I grew up in a small town in Minnesota. Our one elementary school building (K–6) and one combined junior and high school campus (7–12), along with the Catholic elementary school (K–6), were central to the community—structures that connected generations, a teaching staff that communicated local values, and a forum where community pride took shape in school events and the cheering on of beloved high school sports teams. It’s important to consider this rural context—deep pride in both place and people—before turning to a discussion of technology use within rural schools.
It’s been a year unlike any other in recent memory when it comes to the impact natural disasters have had on education. We’ve had Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate. Then there were the California wildfires in Sonoma and Napa Valley. And let’s not forget the big winter storm in January, along with the tornadoes that struck in April and May. Each disaster ravaged different parts of the country, causing untold damage and widespread school closures.
In today’s public education classroom, many students have a device that will connect to the Internet. At the secondary level, many students are taking that device home. Because students now have new options for learning outside of the classroom, teachers and administrators are interested in “flipping” the classroom. But what exactly does this term mean?
At the forefront of education today is STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning, which is necessary in order for American students to be competitive in the job market after graduation. Careers in these fields will continue to grow, so it’s imperative that we make STEM a priority to ensure that our students don’t miss out on future opportunities. Here are a few facts about STEM that showcase why these topics are so important:
One of the most critical factors for student and classroom success—especially early in the year—is connecting with our students. As one of my favorite principals used to tell me, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I have found this to be very true.
Good educators are constantly searching for best practices in the classroom. The term “best practice” can get thrown around a lot by different organizations, parents, teachers, and especially administrators. In the end, it can be hard to determine which “best practices” are the ones we really need to implement.
In Part 1 of the Sensory Series, we discussed meeting the various sensory needs of students. The classroom environment plays a major role—and when it comes to setting up a classroom, there are already so many things to consider. Teachers have to find a spot for everyone to sit, think about the flow of the room, the space for technology, the location of the MimioBoard touch board, and where to put the Kleenex. Whew! And this doesn’t even really scratch the surface.
No one has to tell you that money in public education is tight, so it never hurts to find grants or awards to help improve your school’s standing. Whether you want to enhance global learning, have students better master STEM courses, or purchase technology that general budgets can’t afford, opportunities worth thousands of dollars are available for the taking this school year.
The beginning of the year is the best time to set goals. It is not only a clean slate for all the kids and the teachers, but there is a great deal of openness to achieve and grow. The whole year is in front of us!
First, let’s make sure we understand why we should set goals. Goals are important not just for growth, but for clarity of priorities. Like Steven Covey told us in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, we should all begin with the end in mind. By doing this, we know where we are headed and where we want to go—it gives us a target for the rest of the year. As we make progress (or don’t), we can adjust the goals as we go. But unless we know a destination, we can’t start down a path.
Navigating the EdTech industry can often be an overwhelming task. As an educator, you have the responsibility to bring the right technologies into your classroom to help improve your students’ learning experiences. With all the available options, it can be hard to decide what the best approach is for your students. Here at Boxlight, we want to make it simple for educators to implement EdTech in their schools.
That’s why we have assembled this comprehensive list of educator guides that will help you bring educational technology into your school: