3 strategies for virtual student-centered learning

When secondary educators plunged into emergency online teaching in March 2020, we faced a slew of challenges. Among those challenges was the lack of student engagement after the novelty of logging in from home in pajamas wore off.

What started as a two week attempt at keeping things as normal as possible “just until after Spring Break,” became more than a year of uncertainty combined with lack of knowledge and resources to maintain high levels of engagement and content delivery. This is not for lack of trying, most definitely on the part of educators everywhere, and we’ve now reached a point where teaching blog posts like “Is Anyone In Teaching Actually Happy?” fill my teacher-gram.

The exhaustion, unhappiness, and stress-related languish and depression are widely reported and seen, but teachers are not giving up. Those who remain in the uncertain state of “What will this year hold?” as the pandemic continues might benefit from some of the ideas offered here, even if it is just to know that they are not alone in still attempting to engage with students despite the challenges of the educational landscape.…Read More

BetterLesson and Adobe release 300+ strategies for creativity, student engagement

As educators across the country work tirelessly to provide engaging lessons in new and ever-changing environments, there are still understandable concerns about low student engagement, low teacher morale, and a lack of professional development to meet teacher and students’ needs.

To support educators with student-centered learning, BetterLesson and Adobe have teamed up to create 325 free instructional strategies that build creativity, collaboration, and communication skills using products in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite. The strategies span middle school to higher education contexts, across a variety of subjects including math, science, social studies, and literacy.

Each strategy was created by an experienced educator, selected and supported by BetterLesson through their “Master Teacher Project” model. Thirty-three educators from across the United States (and two from abroad) met in Professional Learning Communities and received targeted feedback on their strategies from veteran instructional coaches.…Read More

New graphing calculator lets students plot on top of real-world images

Plotting over actual images links math lessons with real-world relevance.

A new graphing calculator from Casio lets students plot mathematical equations on top of real-life images and user-uploaded photos—adding relevance to math concepts that many students find abstract and not applicable in the real world.

With conventional graphing calculators, students learn by inputting equations to create graphs. Casio’s PRIZM includes its proprietary Picture Plot technology, which lets users perform meaningful mathematical equations on top of real-life images such as Ferris wheels, jets from a water fountain, or building shapes. Students and teachers can upload images or photos to the calculator for further use, and photos are automatically formatted.…Read More

Experts share their ed-tech predictions for the new year

More students will have access to personalized learning opportunities, and competency-based learning will begin to take hold in 2012, experts predict.

We recently asked a handful of education and ed-tech experts for their thoughts on what the future holds for 2012—and beyond.

Nearly all agreed that technology’s potential to create personalized, student-centered learning environments will be even more fully realized in the coming year, thanks to powerful developments in blended instruction, data analytics, formative assessment, and more. But one expert warned that achievement gaps between privileged and disadvantaged children will only increase if income gaps and unemployment rates aren’t brought under control.…Read More

November to educators: Let students use online social tools

Ed-tech consultant Alan November believes in the power of student-centered learning.
Ed-tech consultant Alan November believes in the power of student-centered learning.

The most important change that technology brings to education is that it enables students to take charge of their own learning, said education technology consultant Alan November. Yet, this is happening in too few classrooms, he said—and a key reason is that schools are blocking access to the very tools that allow such activity.

November was speaking at a Jan. 14 session during the Florida Education Technology Conference in Orlando. Sponsored by Lightspeed Systems, the session focused on how to balance safety and learning in the digital age.…Read More