Sunday, October 19, 2014

Musical shares. A innovative reflection activity to celebrate learning

School has been underway for more than a month. This is when back to school seems like a distant memory and it's time to celebrate learning as units of study come to a close. If you are ready to do just that, try musical shares. It is the brainchild of myself and a colleague from Common Sense Media, Tali. It is a marriage between musical chairs and speed dating. It is an engaging and interactive activity you can use to wrap up a professional development program, class, or unit of study. We did this for Graphite Accelerated Educators in August and it was a blast!  If you're looking for a fun new way to celebrate and reflect upon learning, check it out. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The hottest posts everybody'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.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bored? Explore it!

Guest post by Michelle Loucas


Bored Oz.jpgNo one enjoys boredom. It is an uncomfortable state, leaving one to cast about for relief. If you Google "boredom" and "school," you will find numerous entries about the boredom "epidemic" in our schools and oodles of "boredom-busting strategies" to eradicate this outbreak.  The essence of these cures is to "surround them with wonder"-- make schooling more entertaining so that kids will stop fidgeting and absorb what the teacher is saying.

Examining the “boredom epidemic” in schools and its supposed remedies, it appears that both students and policymakers believe that the curriculum is to blame for the mind-numbing ennui. Nikhil Goyal, teen author and lecturer, explains, “When I was really young, I adored reading… However, I have never enjoyed any of the books I have read in school. None. The dullness of some of the books I have been assigned by my teachers has drained the life out of me and my peers.” With the curriculum to blame, it is natural for a student to resent it and spend energy ignoring or subverting it at every turn.  The number and variety of ways that students do so is, ironically, an impressive display of their ingenuity.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

6 Ways To Access @YouTube Videos Even If They're Blocked at School


It's hard to believe that one of the top tools for learning as recognized by the Center for Learning &Performance Technologies is blocked in many schools today. Fortunately, innovative educators are resilient souls. If they can't get the learning to their students, the old fashioned way, they'll find another.
In this case, the tool we're talking about is YouTube. As pointed out in Edudemic's 50 Education Tools Every Teacher Should Know About, "Not all schools allow YouTube, but they are missing out as the site contains a wealth of great learning materials for the classroom. There’s even a special education-focused channel
 just for teachers and students."


So, what's an innovative educator to do if their school is one that blocks YouTube?

Here are some ideas to access YouTube videos.

Saturday, October 11, 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.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bring Learning to Life Anytime/Anywhere with MS Office Mix


Innovative educators know that teaching and learning is shifting. Today students can watch lessons on their devices and progress at their own pace and teachers don’t have to waste time giving the same lecture multiple times a day. While watching lessons automates what is done in the traditional classroom, there is a new tool called Microsoft Office Mix which brings lectures and lessons to life by turning PowerPoints into interactive lessons called “Mixes” that are very simple to create.

All you need to do is record lectures while you write and draw on your slides, and add audio, video, assessments or labs, and also the stuff that really makes lessons pop, like as animations, live links, or quizzes.

Fitting into teacher’s lifestyle is analytics, and OfficeMix has built that in so you can track every student, quiz, and slide to see how they’re performing. OfficeMix is free if you have PowerPoint 2013 for Windows.  Or if you have a Mac, then you can run Windows on it, and still use Office Mix with PowerPoint 2013 on your Mac.
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