Poverty’s affect different in the US vs other developed nations

Poverty stunts IQ in the US but not in other developed countries In a new meta-analysis of 14 psychology studies from the past few decades, researchers found that the strength of poverty’s pull differed by country, with US poverty providing the only forceful yank among developed nations. The authors, who …

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100 years of the greatest equation ever created

General relativity: 100 years of the most beautiful theory ever created It stands among the most famous theories ever created, but the general theory of relativity did not spring into being with a single, astonishing paper like the special theory of relativity in 1905. Instead, general relativity’s birth was more chaotic, …

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6 tools for classroom management

6 Powerful Chrome Apps for Classroom Management

For those of you using Chrome in their instruction, below is a collection of some of our favourite extensions to use for classroom management. Some of the things you can do with these add-ons include: monitoring students in-class behaviour,  create and organize assignments, track students grades and progress, organize both formative and summative assessments, generate report charts and many more.

Although the title talks about Chrome apps, none of these tools require the use of Chrome.

6 truths about edtech

6 Truths About Technology in Education

I recently had the opportunity to Keynote the University of Pennsylvania Literacy Network’s Winter Symposium. Penn Literacy Network founder Mort Botel (who was also a former President of the International Reading Association) wrote one of the most influential works in my teaching career, “The Plainer Truths of Teaching/Learning/Assessing Across the Curriculum“; and with his passing this past year, I hoped to honor him in this address by framing my talk around the Truths of Technology in Education.

How teachers can use Google Hangouts

7 Ways Teachers Can Use Google Hangouts

Using Google Hangouts is a great way to connect and collaborate with other classrooms. It’s also a powerful tool for making connections, working collaboratively, and introducing the wider world to your students. Many educators have embraced Hangouts to enrich both their students’ learning experiences and their own professional development. You can connect students with their peers from around the country, or even from abroad, if time zone differences permit.

Education is communication, and Google Hangouts is a great way to enhance communications. 

The best time is now

It’s Never Too Late

One of my favorite stories is the one about the wise old man in a small village. Two young boys once approached this wise old man and asked about a bird that one of them had in their hand. They asked if the bird was alive or was dead. The wise old man knew that if he said it was alive they would simply crush the bird and kill it thus proving him wrong. If he said it was dead they would simply open their hand and release it, again proving him wrong. So his answer was this; he told the boys that the answer to their question was in their hands. Their actions would determine the answer to the question.

Ah, the lesser known Schrödinger’s bird…

Hunting your goals

Hunting Your Goals Using Persistence

Can you imagine it?  That instead of hunting a wild animal with a gun, bow, or spear, hunters pursue their prey to the point of utter fatigue?  That, after expelling all of its powerful energy, the animal is beaten due to sheer weariness of physical strength.  While I can’t fathom being tired to that degree from the view of the animal, I also can’t help but marvel at the prowess of the hunter.  What type of characteristics and elements can be gleaned by the hunter?

Humans are the only animals on earth that can run marathons. Any larger animals have heat issues, and smaller have energy issues. What a great article on using these abilities in other ways!

PD shouldn’t be about the tools

Overcoming the SQUIRREL: Why PD Sessions Should Use Digital Tools Sparingly

For many, the term “in-service” or “professional development” conjures images of tirelessly boring days of sitting and getting information while some expert drones on and on about the latest and greatest in education.  But 21st century professional learning is different.  Think about your last experience. I’d bet within the last year, you’ve been in a session during which the presenter used cool digital tools like Kahoot! or Poll Everywhere, which most likely made your time together more fun and engaging.

But what was the purpose?  Using digital tools in professional development solely to create a “fun” and “interactive” environment completely circumvents the intended learning outcomes. I’ve learned this the hard way.

My most favorite phrase from the article, Focus on the learning opportunities, not the tool itself, is powerful.

Nova Scotia is pushing computer programming

Computer coding coming soon to Nova Scotia curriculum

Nova Scotia hopes to incorporate computer coding into the curriculum next year so that students get more hands-on experience with the technology that makes the modern world work. 

The province is teaching students from Grade Primary to Grade 3 the basics of computers this year, and the hope is by next year children in the older grades will be learning how to write computer programs or code.

About 600 high school students spent the day Wednesday in coding workshops and in lectures about the importance of coding.

Teaching coding is about learning sequencing, logic, math, and reading. It is not about teaching students to become programmers (although it does’t stop them if they choose that path).

Hashtags for administrators

10 Hashtags School Administrators Should Follow

Being the kind of leader who makes a positive, lasting impact takes a lot of effort and persistence. As a leader, you need to be sure you are feeding your spirit, mind, and body, especially since you are the model for many teachers, parents, and students. Reaching out to those with relevant experience will ensure that you receive the motivation, support, advice, and mentorship to help you successfully transform your community.

One quick and easy way to connect with other administrators and locate resources is to take a few minutes each day to scan and contribute to hashtags, which are words or phrases that begin with a #-sign and are used to categorize conversations around a certain topic on social media.

TweetDeck is an awesome way to follow hashtags.