Reflections on TPACK and Edmodo Spotlight

by Randy Fairfield, 3/29/16

The more time I spend in the field of education, the more I realize what a challenging field it is to be effective in. Teaching well requires a level of expertise, skill, experience, and commitment that is far more exacting than other professions demand–particularly given the rate of compensation!


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For instance, consider the TPACK framework to the left. I consider the framework incredibly helpful as a self-reflective tool to consider what the context-specific appropriate application for a teacher would be to leverage technology and instructional strategies in the delivery of their content. This image begs questions such as, “What is my content? What strategies will help me deliver it effectively? How might technology enhance those strategies?” Having knowledge in regards to your content area, instructional strategies, and effective uses of technology does not happen overnight! In order move past knowledge and into effective implementation, teachers must also draw from their experiences in order to know what does and doesn’t work. Beyond that, teachers must also have the skills to be able to deliver and the commitment to plan, implement, and follow through! Like I previously stated: teaching well is hard work!

One area in which many teachers have to spend a lot of their time is simply dealing with that first question: “What is my content?” Some school districts provide no curriculum or curriculum that is inadequate when it comes to addressing the higher standards for students that are spelled out in the Common Core. Instead of spending their time giving students meaningful feedback and considering how to best deliver instruction and leverage technology, many teachers are stuck looking for curricular content. This is where Edmodo Spotlight comes in.

espotlight_fb_defaultgraphicWith over 50 million registered users, Edmodo has become a place that many teachers are finding useful to connect with one another to prevent the problem that so many of educators face: we feel like we’re constantly reinventing the wheel. Why? Our content standards are constantly changing; we’re constantly being asked to implement new instructional strategies; and technology continues to change as well! Edmodo Spotlight is a place where teachers can upload, share, and sell resources to teachers. Further, these resources are vetted by the Edmodo team and review evaluated by other educators so you know you’re getting quality resources. These resources are carefully curated and easy to search for by grade level and content area standards.

So if you find yourself constantly scrambling for content, check out Edmodo Spotlight! You just might be pleasantly surprised at the treasure trove of resources that are available there. If you have a lot of resources that you’ve created yourself, you might consider sharing them with the rest of the world as well!

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Newsela: Current Events with Lexile Differentiation!

Newsela is an innovative way to build reading comprehension with nonfiction that’s always relevant: the daily news! The best part about Newsela is being able to adjust the Lexile level of the article to differentiate and scaffold for your readers’ needs while giving them access to the same content!

https://newsela.com/

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Edmodo SnapShot: CCSS Formative Assessments

by Randy Fairfield, 5/19/15

Edmodo Snapshot is a free, easy-to-use app that will help prepare students to master Common Core State Standards. This is an incredible formative assessment tool! Put the power into students hands by giving them a student-friendly copy of the CCSS, testing them with Snapshots, and then sending them the resources they need to self-study and improve their scores.

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The Visual Thesaurus

The visual thesaurus can be a great tool in helping students build their vocabulary and meet the following Common Core State Standard:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.9-10.4.C
Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital.

http://www.visualthesaurus.com/

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