Can We Teach How to Learn?

Teaching How to Learn. This anecdotal story is taken from Patrice Bain, a veteran K-12 teacher, author, speaker and consultant. She recently completed 25 years teaching middle school in Columbia, Ill., where she was a finalist for Illinois Teacher of the Year. She is co-author of the forthcoming “Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning,” available... Continue Reading →

19 Tips to Keep On the Go

When it comes to exercise, we think about how to “get” fit. But often, starting out is not the problem. I'm most interested in how this affects our students. Of course, these tips and tricks work for all of us. “The big problem is maintaining it,” says Falko Sniehotta, a professor of behavioural medicine and... Continue Reading →

World Teachers’ Day

As Google aptly puts it this AM:  To all the teachers whose job is never finished, Happy World Teachers’ Day We all have great experiences and some not-so-positive experiences with the teachers of our past. One thing is for sure, teachers spend a great deal of time with our children, help them learn and grow, and... Continue Reading →

LeBron James & Education Reform

LeBron and Education - 2 words we wouldn't usually put in the same category. However, he's been contributing to the education narrative as of late and, most notably, announced he's opening a school. Ohio has been trying to stomach the four-time NBA MVP’s decision to leave his home state to join the Los Angeles Lakers.... Continue Reading →

2018/2019 – Welcome to a New School Year

Hello all! Summer's done and a new school year has arrived. These times often provoke fear, anticipation, foresight, and anxiety. For me - I'm excited. Here's to a new school year!!!   Stay tuned for upcoming posts. There are a few in the works that are pretty interesting. Good luck Edureachers!    

11 Ways to Enhance Social Emotional Learning

Hi All! Sorry for the little hiatus. I've received a number of requests to "up my posting game", ha! My message to those people: I can't say I disagree. Today's topic is the next step in Edtech Evolution. Stay tuned! Social-Emotional-:Learning, or SEL, is the ability to manage emotions, to empathize, and to collaborate with others.... Continue Reading →

Tips & Tricks for Using Google in the Classroom

Here’s a slightly Orwellian way to check whether your students may have plagiarized part of their essays: the Chrome extension Draftback, which plays back the revision history of any Google doc you can edit—down to the keystroke. That was just one of the many extensions, add-ons and hacks for the Google ecosystem shared at a pair... Continue Reading →

Sparking Engagement With Hip-Hop

From Michelle Obama’s rhymed appeal to high schoolers to attend college to Ellen DeGeneres’s recent spotlight on second-grade teacher Michael Bonner’s transformative use of rap in the classroom, the use of hip-hop in education seems to growing. But using hip-hop as a tool for teaching and learning is not new. Hip-hop based education (HHBE) research started near the end... Continue Reading →

Google, Microsoft or Apple Classrooms?

It’s terribly confusing, but perhaps no coincidence, that three of the world’s most prominent consumer technology companies—Apple, Google, Microsoft—each boast a “Classroom” tool aimed at K-12 educators and students. After all, what better way to secure a foothold in the market than impressing one’s brand to future consumers at a young age? Even more confounding... Continue Reading →

Coding: The New Literacy

I’ve always been a fan of a good startup. About a year ago, I supported the Spinn Coffee startup, investing in their product and getting priority shipment (although I'm still waiting for it, ha!). While I'm not necessarily anti big corporations, I feel that a lot of individual thought and progressive attitudes can be easily... Continue Reading →

7 Characteristics of Effective Education Leaders

Who in the last twenty years in the world of successful business leaders has truly embodied the idea of leadership better than Steve Jobs? In Walter Isaacson’s article, The Real Lessons of Steve Jobs published in the Harvard Business Review, April 2012, Jobs relates the ten principles of leadership: Simplify Control the Experience Innovate Ignore Reality Have... Continue Reading →

Challenging Our Students

What do you do when standing in front of a room full of students who have suddenly surpassed your knowledge level as a teacher with 45 minutes of class time left? As teachers, we are not just disseminators of knowledge. We are leaders and facilitators of strategy. This is a normal situation many teachers face.... Continue Reading →

Should Students Take Electronic Notes?

Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for instructors to include notes regarding laptop and internet use in their course syllabi. Many instructors ban the use of electronics, including laptops, due to the assumption that these machines may be more distracting than helpful during class time. However, students often argue that they can take better notes on their... Continue Reading →

Characteristics of a 21st Century Teacher

Recent technological advances have affected many areas of our lives: the way we communicate, collaborate, learn, and, of course, teach. Along with that, those advances necessitated an expansion of our vocabulary, producing definitions such as digital natives, digital immigrants, and, the topic of this post -- "21st Century Teacher." One of the things I have... Continue Reading →

Lesson Planning using AI

"Built and designed by teachers, for teachers." Stan Litow, President Emeritus of the IBM Foundation IBM's Watson, everyone’s favourite supercomputer, is taking on a new challenge - education! Over 1000 educators  contributed to the project, 1000s of hand-selected lesson plans and activities were categorized and rendered, and the use of the artificial intelligence interpretation. All... Continue Reading →

Who Are Companies Targeting?

It’s no secret that companies market online (and everywhere else for that matter!), but how is this changing over time? Patricia Redsicker discusses this change in her guide: The Social Media Examiner and illuminates some important and changing trends in marketing. Billboards, buses, washrooms, magazines, TV, radio, Internet, and the endless list of tools marketers use... Continue Reading →

Inspiring the Future – 21st Century Teaching

Most of us remember the traditional teacher-centered classrooms. The students were situated in nice, neat rows, not allowed to talk to each other. The teacher, the source of authority, downloads information to the students and is the sole disseminator of their knowledge. The information is then regurgitated back on an evaluative test designed to measure... Continue Reading →

Project-Based Learning – Toronto Waterfront

A Local Community is a great way to engage in project-based inquiry. Each group of students will walk and observe their local community and critically reflect on the level of environmental degradation as well as sustainability that their neighbourhood is currently operating under. The sustainable framework that will be used will be offered by the... Continue Reading →

Follow our Fearless Leader

As a teacher, I see that my profession is often compared to the private sector. Metrics including wages, hours, pensions, and contracts are measured against private corporations. While there is certain value that can be ascertained from specific comparisons, it must also be recognized that public and private services are notoriously difficult to adequately compare.... Continue Reading →

Teaching Girls Bravery, Not Perfection

"We're raising our girls to be perfect, and we're raising our boys to be brave", says Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code. Saujani has taken up the charge to socialize young girls to take risks and learn to program -- two skills they need to move society forward. To truly innovate, we cannot... Continue Reading →

How Movies Teach Manhood

An interesting TED talk from Colin Stokes, the director of communications for Citizen Schools. Citizen Schools is an American nonprofit organization that partners with various public schools around the US to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Its stated mission is "educating children and strengthening communities". When Stokes' 3-year-old son caught a glimpse of... Continue Reading →

EdX: The Future of Student Evaluation

One of the prime goals of Edureach101 is discussing and affirming the changing atmosphere of 21st century education. What better way to epitomize this than automatic essay grading. EdX is a non-profit enterprise founded in 2012 by Harvard and MIT that offers courses on the internet for just about everybody. EdX boasts being from the top universities... Continue Reading →

How People Learn

How do people learn?  There's a lot of information out there, so it's difficult to filter out the myths from the facts on how to best facilitate learning. It's a seemingly simple question - how do people learn? - with an intricately complicated answer. Educational psychology and behavioural and cognitive sciences attempt to guide pedagogy... Continue Reading →

5 Kinds of Understanding

There exist five kinds of understanding (or cognitive tools) that individuals usually master in a particular order during the course of their development; these have important educational implications. This post focuses on Kieran Egan's perspective on the 5 tools of understanding. Egan is a Professor at Simon Fraser University and proposed his theory of cognitive... Continue Reading →

The What and How of Teaching

Curriculum is ever-changing, so why aren't our methods? Curriculum and teaching as a field of study has been laden with debate on a variety of superficial and deeper issues. Kieran Egan, professor at Simon Fraser University, explores this deeper in his article published in the Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies entitled What... Continue Reading →

The 6 Secrets of Change

Michael Fullan offers tremendous insight into leadership and elements of change and achievement. One of the most influential works entitled, The Six Secrets of Change: What the Best Leaders Do to Help Their Organizations Survive and Thrive, explore organizational change in a school system as opposed to a hard and fast approach. Fullan refers to... Continue Reading →

How to ask Simple Questions

"The simple is championed and harnessed for the ultimate success of student learning." Ever wonder why walking through the Apple store is so much fun? It champions the modernist architectural and design style; clean and functional in every way. Apple’s stylistic innovation is reminiscent of the Bauhaus movement, architectural developments in the German Weimar era,... Continue Reading →

Transitioning to University

Elated. Proud. Confused. The general sentiment felt by many students in grades 11 and 12. Elated that summer's here. Warm weather anyone? Proud that they've completed high school. Acceptance letter in hand, the world is their oyster. Confused. How does this whole university thing work? Let's put our students a step ahead of the pack... Continue Reading →

Math Anxiety – A Disabling Reality

Guest Blogger: Maria Andriano, MT, OCT Secondary School Teacher: Toronto Catholic District School Board  Math Anxiety - "Sudden death where everyone knows that I don’t understand." What is Math Anxiety? The perception of “being good” at math does not fall on a continuum – students either feel relaxed and competent in mathematics, while others feel... Continue Reading →

Medical Apps for Patients and for Teaching

Guest Blogger: Dr. Stephen Chow, M.D. University of Mississippi Medical Center Division of Gastroenterology "Our patients are craving these new, innovative ways to manage their wellbeing." As medical apps change the way patients view their health and wellbeing, physicians must adapt and pivot with this consideration in mind. Patients and consumers are using fitness measurable... Continue Reading →

The Pros and Cons of Medical Apps

Guest Blogger: Dr. Stephen Chow, M.D. University of Mississippi Medical Center Division of Gastroenterology "Physicians and patients are approaching healthcare differently due to the rise and popularization of medical apps" More and more I’m seeing that the way physicians and patients are approaching healthcare is evolving due to the rise and popularization of medical apps. There... Continue Reading →

Medical Apps: To be Trusted?

Guest Blogger: Dr. Stephen Chow, M.D. University of Mississippi Medical Center Division of Gastroenterology "False assurances and false panics add to patient anxiety and jeopardized patient well-being." 3:00 AM approaches, and I’m paged for a new admission with hypertensive urgency (very high blood pressure). In taking the patient's history, we had a great conversation about... Continue Reading →

BYOD: Technology NOT just a Tool

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) More and more school boards are adopting their own BYOD policy. Although there are a few cautions to this type of policy, such as security of property, but the advantages are tremendous. BYOD policies allow for collaboration because students can share devices, it adds extra tools to make lessons engaging through... Continue Reading →

Want to Help Someone? Shut Up and Listen!

We tend to offer our help in a way that we want help, but not necessarily how the receiver wants the help. Ernesto Sirolli, founder of the Sirolli Institute, created an international non-profit institution that teaches this doctrine. It helps community leaders understand, establish, and maintain sustainable economic development projects, specializing in developing areas like Kenya and... Continue Reading →

Social Media in the Classroom

Imagine a world where resources were limited to what was found in the classroom or the school closet known as the "Curriculum Materials Room." Picture a world where students wrote letters with pen and paper to communicate with other students and adults outside of the building. Due to postage costs, the teacher either sent the... Continue Reading →

Social Media in Education

“The term social media refers to user-generated content that is shared online through technologies ‘that promote engagement, sharing, and collaboration”  Examples: Micro-blogging (Twitter, Maang) Social and professional networking sites (Facebook, Edmodo, Pinterest) Video and photo sharing websites (Instagram, YouTube, Flickr) Weblogs or ‘blogs’ (WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr) Wikis (Wikipedia) Forums and discussion boards (Google Groups)  ... Continue Reading →

Digital Navigation 101

When students are tasked with doing some online research, you can bet the vast majority turn to their old friend Google. It’s reliable, surfaces a variety of sources (like Wikipedia!) and will give you the most relevant answer in the shortest amount of time. Great, right? Well, not really. There’s a lot more to online... Continue Reading →

8 Key Factors of School Effectiveness

A recent study by EQAO confirms 8 key factors that can provide a foundation to guide principals in their school-improvement efforts. It was taken from over 25 years.   1. Strong and Effective Principal Leadership Puts children first by placing a strong belief in capabilities of students and teachers. Leaders are highly visible, actively supervising... Continue Reading →

Word of the day: Turquerie

Turquerie. Our word of the day. Turquerie -- A historical term increasing in usage and popularity. It refers to the orientalist fashion in Western Europe from the 16th to 18th centuries for imitating aspects of Turkish art and culture. The Wikipedia page was authored by the author of this blog (me!). Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turquerie

Teaching Students Digital Literacy

As our educational environment changes, so too do the desires of our students. From flipping the classroom to 21st Century Education, our experiences are evolving with time and technology. Teaching students to evaluate information and navigate in our society are foundational skills they need to become successful and competitive in the workforce. Is there a right... Continue Reading →

Best Facebook Practices

I came across this Facebook Best Practices deck and the gears immediately started churning in my mind. How wonderful this is, I thought, that private business are educating their employees on the best practices of usage and engagement on social networking like Facebook, easily the largest of them all. How much better would it be,... Continue Reading →

Infographic Assignment

Grade 12 Canadian and World Issues Infographic Assignment For our Canadian and World Issues class, we explored various global conflicts. Instead of asking students to present about a conflict as we have in the past, we decided to have them create Infographics. We have been using infographics in the classroom throughout each unit and have... Continue Reading →

Critical Thinking – Map Projections

Learning to Divide the World: Education at Empire's End by John Willinsky  In this post, I discuss some of Willinsky's thoughts and how it has shaped some of my teaching. Willinsky captures the essence of the current educational problems through the exploration of the past and the dominance of the imperial powers. When the European explores... Continue Reading →

Infographics in Eduation

Infographics are visual representations of information, data, and/or knowledge. The purpose of an infographic is to break down complex information and present it in a clear and concise way. For students, infographics are useful because it allows them to deconstruct information in another format while retaining their attention because of visuals. For teachers, infographics offer a... Continue Reading →

Teaching for the Future

"How do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century?" Anybody can see that our world is changing. It's changing more than ever before. As educators, we are training students for jobs that don't yet exist. We are teaching them to use technologies that have not yet been... Continue Reading →

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