Blog

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The Change of the M-STEP Due to Public and Teacher Feedback

Teachers, parents, and students often felt powerless when it came to government-mandated standardized tests such as the Michigan Student Test for Educational Progress (M-STEP).

It was difficult for teachers and parents to understand if the amount of time spent on standardized testing was necessary and beneficial to students. Hours were taken away from teaching and learning time last school year in order to administer the M-STEP. This was a problem.

The M-STEP was also an online test. This took computer time away from teachers and students who needed them for instructional and learning purposes. This was another problem.

There were also technology problems such as software failures, which also ate up teaching and learning time.

Teachers across the state had issues with th…

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“Thank Teachers For….” (The Rest of This Sentence is Up to You!)

Teaching is one of those rare occupations in which simply "doing your job" can make a lifelong impression on someone. Covering the course material and helping students pass standardized tests is in the job description, but what about those hundred other little acts of kindness, patience, preparation, creativity, attention, and care that go into the work of education?

For example, I know a kindergarten teacher who recently used her Dunkin Donuts straw to convince an inconsolable 5 year old that his broken water bottle had been fixed. All in a day's work, right?

Students learn to graph equations and diagram sentences from teachers, but they also learn lifelong lessons about how to treat others, handle conflict, solve problems, and feel about themselves--based on the exa…

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How WebRTC Will Revolutionize Education Worldwide

One of the most innovative changes to the education system today is the use of video in a variety of different settings to help communicate knowledge, allowing for better distance-based teaching methods. Everything from a professor’s office hours to an entire seminar can be conducted online by using video. The use of video in education also comes with the promise of better long-distance opportunities for those who don’t have access to education right outside their front doors.

One piece of technology that is leading the charge in this video revolution is WebRTC, an open-source platform that allows you to integrate very high quality video, audio and data communication into the most popular education services and apps available today. WebRTC gives teachers and stude…

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Teacher’s Guide to Bullying, Part 2: Who’s At Risk?

Author, trainer and practitioner Adrienne Katz is a director of the Bullying Intervention Group (BIG Award) which runs a national award for excellence in bullying intervention. She a partner in many research programmes and runs the Cybersurvey, exploring the online experiences of young people and their views on the e-safety education they have received (see her full bio below). We asked her a series of questions about bullying, and the following is her answers, in her own words!

Are there some students who are more likely to experience bullying?

While the whole emphasis of bullying intervention work strives to avoid labelling kids, it is true that data we collect regularly from anonymous pupil surveys does show that some people are being targeted more than others. Any difference, whether…

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From Teacher to Instructional Designer: 8 Questions with Travis Thurston

8 QUESTIONS is a series of interviews with teachers who have effectively transitioned their classroom skills into new and exciting careers in the field of education. We at Teach.com believe that teaching is a rigorous and diverse classroom in and of itself; the skills learned “in the trenches” can translate into an exciting portfolio of professional options. From education tech to consulting, the only “X factor” is where you want to go — our interviews hope to shine a light on the steps it takes to get there.

1. What’s your name, location and current profession?

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Teaching Abroad: How to Deal With Culture Shock

Teaching abroad can be an exciting way to take your skills as an instructor outside the classroom and out on the road. But with great adventure comes a lot of uncertainty--what to pack? Where to work for? How to have a safe and happy experience? We asked ESL/TESOL teacher and world traveler Phil Stott to share the kind of wisdom on these issues that can only come from experience. Here's what he had to say.

“Time ripens all things; no man is born wise.” – Cervantes.

The author of Don Quixote was a wise man who said life is all about learning how to deal with new experiences. Some are thrown at you, while others you seek out on your own.

Making the decision to go off and teach in a foreign country definitely falls into the latter category for mos…

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Teacher’s Guide to Bullying, Part 1: Can Teachers Prevent Bullying?

Author, trainer and practitioner Adrienne Katz is a director of the Bullying Intervention Group (BIG Award) which runs a national award for excellence in bullying intervention. She a partner in many research programmes and runs the Cybersurvey, exploring the online experiences of young people and their views on the e-safety education they have received (see her full bio below). We asked her a series of questions about bullying, and the following is her answers, in her own words!

Can teachers do anything to prevent bullying before it happens?

Classroom dynamics

Some believe that good classroom dynamics have the extra benefit of reducing bullying even if this was not the main intention. So it is always considered one of the most powerful tools in the teacher’s armoury. Classroom …

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