Three Ways to Use Whiteboards to Enhance E-Learning

When you think of e-learning, you might not associate it with paper and pencil, but many students also now use  different new tools in addition to their course content for learning online. An alternative to the traditional method that is gaining popularity in education is the use of whiteboards, or non-permanent surfaces, to replace pencil … Continue reading Three Ways to Use Whiteboards to Enhance E-Learning

Using Digital Tools to Preserve and Share Historic Spaces and Traditions

Yesterday, three members of the Hekademia and Virtual High School teams had the privilege of visiting Cranbrook, a private K-12 school in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. This school is set in a 320-acre National Historic Landmark campus and has been described as “the most enchanted and enchanting setting in America.” The grand campus is full of … Continue reading Using Digital Tools to Preserve and Share Historic Spaces and Traditions

Rubrics Part 8: Writing Rubric Level Descriptions

In a previous rubrics post, Rubrics: Parts and Pieces, I discussed the various parts of a rubric, including: levels, criteria, and success descriptors.  Today, I’ll look closely at success descriptors. Success descriptors are the text within the cells of the rubric.  They describe what success looks like at any given level.  They can also be called level … Continue reading Rubrics Part 8: Writing Rubric Level Descriptions

Environmental Literacy: Are we teaching students the skills they need to face the realities of climate change?

In early October 2014 the Pentagon announced that climate change is an immediate threat to national security as it will cause an increased likelihood of displaced people due to widespread famine, rising sea levels, the spread of infectious disease, and increased poverty. The Pentagon has spoken. There is no more denying it. Climate change is … Continue reading Environmental Literacy: Are we teaching students the skills they need to face the realities of climate change?

Rubrics Part 4: The Course Development Process

Rubrics are an integrated part of an assessment system and must be accounted for in the development process.  Whether you are working in a traditional classroom or creating online courses, rubrics must not be left until the end of course development. Points Rubrics at Virtualhighschool.com and Hekademia use a custom points scheme to determine the score of … Continue reading Rubrics Part 4: The Course Development Process

The Purpose of Education: A Critical Creativity

In a previous blog, Nicki posed the question: what is school for?  In a famous TED talk titled, How schools kill creativity, Sir Ken Robinson suggested that the purpose of schooling should be to foster creativity. Since 2006, Robinson’s lecture has become the most-viewed on TED, generating over 28 million views in over 150 countries … Continue reading The Purpose of Education: A Critical Creativity

Asking Questions: Daniel Russell at TEDx

I recently viewed a TEDx presentation by Google UX researcher, Daniel Russell, titled The Revolution in Asking & Answering Questions.  Dan’s talk explores how technology has changed the kinds of questions that we ask, how we ask them, how we can find answers, and the different skills that we need to do so.  Modern search … Continue reading Asking Questions: Daniel Russell at TEDx

Reflections on the Brightspace Regional User Forum

Thanks to all the attendees of my rubrics presentation at the Brightspace Regional User Forum.  I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.  I know I was struck by the professional and collegial atmosphere in the session and at the conference in general. Allow me to review a few topics we discussed at … Continue reading Reflections on the Brightspace Regional User Forum

Make Time for Your Most Important Work

Regardless of what we do in life, our time is valuable– we only get so much.  I often hear people say that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get their work done, or to pursue their passion project that keeps getting pushed to the back burner. I’d like to share a tool that … Continue reading Make Time for Your Most Important Work

Rubrics Part 2: Aligning Rubrics to a Percentage-Based Grading Scheme

Teachers have to cope with a mountain of marking.  Incorporating rubrics into the marking workflow can be challenging.  The levels of traditional rubrics are often overly-broad, poorly aligned to percentage-based grading systems, and vague in the 100% to 80% range.  Aligning rubric levels with existing percentage-based grading schemes is a great way to improve the … Continue reading Rubrics Part 2: Aligning Rubrics to a Percentage-Based Grading Scheme