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Bright Ideas for Blended Learning

9 Best Kindergarten Apps (Great for Preschool, Too!)

Posted by Sarah Guckert

Envisioning iPads in the hands of your district’s youngest learners? Not sure how to make an early childhood initiative possible—or more importantly, successful? At first glance, the Apple App Store can be an overwhelming place for educators to find the best content for young learners. With 100,000+ educational iOS apps on the market, it would take a significant chunk of time out of each week to identify those "needle in a haystack" apps that will be most effective and age appropriate for preschool and kindergarten students.

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Topics: Elementary Education  App Recommendations

Flourishing a Blended Learning Culture in Classrooms

Posted by Monika Lee

The introduction of technology and the transformation to blended learning in classrooms is rapidly growing. However, simply bringing technology into classrooms isn’t going to change education. To truly develop a blended environment, the culture of the classroom setting must radically shift.

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Topics: Elementary Education  Blended Learning Strategies  Middle School Education  Tech Education News

What the SAMR Model and Flow Model Teach Us About Personalization

Posted by Monika Lee

 

With an average class size of about 30 students, educators know how difficult it is to personalize learning in the classroom. Some students are performing at a higher reading level, some are at a higher math level, and some need a little more help in science. The current approach to education includes textbooks that serve as a one-size-fits-all approach. A teacher stands at the front of the classroom with textbook material and is probably only fully stimulating 2-3 students.

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Topics: Elementary Education  Blended Learning Strategies  Middle School Education

4 Ways to Improve Metacognitive Awareness

Posted by Carrie Conover

Dear Carrie,

My students just started using iPads and due to their experiences at home, they only associate iPads with fun games, not learning. Any ideas to help them put a purpose behind their classroom iPad time and encourage metacognitive awareness?

Jen in Missouri

 

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Topics: Elementary Education  Blended Learning Strategies  Middle School Education

9 Ways to Amplify the Benefits of Technology in Education

Posted by Sarah Guckert

Whether you’re in your second semester or second year of iPad learning, now is the perfect time to take a step back to evaluate the effectiveness of your technology current program and identify potential for growth. Below are 9 suggestions on how to take your district's initiative to the next level and reap the benefits of technology in education.

 

 

 

1. Collect feedback. 

It’s easy to want to hit the ground running at the start of the new year, but pause for a moment to reflect on what worked last semester and what didn’t. Check in with your teachers, students, and parent community to get a pulse on their technology adoption and comfort levels.

- Teacher surveys: Giving teachers a voice and an opportunity to submit program feedback is key as they are on the ground with the devices and know what’s working as well as the challenges they’ve encountered. Deploy surveys and include questions about the ease of iPad use. Do teachers enjoy using the tablets from both a technological and instructional standpoint? What ideas do they have to improve the iPad initiative?

- Informal student check-ins: Students love talking about using the iPad. Check in with them during class to collect their opinions and share their feedback with other teachers and administrators.

- Parent night and take-home letters: If parents in your community are involved in your program, invite them to the district for a parent night to showcase student projects completed with iPads. Alternatively, send a parent letter home with quotes from your student check-ins and include information about what you accomplished with iPads last semester.

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Topics: Elementary Education  Blended Learning Strategies  Middle School Education

Gamification in Education: Increasing Student Engagement with Teams, Contests, Interactive Apps

Posted by David Reeves

Increasing engagement in the classroom is always at the forefront of teachers’ minds. When students are engaged, it’s much easier for them to learn and grow. Gamification is a current concept that’s proving to be extremely powerful. With the use of game design to enhance non-game situations, gamification can be a powerful way to increase motivation through getting students involved in something they find interesting and enjoyable. What exact role does gamification play in helping students learn? How do concepts from things like technology, videogames, and interactive apps play into getting students more involved? To help answer these questions, let’s take a look at a few specific ways that gamification in education can be a powerful, engagement-boosting tool.

 

 5 Ways to Access to Benefits of Gamification in Education

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Topics: Elementary Education  Blended Learning Strategies  Middle School Education

The Best Holiday Gifts for Tech-Savvy Teachers

Posted by Carrie Conover

Dear Carrie,

It's that time of the year again when everyone is asking for my holiday wish list—but the only items I really need are ones for my classroom! What are the best holiday gifts for helping me take my tech-savvy classroom (and my new set of iPads) to the next level in 2015?

Christine in PA

 

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Topics: Elementary Education  Blended Learning Strategies  Middle School Education

5 Examples of Instructional Strategies That Encourage Student Accountability

Posted by Carrie Conover

Dear Carrie,

I’m trying my best to implement small group instruction in my classroom. We have finally settled into our rotations and I have student accountability strategies in place, but I can’t seem to keep up with all of the grading and assessment. It was so much easier when my class was doing the same activity all at once. Any ideas?

Overwhelmed by Paperwork in NY

 

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Topics: Elementary Education  Blended Learning Strategies  Middle School Education