10 strategies for lightning-quick feedback students can REALLY use

Using homework assignments to give feedback is pokey. Inefficient. Slow. Think about the length of the feedback loop for traditional homework assignments: Teacher assigns homework to students. Students take it home (maybe) and work on it (maybe). Students turn it in the next day. Teacher grades and provides comments that night (if not completely swamped […]

My blogging voyage, and how I do it (step by step)

Three years ago I embarked on the voyage “Ss Blogging” in my fifth grade classroom. (It’s a take on the “SS” abbreviation for “Steam Ship.” Remember the “SS Minnow” from Gilligan’s Island? In this case, Ss is the Twitter abbreviation for “students” … very fitting!) It has evolved into a learning adventure, where I am […]

10 ways to connect classes to global audiences

Students are connecting with audiences much bigger than their school communities every day. They tweet, share photos on Instagram and write comments on various websites. Wouldn’t it make sense that teachers help guide them to share responsibly and safely AND to use it for a greater good? That’s a passion of Paula Neidlinger, a junior […]

Why I blog — and why EVERY teacher should

For years, I’ve been the only world languages teacher in my school district. In some ways, it’s a blessing. For example, department meetings are very easy when there’s only one in attendance! But mostly, it’s a pretty lonely road — especially as a new teacher. My first year of teaching was done on an emergency teaching […]

Sheldon Cooper, Barney Stinson, Elsa and Connected Educator Month

October is Connected Educator Month. There are tons of resources to help teachers get connected to each other, learn about topics of interest, and get the support they need. Being a connected educator, personally, has changed my life. Just a few years ago, I was an isolated high school Spanish teacher — the only one […]

The REAL time commitment for being a connected educator

I am a regular Twitter and connected educator evangelist. As I tout the benefits of being connected — the new ideas, the connections, the unique perspectives, all of that — I see the same look in so many educators’ eyes. They don’t doubt the benefits. They just see it as “something else.” Another item on […]

7 ways to transform your teaching

In the last two years, my teaching has come alive. I’m engaging my students in ways I never did before. I have new ideas I’ve gathered from a strong personal learning network I’ve gathered on Twitter. I’m considering new education concepts and philosophies I never dreamed of before. In short, it’s not because I’ve turned […]

New place for new ideas: What I like about Sanderling

Todd Whitaker, a great thinker and author in the education world, calls Twitter the best free professional development available. He’s right. Here’s why: Twitter is like being at a huge education conference. You can find people you know and people like you there. You can talk to people individually to share ideas. You can gather […]

5 practical ways to connect your classroom to the world

  The Internet has revolutionized communication. Letters used to take days. Long-distance calls were costly and only audio-based. Today, things are different. With e-mail, social networks, video chat, voice over IP phone service and more, people can be more connected than ever before — and at a fraction of the cost. So can classrooms. Using […]

5 changes for a more digital classroom

The beginning of this school year, much like many others, has brought about many changes. For one, my school corporation has reorganized to combine with another school corporation so that we’re able to receive state funding instead of paying money to the state. My school has adopted Google Apps for Education (enough said there). My […]