Author: Nicole

About the author

Nicole (@MsTuckerSmith) is CEO of Lessoncast Learning. Currently residing in Baltimore, Maryland, she's been an assistant principal, district-level leader, professional developer, consultant, adjunct professor, supervisor of parent support services, and - most importantly - a teacher. In founding Lessoncast, she believes the future of student learning depends on our ability to merge innovative best practices with classroom realities. Mother of two, she holds with utmost respect the awesome responsibility of educating someone's child. | Favorite Quote: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mohandas Gandhi

A Letter to My First Year Self

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week and Edutopia’s “If I Knew Then” challenge, I’m sharing this letter to myself on my first day of teaching. Dear Ms. Tucker, You are about to take your first step on an amazing journey, full of laughs and tears and surprises and mistakes. Here are a few wise words …

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Misconceptions of Scaling Ed Innovation

Golden Lady Justice

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons Great things are happening in education, but too frequently success occurs in pockets. There is a path to scaling effective innovations, but beware of falling for misconceptions that lead us down side roads of disappointment and blame. Scaling innovation is a process that recognizes teachers as thoughtful learners and learners as insightful …

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Embedded Assessment & Blended Learning: Fresh Air for Deep Roots

Embedded assessment undergirds each of the five levels of blended learning (as illustrated below). “Embedded” means that the assessment is part of the learning experience, not a separate activity. In this age of accountability, there is an imminent danger of over-assessment, spending so much time on testing that we’re compromising time for learning. Embedded assessment …

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Blended Learning & the Learner: What’s edtech got to do with it?

What do we really want students to be able to do with technology? Sometimes blended learning or the integration of specific tools is held up as the goal when really they are the means to achieving a higher purpose: high-quality, optimal learning experiences for each and every student. This poster says it all: (posted by …

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Five Ways to Immediately Enhance your School’s PD

In previous articles, I discussed the need for a different type of professional development for educators. This entry describes more specific, actionable ideas for immediately enhancing your school learning community’s professional development experiences. 1)   Focus professional collaboration time. Most forward-thinking schools build into their schedule time for teachers in a department or grade level team …

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Radically Different, Radically Differentiated PD

As I see new education technology ideas appear and disappear, I wonder if our edtech efforts are stymied by neglect for considering teachers as learners. How can innovative student-learning practices become reality if innovative teacher-learning practices are not the norm? When I refer to “teacher learning,” I’m not talking about “teacher training” in technology. So …

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