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Tony Richards

The Atlantic Online | January/February 2010 | What Makes a Great Teacher? | Amanda Ripley - 13 views

  •  
    "What Makes a Great Teacher? Image credit: Veronika Lukasova Also in our Special Report: National: "How America Can Rise Again" Is the nation in terminal decline? Not necessarily. But securing the future will require fixing a system that has become a joke. Video: "One Nation, On Edge" James Fallows talks to Atlantic editor James Bennet about a uniquely American tradition-cycles of despair followed by triumphant rebirths. Interactive Graphic: "The State of the Union Is ..." ... thrifty, overextended, admired, twitchy, filthy, and clean: the nation in numbers. By Rachael Brown Chart: "The Happiness Index" Times were tough in 2009. But according to a cool Facebook app, people were happier. By Justin Miller On August 25, 2008, two little boys walked into public elementary schools in Southeast Washington, D.C. Both boys were African American fifth-graders. The previous spring, both had tested below grade level in math. One walked into Kimball Elementary School and climbed the stairs to Mr. William Taylor's math classroom, a tidy, powder-blue space in which neither the clocks nor most of the electrical outlets worked. The other walked into a very similar classroom a mile away at Plummer Elementary School. In both schools, more than 80 percent of the children received free or reduced-price lunches. At night, all the children went home to the same urban ecosystem, a zip code in which almost a quarter of the families lived below the poverty line and a police district in which somebody was murdered every week or so. Video: Four teachers in Four different classrooms demonstrate methods that work (Courtesy of Teach for America's video archive, available in February at teachingasleadership.org) At the end of the school year, both little boys took the same standardized test given at all D.C. public schools-not a perfect test of their learning, to be sure, but a relatively objective one (and, it's worth noting, not a very hard one). After a year in Mr. Taylo
David Warlick

Idaho Teachers Fight a Reliance on Computers - NYTimes.com - 8 views

  • The idea was to establish Idaho’s schools as a high-tech vanguard.
    • David Warlick
       
      I'm not sure what this means, "High-tech Vangard," though I guess I understand why a state would want to make up a term like this and use it to label what they are trying to do.  
  • To help pay for these programs, the state may have to shift tens of millions of dollars away from salaries for teachers and administrators.
    • David Warlick
       
      To me, the salient question is, "Are teachers and administrators less important than technology?"  If they're not, then you find some other way to pay for the tech.
  • And the plan envisions a fundamental change in the role of teachers, making them less a lecturer at the front of the room and more of a guide helping students through lessons delivered on computers.
    • David Warlick
       
      OK, several comments here. 1. I have no problem with "less a lecturer."  However, I do not advocate the elimination of lecture.  It is one of many methods for teacher and learning. 2. The implication of the last part of the sentence is that the computer is becoming the/a teacher, delivering instruction.  I do not agree with this characterization of technology.  It is a tool for helping students learn, not for teaching them (with some exceptions).  It extends the learners access to knowledge and skills...
  • ...17 more annotations...
  • And some say they are opposed to shifting money to online classes and other teaching methods whose benefits remain unproved.
    • David Warlick
       
      My question here is, "Why are the requiring online classes?"  If it is part of the "high-tech vangard" thing, then I don't really understand.  If it is because they believe that it is more effective for learning, well, that's a complex issue that depends on so many things that have NOTHING to do with the state's legislature.  If it is because students will be taking online courses in their future, and then need to learn to take online courses while in high school, then I can support that.  I do not believe that it is appropriate to compare online courses to face-to-face courses.  Fact is, sometime online is the only way you can access the knowledge/skills that you need.  We need to be comfortable with that.  But it has little to do with technology.  It's learning!
  • improve student learning.
    • David Warlick
       
      This is a phrase that irks me.  I think that we should be using contemporary information and communication technologies for teaching and learning, because our prevailing information environment is networked, digital, and info-abundant.  We should be using tech to make learning more relevant to our time...
  • “I fought for my country,” she said. “Now I’m fighting for my kids.” Gov. C. L. Otter, known as Butch, and Tom Luna, the schools superintendent, who have championed the plan, said teachers had been misled by their union into believing the changes were a step toward replacing them with computers. Mr. Luna said the teachers’ anger was intensified by other legislation, also passed last spring, that eliminated protections for teachers with seniority and replaced it with a pay-for-performance system. Some teachers have also expressed concern that teaching positions could be eliminated and their raises reduced to help offset the cost of the technology. Mr. Luna acknowledged that many teachers in the state were conservative Republicans like him — making Idaho’s politics less black and white than in states like Wisconsin and New Jersey, where union-backed teachers have been at odds with politicians.
  • The teacher does become the guide and the coach and the educator in the room helping students to move at their own pace.
    • David Warlick
       
      This is so far off the mark that I do not know where to begin.  OK, here's what I would say.  "Our children live in a time of rapid change.  Therefore, they must become resourceful and relentless learners.  Being a teacher in such classrooms requires an expanding array of skills and activities, among them, being resourceful and relentless learners in front of their students -- adapting to today's prevailing information environment and the information and communication technologies that work it."  Probably need to find a simpler way to express this.
  • The plan requires high school students to take online courses for two of their 47 graduation credits
    • David Warlick
       
      Again, why?
  • Mr. Luna said this would allow students to take subjects that were not otherwise available at their schools and familiarize them with learning online, something he said was increasingly common in college
    • David Warlick
       
      I agree with this.  It's a good reason to require Online courses, to learn to take them, and to be expected to take some course that is so esoteric that it's not offered locally.
  • becomes the textbook for every class, the research device, the advanced math calculator, the word processor and the portal to a world of information.
    • David Warlick
       
      I am not in disagreement with this statement.  I'd be no less disagreeable with omission to textbook.
  • Teachers are resisting, saying that they prefer to employ technology as it suits their own teaching methods and styles. Some feel they are judged on how much they make use of technology, regardless of whether it improves learning. Some teachers in the Los Angeles public schools, for example, complain that the form that supervisors use to evaluate teachers has a check box on whether they use technology, suggesting that they must use it for its own sake.
    • David Warlick
       
      We get so hung up on "technology."  It's the information that's changed.  There should be a check box that says, in what ways is the lesson including networked, digital, and abundant information?
  • That is a concern shared by Ms. Rosenbaum, who teaches at Post Falls High School in this town in northern Idaho, near Coeur d’Alene. Rather than relying on technology, she seeks to engage students with questions — the Socratic method — as she did recently as she was taking her sophomore English class through “The Book Thief,” a novel about a family in Germany that hides a Jewish girl during World War II.
    • David Warlick
       
      This is a wonderful method for teaching and timeless.  However, if the students are also backchanneling the conversation, then more of them are participating, sharing, agreeing and disagreeing, and the conversation has to potential to extend beyond the sounding of the bell.  I'm not saying, this is a way of integrating technology, I'm saying that networked collaboration is a relevant way for students to be learning and will continue to learn after school is over.
  • Her room mostly lacks high-tech amenities. Homework assignments are handwritten on whiteboards. Students write journal entries in spiral notebooks. On the walls are two American flags and posters paying tribute to the Marines, and on the ceiling a panel painted by a student thanks Ms. Rosenbaum for her service
    • David Warlick
       
      When I read this, I see a relic of classrooms of the past, that is ignoring today's prevailing information landscape.
  • Ms. Rosenbaum did use a computer and projector to show a YouTube video of the devastation caused by bombing in World War II. She said that while technology had a role to play, her method of teaching was timeless. “I’m teaching them to think deeply, to think. A computer can’t do that.”
    • David Warlick
       
      Yes, she's helping them to think deeply, but how much more deeply would the be thinking if she asked her students to work in teams and find videos on YouTube that portray some aspect of the book, critique and defend their selections.
  • She is taking some classes online as she works toward her master’s degree, and said they left her uninspired and less informed than in-person classes.
    • David Warlick
       
      Again, it is not useful to compare online course to f2f.  They're different, and people need to learn to work within them.
  • The group will also organize training for teachers. Ms. Cook said she did worry about how teachers would be trained when some already work long hours and take second jobs to make ends meet
    • David Warlick
       
      I look forward to learning how they will accomplish this.
  • For his part, Governor Otter said that putting technology into students’ hands was the only way to prepare them for the work force. Giving them easy access to a wealth of facts and resources online allows them to develop critical thinking skills, he said, which is what employers want the most.
    • David Warlick
       
      It disturbs me that policies may be coming out of an environment where the conversation probably has to be factored down to such simplistic statements.  Education is complex, it's personal, and it is critical -- and it's not just about what employers want!
  • “There may be a lot of misinformation,” he said, “but that information, whether right or wrong, will generate critical thinking for them as they find the truth.”
    • David Warlick
       
      Bingo!
  • If she only has an abacus in her classroom, she’s missing the boat.
    • David Warlick
       
      And doing a disservice to Idaho's children!
  • Last year at Post Falls High School, 600 students — about half of the school — staged a lunchtime walkout to protest the new rules. Some carried signs that read: “We need teachers, not computers.” Having a new laptop “is not my favorite idea,” said Sam Hunts, a sophomore in Ms. Rosenbaum’s English class who has a blond mohawk. “I’d rather learn from a teacher.”
    • David Warlick
       
      What can't we get past "Us vs Them."  Because it gets people elected.
Vicki Davis

Blogger: Cool Cat Teacher Blog - Post a Comment - 0 views

  • I don't feel that any of the names mentioned act or feel like they are better than me and have even included me on many conversations
    • Vicki Davis
       
      This blogger is a good example of someone who has jumped in with all 10 fingers and gotten to know a lot of neat people. As a relative newcomer, loonyhiker knows a lot of people. Newcomers just need to "jump in!"
  • I do love when you say, "if one person reads our blog and get something out of it.. it is important." I try to keep that in mind all the time. Numbers don't matter..people do.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Remembering each reader as an invidual is a vital thing about blogging.
  • Lisa Parisi
  • ...66 more annotations...
  • As far as the ego thing goes who cares. Your blog's this mine is that. Whoopdy do! If you're learning and growing your PLN that is what counts.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      I love Charlie's perspective on this.
  • Charlie A. Roy said.
  • I feel similar frustration. If the point is about learning than reading and commenting is a great way to add to our own creative potential.
  • Tennessee
  • Great response to a burning question/statement that most of us (well probably all of us)feel at one time or another.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      I find tennessee's comment interesting. What is the "burning" question? Do we matter? Is anyone else really out there? Is Internet realilty -- REAL reality. We are grappling with this and just now realizing that there is an emotional thing going on with it all!
  • Many of the people that I have learned the most from are not the ones involved in the "cocktail party" but rather those in the trenches doing what I love to do each and every day, just like you!
    • Vicki Davis
       
      He has an important point -- if you're only reading the uber-popular bloggers -- you're missing the point of the blogosphere. I make it a point to find some newcomers. To me, it is like a game, I want to find new people doing great things and encourage them like so many greats like David Warlick, Darren Kuropatwa, Ewan McIntosh, and more did for me when I started.
  • agree that developing a readership takes time.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Many educators don't know the number of readers they have b/c they don't use the right tools -- I recommend consolidating to ONE feedburner feed. It just makes sense.
  • Carolyn Foote
  • Scott McLeod
  • Re: the depressing aspects of 'comment intensity,' I actually meant it to be an affirming post rather than a depressing one
  • I think that the comment intensity idea is important in this respect: I often see laments from bloggers that they don't get many comments on their posts. What the table above shows is that even those of us who are fortunate enough to have large readerships often don't get many comments. My personal median over the past 20 posts, even WITH the big spike of 89, is still only 2.5. Ewan, your blog and Vicki Davis' are similar. The point is that many, many posts don't get a lot of comments, even those by the more widely read bloggers.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      It could be encouraging for some -- for me it made me feel like I had another thing to count! Although, I see Scott's point -- his article wasn't written for me!
  • tom said...
  • Thanks for bringing this up. This has been an issue for me personally as well. OK, so nobody's IN, but the (pseudo?) community nature of blogging makes it feel that way.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Tom is right -- we all feel this way! I think the feeling of looking in on the blogosphere is one of feeling "out" looking in -- for all of us!
  • But, like other artists, we have to work a little every day whether we feel like it or not, and whether we get validation that day or not.
  • I think many of us are working at blogging because there's an element of self improvement, which implies self evaluation. Without feedback from others it's easy to be hard on ourselves.
  • Christopher D. Sessums
  • For me, the conversation is hardly closed; it is simply a matter of having something to say, something to share.The emotional commitment is another aspect of the conversation that is easily glossed over.
  • MIke Sansone
  • I've found (both with myself and those educators I've worked with in their blogging starts) that the edublogosphere is open and welcoming -- but as we engage in any cultural group (even offline), patience really is a key.Still, we sometimes measure our success by the interaction from those we look up to (esp. teachers - many of whom were probably the best students in their class, yes?)
  • Sometimes we don't see the comments -- because the talk happens offline.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      This is a very important point and one to remember -- the "quiet" audience online may be a very vocal audience offline.
  • Britt
  • I get very few comments on my blog but see through the clustermaps that I have readers each and every day, so continue to feel that the blog is benefiting me through reflection and may even be benefiting others as well.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      This is why having a statcounter or clustrmap is SO very important -- it helps you understand traffic and audience!
  • atruger
  • I NEVER get to share tools I discover because someone ALWAYS beats me to the punch...but I am ok with that.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      But you should share ANYWAY! -- we're not people breaking news -- we're talking about what we USE. So, talk and share!
  • I truly connect with what you write even though I am one of "those" people who reads but rarely comments. YOU do make a difference and so do I!
    • Vicki Davis
       
      These comments mean so much to me!
  • Bego said...
  • the whole cocktail party analogy is just a grown up version of the kickball line-up in elementary school.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      I was always picked last there -- whew this analogy hits me close to home. I was always picked last b/c I was the worst. Even the worst kickball player needs to feel encouraged and not destroyed for getting up and kicking the ball. Even the "worst" blogger - if there is such a thing -- needs to feel encouraged sometimes too just for blogging.
  • In the blog world, change is effected by good content, and while good content isn't always noticed at first, it does eventually get a respectable position--sometimes because the cocktail group points them out.
  • How could I think to be in the same boat as John Scalzi who started in 1998 if I've only been blogging since 2007?
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Remember this -- I've been blogging just over 2 years. Strange things can happen -- consistent creation of meaningful content is important.
  • I found your blog, Vicki, because a project you do for Atomic Learning mentioned you, and your name is on the movies they use.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      I did the Web 2.0 workshop for atomic learning and many have found my blog -- actually I had to use a source that I had permission to use!!! ;-)
  • jeanette tranberg
  • 2005 - you were the only ones out there to follow
    • Vicki Davis
       
      lol -- I started blogging in December of 2005 and had about 7 followers until mid 2006 -- but there are many who think I've been around forever!
  • Oh yes, I have felt the cocktail chill at times. I'm a norwegian edublogger, that have been following your brunks (blogdrunks) for a while. To start with - in
  • Wes told me once I twittered, that nobody should twitter alone and I could not agree more - so I don't.
  • So, from the outer side looking in: Anybody stopping by in Second Life tonight (which is today for you) for a virtual edu cocktail?I'm aka Kita Coage at Eduisland II, waiting to cocktail connect with you c",)
  • Paul Hamilton
  • For most of us, blogging is very much a personal venture.
  • I suspect that we all have a deep desire to be heard and to be accepted. The longer I'm involved in the edublogosphere, however, the more impressed and encouraged I am by the level of acceptance that there is here. It is a good thing that we don't always agree with each other. Disagreement is often at the heart of constructive conversation
  • At the same time, we are no different than the kids in our classrooms. We educators need to know that we will be accepted, no matter what we have to say and no matter how well we are able to express it. I think we help to make the edublogosphere a "safe place" for each other as we try to keep it positive and as we take advantage of the numerous opportunities to be affirming.
  • Jim Dornberg said.
  • I don't at all feel excluded from the blog "cocktail party", because just like a real cocktail party, I am drawn to the people who have something important, and engaging to say and I am content to listen and learn from them. I have seen a few of the "big names" at conferences, and even met a few of them in person. I have emailed several of them and others, or left an occasional comment, and I have been very pleasantly surprised at the thoughtful responses I have received.
  • I read many blogs, but comment rarely, and I suspect that those who read my blog do the same. So I don't feel at all excluded. I'm just happy to occasionally be part of the conversation.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Many people feel this way -- just happy to be a part of the occasional conversation.
  • Alfred Thompson
  • When I was at EduBloggerCon last spring I felt quite the outsider. There were famous people there and I was unknown. I still feel that way in the broad edublogsphere. But honestly the broad sphere is not who I am blogging for. I blog for a niche - computer science teachers. The event for that niche is SIGCSE and there I (blush) feel a bit like a star. Few of the people there know the edubloggers with much larger readership or Technorati ranks. And really reaching the CS teachers is my goal not reaching everyone who teaches general subjects.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Knowing your audience is very important.
  • There is, I believe, room for more at the top if only because the number of teachers reading blogs is still very small but we all hope it is growing. We are still at the ground floor. That makes edublogging different from tech blogging I think.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Alfred thompson is right on the money!
  • Jason Bengs
  • I think we need to all remember our focus for blogging. Mine is for reflection. I use my blog as a tool to improve my teaching. If others start to read and can learn from it, great. To my knowledge I am the only one seeing my blog right now. Which is fine with me. I don't think blogging should be a popularity contest and having a large number of readers is great, it must mean that you, and others, have something to offer that others want to emulate.
  • prof v said
  • I think you could have added three additional points. First, a suggestion on how to increase readership. I think new bloggers (myself included) are still trying to figure out how to make the connections that allow for conversations within blogs. I go back to your list of 10 tips for successful blogging, and still find things I never noticed before
  • would love to see an updated list that perhaps would include how to make sure your blog is part of an RSS feed and how to set up subscriptions for potential readers to make it easy for them to subscribe to your blog.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      If you go to my blog and search for feedburner -- that is what I use -- I've written several posts on that. I'll have to update the original 10 habits. perhaps I'll do that soon!
  • I think even you have realized that it is more difficult to break into the edublogger field as there is now so many new bloggers (just in the last two years).
    • Vicki Davis
       
      I don't know -- I've seen some newcomers like Darren Draper jump into the blogosphere pretty quickly -- it is about getting involved in the conversation, which is easier now with twitter and webcasts at edtechtalk. Good conversationalists rise to the top.
  • Finally, I am surprised that you did not point out how you have helped new bloggers by both asking for new voices and then publishing them in your own blog. I think this is an indication that you are trying to open up the "party".
    • Vicki Davis
       
      I always let my readers defend me. I'm not perfect, none of us. We also don't have unlimited time... so I have to do the best I can.
  • Dean Shareski
  • Isn't the whole point of web 2.0 is that it exudes democracy and equality? Those that get all concerned about rankings and ratings are, as you've suggested missing the point.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Dean has got it right here.
  • We often quickly want to find ways of ranking. Reminds me of the evils of current assessment practices. We tell kids to do their best and work on improving performance and yet continue to use ranking systems that is clearly a mixed message.
  • Anonymous said.
  • I'm new to this world as of Monday...yes, 4 days of immersing myself in as much ed. tech, web 2.0, online collaboration "stuff" that I can. (thanks to Lisa Thumman at Rutgers U.) Cocktail party or not, your blog and the comments people have left have increased my list of people to follow. Even a discussion about "being on the outside" has led me to the "inside". I'm thrilled to be in the company of such great minds and promise to start contributing once I wrap my brain around it all! Thanks to everyone for sharing! cmtvarok
    • Vicki Davis
       
      A 4 day old newcomer to the edublogosphere comments.. what an amazing linkage of conversation! Wow! Older, newer, very new. Wow!
  • Mrs. V.
  • thanks for coaxing me out of my blogger drought!
    • Vicki Davis
       
      She wrote a great post!
  • Vicki A. Davis
  • I believe that this "post" has been made stronger by the comments, which have added to the post greater depth of meaning.
  • All over this conversation I see the change in society. We are all going through the emotions of becoming accustomed to something new... kind of like I first experienced when the Internet first came out.
  • And while, when I began blogging, I didn't really set my sights or aim for a large readership... now that it is here, I will seriously consider and appreciate each individual reader and take my job seriously
  • @tennessee -- Those in the trenches are my most important reads... I just wish there were more of us. It seems as if many teachers view blogging as a way out of the classroom when they should see it as a way to improve the classroom!
  • @scottmcleod - I believe the comment intensity is highly correlated to controversiality AND immediacy. If a lot of people SAW someone recently, they want to interact and comment (immediacy.) If someone says something very emotional or controversial, people want to comment and interact (controversiality.) While I guess looking at these stats are fine, I've found in my very short time blogging that looking too much at numbers of any kind removes my focus from what is important. When I focus intently on conversation, my blog traffic and numbers just grow. I always say "whatever is watered, grows." If I water my investigation of stats, I become a good statistician... if I water my blog but also commenting and participating in the blogosphere as a WHOLE, I become a good blogger. I'd rather be the latter. And while the post was meant to be encouraging... I have to admit I'm a competitive perfectionist and always have to reign in that aspect of my nature.
  • @christophersessums - I think the emotional nature of something is like the proverbial elephant in the Net -- it is there. It always stuns me the number of people who discuss their feelings on this when it comes up... it means that many of us are experiencing the same thing.
Vicki Davis

Secret Teacher: low morale and high pressure leaves no time for inspiration | Teacher Network | Guardian Professional - 0 views

  •  
    These heartbreaking words from a teacher in the UK. As the world tries to improve education by the numbers, the world has forgotten kids aren't numbers. They are precious, individual and unique and deserve education systems that celebrate and encourage that. OK, teachers, it is time to man the media - you are the media now! Are you fed up yet? It might not be you right now, but if you don't speak, it will be, wherever you teach, such stories impact us all and the profession we care for so much. "As a teacher, I vowed that I would work hard to nurture my students, to make each and every student feel valued and for them to know that they have a voice, and a place in the world. However the last two years have made me feel like that insecure 14-year-old again: I have lost my confidence because of the overly-rigid current education system. We are constantly being told we are not good enough and that we are not doing enough: enough intervention, enough rigorous marking, enough sustained and rapid progress. What excited me the most about becoming a teacher was discovering the hidden talents and sparks of genius in my students. However, it breaks my heart to say this, but I feel that I no longer have time, nor am I encouraged to make these discoveries. We are so caught up with data and so many progress checks that we don't give our students the time to shine. I wonder what would happen if the greats of the world like Einstein, Gaudi, Picasso and Martin Luther King were to attend school in 2013, would they be able to cultivate their talents and thrive?"
Dave Truss

What Makes a Great Teacher? - Magazine - The Atlantic - 27 views

  • Great teachers, he concluded, constantly reevaluate what they are doing. Superstar teachers had four other tendencies in common: they avidly recruited students and their families into the process; they maintained focus, ensuring that everything they did contributed to student learning; they planned exhaustively and purposefully—for the next day or the year ahead—by working backward from the desired outcome; and they worked relentlessly, refusing to surrender to the combined menaces of poverty, bureaucracy, and budgetary shortfalls.
  • one way that great teachers ensure that kids are learning is to frequently check for understanding: Are the kids—all of the kids—following what you are saying? Asking “Does anyone have any questions?” does not work, and it’s a classic rookie mistake. Students are not always the best judges of their own learning. They might understand a line read aloud from a Shakespeare play, but have no idea what happened in the last act.
  • Mr. Taylor follows a very basic lesson plan often referred to by educators as “I do, we do, you do.” He does a problem on the board. Then the whole class does another one the same way. Then all the kids do a problem on their own.
  • ...4 more annotations...
  • “We see routines so strong that they run virtually without any involvement from the teacher. In fact, for many highly effective teachers, the measure of a well-executed routine is that it continues in the teacher’s absence.”
  • On the front wall, Mr. Taylor has posted different hand signals—if you need to go to the bathroom, you raise a closed hand. To ask or answer a question, you raise an open hand. “This way, I have the information before I even call on you,”
  • Before they leave, all the kids fill out an “exit slip,” which is usually in the form of a problem—one more chance for Mr. Taylor to see how they, and he, are doing.
  • I make it my business to call the parents—and not just for bad things.”
  •  
    Great teachers, he concluded, constantly reevaluate what they are doing. Superstar teachers had four other tendencies in common: they avidly recruited students and their families into the process; they maintained focus, ensuring that everything they did contributed to student learning; they planned exhaustively and purposefully-for the next day or the year ahead-by working backward from the desired outcome; and they worked relentlessly, refusing to surrender to the combined menaces of poverty, bureaucracy, and budgetary shortfalls.
Vicki Davis

ASCD - 0 views

  • first 60 seconds of your presentation is
    • Vicki Davis
       
      How many of us emphasize the first 60 seconds of a presentation students give?
  • Summers and other leaders from various companies were not necessarily complaining about young people's poor grammar, punctuation, or spelling—the things we spend so much time teaching and testing in our schools
  • the complaints I heard most frequently were about fuzzy thinking and young people not knowing how to write with a real voice.
  • ...35 more annotations...
  • Employees in the 21st century have to manage an astronomical amount of information daily.
  • There is so much information available that it is almost too much, and if people aren't prepared to process the information effectively it almost freezes them in their steps.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Buidling a PLN using an RSS Reader is ESSENTIAL to managing information. THis is part of what I teach and do and so important!
  • rapidly the information is changing.
  • half-life of knowledge in the humanities is 10 years, and in math and science, it's only two or three years
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Personal learning networks and RSS readers ARE a HUGE issue here. We need to be customing portals and helping students manage information.
  • “People who've learned to ask great questions and have learned to be inquisitive are the ones who move the fastest in our environment because they solve the biggest problems in ways that have the most impact on innovation.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      How do we reward students who question teachers -- not their authority but WHAT They are teaching? Do we reward students who question? Who inquire? Who theorize? Or do we spit them out and punish them? I don't know... I'm questioning.
  • want unique products and services:
  • developing young people's capacities for imagination, creativity, and empathy will be increasingly important for maintaining the United States' competitive advantage in the future.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      IN a typical year, how often are your students asked to invent something from scratch?
  • The three look at one another blankly, and the student who has been doing all the speaking looks at me and shrugs.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      When teachers tell students WHY withouth making them investigate, then we are denying them a learning opportunity. STOP BEING THE SAGE ON THE STAGE!.
  • The test contains 80 multiple-choice questions related to the functions and branches of the federal government.
  • Let me tell you how to answer this one
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Drill and test is what we've made. Mindless robots is what we'll reap. What are we doing?
  • reading from her notes,
  • Each group will try to develop at least two different ways to solve this problem. After all the groups have finished, I'll randomly choose someone from each group who will write one of your proofs on the board, and I'll ask that person to explain the process your group used.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Every time I do a team project, the "random selection" is part of it. Randomly select -- classtools.net has a random name generator -- great tool - and it adds randomness to it.
  • a lesson in which students are learning a number of the seven survival skills while also mastering academic content?
  • students are given a complex, multi-step problem that is different from any they've seen in the past
  • how the group solved the problem, each student in every group is held accountable.
  • ncreasingly, there is only one curriculum: test prep. Of the hundreds of classes that I've observed in recent years, fewer than 1 in 20 were engaged in instruction designed to teach students to think instead of merely drilling for the test.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Not in my class, but in many classes - yes. I wonder how I'd teach differently if someone made me have a master "test" for my students at the end of the year. I'd be teaching to the test b/c I"m a type "A" driven to succeed kind of person. Beware what you measure lest that determine how you grow.
  • . It is working with colleagues to ensure that all students master the skills they need to succeed as lifelong learners, workers, and citizens.
  • I have yet to talk to a recent graduate, college teacher, community leader, or business leader who said that not knowing enough academic content was a problem.
  • critical thinking, communication skills, and collaboration.
  • seven survival skills every day, at every grade level, and in every class.
  • College and Work Readiness Assessment (www.cae.org)—that measure students' analytic-reasoning, critical-thinking, problem-solving, and writing skills.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Would like to look more at this test, however, also doing massive global collaborative projects requiring higher order thinking is something that is helpful, I think.
  • 2. Collaboration and Leadership
  • 3. Agility and Adaptability
  • Today's students need to master seven survival skills to thrive in the new world of work.
  • 4. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
  • 6. Accessing and Analyzing Information
  • 7. Curiosity and Imagination
  • I conducted research beginning with conversations with several hundred business, nonprofit, philanthropic, and education leaders. With a clearer picture of the skills young people need, I then set out to learn whether U.S. schools are teaching and testing the skills that matter most.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Background on the research done by Tony Wagner.
  • “First and foremost, I look for someone who asks good questions,” Parker responded. “We can teach them the technical stuff, but we can't teach them how to ask good questions—how to think.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      This is a great aspect of project based learning. Although when we allow students to have individual research topics, some teachers are frustrated because they cannot "can" their approach (especially tough if the class sizes are TOO LARGE,) students in this environment CAN and MUST ask individualized questions. This is TOUGH to do as the students who haven't developed critical thinking skills, whether because their parents have done their tough work for them (like writing their papers) or teachers have always given answers because they couldn't stand to see the student struggle -- sometimes tough love means the teacher DOESN'T give the child the answer -- as long as they are encouraged just enough to keep them going.
  • “I want people who can engage in good discussion—who can look me in the eye and have a give and take. All of our work is done in teams. You have to know how to work well with other
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Last Saturday, my son met Bill Curry, a football coach and player that he respects. Just before meeting him, my husband reviewed with my son how to meet people. HE told my son, "Look the man in his eyes and let him know your hand is there!" After shaking his hand, as Mr. Curry was signing my son's book, he said, "That is quite a handshake, son, someone has taught you well." Yes -- shaking hands and looking a person in the eye are important and must be taught. This is an essential thing to come from parents AND teachers -- I teach this with my juniors and seniors when we write resumes.
  • how to engage customers
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Engagi ng customers requires that a person stops thinking about their own selfish needs and looks at things through the eyes of the customer!!! The classic issue in marketing is that people think they are marketing to themselves. This happens over and over. Role playing, virtual worlds, and many other experiences can give people a chance to look at things through the eyes of others. I see this happen on the Ning of our projects all the time.
  • the world of work has changed profoundly.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Work has changed, school hasn't. In fact, I would argue that schools are more industrial age than ever with testing and manufacturing of common knowledge (which is often outdated by the time the test is given) at an all time high. Let them create!
  • Over and over, executives told me that the heart of critical thinking and problem solving is the ability to ask the right questions. As one senior executive from Dell said, “Yesterday's answers won't solve today's problems.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      We give students our critical questions -- how often do we let them ask the questions.
  • I say to my employees, if you try five things and get all five of them right, you may be failing. If you try 10 things, and get eight of them right, you're a hero. You'll never be blamed for failing to reach a stretch goal, but you will be blamed for not trying.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      If our students get eight out of 10 right, they are a low "B" student. Do we have projects where students can experiement and fail without "ruining their lives." Can they venture out and try new, risky things?
  • risk aversion
    • Vicki Davis
       
      He says risk aversion is a problem in companies -- YES it is. Although upper management SAYS they want people willing to take risks -- from my experience in the corporate world, what they SAY and what they REWARD are two different things, just ask a wall street broker who took a risky investment and lost money.
Dave Truss

» Some Questions on Composition Bud the Teacher - 3 views

  • And what counts as “writing,” or “composition?” Is a tweet a text, or a piece of a larger text?3  Is a rambling audio podcast, recorded from the driver’s seat of my car, a composition on par with a Master’s thesis, or an essay? So long as a test or assessment or evaluation of a text occurs within a limited finition of what counts as writing, are these other forms valid? How do we who is a “good” writer?  What is “good” writing?
  • That we now have more tools for making marks, and that we have new kinds of marks – photographs, videos, complex visualizations – doesn’t make the essential task of making meaning any easier. In some ways, as our options for composition increase, it gets harder to decide, to choose which way of making marks will get the point that we wish to make across.  Harder, too, is what we must do in classrooms to convey the power of language and to help make our students critical participants in the literacies and literatures of our/their/our futures/our pasts.
  •  
    And what counts as "writing," or "composition?" Is a tweet a text, or a piece of a larger text?3 Is a rambling audio podcast, recorded from the driver's seat of my car, a composition on par with a Master's thesis, or an essay? So long as a test or assessment or evaluation of a text occurs within a limited finition of what counts as writing, are these other forms valid? How do we who is a "good" writer? What is "good" writing?
Vicki Davis

Coffee for the Brain: Iowa Teacher Evaluations Tied To State Tests? My Beef With This and Why - 3 views

  •  
    I'm not partisan. There are some things that Aaron Maurer says in this post that make a lot of sense. "What bothers me is this "punish the whole system method" employed in the education world. I agree that teachers need to be held accountable. However, I know that state test scores do not show what I teach. What happens in schools is that we never address the specific issues at hand. If a teacher is not doing their job, then call them out. Tell them, show them how they are messing up, and then give them a plan to improve. Help them with necessary skills. If they choose not to improve or they simply don't improve, then you let them go. No more of this keeping teachers for 30 years and for 30 years they have been bad. That affects too many children that need good quality teachers. Hold us accountable like we should be holding our students accountable."
Andrew Barras

Students Weigh In On Characteristics of Effective Teachers : Educational Technology Guy - 18 views

  • The first comment made by a student was that students don't like, and will become unmotivated to do work, when a teacher doesn't have a plan, is unprepared, and "wings it" each day for lessons.
  • they like it when a teacher posts the homework ahead of time so that they can start it early if need be.
  • they absolutely hate when teachers don't get work or tests graded and back to the students in a timely fashion.
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  • the best teachers are enthusiastic and excited about what they teach, make it fun and interesting, use projects in class, and make their classroom a safe place to be.
  • Projects were listed as something they all loved.
  • they learned more through projects than just listening to a teacher talk or doing homework.
  • most students saw Facebook as a social thing, not necessarily for education. They did like when teachers use web sites and email though and want teachers to be accessible via email for help.
  •  
    What student think make good teachers
Dave Truss

ELT notes: IWBs and the Fallacy of Integration - 7 views

  • motivation and control. One seems to need the other, apparently. Keep the students motivated and you are a great teacher in control of the learning process. But we miss the point. Motivation has a short-term effect. New things will be old again. If we equal motivation with learning we will cling too much to it and direct our best efforts (and school budget) to gaining back control. A useless cycle that can lead us to consider extremely double-edged ideas like paying students to keep them learning.
  • We need autonomous, self-motivated students in love with the process of how humanity has learnt.
  • There is a underlying idea in the framing of our questions that needs unlearning. The belief that there are "levels", layers of complexity, hierarchies that we can detect and... well, control. But wait! Isn't that the very old way we want to truly change with new technologies?
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  • We already know it's about shifting power. Tight teacher control is a hindrance to foster empowered students who own their learning paths. We need to be aware of the old way finding its way to surface in what we question.
  • Tech is tech no matter what it does. It's innovative in its nature.
  • We can tell by the huge resistance to it. If there is no resistance in the process, we are probably facing improvements and weighing their gains in efficiency points. Good enough, only it is not an innovation. Innovation is not about "more or better", it's about "different".
  • What is the school picture today? What does my working context look like?I see an illusion that technology is to be bought, taught, used in class and then we can expect everyone to be happy. This false assumption seems to be guiding managerial decisions. This is the same old story behind the idea of technology "integration".
  • I doubt formal courses can make people adopt informal ways of learning. Courses could change teacher behaviour and leave their mindset untouched.
  • students are not digital natives. They know very little about educational uses of the technology they have been using for entertainment purposes only. They are quite ready to resist thoughtful, time consuming uses of the same technology. Particularly if they have had no part in choosing or deciding together with the teacher how we would use it.
  • First things first. Stay out of the tug-of-war. It is not a moment to think if the school is wrong in imposing it and teachers are right in resisting it. It's probably the moment to get together and go ahead purposefully. This is short-term thinking, though. Somehow teachers need to communicate to managers that the buy-don't-ask is an unhealthy approach from now on.
  • Ideally, we should envision a future where authorities engage teachers in conversations before buying.
  • Innovative teaching practices require innovative management practices. Let's think of adoption models that rely on having one-to-one conversations with teachers, experimenting together, asking them how far they feel they need mentoring, identifying what makes teachers happy at work.
  •  
    We need autonomous, self-motivated students in love with the process of how humanity has learnt.
Brendan Murphy

How to fix our schools: A manifesto by Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee and other education leaders - 16 views

  • has left our school districts impotent and, worse, has robbed millions of children of a real future
    • Michael Walker
       
      Why are district's impotent? If administrators do their job and a) mentor young teachers and b) remove them if they are ineffective the system can work!
    • t jaffe-notier
       
      Yes. In the districts where administrators work the system does work. Unfortunately these mega-district administrators think that their job consists only of firing bad teachers. The hardest work is giving the good teachers the resources they need to continue excellent work!
  • District leaders also need the authority to use financial incentives to attract and retain the best teachers.
    • Michael Walker
       
      And yet, studies show that merit pay doesn't work!
    • t jaffe-notier
       
      That's right. Socio-emotional learning, one of the most important kinds for the development of good citizens, defies standardized testing.
    • Brendan Murphy
       
      How about we raise starting pay for teachers to $60,000 per year. Make teaching a profession more top notch students want to major in.
  • but let's stop pretending that everyone who goes into the classroom has the ability and temperament to lift our children to excellence.
    • t jaffe-notier
       
      Wow. Straw man. Who's pretending? Let's stop flogging our administrators and stop slapping our policemen too...
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  • We must equip educators with the best technology available to make instruction more effective and efficient. By better using technology to collect data on student learning and shape individualized instruction, we can help transform our classrooms and lessen the burden on teachers' time.
    • Michael Walker
       
      Yes, the most effective way to use technology in the classroom is to gather data...NOT! What about providing the technology so the students can create meaning and learn?
    • t jaffe-notier
       
      I've found that administrators aren't too interested in individualized instruction, even though they say so. What they want is higher scores on "common assessments" whether or not this benefits individual learners. Humanities teachers have always been frustrated by this, and now science teachers are frustrated too. They're not allowed to help students achieve excellence in areas that are exactly the right amount of challenge for each student. Instead, they're still forced to "cover everything" for each student, in spite of the fact that this does not benefit students who haven't mastered the material to a point of competence. Weird.
  • For the wealthiest among us, the crisis in public education may still seem like someone else's problem, because those families can afford to choose something better for their kids. But it's a problem for all of us -- until we fix our schools, we will never fix the nation's broader economic problems. Until we fix our schools, the gap between the haves and the have-nots will only grow wider and the United States will fall further behind the rest of the industrialized world in education, rendering the American dream a distant, elusive memory.
    • t jaffe-notier
       
      How can we recruit excellent teachers to schools that need them the most when our best proposed solutions don't reward teachers for taking on a challenge?
  • taking advantage of online lessons and other programs
    • Brendan Murphy
       
      This is code for let's pay online educators $12 an hour to teach and remove the cost of those expensive buildings.
  • replace or substantially restructure persistently low-performing schools that continuously fail our students.
    • Brendan Murphy
       
      Can we start at the very top and fire the superintendents?
  • charter schools a truly viable option
    • Brendan Murphy
       
      No they aren't a viable option, they are labratories.
  •  
    This article is ripe for Diigo commentary!
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  •  
    New York Times "How we can fix our schools"
  •  
    This article is ripe for Diigo commentary!
  •  
    This article is ripe for Diigo commentary!
Suzie Nestico

Father: Why I didn't let my son take standardized tests - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post - 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?  
Dennis OConnor

The Wrath Against Khan: Why Some Educators Are Questioning Khan Academy - 6 views

  • While "technology will replace teachers" seems like a silly argument to make, one need only look at the state of most school budgets and know that something's got to give. And lately, that something looks like teachers' jobs, particularly to those on the receiving end of pink slips. Granted, we haven't implemented a robot army of teachers to replace those expensive human salaries yet (South Korea is working on the robot teacher technology. I'll keep you posted.). But we are laying off teachers in mass numbers. Teachers know their jobs are on the line, something that's incredibly demoralizing for a profession already struggles mightily to retain qualified people.
  • it's hard not to see that wealth as having political not just economic impact. Indeed, the same week that Bill Gates spoke to the Council of Chief State School Officers about ending pay increases for graduate degrees in teaching, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued almost the very same statement. What does all of this have to do with Sal Khan? Well, nothing... and everything.
  • One of education historian Diane Ravitch's oft-uttered complaints is that we now have a bunch of billionaires like Gates dictating education policy and education reform, without ever having been classroom teachers themselves (or without having attended public school). But the skepticism about Khan Academy isn't just a matter of wealth or credentials of Khan or his backers. It's a matter of pedagogy.
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  • No doubt, Khan has done something incredible by creating thousands of videos, distributing them online for free, and now designing an analytics dashboard for people to monitor and guide students' movements through the Khan Academy material. And no doubt, lots of people say they've learned a lot by watching the videos. The ability pause, rewind, and replay is often cited as the difference between "getting" the subject matter through classroom instruction and "getting it" via Khan Academy's lecture-demonstrations.
  • Although there's a tech component here that makes this appear innovative, that's really a matter of form, not content, that's new. There's actually very little in the videos that distinguishes Khan from "traditional" teaching. A teacher talks. Students listen. And that's "learning." Repeat over and over again (Pause, rewind, replay in this case). And that's "drilling."
Ed Webb

Why hard work and specialising early is not a recipe for success - The Correspondent - 0 views

  • dispelling nonsense is much harder than spreading nonsense.
  • a worldwide cult of the head start – a fetish for precociousness. The intuitive opinion that dedicated, focused specialists are superior to doubting, daydreaming Jacks-of-all-trades is winning
  • astonishing sacrifices made in the quest for efficiency, specialisation and excellence
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  • Most things that people want to learn do not resemble language, golf or chess, but rather a game in which the generalist has an advantage. A hostile learning environment
  • Seemingly inefficient things are productive: expanding your horizons, giving yourself time, switching professions. 
  • early specialisation is a good idea if you want to become successful in certain fields, sports or professions. In fact, in some cases, it’s the only option. Take chess, for example: if you don’t start early, you won’t stand a chance at glory.
  • learning chess is not a good model for learning other things. Epstein explains this using the work of psychologist Robin Hogarth, who makes the distinction between friendly (kind) and unfriendly or hostile (wicked) learning environments.
  • In a friendly learning environment, such as chess, the rules are clear, the information is complete (all pieces are visible on the board), and you can (ultimately) determine the quality of every move. In other words, the feedback loop
  • friendly learning environments are the exception. The world is not as clear-cut as golf or chess. So early specialisation is often a bad idea. 
  • In hostile learning environments without repetitive patterns, mastery is much harder to achieve. The feedback loop is insidious. Unlike chess, experience does not necessarily make you better. You may stick with the wrong approach because you’re convinced it’s the right one. 
  • The better a teacher scored on their own subject (i.e., the higher the grades their students got in that subject), the more mediocre students’ scores were across the complete programme (all modules). The explanation? Those teachers gave their students rigidly defined education, purely focused on passing exams. The students passed their tests with high marks – and rated their teachers highly in surveys – but would fail later on. 
  • In learning environments without repetitive patterns, where cause and effect are not always clear, early specialisation and spending countless hours does not guarantee success. Quite the opposite, Epstein argues. Generalists have the advantage: they have a wider range of experiences and a greater ability to associate and improvise. (The world has more in common with jazz than classical music, Epstein explains in a chapter on music.)
  • Many modern professions aren’t so much about applying specific solutions than they are about recognising the nature of a problem, and only then coming up with an approach. That becomes possible when you learn to see analogies with other fields, according to psychologist Dedre Gentner, who has made this subject her life’s work.
  • Another advantage generalists and late specialists have is more concrete: you are more likely to pick a suitable study, sport or profession if you first orient yourself broadly before you make a choice.
  • Greater enjoyment of the game is one of the benefits associated with late specialisation, along with fewer injuries and more creativity.
  • which child, teenager or person in their 20s knows what they will be doing for the rest of their lives?
  • Persevering along a chosen path can also lead to other problems: frustrations about failure. If practice makes perfect, why am I not a genius? In a critical review,
  • The tricky thing about generalist long-term thinking versus specialist short-term thinking is that the latter produces faster and more visible results.
  • specialising in short-term success gets in the way of long-term success. This also applies to education.
  • (Another example: the on-going worry about whether or not students’ degree choices are "labour market relevant".)
  • Teachers who taught more broadly – who did not teach students readymade "prescribed lessons” but instilled "principles" – were not rated as highly in their own subject, but had the most sustainable effect on learning. However, this was not reflected in the results. These teachers were awarded – logically but tragically – lower ratings by their students.
  • the 10,000 hour gang has considerable power with their message "quitters never win, winners never quit".Epstein’s more wholesome message seems weak and boring in comparison. Some things are simply not meant for everyone, doubt is understandable and even meaningful, you can give up and change your choice of work, sports or hobby, and an early lead can actually be a structural disadvantage. 
  • "Don’t feel behind." Don’t worry if others seem to be moving faster, harder or better. Winners often quit.
Vicki Davis

Positive school climate boosts test scores, study says | EdSource Today - 8 views

  •  
    If you want plants to grow add rain, sunshine and warmth. The same works with children. A warm, caring environment where students and teachers have positive relationships, where they feel safe and have supports to help them succeed improves test scores. This is no surprise to good teachers. Those who put inordinate stress on teachers in ways that causes stress and harshness are likely hurting test scores and having the opposite effect, if one is to interpret this. Take a read and take action - on my blog I and many commenters have been discussing getting along with colleagues and having warm relationships with students. It isn't fluff but rather, is the stuff that test scores are made of. "It's the million-dollar question or, given the size of the California education budget, the $50-billion-dollar question: What makes extraordinarily successful schools different from other schools? The answer: school climate, according to a new study from WestEd, a San Francisco-based research agency. In recent years, the concept of school climate has gained increasing currency in education reform circles and the California Department of Education has received federal grants to evaluate school climate in 170 schools, as well as Safe and Supportive Schools grants to fund programs that enhance school climate. As defined by the WestEd study, a positive school climate includes caring relationships between teachers and students, physical and emotional safety, and academic and emotional supports that help students succeed. The goal of a positive school climate is "a sense of belonging, competence and autonomy" for both students and staff, the report said."
Vicki Davis

2013 F3 Educator Showcase Submission Form | Foundations for the Future (F3) - 2 views

  •  
    This is a call out specifically to my friends out there in the Atlanta area or anywhere in Georgia to put in for a poster session at Georgia Tech's conference about the Foundations for the future. I wish I could get away but am a bit tied up at school right now. Here's the information and link: "Foundations for the Future (F3), a K-12 outreach and research program at Georgia Tech Research Institute, knows that Georgia teachers are using technology in amazing ways to inspire and engage students. One of the most frequent comments we hear is that it is difficult for educators to know what's working for other educators because there is so much going on, not everyone can afford to attend conferences, and access to technology is inconsistent across the state. We want to honor and highlight teachers and their projects. What better way to get inspired than through a fellow colleague! What better way to meet other passionate educators and share your experiences! F3 is hosting the 2013 F3 Educator Showcase during our May Explorers Guild meeting. The showcase will include a panel discussion along with a poster session. If you are interested in applying for the poster session, all you need to do is follow the guidelines below. Posters will be chosen by a selection committee of F3 partners and Georgia Tech colleagues. Chosen posters will be printed for participants so that after the event they can take the posters back to their school to continue highlighting the good work taking place there! This event helps support F3's mission to help acquire and leverage instructional technology resources for Georgia's classrooms, schools, and districts, share best practices, and establish a community of learners. We look forward to your submissions and can't wait to see you all at the event in May!   Guidelines for Poster Abstract Submission: Title: Accurately and concisely present your idea in 15 words or less Abstract: In 350 words or less, tell us about how using technology
Steve Ransom

Technology in Schools Faces Questions on Value - NYTimes.com - 11 views

  • When it comes to showing results, he said, “We better put up or shut up.”
  • Critics counter that, absent clear proof, schools are being motivated by a blind faith in technology and an overemphasis on digital skills — like using PowerPoint and multimedia tools — at the expense of math, reading and writing fundamentals. They say the technology advocates have it backward when they press to upgrade first and ask questions later.
  • how the district was innovating.
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  • district was innovating
  • there is no good way to quantify those achievements — putting them in a tough spot with voters deciding whether to bankroll this approach again
  • “We’ve jumped on bandwagons for different eras without knowing fully what we’re doing. This might just be the new bandwagon,” he said. “I hope not.”
  • $46.3 million for laptops, classroom projectors, networking gear and other technology for teachers and administrators.
  • If we know something works
  • it is hard to separate the effect of the laptops from the effect of the teacher training
  • “Test scores are the same, but look at all the other things students are doing: learning to use the Internet to research, learning to organize their work, learning to use professional writing tools, learning to collaborate with others.”
  • Good teachers, he said, can make good use of computers, while bad teachers won’t, and they and their students could wind up becoming distracted by the technology.
  • “It’s not the stuff that counts — it’s what you do with it that matters.”
  • creating an impetus to rethink education entirely
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Like teaching powerpoint is "rethinking education". Right.
  • “There is a connection between the physical hand on the paper and the words on the page,” she said. “It’s intimate.”
  • “They’re inundated with 24/7 media, so they expect it,”
  • The 30 students in the classroom held wireless clickers into which they punched their answers. Seconds later, a pie chart appeared on the screen: 23 percent answered “True,” 70 percent “False,” and 6 percent didn’t know.
  • rofessor Cuban at Stanford argues that keeping children engaged requires an environment of constant novelty, which cannot be sustained.
  • engagement is a “fluffy
  • term” that can slide past critical analysis.
  • that computers can distract and not instruct.
  • guide on the side.
  • Professor Cuban at Stanford
  • But she loves the fact that her two children, a fourth-grader and first-grader, are learning technology, including PowerPoint
  • The high-level analyses that sum up these various studies, not surprisingly, give researchers pause about whether big investments in technology make sense.
  • Mr. Share bases his buying decisions on two main factors: what his teachers tell him they need, and his experience. For instance, he said he resisted getting the interactive whiteboards sold as Smart Boards until, one day in 2008, he saw a teacher trying to mimic the product with a jury-rigged projector setup. “It was an ‘Aha!’ moment,” he said, leading him to buy Smart Boards, made by a company called Smart Technologies.
  • This is big business.
  • “Do we really need technology to learn?” she said. “It’s a very valid time to ask the question, right before this goes on the ballot.”
Caroline Bucky-Beaver

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education - 1 views

  • Fair use is the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances -- especially when the cultural or social benefits of the use are predominant. It is a general right that applies even in situations where the law provides no specific authorization for the use in question -- as it does for certain narrowly defined classroom activities.
  • guide identifies five principles that represent the media literacy education community’s current consensus about acceptable practices for the fair use of copyrighted materials
  • code of best practices does not tell you the limits of fair use rights. Instead, it describes how those rights should apply in certain recurrent situations.
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  • Media literacy education distinctively features the analytical attitude that teachers and learners, working together, adopt toward the media objects they study. The foundation of effective media analysis is the recognition that: All media messages are constructed.Each medium has different characteristics and strengths and a unique language of construction.Media messages are produced for particular purposes.All media messages contain embedded values and points of view.People use their individual skills, beliefs and experiences to construct their own meanings from media messages.Media and media messages can influence beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, and the democratic process. Making media and sharing it with listeners, readers, and viewers is essential to the development of critical thinking and communication skills. Feedback deepens reflection on one’s own editorial and creative choices and helps students grasp the power of communication.
  • Lack of clarity reduces learning and limits the ability to use digital tools. Some educators close their classroom doors and hide what they fear is infringement; others hyper-comply with imagined rules that are far stricter than the law requires, limiting the effectiveness of their teaching and their students’ learning.
  • Educators and learners in media literacy often make uses of copyrighted materials that stand far outside the marketplace, for instance, in the classroom, at a conference, or within a school-wide or district-wide festival. Such uses, especially when they occur within a restricted-access network, do enjoy certain copyright advantages.
  • Law provides copyright protection to creative works in order to foster the creation of culture. Its best known feature is protection of owners’ rights. But copying, quoting, and generally re-using existing cultural material can be, under some circumstances, a critically important part of generating new culture.
  • In reviewing the history of fair use litigation, we find that judges return again and again to two key questions: Did the unlicensed use "transform" the material taken from the copyrighted work by using it for a different purpose than that of the original, or did it just repeat the work for the same intent and value as the original? Was the material taken appropriate in kind and amount, considering the nature of the copyrighted work and of the use? If the answers to these two questions are "yes," a court is likely to find a use fair. Because that is true, such a use is unlikely to be challenged in the first place.
  • Both key questions touch on, among other things, the question of whether the use will cause excessive economic harm to the copyright owner. Courts have told us that copyright owners aren’t entitled to an absolute monopoly over transformative uses of their works.
  • Another consideration underlies and influences the way in which these questions are analyzed: whether the user acted reasonably and in good faith, in light of general practice in his or her particular field.
  • Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education
  • Through its five principles, this code of best practices identifies five sets of current practices in the use of copyrighted materials in media literacy education to which the doctrine of fair use clearly applies. These practices are associated with K–12 education, higher education, and in classes given by nonprofit organizations. When students or educators use copyrighted materials in their own creative work outside of an educational context, they can rely on fair use guidelines created by other creator groups, including documentary filmmakers and online video producers.
  • These principles apply to all forms of media.
  • The principles apply in institutional settings and to non-school-based programs. 
  • The principles concern the unlicensed fair use of copyrighted materials for education, not the way those materials were acquired. 
  • where a use is fair, it is irrelevant whether the source of the content in question was a recorded over-the-air broadcast, a teacher’s personal copy of a newspaper or a DVD, or a rented or borrowed piece of media. Labels on commercial media products proclaiming that they are “licensed for home [or private or educational or noncommercial] use only” do not affect in any way the educator’s ability to make fair use of the contents—in fact, such legends have no legal effect whatsoever. (If a teacher is using materials subject to a license agreement negotiated by the school or school system, however, she may bebound by the terms of that license.)
  • The principles are all subject to a “rule of proportionality.” 
  • fairness of a use depends, in part, on whether the user tookmore than was needed to accomplish his or her legitimate purpose.
  • PRINCIPLES
  • ONE:  Employing Copyrighted Material in Media Literacy Lessons
  • TWO:  Employing Copyrighted Materials in Preparing Curriculum Materials
  • THREE:  Sharing Media Literacy Curriculum Materials
  • In materials they wish to share, curriculum developers should beespecially careful to choose illustrations from copyrighted media that are necessaryto meet the educational objectives of the lesson, using only what furthers theeducational goal or purpose for which it is being made.
  • FOUR:  Student Use of Copyrighted Materials in Their Own Academic and Creative Work
  • Students should be able to understand and demonstrate, in a mannerappropriate to their developmental level, how their use of a copyrighted workrepurposes or transforms the original. For example, students may use copyrightedmusic for a variety of purposes, but cannot rely on fair use when their goal is simplyto establish a mood or convey an emotional tone, or when they employ popular songssimply to exploit their appeal and popularity.
  • FIVE:  Developing Audiences for Student Work
  • If student work that incorporates, modifies, and re-presents existingmedia content meets the transformativeness standard, it can be distributed to wideaudiences under the doctrine of fair use.
  • Educators and learners in media literacy often make uses of copyrighted works outside the marketplace, for instance in the classroom, a conference, or within a school-wide or district-wide festival. When sharing is confined to a delimited network, such uses are more likely to receive special consideration under the fair use doctrine.
  • Especially in situations where students wish to share their work more broadly (by distributing it to the public, for example, or including it as part of a personal portfolio), educators should take the opportunity to model the real-world permissions process, with explicit emphasis not only on how that process works, but also on how it affects media making.
  • The ethical obligation to provide proper attribution also should be examined.
  • This code of best practices, by contrast, is shaped by educators for educators and the learners they serve, with the help of legal advisors. As an important first step in reclaiming their fair use rights, educators should employ this document to inform their own practices in the classroom and beyond
  • MYTH:  Fair Use Is Just for Critiques, Commentaries, or Parodies. Truth:  Transformativeness, a key value in fair use law, can involve modifying material or putting material in a new context, or both. Fair use applies to a wide variety of purposes, not just critical ones. Using an appropriate excerpt from copyrighted material to illustrate a key idea in the course of teaching is likely to be a fair use, for example. Indeed, the Copyright Act itself makes it clear that educational uses will often be considered fair because they add important pedagogical value to referenced media objects.
  • So if work is going to be shared widely, it is good to be able to rely on transformativeness. As the cases show, a transformative new work can be highly commercial in intent and effect and qualify under the fair use doctrine.
  •  
    Great article outlining copyright, fair use and explaning the 5 principles of fair use in education.
Ed Webb

Seen Not Heard- Boing Boing - 3 views

  • Cameras don't make you feel more secure; they make you feel twitchy and paranoid. Some people say that the only people who don't like school cameras are the people that have something to hide. But having the cameras is a constant reminder that the school does not trust you and that the school is worried your fellow classmates might go on some sort of killing rampage.
  • Some people say youngsters are more disrespectful than ever before. But if you were in an environment where you were constantly being treated as a criminal, would you still be respectful? In high school, one of my favorite English teachers never had trouble with her students. The students in her class were the most well behaved in the school--even if they were horrible in other teachers' classes. We were well-mannered, addressed her as "Ma'am," and stood when she entered the room. Other teachers were astonished that she could manage her students so well, especially since many of them were troublemakers. She accomplished this not though harsh discipline, but by treating us with respect and being genuinely hurt if we did not return it.
  • The Library and a few good teachers are what kept me from dropping out.
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  • Schools today are not training students to be good citizens: they are training students to be obedient.
    • Ed Webb
       
      Schools have always attempted to teach this. And they have always ended up teaching how not to get caught.
  • I even read about a girl who ran a library of banned books out of her locker.
  • the football team got a bigger budget than the Library
  • @SchoolSecurityBlog, the issue is that in schools your constitutional rights are completely ignored. Random bag searches are not conducted with probable cause or a search warrant. If students spend the first part of their life in an environment where their rights are ignored, then they will not insist on them later in life. Someone might make the argument that since students are minors that they don't have rights. It is a weak argument. For one thing, I reached the age of majority while still in public school, and they still ignored my rights.
  • most of these so called "reasonable risk reduction measures" are not reasonable nor do they reduce risk. Cameras are entirely ineffective in preventing crime or violence. My school had a camera watching the vending machines, but a student still robbed them and was not even caught (he took the simple measure of obscuring his face). I acknowledge that there have been many court ruling that make what schools do legal. However, even with the "in loco parentis" policy in place, even my parents would not have a legal right to search my stuff without my permission when I turned 18 (which is how old I was my senior year). Yet the school could search my bag if they wanted to. Or my friends car (I am pretty sure he was also 18 when that happened, he was only a few months younger than I). That means that once a kid turns 18, the school system technically had more control over the kid than his parents do. Another problem that I have with in loco parentis is that the school really is not a students parent. A parent presumably has the child's best interests at heart, if they didn't it could be grounds for the state to take the child away from the parent. Unfortunately, school faculty members do not always have the student's best interests at heart. They should and often do, but many times some faculty members just like messing with people. It is an unfortunate fact, and one that I am sure many people would like to ignore, but the fact of the matter is that bullies are not confined to the student body. Also parents go to extraordinary measures for their children. They pay to keep them clothed and fed and cared for. They devote endless hours taking care of them. Therefore it makes sense that they should be granted extraordinary legal measures to take care of their children. To grant these same legal measures to an arbitrary school faculty member is really in insult to the hard and loving work of parents everywhere.
  • The schools of decades past seemed to get by without universal surveillance. Why is it all of the sudden essential today? Could many of these security measures be over reactions stemming from mass publicized incidents of school violence?
Terry Elliott

World Without Walls: Learning Well with Others | Edutopia - 0 views

  • We must also expand our ability to think critically about the deluge of information now being produced by millions of amateur authors without traditional editors and researchers as gatekeepers. In fact, we need to rely on trusted members of our personal networks to help sift through the sea of stuff, locating and sharing with us the most relevant, interesting, useful bits. And we have to work together to organize it all, as long-held taxonomies of knowledge give way to a highly personalized information environment.
    • Jeff Richardson
       
      Good reason for teaching dig citizenship
    • Terry Elliott
       
      What Will suggests here is rising complexity, but for this to succeed we don't need to fight our genetic heritage. Put yourself on the Serengeti plains, a hunter-gatherer searching for food. You are thinking critically about a deluge of data coming through your senses (modern folk discount this idea, but any time in jobs that require observation in the 'wild' (farming comes to mind) will disabuse you rather quickly that the natural world is providing a clear channel.) You are not only relying upon your own 'amateur' abilities but those of your family and extended family to filter the noise of the world to get to the signal. This tribe is the original collaborative model and if we do not try to push too hard against this still controlling 'mean gene' then we will as a matter of course become a nation of collaborative learning tribes.
  • Collaboration in these times requires our students to be able to seek out and connect with learning partners, in the process perhaps navigating cultures, time zones, and technologies. It requires that they have a vetting process for those they come into contact with: Who is this person? What are her passions? What are her credentials? What can I learn from her?
    • Terry Elliott
       
      Aye, aye, captain. This is the classic problem of identity and authenticity. Can I trust this person on all the levels that are important for this particular collaboration? A hidden assumption here is that students have a passion themselves to learn something from these learning partners. What will be doing in this collaboration nation to value the ebb and flow of these learners' interests? How will we handle the idiosyncratic needs of the child who one moment wants to be J.K.Rowling and the next Madonna. Or both? What are the unintended consequences of creating an truly collaborative nation? Do we know? Would this be a 'worse' world for the corporations who seek our dollars and our workers? Probably. It might subvert the corporation while at the same moment create a new body of corporate cooperation. Isn't it pretty to think so.
  • Likewise, we must make sure that others can locate and vet us.
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  • technical know-how is not enough. We must also be adept at negotiating, planning, and nurturing the conversation with others we may know little about -- not to mention maintaining a healthy balance between our face-to-face and virtual lives (another dance for which kids sorely need coaching).
    • Terry Elliott
       
      All of these skills are technical know how. We differentiate between hard and soft skills when we should be showing how they are all of a piece. I am so far from being an adequate coach on all of these matters it appalls me. I feel like the teacher who is one day ahead of his students and fears any question that skips ahead to chapters I have not read yet.
  • The Collaboration Age comes with challenges that often cause concern and fear. How do we manage our digital footprints, or our identities, in a world where we are a Google search away from both partners and predators? What are the ethics of co-creation when the nuances of copyright and intellectual property become grayer each day? When connecting and publishing are so easy, and so much of what we see is amateurish and inane, how do we ensure that what we create with others is of high quality?
    • Terry Elliott
       
      Partners and predators? OK, let's not in any way go down this road. This is the road our mainstream media has trod to our great disadvantage as citizens. These are not co-equal. Human brains are not naturally probablistic computer. We read about a single instance of internet predation and we equate it with all the instances of non-predation. We all have zero tolerance policies against guns in the school, yet our chances of being injured by those guns are fewer than a lightning strike. We cannot ever have this collaborative universe if we insist on a zero probability of predation. That is why, for good and ill, schools will never cross that frontier. It is in our genes. "Better safe than sorry" vs. "Risks may be our safeties in disguise."
  • Students are growing networks without us, writing Harry Potter narratives together at FanFiction.net, or trading skateboarding videos on YouTube. At school, we disconnect them not only from the technology but also from their passion and those who share it.
  • The complexities of editing information online cannot be sequestered and taught in a six-week unit. This has to be the way we do our work each day.
  • The process of collaboration begins with our willingness to share our work and our passions publicly -- a frontier that traditional schools have rarely crossed.
  • Look no further than Wikipedia to see the potential; say what you will of its veracity, no one can deny that it represents the incredible potential of working with others online for a common purpose.
  • The technologies we block in their classrooms flourish in their bedrooms
  • Anyone with a passion for something can connect to others with that same passion -- and begin to co-create and colearn the same way many of our students already do.
  • I believe that is what educators must do now. We must engage with these new technologies and their potential to expand our own understanding and methods in this vastly different landscape. We must know for ourselves how to create, grow, and navigate these collaborative spaces in safe, effective, and ethical ways. And we must be able to model those shifts for our students and counsel them effectively when they run across problems with these tools.
  •  
    Article by Wil Richardson on Collaboration
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