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Nigel Coutts

Schools are made of People - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    Schools are made of people. Schools are all about people. Schools are made from the connections between people. Schools exist to serve people and make the lives of all people better.
Nigel Coutts

The Trouble with Change Management in Schools - The Learner's Way - 4 views

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    Taken simplistically there could be a feeling that due to the complexity of large systems change becomes an uncontrollable beast with a mind of its own. 
Gaby K. Slezák

Sonicaid - Music for working cycles - For teachers - 12 views

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    Play this music during work cycles - one hour of relaxing positive instrumental music
Paul Beaufait

The Overselling of Ed Tech - Alfie Kohn - 7 views

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    ""[W]e shouldn't confuse personalized learning with personal learning. The first involves adjusting the difficulty level of prefabricated skills-based exercises based on students' test scores, and it requires the purchase of software. The second involves working with each student to create projects of intellectual discovery that reflect his or her unique needs and interests, and it requires the presence of a caring teacher who knows each child well" (Kohn, 2016.03.12, ¶9).
Steve Ransom

For Public Schools, Twitter Is No Longer Optional - Forbes - 27 views

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    Good points, but completely misses the most powerful part of this - learning with others. but, from a branding expert, I guess this is primarily what they are concerned with - protecting and promoting one's brand. The sad part in this is that for some admins, it might actually take a piece in Forbes by a marketing person to catch their attention rather than the countless educators who having been promoting this message... and more.
Paul Beaufait

Home | starters.co.nz - 17 views

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    A follow-on to the no longer active http://www.teachingonline.org/ site, "starters.co.nz is a web-based subscription resource for schools featuring over 1600 quality pdf, ready-to-use lesson plans including digital resources such as videos and websites that enhance and add depth to the lessons. / Our lessons are based on and cover all areas of the New Zealand Curriculum and are grouped for Yrs 1-4 and Yrs 4-9+. / starters is particularly useful for printing out easy-to-follow quality lessons for relieving teachers" (deck, 2013.02.03).
Tero Toivanen

Finnish educator offers suggestions for American schools - Marin Independent Journal - 17 views

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    "Marin County educators gathered this week to imagine a world without standardized tests, one in which teachers would teach less and students would study less - yet score near the top on international tests of math, reading and science. Teaching would be a highly regarded profession in this world, and decisions about curriculum and other aspects of education would be made at the school - rather than the state or county level. The "achievement gap" between rich and poor schools would be unknown, as all schools would provide their students with a high level of education, along with free meals, counseling and health care. This mythical world of teachers' dreams has a name: Finland."
Paul Beaufait

What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success - Anu Partanen - National -... - 16 views

  • As for accountability of teachers and administrators, Sahlberg shrugs. "There's no word for accountability in Finnish," he later told an audience at the Teachers College of Columbia University. "Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted."
  • The main driver of education policy is not competition between teachers and between schools, but cooperation.
  • Decades ago, when the Finnish school system was badly in need of reform, the goal of the program that Finland instituted, resulting in so much success today, was never excellence. It was equity.
  • ...5 more annotations...
  • Finland -- unlike, say, very similar countries such as Norway -- was producing academic excellence through its particular policy focus on equity.
  •  the number of foreign-born residents in Finland doubled during the decade leading up to 2010, and the country didn't lose its edge in education. Immigrants tended to concentrate in certain areas, causing some schools to become much more mixed than others, yet there has not been much change in the remarkable lack of variation between Finnish schools in the PISA surveys across the same period.
  • Educational policy, Abrams suggests, is probably more important to the success of a country's school system than the nation's size or ethnic makeup.
  • When Finnish policymakers decided to reform the country's education system in the 1970s, they did so because they realized that to be competitive, Finland couldn't rely on manufacturing or its scant natural resources and instead had to invest in a knowledge-based economy. 
  • It is possible to create equality. And perhaps even more important -- as a challenge to the American way of thinking about education reform -- Finland's experience shows that it is possible to achieve excellence by focusing not on competition, but on cooperation, and not on choice, but on equity.
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    Partanen, Anu. (2011). What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success. The Atlantic. Retrieved January 9, 2012, from http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-ignoring-about-finlands-school-success/250564/
Steve Ransom

Technology in Schools Faces Questions on Value - NYTimes.com - 9 views

  • Critics counter that, absent clear proof, schools are being motivated by a blind faith in technology and an overemphasis on digital skills — like using PowerPoint and multimedia tools — at the expense of math, reading and writing fundamentals. They say the technology advocates have it backward when they press to upgrade first and ask questions later.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      A valid criticism when technology implementation is decoupled from meaningful and effective pedagogy. You can't buy measurable change/improvement.
  • district was innovating
  • how the district was innovating.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Again, this is very different than how TEACHERS are innovating their PRACTICES. It's much more challenging than making a slick brochure that communicates how much technology your district has.
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  • there is no good way to quantify those achievements — putting them in a tough spot with voters deciding whether to bankroll this approach again
  • “We’ve jumped on bandwagons for different eras without knowing fully what we’re doing. This might just be the new bandwagon,” he said. “I hope not.”
    • Steve Ransom
       
      There's a confidence building statement for you....
  • $46.3 million for laptops, classroom projectors, networking gear and other technology for teachers and administrators.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Exactly... and how much was spent on equipping teachers to change their practices to effectively leverage this new infrastructure?
  • If we know something works
    • Steve Ransom
       
      And what is that "something"? New technology? If so, you missed the boat.
  • it is hard to separate the effect of the laptops from the effect of the teacher training
  • The high-level analyses that sum up these various studies, not surprisingly, give researchers pause about whether big investments in technology make sense.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Why does the argument for making schools relevant and using current cultural tools need to be backed with performance data? Give politicians and superintendents horses instead of cars and see how long that lasts.
  • Good teachers, he said, can make good use of computers, while bad teachers won’t, and they and their students could wind up becoming distracted by the technology.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Finally, a valid point.
  • “Test scores are the same, but look at all the other things students are doing: learning to use the Internet to research, learning to organize their work, learning to use professional writing tools, learning to collaborate with others.”
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Exactly. But somehow, "value" has been equated with test scores alone. Do we have a strong body of research on pencil effectiveness or clay effectiveness or chair effectiveness?
  • “It’s not the stuff that counts — it’s what you do with it that matters.”
  • “There is a connection between the physical hand on the paper and the words on the page,” she said. “It’s intimate.”
  • “They’re inundated with 24/7 media, so they expect it,”
    • Steve Ransom
       
      And you expect them to always engage enthusiastically with tools that are no longer relevant in their culture?
  • The 30 students in the classroom held wireless clickers into which they punched their answers. Seconds later, a pie chart appeared on the screen: 23 percent answered “True,” 70 percent “False,” and 6 percent didn’t know.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Okay... and you follow up with a totally trivial example of the power of technology in learning.
  • term” that can slide past critical analysis.
  • engagement is a “fluffy
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Very true
  • rofessor Cuban at Stanford argues that keeping children engaged requires an environment of constant novelty, which cannot be sustained.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      If that is so, why not back up your claim by linking to the source here. I have a feeling he has been misquoted and taken out of context here.
  • that computers can distract and not instruct.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Computers don't really "instruct". That's why we have teachers who are supposed to know what they are doing and why they are doing it... and monitoring kids while keeping learning meaningful.
  • guide on the side.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      But many teachers are simply not prepared for how to do this effectively. To ignore this fact is just naive.
  • Professor Cuban at Stanford
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Are they in love with Cuban or something? Perhaps they should actually look at the research... or interview other authorities. Isn't that what reporting is all about? I think this reporter must be a product of too much Google, right?
  • But she loves the fact that her two children, a fourth-grader and first-grader, are learning technology, including PowerPoint
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Again, the fact that any supporter is happy that their kids are learning PowerPoint illustrates the degree of naiveté in their understanding of technology's role in learning.
  • creating an impetus to rethink education entirely
  • Mr. Share bases his buying decisions on two main factors: what his teachers tell him they need, and his experience. For instance, he said he resisted getting the interactive whiteboards sold as Smart Boards until, one day in 2008, he saw a teacher trying to mimic the product with a jury-rigged projector setup. “It was an ‘Aha!’ moment,” he said, leading him to buy Smart Boards, made by a company called Smart Technologies.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Herein lies another huge problem. Mr. Director of Technology seems to base no decisions on what the learning and technology literature have to say... nor does he consult those who would be considered authorities on technology infused learning (emphasis on learning here)
  • This is big business.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      No kidding.
  • “Do we really need technology to learn?” she said. “It’s a very valid time to ask the question, right before this goes on the ballot.”
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Anyone who asks that should volunteer to have their home and work computer confiscated. After all, it's just a distraction, right?
Paul Beaufait

Successful Strategies for English Language Learners - 19 views

  • Between 1979 and 2008, the number of school-age children (ages 5-17) in the United States who spoke a language other than English at home increased from 3.8 to 10.9 million, or from 9 to 21 percent of the population in this age range, according to the latest figures from the National Center on Education Statistics (NCES).
  • Perhaps one of the greatest examples of inequity lies in a joint investigation of the Department of Justice and the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights that revealed last October that Boston Public Schools had failed to properly identify and adequately serve thousands of ELLs since 2003 as required by the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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    Angela Pascopella reported on U.S. school district and national measures "to address surging ELL enrollment-and dropout rate[s]" (deck).
Paul Beaufait

In Digital Age, Schools That Succeed are Schools That Connect | MindShift - 23 views

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    "The trickiest of the cracks to get our heads around is the "connected divide," separating those who are proficient in collaborative, creative and connected social networks and those who are not. It is growing exponentially wider on a daily basis. ... [C]onnectedness will define the value of education over the next generation" (¶7, 2011.07.27).
Caroline Roche

iPads in Schools - 78 views

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    A livebinder with lots of great resources, updated frequently
Gaby K. Slezák

Web-based timeline software - create timelines - for schools - 84 views

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    "interactive timelines that include videos and image galleries, now you can thanks to a web service brought to you by ChronoFlo and Webalon. TikiToki makes creating online timelines as easy as possible. Sign up for our free, basic account and within almost no time, you could be creating a timeline of your life, of a historical event that interests you or of the life of a great musician or artist... the possibilities are endless."
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    Easy to use Timeline Creation Tool. Create beautiful timelines with different layers and 3D presentation. Price for teachers: $125 a year incl. one silver account incl. up to 25 timelines plus 50 bronze accounts for students to create their own timelines (up to 5 each). Free version: create one timeline only
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