February 04, 2015
Shakespeare is widely – and justifiably – considered a mainstay of any student’s education in English. But the Bard’s vocabulary and expressions are so different from middle- and high-schoolers’ day-to-day language that it can sometimes leave them feeling frustrated and bored. With the help of some iPads and a Shakespeare app, however, one seventh-grade English class at Poly Prep Country Day School in New York engages with the plays on a whole new level. The app combines text, video, and interactive components to increase students’ understanding of complex texts. After key passages, the...
February 03, 2015
Teachers are often the writers of questions, which is important. But what happens if you let students write the questions? What could be learned about what students already know if the questions come from them? What can students learn about how they think if they write the questions used in class discussion and further study? In my sophomore and junior history classes, students write questions at the beginning of a lesson cycle. It’s an exercise that allows them to become more aware of their thought process that occurs as they try to understand the demands of a problem. It’s a brainstorm...
January 30, 2015
We know that educators around the country (and the world!) use technology in amazing ways. That’s why we loved this recent article that highlighted some amazing uses of technology. When high school social studies teacher Shawn McCusker gave students the option of using their iPads to record a presentation on industrial-age philosophers instead of writing an essay, one student (so shy she hid in the bathroom when her video was shown to the class) not only produced a video, she asked to continue working on it even after the graded portion of the project was over. She later published it to...