Category: Teaching Strategies

Understanding Behavioral Learning Theory & Its Applications In The Classroom

The Ask a Tech Teacher team has written a great article on behavioral learning in the classroom. You’ll find out:

  • What it is
  • Keys to unpacking it
  • Why it matters in education
  • Examples in the classroom
  • Techniques for applying it
  • Challenges

Behavioral Learning Theory & Its Applications In Class

If you’re an educator or a parent, equipping yourself with knowledge of behavioral learning theory can transform your classroom dynamics and alter how you perceive the process of learning itself. If the entire concept is alien to you at the moment, hold tight as we talk you through the main aspects, and how they can hold relevance in modern teaching environments.

Introduction to Behavioral Learning Theory

Behavioral learning theory can sound complex, but it’s actually quite straightforward. It stipulates that all behaviors are learnt through interactions with the environment.

While biology may play a part, this theory focuses on acquired behavior and how your responses can change over time.

Conditioning is at the center of this theory, and it posits that humans learn by developing associations between their actions and the consequences they experience in real-time.

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What Student Assignments and Projects Are Considered Most Difficult: Myths and Truths

What Student Assignments and Projects Are Considered Most Difficult: Myths and Truths

Are you a student who has ever wondered which assignments and projects are the most challenging? We’ve all been there, faced with daunting tasks that seem insurmountable. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the myths and truths surrounding the difficulty of student assignments and projects. By the end, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of these academic challenges, along with expert insights and tips to help you excel.

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Case Study Resources for Modern Teachers

In education, case studies are widely used as a pedagogical tool to encourage critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and the application of theoretical knowledge. They serve as a bridge between theory and practice, promote active learning and the development of practical skills that improve their teaching methods. Our Ask a Tech Teacher crew has several resources for you to consider when you’re looking for case studies that relate to your next project:

Case Study Resources for Modern Teachers

Introducing case studies in your course can help prepare your students to deal with real-world situations. Well-planned case studies can challenge students’ problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. This teaching approach can help them analyze and find realistic solutions to complex problems.

As educators embarking on the application of case studies, creating your individual case studies or incorporating existing ones is pivotal. If the pursuit is to provide students with a custom assignment as you get started, opting for an online case study writing service is highly beneficial; services such as EduBirdie or Studybay extend premier case study writing services tailored to your needs.  (more…)

4 Proven Strategies To Boost Exam Preparation

Preparing for exams requires a systematic approach to ensure you cover all the necessary material and feel confident on test day. Here are some effective strategies to help you prepare from the Ask a Tech Teacher crew:

The 4 Proven Strategies To Boost Your Exam Preparation

One of the most stressful periods in a person’s life is when exams are looming. Whether it is for the SATs in high school, or for finals in college, when the time comes, you will feel a lot of pressure to do well. This pressure can actually hurt your chances of doing well on the exams. Stress can dramatically affect your thinking process and ability to concentrate.

This means that you have to find a way to eliminate the stress and pressure from the equation so you can study well. Preparation is the best way to not feel stressed and go into the exams with a clear mind. The better prepared you are, the better your chances at success. In this article, we will go over some proven strategies to help you prepare for exams.

1 – Use technology

Pretty much everything is digital these days so we rely on software and technology to even basic tasks. This is good news for exam preparation, however. There are a lot of apps and software programs that can help you study and be prepared in a way that fits best with your schedule and also your learning style.

Using technology can help you pack studying into your schedule to make sure you get the most out of your time. For instance, a mobile application can help you study while you are commuting on the train, or even getting your morning coffee. You can use an extra twenty or thirty minutes to pack in some studying without having to set yourself up ahead of time.

Software and online tools can also help you break down the materials into a better form for you to understand. For instance, NotesEdu gives you practice tests, guided solutions, and detailed explanations to help you grasp complex concepts better. To see how these resources could improve your study sessions, learn more about NotesEdu’s comprehensive test packs on their website.

There are many educational platforms that offer courses so you can expand on your knowledge by using some of them in addition to your other study materials. From basic algebra to advanced quantum physics, you can find resources suitable for all levels. They use interactive videos, quizzes, and peer discussions to make learning engaging and effective.

2 – Organize your study environment

No matter how good the material you will use to prepare is, if you don’t have a study space that allows you to concentrate, it will be for nothing. You need to have a special area where you can be free from distractions and actually set your mind to studying and preparing. It’s not just about having a quiet space. It’s about crafting an area where your mind can thrive.

The first thing to do is minimize distractions. This could mean different things for different people. Some might prefer absolute silence, while others work best with a little background noise.

Find out what works best for you and stick to it. For instance, if you need to work in a library but the noise from the door opening, or people shuffling in their seats will be distracting, put on some noise canceling headphones.

The space you use should also be free from clutter. A cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind. Keep your study space clean and organized. Have a specific place for your books, notes, stationery, and other study materials. This not only keeps your space visually pleasing but also saves time spent looking for lost or misplaced items.

Finally, personalize your study space. This could mean adding a plant, some motivational quotes, or photos that inspire you. The goal is to make the space yours, somewhere you enjoy spending time.

3 – Use study techniques

Everybody learns in their own way. This is why it’s important to find the best technique to help you absorb information. There are different techniques to try out that will help you find your own best strategy for studying.

For instance, many people like to use flash cards so they can memorize bite sized chunks of information. Reading a long text is difficult to digest and understand. When you can condense complex ideas down to something easier to remember, you are more likely to hold onto that information.

Another very helpful technique is to use spaced repetition. This technique involves reviewing information at increasing intervals over time. It’s proven to help cement knowledge in long-term memory. You can incorporate this technique by scheduling reviews of your notes days or even weeks after you initially studied the material.

4 – Create a study schedule

Designing a solid study schedule is like having a roadmap to success. It helps guide your learning process, ensuring you allocate enough time to each subject and stay on track.

Before you can plan, you need to know what time you have available. Jot down all your commitments for the week, from school hours to extracurricular activities. This will give you a realistic picture of the time you can dedicate to studying.

Once you have the schedule mapped out, try to fit your studying into it. This involves prioritizing your subjects. Not all subjects require equal attention. Some might be more challenging or carry more weight in your final grade. Prioritize these by allocating more study time to them. Others that are easier to study or have less impact on your final grade should be set on the back burner.

Finally, breaking your schedule down into blocks of time can really help. Instead of studying for hours on end, break your study time into manageable chunks. Shorter, focused study sessions with breaks in between can help your understanding and retention of information.

Conclusion

Everybody has their own way of preparing for exams, but some of them are not really getting the most out of their time. With the techniques and strategies listed above, you can take all of the stress and anxiety away from the process and go into the exams confident in your ability to do well.

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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.

3 Fun Tech Classroom Projects for Summer

Here are great ideas from the Ask a Tech Teacher crew on how to keep tech fresh this summer.

3 Fun Ways to Use Tech in the Classroom in the Run-Up to Summer

Summer is right around the corner and as a teacher, you might be in search of creative ways to leverage technology to ensure your classroom remains an entertaining, engaging and educational space.

Fear not, we’ve got you covered! Buckle up and join us on this delightful journey through tech-savvy classrooms – from elementary school to high school – we’ll unlock a treasury of innovative ideas guaranteed to amuse the young minds while also preparing them for their future. Let’s dive in!

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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…

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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.

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frayer model in storyboard that

Teach Vocabulary with the Frayer Model

Frayer Model flowchartIn a perfect world, vocabulary is learned in context: The phrases and sentences around the unknown word define the meaning. If that isn’t sufficient, students use affixes — prefixes, suffixes, and roots — to decode meaning. But because the world isn’t always that pristine,  Dorothy Frayer and her colleagues at the University of West Virginia came up with a vocabulary teaching tool that has come to be known as “the Frayer Model”. Now used by thousands of educators, this approach to word study relies on analyzing words rather than memorizing definitions. Somewhat like Concept Circles, the Frayer Model uses a graphical organizer that asks students to describe words by much more than a memorized definition. They must:

  • define the term
  • describe essential characteristics
  • provide examples
  • provide non-examples

Because the Frayer Model digs deeply into understanding the word, it promotes critical thinking and a granular familiarity with unfamiliar vocabulary. It draws on a student’s prior knowledge to build connections among new concepts and creates a visual reference by which students learn to compare attributes and examples.

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