This week's spotlight lands on a Chrome extension and a Docs/Slides add-on that I have been exploring recently. While they both can save time, which all teachers will appreciate since time is a very valuable commodity in this profession, they function very differently. At this point in my exploration, I am by no means an expert on either of them yet, but I am definitely an enthusiast of both. Introducing Text Blaze and Stickity! Both of these can save you time AND help students.
4 Ways to Support Your New Teachers
Anyone who has been in and around education over the last twenty years or more can attest to the decreasing number of qualified teachers seeking jobs amid the increasing number of teaching vacancies. Teachers leave one school district for another, or they leave the profession, for various personal and professional reasons. As districts all over the United States see the applicant pool dwindle for their respective positions, more are becoming laser-focused on perhaps their greatest asset, the beginning teacher.
4 Tech Tools That Can Elevate Student Learning
Students learn better when they are able to apply what they are learning from the textbook to real-world problems and situations. There are a lot of ways to do this without technology, sure. We also know that when it comes to technology, there is no shortage of tools and apps available for teachers to use with their students. Technology is changing the way we teach, learn and work, so careful consideration of which tools to use is critical. As educators, we need to prepare our students for the digital world in a blended-learning classroom and offer them tools that will allow them to study independently and with their peers. The top 4 tech tools for student learning that I have selected for this post include Bookwidgets, Quizizz, Blooket, and Microsoft Flip.
3 Areas to Consider When Creating A Positive School Culture
“Nothing frustrates a good teacher more than the district hanging on to a bad one,” an educator commented to me recently. While true, this is a problem that is not going away anytime soon. Since the pandemic, teaching has suffered as a profession. Too much negativity from one or more teachers can quickly spread to others if not addressed. However, with the nationwide teacher shortage, a certified teacher, even a poor one, seems preferable to a long-term substitute, even though the culture of the building or potentially, the entire school district may suffer.
Unfinished Business: A Different Peer Review Strategy
Every rose has its thorn This strategy is based on Liz Lerman's Critical Response Process, which has amazing potential even outside of its intended use. After reading her book on this process, I have been pondering ways to use this model with students of all ages, and with some restructuring according to the age or … Continue reading Unfinished Business: A Different Peer Review Strategy
Two AI Platforms With Power & Educational Potential: Plag and DallᐧE
While ChatGPT (see previous post) has taken the world by storm, and truly set fire to education, there are other artificial intelligence (AI) platforms that can also impact education. While there are always going to be negatives associated to these latest developments, there are also significant positives if you look for them. Critical thinking is a very important skill to develop in our students and teaching them how to use AI to enhance rather than replace it is crucial. Before we rush to ban all of the AI platforms and websites that are emerging, educators should dive in and explore the possibilities. The two I am going to explore have benefits for both teachers and students.
Let Us Re-Think
The field of education, particularly here in America, is going through a crisis that doesn't seem to be near a solution any time soon. Both new and experienced educators are leaving the field. School districts are finding bandaids to stop the hemorrhaging instead of more effective treatments. Long term subs, some barely out of high school, and others without degrees or education training are now teaching students in order to fill positions. Horror stories about what a teacher has said or done to students in their care are becoming more and more publicized and prevalent. Okay, so I have identified the problem. Great. Now what can we do?
Quickwrites Are For All
Ever find yourself looking for a quick activity that has value for your learners but doesn't require a lot of prep or extra work on your part? I think most educators find themselves in this position occasionally, whether it is an activity to kick off the class period, the learning session, or the conference workshop. A powerful but often overlooked tool in our arsenal is the quickwrite. Some of you are already thinking, that's great, but I don't teach English. I know, but the quickwrite is a flexible tool that all subjects, except maybe physical education (PE) and fitness/conditioning, can use daily, weekly, or periodically.
Color Me Impressed
As I prepared my room for the new school year back in August, I did a lot of thinking about the hallway bulletin board that is under my control. I hate doing bulletin boards, generally speaking. In this post, I walk through the process of creating an interactive bulletin board for students to color.
Finding the Nexus
Many teachers, in fact probably most teachers, are always looking for ways to help students engage with the content being taught. Student engagement is perhaps the holy grail of teaching. Many teacher evaluation systems have it as a standard or indicator, which increases the motivation of teachers to locate that elusive cup. In researching creativity with my master's partner, Kristy Graber, we came across a nugget that might lead us to the holy land of student engagement.