Teachers often assign collaborative projects that involve poster board, glue and other tangible materials, but free online tools offer some alternatives to traditional collaborative project design, educator Julie Joyner writes in this article where she highlights four free tools. For example, Glogster allows students to add audio, video, text and other graphics to a blank canvas, and Voicethread allows for considerable feedback from peers and teachers via a Webcam, microphone, keyboard or telephone.
It is important for teachers to have online professional profiles on LinkedIn -- both as a model for students and to give parents and others access to their resumes, suggests Lisa Nielsen, a public-school educator and administrator. In this blog post, she writes that teachers should improve their LinkedIn profiles by spicing up their professional summaries, including their Twitter handles, sharing more information about their job titles, using the map function and sharing published work.
Though the Indiana Legislature is reconsidering the Common Core State Standards, educators say they are making changes to the curriculum. Teachers say the standards will require them to include nonfiction works and primary-source documents across the curriculum. Jeffrey Franklin, Mooresville High School social studies teacher, said he also sees opportunities to collaborate across the curriculum by tying his own lessons to support other subjects.
A Florida high school is offering an Engaged Citizenship course, in which students learn how to successfully complete community service projects. The course, an elective for all students, is intended to encourage students to get involved in their community or build upon an existing interest in community service. "It gives the students an opportunity to see a global perspective on life," said the assistant principal for curriculum, Rosemary Owens, who came up with the idea for the course.
As the transition to the Common Core State Standards presses on, a majority of teachers indicate they're ready for the curriculum and the changes it will bring to classroom lessons, according to the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher. However, that same survey also found less enthusiasm among teachers and principals regarding whether the standards will have a significantly positive effect on student success and college readiness.