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Beyond Pencils

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Using Technology to Meet Students Where They Are

November 20, 2014
As any teacher will tell you, education is an ever-evolving field. There are always new ‘best practices’ for educating children. Within recent years, I have seen an explosion in the use of technology in classrooms. I started the 2014 school year with a new position as a special education teacher in a technologically robust charter school. I was not used to having so many available resources; it was quite an overwhelming feeling. Bringing technology into the classroom seemed very intimidating at first. Many questions ran through my mind: What programs do I use? How do I manage my classroom?...

Using Student Feedback To Inform Teaching And Change Lesson Plans

November 10, 2014
With all the talk about public education seemingly focused on testing and the subsequent results, a very important aspect of the testing process is often overlooked. How can teachers use the feedback to make informed decisions to alter their instruction and better suit the needs of their students? Also, when do teachers have the time to do this? One solution is for teachers to use technology to aid them in this process.   Most recently, I had taught a lesson in AP Calculus requiring students to use the chain rule. The chain rule is a process that requires students to understand how to find...

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...

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