Four fifth-grade students in an accelerated math class at a Wyoming elementary school put their skills to the test to design and build dog houses for a local animal shelter. The students also expressed their artistic side by painting colorful designs on the outside of the houses.
Advocates for teaching students digital literacy back changes made to the United Kingdom's technology curriculum to emphasize learning code, but they argue that more schools need to integrate the use of technology and social media across all subjects. "Becoming literate in how the technical world works is equivalent to reading, writing and maths. We need to look at this fourth literacy as mainstream," said Mark Surman, Mozilla Foundation's executive director.
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing plans to require that intern teachers who join the field via alternative methods are subject to additional credentialing regarding English-language learners. Potential options include providing training before teachers enter the classroom, offering waivers and administering a competency test to determine if teachers are knowledgeable about ELLs.
At the recent SXSWedu Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, the changing role of teachers as facilitators of classroom learning was a primary focus, SmartBrief senior education editor Melissa Greenwood writes in this blog post. Among the suggestions offered by speakers were to teach students to use technology to find answers on their own, put context before content and approach learning in a less formal way. Other ideas included educators acting as "spark igniters," who help students discover what drives their own passion for learning, and allowing students to help craft curriculum.
Having students, and even teachers and principals, perform in "readers' theaters" improves students' reading and fosters a positive school climate, elementary-school principal Peter DeWitt writes in this blog post. In the classroom, students read directly from scripts to improve fluency, inflection and intonation. Schoolwide, faculty and staff performances serve to model a love of reading. "Students who see their teachers and principal take risks up on the stage feel more comfortable taking risks in the classrooms," DeWitt writes.