Start a Reading Revolution in Your Classroom!

How often do your students make true connections to what they are required to read in the classroom?  Do your students react with boredom or frustration when you want them to read?  If so, consider flipping your class through the power of blogging!

There is so much value in what we want our students to read, but sometimes it can be a battle to get them to engage in a successful reading process.  There are many ways to transform reading in the classroom, and one exciting way is through flipped blogging.

A flipped classroom is one where students engage in learning at home in order to have an understood foundation of a topic before returning to the classroom.  Once they return to the classroom, they participate in project-based learning that supports and extends the learning they did at home.  Flipping the classroom with reading as a focus allows students to read in the classroom while the teacher models successful reading strategies.

Overview of the process:

  • Students choose any work of fiction appropriate for their reading level
  • Students read in class 3-4 times a week for 2.5 weeks.  They must read actively, but get to choose their method: index cards, post-it flags, bullet points in their notebooks, etc.
  • At home, students write their blog using the Writing to Learn method.  They have the freedom to craft posts on topics of their own choosing.
  • Every day that they read in class, students blog about the experience at home.

 (Sztabnik, 2014)

Flipped Blogging

For more information, please visit

Start a Reading Revolution: Flip Your Class With Blogs

Resource Collection: School around the World

What does your classroom look like? How do you get to school each day? What’s for lunch?

The experiences of children across the U.S. and the world are very different – yet there are often underlying similarities that bind us together. Explore the resources below and share them with your students to start reflecting and discussing: why is school important? How does learning about a school help to reveal community values? What goals do you have for your school year? What do you take for granted about school and what would you like to change? Why is it important to know about school around the world?

SURN Study Tour

Photos from the SURN Study Tour in China

Resources:
Documentary (available online from PBS): Wide Angle’s Time for School 3 http://video.pbs.org/video/1239934544/

Photo Series: Here’s What School Lunch Looks Like in 13 Countries Around the World
http://www.businessinsider.com/school-lunches-around-the-world-2014-5?op=1

Photo Series: Quiet at the back: classrooms around the world
http://www.theguardian.com/education/gallery/2012/sep/14/schools-around-the-world-children

Article: School Years around the World: From Australia to South Korea
http://www.factmonster.com/world/statistics/school-years.html

Photo Series: Back to School around the World
http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/family/photos/back-to-school-around-the-world

Infographic: Schooling around the World
http://elearninginfographics.com/schooling-around-the-world-infographic/

Graph: Where in the World are the Best Schools and the Happiest Kids?
http://www.coolinfographics.com/blog/2014/1/17/where-in-the-world-are-the-best-schools-and-the-happiest-kid.html

Books: Check your Library!

Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools around the World by Susan Hughes

My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World by Margriet Ruurs

What the World Eats by Faith D’Alusio and Peter Menzel

One World, One Day by Barbara Kelley

SURN Book Recommendations

By Dr. Jenny Hindman

Reviewing the 2013 Horizon Report for K-12 Education: What do you need to know about technology trends in education?

The Horizon Report identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to impact education in the coming five years and is produced in collaboration with the New Media Consortium (NMC), the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). The Horizon Report highlights technologies “with considerable potential for our focus areas in education and interpretation.” The technology trends identified by the Horizon Report may help educators to assess their school’s current place in the technology landscape and help to create a vision for the future of technology in the school. Each of the technologies identified in the report are currently being used in education to some capacity but have potential for widespread adoption in the next one to five years.

The Horizon Report: Up and Coming Technology Tools and Trends for Widespread Adoption

Near Term Adoption: One Year or Less

  1. Cloud Computing: “Whether connecting at home, work, school on the road, or in social spaces, nearly everyone who uses the network relies on cloud computing to access or share their information and applications” (p. 11).
  2. Mobile Learning: “These tools, ranging from annotation and mind-mapping apps to apps that allow users to explore outer space or get an in-depth look at complex chemicals, enable users to learn and experience new concepts wherever they are, often across multiple devices” (p. 16).

Medium Term Adoption: Two – Three Years

  1. Learning Analytics: “The essential idea behind learning analytics is to use data analyses to adapt instruction to individual learner needs in real time” (p. 20).
  2. Open Content: “The movement toward open content reflects a growing shift in the way scholars in many parts of the world are conceptualizing education to a view that is more about the process of learning than the information conveyed” (p. 24).

Long Term Adoption: Four – Five Years

  1. 3D Printing: “Enables more authentic exploration of objects that may not be readily available to schools” including print models of fossils, artifacts, proteins, and molecules. It also allows students to create their own 3D models (p. 29).
  2. Virtual and Remote Laboratories: “Reflect a movement among education institution to make the equipment and elements of a physical science laboratory more easily available to learners from any location, via the web” (p. 32).

It’s All About Context: Trends and Challenges

Technology in education exists within the contexts of K-12 schools and our local and global community. The context includes trends that impact teaching and learning and the challenges faced in efforts to integrate technology into pre-existing structures. The key trends identified for 2013 focus on an increase in access to devices, data, and communication across digital platforms and the change role of educators in the face of online learning initiatives and collaborative models. Current challenges address the conflict between tradition or status quo and the potential for different approaches to teaching and learning that may better meet student learning needs, including formative assessment and social media. Whose responsibility is it to take on the risks of experimentation with educational technology? What supports are teachers getting to help them integrate new technologies in meaningful and appropriate ways? Are we maximizing the potential of the technologies we already have access to?

Read the 2013 Horizon Report for specific examples of how the six technologies identified are relevant for teaching, learning, or creative inquiry and how they are currently being used in schools.

http://www.nmc.org/publications/2013-horizon-report-k12

Do these technologies have the potential to fulfill needs in your school? What challenges would need to be overcome for adoption? What are you already doing that is working well?