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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

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Susan Applebaum's picture
Susan Applebaum
2nd & 3rd Grade teacher from southern California

Teaching the 'me' generation to collaborate feels next to impossible. It takes numerous times of practice to really get what you seek in collaborative learning. When undertaking these kinds of activities expect to fail and it will begin to go well. Many times the students don't realize they are sabotaging their own good intentions due to their habit of focusing upon themselves.

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This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

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Five-Minute Film Festival: Mobile Learning

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Intrigued by the idea of using mobile devices for instructional purposes in the classroom? This playlist from VideoAmy will give you some tips and insights into the challenges and the promise of mobile learning.

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6 iPad Apps for Creative Writing

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Edutopia blogger Monica Burns, recognizing that written storytelling doesn't come easily to every child, has hunted down six iPad apps that will bring fun and creative challenge to learning this essential real-world skill.
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Jose Servin's picture

I believe one of the best tools we have as educators is each other. Being able to share our thoughts and discoveries allows us to expand our tool box. As I researched each app I discovered many positives that my students can learn from. As always the concern is how to let my students have access to these wonderful tools.

Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

There are some great suggestions here. I've got a few more that I use:

CELTX allows students to create scripts for plays and films.

PENZU is kind of like a free-writing journaling app. Very useful for the start of creative writing.

Max's picture
Max
Third Grade educator in Northern California

I love Story Dice as a conversation starter for creative writing.
Story Dice, by Thinkamingo, inc. (iOS)

Dr. Stephanie Hatten's picture
Dr. Stephanie Hatten
District Technology Specialist, Narrative Researcher, Mom of 4 teenagers,

I feel that apps that help students publish their writing are motivating as well such as Toontastic. Students are motivated to write stories using a story arc framework and then produce the story into a movie. Slide show apps like 30 hands where students can read and illustrate their work have the same benefits.

Dr. Stephanie Hatten's picture
Dr. Stephanie Hatten
District Technology Specialist, Narrative Researcher, Mom of 4 teenagers,

That is true, we always have to use free apps in our district. That is why I recommended Toontastic. We use the free version of this app to inspire students to write. They create their story and script and then get to make their own characters, settings, and record movement and their voices. I use the free version of Popplet to help them plan their story.

Monica Burns's picture
Monica Burns
Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com

Thanks everyone for sharing some more of your favorite apps!

I love Toontastic! There is a new free storytelling app that is definitely worth checking out - it's called Adobe Voice and I've written about why I think it is perfect for classrooms (and even made my own example!) http://wp.me/p42mcK-RG

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Monica Burns's picture
Monica Burns
Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com

Thanks everyone for sharing some more of your favorite apps!

I love Toontastic! There is a new free storytelling app that is definitely worth checking out - it's called Adobe Voice and I've written about why I think it is perfect for classrooms (and even made my own example!) http://wp.me/p42mcK-RG

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Jeanette Stickel's picture
Jeanette Stickel
I'm a speech therapist in public schools

I use Book Creator. My students love creating stories with this app. They can import images or take photos and then add text. The app costs $4.99. I often pair it with Photogene ($2.99) to crop images I obtain from the Internet - that allows the students to choose topics from animals to super heroes. They can easily drop in images in their ebook to accompany (and often inspire) their stories.

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Five-Minute Film Festival: Arts Integration Turns STEM to STEAM

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Intrigued by the idea of adding the arts to STEM education? This video playlist highlights programs and projects around the country that are exploring STEAM learning.
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Ashley Gomez's picture
Ashley Gomez
Community Engagement & Social Media Marketing Intern

Wow, love this compilation of videos. Makes me wish they had STEAM back when I was in K-12!

raymond rose's picture
raymond rose
Online Learning and Accessibility Evangelist

I wish we'd see the Arts integrated into STEM in a different way. STEAM has interesting connotations, and I frequently see images of steam engines used with STEM and Arts programs. Maybe not as visually appealing, but more 21st century would be to integrate the Arts into STEM as TEAMS -- which is more accurate in describing how the Arts is integrated into STEM in real life.

Evy Roy's picture
Evy Roy
Student at Tufts University | Intern at Edutopia

Raymond rose, I love that idea. STEAM (or TEAMS) is all about collaboration and integration, and the word "teams" conjures up images of kids working together, rather than an industrial steam engine. Thanks for those thoughts.

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STEM to STEAM: Resource Roundup

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Whether you are looking for resources on integrating science, technology, engineering, and math or on infusing the arts to transform STEM into STEAM, this curated compilation will help you strategize around different approaches to integrated studies.

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SamanthaW's picture

I will be teaching Kindergarten this summer school using the STEAM design. I am also a beginning teacher. This article and videos helped me understand more about what STEAM is all about. Are there any suggestions or advice anyone can give me?

Scott Bedley @scotteach's picture
Scott Bedley @scotteach
Create, Innovate, Demonstrate

Hey Samantha, I thinking starting simple and using something like Caine's Arcade https://youtu.be/faIFNkdq96U may be the way to go. Having volunteers there to support the kids but coaching them not to overstep and do things for the kids would be important. When long term planning start by looking at integration to content and limit yourself in the first year to doing one every other month or one a month. It's easy to over-commit yourself and have projects that become challenging to finish without too much adult intervention and work. I love the quote my dad always told me... "If we do something for children that they can do for themselves, we steal an opportunity from them to build responsibility, creativity and confidence." You are going to love going full STEAM ahead!

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Scott Bedley @scotteach's picture
Scott Bedley @scotteach
Create, Innovate, Demonstrate

Hey Samantha, I thinking starting simple and using something like Caine's Arcade https://youtu.be/faIFNkdq96U may be the way to go. Having volunteers there to support the kids but coaching them not to overstep and do things for the kids would be important. When long term planning start by looking at integration to content and limit yourself in the first year to doing one every other month or one a month. It's easy to over-commit yourself and have projects that become challenging to finish without too much adult intervention and work. I love the quote my dad always told me... "If we do something for children that they can do for themselves, we steal an opportunity from them to build responsibility, creativity and confidence." You are going to love going full STEAM ahead!

(1)

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Apply for a Teacher Travel Grant This Summer

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Teacher travel grants can be the perfect source to fund professional development, service-learning, and study abroad trips. Here are some resources to help teachers apply and the best sources to look.

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GEEO's picture

Another resource you may want to look at is www.geeo.org. Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that runs summer professional development travel programs designed for teachers.

Educators have the option to earn graduate school credit and professional development credit while seeing the world. The trips are 8 to 24 days in length and are designed and discounted to be interesting and affordable for teachers. GEEO provides teachers educational materials and the structure to help them bring their experiences into the classroom. The trips are open to all nationalities of K-12 and university educators and administrators, as well as retired educators. Educators are also permitted to bring along a non-educator guest.

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geoeduktr's picture

For Indiana teachers, I believe the Eli Lilly Teacher Renewal Grants are still available. Just another avenue for travel.

saturdaysun's picture

I just saw this article on my news feed. Isn't it too late to get a grant for this summer?

GEEO's picture

Another resource you may want to look at is www.geeo.org. Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that runs summer professional development travel programs designed for teachers.

Educators have the option to earn graduate school credit and professional development credit while seeing the world. The trips are 8 to 24 days in length and are designed and discounted to be interesting and affordable for teachers. GEEO provides teachers educational materials and the structure to help them bring their experiences into the classroom. The trips are open to all nationalities of K-12 and university educators and administrators, as well as retired educators. Educators are also permitted to bring along a non-educator guest.

(1)

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Summer Professional Development With MOOCs

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Summer is a great time for teachers to enroll in a MOOC, a "Massive Open Online Course." Matt Davis has compiled a list of a few summer courses to consider.
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Kate Finley's picture
Kate Finley
Marketing Manager at Neu Academic

These are great suggestions! As far as where to search for MOOCs, I would also check out SkilledUp (http://www.skilledup.com/), another great aggregator. It searches courses, tutorials, and free online videos, so you're bound to find something interesting!

ms. blatteau's picture

As a teacher who works closely with my peers in our own teacher-created professional development, I value these opportunities to learn independently and connect with other educators who are interested in similar topics. The principal at my school informed me of Stanford's online coursework. I have enrolled for the International Women's Health and Human Rights Course. It will inform how I adapt my own syllabus of a human rights course at the high school level in a significant way. Here is the link: https://class.stanford.edu/courses

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scottmpetri's picture

While it's not technically offered in the summer, the Canvas Network is hosting Improving Teacher and Student Relationships beginning September 22. This course will give both traditional classroom and virtual teachers resources for improving relationships and interactions with students. After reviewing research and current trends in learning and motivation theory, this course will allow teachers to think-aloud and practice with new tools within a caring community of instructors seeking to improve their classroom practices. https://www.canvas.net/courses/improving-teacher-and-student-relationships

Victoria's picture

For teacher MOOCs- can be a fun and Engaging way to Expand experts and gain new skills develop. , I would also check http://imagiacian.com/, another great site. It searches courses, tutorials, and free online videos, so you're bound to find something interesting on it.

Sydney's picture
Sydney
Passionate about entrepreneurship, elearning and extreme sports.

Learning how to learn! It's a course that just came out recently on Coursera which I strongly recommend. I think not enough emphasis is being given to learning styles and the course is doing a great job at giving practical knowledge!
Check out my blog www.elearnhero.com we usually mention the last great courses that we found!

Katie Schellenberg's picture
Katie Schellenberg
Holistic Advocate (Lawyer and Teacher) and Founder of Beyond Tutoring

I can't wait to participate in some of these MOOCs and some of the great courses found in the comment section.

Hilary's picture

Some great courses recommended already! The Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills MOOC run by the University of Melbourne (https://www.coursera.org/course/atc21s) is also currently running. It is near the end of the course but you can still register and access materials and teaching resources etc and get a general feel for how the course works. It puts a focus on developmental assessment and teaching and provides practical tools such as developmental progressions for the classroom.

Priyanga Shimada's picture

Professional development refers to many types of educational experiences related to an individual's work. Many fields require members to participate in ongoing learning approved by the profession, sometimes as a requirement for keeping their jobs. In education, research has shown that teaching quality and school leadership are the most important factors in raising student achievement. For teachers and school and district leaders to be as effective as possible, they continually expand their knowledge and skills to implement the best educational practices. Educators learn to help students learn at the highest levels. Many people may not be aware of their local school system's methods for improving teaching and student learning. Professional development is the only strategy school systems have to strengthen educators' performance levels. Professional development is also the only way educators can learn so that they are able to better their performance and raise student achievement. Many misunderstandings exist about professional development, its purpose, and how it functions. Therefore, I feel MOOCs sounds really good for teachers who are looking for quality PD programs.

ms. blatteau's picture

As a teacher who works closely with my peers in our own teacher-created professional development, I value these opportunities to learn independently and connect with other educators who are interested in similar topics. The principal at my school informed me of Stanford's online coursework. I have enrolled for the International Women's Health and Human Rights Course. It will inform how I adapt my own syllabus of a human rights course at the high school level in a significant way. Here is the link: https://class.stanford.edu/courses

(1)

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Fun and Free Summer Learning Resources

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To help combat summer learning loss, blogger Matt Davis curated a few fun and free education resources for students and parents to use over summer break.

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NCFL's picture
NCFL
National Center for Families Learning

Great list! Thank you, Anne.

We also wanted to call attention to Camp Wonderopolis. Starting June 16, Campers and learners of all ages will be able to explore six different subjects of science through 42 Wonders of the Day (How many flowers can a bee pollinate? Why don't oil and water mix? How do boomerangs come back?). Hands-on activities with around-the-house materials and daily lessons will be both fun and challenging for early and middle grade students (and parents!).

Camp Wonderopolis officially open June 16 (pre-registration is open now... Sign up today at www.Wonderopolis.org/camp).

Angela's picture
Angela
Parent of 3 high-school students in Chicago, Illinois

"lemonade stand" sounds like a great deal :D

Sarah's picture

I just received a grant to develop resources for students and their parents to prevent the summer slide. I am searching for free resources and any ideas.

Laura Thomas's picture
Laura Thomas
Director, Antioch University New England Center for School Renewal, Author of Facilitating Authentic Learning, Director of the Antioch Critical Skills Program

Hi Sarah! Is there a Makerspace in your area? They have lots of great (usually free) resources. I know our public library has a whole bunch of interesting things going on this summer too- my own kids are going to a DIY Stomp Rocket thing tomorrow and they're wicked psyched about it.

I saw this piece from the Atlantic today and bookmarked it- it sounds like something you'd like, too. http://m.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/06/for-better-school-res...

Susan Chen's picture

It's true that summer break could result in learning loss. I have students coming back to school in September perform poorly on the pre-assessment tests for reading and math. These results are in direct contrast to their year-end report card for the previous academic year. This is a welcomed list of ideas for me to give to parents to help their children continue to learn throughout the summer months. I have had only two standard recommendations in the past. I usually tell them to check the local library for activities and to check our local community college for its kids summer program. Now I am able to broaden their choices.

Story Share's picture

Great list, thanks for sharing Matt!

We would love to add Story Share to the list as a free resource available to parents and educators over the summer to support reading engagement.

Story Share is a collaborative digital literacy hub devoted to providing relevant, engaging, and approachable literature to struggling readers beyond elementary school. We bring together authors, readers, and educators to provide a digital library filled with high interest and age-appropriate stories for students in middle school and beyond. You can browse our new and improved library and filter stories by age, interest and reading level here:

http://www.storyshares.org/books

We also recently wrote about the importance of engagement when it comes to beating the 'summer slide' which you can read more about here:

http://www.storyshares.org/blog/story-share-and-the-summer-slide/

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Humor Boosts Student Learning, Research Shows

Related Tags: Student Engagement
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