Systems of Support Supporting Educator Excellence through Technology and Strategy

Category Archives: Research

Are you priming students for success?

Last week Jason G wrote a post on starting the year out right by setting effective classroom rules. I would argue that this is one of the most important things you can do at the start of a school year (or semester).  In addition to setting appropriate rules, there are other things you can do anytime of the year that can help “prime” your students for success (even if they don’t realize it). I’ve highlighted a few studies below that will hopefully help explain what I mean.

Highway sign directing towards success or failure

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Three steps to stay on track

“When your output exceeds your input, then your upkeep will be your downfall”.  These are wise words that I heard many times early on in my career from a wise mentor that genuinely cared about my long-term success. The point is that we must have a way of refueling ourselves so that we are able to continue the journey of pouring into others. I have found that we educators, therapists, clinicians, and consultants are the worst at adhering to this principle. The enormity of our work, the long task lists, meetings upon meetings, and preparation for tomorrow, next week, and next year can cause you to be so busy that you have to be reminded to stop and smell the roses. So here’s your reminder!


Jason C. and I had the incredible opportunity to speak at the Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference on the Gold Coast in Australia. I have never been to an event that was so well organized with every detail thought through and delivered with excellence. It was during this time away from the distractions of the typical day to day that I was able to do 3 things that I would like you to consider doing yourself.

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Collecting Classroom Data – Great Example!

Last week Jason G shared some methods on how to collect your own classroom data to learn if a particular strategy is working. In this post I will be taking things a step further by sharing an example from a classroom I worked with that did just that.

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Practice-based Evidence: Identifying What Works in YOUR Classroom

Over the past few weeks, Jason C. and I have been writing about how to find and understand evidence-based practices for the classroom. Especially when considering the application of technology during instruction, the reality is that it is impossible for researchers to keep pace with innovation (I originally discussed that phenomenon briefly here). With that in mind, what are we to do?

Microscope looking closely at a subject

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When Searching for Evidence-based Practices, This is What You’ll Find


In the pursuit of research to support and inform our work, finding relevant material is the first hurdle to clear. Jason C. tackled this task through sharing practical suggestions on how to use Google Scholar to locate this research. Once you start digging through search results, it can be pretty overwhelming trying to determine what is good and what is not. There are a few things to know when combing through your search results. Read more →

Using Google Scholar to Locate Research Based Practices

In the first post of the new year this blog discussed the importance of ensuring that technology and strategies used in classrooms are based on research.  While research doesn’t always keep up with the latest technology, it is still necessary to know what works and modify it as needed to fit your setting.

So where do you find research? While several options exist, including professional development opportunities or academic libraries you may have access to, one of the most exhaustive resources available is Google Scholar.  In this post I will share what Google Scholar is and some tips to help with its navigation.

Google Scholar Homepage

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Framing Routine: A High Powered Graphic Organizer

Last week Jason C. shared 5 great examples of web-based graphic organizers that you can use with your learners. With those tools in mind, here is another great instructional strategy using a graphic organizer that you can use to help your learners:

  • recall key information
  • understand the relationship between the main ideas and associated details
  • summarize the main idea of the passage

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Does Research drive Practice, or Practice drive Research?

One of my committee chairs in grad school was an incredible innovator in developing and evaluating instructional practices for diverse learners. One day he began (once again) talking about the importance of implementing with fidelity (aka doing the procedure correctly) educational practices validated in the literature.  Then he asked a very important question, “does research drive practice, or practice drive research?”. Read more →