Latest articles from the Innovate My School community.

For January, our content will be centred around the theme of The Hottest Edtech Trends. This is the technology that can help you engage struggling pupils, to connect with remote parents, to immerse learners in new, mysterious worlds.

“The right edtech can help schools in a multitude of ways,” says Tony Wild, founder and director Hottest Edtech Trends sponsor Meritec, creator of CPOMS. “From drastically saving valuable time, improving outcomes for children, streamlining communication between staff - anything that gets people excited enough to talk about it.

“Schools are realising for themselves that technology can be used to improve circumstances across all areas, and are keen to discuss and share knowledge about the latest trends between colleagues and contacts. If a company’s resource or device is being used in schools these days, it’s because of excellent quality and customer service.

“When seeking the right edtech for your school, be sure to ask around and see what others have been saying. In fact, you can do just that by checking out this month’s Innovate My School articles…”

Dr Julie Wood

Dr Julie Wood

Dr Julie Wood is the founder and academic director of TechnoTeaching, a global consulting agency for educators. She is also the coauthor, along with UK educator Nicole Ponsford, of TechnoTeaching: Taking Practice the Next Level in a Digital World (Harvard Education Press). A former faculty member of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

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To say that meaningful technology integration is hard work is like saying that climbing Mt. Everest might leave you a little bit winded. Today’s school leaders have a Herculean number of obstacles to overcome transforming schools. As Benjamin Herold of Education Week comments:

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a word nerd. I have always loved language - as a teacher and a writer. Vocabulary knowledge, I first noticed years ago as a young teacher, is the key to unlocking meaning for your students. It also gives educators insights into the world, as lifelong learners. How can we make learning interesting, colourful and complex words an exciting part of the fabric of classroom life? Or, how can we cultivate word geeks in our classrooms? And how can digital tools help?

What does it mean to be literate in the 21st century? I think about this question a lot. Being fully literate in today’s world is about so much more than being able to simply use new tools. It’s being part of what edtech expert Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California) calls “a participatory culture” (think of YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook for example—and how all these venues encourage us to participate).

If you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you’re at least a bit techy. You might be a newbie in your first or second year of teaching: a newbie who wants to learn from other like-minded educators all over the world. Or maybe you’re a knowledgable teacher: you’re at the top of your game in many ways, but your New Year’s resolution is to take on new challenges—ones that will step up your teaching. Or perhaps you’re several years into your career: you’re an excellent teacher who is committed to lifelong learning.

Children love to read, right? Because we love to read! We grew up vicariously tumbling down the rabbit hole with Alice or exploring the Chocolate Factory with Charlie. Or sampling saltier fare with Roald Dahl and his humorous worldview.

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