4 ways to make your class more engaging

New method called ‘Connected Learning’ aims to make courses more engaging for youth

engaging-class-connectedMobile technology and its use in the classroom is booming across the country; but outside of the ‘cool tech’ aspect, many educators struggle to understand why students find tech-connected classrooms more engaging. A new method of teaching and learning explains that it’s not about the technology–it’s about the four principles behind it.

Connected Learning, an educational approach designed by the Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE), says it harnesses the information age to make learning more powerful.

“For too many young people, particularly our most vulnerable populations, formal education is disconnected from other meaningful social contexts in their everyday lives,” explains AEE in a new brief. “The connected learning model posits that focusing educational attention on the links between different spheres of learning—peer culture, interests, and academic subjects—better supports interest-driven and meaningful learning in ways that take advantage of the potential of digital networks and online resources to provide access to an engaging learning experience.”…Read More

Five essentials to create connected students

Recently we had a holiday, or at least it felt like one, edSurge reports. Apple released its new operating system. The students knew it was being released at 1pm EDT which was during their lunch, so many ate early and were stationed in various WiFi nodes to “try to get the best signal” to download the new update. At 12:57 some person in California hit the switch three minutes early and you could hear the noise ripple through the building. These students are already connected. But there are students who are not. The most obviously disconnected students don’t have phones or WiFi. They don’t have the technology in their hands because they don’t have it at home. Many are just glad to get a meal and having a cell phone is not high on the priority list for their family…

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Six can’t-miss Connected Educator Month panels

Connected Educator Month (CEM) kick-off sessions discuss STEM, peer collaboration, and more


What better way to commence Connected Educator Month (CEM), starting Oct. 1st, then to connect educators across the country to discuss topics most relevant to education today?

In an effort to highlight topics many educators say are critical to 21st century learning, Connected Educators highlighted six kick-off panels (three on Oct. 1st and three on Oct. 2nd) to get the virtual ball rolling on topics such as integrating formal and informal professional development, classroom management for the connected (think BYOD) classroom, and what it means to be a connected leader.…Read More

Learn how to become a connected educator

Not a “connected” educator? Here’s where you can start.

educators-connectedConnected Educators Month (CEM), an initiative launched by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to help educators make better use of digital and social media tools for collaboration, has released a new video highlighting popular educators on Facebook, Twitter, and other digital spheres.

“Go back thousands of years and educators would collaborate,” said Tom Whitby, founder of #edchat and a high school English teacher, “but technology has taken us to a level where we can collaborate beyond our wildest imagination.”

The video aims to spread the word about Connected Educators Month, first launched in 2012. The goal, says ED, is to call attention to the different ways online communities and learning networks can connect educators and aid them in collaborating with and learning from peers.…Read More

Obama unveils ConnectED initiative to boost digital learning

“We are living in a digital age, and to help our students get ahead, we must make sure they have access to cutting-edge technology,” said Obama.

President Obama today unveiled ConnectED, a new initiative intended to connect 99 percent of America’s students to the internet through high-speed broadband and high-speed wireless within five years. He called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to modernize and leverage its existing eRate program to meet that goal.

Obama also directed the federal government to make better use of existing funds to get internet connectivity and educational technology into classrooms, and into the hands of teachers trained on its advantages.  And he called on businesses, states, districts, schools, and communities to support this vision. This initiative does not require Congressional action.

(Next page: A White House fact sheet, and what digital learning advocates are saying)…Read More