“As administrators, our responsibilities cover many areas, including technology, which has become a necessary component of living and work,” said Curt Mould, director of digital media, innovation and strategy at Sun Prairie Area School District in Wisconsin. “The world our students are walking into is increasingly global and diverse – and technology is often the leverage point needed to bring global and diverse ideas together. In this regard, technology can be a game-changer in our schools. We need a new plan to help operationalize our work for the long-term benefit of our students.”
The children of these adult refugees don’t struggle as much with technical skills as their parents do because they attend American schools with access to technology.
Access can be a barrier to inclusion
Lack of digital access can hamper refugees in many ways. An Australian study found that the lack of tech skills and access to technology affected refugees’ ability to integrate into their new communities.
Communication comes in many varieties
There are many slang terms, acronyms, idioms and confusing words like “mouse” rapidly thrown at these new arrivals.
We found a universal language using memes. Often dismissed as trivial and silly, memes can communicate across cultures. The image paired with a caption can immediately convey a message or feeling.
Creating global collaborators
Many refugees have lived in multiple countries, speak many languages and have family members living overseas. A hallmark of being a global collaborator, as outlined in the ISTE Standards for Students, is using digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.
Resources for teaching refugees
If you have refugees in your classroom, here are some organizations that offer resources you can incorporate into classroom settings.
The Wonderment. This nonprofit connects students from all around the world in collaborative service projects.
UNICEF. This global organization has up-to-date reports on the refugee and migrant crisis as well as ways you can get involved.
Communicating Students convey information, describe process, and express ideas in accurate, engaging, and understandable ways.
Researching Students identify and access a variety of resources through which they retrieve and organize data they have determined to be authentic and potentially relevant to their task.
Thinking Critically Students use structured methods to weigh the relevance and impact of their decisions and actions against desired outcomes and adjust accordingly.
Thinking Creatively Students comprehend and employ principles of creative and productive problem solving to understand and mitigate real-world problems.
Keep in mind, however, that standards don’t prepare students for anything. They are a framework of expectations and educational objectives. Without the organization and processes to achieve them, they are worthless.
Significance An instructionally useful assessment measures students’ attainment of a worthwhile curricular aim—for instance, a high-level cognitive skill or a substantial body of important knowledge.
Teachability An instructionally useful assessment measures something teachable. Teachability means that most teachers, if they deliver reasonably effective instruction aimed at the assessment’s targets, can get most of their students to master what the test measures.
Describability A useful assessment provides or is directly based on sufficiently clear descriptions of the skills and knowledge it measures so that teachers can design properly focused instructional activities.
Reportability An instructionally useful assessment yields results at a specific enough level to inform teachers about the effectiveness of the instruction they provide.
Nonintrusiveness In clear recognition that testing time takes away from teaching time, an instructionally useful assessment shouldn’t take too long to administer—it should not intrude excessively on instructional activities.
21st-century trends such as makerspaces, flipped learning, genius hour, gamification, and more.
EdLeader21, a national network of Battelle for Kids.has developed a toolkit to guide districts and independent schools in developing their own “portrait of a graduate” as a visioning exercise. In some communities, global citizenship rises to the top of the wish list of desired outcomes. Others emphasize entrepreneurship, civic engagement, or traits like persistence or self-management.
ISTE Standards for Students highlight digital citizenship and computational thinking as key skills that will enable students to thrive as empowered learners. The U.S. Department of Education describes a globally competent student as one who can investigate the world, weigh perspectives, communicate effectively with diverse audiences, and take action.
Frameworks provide mental models, but “don’t usually help educators know what to do differently,” argues technology leadership expert Scott McLeod in his latest book, Harnessing Technology for Deeper Learning. He and co-author Julie Graber outline deliberate shifts that help teachers redesign traditional lessons to emphasize goals such as critical thinking, authenticity, and conceptual understanding.
1. Wondering how to teach and assess 21st-century competencies? The Buck Institute for Education offers a wide range of resources, including the book, PBL for 21st Century Success: Teaching Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity (Boss, 2013), and downloadable rubrics for each of the 4Cs.
2. For more strategies about harnessing technology for deeper learning,listen to the EdSurge podcast featuring edtech expert and author Scott McLeod.
3. Eager to see 21st-century learning in action? Getting Smart offers suggestions for using school visits as a springboard for professional learning, including a list of recommended sites. Bob Pearlman, a leader in 21st century learning, offers more recommendations.
Gartner predicts that nearly 38 percent of companies will stop providing devices to workers by 2017 — but 20 percent of those BYOD programs will fail because of overly restrictive mobile device management measures. So how can IT pros devise a BYOD strategy that stays afloat? Here are six guidelines to accommodate legitimate IT concerns without sinking a policy’s odds of success:
Look to Existing Policies
Before creating a BYOD policy, take a look at existing HR and legal procedures. Many email, VPN, and remote access security policies can be applied to mobile devices, as well.
Provide Training and Education
Employees are using personal devices at work, whether the company realizes it or not. But that doesn’t mean they are using them correctly. Employees often use file-sharing and other tools of their choosing without IT’s knowledge, which could put sensitive corporate data at risk. Use a BYOD policy to trainemployees how to correctly use their applications
BYOD isn’t limited to smartphones. According to Gartner, a “new norm” is emerging in which employees manage up to four or five devices at work.
Enforce Passwords and Encryption
passwords aren’t foolprool. Data encryption is an additional security measure
Employees often fail to realize that all data on their devices is discoverable, regardless of whether the device is personal or company-owned. The question of who owns what is still a legal gray area, though companies increasingly take the liberty to remote wipe employees’ personal devices once they leave their job. Avoid the guessing game with a clear exit strategy.
Educators seeking new technology can start by consulting a database of pre-vetted edtech tools, rated based on alignment with both child data privacy laws and the district’s instructional vision. Each entry includes notes about what the software does, how it can be used in the classroom, and the appropriate age level. Kaye is also working on aligning the database to the ISTE Standards so teachers can see at a glance which standards each tool can help them meet.
Every app falls into one of four categories:
Tools the district approves, supports, pays for, and will train teachers to use.
Tools that are approved and can be freely used on an independent basis.
Tools that are approved with stipulations, such as age or parental permission requirements.
Tools that are not approved because they don’t align with the district’s vision or data privacy needs.
Teachers can request to have a tool vetted
Teachers who choose a pre-vetted app from the approved list can start using it right away, without any further action needed. Educators who have a specific tool in mind that hasn’t yet been vetted can submit a request form that asks questions such as:
How does the tool connect to the curriculum?
Will students be consumers or producers when using it?
How easy is it to learn and use?
What are some of the things they plan on doing with it?
Beyond scripted shows, Twitch streams like Critical Role and Girls, Guts, Glory along with podcasts like Godsfall help make learning the game more accessible to newbies. Creators, artists, and celebrities, such as Vin Diesel, Joe Manganiello, Deborah Ann Woll, Patton Oswalt, Wil Wheaton, Chris Hardwick, Matthew Lillard, Anderson Cooper and Stephen Colbert, publicly attest to how playing Dungeons & Dragons fosters creativity.
The ISTE Standards for Students provide a guide for the end game. The objective is to help individuals learn how to take ownership of their learning, make positive contributions to society, and analyze and use resources effectively while working together to build innovative new solutions to problems. What was once thought of as the R’s (reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic) have grown to include the C’s of creativity, communication, collaboration, cooperation, contribution, critical thinking, computation, compromise, and community. These new C’s aren’t meant to be accidental, ancillary byproducts of educational practices but, instead, are the focus and intention of the design of instructional experiences. According to the Every Student Succeeds Act and the National Educational Technology Plan, the charge and expectation is that these skills are meant for the masses. Dungeons & Dragons provides a platform for students of varying abilities to practice all of these skills in a safe, enjoyable environment.
resources on student-centered learning and the use of rubrics, multimedia, social media to personalize and engage learners
what is student-centered learning: Student-centered learning, also known as learner-centered education, broadly encompasses methods of teaching that shift the focus of instruction from the teacher to the student. In original usage, student-centered learning aims to develop learner autonomy and independence  by putting responsibility for the learning path in the hands of students. Student-centered instruction focuses on skills and practices that enable lifelong learning and independent problem-solving. Student-centered learning theory and practice are based on the constructivist learning theory that emphasizes the learner’s critical role in constructing meaning from new information and prior experience. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student-centred_learning
Student-centered learning moves students from passive receivers of information to active participants in their own discovery process. What students learn, how they learn it and how their learning is assessed are all driven by each individual student’s needs and abilities.
At the system level, this requires implementing curriculum planning practices, pedagogy and assessment methods that support a student-centric approach. In the classroom, teachers craft instruction and apply technology in a way that best serves each student’s learning journey. Technology use is always guided by two primary criteria:
What’s appropriate for the task at hand?
How can activities be designed to develop higher-order thinking skills?
When students take responsibility for their own learning, they become explorers capable of leveraging their curiosity to solve real-world problems. To that end, the ISTE Standards guide teachers toward designing learning experiences that permit student independence and foster lifelong learning.
Technology allows for an unprecedented level of personalized learning, with valuable opportunities to monitor progress and engagement, follow student thinking, and digitally assess competencies. When schools effectively leverage both technology and pedagogy, both students and teachers become empowered to make decisions about their own learning and teaching.
True student-centered learning requires more than just an increase in technology implementation. It represents a shift in the educational culture toward a system that supports technology for standards-based learning and real-world problem solving. As a system transitions to a student-centered approach, educators can more effectively apply technology to improve learning outcomes and help students develop the skills for college and career readiness.
Rejab, M. M., Awang, I. b., Hassan, S. b., & Ahmad, M. b. (2010). Customizable Rubrics Model for Formative Evaluation of Problem-Based Learning Course. Annual International Conference On Infocomm Technologies In Competitive Strategies, 126-131. doi:10.5176/978-981-08-7240-3_I-51
CORLU, M. S. (2013). Insights into STEM Education Praxis: An Assessment Scheme for Course Syllabi.Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 13(4), 2477-2485. doi:10.12738/estp.2013.4.1903
Klein, G. C., & Carney, J. M. (2014). Comprehensive Approach to the Development of Communication and Critical Thinking: Bookend Courses for Third- and Fourth-Year Chemistry Majors. Journal Of Chemical Education,91(10), 1649-1654. doi:10.1021/ed400595j
Moore, T. J., Guzey, S. S., Roehrig, G. H., Stohlmann, M., Park, M. S., Kim, Y. R., & … Teo, H. J. (2015). Changes in Faculty Members’ Instructional Beliefs while Implementing Model-Eliciting Activities. Journal Of Engineering Education, 104(3), 279-302. doi:10.1002/jee.20081
student-centered learning through engagement and buy-in: engage with multimedia