Teach students to communicate effectively in the Innovation Age

Communication looks different in the Innovation Age compared to the Information Age of yesteryear. Here’s how to help students succeed

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

Ready or not, education has entered the “Innovation Age,” where it’s not about what students know but what they can do with what they know. Teachers can prepare students to thrive in the Innovation Age by teaching them to think at three levels: “what,” “so what,” and “now what.” Students might think of it in terms of three overarching questions: What is the basic concept? What is its relevance and what is it related to? And now, what can I do with what I have learned to find solutions to unmet needs?

In the Information Age, the era we are just now emerging from, knowledge was power so educators taught students to access, gather, analyze, and report information. In the Innovation Age there is a glut of information and data are readily generated or at fingertip accessibility. Successful educators in the Innovation Age must empower students by leading them discover their agency, define their purpose, and be open to fresh perspectives.…Read More

Is there enough diversity in your social media?

As we consume more social media, our perspectives are getting less diverse. That’s a problem — for us and for students

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.

diversity-socialmediaOnce, while living in Santa Barbara, a small but jolting earthquake hit close to home. I went directly to Yahoo and Google to see what I could learn. Surprisingly, I could not find any useful links or information. So, I turned to Facebook, where my news feed was overflowing with comments, links, and resources about the earthquake.

Since then, I’ve started using Facebook and Twitter to learn about all kinds of recent events and news happening nearby and around the world. And I’m not the only one using social media sites in this way. According to the Pew Research Center, more than 50 percent of American adults get their news from social media sites, and this percentage is much higher for Millennials.…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

7 tips for teachers building collaborative, fearless PLNs

 Don’t be daunted! Try these best practices for finding and collaborating with fellow educators

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.

PLNS-fearlessResearch indicates that nearly 50 percent of educators will leave the field within the first five years of entering a classroom. This is an astounding number that costs the U.S. more than $2 billion annually. Why the high burnout rate? Many cite isolation and lack of support as reasons for exiting the field. Sometimes new teachers are nervous to admit they may be struggling. By helping educators build strong connections to others, both within their buildings and around the world, we can begin to create more stability in the profession and refresh our passion for education.

Teachers are natural collaborators. From the school hallways to what could be called today’s water cooler—social media—teachers love to share and discuss what’s working, what isn’t, and the finer points of why or why not.…Read More

7 steps to creating PLCs teachers want to use

Practical tips for building PLCs that serve every educator

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.

plcs-isteAt my district, the MSD of Wayne Township in Indianapolis, we have found that changing the way we think about teacher training not only benefits staff developers and administrators, but schools, the district as a whole, teachers, and ultimately students. A critical part of our revitalized PD plan has been the use of professional learning communities (PLCs), which are essentially groups of educators that work collaboratively and share ideas, often in an online format.

Benefits of PLCs
One of the first reasons many schools and districts begin thinking about online professional development is to save time and money. As we increase the number of digital opportunities for students, unfortunately the number of professional development staff does not always increase at the same rate. The reality is that we must offer more (and better) professional development with fewer resources.…Read More