Diana Fingal
Find ideas for learning with tech in our back-to-school guide!

For many educators, the school year has already begun or is just around the corner. We know a lot of you are already thinking of ways to make this year different, better, more engaging for your students — and yourself.

Why not commit to trying one new thing this year to get your students learning with technology. We' 'll even make it easy for you. Whether you want to get started with coding, boost your students media literacy, or inspire them with global collaboration projects to fulfill their role as digital citizens, we' 've got some lesson ideas and educator-tested resources to help you get started.  

Introduce computer science to all your students.

Computer science and computational thinking are already becoming key skills for the workplace, which is why schools and districts around the world are starting to require computer science courses for every student, and teacher prep programs are offering them to future teachers. Even if CS isn' 't mandated at your school, you can help students get a leg up by introducing these important skills to all your students this year. Check out the blog post below to get ideas for your classroom or school: 

5 things you can do to bring computer science to all your students

Many students, particularly those from under-represented groups, including girls, students of color and LGBTQ students miss out on taking classes that would put them on track for STEM and CS careers. You can change that by doing these five things.

Students build coding skills block by block

When students use MakeCode to build Minecraft structures more efficiently and rapidly, they are able to develop a visual understanding of what is going on inside of their code. Students can actually see a structure being built block by block from the code they have just written.

Coding, robotics programs are engaging learners worldwide

Robotics and coding provide hands-on and creative opportunities for learners to invent, solve problems and create perhaps the most appropriate implementation of STEM.

Computer programming in 4 steps

No matter the discipline, creating computational artifacts is one of the core computer science practices students should consistently experience to become better problem solvers. Here are four steps to get them started.

How to develop computational thinkers

Help your students become computational thinkers by building their competency in decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction and algorithm design.

Make sure your students are media literate.

Whether your students are researching a science topic, seeking consumer information or trying to decide which side of a political issue to support, they need to have media literacy skills. It' 's not enough to know how or where to find information; students — and adults — need to be able to critically evaluate all types of content, from blogs and news articles to video, podcasts and social media. Students need to be trained to ask questions like: What or who is the source of th information? Why was this content created? When was it published and for what audience?Check out the posts below to get ideas for teaching students to be savvy media consumers:

9 lessons to boost media literacy

Each year more of our students become tethered to electronic devices for communication, entertainment and information. This connectivity opens up a channel to learning, but it also invites a barrage of media messages that students must learn to interpret.

Today's news: Real or fake?

Students who meet the ISTE Standards for Students are able to critically select, evaluate and synthesize digital resources. Use this infographic to help them understand the difference between real & fake news.

10 resources to boost student media literacy

Teachers of all grades and subject areas must help students guard against fake news and media bias and become responsible producers and consumers of media content. Use these 10 resources to help get you on your way.

Media literacy starts with SEARCHing the internet

The acronym SEARCH can be a tool to guide young students through the steps of the internet search process. Each letter in the acronym (select, evaluate, add, refine, check and hunt) reflects important components of an internet search and provides direction to guide students.

The top 10 sites to help students check their facts

Our job as citizens requires more than just being informed. We must also be vigilant about verifying information before posting it on social media.Guide your students in verifying information using these 10 fact- and bias-checking sites.

Nurture digital citizens with passion projects.

Digital citizenship is often portrayed as a list of warnings about bullying, predators, copyright violations and other scourges of our time. But there' 's a flip side: Digital tools afford students enormous opportunities to connect across vast distances, tap the brains of thousands and work with peers on passion projects. Why not embed lessons about safety and security as you guide your students to explore the opportunities the digital world offers. Get some ideas from the posts below: 

7 steps for starting a global collaboration project

Global collaboration projects can seem daunting but they don' 't have to be time-consuming and complicated. Educator Pernille Ripp offers tips and advice for finding a global collaboration project for your classroom.

5 ways educators can become digital citizenship leaders

You may be a tech-savvy educator who brings digital age lessons and projects to your classroom, but are you doing all you can to be a digital leader on campus?

Teach digital citizenship all year, every year

While many schools address digital citizenship through the occasional school assembly or one-off lesson plan, administrators at Rowan-Salisbury School District knew they needed to go bigger. They paid 25 teachers from around the district to develop a comprehensive K-12 digital citizenship curriculum.

Students teach parents about social media

When Stamford American International School in Singapore decided to host a parent information session on social media recently, there was no question who would lead it: the students themselves. Craig Kemp explains how his students became digital citizenship leaders.

Empower global citizens with PBL  

The Monuments Project doesn't just teach students about history. It challenges them to do the work of historians. In the process, students are also learning what it means to be engaged global citizens who can leverage technology to collaborate, research, educate and motivate others.


Diana Fingal is director of editorial content for ISTE

 

 

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