Three Things You Should Know About Gamification and Learning

Three-Things-You-Should-Know-About-Gamification-and-Learning

We can all picture it, a kid who has been sitting in front of a screen for hours. His bloodshot eyes have seen it all, from controlling an avatar in a top secret mission to interacting with players across the globe to build a city block by block. What is it about games that can make them so engaging?

You might not realize it, but today, many of the principles and practices used by the video gaming industry are changing the game for education. Understanding gamification can allow you to incorporate its principles and this can make learning more engaging and effective. You’ll be able to provide students with new and exciting experiences. Read More

Five Tips to Engage Online Learners

Five Tips to Engage Online Learners

After attending the iNACOL conference last month, I have a renewed passion for teaching students in an online or blended learning environment.  The message I walked away with is that ANY student can learn, and when we use technology and online learning tools, we can increase student success and confidence.

Online learning has redefined education for many students across the county.  It forms a partnership between students and teachers in a way that is new and refreshing. Students have more ownership over their learning and a larger claim on their successes. The key as an educator is to engage them and show them that they can succeed.

Here are five pointers on how to motivate and engage students in an online learning environment. Read More

Education Technology Impacts Classroom Management

Education Technology Impacts Classroom Management

“Proximity” may be one of my favorite words, right up there with “segue” and “disaggregation.” “Proximity” has such a ring to it. More importantly, it is a classroom management strategy that is proven to increase student achievement. Nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and educational researcher Dr. Robert Marzano refers to proximity and other classroom management strategies as “with-it-ness,” a pedagogical term that describes a teacher’s awareness of what is going on in a learning environment. Read More

The Buzz about Career and Technical Education

The Buzz about Career and Technical Education

In a recent study commissioned by Chegg and conducted by Harris Interactive, fewer than two in five hiring managers (39%) who interviewed recent college graduates found them prepared for a position in their fields of study. Conversely, around 50% of the graduates considered themselves sufficiently job ready. That’s a pretty significant gap in perception!

Career and Technical Education (CTE) deserves some attention as a viable solution for closing this gap. Here’s some information about this often underrated side of education: Read More

Top Five Ways Teachers Can Model Digital Citizenship

Top Five Ways Teachers Can Model Digital Citizenship

Because today’s students live in a digital world, it can be easy to forget that they need to be taught how to navigate that world. Most students are immersed in technology from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to sleep, but that doesn’t mean they understand the impact they have on each other and on the digital society. As blended and online teachers, it’s important not only to teach students about the importance of digital citizenship, but also to model appropriate behaviors. Here are the top five ways you can model digital citizenship for your students.

  1. Digital RightsDigital rights and responsibilities
    Being online is a privilege, even though we take it for granted. Set a precedent for how and when technology is used in your classroom, and take away that right if students aren’t using it responsibly.
  2. digital-communicationDigital communication
    We can communicate with anyone, anywhere. Stress that even though we’re free to speak our minds on the Internet, there’s still consequences to what we say just like in real life.
  3. digital-literacyDigital literacy
    Use technology in a way that teaches new skills or reinforces known skills, such as problem solving, idea generation, and information gathering. Because technology is so pervasive, students can learn anytime, anywhere, if you show them how.
  4. 04-digital-etiquetteDigital etiquette
    Act as though students are in the room with you when interacting with them online. Use full greetings and closings in e-mails, complete sentences and fully spelled out words in chats, and mind your “pleases” and “thank yous” when communicating with students via a message board.
  5. digital-securityDigital security
    Remind students to not divulge personal information, such as home address or phone number, when they’re online. If you’re working in a computer lab, remind students to fully log out when they’re done and not to write down their passwords. (And don’t forget to do so yourself!)

Model appropriate behavior, and students will follow your lead. Set the norm that you can use technology in an appropriate, responsible way and fully participate in our digital society. When you respect, educate, and protect yourself and your students, they will be better digital citizens.