The Boxlight Mimio team has settled back into their daily routines after FETC (January 24–27) in Orlando, Florida and TCEA (February 6–10) in Austin, Texas. As always, both events were exciting and enlightening, and reminded us how our tech-savvy educators know they must stay on top of education trends in order to learn how teaching and learning can best benefit from technology’s near-constant changes.
New education technology purchases can be just as exciting as that shiny new toy given to a kid as a gift. But without proper planning, these new purchases can result in disastrous effects. Here are some mistakes to avoid when planning for new technology purchases:
Do They Get It?
A few months ago, I shared an article on checking for understanding in a 1:1 classroom. Because there are many classrooms that do not have aa assessment device for every student, I wanted to share some other ideas for how to check whole groups of students to see if they are understanding the content and confident in their learning.
As we turn the calendar, we have a new year full of possibilities. Even with all these possibilities, we also know that old habits die hard—this is why listing our new year’s resolutions is a popular practice and can be very profound. The list either helps us to do something new that we have always wanted to try, or start doing something we have known for a while and need to pick up again.
So for 2017, I have developed my top list of things I would like to do, improve at, or focus on for the year. These resolutions are aimed at improving my knowledge of educational technology (and more!) and are in no particular order—and a few are a little tongue in cheek!
You’re practically swimming in “must-try” tool lists right now—we know. That’s why we created this unique one for you. These tools can be used in almost every classroom, from kindergarten to high school, and teach students important skills that they’ll need in our modern world, including coding, creativity, and kindness.
Educational leaders look for ways to maximize student learning and increase the effectiveness of teacher instruction. In my school, we use the term “best practice” when referring to strategies that are research-based and have evidence supporting them. Two practices that show great evidence in student learning are allowing students to learn through movement and incorporating technology into the classroom. While you may not think of technology and movement as a likely combination, bringing these two factors together can greatly increase engagement and help students excel.
Imagine that you give some students the following assignment: Take a number of rubber bands and tie them to a wagon, then try to pull the wagon across a room. In order to pull the wagon, the rubber bands need to be pulled tight, but if the student pulls too hard or too fast, the rubber bands will break.
You can apply this same concept to tech-resistant educators in the classroom. If we want to move teachers from one side of the room (hating technology) to the other side of the room (tech hero), we have to “stretch” them—but not too hard or too fast.
Kevin Ryan, Director of Educational Technology and 21st Century Learning
The schools in Kildeer Countryside School District 96 had already been recognized for their academic excellence by the US DOE and the Illinois State Board of Education. Still, district administrators recognized that significant changes needed to be made to our classrooms, and better technology needed to be acquired, in order to help our students acquire the new skills mandated by today’s educational standards: effective communication and collaboration. So, we focused our attention to revamping classrooms to fit the learning needs of 21st century students, and we turned to our most trusted partners to get the job done. Working closely with these partners made all the difference in our successful implementation. Following are the lessons we learned along the way in terms of products and partnerships, which are inextricably connected.
Summer is here! For many this is a time to relax and take it easy, but for some of us this is the time to get busy thinking about and planning for the coming school year. With the day-to-day demands of school out of the way, we have the space to start thinking about what technology we want to start implementing – and how we can make those plans a reality.
With 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: