Teacher Kathy Cassidy has used Skype for years to connect her primary-aged students with the world. So when the company offered free group video to educators, she jumped at the chance. Five classrooms and lots of Lucky Charms to count! Find out what happened and read her “lessons learned.”
Blending STEM with “connected classroom” strategies is a powerful learning model, says STEM teaching coach Brian Crosby – provided innovative thinking, teacher autonomy and flexible scheduling are present. These essential components of “going deep” with teaching and learning have been eroded away in the last decade, he says, and will have to be revived.
When Brisbane, Australia experienced floods in 2011, Kathy Cassidy’s connected grade-one students wondered if their seven year old skyping friends were safe. They tweeted them from Canada to find out. Result: meaningful and authentic writing and reading.
Our arts education teachers quietly go about their work, often marginalized to the ‘extras’ or the ‘fluff’ of the school program, writes Canadian teacher educator Brenda Sherry. “And yet, I would argue that they are the PBL experts that we seek!” Sherry describes several attributes of student-centered pedagogy that are common among teachers of drama, music, painting, dance and artistic crafts.
In mid-December, 33 tenth grade students, three teachers, assorted parents, and four guest judges gathered to watch the first ever Constitutional Amendments Film Festival at our school. The film festival was the largest and most complex research-based project of the three we’d done since school began this year. My colleagues and I had committed our students to two and one-half weeks of research, film creation, and film editing.
It’s Arwen Kuttner’s first year with iPads and her first year as a reading support teacher in second grade. Can the iPads help her struggling readers? When it comes to letters and sounds, she’s not willing to trade her multisensory learning techniques for a digital tablet. But creation-based apps could help deepen reading comprehension. “It’s up to me,” she writes, “to know when to use the iPads and when not to, in order to keep learning effective and meaningful.”