Edutopia: Easy Reading!

Through Twitter I discovered Edutopia.  It is a website dedicated to “what works in education.”  There are tons of blog posts, articles, videos, pictures and classroom guides. You can even search by grade level for important information and updates relevant to your grade! I like this… and it sure makes for easy, interesting reading!

From the edutopia website

While browsing the website, I realized that there are tons of blogs linked to the website.  Educators from all over have their blogs liked, and their main blog topics are posted under around ten different categories.  This makes searching for whatever interests you quick and easy.  For instance, blogger Ramona Persaud posted an article about keeping your brain busy and active during the summer vacation months.  How perfect for this time of year!

My favorite article that I stumbled across though has to be the article about the 8 apps teachers should download for the classroom.  It is all about teaching from your iPhone.  Growing up, we were not allowed to have phones in school at all, so it is crazy for me to think of phones as a learning tool!  One of the apps the article mentions is DocScan HD.  It makes  staying organized easy.  All the teacher has to do is snap a picture of a meeting agenda, handouts, or student work, and DocScan HD turns your pictures into PDF and JPG files.  You can even share these files to your Dropbox to make accessing them even easier (with an upgrade).  I still don’t entirely understand how Dropbox works, but I’m thinking it’s probably time for me to find out!

I don’t see how I would have ever heard of Edutopia had I not been browsing education topics Twitter… I wonder what I’ll discover next!

The Nuts & Bolts of 21st Century Learning

“It’s difficult to know how much to let them fail.”

This line from the article really stuck out to me. Shelley Wright, the teacher and blog author who wrote this, is talking about the difficulties of teaching. She says that it is hard to know how long to let “wrong” idea continue before stopping it. Is it important for students to fail on their own so they learn from their mistakes, or is that taking time away from the lesson plan when they could already be corrected and be on new material? I can easily spot the dilema.

Reading Wright’s article about presenting a lesson through a collaborative approach was very different to me. I am not used to this style of independent learning, where students direct themselves. I have not made up my mind what I think about it yet either! I am hesitant because I wonder if students will miss key topics or not follow curriculum if they take full control of their own learning. I suppose that as long as the teacher still plays an active role and guides students this won’t be too much of a concern. If not, I think students would need a whole lot of self responsibility!