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Take control of your professional development.

Jun 23, 2017

Taking Control of Your Professional Development

The days of sitting in one-size-fits-all professional meetings are dwindling. Whole day, large group professional development sessions are being replaced with technology-infused collaboration ripe for lifelong learning. For me, the best part of this shift in professional learning is the ability to focus on the topics that interest me the most. Here are some of my favorite ways to take control of my professional development while embracing technology. 

Skills for Good Digital Citizenship

Jun 16, 2017

Three Skills Students Need to Become Good Digital Citizens

In order to be good digital citizens, students must cultivate a filter through which they view their digital lives and understand online communication. To help students build that filter, we must support them in developing a multifaceted awareness consisting of a number characteristics. Here are three of the most important:

Get Ready for ISTE 2017

Jun 09, 2017

Embrace the Extraordinary at ISTE 2017

If you are planning on attending ISTE in San Antonio this year, embrace the extraordinary by following these tips for a successful professional learning experience.

Top 5 Resources Last Month

Jun 02, 2017

Our Top Five Resources in May

Each month we publish several newsletters full of digital learning, funding, professional growth, social media, and STEM resources. Below are the resources from our newsletters that educators turned to the most in the month of May.

May 26, 2017

Professional Learning is a Workout!

The Workout is a model I created for designing professional learning events related to technology integration with innovative teaching and learning. The Workout framework is effective for a variety of topics, such as digital storytelling, formative assessment, visual learning, global collaboration, anytime-anywhere communication, design thinking, blended learning, and problem-based learning.

Digital Citizenship Series

May 19, 2017

Seven Strategies to Get Students Talking and Thinking About Digital Citizenship

One of the challenges of teaching digital citizenship is to get students comfortable openly thinking and talking about key issues. We know students are constantly facing issues and making choices in their online lives. Creating an environment where students are encouraged to discuss issues helps them think critically about the choices they're making online. Here are some strategies to start students thinking and talking about digital citizenship.

Social Media Echo Chamber

May 12, 2017

Opening Students’ Minds: How to Combat the Social Media Echo Chamber

Social media has undoubtedly expanded classroom walls, but has it also closed the minds of our students? The echo chamber effect suggests so-students want to hear what they think is the truth and search for others through social media who agree with them.

Changing the Narrative of Education

May 05, 2017

Changing the Narrative of Education

Classrooms aren't always represented accurately in the media. It is not uncommon for news outlets to highlight the latest teacher scandals but ignore the quality work the majority of teachers are doing. Popular television shows often show students seated neatly in rows, reading textbooks, and looking bored. Images of blackboards and chalk still abound when referencing education, yet the classrooms I see everyday are filled with the very opposite of these depictions.

Tech Integration into Schools

Apr 28, 2017

What Is Next After a 1:1 Initiative?

Nearly five years ago, Gurnee District 56 embarked on a journey to equip students in the district with iPads to be used as their primary curriculum delivery tool. As we began that journey, there were no road maps to follow, and many times it felt as if we were walking in a dense forest with no idea what lurked five feet ahead of us. In a truly collaborative effort, we began to clear the forest and discover enough light to chart a clear path forward. We have come so far since then.

Apr 21, 2017

How Predicting the Future Can Develop Digital Citizenship Skills

In my last blog, we explored activities to help students “frame the system” rather than game the system in order to think critically about the rules that should govern their digital lifestyles. Now I'd like to discuss an activity that helps students develop digital citizenship skills by imagining new technologies. The goal is for students to take charge of their futures by inventing it. Digital citizenship is often approached from a reactive perspective in response to unwanted behavior like cyberbullying or cyberstalking. In contrast, this activity approaches digital citizenship proactively, casting students in the roles of leaders and “imagineers.”

Top 5 Resources Last Month

Apr 14, 2017

Our Top Five Resources for March

Each month we publish several newsletters full of digital learning, funding, professional growth, social media, and STEM resources. Below are the resources from our newsletters that educators turned to the most in the month of March.

Parent-Teacher Communication Apps

Apr 07, 2017

Finding the Perfect Parent-Teacher Communication App for Your Classroom

A recent study by Gallup found that only one in five parents are fully engaged with their child's school. In my 19 years of teaching, I've tried every form of communication to bridge the gap between home and the classroom—emails, texting, blogging, a YouTube channel, Facebook. 

Are You a Connected Educator?

Mar 31, 2017

Are You a Connected Educator?

Like many teachers, I am passionate about changing the world through connecting with our youngest citizens. My motivation stems from wanting the best for my students so they can succeed in their educational pursuits and find their place in the world. My passion drives me to help them develop lifelong learning as part of the fabric of their lives.

Ask a Libarian

Mar 24, 2017

Ask A Librarian: Personalize Student Research with the Reference Interview

Whole class instruction concerns me. As I scan my students’ faces for signs of comprehension or confusion, I worry if I am speaking too slowly or quickly. Have I made the research process transparent enough?

Mar 17, 2017

Activities to Give Students a Voice in the Digital Citizenship Conversation

We are up against a serious neurological challenge in terms of students making ethical decisions. For most of us, the brain's neo-cortex—where the seat of ethical judgment resides—is not fully formed until we reach our early twenties.

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