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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
Adrienne Michetti

Why Women Still Can't Have It All - www.theatlantic.com - Readability - 7 views

  • Just about all of the women in that room planned to combine careers and family in some way. But almost all assumed and accepted that they would have to make compromises that the men in their lives were far less likely to have to make.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      and this is what bothers me. SO MUCH.
  • when many members of the younger generation have stopped listening, on the grounds that glibly repeating “you can have it all” is simply airbrushing reality, it is time to talk.
  • I still strongly believe that women can “have it all” (and that men can too). I believe that we can “have it all at the same time.” But not today, not with the way America’s economy and society are currently structured. My experiences over the past three years have forced me to confront a number of uncomfortable facts that need to be widely acknowledged—and quickly changed.
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  • I had the ability to set my own schedule most of the time. I could be with my kids when I needed to be, and still get the work done.
  • the minute I found myself in a job that is typical for the vast majority of working women (and men), working long hours on someone else’s schedule, I could no longer be both the parent and the professional I wanted to be
  • having it all, at least for me, depended almost entirely on what type of job I had.
  • having it all was not possible in many types of jobs, including high government office—at least not for very long.
  • “Having control over your schedule is the only way that women who want to have a career and a family can make it work.”
  • Yet the decision to step down from a position of power—to value family over professional advancement, even for a time—is directly at odds with the prevailing social pressures on career professionals in the United States.
  • “leaving to spend time with your family” is a euphemism for being fired.
  • Think about what this “standard Washington excuse” implies: it is so unthinkable that an official would actually step down to spend time with his or her family that this must be a cover for something else.
  • it cannot change unless top women speak out.
  • Both were very clear that they did not want that life, but could not figure out how to combine professional success and satisfaction with a real commitment to family.
  • many of us are also reinforcing a falsehood: that “having it all” is, more than anything, a function of personal determination.
  • there has been very little honest discussion among women of our age about the real barriers and flaws that still exist in the system despite the opportunities we inherited.
  • But we have choices about the type and tempo of the work we do. We are the women who could be leading, and who should be equally represented in the leadership ranks.
  • women are less happy today than their predecessors were in 1972, both in absolute terms and relative to men.
  • The best hope for improving the lot of all women, and for closing what Wolfers and Stevenson call a “new gender gap”—measured by well-being rather than wages—is to close the leadership gap:
  • Only when women wield power in sufficient numbers will we create a society that genuinely works for all women. That will be a society that works for everyone.
  • We must clear them out of the way to make room for a more honest and productive discussion about real solutions to the problems faced by professional women.
  • These women cannot possibly be the standard against which even very talented professional women should measure themselves. Such a standard sets up most women for a sense of failure
  • A simple measure is how many women in top positions have children compared with their male colleagues.
  • Every male Supreme Court justice has a family. Two of the three female justices are single with no children.
  • women hold fewer than 30 percent of the senior foreign-policy positions in each of these institutions.
  • “You know what would help the vast majority of women with work/family balance? MAKE SCHOOL SCHEDULES MATCH WORK SCHEDULES.” The present system, she noted, is based on a society that no longer exists—one in which farming was a major occupation and stay-at-home moms were the norm. Yet the system hasn’t changed.
  • “Inflexible schedules, unrelenting travel, and constant pressure to be in the office are common features of these jobs.”
  • I would hope to see commencement speeches that finger America’s social and business policies, rather than women’s level of ambition, in explaining the dearth of women at the top. But changing these policies requires much more than speeches. It means fighting the mundane battles—every day, every year—in individual workplaces, in legislatures, and in the media.
  • assumes that most women will feel as comfortable as men do about being away from their children, as long as their partner is home with them. In my experience, that is simply not the case.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      This is fascinating. Really. 
  • I do not believe fathers love their children any less than mothers do, but men do seem more likely to choose their job at a cost to their family, while women seem more likely to choose their family at a cost to their job.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      This. This is SO TRUE. I think this is the same.
  • To many men, however, the choice to spend more time with their children, instead of working long hours on issues that affect many lives, seems selfish.
  • It is not clear to me that this ethical framework makes sense for society. Why should we want leaders who fall short on personal responsibilities?
  • Regardless, it is clear which set of choices society values more today. Workers who put their careers first are typically rewarded; workers who choose their families are overlooked, disbelieved, or accused of unprofessionalism.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      This disconnect has ALWAYS bothered me. SO MUCH.
  • having a supportive mate may well be a necessary condition if women are to have it all, but it is not sufficient
  • Ultimately, it is society that must change, coming to value choices to put family ahead of work just as much as those to put work ahead of family. If we really valued those choices, we would value the people who make them; if we valued the people who make them, we would do everything possible to hire and retain them; if we did everything possible to allow them to combine work and family equally over time, then the choices would get a lot easier.
  • Given the way our work culture is oriented today, I recommend establishing yourself in your career first but still trying to have kids before you are 35—or else freeze your eggs, whether you are married or not.
  • But the truth is, neither sequence is optimal, and both involve trade-offs that men do not have to make.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      exactly this -- men do not have to make this choice. Thus, it will always be unequal.
  • You should be able to have a family if you want one—however and whenever your life circumstances allow—and still have the career you desire.
  • If more women could strike this balance, more women would reach leadership positions. And if more women were in leadership positions, they could make it easier for more women to stay in the workforce. The rest of this essay details how.
  • I have to admit that my assumption that I would stay late made me much less efficient over the course of the day than I might have been, and certainly less so than some of my colleagues, who managed to get the same amount of work done and go home at a decent hour.
  • Still, armed with e-mail, instant messaging, phones, and videoconferencing technology, we should be able to move to a culture where the office is a base of operations more than the required locus of work.
  • Being able to work from home—in the evening after children are put to bed, or during their sick days or snow days, and at least some of the time on weekends—can be the key, for mothers, to carrying your full load versus letting a team down at crucial moments.
  • Changes in default office rules should not advantage parents over other workers; indeed, done right, they can improve relations among co-workers by raising their awareness of each other’s circumstances and instilling a sense of fairness.
  • The policy was shaped by the belief that giving women “special treatment” can “backfire if the broader norms shaping the behavior of all employees do not change.”
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      This is so progressive.
  • Our assumptions are just that: things we believe that are not necessarily so. Yet what we assume has an enormous impact on our perceptions and responses. Fortunately, changing our assumptions is up to us.
  • One of the best ways to move social norms in this direction is to choose and celebrate different role models.
  • If we didn’t start to learn how to integrate our personal, social, and professional lives, we were about five years away from morphing into the angry woman on the other side of a mahogany desk who questions her staff’s work ethic after standard 12-hour workdays, before heading home to eat moo shoo pork in her lonely apartment.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      UGH.
  • Women have contributed to the fetish of the one-dimensional life, albeit by necessity. The pioneer generation of feminists walled off their personal lives from their professional personas to ensure that they could never be discriminated against for a lack of commitment to their work.
  • It seems odd to me to list degrees, awards, positions, and interests and not include the dimension of my life that is most important to me—and takes an enormous amount of my time.
  • when my entire purpose is to make family references routine and normal in professional life.
  • This does not mean that you should insist that your colleagues spend time cooing over pictures of your baby or listening to the prodigious accomplishments of your kindergartner. It does mean that if you are late coming in one week, because it is your turn to drive the kids to school, that you be honest about what you are doing.
  • Seeking out a more balanced life is not a women’s issue; balance would be better for us all.
  • Indeed, the most frequent reaction I get in putting forth these ideas is that when the choice is whether to hire a man who will work whenever and wherever needed, or a woman who needs more flexibility, choosing the man will add more value to the company.
  • In 2011, a study on flexibility in the workplace by Ellen Galinsky, Kelly Sakai, and Tyler Wigton of the Families and Work Institute showed that increased flexibility correlates positively with job engagement, job satisfaction, employee retention, and employee health.
  • Other scholars have concluded that good family policies attract better talent, which in turn raises productivity, but that the policies themselves have no impact on productivity.
  • What is evident, however, is that many firms that recruit and train well-educated professional women are aware that when a woman leaves because of bad work-family balance, they are losing the money and time they invested in her.
  • The answer—already being deployed in different corners of the industry—is a combination of alternative fee structures, virtual firms, women-owned firms, and the outsourcing of discrete legal jobs to other jurisdictions.
  • Women, and Generation X and Y lawyers more generally, are pushing for these changes on the supply side; clients determined to reduce legal fees and increase flexible service are pulling on the demand side. Slowly, change is happening.
  • In trying to address these issues, some firms are finding out that women’s ways of working may just be better ways of working, for employees and clients alike.
  • “We believe that connecting play and imagination may be the single most important step in unleashing the new culture of learning.”
  • “Genius is nothing more nor less than childhood recovered at will.” Google apparently has taken note.
  • the more often people with different perspectives come together, the more likely creative ideas are to emerge. Giving workers the ability to integrate their non-work lives with their work—whether they spend that time mothering or marathoning—will open the door to a much wider range of influences and ideas.
  • Men have, of course, become much more involved parents over the past couple of decades, and that, too, suggests broad support for big changes in the way we balance work and family.
  • women would do well to frame work-family balance in terms of the broader social and economic issues that affect both women and men.
  • These women are extraordinary role models.
  • Yet I also want a world in which, in Lisa Jackson’s words, “to be a strong woman, you don’t have to give up on the things that define you as a woman.”
  • “Empowering yourself,” Jackson said in her speech at Princeton, “doesn’t have to mean rejecting motherhood, or eliminating the nurturing or feminine aspects of who you are.”
  • But now is the time to revisit the assumption that women must rush to adapt to the “man’s world” that our mothers and mentors warned us about.
  • If women are ever to achieve real equality as leaders, then we have to stop accepting male behavior and male choices as the default and the ideal.
  • We must insist on changing social policies and bending career tracks to accommodate our choices, too. We have the power to do it if we decide to, and we have many men standing beside us.
  • But when we do, we will stop talking about whether women can have it all.
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.
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.
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
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...
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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 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.
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!
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.
  • ...5 more annotations...
  • 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.
  •  
    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.
  •  
    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

Mrs. Pickrell's Technology Adventure | I'm going on a technology adventure! Let's get global! - 6 views

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    "While I did enjoy David Burgess' Teach Like a Pirate, and the hangout that she shared with us, I'll admit… it made me kind of sad.  Not because of the content itself!  But because of the hard memories it brought up.  I used to teach creatively and encourage innovation in my classroom like that.  When I graduated college, I was chock full of ideas and adored hands-on learning.  But my communication skills was parents was very weak and my administrator was a frustrated man who decided his best way of control was micromanaging.  It's a bit of a long story, but the end result is I was knocked down to stop being creative; to just follow the curriculum and to push worksheets. " Wow. As I read this teacher from Dr. Lee Graham's class (they are in gamifi-ed with my students) I'm so touched by how the teacher helps us feel what is happening to TOO MANY TEACHERS. Too many teachers are being pushed down to teach the wrong way. Worksheet wonders and we wonder why no one loves to learn. This is sad and must change. I hope you'll comment.
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 "
Vicki Davis

The Evolution of Classroom Technology - Edudemic - 18 views

  •  
    Fascinating Evolution of Classroom Technology over at Edudemic (hat tip Stephen of.) Look at how many of these technologies are still here in some forms. All I can think as I read about halfway down is the ah so lovely smell of that mimeograph paper!`
  •  
    Fascinating read on the evolution of classroom technology.
Susan Sedro

Instructify » Blog Archive » The new education-friendly face of Dungeons and Dragons - 6 views

  •  
    n order to introduce the concepts of the game to young children and really show off the educational value, Wizards of the Coast has released The Heroes of Hesiod, a free, stand-alone adventure with everything you need to play in a downloadable PDF. Anyone who has played D&D remembers the countless books you needed, the debating of the rules, and the general confusion that came with the open-ended game play. This made the learning curve steep and the age requirement high. The rules for The Heroes of Hesiod, however, are stripped down to the core and basic enough for its six-and-older age group. It takes about thirty minutes to play and, depending on what concepts you want to emphasize, can reinforce a variety of subjects from mathematics to leadership to creative thinking. Even if you've never played D&D you can easily play this with a group of kids. It requires no prior knowledge of the game whatsoever.
Jocelyn Chappell

Research: Topics ~ Stephen's Web ~ by Stephen Downes - 0 views

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    an atoz of online learning and things (http://www.of.ca/about_this_website.htm)
Claude Almansi

College-Made Device Helps Visually Impaired Students See and Take Notes - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 0 views

  •  
    "August 1, 2011, 5:51 pm By Rachel Wiseman College students with very poor vision have had to struggle to see a blackboard and take notes-basic tasks that can hold some back. Now a team of four students from Arizona State University has designed a system, called Note-Taker, that couples a tablet PC and a video camera, and could be a major advance over the small eyeglass-mounted telescopes that many students have had to rely on. It recently won second place in Microsoft's Imagine Cup technology competition. (...) The result was Note-Taker, which connects a tablet PC (a laptop with a screen you can write on) to a high-resolution video camera. Screen commands get the camera to pan and zoom. The video footage, along with audio, can be played in real time on the tablet and are also saved for later reference. Alongside the video is a space for typed or handwritten notes, which students can jot down using a stylus. That should be helpful in math and science courses, says Mr. Hayden, where students need to copy down graphs, charts, and symbols not readily available on a keyboard. (...) But no tool can replace institutional support, says Chris S. Danielsen, director of public relations for the [NFB]. "The university is always going to have to make sure that whatever technology it uses is accessible to blind and low-vision students," he says. (Arizona State U. has gotten in hot water in the past in just this area.) (...) This entry was posted in Gadgets."
Vicki Davis

Estie's Gifts & Treasures: Attending the Flat Classroom Conference...Will You Help? - 0 views

  •  
    Estie Cuellar from Texas has a dream to take nine of her students to the conference. While many of us have raised our money from private donors, Estie is located at a school with many underserved children from families in poverty. I have pledged to do what I can to help her spread the word about her situation. She has scholarships for four of her students to pay their conference fees, however, all schools must raise money for their own airfare. This is a great cause and I hope that there are some people out there who believe in the vision of representing ALL of our society here in America at a conference which plans to turn conferences upside down -- working hard to give students a meaningful place alongside the educators who will be attending the leadership strand of the conference. Julie and I dream of writing a book to fund this conference in the future, but for now, we have to do it all the hard way ( a lot of pavement pounding and hard work.)
Dennis OConnor

The Keyword Blog: Kermit the Frog Search Challenge (Information Literacy Games) - 11 views

  •  
    Information Literacy Games: Finding Kermit This blog post features a great video of Kermit the frog singing It Ain't Easy Being Green. It follows up with an explanation of a search game that can be used with the whole class in a lab or on an individual workstation. It's part of a free series of online information literacy / information fluency games available from 21cif.com. Finding Kermit was the inspiration for one of the first Internet Search Challenges created by Dr. Carl Heine. The task is to track down a picture of Kermit ready for graduation in the least amount of time. The search game is embedded on the page so you can try it without going to the main site. Many teachers use this as a whole class lab activity. Put up a search challenge and then it's off the races! Most of these games were developed for middle and high school students. Adults find them challenging as well.
Vicki Davis

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

  •  
    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.
Fabian Aguilar

What Do School Tests Measure? - Room for Debate Blog - NYTimes.com - 1 views

  • According to a New York Times analysis, New York City students have steadily improved their performance on statewide tests since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took control of the public schools seven years ago.
  • Critics say the results are proof only that it is possible to “teach to the test.” What do the results mean? Are tests a good way to prepare students for future success?
  • Tests covering what students were expected to learn (guided by an agreed-upon curriculum) serve a useful purpose — to provide evidence of student effort, of student learning, of what teachers taught, and of what teachers may have failed to teach.
  • ...18 more annotations...
  • More serious questions arise about “teaching to the test.” If the test requires students to do something academically valuable — to demonstrate comprehension of high quality reading passages at an appropriate level of complexity and difficulty for the students’ grade, for example — then, of course, “teaching to the test” is appropriate.
  • Reading is the crucial subject in the curriculum, affecting all the others, as we know.
  • An almost exclusive focus on raising test scores usually leads to teaching to the test, denies rich academic content and fails to promote the pleasure in learning, and to motivate students to take responsibility for their own learning, behavior, discipline and perseverance to succeed in school and in life.
  • Test driven, or force-fed, learning can not enrich and promote the traits necessary for life success. Indeed, it is dangerous to focus on raising test scores without reducing school drop out, crime and dependency rates, or improving the quality of the workforce and community life.
  • Students, families and groups that have been marginalized in the past are hurt most when the true purposes of education are not addressed.
  • lein. Mayor Bloomberg claims that more than two-thirds of the city’s students are now proficient readers. But, according to federal education officials, only 25 percent cleared the proficient-achievement hurdle after taking the National Assessment of Education Progress, a more reliable and secure test in 2007.
  • The major lesson is that officials in all states — from New York to Mississippi — have succumbed to heavy political pressure to somehow show progress. They lower the proficiency bar, dumb down tests and distribute curricular guides to teachers filled with study questions that mirror state exams.
  • This is why the Obama administration has nudged 47 states to come around the table to define what a proficient student truly knows.
  • Test score gains among New York City students are important because research finds that how well one performs on cognitive tests matters more to one’s life chances than ever before. Mastery of reading and math, in particular, are significant because they provide the gateway to higher learning and critical thinking.
  • First, just because students are trained to do well on a particular test doesn’t mean they’ve mastered certain skills.
  • Second, whatever the test score results, children in high poverty schools like the Promise Academy are still cut off from networks of students, and students’ parents, who can ease access to employment.
  • Reliable and valid standardized tests can be one way to measure what some students have learned. Although they may be indicators of future academic success, they don’t “prepare” students for future success.
  • Since standardized testing can accurately assess the “whole” student, low test scores can be a real indicator of student knowledge and deficiencies.
  • Many teachers at high-performing, high-poverty schools have said they use student test scores as diagnostic tools to address student weaknesses and raise achievement.
  • The bigger problem with standardized tests is their emphasis on the achievement of only minimal proficiency.
  • While it is imperative that even the least accomplished students have sufficient reading and calculating skills to become self-supporting, these are nonetheless the students with, overall, the fewest opportunities in the working world.
  • Regardless of how high or low we choose to set the proficiency bar, standardized test scores are the most objective and best way of measuring it.
  • The gap between proficiency and true comprehension would be especially wide in the case of the brightest students. These would be the ones least well-served by high-stakes testing.
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
  • ...20 more annotations...
  • 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.
Deb Henkes

Creating an Emotion Graph using Google Forms | edte.ch - 15 views

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    "An emotion graph is a simple line graph comparing a range of happiness to sadness against different points (time) in a story or film. This technique of graphing the emotional ups and down within a story really helps children to visualise the whole story in a different way. Once the graphs are complete they can be discussed in reference to the different peaks and troughs of emotion."
  •  
    An emotion graph is a simple line graph comparing a range of happiness to sadness against different points (time) in a story or film. This technique of graphing the emotional ups and down within a story really helps children to visualise the whole story in a different way. Once the graphs are complete they can be discussed in reference to the different peaks and troughs of emotion.
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