Summer is here, and we have some great ideas for how to “blend” your summer break time with fun and effective learning opportunities. Don’t fall down that summer slide–with these ten suggestions, you’ll have so much fun learning you’ll never want summer break to end!

  1. Start working on building your Personal Learning Network. It can be hard to connect with other educators when you (and all of your colleagues) are in the middle of the busy school year. Take this chance to reach out and start establishing relationships that will help you learn now, and stay engaged for the duration of next year.
  2. Do you use Canvas or another LMS? Summer is the perfect time to browse the Edu App Center from Instructure– a huge collection of learning apps that can be used in the classroom through the most popular LMS platforms with just a click of the mouse. Search by level, subject or platform–but set aside some time for your shopping because the selection is huge.
  3. Contribute to the High Quality PBL project. Every student deserves to be prepared for a project-based world, but there’s currently no widely-accepted set of best practices to guide the development of PBL. We’re working to collect input from educators everywhere who think they have ingredients to contribute to a recipe for High-Quality PBL.
  4. Learn to code. Coding is a crucial skill for students, but it’s also valuable for teachers. Have you seen our recent Smart List containing 40 great resources?
  5. Go outside and reflect. Self-reflection is critical to continued growth, and we here at Getting Smart think that going outside (some of our favorite options are National Parks) is a great way to find the time and peace to take an honest look at where you are, and where you want to go.
  6. Go to a conference. Conferences are a great way to learn about innovative new practices, stretch your thinking, and even start developing your PLN (see point #1). A few of our favorites will be taking place in July!
  7. Play some video games. You read that right. Did you know games like Minecraft can be a great way to boost your students’ SEL? Try experimenting with this fun approach to lesson plan design.
  8. Sign up for our weekly newsletter. This may be a shameless self-plug, but we think it’s a great way to keep up on what’s new in education while gaining some new ideas for next year.
  9. Study how you can integrate technology into your teaching. We recently published a report on an innovative and blended instructional model that recognizes the important role of the teacher, personalizes instruction and leverages technology in the right ways at the right time.
  10. Check your social media. We don’t just mean endlessly scrolling your Twitter feed–try joining an #EdChat. K12 also has a cool Pinterest board for summer learning that’s great for teachers, students and parents–basically anyone looking for good ideas to stay learning this summer.

With these ten ideas, we think you’ll be able to keep the momentum to hit the ground running when summer comes to an end, and have a blast in the meantime!

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