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Suzie Nestico

Government Lesson Plans - 11 views

  • Considering the Theme of Progress- Students will be able to understand the purpose of the upcoming unit and contribute to its development.
  • Ethics in American Government- Students analyze the statement "Those who govern in a democracy hold a 'public trust'." This activity provides exploration of ethical dilemmas which might face our present government officials.
  • Impact Of Government On The Individual- The purpose to this activity, used during the early part of the school year in a required secondary government class, is to begin the process of helping students visualize the government of the United States as a very important part of their everyday existence--- a part which they can impact.
    Government Lesson Plans from Teach-nology
Ted Sakshaug

Center for Civic Education 60-Second Civics Podcast - 4 views

    60-Second Civics is a daily podcast that provides a quick and convenient way for listeners to learn about our nation's government, the Constitution, and our history. The podcast explores themes related to civics and government, the constitutional issues behind the headlines, and the people and ideas that formed our nation's history and government.
Nspire IT Jobs

Blackberry Engineer (3-6mths Contract, Immediate start) ACT $90-$100 per hour + - 0 views

    Our client specializes in Security and Gateway services. A newly created contract position is available for a Blackberry Engineer. As the successful Blackberry Engineer, you will be working with the best of best and part of a team of highly skilled professionals. The project is high profile and part of a highly secured Federal Government portfolio. This is a 6 months contract. You will be required to have both design and implementation of the BlackBerry infrastructure experience across a Federal Government enterprise level. The following mandatory requirements include: *Demonstrated knowledge and experience in designing a BlackBerry Server Infrastructure to support a large Federal Government customer. *Security Clearance Essential (Restricted or Baseline).
Ed Webb

The academy's neoliberal response to COVID-19: Why faculty should be wary and... - 1 views

  • In the neoliberal economy, workers are seen as commodities and are expected to be trained and “work-ready” before they are hired. The cost and responsibility for job-training fall predominantly on individual workers rather than on employers. This is evident in the expectation that work experience should be a condition of hiring. This is true of the academic hiring process, which no longer involves hiring those who show promise in their field and can be apprenticed on the tenure track, but rather those with the means, privilege, and grit to assemble a tenurable CV on their own dime and arrive to the tenure track work-ready.
  • The assumption that faculty are pre-trained, or able to train themselves without additional time and support, underpins university directives that faculty move classes online without investing in training to support faculty in this shift. For context, at the University of Waterloo, the normal supports for developing an online course include one to two course releases, 12-18 months of preparation time, and the help of three staff members—one of whom is an online learning consultant, and each of whom supports only about two other courses. Instead, at universities across Canada, the move online under COVID-19 is not called “online teaching” but “remote teaching”, which universities seem to think absolves them of the responsibility to give faculty sufficient technological training, pedagogical consultation, and preparation time.
  • faculty are encouraged to strip away the transformative pedagogical work that has long been part of their profession and to merely administer a course or deliver course material
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  • remote teaching directives are rooted in the assumption that faculty are equally positioned to carry them out
  • The dual delivery model—in which some students in a course come to class and others work remotely using pre-recorded or other asynchronous course material—is already part of a number of university plans for the fall, even though it requires vastly more work than either in-person or remote courses alone. The failure to accommodate faculty who are not well positioned to transform their courses from in-person to remote teaching—or some combination of the two— will actively exacerbate existing inequalities, marking a step backward for equity.
  • Neoliberal democracy is characterized by competitive individualism and centres on the individual advocacy of ostensibly equal citizens through their vote with no common social or political goals. By extension, group identity and collective advocacy are delegitimized as undemocratic attempts to gain more of a say than those involved would otherwise have as individuals.
  • Portraying people as atomized individuals allows social problems to be framed as individual failures
  • faculty are increasingly encouraged to see themselves as competitors who must maintain a constant level of productivity and act as entrepreneurs to sell ideas to potential investors in the form of external funding agencies or private commercial interests. Rather than freedom of enquiry, faculty research is increasingly monitored through performance metrics. Academic governance is being replaced by corporate governance models while faculty and faculty associations are no longer being respected for the integral role they play in the governance process, but are instead considered to be a stakeholder akin to alumni associations or capital investors.
  • treats structural and pedagogical barriers as minor individual technical or administrative problems that the instructor can overcome simply by watching more Zoom webinars and practising better self-care.
  • In neoliberal thought, education is merely pursued by individuals who want to invest in skills and credentials that will increase their value in the labour market.
  • A guiding principle of neoliberal thought is that citizens should interact as formal equals, without regard for the substantive inequalities between us. This formal equality makes it difficult to articulate needs that arise from historical injustices, for instance, as marginalized groups are seen merely as stakeholders with views equally valuable to those of other stakeholders. In the neoliberal university, this notion of formal equality can be seen, among other things, in the use of standards and assessments, such as teaching evaluations, that have been shown to be biased against instructors from marginalized groups, and in the disproportionate amount of care and service work that falls to these faculty members.
  • Instead of discussing better Zoom learning techniques, we should collectively ask what teaching in the COVID-19 era would look like if universities valued education and research as essential public goods.
  • while there are still some advocates for the democratic potential of online teaching, there are strong criticisms that pedagogies rooted in well-established understandings of education as a collective, immersive, and empowering experience, through which students learn how to deliberate, collaborate, and interrogate established norms, cannot simply be transferred online
  • Humans learn through narrative, context, empathy, debate, and shared experiences. We are able to open ourselves up enough to ask difficult questions and allow ourselves to be challenged only when we are able to see the humanity in others and when our own humanity is recognized by others. This kind of active learning (as opposed to the passive reception of information) requires the trust, collectivity, and understanding of divergent experiences built through regular synchronous meetings in a shared physical space. This is hindered when classroom interaction is mediated through disembodied video images and temporally delayed chat functions.
  • When teaching is reduced to content delivery, faculty become interchangeable, which raises additional questions about academic freedom. Suggestions have already been made that the workload problem brought on by remote teaching would be mitigated if faculty simply taught existing online courses designed by others. It does not take complex modelling to imagine a new normal in which an undergraduate degree consists solely of downloading and memorizing cookie-cutter course material uploaded by people with no expertise in the area who are administering ten other courses simultaneously. 
  • when teaching is reduced to content delivery, intellectual property takes on additional importance. It is illegal to record and distribute lectures or other course material without the instructor’s permission, but universities seem reluctant to confirm that they will not have the right to use the content faculty post online. For instance, if a contract faculty member spends countless hours designing a remote course for the summer semester and then is laid off in the fall, can the university still use their recorded lectures and other material in the fall? Can the university use this recorded lecture material to continue teaching these courses if faculty are on strike (as happened in the UK in 2018)? What precedents are being set? 
  • Students’ exposure to a range of rigorous thought is also endangered, since it is much easier for students to record and distribute course content when faculty post it online. Some websites are already using the move to remote teaching as an opportunity to urge students to call out and shame faculty they deem to be “liberal” or “left” by reposting their course material. To avoid this, faculty are likely to self-censor, choosing material they feel is safer. Course material will become more generic, which will diminish the quality of students’ education.
  • In neoliberal thought, the public sphere is severely diminished, and the role of the university in the public sphere—and as a public sphere unto itself—is treated as unnecessary. The principle that enquiry and debate are public goods in and of themselves, regardless of their outcome or impact, is devalued, as is the notion that a society’s self-knowledge and self-criticism are crucial to democracy, societal improvement, and the pursuit of the good life. Expert opinion is devalued, and research is desirable only when it translates into gains for the private sector, essentially treating universities as vehicles to channel public funding into private research and development. 
  • The free and broad pursuit—and critique—of knowledge is arguably even more important in times of crisis and rapid social change.
  • Policies that advance neoliberal ideals have long been justified—and opposition to them discredited—using Margaret Thatcher’s famous line that “there is no alternative.” This notion is reproduced in universities framing their responses to COVID-19 as a fait accompli—the inevitable result of unfortunate circumstances. Yet the neoliberal assumptions that underpin these responses illustrate that choices are being made and force us to ask whether the emergency we face necessitates this exact response.
  • The notion that faculty can simply move their courses online—or teach them simultaneously online and in person—is rooted in the assumption that educating involves merely delivering information to students, which can be done just as easily online as it can be in person. There are many well-developed online courses, yet all but the most ardent enthusiasts concede that the format works better for some subjects and some students
  • Emergencies matter. Far from occasions that justify suspending our principles, the way that we handle the extra-ordinary, the unexpected, sends a message about what we truly value. While COVID-19 may seem exceptional, university responses to this crisis are hardly a departure from the neoliberal norm, and university administrations are already making plans to extend online teaching after it dissipates. We must be careful not to send the message that the neoliberal university and the worldview that underpins it are acceptable.
Vicki Davis

Can the FCC Create Public Super Wi-Fi Networks? - 0 views

    No, the government isn't CREATING a WIFI network (the Washington Post didn't really look at this), however, this article on Gizmodo does share what is happening at the FCC that could help many, especially those in rural areas, be part of the world's new digital landscape. As we work to put devices in our student's hands, this sort of development could make a big difference for kids and can further spur online and blended learning initiatives as digital divides are further bridged. Applause? Can we have it next week? "Let's get one thing straight: the government is not creating its own "super WiFi network", but its plans will indeed make awesome new WiFi networks possible. Technically, what the FCC is actually trying to do is increase the amount of open spectrum that is available for WiFi networks of all sorts-and for other "unlicensed" uses. This is a very good idea."
Vicki Davis

Curriculum changes could spark supply crisis - news - TES - 4 views

    The US is not the only country in government educational induced turmoil. Here is an overview of what is happening in England right now. "Make teachers redundant or have them teach subjects they are not trained in - that is the stark choice cash-strapped secondaries will face if national curriculum changes proposed this week are introduced, ministers are being warned. The bleak scenario is predicted by heads' leaders and teacher recruitment experts if the Government follows the recommendation of its national curriculum review expert panel to make history, geography and modern foreign languages compulsory for all 11 to 16-year-olds from 2014."
Dave Truss

edublogs: UK Government Research: Web 2.0 does improve learning - 0 views

    New research from Scotland and the UK Government shows that Web 2.0 and gaming can and do make a difference to educational attainment and student experience.
Vicki Davis

Japan urges limiting kids' cell phones - 0 views

  • TOKYO (AP) - Cell-phone use has become so rampant among Japanese youngsters that the government is getting involved
    Cell phones and what the japanese government is doing about it.
    Japanese government becoming "involved" in the overuse of cell phones by japanese teenagers. This program emphasizes cell phone addiction. 1/3 of japanese 6th graders and cell phones and 2/3rds of 9th graders have them. Interestingly, one panel wants to take texting off the phones? How about using texting iN school? How about letting them define words on it instead of using a dictionary? How about letting them use it in the classroom? Seems kind of like damming up the Mississippi - it may work for a while, but eventually, the dam is going to break. Yes, this is something to talk about and discuss... internet and cell phone addiction is a real issue with many kids I talk to reporting that they literally sleep with it under their pillow. However, just getting rid of texting, I don't think that is a good idea. As with anything in human history, every tool may be used for good or bad.
Vicki Davis

Larry's Queries - EduBloggerWorld - 0 views

    Larry asks for some advice with using wikis in his AP US Government course and sophomore American government class - would love some experts to help him!
Ruth Howard

GetUp! Campaign Actions - 1 views

  • The results of the Government's National Human Rights Consultation show that Australians have overwhelmingly called for a Human Rights Act. It's crucial that we seize this moment and ensure the Government act on the recommendations. Add your name to our petition, calling on the Government to enact a Human Rights Act that secures the rights of all Australians. The greater the weight of community support behind an Act the harder the Government will find it to back away from the call. Sign the petition below:
    Yes...we actually dont have one!-yet.
Learning Today

Getting Kids involved in Politics - 2 views

    education, learning, politics, kids, government
Vicki Davis

American Democracy in Action - Student Wiki Textbook - 2 views

    Students are writing their own textbooks. This one by The Advanced Placement United States GovernmentElectronic Textbook created by theSt. Gregory College Preparatory School'sSenior AP Government Class 2010 With such things that can be handed down to other students, so many questions come to mind including accuracy but also whether such a tool has value in lieu of traditional textbooks. 
Vicki Davis

Is The STEM Education Crisis A Myth? : NPR - 2 views

  • Some education experts and policymakers argue that if the U.S. does not boost the number of workers in those jobs, that America will lose its competitive edge as a global innovator. But others say that there is no STEM crisis at all, that this is actually a myth and that colleges should integrate STEM and the humanities into a broader education.
  • You have to remember that STEM makes up only about 7 percent of the jobs in the American economy. On the other hand, we know that anybody who majors in STEM often doesn't stay in STEM. For instance, by the time most STEM majors are 35 years old, they're in management. They leave. They no longer work on the bench in the lab. So we need to produce a lot more STEM workers than we actually use initially because we lose so many of them along the way because their careers are relatively successful.
  • That is, a technical education now allows you to do anything. And anything, for most workers, means having a job that's fairly focused as a STEM worker, but then moving on to management or into a regulatory roll or into a government job. So STEM has become the place where you go if you want to have a lot of alternatives 10 years down the road.
    If you want to understand why STEM jobs are such a big deal, then this NPR interview really helps us understand why so many people are talking about STEM even though it makes up only 7% of the jobs. Read (and share) this NPR interview or download it for a listen as you travel. "That is, a technical education now allows you to do anything. And anything, for most workers, means having a job that's fairly focused as a STEM worker, but then moving on to management or into a regulatory roll or into a government job. So STEM has become the place where you go if you want to have a lot of alternatives 10 years down the road."
Felix Gryffeth

Op-Ed Columnist - Race to Sanity - - 7 views

    The Obama administration's education policy is a model of balanced governance.
Ben Rimes

Expertnet - 1 views

    A wiki dedicated to gathering feedback on new innovative ways to engage citizens, provide citizen consultation, and elicit expert public feedback on government projects. Could be a great way for civics teachers to offer direct application of what they're teaching.
Suzie Nestico

Father: Why I didn't let my son take standardized tests - The Answer Sheet - The Washin... - 0 views

  • My wife and I had Luke “opt out” of No Child Left Behind standardized testing (here in Pennsylvania known as the Pennsylvania System of School Achievement, or PSSAs).
  • Last week I did just that. I looked at the test and determined that it violated my religion. How, you might ask? That’s an entirely different blog, but I can quickly say that my religion does not allow for or tolerate the act of torture and I determined that making Luke sit for over 10 hours filling in bubble sheets would have been a form of mental and physical torture, given that we could give him no good reason as to why he needs to take this test.
  • ch a reason for opting out of the PSSA testing will negatively affect the school’s participation rate and could POTENTIALLY have a negative impact on the school’s Adequate Yearly Progress under the rules of No Child Left Behind.
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  • I asked Luke what he thought about it all. He just smiled. I also asked him what some of his friends were saying. According to Luke, they did not believe that NCLB and PSSAs were going to be used to evaluate the school. They didn’t know about AYP and the sanctions that came with it. Luke’s friends just thought the tests, “were used to make sure our teachers are teaching us the right stuff.” My guess is that is what most parents believe. Why wouldn’t they believe it? They’ve been told for nine years that we are raising standards, holding teachers accountable, and leaving no children behind. Who wouldn’t support that?
  • This time, instead of having Luke sit through another meeting, he researched the Japanese earthquake and tsunami as a current events project.
  • The point was to give Luke some experience in how to conduct planned civil disobedience in a lawful manner.
  • That, of course, is the real problem. NCLB and the standards movement is a political bait and switch. Sold as one thing (positive) to the public and then in practice, something radically different (punitive). This is probably one of the biggest reasons I decided to do the boycott—to make my community aware and to try and enlighten them of the real issues.
  • My answer is that the government is not listening. Teachers, principals, teacher educators, child development specialists, and educational researchers have been trying to get this message out for years. No one will listen.
  • Civil disobedience is the only option left. It’s my scream in a dark cave for light. I want teachers to teach again. I want principals to lead again. I want my school to be a place of deep learning and a deeper love of teaching. I want children exposed to history, science, art, music, physical education, and current events—the same experience President Obama is providing his own children.
  • Maybe civil disobedience will be contagious. Maybe parents will join us in reclaiming our schools and demand that teachers and administrators hands be untied and allow them to do their jobs—engage students in a rich curriculum designed to promote deep learning and critical thinking.
    Another PA parent opts his child out of PSSA standardized testing as a measure of civil disobedience.  Word of caution:  This can very much hurt a school's Adequate Yearly Progress and ultimately the school may suffer.  But, what if this movement spread amongst parents?  What then?  Would the government take over the school?  
Dave Truss

Online Learning Communities Flourish Best If Individual Learners Have Self-governance - 4 views

  • However, in designing courses, educators must recognize that although self-governance is an individual, internal factor, not all learners will respond well to the online or community-led approach to education. Factors, such as personal goals, communication skills, information technology skills, and study environment, will also affect success.
    The research will answer two crucial questions. First, in the learning process, is it better to design courses that are learner centered or community centered? Second, how can the development of critical thinking skills be most effectively developed in an online learning community?
David Warlick

What if Finland's great teachers taught in U.S. schools? (Not what you think) - 16 views

    Many governments are under political and economic pressure to turn around their school systems for higher rankings in the international league tables. Education reforms often promise quick fixes within one political term. Canada, South Korea, Singapore and Finland are commonly used models for the nations that hope to improve teaching and learning in their schools. In search of a silver bullet, reformers now turn their eyes on teachers, believing that if only they could attract "the best and the brightest" into the teaching profession, the quality of education would improve.
Vicki Davis

Ballotpedia - 6 views

    If you have something on the ballot in your state and want to have more information, go to ballot pedia which explains the initiative and lets you know who is paying for and against this. This is another method of wikis and collaborative writing playing a role in more open government and transparency. Students could run a student version of this sort of site, or -pedia sites on all kinds of things.
Vicki Davis

Evernote, Dropbox, Edublog Consent form from Canada - 11 views

    Here's a sample form allowing students to use Dropbox and Evernote and Edublog services from a teacher in Canada. NOte that this includes disclosure that the site is hosted outside the country, something important for international relationships as typically websites are governed by their host country.
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