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Chris Mumford is the PR Content Manager for Western Governors University (WGU). 

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Hey Teach! Content Manager
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Chris Mumford

Quiz: Are You a Tech-Savvy Teacher?

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Tech savviness means different things to diffent people, including teachers. Some need to be able to deliver multi-media lesson materials in a one-to-one environment where students can collaborate digitally in real-time. Others just need to be able to enter grades in their LMS system, respond to emails, and maybe do a bit of Googling. 

This (very unofficial, just-for-fun) quiz is designed to gauge two things: how deeply you know the features and functions of common computer programs, like the Microsoft Office suite, and how up to date you are on some of the most important tech innovations of recent years.

So, what are you waiting for? Put your knowledge to the test!

 

5 REALISTIC Ways for Teachers to Get Healthier This Year

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There are many realistic options for teachers to improve their health

Improving your health is a matter of making smarter choices.

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By now, you’ve probably heard the stats about New Year’s resolutions: they’re highly popular (40 percent of you will make one) and virtually impossible to achieve (only 8 percent of you will stick to it). So, what’s a teacher who wants to improve their health to do?

No matter what the stats say, setting goals is a good thing to do, provided that they're realistic and designed with your busy teacher lifestyle in mind. 

We’ve done some research based on the factors that explain how those who actually achieve their goals are able to do so, and came up with five theories, techniques and technologies that can make your health and fitness goals attainable – even on your hectic schedule. 

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Fight the Flu! A Teacher's Guide to Battling Germs (Infographic)

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Classrooms are places of learning, discovery, creativity, and... infectious illnesses. During certain times of the year, your classroom may begin to look more like "Outbreak" than "Stand and Deliver." 

But fear not, there are some basic steps you can take to limit the transmission of bugs among your students and keep your own bill of health clean too. First and foremost, getting a flu shot is usually a good idea (check out the official guidelines here).

Beyond that, check out our infographic and pass it around so that these classroom cleanliness habits go "viral!"

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Quiz: Which Hogwarts Professor Matches Your Teaching Style?

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Downloadable Guide: Top Ed Tech Trends in 2017

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Check out our great ed tech trends guide for 2017!

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Ed tech trends have always been tough to keep up with, but things have become nearly impossible with the spread of cheap, easy-to-access app making tools. These days, all anyone needs to create an app for educators is some rudimentary coding ability, access to app building tools, and an idea. 

So, how can you possibly sift through the ever-growing pile of new apps and ed tech offerings? Our Teacher Tech Trends 2017 guide is a great place to start!

This guide was put together by Amy Hughes, who is a course mentor for WGU's SPED Teachers College and has some great highlights and tidbits to get you up to speed on all the latest and greatest. If you know of great tools that weren't included, be sure to let us know about them in the comments section below!

The 9 Key Elements of Classroom Gamification (Infographic)

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Classroom gamification has gone from fringe concept to mainstream trend in a matter of years. But as more teachers attempt to incorporate game elements into their lesson plans, many are finding it difficult to sustain their games long-term or generate the engagement they were hoping for.

That's why we've put together this nifty infographic. We researched a variety of the best sources and guides on gamification and distilled their advice into nine elements that are required for gamification to be successful.

As the nine elements we've outlined in this infographic illustrate, serious thought and planning needs to go into your game in order for it to work. But with the right planning, a compelling classroom game can completely transform the way you teach!    

Ed Tech Review: Interactive Whiteboards and TVs

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At first glance, interactive screens/white boards don't appear to be much more than huge flat screen TVs with touch functionality. Cool, but perhaps not much more than a flashy gimmick. 

However, on deeper inspection, most models come bundled with proprietary software tools that, under the right circumstances, open the door to some truly unique approaches to lesson delivery, quiz taking, and collaborative projects, among other things. And many of the teachers fortunate enough to have one in their classroom laud their ability to rejuvenate lessons and revolutionize the way children learn.

So, is an interactive board right for your classroom? Before you can answer that, you'll need to answer some other vital questions first.

Free Printable: Customizable Punch Pass Cards

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The school year is winding down, which means you likely have students who need to catch up on work, earn extra credit, or whose attendance and tardies need to be tracked more carefully to prevent end of year ditching. Maybe you just need an easier, more reliable way to track hall pass usage. 

Whatever you need to track, we've got a great, free resource to help you do it: our customizable punch pass cards! Just download the file below and open it in Adobe (or your web browser) to enter the student's name and the task you'd like to use the punch pass to track — and don't forget to add expiration dates to ensure that the tasks get done on time. 

Just keep some stickers, a hole punch, or a plain old marker handy to quickly and easily mark the passes and you're good to go!

Free St. Patrick's Day Word Search

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It's that time of the year when we take time to appreciate little green men, shamrocks, and pots-o-gold. Get your students into the Irish spirit with this fun, free St. Patrick's Day word search! 

9 Stress Management Strategies Every Teacher Needs to Know

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As a teacher, you know that stress is inevitable. Papers will stack up, students will act out, and lessons will need to be planned. 

But while stress is inevitable, how you respond to it can spell the difference between a long, rewarding career, and one cut short by burn-out. 

New research into stress has given rise to some surprising (and even counter-intuitive) strategies to better deal with it. Try these out, and be sure to let us know what works best for you in the comments!