Appeal to Millennials’ Strengths for More Engaging Lessons
October 23, 2014 – 11:27 am | No Comment

In part three of this four-part series about how educators and businesses are engaging with the Millennial Generation, we explore ways to leverage the strengths of millennial students to inspire participation and meaningful discussions in …

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Classroom perspectives, Professional development

Warren on Back to School: Better Needs Evaluation, The Role of Struggle
August 22, 2014 – 7:46 am | 11 Comments

Warren Barkley may have contributed to making WiFi a global standard and is leading our technology vision as SMART’s CTO, but his K-12 experience may surprise you. Thanks for sharing this personal reflection, Warren! I challenge our blog readers to share their own personal K-12 school reflections — how does your personal experience with school  inform your role as an educator? We welcome you to share with us on Twitter or in the comments below. You can find @warrenbarkley on Twitter too.

If you asked my parents, they would have told you that the K-12 education system failed me. My Dad was a huge fan of public education, he was president of the local PTA and started his career as a high school teacher in Canada. As active as my family was with the education system of that time, one of my learning needs still somehow slipped through the cracks. During my first year of my first university degree, I got 3 Fs in the opening term. It turns out I could not write and after some testing, we figured out that I was dyslexic.

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Classroom perspectives, Edtech insights

Appeal to Millennials’ Strengths for More Engaging Lessons
October 23, 2014 – 11:27 am | No Comment
StrongKid

In part three of this four-part series about how educators and businesses are engaging with the Millennial Generation, we explore ways to leverage the strengths of millennial students to inspire participation and meaningful discussions in class.

There’s a lot of speculation online about what makes Millennials tick, but when it comes to knowing what this generation is all about, teachers who spend five days a week with millennial students are the real experts.

Ask any teacher what makes today’s young learners different from their Gen X and Boomer predecessors, and you’ll get an earful. But while most teachers are good at spotting the differences, fewer are fully confident in their ability to bridge that generation gap. Online communities may be awash with educators who have mastered the art of reaching Millennials on their level, but not every teacher knows their mochi from their emojis.

To those teachers, we say: fear not! You don’t need to get a PhD in Ariana Grande to speak your students’ language more fluently. In this age of personalized learning, the key to engaging millennial students is to design learning activities that play to their strengths.

Millennials gravitate toward social science

According to research from the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers, today’s students will be more likely than their forebears to pursue careers in social sciences and applied fields, such as criminology, communications, and culinary arts.

With this in mind, think about how these applications can help you teach core subjects like Math, Science and English. If K-12 students are taking a greater interest in criminology, for example, nearly any lesson can be structured as a detective case. Some examples of this type of activity file on the SMART Exchange include a soil science sleuth activity, a cellular mitosis case, and “Who Ate the Socks?”, a logical reasoning activity. Likewise, history topics which might have been structured as debates or oral presentations in the past can be reformatted as court proceedings in which a historical figure is put on trial with prosecutors and defendants.

Of course, as you move through the school year, you’ll get a better sense of what other topics interest your students. As part of your reflection practice, take what you know about individual students’ interests, and see if you can find a pattern. After that, reach out to your PLN and ask whether other educators have identified the same trend in their classrooms. This conversation naturally leads to the sharing of ideas and resources that will help you plan lessons that inspire and engage your students.

Millennials are solution-oriented and entrepreneurial

Anyone who works with young people can tell you that today’s connected world is both a blessing and a curse. One of the drawbacks of being plugged in 24/7 is that today’s students are hyper-aware of the biggest problems in our world, and being on the receiving end of so many gloomy messages can be exhausting. For example, a constant stream of messages about environmental issues like global warming or deforestation can lead to frustration in young people if they can’t see any solution to the problems they’re inheriting.

Fortunately, today’s students have entrepreneurial spirit and, given the confidence that they can make a difference, they’re keen to innovate solutions. This generational trait can be the seed of some really powerful classroom projects. By emphasizing to students that small solutions can make a real difference to big problems, you’ll inspire them to engage deeply in solutions-oriented, project-based activities. This encouragement will certainly fire up students’ inquiry and creativity, and it might even lead them to start a project that can grow beyond the classroom.

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Warren on Back to School: Better Needs Evaluation, The Role of Struggle
August 22, 2014 – 7:46 am | 11 Comments
Warren on Back to School: Better Needs Evaluation, The Role of Struggle

Warren Barkley may have contributed to making WiFi a global standard and is leading our technology vision as SMART’s CTO, but his K-12 experience may surprise you. Thanks for sharing this personal reflection, Warren! I challenge our blog readers …

The return of my SMART Board interactive whiteboard
August 16, 2012 – 7:46 am | No Comment
The return of my SMART Board interactive whiteboard

By Alex Dunn
On a recent visit to SMART’s executive briefing center, I had the opportunity to see the latest SMART products.
I was immediately drawn to the SMART Board 8055ix interactive whiteboard, part of the new …

SMART Lesson Development Workshop for UK teachers
June 7, 2012 – 6:00 am | No Comment
SMART Lesson Development Workshop for UK teachers

Would you like to learn how to create engaging and effective lesson content with SMART Notebook™ collaborative learning software? Well, if you’re a teacher using SMART products in the UK, you can.
Later this month, SMART …

Best practices for professional development in technology-enabled classrooms
June 3, 2012 – 7:00 am | One Comment
Best practices for professional development in technology-enabled classrooms

By Lisa deRoy
Education Advocate, SMART Technologies
The National Staff Development Council’s (NSDC) current definition of professional development sets the stage for progressively repositioning professional development in a new light. It focuses on continuous, professional learning …

Professional development for digital learning is a TALL order
February 17, 2012 – 9:13 am | No Comment
Professional development for digital learning is a TALL order

By Byron Ernest
In my previous EDCompass blog posts, I described our journey at Lebanon High School researching technology implementation and development of the SMART Worldwide Effective Learning Lab (SWELL). For this post I am excited …

Could Teacher Evaluation Initiatives Power Down Technology-driven Innovation?
February 9, 2012 – 6:00 am | No Comment
Could Teacher Evaluation Initiatives Power Down Technology-driven Innovation?

By Eric Jansson
Teacher quality is arguably the largest policy shift in education today in the United States and will have a long impact on our public education system. Legislatures across the country are hammering out …

Connect, Learn and Share – SMART Board Revolution Virtual User Group
September 21, 2011 – 7:55 am | No Comment
Connect, Learn and Share – SMART Board Revolution Virtual User Group

A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned that the SMART Board Revolution Ning now has a monthly Global Virtual User Group meeting.
By joining this online group, you’ll have the opportunity to find new ideas and …

Upcoming SMART Learner Conferences in Alberta and Delaware
September 17, 2011 – 7:00 am | No Comment
Upcoming SMART Learner Conferences in Alberta and Delaware

Join us in October for two new SMART Learner Conferences, in Alberta Canada and Delaware USA. These hands-on conferences offer educators professional development opportunities through training sessions, guest speakers, product demos, live events and workshops.
Register …

SMART Board Revolution Ning Hosts Global Virtual User Group Meetings
September 12, 2011 – 8:10 am | No Comment
SMART Board Revolution Ning Hosts Global Virtual User Group Meetings

Matt Granger, the creator of the popular SMART Board Revolution Ning has developed a new feature on this customized social network – a monthly Global Virtual User Group meeting.
This online meeting is an opportunity for …

Using Response VE and personal devices in the classroom
August 31, 2011 – 6:02 am | No Comment
Using Response VE and personal devices in the classroom

EDCompass blog gathered some ideas on how you and your students can use SMART Response VE interactive response system and personal mobile devices to enhance lessons.
How it works
The browser-based product integrates with SMART Notebook …

Product announcement: SMART Response VE interactive response system
June 27, 2011 – 2:14 pm | No Comment
Product announcement: SMART Response VE interactive response system

Browser-based assessment tool for Internet-enabled devices
Incorporating Internet-enabled devices into daily classroom activities is easier with the new SMART Response VE interactive response system.
Announced at ISTE 2011, this software enables you to deliver interactive assessments right …

Find the right projector for your classroom
May 26, 2011 – 11:46 am | No Comment
Find the right projector for your classroom

Meet the UF75 – the newest member of SMART’s projector family
The introduction of our new interactive whiteboard system means that you have one more choice when it comes to selecting the SMART projector that’s right …

A Quick Guide to SMART’s Accreditation Program
April 13, 2011 – 9:32 am | One Comment
A Quick Guide to SMART’s Accreditation Program

The new SMART Software and Content Accreditation Program (SCAP) encourages third-party publishers to develop software and content that is integrated with SMART products. This ensures you have access to additional digital content that’s compatible with …