The Chalk Blog

3 Cool Tech Teaching Tools

Tech Tools to Step Up Your Teaching Game!

As one of the more “mature” members of the Learners Edge family, I feel victorious when I learn a new tech tool! Below are three tools we hope you will find fun, fanciful, and useful in your work educating tomorrow’s leaders!

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Technology, educator wellness

5 Technology Practices Every Educator Should STOP Doing!

How to Implement Technology in a Meaningful Way!

My first memories of technology as a student mostly involve magical visits to the computer lab where I would get lost in a game of Oregon Trail or Number Munchers.  In the 80s, technology was a special treat, something extra my classmates and I got to experience on occasion.  Fast forward several years and you’ll find that educational technology has come a long way!  Students now have individual devices available to them at any time and in any place.  There are apps and sites for learning, practicing, publishing and connecting.  Technology has definitely helped to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the 21st century, but educators must always stay vigilant in our efforts to evaluate what’s working and what’s not.

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Instructional Strategies

7 *Secret* Google Tools for Teachers

Unlock Google’s treasure trove of tools and apps you never knew existed!

We all know (and love) Google’s suite of apps for education—Gmail, Chrome, Drive, Docs, Slides, and Sheets—for creation and collaboration within the classroom. These apps have significantly improved the efficiency and effectiveness of day-to-day learning for millions of students and educators. But did you know that Google has been simultaneously developing tons of other tools behind the scenes that can help students accomplish goals, save time, and think creatively? Check out these 7 “secret” Google tools that are sure to become your new favorites!

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, 21st Century Learning

Collaborative Learning [VIDEO]

Improving Collaboration in Your Classroom

Dawn - Collaborative Learning - Final
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Topics: Classroom Management, Teaching with Technology, Video

4 Tips for Effective Digital Collaboration in the Classroom

Working together in the classroom

LinkedIn recently reported that two of the top four skills actively sought out by employers were communication and collaboration (with leadership and time management rounding out the list). Educators take note! Much of our time is spent getting kids to memorize their multiplication facts or to understand the difference between a simile and a metaphor while important life skills end up on the backburner. How can we deliver academic content, while also preparing students with the technology and interpersonal skills needed to be successful in the workplace? We’ve put together a list of our top four tips for understanding, facilitating and assessing successful collaboration in the digital classroom.

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Technology

Virtual & Augmented Reality Field Trips

Explore the World Without Leaving the Classroom

If you haven’t dipped your toes into the world of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) yet, you and your students are missing out!  You may be thinking, what is this VR/AR buzz all about and how do I fit it into my already busy day?  Well, let me tell you that virtual and augmented reality are becoming popular approaches for teachers to deliver content in an engaging and experiential way.  Students can use whatever devices they have to step into spaces and places that were previously inaccessible.  Think: animal habitats, the pyramids of Egypt or the Globe theater made famous by Shakespeare.  These “real” experiences can support and enhance learning in all subject areas by engaging the senses and immersing students in experiences beyond the four walls of the classroom.

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Instructional Strategies, 21st Century Learning

Celebrate Digital Citizenship Week Oct. 15-19th

Top Tips to Engage Students, Staff, and Families

As teachers begin the school year, we often spend days, weeks even, building a supportive and positive classroom community.  We discuss, model and practice classroom expectations for everything from sharpening pencils to resolving peer conflicts.  We continue to nurture our community as the school year goes on, intent on developing the ideal school citizens.  But what about the online environment?  As a greater percentage of teaching and learning moves to online platforms, the necessity for intentional and ongoing digital citizenship education cannot be ignored or checked off a list at the beginning of the year.

One way to kickstart or amp up your digital citizenship game plan is to participate in Digital Citizenship Week (Oct. 15–19)!  Recognized on the third week of October each year, this initiative aims to build capacity for students and families to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world.

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Technology

New Course Alert! 806: Digital Citizenship in The Classroom

Empowering Digital Citizens in Our Classrooms

Digital citizenship lessons empower students to engage responsibly and effectively in the digital world. With the right guidance and support, students not only learn to be safe and responsible consumers, they learn to contribute rich ideas to online spaces and make real and lasting differences. They also learn how to find balance in their technology use in order to stay physically and emotionally healthy. Even if you are familiar with the benefits of teaching digital citizenship, you may still have questions about the best way to introduce these concepts in your classroom. If this is you, we invite you to join us in one of Learners Edge newest courses, 806: Digital Citizenship in The Classroom!

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Technology

Online Schools: Changing Schools for Changing Student Needs

An interview with Matthew Schempp, English Teacher and Reading Specialist at BlueSky Online School 

Ever wonder what it is like teaching schools online? I was lucky enough to meet Matthew Schempp from West St. Paul, MN at a local gathering of like-minded citizens. We quickly figured out that we have education in common, but in very different ways. He was kind enough to respond to my questions about his teaching situation: I was fascinated by his responses -  I hope you are too! 

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teaching with Technology

4 Free Assistive Technology Tools for Your Classroom

What do pencil grips, talking calculators, wheelchairs, and augmentative communication devices have in common? They are all examples of assistive technology (AT).Per the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), assistive technology devices are defined as, "any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities." 

Assistive technology devices can range from low-tech tools such as pencil grips to assist students with written communication, to high-tech tools such as electric wheelchairs to increase personal mobility. Whether low tech or high tech, AT devices help individuals achieve an increased level of independence. As a special education resource teacher by trade (working mainly with students with learning disabilities and ADHD), I am always thrilled to find tools which help students access grade-level content. Outlined below are four of my favorite online AT tools that you can access today to support and enhance learning in your classroom.  

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Special Populations

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