Spanish teacher Caroline Murray shows how language teachers can use Showbie to assess conversational proficiency.

Language teachers finally have an answer to the question of how to effectively and efficiently assess conversational proficiency in an organized, one-stop-shop way. For me, it’s Showbie.

Showbie is a free app for iOS devices that allows teachers to assign, collect and review student work electronically. The app accepts almost any type of upload and lets you hand write on images and PDFs (using digital ink). This has made it ideal for me when assessing conversations.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Upload an audio prompt, such as a voice recording or downloaded audio file. You can upload different audio files for each student, copy/paste files from one student to another, or upload one per class.
  2. Upload a PDF of the rubric.
  3. Listen to the audio files, then record your response directly into the app.
  4. Assess the student’s work in Showbie by writing directly on the rubric, typing in comments or recording feedback.
  5. (read more…)

children-183007_1280--589From virtual dissections to 3D printing, an update on the latest ed-tech product and service offerings.

 Cengage’s new science modules let high-school and college students perform virtual dissections, explore chemical elements and reactions and conduct virtual research, among other activities.

Dremel released the Dremel Idea Builder 3D40 and a free app that lets users print, monitor jobs and download designs, using their mobile Android or iOS device. A video showing students using the printer is available online.

Parchment debuted an infographic that shows evolution of education, from traditional to digital environments, with a glance at what lies ahead in the future.

Bill Nye “The Science Guy” will keynote NEXT2016, Schoology’s user conference, taking place July 11-13, in Miami Beach, Fla.

Proximity Learning’s online special-education program includes features for tailored instruction and student management. The program, available on from desktop and mobile computers, may be used for small groups and individual students. (read more…)


Teacher leader considers how whole-child initiatives serve students who may be left behind.

While finishing some grading, an email notification pops up from one of my many education subscriptions. “What is it today?” I ask myself. Data driven instruction? Blended learning? I chew down the last bits of my bland sandwich. Today’s topic? An invitation to attend a professional development session on “The Whole Child.”

According to ASCD, “A whole child approach, which ensures that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged, sets the standard for comprehensive, sustainable school improvement and provides for long-term student success.”

I roam to their website, interested in learning more about the “whole child approach,” where students enter school from “healthy” lifestyles and continue to practice those styles at school, creating a great sense of “safety” where everyone feels included. With everyone’s emotional needs being met, children become highly “engaged” in their learning, enveloped in “support” enabling them to thrive in a “challenging” and fulfilling experience, where they prepare for college (and career) readiness. (read more…)

Science, technology, engineering and math play a critical role in our economic prosperity. Educators, associations and other stakeholders are working to inspire and engage the next generation of STEM professionals.

Help shape the STEM education conversation during SmartBrief Education’s 3rd annual STEM Pathways event. During this think-tank style event, you will collaborate with other STEM leaders to create blueprints for STEM success.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from a panel of experts and share your professional insights with others on topics such as STEM vs. STEAM, creating multiple pathways to STEM and student motivation. Read more and register.

Interested in speaking or presenting? Contact Melissa Greenwood, Director of Content, Education. (read more…)

teacher trainign 2
SmartBlog on Education this month is covering topics related to educating the whole child. Join us for original content highlighting tools, trends and best practices.

Let me start by writing that I love the idea of teaching to the whole child, rather than simply the academic side of the students we serve. And I’m quite taken with ASCD’s Whole Child framework where the five tenets of healthy, safe, challenged, supported and engaged serve as foundations to remembering that teaching children should never be one-dimensional.

But, I’m also torn.

Roughly 90% of the educational work I do now is with adult learners. And, whether I’m working with teachers to help them help their students, or engaging in conversation with leaders to help foster the growth of their teachers, I’m at least one degree removed from teaching and leading the whole child.

But, I’m incredibly close to teaching and leading to the Whole Learner. (read more…)