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Kate Pok

Intersections: History and New Media: Wiki in the History Classroom - 5 views

  • Students did not agree on the merits of the wiki. Some were deeply offended when other students eliminated or modified their contributions. Others found the chance to pick apart other’s words and conclusions exhilarating. Regardless, most students seemed to grasp the important lesson I hoped to share: that history is the conversation we have about the past. History is about the authorial choices scholars make. History is about the evidence included and the evidence excluded. By asking students to participate in a joint-writing exercise, they were compelled to pay attention to the language others used, the phrasings and structure employed, the anecdotes emphasized, the facts obscured. I told them the story of an undergraduate English professor I had who spent an entire class session discussing why Shakespeare began Macbeth with the word “when”. Words matter. Words shape arguments. They determine meaning, and they form our view of the world around us, including our view of the history of the world around us. Students also came to appreciate that history was not a bag of facts we historians force them to memorize. Instead, as Appleby, Hunt, and Jacob suggest, history is the product of that collective effort of truth seeking.
  • I still caution students about using Wikipedia. But I think the wiki can help our students see themselves as part of that democratic conversation so important to our profession. Throwing their ideas into the ring for others to challenge forces students to defend their ideas, modify their conclusions, and reconsider their assumptions. The wiki, while not perfect, may help us change the way our students think about history. It may help them be more attentive to language and argument. Importantly, it may help them value civil discourse as a civic virtue. These are good lessons for history students and for their professors. —Kevin B. Sheets is associate professor of history at the State University of New York, College at Cortland and project director of the “American Dream Project,” a Teaching American History grant-based project in upstate New York. He regularly teaches courses in historical methods and American intellectual and cultural history.
    Great description of the merits of using a wiki in a classroom.
Steve Ransom

for the love of learning: The ignorance of merit pay - 49 views

    Great post by Joe Bower here.
Roland Gesthuizen

3 Ideas That Will Not Transform Schools - 146 views

    "In the spirit of "Festivus" and the tradition of "The Airing of Grievances" (sorry for the reference if you are not a Seinfeld fan), I wanted to share a couple of ideas that I think get way too much attention and definitely need some tweaking.  Although there is merit for each idea, they do little to transform the culture of a school yet I have seen many jump on their individual bandwagons"
Roland Gesthuizen

A Principal's Reflections: Common Misconceptions of Educators Who Fear Technology - 1 views

  • as there are many creative ways to cut costs, as well as to free resources that can be used with existing infrastructures.  Schools can utilize cost-effective lease purchase programs for computers, investigate the implementation of a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) program, or promote the use of a plethora of free Web 2.0 tools.
  • Schools and classrooms do not, and will not, spiral out of control when we allow teachers the flexibility to take calculated risks to innovate with technology or permit students to learn using social media or their own devices.
  • One of the most powerful means of professional development is through the use of social media where educators can create their own Personal Learning Network (PLN) based entirely on their unique needs and passions.
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  • Don’t let fear based on misconception prevent you from creating a more student-centered, innovative learning culture
    "Even as we are seeing more schools and educators transform the way they teach and learn with technology, many more are not. .. Opinions vary on the merits of educational technology, but common themes seem to have emerged.  Some of the reasons for not embracing technology have to do with several misconceptions revolving around fear."
Roland Gesthuizen

The Power of Involved Parents « Diane Ravitch's blog - 41 views

  • This family showed what a difference it makes when families do their share–and more.
    "In the Scholastic-Gates survey of teachers, teachers were asked what they wanted most. The greatest number said they wanted families to be more involved. (What mattered least: longer school days and hours, merit pay). "
Roland Gesthuizen

Eric Sheninger: Common Misunderstandings of Educators Who Fear Technology - 113 views

  • Don't let fear based on misconception prevent you from creating a more student-centered, innovative learning culture. Rest assured, everything else will fall into place.
  • The fear of not being able to meet national and state standards, as well as mandates, leaves no time in the minds of many educators to either work technology into lessons, the will to do so, or the desire to learn how to. Current reform efforts placing an obscene emphasis on standardized tests are expounding the situation
  • With budget cuts across the country putting a strain on the financial resources of districts and schools, decision makers have become fearful of allocating funds to purchase and maintain current infrastructure
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  • Many teachers and administrators alike often fear how students can be appropriately assessed in technology-rich learning environments. This fear has been established as a result of a reliance on transitional methods of assessment as the only valid means to measure learning
  • For technology to be not only integrated effectively, but also embraced, a culture needs to be established where teachers and administrators are no longer fearful of giving up a certain amount of control to students. The issue of giving up control seems to always raise the fear level, even amongst many of the best teachers, as schools have been rooted in structures to maintain it at all costs
  • With the integration of technology comes change. With change comes the inevitable need to provide quality professional development. Many educators fear technology as they feel there is not, or will not be, the appropriate level of training to support implementation
    "Even as we are seeing more schools and educators transform the way they teach and learn with technology, many more are not. Technology is often viewed either as a frill or a tool not worth its weight in gold. Opinions vary on the merits of educational technology, but common themes seem to have emerged. Some of the reasons for not embracing technology have to do with several misconceptions revolving around fear."
John Howell

The Path to Digital Citizenship | Edutopia - 55 views

  • adults and students alike now share a platform for consuming and authoring information like our society has never seen
  • So how do we integrate standards and skillsets that prepare our K-12 students for an interconnected, digital world that can often be incendiary and hurtful?
    • John Howell
      We've had many of these learning experiences already this year 2013-14.  It's certainly a good starting point for students.
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  • hey still need to know how to play nicely together, share, not tease or say hurtful things -- and they need to transfer these offline skills to a digital space as well. In short, students must understand that there should be no difference between how they act online and how they act offline.
  • we must continue our mission of educating students, not solely on academic merits, but on ethical merits as well. Promote and model good uses of digital spaces in your classroom and school. Building a culture of digital health and wellness across a school district will insure that our students carry out the missions posted on our walls.
Steve Ransom

Education - Video: Six Reasons Value-Added "Growth Model" Teacher Evaluatio... - 0 views

    "Merit Pay, Teacher Pay, and Value Added Measures." Willingham gives "six reasons in three minutes" that the idea of evaluating teachers by the value-added "growth model,"
Sandy Munnell

The British Psychological Society - 13 views

    paper and connection to text messaging and literacy: the more textism a child uses, the higher their scores on vocabulary and reading - haven't read the whole paper - one has to pay for it - but if there is merit here this presents a new dynamic educators haven't thought of
Martin Burrett

Teaching vs. Everything Else - 17 views

    "Teaching, if you let it, will take over your life. Too many of us can think of times when family were put into second place behind our teaching commitments, not to mention our health, diet and sleep. Despite all the talk of wellbeing, a culture of 'look how hard I work' pervades our profession. Not surprising when this is often encouraged and rewarded. In this UKEdChat we will discuss the merits and pitfalls of navigating this difficult balance and, together, find some solutions."
Martin Burrett

UKEdMag: Schools, be patient by @HDHSenglish - 1 views

    "A lot of schools have jumped on buzz words such as metacognition, mindfulness, mindset etc. There is obviously great merit in all these strategies, however as Carol Dweck has emphasised, in a lot of cases these methods are not always understood by school leaders leading to them not being integrated effectively and sustained. These theories are not fads but in many schools, they don't give these methods the planning, time and evaluation that is required for success of any strategies that will benefit learning. Schools are looking for a quick fix and so latch on to 'new, exciting and popular theories'."
Roland Gesthuizen

Online game makes math practice out of this world - - 114 views

    "In "," kids play math games to earn merits, including this one in which they wrangle an alien slug by solving math problems. Today's kids now have an opportunity to hone their math skills .. by entering a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) called """
    Fun way to learn maths would earning points to join the Intergalactic Space Patrol.
Roland Gesthuizen

Alone in the Classroom: Why Teachers Are Too Isolated - Jeffrey Mirel & Simona Goldin -... - 6 views

  • A recent study by Scholastic and the Gates Foundation found that teachers spend only about 3 percent of their teaching day collaborating with colleagues. The majority of American teachers plan, teach, and examine their practice alone
  • With a common curriculum there is agreement about what students are expected to learn, what teachers are to teach, what teacher educators are to instill in potential teachers, and what tests of student learning should measure.
  • Time and money need to be invested to support teachers' understanding of the curriculum and to develop an ethos of collaboration within schools. Also needed are ongoing professional development programs to support teachers' substantive work together.
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  • competitive teacher assessment schemes could reinforce teacher isolation. If teachers are competing with one another for merit pay, why should they collaborate with one another?
    "Educators spend most of their time distanced from their colleagues. Instead of forcing them to compete with each other, we should help them find new ways to work together."
Sarah Schaller Welsh

Freakonomics » What Should Be Done About Standardized Tests? A Freakonomics Q... - 42 views

  • Gaston Caperton
  • Standardized tests have much in common with French fries. Both of them differ in composition as well as quality. French fries are available in numerous incarnations, including straight, curly, skins-on, skins-off, and, in recent years, with sweet potatoes. Regarding quality, of course, the taste of French fries can range substantially – from sublime to soggy. It’s really the same with standardized tests.
  • Take the No Child Left Behind Act, for instance, a federal accountability law requiring scads of standardized tests to be used in evaluating schools. Do you know that almost all of the standardized tests now being employed to judge school quality are unable to distinguish between well taught and badly taught students?
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  • all schools – kindergarten through college – should employ exit exams allowing us to determine what students have actually learned. We owe it to our students to make sure that they’ve been properly taught.
  • Then there are the questions of what to do with the results. I have actually sat through an extended discussion of how we could use regression analysis to parse out the contribution different teachers made to a group of students’ performance on a set of standardized tests. The answer was, yes it was possible, and could in fact be used to award merit pay increases. But nobody left the room feeling very comfortable that there would be any gain in what we knew made for good teaching.
  • Roughly half of the nation’s students are taking tests under NCLB that are completely free of open-ended questions.
  • educators have a strong incentive to “teach to the test.” In this case, that means teaching low level skills at the expense of the more demanding material that everyone says students need to master in today’s complicated world.
  • But is it fair to give students what amounts to a counterfeit passport to college or work? And do such tests spur high school teachers and principals to aim high with their students? To both questions, the answer is, “No.” In most states today, high school exit tests serve the same role as the standardized tests mandated by NCLB: they try to jack up the floor of student achievement in the nation’s schools. The best high school exit tests would be end-of-course exams akin to the “comprehensive” exams that many colleges and universities require students to pass in their majors before graduation – tests, that is, that would raise the ceiling of student achievement.
  • High-stakes testing has narrowed and dumbed down curricula; eliminated time spent on untested subjects like social studies, art, and even recess; turned classrooms into little more than test preparation centers; reduced high school graduation rates; and driven good teachers from the profession. Those are all reasons why FairTest and other experts advocate a sharp reduction in public school standardized testing and a halt to exit exams.
  • igh school grade
  • point average is a better predictor of college success than either the SAT or the ACT.
Bill Genereux

Gates' latest mission: fixing America's schools - Business - Bloomberg Businessweek - m... - 65 views

  • small schools are overrepresented among the country's highest achievers
  • were not as prescriptive about how they wanted their money spent.
  • want public education run more like a business
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  • what we do know about is management and governance
  • We don't know anything about how to teach
  • Because the smaller a school, the more likely its overall performance can be skewed by a few good or bad students
  • Was Mozart a better musician than Babe Ruth was a hitter?
  • Giving several tests a year can sort out each teacher's contribution
  • if you do raise these issues, it's seen as making excuses or pulling back from commitments
  • The only way to tell a good teacher is to go into their classroom spontaneously
  • tying pay to performance is not at all important in retaining good teachers
  • significant portion of teachers do believe in merit pay
  • states' rights advocates have blocked federal efforts for a national curriculum
  • videotaping math, English, and biology lessons
  • Music instructors questioned the district's decision to evaluate them on their students' grasp of music theory instead of instrumental proficiency
  • Gates is paying $1,500 apiece to more than 600 Hillsborough teachers whose lessons are being videotaped.
Phil Taylor

Thumann Resources - 0 views

  • “How can educators around the world use technology to connect, collaborate, teach, support and inspire each other? Collaborative Internet applications allow educators to create online communities that support their professional learning and relieve their isolation. In this session we will focus on the ways two social networking tools, Twitter and Classroom 2.0, can be harnessed to build a rich and powerful learning community.
    From Twitter PLN - great resource and explaination for why teachers should use Twitter to build up their PLNs
    I realize there are many amazing posts on the merits of using Twitter to develop a PLN. I also realize that there already exists dozens of collections of tools for making the most of Twitter. Yet, as I prepare for my presentation at NJECC's annual conference tomorrow, I am compelled to write one of my own.
Maggie Tsai

Social Bookmarking in Education with Diigo - 66 views

    • Larry Crosswell
      see, highlights AND sticky notes!
    • Mr. Gourley
      My class is learning about Diigo now. They are enjoying it so far.
  • Diigo lets you do more than just bookmark web pages online. For instance, if you install the Diigo toolbar, or toolbar button, you have the ability to highlight text and pictures in a variety of colors, or add sticky notes to a bookmarked page.
    • Mary Maderich
      This is so awesome.  Powerful and free!!
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  • The real bonus of using social bookmarking with your class is the ease that you can work on project based learning tasks. Teachers can share annotated bookmarks with a class to research a given topic. Students can perform their own research, and share a useful website with the class. Bookmarks can be accessed just as easily at home, as at school, and online discussions can be had over the merit of a suggested site, or its usefulness to the class project.
    Voici un site intéressant sur l'utilisation de Diigo en enseignement
    Social bookmarking in education is a new and exciting opportunity for teachers and students to connect and collaborate online. Using Diigo Educator accounts is one of the best ways to achieve this.\n\nRead more:
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