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.
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.
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.
To the Teachers, Already Tired 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? 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.
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. 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.
Research says iPads and smartphones may damage toddlers' brains 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.
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)
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.
Fresh Starts for Hard-to-Like Students 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.
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?