Ranger Ready

Tech Thursday | 20 April 2017

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Digital Citizens are Global Collaborators

Digital citizenship is so much more than what not to do. The 2016 ISTE Standards for Students empower students to take their learning – and their digital identities – into their own hands.
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All of our futures are increasingly linked to the challenges of the global community. The world’s population is predicted to grow from our current 7.3 billion to 8.5 billion in 2030 and to nearly 10 billion by 2050. Such population growth will affect a host of global issues including pollution, disease management, and depletion of energy, food and water resources.

For students to participate effectively in this changing world, they must understand it. The 21st-century student will sell to the world, buy from the world, work for international companies, compete with people from other countries, manage employees from other cultures, collaborate with people all over the world, and solve global problems.

9 in 10 students recognize that jobs are becoming increasingly international in nature and believe they would be stronger employees with a better understanding of different cultures.

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The mission of the United States Department of Education is “to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.” Few would disagree that achievement, preparation, competitiveness, excellence and equal access are worthy aspirations for the educational systems serving students today. While specific definitions for those terms vary and strategies to achieve them are vast, there is a sustained expectation in the U.S. for elementary and secondary education to effectively prepare students to make their way through successive grade levels, college, jobs and the world in general.

For students to participate effectively in this changing world, they must understand it.In education, global competitiveness can be characterized as the set of skills and factors that support individuals’ personal and professional productivity in their communities and in the world. Being globally competitive today requires developing global competence.

Equipping students with specific hard skills to compete in a global job market is important, but cultivating their abilities to effectively share ideas and communicate across cultures in appropriate and respectful ways is critical.

Existing and emerging K–12 educational efforts — including 1:1 technology initiatives and language, International Baccalaureate, STEAM, and cross-cultural exchange programs — promote students’ global competence. But, while these efforts are growing in popularity, they are still not available to a majority of students.

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All students — regardless of where they live or their socioeconomic status and cultural backgrounds — are equally deserving of educational experiences that prepare them to be globally competent. So how do we as educators continuously create opportunities and deliver instruction that ensures global competence for all? One option is to provide students with instructional practices that consistently engage global content, multicultural perspectives and problem solving across subject areas.

A simple term for this is global education.

The most successful global education approaches recognize the attitudes, skills and knowledge students need to navigate, contribute to and flourish in the world — and they integrate activities that purposefully resolve opportunity gaps among students on a daily basis. In the following weeks, we will look closely at the characteristics of globally competent students and address how our K-12 education institutions can utilize global education practices to equitably prepare all students for success.

While the definition of global competence is dynamic, these soft skills and characteristics are widely seen as what students need to be globally competent today.

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Flipgrip provides a flipped classroom approach to using video for igniting student discussion and engagement.

Teachers and students can use Flipgrid to engage with other students in another class on the same campus, another class across town, another class across the state, another class across the country, and/or another class across the globe.

Student's don’t simply just watch videos. They participate and collaborate with videos in an active, social community of their peers. It's as simple as 1, 2, 3.

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Flipgrid. Ignite Discussion.
Each week in the Ranger Ready Tech Thursday Newsletter, a new teacher will be featured as the Ready 1:1 Teacher of the Week. These are teachers at Naaman Forest High School who are transforming teaching and learning in the classroom through technology integration using the iPad.

Nathan Akers

Mr. Akers has been in education and at Naaman Forest High School for two years. He teaches Chemistry and Pre-AP Chemistry. Nathan attended Texas State University where he studied History, Political Science, and Paralegal Studies.

What is your favorite iPad app to use with students and why?

Nearpod (Nathan is a Nearpod Certified Educator). What I like most about Nearpod is the ability to build in activities directly into the lesson notes (such as quiz questions, collaborative activities, etc.). This allows for immediate "check for understanding" opportunities, informal assessments, and expedient feedback when the material is at its freshest.There is a "stair-step" approach to much of the curriculum students have to master in Chemistry, where one concept is built upon another concept, upon another, etc. As the academic year goes on, mastery of past concepts is going to vary student-to-student with some students being stronger in some areas and weaker in others. Having the ability to gauge the comfort-range of individual students "in the moment" as new material is presented is extremely valuable.

What do you like to do in your leisure time?

In my free time, I love playing soccer and water sports: scuba driving and wake-boarding, as well as spending time with my daughters.

NFHS has a limited number of site licenses for Nearpod. Become one of the first 20 teachers to earn Nearpod Certified Educator status and you will be granted a site license. Please email your certificate to the Ready 1:1 Instructional Coach.
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How to Solve Problems and Change the World

$100,000 for Students | $50,000 for Teachers


The Paradigm Challenge is an annual competition that inspires youth to use STEM skills plus kindness, creativity, and collaboration to make a difference. The 2016-17 Challenge aims to generate new ideas to reduce waste in homes, schools, communities, and around the world.


Youth aged 4 to 18 (as of May 1, 2017) compete in three age divisions: Ages 4 to 8 ● Ages 9 to 13 ● Ages 14 to 18


We welcome all ideas, including posters, videos, inventions, public messages, community events, websites, mobile apps, or anything else that will help reduce waste.


A blue-ribbon panel of judges will evaluate entries based on effectiveness, feasibility, originality, presentation, and collaboration. In addition to the prize money, Project Paradigm intends to provide further support to help turn winning ideas into real-world solutions.

Deadline: May 1, 2017

How To Win The Paradigm Challenge