The Chalk Blog

Marcee Harris

Marcee Harris is the Evaluation and Curriculum Specialist with Learners Edge. She is a veteran elementary teacher with a passion for engaging teachers in equity conversations and working to transform education through technology. On any given evening you can find Marcee having a dance party in her kitchen with her husband and three kids.

Recent Posts

5 Ways to Prepare for Back-to-School Distance Learning

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Topics: Technology, Back-to-School, Distance Learning

Digital Tools for Online Learning

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Topics: Technology, 21st Century Learning, Distance Learning

Tools to Support Anti-Racism

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Topics: Culture and Language, Culturally Responsive Teaching

How to Create a Digital Worksheet

It’s an age-old question, “How do I recreate a worksheet in digital format?” and it’s echoed by so many teachers across the country. To convert traditional paper and pencil tasks to a digital-friendly format is one of the biggest hurdles for educators moving curriculum online. Some have downloaded apps to convert documents, others have resorted to retyping entire sheets of paper. My favorite method for creating digital worksheets is really just a simple modification of a tool you and your students are already familiar with-- Google Slides. In the video tutorial below, I'll walk you through a quick process for creating digital worksheets that your students can type answers into without deleting or changing the questions. For more helpful resources visit our Teacher Resources page.

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Topics: Video, COVID-19, Distance Learning

2 Tools for Recording Video Lessons

Creating videos used to be quite a chore (remember the days of bulky recording equipment, editing, uploading, etc) and it required a special skill set. Thankfully, advances in technology have made video recording accessible to all with just a few clicks. As more and more instruction moves online, educators are looking to screencasting as an easy option for creating videos for and with students. There are many tools to choose from, but in the video that follows, I’ll introduce two of my favorites-- Screencastify and Loom. They are free, great for beginners, and will help you level up your distance learning game. And BONUS: both platforms now offer free upgrades to their Pro versions for educators (use the code CAST_COVID during checkout on Screencastify and for Loom just create an account with your school email address for the upgrade). This short video will give you an overview of each platform, steps for getting started on your first recording, and some ideas for using screencasting in your classroom. Let’s dig in!

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Topics: Video, COVID-19, Distance Learning

Essential Tips for Teaching with Zoom

A free video conferencing platform is one of those *must have* tech tools for your online teaching toolbox! It makes teaching whole classes, small groups and individuals less of a chore, and once you get the hang of it you can reap the rewards of a better connected, equally supported classroom of learners! Watch the video below so we can walk you through our tips!

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Topics: Technology, COVID-19, Distance Learning

Easy Student Projects for Distance Learning

3 Great Resources to Eliminate Digital Busywork

Educators in every corner of the country have been working feverishly to put together distance learning activities for students that will keep them engaged and, let’s not kid ourselves, occupied for the next several weeks. Many edtech companies have so generously offered their products and services free, making high quality apps that were previously cost-prohibitive for districts available to all. But as I’ve come to see with my own young children at home with me the last 2 weeks, the sparkle of these digital apps and websites can quickly fade with daily use.  

Tolerance.org recently polled teachers across the country about what supports they needed most and found that “more than 80 percent requested “Do Something” projects that could easily be adapted for distance learning.” Offering daily skills practice along with real-world projects will help keep the at-home work time fresh and give kids authentic ways to apply their learning. So for all of you amazing educators looking for additional resources to keep kids learning with something more than just iPad apps, we’ve got a great list for you!  

Below we’ve curated 3 great resources and favorite projects for engaging, interdisciplinary student projects that can be completed at home.

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Distance Learning

7 Ways to Be a More Culturally Responsive Educator

Bringing Diverse Perspectives Into Your Teaching

On a scale of 1-10, how culturally responsive are you? Maybe you’re just getting started bringing diverse perspectives into your teaching, or maybe you’re well versed in culturally responsive teaching (CRT) practices and are working to support others in this work. No matter your place on the journey to responsiveness, there’s no doubt that there’s always room for growth. 

Increasingly, the young people showing up in our classrooms come from a wide variety of lived experiences, linguistic backgrounds, and cultural ways of being. In fact, there are now more children of color than white children in America’s public schools, according to the Pew Research Center. Many educators have begun the work to embrace and celebrate diversity, make individual connections with students and families, evaluate curriculum and materials for relevance and bias, and some have even joined committees to analyze school policies and practices. If this is you, bravo! Becoming a more culturally responsive educator requires not only a change in mindset, but also the acquisition of new skills, and most importantly the desire to continue learning.  


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Topics: Culture and Language, Culturally Responsive Teaching

No More Sick-Day Stress

Swap Your Sub Plans for Digital Student Plans

Writing substitute teacher plans can put teachers into full on panic-mode. Who needs the added stress when you’re already feeling terrible?! Wouldn’t it be great if you could quickly put together an easy-to-follow lesson plan for your students in your absence? Rather than trying to cram all of the notes and directions for the sub into a coherent doc, create a step-by-step plan for your students to follow. Instead of sub plans, write student plans! With readily available technology, students can work through your digital lesson independently. The benefits are countless:

  • Create digital plans quickly from home using digital resources.
  • Keep students on track with the scope and sequence of the curriculum. No more busy work or time fillers!
  • Eliminate substitute teacher confusion and misunderstanding.
  • Allow the substitute to simply monitor student work time and focus attention on behavior supervision.
  • Review submitted student work from home to prepare for your return back to work. 
Convinced? Here are 4 great tips for going digital with your "student plans”: 
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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Substitute Teachers

New Technology Courses for 2020

Introducing Our New ISTE Approved EdTech Courses!

Technology changes in the blink of an eye so keeping up can be challenging! With a seemingly constant flow of new apps, programs, devices, and strategies to wade through, teachers often settle for what’s most comfortable and easy-- low tech or no tech! To help you navigate the waters, our writing team at Learners Edge has developed 5 brand new, top-notch courses for better tech integration. We’ve sifted through the latest in edtech research, and searched for the best resources to provide just what you need for continued professional learning in tech integration. So without further ado, here they are! 


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Topics: Technology, Courses

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Offering more than 100 print-based or online courses for teachers, you can earn the graduate credit you need for salary advancement and meet your professional development needs. Contact us today to get started!

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