Learner-Centered Experiences Through the Lens of Technology

In this post, I would like to focus once again on learner-centered experiences. When I'm browsing Twitter, I often come across exciting visuals that end up having an impact on my practice. One such infographic that I came across recently was "10 Characteristics of Learner-Centered Experiences" by Katie Martin. Be sure to check it out … Continue reading Learner-Centered Experiences Through the Lens of Technology

How Can 13+ Social Media be Leveraged for Elementary Students?

I've always instinctively felt that educators are missing out on a goldmine of learning opportunities by avoiding or banning social media use in the classroom. Do a quick Google search and you'll find a large variety of opinions on social media in the classroom, ranging from "It's cool, but how to use it?" to "It … Continue reading How Can 13+ Social Media be Leveraged for Elementary Students?

10 Year Olds Ask You to Play Their Games for #HourofCode

The #HourofCode is a special time that is meant to demystify the skill of coding for all ages of learners. In previous years, my students have created a Caine's Arcade-style event for the community where the frames of the arcade machines were made out of cardboard and the screens were the students' iPads. You can … Continue reading 10 Year Olds Ask You to Play Their Games for #HourofCode

After 100 Years of the Same Teaching Model It’s Time to Throw Out the Playbook

In looking back at my parents' education in the 1950s and 60s, and my own education in the 1990s and 2000s, I worry sometimes that despite the huge advances that we've seen in technology, not much has changed when it comes to how we view learning and how we design learning environments. The transmission model … Continue reading After 100 Years of the Same Teaching Model It’s Time to Throw Out the Playbook

Empowering Students to Take Creative Action

Action can come in many forms, and, depending on the group of kids you're given, students' attitude towards action ranges from the enthusiastic to the idealistic to the unsustainable to the irresponsible. While taking action is a major component of the IB PYP, it can be tricky for teachers to get it right. https://youtu.be/WN0yCYVBD5U In … Continue reading Empowering Students to Take Creative Action

Evaluating Blended Learning Classroom Design

At this year's AISA Educator's Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, I had the opportunity to present some of the models that I have used and created to evaluate blended learning classroom design. Much of this work was done alongside Brad Arnold (@leybradly), and was previously discussed in my article, That digital program your school bought will never … Continue reading Evaluating Blended Learning Classroom Design

That digital program your school bought will never transform learning

It seems like most teachers and students have access to a paid-for digital learning program. You know the kind - RAZ kids, IXL, Spelling City, any one of those listed in the featured image of this article - and they all promise to raise achievement while making learning "fun". These CAI (computer assisted instruction) programs … Continue reading That digital program your school bought will never transform learning

Student Inventions Face Evaluation in the Shark Tank

This week, my students will be presenting their inventions to an audience of parents and community members. Instead of doing a traditional exhibition, where students stand for an hour and answer questions next to their display, we are doing something different: A Year 5 Shark Tank. Many of us already know the reality show, "Shark … Continue reading Student Inventions Face Evaluation in the Shark Tank

Ways to Enhance Reading and Writing Workshop with Technology

Our school recently made the switch to Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Although Stephanie and I received some surface level training on the project in our previous school, this has been the first time that we have been asked to follow the program with a high level of fidelity. Like with any … Continue reading Ways to Enhance Reading and Writing Workshop with Technology

Homework not effective? What about distance learning?

Homework is one of those contentious things that divides teachers as well as parents. John Hattie's research leads to the conclusion that homework in primary school has an effect of nearly zero.  But the reality is that many schools have policies that require homework to be assigned to students on a daily or weekly basis. This … Continue reading Homework not effective? What about distance learning?