Beyond Pencils


Supporting Student Social Media Use, Safely

February 03, 2016
I was exchanging pleasantries with a fellow skier on a chairlift this weekend. He was on ski patrol on the mountain and is about the same age as I am. The conversation turned to what I do for a living. I explained that I was a middle and high school history teacher, but now I help teachers at my school use technology to create engaging learning experiences for their students that are more like what professionals do. His reaction was interesting. He said, “Aren’t you glad that all of this technology and social media wasn’t around when we were in school? At least we know we didn’t plaster some...

Why OER and Formative Assessment are BFF

September 11, 2015
Author’s Note: Important ideas and examples were contributed to this article by Andrew Fondell and Glenn Blakney, talented and dedicated educators from St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts. Click on their names and connect with them today! The title of this post might do two things: either make you think we’re speaking another language (OER? Formative Assessment?) or lull you into the misconception that it’s about ed tech tools.  More simply, it’s really about what’s possible for students when creative, thoughtful teachers use new technologies to provide the right materials and right...

6 Ideas to Prevent the Summer Slide

June 25, 2015
Summer is in full swing!  You had a chance to celebrate with your children with trips to the ice cream shop and a few splashes in the pool.  Then the reality of 10 weeks without formal education sets in.  The good news is that you use your family laptop, tablet, or smartphone to keep your kids academically strong during summer vacation. As a mom and a passionate tech-savvy educator, these are my top 6 tips. Tip #1: Learn and Create on YouTube My teacher friends with kids from age 11 up through high school age have told me they create their own YouTube channels with upbeat video podcasts...