Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life
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Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life
Articles around the intersection of technology and education, or that pose provocative questions about the role of technology in 21st century life.
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Learning to Fool Our Algorithmic Spies

Learning to Fool Our Algorithmic Spies | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
Social media has put humanity in touch with a new sort of omniscience — the kind we can easily trick.
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Not so much an instruction manual as to how to fool the applications whose algorithms track everything about us, rather an opinion piece on why that might be a good idea. Makes an initial comparison to how people's behavior shifts when they are prompted to think about god beforehand, then wonders if a similar shift happens when we are reminded that our internet behavior is being watched and used to make determinations about what we want and do. Thought-provoking opinion piece about reclaiming some of the power from these programs.
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How an Anti-Tech Teacher Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Edtech - EdSurge News

“I was the poster-child for anti-technology in my district,” says Willie Maddux, an 8th grade World History teacher at Prescott South Middle School i
MsEason's insight:
This article is useful because it tells the story of a teacher who journeyed from being very anti-tech in his classroom to embracing it because he used it in ways that solved instructional challenges he faced. Also useful because it highlights how he worked with an instructional technologist to develop his risk tolerance and learn to use new tools.
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The Downside of Checking Kids’ Grades Constantly

The Downside of Checking Kids’ Grades Constantly | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
When we focus on real-time grade reporting in online portals, we may miss the most important indicators of students’ success and happiness.
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This article poses interesting questions about what teachers or schools should consider about making grades available to parents online. One approach that I hadn't considered previously was only updating the grades every two weeks or so -- providing more time for there to be more graded material, but also reducing the obsessive behavior by parents to check grades constantly. Might be something to think about here as teachers contemplate publishing their grades beyond just the end of marking periods.
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Digital Immigrants Unite! - The Tempered Radical

Digital Immigrants Unite! - The Tempered Radical | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
Let me start with a borderline heretical confession: I believe that the terms "digital natives" and "digital immigrants" have done more harm than good in shaping the direction of teaching and learning in the 21st Century. The way I see...
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Article reflects much of my own thinking and frustration with other adults who assume the kids know more than we do about technology.  Important to realize the role that we adults play (or should be playing) in our students' and children's online exploration.

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One-size-fits-all doesn’t work for students or teachers

One-size-fits-all doesn’t work for students or teachers | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
When recently presenting at the Annual Conference for Middle Level Education, I was struck by how much things have not changed, especially in terms of prof...
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National School Climate Center : School Climate : Improvement Process

National School Climate Center : School Climate : Improvement Process | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
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MsEason's insight:

Was led to this site through a comment in a blog post.  Would like to read more about this.

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Your climate, your culture

Your climate, your culture | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
The climate and the culture of your school are not the same thing. The culture of a school is represented by its shared beliefs, its ceremonies, its nua
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MsEason's insight:

This author draws a distinction between school climate and school culture (the former being more the day-to-day feel and current conditions, the latter being informed by shared beliefs and school traditions, and which happens over time.)  Changes that are made to school climate could have a lasting impact and inform the school culture down the road.

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Digital motion sickness will be the occupational disease of the 21st century

Digital motion sickness will be the occupational disease of the 21st century | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
The better technology gets, the more likely it is to give you a headache or make you throw up.
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Interesting points about the effect of more realistic, 3-D rendering in 21st century tech.  I know that Prezi makes many people feel queasy... looks like there's more of that to come.

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How To Properly Integrate Education Technology - Edudemic

How To Properly Integrate Education Technology - Edudemic | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
Organizations will not change until the people within them are ready to change, and those people have differing attitudes towards change.
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Thoughtful article explaining the thinking behind using pilot programs to introduce tech initiatives, and illustrating the timeframe that may be necessary to achieve full implementation.  Mentions a scale of innovators-early adopters-early majority-late majority-laggards to break down the population of the school and who should be targeted when to fold into the initiative.

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5 Ways For Teachers To Get Quality PD This Summer - Edudemic

5 Ways For Teachers To Get Quality PD This Summer - Edudemic | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
Summer break is the perfect opportunity for educators who are looking for quality PD and meaningful learning. Here are a few of my tips on making it happen.
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Good suggestions from Edudemic.  The author of the blogpost does do a bit of self-promotion (he works with EdTechTeacher and theirs is one of the PD options mentioned), but the recommendations are sound and are a good way for educators to experience professional development during the summer months.

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5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make With iPads (And How To Correct Them) - Edudemic

5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make With iPads (And How To Correct Them) - Edudemic | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
While we’ve witnessed many effective approaches to incorporating iPads successfully in the classroom, we’re struck by the common mistakes many schools are making with iPads, mistakes that are in some cases crippling the success of these initiatives.
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"Yet, from our vantage point, momentum for redefining the educational map with iPads is often derailed at schools as a result of a limited vision of the device and a failure to prepare teachers effectively."  Great explanations of the problems schools and teachers run into when trying to integrate iPads into school settings. These problems come more from an issue in how people view the devices, than from problems in the devices themselves.  It would be great for administrators and teachers to read an article like this one BEFORE buying a single iPad, to get themselves in the right mindet.

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How Should Social Media Be Taught in Schools?

How Should Social Media Be Taught in Schools? | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
The power of connected learning expands the classroom to infinity and beyond, but students still need a teacher’s guidance.
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This article provides good reasoning and framework for why and how to teach the use of social media in schools.  The idea is to have teachers model this use, and then introduce social media into the classs slowly, incorporating a gradual release of responsibility.  Something called the "Optimal Learning Model" is in play here. From the article: "But the platform or tool isn’t the key to unlocking social learning. The key is having a teacher as a guide, helping students create a safe and positive digital footprint, while enabling an authentic, purposeful and immersive learning experience for the world to see."

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Curriculum impossible: Upgrading

Curriculum impossible: Upgrading | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
I’m a big fan of the Food Network show “Restaurant Impossible.” The show features a struggling restaurant on the verge of going out of business and host Ro
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Provides a framework for how to approach making changes to the curriculum, based on the model of how the host of the show Restauarnt Impossible helps struggling restaurants turn around.  The key is in identifying what works and what doesn't, prioritizing what needs to be paid attention to, and then developing an action plan.

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Who Benefits From the Push to Teach Every Kid to Code?

Who Benefits From the Push to Teach Every Kid to Code? | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
This piece originally appeared in the Conversation. Over the past five years, the idea that computer programming—or “coding”—is the key to the future
MsEason's insight:
This is an interesting point of reflection on questioning the impetus behind the trends that seem to be prevalent in education today. It may be worthwhile to be skeptical about the push for certain approaches to education, and regarding coding we should be cognizant that the money behind the efforts may be tied to self-interests.
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ISTE Says Watch Out for Coding, Immersive Tech This School Year -- THE Journal

ISTE Says Watch Out for Coding, Immersive Tech This School Year -- THE Journal | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
The international association of teachers, administrators, ed tech specialists and other education stakeholders offers its top five predications for the 2017-2018 school year.
MsEason's insight:
1. Students will need to know basics of computer science
2. Learning feedback will happen in real time
3. Virtual reality and augmented reality will make a real impact in the classroom
4. Big push for media literacy to combat fake news
5. Shift in the conversation surrounding digital citizenship

Of those, 5 is the most intriguing to me, because it is the general focus I want to have on tech in my own classes. Beware, yes, but think about using your power for good.
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6 Tips for the Paperless Pioneer: Making the Most of Your Chromebooks

6 Tips for the Paperless Pioneer: Making the Most of Your Chromebooks | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
Learn how one educator got started with Google tools in the classroom.
MsEason's insight:
This article has great suggestions for how teachers can try going paperless in the classroom, but eve more useful is the teacher's description of the scaffolded approach she took to teaching her students to use the technology in her classroom. Things like teaching to four people at a time, having a rubric and a model, and promoting resourcefulness (ask three then me) in her students. Good advice for middle and upper educators, with some usefulness for lower school too.
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Liberal education for the 21st century: Woodie Flowers at TEDxPiscataquaRiver - YouTube

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TED...
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Interesting talk on the distinction between "education" and "training", with predictions that education is something uniquely human and training will be outsourced to machines. Thought provoking - should we rethink the emphases we place on different disciplines and how we teach them.

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Why Our Schools Need EdTech Professionals

Why Our Schools Need EdTech Professionals | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
While many children's home lives are abuzz with the same platforms and devices as the 21st century workplace, school just hasn't kept pace, and in many classrooms pedagogies are barely more inclusive of new technology than they were in the 1980s.
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MsEason's insight:

I liked this article's recognition that you need both IT and edtech personnel in the school, as there are different skills and foci for each group, and it can be difficult for one person to do both well.  It's also important to recognize that "having" tech and knowing how to teach and/or learn with it are not the same thing -- training is important, and making time for training even more so.

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When the Internet Delivers Its Own Content, What’s Left for the Teacher?

When the Internet Delivers Its Own Content, What’s Left for the Teacher? | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
When kids can get their lessons from the Internet, what's left for classroom instructors to do?
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Interesting points are made about what happens to the teacher as the role becomes more about facilitating and less about being an expert in your content area. There is some anti-tech bias, I feel, but I also feel the author make some salient points and acknowledges that the access to so many more resources does give us more options, while still posing the problem of what is my job supposed to be as a teacher and how that position is evolving.

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How Handwriting Trains the Brain

How Handwriting Trains the Brain | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
Recent research illustrates how writing by hand engages the brain in learning. And in an interesting twist, new technology is starting to reinvigorate this age-old practice.
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MsEason's insight:

This article not only describes the importance that handwriting has in helping people learn and remember, it also suggests that tablets and other touch-based technology can help people practice their handwriting. Bringing handwriting "back" through use of technology.

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Why Programming Teaches So Much More Than Technical Skills | MindShift

Why Programming Teaches So Much More Than Technical Skills | MindShift | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
If your local school system offers computer science courses, chances are those courses are electives that won't count toward core science or mathematics credi
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Article explains the benefits of learing to code for students - might be useful to share with admins and other educators who are unfamiliar with its applications.

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iPads In The Classroom: The Right Questions You Should Ask - Edudemic

iPads In The Classroom: The Right Questions You Should Ask - Edudemic | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
Does the iPad foster or hinder creativity? Is it a comprehensive tool or just a mere distraction? Do we use the iPad just because it makes our classroom look cool? Are we missing the forest for the trees here?
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Great article written by a fourth grade teacher about the importance of asking "how" and "why" before integrating iPads into classrooms, and about avoid the tempatation of making it be all about the apps.

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5 Myths About Writing With Mobile Devices - Edudemic

5 Myths About Writing With Mobile Devices - Edudemic | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
There are some big myths about writing with mobile devices. But are they actually true? The EdTechTeacher team weighs in on a controversial topic.
MsEason's insight:

This is a good breakdown of myths surrounding the difficulty of writing on mobile devices, and boils down to: if you think of writing solely as a process that involves a word processor and text, then mobile devices may not serve as well as laptops or desktops. If, however, you look at writing as a process that enables a student to coherently communicate his or her ideas, then mobile devices can be excellent tools for that.

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Educational Technology Guy: 10 Tech Skills Every Student Should Have

Educational Technology Guy: 10 Tech Skills Every Student Should Have | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it

Earlier this month, I wrote "10 Important Skills Students Need for the Future." After reading a few articles about specific tech skills, I thought I write what I think are the 10 Important Tech Skills Students Need.

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This is a great list, and provides a basis from which to plan curriculum that addresses the technology skills that people need.  Although the post says it's for students, I think that these are basic skills for anyone, adult or child, to work on acquiring and strengthening.

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Should Computer Science Count as a Math or Science Requirement?

Should Computer Science Count as a Math or Science Requirement? | Thoughts about Tech in Education & Life | Scoop.it
Technology is becoming more ubiquitous throughout the economy and tech workers are in short supply.
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