Developing Agency: Vetting Applications for “Educational” Value and Learner Agency

A pink highlighter and checklikst
by Liz Kolb How do you know if an educational application is truly “educational”? Believe it or not, there is no vetting process for these tools in the Google Play or Apple App stores.  Any app can be labeled “educational,” even when it may not actually lead to student learning. This lack of screening has worried many educators, especially those of us in the education technology field.  For ...
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Sunflowers and Butterflies

a picture of a sunflower with a butterfly on it
by Toby J. Karten As I painted the sunflowers on the cedar planked walls of our A-framed Vermont cabin, I smiled at the field that emerged. Broad and fine brushstrokes gave birth to each root, stem, leaf, and flower. Together they grew as I dug into the walls and feverishly painted. Some sunflowers overlapped and intertwined, some stood apart, some were taller, some were smaller, some had deepe...
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Singing the Praises of Personal Learning Goals

Stick figure singing
by Madison Calteux. Muskego-Norway School District While I love to sing and dance about math being a subject worthy of high praise, my theatrics only go so far to engage students. (And when I say sing, I do mean it somewhat literally; ask any Algebra 1 teacher about the song for the Quadratic Formula.) Fortunately, I have found when students can take charge (and be their own metaphorical choreo...
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Forging a Path Forward – Together

Image of tree lined path
by Paula Hough, Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 With 6500 students, USD 383 is large enough to provide a broad array of challenging educational and extracurricular programs, yet small enough to sustain strong relationships between students and caring adults. Amidst construction projects, grade level reconfiguration, new technology, and other changes, we always focus on teachers and professional learnin...
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