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Must-Watch TED Talks for Educators

Linda Cliatt - Wayman

Looking for a way to be productive during breaks in your day? TED talks are a fantastic way to discover bite-size inspiration! Here are a few of our favorite talks for educators.

 

“Success, failure, and the drive to keep creating” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert talks about where inspiration can strike and the ways that she learned from her failures. She emphasizes the importance of staying true to oneself and learning from failures. Great motivation for Back to School!

 

“The difference between winning and succeeding” – John Wooden

UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden talks both coaching and teaching, providing profound insight into what he found was the best way to inspire both his students and his players. This is a talk with knowledge and wisdom everyone should hear.

 

“Help for the kids the education system ignores” – Victor Rios

Talking from personal experience, Victor Rios shifts the perspective on the way we think of children who do not finish school. He talks of a teacher who inspired him to stick with school and graduate with his class. This talk is inspirational and it has the capability to transform your thoughts and encourage understanding of every type of student.

 

“How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, Love hard” – Linda Cliatt-Wayman

School principal Linda Cliatt-Wayman has witnessed the struggles of urban public schools. But she is determined not to let the hardships deter her from giving her best to the students who show up to school each day. In this emotional talk, Wayman talks about what it takes to be an effective leader for the students who need it most.

 

“My story, from gangland daughter to star teacher” – Pearl Arredondo

In this emotional and personal TED Talk, Pearl Arredondo talks about her personal experiences, as well as how those specific experiences encouraged her to create a school with the specific purpose of reassuring students that they are cared for.

 

“Love letters to strangers” – Hannah Brencher

She’s not a teacher, and she doesn’t like technology. But she writes letters. She writes letters to strangers who need it. In doing so, she has inspired a movement whereby people write out how they feel instead of immediately resorting to social media. It’s an inspiring talk about the power of words and it might just inspire you to switch the smartphone for a pen and paper. 

 

 “Comics Belong in the Classroom” – Gene Luen Yang

Gene Yang, a secondary education teacher and comic book fan, noticed that there was a shortage of comic books in the education sector. He believes that comic books can have a place in education, especially for those students who learn better visually. In this humorous and innovative talk, Yang discusses the path he took to discovering that comics deserve a place in every classroom. 

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Tech Tuesday: Book Creator

Increase digital presence

What is it?

Book Creator is a way for students and teachers to express their creativity through the creation of books. The application can be used both on Google Chrome as well as on the iPad. Using Book Creator, students and teachers are able to include and combine text, images, audio, and video, giving them endless opportunities to create something memorable. One of the best parts about Book Creator is that there is no limit to who can use it. The age of students ranges from kindergarten to college, which shows that Book Creator is easy to use for any age group.

 

How it Works

The Book Creator process is simple. Once an account is created, users have free rein to choose what their book will be about. Some examples of books that have been or can be created include: “about me” books, poetry books, digital portfolios, interactive stories, or even a math or science lesson.

 

Once the book is finished, users have the opportunity to publish their book. The published book is then shared with both their classmates as well as others around the world. One class even published their books on the Apple iBookstore and six of the students’ books were featured in the top 150 downloads!

 

The Positives

Students can sometimes be reluctant to participate in class. Utilizing Book Creator in the classroom gives a voice to those students who are hesitant to speak up or participate in class discussions. The book creations from students also help to demonstrate their understanding of a lesson. Book Creator also offers an option for global collaboration, where classrooms from different parts of the world can work on a project simultaneously, without actually being in the same place.

 

What Teachers are Saying

This is authentic learning at its best. My students have a voice.”

–  Jane Ross, Digital Literacy Coach

 

“Book Creator has provided such a user-friendly platform. Students’ ability to create and share audio and visual content truly engages “student voice and choice” in math class!”

  • Cathy Yenca, Middle School Mathematics Teacher

Get Connected! Technology Every Teacher Should Know

It can be challenging to sift through the immense amount of tech resources that are available to teachers! Here are a few of our favorites, selected based on ease of implementation, usefulness, and student engagement.

Mindmeister

This is the website for those who have too many thoughts. Mindmeister is an online mind mapping tool that is perfect for brainstorming and organizing. The tool can also be used for note taking, as well.

Preparing a lesson for your class? Mindmeister offers both a function for brainstorming and planning – both essential for creating a lesson plan.

Create your first mind map here.

post it notes on a wall

 

Prezi

Created in 2009, Prezi has quickly become a leading presentation software for both the business and education sector. The design of Prezi has helped its rise in popularity. Unlike PowerPoint slides, Prezi offers an interactive way to present, complete with a zoomable canvas and premade templates.

There is no shortage to the type of presentations that can be created with Prezi. Topics range from analyses of books to a sales pitch in a business meeting. More importantly, because of the design of Prezi, they are much less boring to watch, therefore keeping an audience entertained and fully engaged.

The best part? It’s free. You can learn more or sign up to make your first Prezi here.

 

Kahoot

Like Prezi, Kahoot can be used in both the business and education sector. It is a primarily a mobile app, used to take quizzes of all types. Kahoot helps to keep everyone connected through a fun and interactive quiz format.

In the business world, Kahoot can be used to make any type of training or presentation more fun and engaging. Kahoot is used for team building exercises, making group trainings much more fun. In the education world, Kahoot can be used to either quiz students, or it can also be used as a study tool when there is a test.

Learn more about Kahoot here.

students are excited and looking at a computer screen

Penzu

Penzu is a site created for those people who love to write, but don’t like pen and paper. It’s an online journal and diary platform that can be used for anything from wedding planning to daily thoughts.

In the education sector, Penzu can be used as a tool for daily writing assignments or for spicing up homework. The awesome thing about Penzu is its accessibility. Anybody can write from anywhere, as the website also has a mobile app, allowing anyone to write from wherever they are, at their own convenience.

If you’re ready to start writing, click here.

 

 

Study Blue

Sponsored by Chegg, Study Blue is an online study library. Equipped with over 400 million notecards and study guides, students should have no problems studying for that upcoming test. Because of the app, students are able to study wherever they go. Study Blue also offers the option to create quizzes, giving students the opportunity to see what they already know.

Try it out here.

a person takes notes while looking at a computer

 

Knewton

No one learns the same way. Knewton knows that, so they’ve created a platform for every single type of learner. The company has provided 28 million adaptive learning courses since its founding in 2008.

The company integrated a new system known as Alta. Alta allows students to learn through completely personalized instruction and the program provides the student with an assessment of their mastery of the subject. Even better, the technology is easy-to-use and automatically provides feedback to the instructors.

You can learn more about Knewton here.

 

iClass CMS

iClass provides websites for schools that are completely interactive and adaptable. Our custom website and mobile app solutions are designed to meet the needs of a 21st-century school. Teachers have the ability to communicate with parents instantly and at no cost. Students are able to work remotely and access information via their smartphone or laptop. Learn more here.

 

By Taylor

How One Teacher Used Tech to Transform Student Learning

a child reads a book

The increased use of technology in the classroom has made some parents and educators nervous about the negative impact it might have on their students’ education. There is always the chance that these devices may distract students if they are not used properly. Recently, parents and educators alike are seeing the overwhelming benefits of using technology in the classroom.

 

 

A study done by Lieberman Research Worldwide called “Parent’s Attitudes Towards Education Technology” showed very positive feedback from parents regarding “technology for school”. The study found that 67% of parents agree with the statement “I don’t mind my child spending more screen time if he or she is learning” and 79% feel that technology “Allows my child to learn at his or her own pace”.

 

Technology in schools, such as personal devices, can be used to adapt the learning environment to better suit the educational needs of each unique child. For instance, a device can make a previously boring subject interesting to a student by changing their perspective on it.

 

 

An article written by teacher Bryan Rossi discusses the success his students found when reading with the help of technology. In one case, a student was lacking the reading skills common for students her own age. The student began reading on a device using a read-to-me feature provided by EPIC! It was not long before she became so confident in her ability to read that she wanted to read the book on her own in physical form. The device allowed the student to alter the way they were learning and succeed in a previously difficult area.

 

In another case, a group of Mr. Rossi’s students that once disliked reading was able to discover books that interested them using the EPIC! online catalog. The search for books through the traditional library became discouraging for them, but using technology simplified the process. The group managed to find a fun and exciting book collection that made reading interesting and unintimidating. Mr. Rossi’s students are prime examples of the positive impact that technology integration can have on education. Read more about their experience here. 

 

Students may find some forms of learning mundane, but the use of edtech presents a new and exciting perspective. In some cases, students may lack confidence and consequently interest in a subject area. Edtech can help these students find their independence and gain enough confidence to explore an area of learning. It goes beyond a simple task or lesson! Technology in the classroom will open up many doors for students to explore as they grow and discover themselves and their interests.

 by Megan

Introducing Our Partner: Educators of America

kid looks at a computer

iClass CMS has partnered with Educators of America to support their mission of connecting educators with technology to increase student achievement. 

 

Educators of America works with schools around the world – from New York to New Delhi – to provide teachers with technology and tools for success. In addition to supplying schools with the latest digital technology, Educators of America also hosts professional development and enrichment seminars for teachers. Classroom technology is constantly evolving, and it is important for teachers to stay up to date with the latest innovations.

 

kid looks at a computer

 

Edtech is a powerful resource for increasing student success. Studies show that the use of digital tools in the classroom increases student engagement, collaboration, and problem-solving. We are proud to support Educators of America in making a positive impact in schools in the US and around the world.

 

The USA seen from space at night

 

iClass provides attractive and easy-to-use websites to schools that increase enrollment, improve communication, and meet accessibility standards. Learn more about our partnership here.

2018’s Biggest EdTech Trends

Learning

Educational technology is set for another stellar year in 2018 and we will hopefully see further adoption of EdTech processes and resources in schools throughout Ireland.

To help you prepare for any new technology you may introduce to your school in the coming year, we’ve rounded up the biggest EdTech trends of 2018.

  1. Mobile Learning

Mobile learning simply refers to education and teaching conducted through use of portable computing devices such as smartphones and tablets.

It will possibly be the biggest EdTech trend of the year thanks to the increased use of smartphones and tablets in classrooms both in Ireland and the rest of the world.

Mobile learning empowers students by providing them with access to high quality learning materials and encourages learning through use of different media (text, video, audio etc.)

Mobile learning also greatly benefits educators as it generates large amounts of data on students’ studying behaviour and habits, data which can later be analysed and used to improve curricula.

  1. Internet of Things

The Internet of Things, or IoT as it’s also known, is the name for the network through which various computing devices are connected.

This includes everything from a smartphone to smart home appliances, and is generally used to describe the ‘system’ that allows devices to communicate with one another.

In the educational setting, the Internet of Things aims to simplify much of the learning process so teachers can spend more of their time engaging with students and preparing classes and less time on repetitive tasks such as correcting homework.

  1. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is an alternative method for delivering IT services and one that utilises web-based tools and applications retrieved from the Internet as opposed to a physical server.

Cloud computing enables a great deal more of flexibility when it comes to IT services in addition to reducing the time it to takes to retrieve data and minimising IT costs.

It benefits schools by providing teachers and students with access to the Internet’s infinite repository of information for a very small fee and should see widespread adoption in 2018.

  1. Augmented and Virtual Reality

It may be a few years yet before augmented and virtual reality becomes commonplace in the school, but a number of Irish companies are exploring how this technology can be used in an education.

Augmented and virtual reality technology supports active learning as opposed to passive learning and is particularly useful in combatting limited attention spans.  

It can also increase a student’s understanding of complex theories and subjects through use of an immersive and visual experience that illustrates the information being conveyed to the student.