Category: Education reform

Robot Teachers vs Human Teachers:

Simona Johnes, editor-in-chief of Science and Literacy, an educational blog for teachers and parents, did some research into a topic that is of growing concern to my fellow teachers: Robots in the classrom. Here’s an interesting article comparing the pros and cons of robots vs. humans: 

I recently came across an article published by Ohio State University that mentioned how several industries are using robots to get their jobs done, and the use of robotics is only expected to grow. This led me to thinking about the industry that I am currently employed in, education, and how this may affect my fellow teachers around the world. I began researching the topic and found a few articles about robots and artificial intelligence replacing teachers soon.

It was no surprise to see that educators are furious at this idea, and while I agree that human connection is important, I do think that there are several pros to having help from a robot in this tough industry from time to time. For example, robots can create a learning experience based on the personality of every single student, and this does not take much time or effort. I will explain more about what robots can help with throughout the article as well as explain why human teachers are still a necessity

After reading this article, you will officially know:

  • 6 advantages of a human teacher
  • 5 pros of a robot teacher
  • Who is better Human of Robot teachers?

6 Main Advantages of a Human Teacher

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Incorporate Mindfulness into Your Class

Students learn best when they are relaxed, happy, and feeling loved.  It is challenging to include those characteristics in classes when you are concurrently trying to achieve school goals, comply with curriculum timelines, juggle parent concerns, and blend your lessons with those of colleagues.

This is where mindfulness becomes important. It reminds teachers that the fulcrum for learning is the student’s emotional well-being.

Let’s back up a moment: What is mindfulness? Buddha once said:

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

If that’s the plan, mindfulness is the path. It teaches students how to quiet themselves — get to a place where their mind is settled sufficiently to pay full attention to the task at hand. Experts offer many suggestions for incorporating mindfulness into your classroom experience. Consider:

  • pause and take a deep breath before beginning an activity 
  • reflect on an activity as a group
  • reflect on the student’s experience and background and how that relates to the topic

Here are five ideas on how to incorporate mindfulness into your classes:

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School district asks parents to house teachers amid high cost of living

This is new to me, but reading the predicament Milpitas California is in–having visited this expensive area–I commend the school district for this clever idea. Interesting that this article is about a US school in a UK newspaper, Metro 50:

School district asks parents to house teachers amid high cost of living

Teachers have been quitting their jobs at an alarming rate in one California school district — not because they’re leaving the profession, but because they cannot afford to live near their schools.

Read more…

Check out these clever ideas we’ve talked about on Ask a Tech Teacher:

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Tech Tip #134: 8 Tips to Become Tomorrow’s Teacher

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: 8 Tips to Become Tomorrow’s Teacher

Category: Pedagogy

Today’s teachers have little resemblance to your mother’s teachers—lecturing from the front of the classroom, silent children, and rote drills to reinforce skills. Today, teachers are expected to nurture inquiry, critical thinking, and independent thought, often assessed by projects or anecdotal observation.

Here’s a poster with eight tips on how to become tomorrow’s teacher today:

For more on tomorrow’s teacher, check out these articles on Ask a Tech Teacher:

  • Let’s Talk About Habits of Mind
  • What is the 21st Century Lesson Plan
  • What’s Tomorrow’s Digital Student Look Like
  • Set up Your Digital Classroom

Sign up for a new tip each week or buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

What’s your favorite tech tip in your classroom? Share it in the comments below.

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9 Ways to Add Tech to your Lessons Without Adding Time to Your Day

I update these suggestions every few years to remind teachers there are easy ways to techify your lessons even on a tight schedule. I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments about how you do this in your classes:

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Because I teach graduate classes for educators, I talk to lots of teachers all over the country. It’s become clear that for most of them, adding technology to their lessons means layering more work on top of their already overburdened lesson plans. Despite the claims of tech gurus that technology makes the job of teaching easier, few educators see it that way. Even the ones who love it put in lots of extra time to do one or more of the following:

  • learn tech tools and then teach their students
  • learn tech tools only to discover it’s not what they need
  • learn a tech tool they love only to have it either disappear or switch to a fee-based program
  • rework existing lesson plans in the school’s mandated digital program that too often, changes every year. This means they have to re-enter the lesson plan in a new format for a new LMS
  • find a tool they love, but no one else in their teaching team agrees, understands it, or cares
  • the tool won’t work on the Big Day of the lesson and nothing will bring it back to life
  • the digital devices–computer or Chromebooks or iPads–won’t work on the Big Day

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Mindfulness–its place in the classroom

Teaching Channel is one of my favorite hands-on resources for how to teach. They offer lots of videos from the classroom, showing teachers at work, but also well thought out discussions on topics that impact education. This one is on mindfulness. I hope you enjoy it:

Mindfulness to Calm, Focus, & Learn

By Alexa Simon on May 5, 2022.

Mindfulness is a health and well-being practice utilized by families from around the world. Maybe you’ve dabbled in mindful activities such as yoga or meditation, or mindfulness may still seem somewhat of a mystery! Either way, let’s drive into what it means to be mindful, including ways to use mindfulness in your classroom (in the midst of chaos). Mindfulness benefits everyone!

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the act of being mindful. Stating the obvious, mindfulness is allowing one’s thoughts to slow, and using the breath to cultivate self-awareness. Being mindful provides your body the space to calm and be present, allowing you to melt away stress and focus on what matters. The end result from this focus is to feel joy and contentment: a lovely place to be. 

Read on

We’ve written a lot about this topic on Ask a Tech Teacher. Check out these articles if you’re looking for more:


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

How to Raise a Computer-Savvy Generation

Raising computer-savvy children is complicated, whether you are a geek or a luddite. If you don’t pay attention, they teach themselves and not always the right way. Guiding kids through foundational steps and then building on them so students enjoy using technology for more than games and simulations is the goal. We as teachers and parents want them to value tech as a tool that enables them to dig into raw data (not someone’s interpretation of it), get answers to questions when they pop into mind, and make everyday tasks easier (not waste time).

Our Ask a Tech Teacher crew has some great ideas for you in this next article:

How to Raise a Computer-Savvy Generation

Image source: Pexels

 

Being computer savvy in today’s world governed by technology is one of the most important things for parents to instill in their children. This is because the use of technology is important for personal growth and professional success.

Today’s generation is born into a world where everything revolves around technology. Fortunately, the modern generation is in love with it, meaning that parents do not have a hard time raising computer-savvy children.

As a parent, do you know what you should do to raise a computer-savvy child? Most parents did not grow up with the kind of technology that we have today, something that makes it a little bit difficult for them. Here is a guideline to follow;

Teach Children How To Code

Most parents are probably asking how to go about this when they cannot code themselves. Well, you do not have to know how to code to teach your children how to do it. Computer programming for children is growing in popularity every single day.

This is because people are relying on technology to run their day-to-day operations. Parents interested in raising a computer-savvy generation can, therefore, start by encouraging their children to learn how to code.

Children who learn how to code at an early age have high chances of succeeding in life. In addition, they find it easy to take courses such as Bachelor of Science in Computer Science later in life, which is vital for those who want a successful career in technology.

A computer-savvy generation can help in the critical evaluation of problems. In addition, they can look at alternative options and create innovative solutions to simplify processes and make things better.

Set Rules To Keep Them Under Control

Sometimes, we need to unplug to recharge ourselves and feel better. Setting rules for your computer-savvy child does not mean following strict guidelines but finding a routine that favors your family. 

For instance, you can set aside a certain amount of time every day when your children are supposed to engage in a certain activity or maybe not use certain devices such as computers. You do not want your child to suffer from computer-related injuries due to long computer usage.

At the end of the day, setting guidelines for your children is going to help them in the long run. They will understand that they need to be disciplined and follow regulations, something that can stick with them even when they are adults.

Get Involved With Your Children

When most modern parents were growing up, they saw how their parents were involved in their lives and made sure that they knew everything about friends, classmates, teachers, or even play-mates. This should not be abandoned especially when raising computer-savvy children.

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#CUE22 and Trending Edtech

If you attend edtech conferences, you know how motivating, energizing, and forward-thinking they are. I always come away feeling ready to use the latest and best edtech tools in my lesson plans. Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Christian Miraglia, attended Spring CUE 22 in Palm Springs, California. Here are some of the great ideas he collected from colleagues and presenters:

#CUE22 and Trending Edtech

Conferences always bring new ideas, energy for changes in instructional practices, and new networking opportunities. I recently attended the Spring CUE 22 conference in Palm Springs, in which over two thousand educators gathered to share ideas, connect and view the latest in education technology.  The CUE (Computer Users in Education) conference is the highlight event for California educators using technology. Much of the presentations indicated that changes are happening in classrooms spurred by the pandemic. Being that there were many topics of importance this post will focus on student agency with later posts focusing on feedback, E-Sports, and assessments. 

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Has Teaching Changed since the Pandemic?

Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Christian Miraglia, wrote an interesting article on changes in teaching since the pandemic. I think you’ll find a lot to relate to:

Has Teaching Changed Since the Pandemic?

March 13, 2019, for many educators in California and nationwide, was a day that will forever be etched in their memories. It was the day that many school districts closed temporarily, or so they thought, due to the spread and uncertainty of COVID-19. What nobody could have seen was that these closures would become more permanent and reshape the educational landscape for years to come. Changes to daily instruction have become the norm as students were absent due to illness, teachers were absent due to COVID-19 exposure or their children having been infected or exposed, in-face instruction shifting to online and then back to face-to-face. 

Recently I listened to K-12 educators at a session hosted by a local university designed to have teachers meet and share their experiences from the past two years. The output of emotions from these brave educators who detailed what it is like to teach during this challenging time was gut-wrenching. 

The resiliency of these educators is to be commended as they navigated the daily challenges of policy changes, students coming and leaving, the caring for themselves and their children.  In listening to them, a common theme resonated from the group, the value of networking.

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Is Education Due for a Reset

Throughout my career in education, teaching has been prodded, pushed, tweaked, nudged, and reformed. I author a K-12 Technology Curriculum. Each time I update it, I include a list of what has changed since the last update, something like:

  • Windows updated its platform—twice.
  • Student work is often collaborative and shared.
  • Student work is done anywhere; it must be synced and available across multiple platforms, devices.
  • Keyboarding skills are critical, especially to summative year-end testing.
  • Technology is the norm, but teacher training isn’t.
  • Education is focused on college and career with tech an organic, transformative tool.
  • Teachers have moved from ‘sage on the stage’ to ‘guide on the side’.
  • Students have been raised on digital devices. They want to use them as learning tools.
  • Using technology is no longer what ‘geeky’ students do. It’s what all students want to do.
  • Printing is being replaced with sharing and publishing.
  • More teachers want to try technology authentically.

These are big enough to require an updated curriculum, but now, according to US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, it may be time for a huge reset. Read this article and see if you agree:

With Few Details But Big Ideas, Sec. Cardona Pushes Total Reimagining of Education

From Edsurge

Education is closer to a reset than ever before, US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said Wednesday during a keynote address at the SXSW EDU conference in Austin, Texas. During his address, Cardona said part of this shift must include providing more support for students and meeting the needs of teachers.

Read more

Ask a Tech Teacher has posted a plethora of articles about game-changers in education. Here are a few of them:

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