Blog

News-O-Matic in the Special-Needs Classroom

Most students with moderate to mild cognitive disabilities have the ability to achieve the same academic standards as their peers without disabilities if appropriate modifications are made to the curriculum. This is easier said than done, however, and it takes a creative, out-of-the-box thinker to accomplish it. Most special education teachers are of that ilk and most will go to any length to help their students blend in and participate in whatever is going on in the general-education classroom. A Swiss Army Knife of Classroom Apps The three basic components of the teaching process are: • Content (what is being learned and how it is presented) • Process (how the content is taught and applied) • Product (how the lea....read more


Tweeting @PS10Brooklyn

PS 10 in Brooklyn, N.Y. is a public school, part of the New York City Department of Education. We serve a kindergarten through 5th-grade population that includes everything from Gifted and Talented to ICT at every grade level, self-contained special education classes, ESL, and, as one of our district's “no boundaries” sites, physically disabled students as well. It's this diverse population that made us look at all the possible ways of communicating with the community at large, beyond the flyer in the backpack. We wanted a way to foster transparency, especially for those students and parents who didn’t necessarily live right around the corner. Tweeting @PS10Brooklyn has become a core compon....read more


Benefits of Gaming: What Research Shows

It’s still early days in research around games and learning, but a few significant studies show important trends. Read full article.   The MindShift Guide to Games and Learning is made possible through the generous support of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and is a project of the Games and Learning Publishing Council, of which Common Sense Media is a member. This article is excerpted by permission. ....read more


9 Best EdTech Tools for Presenting

For this week's Top Picks List Friday, we're featuring best edtech tools for presenting. Get your students excited about learning by creating fun engaging presentations. These jazzy multimedia gems will help take off some pressure and stress and add a layer of sophistication to your presentations. To see the rating of each app, game, or website, visit the Top-Picks List, Best EdTech for Presenting.   VoiceThread VoiceThread provides students of all ages with an online platform to create and share media projects that incorporate video, images, voice, and even drawings. One of its most valuable assets is allowing for collaboration opportunities and....read more


6 Tech Tools that Boost Teacher-Parent Communication

Most educators agree: Effective communication with parents is important (if not crucial) for helping students learn. But any teacher will tell you, it can be one of the more challenging aspects of the job. Some teachers struggle just to get parents involved, while others suffer from inbox fatigue just keeping up with the barrage of parent emails. Our challenges may all be different, but effective communication remains the goal in every case. It's important to keep everyone -- parents, students, and teachers -- on the same page. In my teaching, I found that proactively reaching out to students and parents together helped a lot; I not only got fewer anxious emails from parents, but....read more


My Tricks for Using Minecraft to Motivate Your Class

What motivates students? I’m continually asking myself this question. I can now say I’ve found my answer: Minecraft. "Why play Minecraft in school?" is a question others often ask me. For me, the answer is simple. KIDS LOVE IT! And if kids already have a passion, I try to fuel it. MinecraftEdu is a modification, or “mod,” of the “regular” consumer version of Minecraft. The Edu version is available only for schools and includes a Tutorial World to help students learn game basics like movement, jumping, running, and digging. One of the best things about MinecraftEdu is that many of the advanced features of the “regular” game (admin tools, freezing students, world edit tools, se....read more


11 Games and Apps with Great Teacher Support

For this week's Top Picks List Friday, we're featuring games and apps with great teacher support. Very few products have built-in help for teachers -- so when they do, we call them out. Included here are 11 winners that let teachers make custom assignments or keep track of student progress. Others have materials and lesson plans to help teachers extend lessons to the classroom. To see the rating of each app, game, or website, visit the Top Picks List Games and Apps with Great Teacher Support.   Prodigy In Prodigy -- an adaptive math practice game set in a fantasy role-playing universe -- students customize colorful, anime-style avatars and send them to the....read more


Making Games: The Ultimate Project-Based Learning

Game making is one way to create a space where students are empowered to freely experiment with their own way of framing ideas and choosing perspectives. In this way, game making is tantamount to project-based learning. Read full article.   The MindShift Guide to Games and Learning is made possible through the generous support of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and is a project of the Games and Learning Publishing Council, of which Common Sense Media is a member. This article is excerpted by permission. ....read more


You Asked. We Listened. New Reviews of Biteslide, Crackers and Goo, Native Numbers, Who Wants to Live a Million Years?

Every day, a teacher steps into the classroom and tries something new -- a new way to inspire kids, to engage them, to challenge their thinking. We know that Common Sense Media's Graphite teacher community is on the cutting edge when it comes to edtech. You're often the first to try out the newest tools, and you're eager to share those experiences with others. That's why we welcome your requests for product reviews. You ask, and we listen. Today, we're spotlighting a few of the products that you've requested. The list includes a collaborative slideshow creation tool with great teacher features, an engaging pattern game that builds addition and multiplication skills, a collection of interactive math games that....read more


4 Photography Apps for a Snappy Summer

Summer is a great time for kids to chill out and be creative. Taking photos is an excellent way for them to experiment with a variety of devices and apps. And digital photography is so kid-friendly. Instead of waiting for film to come back from a store like in days past, kids can click and view in real time, which encourages them to experiment and take risks. Photography can also be a hobby that feeds kids' imaginations and spurs originality. What's more, kids can express themselves and learn about the world around them in the process of capturing images. Whether kids are composing a collage of photos from a family vacation or arranging shots of the family pet, there are a variety of great free apps that will help them ta....read more


Pages