There’s a Badge for That


“Digital badges have captured the imagination of many educators, including those frustrated with current assessment techniques and practices…a simple definition for a digital badge is digital recognition for accomplishing a skill or acquiring knowledge after completing an activity (e.g., a course, module, or project). In the world of digital badges, there are those who create badges, those who attempt to achieve badges, those who recognize badges, and those who seek to know people who have obtained certain badges. Digital badges have arguably taken off in popularity given the increase in massive open courses that are often free and thus do not produce credits. In sum, digital badges have become an important way to demonstrate a shared understanding of accomplished outcomes. Though they may have capital in multiple domains, digital badges are often new to teachers and those who offer professional development. However, there are at least three key areas where digital badges have implications for teachers and their continuing education.” — Richard Ferdig and Kristine Pytash, Tech & Learning

Continue reading the full article.

Image Source: Caller-Times

10 Examples of Innovative Formative Assessment


“Innovative formative assessment strategies are part of the heart of any modern classroom. They provide crucial information about what students understand and what they don’t. These ungraded assessments are also valuable guides for students. It can help them enhance their performance. Teachers can use them to determine if further instruction is necessary.

“Using innovative formative assessment consistently and effectively removes the surprises from getting final grades. When integrated into teaching and learning on an ongoing basis, students can constantly improve and excel. Formative assessment is “assessment as learning”. In other words, the feedback is used to improve the learning.” — Lee Watanabe Crockett 

Click here to view the ten examples.

Image Source: sparkaction.org

Watching the International Space Station Pass Over Us


Our oldest and I enjoyed an early breakfast and watching the International Space Station pass right over our home. It’s amazing to see how fast it’s traveling (about 5 miles per second) as it orbits the Earth about 15 times per day.

I’m really enjoying the apps that make it fun and easy to track and learn about the Space Station. I strongly recommend you give one or more of these a try.

Apps I Use

Google’s New Sun Map Indicates Whether Your Rooftop Needs a Solar Panel

“The initiative, which the Mountain View giant initially launched almost two years ago, essentially leverages visual data from Maps and Earth to generate 3D models of the total amount of sunlight that reaches your roof.” – The Next Web

Check out Google’s blog post for full details.

Maker Education: A Quick Introduction

Guest Blogger
Kaylah Holland

Maker Movement in Education(Image Source)

Edutopia defines Marker Education as “a unique combination of artistry, circuitry, and old-fashioned craftsmanship” (source). This type of making is not a new idea but, until a few years ago, has not been in education and has been growing in implementation ever since.

What is Maker Education?

Several terms are involved with Maker Education such as tinker, hack, create, modify, build, and invent (source). This basic concept involves changing the traditional lecture style of education to a more engaging hands-on environment where students are learning through active projects. This style of learning does not have traditional assessments but uses the finished product as the assessment; thus, completely flipping the traditional style of learning.

Why implement Maker Education?

The following four mindsets show the benefits of implementing Maker Education into the classroom.

Maker Movement

(Screenshot Source)

Resources for Maker Education

Implementing Maker Education within your classroom does not have to be difficult. Start with one project and allow students to build or create something tangible. You can use Pinterest or Instructables to find handy DIY projects for the classroom simply be searching. You will soon become hooked on the idea and will begin to modify your own lesson plans to include more making.

The following websites are great resources.

Maker Education

(Image Source)


About the AuthorKaylah Holland

Kaylah Holland is currently a Middle School Instructional Technology Facilitator at Charlotte Christian School in Charlotte, NC. In addition to teaching coding, app development, and robotics; she has a vital role of assisting teachers with the integration of technology into the classroom through ample research, lesson planning, and training. She is currently completing her doctoral degree in the field of Instructional Design and Technology and is in the process of becoming a Google Certified Trainer. She is passionate about building an innovative culture for learning.

Flipped Learning: Preparing for the New School Year

Guest Blogger
Kaylah Holland

Flipped LearningImage Source

Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter” (Source).

Why Flip?

Flipped learning allows for a more student centered approach to teaching within the classroom because the majority of the lecture style learning is completed at home; thus, allowing class time to utilize more engaging techniques such as project-based learning, game-based learning, student presentations, discussion, and collaboration. Flipped Learning can also be completed solely within the classroom without requiring students to complete work at home. The main idea with Flipped Learning is simply to allow the teacher to become more of a facilitator of learning rather than the dictator of knowledge.

How to Flip?

The following video from Edutopia will help you understand how to get started.

Examples of Flipped Learning

There are numerous ways to incorporate Flipped Learning within your classroom. The following seven concepts are a good place to start.

  1. The Standard Inverted Classroom: students are assigned any lecture style teaching for homework the night before class so that class time might used for practicing what they learned with the teacher able to give instant feedback.
  2. The Discussion-Oriented Flipped Classroom: lecture style videos, such as TED Talks, are assigned as homework and class time is spent discussing the subject at length.
  3. The Demonstration-Focused Flipped Classroom: teacher records a screencast explaining an activity, math problem, etc so that they students may watch as many times as possible for mastery.  
  4. The Faux-Flipped Classroom: students watch lecture videos or complete assignments via technology at their own pace within the classroom and the teacher acts as a facilitator and supporter.
  5. The Group-Based Flipped Classroom: students learn material for homework and use class time to work together in groups so that they learn from each other through collaboration.
  6. The Virtual Flipped Classroom: classes are offered entirely online and actual class time is not needed.
  7. Flipped the Teacher: students record video tutorials as projects to teach a skill to the teacher thus showing mastery of the skill (Source).

EducationDive showcases the Faux-Flipped Classroom in the article 16 Flipped Learning Uses in K-12 and College Classrooms. A teacher in Florida allows students to complete classwork, take quizzes, and watch instructional videos at their own pace on computers throughout the classroom while she answers questions and provides support to students (Source).

Resources for Flipping

Interested in trying Flipped Learning in your classroom? Checkout the websites below for great information.


About the AuthorKaylah Holland

Kaylah Holland is currently a Middle School Instructional Technology Facilitator at Charlotte Christian School in Charlotte, NC. In addition to teaching coding, app development, and robotics; she has a vital role of assisting teachers with the integration of technology into the classroom through ample research, lesson planning, and training. She is currently completing her doctoral degree in the field of Instructional Design and Technology and is in the process of becoming a Google Certified Trainer. She is passionate about building an innovative culture for learning.

Fostering Writing and Collaboration with Google Docs

Teaching ChannelHigh school English teacher, Sarah Brown Wessling, shares strategies for promoting collaborative writing inside and outside of the classroom. Wessling highlights that such lessons also promote digital etiquette, provide opportunities for teachers to provide rich feedback, and provide teachers with insights into the individual student’s or the collaborative group’s writing process.

Easily Turn Video into Engaging Lessons with EDpuzzle

Larry Ferlazzo describes EDpuzzle as “a new innovative site that lets you take just about any video off the web, edit it down to the portions you want, add audio notes and questions for students, and create virtual classrooms where you can monitor individual student work” (Source). Perhaps the best part is that teachers and students can use it for FREE.

To see an example, view Bobby Barber’s EDpuzzle that he uses in his math classroom.

Edpuzzle

Getting Started

The following quick demo will help you begin using EDpuzzle.

Flipped Learning and EDpuzzle

“EDPuzzle is a great resource for the flipped classroom, allowing teachers to create and present innovative lectures in a safe environment” according to Education World. Further, iLearn Technology notes that as “students watch, [the teacher] can check understanding and ensure active watching vs. passive watching. In a flipped scenario, this gives you the ability to completely tailor a lesson the next day based on the formative assessment results you get from homework. This is truly utilizing assessment to inform instruction.”

Educational Connections

EDpuzzle can be used:

  1. In flipped classrooms (as discussed above).
  2. To make lecturecasts, tutorials, video directions, etc. more engaging and interactive.
  3. For compiling data and information about students’ performance, and perhaps understanding, which can helpful formative assessment.
  4. So that students can annotate video reflections, recorded reports and skits, and more.
  5. To allow students to develop tutorials and quizzes about the current topic of study. Putting students in the teacher’s role can encourage higher-levels of thinking.