Posts by Susan Davis

Personalized Learning

Teaching Civilized Discourse: 4 Essential Lessons for Online Discussion

To teachers of writing, publication often means posting on a bulletin board something written in the student’s best handwriting. But let’s face it, publication nowadays means posting anything online for others to consume, and that includes emails, discussion boards, and status updates. More than ever, our sentences matter.

Personalized Learning

Writing with Images: A Primer

I want my students to think about how image works with text, how it adds to the design of the page, how it enhances what they wish to say, and how it provokes additional discussion. In the end, the powerful impact of a well-chosen image will elevate their writing; a poorly chosen image, at best, will distract from what is said.

Personalized Learning

Towards a New Definition of Teaching

Teaching in the “content” areas is not somehow exempt from the digital universe. Computer class is not the only place for learning and reinforcing skills related to Internet use, applications, or digital citizenship. Like reading and writing, technology skills are required for learning across the curriculum.


In Search of Sticky Notes for Digital Readers

This sticking point remains: What do we do about the students who are eager to use their Kindles, Nooks, and iPads for their independent reading? What are they supposed to do with their pads of florescent Post-its, attach them to the screen?

Personalized Learning

Getting Out of the Way of Learning

I have learned from implementing design teams with students the importance of stepping back and letting students learn for themselves. Some teachers think of this more in terms of letting go of control. I think of it more in terms of getting out of the way.

Personalized Learning

The Laptop Used Around the World

My challenge for you is to find a child somewhere who has slipped into the crevices of the digital divide and make a difference by putting a working device in that child’s hands. If you don’t know someone who can deliver your device personally, as I did, ask around at your child’s school, at your church, or at organizations you can trust. Surely, someone you know will know someone who knows someone who is making a journey somewhere children are in need.

Personalized Learning

Word Nerds Get Digital

You definitely know you’re a word nerd when you fall hopelessly in love with an essay called “The Joy of Sesquipedalians,” by Anne Fadiman, from her collection Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader. Fadiman begins her essay with a panegyric to Wally the Wordworm, the dictionary devouring invertebrate…


Who Owns Our Professional Learning?

My professional learning this summer has pushed my thinking and helped me grow tremendously. I hope to be a better teacher and a more helpful colleague as a result.