Scholastic

Plugged In

  • Social Media Can be as Valuable as Pencils in the Classroom

    Many teachers, parents, and administrators are afraid of the potential dangers associated with social media. Are there potential dangers associated with social media? Yes. However, do we ban scissors and physical education classes because there is a potential of danger? No. Within the safety of our classroom walls, we teach students safe practices until those practices become habits. That is also what we need to do with our students and social media.
  • What Will You Do Differently?

    There are two major areas in the world of the classroom where a strong foundation paves the way to a smooth and productive year: communication and getting to know our students.  I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you some of the strategies, practices, and tools I will be using in the upcoming school year in order to kick off the school year right.
  • Just Because We Can, Should We?

    We see things claiming to make our educator lives easier and make learning more fun for learners. However, just because we can bring that technology into our classrooms, does it necessarily mean that it will do a better job at supporting student learning?
  • Confessions of an Avid Conference Participant

    As one who has the opportunity to participate in multiple conferences a year, I often get asked about how I prepare to get the most out of the short time I have at each one.
  • Through the Pages: Digital Journeys, Connections, and Communities

    At the beginning of the school year, I had several students who asked if they could stay in the classroom with me so that they could read. That very quickly led to all of them being engaged in a discussion of the books that they were reading...
  • Behind the Mask: Providing Students with a Safe Online Presence

    Many ask, "How can you include learning activities that include digital and social media when there are so many seemingly potential dangers lurking?" The fact is that students are already engaged in these mediums with or without us.
  • The Right Tool at the Right Time

    Recently, I was in a professional meeting and an administrator mentioned that the teachers who he considers experts in using technology to support student learning will not be the teachers who you will always witness using technology with students when you enter the classroom.
  • Where Do We Go From Here? Tools for Providing Timely, Personalized Feedback

    Often, when you are looking at a class of twenty five students that means you have twenty five different areas of need. If you are teaching an English Language Arts class, that is often compounded by the fact that each student has a different level of mastery in the standards of grammar and mechanics, reading, and writing.
  • How Do We Know What They Know?

    Testing. Assessment. Data-driven instruction. In the world of education, we are surrounded by mandates. It is unfortunate that in many cases, high-stakes testing drives what teachers are required to do in the classroom with their students. I’ve heard people say, “Testing is the name of the game in schools today.”
  • Their Future Is Now: 4 Ways to Prepare our Students for Life in the Digital World

    With the adoption of Common Core, teachers have been inundated with the phrases like “career readiness” and “preparing students for their future.” Although these goals are lofty, they really are not new to the world of education. John Dewey stated, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” These words still ring true today. What has changed is the world in which our students live.
  • Reflections from the First #IRAchat

    Last week marked the maiden voyage of the #IRAchat. Teachers from all areas of education and from diverse geographic locations joined in to discuss digital writing and publishing in the classroom. It was a fun-filled, fast-paced hour of learning connecting and sharing.
  • Three’s Company When Curating Content

    Recently, I’ve been engaged in several professional conversations about the role of a teacher in today’s world. As the debate rages on, I couldn’t help but wonder: If we, as educators, are resistant to change, are we really looking towards meeting the needs of our digital age learners? Are we strictly content disseminators? Do our students need us for that anymore?
IRA Resource Catalog