4. Digital texts and eBooks save kids’ backs everywhere: Remember the days when you used to have to carry a 30-pound math book, cover all your Language Arts novels in paper or be fined, and never make any marks or take notes in the book because it’s not really yours? We don’t either, because we’ve blocked out the trauma. However, thanks to districts across the country implementing eBook programs in school libraries, students can now highlight inside of their textbooks, hear a voice read aloud key passages in novels, instantly look up the definition of a word online with just the touch of a finger, and never have to worry about taking two Advil every time math class rolls around. And this transition is not easy for schools! From learning new adoption times, to dealing with the technology needed to implement widespread eBook use, and libraries redesigning loaning methods, to curriculum instructors figuring out which eBooks are legitimate, districts are doing everything they can to get student learning into the 21st century. (Read: “Publishers answering the call for digital textbooks.” “Schools confront digital textbook challenges.” “Four keys to success with digital textbooks.” “What to consider for eBook implementation.” “6 ways eBooks can support Common Core.”
5. Flipped learning totally won prom this year: OMG we hate to love hearing about how every teacher is trying out flipped learning. But if you think about it, how brave are teachers for implementing this new method? Not only does flipped learning ask teachers to become tech-savvy enough to understand video recording software, but it also asks students to be responsible enough to not play another level of Uncharted and sit down to patiently watch a lecture-like video. The teacher’s entire way of structuring class is then literally overturned as students come into class ready to do their “homework.” Imagine now that, starting tomorrow, you will work in your home and go to the office for Happy Hour—talk about better office relations! That’s what teachers are doing all across the nation, all to help students learn in a way that’s more natural and fosters better collaboration. Hooray, teachers, you deserve your crown!