Digital technology makes it easier for teachers to "drill" students on all types of information, assert professors Cathie Norris and Elliot Soloway. In this blog post, they write that drills have a place in the classroom but are not appropriate for all information.
Advanced Placement English teacher Brian Sztabnik describes how he flipped his classroom by allowing students to have more freedom about what they read and time to read in class. In this blog post, Sztabnik writes that book choice and blogs was a revolution for his class and "created a contagious atmosphere of passionate readers."
Students at Lathrop Elementary School in Rockford, Ill., are building conversational literacy skills through Skype chats. Sessions have included interviewing book authors or guessing the out-of-state locations of other classrooms of students by asking questions, a process that helps students develop conversational and collaboration skills, said school literacy leader Jen Wood. "It helps the students understand different types of conversation and use different types of media to do the work," she said.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Dennis Walcott have launched the App Gap Challenge, in which software developers create applications aimed to help middle-school students learn math. "Students who fall behind in middle school math are likely to remain behind through high school and less likely to graduate ready for college," Bloomberg said.
Think Link is a free hexagonical learning tool developed by a teacher and his Year 7 English class in the United Kingdom. Kristian Still, assistant principal at Southampton's Hamble Community Sports College, developed the application with the input of students and several tech-savvy educators. "Why hexagons? Well they have six sides, fit nicely together and so are great for making connections," Still writes.