Books You’ll Want to Read This Summer

Summer is a great time to reset your personal pedagogy to an education-friendly mindset and catch up on what’s been changing in the ed world while you were teaching eight ten hours a day. My Twitter friends gave me great suggestions, but first:

A comment on the selections: I did get more suggestions than I could possibly list so I avoided books that involved politics or hot-button subjects that teachers are divided on and focused on positive and uplifting reading. Yes, there is a lot wrong with education around the world but I wanted a selection of books that would send me — and you —  back to teaching in the fall with a can-do attitude for how to accomplish miracles with your next class of students.

Having said that, here’s a granular list of teacher-approved books to keep you busy this summer:

Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times

by Eric C. Sheninger

Digital Leadership defines a strategic mindset and set of behaviors that leverage resources to create a meaningful, transparent, and engaging school culture. It takes into account recent changes such as connectivity, open-source technology, mobile devices, and personalization of learning to dramatically shift how schools have been run for over a century.

Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns

by Clayton M. Christensen

Selected as one of Business Week’s Best Books on Innovation in 2008, Disrupting Class remains a worthy read. It is filled with fascinating case studies, scientific findings, and insights into how managed innovation can unleash education. Disrupting Class will open your eyes to new possibilities and evolve your thinking. For more detail, read my review, Disrupting Class.

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Tech Tips to End the School Year

Wrapping up your school technology for the summer is as complicated as setting it up in September. There are endless backups, shares, cleanings, changed settings, and vacation messages that — if not done right — can mean big problems when you return from summer vacation. If you have a school device, a lot of the shutdown steps will be done by the IT folks as they backup, clean, reformat, and maybe re-image your device. If you have a personal device assigned by the school but yours to take home, the steps may be more numerous but really, not more complicated.

Here’s a list. Skip those that don’t apply to you and complete the rest. I won’t take time in this article for a how-to on each activity so if you don’t know how to complete one, check with your IT folks or DDG (Duck Duck Go–or Google) it:

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AI has potential to upend student testing

AI has the potential to revolutionize education for better or worse–jury’s still out on that. No one denies it can make student testing more efficient, faster, possibly leading to better educational outcomes for all learners. Key positives:

  1. Tailor personalized learning paths
  2. Adapt testing to challenge students at their appropriate level of knowledge 
  3. Provide instant feedback
  4. Reduce bias
  5. Analyze data quickly to find learning patterns and trends.
  6. Identify plagiarism or cheating

But there are drawbacks educators must watch for and may take time to resolve. Check out these concerns:

  1. Bias and fairness
  2. Privacy and data security
  3. Reliability and accuracy
  4. Dependency on technology
  5. Digital divide
  6. Loss of human connection
  7. Ethical considerations

Here’s a good article from The Hechinger Report that offers an overview of current thinking on how AI is likely to reshape student testing options:

AI has potential to upend student testing

As AI advances, student testing could become highly personalized and dynamic, offering scenarios like empathetic avatar interactions and adaptive questions. While experts acknowledge risks such as bias and access disparities, they foresee AI-driven assessments reshaping education by tailoring tests to individual needs and promoting deeper learning. (more…)

3 Creative Teaching Resources That Save You Time and Money

Would you like innovative tech apps, DIY classroom materials, and budget-friendly solutions that save time and cut costs? Here are three from the Ask a Tech Teacher team:

3 Creative Teaching Resources That Save You Time and Money

Educators are increasingly expected to do more with less – ensuring that the next generation gets the quality of teaching they deserve while keeping budgets in check and making up for shortfalls in classroom resource availability.

This less-than-ideal scenario can be dealt with successfully if you’re savvy about how you approach it – so here are a few creative ways to reduce costs, free up more of your time, and still do your best for the youngsters you’re responsible for schooling. (more…)

A Typing Website With a Twist

This how-to-type website doesn’t get enough exposure so I’m doing a quick overview of pros and cons and how to use it. If you’re looking for a good typing program to engage your students during summer school or next school year, this is an excellent choice:

KidzType is a free comprehensive approach to learning keyboarding. The ad- and distraction-free interface provides not only practice drills but quick links to grade-appropriate keyboarding games (including popular ones from DanceMat Typing). It’s easy to get started and just as easy to use making it the perfect tool for busy teachers and students who have lots to do besides keyboarding.

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5 Innovative Tech Projects for High Schoolers

Great end-of-year projects for high school students, from the Ask a Tech Teacher team:

5 Innovative Tech Projects for High Schoolers

Project-based learning has gained significant popularity in recent times. Emerging as a creative and insightful way for youngsters to learn and practically implement their knowledge, the idea of project-based learning has been encouraged and applauded by teachers worldwide. In fact, students who make use of this technique tend to retain content 22% better than traditional learning.

Many middle and high schools have started incorporating project work into their curriculum, enabling students to learn concepts faster and apply them to real-world scenarios. However, this shift often perplexes students when choosing the perfect project options. Let’s explore a few options. (more…)

8 Time Management Tips For Dissertation Writing

It’s that time of hear when a lot of college students are writing dissertations as part of academic requirements. This is a daunting task but there are rules–suggestions–that will make it easier. The Ask a Tech Teacher team has a short list:

8 Time Management Tips For Dissertation Writing

Embarking on the journey of writing a dissertation is a significant academic undertaking. Here are some effective time management tips.

Introduction

Writing your dissertation as a student can be challenging, requiring strong time management ability.

Thus, the research and writing process for a dissertation may be overwhelming and time-consuming. Completing one research paper might take you two or more months.

Therefore, dissertation writing requires substantial research. So, to showcase the art of effective time management, you need to strike the right balance between writing and research.

To prevent anxiety and stress at the last minute, it is important for you to manage your time efficiently. Proper management and planning can also make the process manageable and rewarding.

In this article, we will emphasize effective time management tips for your dissertation. (more…)

How to Track My Child’s Location

Now that so many children carry smartphones, do you track your child’s location? If you’re worried that’s akin to spying on them, read on. The Ask a Tech Teacher team has background, pros and cons, and more to help you come to a go-nogo decision:

  • Reasons
  • Techniques
  • Best approaches
  • Emergency readiness
  • Supervising
  • Communication and trust
  • Educating your child 
  • Addressing privacy concerns
  • Importance of parental controls

How to Track My Child’s Location

In today’s world, parents frequently worry about their children’s safety and whereabouts. With the rise of smartphones and other technological advancements, keeping track of your child’s location has become more convenient than before. How can you ensure that you track them effectively and responsibly? This article aims to delve into approaches and factors to consider when monitoring your child’s whereabouts while respecting their privacy and building trust. The quick answer is to look into Scannero. (more…)