Nearly 16,000 educators from around the world gathered in Philadelphia earlier this month for ISTE 2015. Attendees crowded the exhibit hall floor to test drive the latest gadgets and tools for learning and instruction. SmartBrief Education editors were on the ground, covering it all. We showcased several of these products in this month’s SmartBrief on EdTech Product Showcase. Take a look at what caught readers’ attention:

Educade from GameDesk. Educade is an online library of free K-12 instructional resources, including lesson plans, apps, games and hands-on activities. Teachers can search for resources by grade level, subject matter and technology type. Users must register in order to access the library.

OpenEd. Teachers looking for new instructional tools can find them at OpenEd, an online resource library with lesson plans, videos, games and assessments designed for K-12. Most content on the site is free but users may purchase a subscription to access premium content from education publishers. (read more…)

professional development

Learning management systems do not look like they did five or 10 years ago. The evolving nature of LMS has created a range of options for K-12 schools, colleges and universities and even corporations seeking to use technology in teaching and learning.

So what is the next generation LMS?

Higher education nonprofit EDUCAUSE in a recent white paper dubbed the next iteration of LMS in higher education the “next generation digital learning environment” — or NGDLE.

The authors note that it will not be a “single chuck of code;” but rather will include five core functionalities: interoperability and integration, personalization, analytics, advising, and learning assessment, collaboration, accessibility and universal design.

This gives us — and our readers — a jumping off point for the discussion. In the coming months, SmartBrief will collect ideas from K-12, higher education and beyond to help facilitate a conversation about these evolving digital learning platforms.

Join the conversation in the comments section below by telling us how you have you seen LMS change in the past five, 10 years. (read more…)

Education-badge-blue2Path to Workforce is SmartBrief Education’s vision of college and career readiness, encompassing K-12, adult learners, career changers, non-traditional students and those who forgo a traditional four-year college experience. Stay tuned for ongoing #Path2W coverage, including model programs, expert insights and reader feedback.

Nearly every single one of us at some point or another will have considered trying to learn a new language, but the reality is that most of us are stuck in our ways and rely solely on the use of our native language.

Becoming bilingual has countless benefits; most notably, it can enhance your career prospects and help bring multicultural societies closer together.

Let’s explore the importance of learning foreign languages and how you can take the initial steps to becoming bilingual.

Enhance your career prospects

It is proven that being bilingual has positive effects on your cognitive abilities. For example, studies have shown that bilingual individuals are able to multitask and process information far more effectively than monolingual individuals. (read more…)

classroom 2SmartBlog on Education will shine a light on back-to-school teaching and learning trends during July. In this blog post, Jim Dillon, director of the Center for Leadership and Bullying Prevention and a former educator and school administrator, offers 10 ways to make the distinction between “learning” and “performing” in the classroom.

It can happen innocently on the first day of kindergarten when the teacher says to the class, “Who can tell me the … ?” and then calls on one student to answer the question. Walk into most classrooms from kindergarten to college and it is likely that you will still hear the same “Who can tell me?” question uttered by the teacher. There is nothing inherently wrong with that question. The problem resides in the context in which the question is asked and what happens in the minds and hearts of those who hear it.

Let’s analyze what is going on in that typical teacher-student interaction:

  • The person in authority holds the answer to the question by virtue of the fact that she is the person in charge.
  • (read more…)

Whether you are working with a small group of students, planning with your colleagues, or training a group of teachers, it can be a challenge to get everybody on the same page — Web page that is.

Enter Google Tone. An extension of the Google Chrome browser, Google Tone lets users share URLs using sound. Now getting everyone on the same page as simple as clicking a button.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Make sure you and your co-collaborators are using Chrome.
  2. Visit the Chrome Web Store and search for Google Tone (extension).
  3. Click the “Add to Chrome” button and accept the permissions. Once installed you will be taken to a website that will give you a brief overview of the extension.
  4. Make sure that the volume on your mic and speakers is set to high.
  5. Once you are on the URL page that you would like others to view, click the megaphone icon on the top right corner of the Chrome toolbar.
  6. (read more…)