education

Free Range Teaching and the Technology Teachers ‘Beg For’

When Central Coast Grammar School (CCGS) refurbished a block of classrooms recently, it installed wireless screen mirroring technology in every room. Then the Australian K-12 school did something really radical. “We literally threw out our teachers’ desks,” says Damon Cooper, an English teacher and the director of teaching and learning at CCGS, in New South Wales. “There are just classrooms, and we can teach from anywhere within them.” He explains, “we’ve physically centered the room around the children. It’s not a theory; it’s not a philosophy; it’s not an approach.

Instagram TV for Teachers: A New Medium for PD and Inspiration

Video is a powerful medium for communicating information—and as teachers know, students love using it, especially YouTube. From a viral video with a clip reminiscent of America’s Funniest Home Videos, to explainer videos and tutorials, YouTube is full useful (and silly) content.

Here's How Single Sign-On Saved One District 2,500 Hours of Instructional Time Per Month

It’s 9:30 am on a Monday morning and an anxious sixth-grade teacher calls her school’s IT department. Two students can’t remember their passwords for the math application she wants to use in her lesson. Another can’t remember his username. Chatter from the class grows louder. The teacher’s voice is sharp as she asks the IT department to reset the students’ login information; she’s losing valuable teaching time, not to mention her students’ attention.

What Students Gain When They See Parents Struggle

The first weeks of school sparkle with promise: Fresh classes, different teachers, new students. Reviews of materials from the previous year aim to give students a sturdy path. It’s almost as if teachers are whispering in students’ ears: You can do this. Really you can.But in the weeks that follow, challenges kick in. Every student will confront that agonizing wall, the material they don’t know and may not understand. And at that point, some will dig in and figure it out, and others will flounder.

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Personalized Learning, Teachers Unleashed, and a Learning Analytics Partnership: The Story of Fresno Unified

How does a fifth grader feel getting ready to do a live edtech demo at their local school board meeting?If you are Ryan Fernandez of Fresno Unified School District, you take such challenges in stride. At last February’s Board meeting, 10-year old Ryan inspired the adults in the room to see how tech can be leveraged for learning in a whole new light. (Here’s a video of Ryan’s command performance.)

Micro-Writing is Having a Macro Impact on Identity Development

Students in my freshman English class have incredible stories to tell, but they aren't always eager to share them.

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What a Bike Challenge Taught Me About Whole-Child Education in Zambia

It was the final day of Bike Zambia program. Along with 35 fellow riders, I was attending a Grassroot Soccer tournament. Grassroot Soccer is an organization that uses soccer to get into the communities to educate kids about AIDS & HIV.

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There Is No ‘I’ in Interoperability

Sure—the letter “I” is used three times to spell “interoperability.” But look beyond the word, as clunky and confusing as it may seem, and focus instead on its essence and the possibilities that are inherent in its definition.What is interoperability? Simply put, it is the ability for systems and applications to interact and exchange data. When put into context for educational technology, interoperability means that all of the digital content, tools, and resources used by teachers and students work well together. Consider this example:

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How a Composting Initiative Led to the Growth of an Unexpected Learning Space

Language teacher Serena Maniscalco never thought a composting initiative she led several years ago would lead to the development of an learning space that would help so many students grow. But it spurred the development of a garden at Moreau Catholic High School, a private school in Hayward, Calif., where students get to grow produce like pumpkins, tomatoes, eggplants and lemons.

Building a Bridge to Your Next Edtech Job

I attended a small job fair recently for mid-career professionals studying at a top Bay Area graduate school. I was impressed by the résumés — an array of engineering and design experiences at brand-name technology firms.Yet, more often than not when candidates shared their stories, I struggled to contain a yawn. They engaged in formulaic narration, recounting past jobs and current graduate work, and telling me one after another how qualified they were.

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