Texas teacher connects the old-fashioned way -- by mail | 8th-grader shares insights from distance learning | Leader makes "Tech Tidbits" videos for teachers
May 6, 2020
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Teaching & Learning
Texas teacher connects the old-fashioned way -- by mail
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A teacher in Texas is reaching out to students with the help of the United States Postal Service by writing letters. Mikayla Roach, who teaches social studies at Medrano Middle School in Dallas, wrote and mailed letters to her more than 150 students -- along with one student's younger sister after learning that the siblings had never received a paper letter.
Full Story: KXAS-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth) (5/5) 
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Why Teach Social Studies in a Crisis?
Effects of the pandemic have called into question what the institution "school" as we know it really means. In this free webinar, BRI Staff members will examine the purpose of social studies education in a crisis. Join us today at 4 p.m. ET.
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Professional Development
Sarah Porisch, director of technology at Brainerd Public Schools in Minnesota, helps teachers with a wide variety of apps through a weekly video series called "Tech Tidbits" as part of a staff development program. Porisch says the videos are no longer than two minutes, give pointers teachers can immediately use, and provide a weekly point of contact between tech and teachers.
Full Story: District Administration magazine online (5/4) 
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Technology in the Classroom
Demand rises for services to flag remote cheating
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During the shift to remote instruction, some educators are using online proctoring services to monitor students for signs of cheating while they take traditional closed-book exams. Yet, some students are finding ways around these safeguards, using tips and tricks they find online.
Full Story: Vox (5/4) 
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Social Studies & Civic Life
Four juniors at a Richmond, Va., high school have put together Project EngageRVA, a set of cost-optional online lessons for elementary-school students on topics such as math, reading and yoga. Ria Bakshi, one of the project creators, says the focus of the effort is just as much on socializing as it is on educating students.
Full Story: Richmond Times-Dispatch (Va.) (5/4) 
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A fundraiser has collected nearly $2 million to help the Hopi Reservation and the Navajo Nation, which have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with many donations coming from people in Ireland. Some donors note the gift of $170 -- about $5,000 in today's dollars -- that was sent to Ireland during the potato famine by the Choctaw Nation in 1847, not long after the Trail of Tears.
Full Story: The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/6) 
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NCSS Updates
NCSS offers resources for educators
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus Disease 2019 (abbreviated as COVID-19) as a pandemic. National Council for the Social Studies is providing this landing page as a resource for social studies educators, administrators, and professionals to stay informed on the latest updates from the U.S. Department of Education, the current containment status of the pandemic, prevention tips, school closures, and teaching resources for classroom or virtual usage. Please bookmark and check this resource page daily for updates and share it with your network. Read on.
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Are you a member?
NCSS provides the professional network and teaching resources to keep social studies a valued and vital part of the nation's education agenda. Become a member today and join us in standing up for social studies. All members receive a choice of award-winning journals and access to our online library of resources. Members also receive discounts on NCSS publications, conferences, workshops and professional development webinars. Learn more.
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Editor's Note
Free tools include discussions about US Constitution
(Pixabay)
This week's update of free resources to support remote learning includes a video series from the National Constitution Center, featuring talks on the founding documents, slavery in America and the Constitution during times of crisis. A curated collection of materials for project-based learning, a guide for the new AP exam and a professional-development course on the stress of teaching during the pandemic -- and what educators can do to cope -- are among the other resources offered.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Education (5/11) 
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If you remain calm in the midst of great chaos, it is the surest guarantee that it will eventually subside.
Julie Andrews,
actress, singer, writer
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