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Teachers and Tech in the News

December 08, 2014

Teachers are using technology in some interesting and dynamic ways in classrooms across the United States. Here are a few stories that we’re reading right now:

In Washington State, music teacher Shawn Tolley combines music and computer science in his lessons to teach kids music, technology, and math at the same time. Tolley is showing fifth-and sixth-graders how to mix, record, and synthesize sound  - a process that requires them to learn and use concepts they’d normally only find in math class, like ratios. These students, many of whom now hope to pursue careers in electronic music, are gearing up for a big concert in May. For more about Tolley’s innovative music classes and Electronic Music Club, here’s an article from the Spokesman-Review. This is just one example of how teachers are finding new ways to engage students in computer science. This week, in honor of Computer Science Education Week, teachers and students around the world will be participating in Hour of Code.

Portland social studies teacher Kim Hoffman Kanof wrote in an op-ed this week about how she’s using technology  to not only grade faster – and with more personalized feedback for each student – but to also engage students and allow them to take charge of their own editing and revision. Kim began using online folders to allow her students to more easily upload drafts of writing assignments. She can place brainstorming charts, notes, examples of great writing, and photos into the class’s folder to help them, and provide fast feedback on their essays – allowing students to respond and ask clarifying questions. The software automatically organizes this exchange into an easy-to-read chart, allowing the students and their teacher to keep track of the editing process. Check out her summer post on edSurge here.