Digital footprint? Try digital tattoo, experts say

In digital citizenship education, the idea of a digital footprint—the “tracks” students leave behind online as they interact on social media and put information online—is nothing new.

But lately, the digital footprint is being replaced by the digital tattoo, to emphasize to students the idea that any information they put online is permanent, just like a tattoo. Even if they think they’ve deleted it, it could have been saved or screen-shotted by others, or saved by the app or platform they use to post it.

Check out this digital citizenship infographic, and other digital citizenship information, from ISTE. These resources from last year’s Digital Citizenship Week may help, too.…Read More

7 important considerations for virtual reality

Virtual reality has a growing number of applications in the classroom, but experts in a new report caution that the technology should be used carefully with students’ still-developing brains.

Recent data indicates that while few teachers are using virtual and augmented reality, the technologies does show some promise. Speak Up Survey data shows that 5 percent of teachers say they are using virtual or augmented reality in their classroom. Higher percentages of high school computer science and technology teachers (11 percent) and science teachers (9 percent) are using the technologies.

Forty-three percent of district administrators in small districts want virtual reality experiences and hardware in their schools. Twenty percent of district administrators said virtual and augmented reality professional development is a priority this year.…Read More

Can today’s new technologies totally revamp learning?

As wearable technology, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) become more mainstream and more available to educators, many innovators are looking at how combining such technologies can impact classrooms in the future.

What if a piece of wearable technology could sense a student’s stress and offer access to mentors and coaches with just a click of a button? Or imagine a group of students curious and eager to learn more about another culture. What if they could use AR to interact with groups of students from different countries to work on a shared project without ever having to leave the classroom?

A new publication from KnowledgeWorks, Leveraging Digital Depth for Responsive Learning Environments, explores the potential future impacts of using wearables, AR, and VR in the classroom and other learning environments. The report also encourages educators to develop a critical filter to sift through the hype and determine the value and use of these new technologies.…Read More

8 TED-Ed Lessons to engage even the most uninterested students

Using digital media is a surefire way to grab students’ attention, and using everyday topics students encounter in their personal lives is an even better way to engage them in learning.

With a wealth of resources online, educators can find content that meets students where they’re comfortable learning, with interactive and engaging presentation. TED-Ed Lessons are among the resources that help students learn while engaging them in the subject matter.

TED Talks have grown in popularity in part for their inspiring and frank perspectives on any number of world issues, and educators can leverage these resources for learning.…Read More

23 top-rated websites for teachers and librarians

Do you want to create a game to help students learn a new concept? Are you looking for free pictures and videos for students to use in digital presentations? You’re in luck: Websites for educational game creation, copyright-free images and videos, and video-based quizzes are among the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) top websites for teaching and learning.

During a packed 400-person session at TCEA, Shannon McClintock Miller, a consultant and former district teacher librarian at Van Meter Community School District in Iowa, presented the list of 23 sites. The sites offer resources for media sharing, digital storytelling, social networking, management and organization, content resources, and curriculum collaboration.

To make it on AASL’s list, Miller said, a website has to have an education component, must be for K-12 use, and has to offer a free version.…Read More

18 powerful technology tools and trends for 2018

Technology changes so rapidly that the newest tablets, phones, and tools are often outdated within a couple years. Pair that fast pace with the education industry, which is notoriously slow to adopt new things, and it doesn’t exactly sound like a recipe for innovation.

But educators can take their classrooms to the next level, and they can innovate, if they know which technologies to keep on their radar.

During TCEA, Dr. Maureen Yoder, a professor in Lesley University’s Educational Technology Department, presented 18 education trends that will take top billing in 2018.…Read More

Teachers: English learners need resources, support

Most K-12 educators (80 percent) said they believe English Language Learner (ELL) instruction is a top priority for their school or district, according to a new survey.

Ninety-nine percent of surveyed educators also said they need more professional development and different types of learning materials to properly support ELL students and meet their needs, according to the 2017 EL Education Report from McGraw-Hill Education. Only 55 percent of respondents believe that their school or district provides sufficient, ongoing professional development to support ELL student success.

Newer ELL educators (those who have worked in ELL education for less than two years) are significantly less confident than more experienced educators in their ELL training and development, with only 36 percent of new respondents feeling they have received enough professional development compared to 70 percent of more experienced educators.…Read More

Newsflash: Preparing students for the future workforce is a society-wide effort

Today’s jobs are changing, and they are changing at such a rapid pace that many of the jobs our students will hold in the future do not even exist today.

But just because we don’t know what those jobs are doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to prepare today’s students, and tomorrow’s work force, for the opportunities awaiting them. A large part of that preparation will rely on equal technology access to all students.

In order to empower our students and give them the confidence they’ll need to take their skills into the workforce of the future, we must help students see themselves as “change agents”–an idea esposed by many educators, including Dr. Kedra Gamble, an assistant professor of professional practice and community school partnership liaison.…Read More

5 tips to take your large school district into the digital age

Technology changes quickly, with educators and administrators often racing to catch up. Sometimes the bigger the school district, the longer it can take to make what happens inside classrooms as engaging as what students encounter outside our doors.

But just as chalkboards have given way to interactive whiteboards, so can your school system bring all aspects of teaching and learning into the digital age.

Here are five ways to get started in creating digital learning environments:…Read More