Cyberbullying is NOT a technology issue-here’s how to really combat it.

Cyberbullying continues to grow and present itself as a huge challenge for schools, government policy makers, stakeholders, parents and the community—but is regulating access to technology and social media the answer?

Though the online platforms may be relatively new, cyberbullying should not be separated from bullying. Both behaviors are about relationship power and control, otherwise known as “relational bullying;” therefore, it requires a relationship management-based type of approach in dealing with its impact and prevention.

When conducting my Digital Age Parenting classes, one of the things I share with parents is information about how their child is using a device to say and do things to hurt someone or put themselves in danger. However, the device is only facilitating the interaction between the person and the situation.…Read More

14 trailblazing educators you should follow on Twitter

Social media plays a large role in today’s society, and most educators aren’t scared to jump in and leverage Twitter, Facebook and other social networks to increase their professional learning networks.

In fact, regular Twitter chats that focus on professional development, resources for students, special educations, and myriad other educational topics can do wonders for teacher morale.

But as great as Twitter is, it also can be overwhelming. Who should you follow? How often should you tweet? Which chats should you participate in, and how frequently?…Read More

Using politics to teach critical thinking

As high school social studies teachers in a swing state, election season is some of the most fertile ground for learning, and this past cycle—with all its splashy and expensive political ads—proved no exception.

Our students are all in their mid teens, which means in the next presidential election, they will be eligible voters. With so much information (and misinformation) swirling around our students, it was imperative for us to teach them how to think critically about the political process in an unbiased, nonpartisan way, giving them the power to sift through the reams of information we’re inundated with on a daily basis and decide what to trust and what to be skeptical about—and how to go about making those determinations.

Tools to Teach with Politics…Read More

3 tips for teachers addressing the election

By now we’ve all been inundated with pre- and post-election coverage and analysis on numerous media platforms. It seems as if we might never escape the constant barrage of political commentary in both traditional media and social media platforms.

As November 8th approached, I made sure to leave extra class time to allow my communications students to discuss the upcoming presidential election, hoping to align their discussions with topics on my syllabus. My only rule was that they were to be respectful in their comments. I was encouraged by their mature approach, but also troubled by their dialogue, which often ranged from being frightened to air their views to confusion as to where they could find truthful information about the candidates—this from the Millennials who grew up with technology and have constant access via their handheld devices.

Is too much information a bad thing? Do countless new outlets guarantee diversity or even truth?…Read More

Nepris raises $1M in to build more connections between industry and education

Nepris recently closed a seed round of funding totaling $1 million, led by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF).

Nepris brings together educators and industry professionals in an easy-to-use online community to collaborate and connect through live online interactive sessions where students get to see what they’re learning in the classroom applied to the working world.

MSDF invested in Nepris for its ability to make a positive social impact in students’ lives by preparing them for college and career. While Nepris connections do bring classroom lessons to life and add relevance, the greater impact is often inspiration students find in the professionals and experts whom they meet. These experts encourage students to dream big or to consider careers they may never have known about, like being an aerospace engineer or speech therapist or amusement park designer. Frequently, students ask questions about what college was like or what classes they should take now to help them prepare for college. Many students who previously felt college was unattainable begin to see greater possibilities for higher education and new career paths after a Nepris session.…Read More

Marketplace trend update: 5 new ed-tech developments

Remaining a tech-savvy educator means keeping on top of the myriad changes and trends in education, how technology can support those trends, and how teaching and learning can best benefit from near-constant change.

For instance, a new report highlights the link between arts-based learning and STEM education; a new challenge asks participants to explore and report on local folklore traditions; tutoring gets a social treatment; and more.

Below, we’ve gathered some of the latest and most relevant marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.…Read More

Tutoring marketplace offers on-demand learning

The social learning marketplace MindSpree is revamping the tutoring landscape by offering on-demand services nationwide.

The Arizona-based education technology company was founded in 2015 by Keith Rezendes after noticing the tutoring industry was not fulfilling the needs of many. As a former professor and veteran tutor, Rezendez wanted to create a place where students could receive the highest quality tutors for the best value.

“MindSpree is committed to education and student success,” said Rezendes. “By utilizing the sharing economy, MindSpree can utilize tutors across the United States to share their knowledge and expertise with all types of students who are eager to learn.”…Read More

14 surprising facts about educators’ social media use

Social media has fast become an educator’s dream, with almost immediate responses to questions about teaching strategies, resources, and professional development opportunities.

But how are educators really using social media, and is it really as widely-used as everyone assumes?

FrontRow Education recently asked 1,000 K-8 teachers how they are using social media personally, professionally and as a communication tool with parents and students.…Read More

This new tool makes the flipped classroom more social

Flipping your class by having students watch lecture videos for their homework can lead to richer discussions about the content, but only if students come to class prepared. And having them watch a video lecture at home “simply takes a technique that didn’t work in person and puts in online,” said Harvard University physics professor Eric Mazur.

During the 2016 Building Learning Communities (BLC) conference organized by education thought leader Alan November, Mazur unveiled a free tool that he and a team of colleagues developed to solve this problem.

Called Perusall, it’s a social learning platform that will “essentially make sure every student is prepared for class,” Mazur said. It also makes sure teachers are prepared to address students’ key questions and areas of confusion—without creating more work for the instructor.…Read More

14 sites to successfully crowdfund your classroom

A closer look at today’s biggest crowdfunding sites for K-12 and beyond

Crowdfunding, which harnesses the “crowd” to gain needed funding for a product or cause instead of specialized donors, and often enlists the use of social media to increase the so-called virality of a project to make it more successful, is unique for education. In the scope of classroom or school crowdfunding, most donations go to a specific fund or cause, and because the money goes to supporting a larger nonprofit organization, donations may be tax-deductible.

Also, because of the nature of crowdfunding for K-12, its structure typically varies slightly from the usual crowdfunding campaign. Where a product-based campaign might offer the donor first release of the product upon production, most school or classroom projects do not have the same type of tangible product — at least not ones that the community can share. For that reason, these types of crowdfunding campaigns typically offer giving levels or project-specific perks to incentivize donors. Levels usually explain what the specific donation amount will do to help the project, whereas perks will offer individual recognition to the donor for their support to the cause. Sometimes it’s as simple as a handwritten thank you note.

According to marketing blog HubSpot, all institutions should look for these three characteristics in a crowdfunding site before moving forward:…Read More