52 Ways to Go Back To School, From Educators Across the United States

52 Ways to Go Back To School, From Educators Across the United States

Richard Nattoo

It's that time of year: back-to-school. Are you ready for it? Not quite sure how you're going to run formative assessment in your classroom, or lead professional development workshops?

If you're in need of some advice for the new year, look no further than the official "Going Back to School With the 2016 EdSurge Fifty States Project" guide.

To help you out this new school year, EdSurge has been compiling 52 stories from educators in each of the 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia over the course of the past year. The guide celebrates the knowledge and best practices shared by these educators—hailing from downtown Houston to the plains of Wyoming to the beaches of Southern California—and brings you tips and tricks for the new school year from educators who've been there, with or without technology.

The Stories

From teachers, edtech coordinators, librarians, superintendents and others, articles are organized around four topic categories.

  1. How-To’s from Inside the Classroom: Step-by-step guides on everything from social-emotional learning to classroom management strategies in a tech-rich environment. For example, learn how a South Dakota district is getting rid of grade levels in favor of student-centered learning.
  2. Making Data Work: Data, privacy, assessments--you’ve heard all about it. How are educators collecting and using data to tailor and improve instruction and practices? Take this piece from New Mexico, which offers suggestions for how to best onboard students in relation to online assessments.
  3. Educators Know Professional Development: Strategies for revamping PD, from addressing individual needs to addressing statewide professional development programs. Here's one to read: South Carolina educator Carla Jefferson takes a stab with her article on the four types of teachers you meet in PD sessions—and how to manage them.
  4. What Educators Want from Digital Tools: Educators give their honest opinions--what are they looking for from digital tools? Have they or their schools somehow added their own flare to existing tools? One Kentucky educator got so frustrated, she decided to create a tool herself.

The Surprises

Curious as to what trends EdSurge noticed in the articles? 

Here's something interesting—a total of fifteen top tools got mentioned by more than one educator. Padlet, Voxer, and Schoology all made the list.  What other tools proved popular, and what was in the #1 spot?

Continuing the Conversation

If you'd rather meet these writers and ask for advice more directly, join EdSurge on Tuesday, September 6 at 5 pm PST, when many of these education thought leaders will be available to chat via Twitter for a very special #Edsurgechat: the Fifty States edition. Share more hopes and strategies for the new year, and widen personal learning networks.

Cheers to the new school year.

Mary Jo Madda (@MJMadda) is Senior Editor at EdSurge, as well as a former STEM middle school teacher and administrator. In 2016, Mary Jo was named to the Forbes "30 Under 30" list in education.

This project was funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

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