Our country has changed a lot in the past year. I think most educators didn’t expect the 2017 we now have. We didn’t expect the current education secretary that we have, the president we have, or even some of the other federal changes that we now have. Some of the immigration and refugee policies of 2017 have impacted our schools, along with a shift in direction from the federal government about transgender bathroom policies.
If we could offer teachers something that would save them time, save the school money, communicate better with students and parents, help struggling learners, and impact the learning environment for students...would they consider using it? I’m guessing they would.
Our school district recently moved to the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) platform. Because I previously used GAFE, I knew the potential for improvement that this would bring to our school and our students.
GAFE Is Great
If you’ve been been using Google Classroom for the last few years, you’re probably already “sold” on why it’s a good thing to use. But if it’s new to you, you probably want to know the reasons why this change is a good thing for students. Here are some things to consider:
Consider the typical tools of motivation: honor roll, certificates of achievement, and recognition at school assemblies. These are the traditional tools used by teachers and schools to recognize and motivate students to achieve more, and students tend to love these awards. But for those who embrace the growth mindset (the core belief that abilities are malleable and not fixed), these awards don’t always make sense. Some students achieve good grades easily and make the honor roll all the time, while others feel challenged every step of the way and have to learn a great deal just to achieve a C. For the latter, these tools of recognition and motivation are out of reach.
The truth is that underachieving students aren’t motivated by things that seem unreachable. None of us really is. The honor roll may not even seem like an option to them. If I were to offer you one million dollars to make a hole in one, could you do it? If you didn’t make it, would it be an issue of motivation or a lack of skill and capacity? If I increase the motivation to 10 million dollars, would that change the result?
While it can often be frustrating to teach writing, it’s equally frustrating for students to learn how to write well. Students understand the importance of being a good, clear writer, but grasping the concepts and ideas teachers are trying to convey is often challenging.
Here are four practical ways that sharing student writing can lead them to become better writers:
As an educator, you’re in a position to empower your students to become better learners and better people. Most of the time we recognize the positive influence we have on our students, but there may be times when we feel we need new ways to motivate them and create a culture of involvement. Here are 10 tips you can use to help create a culture that makes learning a priority.
| Dan Winkler
Mimio Chief Technology Officer
Mimio remains faithful to its mission of developing outstanding technologies that let us meet the future with confidence. We continually push ourselves to consider how and where Mimio products will be used, over the long term. Increasingly, that means identifying and developing technologies that you, our customers and partners, will need to be successful.
Each year since we opened our doors in 1997, we have designed and delivered educational teaching technology solutions that reflect our singular philosophy: to make learning more engaging for students, with technology that makes it easier for teachers to do what they do best – teach.
Building a T4PD Community, Part 2
Last week’s blog, “Building a T4PD Community: Part 1,” described a new strategy for professional development that has helped one school transform into a 21st century learning center. Working one-on-one or in small groups, teachers come together to share their expertise in a supportive environment. This week, learn how you can institute the T4PD model in your school.
Getting Started with T4PD
Building a T4PD technology integration model in your school is easy – but it does take time. For two years our staff has been working to transform our classrooms with instructional technology, and we still have a ways to go to achieve full implementation.
Within the T4PD model, each member of the staff assumes one or more of the roles described below. While the process appears to result in a hierarchy, the foundation is based on a community of teachers assisting one another in a casual setting for the better implementation of instructional technology. Furthermore, teachers who take part in a T4PD model may actually fill several roles as the process continues and their ability to use technology in the classroom grows.
Building a T4PD Community, Part 1
In November of 1986, a provocative article appeared in the New York Times with the simple title, “Debating Classroom Technology.” The article posed many intriguing questions about the future of technology in the classroom, at a time when educational technology was still in its infancy. Schools and teachers across the country were struggling to determine whether classroom technology might someday impact student learning: Could technology actually reform the way knowledge is transmitted? What is so compelling about this article, almost 30 years later, is that educators are still searching for the answer to that question.
Strategies for Everyday Instruction
In the 1989 movie Back to the Future II, Marty McFly time travels (in style!) to October 21, 2015. The movie treats us to a vision of the future that includes self-tying shoes, futuristic outfits, flying cars, and hovering skateboards. Of course, now that we’ve caught up to “the future,” we know that the movie got a lot of things wrong. But there are a few things that are actually pretty close to reality: e.g., Lexus apparently has made a prototype hoverboard . . . and how about those Cubs?! While no scene in the movie features a classroom, I wonder what the screenwriters would have done with such a scene.
Learn ways to help you make lessons that are easy on the eyes and the mind!
Do you sometimes find yourself wanting to create a lesson that will wow, but end up just staring at a blank screen? Don’t worry – it happens to all of us. Maybe it’s writer’s block, a creative road block, or you’re just plain stumped. When that happens, following these 10 tips can help you get you back on track and on your way to creating a truly great lesson. They center around 5 key areas: interactivity, aesthetics, instruction, originality, and collaboration.