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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 Teacher, 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 teacher. 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...
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  • 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 Teacher. 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

How Teachers Are Using Technology at Home and in Their Classrooms | Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project - 0 views

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    Take time to read this PEW research about teachers and how they are using technology in their classrooms. It is shocking that 73% say they or their students use cell phones to complete assignments. I wish they had separated out this number to know exactly how many let their STUDENTS use their cell phones. To me, this number shows the tide has turned.  Some of the highlights of the research: "Mobile technology has become central to the teacher process, with 73% of AP and NWP teachers saying that they and/or their students use their cell phones in the classroom or to complete assignments More than four in ten teachers report the use of e-readers (45%) and tablet computers (43%) in their classrooms or to complete assignments 62% say their school does a "good job" supporting teachers' efforts to bring digital tools into the teacher process, and 68% say their school provides formal training in this area teachers of low income students, however, are much less likely than teachers of the highest income students to use tablet computers (37% v. 56%) or e-readers (41% v. 55%) in their classrooms and assignments Similarly, just over half (52%) of teachers of upper and upper-middle income students say their students use cell phones to look up information in class, compared with 35% of teachers of the lowest income students"
Vicki Davis

A flat world - Flat Classroom Project - 11 views

  • Everyone has different views, different things they are good at, and different things they know. In a classroom, the teacher used to stand in front of the students, and lecture all day long. Now many of those teachers have started to teach "horizontally". This means that the teacher doesn't necessarily stand in front of her class and lecture, but works with the class, not only teaching them, but allowing them to teach her new things as well.
  • I personally do not learn well by having someone lecture me, it is very easy to get distracted, and by learning horizontally, I can interact with my learning and classmates, and I feel like I learn so much more, because not only do I pay attention, but the fact that I am interacting, and experiencing what she is teaching helps out a lot.
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    I love these views from my student and her use of the term "horizontal" teaching - I think she has inadevertently hit on a very important concept for us teachers to understand. "Everyone has different views, different things they are good at, and different things they know. In a classroom, the teacher used to stand in front of the students, and lecture all day long. Now many of those teachers have started to teach "horizontally". This means that the teacher doesn't necessarily stand in front of her class and lecture, but works with the class, not only teaching them, but allowing them to teach her new things as well. This video gave me different opinions and opened my mind to a flattened world. I agree in many ways with Mr Friedman, because I personally do not learn well by having someone lecture me, it is very easy to get distracted, and by teacher horizontally, I can interact with my teacher and classmates, and I feel like I learn so much more, because not only do I pay attention, but the fact that I am interacting, and experiencing what she is teaching helps out a lot."
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    Love this phrase "horizontal learning"
Tony Searl

NZ Interface Magazine | If you can't use technology get out of teaching! - 10 views

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    Is a lack of PD a barrier? Professional development is a barrier, although I think they can teach themselves much of what teachers need to be teacher to be able to modernise their classrooms. The worst thing a teacher can say is: "who's going to teach me how to do that?" teachers are teachers and should be able to teach themselves what they need to know. If they can't then they probably shouldn't be teaching. You want a teacher who can keep up. There are networks of other educators out there that can connect you with new skills. Professional development doesn't have to be something that is done to teachers - it can be just ongoing conversations they're having with other professionals that they're teacher from every day.
Erik Keith

Salute to Teachers - 3 views

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    The GLOBE Program (http://www.globe.gov) is taking this opportunity to salute teachers everywhere----for all of the things you do----for inspiring your students and cultivating the love of teacher. teachers are the backbone of our educational system. They encourage, inspire and challenge us to reach new heights and dream without boundaries. The GLOBE Program Office in Boulder, Colorado produced this video for teachers everywhere. We encourage you to watch it, send it to your fellow (or favorite) teachers, school administrators, friends and family members. Encourage them to share it with their network as well so that everyone may pause for a moment and truly appreciate the teachers who made a difference in their lives.
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    Salute to Teachers Video
Dave Truss

Teaching in Social and Technological Networks « Connectivism - 16 views

    • Dave Truss
       
      Note my comment relating to this.
  • This model works well when we can centralize both the content (curriculum) and the teacher. The model falls apart when we distribute content and extend the activities of the teacher to include multiple educator inputs and peer-driven teacher. Simply: social and technological networks subvert the classroom-based role of the teacher.
  • the role of the teacher. Given that coherence and lucidity are key to understanding our world, how do educators teach in networks? For educators, control is being replaced with influence. Instead of controlling a classroom, a teacher now influences or shapes a network. The following are roles teacher play in networked teacher environments: 1. Amplifying 2. Curating 3. Wayfinding and socially-driven sensemaking 4. Aggregating 5. Filtering 6. Modelling 7. Persistent presence
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  • An interesting side-note, when you said, …The model falls apart when we distribute content and extend the activities of the teacher to include multiple educator inputs and peer-driven teacher. Simply: social and technological networks subvert the classroom-based role of the teacher. It came to mind that what’s really being subverted is not so much the classroom-based role as it is the teacher-controlled teacher.
  • We’re still early in many of these trends. Many questions remain unanswered about privacy, ethics in networks, and assessment. My view is that change in education needs to be systemic and substantial. Education is concerned with content and conversations. The tools for controlling both content and conversation have shifted from the educator to the learner. We require a system that acknowledges this reality.
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    The following are roles teacher play in networked teacher environments: 1. Amplifying 2. Curating 3. Wayfinding and socially-driven sensemaking 4. Aggregating 5. Filtering 6. Modelling 7. Persistent presence
Vicki Davis

K-12 Teachers Uncertain About How to Connect with Students and Parents via Social Media, Reveals University of Phoenix Survey - University of Phoenix - 6 views

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    So, teachers think it would help but are afraid to connect to their students and parents via social media. "The survey finds nearly half (47 percent) of all K-12 teachers and 58 percent of high school teachers believe that participation in social media with their teachers can enhance a student's educational experience. Despite the perceived benefits, only 17 percent of K-12 teachers encourage their students to connect with them via social media and only 18 percent have integrated it into their classrooms. Adoption is only slightly greater for high school teachers, with 21 percent encouraging their students to connect with them via social media and 19 percent incorporating it into classroom teacher."
Vicki Davis

"How Can I Coach a Resistant Teacher?" (Part 1) - The Art of Coaching Teachers - Education Week Teacher - 7 views

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    This is a discussion to have with all IT integrators. Many adopt the attitude of leaving the hibernating bear alone. After all, eventually, the resistant teacher will come out of the den ready to enjoy the springtime of teacher? No. Not necessarily. But technological change is as much emotional and psychological as it is instruction. If you don't first have the teacher in the mood to learn, you'll be struggling. So, be careful of labeling the teacher as resistant in the first place and be willing to teach and encourage the teacher wherever he/she is. This is a nice article from Elena Aguilar. Check out part 2 after reading this one.
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 teacher; 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 teacher 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 teacher. 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.
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  • “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.”
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    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 teacher; 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

What are creative ways we can create symbiotic learning relationships between different types of learners? - Flat Classrooms - 2 views

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    This is a fascinating conversation about connecting, symbiotic relationships and more with some powerful, spot on answers. The teachers in our current Flat Classroom 12-1 cohort are amazing (and we have another cohort starting soon -- here's what we've been talking about this week. "This is happening now. Live Mocha and other sites have tandem teacher - each learner teaches the other a different language. In my classroom, I have the older students teach younger students about computer hardware. But we could be doing so much more. Some professors like Dr. Leigh Zeitz (his students have served as expert advisors) and Dr. Eva Brown (her students helped run Eracism last year) are flattening their college classrooms with preservice teachers by having the teachers connect with high school and younger classrooms. These preservice teachers are understanding the nuances of the global collaborative classroom before graduating from college! There are so many ways we could be creating these types of teacher relationships. This week, let's publicly talk about our ideas and also experiences in creating these experiences. We can learn more and do more in this area and technology opens up limitless possibilities. What do you think?"
Jason Heiser

Copy / Paste by Peter Pappas: The Reflective Principal: A Taxonomy of Reflection (Part IV) - 8 views

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    The Reflective Principal: A Taxonomy of Reflection (Part IV) Reflection can be a challenging endeavor. It's not something that's fostered in school - typically someone else tells you how you're doing! Principals (and instructional leaders) are often so caught up in the meeting the demands of the day, that they rarely have the luxury to muse on how things went. Self-assessment is clouded by the need to meet competing demands from multiple stakeholders. In an effort to help schools become more reflective learning environments, I've developed this "Taxonomy of Reflection" - modeled on Bloom's approach. It's posted in four installments: 1. A Taxonomy of Reflection 2. The Reflective Student 3. The Reflective learning 4. The Reflective Principal It's very much a work in progress, and I invite your comments and suggestions. I'm especially interested in whether you think the parallel construction to Bloom holds up through each of the three examples - student, learning, and principal. I think we have something to learn from each perspective. 4. The Reflective Principal Each level of reflection is structured to parallel Bloom's taxonomy. (See installment 1 for more on the model) Assume that a principal (or instructional leader) looked back on an initiative (or program, decision, project, etc) they have just implemented. What sample questions might they ask themselves as they move from lower to higher order reflection? (Note: I'm not suggesting that all questions are asked after every initiative - feel free to pick a few that work for you.) Bloom's Remembering : What did I do? Principal Reflection: What role did I play in implementing this program? What role did others play? What steps did I take? Is the program now operational and being implemented? Was it completed on time? Are assessment measures in place? Bloom's Understanding: What was
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 teacher process. But we miss the point. Motivation has a short-term effect. New things will be old again. If we equal motivation with teacher 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 teacher.
  • 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 teacher 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 learning 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.
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    We need autonomous, self-motivated students in love with the process of how humanity has learnt.
Zhang Luke

The Impact of Quantum Learning - 0 views

  • The FADE model—Foundation, Atmosphere, Design, Environment—creates the context of Quantum Learning. We know when the context is strong, it 'fades' into the background and creates the structure for Learning to occur.
  • The Quantum Learning framework for student Learning is expressed in 5 Tenets of Learning: Everything Speaks: Everything, from surroundings and tone of voice to distribution of materials, conveys an important message about Learning. Everything is On Purpose: Everything we do has an intended purpose. Experience Before Label: Students make meaning and transfer new content into long-term memory by connecting to existing schema. Learning is best facilitated when students experience the information in some aspect before they acquire labels for what is being learned. Acknowledge Every Effort: Acknowledgment of each student's effort encourages Learning and experimentation. If It's Worth Learning, It's Worth Celebrating!: Celebration provides feedback regarding progress and increases positive emotional associations with the Learning.
  • Quantum Learning
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  • Quantum Learning
  • Enroll—Use teacher moves that capture the interest, curiosity and attention of the students. Experience—Create or elicit a common experience, or tap into common knowledge to which all learners can relate. Experience before Label creates schema on which to build new content. Learn & Label—Present, sequence and define the main content. Students learn labels, thinking skills and academic strategies. Students add new content to their existing schema. Demonstrate—Give students an opportunity to demonstrate and apply their new teacher. Review and Reflect—Use a variety of effective, multi-sensory review strategies and empower students to process their new content through reflection. Celebration—Acknowledge the teacher. It cements the content and adds a sense of completion.
Nelly Cardinale

100 Free Online Lectures that Will Make You a Better Teacher | Best Universities - 0 views

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    Great teachers know that teacher doesn't stop as soon as you graduate from college. teachers learn from their experience, from their colleagues, from their students, and any number of other resources. If you are a teacher looking for ways to expand your knowledge base, here are 100 free lectures you can watch to help facilitate some of that teacher.
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 learnings' 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"
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    This article is ripe for Diigo commentary!
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    This article is ripe for Diigo commentary!
Martin Burrett

School environment key to retaining teachers - 2 views

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    A school is more likely to retain effective teachers, a new study reports, if it is led by a head-teacher who promotes professional development for teachers, is characterised by collaborative relationships among teachers, has a safe and orderly teacher environment and sets high expectations for academic achievement among students, a new study reports...
Deb Henkes

TerraClues - Schools - 24 views

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    What it is: TerraClues for Schools is an easy to use tool where teachers can create interactive "scavenger hunts" with Google maps. teachers can access hundreds of already made TerraClues to use in conjunction with curriculum or create their own TerraClues to fit their classroom needs. teachers can also create private classrooms where they assign students to specific hunts. TerraClues hunts can also be shared with other teachers in your school, district, or anywhere in the world. This is a fun way to learn about using maps, curriculum content, and how to navigate the Internet. This site encourages students to learn and implement problem solving skills and learn about different cultures around the world. The Google Maps can be viewed as street maps, satellite maps, or hybrid.
Dave Truss

ePortfolios & Learning Management Systems: Setting our default to social - Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Education - 16 views

  • The elephant in the room, of course, is that most Learning Management Systems on the market these days and being developed by Education Ministries the world over have their defaults set to 'anti-social'
  • for students, teachers and parents to use; for showing the workings that led to a final product (it's time we stopped covering up our teacher in English, showing our working in Maths - let's get the process of teacher out there for all to see, contribute to and build upon);
  • ePortfolios for teachers should resemble those useful moments of sharing in the staffroom. For students, ePortfolios should be the messy teacher log or journal de bord that, frankly, not enough of them keep on paper anyway;
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  • But the longer teachers put up with these attitudes, rather than challenging them and asking intelligent questions about the balance of risk in not having students share with the world wide web, the longer we do not have conversations with parents, and invite them to spectate and participate in what teacher can look like now, then the longer we will continue to do a disservice to the digital footprints, competitiveness and understanding of otherness in our young people.
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    # for students, teachers and parents to use; # for showing the workings that led to a final product (it's time we stopped covering up our teacher in English, showing our working in Maths - let's get the process of teacher out there for all to see, contribute to and build upon);
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