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Mimio Educator

12 Ways to Rock the Next Generation Science Standards with Cross-curricular Projects

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Apr 27, 2016

12WaystoRockScienceStandards.jpgThe Next Generation Science Standards were designed to be "rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education." In practice, the NextGen Standards cover more than the science disciplines – the directives integrate all subject areas. The standards are so cross-curricular, you might sometimes think you’re reading a writing prompt for a language arts class or as a math story problem. Their nature makes them ideal for teaching in a project-based learning environment, where the goal is to synthesize curricular topics into one global learning experience. Nexgenscience.org provides a valuable resource on cross-curricular classroom sample tasks to get you started.

There are many ways to bring Science Standards into other disciplines and lessons. Think about presenting the science activities that are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards as cross-curricular projects that will deepen student learning and engagement. For examples, consider the following 12 projects.

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Tags: Science Lessons, STEM Lessons, curriculum

How Google Docs Can Help You Work with Student Data to Improve Instruction

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Apr 21, 2016

GoogleDocs_ImproveInstruction.jpgWhen it comes to working with student data, most tech-savvy educators know how powerful spreadsheets can be. A basic knowledge of formulas and functions makes it possible for a teacher to generate quality information, reports, and charts. But the typical teacher grade book doesn’t allow for much data manipulation. Student scores on particular assignments in a grade book don’t necessarily show teachers whether students have mastered the material.

While grade books are probably here to stay, there is an additional tool that can help teachers gather more information from their students’ grades, including student mastery and testing information. It’s the Conditional Formatting function in Google Sheets.  

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Tags: classroom assessment, curriculum

8 Tips for Evaluating Classroom Technology for Your School

Posted by Lynn Reedy on Tue, Apr 19, 2016

8TipsonEvaluatingTech-01.jpgWith all the new and exciting choices that exist for school classrooms, it can be difficult to decide exactly what to purchase. The educational technology market is huge, encompassing everything from iPads to IWBs. And the technology can often feel complicated and overwhelming. After 19 years of working as an educational technology specialist, I completely understand why many find technology challenging. To help you evaluate technology and set your school up for success, follow these eight tips:  

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Tags: Classroom Technology, Education Technology, Training

Top 5 Educational Associations, Part 2 for Administrators

Posted by Travis Rink on Tue, Apr 12, 2016

5Ed_associations_admins.pngHave you noticed how fast the K-12 educational landscape is changing? There are new laws, new research, and new approaches (derived from the new laws and research). And then there are the new tools to support those new approaches. It can all be a lot to stay on top of. The good news is that professional associations can help you to keep up. In our last post, we looked at five interesting professional associations for teachers. This time around, we look at five options for administrators.

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Tags: Education Technology, education industry, Educational influencers

Where to Find Great Videos to Increase Student Learning

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Apr 6, 2016

VideostoIncreaseStudentleanring-01.jpgIn most classrooms, individualized learning is the norm, and it can be problematic for many teachers. How can a teacher possibly keep all the students learning at a level that is challenging for each of them? How can a teacher tap into students’ curiosity to keep them motivated to learn? And how can a teacher make sure that all students have access to learning all the content standards? Short videos may be the answer.

Finding the Right Videos

Online videos are one powerful solution to these challenges. Students’ learning changes when they have a connected device to help them learn. But the number of methods for learning new information is almost endless on the Internet. Who has the time to sift through them all?

We’ve put together a “go-to” list of excellent sites with short videos that teachers can use to provide content knowledge and standards-based tutorials, or to tap into the curiosity of students.

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Tags: MimioStudio, curriculum, 21st Century Skills

Top 5 Educational Associations,  Part 1 for Teachers

Posted by Travis Rink on Thu, Mar 31, 2016

5Ed_associations_teachers.jpgHave you noticed how rapidly the K-12 educational landscape is changing? There are new laws, new research, and new approaches (derived from the new laws and research). And then there are the new tools to support those new approaches. It can all be a little overwhelming.

The good news is that professional associations can help you to keep up, move further along your career path, and even influence those laws. Sometimes just reading an association’s blog post or other available material can give you the information you need. With other organizations, you may want to become a full-fledged member to gain the maximum benefit.

Our list of the 10 most interesting educational associations out there is divided into two categories: one for teachers and one for administrators. In this post, Part I, we’ll tackle associations for teachers. Check out the list below and see which ones are right for you!

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Tags: education industry, Educational influencers

8 Ways to Make a Great STEM Lesson

Posted by Holly Fritz-Palao on Tue, Mar 29, 2016

8STEM_GreatLessons.jpgWhat is STEM?

The acronym stands for Science/Technology/Engineering/Math, and it typically is used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to improve competitiveness in science and technology development. STEM Curriculum Specialist Nancy Tsupros defines it more specifically as follows:

STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy. (Tsupros, 2009)

STEM was created to encourage a greater focus on science and math disciplines, in order to build a workforce equipped for the high-tech jobs in the future. Simply teaching math and science using technology cannot accomplish this. STEM is about changing the way we approach these disciplines. It’s about going beyond the classroom and prepping students for the real world. 

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Tags: Science Lessons, STEM Lessons, Math, curriculum

Promote Positive Student Behavior Through Technology

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Mar 23, 2016

PositiveStudent_BahviorthroughTech.pngTechnology can be a great tool for reinforcing and therefore promoting positive student behavior in the classroom. Students who can use technology to track their behavior in the classroom have shown increases in positive behaviors and decreases in negative behaviors and their consequences.

Why does tracking reinforce positive behavior?
There are a few reasons why these tracking and monitoring strategies are effective. First, the social skills of students are still developing, so they may not immediately recognize negative behaviors. Students may benefit from simply being made aware that unwanted behavior is occurring. Second, the evaluation portion of the process gives students concrete feedback about particular unwanted behaviors, which helps them learn to keep them in check. Instead of feeling unable to control or impact the behaviors, students develop a greater sense of control.

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Tags: Classroom Technology, Education Technology, MimioStudio

How to Make Technology Rules for Your Classroom

Posted by Jessica Sanders on Wed, Mar 16, 2016

TechnologyRules.pngAsk any teacher who has experienced it: having technology in the classroom is exciting and motivating for students. All they need is a certain amount of freedom to run with the technology and feel empowered. However, letting students loose on the Internet, or even within certain tools, isn’t always safe or conducive to a productive learning environment. 

This is where technology rules come into play. With certain guidelines in place, students can take charge of their learning journey safely. The following tips can help you with this process. 

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Tags: Education Technology, Technical Challenges

Top 8 Characteristics of a School Leader (AKA Educator Powerhouse)

Posted by Holly Fritz-Palao on Wed, Mar 9, 2016

PowerhouseEducator-01.pngSimon Sinek once said, “Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.” As we thought about trying to articulate what attributes comprise a dynamo school leader, it began to feel a little like trying to eat bouillabaisse with a fork. Education is not an exact science: the qualities that are needed in teaching personnel will vary somewhat, depending on the specific objectives and needs of a school. But after hearing from some leading educators and doing some research into the topic, we came up with the following top characteristics of a strong school leader. These characteristics are generally the ones that diligent administrators will seek when looking for new teachers, and the ones that they will try to develop and improve in the veteran teaching force. 

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Tags: education industry, Educational influencers


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