This week in Education news: an Edutopia blogger shares how to gamify lesson planning; EdWeek reports on a Chicago school that was built around blended learning and a Washington school district that is bridging the technology gap with a network of hotspots for public housing students; Tech&Learning outlines a plan for using cellphones in the classroom; and Channel One’s Monica Burns explains how to add EdCamps to your professional development plans.
Educators Gamify Education for Enthusiastic Learners
Gamification, the idea of applying gaming mechanics to non-game situations, can prove to be a, er, game-changer when it comes to teaching tough subjects. Edutopia offers ideas for teachers to make a game out of learning, by creating a story around the lessons and setting a goal for the end. Students, in turn, gain a purpose for their learning.
A Chicago School Designs Space Around Blended Learning
EdWeek reports on a charter school in Chicago that designed its 60,000-square-foot space with blended learning in mind. Students and teachers work in different interconnected classrooms, known as “pods,” divided up by function and subject area. In one section, teachers lead groups through lessons, while in another area, students collaborate or study independently.
District Extends Wi-Fi to Students in Public Housing
One of the shortcomings of digital education is for underserved students who might not have an Internet connection at home. EdWeek reports that the Kent school district in Washington has placed Wi-Fi kiosks in community centers and worked with local businesses and organizations to establish a network of school-sponsored hotspots. It’s an idea that can bridge a technological gap in the U.S., where seven out of 10 teachers assign Internet-dependent homework, while only 1 in 3 students have access to the web at home.
Guidelines Spell Out How to Make Use of Cellphones in the Classroom
Tech&Learning shares a list of nine policies and actions schools must take in order to make BYOD work in the classroom. From updating outdated policies to implementing digital citizenship into your school, this list outlines how to make responsible use of devices to the benefit of your entire classroom.
Teachers Use EdCamps to Connect, Share and Learn
Our resident blogger and Apple Distinguished Educator, Monica Burns, shares how to attend or how to lead an EdCamp in your region. These “unconferences” use a loose structure for days of learning that allows teachers to set the agenda. Find out how you can get started on this new style of professional development.