Beyond Pencils


Video Chats Break Down Classroom Walls

February 24, 2015
Sometimes a field trip isn’t possible, but meeting the experts face-to-face is a worthwhile experience.  Over the past year face-to-face video chats have provided my students with multiple opportunities to consult with and question experts from around the country and across an ocean.  Here are some examples. A Museum an Ocean Away My 10th grade history classes started the school year with a study of the Industrial Revolution in both Europe and the United States.  Of course, the textile manufacturing boom began in England but a class trip to textile mills and museums there would be a huge...

How to Get Organized for the New Year

January 05, 2015
As the school year begins in the warm early days of autumn teachers, students, and parents always have an idealistic view of how they will start fresh.  This could mean communicating more between home and school, staying on top of homework, keeping more organized notes, or using more efficient study methods.  By the time winter break approaches, however, most have fallen back into old habits.  The brief breather between 2014 and 2015 is the perfect opportunity to explore tech tools that can get your school year plans back on track. School-Home Communication with Remind No matter how much we...

Tech Tips for Developing Real Relationships with Students

December 01, 2014
4 Teacher Tech Tips for Real Relationships with Students The curriculum I teach might be history, but teaching is about a heck of a lot more than curriculum.  More than anything else, building a real relationship -- one that is honest and personal without crossing the line of professionalism -- with students and their families is what facilitates learning. While working toward this kind of relationship with some students is easy, it is harder with others.  And how can one person create a connection with 116 individual struggling teenagers after seeing each of them for only 55 minutes a day...