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Social Emotional Learning - The Pathway 2 Success

Social-Emotional Learning is gaining momentum in schools worldwide. This educational method is meant to be integrated into the curricula to provide teachers and parents with tools to support the mental health and well-being of students. Research on SEL shows telling evidence of improved academic performance and behaviors among students.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), a leading organization dedicated to making Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) part of education, defines SEL as “the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.”

The organization identifies five core competencies that comprise SEL, which are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. All five are critical for the success of students in and outside the classroom. While there are multiple ways to integrate SEL into the curricula in traditional ways, many apps, games, and web resources can make SEL more engaging and effective for students.

Here is a list of excellent tools and resources that will help you address the five core competencies of SEL.

Self-Awareness is one of the key components of SEL and is the ability to be aware of our emotions, needs, values, preferences, thoughts, attitudes, strengths, etc., and how these may impact our lives from small day-to-day activities to bigger life decisions.

An excellent way of cultivating self-awareness in the classroom is to start each day with an emotional check-in. This can be as simple as a journaling activity asking students questions such as “What are some of your feelings right now?” and “Where are they coming from?” or having them share their emotions through emojis on Google Jamboard.

Alternatively, you can introduce short meditations to your classes. There are lots of meditation tools such as Calm and Headspace. A full body scan meditation on Headspace can be a great warm-up for teaching students to pay attention to how their bodies store emotions. If you are looking for something designed specifically for children, check out DreamyKid. It is a meditation app designed for kids ages 3-17 and is used by hundreds of schools worldwide. The app aims to bring mindfulness to schools through meditations, affirmations, guided journeys, healing activities, and other tools. DreamyKid recently introduced a school program that costs $32-$47/month with a 10-month commitment and provides flexible pricing options depending on the number of teachers who integrate it into the classroom. 


Self-regulation and management of our emotions are essential for our mental and emotional well-being. This component of SEL implies learning to manage and regulate emotions, actions, and choices, manage stress, and set goals.

In teaching our students and kids to identify and process their feelings, we set them up for success in an increasingly stressful world. You can teach students to identify their emotions and those of others through games and interactive activities. Nearpod, a platform offering thousands of educational videos, ready-made lesson plans, and interactive material has excellent CASEL-aligned teaching resources that can assist you in bringing SEL to your classroom daily. Use this Nearpod video that explains how to identify anger and have students take the quiz afterward.

Social Awareness

Social Awareness is a competence rooted in empathy and concern for others. It is the ability to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and see things from another perspective. This can be easily modeled and practiced through games focusing on conflict resolution.

Cool School: Where Peace Rules may be the ultimate tool for this. The game helps cultivate empathy by engaging kids in various scenarios that ask them to put themselves in another person's shoes. Play this game to give students the opportunity to resolve conflicts in an empathetic way and in a safe environment.

Relationship Skills

SEL develops students’ relationship skills helping them to effectively manage their interactions in and outside school. To develop interpersonal skills, respect, and empathy for others.

If you are teaching middle school, consider incorporating Middle School Confidential, an award-winning graphic novel series by anti-bullying activist Annie Fox. This tool will engage students in interactive reading activities while helping them navigate middle school with increased emotional preparedness and empathy. For instance, by choosing the Middle School

Confidential 2: Real Friends vs. the Other Kind, you can teach students how to make friends and manage tough social interactions, resolve conflicts, and deal with gossip, bullying, and other issues.

Middle School Confidential 1: Be Confident in Who You Are will help strengthen students’ self-esteem and teach them empathy and other tools to manage situations involving teasing, bullying, or self-doubt.

Responsible Decision-Making

Responsible decision-making is SEL’s fifth competence. To address this aspect of SEL, introduce story ethical decision-making through games such as Quandry. Quandary, a free non-profit educational tool designed for students 8+ can help “develop critical thinking and perspective-taking, practice empathy, and learn to make ethical decisions through fun and engaging gameplay.”  Quandary helps develop critical thinking and responsible decision-making skills by asking students to identify and resolve real-life issues. The game claims research-based evidence for an increase in fact vs. opinion comprehension, self-reported perspective-taking, concern for others, and overall high student engagement.

A similar decision-making game that can be integrated into your classes is Life Choices, a life simulation game that requires students to make choices to help a fictional town with repairs and restoration. Rather than focus on right or wrong decisions, the game creates an opportunity for students to make ethical decisions through real-life situations.


Social-Emotional Learning becomes more and more necessary as we face constantly changing educational environments. Rather than allow digital tools and devices to consume our student’s attention and affect their mental and emotional health, we can instead use them to bring gamification and storytelling into the classroom to foster their social and emotional development. With so many helpful SEL resources available in our toolkits, we can prepare future generations that are well-equipped to tackle any challenge that shows up on their life path.

Quantified Teams - SRI


Many students that require additional education support are familiar with the services of tutors; however, just as technology has evolved over the years, so has access to educational support systems. While traditional tutors offer in-person or virtual sessions and use their area of expertise to support students, technological advances have supported a rise in options for students seeking advice and assistance. The problem is that many students needing educational support may receive appropriate support through the services of an educational coach. However, more awareness is needed in higher education to connect students to the resources and support systems that fit their academic needs. This article presents the benefits of expert coaches as an alternative to traditional tutoring. Just as education has evolved with technology, new advances in educational support systems have evolved to support the various learning needs of students.  


Over the years, students in higher education have had access to tutoring services. At some institutions, tutoring services are included in the tuition and are freely available to all students. However, many universities only offer a writing lab as a free option, leaving many students to pay for tutoring services. Despite having access to educational support, many universities have noted barriers to accessing tutoring. For example, researchers Ciscell et al. (2016) shared that there is a stigma of poor intelligence associated with using a tutor, which has prevented many students from seeking help, even when the students would benefit from the services. These researchers also noted that student self-perception also heavily influences how students may or may not seek help. For example, if students believe that they cannot change their habits or style, they may be less inclined to seek assistance.

While in-person tutoring has many benefits, how do administrators and faculty support the students that need an alternative to traditional tutoring? The pandemic has helped advance educational technology and support, presenting traditional and non-traditional students with various support resources. For example, using a quantified learning approach via expert learning coaches may be the solution that many of today’s students need.

Current Best Practices

The idea of quantified learning is not a new concept; rather, it is a term that has progressed with the needs of students over the years. Zubair Talib (2020) defined quantified learning as “the use of technology to help provide more granular and predictable education and education outcomes.”  Personalized learning and personal development can be achieved through quantified learning. Considering the needs of consumers (students), learning engineering, learning analytics, and adaptive learning are the main components that support quantified learning services.

In an article by Baker et al. (2018), researchers explained how engineered learning “applies a rigorous combination of theory, data, and analysis to develop and improve educational systems and methodologies to produce enduring and high‐quality learning” (p. 3). Learning engineering is being used by researchers and developers to create next-generation learning tools. One example is supporting human processes through the development of integrating computer-based tutoring with human tutoring.

Another component of quantified learning is learning analytics. Tsai (2022) explained how learning analytics is “the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs.” In other words, data is collected on learners to understand how and why they learn in certain ways. This data is then used to develop new resources to support the learner’s needs.

The final component of quantified learning is adaptive learning. According to Radboud University (2022), adaptive learning is the use of technology using a form of artificial intelligence to identify, diagnose, and provide feedback based on student knowledge and performance. For example, an online language learning program may be able to assess a student’s current knowledge and mastery of a language and recommend a specific path of learning using the pre-determined factors. Another example is how many K-12 schools are testing and implementing assessments that use adaptive learning technology. As a student progresses through an assessment, the AI determines the level of understanding and provides easier or harder questions based on student responses.

Some of the most prominent educational companies that use quantified learning include Khan Academy, Duolingo, and Udacity. Khan Academy offers students various lessons and interactive activities to support learning needs and specific concepts. Duolingo is a language learning platform that supports learning a language through activities and games. Finally, Udacity is a platform that offers a variety of massive online open courses (MOOCs) to support mastery of several topics without the commitment level of a university course.

For companies that support education, there are several factors to consider when developing quantified learning. Collings and McMakin (2021) explained that companies need to plan their learning and development to reflect predicted skills students will need in the future.

Expert Coaches and Quantified Learning

Universities are also investing in adaptive learning technologies that support personalized student support. For example, the University of Texas developed the UT Total Educational Experience or TEx. The TEx is an adaptive learning system that uses student performance to personalize student support. For example, the TEx program can provide suggestions for advising, coaching, and mentoring with each program a student is taking.

Adaptive learning technology is already in use and supports the learning needs of students in various settings and at various levels of education. However, how can students access a combination of customer service with curricular content tutoring? Expert coaching is one way to address the needs of students that need support in their academic studies but may not need the level of personalization that a tutor provides. For example, an academic expert coach could use student input from an educational AI-based program to gather information on an assigned report, resources needed, and guidance required by the student. Coaches would use the information supplied to guide the student to the needed resources (books, journal articles, professional organizations) and provide a guide on how to complete the assignment using the course requirements. Some examples of programs that match students to expert coaches or tutors include Brainly and MyTutor. Through adaptive learning programs, expert coaches do not need to be experts in one specialty. Instead, they can use a combination of computer-based support recommendations with basic academic knowledge and understanding to guide students seeking curricular support.


Advances in technology have evolved to provide students with personalized instruction and support. Quantified learning has also transformed the possibilities of educational support services. Through research and development, many educational companies have developed AI products and adaptive learning technologies that offer students personalized support. While traditional tutoring is still effective for traditional students, other options are necessary to support the learning needs of non-traditional students. Expert coaches are an appropriate alternative to traditional tutoring. Expert coaches use AI-supported software to collect student data and create personalized academic support, providing a new means to learning success.



Baker, R. S., Boser, U., & Snow, E. L. (2022). Learning engineering: A view on where the field is at, where it’s going, and the research needed. Technology, Mind, and Behavior.

Ciscell, G., Foley, L., Luther, K., Howe, R., & Gjsedal, T. (2016). Barriers to Accessing Tutoring Services among Students Who Received a Mid-Semester Warning. Learning Assistance Review21(2), 39-54.

Collings, D., & McMakin, J. (2021). The practices that set learning organizations apart. MIT Sloa Management Review.

Online Education. (2022). Adaptive Learning: How Online Colleges Tailor Programs to Student Needs. Online Education.

7 Reasons Why WordPress Is The Best Choice For Student Blogging

Blogging has been a part of the internet since the beginning. It has so much potential that has never been fully utilized in the classroom. This post will give you ideas on how to use blogs effectively in the classroom, and it will also give you practical tips on how to set it all up on the technical side.

"Blog" is short for weblog. It is seen by most as a social media of some sort and ultimately, non-academic. But blogs can ultimately be a force for good in the educational space with the correct approach.

Why would I want my Students Posting or Reading Blogs?

Blogs can be used in many ways. In the classroom, a blog can be written by teachers, or by individual students. We definitely recommend you let your students maintain their own blogs.

When students start writing blogs, they begin putting their writing skills, and creative thinking to the test. It is easy to read posts but writing completely new posts is a different beast to tame. This will help your students recognize good writing online, and they will be made aware of constructive interactions online. A blog will also serve as a creative outlet for many students who are otherwise frustrated without an outlet in their class.  

You as a teacher can also maintain a blog of yourself. A teacher’s blog can be used to publish assignments, and resources required in the classroom. It can also be used as a place to keep all the parents up to date on what is happening in the classroom.

What would my Students Blog About?

There are many different genres of blogs on the internet. You could also argue that there is an infinite genre of blogs limited only by the imagination. In this section, let us go through some good blog ideas.

The first type of blog is a single project blog. In this type of blog, a student can maintain a single blog for the duration of a project. The blog would start with the inception of an idea. It would contain all the research conducted on the topic. Then it can document the process of getting the project done. Then it would end with the outcome of the project and the advantages and disadvantages of doing it. This type of blog would be perfect for a long-term assignment.

The second type of blog is a blog for special interests. This blog would only feature a certain interest of the student that authors it. It can be anything that interests the student, from Legos to fighter jets. It would help the student improve their research skills, and also improve their ability to condense their love for something into words. Students love to work on something they have an interest in, so this has the potential to be an automatic favorite with the kids (unless they hate writing).

Another type of blog is termed the portfolio blog. This blog serves as a portfolio of all the work a student works on. It can have all the stories, essays, and poetry authored by the students. You can create a single blog to showcase all the students' work online for parents and the general public to read, or you can ask every student to create their own portfolio blog.

A journalistic blog is a type of blog that is more of a news source than anything else. This blog can include news from the school, classes, teachers, or anything of interest happening. This type of blog will serve as an excellent way to inform parents about the current situations in the school.

A blog can also be a place to review things. Students can use the blog platform to review movies, games, or food. If a student wants to talk about their favorite game at length or talk about the vacation they took to a distant place, this blog can provide that creative outlet.

A how-to blog can allow students to help each other online. A student that is good at math can make posts on how to solve certain problems, another student might write a post on how to understand a certain concept taught in the class. There are unlimited ways in which how-to blogs can prove helpful.

How do I Get Started?

Blogging can seem daunting, but it is not that difficult with the abundance of blogging sites on the internet nowadays. If you want to help every student sign up for a blog, you might need to ask for the help of the IT department. The following sites are some good choices to create blogs.

WordPress is the most widely used blogging site in the world. Anyone can simply sign-up and use their templates to create blogs. There is no technical hassle, or anything complicated with this website. It is highly recommended.

Edublogs is a website that allows teachers to create their own blogs to manage their classes. They boast that they have “a ton” of features, themes, and plugins that are geared toward education. If you are a teacher looking to create a blog for yourself, then this website is highly recommended.

Fanschool is a website that allows students can publish in a safe environment moderated by teachers. If you want a space that keeps students safe from the harms publishing works to the public can provide. If your educational institution has decided to make blog posts of students private, then this is definitely recommended.


Blogs fall under the category of social media, but they can prove to be a force for good in the classroom. It can be a source of creative outlet for students that need it, and it can be something fun that students will love to do. Teachers can maintain blogs themselves, or make their students maintain their own blogs. A blog can be for a single project, special interests, portfolios, journalistic in nature, reviews of things, or a how-to blog. Setting up a blog is very simple with the abundance of websites like WordPress, Edublogs, and Fanschool.

Project Based Learning


Project-based learning is one of the hottest trends in education today. This style of teaching has been used for decades but has gained popularity in recent years as educators have begun to realize its benefits. The potential of project-based learning to improve academic performance, career prospects, and life opportunities is leading many schools to switch over to it.

The purpose of this article is to examine the benefits of project-based learning and how it can be incorporated into classroom settings. Let's begin!

What Is Project-Based Learning?

John Dewey, an American philosopher and educator, is credited with developing PBL. PBL (project-based learning) is an instructional approach that offers students an opportunity to develop knowledge and skills through engaging projects that are based on real-world challenges and problems. For an alternative definition check out this article from PBLWorks.

PBL Is More Student-Centric Than Traditional Learning

In PBL, the students are more engaged, motivated and involved in their own learning. The teacher acts like a facilitator who helps them along the way. This can also be referred to as personalized learning. PBL involves students as leaders and decision-makers in the learning process as opposed to teacher-centered approaches. For more details on student centered learning check out this article.

PBL Can Improve Students Retain Information Better

PBL helps students retain information and skills longer. Instead of learning facts and procedures in isolation, PBL teaches students how to apply their knowledge in new situations. Rather than simply memorizing the steps for solving a math problem or constructing a paragraph, they learn how to use their knowledge of basic concepts like fractions or parallel prose sentences to solve real-world problems.

For example: How many volunteers does it take to keep track of all the ingredients at an event? How many slices can we make from this loaf?). Once they’ve developed these transferable skills, they can apply them again when faced with future challenges—and thus continue building on them throughout their academic career.

PBL Can Help Improve Students’ Essential 21st-Century Skills

PBL is a great way to help students develop their essential 21st-century skills. These skills are not only important for college and career readiness, but also for life in the digital age.

These essential skills include:

Problem-Solving: PBL requires students to identify an issue or dilemma, then gather information and form solutions. This is exactly what they will be asked to do when they enter the workforce or pursue higher education.

Cognitive Flexibility: In addition to being able to solve problems using logic, it's equally important that students be able to think outside of the box if they want to succeed in today's constantly changing world. PBL gives them this opportunity, as well as time away from technology so they can focus on human interaction and creativity without constant distraction by social media sites like Facebook or Instagram (or video games).

Critical Thinking: Asking questions is an essential part of any problem-solving process—and critical thinking involves questioning everything! Ask kids why something works a certain way instead of just accepting it; encourage them not just ask "why" but also "how" as well (i.e., "Why does this happen?" vs "How does this happen?"). This will help them better understand how things work—and might even lead them toward future careers where these skills come into play most often such as healthcare (doctors), engineering/science (engineers), business management(managers).

PBL Can Help Students Learn To Manage Their Time Effectively

PBL requires students to manage their own time, which means that they will learn how to plan their days and weeks, as well as how to prioritize when things come up. This is a skill that we hope our students will take with them into adulthood, because it's important for them to be able to manage their own learning.

PBL Can Help Students Maximize on Available Resources

PBL aims to help students understand how to use resources available to them. In a classroom where PBL is used, students will be encouraged to use multiple sources of information when they complete projects. They'll also be required to find and use their own resources as well as those provided by the teacher.

The following are examples of types of materials that could be helpful in completing a project:

  • Books;
  • Websites and databases (such as encyclopedias);
  • Other people (for interviews or information).

Project-based learning lets students make real-world applications of knowledge, which might improve their career prospects later on. If you’re looking for great tips on how to successfully integrate PBL then check out this article.

Project-based learning is a unique approach that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It involves students creating their own projects, which they can apply to real-world situations and may even improve their career prospects later on. How does PBL help students make real-world applications of knowledge? And what are some examples of real-world applications of knowledge?


There is a lot of planning involved in implementing project-based learning in a classroom setting. You will need to plan the lesson, plan how the students will complete their projects and then follow up with them after they are finished. This can be done through grading or giving comments on their work, asking questions about their process or research methods.


To assess a student's progress, it is important to have assessments that are relevant to the project. If students are working on a fictional story, then an assessment should be written in the same format as their story. The teacher may also want to ask students questions based on their storyline or ask them about specific details within their writing. The teacher can create problems that require math skills or history knowledge if these topics are relevant to the project as well.

It is also important for teachers who teach through project-based learning tactics, such as Project Based Learning Online (PBLO), to give frequent assessments so they can gauge how well each student understands what they have learned and what they still need help with. This will allow instructors at all levels of education from preschool through high school classrooms as well as colleges and universities across North America find out which concepts are difficult for them yet easy enough for everyone else in class without wasting too much time teaching something else.

The benefits of project-based learning are worth overcoming the challenges it presents.

Sometimes, there are just too many things that can go wrong when implementing project-based learning in a classroom. You need to have a good teacher and a student population with the ability to work independently. The curriculum has to be appropriate for your grade level, and you need support from the administration of your school. But even with all of these things in place, some students might not be able to manage their workload or keep up with their peers.

If you're considering implementing project-based learning at your school but aren't sure how it will work out for you, take some time before beginning the process by thinking about what needs to be done differently compared to traditional classrooms. This way, when challenges arise during implementation (and they will),  you'll know how best to move forward as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality education for all students involved!

For some great tips on how to design your own PBL curriculum feel free to check out this great article on the TechnoKids website.

PBL Helps Students Develop Various Skills

PBL develops academic, social, and ethical skills. According to the Association for Project-based Learning (APBL), “PBL encourages higher order thinking through problem solving and collaborative learning, which are essential 21st century skills.” Students learn how to take responsibility for their own learning and how to communicate effectively with others in a group setting. They also develop a sense of accountability for themselves and their work by seeing that it has an impact on their community or society at large (and isn't just about pleasing teachers).

PBL Improves Test Scores and Student Results on Other Assessments

What do you think? Does PBL help students learn better, even if it's not measured by standardized tests? The jury is still out on this question. It's possible that the skills and knowledge learned through PBL may not be directly transferable to other types of assessments. There are a few excellent reasons why we should continue to encourage project-based learning in our schools.

First and foremost: PBL can help students develop their critical thinking skills. This skill is invaluable when students need to think critically about complex situations outside of school as well as inside of school (for example, in debates).

Second, participation in PBL allows students and teachers alike to engage with real-world problems and challenges through authentic experiences and challenges—instead of being limited by standardized tests that only test one kind of knowledge against another kind.

Third, when students have more agency over what they're learning (rather than simply being presented with facts), they tend to retain more information long-term because they actually care about what they're learning! If you’re curious about which tools are essential for PBL then look through this informative post.

Student Motivation and Attitudes Towards Learning

Students who engage in PBL are more motivated, engaged and engaged with their school work than students who do not. Students who engage in PBL are also more likely to want to learn, and to want to continue learning; they are more likely to be self-directed and self-motivated as well as having a positive attitude towards learning.


We hope that this post has inspired you to try project-based learning in your classroom. For teachers, PBL can be a great way to engage students and give them the chance to apply new knowledge. It's also a useful strategy for preparing students for the real world—and it might even help improve their career prospects later on! We think the benefits of PBL are worth overcoming the challenges it presents. Assessing student progress with project-based learning can prove to be difficult, but with careful planning and continued collaboration between teachers and students, PBL can have positive effects on student motivation and attitudes towards learning.

Remind Review for Teachers

There are many ways to make learning fun and interactive for teachers, students, and even parents. That’s why apps like Remind have been made specifically to ensure seamless and secure interaction between teachers, students, and parents. As many learning institutions embrace the hybrid mode of learning, it is imperative that teachers choose the best apps to complement their teaching and improve their interaction with students and parents.

Let’s look at why Remind should be on top of your education apps if you are a teacher and how you can use it to foster collaboration and interaction in the classroom.

What is Remind?

Remind is an app and website platform where teachers can share resources and communicate by sending secure messages to different recipients. These could be students, parents, or other teachers.

It makes collaboration among teachers and students easy as this can be done directly to an entire class or different sub-groups. The different classes or sub-groups are differentiated by unique codes sent via text or a link to the target members to sign up. For example, you could invite students to join your foreign languages class or parents to join the monthly class meeting group.

As a teacher, you can manage up to 10 classes and have as many students and parents added to your group. You could also add other teachers to the group. For younger students, their parents could use their email for joining hence being part of the conversation and also monitoring conversations.

Ways Remind is revolutionizing Interaction in the Classroom

Scheduling Reminders

Reminders are great for managing deadlines. Whether for assignments, school activities, teachers’ or a parents’ meeting, sending out reminders is a great way to keep everyone engaged and getting things done at the right time. For example, this fantastic Remind feature could be used for organizing a school trip, reminding students about a quiz or test, reminding parents about a class meeting, or communicating scheduling changes for events and other activities.

Sharing Classroom and Professional Development Resources

Interactive learning is gaining prominence with the advancement in technology. With Remind’s stamps feature, teachers are now able to share classroom and further learning resources in the form of text, pictures, links, videos, and other files on the platform for students to access.

Stamps could also be used to share quizzes and ask students about their opinion on different learning topics. You could make it interesting by sending students some warm-up questions or trivia before class. Better yet, you could share links with other teachers to different professional development resources.

Engaging with Parents

Well, wouldn’t it be nice if parents are made part of their children’s learning journey? That’s how Remind bridges this gap by allowing teachers to share important resources or information directly with parents. For example, parents could be added on the classroom Remind platform to view projects done by the students, or access further resources to help them understand their children’s learning journey.

A teacher could also send messages directly to parents regarding their child’s behaviour and learning progress. Through the stamps feature, parents could also share feedback or recommendations on what they feel could improve the learning outcomes of their students.

Fostering Collaboration Among Students

Apart from using Remind in the classroom for communication between teachers and students, a teacher could create a more collaborative environment by allowing students to message each other on the platform.

To make it interesting, you could divide the students into different sub-groups and let them choose a team leader to spearhead the discussions. This is a special feature that would enable students to hold discussions on different topics or assignments. It also gives them time to research further outside the strict classroom hours, gaining a better understanding of the topic under discussion.

One great feature about Remind is the ability to pause a conversation. If you feel that students are taking too much time on the platform outside classroom hours, you could pause the discussion. This means that no one will be able to reply or add comments, until a time when you as the teacher deems necessary to continue the discussion.

Enhancing Secure Communication

In this era of cyber-attacks and the push for data privacy, Remind, unlike other communication platforms, offers a more secure way of interacting with your students or parents. How is this possible?

When parents or students sign up for your course or join your group, they will appear on your list, however, none of the participants will view each other’s contact information. This prevents incidences where group members take someone’s details without their consent and minimizes the risk of receiving unsolicited messages.

Making Learning Visual and Interesting

The stamps feature is so powerful that it brings a whole vibe into the classroom setting, doing away with the monotonous slides and dictation as is usually the norm. When a teacher shares a question or quiz, students can reply with stickers and other fancy icons and symbols like stars that add functionality to the content and make it more visually appealing.

This would be very ideal especially if running a poll on what topics your students would want more emphasis on or short quizzes that don’t require lengthy responses. Another feature that makes it interesting is the ability to get transcripts of the conversations or activities carried out on the platform. So, if you were running a poll, you can share the results directly with your students.

Also, the fact that you can link the platform to other third-party platforms like zoom or google meet makes it more interesting as students, teachers, and parents can hold live virtual events right through the Remind platform.


Interactive classrooms or learning environments are always every teacher’s dream. Thanks to platforms like Remind, this is now a reality.

From sending reminders, sharing learning resources, to communicating with parents, the options are limitless with Remind. Remind should be a priority app on any teacher’s list because of its simplicity, effectiveness and it’s free. Of course, there are other optional premium features that would enhance the platform experience but you can start with the free version.

If you are ready to start using the platform, check out these steps and follow the onboarding guide to help you get started and hopefully achieve the classroom of your dreams.

 The Importance of Digital Literacy in the 21st Century


Each day, cutting-edge information technologies provide us with new ways of tackling challenges in and outside our classrooms. Along with these rapid enhancements and solutions comes the challenge of staying up to date with current developments.

In a digitally enriched world where messaging apps and social networks have replaced face-to-face communication, where collaboration happens in real-time and online, and information is obtained via digital libraries, vlogs, and video content, digital literacy is becoming a fundamental skill to promote through our courses.

What is digital literacy?

While there is a plethora of definitions for digital literacy, it can be defined as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills” (National Digital Inclusion Alliance). Digital literacy in the classroom comprises a set of skills that allow students to use digital technologies to obtain and evaluate information, solve problems, complete assignments, and create content.

How can teachers in humanities promote digital literacy and digital citizenship as they assist students in developing essential skills such as communicative and collaborative abilities, critical and analytic thinking, creativity, and social responsibility?

Here are five ways to foster these skills while incorporating digital literacy into your classes.

  1. Enhance media literacy

One of the vital skills in digital literacy is the ability to tell fact from fiction and become conscientious and critical users of information resources. To encourage this, you can have students analyze different pieces of information, provide a critical reading of an op-ed article on history, analyze a blog post on ethics or complete a fact-checking assignment for a news piece. To further aid students, you can provide them with media literacy toolkits or organize workshops on detecting misinformation, decoding media messages, fact-checking, or the ethical use of online resources. Additionally, class discussions on digital literacy can revolve around how certain media outlets can empower different groups of people or vice versa. And this takes us to our next point: digital equity.

  1. Advocate for digital equity

Apart from the skillful use of digital resources, digital literacy also implies students’ awareness of the digital divide and how each of us can contribute to digital equity. The National Digital Inclusion Alliance defines digital literacy as “a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy, and economy. Digital equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential service.” For your classes, you can create opportunities for students to research digital equity in their community, complete research assignments on how digital inequity affects certain groups, find ways to advocate for digital equity and amplify stories by and about underrepresented groups. Whether teaching history, literature, or cultural studies, have students consider how histories and stories of underrepresented people are being told and disseminated in today’s digital landscapes.

  1. Encourage digital storytelling

Another way to develop digital literacy in students is to encourage and empower them to become creators. Digital storytelling can be an excellent tool for this. It will not only support students in putting their creativity to work but will foster 21st-century skills. This way, students will become more aware of the intricacies of creating a digital piece of information and ask important questions: What responsibilities do creators have? How do our stories and voice influence and empower people? 

Students can hone their digital storytelling skills by creating video essays or presentations through digital tools such as Sutori. You can incorporate digital storytelling into a wide range of humanities classes from Creative Writing to Arabic and Classics. Here’s an excellent list of digital storytelling resources put together by the University of Wollongong in Australia.

  1. Assign multimedia research projects

Switch the traditional final research paper assignment with a multimedia research project where students can critically examine and analyze multimedia pieces related to the topic they want to explore in their final paper. This assignment will not only engage students more creatively but will allow them to share their work with classmates or the entire school via a class blog, for instance. A digital research project will also encourage students to think broadly, interact with a variety of digital tools, and foster interdisciplinary connections. For instance, a final project for a history or literature class could focus on the baroque art movement in music, literature, and painting and have embedded links to podcast episodes, music videos, online galleries, photographs, and other resources exploring this topic.

  1. Foster online communication and collaboration

Good communication and online collaboration play a vital role in an increasingly digital world. Yet, the online space can be an intimidating and unsafe environment for many, so it is important to educate future citizens who are equipped with the skills and awareness to contribute to the creation of safer online spaces. Whether you are teaching online or face-to-face, consider creating online debates or discussions using your LMS to allow students to practice safe and respectful interactions with diverse opinions and ways of thinking in an online environment. After the assignment, guide students to reflect on the challenges of communicating and collaborating in online space and the tools they used to communicate respectfully and effectively. Make sure you share and discuss netiquette rules with your students before assigning the activity.


Digital technologies will continue evolving and intersecting with every area of our life and work. To set up our students for success in this digitally driven world, we need to aid them in becoming digitally literate and active contributors to a more democratic, ethical, and safe digital environment.

Genealogy Activities For Kids!             

             If you were to go into any public library today, one of the services you would most likely find in the database would be login information for Interest in family history is no longer for aging people hoping to get back in touch with their roots. Genealogy can become an important part of any social studies curriculum. In fact, it can become an important project in your classroom. In this article, you will learn about how you can incorporate different genealogy projects in your classroom, research findings on the importance of genealogy in the classroom, and different resources you can use to get yourself started right away.

            Genealogy projects can be a great way of getting parents and grandparents involved in the education of their children. According to Karen Bogenschneider and Carol Johnson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “a consistent body of research concludes that parents are the first and foremost influence on their children’s development and school success. When parents are involved, students get better grades and score higher on standardized tests” (2004). Genealogy projects encourage students to ask their parents/grandparents more about their heritage. It can become a bonding experience for students and their parents/grandparents as they dive deeper into their family history. More importantly, students will come back to you in order to tell you all about their families. Make sure you show enthusiasm and ask good questions. This shows your students that you care about their history which in turn will build a better relationship in the end. Students want to be acknowledged, and more importantly, they want to feel like they matter. Genealogy projects place an emphasis on your students, and your classroom will be better served by that.

            State curriculums are beginning to place more emphasis on students and their cultures. In New York State, there is a shift occurring towards a more culturally responsive-sustaining education. “Culturally responsive education is about teaching the students in front of you. To do this requires that one work to get to know their students and develop meaningful relationships with students while engaging in the students’ communities. However, culturally responsive education must also be sustaining, that is it must work to encourage cultural pluralism and not cultural assimilation” (“What is Culture”, New York State Education Department, 2019). Genealogy projects are culturally responsive and fulfilling endeavors that are completed in the classroom. You will have a deeper understanding of your students, and they will more importantly have a greater understanding of themselves and their heritage. Many students will become excited to share the information they learned with their families. This in turn leads to deeper discussions and storytelling. This added information supplied by parents and grandparents will spur students to look further into their family history. There is a wealth of information online, and one of the best resources is the US Census.

            As required by the Constitution, a census is conducted every ten years in order to gather specific information about the various people living in the United States. For example in the 1850 census, the value of real estate owned by each person was a question. By 1860, the US government became more interested in the birthplace of the people they surveyed. From 1860 until the 2000 Census, the U.S government was interested in the heritage of the people that lived here. This information was/is utilized by the federal government in the disbursement of federal funds. This valuable information is easily accessible via the federal archives. Merely type into a search engine what census year you would like, and click on the URL associated with the federal archives. However, you can easily access census data via and

   is a paid subscription service, but AncestryClassroom (  is an educational platform that allows you access to more basic information ranging from census records to military records as well. Naturalization records are also easily accessed. You will be able to get enough information through this research tool to get a fairly deep understanding of one's ancestry. For deeper dives, you will have to go with a paid subscription. However, this free resource is great for any project you come up with to explore your student's ancestry. Work with your librarian to gain access to this wonderful research tool. More importantly, this resource protects student data.

   (  is a free subscription resource that unfortunately doesn’t protect student data like AncestryClassroom. However, as the teacher, you can still use this resource to help students find out the information they are lacking or information that may help them narrow their research down. This website is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a really great resource if you don’t want to spend a ton of money on an ancestry subscription. Again be cautious using it with students as this website doesn’t protect student data.

            Your librarian is your greatest resource in accessing various websites to help with genealogy projects. They will help you find newspaper databases that allow students to find articles about their ancestors, including but not limited to obituaries. They will help you set up your research projects, and more importantly help teach lessons about researching and citing information. They are your friend with this type of project.

            When beginning a research project in regards to genealogy, start off small. Then from there, you can add to the project. Start off with census records. Typically students will be able to find out basic information about their grandparents who may show up on census records. Keep in mind that census data is sealed for 72 years (The “72 Year-Rule”, 2022), so it is possible that students may not have grandparents old enough for this project. Then you may have to find great-grandparents. The further down the line you have to go, the more difficult it will be to find information as most families may not know that information. This can be frustrating for students and teachers alike. Teachers may become overwhelmed trying to help students find their ancestors. Do not fear because you can easily have a Plan B with this project.

            An easy Plan B for this type of project is to take a field trip to your local cemetery. Have students find a tombstone of someone that passed away before 1950. The information they will need is a name, a birth date, and a death date. This basic information will help them shift through vast amounts of information to find their person. Then from there, they can dive deeper into the person's ancestry. It is ideal that students are able to research their own heritage, but there may be a time when you have to do this, especially in certain circumstances where a student may not want to research their family due to traumatic circumstances. This is a possibility and Plan B is a great option with these possible circumstances.

            There are a ton of great resources out there for you to implement a genealogy project in your classroom. The federal government has a ton of resources alone. Sites such as and (Library of Congress). Another great tool is This website allows you to look up gravestones across the country, which can be an excellent tool for students to narrow down their research. There are numerous resources out there, but make sure you personally vet these resources to ensure that student data is not compromised. Conducting genealogy research in your classroom is both rewarding for you and your students. In the process, you may find out you have some long-lost relatives as well (which could be bad or good).

Works Cited

Bogenschneider, K., & Johnson, C. (2004, February). Family involvement in education: How                      important is ... - purdue university. Retrieved July 1, 2022, from                                                                                                            015/06/fia_brchapter_20c02.pdf

NYSED. (2019). What is culture? - New York State Education Department. Culturally                                   Responsive-Sustaining Education. Retrieved July 1, 2022, from                                                                        responsive-sustaining-education.pdf

United States Census Bureau. (2022, January 26). The "72-year rule" . History. Retrieved July 1,                   2022, from                                     census_records/the_72_year_rule_1.html

Digital Library: What Is It, and Why Is It Important for Higher Education  Institutions?

Digital libraries are now a norm at most universities and colleges. Not only do digital libraries combine information resources and technology, but they also allow remote access. That breaks down all physical barriers and makes the information available 24/7.

Now that remote online education is also gaining popularity, digital libraries help students gain a mammoth of knowledge without stepping out of their homes.

But that doesn’t mean we should restrict digital libraries to remote learning only.

Setting up digital libraries at schools empowers students and allows them to maximize their access to extensive study materials. That's why today's schools ensure that they have digital and traditional libraries.

This post will highlight the many benefits of introducing digital libraries to schools. We will also give you valuable tips for setting up a digital library.

Why Does your School Need a Digital Library?

If you want your students to become tech-savvy, you must give them access to digital resources. However, many students can already access the internet and social media content. However, their sources are not as credible as scientific research and high-quality materials.

Thanks to a digital library, a school can provide a rich source of information to help its students learn from the best and most credible sources.

Benefits of Digital Libraries at Schools

We can refer to a digital library as a portal that opens access to a storehouse of magazines, documents, books, e-publications, journals, books, etc.

So let’s delve deeper into these benefits.

Quick Access

A digital library is quick and easy to access. All students need is an electronic device and a stable internet connection. Many schools provide devices for their students to access these libraries easily. It could be any device, from a laptop to a tablet or a smartphone. Regardless of the location of these students, access to digital libraries is always quick and easy so that students can carry out their academic activities.

Round the Clock Availability

A conventional library has fixed opening and closing hours. However, a digital library is not time-bound. Students can access the digital library whenever they want, and that’s the best part about this online setup. Hence, students can learn from all materials at their place within the comfort of their homes.

Automated and Simplified Management

Unlike a conventional library, there is no need for a librarian who will be responsible for the upkeep of all books. Generally, cybrarians look after digital libraries and perform many functions. Some of these functions include indexing, organizing, tracking, or preserving the magazines and books present in the digital library.

However, numerous library management software is available to ensure cybrarians maintain the library correctly. Better maintenance of these libraries guarantees that teachers and students will have a smooth experience while using the digital library.

E-Resources, Books, and Unlimited Collection

A physical library needs an extensive infrastructure to store volumes of books, magazines, and journals. Thus, you need to spend a fortune setting up a school library. However, that’s not the case with digital libraries. While you can store a rich collection of resources and books in a digital library, you don’t have to invest in any infrastructure or building. Instead, collections of books and magazines remain on the internet, stored in cloud storage.

More Choices for the Readers

When students have access to digital libraries, they have access to more books and resources. eBooks, research papers, scientific journals, and books are just a few resources available in digital libraries.

Physical space is a critical factor for determining the storage limit of a traditional library. Books consume a lot of space, and students must search for their books after roaming around the library. But the internet and cloud storage make it easy for students to browse various resources without wasting much time. Consequently, that expands the students’ learning horizons, and they can access a wealth of information from all parts of the globe.

Easier Information Retrieval

Thanks to technology, digital libraries now offer incredible search features. For example, truncation, Boolean, and proximity operators. The Boolean operators OR, NOT, and AND are usually used for combining keywords when searching research databases. Using these operators makes the search more focused. Hence, students get precise and accurate results.

Digital libraries are developing more sophisticated features to make the students' search and reading experience more convenient. For example, intuitive search engine technologies, such as automatic term expansion or ranking, can help young students to conduct independent searches.

Students can read and access the library materials in different digital formats—for example, videos, audiobooks, eBooks, and white papers.

Creating a Heritage for Future Generations

Online libraries are a reservoir for storing information, data, and findings. We can’t say the same for conventional libraries because they keep this information as physical records. That means we can lose data stored in a traditional library. However, a digital library can collect and protect copies of research/studies by creating a virtual heritage of information.

Tips for Creating an Effective Digital Library at School

Digital libraries offer unique opportunities for students to find, evaluate, and use digital content. But that’s possible when students can easily navigate the library to find their desired information.

Teachers and students can’t achieve the maximum results of a digital library if it is not set up correctly. Schools must design a versatile digital library to improve student engagement. Students of different grades (and ages) will require other learning materials. Hence, schools can’t just rely on traditional texts such as magazines or books for facilitating learning. Make sure you add digital formats such as videos and audiobooks.

Bottom Line

Many institutions, such as schools, are already on the journey to convert their traditional collections of educational material and books into digital formats. While some files are in HTML format, others can be stored in PDF, audio, or visual forms. A Digital library can display important information through different types of materials. All this information is readily available to students 24/7, so they can speed up their learning process.

Top 5 Online Robotics Classes for Kids (Updated 2024)

If there is anything that lights up the faces of children and adults alike, it is robots. Little electronics that move and perform various functions make everyone curious. If you are an educator yourself, you might be wondering how you can take advantage of the excitement that your students have for robots. Using robots in the classroom is one of the easiest ways to integrate the 4 Cs of learning, which are collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication. In this post, we will go through how a robot can take your classroom learning to the next level, what types of robots to consider, how to use robots in the classroom efficiently, and what are some concepts that can be taught with the help of a robot.

There is a specific niche of robots called educational robots. These are the robots that an educator should be interested in if they want to properly introduce their students to the world of robotics. Some of these educational robots need to be assembled, some can help students understand a concept, and most of them are programmable. This means that students will learn fundamental engineering designs and programming skills from a young age.

Many concepts in STEM subjects are very difficult to understand when it is written down in a textbook. Robots will make the jobs of STEM teachers much easier because they will be able to demonstrate the concepts visually. On top of that, when the students get to play with the robots and see how the concepts handle change, they will be able to deeply understand the topic at hand.

Since the students get to play with robots with their hands and interact with the concepts as though it is real, this improves their critical thinking. Coding the robots, disassembling and reassembling them, and interacting with the robot improve critical thinking. 

Robots also help children with developmental disorders. Studies show that humanoid robots can help autistic children develop social skills. When the kids were talking with the robots, they did not worry about being criticized or judged for their behavior. They just interacted with the robots because it is a cool toy. One of the main tips to take from this study is that the robot should have an anthropomorphic form for the kids to improve their social skills.

Now if you want to introduce different robots to your classroom but don’t know where to start, here are some good options:

  • PBS Kids: This is a fun interactive build a bot web app for students in grades K-5.
  • Bee-Bot: This company offers fun programmable robots for grades K-5. It can be the first step to learn how to code.
  • Sphero: Sphero is a company that offers STEAM learning solutions. If you can think of a robot, they probably make it. You can teach programming, assembling robots, and much more with their robots. It is suitable for grades K-12.  
  • Ozobot: This company provides various lessons and activities for K-12 students with or without computer screens. They also provide a library of 3D CAD drawings that can be easily printed and used in the classroom with their robot.

If you have bought the robots, and now you want to start integrating robots in your classrooms immediately then you should firstly think and plan ahead. You should not be jumping right into it because it will definitely overwhelm your students especially if they have not been introduced to robotics in the past. The first step should be a small exploratory program that introduces the students to the fundamentals of a robot. Then the classes should include some activities where the students are left alone with the robots to solve problems.

The next thing to consider is organization. Robots come with batteries, wires, sensors, and many more things that need to be organized well. The small parts should also be monitored so that students do not injure themselves with them. A classroom should have a dedicated place where all the robots are kept. The place should be labeled well so that your students do not waste their time looking for parts rather than learning how the parts function.

If your classroom does not have enough robots for everyone, then students should be made into groups or the students should take turns with the robot. Students should also be taught to respect the robots, and how to handle sensitive electronics.  

A robot can be used to teach many different subjects. For physics or math, you can teach the concepts of time, speed, and distance using the Sphero. Building a robot also requires knowledge of geometry, measurements, statistics, and algebra. So, by simply building a robot in the classroom, you can improve many skills of your students. Students can also use robots to program a journey across a floor map. Similarly, there are many concepts that can be easily taught by using a robot.

One final piece of advice that seems to work for most educators is to keep the robots a secret from the administrators. Most school administrators seem to think that robots are a waste of time and that it will be too expensive to justify the benefits. Most of the thinking is old-fashioned, and educators should be the first to grab the future before it passes by.

In conclusion, robots are some of the most interesting things that the modern world has to offer. The fact that educational robots exist should be enough reason to utilize them in the classroom. Robots help students understand concepts by being able to interact with them directly. Robots also help students with autism develop social skills. There are many companies that make robots specifically for educational use. It should be easy to get a robot off-the-shelf for your classroom from one of these companies. When introducing robots into your classroom, you should take small steps of first introducing the robot, and then giving the students activities to get used to using the robots. The classroom should also be organized, and students should be taught to respect the robots. If you have done all that then you should be able to use robots to your advantage in the classroom.

Flipgrid: Everything You Need To Know – CATHERINE READY

As educational technology advances, there are an increasing number of educational tools that are useful to help make learning interactive for students in the classroom. This tool has a significant number of uses that can turn any lesson into an interactive experience for students in any subject.

Flipgrid is a web-based program, which can be accessed in a wide array of settings, for in-person, hybrid, or remote learning, and can be accessed on any device that the student has access to. The program is easy to use for all teachers, simply create a free account with a google or Microsoft account, and connect to your students with a simple code or link.

The Functions of Flipgrid

            This very diverse tool is focused primarily on the use of videos that make student interaction with the content more engaging. The teacher is also able to create groups for classes where students join through a code. This allows the teacher to better view student progress as students complete assignments in this online program.

            Students can view a video and then respond to a question in the program about the lesson or the topic that the video was about. As the lesson or activity proceeds, this allows additional processing time and a safe space for students who may not be as keen on interacting in the live classroom. As a result of the pandemic, there is an increased rate of students with anxiety, and using a platform such as Flipgrid that allows students to develop and engage with the content in a way that reduces the number of stressors that those students may feel in the traditional classroom setting.

            The ability for students to add emojis, text, and stickers adds another level of engagement for students as they let their creativity show in the responses they share in a way that they are most comfortable with. These are tools that are used in social settings through social media, bringing their personal lives with the things that they are learning in the classroom. Students are also able to record and edit their video submissions so that they can submit their responses when they are ready, which can be important when it comes to students who are traditionally anxious in the classroom when it comes to sharing in public.

Opening the World with Flipgrid

            One thing that has become abundantly clear in education over the last five years is that there needs to be further accessibility and flexibility in schools to ensure that teachers are reaching all of the students in their classes. A significant number of features can further help students, including an expansion of accessibility features such as closed captioning for viewing videos or the development of full transcripts for the videos that students are watching.

            There is also a feature that allows a teacher to put the class in Guest Mode, where a guest speaker can be invited to speak with the students through the program. By having visitors join the class through the use of the Flipgrid program, students in a variety of educational settings can get a more in-depth look at the concepts being taught in that lesson or unit. This also expands the possibilities of what visitors can be invited into the classroom without extensive travel or going over budget.

When students are absent from school, this can also be a great way to help them catch them up with the material that they missed during their absence. There can also be a student job in the classroom that involves a student creating a video about the assignments that were missed in that day’s lesson. Along with helping students who were absent know what was missed, it also promotes leadership and accountability among the other students in the classroom.

Using Flipgrid in the ELA Classroom

            In the ELA classroom, Flipgrid can be an extremely useful tool in further developing critical thinking and analysis skills. Rather than standard reading response questions, using the tools that Flipgrid has to offer, student interaction with the material and their classmates is invaluable to making deeper connections to the material.

            There are new features with a new AR feature in Flipgrid that allows students to share book reviews with the other students in the class about books that they have read. This can be a great project for students to dig deeper into a novel study, or even to recommend books to other students.

Using Flipgrid in the Science Classroom

            Using Guest Mode in Flipgrid, inviting industry experts in the sciences can be a great way for students to get a deeper look into specialties as they connect to the topics being taught in the classroom. Through the use of videos, these scientists can show processes for experiments.  Students could also create a project with a focus on the scientific process or host a virtual science fair in which they post videos about their projects in a virtual environment.

Using Flipgrid in the Math Classroom

            A great way for students to understand the topics they are learning in math class is to have those students explain the process they took to solve a problem. Through the use of the annotations feature, students can show their work in a video with an annotation over the video explaining their process. This allows students to not only complete the steps but gain a deeper understanding of the processes that are associated with solving that type of problem.

Using Flipgrid in the History Classroom

            In the history classroom, along with some of the same functions associated with the ELA classroom for processing material that they read, students are able to also complete long-term projects by walking through a specific event or time period in history in the form of a video. Through feedback and video responses to projects, all students in the class can interact with a specific part of history.

            In each subject, there are unique ways that Flipgrid can aid in interactivity and accessibility with the material, and promote collaboration among peers. Through a free account, this tool is a great way to engage all learners in any classroom or educational setting.

Increase Classroom Engagement with Parlay Class Discussion Topics and  Activities - Erintegration

If you ever wanted your students to speak up more, or if you have ever felt like a few students dominated all classroom discussions, then Parlay might change your classroom for the better. Parlay is an online class discussion tool that assists teachers to create classroom discussions. Classrooms that have used Parlay have reported an 85% increase in participation. This post will go through everything you need to know about Parlay, from why it is beneficial for the classroom, to an overview of the steps you need to follow to start the discussions. 

What’s the big deal with discussion forums in the classroom anyway? When you bring discussions into the classroom, you will more than double a student’s achievement, and teach the students about analytical reasoning and communication. But there is one thing to point out, these benefits are limited to the students who actively participate. A discussion forum in the classroom provides a unique way for every student to participate in discussing a particular topic.

Parlay is a discussion forum for the classroom that provides all the advantages that a traditional discussion can have for the classroom. Parlay has reported that students feel more comfortable participating, and communicating, as well as feeling more respected by their peers. These improvements were all seen in a short period of time (less than 3 months), and with only 8 RoundTable discussions for the classrooms.

Apart from just being a discussion forum for your classroom, Parlay can act like a new classroom management software that gives you ample data on each and every one of your students. This can help you understand what is holding specific students back, and how interactive they are with others.

To understand how Parlay can help you manage your classroom, you need to know how it functions. Let’s go over how Parlay is used in the classroom. 

Firstly, you as the teacher will create or select a discussion prompt. This prompt does not need to be a text, it can be any image, audio, or video. It should ideally be able to get your students bubbling with discussion points. If you cannot think of any good points to discuss in the classroom, you can check out the Parlay Universe.

The Parlay Universe is a library of discussion prompts created by users online. There might just be a discussion prompt that you want to use in your classroom when you are in a pinch.

You will then send the prompt to the students through a link or through Google Classroom. The students will then receive the prompt and respond after thinking about it. This response can be in two different ways, a written response (written RoundTable), or a verbal response (verbal RoundTable). As a side note, the discussions done in the classroom using Parlay are called RoundTable.

Let’s go through the written RoundTable first. The written response has an optional secret identity that allows the students to be anonymous when submitting their views. After they submit their response, they will be able to see each other’s submissions.

The students will then be able to agree or disagree with the views of their peers. They will be guided to respond respectfully to their friends with the help of guided feedback questions.

If you as a teacher chose the verbal RoundTable, the students will get a few minutes to read and take notes on what to speak after you send them the discussion prompt. When the discussion starts, there will be one speaker and students can “Tap In” when they want to participate. When tapping in they can choose to provide a new idea, challenge, build on, or question.

You as a teacher in the verbal RoundTable can take notes, run polls, assess participation, and “nudge” quiet students. You also have the authority to assign “Speakers”, or you can delegate this authority to a student moderator.

Once you have finished conducting the written RoundTable or the verbal RoundTable, you will be provided with the statistics of the classroom. Everything from time spent, and participation summary in verbal RoundTables, to statistics in responses, and average comment length in written RoundTables will be made available to you.

You as a teacher will also get a summary of every student’s response, and you will be able to provide feedback and assess the students based on a default or a custom evaluation criterion.

You will also be able to track the progress of each student throughout the year, and the skills they demonstrate in each RoundTable. You can track the engagement of a particular student, and view all of their past assessments/feedback.

Parlay will make your life that much simpler when managing your classroom. Now if you cannot wait to start utilizing Parlay in your classroom, you have to know about their pricing structure. We recommend you first try out Parlay using their free “Teacher Trial” plan. This plan allows you to have 12 free RoundTables per year and access the Parlay Universe. After you have decided that Parlay is for you, then you can move on to the “Premium License” subscription tier, or a “Site License”.

In conclusion, Parlay is a discussion forum for your classroom. It provides a new way for every student to contribute to a meaningful discussion in the classroom. Studies have shown that discussion in the classroom can help students perform better in the long run. Parlay can also be used as a classroom management tool where the progress of every student is tracked throughout the year. To use Parlay, you have to create a discussion prompt (alternatively, you can pick a premade discussion prompt from the Parlay Universe). Then the students can discuss either verbally or by writing down their points. Then the students can respond to their peers which creates a healthy debate environment in the classroom. Finally, you as a teacher will get access to all the data collected throughout the discussion in the classroom. You can use the data in many meaningful ways, and it will also give you an insight into the minds of your students.  

New report: Covid-19 International Student Well-being Study (C19 ISWS) - WUR

Can students reach their full potential and thrive in their studies if they struggle with maintaining their well-being?

Research has shown time and time again that student well-being is linked with academic success. While well-being can refer to cognitive, psychological, physical, and social wellness, a disruption in one aspect is likely to lead to some emotional distress.

So, how can we help students lead healthy lives to maximize their academic potential?

Some research and academic institutions develop technologies and programs to help students and employees improve their mental and physical fitness. One example is the BioDash program designed by the Centre for Wellbeing Science at the University of Melbourne to help improve focus, reduce anxiety, and optimize performance.

With anxiety and depression rates going up during and after the pandemic, we should start shifting how we approach overall wellbeing in our communities. And that includes our students.

As we move into the post-pandemic era, engaging students in conversations about mental health can create safe stigma-free spaces where discussions on wellbeing are normalized. While students may be reluctant to open up about their struggles, starting a meaningful conversation may make things easier.

As educators, we may still need guidance and lack resources in bringing well-being into our teaching practices. However, we can integrate small steps into our teaching to become aware of students’ struggles and guide them to additional resources.

You can remind students of the benefits of daily practices in improving mental and emotional health, inform them about counseling services available to them, and invite wellbeing-focused apps into your classes.

Here are excellent ways to use technology in support of students’ well-being.

Identifying Student’s Wellbeing Needs

student well being wheel

Identifying students who may be going through mental or emotional struggles can often be the most challenging part of the process. To address this, you may opt-in for using wellness questionnaires and daily check-ins.

Some students may find it challenging to communicate about their well-being. You may choose to start with anonymous surveys. In addition, open-ended questions like the ones offered here will help you kick-start the conversation on a gentle note and delve into areas that may resonate more with your students.

You may choose to collect this information through Google surveys or PollEverywhere. After identifying overall themes and issues, you can address them in class and invite students to your office hours if they’d like to continue the conversation. In addition, sharing about our struggles as individuals and as a community will assist us in destigmatizing these topics and normalizing discussions around mental health.

Positive Education Tools

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Tools and practices of Positive Education will significantly facilitate the incorporation of well-being practices in your teaching.

This may look like starting the class with a 5-minute breathing technique, a meditation, or a quick check-in. To easily incorporate positive education into your teaching, you can turn to apps specifically designed for gratitude practice, affirmations, and positive self-talk.

Another great way of boosting positive attitudes and empowering students is to help them discover their core strengths through the Gallup Clifton Strengths Assessment. By identifying their core strengths through the Gallup test students can gain clarity on their career and academics, discover ways to maximize their potential and develop a positive self-image.

Mindfulness and Mental Health Apps


Incorporating mindfulness in your class activities by using apps such as Calm can be an excellent way of inviting mental health and self-care into the classroom. You may introduce this by linking the benefits of meditation and breathwork to your class content or by simply allocating 5-minutes for check-ins and mindfulness practice at the beginning of class. The Calm app, for instance, suggests doing 30 days of mindfulness with your class.

One of the best things about Calm is that it is free for schools. Over 250,000 teachers bring meditation to their classrooms to help students improve their emotional well-being or focus. Calm provides educators with age-specific tools, meditations, breathing exercises, music, and other resources. In addition, you can use their self-care guide for educators to support yourself and avoid burnout throughout the day.

Alternatively, anxiety management apps such as SAM (Self-help App for the Mind) can also be ideal for students who may need immediate help addressing their anxiety symptoms. 

Peer Support

Peer Blog 1

Peer support and community building can also benefit students’ ability to address their mental health struggles. Students need to realize that they are not alone and that different forms of support are available to them. TalkLife is an online platform where people share their mental health journey by talking about daily struggles, receiving support, and advising their peers. TalkLife is also available as a mobile app.

Time Management Apps

Deadlines, time pressure, class assignments, and other factors may heighten students’ anxiety levels and affect their ability to keep up with classwork.

Schedule management apps may take some of this stress away as students get assistance in managing their busy schedules.

My Homework Student Planner helps students stay organized and manage their class assignments. It syncs across devices allowing students to access their classes and assignments anytime, anywhere. Students have the option of a free basic plan or a yearly premium plan for only $4.99.

Remember the milk is another time management tool that allows students and busy professionals to prioritize tasks according to various factors such as due dates or importance.

Tools such as Focus Booster help students better manage and track their time and stay on task eliminating possible distractions. Focus Booster utilizes the Pomodoro technique which allows breaking the task into 25-minute work chunks, each separated by 5-minute breaks.


While technology and mobile apps are often associated with causes of stress and mental health struggles, some tools can help us counter these effects.

Finally, while it is part of our responsibility as educators to inform our students about mental health resources and help them cultivate self-help practices, it is important to note that technology apps cannot replace professional help. Make sure to refer your students to professional help, campus counseling, or online therapy services such as BetterHelp which offers student pricing options.

Kahoot: The free game-based learning platform as trialled by science –  Caroline Raven

In a world that had been dominated by technology, it is only natural that these tools are used throughout the classroom to promote technical ability in students all while increasing engagement. It is no secret that the influx of new technology has been overwhelming, causing attention issues and limiting engagement with traditional classroom teaching methods.

Gamification is a key buzzword in both education and corporations as people work to ensure that they are getting the most out of every interaction with the audiences in front of them. This became particularly important when virtual training, classes, and distance learning took the world by storm.

Kahoot is an online platform that can be used in a variety of settings, one of the most popular being the K-12 education classroom. Some teachers use the tools outlined in Kahoot to practice skills, prepare for, and take assessments, or even as a tool to help wrangle students who cannot seem to get out the wiggles.


What is Kahoot?

With the uncertainty and flexibility that came with the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a sudden and significant shift in the methods of teaching and interaction that was able to happen between a teacher and their students. The introduction of games such as Kahoot allowed for peer interaction even when people were nowhere near one another.

With a simple design, anyone at any age level can participate in Kahoot games, as long as they have access to a device such as a phone, tablet, or laptop. When in a game, the player selects the color that corresponds to the correct answer, with both speed and accuracy being key to earning the maximum number of points. With speed and accuracy being a primary focus of these games, students can maintain their attention on the task at hand with a fast-paced and competitive activity that has them striving to beat their peers, all while learning in the process.

Through Kahoot on the device of the learner’s choice, they simply input a game pin which enters that learner into the fame. It is through the easy-to-use user experience, both in developing the games and joining as a learner that makes this program so appealing for use within the classroom. Each of the games can be played either individually, or learners can be put in teams, further fostering collaboration and discussion of the topics that are being presented in the gameplay.

How Can I use Kahoot?

Having an account for Kahoot is completely free, but there are paid options for those who want to get the most out of their accounts including reporting on the games that are being played and additional questions that are valuable in a wide variety of settings.

If one has a teacher account for Kahoot, several additional features may be beneficial but are not required for basic use of the program. Among these features includes additional reporting, different game modes, additional formatting, and question types, and the creation of interactive lessons.

When developing a game, there are different types of questions that can be included: multiple-choice, multiple select, true or false, puzzles, sliders, polls, etc., with some of these options being specific to those premium account holders. Each of these specific question types lends its own specific value to presenting the information to the learners.

You can also add images and videos to questions to promote engagement with more materials or even develop lessons introducing new concepts. With all of the options available to creators of Kahoot materials, there is no limit to the impact that these games can have when passing information to the participants of their gameplay.

The Benefits of Kahoot

There are a large number of corporations that also use Kahoot as a platform for onboarding, competitions, and engagement among peers. Using Kahoot in the classroom, not only is it promoting learning in that general setting, but it is also providing access to another tool that may be beneficial in their professional careers. As teachers work with students, getting the information to students as well as providing valuable skills that will be beneficial in their academic and professional careers.

Kahoot games are generally multiple-choice questions that can be made into interactive games of the creator’s choice. There are also several ways these games can be created and utilized to maximize their effectiveness with a particular audience.

Through the use of gamification tools in the classroom, students can test their knowledge in a fun and engaging way, along with reiterating important concepts, and the repetition of these games helps the learners to retain the information in a more effective way. The additional interaction among peers opens up discussion about the information, which, in the long run, has positive effects on the retention of that information.

Kahoot as an Assessment Tool

Kahoot being used in the classroom can provide a unique method of assessing student understanding of the material, in which the teacher is able to observe the student’s interaction with the material in a freer environment that does not bring the same levels of anxiety that can be developed through traditional testing. While participating in a Kahoot game, learners are more open with their initial reactions to the materials,  combined with the competitiveness that pushes students to grow in their understanding of the material.

While there is reporting available to the instructor based on the games that have been played, the reporting for individual student data limits seeing student growth with the material that they are interacting with in the Kahoot game. Kahoot does bring forward a level of competitiveness, which can in turn cause students to team up to share their answers or mess with the responses of other students to ensure that they win the game.

If you want to use Kahoot for assessment in the classroom, it is important to set expectations and rules in advance for learners to ensure that you are getting a true perspective of where these learners are with that material.

Scene at Dulaney: Digital Art Class – The Griffin

Creativity continues to be a sought-after skill in high school graduates. Post-secondary educators and employers recognize the need for this next generation to be content creators who can design original, eye-catching art and text to represent the brand, company, or institution. Truly, creating is no longer just for the art major; it’s beneficial for all students to have experience in creating digital art as part of their repertoire. When students have digital art in their portfolio, it showcases them as versatile and flexible.

Although some teachers may view digital art as intimidating, it’s important to consider how this art form can break down the barriers for those students who don’t see themselves as artists capable of working with a traditional medium. Digital drawing tools today are intuitive, easy to use, and may be more approachable to digital natives than a medium like canvas and charcoal. Additionally, with so many apps to choose from (check out this list of student-friendly 12 digital art apps), teachers can select apps that meet the appropriate ability and skill level of the class.

Educators seeking to blend digital art into their curriculum should gain some familiarity with digital art tools as a starting point. With a litany of graphic and digital artists now sharing their tips of the trade, take advantage of the various beginners guides such as “Teach Yourself Digital Art” and this “Must Have Starter Kit”.

Most graphic artists offer a spectrum of equipment to choose from, offering something for each budget. Pen tablets are the preferred method for professional digital artists, but many of the web-based software programs work adequately with laptops, Chromebooks, and a classroom set of mice. For those teachers with an ample budget to purchase drawing tablets, this Essential Picks site reviews various options of individual and bundle options.

Collaborating with the district’s art department may also be beneficial in maximizing the budget. Many schools have graphic design labs where teachers could take classes for the day or week while working on a project. With a little schedule coordination, it’s possible to tap into resources that are already available within the school.


Here are some of the other benefits in allowing students to create digital art within any subject area:

  1. It allows for a novel type of expression.

Digital art serves as an excellent alternative to a traditional assessment that allows students to express their personality and original ideas. The medium is generally novel for students, which inherently boosts engagement.

  1. It raises awareness of aesthetics and principles of design.

Using models and examples of digital art, teachers can create lessons on design principles such as balance, proportion, and contrast. Visual communication is highly important in our world today, so any opportunity to grow students in this regard is a win.

  1. Digital art allows students to recap or tell a story in a new way.

Many digital art platforms now offer comic development. Students could retell a chapter from a book with a comic or create a “sketchnote style” poster recapping a difficult concept. While it might take more instruction and time, the benefits in having students create an original piece of art are worth it.

  1. Students can demonstrate a deep level of understanding by creating digital art.

Composing art requires a great deal of processing, thought, and intention. Rather than simply recalling information like a traditional quiz, these digital art tools allow students to show their understanding and how they made their own meaning.

  1. Digital art is easily shareable.

Teachers can create community and invite students to see new perspectives by having classes share their digital products with each other. With LMS’s like Google Classroom and Edmodo, students can easily post their work for others to comment and view.

  1. These projects can expose students to careers like graphic design and animation.

Teachers may choose to use digital art tools in their classroom as a way to expose students to a colossal creative career path. The Inside Pixar series on Disney Plus may serve as a great accompaniment here, as it zooms in on the creative minds behind many students’ favorite movies. Pixar and other animation studios are arguably the pinnacle of any digital artists’ career, but the jobs in the industry are growing rapidly all across the country and world.

  1. Digital art develops students’ attention to detail, patience, and grit.

Using more advanced digital drawing tools like in the Adobe suite requires robust self-directed learning. Students can learn how to seek out resources on their own from YouTube channels or other educational sites in order to learn and master a new effect. Moreover, many digital art software programs ask students to work in pixels, a unit that requires students to focus on every single detail of their piece. All of this instills those necessary soft skills for students to develop to transfer into new challenges and career endeavors.

  1. Digital art products serve as artifacts for class reflection and discussion.

Teachers can ask students to create digital art at various points in the school year as a way to capture learning and understanding. The class can then use these as artifacts to reflect on their growth and shifts in understanding. Often, art communicates more viscerally than simply text. Students may find it enjoyable to look back on their work and see how far they’ve come. When digital art is printed and displayed in the classroom, it can also create a sense of pride for many students.

Overall, incorporating digital art into the classroom fosters the creative mind while offering a novel and fun opportunity for students to express themselves. Teachers, too, will find enjoyment in using digital art as a formative or summative assessment, as it puts the mundane grading aside, instead inviting unique products to grade. Whether it be a comic strip, a persuasive poster, an illustration of a new character, or an abstract painting capturing the mood of a time in history, the possibilities are endless for teachers to incorporate this medium into their curriculum.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 review: the best Surface yet - The Verge

In this era, we can all agree that technology is a key player in the success of every industry, and the education sector is no exception. From software tools to hardware tools, technology is playing a critical role in how teachers and students collaborate, access educational resources, communicate, and improve the overall academic processes.

Technology devices like the Microsoft Surface have been specifically designed to provide teachers and students with the resources needed to bring learning to life in the classroom. The use of Microsoft Surface in the classroom ensures that students have access not just to classroom learning materials, but also to other supportive tools like Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365.

Here are ways in which using Microsoft Surface in the classroom can improve the learning experiences for teachers and students.

Improves Blended Learning

Blended learning is fast gaining traction in many learning institutions across the country and the world at large. It combines technology with traditional teacher-to-student learning.

This could be done in a face-to-face mode such that as the teacher is teaching, more instructions could be given on the Microsoft Surface devices in the classroom for students to follow. It could also be done at the end of the lesson where students get to either work on an assignment or access the further course material for that lesson from the devices either stationed in the classroom or in a computer lab.

This is not just beneficial to the students alone, but to the teachers as well. With the use of tools like Microsoft Teams that come pre-installed on the Microsoft Surface devices, teachers are able to get insights into how the students are interacting with the course material and performing to see if learning goals are being met.

Incorporating them either before, during, or after class time makes learning more engaging as the students switch into the different learning modes hence doing away with the monotonous learning environment.

Microsoft Surface Digital Pen for taking of notes

The traditional use of pen and paper to take notes and whiteboards or chalkboards can be enhanced with the digital pen tool that comes with Microsoft Surface.

Digital pens are an amazing technological invention that cuts back on the tedious process of having to write down your notes on paper, then typing them up on your device.

Microsoft's Surface digital Pen replicates the responsiveness of an ordinary pen so you can write seamlessly without worrying about lagging.

With the digital pen, a teacher is able to write text or draw shapes and diagrams while playing around with the different colors and thicknesses for the students to see. Students on the other hand can take notes directly into the surface device when the teacher is teaching or after.

And the beauty about using a digital pen is that it can transmit and save notes in the cloud and be accessed anywhere even on your phone because of its wireless capability.

With the Microsoft surface digital pen, you can say bye to borrowing markers and running out of ink.

Instructional Visuals and assistive technologies for students with disabilities

Students, just like any other human beings respond more to visuals than words. That is why a Facebook post or a tweet accompanied by an image or video is likely to gain more engagement than mere text.

Teachers can use the Microsoft surface in the classroom to showcase instructional visuals like videos, photographs, infographics, and visualizations like graphs and charts.

For example, for a music lesson, teachers can teach music with surface by providing visual and practical representations of the music theory concepts.

Apart from the general tools that provide instructional visuals for learners, students with physical and learning disabilities can hugely benefit from the assistive technologies on the Microsoft surface.

Screen readers and software applications like braille writers and switches can be installed on the devices to help students and teachers with physical disabilities to communicate and work on tasks so that they don’t fall behind on their deliverables.

Better Classroom Collaboration and Management

The Microsoft Surface education range comes with pre-installed apps like Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams that offer a collaborative space for knowledge sharing and communication between teachers, administrators, and students.

Virtual lessons can take place seamlessly via Microsoft teams. This could be done remotely or a teacher might invite another instructor from another institution to virtually deliver a lesson. In fact, teachers and students will find the free Microsoft Teams for education ideal for things like video chat, document sharing, and collaborative editing of documents.

As a teacher, you can segment your classes or lessons into different groups and be able to share notes, assignments, and chat with each other within the groups.

With built-in features like Miracast, a teacher is able to share whatever material they are teaching in real-time and from anywhere in the classroom, without the usual constraints of being in one particular place.

It is also easier to access past classroom resources as they are saved on the cloud completely removing the hustle of going through file cabinets looking for teaching notes you kept a year ago.


Using technology in education is just as effective as what educators do with it and how it is used to best support their students’ needs.

There are many ways students and teachers can use Microsoft surface in the classroom to enhance learning in a fun and interactive way. From collaborating with students and colleagues, capturing students’ progress and taking advantage of inbuilt Microsoft tools, Microsoft surface is the magical device that promises to meet educational needs in this digital era.

Having tools like Microsoft surface makes it easier for students and teachers access learning resources and present information in a better and visually appealing manner.

Whether you are an educator, teacher, student, or school’s IT administrator and you are thinking of deploying the Microsoft surface to your school or classroom, you can reach out to an expert from Microsoft to help you understand the different range of devices available for schools and help you select the best device for you and your students.

Schools Face Barriers to VR Adoption in the Classroom

If you have ever wanted to take your students back in time to show them that history is as interesting as you tell them, then you need to learn more about using Virtual Reality (VR) technology in the classroom. This post will take you through everything you need to know before you start buying VR supplies. We will start with the differences between Augmented Reality (AR) and VR, the benefits of VR, and how it can help your students learn more.

general rule in learning is that students remember 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, and 50% of what they both see and hear. They remember 80% of the things they experience personally. To take advantage of this level of remembrance, you need to utilize VR and AR technology because it is one of the only ways to give the students a personal experience in the classroom.

What is the difference between AR and VR anyway? They are two new technologies shaking up the world of education. AR is software that projects a layer on the surroundings of the user. The software can project parts of the surroundings, project an object, and much more but the projection only appears on the screen. On the other hand, VR is a wholly digital environment surrounding the user. The user can see and interact with the new surroundings. In short, VR feels much more real than AR, and it is the perfect immersive experience that students need.

VR provides a level of immersion that is second to none. Students can immerse themselves completely in the subject of their surroundings. The types of surroundings are only limited by the imagination of the one creating them. There is nothing more immersive than going back in time.

If you are a history teacher who is getting tired of telling everyone how amazing history is, then you should just show it to them! A full VR experience in history is one of the only ways to bring your subject to life. You and your students will go back in time to visit ancient cities, buildings, battles, and much more. If you cannot get your students excited about history after this, then nothing can. You can also take them back in time to show them how good they have it by being born in this time.

VR provides a very innovative way to step into the shoes of people experiencing a hard time. These can be hard times in the past or hard times that people are experiencing in other parts of the world. Taking students on a trip to the difficult spots in the world will make sure that they understand the difficulties of life and develop empathy.

If you are a career counselor and you want to help students pick the perfect career for them, then you need to get a VR kit for them to experience different careers. Experiencing careers first-hand might give the students a better understanding of their likes, and dislikes.

There are an estimated 6.1 million kids affected by ADHD. VR learning can help students with ADHD to pay more attention to the learning material. In the VR space, there are no distractions, so they are more likely to pay attention to the education material surrounding them.

If you cannot stop yourself from giving VR a shot in your classroom, you can visit this website. The website has VR resources for a variety of subjects for students. You can book a demo and check it out yourself.

Although VR technology has so many benefits, there are some things you need to look out for. Let’s go through some of them.

When you start using VR in the classroom, you need a lot of space. VR is a “physically involved” technology where the students need to move around or at the very least move their arms around. You will need a lot of space before you start implementing VR in the classroom. You also need to make sure that you do not misuse VR in the classroom.

You should not overuse VR technology in the classroom because VR can create fake memories in children. There are published papers that show this. Fake memories include children remembering visiting places and doing things that they have never visited or done before. This means that it is up to the teacher to not overuse VR technology in the classroom.

Technology will never replace human interaction so do not think that a VR experience will be a substitute for a teacher. Students will require teachers and friends to learn more in the classroom.

VR technology is very exciting, and students would just want to have fun with them. To limit your students from going off-topic every 10 seconds, you need a solid plan for VR learning. You need to be able to guide your students along in the virtual world so that they make the most out of the VR experience and learn everything.  

In conclusion, Virtual Reality technology is the next big step in education. VR has so many advantages for the classroom that it would be criminal not to use it in the classroom. VR gives students a first-hand experience in many subjects, and we know that students remember 80% of the experiences they have. You can use VR to take your student on a journey through time, through the human body, to different parts of the world, and through space. You can also show your students how people in different parts of the world live. If you have students diagnosed with ADHD, a VR headset will help them focus on what is being taught. Although VR is a very interesting technology, be sure to have enough space for it in the classroom and not overuse the technology in the classroom. There have been instances of children having fake memories after being in the virtual world too long. A virtual world will never replace a teacher in education, so it is not the solution to everything.

Dive into the Impact of Student Surveys

Incorporating surveys into the classroom could bring valuable feedback, especially about the way you teach. Understand that your students can give valuable insight as well. Since they experience your teaching firsthand, they can provide the most honest and valuable feedback compared to anyone else.

It can be instrumental in improving your teaching style. Moreover, it can foster a healthier and friendlier relationship between you and your students. Here’s how you can make that possible through surveys.

Why Incorporate Surveys Into the Classroom?

Instead of asking questions about your teaching quality individually, you can hand out surveys with qualitative questions. Besides, your students will feel free to state their opinions and offer feedback to sound more honest when no one is watching or listening directly to their answers.

By making it clear that there is no pressure on them, they can share their opinion honestly. And we intend to help you receive said feedback. Keep reading to check out a few tips on incorporating surveys into the classroom.

Benefits of Incorporating Surveys Into the Classroom

Incorporating surveys into the classroom offers many benefits. It brings a lot of engagement for students as they assess their learning experience, course content, etc.

Furthermore, it strengthens their real-time ability to think in real-time by encouraging them to use their knowledge, skills, and ideas. Here are a few more benefits for students that come with surveys in the classroom:

  • Your students can potentially unlock new cognitive thinking skills and improve their problem-solving abilities
  • It becomes easier for students to voice their opinions and ideas, especially if they have a shy nature and are reluctant to participate actively
  • It can promote confidence in your students since they will feel authoritative in providing honest feedback/answers to survey questions
  • You can easily assess your students’ knowledge, ability to understand tasks, and their thinking processes
  • You can create effective tactics to reach out to all your students based on the issues they’re facing

6 Tips to Incorporate Surveys into Your Classroom

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation conducted three-year research and concluded that collecting student feedback through surveys led to a better teaching environment. Check out the tips below to incorporate surveys into the classroom effectively:

  1. Consider Your Students’ Age and Abilities

Are your students old enough to understand what a survey is? Are they capable of solving it on their own? If yes, you can proceed with getting information from them. However, if your students are too young, you can have a one-on-one chat with them to see what your students have to share.

  1. Choose the Right Method for a Survey

People usually think about surveying with a traditional pen and paper. While paper surveys are more traditional, there are more environmentally friendly ways to get answers from students, such as opting for digital surveys. However, that will require you to familiarize your students with technology and how to fill out/submit digital surveys if they don’t know how to already.

  1. Discuss with Fellow Teachers

It would help if you shared your surveying ideas with other teachers, preferably those who teach your students. You can coordinate a smooth series of surveys and avoid overburdening your students with many surveys at once. You can also develop a surveying schedule by discussing students' needs and responses with other teachers.

  1. Create Proper Survey Structure

When you share ideas with other teachers at your institute about incorporating surveys into the classroom, the process can become much easier. However, you must first know how to differentiate between non-effective and useful ideas


You can design the survey better by working with other teachers or even using the data from a "pilot" student survey. It will lead to even more valuable feedback.

  1. Ask the Right Questions

Don’t overlook the importance of asking the right questions. Even if you don’t have any experience creating online surveys for students or anyone else, consider learning about it a little first. It’s necessary to include the right questions in your surveys to receive useful feedback on which you can improve the learning experience and teaching environment for students.

  1. Collect Surveys and Use Proper Assessing Metrics

If your students are young or if they’re filling out “student surveys” for the first time, you might need to wait sometime before you start receiving their valuable feedback. You have to use the right metrics and evaluating tools/techniques to get useful ideas and opinions out of student surveys.

Lastly, once you have incorporated surveys into the classroom, make sure you stick to a convenient schedule to avoid overburdening your students.

The Outlook of Incorporating Surveys Into the Classroom

Expecting and encouraging feedback from your students on various topics can lead to an inclusive classroom environment. They add surveys, whether paper surveys or digital surveys, which can improve understanding and help you build strong relationships with your students. By filling out surveys, students will play a more active role in improving their classes.

They can use new cognitive thinking abilities to experience improved learning capacities and methods. Also, including surveys in the classroom will help you take a quick peek into your students' understanding and knowledge.

Students’ participation in these discussions is just as important as teachers’. So, make sure you work towards an inclusive and friendly environment to create better learning opportunities.

The Takeaway

You can help your students understand you and their classmates better through surveys. Digital surveys will familiarize your students with technology-assisted polling and discussions. In simple words, surveys can improve the learning process as students get to voice their opinions and share fresh ideas.

That can drive more confidence in them, leading to a profound learning experience. Make sure you use the abovementioned tips to successfully incorporate surveys into the classroom. Plus, keep evaluating the responses to notice any changes or improvements in students’ experience.

Reference Links:

How to use Apple

Even before the pandemic forced students to the screen for educational instruction, both parents and teachers began questioning the right amount of screen time for their children. The concerns for too much screen time circulating among parent and teacher bodies mainly point back to both physical and mental health. A 2020 Pew Research report, “Parenting in the Age of Screens” confirms the alarm stating, “Fully 71% of parents of a child under the age of 12 say they are at least somewhat concerned their child might ever spend too much time in front of screens, including 31% who are very concerned about this.”

Undoubtedly, the pandemic catapulted students into a screen-time-saturated world, further amplifying the worry around too much screen time. Screens became the gateway for socialization, activities, and, of course, education.

Educators began harnessing technology in new and unfamiliar ways to engage students on the screen. From becoming fluent in screencasting, to designing engaging asynchronous formative assessments, teachers began using technology as a powerful tool for instruction. Additionally, the pandemic improved the bridge to student access in many districts who may have struggled before. Most schools moved to 1:1 models making access to devices ubiquitous.

As in-person learning resumed over the 21-22 school year, educators once again transitioned, this time back into more traditional instructional modes. Though, remnants of a fully online learning environment still linger. Those students who became used to the comfort of more independent, asynchronous learning now have to shift into more social, experiential learning modes.

Many students also became accustomed to spending a majority of their day scrolling through their smartphones, constantly connected to their social networks and social media platforms. Many teachers ask students to follow a phone-free policy in their classrooms, which is certainly an adjustment for many secondary students in particular.

All of this points to a need for educators to acknowledge the complexities of screen time and the implications of using technology in the classroom. While on one hand, there are enormous benefits in using educational technology, children surely need time away from their screens to process and acquire information. Stepping away from screens also allows students to practice presence and mindfulness, a much-needed respite in this day in age.

Both parents and educators are best to take a balanced approach when allowing or encouraging screen time. It’s not practical or beneficial to eliminate smartphone or device use at an extreme level since that is not the world that students are entering. In fact, young people need more knowledge and awareness than ever on how and when to use technology to either enhance or streamline some aspect of work or leisure.

Conversely, hours upon hours of smartphone use or a large percentage of classroom time spent on devices could lead to negative health effects. More and more research studies point to the fact that the digital stimuli can correlate with conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, or insomnia. A 2018 Environmental Research study goes as far to suggest that physical health effects can include obesity and high blood pressure. The report emphasizes that this “Current young generation experiences electronic media as a central part of their lives.”

While parents may enforce certain limitations at home (i.e. “no-phone dinners”), educators might feel challenged in limiting device use at school because of the student engagement factor. Many students are simply more engaged when technology is embedded into lessons, and educators may feel pressure to incorporate technology within every lesson as a result.

Often, though, upon closer examination, students might actually be engaged from what the technology provides, such as competition or social learning. For instance, teachers may use a Kahoot for a formative assessment, and the competitive gaming aspect draws students in. Or, students may share drafts of an essay on Googledocs in small groups, and the social sharing ups the level of investment in editing. In these cases, the screen time is of great value. In other situations where the same level of engagement can be achieved with paper and pencil, it’s best to give students a break from the screen.

Here are a few ideas of balanced approaches to blending technology use and more traditional instructional tools, which will allow students a break from the screen while still gaining the benefits of technology:

  1. Students read and transact with a physical copy of an article. Then, they post “one important line” on a class Padlet, which the teacher has projected.
  2. Students read an article posted on Google Classroom. Around the room, the teacher has posters for each section of the article. Students walk around and write down a response to each paragraph. This approach also honors the need for students to get out of their desks and move.
  3. The teacher designs a station rotation model where students are on a device for only 2 of the 6 stations.
  4. Try a flipped approach. After recording a mini-screencast lesson, the teacher posts the video to Google Classroom for students to watch for homework. The next day, students sit in small groups to work through problems together related to the concept on the screencast.
  5. Students look through their phone for 5 minutes and find a picture that brings them joy. Then, they write 5-10 lines in their notebook about the experience.

Teachers may also choose to incorporate metacognition and reflection into the closure components of their lessons which ask students to think about how screens and technology impacted their learning. By asking students to think about how they acquired, retained, processed, or applied new knowledge, they’ll begin to notice how screens can both help or hinder their learning.

Through the design of their lessons and units, teachers can model moderation of screen time for their students. This takes purposeful planning and often a backwards design approach. By asking students to use technology only when it truly serves to enhance the learning, teachers will build healthier habits that are undoubtedly necessary for children to thrive in this technology-rich world.

Using Technology in Physical Education: Getting Started

In recent years, the use of educational technology in physical education (PE) has been widely promoted across all levels of academic institutions with research budgets also being driven into the intersection between PE and tech, tellingly with the establishment and publication of the National Education Technology Standards for teachers. With the increase in attention around the use of tech in PE, there emerges a phenomenal opportunity for educators and students to reap the benefits of innovation in an environment that is yet to be maximized. It should be noted that the desire to use technology is not necessarily a new one; the use of pedometers and heart rate monitors has occurred for many years, but the introduction of technology described as ‘smart’ is where the headroom for innovation in PE truly lies. But with any emerging technology, there is initial uncertainty as to whether the tech provides a gateway to the future of its teaching, or whether it is a passing fad that is not delivering on its promise (think 3-D glasses). On top of the risk for educators in investing and adopting a technology with a short lifetime relevance, there is also the uncertainty that the benefits of using the technology deliver a significant return-on-investment. There is also emerging concern that tech in PE has the potential to have a detrimental effect on educational outcomes, with the tech reducing social contact, and becoming a poor replacement for effective teaching. Having these issues in mind - what sort of applications of tech in PE has the best chance of being fully and productively utilized, and what guardrails should educators put in place to ensure that tech is used as a useful facilitation tool and not a replacement?

Personalized Progress Tracking

Personalized learning, tailored for each student, has been shown to radically improve student achievement and engagement. Where we have seen personalized learning utilized in other academic disciplines for interactive and dynamic teaching plans, there remains an opportunity in PE to reap similar benefits. With wearable tech and tracking technology, there is a chance to gather granular physical data from each student that simply wasn’t possible before. This could range from monitoring heart rate, lap times, personalized technical analysis (throwing/pitching motion in baseball, athletics-based jumping techniques), heatmap and tactical movement for team sports - the examples are almost unlimited. The most important thing to bear in mind however is that to ensure that these data are being used for the most student benefit, it is their application to personalize and measure week-on-week, or period-on-period improvement on a student-by-student basis. Data is only useful if it is used and monitored - if that is kept in mind, then the benefits of period-on-period tracking will be clear to see in student achievement.

Facilitation, Not Domination

A common critique of the use of tech in PE is despite their capacity for additional data, and access to resources, there is a tendency for them to dominate lessons, relying too heavily on tech resources away from valuable student-teacher instruction. There is also some concern that the benefits seen in participation and motivation of students following the application of tech in PE maybe something of a honeymoon period; increasing short-term benefits through the novelty of technology, but may slowly decline as the novelty dissipates. There are implications here that if students are motivated by the use of technology alone, this would do little benefit to their intrinsic motivation for PE. Much in the same way as using a dessert to bribe a child to eat their greens, if intrinsic motivation isn’t being impacted for the desired behavior, the outcomes are not sustainable. So how can tech be used to maximize benefits whilst mitigating these issues? Quite simply, through tech-as-facilitator, not as a dominator. For example, over-relying on tech resources for lesson planning might be less beneficial than introducing video-resources for key technical elements. Alternatively, reviewing students’ technique following a sports activity and leading a personalized improvement session is likely to be more helpful than a self-serve technical suite of lessons. None of this is rocket science; the core idea to remember is that tech in PE should serve to facilitate lessons and drive added return on investment; not be a replacement for valuable instruction.

Extending the Learning Via Apps

Another core benefit of technology, specifically smart-device applications is the opportunity for students to continue their learning and development after the class has ended. Although lessons may provide students with homework, an app may facilitate the completion of this homework and be far more efficient (and reliable) at collecting the accompanying data. For example, a fitness tracker app would allow direct continuation of the students’ performance and progress from the class directly into post-class work, whilst centralizing all of the key performance data. This crucially provides an opportunity for students not just to track their progress, but to extend their learning beyond what the class-based lesson was capable of. For example, a student who has their interest piqued by a PE activity can continue to explore their interest independently through an array of available apps, whilst maintaining their connection to the original class. This provides an invaluable opportunity to enable those highly enthusiastic about a physical activity to drive their interest further, rather than leaving it at the classroom.

So there you have it. It is absolutely crucial understand how to maximise the benefit of tech in physical education - without forward planning with the key concept of facilitation in mind, it is easy to become a slave to the tech itself. However, with a facilitation and data focused application of innovation in PE, it is easy to make sure that these advances are not only here to stay and a worthwhile investment, but actually drive measurable impact on student outcomes.

Modern Office Design: Features and Trends in 2023

In today's fast-paced business world, the dynamics of meetings have evolved significantly. Gone are the days of bland, uninspiring conference rooms where creativity goes to die. Modern organizations understand the importance of fostering creativity, collaboration, and productivity through well-designed meeting spaces. Whether it's a brainstorming session, a client presentation, or a team meeting, the environment in which these interactions take place can have a profound impact on outcomes. With that in mind, let's explore some innovative and modern designs that are transforming meeting spaces into hubs of inspiration and productivity.

Flexible Furniture Arrangements

Traditional boardroom setups with fixed tables and chairs are becoming obsolete. Modern meeting spaces embrace flexibility, allowing furniture arrangements to be easily reconfigured based on the purpose of the meeting. Mobile tables, modular seating, and adjustable desks enable teams to adapt the space to suit different collaboration styles and group sizes.

Technology Integration

Seamless integration of technology is crucial in modern meeting spaces. From interactive whiteboards and video conferencing systems to wireless screen-sharing capabilities, technology should enhance collaboration rather than hinder it. Incorporating smart devices can streamline workflows and foster more efficient communication among team members.

Biophilic Design Elements

Incorporating elements of nature into meeting spaces can have a positive impact on creativity, mood, and overall well-being. Biophilic design principles such as natural light, living green walls, and natural materials like wood and stone help create a calm and rejuvenating atmosphere that can help with productive discussions and idea generation.

Acoustic Solutions

Poor acoustics can be a major distraction in meeting spaces, leading to reduced focus and productivity. Modern designs prioritize acoustic solutions such as sound-absorbing panels, acoustic ceiling treatments, and noise-canceling technology to minimize distractions and ensure clear communication during meetings.

Inspiring Aesthetics


Aesthetics play a significant role in setting the tone and mood of a meeting space. Thoughtfully curated artwork, vibrant colors, and stylish furniture can stimulate creativity and inspire innovative thinking. Incorporating elements of the company's brand identity into the design can also reinforce a sense of identity and belonging among team members.

Wellness Features

Considering the amount of time people spend in meeting rooms, it's essential to prioritize their comfort and well-being. Ergonomic furniture, adjustable lighting, and temperature control systems contribute to a more comfortable and productive meeting environment. Additionally, providing amenities such as healthy snacks, hydration stations, and standing desks promotes overall wellness and keeps participants engaged and focused.

Collaboration Zones

In addition to traditional meeting rooms, modern workplaces often feature informal collaboration zones where spontaneous discussions and brainstorming sessions can take place. These areas are equipped with comfortable seating, writable surfaces, and access to technology, encouraging impromptu interactions and idea sharing among team members.

Sustainable Design Practices

Sustainable design is no longer just a trend but a necessity in today's environmentally conscious world. From energy-efficient lighting fixtures and recycled materials to eco-friendly furniture and green building certifications, incorporating sustainable practices into meeting space design demonstrates a commitment to both the planet and the well-being of future generations.

In conclusion, modern meeting space design goes beyond mere functionality to prioritize creativity, collaboration, and well-being. By embracing flexibility, technology, biophilic elements, and sustainable practices, organizations can create inspiring environments that foster innovation and drive business success. Whether it's a high-tech conference room or a cozy collaboration nook, investing in the design of meeting spaces is an investment in the future of work.