Chicago by Hedreich Nichols

Guest post

Listen to Smallbites via Hedreich Nichols, @Hedreich

This week is part two of the SmallBites Black History series. It could aptly called “Beyond the Struggle”. When I think of June and Pride celebrations, there is so much joy. Yes, there is talk of Stonewall and the fight for human rights, but there is a joy that we are missing in February. I believe that comes from the focus on our civil struggle and a lack of knowledge about the many achievements of people from the African diaspora in America.

Let Your Students Do the Sleuthing

I invite everyone to take time, this month especially, to celebrate all that Black Americans have accomplished in the face of insurmountable odds. Did you know that most enslaved people were freed with no education, no restitution and no path to transition from enslavement to freedman in a hostile environment? And yet, there have been notable achievements in every sector, achievements that are not widely known. Since this month is dedicated to Black History, allow your students to research Black business owners, scientists, writers, inventors, choreographers, educators, politicians, generals, etc. Discuss who they find and allow your students to take the lead. I’m hoping that will be acceptable even in today’s climate.  There is so much to celebrate and Black achievement in the US is so much deeper than Civil Rights and Soul food.

Who Wants to Join Me??

If you do find someone especially interesting to celebrate, I’d love to interview one or two Black History super sleuths this month for SmallBites. Message me at 5smallbites@bluewin.ch.

You can read more about Bronzeville in one of 3 of my social justice titles for Cherry Lake Publishing, From Black Wall Street to Allensworth

You can read more about the humanitarian crisis of emancipation from Professor Downs’ book, Sick From Freedom.Post navigation

Check out the podcast here.

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at bit.ly/Pothbooks

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

Learning about the metaverse

When it comes to education, there are always new ideas, methods, and technologies. As we have seen, especially over the past two years, the number of tools available and the advances in technology are increasing tremendously. In our schools, we have to prepare our students so that they understand what these technologies are, how they are being used now, and what the impact might be on them in the future. 

For most people, topics like augmented and virtual reality and artificial intelligence may be new. Understanding the differences between AR and VR for example and how these technologies are being used in the world and in education is important, especially with the use of AR and VR in different areas of work. Now enter the term “metaverse” which may be a new concept to many, however, it has actually been around for almost three decades. Neal Stephenson, an American science fiction author introduced the concept of the metaverse in his novel, Snow Crash back in 1992.

For some people, the term metaverse may have been first heard when Mark Zuckerberg announced that he was changing the name of Facebook to Meta back in October of 2021. To help people understand what his ideas were for the metaverse, he released a short video about how the metaverse would work. I recommend sharing this video with students to spark a conversation first.

With these emerging technologies and also with things like blockchain, NFTs, and web3 for a few others, how can educators keep up so that we can prepare our students? With so many responsibilities in our daily work, how do we find time to learn more about the metaverse? What are the best resources and how can we provide opportunities for students to drive their own learning about these emerging technologies?

Understanding what the metaverse is

First, it is important to have a working definition of the metaverse. The metaverse is “a simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain, along with concepts from social media, to create spaces for rich user interaction mimicking the real world.” A few years ago, I read the book Ready Player One, which has been used to provide a glimpse into what the metaverse might look like. For getting started with learning about the metaverse, having a good based understanding of what the metaverse is would be the first step.

Years ago, people were using Second Life, which was a way for meeting with others in a virtual world. When I first used it in 2015, I was not sure what to think. For anyone who has not experienced it, you would create your own avatar, and communicate and interact with others in a virtual space. It was being used in place of traditional meeting tools like Google Hangouts or Zoom for example. Using this as a comparison,  the metaverse would be quite similar, except used for more than just meetings. It would be for all aspects of personal and professional life. Can you imagine spending 24 hours in the metaverse? Think about everything that you do in a typical day and what that might look like in the metaverse? What are the benefits and drawbacks? A good question to ask students and see what their responses are. Check out a video of a young woman who spent 24 hours in a VR headset and what the impact it was on her as a result. 

You can check out some of the videos available that provide a simulated metaverse experience. videos 

You may be familiar with Fortnite and Roblox, which are platforms that demonstrate the concept of the metaverse. Roblox is even providing lesson plans and activities that are aligned with the ISTE Standards. Engaging in the metaverse experience also does not require the use of headsets as the environments can be accessed through a computer and using a variety of web VR such as Engage VR for Mozilla Hubs for example. 

What else do we need to know?

More than just knowing what the metaverse is, we need to understand how it works, what devices and technology are needed, and what other concepts we need to be knowledgeable about. With life spent in the metaverse, everyday tasks like making purchases, working, going to school, socializing, and entertainment will look different. We will need to understand how to buy things and keep track of information, so we also need to understand blockchain, cryptocurrency, and NFTs.  Think about the age of the students that you teach or work with. Fast forward ten years, will students be going to school and working in the metaverse?  If so, then we have to do what we can to prepare them and ourselves.  What are the skills that students will need to interact in the metaverse?

But will the metaverse disappear?

There has been a lot of growth in the use of the metaverse since October 2021. In education, some colleges are not only thinking about holding classes in the metaverse, some have already done so.  Research is being done to explore what the benefits of learning in the metaverse might be. Stanford unveiled a metaverse learning experience for students in June of 2021. Using the platform Engage VR, more than 250 students wearing headsets participated in class in virtual reality. In total, students completed two courses and spent 3,500 hours together in the metaverse rather than the traditional classroom or virtual meeting space like Zoom or Teams.

In the spring, it was announced by Victory XR that ten “metaversities” would be launching in the fall. While there are concerns about the metaverse, there are also some anticipated benefits to these options. Considering the increasing and sometimes prohibitive cost of traditional universities, a metaversity might lead to more opportunities for students. 

Thinking about benefits, providing education via the metaverse could resolve common issues such as class sizes or lack of adequate learning materials due to tight budgets. Students would be able to immerse more in learning experiences and in some cases, may feel more connected to and included in learning. A survey found that 80% of respondents felt more included in the metaverse. With permission settings, teachers would have more control over student interactions in the metaverse. In higher education, there can be a digital twin, which is a professor who is in the physical classroom space but through an avatar, is able to engage with students in the virtual space too.  

With these emerging technologies, it is important that we all explore new ideas and ways to best prepare our students and ourselves for what these technologies will bring. 


A recent article in Forbes shared some of the potential benefits of the metaverse. In the metaverse, people can make purchases, hold meetings, own land, buy and sell real estate, and even buy clothing for their avatars. It would have its own virtual economy for these transactions, which brings up another issue, financial literacy, and understanding how the concept of money and finances would work in the metaverse. When it comes to the impact the metaverse might have on the economy, it is estimated that it could become an $800 billion market by 2024.

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at bit.ly/Pothbooks

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

Ed3 DAO – amazing learning experience!

Ed3 DAO

Over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of discussion about emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, cryptocurrency, the metaverse, ​NFTS, and web 3. There are so many things happening in the world of technology impacting the workplace, and we are now starting to see these technologies making their way into the education space. Teachers that work with elementary students, or teach a content area such as math or a specific course like calculus or physics, may wonder how these topics might connect with the content they’re teaching. As a Spanish and STEAM teacher, for years I did not bring emerging technologies like AI or ​AR/VR into my Spanish classroom because I thought “I’m just a Spanish teacher.” However, we all need to help our students understand these technologies and their potential impact on our personal lives and education today and in the future. There is something that each of us can do in our classrooms regardless of the grade level or content area that we teach. It might look different for each of us, but we can still find ways to help students better understand the technologies that will be part of the future of learning and work.  

How can educators prepare?

Teachers often feel like they have to be the expert, but I can attest to the fact that you don’t. Thinking that I had to be the expert kept me from taking risks throughout my teaching career. I know that I don’t have to be the expert, I only need to know enough to get students started. Then they can take the lead and we can learn with them as everyone knows, we learn directly from them too. So when it comes to these topics, finding time to learn about them can be challenging. How can we possibly know enough?

In October, Getting Smart held a Town Hall focused on “Where has education been and where will it go next?” Nate McClennen, VP of Innovation and Education kicked off the event with an overview of the different web versions. Vriti Saraf, Co-Founder of Ed3 DAO spoke about the versions of the web and how “Web3 will advance things at a technological level, this technology will also have impacts on reshaping the “ethos of the web.” Mike Peck also shared some of the themes of web3 and the impact on the learning systems in place and the roles of educators and students in this space.

To get started, educators can explore blogs available through G​etting ​S​mart, participate in the Ed3 DAO Twitter spaces and check out resources from their 3-day ​E​d3 conference held November 11-13, 2022. The conference’s mission was to help educators understand what these technologies mean for the future of education and how to best prepare students.

[image from Ed3 DAO website]

What is Ed3 DAO?

Ed3 DAO (Digital Autonomous Organization), co-founded by Vriti Saraf and Mike ​P​eck is a group created “by educators and for educators” to learn about web3. They are “committed to onboarding one million educators into the world of web3.” Educators can join the group and interact through a Discord Channel or connect via Twitter. Ed3 DAO recently held its first virtual conference in the Edverse. It had a variety of session types including Ed talks, hackathons, gaming, networking opportunities, learning labs, and more. The focus was on the future of “learning, earning, teaching and community.”

The conference provided opportunities to explore and interact in the metaverse space. The event included a variety of learning opportunities including Edtalks, 20 learning labs, networking and idea labs in the Edverse where you could pitch ideas and get feedback from other attendees. There were also 12 Mastermind sessions focused on topics such as AI and the future of writing, what students need to learn about web3, amplifying SDGs with web3, and legal topics in the metaverse.

Attendees were able to receive a “proof of attendance protocol” (POAP, an NFT) certificate on blockchain as evidence of their participation in the event after each day. The proof can then be used for professional development hours, shared on social media, added to a crypto wallet, or used for teacher professional development hours.

[The event kickoff was held on YouTube and in the Ed3verse]

Some of the main speakers included ​Vriti Saraf, Mike ​P​eck, Dagan Berstein, leaders in this space and I recommend that anyone wanting to learn more and be involved, should follow their work. During this event, participants were able to learn about what web3 means and how the look and feel of school might change. It was a great opportunity to connect with educators who are teaching students about these topics and gather ideas for use in the classroom. Also to be able to experience the metaverse by joining in the virtual space, selecting an avatar, and learning how to communicate in these new spaces for learning. 

The event

The kickoff of the event focused on “What is Web3 and Why Does It Matter in Education?” What is Ed3 DAO and how to make the most of the conference with Vriti Saraf and Mike Peck. They spoke about what web3 is, how it has evolved and the impact that it will have on education and the world. Vriti explained how when the world wide web was created in 1990, at first it was decentralized and open source, which meant anyone could create. Web 1.0 was “read” and there were not a lot of opportunities to do more than consume content. In 2005, the web evolved to become web2.0, where social media apps and other websites could be created by people without the need to know how to code. It made global collaboration and sharing of content possible. This was the “Write” version because we could now contribute. Web 2,0 changed from “building to business, collaboration to monopoly, and innovation to profit generation.” Tim said, “this is not the web we wanted to create.” This is where web3 comes in and the focus of the conference. Web 3.0 is “own” because people can own and create their own info because of blockchain. It has shifted from closed to open, business to building, and monopolies to collaboration. No longer tied to owning everything but instead, sharing. 

Vriti said, “As educators, the small-scale building mentality is leading to creating micro-schools and unbundled learning. Collaboration and community-driven equals personalization. Innovation is leading to new ways of learning, hybrid, immersive and regenerative.” 

Mike Peck spoke about the shifts from web versions and their impact.  Now we have the gig economy and people can engage in different types of work. In web3, more changes are coming. As the web evolves, we may see the “creator economy.” How will decentralized platforms enable people to create and explore in ways unlike what we can do now? 

How will it impact our daily lives? Instagram, Starbucks, and Pearson are a few corporations that are discussing how web3 will impact strategy and are looking at the use of NFTs. As the web evolves, educators need to help students develop essential skills such as digital citizenship, financial literacy, and the 4 Cs.  In web3, “there is an importance of community and how we can work together to achieve great things.” According to Mike, “Our students are already experiencing the metaverse, like with Fortnite and some are even investing in web3. A 12-year-old created a collection called “Weird Whales” and made around $160,000 in one day.  He created the code base through to the NFT collection. 

Learning Labs on Saturday- move your avatar to join in a session.

Saturday Master Mind Legal Issues in metaverse Counseling The Future: Legal Topics in the Metaverse 

The unconference experience

It was unlike any other experience I have had. The gatherings around the learning labs during the unconference and being able to interact, engage in live conversations whether the camera was on or off, and moving in all of those spaces was awesome. It offered flexibility by being able to move your avatar into any of the different learning spaces and quickly enter another space to connect with attendees. While it is similar to being at an in-person event or a virtual conference and changing sessions, the time to move and enter the spaces is in your control and instant when in the Edverse, rather than waiting for someone to let you into the room or traveling a distance. 

On Sunday, Nate McClennen, VP of Education and Innovation of Getting Smart kicked off Day 3 events with an Edtalk about “How can web3 drive open ecosystem of learning, workplace degrees, and thriving democracies and livelihood?  He spoke of the evolution of the web and how web 3 allows for “permissionless, self-sovereign and decentralized systems, which increases access and agency which empowers people to be more active.” With centralized systems, there are groups of data that are being used to make money for others, compared with decentralized. When it comes to learning, the learners control credentials and digital wallet/employment records. Store information there, the diplomas are there and are easily verifiable without other distractions or time consumption.

Joining the Edtalks held in the learning labs or available on YouTube was a unique experience. There were many great sessions available that deciding was difficult!. Some of the topics for learning labs that I joined were Design, Modeling, and Building NFTs to Build Future Student Entrepreneurs, and Making Web3 Work for Workforce Education with Dr. Micah Shipee and Kaylee Brown.

[A great session with Pablo and with Vriti Saraf closing out his Learning Lab session.]

The conference ended with a dance party in the virtual space celebrating the conference and thanking Vriti Saraf for an amazing event. Several members of the planning team spoke and shared some of the key takeaways from the event. Vriti said, “Web3 is all around us and it is here and education is always the last to catch up.”

[The final gathering to close out the Ed3 DAO event]

To learn more, check out the Twitter feed for the #Ed3con22 event to see more images, and the conversation topics and connect with other educators. I recommend that anyone interested in learning more about web 3, become a member and check out the events that the Ed3 DAO holds each month. There are also courses available for educators to work through that are focused on the blockchain, metaverse, NFTs, web3, and more.

An unconference was held in the Edverse Ed3 DAO city where attendees could organize their own discussions. 

The look of a conference in Ed3verse, photo credit Maria Galanis

Speakers at the Ed3 DAO conference, photo credit Maria Galanis

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at bit.ly/Pothbooks

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

Making Math Usable for Young Learners

Guest post by:

Sharon A. Edwards

Sai Gattupalli

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Everyone wants to improve math learning for elementary school-age children. Computation, calculation, and problem-solving skills are essential tools for young learners to have. Each builds the mathematical foundations, conceptual building blocks, for future understandings of math instruction in middle school, high school, college, and careers. But national test scores are lower than pre-pandemic as are interest and engagement of many young learners.

To develop tools to support math learning for students, teachers, and families, we and our University of Massachusetts Amherst colleague Robert Maloy, are developing a free open for use online system called Usable Math:

https://usablemath.org/

Usable Math provides a unique interactive problem-solving model of activities for youngsters learning mathematical reasoning and computation skills with word problems. Using computers, tablets, smartphones, students, and teachers can access standardized test questions from the Massachusetts MCAS tests and receive multiple learning strategies from four virtual coaches we call learning coaches. Estella Explainer, Chef Math Bear, How-to Hound, and Visual Vicuna are the characters offering words, images, pictures, charts, graphs, animations, and gifs to engage students’ thinking as they read, compute, and strategically solve word problems. The model supports estimating, comparing, understanding vocabulary, and identifying ways to be math solvers seeking right answers in different ways.

To date, we have published interactive modules about fractions, addition, rounding/estimation, geometry, money, data analysis, measurement, and more are on the way.

The name Usable Math encompasses our goals and purposes for the system design:

  • U Able meaning you (every young math learner) can be a math problem solver.
  • Us Able meaning together all of us (students, teachers, and family members in classrooms and homes) can be a team of math problem solvers.
  • Usable meaning anyone (young or older) is able to develop their math problem-solving skills with curiosity, practice, and clues for thinking from the online coaches. For this reason, the system is open and free and works on multiple digital devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Usable Math is designed so users control the process of what learners see and how quickly they see each problem, the coaching clues, answer choices and the answer to the problem. A click-to-see approach lets children and adults use a mouse or a tap to reveal the inner workings of the math word problems one step at a time. Each click of the mouse or return key reveals additional strategies for youngsters to use in solving math problems strategically.

Click-to-see proceeds like this. With the first click, a problem appears on the screen, some with and others without their answer choices being shown depending on what the problem is asking learners to do. In this example, seeing the answers is necessary to problem-solving it.

Click a second time and the system displays Estella Explainer’s hint, a reading strategy intended to reframe the math question in more straightforward, kid-accessible language. The math problem continues to display at the top of the screen, while each hint appears in the bottom section of the screen. The idea is to engage children in actively conversing about the problem from the lens of Estella Explainer’s scaffolding hint.

With another click, Chef Math Bear offers a computational strategy. With another click, a strategic thinking idea appears from How-to-Hound. And with another click, a hint in the form of a movie, chart, graph, or picture appears from Visual Vicuna. In each instance, students and adults have opportunities to analyze and discuss with one another what they think or know, or have learned from the coaches to help them answer the question. When all of the coaching hints are visible on the screen below the question, another click either shows the answer choices or if those are part of the question already, highlights the solution to the problem from among the answer choices. Then before continuing to the next word problem, a motivational statement (“You know parallel lines when you see them” or “You SOLVED the puzzle”) appears along with a surprising visual, a gif, or an image to elicit smiles or delight or laughter to emphasize the accomplishment and encourage viewing the next problem.

Enabling children and adults to choose how quickly or slowly they see information when analyzing problem-solving strategies from the coaches is a deliberate different practice from expectations in many classroom settings. In math, youngsters have mistakenly been taught that being “smart” with math means being the first or one of the first to answer questions correctly or to complete practice worksheets swiftly. By not taking the time needed to read and think through possible problem-solving strategies, students make mistakes, confuse key concepts, and begin to believe that math is a skill only some are competent to learn.

We want Usable Math to be different for several reasons. First, the design of the system makes it possible for children and adults to have productive collaborative problem-solving discussions before choosing an answer. They can “work” the problem, discussing what each puzzle teaches and how it might be solved using different ways. This focuses on the math concepts of the problem and the illustration instead of immediately identifying a procedure to use to find an answer.

Second, the presence of four coaches, with their own problem-solving points of view or perspectives offers choice for students. They can, and do, find a coach who becomes their math friend whose ideas help them to approach problem-solving with confidence. The use of animations and visuals allows the coaches to offer information along with surprising, engaging learning. Children keep coming back to see what the coaches have to say and do. Engagement produces learning.

Third, youngsters and adults discover how math is really about all maths. Look again at that term “maths.” Putting the “s” on math broadens its meaning and changes how it is to be taught and learned. While maths is a term used by educators throughout the world, it is not used or thought of often in classrooms in this country. Maths indicates that there is not one single subject called math, but many ways to think about mathematical topics and concepts. Maths urges children and adults to think like solvers of problems, not recallers of formulas. Maths stresses conceptual understanding with procedural knowledge.

It is our goal to have Usable Math promote maths learning for students, teachers, and families in all topics of maths. We welcome your thoughts and responses and your suggestions for how to revise this coaching system in the future.

Sharon A. Edwards is a Clinical Faculty in the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Retired from public school teaching, she taught primary grades for 32 years at the Mark’s Meadow Demonstration Laboratory School, a public school in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Sai Gattupalli is a Learning Sciences doctoral student in the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research interests are broadly focused on learner culture, learning through game play, and game design.

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at bit.ly/Pothbooks

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

MTSS Part Two: Essential Components of MTSS

Guest post by Bonnie Nieves, in collaboration with Class Composer

In the previous blog, I outlined the first step of initiating Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), a framework designed to meet the needs of each and every learner in a school district. When your school community has completed its inventory of instructional tools and supports for academic, behavioral, and social-emotional learning, it is time to move on to putting these resources into action. 

The next steps include planning for three essential components of MTSS: 

  • Instruction that includes academic, behavioral, and SEL learning opportunities for all students.
  • Assessment tools that measure the effectiveness of this instruction.
  • Ensuring that your master schedule has space for per diem support for students.

MTSS is typically represented as a pyramid with Tier 1 universal supports being the foundation. It can be accurately represented as a triangle or funnel. 

All students receive universal supports and transition between tiers 1, 2, and 3 based upon progress monitoring data monitored according to a reliable universal tool at predetermined intervals. These tools do not need to be school-wide standardized tests. According to the American Institutes of Research (2021), high-fidelity screening is universal, accurate, and conducted at least quarterly.

Most students will remain in tier 1, some will transition to tier 2, and fewer will move to tier 3. If a school community finds that a large number of students are in need of tier 2 support, it would be prudent to investigate the evaluation tools and quality of the universal curriculum being used.

Now, envision a system of three triangles, one for each indicator: academic, behavioral, and SEL. Students may be at any of the three tiers for each of the three instructional areas (academic, behavioral, social-emotional) at any one time. For example, a student may be receiving tier 1 instruction for academics, tier 2 targeted support for behavioral instruction, and tier 3 for social-emotional instruction.

When teachers work with all of this information, academic, behavioral, and social-emotional, it can require a great deal of time and organization. Providing for all students is essential and each of these represents important data points that teachers need to focus on in order to provide the best for students. However, there needs to be a more effective and efficient way to do this.

MTSS and Class Composer 

Class Composer provides everything that teachers need to be able to monitor student progress and is readily accessible to anyone, at any time. It enables all teachers to access the information they need about each individual student when they need it. Easy to track and record student growth toward individualized goals.  Simplify how you manage all the assessment data collected! With progress monitoring

Having access to all this information in one space enables teachers to create a supportive learning community for students. These teacher-student connections lead to the development of the essential relationships that need to exist for all students to be successful.

Give Class Composer a try today using their sandbox. You will experience a simpler, more streamlined experience when in the easily accessible, data-driven platform that promotes student academic achievement and the development of essential SEL skills.

Head to Class Composer to learn more!

Coming up next:

The final part of my MTSS blog series will elaborate on two essential components: assessment tools and instructional resources. Assessment tools that can help your school community provide common experiences without impacting teachers’ ability to use Universal Designed for Learning (UDL) planning tools. Instructional resources for each of the three tiers for academic, behavioral, and social-emotional instruction.

About the Author

Bonnie Nieves is the author of “Be Awesome on Purpose” and has over a decade of experience as a high school science teacher. She has a Master’s Degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Educational Leadership. Her passion for creating immersive and authentic experiences that fuel curiosity and creating student-centered, culturally responsive learning spaces that promote equity and inclusion has led her to establish Educate On Purpose Coaching.

In addition to being an award-winning educator, Bonnie works to ensure equitable and engaging education for all through her work as a copy editor at EdReports and Classroom Materials and Media reviewer for The American Biology Teacher journal. She serves on the MassCUE board of directors and enjoys connecting with educators through social media, professional organizations, conferences, Twitter chats, and edcamps. Bonnie is a member of the National Association of Biology Teachers, the Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science, and the National Science Teaching Association. She encourages you to connect with her on Twitter @biologygoddess, Instagram @beawesomeonpurpose, Clubhouse @biologygoddess, and LinkedIn.

Please visit www.educateonpurpose.com for information about her current projects.

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at bit.ly/Pothbooks

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

Boosting Curiosity for Learning

As educators, we need to be comfortable with taking more risks in our classrooms. Whether we dive in and try new ideas, bring in new digital tools, or shift to more of a facilitator role, it will promote more student-driven, meaningful learning. With more options available, we will foster student agency, boost engagement and increase student motivation in learning. We need to embrace and model risk-taking as we create opportunities to place students in the lead more and experience purposeful learning fueled by choice. 

With methods like project-based learning (PBL) and through a variety of traditional and digital tools, we will more authentically engage students with the content, and their role will shift from consumers to creators. Students will appreciate the process of learning and as a result, it will positively impact overall achievement. 

In my classroom a few years ago, I recognized a lack of true student engagement. While I had offered students choices in the types of projects and tools they could choose from, these options did not promote student-driven learning. Through PBL or using choice boards, for example, we can promote more independent learning for students. When students have more autonomy in their learning experiences, they become more motivated and engaged in the learning process. For students to make significant progress, there needs to be sustained engagement. 

When we started to do PBL and use methods like choice boards and Hyperdocs in my classroom, the process of learning was ongoing and iterative. Student engagement increased and they enjoyed these new experiences. They were tasked with decision-making and as a result, became more curious about what they were learning and focused on the process rather than the end product. Students told me that they looked forward to different opportunities and the peer collaboration that was happening in our classroom.

Boosting Curiosity in Learning

Promoting curiosity in learning is essential for student engagement and motivation. As we move through the school year, at times, student engagement decreases whether as a result of activities and tools that do not promote more choice, exhaustion from testing, busy schedules, and other challenges experienced. To better engage students, we need to provide options for them to problem solve, create, collaborate and take some risks with learning. As they connect more authentically and meaningfully with what they are learning, it will spark curiosity. 

Curious students become more invested in the process of learning and the next steps in their learning journey. As we help students shift from consumers to developing as creators and innovators, they will be better equipped with the essential skills to be successful and flexible in the future whether in education or careers.  With learning opportunities that are hands-on and in some cases, non-traditional, we will spark that curiosity for learning that leads to sharing their work with others.

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Engage students in inquiry-based learning and focus on an area of curiosity. With a method like genius hour, students choose what they are going to learn about and then need to set goals for their work. As they design their learning journey, they will build essential SEL skills such as self-awareness and self-management. 
  2. Ask students what they are interested in learning about. Promote the development of social-awareness, one of the five competencies of SEL by focusing on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As students explore global issues, find out what they are curious about and engage them in some problem-solving and critical thinking by asking them to identify similar challenges in their community. 
  3. Connect students with the community and focus on place-based learning. Find opportunities to collaborate with local business owners, entrepreneurs, and other organizations. Expand beyond the local community and connect students virtually with people who work in an area of students’ interest. Experiences like these give students an opportunity to apply the content they are learning in the real world. Students may even find opportunities for job-shadowing or internships and better understand career options that are available to them and learn about themselves and their interests too. 

When we provide opportunities for students to set their pace for learning, to collaborate, and to explore topics of interest, they invest more and become more curious about learning and the next steps.

For some educators, it can be uncomfortable at first to place more control in students’ hands, but there are many great benefits. Students take the lead more, develop essential SEL skills and skills that will be transferable to multiple areas of work. With more independent learning, we encourage self-monitoring, peer collaboration, and decision-making and guide students as they become more confident with taking risks, setting goals, and reflecting on their learning journey.

Why Curiosity for Learning Matters

Teaching the content is important, but finding ways to spark student curiosity is also important. It is also essential that we help students discover what they are most passionate about. What makes them curious and draws them into learning and applying and then sharing their learning? 

We can start by using a hook to pique their interest, experiment with a new teaching method or digital tool, or ask students to brainstorm ideas and plan with us. When they feel valued in the learning environment, it will positively impact learning and foster the development of many essential skills. 


We must continue to look for innovative and student-driven activities to best prepare them for the future. With more independent, choice-infused earning through methods like PBL, genius hour, and place-based learning, students will shift their focus to the process of learning rather than on points or a specific final product. Students will be curious about the next steps in their learning journey and their connection with the content and their learning community will be positively impacted.


About the Author:

Rachelle Dené Poth is an ed-tech consultant, presenter, attorney, author, and teacher. Rachelle teaches Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology at Riverview Junior-Senior High School in Oakmont, PA. Rachelle has a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law and a Master’s in Instructional Technology. She is a Consultant and Speaker, owner of ThriveinEDU LLC Consulting. She is an ISTE Certified Educator and currently serves as the past -president of the ISTE Teacher Education Network and on the Leadership team of the Mobile Learning Network. At ISTE19, she received the Making IT Happen Award and a Presidential Gold Award for volunteer service to education. She is also a Buncee Ambassador, Nearpod PioNear, and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert.

Rachelle is the author of seven books and is a blogger for Getting Smart, Defined Learning, and NEO LMS. Follow Rachelle on Twitter @Rdene915 and Instagram @Rdene915. Rachelle has a podcast, ThriveinEDU https://anchor.fm/rdene915.

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at bit.ly/Pothbooks

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

How Can We Prepare K-12 Students for the Future?

By: Rachelle Dene Poth

In the discussion about skills that students need for the future, there are many things to consider. We can ask about student interests and have a good understanding of the current opportunities in the world for work and learning. However, we also need to continue to research and stay informed of changes happening and new trends and technologies that are evolving. Where do we start?

We can first look at the evolution of required skills over the past 10, 20, and 30 years to find some commonalities and use it to predict possible future needed skills. We could look for trends in technology and certain industries of work. By looking at how technology has changed the types of work and jobs that are available within any given industry, we can come up with a plan for the future and design the right learning experiences for our students.

Consider this: Think about bookstores or shopping malls. Now we have so many online sites for people to purchase the items they want, without needing to set foot into a store. When it comes to books, we don’t even need a physical book any longer, we can quickly download them to our devices and access them at any time. Our purchases arrive at our home the very next day, if not the same day, depending on location.

Thinking back from childhood until my early 30s, I spent a lot of time in bookstores and record stores. Bookstores provided a space to sit and read or study or whatever you needed to do. It was a place to be social and to maybe enjoy coffee with colleagues or take time for yourself. But today it’s hard to find bookstores; many have closed over the past few years, which means there are employees who have been replaced across the world because of online sellers. It also means a loss in jobs replaced by automation. Shopping malls, especially in smaller towns, are also losing tenants because the stores cannot compete with the ease of buying online.

Newspapers have downsized either the amount of information in the papers has decreased or stopped production completely. These are just a few examples that I think of where new technologies have greatly impacted the world of work. How much more will technology seemingly replace the need for humans and human skills? What impact will automation have on our students? How do we prepare to be ahead of technology?

Preparing for the Unknown by Working Together

First, we prepare students by helping them to understand the technology and the potential impact it has on our future. We need to take a bigger step and help students to become the designers of the technologies for our future. We need to encourage students to create new ideas, find problems to solve, and create problems to explore. We need to work together to provide learning opportunities within our classrooms, our schools, and our communities, where students get to experience different types of learning. Sometimes even taking on something new that’s outside of their comfort zone, and likely outside of ours as educators, too. We need to encourage students to explore new areas, even if they initially express a lack of interest. We should give students the same opportunities to explore and see if something else out there sparks curiosity or leads them to learn more and build skills in a new way.

Ideas to Start

To better understand the changes happening in the world, we need to take chances with experiential learning, place-based learning, or working on community service projects. These can provide more real-world opportunities for students to develop skills on their own.

A few ideas:

  1. Have students create a business based on the content area,  specific topic, or thing. Set some guidelines. For example, if students are studying the 18th century, they likely won’t launch a social media campaign. Having these types of guidelines will push them to think creatively, problem-solve and collaborate to come up with new ideas. Maybe the next step is then changing one fact about their project, maybe it occurs in a different country, at a different time, and on a limited budget. These changing variables will push students to look at learning as an ongoing process.
  2. In many schools across the country, courses are being offered on entrepreneurship, project-based learning, innovation, or some variation of these. Students are creating their own podcasts, designing their own clothing, or creating their own brand of something innovative. Fostering these types of activities will keep students actively pursuing new ideas and help them to be flexible when it comes to changing technologies and the world of work.
  3. Connect students with some of the learning opportunities available through edtech companies such as Google and Flip or organizations such as StartEdUp Foundation and Remake Learning. Earlier this summer, Google announced a certification program for high school students to become certified in GSuite tools. Flipgrid partnered with Find Your Grind to provide career decision-making resources to students. Students can take a lifestyle assessment and find out which careers might match their interests.

By exploring the work being done by Don Wettrick with StartEdUp, educators can find podcasts and other resources to learn how to provide these innovative learning opportunities to their students. Students can sign up for free events through the foundation, which will have locations in six cities. Remake Learning provides a wealth of resources in its playbook, blogs, online forums as well as local and national events.

Think about all of the resources we have available to us with things that don’t even require us to interact with humans. We can arrange food delivery, and purchases from Amazon, or have questions answered about our technology troubles. These are the ideas that led to a change in the way work is done. We need to give students opportunities to manage big projects, look at problems and come up with solutions, especially out-of-the-box solutions, and try new things. Check out iBlocksPBL from Teq Products for a great way to get started with PBL and STEM!

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at bit.ly/Pothbooks

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

Take A Knee

 BY BRIAN-KULAK

I beat Colin Kaepernick to the knee by a cool twenty-six years. 

Before the former 49ers quarterback literally took a knee during the national anthem to raise awareness about police brutality and social injustice, I had already begun the practice, albeit for a far less political purpose. 

As a waiter at a local Pizza Hut, I started the unorthodox practice of taking a knee when I took orders. Regardless of who was in front of me, I just thought it was easier, and more comfortable, to take a knee and write the orders on my pad while leaning against the table. For me, it was about ergonomics because standing and writing were awkward, and because I have terrible handwriting, I needed to lean on something to ensure I would be able to understand what I wrote minutes later. 

At one point, my boss called me over and asked why I took a knee. I explained, and he just looked at me and said, “But it looks weird. I’d rather you stand up.” 

Now, at 19, I wasn’t about to make a stink. He was my boss, and I needed the part-time job. Still, as I look back on it, what difference did it make? I would argue my customers appreciated me meeting them on their level instead of making them look up at me like some deranged, pizza-wielding, megalomaniac. 

A few years later, as I started my teaching career, I took a knee all the time. When I would stop by a student’s desk to offer feedback, redirect, or check in, I would take a knee. Now, in year twenty-four, I still find myself on bent knee, despite one of them being ravaged by arthritis and a torn meniscus, and I make sure to start on day one. 

Whenever I meet our new kindergarteners during summer meet-and-greets, I always take a knee when I offer my hand to introduce myself. The action has become as involuntary as a sneeze; the reaction from kids invariably features disarmed smiles and enthusiastic high-fives.

As conversations in education continue to focus on equity and access, we need to be mindful that our students first associate equity with their access to us. Providing a model of those two complex concepts ensures kids can see and feel each Immediately. 

But it’s much more powerful than that when you consider that children are forced to look up to grown ups as a matter of course, their little necks perpetually craned to get our attention. Taking a knee flips that script in such a way that balances power, something children experience rarely. 

Ultimately, we are all just grown-up versions of the children who once had to look up to people all day. Some of us still do. But no one should have to. 

Take a knee. 

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at bit.ly/Pothbooks

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join our weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here.

So you’re rolling out MTSS

What is MTSS? The basics

Guest post by Bonnie Nieves in collaboration with Class Composer

A Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is a framework designed to meet the needs of each and every learner in a school district. According to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, 2015), a multi-tiered support system is “a comprehensive continuum of evidence-based, systemic practices to support a rapid response to students’ needs, with regular observation to facilitate data-based instructional decision-making.’’ This is accomplished through three tiers of support: universal, targeted intervention, and intensive individual support—each with academic, behavioral, cultural, and SEL components. Teachers need access to this information in order to best provide for all students.

What is the difference between MTSS and RTI?

It is essential to note the difference between MTSS and Response to Intervention (RTI). RTI was a result of the reauthorization of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 and was designed to focus on identifying and supporting students who have specific learning disabilities. MTSS is built upon the belief that systems such as schools and districts themselves have disabilities in their systems that can prevent students from learning. The goal of MTSS is to have support and resources in place so that they may be seamlessly put into practice as a result of data-based monitoring. MTSS implementation is rooted in a benefit mindset. It uses tools that most schools currently have and views them with a new lens that sees the system as the component that needs to be fixed. This is very different than the traditional support systems which force students to fit into standardized systems.

Getting started with MTSS

The first step in the implementation of MTSS is to take an inventory of current methods of academic, behavioral, and social-emotional instruction and the current supports available from administration, teachers, counselors, non-academic staff, families, and the community. The identified supports are then divided into tiers.

Tier 1: Supports provided in the universal curriculum to all students.

Tier 2: Supports available to some students in need of targeted support.

Tier 3: Supports provided to students in need of intensified support.

With a current matrix of supports, schools can easily identify gaps in their support for students at various levels. For instance, there may be extensive resources available to some students who are in need of additional behavioral instruction but limited support for the few students in need of intensified support. This may prompt a search for community partners to provide wraparound services. If a school discovers that there are numerous interventions in place for tier 2 targeted academic support in Mathematics and few for universal curriculum, they will be prompted to explore tier 1 measures that can be taken to decrease that need. Decision-makers shift their thinking from deficit thinking “What interventions help students who are unsuccessful?” toward a benefit mindset “What do students, teachers, and schools need in order to be successful?”

Benefits of MTSS

When new initiatives are rolled out in schools, there is sometimes an immediate eye roll from exhausted staff who have seen numerous variations of similar themes roll in and out over the course of their careers. MTSS has the potential to be a transformative system-wide framework that supports students and staff by reimagining existing routines, resources, and interventions. This does not necessarily mean additional work for individuals but may involve a shift in mindset in order to identify and implement high-leverage practices for academic, behavioral, and SEL instruction. It will behoove an administration to approach the implementation of MTSS with care. Build teacher buy-in by ensuring that teachers view it, not as a repackaged version of an earlier, failed initiative, but as a more effective method of putting current valuable resources into practice. Providing teachers with the right tools can make a big impact on student learning experiences and potential. Class Composer empowers teachers to provide this support for all students.

How Class Composer Can Help

When you dive into Class Composer, you’ll see that it is easy-to-use online software that allows teachers to streamline their data to create equitable classes that will appropriately meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of each student. It provides a more efficient way to manage student distribution during the school year and serves as a powerful tool for day-to-day needs in the classroom. With Class Composer, teachers have instant access to ongoing progress monitoring, flexible grouping capabilities, and readily accessible historical data on students. The Class Composer platform makes what can be an extremely time-consuming process, a simpler, streamlined experience for teachers. Compared with traditional methods, we can lose valuable time with our students. Rather than waste time with the paper, leverage the technology to access a more informative, easily accessible, data-driven platform that promotes academic achievement and SEL skills

Class Composer provides a simplified way to create custom identifiers & assessment fields to match the needs of your students and your school.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Class Composer can help your school make better student placement decisions and provide ongoing day-to-day value in the classroom, don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer free trials and our Sandbox allows for a quick hands-on experience in a test school with pre-filled demo student data.

Give Class Composer a try today: classcomposer.com

About the Author

Bonnie Nieves is the author of “Be Awesome on Purpose” and has over a decade of experience as a high school science teacher. She has a Master’s Degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Educational Leadership. Her passion for creating immersive and authentic experiences that fuel curiosity and creating student-centered, culturally responsive learning spaces that promote equity and inclusion has led her to establish Educate On Purpose Coaching.

In addition to being an award-winning educator, Bonnie works to ensure equitable and engaging education for all through her work as a copy editor at EdReports and Classroom Materials and Media reviewer for The American Biology Teacher journal. She serves on the MassCUE board of directors and enjoys connecting with educators through social media, professional organizations, conferences, Twitter chats, and edcamps. Bonnie is a member of the National Association of Biology Teachers, the Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science, and the National Science Teaching Association. She encourages you to connect with her on Twitter @biologygoddess, Instagram @beawesomeonpurpose, Clubhouse @biologygoddess, and LinkedIn.

Please visit www.educateonpurpose.com for information about her current projects.

Teaching History/Social Studies in the Era of AI Writing Tools

Guest blog post by Torrey Trust and Robert W. Maloy, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Interactive digital tools have been shaping and reshaping the way K-12 students engage with history and social studies materials for decades. Multimodal historical timelines, videos, podcasts, digital collections of primary sources, engaging games and simulations, 3D modeling tools, and other types of interactive technologies offer exciting new ways for students to explore historical information and make connections between the past, present, and future.

Now comes ChatGPT – an interactive artificial intelligence (AI) tool that uses natural language processing to generate concise responses to user questions in seconds. It can provide instant access to information, write work emails and press releases, brainstorm creative ideas for parties, write code, compose poetry, solve math problems, balance science equations, explain concepts for different developmental ages, and do many other tasks for you with ease. 

But, ChatGPT is not just another example of an interactive digital tool remaking how history and social studies can be taught to students in elementary, middle, and high schools; it is a direct challenge to teachers and students to rethink and re-envision the roles of research and writing in the history/social studies classroom. 

Look what happened when we posed a history-based focus question about the influence of the Roman Republic on our modern-day United States government to the ChatGPT system – a question that comes directly from the Massachusetts History & Social Science Curriculum Framework. The system generated a concise, readable, textbook-style response (see figure 1).

Figure 1. Screenshot of ChatGPT Response to “How did the Roman Republic influence the United States’ modern-day government?” 

Similarly, when we asked ChatGPT to respond to a key focus question about the separation of powers in the United States government, it produced a well-written, easy-to-understand text (see figure 2). 

Figure 2. Screenshot of ChatGPT Response to “How does the Separation of Powers Function Within the United States Government?” 

With this type of information access, do students need to conduct their own research or write their own papers?  

With the release of ChatGPT, some educators and journalists have already proclaimed that the “essay is dead” (e.g., Marche, 2022) and even have gone so far as to pronounce “The End of High-School English” (e.g., Herman, 2022). 

Why should students do research and write papers when they can just ask an AI system to do that activity for them? 

Let’s take a closer look at the word “research.” Taken apart, it can be read as “re-search” meaning “to look again.” That is what historians do all time, examine and re-examine historical information and evidence to revise and update explanations of historical events. 

Similarly, writing is not a matter of summarizing information. It is a process of generating new knowledge (new to the world or new to the writer), deepening thinking about a topic, and composing words to communicate with others. In history and social studies, writing offers students ways to connect people and events – often from long ago and far away – to their own lives, experiences, and communities. Students’ writing forges connections between past, present, and future and it can help students envision themselves as history-makers whose decisions and choices matter. Writing in history and social studies can take many forms, from expository to persuasive to creative. In every case, students give their ideas and perspectives a sense of permanence and importance as they commit words to paper or screens. 

So, what does this mean for students in history and social studies classes who might be drawn to the ease of asking AI writing tools to do their research and writing for them? 

Students must learn how to become HISTORIANS and WRITERS, not simply how to research information and summarize it in writing. To do this, students need opportunities to interrogate what it means to be a historian and a writer. They need guidance on how to find and critically examine historical information and evidence. They need opportunities to break free from the 5-paragraph essay to uncover the purpose and intellectual benefits of writing. And, they need open-ended learning experiences that allow them to construct their own thinking and learning. 

Here is an example of what that might look like when students examine the history of the sugar and spice trade in a Global History course. Spices came into high demand in European societies during the time period 1000-1513. Traders traveled across the globe to find these goods – but why were these goods so popular? And how did the trade of these goods influence individuals, communities, and societies throughout history? 

While ChatGPT might be able to answer these questions in a textbook-style response, students can dive deeper. They can look for primary and secondary sources that provide evidence of the use of sugar and spices in different regions, continents, and cultures throughout history. They can critically evaluate historical sketches, photographs, audio recordings, and other types of media presentations of these commodities (see the Illustration of a sugarcane plant in a collection of medical texts, Italy (Salerno), c. 1280–1350: Egerton MS 747, f. 106r on the Medieval Manuscripts Blog). They can try to uncover like a historian would, people’s firsthand experiences with sugar, spices, and the trade of these commodities in different eras and countries. And, then they can build an interactive map (on Google MyMaps or Padlet) or multimodal timeline, and, like a writer, present a deep interrogation of the influence of the sugar and spice trade throughout history and on present-day society (something ChatGPT cannot do – see figure 3). In this learning plan, inspired by Marina Amicizia, a history/social studies teacher licensure candidate at our college, students do the analytical and creative work of historians and writers – curating, evaluating, and synthesizing information into new forms of text. 

Figure 3. Screenshot of ChatGPT Response to “Draw a Map of the Sugar Trade Throughout History.”

In this learning plan, you can see how information retrieval, made quick and efficient with ChatGPT, is shifted to information curation and analysis. 

The AI writing tool can free students from spending time trying to find basic, textbook-style information online (and potentially getting lost in the process) so they can spend more time thinking like historians and acting like writers. Of course, this does not mean that students should trust whatever any AI writing tool produces as true and credible information (see Trust, 2022 ChatGPT & Education). OpenAI, the designer of ChatGPT, openly admits that the tool may provide harmful, biased, misleading, and false information, especially when asking about anything that happened after 2021 since ChatGPT is not connected to the Internet and the data used to build the ChatGPT database was pulled prior to 2021. This makes the need for information literacy skills – essential for historians and writers – more important than ever. 

Ultimately, AI writing tools, like ChatGPT, are simply just tools. They are tools that present information. They will not replace teachers, but they might spark a rethinking of what teaching really is and can be. With these interactive digital tools, teaching does not need to consist of simply presenting information that students then summarize on paper or a worksheet. Instead, teaching can be a means of empowering students to creatively construct their own knowledge, experiences, and understandings of the world and to rethink and re-envision research and writing in the era of AI writing tools. 

Google Drive Folder with High Res Images: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/18mKZl5P4EqM2BJKxBzH_MymcQWsIa92a?usp=sharing 

Author Bios

Torrey Trust, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Learning Technology in the Department of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies in the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her scholarship and teaching focus on how technology shapes educator and student learning. Specifically, Dr. Trust studies how educators engage with digitally enhanced professional learning networks (PLNs), how emerging pedagogical tools (e.g., HyperDocs), practices (e.g., Making), and technologies (e.g., 3D printers, augmented reality) facilitate new learning experiences, and how to design and use open educational resources (OERs). Dr. Trust served as a professional learning network leader for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) for five years, including a two-year term as the President of the Teacher Education Network from 2016 to 2018. In 2018, Dr. Trust was selected as a recipient of the ISTE Making IT Happen Award, which “honors outstanding educators and leaders who demonstrate extraordinary commitment, leadership, courage, and persistence in improving digital learning opportunities for students.” www.torreytrust.com

Robert W. Maloy is a senior lecturer in the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he coordinates the history teacher education program and co-directs the TEAMS Tutoring Project, a community engagement/service learning initiative through which university students provide academic tutoring to culturally and linguistically diverse students in public schools throughout the Connecticut River Valley region of western Massachusetts. His research focuses on technology and educational change, teacher education, democratic teaching, and student learning. He is co-author of Transforming Learning with New Technologies (4th edition); Kids Have All the Write Stuff:  Revised and Updated for a Digital Age; Wiki Works: Teaching Web Research and Digital Literacy in History and Humanities Classrooms; We, the Students and Teachers: Teaching Democratically in the History and Social Studies Classroom; Ways of Writing with Young Kids: Teaching Creativity and Conventions Unconventionally; Kids Have All the Write Stuff: Inspiring Your Child to Put Pencil to Paper; The Essential Career Guide to Becoming a Middle and High School Teacher; Schools for an Information Age; and Partnerships for Improving Schools. 

Teach Better

Rachelle Dené Poth @Rdene915 #THRIVEinEDU #QUOTES4EDU

BrianKulak.com

Rachelle Dené Poth @Rdene915 #THRIVEinEDU #QUOTES4EDU

Mandy Froehlich

Rachelle Dené Poth @Rdene915 #THRIVEinEDU #QUOTES4EDU

Katie Martin

Informed by research, refined by practice

#RocknTheBoat

Rocking today's classrooms, one teacher, student, and class at a time.

User Generated Education

Education as it should be - passion-based.

Learning as I go: Experiences, reflections, lessons learned

Rachelle Dené Poth @Rdene915 #THRIVEinEDU #QUOTES4EDU

Serendipity in Education

Join me, Allyson Apsey, as I stumble upon the fortunes of learning, laughing, and celebrating alongside incredible people.

The Effortful Educator

Applying Cognitive Psychology to the Classroom