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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
Drew Rosenshine

Does Teaching Kids To Get 'Gritty' Help Them Get Ahead? : NPR Ed : NPR - 49 views

  • they need to have a "growth mindset" — the belief that success comes from effort — and not a "fixed mindset" — the notion that people succeed because they are born with a "gift" of intelligence or talent.
  • ducators say they see it all the time: Kids with fixed mindsets who think they just don't have the "gift" don't bother applying themselves. Conversely, Kids with fixed mindsets who were always told they were "gifted" and skated through school tend to crumble when they hit their first challenge; rather than risk looking like a loser, they just quit.
  • We don't use the word 'gifted' — ever," Giamportone says. "In our school, you will never hear it." " 'Smart' is like a curse," adds social studies teacher June Davenport.
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  • Instead, the school is plastered with signs and handmade posters promoting a "growth mindset."
  • The focus is always more on putting out effort than on getting the right answers. Teachers have been trained to change the way they see students, and how they speak to them.
  • praise students for their focus and determination.
  • "If I was an outsider and I was hearing this conversation, I might think that this was some kind of hippie-dippy love fest," concedes the teacher, Nathan Cearley. "But what you see is actually a more rigorous and risky learning environment."
  • In three years, Cearley says, he's seen kids grow less afraid of making mistakes, and more willing to ask for help. Test scores at Lenox have jumped 10 to 15 points.
  • The number of schools using Brainology is expected to double this year, from 500 to 1,000.
  • A limited intervention, she says, if not consistently reinforced in and out of school, can only have limited results. "We don't know whether we've had any effect — the jury's out," says Duckworth. "It just seems to me extremely implausible that that's going to permanently and impressively change a child."
  • "Grit as a goal seems to be multiply flawed and very disturbing," says education writer Alfie Kohn. For starters, he says, "the benefits of failure are vastly overstated, and the assumption that kids will pick themselves up and try even harder next time, darn it — that's wishful thinking."
  • if there's a problem with how kids are learning, the onus should be on schools to get better at how they teach — not on kids to get better at enduring more of the same.
    • Drew Rosenshine
       
      Yes, but once again this is not an either/or situation.
  • I don't think people can become truly gritty and great at things they don't love," Duckworth says. "So when we try to develop grit in kids, we also need to find and help them cultivate their passions. That's as much a part of the equation here as the hard work and the persistence."
  • But now, three years into the growth-mindset training at Lenox Academy, Blaze says, she believes "you can teach old dogs new tricks."
  • Does Teaching Kids To Get 'Gritty' Help Them Get Ahead?
  • After years of focusing on the theory known as "multiple intelligences" and trying to teach kids in their own style, Hoerr says he's now pulling kids out of their comfort zones intentionally.
Diana Irene Saldana

Video Reviews by Kids, For Kids | Kids Movie Reviews | Kids Book Reviews | Kids Apps | Kids Social Network | Kids Film School | http://www.kidzvuz.com - 58 views

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    Safe place for kids, 7-12 years old, to review a variety of sources: tech, toys and games, movies and TV, books and magazines, food, sports, pets, travel, obsessions, contests.
BalancEd Tech

Introverted Kids Need to Learn to Speak Up at School - National - The Atlantic - 4 views

  • Introverted Kids Need to Learn to Speak Up at School
    • BalancEd Tech
       
      ... And Extrovert Kids Need to Learn to Listen at School ... And Extrovert Kids Need to Learn to Listen at School http://balancedtech.blogspot.com/2013/02/and-extrovert-Kids-need-to-learn-to.html
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    ... And Extrovert Kids Need to Learn to Listen at School http://balancedtech.blogspot.com/2013/02/and-extrovert-Kids-need-to-learn-to.html
Kari Beery

Tech Savvy Kids - 86 views

  • To the psychologists, sociologists, and generational and media experts who study them, their digital gear sets this new group (yet unnamed by any powers that be) apart, even from their tech-savvy Millennial elders. They want to be constantly connected and available in a way even their older siblings don't quite get. These differences may appear slight, but they signal an all-encompassing sensibility that some say marks the dawning of a new generation.
  •  PARENTING & KIDS' HEALTH NEWS: ONLY ON USA TODAYNew daditude: Today's fathers are hands-on, pressure offTV: Impairs speech | Leads to earlier sexBaby names: What's popular? Whatever's unusualMore parents share workload when mom learns to let goAre KIDS becoming too narcissistic? | Take the quizChemicals: What you need to know about BPA | Carcinogens found in KIDS' bath products | Lead poisonings persist'Momnesia,' spanking, tweens and toddlers fullCoverage='Close  X Todders: Parents' fear factor? A short toddle into the danger zoneTweens: Cooler than ever, but is childhood lost?
  • The difference is that these younger kids "don't remember a time without the constant connectivity to the world that these technologies bring," she says. "They're growing up with expectations of always being present in a social way — always being available to peers wherever you are."
massicg

Kids prefer free gaming apps to other mobile content » Kidscreen - 3 views

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    Looking at the mobile app habits and preferences of kids ages two to 14, The NPD Group's new study, kids and Apps: A New Era of Play, has revealed that gaming apps are the most popular and the majority (88%) of apps kids have access to are acquired for free.
Mark Johnstone

Noam Chomsky on Democracy and Education in the 21st Century and Beyond - 32 views

  • Everybody was a good student. The kids were just encouraged to do what they like to do and what was best, and there was a structure; there was a program. It's not you ran around doing anything you felt like. I skipped a grade, but I didn't pay any attention and no one else paid any attention. Just that I was the smallest kid in the class, but the idea that somebody is a good student; somebody is not a good student - it just never arose. There were tests, but they just gave information about what's going on. This is something we ought to be doing better. The kids weren't ranked; there were no grades. There's a lot of cooperative work and cooperative projects and they encouraged us. You know, study, challenging questions, and it was extremely successful. I remember everything very well. I went into the academic high school and it's kind of like a black hole. I was able to get all As and a scholarship to go into college. I might well not have gone, except for what I learned on my own.
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    "Everybody was a good student. The kids were just encouraged to do what they like to do and what was best, and there was a structure; there was a program. It's not you ran around doing anything you felt like. I skipped a grade, but I didn't pay any attention and no one else paid any attention. Just that I was the smallest kid in the class, but the idea that somebody is a good student; somebody is not a good student - it just never arose. There were tests, but they just gave information about what's going on. This is something we ought to be doing better. The kids weren't ranked; there were no grades. There's a lot of cooperative work and cooperative projects and they encouraged us. You know, study, challenging questions, and it was extremely successful. I remember everything very well. I went into the academic high school and it's kind of like a black hole. I was able to get all As and a scholarship to go into college. I might well not have gone, except for what I learned on my own."
Ed Webb

Please Sir, how do you re-tweet? - Twitter to be taught in UK primary schools - 2 views

  • The British government is proposing that Twitter is to be taught in primary (elementary) schools as part of a wider push to make online communication and social media a permanent part of the UK’s education system. And that’s not all. Kids will be taught blogging, podcasting and how to use Wikipedia alongside Maths, English and Science.
  • Traditional education in areas like phonics, the chronology of history and mental arithmetic remain but modern media and web-based skills and environmental education now feature.
  • The skills that let kids use Internet technologies effectively also work in the real world: being able to evaluate resources critically, communicating well, being careful with strangers and your personal information, conducting yourself in a manner appropriate to your environment. Those things are, and should be, taught in schools. It’s also a good idea to teach kids how to use computers, including web browsers etc, and how those real-world skills translate online.
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  • I think teaching kids HOW TO use Wikipedia is a step forward from ordering them NOT TO use it, as they presently do in many North American classrooms.
  • Open Source software is the future and therefore we need to concentrate on the wheels and not the vehicle!
  • Core skills is very important. Anyone and everyone can learn Photoshop & Word Processing at any stage of their life, but if core skills are missed from an early age, then evidence has shown that there has always been less chance that the missing knowledge could be learnt at a later stage in life.
  • Schools shouldn’t be about teaching content, but about learning to learn, getting the kind of critical skills that can be used in all kinds of contexts, and generating motivation for lifelong learning. Finnish schools are rated the best in the world according to the OECD/PISA ratings, and they have totally de-emphasised the role of content in the curriculum. Twitter could indeed help in the process as it helps children to learn to write in a precise, concise style - absolutely nothing wrong with that from a pedagogical point of view. Encouraging children to write is never a bad thing, no matter what the platform.
  • Front end stuff shouldn’t be taught. If anything it should be the back end gubbins that should be taught, databases and coding.
  • So what’s more important, to me at least, is not to know all kinds of useless facts, but to know the general info and to know how to think and how to search for information. In other words, I think children should get lessons in thinking and in information retrieval. Yes, they should still be taught about history, etc. Yes, it’s important they learn stuff that they could need ‘on the spot’ - like calculating skills. However, we can go a little bit easier on drilling the information in - by the time they’re 25, augmented reality will be a fact and not even a luxury.
  • Schools should focus more on teaching kids on how to think creatively so they can create innovative products like twitter rather then teaching on how to use it….
  • Schools should focus more on teaching kids on how to think creatively so they can create innovative products like twitter rather then teaching on how to use it….
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    The British government is proposing that Twitter is to be taught in primary (elementary) schools as part of a wider push to make online communication and social media a permanent part of the UK's education system. And that's not all. Kids will be taught blogging, podcasting and how to use Wikipedia alongside Maths, English and Science.
Derrick C

Science Experiments Elementary - 61 views

  • Cooling Soda Cans
    • Derrick C
       
      science method chemistry hypothesis predictions observations data collection recording
  • Flowers In Water
    • Derrick C
       
      biology all scientific method steps application focus?
  • Frozen Candles
    • Derrick C
       
      highlight: hypothesis, prediction, observations, data collection, data recording
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  • Make a Battery From Fruit
    • Derrick C
       
      chemistry scientific method observation prediction hypothesis
  • Moth Balls Dance
    • Derrick C
       
      chemistry scientific method observations hypothesis application
  • Sense of Smell
    • Derrick C
       
      making observations asking questions
Marianne Hart

The Creativity Crisis - Newsweek - 48 views

  • there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect—each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling.
  • “Creativity can be taught,”
  • it’s left to the luck of the draw who becomes creative: there’s no concerted effort to nurture the creativity of all children
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      Students are labeled as "creative" if they display a knack for art or music, and sometimes in writing, however, they are rarely recognized as creative in math or science where a lot of creativity is not only needed, but excellent for learning within those very two disciplines.
    • Bill Genereux
       
      This is precisely why creativity education is important. It is needed everywhere, not just in the arts. Those teaching outside of arts education need to start recognizing the importance of creative thinking as well.
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  • When faculty of a major Chinese university asked Plucker to identify trends in American education, he described our focus on standardized curriculum, rote memorization, and nationalized testing. “After my answer was translated, they just started laughing out loud,” Plucker says. “They said, ‘You’re racing toward our old model. But we’re racing toward your model, as fast as we can.’ ”
  • The argument that we can’t teach creativity because kids already have too much to learn is a false trade-off. Creativity isn’t about freedom from concrete facts. Rather, fact-finding and deep research are vital stages in the creative process.
  • When you try to solve a problem, you begin by concentrating on obvious facts and familiar solutions, to see if the answer lies there. This is a mostly left-brain stage of attack. If the answer doesn’t come, the right and left hemispheres of the brain activate together. Neural networks on the right side scan remote memories that could be vaguely relevant. A wide range of distant information that is normally tuned out becomes available to the left hemisphere, which searches for unseen patterns, alternative meanings, and high-level abstractions. Having glimpsed such a connection, the left brain must quickly lock in on it before it escapes. The attention system must radically reverse gears, going from defocused attention to extremely focused attention. In a flash, the brain pulls together these disparate shreds of thought and binds them into a new single idea that enters consciousness. This is the “aha!” moment of insight, often followed by a spark of pleasure as the brain recognizes the novelty of what it’s come up with. Now the brain must evaluate the idea it just generated. Is it worth pursuing? Creativity requires constant shifting, blender pulses of both divergent thinking and convergent thinking, to combine new information with old and forgotten ideas. Highly creative people are very good at marshaling their brains into bilateral mode, and the more creative they are, the more they dual-activate.
  • those who diligently practice creative activities learn to recruit their brains’ creative networks quicker and better
    • Ed Webb
       
      Surely, "more quickly"?
  • Creativity has always been prized in American society, but it’s never really been understood. While our creativity scores decline unchecked, the current national strategy for creativity consists of little more than praying for a Greek muse to drop by our houses. The problems we face now, and in the future, simply demand that we do more than just hope for inspiration to strike. Fortunately, the science can help: we know the steps to lead that elusive muse right to our doors.
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      Likely because it was out of necessity and the hardships of life. Not that we don't have hardships and necessities, but innovation has solved a lot of problems and automation has made skills and tasks easy.
  • What’s common about successful programs is they alternate maximum divergent thinking with bouts of intense convergent thinking, through several stages. Real improvement doesn’t happen in a weekend workshop. But when applied to the everyday process of work or school, brain function improves.
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      Everyday process of work or school... over time, consistent and non-prescriptive.
  • kids demonstrated the very definition of creativity: alternating between divergent and convergent thinking, they arrived at original and useful ideas. And they’d unwittingly mastered Ohio’s required fifth-grade curriculum—from understanding sound waves to per-unit cost calculations to the art of persuasive writing. “You never see our kids saying, ‘I’ll never use this so I don’t need to learn it,’ ” says school administrator Maryann Wolowiec. “Instead, kids ask, ‘Do we have to leave school now?’ ” Two weeks ago, when the school received its results on the state’s achievement test, principal Traci Buckner was moved to tears. The raw scores indicate that, in its first year, the school has already become one of the top three schools in Akron, despite having open enrollment by lottery and 42 percent of its students living in poverty.
  • project-based learning
  • highly creative adults frequently grew up with hardship. Hardship by itself doesn’t lead to creativity, but it does force kids to become more flexible—and flexibility helps with creativity.
  • When creative children have a supportive teacher—someone tolerant of unconventional answers, occasional disruptions, or detours of curiosity—they tend to excel. When they don’t, they tend to underperform and drop out of high school or don’t finish college at high rates. They’re quitting because they’re discouraged and bored, not because they’re dark, depressed, anxious, or neurotic. It’s a myth that creative people have these traits. (Those traits actually shut down creativity; they make people less open to experience and less interested in novelty.) Rather, creative people, for the most part, exhibit active moods and positive affect. They’re not particularly happy—contentment is a kind of complacency creative people rarely have. But they’re engaged, motivated, and open to the world.
  • solutions emerge from a healthy marketplace of ideas, sustained by a populace constantly contributing original ideas and receptive to the ideas of others
  • The age-old belief that the arts have a special claim to creativity is unfounded.
  • When scholars gave creativity tasks to both engineering majors and music majors, their scores laid down on an identical spectrum, with the same high averages and standard deviations. Inside their brains, the same thing was happening—ideas were being generated and evaluated on the fly.
  • The lore of pop psychology is that creativity occurs on the right side of the brain. But we now know that if you tried to be creative using only the right side of your brain, it’d be like living with ideas perpetually at the tip of your tongue, just beyond reach
  • those who diligently practice creative activities learn to recruit their brains’ creative networks quicker and better. A lifetime of consistent habits gradually changes the neurological pattern.
  • The home-game version of this means no longer encouraging kids to spring straight ahead to the right answer
  • The new view is that creativity is part of normal brain function.
  • “As a child, I never had an identity as a ‘creative person,’ ” Schwarzrock recalls. “But now that I know, it helps explain a lot of what I felt and went through.”
  • In China there has been widespread education reform to extinguish the drill-and-kill teaching style. Instead, Chinese schools are also adopting a problem-based learning approach.
  • fact-finding
  • problem-finding
  • Next, idea-finding
  • there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect—each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling.
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    For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong-and how we can fix it.
Denise Whiteman

LA Pets and Families Examiner: Best dog breeds for kids - 0 views

  • For the hyperactive familyPit Bull Pit bulls are loving, affectionate, loyal and like your ADHD tween, have a boatload of energy. Your kid and dog can wrestle and run for hours together. This breed has an innate ability to detect when aggression is necessary and when everything is okay.
  • For the outdoorsy familyLabrador RetrieverDoes your family get kicks from hiking, camping, and swimming in lakes? A lab will be able to keep up with the sportiest of families. Intelligent, loyal, lovable, and trainable, this breed loves to splash in water and play outside. Get this pooch his own Nalgene bottle and hit the trails.
  • For the big familyBearded Collie Are you rivaling Brangeilna with the number of kids in your house? Consider a bearded collie. This breed loves being around lots of people and its herding instincts will keep everyone in the same room. With a bouncy demeanor and constant tail wagging, the Bearded Collie will win the hearts of your entire brood. Best for families with a big yard.
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  • The apartment-dwelling familyWestland TerrierIf you’ve told your child time and time again, We have no room in our home for a dog! you could be wrong. The wee Westland Terrier needs no yard and very little space to be happy as can be. Your youngsters will be delighted by the westie’s love of play. Just make sure this dog gets a short walk every day.
  • For the couch potato familyMiniature poodleFace it. You don’t want to be seen at a dog park. And your kids are more into watching Star Wars over and over again than running around the yard. Poodles like walks now and then, but will not demand a lot of exercise. They simply like companionship and want to be included in all family activities, like watching Oprah or maybe a trip to your kid’s favorite cupcake stand.
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    Excellent article on 5 breeds for kids - the Obamas have 2!
Beth Panitz

Keyboarding Games for Kids - Learning to Type Games for Kids | Learning Games For Kids - 187 views

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    A great collection of keyboarding games for kids
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    Learning Games for Kids
Clint Heitz

Flipping the Classroom: A revolutionary approach to learning presents some pros and cons | School Library Journal - 73 views

    • Clint Heitz
       
      Why not create multiple types of videos? YouTube allows "choose your own path" videos that can let you alter the video based on the responses during viewing.
    • Clint Heitz
       
      Great way to provide equitable access opportunities
  • Teachers need to figure out what they want to get out of a flipped classroom, says Marine City High’s Ming. “What’s the purpose of doing it? Is it because you’re looking for more time in your curriculum to do hands-on activities?” An AP government teacher told Ming the best part of teaching his class was holding class discussions. The flipped classroom helped him get through the material with time to spare for conversation.
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    • Clint Heitz
       
      The purpose is always the key. Don't try to implement this "just because" or excessively. It is a great tool, but not always the right one.
  • Watching videos also means more sitting in front of devices. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids limit “screen time” to two hours a day because too much exposure has been linked to obesity, irregular sleep, behavioral problems, violence, and less time for play.
    • Clint Heitz
       
      Why not flip it with podcasts that students can listen to while walking, driving, etc.
  • Students need to feel as though their teachers are guiding them to the best materials, not merely giving them a list of videos to watch, says Valenza
  • “Teachers should keep posing the ‘why,’” says Bob Schuetz, the technology director at Palatine High School in Illinois. “Why am I doing this? Why is it beneficial to students?”
  • “The teacher walks around and helps everyone. It’s not a get-out-of-jail-free card for teachers not to teach.” It’s also not a way for kids to get out of doing anything at home. “Flipping what the kid does means they do the work ahead of time, come to class, and debrief,” explains Michelle Luhtala (aka the
  • “The end goal is personalized education. The flipped classroom is just a means to that end.” Students can use the videos to learn at their own pace—any time or place, says Roberts. “These students can replay their teacher’s explanation of a new concept as many times as they need to without fear of holding up the rest of the class.”
  • a librarian at Bullis School in Potomac, MD, gives students videos, Web pages, and screenshots about the nuts and bolts of the library, which frees up more time to devote to their research projects.
  • ure, some kids will ignore the video. “The same kids who don’t currently do their homework will not watch the lecture,” says McCammon. “But as you start making your class more engaging, kids who don’t usually do their homework will start doing it because they want to participate in the class.” kids write questions down while they’re watching the video, and then the first 10 minutes of class is for discussion of what they’ve seen.
Roland Gesthuizen

24 Educational iPad Apps for Kids in Reading & Writing « Imagination Soup | Fun Learning and Play Activities for Kids - 172 views

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    "As I started a go-to list of the best educational iPad apps for kids, the list got so long, I split up my posts into categories. So, today we'll start with my favorite iPad apps for literacy - reading and writing for toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary-age kids. Also, I've included special needs iPad app resources at the end of this post."
Kathleen N

Lifehacker - Kideo Player Makes YouTube Safe for the Kids - YouTube - 2 views

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    Kideo is a simple front-end for letting your kids off the leash on YouTube, with an extensive white list of kid-friendly videos that can be refreshed via the space bar.
MIchael Heneghan

Myths and Opportunities: Technology in the Classroom by Alan November on Vimeo - 68 views

    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      "People learn through conversations"
    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      "Easy to teach teachers to use technology. Difficult to get the teachers to shift control away from themselves to the kids."
    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      "Tech robbed kids of the opportunity to make a contribution to their communities." How can I find a way to help kids contribute, via English class?
    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      "Interdisc. Bauhaus created an amazing flow of ideas." How can we make our classes more interdisc.?
    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      "Need authentic conversations locally and around the world"
    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      All of these skills mentioned above are exactly what are essential in the 21st century workplace.
    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      "this gives students more of a choice to do the kinds of assignments they want to do, as opposed to just the teacher deciding." You would certainly need to check that they were doing challenging, relevant work.
    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      "Teach kids really good research skills. Have them look up assignments and related material from other teachers from all over the world." And then do what with them?
    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      "Have an official Note Taker each class as well. Have the class as a whole review the notes to see if they are good/correct."
    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      "Another solution: you need to be more reflective on the body of work that you are doing. What have I learned? Where have I been and where am I going?" How do you do this?
    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      Concrete idea for how to answer the above, last question. He used a concrete example from a 3rd grade class: "Have the kids create a podcast every week of what they learned. Have a writer, producer, mixer, etc." Would you do that during class time or outside of classtime?
    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      "One solution: have an official classroom researcher everyday in your class." The job would be to gather the websites that will be used connected to whatever it is you're studying? Is that right? Need more thought on this.
    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      "Final Myth: Tech will make kids smarter. Actually it's a distraction. Creates more plagiarism and people wanting to get things done. Losing critical thinking." How can we use the enormous resources of the internet and at the same time increase critical thinking?
    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      "Another myth: the internet will give people a range of ideas. The opposite is true. People search out their version of the truth, e.g. Fox News or Huffington Post." I find this to be incredibly true.
    • MIchael Heneghan
       
      "It's a myth that tech will be the great equilizer in society. At least not for now." Why?
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    This was shared previously, but I've added many annotations I think teachers will find interesting.
Jason Schmidt

School Would Be Great If It Weren't for the Damn Kids - 95 views

  • It simply doesn’t make sense to try to “purge ‘ineffective’ teachers and principals.”  His listener, almost giddy with gratitude now, prepares to chime in, as Samuelson, without pausing, delivers the punch line:  That’s right, it’s time to stop blaming teachers and start . . . blaming students!
  • His focus is not on students’ achievements (the intellectual accomplishments of individual kids) but only on “student achievement” (the aggregate results of standardized tests)
  • As I’ve noted elsewhere, we have reason to worry when schooling is discussed primarily in the context of “global competitiveness” rather than in terms of what children need or what contributes to a democratic culture
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  • Upon hearing someone castigate students for being insufficiently motivated, a noneconomist might be inclined to ask two questions.  The first is:  “Motivated to do what, exactly”?  Anything they’re told, no matter how unengaging, inappropriate, or, well, demotivating? 
  • Whenever I see students made to cram facts into their short-term memories for a test, practice a series of decontextualized skills on yet another worksheet, listen passively to a lecture, or inch their way through the insipid prose of a corporate-produced textbook, I find myself thinking of a comment made by Frederick Herzberg, a critic of traditional workplace management:  “Idleness, indifference, and irresponsibility,” he said, “are healthy responses to absurd work.”
  • The more you reward people for doing something, or for doing it well, the less interest they typically come to have in whatever they had to do to get the reward. 
  • People who blame students for not being “motivated” tend to think educational success mean little more than higher scores on bad tests and they’re apt to see education itself as a means to making sure our corporations will beat their corporations.  The sort of schooling that results is the type almost guaranteed to . . . kill students’ motivation.
  • one thing that’s happened is a concatenation of rewards and punishments, including grades, which teach students that learning is just a means to an end.
  • Another thing that’s happened is teaching that’s meant primarily to raise test scores.
  • inner-city kids get the worst of the sort of schooling that’s not about exploring and discovering and questioning but only about working hard (often at rote tasks) and being nice (read: obedient).
  • “Motivation is weak because more students…don't like school, don't work hard and don't do well.”  But why don’t they like school (which is the key to understanding why, assuming his premise is correct, they don’t succeed)?  What has happened to their desire to figure out how things work, the hunger to make sense of things, with which all children start out? 
  • if you want to see (intrinsically) motivated kids, you need to visit classrooms or schools that take a nontraditional approach to education, places where students are more likely to be absorbed and frequently delighted, where what they’re doing is not merely “rigorous” (a word often applied to very difficult busywork) but meaningful.
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    Alfie Kohn's commentary on an article written by Robert J. Samuelson. Samuelson argues in his article that the problem with education reform is not the usual suspects like ineffective teachers, but kids who are lazy and unmotivated. Interesting read with thoughtful information about student motivation.
Steve Ransom

Kozol: 'I'm sick of begging' Congress to do the right thing - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post - 37 views

  • o culture is starved. Aesthetics are gone. Joy in learning is regarded as a bothersome distraction. "These kids don't have time for joy, or whim, or charm, or inquiry! Leave whim and happiness to the children of the privileged. Poor kids can't afford that luxury." Even good and idealistic inner-city principals tell me that they feel they have no choice.
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    "So culture is starved. Aesthetics are gone. Joy in learning is regarded as a bothersome distraction. "These kids don't have time for joy, or whim, or charm, or inquiry! Leave whim and happiness to the children of the privileged. Poor kids can't afford that luxury." Even good and idealistic inner-city principals tell me that they feel they have no choice"
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.
Jonathan Wylie

The Top 5 Safe Search Engines for Kids - 166 views

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    The following search engines for kids are designed to help provide your children with a safe environment with which to navigate the Internet. Each offers a filtered search service that eliminates inappropriate results and keeps your kids focused on the information they really need.
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