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The Classroom Tech Choice: Chromebooks or iPads?

The move towards student-centered, inquiry based learning experiences has made technology a ubiquitous part of the modern classroom experience. Instead of flipping through expensive (and continually outdated) textbooks, students can use digital tools to navigate a limitless trove of information as well as create amazing products. This shift mirrors the demands of the modern world where so much depends upon technology and the skillset required to make the most of it.

As such, more and more school districts are revamping their approach towards technology. The days of the isolated computer lab are fading away, and instead, technology is integrating seamlessly into the day-to-day routines of the classroom. In many cases, districts have gone as far as creating 1:1 environments where every student can have access to their own device to use.

Sure, a piece of technology for every student sounds amazing, but what tools make the most sense?

Why You Should Add a Special Education Credential

If you’re a preservice teacher, you’ve probably already pictured yourself in your future classroom. Maybe you’re working on an early childhood degree, because you want to help young children get their education off to a strong start. Or you have a passion for math, and want to immerse yourself all day in the wonders of geometry and calculus. There’s a wide range of subjects and age groups to choose.

But you may not have considered special education. Or maybe you did, and dismissed the idea because it seemed overwhelming, or you thought it wasn’t for you. Whatever the reason, you may want to reconsider.

Even if you’re already a working teacher, adding an additional credential or certification in special education might be worth the investment of time and money. Here are some factors to consider. 

An Entry-Level PBL for High School English and Social Studies Teachers

Over the last decade, project-based learning (PBL) has transformed secondary education throughout the United States. In a PBL school, students are active learners, and take ownership of their education. The teacher is a facilitator to knowledge, and not the gatekeeper. 

If your school has yet to adopt PBL, knowing where to start is no small challenge. To get you and your students’ feet wet, you need to use an ‘entry-level’ PBL, one that is challenging but not overwhelming.

This article proposes a PBL that pairs an English III and U.S. history teacher (along with their students). It is adapted from a PBL that the author helped develop and implement in spring 2013. 

 

5 Virtual Field Trips You Don’t Want to Miss

Field trips have been a staple of the American education system for a long time. Getting students out into the community and the world-at-large helps them to see and study content firsthand. But field trips aren’t always possible. Besides being expensive, the process of boarding a bus, travelling to a far flung location, corralling a bunch of students, organizing lunch and bathroom breaks, and sometimes doing all of this without additional chaperones or adult help can be stressful for both teachers and students alike. When visiting a museum, a student who develops an interest in a particular artist gets rushed through the exhibit hall. At the zoo, a student who is fascinated by a certain habitat has to hurry up, read the plaque, and move on. Students don’t get a chance to move at their own pace and explore their interests during field trips.

But they can during virtual field trips.

Thanks to technology, virtual field trips of locations all over the world are available at the click of a button. Some virtual fields trips are simple photographic tours, while others are complex combinations of video and audio media that are more immersive. Let’s look at some of the benefits of using virtual fields trips in your class this year!

Two Main Lessons of SXSW 2017 That Every Teacher Should Heed

Plenty of educational events are held throughout the year, but only a few of them make a real difference. One of these few and my absolute favorite is the edu panel of South by Southwest. This year SXSWedu has gathered over 7,000 participants from 38 countries. With all its scope, this event gives a clear understanding of where modern education is headed. I’ve outlined two primary ideas from SXSWedu 2017 that, in my opinion, will shape the educational practices for the next few years.  

How to Increase Engagement on Your Classroom Blog

Everyone needs a blog these days. Blogs are for more than just marketing, news, or expressing an opinion. They’re powerful tools to connect with an audience and enrich an environment, as long as everyone is participating. If you’ve considered starting a classroom blog or you have one that isn’t as lively and vibrant as you wish, consider spicing things up. Use some new methods to encourage engagement, and get everyone a little more excited about learning.