Author Archives: jbackon

About jbackon

I'm an independent school educator who is passionate about effective student learning.

Doing History Instead of Reading About It

At some point in our teaching career, we wake up one day and realize that education is about the kids, not about us. Continue reading

Posted in #caisct, 21st Century Learning, Across the Curriculum, Professional Development, Project Based Learning, Teachers Helping Teachers 2016 | 2 Comments

Technology Integration is the Messenger

For the past twenty-two years, I have partnered with teachers to integrate technology in the classroom. During that time, my partners have fallen into three broad groups with a corresponding range of experiences. The first group consists of those teachers who recognized … Continue reading

Posted in 21st Century Learning, Professional Development, Steps for Technology, Technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Adaptive Learning and Other Educational Challenges

I subscribe to Dan Meyers’ blog because he thinks and writes with great clarity about the teaching of mathematics. I’m no mathematician, but good teaching techniques are cross-disciplinary, permitting me to apply many to the teaching of history. One of Dan’s recent … Continue reading

Posted in #caisct, 21st Century Learning, Academic Support, Assessments, Brain-based Research | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Independent School Case for Grassroots Innovation

For many years, we have understood the roots of change and innovation to result from either a grassroots movement or top-down mandate. Like the difference between democracies and dictatorships, one produces rapid change while the other is much slower based … Continue reading

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We don’t give our students enough credit

Last Thursday, we had a Department Day, causing me to hold a second consecutive class online (Tuesday’s class was online because I was at Teachers Helping Teachers). Since there was a test Friday, I had made the decision to allow … Continue reading

Posted in #caisct, 21st Century Learning, Assessments, Technology, Web 2.0 Tools | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Flipping “Writing, Blogging, and Social Networks: Kids Write Better”

As we planned for the Teachers Helping Teachers workshop, we noticed that several of our colleagues had presented sessions on flipping the classroom in past years. Why not flip some sessions at the workshop as well? Instead of talking about … Continue reading

Posted in Flipped Classroom, Teachers Helping Teachers 2014 | Tagged | Leave a comment

That was my idea, wasn’t it?

There has been some discussion in our schools about students using online “citation tools” to format footnotes and bibliographies. While that discussion is important in the sense that it begs for some consensus, in many ways it obfuscates the real … Continue reading

Posted in 21st Century Learning, Across the Curriculum | Tagged | 2 Comments

Why the debate about technology in education is over

Sometimes one is asked an innocuous question that leads to a good deal of reflection. In this case, I was asked to recommend articles characterizing the debate regarding the effectiveness of technology in education. I quickly thought of positioning somebody … Continue reading

Posted in 21st Century Learning, Brain-based Research, Steps for Technology, Technology, Web 2.0 Tools | Tagged | 1 Comment

Class blogs are the next killer app – Slides

Thanks to all who attended the Class Blogs workshop. There were great questions posed and some excellent discussion. Here are the slides I used during the sessions: Class Blogs are the next killer app View more presentations from jbackon

Posted in Collaboration Among CAIS Colleagues, Teachers Sharing with Teachers 2012 | Tagged | 2 Comments

Will blogging will be the next transformative app?

One’s suspicion is always raised when somebody makes the claim that a particular technology tool will be transformative for learning. What is a blog, anyhow? It’s just a glorified discussion board, isn’t it? Not exactly. If we peer beyond the … Continue reading

Posted in 21st Century Learning, Teachers Sharing with Teachers 2012, Web 2.0 Tools | Leave a comment