Educating parents of the Siri generation

In our digital world, some parents may feel lost at sea. Here’s what they need to know

[Ed. note: Carl Hooker will deliver a related session on digital parenting at this year’s ISTE conference on Monday June 29. Previous ISTE coverage has focused on iPads and coding and keynoter Josh Stumpenhorst.]

digital-parentsWhat ever happened to the good old days? When I was a kid I used to listen to music my parents didn’t like and stay out riding my bike until the street lights came on. Today, our kids have scheduled playdates and a steady stream of organized activities, and spend the rest of their time connecting to others online. We no longer live in an analog world, yet why do we think our parenting should look the same as it did back then?

As an administrator in a one-to-one mobile device district, I’ve seen firsthand how access to devices can disrupt learning for both good and bad. But we forget that this disruption also occurs at home when the students take their device home. Our teachers hopefully have hours and hours of support and training for integrating these tools in the classroom, but what help are parents getting?…Read More

8 ways to improve your digital teaching

When good digital teaching means good digital learning

PLCs-communitiesEd. note: Innovation In Action is a new monthly column from the International Society of Technology in Education focused on exemplary practices in education.

digital-teachingWe all remember that one dedicated teacher from our early years. While they might not have had access to the same technology we do, they brought the world to us with images, stories, and play-pretend. They likely would’ve been one of the first to Skype with amazing people across the globe, competitively Kahoot, or have us build word clouds to help us learn vocabulary. They were full of life and encouraged us to find our personality.

In short, they were great teachers. Good teaching is the result of the conscious engagement between the teacher and the students, in an environment fostering inquiry, discovery, and creation. Good teaching is what makes digital age environments meaningful to students. Good pedagogy is the key to learning, regardless of the tool.…Read More

12 ways to adopt Google Apps for Education

A new digital resource offers tips to safely use Google Apps for Education

google-appsA new resource from Gaggle and Amplified IT offers technology facilitators 12 tips to help ensure that Google Apps for Education safe for teachers and students to use.

In any implementation, it’s important that school and technology leaders identify benefits and value associated with the implementation.

“Without the right strategies in place, most software and web-based tools–whether free or paid–are under-used in education,” according to the guide.…Read More

Set Up Your Own Digital Media Lab for Next to Nothing

A green screen and a Mac turn a storage space into a hi-tech playground

media-labBack when I was in school, class projects were limited to written reports, dioramas, and posters—things we could create with pencils, paper, Popsicle sticks, and glue. To say our students today have many more options available to them would be the understatement of the 21st century.

With the advent of lightning-quick computers and gorgeous digital media tools, students are now dreaming up PowerPoint presentations, Prezis, websites, wikis, Photo Stories, and more—things limited only by their imaginations. Creating these types of digital projects has become second nature to them, and they have no concept of a time when these technologies were not available. In fact, creating digital media has become a very personal matter. Just look on Facebook, YouTube, Vine, Vimeo, Instagram, Twitter and you will see that our students are creating and sharing digital content on a daily basis.

As educators, it behooves us to find ways to provide opportunities that allow our students to engage in learning activities relevant to their lives. As a library media specialist, I know there’s no better place to provide them with these opportunities than a school’s own library media center.…Read More

Five strategies for using classroom technology

New paper from Center for Promise highlights best technology practices gleaned from school districts

classroom-technologyTechnology and digital media continue to represent a powerful pathway for advancing the goals of education, including raising academic achievement and preparing students for college and career, according to a new study released by the Center for Promise, the research arm of America’s Promise Alliance.

In time for Digital Learning Day, the new paper, Wired to Learn: K-12 Students in the Digital Classroom, supported by the Cable Impacts Foundation, explores digital learning as a promising strategy for improving students’ educational experiences and highlights the efforts of five school districts across the country focused on reshaping the traditional learning environment.

“Our research findings illustrate how carefully planned and implemented digital learning initiatives can powerfully impact how students learn,” said Jonathan Zaff, executive director, Center for Promise. “Identifying innovative, yet practical ways to involve students in meaningful teaching plans that meet their individual needs and strengths is critical for creating positive pathways toward graduation.”…Read More

How a GoPro Got My Students Excited to Learn

One teacher recounts the transformation in learning, collaboration, and creativity he’s seen after adding a GoProgopro-racecar

Rewind to May 2007. . .

I had not planned to purchase a GoPro while out shopping. However, it was on sale, I had a coupon, two gift cards, and two weeks in the Florida Keys was just a moon phase away. Needless to say the summer spent fishing, snorkeling, and kayaking in the Keys yielded very few incredible pictures. I had purchased the Digital Hero 3, the first GoPro with sound. After that experience my GoPro stayed packed up with all my kayak gear and did not see the light of day too often.

Fast forward to August 2013 . . .    …Read More

Finding copyright-friendly photos for the Google Images generation

Searching and citing usable images is easy once students learn the basics

images-ccssTeaching students to respect the intellectual property of others is important in this digital “cut and paste” world we live in. One great project to share with students that can better help them understand how and when they may use images created by others is the Creative Commons project.

Creative Commons is designed to span the gap between full copyright and the public domain. The Creative Commons project provides content creators the opportunity to state ahead of time how their images may (or may not) be used.

When an image creator posts an image online and applies a Creative Commons license to it, there are four conditions/restrictions they can apply to the image:…Read More

Three Ways Digital Badges are Used in Education

As schools progress to include online and on-campus courses and activities, digital badges are suited to meet the needs of emerging education models

gI_132393_MakingbadgesAs children, our accomplishments were recognized with trophies, plaques, a pat on the back or cloth badges sewn on to a Girl Scout or Boy Scout sash.

In high school and college, we received diplomas and began to fill up resumes and LinkedIn profiles with job qualifications and experience. But what if there was a way to help acknowledge educational experiences that happen outside of the classroom and recognize valuable skills such as leadership or collaboration?

To address this need, the trend of digital badges is rapidly catching on. But what will be its impact and potential on education?…Read More