Find ideas for learning with technology in our back-to-school guide!

By Diana Fingal 8/15/2017 Digital citizenship Personalized learning

Start the year with a new classroom project, concept, skill or strategy. We double-dog dare you!

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.  ISTE will even make it easy for you. Whether you want to personalize learning, gamify your classroom or help your students become better digital citizens, we’ve got some lesson ideas and educator-tested resources to help you get started.  

1. Personalize your lessons — and your classroom!

Not all students are the same, nor should their learning be. Giving students voice and choice not only improves engagement, it creates empowered learners, critical thinkers and good digital citizens, all hallmarks of the ISTE Standards for Students. Check out the links below to find out how to personalize learning in your classroom.

What does personalized learning really look like?
Author Dale Basye writes that understanding the concepts behind personalized learning and actually implementing them are two different things. He offers some lesson ideas to illustrate what we mean when we talk about personalized learning.  

Turn your classroom into a personalized learning environment!
English teacher Robyn Howton, an English teacher in Wilmington, Delaware, shares five lessons she learned when she transitioned from a traditional sage-on-the-stage affair to a tech-assisted, personalized learning haven.

6 ways to personalize learning with flexible seating.
Set the scene for personalized learning in your classroom or school by creating spaces that allow students to work alone, in pairs, in large groups or across the globe.

2. Motivate your students through gamification.

Students may grumble at the thought of taking a test and get a jolt of anxiety about a pop quiz, but challenge them with an intriguing video game,  and most kids will persevere through level after level. If you want to try a new way to assess learning and motivate students, use or adapt one of these gamification ideas.

Gamify any lesson, class or curriculum! 
Third grade teacher Heather Marrs shows you numerous ways to implement gamification to engage students in their learning. Try something simple for a day or embark on a year-long gamification project.

Gameful lessons focus on the learning, not the product
ISTE author Liz Kolb shows how to evaluate learning using gamification, and she shares some out-of-the-box platforms you can try with your students.

5 tips for creating a credible badging program
Brad Flickinger, author of the ISTE book Reward Learning with Badges, offers tips on how to create a badging system that is transparent and rewards excellence.

3. Nurture digital citizens with passion projects and more!

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 that change the world. Read the articles below, and consider taking on a global collaboration project with your students this year.  

Empower global citizens with PBL
ISTE author Suzie Boss writes about a powerful project that not only teaches students about history, it allows them to become real historians.

7 steps for starting a global collaboration project
Educator Pernille Ripp offers tips and advice for finding a global collaboration project for your classroom.

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