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A Better Q&A

February 26, 2015
When elementary school teacher Terri Eichholz (of San Antonio, TX) had a guest presentation scheduled for her class, she was worried about balancing the time for students’ questions with the limited time for their guest to give his presentation. She decided to use Socrative, a free student response tool, to create a classroom “back channel,” or a wall to post questions and comments during a presentation instead of interrupting the speaker. The speaker began his presentation, and throughout the class period, with a few scheduled pauses, the students could check off the questions that had...

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...

Website Creation and Student Engagement

February 20, 2015
Technology, an idea both welcomed and feared by teachers, has transformed the way we teach and, more importantly, how students learn.  Just six years ago, during my student teaching experience, I was using an overhead projector to give lecture notes. Today, my students are watching video lectures, interacting regularly through email, and creating their own websites.  While technology can help teachers teach, it’s even more powerful when students can use it to demonstrate their understanding. One recent project truly has made technology more than just a resource, but an integral part of...

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