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Tony Richards

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

Online Learning (Rowman & Littlefield Education) - 7 views

  • "Online education programs at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels represent one of the fastest growing trends in education today. However, online classes are completely different from any other educational endeavor and require a new set of skills. Bowman, who currently teaches online undergraduate and graduate courses, and her fellow contributors provide an excellent down-to-earth guide for anyone who is thinking about or participating in an online education program. This well-written and understandable book covers some theories of learning styles but focuses on the nuts-and-bolts skills needed to be successful. Each chapter explores a particular aspect of learning online and gives practical advice about how to participate successfully in an online learning environment. Verdict: Bowman and the other contributors have several years' experience helping students learn online, and their perspectives make this a practical and helpful guide to a prevalent and growing practice."— June 2010, Library Journal Starred Review
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    I've known Leslie Bowman for over a decade. She's a great online teacher. Her book is filled with the wisdom of experience. Check it out! ~ Dennis "Online education programs at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels represent one of the fastest growing trends in education today. However, online classes are completely different from any other educational endeavor and require a new set of skills. Bowman, who currently teaches online undergraduate and graduate courses, and her fellow contributors provide an excellent down-to-earth guide for anyone who is thinking about or participating in an online education program. This well-written and understandable book covers some theories of learning styles but focuses on the nuts-and-bolts skills needed to be successful. Each chapter explores a particular aspect of learning online and gives practical advice about how to participate successfully in an online learning environment. Verdict: Bowman and the other contributors have several years' experience helping students learn online, and their perspectives make this a practical and helpful guide to a prevalent and growing practice."- June 2010, Library Journal Starred Review "
Darren Kuropatwa

NASSP - Shifting Ground - 14 views

  • Moreover—and perhaps most damning—by blocking and banning many of the tools and Web sites that form the cornerstone of teenagers’ experiences, educators deny themselves access to the conversations that students are having about how to use these tools intelligently, ethically, and well. And given the overwhelming flow of information that students can access using such tools, it is essential that educators become part of those conversations.
  • Districts have spent thousands of dollars installing interactive whiteboards—which are a more powerful, more engaging chalkboard. And yes, they are a tool with some very useful functions, and yes, we have them at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, where I am principal. But let me be clear: interactive whiteboards only enable a teacher-centric style of teaching to be more engaging than it would have been with a traditional chalkboard. Much of the prepackaged educational gaming similarly makes the same mistake.
    • Dave Truss
       
      I've just never bought into these as a good way to spend money other than perhaps in Kindergarten and Grade 1 where students can interact and engage with text and shapes in front of their peers.
    • Darren Kuropatwa
       
      I disagree with both you and Chris here. If you use an IWB to teach in a teacher centric way then *maybe* it'll be more engaging for students than it was before the IWB but I doubt it; I think kids are smarter than that. Teachers who teach in student centred ways find IWBs amplify not just engagement with the teacher, but with each other and the content they are wrestling with; they learn more deeply because we can bring a more multifaceted perspective to bear on every issue/problem discussed in class. When the full content of the internet can be brought to bear on every classroom discussion (including my twitter and skype networks) we are able to concretely illustrate the interconnectedness of all things. We don't have to tell kids this, they see it as it happens, every day. You might be able to do something like this without an IWB but it would be a little more clunky in execution.
  • The single greatest challenge schools face is helping students make sense of the world today. Schools have gone from information scarcity to information overload. This is why classes must be inquiry driven. Merely providing content is not enough, nor is it enough to simply present students with a problem to solve. Schools must create ways for students to come together as a community to ask powerful questions and dare them to bring all of their talents to bear on real-world problems.
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  • Schools can and must be empowering—what held down the progressive school movements of the past 100 years was not that the ideas were wrong, but rather that it often just took too long to create the authentic examples of learning.
  • The idea of community has changed dramatically in the past 10 years, and that idea should be reflected in classrooms.
  • Once students have worked together, the question must become, What can they create?
  • But it is not enough for educators to simply be aware of social networking; they have an obligation to teach students the difference between social networking and academic networking
  • Educators can help them understand how to paint a digital portrait of themselves online that includes the work they do in school and help them network, both locally and globally, to enrich themselves as students.
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    by blocking and banning many of the tools and Web sites that form the cornerstone of teenagers' experiences, educators deny themselves access to the conversations that students are having about how to use these tools intelligently, ethically, and well. And given the overwhelming flow of information that students can access using such tools, it is essential that educators become part of those conversations.
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    by blocking and banning many of the tools and Web sites that form the cornerstone of teenagers' experiences, educators deny themselves access to the conversations that students are having about how to use these tools intelligently, ethically, and well. And given the overwhelming flow of information that students can access using such tools, it is essential that educators become part of those conversations.
Vicki Davis

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

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

UK Team is focusing on online comment defamation - 1 views

  • a new team to track down people who make anonymous comments about companies online.
  • a new team to track down people who make anonymous comments about companies online.
  • a new team to track down people who make anonymous comments about companies online.
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  • a rising problem with people making anonymous statements that defamed companies, and people sharing confidential information online.
  • the new team would ensure there was “nowhere to hide in cyberspace”.
  • a story from six years earlier about United Airlines going bankrupt was voted up on a newspaper website. This was later picked up by Google News and eventually the Bloomberg news wire, which published it automatically as if it were a news story.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Could this be considered the new "insider trading" - hmmm. Surely there are issues if it is done maliciously but isn't there a line here?
  • rogue employees
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Uhm, how about rogue companies?
  • trying to get Internet Service Providers to give out details of customers who had made comments online
  • shares in American firm United Airlines fell by 99 per cent in just 15 minutes after an outdated story that the firm had filed for bankruptcy was forced back onto the headlines.
  • the numbers of disgruntled employees looking to get their own back on employers or former employers was also on the rise.
  • could stifle free speech, and the ability of people to act as whistle-blowers to expose actions by their employers.
  • an outlet for anonymous reporting.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Is it possible to have accountability AND anonymity? Must these be mutually exclusive?
  • This is known as the ‘Streisand effect’ online, after a case where singer Barbara Streisand tried to suppress photos of her California beachside home from a publicly-available archive of photos taken to document coastal erosion.
  • Nightjack. This was the guy who was blogging on the front line about police work and he was forced to stop this story because he was unmasked by The Times
  • If you allow a lot of anonymous debate by people who are not regulated, you can get it descending to the common denominator. If you allow people to register with an identity, even if it’s not their real one, you bring the level of debate up.”
  • There was one case a couple of years ago that we just keep referring back to where a defamatory comment was made and it wasn’t taken down for a period of time. Because of that the host of the website was held to be liable.”
  • the ‘Wild West’ era of the internet was in some ways coming to an end, with firms starting to crack down
  • I think companies are still grappling with whether it’s better to take it on the chin and hope people don’t see the comments, or on the other hand cracking down on everything that’s particularly damaging that’s said online. Maybe this is set to change.”
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    While this article starts out about a lawfirm in Birmingham UK that is going to "track down people who make anonymous comments about companies online" it becomes an amazingly poignant article on the very nature of the Internet today and the push pull between anonymous commenting and accountability of the commenter. Push pull between free speech and online identity and brand protection. One person in this article claims that this sort of thing is the sign that the "wild west" of the INternet is coming to an end. Oh dear, I hope someone invents a new one if somehow anonymous commenters are now going to risk such! Also love the article's discussion of the Streisand effect wherein Barbara protested the sharing of some photos of her eroding beachfront which caused a stir and more people looking at the photos than if she had left it alone. This article is going to be a must read for Flat Classroom students and would be great for college-level discussions as well.
David Wetzel

10 Online Programs Which Support Learning in Adult Education - 4 views

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    Free online technologies are changing adult education by offering the ability to use free online tools to support collaboration and completing class work. The list is long in regards to the number of online programs which support adult students in their quest for learning in adult education. The sheer number of these online software programs continues to grow almost daily. A review of several of these programs has narrowed the list down to a few which are beneficial to adult students, because they ease their work load and collaboration efforts with fellow classmates.
Martin Burrett

Disadvantage & Education - 0 views

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    "In the week when the OECD published their latest report, noting that educational disadvantage starts from the age of 10 (click here to read the story) across many countries, and widens throughout students' lives, it is clear that many societies still have a lot to do. Whether the disadvantages are down to family circumstance, race, gender (identification), wealth and socio-economic background, or a distinct lack of opportunity and belief in oneself - what can education and educators do to help bridge the divide that allows opportunities for some, more than others?"
Vicki Davis

Colleges Spend Far Less on Educating Students Than They Claim, Report Says ~ Stephen's Web - 2 views

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    Colleges actually spend LESS educating students than students are paying. From Stephen Downes as cited from the Chronicle of Higher Downes April 8, 2011.
Martin Burrett

Pora Ora : The Online 3D Educational Game for Children - 13 views

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    This is a MUST TRY site. It's not often that I'm amazed be an educational resource, but I am with this one. Pora Ora is a stunning educational virtual world for Primary school aged students. Play truely fun educational games which practise skills in English, maths and many other subjects. The graphics and useably is superb. Online safety is at the heart of this site. The parential admin account can set the student's account to free chat with everyone to completely locked down where they have the world to themselves and everything in between. The site has a language filter and users can report any incidents of trouble. Also, the first task requires the user to complete an online safety task. The site is free with a few premium features coming out later. You have got to try this one! http://ictmagic.wikispaces.com/ICT+%26+Web+Tools
Martin Burrett

Conformity vs Individuality in Education - 1 views

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    "At its inception in the Victorian era, mass education in the UK focused very much on conformity, based on the prevailing 'factory production' mindset on the age. But how much has changed? With top down curricula and a rigid exam system testing the merest fraction of what is actually important, has education really left the production line behind?"
Vicki Davis

What SOPA Means For Education, Technology, and the Future of the Internet | Edudemic - 3 views

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    An overview of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and what it means to education. Fair use would become harder to defend from companies that don't care you are a school. Or, what if you're using a service like Ning that is for profit and charging you but you are a non profit. As the receipient of a take down notice for our digiteen project run through our nonprofit, it didn't matter that we responded to the concerns -- they ignore fair use and because Ning charges, they threatened to take us down. This will be a headache for schools.
Vicki Davis

Texas Legislators Seek to Pare Standardized Tests - NYTimes.com - 1 views

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    Texas is going to cut down testing. This is a wise move for many reasons. Some states are cutting out teachers and the same time increasing spending on test taking. Such decisions harm learning no matter what test you take. ""Testing companies are in the business of making a profit, but let's not confuse their mission - their mission is to create as many tests as they can and then grade them at as little cost as possible," the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Dan Patrick, Republican of Houston, said Tuesday at a hearing on a comprehensive Education bill that would reduce the number of high-stakes tests students must pass to graduate."
Todd Suomela

Dissent Magazine - Debt Education - 0 views

  • First, debt teaches that higher education is a consumer service. It is a pay-as-you-go transaction, like any other consumer enterprise, subject to the business franchises attached to education.
  • Second, debt teaches career choices. It teaches that it would be a poor choice to wait on tables while writing a novel or become an elementary school teacher at $24,000 or join the Peace Corps. It rules out culture industries such as publishing or theater or art galleries that pay notoriously little or nonprofits like community radio or a women’s shelter. The more rational choice is to work for a big corporation or go to law school
  • Fourth, debt teaches civic lessons. It teaches that the state’s role is to augment commerce, abetting consuming, which spurs producing; its role is not to interfere with the market, except to catalyze it. Debt teaches that the social contract is an obligation to the institutions of capital, which in turn give you all of the products on the shelves.
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  • Third, debt teaches a worldview. Following up on the way that advertising indoctrinates children into the market, as Juliet Schor shows in Born to Buy, student loans directly conscript college students. Debt teaches that the primary ordering principle of the world is the capitalist market, and that the market is natural, inevitable, and implacable. There is no realm of human life anterior to the market; ideas, knowledge, and even sex (which is a significant part of the social education of college students) simply form sub-markets. Debt teaches that democracy is a market; freedom is the ability to make choices from all the shelves. And the market is a good: it promotes better products through competition rather than aimless leisure; and it is fair because, like a casino, the rules are clear, and anyone—black, green, or white—can lay down chips.
  • Fifth, debt teaches the worth of a person. Worth is measured not according to a humanistic conception of character, cultivation of intellect and taste, or knowledge of the liberal arts, but according to one’s financial potential. Education provides value-added to the individual so serviced, in a simple equation: you are how much you can make, minus how much you owe. Debt teaches that the disparities of wealth are an issue of the individual, rather than society; debt is your free choice.
  • Last, debt teaches a specific sensibility. It inculcates what Barbara Ehrenreich calls “the fear of falling,” which she defines as the quintessential attitude of members of the professional middle class who attain their standing through educational credentials rather than wealth. It inducts students into the realm of stress, worry, and pressure, reinforced with each monthly payment for the next fifteen years.
Vicki Davis

Speculation on the future of Google Reader - 0 views

  • Last night, Google announced the shutdown of many experimental products that weren’t really generating any revenue: Notebook, Dodgeball, Catalog Search, and Jaiku. One product that survived the ravaging but shares many of the same characteristics as the discontinued services also happens to be one of our favorites: Google Reader
  • Now, I think the answer to that question is unequivocally “no,” (and a Google exec has since confirmed as much) as Google has too many smart people that are connected enough to the industry to know that Reader is an essential product for many of the company’s biggest enthusiasts.
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    Google reader - is it next?
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    As Google shuts down unprofitable services, this thought that they'll shut down Google Reader - my trusty and favorite RSS reader just sends chills down my spine - I use it to generate my reader lists on my blogs. I have to question that Google is not looking at the affect of what we call "penetration rate" into the services people use - if they push us to ZohoNotebook (which is what they've done) and force us to another reader, what else will we start using. Just thought Google was going in the right direction with things and now... well, they just seem to be pooping lots of parties.
Dave Truss

Shutting Down the Machine « Ed Tech Journeys - 16 views

  • There is no tiptoeing around this thing. Those who truly desire a transformation of educational system will have to endure many of the same trials and tribulations as those who fought and fight for change in other domains. While educational change agents may not endure the physical pain that so many activists experience; it should come as no surprise that some will be intimidated, or refused tenure, or shunned by colleagues.
  • So, what will it take to transform teaching and learning? What will it take to shut down the pleasant hum of the machine that is so good at turning out 20th century students even though we’re entering the second decade of the 21st century? Leaders with Courage and Commitment!
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    So, what will it take to transform teaching and learning? What will it take to shut down the pleasant hum of the machine that is so good at turning out 20th century students even though we're entering the second decade of the 21st century? Leaders with Courage and Commitment!
Dave Truss

Teaching as transparent learning « Connectivism - 0 views

  • My argument is this: when we make our learning transparent, we become teachers. Even if we are new to a field and don’t have the confidence to dialogue with experts, we can still provide important learning opportunities to others.
  • Prominent and transparent learners I can’t speak for them, but from reading prominent educational technology bloggers - Will Richardson, Terry Anderson, Stephen education, Grainne Conole - I’m left with the impression that they too seek not to proclaim what they know, but rather to engage and share with others as they explore and come to understand technology and related trends. Watching others learn is an act of learning.
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    Prominent and transparent learners I can't speak for them, but from reading prominent educational technology bloggers - Will Richardson, Terry Anderson, Stephen education, Grainne Conole - I'm left with the impression that they too seek not to proclaim what they know, but rather to engage and share with others as they explore and come to understand technology and related trends. Watching others learn is an act of learning.
Vicki Davis

Schools Matter: Resolution submitted to NCTE opposing common core standards and national tests, to be considered at the annual convention. - 4 views

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    A resolution being submitted to the National Council of Teachers of English blaming current US problems on poverty not the education system. (On a note from me: The country is crying out for change in education. Change can be done to you or by you. To defiantly state there are no problems is to deny the truth. Every system has issues. No school is perfect. But right now, the national opinion is that there are problems. I'd be offering solutions you can live with or live with the solutions handed down to you by a clueless bureaucrat who only was in a classroom when he/she was a child. The one thing that is an advantage is that when industries standardize, we often see innovation. How much time is wasted in aligning with 50 different state standards?))
Vicki Davis

Paul Stacey - 1 views

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    Paul Stacy writes an excellent overview of Open Education (hat tip Stephen Education edcurator extraordinaire) that is a great read for those trying to keep their finger on the pulse of the very rapidly changing landscape of Education.
Ben W

Purposeful Networking | Reflection 2.0 - 0 views

  • the older demographic uses networking more for professional purposes
  • Aaron describes how he’s fine with seeing the real side of prospective employees on Facebook profiles and twitterstreams because it gives him a better picture of who people are, but in our opinion and experience, networking is much more than simply posting information about yourself on various sites
  • the education profession historically has been a profession of “isolationism” despite recent efforts to establish Professional Learning Communities within schools.
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  • Networking is extremely powerful for connecting educators and students to professionals outside of education - the challenge in education today is breaking down barriers and allowing students and teachers access to the sites and time in the school day and curriculum
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    A good in-depth article arguing that purposeful networking (easily done w/ web2.0 tools) should be a skill addressed in education.
Vicki Davis

Tweeting Down The Classroom Walls | EdSurge - 4 views

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    The guidebook from Edsurge on how to connect. Share this with educators to help them learn how to connect and use the many online resources for educators.
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