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Tony Richards

The Atlantic Online | January/February 2010 | What Makes a Great Teacher? | Amanda Ripley - 12 views

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    "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
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...
  • ...5 more annotations...
  • 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.
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    This article is ripe for Diigo commentary!
  • ...1 more comment...
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    New York Times "How we can fix our schools"
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    This article is ripe for Diigo commentary!
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    This article is ripe for Diigo commentary!
Brian C. Smith

eSchoolNews - Students want more use of gaming technology - 0 views

    • Brian C. Smith
       
      Is it only the test scores? I worry about the actual translation of math skills to real world problems rather than having students do well on a test or beat their friends for bragging rights.
  • Nearly two-thirds of middle and high school students said “let me use my own laptop, cell phone, or other mobile device at school.”
  • While 53 percent of middle and high school students are excited about using mobile devices to help them learn, only 15 percent of school leaders support this idea. Also, fewer than half as many parents as students see a place for online learning in the 21st century school.
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      With a gap of 38% between students and admins you'd think the administrators might actually approach students, the most untapped resource in the school community, about how they might see the use of mobile devices to help or enhance thier learning and communication.
  • ...4 more annotations...
  • And even fewer teachers, parents, and school leaders want students to have access to eMail and instant-messaging accounts from school.
  • Keeping school leaders well informed is the first step toward helping to bridge this disconnect
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      There are many, many timely and effective ways for school leaders to stay informed themselves. Why are they not taking advantage of these? Let's teach them to fish.
  • Hopefully, the results of this survey will reach them. If school leaders become more familiar with student views,
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      Suggestion: Listen and talk (sparingly) to the students in your schools, get to know them. One of the best strategies for learning I ever learned was to "know your students well". Listen to the students in your schools and you will learn a lot.
  • his vision for the ultimate school is one where the teachers and the principal actively seek and regularly include the ideas of students in discussions and planning for all aspects of education—not just technology.
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      Exactly.
Vicki Davis

In Fond Memory of a Mentor, Leader, and Friend - 2020Nexus Blog - 2020Nexus - 1 views

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    What will people say about you as a principal or leader when you are gone? Here is a touching post written by a technology teacher in mourning. I also want to point out that this is one case that spammy comment scumbags make me mad. Add your kind comment of condolence so a good person can be remembered well. I hope the author will take off the spammy comments. (This I one reason I love Disqus, which can be added to just about any blog. I stops the comment spammers cold.)
Vicki Davis

Good "Geofences" Make Good Neighbors in Age of Mobile Alerts : New England Board of Higher Education - 3 views

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    Geofencing is a new concept in safety notifications. Schools can literally notify anyone entering an area (i.e. notify vendors and parents they must check in with the office when entering a certain area), leaving an area, or within an area of issues. This could be used to notify and protect students, teachers, and anyone on campus in the case of an emergency of any kind.  This article is one of the best I've seen about geofencing and how it works, although it is promoting an app (Ping4alerts) it is very useful for safety leaders and it directors to read and understand the potential of this very useful technology. "Hyperlocal alerts are a new capability made possible by the rise of smart devices and "geofencing" technology. A geofence is a virtually "fenced-off" area or geographic location. When this concept is applied to mobile devices, it refers to the ability of users to receive automatic alerts or notifications when entering, leaving or moving within a geographic area specifically defined by a virtual geofence. That area could be as small as a single building or as large as a state or region of the country. System leaderss draw a square on a map through their portal interface to designate the location and size of the geofenced in area."
Vicki Davis

Hacking Your Classroom: Getting Around Blocks & Bans - 0 views

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    Dawn Casey-Rowe hits a tough topic that is the number one complaint that teachers have. I had her on my show not too long a go and she speaks from a tough situation with lots of blocks and bans but gets it done anyway. If your complaint is blocks and bans, then take time to read this post to focus on what you CAN do. Dawn is offering a set of PD blog posts that you'll want to dig into. "This week, we're going to discuss the white elephant in the room. Tech frustration. Many teachers struggle to bring students the type of tech experience they would like because of systemic blocks and bans, or worse, feel embarrassed as students have more access to tech than teachers do. This is the issue that brought me to the tech world myself. Students continually asked the hard questions about why they couldn't utilize technology such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, and why phones were confiscated when students were using them for educational purposes. I wanted to improve my classroom experience and give my students more, but budget was a concern. Tech access is a problem in many schools. There are legitimate reasons-the desire of administrators to protect students from the darker side of the internet, fear of the unknown, lack of wireless capacity and budget difficulties which cause insufficient numbers of computers or the inability to upgrade existing tech. Some educational administrator have overcome these hurdles, but others are still working to get to that space."
Peggy George

LD LIVE! - 0 views

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    LD LIVE! Living with Learning Disabilities Connecting Innovators, Ideas and Individuals in the Field of Education and Learning Disabilities! Melinda Pongrey, MSED, hosts a weekly conversation exploring learning, learning difficulties, and learning disabilities with featured leaders in the field of medicine, science, education, ADHD, and various learning disabilities, including dyslexia.
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    Excellent resources for teachers/administrators who are looking for support for special education, best practices and differentiation strategies. Podcasts, live shows and archive of previous shows. Melinda Pongrey is the weekly host.
Suzie Nestico

Education Week: District Leaders Get Dose of Teaching Common Core - 8 views

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    Focus on close reading in Common Core.  Many fear teachers are not prepared for this dramatic a shift where the textbook is the first, sole focus.  
Dave Truss

What should a networked educational leader tweet about? - 14 views

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    A question that I have received from many educators/administrators is what could I possibly share on Twitter.  Although this is not the "definitive" guideline below, I would love to share my thoughts on what you should tweet
Dave Truss

Kelly Christohperson - School-Wide Integration of tech- notes from presentation - 0 views

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    Kelly Christohperson - School-Wide Integration of Technology - May 16/08 -10:45am Administrators need to be on board with technology. It needs to be something that they are willing to do in their schools. Principals need to be technology Administrator.
Vicki Davis

Tips from School Improvement Leaders ~ Leading Your School Through a School Improvement Process ~ Process ~ School Improvement in Maryland - 5 views

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    7 pointers on school improvement. Make sure you delve down into the expanded conversation of these 7 down on the webpage.
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