How Teachers Will Change the Future of Tech | Edudemic

Some food for thought as we take a well-deserved break. Here is a little taste:

This means that teachers can have a profound effect on whether their students embrace technology, in the classroom and beyond. The way that teachers present technology skills will also affect what kinds of technological thinkers their students become. Teaching coding as a stand-alone skill is a great way to train future computer programmers. Integrating technology into other subject areas such as history, English and the arts will teach students to use creative, technology-based problem solving skills in many areas. Both are great skills to have.

We often write about how technology can help teachers, but sometimes it’s useful to take a step back and consider how teachers influence technology.


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

In Honour of Spring Break: Top 10 Travel Apps

March Break is fast approaching and I know a lot of us have travel plans. Here are some apps that might make your voyage that much better!

Don’t plan your next trip without these useful travel apps that can be used on all smartphone devices.


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad



I was leaving the last session when I thought I would pop in to see this documentary. I had nothing else to do and the day was almost over, so I thought why not? I grabbed my bag of cheesy popcorn from the back of the room, sat down and spent the most entertaining hour and half ever. Cyber-seniors was a small program (program might be overstating it)  started by a group of Toronto teens. They would go into the senior residences and teach the seniors how to use the internet allowing the seniors to connect with their family. It was hilarious, moving and made me want to start a program here at Traf like this.

Here is the trailer:

One of the ladies participating in the program got enamoured with cooking videos on youtube. She decided to make her own:

Relevance: I think it would mostly be relevant for community service hours. Or as a discussion on empathy.

Curriculum connections: Extra-curricular (community service)

How to Use The Now Habit to End Student Procrastination | Edudemic

Wow. I click on these articles, looking for something to share but really only expect to see the same old ideas recycled again and again. And then I read on and am totally shocked to read about some good tips. In these dark days of winter, when the routine feels like yet another heavy layer of drudgery, I am totally going to sue the “Unschedule” idea. (You must read on to know what this!)

I also like the second regarding managing worry. I know I do this unconsciously- ask myself what is the worst that can happen and then figure out how to deal with that worst case scenario. But I like the idea of having it written down.

The Now Habit is a book by Neil Fiore PhD, who is a licensed psychologist, which explores a topic that teachers are far too familiar with: procrastination.


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

16 of the Best Financial Literacy Resources for 2015 | Edudemic

Just in time for tax time… This article provides some great articles as well as lesson plans on incorporating financial literacy in the classroom.

Money is a necessary tool & can lead its untrained users into negative situations. So why then isn’t financial literacy a requirement in more US schools?


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

OLA SUPER CONFERENCE SPOTLIGHT: Creative thinking: A 21st Century Success Skill


This is one of the best , thought-provoking sessions I attended. The speaker, Gerard Puccio, a professor from Buffalo University, gave a brief description of what he means by creative thinking, how it is more and more important in the knowledge economy and how schools are not preparing their students for this world.

I was most intrigued by his discussion of “deliberate creativity.” He talks about the different steps in the creative process: how it has to begin with divergent thinking- brainstorming, etc. Then must move on to convergent thinking, developing the idea, pruning it. Editing it. He talked about how where most people go wrong is by crossing the two- going all convergent (“that could never work” etc.) when you are in the divergent phase. This resonated with me as a writer as I have learned over the years that sometimes you have to practice ignoring the constant editor in your head and just get the ideas down, typos and crappiness and all.

Here is a Ted Talk by Gerard Puccio on Creative Thinking:

Here are his 4 phases of deliberate creativity:

  1. Clarify: Identifying the challenge.
  2. Ideate: Generating ideas.
  3. Develop: bringing ideas to life.
  4. Implement: Give ideas legs.

HIs divergent guidelines:

  • defer judgment
  • Go for quantity (eg. hemingway always wrote down 100 titles at leats before choosing which one he wanted to use.)
  • Make connections
  • Seek novelty

His convergent guidelines:

  • Use affirmative judgment
  • Consider novelty
    (don’t dismiss things out of hand)
  • Check your objectives
  • Be deliberate

He also gave a very useful guideline to thoughtful feedback. It is called the POINT system:

Plusses: strengths, good points, etc.

Opportunities: What if thinking

Issues: Weaknesses, trouble spots, minuses (phrased in “how to” How might”, etc.)

Overcome issues through New Thinking:

  • prioritize concerns
  • generate ideas to overcome Main concerns.

Relevance: Extremely relevant to all aspects of school life.

Curriculum connections: Cross-curricular

Additional resources:

Powerpoint presentation

International Center for Studies in Creativity (you can get a degree in this!)

 Gerard Puccio’s books

Innovation Design In Education – ASIDE: Design Principles For Students As They Create Visual Projects And Digital Stories

More and more of students’ presentations are visual these days, from the now old school powerpoint to the newer infographic. Teaching our students about good design is becoming more and more necessary (lest you have to look at bright green backgrounds with fuchsia comic sans font taking up the whole page). The following info graphics practice what they preach about design- they are simple, elegant and get to the point.

When assigning a project with a visual component, why not use these info graphics as a sort of checklist?

Innovative design crosses over all aspects of education. The American Society for Innovation Design in Education, or ASIDE, seeks to infuse curriculum with new approaches to teaching and thinking. Integrating the design of information into the daily conversation is an essential part of the teacher’s toolkit and the purpose of the ASIDE blog. The underpinning of innovation and educational design is based on looking at the information available and communicating meaning for a world of learners. Thinking like a designer can transform the way children learn. ASIDE’s goal is to bring together as much information, resources and supportive scholarship in one place for teaching and learning.


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

Fair Use for the Visual Arts

With all our recent talk about best practices in attributing images in our visual presentations, this publication from the College Art Association is especially prescient, especially this section on teaching art.

The Center for Social Media showcases and analyzes media for public knowledge and action—media made by, for, and with publics to address the problems that they share. We pay particular attention to the evolution of documentary film and video in a digital era. With research, public events, and convenings, we explore the fast-changing environment for public media.


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

rAPPido Review:

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 9.17.37 AMAt the conference I attended, I dropped by The DK (Dorling Kindersley) booth to check out what’s new (Ok, Ok. They were giving away free bags. So sue me.)

I was checking out this flyer for their website, which looked chock full of information. When I enquired as to the subscription price, they told me it was free!!!

It is a regular website, but gives you that particular DK sense of design as well as a world of information. Though it is geared towards the younger crowd, there are still a lot of crossovers into our curriculum:

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 9.22.01 AM Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 9.22.08 AM

I quickly checked out the Science tab and searched for “Cell” which I know the Grade 7s study:

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 9.14.02 AM

If you click on the image, it will take you to the site, where you will see that the black dots give you more info when you click on them:

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 9.24.41 AM

As a teacher, you can also sign in with your Google account and create lesson plans within the site:

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 9.27.00 AMIt works great on the iPad, the design is simple and elegant, and is especially relevant to the Grade 7 and 8 curriculum. Check it out!

The 5 Best Study Aid Apps for Students | Edudemic

I am always on my children to get up and move around while they are studying.I have also been known to use an app that reminds me to take a break by shutting down my computer for five minutes.

Here are 5 apps your students might find helpful. The only two apps ]that you get on the app store are Sworkit: There is a lite version, but the Pro version is only $2.29. It provides you wilt a variety of work out from yoga, to cardio when you  don’t have time to go to the gym. And Vocabology: Also $2.29. Helps build vocabulary (it actually looks like a lot of fun…)

Study Buddy and StudyRoom are web-based, but work on the iPad. The former is a free tutoring service fro math and science. The latter is a place where study groups can get organized.

The only one that doesn’t work on the iPad is the open source, SelfControl, which you can program to block certain sites or mail serves for a certain period of time while you try to concentrate!

Check out the article though- it gives a way better summary than I just did.

It’s not easy for students to stay on task these days. From Facebook to Instagram & Twitter to instant messaging to pop up, there are so many distractions.


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad