How Homework Works In Finland (Hint: There Isn’t Any)

When we talk about how our education system is failing our students, there are a lot of different options presented on how to ‘fix’ it. Everyone has an answer, a promising new way of thinking, a potential magic bullet. Inevitably, we also examine school systems that are working as a part of investigating what to do or not to do with our own.

And one of those that is working and is almost always mentioned is Finland. Their students regularly top the charts on global education metrics despite a lack of homework and more away-from-the-desk time during the school day. No homework is a pretty drastic measure in most people’s minds, so how does it work?

The handy infographic below takes a look at why

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Drew Berry: Animations of unseeable biology | Talk Video |

We have no ways to directly observe molecules and what they do — Drew Berry wants to change that. In this talk, he shows his scientifically accurate (and entertaining!) animations that help researchers see unseeable processes within our own cells.

(Filmed at TEDxSydney.)

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How Technology Is Helping Students Take Ownership Of Their Work

As a teacher who has been using technology in my various learning environments for the past seven years, I pride myself in never doing the same project twice. When I taught high school physics two years ago, I was guilty of doing too much of the work for my students.

I had just begun using iBooks Author so I would spend hours creating fancy units of study for my physics students. If they made an iMovie or a Keynote I would certain bundle that material in the book; however I was still doing most of the hard work. Also, the audience who viewed the book was limited to the four walls of my classroom.

The fact that I did not allow my students to extend and expand their learning beyond

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Simmer Down Sassypants! Blanket Statements Are Rarely Social!Go Creative Go

Simmer Down Sassypants! Blanket Statements Are Rarely Social!

Blanket statements are a lot like cliches, they’re generally grounded in something true and real, but are often taken to such extremes they are rendered almost meaningless.

Blanket statements are most often peppered with words like “never” and “always,” two terms most marketers have realized can create clicks and draw eyes, especially when used in article titles and short social media posts.

One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions for “blanket” as an adjective is, effective or applicable in all instances. This is a very broad definition in general, but consider it applied to social media and digital marketing.

Very little about social media marketing can be described as “effective in

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Blogging About The Web 2.0 Connected Classroom: Making Curation Easier With @IFTTT

Various Dates In 2014-Featured Webinar Presenter, Simple K12 Teacher Learning Community, Online

January 28-31, 2014- Featured Presenter, FETC, Orlando, Florida

March 6-8, 2014- Presenter, North Carolina Technology In Education Society Annual Conference, Raleigh, NC

March 16-18, 2014- Presenter and 2012-2014 Emerging Leader, ASCD Annual Conference, Los Angles, CA

June 23-26, 2014-Session Speaker and Workshop Presenter, International Society for Technology in Education Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA

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Searching for the New in an Empty Nest | Empty House, Full Mind

This is the first year I will not have any children starting school since 1992.

The memory of dropping off my daughter for her first day of pre-school, my 3 month old baby boy in my arms, is so vivid. Everything in my life was brand new – my children, my home, my marriage, my minivan, my friends. There was so much to wonder about and plan for the future.

Raising children was filled with new experiences, opening doors for both my children and me. Each new teacher, new friend, new team, new skill, new interest – the ever-evolving lives of my growing children kept me constantly changing my focus and adapting to new expectations. The sense of anticipation at the beginning of the school year was always the most exciting for us - the teachers and classmates,

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10 Things Every Teacher Should be able to do on Google Docs

Google Docs is a powerful word processing tool that many schools have adopted. As it’s similar to Microsoft Word and other word processing tools, most of its features are intuitive to use. However, in addition to completing many of the functions of a traditional word processor, Google Docs provides even more capabilities that can be invaluable to educators. Here are ten tricks that can make your life easier with Google Docs:

Share Collaborate with Google Docs

One of the most powerful features of Google Docs is that you can share and collaborate on documents with others. Think about all the times where you work on something at home and then email it to yourself at school or put it on a thumb drive. How about the challenge of students who “forgot

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How To Use Social Media As A Learning Tool For Homeschoolers

Matching, out-of-date sweatsuits. The ability to recite lines from the Iliad in response to your peers’ discussion of a television show. Parroting your parents’ values. If you’ve paid attention to mainstream depictions of homeschooled children, these images are likely familiar.

Homeschooled kids get a bad rap and are too frequently associated with social awkwardness due to a perceived lack of socialization with their peer group. However, with the dawn of social media, more homeschooled students—both those who are being schooled by more “traditional” methods and those who are students are virtual cyber charter schools—are able to better connect with their peers and other members of the homeschooling community.

social media

Social Media and Community

Our compulsive need to interact with Facebook—even while

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Teachers as Technology Trailblazers: Scatterplot Brainstorm

Let’s face it; all ideas are NOT created equal.

Choosing what we will NOT do is just as important as choosing what we will do.

Therefore, after the dust settles from a furious group-brainstorm, it’s absolutely necessary to separate the wheat from the chaff. (That’s a Pennsylvania-way of saying that a bit of filtering has to happen!)

However, deciding which ideas “make the cut” can be tricky and team members’ feelings are often involved. No one wants to see that their idea was not selected. No one ESPECIALLY wants to feel like they had a “bad” idea.

Often, choosing ideas can leave a negative vibe in the room. If done very poorly, it can even inhibit future brainstorming sessions.

But don’t despair! By using specific protocols that emphasize analysis, you can arrive at meaningful decisions

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ADE Institute Highlights #ADE2014 | MathyCathy’s Blog – Mrs. Cathy Yenca

photo367 Apple Distinguished Educators from 31 countries met for five days in San Diego, California last week, and I was honored to be counted among them.  This year’s institute was a unique experience because each of us wore a “learner hat” all week as we became “citizen scientists”.  Incredible off-site experiences were balanced with on-site workshops and time for collaboration.  And food.  Lots of food.  ;-)  Thanks to all who planned every meticulous detail of a truly memorable experience.

My 45 seconds of fame on the big screen at #ADE2014!


To catch a glimpse of memories made, check out my first ever “sketch note” created with Paper by FiftyThree and embellished with media thanks

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