Tag Archives: Educational Technology

3 Steps to Effective EdTech Implementation


By Guest Blogger Jessica Sanders, Director of Social Outreach, Learn2Earn

EdTech implementation: the phrase alone makes the process of bringing technology into your classroom sound daunting and stressful. Luckily, what you see isn’t always what you get, and this process can be smooth and stress-free if you look at the big picture, take your time, and remember to be flexible.

Use these three simple tips to take the nerves out of making your classroom future ready.

  1. Look at the Bigger Picture

Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” – Bill Gates

 It’s important to remember that technology will merely facilitate to your big-picture plan in a way that engages your students and gets them excited about learning. Tools need to supplement your lessons, not the other way around.

Before choosing any tools, answer these questions:

  • What aspects of your curriculum would benefit most from the addition of technology?
  • What are your year-long goals for these students? How does technology fit with those goals?
  • What are Common Core implementation issues that could be solved with technology for you?

Other technical questions to ask yourself:

  • What equipment do I have access to? A computer lab, iPads for all the students?
  • Is there Wi-Fi access in the school? Is it reliable?
  • Will my students be able to access these tools at home or just in the classroom?
  1. Take Your Time

After answering the previous questions you can start your research. Begin browsing apps by genre (Math, Reading), pricing (free, fee-based) or style (gamified, image-focused). You can also browse lists. A few good ones are:

10 Teacher Tools to Techify Your Classroom

Interactive Web Tools for Educators

10 Tech Tools to Engage Students

Once you’ve chosen a few tools to pursue, it’s time to experiment. Spend time learning how it works, and consider how your students will use it in the classroom.

Ask yourself:

  • Will it take them a long time to learn?
  • Will I have to spend a lot of extra time managing it?
  • Will it make me more efficient?

You may love every tool you test—but that doesn’t mean you need to bring them into the classroom all at once. In fact, this may be stressful for you and your students. Choose just one to start with, and once you and your students have mastered that tool, consider adding a new one to your roster.

  1. Be Flexible

 The first few days, even weeks, of using a new tool can be trying. You and your students are getting to know how it works, deciding where it fits in the context of everything else you’re trying to accomplish, and more. During this period, you need to be flexible with time, patience and students. Remember:

Something will go wrong: Sometimes, even the smallest mishap can throw you off. Prepare for this by considering all the things that might not work—students aren’t interested, some students aren’t successful with the tool, it stops working, your Wi-Fi is down—and have a backup plan.

Students might know better than you: Your students have been raised with technology, and know the ins and outs of many programs. Accept their advice if you’re unsure about something; this may be a time when you can learn from them—a moment that empowers them to be leaders.

Bringing new tools into the classroom doesn’t need to be an arduous or stressful task. These tools can make your students more engaged and you more efficient, if you take your time considering what works and what doesn’t.

Look at the bigger picture, test the tools you like, and don’t forget to be patient: anything new takes time to understand and manage, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll see the time was worth the outcome.

Bio: Jessica Sanders is the Director of Social Outreach for Learn2Earn, an online fundraising platform that allows students to raise money by reading books. She grew up reading books like The Giver and Holes, and is passionate about making reading as exciting for young kids today as it has always been for her. Follow Learn2Earn on Twitter and Facebook, and send content inquiries to social@learn2earn.org.

Technology and Learning Guides from Edudemic

KimJonesimageBy Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

Edudemic, an educational technology web site, has produced a very nice set of guides for a set of topics in technology and learning for teachers. These can be found at http://www.edudemic.com/guides/

The covered topics in the current collection include:

  • Twitter
  • Flipped Classrooms
  • Copyright and Fair Use
  • Google Glass
  • Badges in Education
  • The Library of Congress
  • Keeping Students Safe Online
  • Choosing the Best Digital Content*
  • Digital Scavenger Hunts
  • Pinterest in the Classroom

* Please think of Curriki when you are choosing digital content and other OER materials. We have close to 50,000 resources on Curriki!

The guides are no more than few pages in length each, immediately useful and to the point. For example, the Twitter guide has a great list of hashtags you can use in your tweets related to education topics, or just to interpret what others are tweeting. Below is an infographic for popular education-related hashtags.

Edudemic say they plan to provide more guides soon. These 10 guides are definitely worth checking out!


South Sudan – The “Newest” Country

By Kim Jones, Curriki CEO

At the end of the 20 year civil war in Sudan, a new country was formed: South Sudan.

While I was at the WISE 2012 Summit  in Qatar last week, I had the opportunity to sit next to the Undersecretary for the Ministry of General Education Deng Deng Hoc Yai.  He told a fascinating story…

Deng Deng Hoc Yai grew up in south Sudan with parents who did not know how to read or write.  He ended up going to school by accident when he was around the age of seven.  He does not know his real birthday.  He was born at home to parents who could be described as illiterate; they did not understand the concepts of dates, months or times.  When Mr. Deng was old enough to understand these concepts, he only knew he was born during the worst drought sometime in the mid-1960s.

Deng Deng Hoc Yai

Mr. Deng excelled in school and ended up with a scholarship to the university in Cairo.  He eventually made his way to London and lived there until the end of the civil war in Sudan.  At that time, he returned with his family (his children were born in London) to help rebuild his country.

You might ask: how did he get a passport without a birth certificate? Well, this is more common than you might think in the developing parts of the world.  Before he traveled to Egypt, Mr. Deng went to a doctor who measured him and assigned him a birth date of January 1, 1966. He has never questioned this date, as there is no way to ever know for certain.

Today, Mr. Deng is undersecretary for the Ministry of General Education and is trying to help educate the new generation and rebuild a country.  The teachers have no textbooks and cannot afford to buy them.  But Mr. Deng is a big believer in the power of technology and although they don’t have electricity and power everywhere, they have batteries and many cell phones.  He is very excited about Curriki and the opportunity for his country to use Curriki’s free educational resources in his efforts to eradicate illiteracy and build an educated and informed nation.

Educational Technology for Diverse Learners

Photo by: WorldIslandinfo.com via Flickr Creative Commons


The rise of technology in education is opening doors for learners of all backgrounds: students from diverse economic situations, students with special passions and students with unique educational needs. The following courses, resources and research are excellent guides for using educational technology to support diverse learners in the classroom.

Free Courses

CAST UDL Online Modules is a free online course, separated into two modules, on implementing Universal Design for Learning in your classroom. UDL is a framework for designing curriculum that addresses the diverse needs, strengths, backgrounds, and interests of students in today’s classrooms.

Using Technology to Support Diverse Learners: A collection of tech tips presented by WestEd that help educators learn how to use software and other technology devices to meet the needs of diverse learners, included students with disabilities and English learners.


Curriki hosts several wonderful resources for educators working with special needs children, including these Inspirational Stories for Inclusion, along with an Intervention Assistant Handbooks, for those working with diverse students in middle school grades.

Tech Matrix is a hub of research and resources in educational technology for students with disabilities. You may search the site for specific resources, or browse featured content and research.

CITEed Research Center provides research in educational technology that allows you to ‘explore how technology can be used to enhance instruction with an emphasis on students with special needs.’

Highlighted Research

Empower Diverse Learners With Educational Technology and Digital Media

By Karla V. Kingsley

This paper outlines ‘20 ways for teachers of diverse learners to harness the power of instructional multimedia to create opportunities for all students to become active, empowered learners.’ Kinglsey provides thoughtful, in-depth tips for educators, especially those who are new to technology.

Addressing diverse learner preferences and intelligences with emerging technologies: Matching models to online opportunities

By Ke Zhang and Curtis J. Bonk

This paper  reviews various learning preferences and human intelligence theories and models with a particular focus on the implications for online learning. It highlights  key models, and attempts to link them to trends and opportunities in online learning with emerging technologies, offering instructors and instructional designers new ways to think about addressing diverse learner needs, backgrounds, and expectations.

Blogs, Wikis and Text Messaging: What are the Implications for Students with Learning Disabilities

By Center for Implementing Technology in Education

This article, published on LD Online, a superior website for learning disorders and ADHD, asks “What about Web 2.0 tools? What are they and how do they affect learning and interaction for students with learning disabilities?”

How is educational technology shaping your practice, especially with diverse learners? Share your story with Curriki!


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Photo by: WorldIslandinfo.com via Flickr Creative Commons


Discover What’s New in Education Technology

Photo by: Abulic Monkey via Flickr Creative Commons

[tweetmeme]Education has moved beyond the ‘standard model’ of chalkboards, worksheets, and overhead projectors. The world of Educational Technology is rapidly growing and evolving, breathing new life and creativity into classrooms across the globe. To follow the latest developments and to find tips and resources on how you can integrate new technologies into your classroom, check out this sampling summer conferences and webinars.


June 27-30th 2010, Denver, CO.

A leader in Educational Technology, the ISTE International Society for Technology in Education is currently hosting its Summer 2010 conference in Colorado. The conference runs from June 27 to June 30th, and reports on conference activities will be made available from the Daily Leader, ISTE’s official onsite newspaper. If you are in Denver for the conference, make sure to stop by the Open Source Playground to say hi to Curriki!

July 20-23rd 2010, San Jose, CA.

The inaugural 2010 MERLOT Conference will bring together MERLOT, the Sloan Consortium and MoodleMoot for a three-day symposium on “Emerging Technologies for Online Learning.” Keynote speakers are Ellen Wagner, Milton Chen and Lisa Dawley, Ph.D. If you plan on attending this great event, register before June 30 for Early Bird prices!


A top site in Educational Technology news and resources, TechLearning.com provides free webinars on technology and learning to all educators. Learn how to make classroom movies,  keep data – and students – secure online, integrate technology into the classroom, and more! Access archived webinars and check back for new topics!

PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, offers free Media and Technology webinars, presented by PBS  Teachers and Classroom 2.0. PBS Teachers also offers courses to educators pursuing online professional development through the PBS TeacherLine program, which presents online courses in Instructional Strategies, Instructional Technology, Math, Reading & Language Arts, Science and STEM, each with an option of receiving graduate credit.

ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is an educational leadership organization which offers free webinars year-round. Upcoming topics include: Setting Students Up for Success, The Myths of Second Language Acquisition, and Integrating Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom. In addition, ASCD just wrapped up a conference in Orlando. Read about hot topics discussed at the event, including ‘Social Media Revolution in Your Classroom’ and ‘Curriculum for the 21st Century’ in the Conference Daily.

Want more techniques and tips for incorporating technology in the classroom, including education in the 21st Century Classroom? Be sure to check out Curriki’s resources on Education and Education Technology.

Interested in earning money this summer to develop a new unit that will be shared with a global audience? This year, Summer of Content Awards will be granted to student-focused units that include support material for teachers. In other words, we are looking for activities, webquests, worksheets, quizzes, and games that will engage students and help make Curriki a destination for students as well as teachers. Apply by July 9, 2010.


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Photo by: Abulic Monkey via Flickr Creative Commons