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Tony Richards

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

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

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

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

Into the Book: Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies - 1 views

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    Into the Book is a reading comprehension resource for K-4 students and teachers. We focus on eight research-based strategies: Using Prior Knowledge, Making Connections, Questioning, Visualizing, Inferring, Summarizing, Evaluating and Synthesizing. Your class can watch our engaging 15-minute videos, and try the online interactive activities.
Martin Burrett

http://www.textivate.com/ - 11 views

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    This is a great site for creating all sorts of online cloze text of missing words and sentence ordering activities. It's great for sentence and grammar work, as well as using text about topics from across the curriculum. Register for free to create text activities to share and embed. http://ictmagic.wikispaces.com/Cross+Curricular
Lisa M Lane

Online Education - Introducing the Microlecture Format - Open Education - 0 views

  • in online education “tiny bursts can teach just as well as traditional lectures when paired with assignments and discussions.” The microlecture format begins with a podcast that introduces a few key terms or a critical concept, then immediately turns the learning environment over to the students.
  • “It’s a framework for knowledge excavation,” Penrose tells Shieh. “We’re going to show you where to dig, we’re going to tell you what you need to be looking for, and we’re going to oversee that process.”
  • It clearly will not work for a course that is designed to feature sustained classroom discussions. And while the concept will work well when an instructor wants to introduce smaller chunks of information, it will likely not work very well when the information is more complex.
  • ...3 more annotations...
  • 1. List the key concepts you are trying to convey in the 60-minute lecture. That series of phrases will form the core of your microlecture. 2. Write a 15 to 30-second introduction and conclusion. They will provide context for your key concepts. 3. Record these three elements using a microphone and Web camera. (The college information-technology department can provide advice and facilities.) If you want to produce an audio-only lecture, no Webcam is necessary. The finished product should be 60 seconds to three minutes long. 4. Design an assignment to follow the lecture that will direct students to readings or activities that allow them to explore the key concepts. Combined with a written assignment, that should allow students to learn the material. 5. Upload the video and assignment to your course-management software.
    • Lisa M Lane
       
      This really isn't lecture - it's more like an introduction to guide them toward reading and discussion.
  • the microlecture format similarly requires teachers to get the key elements across in a very short amount of time. Most importantly, it forces educators to think in a new way.
  • Given that it is tough to justify the traditional lecture timeframes
Ed Webb

Web-monitoring software gathers data on kid chats by AP: Yahoo! Tech - 0 views

  • Parents who install a leading brand of software to monitor their kids' online activities may be unwittingly allowing the company to read their children's chat messages — and sell the marketing data gathered.
  • Software sold under the Sentry and FamilySafe brands can read private chats conducted through Yahoo, MSN, AOL and other services, and send back data on what kids are saying about such things as movies, music or video games. The information is then offered to businesses seeking ways to tailor their marketing messages to kids.
  • a separate data-mining service called Pulse that taps into the data gathered by Sentry software to give businesses a glimpse of youth chatter online. While other services read publicly available teen chatter, Pulse also can read private chats. It gathers information from instant messages, blogs, social networking sites, forums and chat rooms.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • Parents who don't want the company to share their child's information to businesses can check a box to opt out. But that option can be found only by visiting the company's Web site, accessible through a control panel that appears after the program has been installed. It was not in the agreement contained in the Sentry Total Home Protection program The Associated Press downloaded and installed Friday.
Vicki Davis

Connected Citizens Report: The Power, Peril, and Potential of Networks | Beth's Blog - 3 views

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    If you have no idea what network-centric grantmaking is and you write grants or work with fundraising - this blog post is an important read for you. (Buy Beth's book - the networked nonprofit - it is great.) Themes as per Beth: These themes include: 1. Listening to and consulting the crowds: Actively listening to online conversations and openly asking for advice. 2. Designing for serendipity: Creating environments, in person and online, where helpful connections can form. 3. Bridging differences: Deliberately connecting people with different perspectives. 4. Catalyzing mutual support: Helping people directly help each other. 5. Providing handrails for collective action: Giving enough direction for individuals to take effective and coordinated action.
Emily Vickery

2008 Kids & Family Reading Report - 0 views

  • KIDS AGE 5-17 BELIEVE TECHNOLOGY WILL SUPPLEMENT – NOT REPLACE – BOOK READING AND SAY THEY WILL ALWAYS WANT TO READ BOOKS PRINTED ON PAPER Tweens and Teens who Participate in Online Activities Are More Likely to Read Books for Fun Daily
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    From Scholastic
Vicki Davis

From the Annointed Few to the Collective Many - 0 views

    • Vicki Davis
       
      How sad!
  • the Internet has morphed from a presentation medium to an interactive platform in just a few years
  • a leading web analysis site
    • Vicki Davis
       
      I find this description of Technorati almost amusing.
  • ...18 more annotations...
  • more than 50 percent of Americans aged 20-30 years old use Facebook
  • among Americans under the age of 35, social networking and user-generated content sites have overtaken TV as a primary media.
  • “Visitors to MySpace.com and Friendster.com generally skew older, with people age 25 and older comprising 68 and 71 percent of their user bases, respectively.”
  • We’re in the midst of a paradigm shift where individuals are indeed connecting “in ways and at levels that [they] haven’t done before”
  • Workplace communities
  • orkplace communities are designed to solve workplace-related challenges
  • talent management is about finding, developing, and retaining key talent within the organization
  • Ernst & Young, for instance, has a significant presence on Facebook in support of its recruiting efforts
  • Google, Home Depot, Enterprise Rent a Car, and Deloitte also are recruiting using Web 2.0 tools through YouTube videos and even alumni social networks
  • “If companies keep social networks out, they will be doing a significant disservice to their bottom lines
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Understanding networks is important to students. Knowing how to be professional and what is appropriate for different spaces is vital.
  • Between 2000 and 2020, 75 million Boomers will reach retirement age.
  • The only content service with mass adoption (greater than 50 percent) was Social Networking, and this was only among respondents under the age of 35.”
  • In addition, Millennials are the first generation to spend more hours online per week than watching TV (16.7 vs 13.6).
  • some of the characteristics of Millenials, which included a desire to work in  “[open] and flat organizations” as “part of a tribe.”
  • “heavy use of technology (messaging, collaboration, online learning) as a daily part of their work lives.”
  • robust and active communities will have an easier time recruiting talented Millennials
  • they have opportunities to meaningfully connect to their peers and supervisors.
  • A retiring Boomer who is an expert in a particular field could be an excellent community manager, blogger, or wiki contributor.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Blogging might be the answer for retiring boomers?
  •  
    Business people and management should read this article about the transformation of business by using workplace communities. "Workplace communities are designed to solve workplace-related challenges" -- they focus on tasks. I would find it interesting to see a business REALLY use technology to change things. Having the business in a business network (OK a NING) and let people tag their posts with the business related PROBLEMS they are having and blog, video, or photograph it-- the tag cloud would tell the business IMMEDIATELY what the problems are in the company. The problem with this model is that there are few corporate executives who REALLY want to know the problems within their organizations. They don't want to be problem solvers, just opportunity creators. However, when managers open their eyes (and I'm a former General Manager myself) and see that two things give business opportunity: problem solving and innovation. And they are directly related. True innovation solves problems. Read this article and think about how you may solve problems using the networks you may now create. If you don't want everyone to know, keep it private and only allow people in your company in.
Vicki Davis

Home/IWitness:Video testimonies from Holocaust survivors and witnesses - 0 views

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    Students across the country have already started working on their IWitness Challenge project sponsored by the USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education, but there's still time for youngsters in your community to enter this free online program geared to all secondary-school students. The deadline to enter the Challenge is Dec. 2, 2013. The winning student, along with their teacher and a family member will be brought to Los Angeles to showcase their work as part of the 20th anniversary activities for the Shoah Foundation, which was founded by director Steven Spielberg in 1994 after making "Schindler's List." Tthe IWitness Challenge (iwitness.usc.edu) connects students with the past in a very personal way that spurs them to take action to improve the future. With access to many of the Shoah Foundation's 52,000 testimonies of survivors, liberators and rescuers, students experience history in a way that hits home. Instead of reading facts from textbooks, students feel the emotions and build relationships with those who lived through seemingly impossible situations. But students do more than watch the testimony. The IWitness Challenge compels them to think, to make smart choices and to create their own project and video from what they've learned. By encouraging teachers and students to create their own lesson plans, IWitness allows them to expand on practically any subject they wish to pursue. From civics, government and history to poetry, art and ethics, educators can tailor lessons appropriate for their classrooms. And by using the embedded editor, participants not only learn valuable searching and editing skills, but also how to make ethical editing decisions that ensure their finished assignments are a fair and accurate reflection of what they've seen. All work is kept safe inside the IWitness site and not accessible to the public. Using IWitness is free, but teachers or homeschool parents must register at iwitness.usc.edu.
Vicki Davis

Revised Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule Goes Into Effect Today - 3 views

  • The modified rule, approved by the Commission in December 2012, widens the definition of children’s personal information to include persistent identifiers such as cookies that track a child’s activity online, as well as geolocation information, photos, videos, and audio recordings.
  • It requires that operators of websites or online services that are either directed to children under 13 or have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information from children under 13 give notice to parents and get their verifiable consent before collecting, using, or disclosing such personal information, and keep secure the information they collect from children.
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    The revised COPPA act went into effect on July 1, 2013. Take time to read up on and know this act.
yc c

Readability analyzer - 13 views

  • Introduction Word length and phrase length influence the ease of reading and understanding of a given text. Short words are usually more common (Zipf's law). Short sentences require less abstraction ability to understand. The readability analysis could be useful to make a text better, augmenting its accessibility. Why have we developed this? The readability index tells us how easy a given text is to understand. A well-written text is effective, easy to understand and quick to read. This index helps us understand the text's complexity in order to better schedule the activities of translators and revisers. More than ever, written information, especially in the Internet, must be direct and well structured. This analysis can help achieve both goals.
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