I recently sat through a bullying prevention session for parents, and the conversation inevitably migrated to a discussion of cyberbullying, smartphones and other forms of digital media. Considering how ubiquitous smartphones have become, especially in high school, and now in middle school, questions about managing smartphones and educating students about digital citizenship are on a lot of parents' minds.
Editor’s Note:Helen Mowers, co-creator of the Tech Chicks podcast, contributed to this post.
It's hard to imagine a single career that doesn't have a need for someone who can code. Everything that "just works" has some type of code that makes it run. Coding (a.k.a. programming) is all around us. That's why all the cool kids are coding . . . or should be. Programming is not just the province of pale twenty-somethings in skinny jeans, hunched over three monitors, swigging Red Bull. Not any more! The newest pint-sized coders have just begun elementary school.
While it's possible to connect with educators around the world, language barriers can often get in the way of effectively communicating ideas.
This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to meet likeminded teachers from across North America at the Apple Distinguished Educator Institute in Austin, Texas. English, Spanish and French were spoken by the more than 200 tech-savvy attendees.
I vividly remember how I first learned to take notes. My sixth grade geography teacher lectured in outline style: "Roman Numeral one - China. A - Qin Dynasty. 1 - Rulers . . . " We wrote down precisely what he said, and to this day, I still take notes in outline form. However, consider Sunni Brown's TED Talk, "Doodlers Unite." She argues that engaging in sketching while listening to complex ideas further supports learning.
Oh dear: our long-bemoaned short attention spans are dwindling into nothingness. That's exactly what I thought when I first heard about Vine, Twitter's app that allows users to make and share six-second videos. What can possibly be said in six seconds of video that's worth watching? You'll have to answer that for yourselves, but after a bit of digging, I've been pleasantly surprised by the creativity that such limitations can enable.
The school year has started, and teachers across the country are excited to try out all the cool new tools they learned about during their "summer off." It's great to know there are so many educators out there ready to introduce something new and exciting in their classroom, but I have three tips to help you make sure that you get the most out of them.
The Best Buy back to school commercial, "Lidia Marin," highlights personalization and customization. The viewer finds out that Lidia Marin, a marine biology major, loves marine biology and has a dream to be a marine biologist. Lidia and a Best Buy salesperson enter the dreamlike world of Best Buy, which promises to find "what's perfect" for Lidia. The message: Best Buy is committed to doing everything it takes to meet the needs of the consumer, and the store is built for personalization and customization.
The Common Core Learning Standards describe the importance of teaching students how to comprehend informational text. They are asked to read closely, make inferences, cite evidence, analyze arguments and interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text. Primary source documents are artifacts created by individuals during a particular period in history. This could be a letter, speech, photograph or journal entry. If you're looking to integrate social studies into your literacy block, try out one of these resources for primary source documents.