Happy Pythagorean Theorem Day!

It’s finally here, the day you’ve been waiting for! A day when you can celebrate a beautiful theorem discovered nearly 2500 years ago. Better make good use of 8/15/17 because another Pythagorean Theorem Day won’t come around for over three years (look out for 12/16/20). Read on to learn more about the man, the theorem, and how to celebrate!

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Teaching Digital Literacy to Our Students

This summer the New Media Consortium (NMC) held its Summer Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. Students who attended talked about the misconception that they have expert technological skills. They’ve been pushing back on generational generalizations about their tech-savviness, saying that some of these high expectations and assumptions regarding their digital skills have hindered them academically.

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Blended Learning Questions: Your Top 5 Concerns Addressed

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If you are considering starting or expanding a blended learning program, there are some real obstacles you will need to overcome. Convincing stakeholders to commit to the program, finding funding, and setting up your infrastructure are all major steps before you even design your implementation. Here we’ve identified the top five blended learning questions and provided some suggestions to consider when planning for and implementing your program.
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Technology in the Classroom: The Teacher’s Companion

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A recent study by the Academy of Management Journal found that people who pursue careers they treat as callings have particularly high rates of burning out from emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. They feel a sense of obligation or moral duty to make a positive social difference in their work, and tend to go “beyond the call of duty.” It should come as no surprise that the teaching profession fits this description—many teachers expend vast emotional resources on their students and careers, and this kind of devotion can be time-consuming and financially draining.

Additionally, large class sizes, ever-changing teacher evaluation processes, and high-stakes assessments are adding even more pressure to teachers’ overflowing workloads. In particular, formative assessment, a range of formal and informal assessment procedures, is in high demand for its power to collect information about what students are learning while they’re learning it. Many believe that teachers should then use what they learned about performance to adjust their instruction to meet students’ needs. While some teachers may be naturally skilled at doing this, it’s not necessarily an easy or straightforward task.

Plain and simple, with an increasing number of challenges on the horizon, our teachers need more—more time, more tools, and more resources—to be able to meet the demands of school boards, administrators, parents, and the state and federal government. And with these high demands, it’s imperative for teachers to make the most of their time in the classroom.

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Attention and Focus in the Classroom: What Can We Learn from Fidget Spinners?

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“They’re disruptive and annoying.”

“I would never let my child have one.”

“If I see one in the classroom, I consider it a donation.”

Teachers certainly have a lot to say about the newest craze sweeping through classrooms across the country. Fidget spinners, handheld devices that use weighted ball bearings to spin, have quickly morphed from a learning tool designed for children with ADHD or autism into a toy plaguing teachers. Articles and anecdotal research have shown that, for the general population, these gadgets prove more distraction than asset. However, their prevalence in schools can lead us to think about bigger issues on attention and focus in the classroom.

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