Benefits in Explaining One’s Math Thinking


"It’s hard to get kids in the habit of talking about how they are thinking about a problem when they’ve had many years of instruction that focused on getting the 'right answer.' That’s why educators are now trying to get students in the habit of explaining their thinking at a young age." — Source: Mind/Shift

Continue reading the full post for examples, tips, and classroom video footage.

Image Source: EdTechTeacher

21st Century Skills: It’s More Than Just Technology


“Given the growing ubiquity of [technology] in schools, as well as the increasing numbers of educators advocating for their use, it can seem as though education may have reached a tipping point when it comes to improving students’ 21st-century skills. According to the Partnership for 21st Century skills, these can be categorized as the 4Cs: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration.” — Beth Holland

Beth goes on to share that she has started to worry about the growing presence of what she calls the Fake Cs.

Source: EdWeek

Journey from a Makerspace to a Maker District


This article shares the story of Albermarle County Schools’ experience integrating maker education throughout all the schools in the district. In particular, snapshots of Agnor Hurt Elementary and Albermarle High School are spotlighted. I recommend diving into this article and considering how Albermarle’s experience and ideas can impact your classroom, school, and district. Here are just two nuggets I gleaned from reading this.

“Making shouldn’t be isolated. We want to get away from that idea. Makerspaces and classrooms are one and the same.” — Andrew Craft, Elementary Teacher

“When people make, they get back to the basics of who they are as humans. Making puts the learner at the center of the work — and when that happens with our kids, the content makes sense to them.” — Pam Moran, Superintendent

Source: EdSurge.com

Project-Based Learning Through a Maker’s Lens


“A Maker is an individual who communicates, collaborates, tinkers, fixes, breaks, rebuilds, and constructs projects for the world around him or her. A Maker, re-cast into a classroom, has a name that we all love: a learner. A Maker, just like a true learner, values the process of making as much as the product.

“Making holds a number of opportunities and challenges for a teacher. Making, especially to educators and administrators unfamiliar with it, can seem to lack the academic rigor needed for a full-fledged place in an educational ecosystem. However, project-based learning has already created a framework for Making in the classroom. Let’s see how Making could work when placed inside a PBL curriculum unit.” — Patrick Waters

Source: Edutopia.org

Can Micro-Credentials Create More Meaningful PD for Teachers?


With micro-crentialing educators “can no longer attend a workshop and receive credit for merely being there. Instead, they must take their learning back into their classrooms and try it out, submitting evidence, receiving feedback from peers and refining their approach. They also have to reflect on what they learned through those experiences. Participating teachers then submit these artifacts, which are evaluated before the micro-credential is awarded. If the reviewers feel the educator did not submit strong enough evidence of learning, they can provide feedback and ask the educators to try again.” — Katrina Schwartz, Mind/Shift

Continue reading this article.

Image Source: CollectEdNY

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

360-Degree Cameras in Education: A Quick Introduction

Guest Blogger
Kasey Kennedy

Some say 360-degree cameras may be the next big thing in education. What is a 360-degree camera? It is a camera that allows you to capture photos and videos in a spherical format. The spherical format allows the viewer to pan around the entire image or video in a 360-degree fashion.

View this 360 degree image to get an idea of what these kinds of cameras can do.

Enjoy this video, What Happens in Your Body?, and enjoy a 360-degree exploration of your circulatory and digestive systems. Follow the directions below the video to navigate this spherical video.

Click on the following image for a 360-photo of the North Pole.

Using 360-Degree Cameras in the Classroom  

Virtual Field Trips: Take a moment to view this video. You could create a video to go along with whatever you are teaching, and the students could work themselves through the video to get more information. Another example could be using a 360 video to help students explore the cells of the body.

School Events: What if you could play the camera on the stage while a student performed? This would let the students view their work, and see the performance as the audience sees it.

Parental Involvement: This would be a great way to get parents involved. Most cameras will only record parts of the room, unless it is carried around. By using a 360 degree camera, a parent could pan around to their child, and watch their child the whole time. This will help the parents see what is going on in the classroom, and it will get them more involved.

Outside of the Classroom Field Trips: When on a field trip, the camera could be used to take pictures, or a video, and the teacher could replay it for the students as they do their reflections. This could also be an opportunity for any students who missed the field trip to receive the same experience. (Source)

Tips for Using 360-Degree Cameras

Geoffrey Morrison shares six tricks for getting the best photo and video spheres. 

I also recommend 10 Things I Wish I Knew before Shooting 360 Video by Vanessa Hand Orellana.

360-Degree Virtual Tours

The Lincoln Memorial

Luray Caverns

The Secret Annex of Anne Frank’s Home

Rainforest

Breakout EDU: A Quick Introduction

Guest Blogger
Kaylah Holland

BreakoutEDU-logo01(Image Source)

Breakout EDU is one of the newest trends hitting education. Breakout EDU is an immersive game requiring hands-on critical thinking to solve clues. This type of game is completely flipping current education because it requires students to collaborate, problem solve, and think critically.

The CEO, Adam Bellow, says: “There are cheers, there’s frustration, and ultimately, if there is success, it’s that moment of ‘We did it!’ And that is intrinsic. It doesn’t need something else,” he said. “I don’t see kids cheering when they do worksheets” (source).

The video below will explain the basics.

 

How to Get Started

The “Get Started” section of the website lists four steps:

  1. Obtain a Breakout EDU kit.
    1. You can purchase a wooden box for $119 or a plastic box for $89. Both boxes include 1 hasp, 1 word lock, 1 three-digit lock, 1 four-digit lock, 1 directional lock, 1 key lock, 1 UV light, 1 invisible ink pen, 1 small lockable box, 1 USB thumb drive, and 2 hint cards.  
    2. You can also purchase all of these items on Amazon as an open resource kit.
  2. Complete the beta form to obtain the password to access several hundred games.
  3. Facilitate a Breakout EDU game with a group.
  4. Join the community. Breakout EDU offers a facebook and twitter community. The facebook group is extremely active and very useful.

Gaming Tips

I have personally facilitated numerous Breakout EDU games and have a few tips.

  • Use the community: if you have a question chances are that someone has already posted that question on the facebook group and the community has answered
  • Be detailed: read the game instructions carefully well before game day
  • Watch the overview videos: most of the official games have very useful overview videos
  • Play the game before facilitating it to a group of students: often times it can be difficult to see how the clues fit together without actually walking through them first
  • Have extra locks: Locks are finicky (or maybe it is just me) and it can be extremely frustrating when they accidentally get stuck. Have extra locks on hand so that the game isn’t hindered because of one lock getting stuck during your setup

Resources for Breakout EDU

The main resources are the website and the facebook community.

Check out these ten reasons for playing Breakout EDU in your classroom!

Breakout EDU


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.