Professional Resources Available for Digital P-12 Classroom

December 11, 2013

by Dr. Pat Chrosniak, Associate Professor of Teacher Education

In this fast-paced “World of E,” there is no lack of resources for the educator. One of the very best cyber (as well as hard copy) places is eSchool News. This is a free resource that has weekly updates regarding important topics for teachers of all levels. An article regarding mistakes in Flipped Classroom design is in the December 12, 2013 issue. Regularly eSchool news has articles about the Common Core and about 21st Century instruction in the areas of critical thinking, creativity, digital literacy and collaboration (teachers and students).

Another good online resource is K-12 Mobile Classroom, one of the free newsletters of THE Journal: Technological Horizons in Education (also free). A recent K-12 issue includes a discussion regarding the coordination of the Common Core and school initiatives with mobile devices. There are also reviews of apps for note taking, top middle school math apps, and top ELA apps and websites.

Learning in the Cloud: How and Why to Transform Schools with Digital Media (Mark Warshauer, Teachers College Press, 2011) is a book that will remain valuable for several years to come. Besides giving current perspectives about integrating technology in classroom instruction, Warshauer also discusses problems at the classroom level regarding the use of digital devices such as the smart phone, tablets and e-readers and the use of social media and cloud computing. This book lends itself to professional discussions among teachers and administrators about classroom management (e.g., what to do about cell phones), as well as innovative practice.

Flip this Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Classroom Every Day (Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, International Society for Technology in Education, 2012). This book begins with a discussion of the role of essential questions for initiating classes and moves into the authors’ design and a mastery model for flipped classrooms.

Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding (Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2013). Of those resources dealing with EQs, this book provides thought-provoking ideas as well as practical suggestions in conjunction with the Common Core. Just as with UbD, the authors enable discussions in this book that are respectful of teachers as professionals.

For those of us in Illinois, ICE (Illinois Computing Educators) is a wonderful organization that provides information and workshops to help educators learn how to use tech tools in classroom instruction. Some of the online resources are free to access and others require membership. Recently, the Central Illinois Chapter of ICE sponsored a workshop on Flipped Classrooms at Washington High School in Washington, Illinois. For those who do not live in Illinois, there are statewide organizations that support the integration of technology in teaching. Do not hesitate to contact the IRA (International Reading Association) to find groups in your state.