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A Rural District’s Laptop Revolution

March 25, 2016
As the only English teacher at Vina High School in rural Vina, Alabama, Jessica Hamilton knows what it’s like to be “drowning in paperwork.” With over a hundred students in grades 7 through 12, and an assignment every day, she was struggling to turn essays around and give students the feedback they craved. But this year, Vina’s tech coordinator gave the class a gift: thirty laptops, which Hamilton says, “changed the whole atmosphere of the classroom.” Instead of stacks of papers, Hamilton now uses Schoology and Google Drive to post and track assignments. Since she posts a whole week of...

Technology Helps Bring the "Cool Factor"

March 17, 2016
I am a veteran classroom teacher, with nearly two decades of experience in the classroom (and many unique experiences outside the classroom!). However, over the last two years I’ve found a resurgence of energy - all thanks to technology. I can tell that my 6th Grade students feel the energy as well - they see how “cool” it is to be a student. It’s not every day that a student tells you that school is cool, so I am all about “the cool factor”! The 21st Century student is a unique breed. They are creative, innovative problem solvers. They enjoy working cooperatively and they want to learn in...

Twitter for Teachers: Creating a Learning Network Online

March 16, 2016
There are plenty of ways to bring social media into the classroom, from helping students develop digital citizenship habits to live-tweeting news events as they unfold. But teachers like Alice Chen from California don’t always feel so much enthusiasm about joining the online community themselves.  For Chen, Twitter seemed like nothing more than a place for jokes and celebrity gossip. That all changed, though, when she started using social networks as a way to get advice about classroom tech. Chen quickly learned that “the true superstars on Twitter were educators,” and she’s been a social...

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