Some Favorite Posts We Shared at ISTE 2014

ISTE2014MiddleWeb co-editors Susan Curtis and John Norton are wandering the byways of ISTE 2014, the amazing ed tech/learning conference taking place this weekend (June 28-July 1) in Atlanta, Georgia. We hope to see you if you’re there!

Meanwhile, we’ve pulled together a selection of MiddleWeb posts that seem especially appropos this weekend. Whether you’re sprawled in the hall of the ISTE conference center or enjoying a summer beverage at home, browse these entries and add a little something to your digital toolbox. It’s our ISTE Sampler!



Creating a Digital Book Club in Our School
MattR-MW-DigitalBkClub02Bringing online conversations around books into the schoolhouse can prepare our students for what reading looks like today and tomorrow, says K-5 principal Matt Renwick. He highlights the development of his school’s first student digital book club.

Classroom Tinkers and Inventors
In a MiddleWeb guest article, the authors of Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom say that the tools and ethos of the maker revolution offer insight and hope for middle schools and for science and math studies.

Guiding Student Writers as They Work with Digital Tools
If asking student writers to develop voice, stamina and range isn’t hard enough, says teacher educator Troy Hicks, we now have digital tools to contend with. Watch as Hicks helps his 6th grade daughter think through her creation of a book report video.

Cultivating Passionate Learners in Common Core Classrooms
Educators can create classrooms where students control their own learning and still meet the demands of a Common Core curriculum, says 5th grade teacher Pernille Ripp, author of “Passionate Learners: Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students.”

Our Bloggers

JeffC-children-166A MiddleWeb chat with 2013 NTOY Jeff Charbonneau
Jeff Charbonneau, science educator & 2013 National Teacher of the Year, talks about STEM education & his relationships-first teaching philosophy. “Honestly I see the engineering design process as something that everyone can and should apply to their everyday lives.”

Teaching Literacy Skills with Quality Comics
Often students are given graphic novels in a last-ditch effort to spark an interest in reading. In Kevin Hodgson’s (@dogtrax) 6th grade classes, comics are treated seriously as tools to promote better writing & deeper comprehension, using a unique skill set.

Ideas and Activities to STEM the Summer Slide
How to STEM the summer learning slide? MiddleWeb’s Anne Jolly offers a great collection of ideas and resources that can help parents and educators keep kids tuned into math, science and engineering topics until the school doors open again this fall.

Confronting My Flipped Classroom Bias
History teachers can adopt flipped teaching techniques and remain true to their constructivist pedagogy, says Jody Passanisi. In her classroom Passanisi creates videos that walk students through classroom procedures, explain tricky assignments, model writing or review test concepts — “anything procedural or to supply basic information.” The time she saves is invested in deeper study and individual help.


An Inspiring Look at Leadership for Digital Learning
digital-leadership-cvrRave notices continue for principal Eric Sheninger’s book on transformational Digital Leadership. Our reviewer Kristen Peterson appreciates the stories he shares of other leaders who have made the digital transition, as well as his practical advice.

Getting Started with Your PLN? Here’s a Helpful Guide
Organized and user friendly, Professional Learning in the Digital Age by Kristen Swanson provides educator cases, face-to-face protocols, research snippets and to-do lists to help teachers move through the process of developing their PLN, says reviewer Nicole Miller.

A Joyous Vision of the Holodeck Classroom
David Thornburg’s From the Campfire to the Holodeck is not just about blending technology into lessons; it’s about good teaching in learning environments designed for the 21st century, says reviewer Sarah Cooper. Is there a holodeck in your school’s future?

Kids & Tech: Parent and Teacher Attitudes Differ
Reading iRules through an education lens, our teacher/reviewer noticed that while parents are pushing technology away and trying to figure out how to limit its role in their children’s lives, teachers are doing almost the opposite. How can they close that gap and work together?

Feature image: EdSurge (see their ISTE guide!)



MiddleWeb is all about the middle grades, with great 4-8 resources, book reviews, and guest posts by educators who support the success of young adolescents. And be sure to subscribe to MiddleWeb SmartBrief for the latest middle grades news & commentary from around the USA.

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