How To Enhance Your Classroom Through Technology
Pamela Harris
As a library student and a former high school teacher, I take a special interest in classroom technology. I think you may be surprised at the amount of affordable technology suitable for use in the classroom. I wanted to give you some lower cost options that can be used with technology already available in most classrooms and/or school media centers. +Read More -Read Less
Originally posted on

Edudemic - Education Technology Tips For Students And Teachers has an interesting article entitled "50 Education Tools Every Teacher Should Know About" that lists a number of these technologies under the subeadings "social learning" (including this website!), "learning," and "lesson planning and tools." Some highlights include EdModo, OpenStudy, MangaHigh, Kerpoof, PlanBoard, and Prezi. I have used a number of these tools in my classroom with great success. 50 Education Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know About - Edudemic

A blog on the Huffington Post has a list of the top twenty technology tools, such as Melody Street and PowerSchool. The author is a business expert, but he also has a number of respected posts on education topics. 20 Must-use Education Technology Tools

A Q & A session with an MIT engineering professional takes a more philosophical look at this question, concluding that "[schools] need three things to be successful: trained, talented, and well-compensated teachers; committed principals, superintendents, and school committees; and bright, enthusiastic, well-fed, and well-rested students with parents who are involved and invested in their children’s education."

Reluctant Reader? Try Nonfiction
Jonathan Fluck
When it comes to reading some people like fiction, some like poetry, and other prefer nonfiction. Just like grown ups, children will naturally prefer a genre and a topic. It may appear as though you have reluctant readers in your class, but perhaps they simply haven't identified their interests yet. When a child chooses a book that highlights their interests they are more engaged. Many students, particularly boys, prefer nonfiction reading material. If you want to motivate students to read and promote independent reading, allow them to choose a book that speaks to them and be sure to have a wide variety of books so that they can find one that speaks to them. +Read More-Read Less

    Why Read Nonfiction?

  • It allows students to access high interest topics (trucks, animals, dinosaurs, and art)

  • Exposes students to diagrams, charts, and text boxes

  • ‘Chunks’ out information which helps struggling readers access the facts easily

  • Helps young students make ‘real’ world connections

  • It helps to increase and extend vocabulary

    What Can I Do To Help?

  • Be sure to include nonfiction in read-aloud experiences

  • Work with students to identify their interests and help them find related materials

  • Ensure that young children are exposed to non-fiction materials in the classroom

  • Provide parents with suggestions of ways they can support nonfiction reading at home

10 Traits Of Successful Students
Arturo Deza
This is the success story of my friend who went from smart to smarter and the 10 traits I saw in him that pushed him towards success and inspired me. +Read More-Read Less
Originally posted on

His success story:

  1. Discipline: He had no Facebook during his undergraduate years, and probably only went online for doing homework, assignments or coordinating projects. This reduced his distraction span to zero.
  2. Emotional Intelligence: He could control his emotional and sexual impulses. He was very socially intelligent around diverse groups, but he had in mind that having a girlfriend during his undergraduate years would be a major distraction. Both he and I when we were freshman knew that we wanted to go to USA for a PhD, so we were lifelong buddies who always noticed the good and bad things about each other. While I would sometime complain that he didn't go out on weekends (because he never did), he would always complain that I cared too much about appearance, partying and personal marketing. He was not socially handicapped as some people might think a 'nerd' would be, he was actually a very mature person who could talk about anything.
  3. Sacrifice: We came from a place where dogs literally walked inside our classroom, and cockroaches would on occasion crawl in our backpack in class. He didn't let any of this get to him. He actually used the poor infrastructure of our engineering building as a motivation, something like "one day I'm going to get out of this hell hole, and do something great for science". He also had a great sense of patriotism.
  4. Stellar passion and motivation: The first semester, I found out that he had the highest GPA of the whole class, and I immediately called him by the phone. I didn't understand a thing of what he said because the signal was low. However, the next day he seemed very depressed and told me that his grandfather had passed away. His grandfather was like his father to him and he never got the chance to tell him that he achieved first place in his engineering class. Little did we know, after a couple of weeks we realized not only was he the first in class, he was first in the entire campus achieving the highest GPA (grades in Peru are from 0 to 20, and with no curve). He graduated Summa Cum Laude 2 years ago, and got the highest GPA at our university over the last 30 years. The other person previous to him was Barton Zwiebach, a renowned Peruvian string theorist and Professor at MIT.
  5. No pain no gain: He went overkill sometimes to achieve his goal. I'm talking things like not having lunch to study an extra hour, sleep 4-5 hours a day at least 5 days a week, sleeping on the bus to get extra sleep time, and most dazzling thing of all was that most of the time he didn't go to class. He just stayed studying in the library and was at least 2 or 3 weeks ahead of the professor. Even if he did go to class, he rarely payed attention, he would go over his books to see what methods other authors would teach. He would buy and download at least 5 different books per subject and read them all to learn and to study for the test. He would go over all the proofs and learn them, study them, do them, sometimes reinvent the proofs or see if he could grasp the concept in anticipation of what the book would reveal.
  6. Selecting friends: His paradigm for selecting friends (or colleagues) was impressive. He didn't care if it was me (a spoiled rich kid), or the son of a blue-collar family that was a national math Olympiad. He valued people for their ideas and it didn't matter to him where they were from, but where they were going.
  7. Becoming a preacher: He was never reluctant on teaching. Whenever anyone would ask him something he would go over the concepts and explain it to him. This was really beneficial for our closed group of friends, as we each learned different concepts and he checked with us or we discussed any doubts we had.
  8. Be ambitious: All of his life, he was the best at everything he did. Before enrolling at our engineering school, he was making around $3000 a month by only winning Magic The Gathering Card competitions, and he was Peru's #1 player and Ranked in the top 10 world wide. *Not bad for a 16 year old, at that time.
  9. He majored in Robotics Engineering: So yes, he did learn Optimal and Digital Control, Fourier Analysis, Triple integrals, differential equations, etc.. We didn't have computers for our programming tests, they were all done on pen and paper.
  10. He was incredibly humble.

At his young age (22), he has already surpassed the post-docs at the Ivy League university (name concealed) Lab he is interning at, to the degree that the seminal paper he wrote is on yield because if published now, invalidates the work of the post-docs at his lab.

10 Ways To Transform Education With The Web
Nathan Ketsdever
Here are 10 awesome ways teachers are using the web to make learning more effective. +Read More-Read Less
Originally posted on

  1. Skype to facilitate connections to people outside the classroom.
  2. Project based learning with digital production tools (video, audio, presentations, etc..). Very in line with constructivist learning methodologies.
  3. Digital portfolios for students.
  4. Learning communities (Facebook groups, Ning, Blackboard, or other free tools)
  5. Professional communities for teacher education (ie communities of practice)
  6. Saving content from education conferences and posting it.
  7. Blogging to share experiences (and re-mixing the web). For instance, documenting experiments they do in class or doing local histories and posting them online.
  8. Classroom to classroom learning projects (which help bridge geographical and cultural divides)
  9. Khan academy type learning modules in video presentation form. Then the students can teach each other or watch the videos at home, allowing more time for customized in class learning.
  10. Self learning (there is a TED talk about this).