Monday, April 29, 2013

7 Great iPad Apps for Your Classroom

Recently I signed up for a graduate course being taught by Jim Gates through Eduspire called "iPads in Education."  It's nice to be on the other (student) side of a grad class for a change.  The course has been very good so far.  Jim is great, and the class tuition includes an iPad that you get to keep to use in your classroom.  I've used my own personal iPad in my classroom on occasion, but it's nice to have one with which I can let my students get personal.

Since my students have been using the iPad at every available opportunity, I figured it was time to put up a post reviewing some of their (and my) favorite apps.  Ironically, the app I used to create this screencast (Educreations) is not one that I reviewed.  It is excellent, free and easy to use, and I highly reccomend it for students and teachers.

Monday, April 8, 2013

I've Been Nominated for a Bammy Award

Anyone who has read a newspaper, turned on the news lately, or read this blog can tell you that being an educator right now is more difficult than it has ever been.  For a variety of reasons, most having to do with money and politics it's been becoming increasingly difficult to do what's best for our students.

But many educators are doing just that anyway.  Even in the face of unreasonable scrutiny, unmerited criticism, and intense political pressure, many educators are deciding that they will not be swayed from preparing their students for the futures that await them in the 21st century.  They refuse to let any of the intense criticism of education stop them from doing what's right.

Last year, the BAM Radio Network decided to counter the negative narrative being told about education by acknowledging those who exemplify the best in education - from teachers, to superintendents, to school nurses, to support staff.  This is how the Bammy Awards were born.

This year, the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences International, which includes leading educators, education leaders, education professors, journalists, researchers, editors, commentators, advocates, activists, visionaries, and pioneers, will present two awards in each of 31 categories at a red-carpet event this September in Washington DC.  The Educator's Voice Award will be determined by online voting, while the Bammy Award will be determined by the Board of Governors.   

I am honored to be nominated for a 2013 Bammy Award in the category "Elementary School Teacher of the Year."  As such, I am asking you for your vote.   

In addition, I'd like you to consider nominating and voting for others in education that are doing great things.

Thank you for your support, and for your support of all that is good in education.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I Don't Instruct. I Teach.

Too many times I read about teaching and I see the word "instruction."

Let's get something straight.  I don't instruct.  I teach.

Instructions are followed blindly.  Nobody learns from following instructions.  They simply comply with them.

My students learn.  Because I don't instruct.  I teach.  I support them, strive to inspire them, and help them do things that are meaningful.  I design situations for them that foster creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.  I encourage them to share their learning with others in order to get meaningful feedback.

When you call what I do "instruction" I am offended.

The key to improving education has nothing to do with improving instruction.

It has everything to do with eliminating it and replacing it with good teaching.