Category: Education reform

9 Mistakes Teachers Make Using Tech in the Classroom

It’s easy to confuse ‘using technology’ with digital tools. Your school passed iPads out to all classes. Some of your colleagues think having students read in this tablet format means they’re integrating technology into their curriculum. Kudos for a good start, but they need to use the tablets to differentiate for student learning styles, enrich learning materials, and turn students into life-long learners.

That’s harder than it sounds. Technology hasn’t been around long enough to beget standards that work for everyone (not withstanding ISTE’s herculean efforts), the set-in-stone of settled science. Truth, that will never happen. Technology tools populate like bacteria in a culture. Every time you turn around, there’s another favorite tool some teacher swears has turned her students into geniuses and her class into a model of efficiency. After fifteen years of teaching technology, chatting with colleagues, and experimenting, I can assure you there is no magic wand. What there is is a teacher not afraid to try new ways, test them out in a classroom environment, toss what doesn’t work and share the rest. Her/his success doesn’t come without lots of failure and mistakes, widgets that sounded good but were too complicated or non-intuitive for a 21st century classroom.

Which of these nine mistakes do you make? Then, see how to fix them:


21st Century Lesson Plan Updated

When I first wrote this article seven years ago, remote teaching was something done on snow days, teaching from home short-changed student learning, and parents were too busy to get involved in their child’s education. So much has changed. Here’s an update on this popular post to reflect what my grad students tell me they now face.

Education today is characterized by rapid technological advancements, globalization, and changing workforce demands. As a result, traditional teaching methods may not prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the post-High School world.

Key characteristics of teaching today include:


High School and Personalized Learning

In this article, discover how high school education is shifting towards personalized learning. Gain insight into the strategies administrators are using to meet the changing needs of teen students.

The Future of High School Education: Navigating the Shift to Personalized Learning

High school – a time of excitement, curiosity, exploration and growth. The world is filled with endless possibilities! Students have never been so empowered to explore their true potential and find paths that work for them. However, there’s no doubt that the high school experience has changed drastically in recent years. Technology advances and education evolves at an unprecedented pace.

Educational trends have been changing towards personalized learning approaches. We’ve thus seen a fundamental shift in how high school students learn within the classroom setting. But what exactly does this mean for the future of our educations? In this blog post, we’ll dive into the evolution of high school teaching styles to get an idea of just how far these changes can go!

What is personalized learning and how it is different from traditional schooling

If you’re a student who can’t seem to thrive in a traditional classroom setting, then personalized learning may just be your ticket to success. Personalized learning is an approach that tailors education to each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Unlike traditional schooling, which often relies on one-size-fits-all teaching methods, personalized learning takes into account diverse learning styles and interests. With the rise of technology, this future highschool is leaning towards this modern approach to education.

Another way in which learning has evolved

Another benefit of adaptative learning is that students don’t fear getting help anymore. Gone are the days when getting help was stigmatized. Today, students have a handy tool up their sleeves: the Edubirdie writing service. This content writing service is a lifesaver for students who need help with their research paper on nursing or different coursework about any other topic. With a reputation that precedes it, EduBirdie has become a go-to for students looking for high-quality writing assistance.

Whether you’re struggling to get started or just need a second pair of eyes to proofread your work, EduBirdie has got you covered. Thank goodness for technology! Read more for more benefits.

Benefits of personalizing education for high school student

Personalized education may be just what you need! Not sure? Here are five benefits.

  1. Boosted Confidence. Once you start receiving education tailored to your individual learning style, you’ll gain a newfound confidence in your academic abilities.
  2. Targeted Learning. Personalized education allows for teachers to focus specifically on each student’s areas of weakness. This can help them build up to their full potential.
  3. Improved Performance. Students tend to perform better on assessments and standardized tests. It’s a proven fact!
  4. Passion-Oriented Education. Got a passion? Personalized education can help you pursue it! Teachers can work with students to incorporate their interests into their coursework.
  5. Increased Engagement. Are you tired of being bored in class? Personalization can help with that! When students feel that their unique needs are being met, they are more likely to be engaged and stay focused in class.

Obstacles with such strategy in the classroom setting

Picture it – a high school of the future, where every student has a tailored learning experience to fit their unique needs and interests. Sounds nice, right?

Indeed. But nothing comes without challenges. In fact, technology can have both positives and negatives. It allows us to individualize instruction but it also requires significant investment and upkeep.

Then there’s the challenge of teacher preparation. We need to ensure educators are equipped to facilitate this type of learning environment. Plus, monitoring progress and assessment can become more complex as time goes by. That’s when students are all working on different tasks.

And last but not least, there’s the issue of equity. We need to ensure that personalized learning doesn’t perpetuate disparities.

How technology can support personalized learning in the classroom

With the increasing advancement in technology, personalized learning can be implemented quite easily in this so-called highschool of the future. AI-driven content is quickly becoming a reliable and robust alternative to traditional textbooks. Students can absorb information that caters to their personal learning styles. Furthermore, with VR technology, students can experience interactive and immersive learning experiences. VR adds a whole new dimension to learning that is both exciting and educational.

Plus, adaptive learning platforms and interactive whiteboards are also available to support this. Teachers can also use learning management systems to provide students with individualized assignments and assessments. Thus, while augmented reality can transport students to new and exciting learning environments. And let’s not forget about gamification! This is where game-based learning can motivate and engage students while providing them with immediate feedback.


The future of high school education is looking quite promising as we navigate the shift to personalized learning. No longer do we have to sit through lectures and activities that don’t appeal to our interests or learning styles. Instead, we’re able to take control of our education and tailor it to our unique needs. It’s like having a personal trainer for our brain! Plus, we can expect to see even more exciting changes in the years to come. So let’s buckle up, embrace the shift, and get ready for a high school experience that is truly personalized and fulfilling.

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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, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

How to Teach Digital Citizenship in Kindergarten and 1st Grade

Understanding how to use the internet has become a cornerstone issue for students. No longer do they complete their research on projects solely in the library. Now, there is a varied landscape of resources available on the internet.

But with wealth of options comes responsibility to use resources properly. As soon as children begin to visit the online world, they need the knowledge to do that safely, securely, responsibly. There are several great programs available to guide students through this process (Common Sense’s Digital Passport, Carnegie CyberAcademyK-8 Digital Citizenship). I’ve collected a long list of resources here:

K-HS Digital Citizenship Resources

Today, we focus on Kindergarten–1st Grade.

Overview/Big Ideas

Students learn how to live in the digital world of internet websites, copy-righted images, and virtual friends who may be something different.

Essential Questions

  • What is a ‘digital citizen’?
  • How is being a citizen of the internet the same/different than my home town?
  • What are the implications of digital citizenship in today’s world?

Objectives and Steps

The objectives of this lesson are (use the lines in front of each item to check them off as completed):


What is a Growth Mindset?


It’s no secret many parents are frustrated with public schools. Are kids learning to think or just to pass tests? Are they spending classroom time wisely or just doing what’s always been done? Are we developing lifelong learners or kids who can’t wait to graduate?

If this describes you, you’re not alone in your concerns, but there’s hope. Consider a pedagogy that transcends rote memorization and the stock drills often found in today’s classrooms, expects critical thinking that teaches how to learn anything — not just school subjects. It’s called a “Growth Mindset”. In an Edsurge article by Rupa Gupta, former Redesign Administrator at Burnett Middle School in San Jose, Calif., she summarized the issue like this:

“In a recent national survey, 97 percent of teachers agreed that all students can and should have a growth mindset, and that same number said fostering a growth mindset is an important part of a teacher’s job. Yet only 50 percent said they have adequate solutions and strategies to shift mindset.”

So nearly everyone agrees this type of cerebral approach is important to real learning but few know how to make it happen.

What is Growth Mindset?

Let me back up a moment and define “Growth Mindset” more clearly. Most people believe basic human qualities like intelligence and talent are fixed traits: nature supersedes nurture. Kids are born with the characteristics that will mold their future. They are good at math or they aren’t. They can throw a football well or not. As kids grow, they figure out what they can and can’t do and adjust learning and life as needed to these truths. They come to believe that understanding and adapting to this process equates to success.

In a Growth Mindset, people believe ability can be developed through dedication and hard work. The cerebral and physical traits they were born with are just the starting point. Students are responsible for setting the patterns and strategies that allow them to succeed, by evaluating what they can do at any given point and making a plan for learning everything else.


IB Extended Essay Tips

Many students dread IB essays. But with the right approach, you can make the procedure exciting. Read how to draft an IB extended essay below

Writing Strategies for an Extended Essay in the International Baccalaureate Program

IB is a rigorous two-year project for personal and academic development. In the end, you receive a globally recognized IB diploma. But like all educational qualifications, it involves various intricate processes. One of them is the extended essay. It is mandatory for all students and is an independent piece of research that culminates into a 4,000-word paper. The paper provides an opportunity to investigate a topic of interest. However, more importantly, it contributes to the overall diploma grade. Let us show you some tips to help you draft a well-written piece.

Understanding the Requirements as a Key to Success in IB Extended Essay Writing

One of the mistakes university students make is ignoring the extended essay brief or paying little attention to the requirement. It is worse for distance learning since no one is around to offer guidance. But even the pros and cons of remote learning are intertwined. So, right off the bat, avoid this pitfall. The IB sets criteria and guidelines for the write-up. The requirements guide discussions to ensure the article meets the standards for successful research. Some of them include citation guidelines, research question formulation, word count, etc.


The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Education

From the Ask a Tech Teacher crew, here’s a topical article on how to use AI in your education journey:

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Education

Technological innovation is now casting its shadows over the education sector as well, making learning experiences better than ever before. Better engagement, reduced pressure on students, and easy accessibility to learning are some of the many benefits that the education sector is receiving through technology.

In the last decade, technology and software delivery has improved tremendously due to the support from third-party solution providers like GitLab, Cloudbees, and Jfrog. Artificial intelligence is just one of the major technologies that is changing how we perceive learning and education.

AI in education is expected to grow 41% by 2025. With this rise, we are preparing for a global adoption of artificial intelligence in education. Moreover, artificial intelligence will allow education providers to offer a more customized experience to different learning groups. Let’s discuss how artificial intelligence is changing the education sector:


Does Flipped Classroom Work? Check out this Article

I’ve used flipped classrooms in my Middle School classes. After the initial excitement that something changed, it fell into a routine with not much better results than any other teaching method. But not worse, either. I tossed it into the category of something to try when whatever I was using didn’t work.

That’s why this article from EdSurge caught my attention:

Does ‘Flipped Learning’ Work? A New Analysis Dives Into the Research

A new meta-analysis looked at the effectiveness of flipped learning, a model that asks students to watch lecture videos before class so that class time can be used for active learning. The authors argue that while the approach can be done well, there’s lots of hype and failed attempts.

Read more…


Use the SAMR Model to Energize Class Tech

samr stepsThis is a question I get often from teachers: Technology is always an extra layer of work in my classroom. How can I blend it into what I already do without taking time I don’t have? When I first addressed this issue fifteen years ago, it was all about replacing traditional classroom tools with one on a computer. For example, book reports were typed on the computer instead of handwritten, or math facts were practiced with a math game instead of flash cards. But that quickly became cumbersome. Teachers didn’t know how to use the digital tools and there was never enough training to untip that balance. At the end of the day, paper-and-pencil was easier, faster, and perfectly understood. Soon, even the most stalwart tech-infused teachers discovered it was just as effective to use traditional tools and pull out the tech stuff for special occasions.

What happened? How did such a good idea go so wrong? The problem was four-fold:

  • students didn’t have the technology foundation to smoothly incorporate digital tools into projects. Too often, the effort to provide evidence of learning suffered as students (and teachers) became mired in efforts to get the technology to work. Where is the tool? How do you do **? Why is the program not working?
  • teachers didn’t have training in the tools. Even schools that made herculean efforts to train teachers in technology found themselves flailing. Even teachers who understood the tool would struggle with the inadequate infrastructure, the undependability of the technology itself, and the non-intuitive nature of so many of the programs they wanted to use. As a result, they used tools they understood rather than those best-suited for the project and learning.
  • projects always–really, always–took longer using technology than the traditional low-tech approach.
  • school infrastructure often struggled to support the exciting plans that tech-savvy teachers wanted to try. Computers froze or the network became over-burdened or the internet went down just as students required them the most. The money required to fix these problems was measured in the thousands of dollars–tens of thousands. Too many schools just didn’t have that budget.


AI and ChatGPT in Education

This is a topic every teacher I know is talking about. BAM Radio has a couple of podcasts you’ll enjoy:

Why Some Educators Are Convinced Artificial Intelligence Can Make Teaching Less Stressful

Millions of schoolchildren walked into their classrooms at the start of the academic year missing one crucial element that should have set them up for success: the prior knowledge they needed to take on a new grade level.  In search of answers,  we asked education psychologists, technologists, and teachers how artificial intelligence help make learning recovery more effective and less stressful.

9 Creative Ways to Engage Teen Students With ChatGPT: The More We Use It, the More Possibilities We Discover 

We are discovering many engaging ways to use ChatGPT to engage teenage students in the classroom.  My guests agree that once you begin to experiment with the platform, the more your mind begins to find additional possibilities.

–image credit Deposit Photos
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