MAT Blog

The 5 Most Popular Posts on Marygrove MAT in March

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Apr 6, 2013 6:00:00 AM

Marygrove CollegeIt’s still a little brisk here in Detroit, but we’re enjoying the spring sunshine April has brought us. Before we get too far into the month though, we thought we’d look back on five of the most popular blogs from March. Enjoy.

Reading Strategies that Transcend the Classroom
If the classroom is truly the training ground for life, it only makes sense that we would use reading strategies that mimic the way we read outside of the classroom, doesn’t it? In this blog, we share five of Rachel McCormack’s and Susan Lee Pasquarelli’s strategies that will help you make reading transcend the classroom.

Come on now, help a substitute teacher out
We thought we might have exhausted all things “classroom management,” but then we came across a simple classroom management strategy—one to help out the substitute teachers who cover for us when we can’t be there!

Are you providing effective feedback? Or are students ignoring you?
Have you ever wondered why you bothered to spend an hour responding to one of your student’s essays only to have them turn in a “revision” that was essentially the same essay you saw the first time around?  Why does this happen? And more importantly, how can teachers prevent this from happening? 

PlagTracker: a free plagiarism detector
Students plagiarize for a variety of reasons (many of them innocuous, many not). To help deter plagiarism, you might check out a new website we came across called PlagTracker. We suggest sharing it with your students.

Do your students have “the moves” to write a strong thesis statement?
We came across another cool website called Thesis Builder. Essentially it allows users to plug in a topic, an opinion on the topic, two supporting arguments and a counter argument. From this, Thesis Builder will generate a sketchy, but nonetheless discussion-worthy thesis statement. We think this would be a useful teaching tool.

Happy spring!!


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Tags: Marygrove MAT, Master in the Art of Teaching Degree, MAT Program, Marygrove College Master's degree in teaching, Marygrove College Master in the Art of Teaching, Marygrove Master in the Art of Teaching, best of the month

Questions about online education? You're not alone!

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Mar 27, 2013 9:55:00 AM

Earning a degree from a college or university is a life-changing accomplishment. But until relatively recently, pursuing higher education was much less possible for non-traditional students: parents, working adults and those who happened to live in areas where commuting to a campus just wasn’t feasible.

The proliferation of Internet access and affordable technology has changed all that and we’re proud to say that Marygrove College was at the forefront of that movement when it began in the early 1990s.

Although online and distance learning programs have been around for more than two decades, many students still have questions about it:

What does the online learning experience look like? How does it work? How does it compare to the traditional classroom experience? Am I tech-savvy enough to learn through an online program?

We’d like to answer these questions and do it in an easily-digestible way—through an infographic that you can take with you, share and repost at your leisure. Check it out!

Known for excellence in teaching since 1905, Marygrove College has been offering the convenience of online MAT classes and the flexibility of its Master in the Art of Teaching (MAT) online degree program since 1990. Marygrove's MAT degree provides teachers with the opportunity to link the latest developments in educational research to their own teaching practice. The MAT degree program is designed to empower teachers by focusing on the knowledge and skills required to deliver effective instruction to diverse learners from preschool through high school, including those with special needs.


Learn more about our online Master's Degree Program

Tags: Marygrove MAT, Master in the Art of Teaching Degree, MAT Program, Marygrove College Master's degree in teaching, Marygrove College Master in the Art of Teaching, enroll in the Marygrove MAT program, Marygrove Master in the Art of Teaching, infographic

In December we challenged teachers. You responded. See the results!

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Mar 23, 2013 6:00:00 PM

lesson plan contestBack in December we challenged teachers to enter our lesson plan contest for a chance to win a classroom party paid for entirely by the Marygrove MAT program.

We were impressed with the winning lesson plan—so impressed, in fact, that we are offering Mrs. Blackburn’s Operation Global Connection lesson plan as a free downloadable!

We want to thank everyone who entered our contest for inspiring us and sharing your passion and creativity!

What is Operation Global Connection and how did it begin?  
When Mrs. Blackburn’s eighth grade social studies students trickled into class in late November, something was different: The desks were arranged in a circle and the classroom more closely resembled a “town meeting hall” than the traditional space they were used to.

As they settled into their new arrangement, Mrs. Blackburn briefed her students on their forthcoming project—one that they would be responsible for designing, implementing and publishing. Students were free to take the project in any direction they wished as long as it met Rhode Island’s GSE HP2, an academic standard that asks students to connect the past with the present.

Everything they did—whether it was researching historical photos, snapping new ones, writing essays or interviewing international students—would be guided by two essential questions:

  • “Why does what happened in the past matter to me today?”
  • “How will it affect my future?”

What did students do?
As a collective, the students decided to research how the history of their state, city, school and classroom communities have changed over time, and then make predictions about how they may change in the future. Students also thought it was worth considering how the values, history, and life in Cranston compared to life elsewhere. To find out, they used technology to connect with students in Greece, Russia, China, Kansas and Connecticut.

How were students assessed?
Although the project had a floating agenda that was set at the beginning of each class, students were regularly assessed through “exit slips” and mini-projects they submitted through Google Docs.

Exit slips asked students two questions: “What did you accomplish today?” and “How can I (Mrs. Blackburn) help you as we move forward? These had to be filled out and submitted at the end of every class.

Mini-projects included:

  • Writing short essays that required students to use research to respond to project-related writing prompts
  • Filming video documentaries to catalogue the project’s development
  • Creating online polls and questionnaires and compiling the results
  • Using Padlet to discuss articles and better understand the lives of their global partners
  • Using various online platforms like Wordle to brainstorm

At the end of three weeks, the project culminated in a nine minute video.

We hope that you and your students find the lesson plan to be helpful! You can download it by clicking here or on the icon below.


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Tags: Marygrove MAT, free guide, Master in the Art of Teaching Degree, downloads, lesson plan contest

Teach the past in a medium of the future: 5 timeline generator apps

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Feb 7, 2013 1:32:00 PM

Timelines have long been a popular visual tool for classroom presentations. But there are only so many Crayola-marker-on-poster-board timelines one teacher can take in a lifetime! We thought these five timeline generator apps were a great way to reinvent history by bringing technology into your classroom and providing a creative platform for students to present the past with the medium of the future.

Teach the past in a medium of the future: 5 timeline generator apps

timeline appsTimeglider. They advertise their program as the GoogleMaps for time because Timeglider allows you and your students to create pan-able and zoom-able timelines using pictures, data, and a variety of spiffy formatting tools. The results are professional quality products which will enhance learning for both the creators and their viewers. This is also a great collaborative learning tool as students can work together—from their own homes—and can't use the excuse that someone didn't show up for the scheduled meeting time.

timeline apps2Tiki-Toki. Besides its catchy name, Tiki-Toki is probably one of the more straight forward timeline apps for teachers we have seen. Plus, the multi-colored timeline dot visual is attractive and helps to keep  the information from appearing too scattered.

Some of features that helped get Tiki-Toki on this list: it's simple to use, you can pull pictures from ample photo-hosting sites, it's interactive, and students can beef up their timelines by adding additional information/links into interactive text-boxes that are activated when you click on a dot or scroll over a timeline marker.

timeline apps3TimeToast. TimeToast will be a favorite for those students who prefer things as basic as possible. While at first glance, the app resembles a more traditional timeline, students can add multiple dots for the same point in time. TimeToast stacks them up. Then the presenter or the participants can scroll over each dot in order to read the information connected to it. This information can include visuals in addition to text. It's a more organized way for students to summarize the history of a focused theme, such as the History of Baseball example on TimeToast's homepage, in which there are bound to be same date/different year crossovers.

timeline apps4StatSilk. Infographic apps for teachers are starting to populate the web. Many of them involve some form of timeline generator as well—and StatSilk is one of them.

Formerly called StatWorld, we suggested this app in another blog, 5 Interactive Map Generator Apps for Teachers. This app has built-in stats from all over the, well, map. Users are able to create interactive maps and graphs which are connected to a specific timeline. It creates a more powerful visual to show examples of population expansions, technology growth, etc. across various geographic areas, to name some examples.

timeline apps5Dipity. While teachers may have the most fun with StatSilk, students will probably gravitate towards Dipity. Perhaps it's their catchy youth-oriented appeal, or the fact that it resembles Facebook and other social media-based platforms in its aesthetic. In fact, there are social media buttons up in the top right so students can easily share their creations with their social network. Either way, it's a fun, visually appealing, and socially savvy timeline builder that will probably be used for more than just your classroom. 

Timelines used to be a two-dimensional event but today's timeline apps for teachers and students have revolutionized their presentation. Start using these timeline apps in the classroom, or begin teaching students how to use them for projects, and we bet some of your future presenters will be transporting the class into the fourth dimension.


Download our FREE guide: 50 Apps for Teachers!

Tags: timeline generator apps, apps for educators, apps for teachers, Master in the Art of Teaching Degree, Marygrove Master in the Art of Teaching, technology in the classroom

Missed your Marygrove MAT application deadline? Think again.

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Aug 31, 2012 1:57:00 PM

ClockIf you’ve lost track of your time this summer (like we have), there’s good news for you: Marygrove has extended application and registration dates for our Master in the Art of Teaching online program.

Maybe you need to renew your certification. Maybe you simply wish to invest in your own professional development and enhance your curriculum at the same time. Whatever your needs are, our program has been custom-tailored to fit them!


  • Renew your certification online—at your pace & on your schedule (you have 6 years to complete your degree!)
  • Augment your pay scale & invest in your own professional development
  • Enroll with a simple & completely free online application
  • Enhance your own classroom with forward-thinking curriculum ideas you can use right away

New Extended Deadlines!

Classes Start Sept. 4, 2012, so call a Recruitment Counselor today at 855-628-6279 or email


Tags: Master in the Art of Teaching, Master in the Art of Teaching Degree, MAT Program, MAT Application, Marygrove College Master in the Art of Teaching

Top Ten Ergonomics Tips for Online Students: Marygrove MAT Helps you Align Yourself for Success!

Posted by Colleen Cadieux on Apr 3, 2012 1:17:00 PM

Marygrove MAT discusses the Top Ten ergonomic tips for the online student.Completing an online degree requires students to spend a lot of time at the computer screen; studying online, reading, researching, writing, and participating in online forums and discussion groups. Although the flexibility of pursuing an online degree is very attractive to many, the time spent at the computer can be stressful on a student's body.

It’s important to pay attention to the ergonomics of your workspace in order to maximize your physical performance while working on your Marygrove Master in the Art of Teaching (MAT) online program. Ergonomics is defined as, "…the study of the relationship between people, their work and their physical work environment." (United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration, OSHA).

Specifically for students studying online, ergonomics relates to the connection between the physical environment (computer, desk or table, chair, workspace, etc.) and the user. There are many things that online students can do to make the time spent on the computer better for their bodies. Here’s our top ten:

  1. Properly position the computer. Position the computer monitor so it is close enough to see without straining and perpendicular to any glare causing objects.  The keyboard should be at elbow height and the mouse should be positioned near the keyboard.
  2. Invest in a quality computer chair. Any old chair won't do when studying online!  Spend time researching chairs that are specifically designed for computer work and invest in the perfect chair for your body.  Ideally, your chair should have armrests, a supportive back, and adjustable height.
  3. Adjust the height of your desk and chair. The combination of the computer, desk or table, and computer you're working at is very important. Pay particular attention to the heights of each and how varying these may create a better ergonomic workspace. 
  4. Perfect your posture. Sitting up straight and maintaining a 90 degree bend in your elbows may seem unnatural at first, but adjusting your posture to this position is important to long term physical health. Repeated or chronic slumping at the computer screen will cause strain in your lower back, neck, and shoulders.
  5. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor. When you are adjusting the height of your chair, position it so your feet are able to remain flat on the floor.  While working, make sure you are limiting the time spent crossing your legs since this can cause strain on your lower back and hips.
  6. Stay at your desk. For students working online it is tempting to take your laptop and retreat to another location. Try to avoid moving away from your desk unless you can recreate another ergonomically similar environment.  Working while laying down, relaxing on a bed or couch, or sitting on the floor can be hard on your body.
  7. Take breaks. Your body (and mind) will benefit from short breaks in your online studies.  Remaining in a sedentary position for too long can reduce blood flow to your extremities and may cause sleepiness.
  8. Organize your space. More than just the computer, chair, and desk your workspace also includes shelving, bookcases, and file drawers.  Take inventory of your space and consider rearranging it so that necessary items are within arm’s reach.
  9. Investigate workspace tools. Many students studying online have found various workspace tools to be beneficial to their studies.  Consider investing in a wrist pad, document holder, wireless keyboard or mouse, or glare reduction monitor screen.  All of these may boost your productivity and comfort while studying online.
  10. Relax! Your online degree is important, but so is your health.  Focus on your physical health and relax while you are at the computer.  Make a point of taking breaks from your studies to rest, play, and re-energize!

Now is a great time to register for summer classes! Start your Marygrove MAT program this summer, and realign your career with your long-term goals! Registration is going on now. Classes begin May 7!




Tags: online degree, ergonomics, studying online, Master in the Art of Teaching Degree, MAT Program

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