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5 Technologies and Strategies that Every Teacher Wants from Santa

Thursday, December 20, 2012 -- Scott Sterling

Next week the jolly old elf will jump in his sleigh and dispense gifts to billions of children around the world. A little-known loophole in the Santa Doctrine states that if you spend an inordinate amount of time with children and tend to be a little youthful yourself, you too can qualify for Santa’s Gift Program, which is how that teacher down the hall always ends up with the cool educational toys (it has nothing to do with grants, as they may say).

So here are some ideas on what to ask Santa for this year. You’d better hurry; he’s on a deadline.

A class set of iPad Minis

Most pundits saw the Mini has the next logical progression in Apple’s iPad strategy, but educators know better. The Mini is a blatant attempt at getting school districts to spend even more money on the hottest classroom tech toy going today. Elementary teachers in particular think this is the more viable choice, as the smaller size is more appropriate for smaller hands.

A viable BYOD strategy

Believe it or not, even Santa is having trouble meeting demand for iPads. The common-sense solution is to find a way to allow students to bring their own devices to class, instantaneously scaling a school’s technology. This is a great way to make sure every student can keep up with your online and digital work and definitely beats scheduling time in a computer lab. There are many software solutions out there that let students have access to the same data and applications across many different phones and tablets.

An outside reading program that makes sense

We all know that students who read outside of their traditional language-based classes have a better chance at success in school, no matter the subject area. The key is finding reading material that is engaging enough for them and relevant enough for you. With some flexibility and creativity, you can come up with ways to get even the most game-addicted kid to pick up a book (or tablet).

Ways to leverage social media for educational gain

We’ve talked before about some strategies that use social media in the classroom. With a common-sense approach and firm guidance, you can find ways to engage your students in the places where they tend to hang out the most. There are even strategies that can mean less work for you, not more! And less work might be the key to the next gift…

More planning time

Hey, if anyone can make miracles happen, it’s Santa.

Happy holidays everybody! Use this break wisely.