Outdoor classrooms should outlast COVID

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat. Sign up for their newsletters at ckbe.at/newsletters.

For me, the smiles in back-to-school photos felt extra forced this year.

How can I hold in one hand dystopian headlines about schools — closures for excessive heat, dilapidated buildings with dangerous indoor air qualityshortages of school-based mental health professionals, a worsening mental health emergency — and, in the other, the promise and excitement of a new year of learning?…Read More

IRIS Offers Lessons to Help STEM Educators Teach About Recent Earthquakes

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 8, 2021) — The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) is providing free resources to help STEM educators teach about recent earthquake events, such as the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Mexico on September 8 and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti on August 14. These Teachable Moments presentations contain an explanation of the science of why the earthquake occurred, and often also includes Associated Press photos, animations, and other resources to help educators link the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to earthquake phenomena in a way that makes it relevant and engaging for students. 

“The Teachable Moments lessons help engage students in scientific inquiry and offer a critical connection to real-life events,” said Dr. Tammy Bravo, Seismology Outreach Specialist of IRIS. “By bringing knowledge, insight, and critical thinking to the classroom following a newsworthy earthquake, teachers are able to help students explore and analyze real event data, which helps to further spark their passion for science and STEM learning.”

Each Teachable Moment lesson consists of a downloadable and editable PowerPoint presentation, which is available in both Spanish and English and pertains to a specific earthquake. The lessons include interpreted U.S. Geological Survey earthquake information, plate tectonic and regional tectonic maps and summaries, concept animations, seismograms, damage photos, and other event-specific information and hazards.…Read More

5 cybersecurity life skills to teach all year

If a student from your school had someone knock on their front door, ask for personal information and offer to give them a treat in exchange for that information, what would happen? It depends on the child, but what you know for certain is that your district or school has been teaching stranger danger since that child was in kindergarten, so the odds are good that the interaction would raise a red flag for the student.

Why is it, then, that students are posting videos and photos on TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat without any concern that their school name or home address is displayed prominently in the background?

Related content: 10 cybersecurity must-dos…Read More

5 questions students should ask about media

Do your students love to take and edit photos to post on Instagram? Are they obsessed with watching (or maybe even becoming!) YouTube celebs? Do you want to help your students learn how to spot a stereotype on a TV show? Or how to identify bias in a news article? If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider integrating media literacy education into your lessons.

Digital and media literacy expand traditional literacy to include new forms of reading, writing, and communicating. The National Association for Media Literacy Education defines media literacy as “the ability to ACCESS, ANALYZE, EVALUATE, CREATE, and ACT using all forms of communication” and says it “empowers people to be critical thinkers and makers, effective communicators, and active citizens.” Though some believe media literacy and digital literacy are separate but complementary, I believe they’re really one and the same. They both focus on skills that help students be critical media consumers and creators. And both are rooted in inquiry-based learning—asking questions about what we see, read, hear, and create.

Think of it this way: Students learn print literacy—how to read and write. But they should also learn multimedia literacy—how to “read and write” media messages in different forms, whether it’s a photo, video, website, app, videogame, or anything else. The most powerful way for students to put these skills into practice is through both critiquing media they consume and analyzing media they create.…Read More

ClassDojo introduces student-led digital portfolios

ClassDojo has launched Student Stories, an easy way for students to add photos and videos of their classwork to their own digital portfolio, and share them home. Parents will be able to follow along with their child’s learning: whether it’s a photo of a poem they wrote, a video of a science experiment, or a reflection on finally solving a tough math problem, students can easily record and share their learning with parents.

“Like everything we do, the idea for Student Stories came about from speaking with teachers and parents,” said Liam Don, co-founder and Chief Product Officer at ClassDojo. “Parents already loved seeing photos and videos from class on ‘Class Story,’ but wanted to see even more about their own child’s projects and accomplishments. And teachers wanted to give students more ownership over their work. Student Stories does both: gives students more of a voice, and involves parents in learning moments they might otherwise never know about.”

Student Stories replace boxes and binders of students’ work with digital portfolios that are shared between school and home, sparking meaningful conversations on what students are learning at school. This is a dramatically different experience to what most parents are used to – where work may only be shared a few times a year or sent home days or weeks after it was done.…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

The 5 worst stock photos for education

Nothing says ‘here’s an education photo’ like tacky outfits and meaningless representations!

education-photosAs education editors, especially as ones who don’t have a large field team to snap perfectly-timed, high-res photos to go along with our stories, it’s up to us and our powers of keyword searching to find an appropriate photo that accurately conveys the topic of our story.

Going through third-party stock photos, the often-times “OMG! You guys have to see this” reaction we get during our tedious scavenger hunts never gets any less incredulous, as we see, time and again, horribly inaccurate, offensive, and just plain weird photos of what are supposed to be today’s classrooms, technology, students and teachers.

We know Mondays usually aren’t the best days of the week, and to help put a smile on your face, as they often do on ours, we wanted to share with you the 5 worst stock photos for education we love to hate. It’s not news, but we hope it will provide some much-needed joy for a Monday Fun-day!…Read More