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news & tips for teachers

Technology in the Classroom

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How Effective is Digital Educational Media? The Research on Home and School Use

February 18th, 2014

by Monica Fuglei My house is full of the “warm glowing warming glow” of screens. Between the television, tablet, and laptops, we have more access to digital media than we have people in the home. My daughter’s class is assigned their own …

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Motivating Students Without a Classroom: 5 Tips from Top Online Teachers

November 19th, 2013

by Monica Fuglei Online classes are a swiftly-growing pedagogical area for educators, with a significant number of K-12 schools offering this option.  While the increased flexibility of online learning is a boon for both students and teachers, the lack of face-to-face interaction …

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You Do The Math: Inside the Flipped Classroom

November 5th, 2013

by Monica Fuglei Mr. Heimbigner calls my daughter’s fifth-class to the front of the classroom. He starts a countdown on the computer, hands the students back their notes taken while watching an online video the night before, and asks them what they …

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How One School is Ditching Books and Embracing iPads

September 4th, 2013

Tossing the textbooks: Many a student and teacher dreams about it. Andrea Hernandez has done it. Hernandez, a teacher at Martin J. Gottlieb Day School in Jacksonville, Fla., is not using texts with her fourth- and fifth-grade language arts students. Starting this …

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How Teachers can tap Vast Resources of the Library of Congress and National Archives

June 26th, 2013

By Rob Klindt While many resources can supplement teachers’ lesson plans, few can match the vast collections of the U.S. Library of Congress and the National Archives. This original 1776 rough draft of the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson is available …

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How Teachers can Build their own Classroom Websites

May 28th, 2013

By Rob Klindt So, you’ve been thinking of building a website for your classroom for a while, but you’re intimidated by the technology involved. No worries. You don’t have to know HTML and CSS or worry about difference between a GIF, JPEG …

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Using Technology: Second-Graders Inspire Their Teacher – and Each Other

April 12th, 2013

For second-grade teacher and blogger Erin Klein, technology in the classroom is always about responding to the world kids already live in. At least that is how it started, and how it evolved. Klein was teaching kindergarten when she noticed how her …

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IPads and Other Tablets in the Classroom: How to Get it Right

April 4th, 2013

Education technology leader Kathy Schrock has long believed all students should have their own devices. Schrock, a fan of portable technology since the days of the PalmPilot, argues that handheld devices and software have become so economical and widespread that schools finally …

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The Power of Social Media to Engage Students Online

March 11th, 2013

Teachers should want to be where students are engaging. Today that means being online, said Lisa Nielsen, New York City Department of Education’s director of digital literacy and citizenship. Nielsen is also the brain behind the Innovative Educator blog and co-author of  …

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Twitter: Bringing the World into Your Classroom

January 31st, 2013

Illinois Teacher of the Year Josh Stumpenhorst has done something unusual in his sixth-grade language arts classroom. He’s let the world in. For many teachers, opening the classroom through social media networks like Twitter or Skype can be scary. But it doesn’t …

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Common Core and Technology: Can Schools Afford the New Standards?

January 30th, 2013

By Marcus A. Hennessy, CEA (ret.) Teachers and administrators in a lot of K-12 schools are wondering where they’re going to come up with the money to implement the technology components of the new Common Core State Standards. Schools’ budget dilemmas were …

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There’s an app for that: Educators must plan for a successful launch

December 11th, 2012

Educator Randon Ruggles is a big fan of using apps for tablets and smartphones as educational tools, but acknowledges that they can be a source of frustration. “I see a huge disconnect with what could be done and what’s going on in …

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Gamifying Education: Think Differently, Start Small

November 30th, 2012

Gamification, that is in education applying game design thinking to non-game applications to make them learning the 3 Rs more fun and engaging, is more than just a buzzword, another task to check off. Experts argue that it can improve learning and …

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Digital “Gamification” in the Classroom: A Growing Teaching Trend

November 15th, 2012

By Marcus A. Hennessy, CEA (ret) A middle school in New York applies The World of Warcraft (WoW) in-School Project to bolster at-risk students’ skills in digital literacy and leadership. The University of Colorado’s departments of Computer Science and Education, and its …

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Using Smartphones (and other PDAs) in Class: These Days, it’s Cool!

November 13th, 2012

By Marcus A. Hennessy, CEA (ret) A few years ago, as Blackberries, iPhones, and Androids began to flood the smartphone market, middle and high school teachers tended to discourage their students from using them in class. And for good reason: aside from …

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Teacher’s Guide to the Flipped Classroom

October 2nd, 2012

At one time, education was a passive experience in which students sat in class listening to lectures or reading books. While lectures and textbooks are still part of the educational system, they have taken a backseat to flipped learning. In this educational …

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Turning Japanese, I Really Think So

July 12th, 2011

Several months ago, my son began a new obsession: Japan. It all started with news reports of the earthquakes and tsunami. He’s always been interested in geography, but this gave him a specific place – one he previously knew nothing about – …

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Mr. D Sticks in my Memory

July 12th, 2011

During Teacher Appreciation Week, I thought it would be fun to share about a teacher from my own past. Robert D’Andrea was my social studies teacher in seventh grade back in New Jersey. Like so many people around me during the earlier …

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What If I Say Pretty Please? (Getting My Colleagues to Use Google Docs)

February 16th, 2011

About four years ago, I set up two Google Apps domains at my school.  I just kind of did it, under the “it’s easier to ask forgiveness than seek permission” model of technology implementation.  It’s free, and it wasn’t going to hurt …

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“Feel” and “Create” Your Way to an A

December 10th, 2010

Not long before Thanksgiving, my seventh and eighth grade students handed in their completed photography movie projects.  Actually, it would be more accurate to say that, in a frenzied flurry of activity, culminating in all but one of my eighty-five upper level …

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