Heinemann Digital Campus

Plugged In

  • Through the Pages: Digital Journeys, Connections, and Communities

    At the beginning of the school year, I had several students who asked if they could stay in the classroom with me so that they could read. That very quickly led to all of them being engaged in a discussion of the books that they were reading...
  • Behind the Mask: Providing Students with a Safe Online Presence

    Many ask, "How can you include learning activities that include digital and social media when there are so many seemingly potential dangers lurking?" The fact is that students are already engaged in these mediums with or without us.
  • The Right Tool at the Right Time

    Recently, I was in a professional meeting and an administrator mentioned that the teachers who he considers experts in using technology to support student learning will not be the teachers who you will always witness using technology with students when you enter the classroom.
  • Where Do We Go From Here? Tools for Providing Timely, Personalized Feedback

    Often, when you are looking at a class of twenty five students that means you have twenty five different areas of need. If you are teaching an English Language Arts class, that is often compounded by the fact that each student has a different level of mastery in the standards of grammar and mechanics, reading, and writing.
  • How Do We Know What They Know?

    Testing. Assessment. Data-driven instruction. In the world of education, we are surrounded by mandates. It is unfortunate that in many cases, high-stakes testing drives what teachers are required to do in the classroom with their students. I’ve heard people say, “Testing is the name of the game in schools today.”
  • Their Future Is Now: 4 Ways to Prepare our Students for Life in the Digital World

    With the adoption of Common Core, teachers have been inundated with the phrases like “career readiness” and “preparing students for their future.” Although these goals are lofty, they really are not new to the world of education. John Dewey stated, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” These words still ring true today. What has changed is the world in which our students live.
  • Reflections from the First #IRAchat

    Last week marked the maiden voyage of the #IRAchat. Teachers from all areas of education and from diverse geographic locations joined in to discuss digital writing and publishing in the classroom. It was a fun-filled, fast-paced hour of learning connecting and sharing.
  • Three’s Company When Curating Content

    Recently, I’ve been engaged in several professional conversations about the role of a teacher in today’s world. As the debate rages on, I couldn’t help but wonder: If we, as educators, are resistant to change, are we really looking towards meeting the needs of our digital age learners? Are we strictly content disseminators? Do our students need us for that anymore?
  • Summer Learning...for Free!

    As we approach the end to another academic school year, many people (not in the educational field) keep asking me if I'm counting down the days or looking forward to having a couple of months off. I'm sure other educators hear similar questions and I have to say that those questions frustrate me a bit.
  • Jumping Into Publishing…To Have and To Hold

    For many of us, this is the last big push before the end of the school year. Not only do many of us face the dreaded days spent administering standardized test to our students, but we are also trying to impart those last lessons that we hope that our students will take with them for a lifetime.
  • ‘Can We Skip Lunch and Keep Writing?’ A (True) Classroom Fairy Tale

    When you begin a writing project with your students, do they jump up and cheer? Or do they roll their eyes, sigh, and grumble? Ever wonder how some teachers inspire young authors to blossom while others fight off the weeds that choke their students’ desire to write? That is where our story begins…
  • We’re Crazy About Publishing: The Top Ten Tools We Love

    “What is your favorite tool?” is a question that I often hear from fellow teachers. It is really difficult to give one answer to that question. In our fast-paced, digital world, technology tools change, update, come, and go. I am a huge proponent that a tool needs to meet the needs of each learner and support their learning. If you think about it, a couple of decades ago, teachers did not assign an encyclopedia project.