Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Don't Follow the Lead of @cshirky in Banning Technology

Clay Shirky author and professor of media studies at New York University, recently penned a guest article for the Washington Post sharing why he decided to ban technology in his class.  He explains how it was challenging to be more interesting than the devices. The following quote captures some of his thinking:  
“The practical effects of my decision to allow technology use in class grew worse over time. The level of distraction in my classes seemed to grow, even though it was the same professor and largely the same set of topics, taught to a group of students selected using roughly the same criteria every year. The change seemed to correlate more with the rising ubiquity and utility of the devices themselves, rather than any change in me, the students, or the rest of the classroom encounter.”
While banning might be a good idea for the “sit, listen, discuss, repeat” style of teaching, for the rest of us, not so much.  The disengaged classroom Shirky describes brings to mind the scene from the 1985 comedy “Real Genius” where eventually most every desk had a tape recorder and eventually the professor also gives in and replaces himself with a reel to reel to deliver his lecture.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Set up Anonymous Bully Reporting with Cel.ly


While innovative educators know that empowering students to use their own devices for learning is necessary for student success, the conversation of cyberbullying often comes up as well. Not only are student-owned devices great learning tools, they also are great tools for helping to address cyberbullying if you’re using a tool such as Cel.ly.   Cel.ly is a powerful tool for teaching and learning as shared in my book Teaching Generation Text and on my blog. It is also a tool that can be used to set up an anonymous resource to report bullying.   Here is how schools can setup their own anonymous tip lines. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The hottest posts everyone's reading

Here’s the roundup of what's been popular on The Innovative Educator blog. Below you’ll see the top posts along with the number of page views. I hope there's something that looks of interest to you.  If it does, check it out. If you’re inspired use one of those icons below the post to share it with others and/or leave a comment.

Entry
Pageviews
May 6, 2012, 
7724
Jun 13, 2013, 
3136
Aug 27, 2014, 
2384
Aug 31, 2014, 
1819
Aug 27, 2014, 
1384
Jul 15, 2010, 
912
Sep 3, 2014, 
852

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fear is not an option when it comes to social media in schools



Innovative educators know first hand that social media like Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Instagram can be a powerful tool for teaching, learning, leading, and strengthening the home-school connection. In many cases though, others may need to be brought on board. Especially when parents are expressing concerns and unsure of how a platform can be used successfully.


It is the job of innovative educators to ensure parents, colleagues, and administrators know how to embrace the power of social media and also how to address their concerns.  


Here are suggestions for parents, teachers, and administrators in schools embracing social media.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Connect to the Common Core with Resources Students Commonly Turn to For Learning

If you know the Common Core Standards you know that “The need to conduct research and to produce and consume media is embedded into every aspect of today’s curriculum. In like fashion, research and media skills and understandings are embedded throughout the Standards rather than treated in a separate section.” Common Core Learning Standards for  ELA & Literacy, Key Design Considerations
Innovative educators know that when used in the right way, social networks and other online technologies are great tools to conduct such research and gain knowledge. Not only do they leverage resources students already know and love, but they can also encourage learning in a way that is less restrictive and more open and natural.  For example, collaboration in an online group creates relationships “in which people from often widely divergent cultures and who represent diverse experiences and perspectives learn and work together” as called for in the Common Core Standards.  
Think of how access to personal learning networks created via places like Twitter, Facebook, and Google Hangout can expose students and teachers to “other perspectives and cultures through reading and listening, and they are able to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds.” Think about how these groups require members to “evaluate other points of view critically and constructively,” as is also called for in the Standards.


Unlike when we were in school, our students have access to the internet which has democratized the ability to access, evaluate, organize, and make meaning of what is found. With all this information however, comes a new issue:

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The hottest posts everyone's reading

Here’s the roundup of what's been popular on The Innovative Educator blog. Below you’ll see the top posts along with the number of page views. I hope there's something that looks of interest to you.  If it does, check it out. If you’re inspired use one of those icons below the post to share it with others and/or leave a comment.

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