How mixed reality glasses can help struggling readers

Imagine you are a struggling reader. You dread reading…in any class. You feel like a failure, and you are starting to hate school. One day, your science teacher brings in a Microsoft HoloLens headset. You put on the mixed reality glasses and pick up the science article that the teacher wants you to read. You begrudgingly begin reading.

After only a few sentences you are lost because you don’t know what “light energy” means. Because your eyes stopped on that phrase, an animation jumps off the page through the glasses demonstrating an example of the concept with a voiceover explanation. Several moments later you read the word “photosynthesis” and another animation appears with an audio explanation. Suddenly, reading in science class takes on a whole new emotion…you are feeling success and are even interested in reading more about science.

Characteristics of struggling readers…Read More

Let’s Talk About Your Job Search

A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. It’s the biggest jump in new jobless claims in US history. There are nearly 67 million Americans working in jobs right now that are considered high risk for layoffs, and some experts predict the Covid 19 pandemic could ultimately eliminate 47 million jobs. Additionally, 3.3 million high school students and 4 million post-secondary students will be graduating into a world that isn’t hiring in the way it was two months ago.

There’s no other way to put it: it’s a scary time, especially if you’ve unexpectedly lost a job, or were poised to go into an industry that’s experiencing massive layoffs. Our first advice? Breathe and take this one day at a time. Also, realize this is not a failure or misstep on your part. This is a situation you had no control over.

Unfortunately, we aren’t here to offer you a blanket solution. None of us know how the long-term economic impact of the pandemic will play out. However, as career exploration experts, we can give you the following advice:…Read More

10 reasons edtech works sometimes, but not all the time

There are a number of factors—10, to be specific—that are likely to have a sizable impact on the success (or failure) of and edtech implementation.

The EdTech Genome Project, a collaborative effort of more than 100 education research and advocacy organizations, reached unanimous consensus on an initial list of those 10 factors hypothesized to have the greatest influence on whether an edtech implementation succeeds or fails.

Related content: How better edtech management empowered our district…Read More

3 ways lesson planning is like following a recipe

Recently, when a friend shared a recipe on Facebook for a pumpkin cheesecake (yum!), it reminded me of the time I tried to make my own cheesecake. I purchased all the ingredients and some new equipment, including that special pan that snaps around the cake. Unfortunately, I missed a step. I did not soften the cream cheese properly. All these years later, I’m recalling myself with four different spoons in the bowl, trying to maneuver my creation and figuring it to be an utter failure. Because I did not want to waste my ingredients, let alone my fancy new bakeware, I pressed on. In the end, the cheesecake was delicious, but the preparation was a bit of a horror story.

Not too long after my attempt to make the cheesecake, I became a teacher (trust me, I’m going somewhere with this). And recently, it occurred to me that lesson planning is like following a recipe.

Like following a recipe, lesson planning ……Read More

How one district improved its personalized learning by failing forward

In the MSD of Wayne Township, there are several blended and online opportunities available for students. Perhaps the same is true in your district, but how many of those same opportunities are available to teachers as well?

Recently, the teachers in one particular program in the district inspired a personalized approach to professional development. The Ben Davis Extended Day (BDED) blended learning program is an extension of one of the district’s high schools, Ben Davis High School. The program operates in the evenings and serves students who, for one reason or another, are not able to attend during the day.  The students move through their courses online and at their own pace, while physically attending school in the evenings in a lab setting. There are four teachers that work in the evening that teach the courses for English, math, science, and social studies.

As part of the professional development for BDED, the teachers went through a design thinking process to develop strategies to overcome one of the teachers’ main perceived issues and provide more personalized learning for students. While moving through the process to find a way to improve student engagement and consistency in effort, the group explored various strategies that could be implemented to solve the identified problem.…Read More

Watch 5,000 educators take a big risk to make 1 important point

Would you stand up and try a dance you’ve never done in front of 5,000 strangers? These educators did to show that risk taking and learning go hand-in-hand

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magiera-risks“It’s going to probably be a hot mess,” confided digital learning coordinator Jennie Magiera at the close of her keynote speech in front of nearly 5,000 educators at the Annual CUE 2015 conference in Palm Springs last month, seconds before she got everyone on their feet. But she did it to make one important point.

After showing the Uptown Funk dance popularized by Ellen, Magiera welcomed a handful of brave teachers on stage to dance, and then asked the entire audience to “get up with us and take a risk” to show that sometimes educators, like students, have to take risks and even fail in order to succeed in the end. (Watch the amazing video above).…Read More

Accountability without autonomy is tyranny

When educational research reaches the public through the corporate media, the consequences are often dire, explains P.L. Thomas for the Daily Kos. Chetty, Friedman, and Rockoff released “The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood” and immediately The New York Times pronounced in “Big Study Links Good Teachers to Lasting Gains”. The simplistic and idealistic headline reflects the central failure of the media in the education reform debate…

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