What a Decade of Education Research Tells Us About Technology in the Hands of Underserved Students

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in Uncategorized

I read an interesting article in EdSurge today: It focuses on research that was done on how our digital technology is being used in the classroom. Final paragraph: To help our underserved students learn, we must eradicate all traces of the argument that access to digital tools is key to minimizing the digital divide, and instead advocate for changes in the use of these tools to better engage our underserved students in authentic tasks that support the development of higher-order thinking skills. 

Read the entire article!

Memorial Day

Written by Suzy Cox on . Posted in Uncategorized

usa-1336898_640Though most of us are out of school for the summer, we should still take the time to learn and share resources about Memorial Day. This is an important day of remembrance that has been celebrated in some form since at least 1868. Read about the history of memorial day on the Smithsonian website.

Edutopia offers a list of great resources and ideas for learning about and commemorating Memorial Day in the classroom, and you could easily adapt these activities for your own use today.

Memorial Day is also the perfect time to reflect on personal and family memories. My favorite way to do that is to create digital stories, whether about family members who served in the military or about how we have created special memories of our own. What will you make today to help you capture important memories or to thank those who have given their lives in service to our country?


GoFundMe for Teacher Appreciation Week

Written by Jared Covili on . Posted in Uncategorized

Teacher Appreciation Week has arrived, and here at GoFundMe we want to celebrate it with a big splash. Educators give so much to our communities, and we’re teaming up with the National PTA to give back. 

If you start a campaign to benefit a teacher or a classroom this week, GoFundMe will chip in a $100 donation* to help you build momentum.

Maybe you’re a teacher, dipping into your own pocket to buy school supplies. Maybe you’re a student or a parent of a student whose life has been touched by an inspirational teacher.

No matter who you are, you can have a huge impact with a GoFundMe campaign. Let’s #ThankATeacher together and make giving easy and contagious.

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* In order to be eligible to receive a $100 donation from GoFundMe, a campaign must be created by May 8, 2016 11:59 pm PST through this link, use #ThankATeacher in the description, and raise over $100 comprised of donations from at least five (5) unique campaign donors by May 13, 2016 11:59 pm PST. US only. GoFundMe donations will be made after June 1, 2016. If not a teacher yourself, you must select the option to have the money withdrawn by a teacher. Official rules.

They’re capable of more than we think

Written by Suzy Cox on . Posted in Uncategorized

On Tuesday night, my amazing grad students presented their final portfolios. I was so impressed with both the projects they had created and their philosophies regarding the use of educational technology to enhance teaching and learning.

Girl and Boy Coding at Escalante Elementary School Hour of Code

Girl and Boy Coding at Escalante Elementary School Hour of Code

One of my graduate students is a first grade teacher. She said that her students had never been scheduled for the computer lab or mobile carts, because those were for the older kids. She wanted to show her principal and the other teachers at her school that first graders could do great things with technology. For her Master's project, she created a unit on informational text that used technology to differentiate students' learning experiences. She was able to provide students with tiered readings, surveys to determine interests and resources that aligned with those interests, and opportunities to create final products – in this case, digital stories – that worked with students' levels of readiness and unique needs.

In the end, every single child met or exceeded the requirements of the rubric. How often can we say that? Some children typed and narrated their own digital stories, while others narrated them and the teacher helped type them. One child, a recent immigrant from Mexico, was able to complete his story in Spanish. But every single child read informational text, summarized it, wrote a script, found pictures to enhance their message, and told their story.

Her final conclusion? Children are capable of so much more than we think they are. One of the most beautiful things about educational technology is that it gives a voice to students who often aren't heard. It motivates children who seem to not care. It gives students confidence when they often doubt themselves. And it shows us, as adults, that they can do incredible things. 

So, while our students may not click the right button on the SAGE test in the next few weeks, how might they better tell us what they know through something they create?