Common Classroom: The Common Sense Education Blog

What Do Media Savvy Educators Really Want for Christmas?

Kelsey Herron Blogger Categories: Common Sense News
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New tech tools for your classroom wish lists; what technology to look out for in 2013; and recommended reading for your holiday break.

As the year winds to an end, educators across the country are teaching their last lessons of 2013, and keeping students motivated before schools close for winter break. It’s likely that classroom chatter has abounded these past few weeks, with talks of students’ Christmas wishes and holiday plans. We’re curious to find out what kinds of “gifts” are topping educators’ wish lists, and what you would like to see from us in the coming year.

Had no time to create your very own holiday gift list? Well, we’ve gone back through past posts to highlight a few digital devices and programs that might be a “must-have” for 2013:

  • The opportunity to teach STEM education outside of the classroom:  As research has shown, finding innovative ways to teach STEM lessons with real-world application helps ensure students’ succeed. Read more to find out how technology can help.
  • A learning lab in your vicinity: What’s better than knowing there’s a place for your students to learn, design, and create with technologies you might not have access to in your school system?
  • New digital devices: We’re not just talking iPads, either. Maybe you’re hoping for a Raspberry Pi for your students to build, and rebuild, or E-readers to keep them engaged and reading.
  • A more seamless BYOD program: We know they can be tough to implement and regulate, so here’s hoping the transition becomes a little more effortless in 2013.
     
  • Professional development: Are there any digital devices that you’re unfamiliar with, or areas that you feel require more training? Try talking to your administrators to schedule workshops that will give you a fresh start to the coming year.

If your appetite is whetted for technology, Edsurge has this list of the S’cool Tools that educators liked best from the first and second quarter of 2012; and Joi Ito, from MIT’s Media Lab, has this fascinating list of the four big trends on the tech horizon for 2013. Sneak preview: “disruptive education.”

"It has always been my opinion that 'education' is something people do to you,” Ito writes at Think With Google, “whereas 'learning' is something you do for yourself.”

And finally, if you’re like many educators we know, in addition to relaxing this holiday break, you’ll be doing some learning of your own in preparation for getting back into the classroom in 2013.  We hope that will include checking out some of our stories on teaching digital literacy.

Here are a few you may have missed:

  • Heather Chaplin’s story about pioneering work going on in Maine, where along with a 1:1 laptop program teachers, administrators, parents, and students are participating in digital literacy and citizenship education to help navigate the tricky of waters of life online.
  • Bike safety for the modern age?  Don’t this special story about police officers in Ontario. In a unique partnership, they’ve teamed up with educators to provide crucial support to help students stay safe, and smart online.

Like you, we’ll be on holiday break until early January. Till then take a moment to tell us what you’d like see on our blog in the new year? What stories would you like to see covered more frequently? What have you loved?  And what have we overlooked?  Comment or flag on us on Twitter or Facebook. Have a happy new year.

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