Student literacy is among the top priorities of all schools and districts, and becomes a particular focus for many educators each September during National Literacy Month. Some 30% of respondents to a recent poll of SmartBrief on EdTech readers reported that special literacy events or projects are underway or are being integrated into the curriculum this month in their school or district.
There are of course many approaches to meeting literacy needs in schools, including the use of tech-based tools from blogs to e-readers. When asked about the use of technology as part of literacy instruction, a majority of respondents — 64.71% — said they believe tech is an important tool for this mission, while 26.47% see it as somewhat beneficial, and 8.82% say it is not important.
Focusing in one aspect of literacy — how students are being taught to understand and use technology resources — more than 97% of respondents say digital literacy is part of the curriculum for their students. (read more…)
On the first day of kindergarten, we used Skype to connect with one of my student’s parents, explored our iPads and began learning how to take videos and photos. We shared what we were discovering during our first day together via Twitter. We explored our class blog, added a new book to our Shelfari and discovered a map of the world. My students asked why all the yellow triangles were blinking on the map. So we began to connect and experience the beginning steps of what it is like to be a safe, responsible and kind digital citizen as well as experience how to have conversations with others outside of our classroom.
1. Focus on a story that you will read.
Our first story was “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” After reading the story, I began to model ways they can have face-to-face conversations about what they saw and heard. (read more…)
This blog post is a collaboration between Sharon Contreras, superintendent of the Syracuse City School District in New York and Michael Moody, CEO of Insight Education Group. Here, Moody offers four lessons for implementing the common core and Contreras shares the school district perspective.
Superintendents and school leaders across the country are in various stages of implementing the Common Core State Standards, and many districts have been implementing the common core in advance of PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments, which are now just around the corner. It’s OK, no panic necessary!
With back to school in mind, here are four lessons learned — some the hard way — with implementing the common core so you can avoid the pitfalls in your own districts this year.
Lesson 1: Don’t make implementation about “the new test.”
The new standardized tests are an important consideration in common core implementation, but making the test the focal point of implementation distracts from the purpose of the common core. (read more…)
The school year is a journey. Unlike most other jobs that are punctuated with days off and vacations, the job of an educator offers a new beginning, middle and end to each year. This is a tremendous opportunity for reflection and renewal for both students and teachers. Everyone gets a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over regardless of what went before.
The only thing that is predictable about a school year is how unpredictable it is. Although the best educators review and prepare for how they will teach the curriculum, it can be easy to forget to prepare their hearts and minds for what lies ahead of them. Taking a moment to reflect at the start of the school year is like getting your car inspected before a long trip. For educators, as Shakespeare said: “the readiness is all, ” when it comes to a successful school year. (read more…)
This list is not a recipe, but more a map — a way of approaching leading as a learner, not from a pedestal or from the stands, but on the ground.
- If you are a swimmer, or not, it is about buoyancy –lightness, grace and flow — and stamina — determination and endurance.
- Never ask people to do something you would not do.
- Save the carrots and sticks for the research lab. Acknowledge, praise and inspire effort and initiative.
- Humility is humbling. It shows others that blood runs through your veins as well.
- Never take yourself too seriously.
- Abstain from finger pointing and seeking blame. Count your losses, learn and move on.
- Listen to others respectfully, intentionally and in earnest.
- Look problems in the eye and never delay.
- Seek multiple perspectives.
- Embrace mistakes. They are opportunities in disguise cloaked in disappointment and failure.
- Be inclusive, collaborative and open, but close, your door when required.