Posts

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Creating Awesome Teacher Blog Posts

Mobile app design and development

Unsure of how to utilize your blog as a teacher? Here are some tips to create posts that engage your students, communicate your message, and inspire your class.

 

 

Create a clear and simple title

It is helpful to use a post title that accurately reflects the content being included in each individual blog post. This will allow students to navigate the class blog page easily and efficiently.

 

Keep longer posts well organized

Any extensive content should be well organized with clear subtitles and topic headers. The information should be delivered in paragraph, bullets and topic summaries. It can prove helpful to use text that is bold, underlined, Italicized and in different Font sizes to distinguish the most crucial information and headers.

 

Use hyperlinks to websites discussed

A post that discusses or reference specific websites should include a hyperlink that students can use to access the website in one click. This will ensure that students are able to access the website being discussed in a convenient and simple manner.

 

Helpful media to convey information

The use of media in a blog post can prove to be entertaining for students and convey the same information in a more memorable way. Media can vary from images to pdf documents and video files. Media used in the classroom can be relayed to students in this manner to make videos and graphics easily available for students. This can also allow students to continue their learning outside of the classroom if there is additional content that could not be discussed within the allotted class time.

 

Using informal language

Blog posts are a quick and simple manner for teachers to get information to students quickly and efficiently. Due to the speed and frequency of blog posts, teachers may find it helpful to use informal language (but still proper grammar!) to communicate well with their students. 

 

iClass CMS provides an intuitive and affordable content management solution for schools. Teachers, administrators, parents, and even students, can post blogs. One click moderation ensures that all tasks can be carried out in one minute or less. 

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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. 

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

Foolproof ADA Compliance Tips for Your School’s Website

A woman and her daughter look at a computer screen.

Header: Foolproof ADA Compliance Tips for Your School's Website

When crafting a school webpage, it’s critical to consider how all users will interact with the site. It’s valuable for schools to be proactive when considering how the site will function for users with disabilities. Here are 5 simple fixes for common accessibility problems on the web.

A woman and her daughter look at a computer screen.

 

Problem #1: Media Accessibility

Users are unable to view or listen to images, videos, and audio files.

Fix: Create alt tags for all multimedia files on the site. These provide a description of the content that users can read or hear. Learn about how to create descriptive alt tags here. Create text transcripts for video and audio content.

 

Problem #2: Time Constraints

Users lose data after a site’s time limit expires or they are forced to reauthenticate. This is an issue for parents who are enrolling their children or registering to volunteer.

Fix: Make sure data entered in forms is automatically saved as a user progresses through the site.

 

Problem #3: Navigation

Navigation should be consistent and logical. All navigation can be performed with a keyboard.

Fix: Ensure that pages have a coherent layout and position on the site. Provide multiple pathways by which users can navigate the site. “Skip navigation” functionality will let users seamlessly access information.

 

Problem #4: Documents

Most schools use their website to post and share documents with pupils, parents, and the community. Many are uploaded in PDF form, and there is no way for visually impaired users to access a description.

Fix: Provide text from all documents in another text-based form, such as HTML or RTF.

 

Problem #5: Visual Design Elements

Color and contrast ratios are important to the aesthetic appeal of your website but can make it hard for users to view information. Additionally, many sites feature small text. Often, it is impossible for users to change the site’s settings for color and font size.

 

Fix: Ensure that users are able to view the site using the operating system or browser preferences for color and font size.

 

Feel like compliance is a lot to manage on your own?

iClassCMS provides website and app solutions for schools that are fully compliant and well designed. Learn more here.