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Bringing the State of the Union into the Classroom

January 21, 2015
Social studies and civics classes are supposed to prepare students for active citizenship – so what better way to teach students than by asking them to engage with current events? Ken Halla of Hayfield Secondary School in Fairfax, Virginia did exactly that with last night’s State of the Union address.    He and two other government teachers asked students to tweet at least three updates throughout the speech (most did 20 or 30). As a result, their hashtag, #hayfieldgovclass, became a trending topic in Washington, DC during the speech. To help other teachers plan similar activities, Ken’s...

Tech Tools for Little Learners

January 16, 2015
Teaching students responsible and productive use of technology doesn’t have to start in middle or high school. Starting as early as PreK, students can use technology on a limited basis to support and reinforce skills that they’re already learning— academic skills as well as interpersonal or digital safety skills. Pennsylvania’s Belmont Hills Elementary School and one of its feeder preschools show how to use technology in appropriate ways for each age group, Pre-K through 3rd grade. Younger students begin with limited technology use, learning to take turns and share while passing a tablet...

Transforming Math with One iPad

January 15, 2015
Kristin Weller, a math teacher at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School in Gainesville, Florida, has completely transformed her math class-- with just one iPad.   Kristin pairs students who feel they’ve mastered a mathematical concept with students who are less confident, and asks each pair to use the iPad to briefly record a tutorial (using the Show-Me app) of the confident student teaching the other how to work through an assigned problem. After they’ve finished recording, Weller assigns them a similar problem and the teaching process flips—with the less confident student taking the...

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