eSchool Media, Casey Green to host interactive interviews from ASU GSV Innovation Summit

Shindig, a platform for large-scale video chat, to power the three-day event

eSchool Media and Campus Computing announced plans for interactive Thought Leader Interviews at the 2016 ASU GSV Innovation Summit on April 18, 19 and 20 in San Diego.

The interactive interviews are intended to connect educators in schools and on college campuses with the Summit presenters and participants. Shindig, a turnkey solution for video chat teaching and events, will power the three day event, allowing moderator Casey Green, founding director of Campus Computing, and the interview participants to engage directly with the online audience.

The annual ASU GSV Innovation Summit brings together educators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, policymakers, philanthropists, and university and school district leaders to create partnerships, explore solutions, and to shape the future of learning.…Read More

Introducing the math selfie

Math selfies, QR codes, and Kahoot games enrich one school

Sure, you may have taken a selfie, but you likely haven’t taken an equivalent fraction selfie — and if you ask the Jefferson Elementary School fourth-graders in Jennifer Moser’s fourth-grade math class, you haven’t really lived until you’ve snapped, uploaded and shared your share of equivalent fraction selfies.

These high-tech, mathematically-savvy and, let’s face it, just plain cool selfies are just one way Wichita Falls ISD students are using digital technology in their classrooms as a way to enhance and enrich learning.

Teams of administrators spent much of Wednesday visiting these classrooms, part of the District Classroom Pilot Program, as part of the nationwide Digital Technology Day. They wanted to see the innovative ways educators are using such technology. The district launched the program this school year, supplying 42 teachers across all grade levels and subject areas with iPad Minis, Google Chromebooks or laptops for a cost of about $475,000.…Read More

What does research really say about iPads in the classroom?

Two educators put the research to the test. When (and how) are iPads most effective?

Popular mobile devices may come and go, but the iPad has remained a hit in the K-12 classroom. But even though they’re in schools, our work with teachers has led us to understand that while many of them would like to use iPads meaningfully in their classrooms, they can’t because of time, access, and training.

So for the past year and a half, we’ve both been working with teachers and university students integrating iPad technology into the classroom in a controlled way. While doing this, we came across several outcomes that made us question and dig deeper into what the research actually says about using them in the classroom. Do students and younger teachers use them more effectively? Do they work better for some student populations? It’s probably not giving much away to say that the most important learning outcome we found was that experience is the greatest teacher.

First, a note about who we are. Jeanne is a teacher (elementary and part-time professor) and Tanya is a university professor (former special education teacher) who loved using technology as a teaching tool. Jeanne wrote several grants to bring technology into her school and her classroom but she kept noticing that she was flying solo—very few of her school’s teachers were using iPads in the classroom beyond the usual Friday afternoon fun time and as a reward for being “good.” We wanted to know more about this resistance and hesitation when it came to the use of iPads in the classrooms.…Read More

Certiport announces CERTIFIED 2016 Educator Conference

Professional development conference helps educators bring the full promise and potential of technology certification to the classroom

Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, a test delivery solution provider for the global workforce and academic markets, announced the CERTIFIED 2016 Educator Conference, a conference dedicated to helping educators bring the full promise and potential of technology certification to the classroom.

Educators are invited to attend CERTIFIED from June 28-30, 2016 in Orlando, Florida at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista. Registration is open now at www.certiport.com/certified.

CERTIFIED 2016 is ideal for secondary education teachers, college faculty, and administrators who are working to empower their students by bringing certification opportunities into their school and classroom.…Read More

Watch 14 thought leadership presentations from a recent ed-tech symposium

New library of thought leadership resources will support creation of dynamic digital learning environments

In July 2015, Discovery Education, provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms and CUE, the California-based organization inspiring innovative learners and advocating educational opportunities for all, partnered with the California State Parks to host a unique leadership symposium.

Designed specifically for California superintendents interested in creating dynamic digital learning environments that meet the needs of today’s learners, this event featured a series of brief, thought-provoking talks that surfaced actionable strategies for improving teaching and learning.

Now, Discovery Education and CUE are sharing with educators nationwide the library of presentations from this event. These presentations explore a variety of critical topics, including using professional development to support device deployment, communicating with stakeholders, improving attendance and discipline during the digital transition, and more, and were delivered by school leaders from across California as well as nationally recognized Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance.…Read More

Is it time to redesign your curriculum for the 21st century learner?

A new framework advocates for carefully curating what students learn. Is it time to rethink your curriculum?

It’s not a stretch to say that today’s educational paradigm is preoccupied with the “how” of learning. Educators are grappling — either by choice or decree — with how to incorporate digital devices, new learning standards, and more collaboration and critical thinking into the already-packed school day. With so much to do, who has time to take a fine-toothed comb through the curriculum or debate whether students still need to know the date of the Battle of Hastings?

But maybe it’s exactly the right time, according to Charles Fadel, the founder of the Center for Curriculum Redesign and a visiting practitioner at Harvard’s Graduate School for Education. Fadel has previously written about 21st century skills and recently turned his attention to the “what” of learning as co-author of a new book, Four-Dimensional Education,” which is less of a teach this, not that manual and more of a framework for exploring the modern competencies students will need in a world where job titles and career choices are changing faster than schools can keep up. Recently, Fadel spoke with us about his framework, the appeal of inter-disciplinary subjects, and whether it’s time to retire the old Capitals of the World quiz once and for all.

What is a 21st century curriculum? What needs to change?…Read More

New professional development focuses on engagement through gaming

New online professional development course focuses on increasing student achievement through engagement with game-based learning

The ever-increasing omnipresence of digital media in student’s lives can be challenging for teachers as they compete for kid’s attention in and out of the classroom. With this in mind, Teach n’ Kids Learn (TKL) and DimensionU have teamed up to create a robust Online Professional Development course that supports teachers’ instruction in mathematics and language arts through gamification, quickly and easily.

Included for K-12 educators who enroll in the course by February 15, 2016, is a free DimensionU Class License (for up to 30 students), through the remainder of this school year.

The online professional development course focuses on helping teachers incorporate educational video games and applying game-based learning techniques in the classroom. The DimensionU portfolio of educational games creates high student engagement and offers a solid foundation with demonstrated improvement in students’ achievement results. In regards to the online course, TKL’s instructional methodology, guarantees teachers immediate implementation in the classroom, individualized support and well structured, easy-to-use examples for applying the newly acquired techniques.…Read More

6 apps to help parents and teachers communicate

Keep parents in the loop with these tools

Educators know that students’ home lives play an integral role in their academic success. Communication between teachers and parents makes it easier for educators to understand the outside challenges students may deal with, and it helps parents understand how they can better support their children in school.

SimplyCircle
SchoolCircle helps parents stay connected to teachers by organizing school communications in a central dashboard with action items and alerts.

Ringya
Ringya lets users create groups and, within those groups, create subgroups or lists. Users can call, text, email, and chat with individuals, subgroups, or the entire group. Group members are identified by how they’re connected to the user, so a teacher knows who is calling or texting.…Read More

What do we really mean by risk taking in the classroom?

It’s important for students to learn risk taking skills. But how do schools do that without taking some big risks themselves?

Let’s face it. We are of two minds when it comes to how we feel about kids and risk taking. We know that the teenage brain is wired to ignore consequences and to take risks without any adult encouragement, so parents spend a lot of time trying to keep their kids from doing stupid things like drinking and driving or having unprotected sex.

In the classroom, however, risk taking is often viewed as a good thing. We educators tend to praise and encourage students to take gambles and learn from their mistakes. At least, that’s what we say.

This idea can raise a few hackles and more than a few questions. What characterizes a “good risk?” How can we create a culture of risk taking in our classrooms? And what might we currently be doing that discourages risk taking in our students?…Read More

11 ed-tech buzzwords and phrases to think about

Do these “edubabble” terms have meaning or are they just empty rhetoric?

Get a group of educators together either online or in person and at times it can seem like they’re speaking a different dialect. Want to disrupt the fixed mindset and combat the device gap in the age of the digital native? Well, have you tried innovating your hidden curriculum? Just add more grit (or should that be rigor?). And do it all like a pirate. No, wait: a rockstar.

At best, ed-tech buzzwords can serve as a sort of shorthand when conversing with like minds to quickly touch on relevant, universally-understood phenomena, perhaps with an eye toward saving precious Twitter characters to add additional insight. At worst, as one blogger put it, edubabble is “an act of unconscionable self-indulgence.”

Moreover, in fitting with language’s protean nature, shiny new terms are likely to elude a single, fixed definition, making them even more incomprehensible to outsiders, or even other insiders. To educator Mark Johnson, in a recent blog post, it recalled the scene in Lewis Caroll’s “Through the Looking Glass” where Humpty Dumpty misuses the word “glory” in triumph at having successfully explained the concept of birthdays and un-birthdays to Alice.…Read More