning: Abstract concepts at play as little people think big At most schools a reading of Charlotte's Web might end with a bunch of little spiders made from pipe cleaners and a few tears at the poignancy of the story itself. At Preshil independent school, the classic yarn is the stepping off point to an understanding of life cycles, problem solving and the concept of balance. In an early learning classroom, teacher Oriana Ramunno is a fly, buzzing around. Half a dozen small children take on the role of spiders (their little fingers crooked as fangs) and strings of web.
25 BEST WEBSITES FOR LEARNING ENGLISH I want the new e-book! How do you learn English in your free time? Do you meet internationals in cafés, do you self-study using books, do you get on the internet? When it comes to learning many people have realized they are not going to acquire the language just by sitting in classrooms. But not everyone has the opportunity to walk out to the street and start practising with the passers-by. Most of us, who are learning English, don’t live in an English-speaking country. 11 Lessons About Game-based Learning and STEM Education MIND's third annual K-12 Game-a-thon is now well underway, challenging students from across the country to design, build and share their own math games. If you're cruious about how game-based learning can engage and excite kids around STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), it's worth checking out the recorded townhall hosted by STEMconnector on “Leveraging Game-based Learning to Increase STEM Engagement.” In case you missed it, here are 11 lessons we learned from the teachers, students, game-designers, philanthropists and experts who participated. Games are already ubiquitous Edie Fraser, CEO of STEMconnector, pointed out that 4 out of 5 American households currently have a gaming device, according to a recent study (ESA, 2015). “We know that game-based learning is revolutionizing learning in school and out of school and ... keeping kids engaged, so it is exciting.”
The link between pedagogy and the physical environment Without doubt the key contribution an Architect or Designer can make to the classrooms of today and tomorrow is to form a link between pedagogy and the physical environment. Designing for the 21st Century is critical to student success and teacher well-being. Imagine a small group of students tasked with discussing and building a cardboard model of the stratum in a rainforest. Technology can transform education, but not without people #ISTE2015 It’s been five years since I joined Twitter. To be honest, I didn’t know what Twitter was all about when I joined. I knew that I wanted to share what I was writing with the world, and besides my Mom, my friends, and my wife (sometimes) there was no one out there who seemed particularly interested in what I was writing about: teaching and learning. At the time I didn’t know many other people who were educators, and I sure didn’t know many people who wanted to talk about education (much less transform education). There was almost no one in my school who was connected online with other teachers and leaders.