Good technology integration isn’t about using the fanciest tool, it’s about being aware of the range of options and picking the right strategy—or strategies—for the lesson at hand.
The biggest obstacle to teaching online probably isn’t the technology. Teachers seek out educational technology, in fact, because it “can have considerable positive impacts on student performance,” according to a 2016 study—improving test scores and allowing teachers to assess student achievement more efficiently. The big problem is how to integrate it: Beyond the sheer number of tech tools available, the same researchers identified “inadequate professional development and training” as the primary obstacle to using technology productively in classrooms.
An article in the September 2006 issue of Fast Company magazine called "How Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change the World" caught my eye. It describes what a difference it could make if we all used those new twirly bulbs -- compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). Those little babies use so much less energy and last so much longer than traditional bulbs that I am convinced they do have world-changing potential. Wow -- the power of one small thing.
An article from last month's Educational Leadership stated that high school students are highly dissatisfied with their guidance counsellors. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is the ratio of over 700-to-one of students to a counsellor in Minnesota, Washington D.C., Arizona, and California.
But the larger reason is embedded in the term, guidance counsellor -- a term, by the way, being replaced with a new concept and phrase: professional school counsellor.
Let's start with a question I've been asked on more than one occasion.
"I know my content and like my students, but sometimes it's hard to get them under control so I can teach my lesson. What tips for classroom management can you give me?"
My general answer is that you can never have too many positive, not punitive, classroom management strategies in your toolbox.
Obviously, there are serious student transgressions, including violence, where some kind of punishment is an appropriate response.
Some dos and don’ts for instructional coaches striving to help new teachers make a successful start.
Articles, books, and journals have been written about how to support our new teachers—guidance on lesson planning, suggestions for classroom management techniques, and support in professional decision-making are just a few of the many components our novice teachers need as they begin their academic journey.
For an instructional coach, it may seem daunting to coach the new teacher. Where does one begin to assist him or her in creating the best learning experience possible for students, parents, and colleagues?