The Importance of Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom

Eleanor Kennedy Blog, Special Ed

A student may know her 12 times tables, be perfect at reciting the alphabet of a second language, or have full knowledge of a river’s features, but one of the most important lessons a student can benefit from in the classroom is her social-emotional learning (SEL). Social and emotional learning is the process of developing and using the skills, attitudes, and knowledge that help youth and adults to identify and regulate emotions. In turn, the knowledge gained from SEL could help young people to develop positive relationships and make responsible decisions. This message was presented recently at the annual MassCUE conference at Gillette Stadium. Research clearly shows that integrating SEL into school life is good for both students and teachers. In fact, it is estimated that SEL improves student achievement by an average of 11 percentile points, while also increasing prosocial behaviors (such as kindness, sharing, and empathy), improving student attitudes toward school, and reducing depression and stress among students. This is something that is key to many educators’ teaching, including Dr Ruha Benjamin of Princeton University. Dr Benjamin, who is  professor of African American studies and author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier, delivered the key note at the 2017 MassCUE Fall Conference which was attended by the 30hands team. She spoke passionately about the importance of social and emotional awareness among students, in particular with regard to people’s cultural backgrounds. One particular point Dr Benjamin regularly pushes is the idea that race is socially constructed while asking how …

30hands Team Showcases at New LearnLaunch Workspace

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

The 30hands Learning team recently attended LearnLaunch’s Summer Showcase event at their workspace in Boston, MA. It was a wonderful event which offered some of the most exciting EdTech up-and-comers the opportunity to exhibit their products and ideas, as well as a chance to connect with those of like-minded interests, interests which mainly revolved around a passion to better education and make tech resources available for more learners. As part of the showcase, exhibitors were given the opportunity to pitch their business in 60 seconds or less, a difficult but fun task for all involved. The 30hands pitch focused on our fast and easy video creation tools which put the power of learning back in the hands of students and ensure they better retain knowledge. 30hands Learning CEO and co-founder, Eric Braun, said: “We make it really easy for learners to create videos, whether it’s to tell a story, to train employees or customers, or to flip a classroom. In the fall, millions of students are going to say ‘wow! I can’t believe I passed that test. I didn’t study enough.’ The teachers are going to say, ‘I don’t really know if they understand the material or not.’ If they create a video to explain a concept, they dig deeper and they will be able to prove through the video that they really learned the content. “At the same time if you’re training employees, customers or students, you’re going to get your message across more powerfully through video. We make …

Digital Storytelling and ISTE Standards for Teachers

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

With ISTE 2017 a matter of days away, we here at 30hands Learning have decided to explore the ways in which digital storytelling fits ISTE’s standards. We have already took a look at the organization’s student standards, so now we move on to the teachers. Digital storytelling is a captivating way for teachers to share their knowledge, and there is a wide variety of great apps out there that make this easy in the classroom. So if you’re a teacher on the edge about digital storytelling, read on and hopefully we can give you the push you need! Enjoy! Standard 1: Facilitate and inspire student learning creativity Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments. Through digital storytelling, teachers can promote student creativity and learning through assigned projects for an individual or group. Digital storytelling is a magnificent tool for innovative thinking and inventiveness. Teachers can encourage students to explore real-world issues and create their own digital stories on topics of their choice. As well as this, teachers can facilitate creative learning by encouraging students to work with their peers, thus testing the ways in which they use digital tools in groups. Standard 2: Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessments incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified …

Digital Storytelling and ISTE Standards for Students

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Last year, we published a blog post which detailed the benefits of digital storytelling in the classroom. Digital storytelling is a fun and creative way for students of all ages to illustrate their knowledge and learn through the process. But digital storytelling also has many real world benefits. In fact, the process of creating a digital story forces learners to think analytically and visually, as well as practice their communication skills. These are traits which are also represented in ISTE’s standards for students and teachers, and with the 2017 conference just days away, we thought we would examine just how digital storytelling fits ISTE’s standards. Keep on reading! NOTE: Only ISTE standards that are representative of digital storytelling are included in this blog post. STUDENTS Standard 1: Empowered Learner Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences. Digital storytelling empowers students to show what they know creatively and actively. For instance, if a learner is studying Photosynthesis in Science class, he or she can create a digital story illustrating all the steps involved. Not only does this show their competency, it helps them retain their knowledge and also provides a platform for them to go back and re-watch the lesson that they themselves created. Standard 2: Digital Citizen Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical. …

30hands team connects at #LearnLaunch17

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

50 seminars, 160 speakers, 1,200 attendees. The 30hands Learning team recently attended LearnLaunch’s fifth annual Across Boundaries conference at the Hynes Convention Center. Run over two days, the conference is a meeting point for EdTech startups, global companies, educators, students, and lovers of innovative learning. Our team was proud to be one of about 30 exciting pioneers exhibiting a product, with our 30hands Storyteller web app and app for iOS proving big hits across the spectrum. The conference allowed us to demonstrate our product and share the benefits of digital storytelling obtained from user feedback and from our own experience as educators. But in addition to networking, promoting our product and meeting like-minded people in general, LearnLaunch provided a magnificent opportunity to sit and listen to some fascinating lectures and partake in thought-provoking discussions. On day one, our CEO Eric Braun listened to Tom Vander Ark deliver his opening keynote speech called ‘State of the EdTech Marketplace’. In it, Tom explored changes in education that could come in the next decade.  He asked what needs to happen in the next two years for these predictions to come true, and what edtech investors can do to support the marketplace in the coming years. Eric expressed his thoughts after the keynote, saying: “One of the major takeaways from Tom’s keynote and the overall conference is that this is the year where personalized learning may take off. “30hands Storyteller is nicely positioned as an effective tool for students to easily create videos as …

Reflections on EdCamp Boston 2013

Eric Braun Blog 0 Comments

EdCamp is an exploratory adventure. It behaves like a start-up company and turns attendees into ad-hoc entrepreneurs. This is what I love about it, because I firmly believe that teachers should act like entrepreneurs in the classroom. If this is true, classroom innovation will occur with much greater frequency. But learning to be an entrepreneur is not easy, just like learning to be a teacher is not easy. Each learns a series of skills and competencies, and each finds the real world very different from what has been learning in preparation. And what is this beast called EdCamp? From an entrepreneurial perspective, it is an Unconference. From a business perspective, it is Conference Gone Wrong. From the uninitiated, it may look like Chaos and Confusion. (Queue up the background flames and squeaky, mechanical music noise here). It starts with a bunch of people (usually teachers) with similar interests (usually students and learning). They all get together in a space that seems pretty big but then very quickly seems pretty small. They hover around a big hand-made Excel spreadsheet on the wall and peer intently at the words in the table cells. Some reach for pieces of cardboard and markers, where they write down ideas that relate to something they just read on the board or something that is burning within their minds and souls. Some drop the pens and fall to their knees. Others climb over their colleagues in order to read better, in order to overcome the glare in their glasses or maybe …