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Teaching the Teachers

Screen shot of Kyte learningThe last thing a teacher has time for is professional development, but the time is well spent because it can make you a stronger and more creative instructor. Kyte Learning’s technology-oriented online PD platform lets teachers brush up on their skills anytime, day or night. Whether it’s a refresher class or an introduction to a new skill, the Web-based service is aligned with ISTE’s courses, is video-based and lets administrators assign, track and evaluate the results.

Freebee Friday: State of the Art Teachers

Logo - Default ColorFront Row Education’s annual survey of 2,500 teachers and technology is in and it’s very instructive. While iPads still lead in school use, they’re declining by 5 percent. By contrast, the use of Chromebooks are up 15 percent, with three in five reporting access to the systems. Of the group, three-quarters of teachers reported using technology in their daily lessons and 60-percent want to increase it.


Freebee Friday: Apple Polishers

Apple teacherWhether it’s the informal help from a mentor or specific classes aimed at broadening an educator’s horizons, professional development is key to a satisfied and successful teacher. The Apple Teacher program starts with free help in integrating Macs and iPads into the classroom with curriculum, tips and tricks and stories about other teachers integrating technology into their classrooms. It all starts with an iPad app that takes you from the basics through how to see what each student has on his or her screen to doing things like creating time lapse sequences.  Those who want it can complete the training course and earn an Apple Teacher logo.  

Observing the Best

Obs_insightsWatching teachers in action, especially young ones, can be the first step towards turning them into great educators. Performance Matters’ Truenorthlogic Observation can help with a platform that includes everything from rubrics and rating scales to ways to scripts of how to perform a thorough and even-handed observation. The results are shown to teachers in a visual dashboard that can include links to professional development items


Freebee Friday: Video Memo to Myself

Swivl reflectionReflecting on a day, week, month or even an entire school year in the classroom is an excellent technique for personal and professional growth. One easy way to do it is to aim the Swivel tablet carrier at yourself and let it all out. The company has a few suggestions in its “Learning from Yourself and the Power of Self-Reflection” on how to make it work with tips on how far to go and suggested questions to ask yourself. Ready for your close-up?

FETC 2016: Watch and Learn

EdthenaClassroom observation can help understand the classroom dynamic and how teachers fit in. Edthena lets you create a video with any kind of camera and then distribute it to the company’s iPhone app where coworkers can view it and add comments to the clips.  

Educating the Educators

EduvateWho teaches the teachers? The School Improvement Network’s Edivate has more than 2,500 professional development videos available for an individualized professional development learning program. The topics range from classroom management and data-driven teaching to technology and effectively working with parents. A single copy of Edivate costs $120 per teacher, but schools and districts can reduce the cost with a site license.



Freebee Friday: Making Interactivity Work

Mimio connectMimioClassroom has a series of online seminars coming that can push classroom interactivity – and education – to a new level. The three half-hour presentations can be scheduled for your choice of day and time, but you’ll have to act quickly because the time slots are filling up. All you have to do is register and schedule the online seminar.

The schedule includes:

  • Getting More from Your Lesson with Mimio, which details techniques that can encourage teachers and kids to interact with new and existing lessons.
  • Classroom Collaboration with Mimio can help to get kids and teachers to work together and develop collaboration skills.
  • MimioConnect’s PLN: Join Our Flagship Community is all about participating in Mimio’s online community and detailing what it has to offer.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Tech Tools are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.