Finding ways to encourage student leadership

Student Leadership: The time is now

#ready2launch student leadershipAugust is usually a time crammed with planning logistics for the start of the school year. It’s a time when educators’ coffee intake increases exponentially and that ever-popular 4AM anxiety dream makes you jump out of bed in a sweat. Yet somehow it all falls into place and school opens, students show up, and off we go.

Now, my question to you is how many schools embrace the student’s voice in planning for this opening?

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Climate, Community and Voice from Day 1

 Starting up with our students

ready2LAnother exciting year is upon us. It may be difficult to wrest our attention from these glorious days of Vermont summer but never have the opportunities for good teaching been more open to us. As one teacher noted upon leaving this summer’s Middle Grades Institute, “I can bring about positive change in my classroom and school. I just have to follow my heart and do what I know is best for kids: personalized, flexible and proficiency based learning!”

In the next several weeks, we’ll dive into making the most of the first weeks of school so you can follow your heart and do what’s best for kids.

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twitter etiquette

Modeling twitter interactions as an educator and parent

digital citizenship and twitter etiquetteWith twitter’s explosive growth in popularity with educators, it can get a little confusing as to what the new rules of social media look like. Hint: they’re a lot like the old rules. Kindness, empathy and listening rule the day.

Let’s look at how one educator and parent models twitter etiquette.

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Use Thinglink to explore identity

Creating and sharing digital selves

identityI’m participating in Thinglink’s Summer VR Challenge, and the first exercise in the challenge is to design your Digital Self, a visual representation of yourself with embedded links to things you feel are important people know about you.

A key component of the exercise is to share your Digital Self with your PLN. But I warn you: you’re not ready for this jelly.

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Middle Grades Institute Reflections

middle grades instituteI’ve just returned from the Middle Grades Institute, and honestly, I am still reeling. My brain is finally slowing down and trying to process all that happened there.

The short of it: teachers, professors, Tarrant Institute staff, and students from across Vermont gathered to learn how to better personalize learning, engage early adolescent students, create flexible pathways to graduation, foster deep, authentic learning, and learn about all the transformative practices and opportunities around the state.

It’s like someone took the blinders off.

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Teaching copyright with video mashups

In a 1:1 Android environment

digital citizenship and students onlineCopyright.

Fair Use. Public Domain.

The meaning of these concepts as applied to creative work,  has broadened dramatically in our digital world. Students are some of the biggest consumers and creators of work created on digital platforms, but they don’t often understand:

  1. what they may legitimately use
  2. how they may use it
  3. what protection exists for their own creative work.

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Learn Like a Pirate: Key takeaways

Katy’s 2016 Summer Reading

reflection for educatorsSomething about this book title and summer reading fits perfectly. The open ocean, pirates, and fierce independence. I’m hoping you have a bit of time to settle into some reading for fun and some that inspires you in the classroom to have students take on more leadership and develop their own independence.

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Social reading tools for summer reading

Audrey’s 2016 summer reading list

Tarrant Institute tool tutoriallsI’ve been thinking a lot lately about where technology fits into reading. Not just the e-book vs print book discussion (spoiler: both choices are valid for any individual) but also how tech tools and platforms can bring readers together to talk about books. And I’m doing that by reading a lot and trying things.

So my summer reading list comes with a tool kit.

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Education reform, more education reform and David Foster Wallace

Mark’s 2016 summer reading list

reflection for educatorsThis past academic year was one of the busiest and most invigorating year I have had in my time as a student or teacher. As my role here at the Tarrant Institute has grown and focused more deeply on the research side of things, I have also been progressing towards my PhD. The summer doesn’t really provide a break, per se, but it does give me time to dive into some books I’ve been eying all year. Here’s a few things I’m making sure to get through.

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Education, funny families and international espionage

My 2016 Summer Reading List

reflection for educatorsThere are many thinks to look forward to as summer approaches. As an educator, I appreciate the calm I feel when school is out. You know that tense feeling thinking about what tomorrow’s class will be like. There is nothing like the first Sunday night when you realize you don’t have to be a teacher in the morning!!!!

I also look forward to a slower pace of life where I can stop adding items to my TO-DO LIST and finally start checking a few off. One of those things for me is my summer reading list.

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