Easy-to-Use Educreations Helps Students Show What They Know We’re spotlighting an app this week that we think is versatile enough, and easy enough to use, that even the most time-strapped educator can take advantage of it: Educreations. Educreations is a free mini whiteboard for students or teachers. You can write on it, record a video or just audio, and much more. These mini creations can get kids involved in the lesson in new ways. Teachers can create lessons or a slice of a lesson to share with students. And best of all, it’s very easy to use, which is not surprising given that the creator of “Pieces of Flair” on Facebook, Wade Roberts, is behind the design. As he told Mindshift’s Katrina Schwartz of ed-tech software generally: “If this is the future of learning, there needs to be a platform for the average, non-tech savvy teacher to participate.” Here are a few examples that Mark Thomas, a teacher and educational computing strategist at Vincent L. A math teacher also commenting on our site uses it to test comprehension: Related Posts:
How to Get Students to Work Harder Over the past five years, more than $200 million has gone toward launching the new Common Core standards, with the goal of closing achievement gaps in public schools. But for all their meticulous detail about math and language curricula, the standards fail to address one important factor: the psychological barriers that stand between many students and deeper learning. Unless students are motivated to take on the new standards, and persuaded that they’re up to the challenge, the Common Core could have the unintended effect of leaving many students even further behind. Researchers like Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck—best known for her 2006 book Mindset—have been gathering insights into student motivation for three decades. New work by her colleagues makes a strong case for focusing on students’ perceptions of themselves. The good news is that students can be buttressed psychologically to tackle academic challenges. The results were striking.
How Looking at Student Work Keeps Teachers and Kids on Track A Science Leadership Academy sophomore puts the finishing touches on a geometry project during her lunch period. Much of the work students produce is read only by their teachers. It can feel disconnected from the class as a whole and irrelevant to a broader conversation. That’s why examining and critiquing student work as a regular part of classroom interactions can be a powerful way for both teachers and students to reflect on their work, while building a community culture that focuses on the process of learning. Increasingly, educators are focusing on teaching students about their learning brains, in addition to specific subject content. Research by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck and others on developing academic mindsets have helped show that students’ perceptions of themselves as learners plays a large role in their academic success. When discussing projects, educators often jump to examples in English or social studies classes. Related
To the Teachers, Already Tired | Accidental Devotional It is the middle of September and you are already tired. It is scary isn’t it? This tired feeling so early in the school year. If this is what September feels like, how will we ever make it to Thanksgiving? In the midst of all of this you have names, personalities, and needs to learn whether written down officially or just recently discovered. You wonder if doing all the right things is really what it takes to do right by your kids. I know it is hard right now. Education is the quickest way out of poverty. I know your classes are maxed out in a way they have never been before (and three years ago wasn’t even legal). Like this: Like Loading...
The Pedagogy Of John Dewey: A Summary The Pedagogy Of John Dewey: A Summary by Steve Wheeler, Associate Professor, Plymouth Institute of Education This is number 7 in my blog series on major learning theories. My plan is to work through the alphabet of psychologists and provide a brief overview of their theories, and how each can be applied in education. John Dewey is one of the giants in the history of educational theory, and it’s difficult to isolate one of his specific theories to discuss here. The theory and how it can be applied to education Even before the constructivist theories of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky were widely known, Dewey was talking about how children learn best when they interacted with their environments and were actively involved with the school curriculum. Dewey further argued that for education to be at its most effective, children should be given learning opportunities that enabled them to link present content to previous experiences and knowledge. Reference Dewey, J. (2011) Democracy and Education.
Are American class periods too short for Common Core? As districts across the country implement Common Core, educators – such as these in Elverson, Pennsylvania, Calistoga, California, and Wilmington, Delaware – are calling for a restructuring of the school day so that students spend more time in each class. Instead of the typical class period of about 45 minutes, schools are lengthening classes to upwards of 90 minutes to cover all the material and allow teachers to change the way they teach to meet the new requirements. Common Core, a set of standards in math and English in place in over 40 states, only directs what students should know at the end of each grade, but it’s also affecting how lessons are taught. Jamie Wall, a math teacher at Brooklawn Middle School in Parsippany, New Jersey, used her state’s shift to Common Core to fulfill a teaching dream – her math students spending the entire period working collaboratively in groups – but says that her school’s schedule isn’t ideal for this kind of teaching.
5 Tips to Stay Positive in Negative Situations Negative situations happen all the time. We can’t avoid them, so how can we counteract their negative effect on our lives and our attitudes? Learning the power of positive thinking helps us stay positive even in the midst of tragedy. 1. It’s important to have a positive support group to help each other through difficult times. 2. Even in the worst of times, most of us realize that we still have things in our lives for which we are grateful. 3. Are you a person who continually beats yourself up mentally? 4. We know that exercise is good for our bodies, but what about our minds? 5. Many of us are resistant to changes in our lives. More tragic changes, such as death, will throw us off even worse, but when our brains are practiced on how to stay positive in negative situations, even tragedy won’t destroy us. Do you have any friends or colleagues who are negative?
Games and Your Brain: How to Use Gamification to Stop Procrastinating It is Thursday afternoon. Hump day. You are being humped. The one thing you wished to accomplish today remains unaccomplished, sitting there as a painful reminder of your failure, goading you to check Tumblr just one more time. You lack motivation, clearly. And there’s your answer! Turning repetitive tasks into games is the secret sauce to getting things done. Where did gamification come from in the first place? The idea behind gamification—challenge, motivation, reward— have been present in video games from the start, and it was gaming’s growth from niche to mainstream in the 2000s that helped push game mechanics into new industries and fields. The spark for the gamification boom is often traced to technology apps like Foursquare, which popularized ubiquitous badges for highly engaged users, and social games like Zynga’s FarmVille, which achieved huge commercial success on Facebook with its infinite reward system. Why our brains are so attracted to playing games Dopamine is the trigger
Research says iPads and smartphones may damage toddlers' brains | Technology Using a smartphone or iPad to pacify a toddler may impede their ability to learn self-regulation, according to researchers. In a commentary for the journal Pediatrics, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine reviewed available types of interactive media and raised “important questions regarding their use as educational tools”, according to a news release. The researchers said that though the adverse effects of television and video on very small children was well understood, society’s understanding of the impact of mobile devices on the pre-school brain has been outpaced by how much children are already using them. The researchers warned that using a tablet or smartphone to divert a child’s attention could be detrimental to “their social-emotional development”. “If these devices become the predominant method to calm and distract young children, will they be able to develop their own internal mechanisms of self-regulation?”
How curiosity changes our brains Participants in the study were asked to rate how curious they were to find out the answer to a specific trivia question, such as: “What does the term ‘dinosaur’ actually mean?” The participants were then placed in an MRI machine that measures brain activity, based on changes in blood flow when the brain is performing certain tasks. The participants saw the trivia question again followed by the image of a person’s face and were asked to make a specific decision about the person. Finally, they were shown the answer to the trivia question, in the dinosaur case “terrible lizard.” After the MRI scan the participants completed a surprise test on the answers to the trivia questions and also on their ability to recognize the faces shown during the scan. Example trials from screening and study phases Gruber et al., States of Curiosity Modulate Hippocampus-Dependent Learning via the Dopaminergic Circuit, Neuron (2014) The research revealed three key findings. Motivations matter Stimulating curiosity
Benefits of Gaming: What Research Shows Part 7 of MindShift’s Guide to Games and Learning. Games and learning advocates often come up against the video game stigma. Despite the fact that we’ve now seen decades of game play, and that a generation of gamers has grown up without a civilization collapsing, the bad reputation persists — and it’s mostly based around fear. News stories abound: games make kids hyper, violent, stupid, anti-social. It’s not only that people are generally wary of the unfamiliar, we also live in a culture of heroism and progress that casts every innovation as a revolution. Rather than celebrating modification and iteration, we divide the world into what’s cutting-edge and what’s obsolete. But the introduction of video games in the classroom does not need to mean the end of books. Recently, researchers have begun to look at the positive impact of games both in a general way and for learning in particular. But it’s a little disingenuous to say that games are “good for kids.” Jordan Shapiro
Fresh Starts for Hard-to-Like Students | Edutopia Even though your toughest students are just kids at the mercy of emotions they don't understand or can't control, it can be hard for a teacher to stay calm and not take these ongoing behavioral problems personally. My advice: it's time to hit the reset button! Tough kids are usually covering a ton of hurt. 1. At a seminar that I gave at a school in Houston, one of the teachers talked about the turn-around in a boy from her class the year before who had been driving her crazy. Since hugging isn't always appropriate, consider this strategy. Carson, I was hoping you'd show up -- and you did. Wait until there is no audience around before you express concern and/or give a consequence for the student's behavior: Carson, I am concerned that you continue to fall behind because you're often missing part or all of class. 2. Words of encouragement get and keep students connected and motivated. You really hung in there by _______. 3. Who is your best-behaved or most motivated student? 4.
100 Things to Do in Northeast Ohio this Fall If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration for family friendly fall fun, this list is for you! Below you’ll find details on 100 things to do in Northeast Ohio this fall! We’d love your input too! Are there events on the list that you’ve been to before? Any other recommendations? Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, Hay Rides & Fall Fun Northeast Ohio Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, Hayrides and Fall Festivals – Looking for some good old fashioned farm fun? And be sure to check out our 2014 Featured Events: Kingsway Pumpkin Farm – Located in Hartville Ohio, there is so much to do a Kingsway. Maize Valley Farm Market & Winery – Another fantastic farm in Hartville. Ramseyer Farms Fall Fun – A fifth-generation family farm located in the heart of Wayne County. Nickajack Farms Fall Fest - 120 acre working farm. Red Wagon Farm Pumpkin Festival – family-owned and operated farm located in Lorain County. Apple Orchards Wondering what to do with all those apples? Halloween Events & Activities Festivals, Fairs