This blog is where I post a collection of numerous tech tips, tricks, and tools for teachers as well as other educational technology specialists. I also post articles that I have come across, along with my input, on best methods of integrating technology into the classroom as well as managing technology in schools.
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“An ecosystem is a
system formed by the interaction of a community of living organisms with each
other and their environment.” Tim Clark, an advisor to School CIO brings up a
valid point about what all is involved in a successful digital learning
environment. He came up with the categories listed in the picture below.
Tim’s comparison of a digital classroom with an ecosystem
is spot on. The purpose of identifying the needs of a digital classroom
ecosystem is to identify what facilitates a sustainable learning environment
that endures over time and through adversity. In order to do so, teachers must
encourage digital citizenship. Teachers usually model and encourage appropriate
etiquette and responsible use of technology tools and resources.
Teachers should design lessons and units that encourage
deeper levels of thinking using open ended questions and student based
inquiry. Students should have access to
media such as primary source documents and videos as well as have the skills
needed to search and sort through information. Teachers must use formative
assessments, “Assessment for learning”. Teachers and students should be
familiar with multiple tech learning tools and teachers should be using these
tools to differentiate learning. The classroom environment must be supportive
where students and teachers are collaborating together. Finally, teachers much
use strategies that engage students and spark collaboration, creativity, and
Identifying these needs in a digital classroom is
important because without these components, technology may not be fully
integrated into the classroom. Out of these categories, the most important has
to be having a supportive classroom environment and a sense of community.
Students must be willing to work with each other as well as the instructor and
feel safe in their learning environment. This is something that is evident in
any classroom regardless of technology. Without engaging content, establishing
lifelong learning habits will be very difficult.
I agree with a lot of what this article says. It is
imperative for people to understand in order to successfully integrate
technology into the classroom, it must change the learning environment, not
just teaching styles. The focus of making technology a collaborative tool
changes the classroom as well. Technology allows unplanned collaborations,
something that fortune 500 companies base their company structures on, to allow
students to be creative in ways the students might not have imagined on their
In District #140, I see this practice being put into
place every day. Teachers are using technology tools for formative assessment
such as plickers, SMART clickers, NearPod, and Socrative to help students
assess their progress and allow them to improve before summative assessments.
Many teachers use social media tools such as Twitter and Edmodo to communicate
to students and students use these tools to collaborate with the teacher and
with other students. At early grade levels we use the THINK model for digital
etiquette, helping to establish a sense of community that is supportive and
safe for students.
If teachers had to choose which category the district
needs to improve on, it would be accessibility,
teaching strategies, and creating captivating digital content. Many
teachers would like to see students having their own devices with a 1:1 program
so that it is truly ubiquitous. Also teachers have asked for professional
development on using digital tools in the classroom and keeping students
engaged rather than burnt out on technology.
Check out these Add-ins for PowerPointhttp://www.powerusersoftwares.com/#!40-of-the-best-addins-plugins-and-apps-for-Microsoft-PowerPoint-free-or-not/biauv/56b62cf80cf26832893d6eb2
Now with the updated link.
Add-ins, similar to Google's Apps for Education Add-ons, add more features to Microsoft Office products. These are usually developed by other parties rather than by Microsoft.
Google sheets is a very powerful, although a bit basic when compared with the industry standard Microsoft Excel. Google Sheets Add-ons add some of the advanced features of other spreadsheet programs into Sheets. These add-ons have allowed me to completely move away from Excel for all data entry.
We ...selected for you the 8 most popular applications there. Using these add-ons will enable you to: Create graphs and forms and write complex math in your sheetsCreate and modify a planning schedule for project management in a spreadsheet; easily scaffold, manage and assess students projects in Google Drive...see the article below for more http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2017/07/8-google-sheets-add-ons-every-teacher.html
Olivia is currently enrolled part-time in one of the most unique high school models in the country. Where many schools struggle with ever-expanding student-teacher ratios, Futures Academy, a California network of private schools serving middle- and high schoolers, follows a distinctly personalized model: Every class in every subject has one teacher and only one student. The model takes an eyebrow-raising twist on one-to-one instruction, which in many education circles has come to refer to one computer for every student.
This sounds like a discussion I have had many times with other educators when talking about school models and how to improve schools. "What if every student had their own teacher?" It is an intriguing idea that, on the surface, sounds like the ideal learning environment. However, most times I have discussed this, the conversation usually ends up saying that sma…