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Peter Beens

Education Week Teacher: Teaching Secrets: Communicating With Teachers - 1 views

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    Teaching Secrets: Communicating With Parents By Gail Tillery Premium article access courtesy of ParentMagazine.org. You will face many challenging tasks as a new Parent. Dealing with Parents is probably among the most intimidating, especially if you are young and in your first career. While communicating with Parents can be tricky, a little preparation will help you to treat Parents as partners and to be calmer when problems arise. Here's the first rule to live by: Your students' Parents are not your enemies. Ultimately, they want the same thing you want, which is the best for their children. By maintaining respectful and productive communication, you can work together to help students succeed. Second, whenever problems arise, remember that Parents are probably just as nervous about contacting you as you are about returning the contact-and maybe more so. I'll confess: Even after 26 years of teaching, I still get a little frisson of fear in my belly when I see an e-mail or hear a voicemail from a Parent. But I have seen time and again that Parents are often more nervous than the Parent is-especially if their child doesn't want them to contact the Parent. Indeed, some Parents may even fear that if they raise concerns, their child will face some kind of retaliation. Remember that Parents' tones or words may reflect such fears. In your response, try to establish that everyone involved wants to help the child. Here are some practical tips for communicating effectively with Parents: Contact every Parent at the beginning of the year. Do some "recon." Telephone calls are best for this initial contact, since they are more personal than e-mail. Ask the Parent to tell you about his or her child's strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, etc. Make sure to ask, "What is the best thing I can do to help your child succeed?" Remember to take notes! Once you've gathered the information you need, set a boundary with Parents by saying, "Well, Ms. Smith, I have 25 more Parent
Phil Taylor

Education 2.0 - Edmodo - Free Private Microblogging For Education - 28 views

  • strong and growing. Thank you!

    Mrs. Smokorowski

    Middle School Teacher
    Andover, Kansas

     
    • Kalin Wilburn
       
      If you are fearful of Facebook and MySpace then you need to create an Edmodo account. Edmodo was designed specifically for educational purposes. You must be a teacher, student, or teacher to gain access. It allows you all the amenities of those other social networking sites but with a lot more security/privacy.
    • Maryalice Kilbourne
       
      You are so right. I already love edmodo!
    • Denise Krefting
       
      Is it COPPA Compliant?
    • Luv2ride
       
      I've used Edmodo for 3 years now. It has revolutionized my teaching to the degree that I don't know what I'll do if I ever have to stop using it.
    • Herb Schulte
       
      That is great question. And do you need parent permission for students to use it?
    • Jordan Moody
       
      Is it free?
    • Gil Anspacher
       
      Yes, it is free and you can manage student accounts. It is only open to those you invite in and only educators may obtain an account. You may monitor and moderate all conversations, administer quizes, embed media, etc. The groups feature is very effective and you may grant access to your group to other classes. We just had 700+ students interacting in a global collaboration project, Digiteen. Students do not need an email address to use Edmodo, so under 13 is OK for CIPA. It looks much like Facebook, so kids love it and parents need some education on it as they fear it at first. parents can get monitoring access so they may monitor their child's activity. It is a great tool to show parents how social media is used in education.
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    Social networking for teachers & students. Send homework, links, videos, participate in discussions, share ideas.
Peter Beens

PIPEDREAMS - Seeing with New Eyes - International Perspectives on Trust and Regulation in Education - 16 views

  • This year, I was asked to attend as a Canadian Teacher Representative, along with Ontario Ministry Officer, Colette Ruduck and our Ontario Deputy Minister of Education, George Zegarac.
  • the theme of “Trust and Regulation”
  • my Canadian values of equality, diversity, safety and choice
  • ...21 more annotations...
  • high degree of trust for teachers, administrators and district decision makers
  • Our regulations are meant to encourage equality and diversity, choice, opportunity, innovation – fundamental values in our society.
  • In contrast to many of the other countries represented, our Canadian context was unique in that the regulations (organizations, federations, policies, curriculum) imposed actually tie in Trust and Relationship building and partnerships as key factors to increase capacity building with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • We need our profession to be respected, which includes paying us well, treating us fairly, supporting us with resources, nurturing our learning and leadership opportunities
  • systems of education can achieve and can be highly ranked without the use of formalized testing
  • We need to feel safe to make mistakes because we too are learners, especially in a profession that is changing so drastically in the 21st Century
  • We need to feel trusted and with that, we want our skills, our education, our talents and our passions to be respected so we -together – can become the creators of our own pedagogies
  • these passionate and experienced leaders agreed that such tests don’t work when used to rate, or punish teachers
  • can even sometimes do more harm then good
  • First and foremost, teacher voice needs to be heard and respected
  • such tests are not always authentic
  • As principals, we need to empower our teachers and community
  • the importance of the teacher/principal relationship came up over and over and over
  • Trust – allows me to teach in my style, developing my own curriculum
  • I wonder if there is a correlation between that supportive, trusting principal and the fact that we have incredibly dynamic teachers here, at Van Leer from all over the globe
  • We too need to think different because change can start with us
  • By sharing and reflecting our learning openly and even by sometimes being vulnerable and asking for help and challenging the status quo
  • We need to make our voices heard by be socially active
  • we need to recognize that our learning environments are changing and are very different from how we were once trained and educated
  • We need to remind our leaders that we are not just teachers of academics but we teach the whole person
  • Many of us struggle, without supports – to help impoverished families, students with mental health disabilities, learning disabilities, students that speak a different language, large class sizes, violence, inequalities
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    The conference in Jerusalem, Israel that Van Leer hosts each year  is intended to encourage professional dialogue among educators, academics, representatives of the Third Sector, and policymakers from diverse areas and places in Israel and abroad.    This year, I was asked to attend as a Canadian Teacher Representative, along with Ontario Ministry Officer, Colette Ruduck and our Ontario Deputy Minister of Education, George Zegarac. With the theme of "Trust and Regulation" at the center of our discussions, it did not take long to realize that my context, as a Canadian Educator, a Teacher, and a student -  was one of privilege and opportunity.
Peter Beens

10 Twitter Tips for Teachers | PlanbookEdu Blog - 50 views

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    Using Twitter is a brilliant way for teachers to connect to their students, classroom teachers, and the global community. If you are a teacher, you can use Twitter in a variety of ways, from staying updated on new trends in education to encouraging idea sharing in the classroom. The following list of tips can help you get the most out of your Twitter experience.
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    I recently had a teacher declare that Twitter was "a waste of time" during one of our meetings. It's good to see resources that will help our teachers understand the value of tools like Twitter.
Steve Ransom

10 Things Parents Don't Tell Parents - TheApple.com - 101 views

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    Some great, practical tips here that should be seriously considered by teachers NOT currently following them. Great for new teachers, too.
Eric Arbetter

Innovative Ways Teachers are Engaging Teachers - 13 views

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    #PTchat Archive from 2/8/12 on "Most Innovative Ways Classroom Teachers Are Engaging Teachers."  A lot of good ideas shared.
Martin Burrett

Marvellous Me - 37 views

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    Superb Apple and Android apps designed to improve home/school communication to inform parents about what their children are doing in school. parents can input simple lesson topics, or detailed lesson information for parents. parents can also assign badges for individual pupils.
Martin Burrett

Why relationships - not money - are the key to improving schools - 10 views

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    "Strong relationships between teachers, teachers and students at schools has more impact on improving student learning than does financial support, new research shows. Social capital is the name scientists give to the network of relationships between school officials, teachers, teachers and the community that builds trust and norms promoting academic achievement."
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.
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    "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). "
mgranger

Media and Technology Resources for Educators | Common Sense Media - 15 views

  • gital driver's license
  • with complete confidence. Our online trainings show you how. More about parent professional development Research Credentials Check out our DNA. Our programs are built on respected digital ethics research. More about parent research credentials Turn wired students into great digital citizens Get all the tools you need with our FREE Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum and parent Media Education Program. The relevant, ready-to-use instruction helps you guide students to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world where they live, study and play. Every day, your students are tested with each post, search, chat, text message, file download, and profile update. Will they connect with like minds or spill ... read more Get started Browse our classroom lessons and parent education resources by grade level or topical area. select gradeK123456789101112 select topicCell phones & digital communicationCyberbullying & online relationshipsDigital creation, plagiarism & piracyFamily media managementGaming & online worldsInternet safetyMedia's influence on kidsOnline privacy and securityOnline research & learningSocial networking & communityViolence in media Get Started Educator Updates Common Sense announces di gital driver's license Common Sense Media announced plans to create a digital driver’s license, an interactive online game that will teach kids the basics of how to be safe and responsible in a digital world. Read more about our plans for interactive curriculum modules
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    Digital citizenship curriculum targets 4th, 5th graders
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    Lesson plans, articles, and tools to teach Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety
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    Internet safety FREE curriculum and implementation guides. The site has admin, teacher, and student resources. Digital Passport is one of the Internet Safety programs available.
Beverly Ozburn

Shift to the Future: What Kids Say About Blogging - 6 views

    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Writing becomes authentic and important because it is something that a 'real' audience is going to see!
  • The cool thing about this is that family members can far more easily be involved in her learning and in providing regular feedback than they could be if her writing was only contained in the traditional paper journal.
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      What an easy way to have parental involvement!  This would solve some of that issue of parents not knowing what their children are doing at school or what is going on when the child gets older and more close-lipped.
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    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Don't we ALL benefit from somebody interacting with us and commenting on our thinking?
  • Grandparents and other relatives rarely have an opportunity to observe or see what their grandchildren are doing in school. The student blogs also allows them to be a part of our classroom community.
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      What a wonderful way to connect to folks who are outside the realm of the classroom but still have an interest and care about the student!  :)
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Looked at this class blog.  Wouldn't this be a wonderful exercise?  The teacher could blog, the students could blog on personal level but also have a class blog which is a place for inspiration for writing exercises (thinking like a language arts/writing/reading teacher here) when students don't have their own inspiration/focus for creative writing.   This blog would also be a great place to steal ideas!  :)
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      When I visit with teachers and suggest they have students create a web site or blog as an educational tool, often the teacher will tell me he/she doesn't have time to read/monitor that.  However, most teachers have students complete writing assignments and turn them in for a grade - lab reports, essays, reports, etc.  So, wouldn't this also be a way for students to create such assignments?
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      This article shows the versatility of the 3rd grade students' blogs - one reported on planet studied, one on animal, etc.  So, it wouldn't have to just be a place for creative writing/online writer's notebook!
Stacy Olson

Kikutext - Connecting Teachers and Teachers through Text Messaging - 3 views

shared by Stacy Olson on 02 Apr 12 - No Cached
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    A texting service for teachers to communicate with students and teachers via text message - free service.
Michele Brown

United Classrooms | Where Your Class Meets The World - 9 views

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    United Classrooms is a FREE platform that connects classrooms around the world. When a teacher signs their class up, students can log in to a secure classroom profile page where they can share content with their own teachers, classmates and teachers AS WELL AS collaborate with other classrooms across the globe. It unites students from diverse backgrounds in the creation of a safe and dynamic global community where knowledge, experience and relationship are shared beyond the classroom walls.
Wayne Holly

The 9 Best Web Tools Teachers Will Use This Year | Edudemic - 264 views

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    Clear communication with students and their parents is one of the primary goals of every parent. Start this year with just that by using a variety of tools to share your plans and expectations for the coming academic year.
R Burkett

Why Schools Must Move Beyond One-to-One Computing | November Learning - 139 views

  • I’m concerned that most one-to-one implementation strategies are based on the new tool as the focus of the program. Unless we break out of this limited vision that one-to-one computing is about the device, we are doomed to waste our resources.
    • Michael Stocks
       
      I don't think this idea applies to just 1 to 1 but many other school implementations.
    • DON PASSENANT
       
      It is not the devices but the inability to create and implement standards that lead to 21st century skills.  Too much buying stuff without expert advice and guidance.
  • Then, teachers are instructed to go! But go where?
    • R Burkett
       
      VISION first! You have the device. You know how to access some cool interactive tools. But now what? This is the key!!
  • I believe every student must have 24-7 access to the internet.
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  • it is a simplistic and short- sighted phrase that suggests if every student had a device and if every teacher were trained to use these devices, then student learning would rise automatically.
  • Adding a digital device to the classroom without a fundamental change in the culture of teaching and learning will not lead to significant improvement.
  • Let’s drop the phrase “one-to-one” and refer instead to “one-to- world.”
  • The planning considerations now evolve from questions about technical capacity to a vision of limitless opportunities for learning.
  • As soon as you shift from “one- to-one” to “one-to-world,” it changes the focus of staff development from technical training to understanding how to design assignments that are more empowering—and engage students in a learning community with 24-hour support
  • Perhaps the weakest area of the typical one-to-one computing plan is the complete absence of leadership development for the administrative team
  • Craft a clear vision of connecting all students to the world’s learning resources.
  • Model the actions and behaviors they wish to see in their schools.
  • Support the design of an ongoing and embedded staff development program that focuses on pedagogy as much as technology.
  • Move in to the role of systems analyst to ensure that digital literacy is aligned with standards.
  • Ensure that technology is seen not as another initiative, but as integral to curriculum.
  • support risk- taking teachers
  • creating cohorts of teachers across disciplines and grades who are working on innovative concepts
  • Mathtrain.TV.
  • how much responsibility of learning can we shift to our students
  • How can we build capacity for all of our teachers to share best practices with colleagues in their school and around the world?
  • How can we engage parents in new ways?
  • How can we give students authentic work from around the world to prepare each of them to expand their personal boundaries of what they can accomplish?
  • publishing their work to a global audience.
Jason Finley

Diigo in Education - 108 views

Marie, my primary use and focus with Diigo is the social networking aspect that you mentioned. There is definitely truth to the statement that "Chance favors the connected mind." I've created a g...

Diigo

Andrew McCluskey

Occupy Your Brain - 111 views

  • One of the most profound changes that occurs when modern schooling is introduced into traditional societies around the world is a radical shift in the locus of power and control over learning from children, families, and communities to ever more centralized systems of authority.
  • Once learning is institutionalized under a central authority, both freedom for the individual and respect for the local are radically curtailed.  The child in a classroom generally finds herself in a situation where she may not move, speak, laugh, sing, eat, drink, read, think her own thoughts, or even  use the toilet without explicit permission from an authority figure.
  • In what should be considered a chilling development, there are murmurings of the idea of creating global standards for education – in other words, the creation of a single centralized authority dictating what every child on the planet must learn.
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  • In “developed” societies, we are so accustomed to centralized control over learning that it has become functionally invisible to us, and most people accept it as natural, inevitable, and consistent with the principles of freedom and democracy.   We assume that this central authority, because it is associated with something that seems like an unequivocal good – “education” – must itself be fundamentally good, a sort of benevolent dictatorship of the intellect. 
  • We endorse strict legal codes which render this process compulsory, and in a truly Orwellian twist, many of us now view it as a fundamental human right to be legally compelled to learn what a higher authority tells us to learn.
  • And yet the idea of centrally-controlled education is as problematic as the idea of centrally-controlled media – and for exactly the same reasons.
  • The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was designed to protect all forms of communication, information-sharing, knowledge, opinion and belief – what the Supreme Court has termed “the sphere of intellect and spirit” – from government control.
  • by the mid-19th century, with Indians still to conquer and waves of immigrants to assimilate, the temptation to find a way to manage the minds of an increasingly diverse and independent-minded population became too great to resist, and the idea of the Common School was born.
  • We would keep our freedom of speech and press, but first we would all be well-schooled by those in power.
  • A deeply democratic idea — the free and equal education of every child — was wedded to a deeply anti-democratic idea — that this education would be controlled from the top down by state-appointed educrats.
  • The fundamental point of the Occupy Wall Street movement is that the apparatus of democratic government has been completely bought and paid for by a tiny number of grotesquely wealthy individuals, corporations, and lobbying groups.  Our votes no longer matter.  Our wishes no longer count.  Our power as citizens has been sold to the highest bidder.
  • Our kids are so drowned in disconnected information that it becomes quite random what they do and don’t remember, and they’re so overburdened with endless homework and tests that they have little time or energy to pay attention to what’s happening in the world around them.
  • If in ten years we can create Wikipedia out of thin air, what could we create if we trusted our children, our teachers, our teachers, our neighbors, to generate community learning webs that are open, alive, and responsive to individual needs and aspirations?  What could we create if instead of trying to “scale up” every innovation into a monolithic bureaucracy we “scaled down” to allow local and individual control, freedom, experimentation, and diversity?
  • The most academically “gifted” students excel at obedience, instinctively shaping their thinking to the prescribed curriculum and unconsciously framing out of their awareness ideas that won’t earn the praise of their superiors.  Those who resist sitting still for this process are marginalized, labeled as less intelligent or even as mildly brain-damaged, and, increasingly, drugged into compliance.
  • the very root, the very essence, of any theory of democratic liberty is a basic trust in the fundamental intelligence of the ordinary person.   Democracy rests on the premise that the ordinary person — the waitress, the carpenter, the shopkeeper — is competent to make her own judgments about matters of domestic policy, international affairs, taxes, justice, peace, and war, and that the government must abide by the decisions of ordinary people, not vice versa.  Of course that’s not the way our system really works, and never has been.   But most of us recall at some deep level of our beings that any vision of a just world relies on this fundamental respect for the common sense of the ordinary human being.
  • This is what we spend our childhood in school unlearning. 
  • If before we reach the age of majority we must submit our brains for twelve years of evaluation and control by government experts, are we then truly free to exercise our vote according to the dictates of our own common sense and conscience?  Do we even know what our own common sense is anymore?
  • We live in a country where a serious candidate for the Presidency is unaware that China has nuclear weapons, where half the population does not understand that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, where nobody pays attention as Congress dismantles the securities regulations that limit the power of the banks, where 45% of American high school students graduate without knowing that the First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees freedom of the press.   At what point do we begin to ask ourselves if we are trying to control quality in the wrong way?
  • Human beings, collaborating with one another in voluntary relationships, communicating and checking and counter-checking and elaborating and expanding on one another’s knowledge and intelligence, have created a collective public resource more vast and more alive than anything that has ever existed on the planet.
  • But this is not a paeon to technology; this is about what human intelligence is capable of when people are free to interact in open, horizontal, non-hierarchical networks of communication and collaboration.
  • Positive social change has occurred not through top-down, hierarchically controlled organizations, but through what the Berkana Institute calls “emergence,” where people begin networking and forming voluntary communities of practice. When the goal is to maximize the functioning of human intelligence, you need to activate the unique skills, talents, and knowledge bases of diverse individuals, not put everybody through a uniform mill to produce uniform results. 
  • You need a non-punitive structure that encourages collaboration rather than competition, risk-taking rather than mistake-avoidance, and innovation rather than repetition of known quantities.
  • if we really want to return power to the 99% in a lasting, stable, sustainable way, we need to begin the work of creating open, egalitarian, horizontal networks of learning in our communities.
  • They are taught to focus on competing with each other and gaming the system rather than on gaining a deep understanding of the way power flows through their world.
  • And what could we create, what ecological problems could we solve, what despair might we alleviate, if instead of imposing our rigid curriculum and the destructive economy it serves on the entire world, we embraced as part of our vast collective intelligence the wisdom and knowledge of the world’s thousands of sustainable indigenous cultures?
  • They knew this about their situation: nobody was on their side.  Certainly not the moneyed classes and the economic system, and not the government, either.  So if they were going to change anything, it had to come out of themselves.
  • As our climate heats up, as mountaintops are removed from Orissa to West Virginia, as the oceans fill with plastic and soils become too contaminated to grow food, as the economy crumbles and children go hungry and the 0.001% grows so concentrated, so powerful, so wealthy that democracy becomes impossible, it’s time to ask ourselves; who’s educating us?  To what end?  The Adivasis are occupying their forests and mountains as our children are occupying our cities and parks.  But they understand that the first thing they must take back is their common sense. 
  • They must occupy their brains.
  • Isn’t it time for us to do the same?
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    Carol Black, creator of the documentary, "Schooling the World" discusses the conflicting ideas of centralized control of education and standardization against the so-called freedom to think independently--"what the Supreme Court has termed 'the sphere of intellect and spirit" (Black, 2012). Root questions: "who's educating us? to what end?" (Black, 2012).
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    This is a must read. Carol Black echoes here many of the ideas of Paulo Freire, John Taylor Gatto and the like.
Doreen Stopczynski

20 reasons why students should blog | On an e-journey with generation Y - 181 views

  • It is FUN! Fun!….. I hear your sceptical exclamation!! However, it is wonderful when students think they are having so much fun, they forget that they are actually learning. A favourite comment on one of my blog posts is: It’s great when kids get so caught up in things they forget they’re even learning…   by jodhiay authentic audience – no longer working for a teacher who checks and evalutes work but  a potential global audience. Suits all learning styles – special ed (this student attends special school 3days per weeek, our school 2 days per week, gifted ed, visual students, multi-literacies plus ‘normal‘ students. Increased motivation for writing – all students are happy to write and complete aspects of the post topic. Many will add to it in their own time. Increased motivation for reading – my students will happily spend a lot of time browsing through fellow student posts and their global counterparts. Many have linked their friends onto their blogroll for quick access. Many make comments, albeit often in their own sms language. Improved confidence levels – a lot of this comes through comments and global dots on their cluster maps. Students can share their strengths and upload areas of interest or units of work eg personal digital photography, their pets, hobbies etc Staff are given an often rare insight into what some students are good at. We find talents that were otherwise unknown and it allows us to work on those strengths. It allows staff to often gain insight to how students are feeling and thinking. Pride in their work – My experience is that students want their blogs to look good in both terms of presentation and content. (Sample of a year 10 boy’s work) Blogs allow text, multimedia, widgets, audio and images – all items that digital natives want to use Increased proofreading and validation skills Improved awareness of possible dangers that may confront them in the real world, whilst in a sheltered classroom environment Ability to share – part of the conceptual revolution that we are entering. They can share with each other, staff, their teachers, the community, and the globe. Mutual learning between students and staff and students. teachers with internet access can view their child’s work and writings – an important element in the teacher partnership with the classroom. Grandteachers from England have made comments on student posts. teachers have ‘adopted’ students who do not have internet access and ensured they have comments. Blogs may be used for digital portfolios and all the benefits this entails Work is permanently stored, easily accessed and valuable comparisons can be made over time for assessment and evaluation purposes Students are digital natives - blogging is a natural element of this. Gives students a chance  to show responsibility and trustworthiness and engenders independence. Prepares students for digital citizenship as they learn cybersafety and netiquette Fosters peer to peer mentoring. Students are happy to share, learn from and teach their peers (and this, often not their usual social groups) Allows student led professional development and one more…… Students set the topics for posts – leads to deeper thinking
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    Good reasons to allow student blogging Point being if it's fun they will love doing it, while enriching their knowledge at the same time.\nA great slant on multitasking.
Michael Sheehan

Learning Never Stops: BAM Radio - The Voice of the Educational Community - 1 views

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    Free education podcasts for teachers, teachers, and administrators.
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