Combating Snow Days with Blended Learning                      

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Growing up in western Pennsylvania – an area that is well acquainted with snowy weather – I have experienced my fair share of snow days, both as an educator and as a student. In 2013, winter weather rocked most of the United States, especially the east coast and warmer areas that were not able to combat the cold. Many schools exhausted their snow day allotment and were forced to add days to the end of the school year, cutting into summer vacation. Some schools in western Pennsylvania were still attending class in early July.

With advancements in online and blended learning, schools have the opportunity to explore other avenues when situations like these arise. Most schools have adopted some type of online or virtual alternative, whether it be with a third party company like Edgenuity Inc., or a Blackboard page setup for individual classes. Some schools have even started to experiment with e-learning options to combat snow days. Read More

Eight Ways to Support English Language Learners

Eight Ways to Support English Language Learners

English language learners (ELLs) represent one of the fastest growing student populations today, but educators still have a lot of questions about the best strategies for helping these students excel academically. Although this diverse group faces unique academic challenges, they are expected to master more advanced concepts than ever before. And while there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to the problem, studies indicate that some methods are more effective than others.

Here are eight research-based strategies for supporting ELLs and helping them succeed in the classroom.

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Six Teacher Resources for the Blended Classroom

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“There’s No App for Good Teaching” by Laura Moorhead

Educators are often so focused on getting technology into the classroom that once it’s there, they’re not sure what to do with it. This TED article by Laura Moorhead offers eight ways that teachers can think about using technology in the classroom to make it more effective as a tool for learning.

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Digizen

Digizen is a website completely dedicated to raising awareness and understanding about digital citizenship. Digizen offers everything from articles and videos to classroom activities and games that teachers can use to learn about and teach digital citizenship.

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Cybersecurity Lab Guide for Educators

Teaching students how to be safe in cyberspace is a crucial aspect of digital citizenship. NOVA Labs’ Cybersecurity Lab Guide is designed to teach students how to protect their information, identify cyber scams, and protect themselves from cyber attacks.

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Cyberbullying Toolkit

Common Sense Education’s Cyberbullying Toolkit includes turn-key instruction for teaching students about respectful online behavior as well as workshops to encourage parent involvement. The kit offers two lessons each for elementary school, middle school, and high school educators.

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Mimi Ito on Learning in Social Media Spaces from Edutopia’s Big Thinkers Series

In this insightful video, Mimi Ito, a cultural anthropologist specializing in youth and technology, discusses the different ways in which young people use social and digital media spaces. She explains the value of these interactions and identifies areas where educators can use new media to promote learning.

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Facebook for Educators & Community Leaders

Facebook is one of the most widely used social media networks and it plays a huge role in how many young people communicate and interact. Their guide for educators provides basic information about teens and social media, Facebook’s community standards, reporting abuse, bullying prevention, privacy, digital citizenship, and much more.

iNACOL and Ed Tech from a Wanderer’s Perspective

iNACOL-and-Ed-Tech-from-a-Wanderer’s-Perspective

This year my company sent me to iNACOL for one main purpose: to experience iNACOL. Although I helped setup and maintain our booth on the exhibitor floor and represented my company through social media, I was there to see what all the buzz was about. Last year I got to be a part of designing our booth and seeing it come to life, and I led our marketing meetings regarding all things iNACOL, but attending was an entirely different experience. I wasn’t there to talk to customers or potential customers, and I also wasn’t there as a school representative. So I just soaked it all in, from the sunshine in Palm Springs, California, to all of the conversations happening around me. I was a breakout session attendee and a people watcher. Here are a few things I learned from my experience:

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Three Things to Know About NCAA and Online Learning

Three-Things-to-Know-About-NCAA-and-Online-Learning

Thinking of implementing online courses with student athletes? It’s important to know the NCAA’s guidelines and policies, to ensure that students who take online courses won’t face obstacles getting those courses approved for eligibility once they get to college.

Although the first step is identifying an appropriately rigorous, college preparatory curriculum like Edgenuity, having your online courses approved by the NCAA is as much about how you implement the courseware as it is about the courseware itself. Read More