In celebration of October as Connected Educator Month, Tom Whitby, an adjunct professor of education, writes in this blog post about the need to encourage unconnected educators to get connected. Whitby defines what it means to be a connected educator and writes about the importance of deciding who to connect with when building a professional learning network.
As the school year approaches, Kristen Swanson, senior educational technology leader for BrightBytes, is challenging teachers to take back their professional learning. Teachers should choose an area to improve, identify the necessary resources and then "commit to 14 hours of learning and on-the-job experimentation" in a single topic, such as student collaboration or Socratic discussion, Swanson writes in this blog post.
Middle-school students at Sunnyside Environmental School in Portland, Ore., recently spent four days focused solely on the science of energy as part of a teach-in that included field trips and visits by industry professionals. Students studied energy forms, the physics of energy, fracking and coal transport and visited a nuclear reactor at Reed College. Teachers said they appreciated the administration support to plan for the event as well as time off from the standard curriculum for the teach-in, which in past years have focused on the Iraq war and climate change.
The creators of the new SimCityEDU, designed for sixth-grade students, expect it to be a powerful tool for teaching and learning -- helping to engage students and provide a type of formative assessment aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Students will be challenged to decide what kind of power plant to build in the town while the game assesses their choices, providing a tool for teachers to see how students' knowledge matches up with the standards.
August is Connected Educator Month, part of a U.S. Education Department initiative to encourage educators to use online-learning resources and collaborate through online communities, writes educator Brian Page. The benefit, Page writes, is that it allows him to be a "connecting educator" with his students. In this blog post, he shares a few technology tools he used this year with his students, while inviting others to post about their favorite tech tools.