Blog

From Mars to Minecraft: Teachers Bring the Arcade to the Classroom

Teachers have found many different ways of using digital games in the classroom. But what kind of games are these students playing? And how are teachers incorporating them in the classroom? 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


25 Flipped-Class Tools to Help You Start the Year Off Right

Are you looking to flip your classroom this year, but don’t know where to start? If so, we’ve got a great list of apps and websites that can help you get off the ground. Quality at-home instruction that complements your great in-class work is central to flipped-class success. Sites like TedEd, or apps like Science360 for iPad, offer engaging, ready-made content that can support your teaching goals. Or, take it a step further and create your own digital lessons with tools like Nearpod or Educanon. For more personalized learning, get your kids using tools that offer playlists, or adaptive instruction. Sites like Edmodo or Gooru allow you to send individual students just the right content. Adaptive tools like Khan Academy give....read more


Games Can Advance Education: A Conversation with James Paul Gee

Games and learning champion James Paul Gee discusses literacy, systems thinking, education, socio-economic inequality, and, of course, video games. 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


3 Tips for Using Learning Media in PreK and Elementary

Powering on tablets, swiping screens, and navigating apps are skills most five-year-olds now possess. In fact, many have navigated screens of one kind or another for years by the time they enter my kindergarten classroom. Pretending to text and Snapchat with classroom items is now commonplace. This shouldn't be surprising since kids mimic the world around them -- a world now filled with technology. But as educators of young kids, it's important to ask ourselves, what kind of screen time is appropriate for our students, and how much is healthy? Many have heard the startling news about the number of hours kids spend with screens each day. Last year, Common Sense Media released survey results showing kids under the age of eight cons....read more


40 Essential Apps and Sites for Pre-K and Elementary

Heading back to school can mean big changes for the youngest learners. Our Fun Foundations for Pre-K and Elementary Top Picks list offers an impressive collection of apps and games to help support young kids as they build essential skills. Younger students can learn to order, count, read, and develop friendships. Older learners can engage in more complex problem-solving and decision-making. And teachers can encourage creativity, differentiate instruction, promote skill-building, and manage student learning with these helpful classroom tools. See our Fun Foundations for Pre-K and Elementary list here. What are your go-to apps and websites for supporting young learners? Add them in the comments below! ....read more


Games in the Classroom: What the Research Says

The way we understand the expectations and promises of today’s game-based approaches will have a long-term impact on how we imagine and implement them in the future. 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


The Myth of the EdTech Expert

As a computer lab teacher in an elementary school, I loved my job. I liked the challenge of trying new things and wasn't afraid to be just a bare step ahead of my students. Sure, some things were duds, but the payoff was watching students getting engaged in something, then asking for more. So, I was caught by surprise a few weeks ago when, during a presentation at an edtech conference, I found myself a little lost. The title of the workshop was "Bringing Personalized Learning to your Classroom." And for 30 minutes, we received dozens of fantastic resources, apps, and websites. But halfway through, I realized I wasn't sure what "personalized learning" meant. Not only did the p....read more


Power Up Your Socratic Seminars with Backchanneling

After witnessing the power of using Socratic Seminars in my fourth-grade reading class to deconstruct text and support thinking with evidence, I committed to continually changing the process so it didn't become stagnant. Typically, students get an article ahead of time and expand on 3-5 sentence stems to organize their thinking before coming to the class discussion. They sit in a circle and engage in higher-level thinking conversations using the stems they prepared and elaborating on the thoughts of others. Although I started with this standard format, I wanted students to have more opportunities to contribute their thinking. I tried arranging students into two separate circles, but then I couldn't be part of both discussion....read more


Must-Have Apps and Sites for Your Teacher Toolkit

As summer winds down, we know you’re getting geared up for the upcoming school year. Our Teacher Toolkit Top Picks list features great resources to organize documents, manage lesson plans, make seating charts, establish classroom procedures, set up home-school communication, and more. From teacher favorites like Edmodo and Remind 101 to newer tools like Geddit and eduCanon, we offer a sampling of great apps and websites you can use to start the school year off right. Check out our Teacher Toolkit here. What are your go-to apps and websites for prepping for the new school year? Add them in the comments below! ....read more


Digital Games and the Future of Math Class: A Conversation with Keith Devlin

Devlin argues that video games are the perfect tool for teaching math: “The problems we need mathematics for today come in a messy, real-world context, and part of making progress is to figure out just what you need from that context.” 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


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