Thursday, December 19, 2013

Moving into the global village! Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief

Va. district offers "Maker Spaces" for students to create, design
Monticello High School in Albemarle County, Va., has been hosting visitors who are interested in its "Maker Spaces," dedicated areas of the school for students to create and design their own work. The program is in place for all grades in the district, but the high school's library transformation is creating buzz and bringing visitors from universities. The library is now drawing more students, officials said, with its music studio, a "hacker" room for computer programing, a 3D printer and a "genius bar" for students to help repair computers. WVIR-TV (Charlottesville, Va.)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

As we celebrate Computer Science Week, here is a reflective post that deals with the challenges of moving technology from acquisition to integration. Enjoy! Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief

School technology-integration specialist shares secrets to success
Isaac Pineda, the technology-integration specialist at a private school in Monterrey, Mexico, that has a one-to-one technology program, shares in this blog post three lessons learned during his school's integration process. He writes that technology acquisition is not the same as technology integration, technology integration happens gradually and the focus should always be on making progress. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/4)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Collaboration is coming to the forefront of public education. The "hive" design helps students develop their abilities in developing collaboration. Following are practical suggestions for optimizing classroom space in order to encourage collaboration. Courtesy of ASCD Smart Brief.

Teacher: "Hive" design gives classroom an innovative buzz
Emily E. Smith, an educator in Austin, Texas, named her classroom "The Hive Society" and details in this blog post how she has transformed it into a "vessel for innovation to bloom." Inspired by photos of technology start-ups, Smith redesigned her room to inspire creativity -- developing spaces where students could work together, spread out and collaborate. "It's time for the world of education to not only redefine the curriculum placed in the hands of America's teachers, but also to redefine the classrooms in which we breed young scholars," she writes. The Huffington Post/The Blog (11/26)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Here is guided inquiry as intended. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief. Courtesy of ASCD.

Project-based learning gets a boost from technology
Schools nationwide are using education technology to integrate project-based learning into classroom lessons. Examples in this article include a project in which a group of Philadelphia high-school students worked with an astronomer and planetarium director to locate and photograph anomalies on the surface of the sun. The nonprofit New Tech Network works with about 130 schools to promote PBL. District Administration magazine online (11/11)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Following is a post including a number of articles on connecting/collaborating with schools using technology. This is an important piece of guided inquiry. Enjoy...taken from Choice Literacy.

Here are two articles from the Choice Literacy archives to help you use technology to build literacy connections in classrooms and schools.

Colby Sharp has advice for connecting classrooms with authors in  Adventures with Author Skyping:

Andrea Smith assesses the benefits of children blogging about their learning in Strawberries, Fun, and Student Blogging:

Mary Lee Hahn shares what she learns about her students when she invites them to participate in a "bring your own device day" in her classroom. This is a post from the A Year of Reading blog:

In a new podcast, Angela Maiers talks about teaching passion and technology tools:

Friday, November 8, 2013

Here is some "qualitative data" on how social media impacts schools. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

Fla. school district's social media efforts seen as "#amazing"
The Pasco County, Fla., school district has gotten high praise from Twitter executives, who have called its social media efforts "#amazing." In the district, which has embraced social media, administrators and others use Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and other sites to communicate with students and others. The approach is a departure from that adopted by some neighboring districts, including one which largely has avoided social media on the advice of its attorneys. Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.) (11/2)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Guided Inquiry is often a piece of these projects. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief

Tenn. school's curriculum makes learning meaningful
A top-performing Tennessee elementary school credits its success to a curriculum focused on interactive learning, such as acting out historical skits and holistic understanding. Students set their own goals, and teachers work to make learning meaningful. "We're implementing our standards through projects, activities and big-picture learning to cater to all types of learners. Teaching to the test doesn't work, but integrated learning does," fourth-grade teacher Paige Francescon said. The Tennessean (Nashville) (tiered subscription model) (10/9)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Here is a post on how to educate all those involved in student technology use. In many schools this is a necessary step prior to being invloved with guided literacy. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

Teachers, parents educate students about good, bad of technology
With students having more access to technology than ever, there also is more opportunity for students to fall into a pattern of bad behavior online -- posting inappropriate material on social media accounts, engaging in bullying or worse. This presents an opportunity for parents and teachers to educate students about the possibilities and potential dangers online. "The goal is to get students to treat digital presence like a portfolio," said Scott McLeod, director of innovation for the Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency. The Des Moines Register (Iowa) (tiered subscription model) (9/28)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Here is a great example of how to turn around a school using technology. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

School leader sees growth, success with a focus on technology
Elementary-school principal Jonathan VanderEls in this blog post shares how a decision to build technological capacity at his school eight years ago has affected student and teacher learning. For instance, under the plan, the school began offering afternoon technology sessions during its weekly faculty meetings to train teachers on specific tools and educators later used staff-meeting time to share best practices in utilizing technology, such as creating tests from question banks. Connected Principals blog (9/20)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Many schools are beginning to relax rules on the use of the internet. This change in policy allow opportunities for guided inquiry. Take a look. Maybe you can faiclitate the same change in your school. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

Ohio district to relax Internet filter for teachers, students
Beginning this month, an Ohio school district will relax its Internet filters to allow teachers and students easier access to educational material. This is a change from the district's past practice, which took a hard line against sites with potentially objectionable content, including YouTube, anatomy diagrams and retail sites. Under the new practice, high-school students also will, for the first time, have access to social media, but their activities will be monitored. The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) (9/14)

Friday, September 13, 2013

As I read this, I recognized the qualities that must be present when using guided inquiry as well...focus on the 20th century! Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief!

Classrooms that inspire the 4 Cs
"Education is changing at a rapid pace. Once thing that is often overlooked in education is the learning space," writes ASCD EDge community member Steven Weber. In his recent EDge post, Weber discusses the 4 Cs (Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication and Creativity) and how to design classrooms that encourage those attributes in students. Weber suggests that to inspire the 4 Cs, a learning space must be flexible, open, wireless, comfortable and more. Read on.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Some great ideas about embedding technology in content area classrooms. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

Mass. social studies teacher integrates social media in lessons
Howard Wolke, a social studies teacher and instructional technology specialist in a Massachusetts district, said his goal is to integrate technology, including social media, into lessons -- helping engage students and promoting 21st-century digital citizenship. That includes a lesson earlier this year, prior to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, in which Wolke asked his students to respond to his questions about the address on Twitter in real time. Wicked Local/Lexington, Mass. (8/30)
Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Google+ Email

Friday, August 30, 2013

Here is a great opportunity for teachers to have input into the development of technology - maybe fine tune it to guided inquiry. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

Gates: New service allows teachers access to peer reviews of ed-tech
Bill Gates recently invested in a company aiming to offer teachers a type of Consumer Reports on education technology. The service, called Graphite, would include peer reviews of products, and in this question-and-answer session, Gates says he hopes the program leads to a "virtuous cycle" between ed-tech entrepreneurs and teachers. "Teachers are the lifeblood of the education system," he said. "It's impossible to improve education without constructively engaging with teachers, listening to them to understand their needs in the classroom." Education Week/Digital Education blog (8/16)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Guided Inquiry is beginning to catch on in schools. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

Mo. teachers are encouraged to use technology to engage students
Administrators in a Missouri district addressed teachers before the start of the school year, encouraging them to use technology and innovative techniques to reach students. Teachers were advised to use social media, such as Twitter, and other resources relevant to students. "Now, Google is the new library and anyone with the ability to get connected has the ability to access information from anywhere at any time. Learning is no longer confined to the classroom," said Brad Hanson, superintendent of Monett R-1 School District. The Monett Times (Mo.) (8/12)
Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Google+ Email

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Here is a great new book - due out August 16, 2013 - on using the i-pad in the classrooms. Well worth the read. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

Frey, Fisher and Gonzalez on teaching with tablets
In their forthcoming short-format publication, "Teaching with Tablets," ASCD authors Nancy Frey, Doug Fisher and Alex Gonzalez share with educators how to integrate tablets with effective instruction. You'll find practical advice on how to use tablets for modeling, guided instruction, formative assessment and more. Stop by the Inservice blog to read an excerpt from the book/e-book. Read on.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Here is a great aide to inquiry in the classroom...and a great teaching style. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

Skype in the Classroom connects teachers, students with resources
In this blog post, Ariel Schwartz, a senior editor at Co.Exist, writes about the success of Skype in the Classroom, which launched about one year ago. Tony Bates, CEO of Skype, says one of his favorite examples of the technology in action is a project in which a beekeeper gave students a virtual tour while two teachers co-taught the lesson from separate schools, Schwartz writes. "The engagement level of the students went way up," Bates said. "In a video setting, people are more engaged. They know they're being watched." FastCoExist (7/30)
Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Google+ Email

Friday, July 26, 2013

This is a great video that supports the heart of guided inquiry. Dr. Tony Wagner, identifies the 7 skills for the 21st century and critiques how we teach those skills today. Please view!!

 Dr. Tony Wagner, co-director of Harvard's Change Leadership Group has identified what
he calls a "global achievement gap," which is the leap between what even our best schools are teaching, and the must-have skills of the future:
 * Critical thinking and problem-solving
* Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
 * Agility and adaptability
* Initiative and entrepreneurialism
* Effective oral and written communication
 * Accessing and analyzing information
* Curiosity and imagination

  7 Skills Students Need for Their Future

 For more info please visit:         

Friday, July 19, 2013

Guided Inquiry increases student engagement. Here is a study on how engagement impacts emotion and cognition...coutesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

Research looks at subtle signs of student engagement
When educators discuss student engagement, the focus tends to be on student behavior. However, a recent study by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan finds that emotion and cognition are the more subtle -- but equally important -- signs of student engagement, writes education reporter Sarah Sparks. Researchers for the study, published in the journal Learning and Instruction, found that students were more engaged and motivated when the lessons were of personal interest and relevant. Education Week/Inside School Research blog (7/10)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Guided Inquiry involves seeking out information and collaborating with others. Social media is a free and effective resource educators often overlook because they are not familiar - and therefore uncomfortable - with these resources. Following is a excellent article on how educators can familiarize themselves with these important resources. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

Initial steps educators can take to use social media
In this blog post, educator Lisa Michelle Dabbs suggests fellow educators take time over the summer to think about the ways social media could be used to support professional growth. Among the suggestions she offers are to find a mentor, pick one social media tool and master it, seek free, online professional-development opportunities and collaborate and share resources. Michelle Dabbs' blog (6/21)
Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Google+ Email

Thursday, June 20, 2013

N.Y. could make research papers a graduation requirement - Research is one of the most important skills for the 21st century. Here is a great article to consider for your classroom. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

New York state could require high-school students to write a research paper in order to graduate, under a proposal being considered by the Board of Regents. If approved, the current plan is for the Regents Research Papers to be at least five pages in length and include no fewer than four sources. The regents are expected to make a decision in September, and the requirement could be in place for this fall's incoming ninth-graders. The Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.) (tiered subscription model) (6/19)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Although CCSS standards are intended to prepare our students for the 21st century, many districts are having difficulty making that shift. Guided inquiry seems like a natural shift and is definitely "doable." Here is some information on our progress. Where does your school fit? courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

Helping high-school students develop 21st-century skills
A recent Gallup survey shows that many high-school students are not being taught 21st-century skills such as collaboration and real-world problem-solving. Gallup worked with Microsoft Partners in Learning and the Pearson Foundation to poll 1,014 people ages 18 to 35. According to the report, the respondents who were asked by teachers to apply their school lessons to the real world had an increased likelihood of excelling in their careers. U.S. News & World Report/High School Notes (6/3)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Here's a great post on the use of engaging questions for inquiry. This is the format the CCSS is encouraging. Enjoy:} - courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

How to help students "stay in the question"
Students need to be asked the right questions in the classroom to become engaged and focused in lessons, writes Matt Levinson, head of the Upper Division at Marin Country Day School in California. Students need to "stay in the question," instead of veering off topic. In this blog post, he suggests approaching curriculum design by involving students in the decision-making process. blog (5/30)Bookmark and Share