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Lisa C. Hurst

Inside the School Silicon Valley Thinks Will Save Education | WIRED - 9 views

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    "AUTHOR: ISSIE LAPOWSKY. ISSIE LAPOWSKY DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05.04.15. 05.04.15 TIME OF PUBLICATION: 7:00 AM. 7:00 AM INSIDE THE SCHOOL SILICON VALLEY THINKS WILL SAVE EDUCATION Click to Open Overlay Gallery Students in the youngest class at the Fort Mason AltSchool help their teacher, Jennifer Aguilar, compile a list of what they know and what they want to know about butterflies. CHRISTIE HEMM KLOK/WIRED SO YOU'RE A parent, thinking about sending your 7-year-old to this rogue startup of a school you heard about from your friend's neighbor's sister. It's prospective parent information day, and you make the trek to San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood. You walk up to the second floor of the school, file into a glass-walled conference room overlooking a classroom, and take a seat alongside dozens of other parents who, like you, feel that public schools-with their endless bubble-filled tests, 38-kid classrooms, and antiquated approach to learning-just aren't cutting it. At the same time, you're thinking: this school is kind of weird. On one side of the glass is a cheery little scene, with two teachers leading two different middle school lessons on opposite ends of the room. But on the other side is something altogether unusual: an airy and open office with vaulted ceilings, sunlight streaming onto low-slung couches, and rows of hoodie-wearing employees typing away on their computers while munching on free snacks from the kitchen. And while you can't quite be sure, you think that might be a robot on wheels roaming about. Then there's the guy who's standing at the front of the conference room, the school's founder. Dressed in the San Francisco standard issue t-shirt and jeans, he's unlike any school administrator you've ever met. But the more he talks about how this school uses technology to enhance and individualize education, the more you start to like what he has to say. And so, if you are truly fed up with the school stat
Laura Doto

Final Report: Friendship | DIGITAL YOUTH RESEARCH - 1 views

  • Social relations—not simply physical space—structure the social worlds of youth.
    • Laura Doto
       
      A critical conclusion to be realized that can inform our assumptions as educators.
  • When teens are involved in friendship-driven practices, online and offline are not separate worlds—they are simply different settings in which to gather with friends and peers
  • these dynamics reinforce existing friendship patterns as well as constitute new kinds of social arrangements.
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  • Homophily describes the likelihood that people connect to others who share their interests and identity.
  • One survey of Israeli teens suggests that those who develop friendships online tend toward less homogenous connections than teens who do not build such connections
  • Teens frequently use social media as additional channels of communication to get to know classmates and turn acquaintances into friendships.
  • Some teens—especially marginalized and ostracized ones—often relish the opportunity to find connections beyond their schools. Teens who are driven by specific interests that may not be supported by their schools, such as those described in the Creative Production and Gaming chapters, often build relationships with others online through shared practice.
  • there are plenty of teens who relish the opportunity to make new connections through social media, this practice is heavily stigmatized
  • the public myths about online “predators” do not reflect the actual realities of sexual solicitation and risky online behavior (Wolak et al. 2008). Not only do unfounded fears limit teenagers unnecessarily, they also obscure preventable problematic behavior
  • As she described her typical session on Photobucket, it became clear that a shared understanding of friendship and romance was being constructed by her and other Photobucket users:
  • The fact that they draw from all of these sources suggests that youth’s friendship maintenance is in tune with a discourse of love and friendship that is being widely displayed and (re)circulated.
  • “It’s like have you noticed that you may have someone in your Top 8 but you’re not in theirs and you kinda think to yourself that you’re not as important to that person as they are to you . . . and oh, to be in the coveted number-one spot!”
  • Taking someone off your Top 8 is your new passive-aggressive power play when someone pisses you off.
  • Top Friends are persistent, publicly displayed, and easily alterable. This makes it difficult for teens to avoid the issue or make excuses such as “I forgot.” When pressured to include someone, teens often oblige or attempt to ward off this interaction by listing those who list them
  • Other teens avoid this struggle by listing only bands or family members. While teens may get jealous if other peers are listed, family members are exempt from the comparative urge.
  • to avoid social drama with her friends:
  • The Top Friends feature is a good example of how structural aspects of software can force articulations that do not map well to how offline social behavior works.
  • teens have developed a variety of social norms to govern what is and is not appropriate
  • The problem with explicit ranking, however, is that it creates or accentuates hierarchies where they did not exist offline, or were deliberately and strategically ambiguous, thus forcing a new set of social-status negotiations. The give-and-take over these forms of social ranking is an example of how social norms are being negotiated in tandem with the adoption of new technologies, and how peers give ongoing feedback to one another as part of these struggles to develop new cultural standards.
  • While teen dramas are only one component of friendship, they are often made extremely visible by social media. The persistent and networked qualities of social media alter the ways that these dramas play out in teen life. For this reason, it is important to pay special attention to the role that social media play in the negotiation of teen status.
  • primarily a continuation of broader dramas.
  • social media amplify dramas because they extend social worlds beyond the school.
  • Gossip and rumors have played a role in teen struggles for status and attention since well before social media entered the scene
  • social media certainly alter the efficiency and potential scale of interactions. Because of this, there is greater potential for gossip to spread much further and at a faster pace, making social media a culprit in teen drama. While teen gossip predates the Internet, some teens blame the technologies for their roles in making gossip easier and more viral
  • That’s what happened with me and my friends. We got into a lot of drama with it and I was like, anyone can write anything. It can be fact, fiction. Most people, what they read they believe. Even if it’s not true (C.J. Pascoe, Living Digital).
  • finds the News Feed useful “because it helps you to see who’s keeping track of who and who’s talking to who.” She enjoys knowing when two people break up so that she knows why someone is upset or when she should reach out to offer support. Knowing this information also prevents awkward conversations that might reference the new ex. While she loves the ability to keep up with the lives of her peers, she also realizes that this means that “everybody knows your business.”
  • Some teens find the News Feed annoying or irrelevant. Gadil, an Indian 16-year-old from Los Angeles, thinks that it is impersonal while others think it is downright creepy. For Tara, a Vietnamese 16-year-old from Michigan, the News Feed takes what was public and makes it more public: “Facebook’s already public. I think it makes it way too like stalker-ish.” Her 18-year-old sister, Lila, concurs and points out that it gets “rumors going faster.” Kat, a white 14-year-old from Salem, Massachusetts, uses Facebook’s privacy settings to hide stories from the News Feed for the sake of appearances.
  • While gossip is fairly universal among teens, the rumors that are spread can be quite hurtful. Some of this escalates to the level of bullying. We are unable to assess whether or not bullying is on the rise because of social media. Other scholars have found that most teens do not experience Internet-driven harassment (Wolak, Mitchell, and Finkelhor 2007). Those who do may not fit the traditional profile of those who experience school-based bullying (Ybarra, Diener-West, and Leaf 2007), but harassment, both mediated and unmediated, is linked to a myriad of psychosocial issues that includes substance use and school problems (Hinduja and Patchin 2008; Ybarra et al. 2007).
  • Measuring “cyberbullying” or Internet harassment is difficult, in part because both scholars and teens struggle to define it. The teens we interviewed spoke regularly of “drama” or “gossip” or “rumors,” but few used the language of “bullying” or “harassment” unless we introduced these terms. When Sasha, a white 16-year-old from Michigan, was asked specifically about whether or not rumors were bullying, she said: I don’t know, people at school, they don’t realize when they are bullying a lot of the time nowadays because it’s not so much physical anymore. It’s more like you think you’re joking around with someone in school but it’s really hurting them. Like you think it’s a funny inside joke between you two, but it’s really hurtful to them, and you can’t realize it anymore. Sasha, like many of the teens we interviewed, saw rumors as hurtful, but she was not sure if they were bullying. Some teens saw bullying as being about physical harm; others saw it as premeditated, intentionally malicious, and sustained in nature. While all acknowledged that it could take place online, the teens we interviewed thought that most bullying took place offline, even if they talked about how drama was happening online.
  • it did not matter whether it was online or offline; the result was still the same. In handling this, she did not get offline, but she did switch schools and friend groups.
  • Technology provides more channels through which youth can potentially bully one another. That said, most teens we interviewed who discussed being bullied did not focus on the use of technology and did not believe that technology is a significant factor in bullying.
  • They did, though, see rumors, drama, and gossip as pervasive. The distinction may be more connected with language and conception than with practice. Bianca, a white 16-year-old from Michigan, sees drama as being fueled by her peers’ desire to get attention and have something to talk about. She thinks the reason that people create drama is boredom. While drama can be hurtful, many teens see it simply as a part of everyday social life.
  • Although some drama may start out of boredom or entertainment, it is situated in a context where negotiating social relations and school hierarchies is part of everyday life. Teens are dealing daily with sociability and related tensions.
  • Tara thinks that it emerges because some teens do not know how to best negotiate their feelings and the feelings of others.
  • Teens can use the ability to publicly validate one another on social network sites to reaffirm a friendship.
  • So, while drama is common, teens actually spend much more time and effort trying to preserve harmony, reassure friends, and reaffirm relationships. This spirit of reciprocity is common across a wide range of peer-based learning environments we have observed.
  • From this perspective, commenting is not as much about being nice as it is about relying on reciprocity for self-gain
  • That makes them feel like they’re popular, that they’re getting comments all the time by different people, even people that they don’t know. So it makes them feel popular in a way (Rural and Urban Youth).
  • Gossip, drama, bullying, and posing are unavoidable side effects of teens’ everyday negotiations over friendship and peer status. What takes place in this realm resembles much of what took place even before the Internet, but certain features of social media alter the dynamics around these processes. The public, persistent, searchable, and spreadable nature of mediated information affects the way rumors flow and how dramas play out. The explicitness surrounding the display of relationships and online communication can heighten the social stakes and intensity of status negotiation. The scale of this varies, but those who experience mediated harassment are certainly scarred by the process. Further, the ethic of reciprocity embedded in networked publics supports the development of friendships and shared norms, but it also plays into pressures toward conformity and participation in local, school-based peer networks. While there is a dark side to what takes place, teens still relish the friendship opportunities that social media provide.
  • While social warfare and drama do exist, the value of social media rests in their ability to strengthen connections. Teens leverage social media for a variety of practices that are familiar elements of teen life: gossiping, flirting, joking around, and hanging out. Although the underlying practices are quite familiar, the networked, public nature of online communication does inflect these practices in new ways.
  • Adults’ efforts to regulate youth access to MySpace are the latest example of how adults are working to hold on to authority over teen socialization in the face of a gradual erosion of parental influence during the teen years.
  • learning how to manage the unique affordances of networked sociality can help teens navigate future collegiate and professional spheres where mediated interactions are assumed.
  • articulating those friendships online means that they become subject to public scrutiny in new ways;
  • This makes lessons about social life (both the failures and successes) more consequential and persistent
  • make these dynamics visible in a more persistent and accessible public arena.
  • co-constructing new sets of social norms together with their peers and the efforts of technology developers. The dynamics of social reciprocity and negotiations over popularity and status are all being supported by participation in publics of the networked variety as formative influences in teen life. While we see no indication that social media are changing the fundamental nature of these friendship practices, we do see differences in the intensity of engagement among peers, and conversely, in the relative alienation of parents and teachers from these social worlds.
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    MacArthur Foundation Study - Friendship chapter
Benjamin Light

The Costs of Overemphasizing Achievement - 83 views

  • First, students tend to lose interest in whatever they’re learning. As motivation to get good grades goes up, motivation to explore ideas tends to go down. Second, students try to avoid challenging tasks whenever possible. More difficult assignments, after all, would be seen as an impediment to getting a top grade. Finally, the quality of students’ thinking is less impressive. One study after another shows that creativity and even long-term recall of facts are adversely affected by the use of traditional grades.
    • Deb White Groebner
       
      SO true!
    • Terie Engelbrecht
       
      Very true; especially the "avoiding challenging tasks" part.
  • Unhappily, assessment is sometimes driven by entirely different objectives--for example, to motivate students (with grades used as carrots and sticks to coerce them into working harder) or to sort students (the point being not to help everyone learn but to figure out who is better than whom)
  • Standardized tests often have the additional disadvantages of being (a) produced and scored far away from the classroom, (b) multiple choice in design (so students can’t generate answers or explain their thinking), (c) timed (so speed matters more than thoughtfulness) and (d) administered on a one-shot, high-anxiety basis.
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  • The test designers will probably toss out an item that most students manage to answer correctly.
  • the evidence suggests that five disturbing consequences are likely to accompany an obsession with standards and achievement:
  • 1. Students come to regard learning as a chore.
  • intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation tend to be inversely related: The more people are rewarded for doing something, the more they tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to get the reward.
  • 2. Students try to avoid challenging tasks.
  • they’re just being rational. They have adapted to an environment where results, not intellectual exploration, are what count. When school systems use traditional grading systems--or, worse, when they add honor rolls and other incentives to enhance the significance of grades--they are unwittingly discouraging students from stretching themselves to see what they’re capable of doing.
  • 3. Students tend to think less deeply.
  • 4. Students may fall apart when they fail.
  • 5. Students value ability more than effort
    • Deb White Groebner
       
      This is the reinforcement of a "fixed mindset" (vs. (growth mindset) as described by Carol Dweck.
  • They seem to be fine as long as they are succeeding, but as soon as they hit a bump they may regard themselves as failures and act as though they’re helpless to do anything about it.
  • When the point isn’t to figure things out but to prove how good you are, it’s often hard to cope with being less than good.
  • It may be the systemic demand for high achievement that led him to become debilitated when he failed, even if the failure is only relative.
  • But even when better forms of assessment are used, perceptive observers realize that a student’s score is less important than why she thinks she got that score.
  • just smart
  • luck:
  • tried hard
  • task difficulty
  • It bodes well for the future
  • the punch line: When students are led to focus on how well they are performing in school, they tend to explain their performance not by how hard they tried but by how smart they are.
  • In their study of academically advanced students, for example, the more that teachers emphasized getting good grades, avoiding mistakes and keeping up with everyone else, the more the students tended to attribute poor performance to factors they thought were outside their control, such as a lack of ability.
  • When students are made to think constantly about how well they are doing, they are apt to explain the outcome in terms of who they are rather than how hard they tried.
  • And if children are encouraged to think of themselves as "smart" when they succeed, doing poorly on a subsequent task will bring down their achievement even though it doesn’t have that effect on other kids.
  • The upshot of all this is that beliefs about intelligence and about the causes of one’s own success and failure matter a lot. They often make more of a difference than how confident students are or what they’re truly capable of doing or how they did on last week’s exam. If, like the cheerleaders for tougher standards, we look only at the bottom line, only at the test scores and grades, we’ll end up overlooking the ways that students make sense of those results.
  • the problem with tests is not limited to their content.
  • if too big a deal is made about how students did, thus leading them (and their teachers) to think less about learning and more about test outcomes.
  • As Martin Maehr and Carol Midgley at the University of Michigan have concluded, "An overemphasis on assessment can actually undermine the pursuit of excellence."
  • Only now and then does it make sense for the teacher to help them attend to how successful they’ve been and how they can improve. On those occasions, the assessment can and should be done without the use of traditional grades and standardized tests. But most of the time, students should be immersed in learning.
  • the findings of the Colorado experiment make perfect sense: The more teachers are thinking about test results and "raising the bar," the less well the students actually perform--to say nothing of how their enthusiasm for learning is apt to wane.
  • The underlying problem concerns a fundamental distinction that has been at the center of some work in educational psychology for a couple of decades now. It is the difference between focusing on how well you’re doing something and focusing on what you’re doing.
  • The two orientations aren’t mutually exclusive, of course, but in practice they feel different and lead to different behaviors.
  • But when we get carried away with results, we wind up, paradoxically, with results that are less than ideal.
  • Unfortunately, common sense is in short supply today because assessment has come to dominate the whole educational process. Worse, the purposes and design of the most common forms of assessment--both within classrooms and across schools--often lead to disastrous consequences.
  • grades, which by their very nature undermine learning. The proper occasion for outrage is not that too many students are getting A’s, but that too many students have been led to believe that getting A’s is the point of going to school.
  • research indicates that the use of traditional letter or number grades is reliably associated with three consequences.
  • Iowa and Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills,
    • Benjamin Light
       
      I wonder how the MAP test is set?
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    The message of Daniel Pinks book "Drive" applies here. Paying someone more, i.e. good grades, does not make them better thinkers, problems solvers, or general more motivated in what they are doing. thanks for sharing.
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    Excellent summary!
Clint Heitz

10 Things School Leaders Do to Kill a Teacher's Enthusiasm for Technology - 115 views

  • 9. Fail to provide training and additional resources needed for tech implementation. Training with an expert user is always a plus, even when using someone on staff as that expert. Even more important is providing time for the teacher to explore, experiment, and "play" with the technology. As far as resources, school leaders need to make sure teachers have all they need to implement new technologies: everything from powerbars to tables. Nothing can be more frustrating than having your greatest tech plans foiled by a lack of power outlets.
    • Clint Heitz
       
      Very true! Research has shown that the most successful technology interests are those that have proper support and professional development.
  • 5. Fail to provide adequate hardware and/or software.  I've seen so many examples of this over the years. Teachers are encouraged to get students writing and engaging in online blogging, but they don't have access to computers. Another example is even more ludicrous; students being asked to create 21st century projects yet they aren't given anything but 20th century tools such a colored pencils and construction paper. It is the school leader's responsibility to ensure teachers have adequate hardware and software for implementing technology.             
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    • Clint Heitz
       
      So difficult to be innovative and relevant when using outdated tools and materials that can't even support the tools we want to use.
  • While school districts are obligated under CIPA and common sense to provide some level of protection for young students, a filtering system is inadequate or faulty when it dictates what teachers can and can't do with the technology.
    • Clint Heitz
       
      This is especially difficult when only one person holds the key to the access. School leaders (i.e. principals) should be just as able to unblock access as the IT department.
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    "10 Things School Leaders Do to Kill a Teacher's Enthusiasm for Technology" from Tech & Learning
Roland Gesthuizen

No more pencils, no more books: this Vancouver school has embraced iPads, iPods and apps - 107 views

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    "For students attending one of Vancouver's most popular public schools, the classroom is an exciting world of iPads, iPods, apps, laptops and SmartBoards. Even the youngest children at Elsie Roy elementary in Yaletown are using iPads as they learn to write the letters of the alphabet, pull them together into words and tackle basic addition and subtraction with colourful and interactive applications that make learning feel like fun."
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    Integrating mLearning into the primary school classroom.
Thieme Hennis

HS7 - National Pilot Study (High School) | PERTS - 17 views

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    "Teaching Adaptive Mindsets Improves Achievement Programs that teach students to have adaptive mindsets have recently received increased attention among educators and policy makers. These programs help students think about school in ways that help them stay motivated and engaged, even when coursework is challenging. In addition to being effective at improving students' motivation and achievement, they are also brief and easy to administer. PERTS Teaches Adaptive Mindsets on a National Scale Because of the promise of mindset programs, the White House Office of Technology and Science Policy recently hosted a convening to explore ways to apply mindset programs more broadly. An important outcome of this meeting was a plan to conduct a national study that will deliver mindset programs in a large, nationally representative sample. PERTS has expertise in delivering mindset programs across the nation, and we will take a lead in conducting the national study. The National Mindset Pilot is the first step."
Misha Miller

Using Groups Effectively: 10 Principles » Edurati Review - 50 views

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    "Conversation is key . Sawyer succinctly explains this principle: "Conversation leads to flow, and flow leads to creativity." When having students work in groups, consider what will spark rich conversation. The original researcher on flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, found that rich conversation precedes and ignites flow more than any other activity.1 Tasks that require (or force) interaction lead to richer collaborative conceptualization. Set a clear but open-ended goal . Groups produce the richest ideas when they have a goal that will focus their interaction but also has fluid enough boundaries to allow for creativity. This is a challenge we often overlook. As teachers, we often have an idea of what a group's final product should look like (or sound like, or…). If we put students into groups to produce a predetermined outcome, we prevent creative thinking from finding an entry point. Try not announcing time limits. As teachers we often use a time limit as a "motivator" that we hope will keep group work focused. In reality, this may be a major detractor from quality group work. Deadlines, according to Sawyer, tend to impede flow and produce lower quality results. Groups produce their best work in low-pressure situations. Without a need to "keep one eye on the clock," the group's focus can be fully given to the task. Do not appoint a group "leader." In research studies, supervisors, or group leaders, tend to subvert flow unless they participate as an equal, listening and allowing the group's thoughts and decisions to guide the interaction. Keep it small. Groups with the minimum number of members that are needed to accomplish a task are more efficient and effective. Consider weaving together individual and group work. For additive tasks-tasks in whicha group is expectedtoproduce a list, adding one idea to another-research suggests that better results develop
Martin Burrett

University education makes students more agreeable, conscientiousness - 4 views

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    "A recent study published in Oxford Economic Papers indicates that university education has a dramatically positive effect on the development of non-cognitive skills like conscientiousness, extraversion and agreeableness, in addition to the expected intellectual benefits. The paper also shows that the impact of education on these skills is even more dramatic for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds."
Roland O'Daniel

Ending America's 'race to the bottom' - International Herald Tribune - 0 views

  • sophisticated examinations that better measure problem-solving and critical thinking.
    • Ed Webb
       
      Good. Devil in the detail, as always, of course.
    • Roland O'Daniel
       
      Interestingly, KY is looking to get rid of their sophisticated examinations because of political pressure, lack of comparibility, and $. In the 90s KY was a leader in attempting to change assessment and accountability, but for a plethora of reasons has fallen back in line. Not trying to be negative, but recognize the difficulty in the challenge and hope he's up to it.
  • Once charter schools have opened, it becomes politically difficult to close them, even in cases where they are bad or worse than their traditional counterparts.
    • Roland O'Daniel
       
      Ed, great example of how not to structure the change. Open more charter schools, make them have a 5 year evaluation plan, have an accountability plan in place that allows the school to stay true to their ideal, make changes that they feel will help them achieve their goals, even allow them additional time if results warrant, and then HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. If they can't show they haven't at least held their own, then close them, but make that part of the evaluation plan from the beginning. The rub of that plan is that you can't hold them accountable at a level that you aren't going to hold everybody else to. What about traditional schools that aren't working, what do you do with those schools? Isn't that one of the big knocks on NCLB that they are 'being taken over' because of some testing system?
  • Congress will need to broaden and sustain those reforms in the upcoming reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act.
    • Ed Webb
       
      Why reauthorize? Why not tear it up and write something better?
    • Roland O'Daniel
       
      I disagree with tearing it up and starting over, isn't that what we do in education? Try something it doesn't work (for lots of reasons, including lack of implementation), and move on to the next shiny thing. Why not analyze the program, identify the aspects that have shown efficacy, identify the aspects that haven't achieved their goals, make changes that are informed and researchable, put them in place and hold people accountable for implementing. I think NCLB was well intentioned and represented the best thinking of a group of people (in education as in many areas i don't think you can say it represents the best thinking of everyone). I just don't like the idea of letting everyone off the hook by starting over. I believe it reinforces the concept that I don't have to worry about this project because it too will pass.
Marsh Feldman

Online Education - Introducing the Microlecture Format - Open Education - 4 views

  • in online education “tiny bursts can teach just as well as traditional lectures when paired with assignments and discussions.” The microlecture format begins with a podcast that introduces a few key terms or a critical concept, then immediately turns the learning environment over to the students.
  • It clearly will not work for a course that is designed to feature sustained classroom discussions. And while the concept will work well when an instructor wants to introduce smaller chunks of information, it will likely not work very well when the information is more complex.
  • “It’s a framework for knowledge excavation,” Penrose tells Shieh. “We’re going to show you where to dig, we’re going to tell you what you need to be looking for, and we’re going to oversee that process.”
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  • the microlecture format similarly requires teachers to get the key elements across in a very short amount of time. Most importantly, it forces educators to think in a new way.
  • 1. List the key concepts you are trying to convey in the 60-minute lecture. That series of phrases will form the core of your microlecture. 2. Write a 15 to 30-second introduction and conclusion. They will provide context for your key concepts. 3. Record these three elements using a microphone and Web camera. (The college information-technology department can provide advice and facilities.) If you want to produce an audio-only lecture, no Webcam is necessary. The finished product should be 60 seconds to three minutes long. 4. Design an assignment to follow the lecture that will direct students to readings or activities that allow them to explore the key concepts. Combined with a written assignment, that should allow students to learn the material. 5. Upload the video and assignment to your course-management software.
    • Marsh Feldman
       
      Good luck! Some of my (upper-division college) students don't even read the handouts I give them about assignments. Instead, they come during office hours and ask me to tell them how to do the assignment. When they do read things, like a textbook commonly used in 100-level courses, they misinterpret concepts through their own preconceptions. For example, the textbook says, "In this field there are these eight schools of thought: ...." So one student writes, "All eight schools are good ways to understand. There's no right way." (Even though each school is highly critical of the others.) The rest of the class comments, with things like "Good insight, Oscar." The textbook is about the field, so it doesn't go into any detail about the schools' criticisms ot the others. I can either tell the students or give them additional reading they probably won't do. Unless you can anticipate every student misunderstanding and have time for microlectures on every one of them, I think you'll need to do things the old fashioned way. At least this way you can make a valiant attempt at helping them understand the material correctly.
Martin Burrett

Countdown Game - Maths and Spelling - 87 views

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    A superb flash resource based on television's Countdown. Play the 30 seconds numbers or letters games or even pit yourself against the conundrum. Great for basic skills.
Martin Burrett

24theory - 58 views

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    This is a wonderful maths puzzle site where players must use + - x or ÷ with a set of four numbers to equal 24. There are many modes to choose from, including an easier 'kids' version of the game, timed games and even a battle mode where you can challenge other people. http://ictmagic.wikispaces.com/Maths
Jeremy M.

23 Reasons Why Nothing Happens After a Brainstorming Session| The Committed Sardine - 58 views

    • Jeremy M.
       
      #23 is major...too often we feel that the "follow-up" will require too much additional work, when in fact, the follow-up is what often makes the biggest difference.
    • peter farrant
       
      If the follow up is considered work then the task is not engaging enough.
    • Jeremy M.
       
      #1...this is often due to poor preparation and even poorer presenting skills.
    • Jeremy M.
       
      #7...everyone is on board without realizing the amount of effort the project actually entails.
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    • Jeremy M.
       
      #8...too affraid to take a risk
    • Jeremy M.
       
      #10...communication, network, more communication, improved network--you get the idea.
    • Jeremy M.
       
      #12...there needs to be sufficient time to show measurable results before we can follow-up.
    • Jeremy M.
       
      #21...too many people are waiting for someone else to do it for them.
    • Jeremy M.
       
      #22...when success is celebrated, people notice, people feel appreciated, people want to work harder (generally speaking)
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    Everybody likes ideas that someone else has to follow up on...
Ed Webb

Official Google Blog: More books in more places: public domain EPUB downloads on Google Books - 0 views

  • Starting today, you'll be able to download these and over one million public domain books from Google Books in an additional format. We're excited to now offer downloads in EPUB format, a free and open industry standard for electronic books. It's supported by a wide variety of applications, so once you download a book, you'll be able to read it on any device or through any reading application that supports the format. That means that people will be able to access public domain works that we've digitized from libraries around the world in more ways, including some that haven't even been built or imagined yet.
Beth Panitz

Paper Rater: Paper Grader - 131 views

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    Grades 6-12, College - Post-Doc
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    I tried this. I am not impressed. First, it only grades for papers grade 11 and over - even though the drop-down gives you options down to grade 6. I then took three papers from a grade 11 class. One was superior, one was mediocre, and one was written by an intensive ESL student - filled with errors that made comprehension almost impossible. The result? All three got C's. In addition, there were several grammar errors for the superior paper which are not grammar errors - and NONE for the ESL student. I would recommend we seek out another program.
Bob Calder

CK12.ORG - FlexBooks - 134 views

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    Customizable, standards-aligned, free digital textbooks for K-12 - Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
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    No love for ELA. :(
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    "customizable, standards-aligned, free digital textbooks for K-12"
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    Create custom curriculum FlexBooks with the content you want, and even edit, add additional resources to this content.   Books can then be made available in a variety of formats, PDF, HTML, Online reader.
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    Customizable online textbooks for a variety of subjects. History is full of terrific primary sources.
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    open access textbooks resources for iPad included here
Joe Virant

Does Easy Do It? Children, Games, and Learning - 29 views

  • The kind of product I shall pick on here has the form of a game: the player gets into situations that require an appropriate action in order to get on to the next situation along the road to the final goal. So far, this sounds like "tainment." The "edu" part comes from the fact that the actions are schoolish exercises such as those little addition or multiplication sums that schools are so fond of boring kids with. It is clear enough why people do this. Many who want to control children (for example, the less imaginative members of the teaching profession or parents obsessed with kids' grades) become green with envy when they see the energy children pour into computer games. So they say to themselves, "The kids like to play games, we want them to learn multiplication tables, so everyone will be happy if we make games that teach multiplication." The result is shown in a rash of ads that go like this: "Our Software Is So Much Fun That The Kids Don't Even Know That They Are Learning" or "Our Games Make Math Easy."
  • What is worst about school curriculum is the fragmentation of knowledge into little pieces. This is supposed to make learning easy, but often ends up depriving knowledge of personal meaning and making it boring. Ask a few kids: the reason most don't like school is not that the work is too hard, but that it is utterly boring.
  • game designers have a better take on the nature of learning than curriculum designers. They have to. Their livelihoods depend on millions of people being prepared to undertake the serious amount of learning needed to master a complex game. If their public failed to learn, they would go out of business. In the case of curriculum designers, the situation is reversed: their business is boosted whenever students fail to learn and schools clamor for a new curriculum!
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  • watching kids work at mastering games confirms what I know from my own experience: learning is essentially hard; it happens best when one is deeply engaged in hard and challenging activities.
  • The preoccupation in America with "Making It Easy" is self-defeating and cause for serious worry about the deterioration of the learning environment.
  • I have found that when they get the support and have access to suitable software systems, children's enthusiasm for playing games easily gives rise to an enthusiasm for making them, and this in turn leads to more sophisticated thinking about all aspects of games, including those aspects that we are discussing here. Of course, the games they can make generally lack the polish and the complexity of those made by professional designers. But the idea that children should draw, write stories and play music is not contradicted by the fact that their work is not of professional quality. I would predict that within a decade, making a computer game will be as much a part of children's culture as any of these art forms.
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    Dr. Seymour Papert describes ways in which gaming enhances learning. June, 1998.
D. S. Koelling

The Liberal Arts Are Work-Force Development - Do Your Job Better - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 35 views

  • Now consider that, according to the American Association of Community Colleges, about half of all freshmen and sophomores are enrolled at the nation's 1,300 two-year colleges, and many of those students transfer to four-year institutions. For a large percentage of people who earn bachelor's degrees, then, the liberal-arts portion of their education was acquired at a two-year college. Next, factor in all of the community-college students who enter the work force after earning two-year degrees or certificates, and whose only exposure to the liberal arts occurred in whatever core courses their programs required. The conclusion becomes obvious: Two-year colleges are among the country's leading providers of liberal-arts education, although they seldom get credit for that role.
  • Employers rank communication and analytical skills among the most important attributes they seek in new hires, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Perhaps those of us who teach those very skills at community colleges should embrace the integral role we play in preparing the nation's workers rather than rejecting the idea of work-force development as somehow beneath us.
  • More important, this new perspective could have a positive effect on student success. If we come to see ourselves as preparing students not just for transfer but ultimately for the work force, students may be more likely to understand the relevance of the skills that we teach them and better able to use those skills for some purpose other than just getting a passing grade.
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  • Clearly, one of the best things we can do for students is to require them to write—a lot.
  • Require lots of writing. As the management guru Peter Drucker argued, communication is the one skill required of all professionals, regardless of field. "As soon as you take one step up the career ladder," he said, "your effectiveness depends on your ability to communicate your thoughts in writing and in speaking."
  • Focus on critical thinking. A common complaint of employers, as reflected in the NACE survey, is that many workers have difficulty thinking for themselves. They may be thoroughly trained, having mastered all of the concepts in the textbooks, but, inevitably, situations arise that weren't covered in the books. When that happens, the ability to think critically, independently, and creatively becomes indispensable.
  • Bring the real world into the classroom. Another strategy we can adopt, if we want our courses to be more relevant, is to make our class discussions, case studies, experiments, and assignments as real-world-based as possible. For example, in my composition courses, I not only allow students to choose their own essay topics, but I also encourage them to write about issues related to their prospective majors. I also assign reading (in addition to the old textbook standbys) from newspapers, popular magazines, even the Internet.
  • Make the connection. Take advantage of every opportunity to connect what students are doing in class with what they will be doing some day as employees. My students hear the term "the real world" so much that, by the middle of the term, they're starting to roll their eyes. But it's important for them to understand that the work we're doing now in class isn't just a series of meaningless exercises, another set of hoops for them to jump through on their way to a degree. They're going to have to do these things for real one day—describe processes, do research to find solutions, draw comparisons—and my course may be the last time anyone ever actually teaches them how.
Steve Ransom

Principal: 'I was naïve about Common Core' - 4 views

  • The promise of the Common Core is dying and teaching and learning are being distorted.  The well that should sustain the Core has been poisoned.
  • Whether or not learning the word ‘commission’ is appropriate for second graders could be debated—I personally think it is a bit over the top.  What is of deeper concern, however, is that during a time when 7 year olds should be listening to and making music, they are instead taking a vocabulary quiz.
  • Real learning occurs in the mind of the learner when she makes connections with prior learning, makes meaning, and retains that knowledge in order to create additional meaning from new information.  In short, with tests we see traces of learning, not learning itself.
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  • Teachers are engaged in practices like these because they are pressured and afraid, not because they think the assessments are educationally sound. Their principals are pressured and nervous about their own scores and the school’s scores. Guaranteed, every child in the class feels that pressure and trepidation as well.
  • I am troubled that a company that has a multi-million dollar contract to create tests for the state should also be able to profit from producing test prep materials. I am even more deeply troubled that this wonderful little girl, whom I have known since she was born, is being subject to this distortion of what her primary education should be.
  • The Common Core places an extraordinary emphasis on vocabulary development
  • Parents can expect that the other three will be neglected as teachers frantically try to prepare students for the difficult and high-stakes tests.
  • They see data, not children. 
  • Data should be used as a strategy for improvement, not for accountability
  • A fool with a tool is still a fool.  A fool with a powerful tool is a dangerous fool.
Kenuvis Romero

Psilocybin (magic mushrooms) - 0 views

  • The biosinthetic path that allow Psilocybin to be produced by mushrooms is as follow:
  • The several analogyes with triptophan aminoacid, with whom psilocybin has common origines are probably at the base of psilocybin ability to induced psychedelich alteration on humans.
  • Amino acids, including tryptophan, act as building blocks in protein biosynthesis. In addition, tryptophan functions as a biochemical precursor for many compounds like serotonin Serotonin (a neurotransmitter), synthesized via tryptophan hydroxylase. Serotonin, in turn, can be converted to melatonin (a neurohormone), via N-acetyltransferase and 5-hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase activities
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  • it's been noticed that psilocyn can indirectly raise dopamine concentration withing the basal ganglia.
  • Almost 50% of oral psilocybin is absorbed by stomach and gut; from here is lead to liver, where it's converted in psilocin, pharmacologically active form, that can furtherly be glucoronated and escreted with urine or converted in other psilocinics metabolites.
  • In rats, the median lethal dose (LD50) when administered orally is 280 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg), approximately one and a half times that of caffeine. When administered intravenously in rabbits, psilocybin's LD50 is approximately 12.5 mg/kg
  • traces of the compund can be detected in unine even after 7 days.
  • Clinical studies show that psilocin concentrations in the plasma of adults average about 8 µg/liter within 2 hours after ingestion of a single 15 mg oral psilocybin dose; psychological effects occur with a blood plasma concentration of 4–6 µg/liter. Psilocybin is about 100 times less potent than LSD on a weight per weight basis, and the physiological effects last about half as long.
  • Within 24 hours from administration 65% of the alucinogen is escreted by urine, while another 15-20% is excreted by bile and feces.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) have been known to prolong and enhance the effects of psilocybin. Alcohol consumption may enhance the effects of psilocybin, because acetaldehyde, one of the primary breakdown metabolites of consumed alcohol, reacts with biogenic amines present in the body to produce MAOIs related to tetrahydroisoquinoline and β-carboline. Tobacco smokers can also experience more powerful effects with psilocybin, because tobacco smoke exposure decreases levels of MAO in the brain and peripheral organs.
  • This could lead to a lower usage o f glucose, but the same study admitted an increase glucose usage by the whole brain cell, meaning a differente use of this sugar while the drug is having effects.
  • use of MRI (functional magnetic resounance) showed that the decresed blood flow associate with decreasing in neural activity. A simple explanation for this unexpected situation could be the serotoning agonist action of psilocybin, action that seems to be focused more on 5-HT receptors than on 5-HT2A.
  • psilocibyn is able to act as a 5-HT agonist binding directly its receptors.
  • augmented glucose consumption in several brain regions; this lead to the conclusion that psilocybin is some way able to modify the physiological glucosal metabolic rate of our body
  • The strong inibition of the PCC is now thought to be most significant action of psilocybin on neural disaccoppiation
    • Kenuvis Romero
       
      Lower brain glucose metabolism is linked with increased capacity for working memory.
  • Psilocybin comprises approximately 1% of the weight of Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms, and so nearly 1.7 kilograms (3.7 lb) of dried mushrooms, or 17 kilograms (37 lb) of fresh mushrooms, would be required for a 60-kilogram (130 lb) person to reach the 280 mg/kg LD50 value.
  • psilocybin can cause anxiety and increased heart rate and BP which is very counter- productive for someone on metoprolol and micardis.
  • propose the possibility to use psilocybin as a palliative therapy for terminal illness like cancer but also as a real antidepressive active principle available for the family of the patient. The rational is foundable in the fact that we usually administer SSRI as antidepressive agents, so psilocibyn sholud be useful in this purpose for its selective agonist action on 5-HT2A receptors
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