Since 2013 Code.org has hosted a week devoted to encouraging students to learn more about computer science and computer programming. This world-wide event has reached over 180 countries and continues to grow each year.
I have personally participated in the Hour of Code for the past three years. It was amazing to watch my students that hadn't shown much interest in academics thrive in the area of computer science and computer programming. Their enthusiasm was inspiring. It even inspired me to start an after school Coding Club.
In my family, Thanksgiving is generally a time of reflecting on what we're thankful for and a time to relax and enjoy each other's company. As we are quickly approaching that season I can easily think of a huge list of things I'm thankful for, however, as an educator who is employed during COVID, I'm most thankful that I almost burned out about seven years ago.
You might think, why is she thankful for almost burning out?!? It's simple; without that experience I wouldn't be an educator that can handle the stressors of 2020 as easily. It helped me mature and gain a better understanding of ways to avoid burn out in the future.
Educator burn out is a real thing. The stress of teaching and personal problems can become too overwhelming. Many educators are facing the burn out battle right now with the uncertainty of the future and the stress of the changes in education COVID has created. From my previous experience with almost burning out I learned a few important tips.
1. G Suite Program Tips
As the use of technology has become more prevalent at home and school, it has become increasingly aware that boundaries need to be set on student expectations while online. As educators, we can provide those boundaries/expectations during live (synchronous) instruction. Just like we would teach our students about boundaries and expectations within a physical classroom, we can also do it during live instruction using resources such as Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship curriculum and Online Expectations posters.
This week (and next) I have the privilege of leading a training entitled "Tips & Tricks for Teaching Remotely." Below are some of the highlights of the presentation.
Teach the Tools and Programs:
Provide explicit instruction of how to use the digital tools and programs. Don’t assume students know how to use them. While many students participated in the Spring, not all did. Just like you would teach physical procedures in your classroom, teach the digital ones as well. Also, don’t be afraid to reteach...kids (and adults) need it.
Set clear expectations for live instruction. Review this every time you meet. Using visual images can be helpful for younger students. I created these visuals slides to help students.
Plan a consistent schedule that works for your age group. Have a regular routine. Make sure to include breaks in your schedule between live sessions.
I want to apologize for the long absence from this site. I start my new position as an Education Technology Teacher on Special Assignment in February and was in crisis mode by mid-March when COVID shut down our school district. Since then I've been in survival mode and haven't kept up with the blog. I hope to change that with new weekly posts. Thank you for understanding!
Any elementary or English teacher can tell you that English Language Arts is typically broken down into four strands: Reading, Writing, Language, and Speaking & Listening. Most educators focus the majority of their explicit instruction on the Reading, Writing, and Language strands, while embedding the Speaking & Listening strand throughout the day. Because of this, Speaking & Listening is often not explicitly taught. In addition, many teachers assume students have the skills needed to demonstrate mastery of Speaking & Listening standards. Unfortunately, this is often not accurate and students usually struggle with listening the most.
Thankfully, there are multiple Ed Tech options that can help educators explicitly teach listening skills to their students. Three of these options are ReadWorks, Listenwise, and Adobe Spark.
1. TikTok provides student engagement.
2. Bullying can be found on this app.
3. It's important that students understand privacy and data sharing using this app.
4. Students should start a TikTok club.
While I agree that TikTok can be a useful app with high school students, I don't believe that the actual app is appropriate to use with students.
30 years ago, when I started attending elementary school, there weren't many options for EdTech. I don't actually remember using computers until the 4th grade. Now, teachers are overwhelmed with so many different options of what their students can use in the classroom. How do educators choose?
There are two main questions educators needs to ask themselves before deciding which EdTech options to use:
The Tech Lovin' Teacher: Ed Tech TOSA, 15 year educator, tech enthusiast, curriculum creator