Writing is one of those amazing things that when a student asks, “Why do we have to learn this?” it’s easy to point out a dozen things they do on a daily or weekly basis that involve writing, plus a few dozen future life and career skills they’ll need that require some kind of writing as well. And yet, writing doesn’t always get the attention it deserves in school. That’s why, every year on October 20th, the National Council of Teachers of English celebrates the National Day on Writing by bringing people across the country together to share #WhyIWrite.
Digital Citizenship Week is quickly approaching and we’ve been thinking a lot about what exactly digital citizenship is, and the many pieces of our lives it encompasses. As we unpacked the question, “What does it mean to be a good digital citizen?” this week, we realized that helping students answer this question involves figuring out the answers to a lot of smaller questions first:
At Hapara, we believe that education is a fundamentally human endeavour, and that the tools we build should support teachers as they endeavour to engage more deeply and strengthen learning relationships with their students.
The transition to teaching and learning in the cloud has led to interesting challenges and opportunities for both classroom teachers and other educators in the school building. As learning moves online, educators are finding new ways to manage learner work and ensure that everyone in the building is working together to create great learning experiences.
The Hapara Champion program brings together educators from around the world to learn more about the pedagogy behind Hapara’s tools and to support each other in making the shift to digital learning. Since its launch in 2015, the program has had over 300 graduates, many of whom are still connected and learning from each other every day.
Pat Snedden, the Executive Chair and founder of the Manaiakalani Education Trust - and one of Hapara’s earliest supporters - was recently made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit for services to Education and Māori. We are so happy to send our congratulations for this well-deserved honour.
This year at ISTE we’re trying something different.
As you can imagine, a big Hapara pavilion costs more than a few wheelbarrows of money and makes us feel proud and important. But, we’re not sure that the investment is good for our customers or that it positively impacts educators and learners.
One of our favorite things about Hapara Workspace (other than how easy it makes it to provide differentiated digital learning experiences) is that it can serve as a hub for collaborative learning for teachers as well as students. Teachers can work in Workspace as learners - allowing them to learn how to use the tool from the eyes of their students and to explore their own professional learning goals in a more flexible learning environment.
As both an early adopter of Hapara and a Hapara Champion Trainer, teachers frequently ask me why they should use Hapara when they are already invested in Google Classroom. My advice is to select the features from both tools based on your needs. Think about your classes and how you see them unfold ahead of time. What types of activities will your learners complete? What do your lessons look like? Will you need a place for learners to discuss topics and share resources? How will you provide opportunities for differentiation? Once you are familiar with both Google Classroom and Hapara, it will be easier to see how both tools can be used together to create the best learning environment for your learners.