The Chalk Blog

Top 10+ Tech Trends & Tools for Teachers in 2019

Get up-to-date Tech Tools for 2019

It’s 2019, and technology continues to reshape teaching trends in and out of the classroom. One of the most challenging obstacles for teachers is knowing what’s new, what’s coming, and how this technology can be used to infuse new tactics to engage, educate and learn. This year, the trends are about building the “Intelligent Digital Mesh” which encompasses:

  • Intelligence – AI drives everything we do across many systems going into the future;
  • Digital – The digital world brings the virtual and real worlds together in a new digital reality; and,
  • Mesh – Connecting people, processes, and things together in new and interesting ways.
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Topics: Literacy, Instructional Strategies

Professional Learning Series: Awareness

What is Awareness?

Merriam-Webster’s Definition of awareness: 

the quality or state of being “aware”: knowledge and understanding that something is happening or exists 

The Learners Edge Professional Learning model describes awareness as, “Analyzing prior knowledge and experiences related to the topic.” If we meld this idea with Merriam-Webster’s definition of awareness, we can begin to understand the importance of knowing and understanding that the learner already has knowledge or experience that exists specific to the topic at hand. Why is that important? Well, let’s check out the research! 

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Professional Learning Model

For the Love of Reading

3 Key Strategies for Motivating Students to Read

Reading was always my FAVORITE subject in school.  As a kid, I remember raising my hand with unbridled enthusiasm so that I might be chosen to read aloud to the class, “round robin” style.  Whether it was the basal reader, a class novel or worksheet passages, I was hooked.  I just loved to read. Anything. 

This love of reading inevitably lead me to choose teaching as a career, as I’m sure was the case for many educators.  As an elementary reading teacher (and parent of 3 kids), I’ve come to learn that this love of reading does not come naturally to all children.  It’s a challenge for those of us that eat, sleep and breathe books to understand that, for some, reading is a chore.  It is something that is required, or in some cases, something to be avoided at all costs!

Our classrooms are full of kids along the reading spectrum.  So how do we help nurture a love of reading in our students, especially those that are the most reluctant (or even averse!)?  Research tells us that intrinsic motivation is key and that sticker charts and pizza parties can actually decrease motivation.  Yikes!

We’ve put together a list of 3 key research-based strategies that will help build a community of readers and increase intrinsic motivation for even the most reluctant reader in your classroom.

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Topics: Literacy, Instructional Strategies

Professional Learning Series: It Starts with Intention

Establishing Learning Goals and Exploring Motivations

Learners Edge, founded by teachers for teachers, is passionately committed to providing fellow educators with continuing education coursework, materials, and tools that will help them succeed in the classroom and in their careers. With that, Learners Edge has completed a meta-analysis of research on adult learning theories, online education trends, and professional development best practice. This allowed for the creation of the Learners Edge Professional Learning Model. 

The model includes five elements to ensure adult learners experience quality personal and professional development and carry new knowledge into their classrooms. This will ultimately have positive impacts on their students. The components are as follows: 

  • Intention: Establish learning goals and explore motivations 
  • Awareness: Analyze prior knowledge and experiences related to the topic 
  • Investigation: Examine relevant, research-based resources to build personal and professional connections to the topic 
  • Application: Apply new learning through practical design, implementation, and collaboration 
  • Reflection: Consider the impact of new learning to influence and transform future professional practice 

While these elements are specific to Learners Edge professional learning, the same steps can be used to improve any adult professional learning opportunities and increase positive outcomes. This blog series will discuss the five components of the model specific to professional learning for teachers. Let’s start by digging into the first component, intention.  

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Professional Learning Model

Earn Credits for Reading With Friends!

Celebrating 10 Years of Book Study at Learners Edge!

"There is power in unity and there is power in numbers." 

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Collaboration is not new, but in our profession, engaging with one another is truly a gift, and a wonderful opportunity for discussion and action.  

The Book Study from Learners Edge is one of five personalized professional development opportunities available, and the only option to complete as a group. The syllabus is a framework for teachers to guide their own learning using a text of their choice, which has made this course perfect for 3,368 groups in the 10 years of its existence.  

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Topics: Courses, Personalized Continuing Ed, Literacy

Supporting Our Teachers & Their Wallets!

Fund Your Classroom Needs with AdoptAClassroom.org

As a society we understand the critical role education plays-- to build a literate and self-sufficient population of citizens. Educators work (to exhaustion!) daily to teach, guide, and mentor our students and more often than not, spend our own money to fund basic needs for our classrooms. Teachers want the best for our students, so when the school or district comes up short, we step in to help. For years there have been philanthropic entities working alongside teachers to support classrooms in need and now with advances in technology, teachers can research options, share their stories, and secure funding with greater ease. 

AdoptAClassroom.org is one such organization working to advance equity in education by connecting classrooms in need with funding.  Since 1998, they’ve partnered with individual donors and corporate sponsors to raise over $36 million for students.  If you’re an educator looking to outfit your classroom with needed materials or get a project idea off the ground, AdoptAClassroom.org can help!   And now, through a recent partnership with Learners Edge, teachers can request funding for professional development needs. I know what you’re thinking: where do I sign up? (right?!) We’ve put together a Quick Start Guide to help you create your AdoptAClassroom.org page and share your story via social media channels.

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Topics: Partnerships, Learners Edge News, Instructional Strategies

Time to Get Artsy

Help us fill our walls!

Calling all Artists and Visually Gifted folks: we need your help!

Learners Edge has always been a fun place to work, and never before has that been more represented than in our new space (we moved at the end of October 2018).

We have lots of natural light with colorful accents, complete with a ping pong table, Nerf guns, and currently, a Jenga set. We have couches and several other options of places to meet, work, collaborate, and laugh. We have snacks!- oh, the snacks!- that tide us over when we need a little food break. We have a white board that hosts trivia, fun facts about the staff, and nonsensical polls (Fun fact! We are overwhelmingly a chunky peanut butter group).

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Topics: Arts, STEAM/STEM, Content Areas

World Read-Aloud Day

Get your class ready for February 1st!

What if there were a panacea for all that was broken in the world?

There’s one solution that could better our lives, advance our civilization, inspire innovation, and build bridges within our society. World Read-Aloud Day is a gigantic step in that direction.

We can overcome our divisions in a world that is more connected than ever by reading about one another, cultures, and philosophies unlike our own. The information is there. We just need to consume it! There are many layers to this, but truthfully, it can all start with reading.

Allow us to convince you!

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Topics: Literacy, Holidays, Instructional Strategies

Trauma-Informed Classrooms

Curated Resources

Two-thirds.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than two-thirds of children report at least one traumatic event by the age of 16. That means that the majority (NOT the minority) of students in your classroom have experienced trauma.

One.

It takes one person to make a positive impact. As an educator, YOU can be the one because you have an opportunity to support these children day in and day out. Hearing about and thinking about the trauma our children may have suffered can be awful, but…

…there is good news.

Children can recover from trauma, and you can help them do that using trauma-sensitive practices in your classroom.

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Topics: Special Populations, Trauma Sensitive Learning

Beat the Mid-Year Blues With Our Top Ten Strategies

Don't forget to keep your 'teacher-spark' alive!

This blog post was originally published on the Learners Edge Chalk Blog on January 8, 2016, but the strategies were so well received that we freshened them up to share with you again!

It’s January…Christmas break is over, the days are shorter, the weather is colder and you are already counting down the days until summer vacation.  Am I right? But what happens if, or rather, when you catch a case of the blues as a teacher? Teaching is arguably THE most rewarding and completely exhausting profession.  It takes oodles of patience, passion, resilience, and commitment. By January we’re often feeling drained and struggle to find the energy to make it through to spring break, let alone summer!  Don’t worry, we’ve got some tips to help you survive.  Our team has compiled our 10 best strategies to help beat the mid-year blues and keep the spark alive in your teaching.

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teacher Burnout

Learners Edge is passionately committed to providing you with continuing education coursework, materials, and tools that will help you succeed in your classroom and in your career.

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!

Request a Personalized Course Recommendation

 

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