This letter appears in our new publication SmartReport on ISTE2015.


I loved summer camp when I was a kid. Every July, my folks shipped me and my bags off to Camp Cedar Crest in the mountains of San Bernardino, California, for a week of friends, fun, games, activities and classes. I ate a copious amount of S’mores, played volleyball for hours, sang around the campfire and giggled with my friends into the wee hours of the night. It was always a good time. And I always came away from camp with great memories, new friends and fresh energy for the school year.

The annual ISTE show and conference reminds me a bit of camp. For four days each summer, educators from around the globe come together to network, exchange ideas, learn from one another and find new ways to tackle the challenges of education. This year’s show was no exception, and SmartBrief editors were on the ground to catch it all. (read more…)

The profession of education is going through unprecedented change. Many aspects of teaching and school will eventually never be the same again — nor should they. Although wholesale and fundamental change is slow, there are some things that educators will have to accept and embrace, if they plan on being successful and staying in the profession. They are:

  1. Education is more PUBLIC than ever. I am tired of the word “transparency” – and that is really just the beginning of being “public” as an educator in our changing paradigm. We need to showcase our professional work as educators, as well as the work of our students, with larger communities. Venues such as YouTube, Twitter and all social media outlets will be a foundational way for us to continue the idea of being public. Every classroom, school, district and beyond will be daily showcases to the world of what they are doing.
  2. (read more…)

It’s back-to-school time! Educators were busy this month getting back to the business of the classroom. Ed-tech providers were also in full swing, releasing a slew of new solutions for learning and instruction, from a new Web site that offers Open Education Resource materials, to a donor-matching program for teachers wanting to purchase programmable robots, to new 3D-printing curriculum that supports math, science and English language arts.

Take a look at this month’s releases from SmartBrief on EdTech’s Product Showcase:

Free platform lets teachers create, share CCSS-aligned assessments

Edulastic is a free online platform designed to help teachers prepare students for Common Core assessments. Teachers can create and share assessments, aligned with curriculum, and get scores in real time. The device-agnostic platform integrates with student information systems and supports single sign-on through Clever and Google Apps for Education.

Web site offers Open Education Resources, online community for educators

Educators have a new way to access Open Education Resources. (read more…)

badgeSmartBlog on Education’s monthly content award recognizes content written by educators, for educators that inspires readers to engage, innovate and discuss.

SmartBrief Education editors and writers sift through thousands of sources each day, reading a variety of content, including blogs and commentaries written by you and your peers.

In an effort to recognize some of the innovative voices in the field, we’ve asked our team to nominate their favorite content each month from which we’ll choose two winners for the Editor’s Choice Content Award. These award winners are then in the running for our annual Educators’ Choice Award.

Meet this month’s winners:

July winners:

June winners:

Teacher in classroom397x265This story appears in SmartBrief’s digital publication, SmartReport on ISTE 2015. To see more features, tips and our Tech Showcase, download it now.

In a recent lively chat about problems in education, a colleague suggested that teachers want quick fixes — the kind of solutions, she suggests, that do not exist. Upon careful consideration, I decided that my esteemed colleague couldn’t be more wrong.

In fact, I talk to teachers daily in the field and on social networks, and most of them say there are very few fixes at all, quick or otherwise. Almost every solution to any education problem is something that is sent to a committee, then to senior administrators, before being relegated to some five-year plan, etched in a 20-page mission statement that most will only skim.

The problem with five-year plans is that technology evolves at staggering speeds and our students change from week to week. Most five-year plans are obsolete long before the plan comes to fruition. (read more…)