DO YOUR EDTECH TOOLS SPARK JOY?
As a nation, we spend $13B a year on education technology. But how much of these tools are being used effectively? Yes, edtech in the classroom is a step in the right direction to #ReThinkHighSchool. But maybe it’s time to reevaluate whether or not these tools actually spark joy for your school—and more importantly—your students. That’s where Marie Kondo’s rules of “tidying up” might come in handy. Start by cutting your least-used tools. Then, create a system that evaluates the effectiveness of each tool. But the real secret is asking your edtech vendors for an audit of usage and impact, as well as personalized support.
WHY WE LOVE CBE SO MUCH
Competency-based education is becoming more popular in schools across the nation. And let’s be honest: It’s a new concept we’re all still trying to figure out. That’s why it’s so important to revisit what CBE means—its definition and how to effectively implement it. Thankfully, our friends at Aurora Institute (previously known as iNACOL) released a detailed report on this exact subject, where they outlined CBE’s 7 defining elements, shared beliefs, and FAQs. Here’s our favorite belief: All students can learn and must be challenged, believed in, and supported to achieve deep learning aligned with common, high expectations across the education system.
A LIBRARY OF FREE TEACHING RESOURCES
Guys! We made a wonderful discovery! During one of our many deep dives into the black hole of internet searches, looking for strategies and tips you can use to #ReThinkHighSchool, we came across a holy grail of resources from The Learning Accelerator. They analyzed hundreds of schools and systems nationwide to identify the best instructional and operational practices for implementing blended and personalized learning. Here’s the best part: All of these resources are easy-to-find with an awesome category system you can filter by topic, grade, and audience. Yup, that was our reaction, too.
OPEN ARMS TO OPEN-SOURCE LEARNING
When you bring technology into the classroom, it’s first instinct to limit student access. But one high school did the exact opposite, saving $1M+ on their edtech budget. When Penn Manor High School decided to adopt open-source laptops to save money, they never imagined how much it would empower students. They now have a Help Desk program where students get honors-level credit for working side-by-side with district technology experts to troubleshoot software and hardware issues. Here’s the kicker: This class has no textbooks, tests, or standards-aligned curriculum. Their secret? They say it’s trust; when they increased trust in students, it lead to limitless learning.
BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE
Have you ever thought about what separates good teachers from great ones? TeachThought says there are 25 things successful teachers do differently. So, we thought we’d make easy on you by highlighting some of our faves. Successful teachers…
- Set the bar high and create an environment where it’s okay to fail.
- Know negative energy diminishes creativity and reinforces a fear of failure.
- Stay valuable and authentic to students by offering praise judiciously.
- Make time to reflect about methods, delivery, and ways to connect with students.
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