by Vicki Ogle
My husband and I like to travel as much as possible, and we have a significant road trip planned for this fall. We have spent many hours planning how we will handle food, driving, and coffee along the way. To help us prepare, we are using a few weekend getaways to ‘practice’ some of the strategies and tools we have in mind. Recently we spent a weekend in another town with our son and his family. We stayed in a motel and took note of which of our tools and strategies were working and which ones weren’t. I found that one of the biggest things for me to deal with was adjusting everyday tasks using travel gear. I just like to use my everyday things!
Teachers tell me they are experiencing the same thing; they like to use their favorite tools but with teaching methodologies changing, learning requirements increasing, and room configurations vastly different when they return from summer, they have to leave some favorite tools behind.
Using your ‘teacher voice’ may not be enough to make your students comprehend what you’re saying.
By Carolyn Hollowell
Teachers from around the world tell me that as long as they talk loudly, using their “teacher voice,” every student in their classroom will be able to hear and understand them.
There is a certain amount of logic in this kind of thinking because, as adults, we often turn up the volume of the TV or ask other adults to speak louder when we are in the back of the room. As people with decades of experiences behind us, we have a library of knowledge and words that allow us to fill in the intelligibility gaps between what we hear and what makes sense. Unfortunately, children don’t have that luxury. They are still acquiring words and meanings, building their database of knowledge. They are unable to fill in the gaps.
Since a majority of students’ time in the classroom is learning by listening to the teacher and peers, the real challenge is not merely for everyone to hear each other, but for everyone to understand each other. One of our customers, Bartlesville Public Schools in Oklahoma, realized accidentally that this was a problem. They purchased a Redcat system to improve the learning environment for a student with mild hearing loss who did not want to be identified as having special needs. Once they had the Redcat system in the classroom, they realized that hearing clearly benefited all students and the teacher.
You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. —Plato
by Carolyn Hollowell
One of the benefits of my job is that I have the opportunity to learn what’s new in education worldwide. How are educators addressing the challenges of teaching the skills students need in the 21st century? Our economy’s current needs center on building individuals who can think systemically, creatively, and critically, and prepare students for these competencies is going to take a fresh way of thinking about how they acquire this knowledge and skills. It is also going to take a new way of assessing students’ knowledge.
Collaborative learning empowers students to take control
Research shows that collaborative learning empowers students to take control of their learning and facilitates higher-level thinking, but with new models come new challenges
The Collaborative Classroom Has Arrived. Here’s Why You Should Take Advantage
By Dennis Pierce
Over the last several years, a sea change has been occurring in K-12 education. In a growing number of classrooms, teachers are abandoning outdated, lecture-driven models of instruction in favor of more active approaches that put students in charge of their own learning.