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Beyond Pencils Welcome

October 28, 2014

Welcome to Beyond Pencils! As part of the new Smarter Schools Project, this blog was created to foster a more active and collaborative dialogue between parents, educators, and community leaders about the potential of technology in schools.

This is a place for educators to share how they're using technology to excite students about learning. This is a place to celebrate great teaching.

Every day, classrooms are becoming “smarter.” Teachers are eliminating paperwork and saving time by taking attendance on mobile devices—making it easier for school leaders and parents to know where their kids are at all times. Students highlight unfamiliar reading passages on their tablets so that the teacher can explain in class the next day—empowering a teacher to arrive to school knowing exactly what she needs to do to support the learning of all her students. Parents are able to collaborate with teachers on developing good classroom behavior based on real-time feedback they get from apps that capture information on how students act in class—enabling parents and teachers to work as a team.

Beginning next week, this blog will publish pieces written by teachers across the country who are using technology in their classrooms. This isn't about a particular technology or brand. Rather, it's about telling inspiring stories about what is working in schools today. You'll hear about everything from common-sense approaches to eliminating unnecessary paperwork to creative new ways that teachers are bringing the world to life.

There are stories like this all around the country. Our job is to surface these stories to inform a deeper understanding of how technology is supporting teaching and learning. We know technology is not the end-all-be-all, but rather it's a powerful tool that's being used well by teachers around the country.

We hope you'll start tuning in next week.