Classroom Technology Blog

Teaching Toward Tomorrow

Jennie Magiera is the digital-learning coordinator for the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a network of 29 Chicago Public Schools. She previously taught math to 4th and 5th graders. As an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Teacher, and Chicago Public School’s 2012 Tech Innovator of the Year, Jennie has been working to redefine education through effective technology use. You can follow her on Twitter at @MsMagiera and at TeachingLikeIt’s2999. (Teaching Toward Tomorrow ceased publishing in July 2015.)

Education Opinion Breakout Edu: Escape From the Traditional Classroom
In this month's Digital Buzz, I am honored to be joined by James Sanders, the founder of a new concept for schools called BreakoutEdu. Essentially it's a kit that can transform any room in your building into an Escape Room experience. The result is a tidal wave of amazing problem solving, critical thinking and teamwork. In this interview I ask James to share the story of BreakoutEdu, explain in depth how it works and share how this can be used in your educational setting.
Jennie Magiera, July 21, 2015
1 min read
Professional Development Opinion How to Avoid Conference Overload
It's officially summer edconference season. Many educators on "summer vacation" are spending their summer days in air-conditioned sessions building out their edutoolkit. However, most conference-goers I chat with cite "overwhelmed" as their primary emotion when leaving. So how to avoid this feeling? Here are some tips I use to help me leave fulfilled yet focused.
Jennie Magiera, June 24, 2015
3 min read
Professional Development Opinion 5 Tips to Make the Most of #ISTE2015
One of the largest EdTech events of the year, ISTE - the International Society for Technology in Education, is coming up in just a week! From great workshops to playgrounds to the casual conversation and collaboration that happens between sessions, this is a great event to recharge your innovation batteries. After attending for several years, I feel more confident going into the event and thought I'd share some tips to make the most of it with you.
Jennie Magiera, June 18, 2015
2 min read
Student Well-Being Opinion Coding Creativity: Winning #makewonder Student Coding Videos
On April 12th, my students threw down a challenge to the world: Create a video about coding and/or creativity and send it to us. They would then pick the top video and the winner would receive two new robotic friends that inspire us to code: Dash and Dot, courtesy of Wonder Workshop. The loved all the submissions so much and had a hard time narrowing it down... but ultimately they made a decision. Read on to see the winning student videos and my students' response!
Jennie Magiera, May 21, 2015
2 min read
Teaching Profession Opinion Teachers Who Inspired Teachers: Mr. Zemke
Happy Friday everyone! Today may be the last day of Teacher Appreciation Week, but I hope we all remember to thank a teacher every day. They are the ones at the front lines supporting, inspiring and preparing our future. The final guest blogger in this series, Carrie Both, a primary teacher, mentor and decorated practicioner, shares one more story about the teacher who inspired her... and reminds us to always continue challenging ourselves, to keep climbing higher, even when we think we've reached the summit.
Jennie Magiera, May 8, 2015
3 min read
Teaching Profession Opinion Teachers Who Inspired Teachers: Mr. Dunning
Thursday's Teachers Who Inspired Teachers guest blogger Carolyn Skibba - an amazing educator and edtech rockstar - tells us all about a teacher who inspired her as a middle schooler and continues to breathe wisdom into her life as a teacher today. In this post, she shares her story and four great pieces of advice she learned from him, including how she's now entered the "Dunning-zone".
Jennie Magiera, May 7, 2015
4 min read
Teaching Profession Opinion Teachers Who Inspired Teachers: Ms. Schmidt, Mr. Friedberg and Ms. Stapleton
Here we are in day 3 of Teacher Appreciation Week and onto the fourth post of our Teachers Who Inspired Teachers series! Have you thanked a teacher yet? Today we hear from a high school world history teacher hailing from the west coast. He shares stories about three teachers from his schooling that helped him become the dynamic and passionate educator he is today.
Jennie Magiera, May 6, 2015
3 min read
Teaching Profession Opinion Teachers Who Inspired Teachers: Professor Karen
Terrific Tuesday to all of you and happy second day of Teacher Appreciation Week! In this third post of the Teachers Who Inspired Teachers series, we hear from a sixth grade teacher as he shares the powerful story of his professor and how she continued to lead, teach and inspire future educators despite the greatest of obstacles.
Jennie Magiera, May 5, 2015
3 min read
Teaching Profession Opinion Teachers Who Inspired Teachers: Mrs. Ricks
Happy Monday of Teacher Appreciation Week! In this second post of the Teachers Who Inspired Teachers series, we hear from Linsey Rose, a math and social students teacher at the Bradwell School of Excellence in the South Shore neighborhood in Chicago. She shares her story and tells us about the woman who transformed her life as a student.
Jennie Magiera, May 4, 2015
3 min read
Teaching Profession Opinion Teacher Appreciation Week: Teachers Who Inspired Teachers Series - Ms. Buckman
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Last year I asked fellow educators to recognize colleagues in their schools who are doing great work. This year, I asked friends to think back to when they were sitting in their students' seats - and remember the teachers who inspired them! In this series, we will share stories from our past and honor the educators who positively influenced us. I'll kick it off by telling you about a teacher who truly changed my life and inspired me in so many ways...
Jennie Magiera, May 3, 2015
2 min read
Classroom Technology Opinion Making Emma Happy: The Power of Social Media to Do Good (by Nick Provenzano)
Recently I saw a Facebook post from friend and amazing educator Nick Provenzano (aka The Nerdy Teacher). He was trying to leverage social media for good - to benefit one of his students. I joined the hordes of educators who responded enthusiastically, rallying their students to support his. The end result was so inspiring that I asked him to write a guest post for this blog. Being the generous soul that Nick is, he agreed and shared this incredible story.
Jennie Magiera, April 17, 2015
3 min read
Science Opinion Robots, Yetis, and Monkeys: 3 Classroom Coding Resources You May Have Missed
As we dive deeper into the digital age, coding is becoming more and more prevalent in our schools. So how can we better prepare our students at a young age for this digital landscape? One strategy is to teach coding earlier, to everyone. Read on for 3 coding resources you may have missed and a chance to WIN some coding robots!
Jennie Magiera, April 12, 2015
3 min read
Science Opinion Inspiring Women Series: Kara Levy, Lead Engineer for Google Classroom
In this final post of the Inspiring Women Series, I chat with Kara Levy, a lead engineer at Google who is working on the Google Classroom project. As a female engineer working to transform education, she is the perfect voice to inspire and close out the series. Kara shares more about her work at Google, her inspiration to become an engineer and advice to young girls hoping to follow in her footsteps.
Jennie Magiera, March 31, 2015
3 min read
School Climate & Safety Opinion Inspiring Women Series: Ronahy Alzagha, Student Leader
In this penultimate post in the Inspiring Women Series, we meet Ronahy Alzagha, a high school junior at East Leyden High School from just outside of Chicago, IL. As a student leader in a school built around student voice and leadership, she truly shines as an inspiring young woman for us to look up to. In this interview, Rohany shares wisdom beyond her years and reminds us that we can be our own heroes.
Jennie Magiera, March 25, 2015
5 min read