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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...
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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.
Vicki Davis

History Teachers Group - 43 views

Good luck! I hope you're using tagging standards as those truly help people be able to share in meaningful ways and you can pull the data out as well into great, useful feeds. David Hilton wrote: ...

Maggie Verster

Teachers-the catalyst for positive change (A free webinar) - 0 views

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    Teachers are the largest professionally trained group in the world, yet Teacher training is often spotty, inconsequential, or missing entirely. We've all had a Teacher who made the difference. Teachers Without Borders' founder, Dr. Mednick, will show the connection between excellent Teachers and human welfare, on a global level. The message is clear: focus on the Teachers as the most viable catalysts for positive change.
Vicki Davis

Edutech Musings: A New Years Rant - 4 views

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    As some friends and I have been talking on my Facebook fanpage about how much grading and planning we're doing over Winter break, Chris Fancher shared his wish for teachers on the page which relates. While I don't agree that kids are "{products" I do know that I have to spend quite a bit of extra time to have any hope of considering myself a good teacher. It is a thought provoking read challenging us to be more. WE're all getting so much out of Twitter (many of us are) and the off-time things we're doing and sharing, so you might want to think about it and read his post. Chris says: "My wish for 2013 is that the 2 or 3 teachers who read this go out and find someone on their campus who they can get together with outside of "normal" hours.  Then these same teachers need to get on twitter and find a group of teachers who is on twitter at times they are on and are willing to interact and help with plans and ideas.  Then these same teachers need to pick one day a week when they can devote to a twitter chat and start being an active participant. My wish is that every student has a teacher who is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure they are receiving the best education available. "
Vicki Davis

Twitter Groups - Groupss ~ Groupss - 0 views

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    If you are a teacher on twitter, you can "join" this group - which means nothing except your name is added to a list. I like this b/c it helps teachers find other teachers. Wish it let you put a little info but you can look at the twitter id's - I like that it is automated even the excessive ads are a little bothersome, I can live with that -- share your id or make another group.
Vicki Davis

ASCD - 0 views

  • first 60 seconds of your presentation is
    • Vicki Davis
       
      How many of us emphasize the first 60 seconds of a presentation students give?
  • Summers and other leaders from various companies were not necessarily complaining about young people's poor grammar, punctuation, or spelling—the things we spend so much time teaching and testing in our schools
  • the complaints I heard most frequently were about fuzzy thinking and young people not knowing how to write with a real voice.
  • ...35 more annotations...
  • Employees in the 21st century have to manage an astronomical amount of information daily.
  • There is so much information available that it is almost too much, and if people aren't prepared to process the information effectively it almost freezes them in their steps.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Buidling a PLN using an RSS Reader is ESSENTIAL to managing information. THis is part of what I teach and do and so important!
  • rapidly the information is changing.
  • half-life of knowledge in the humanities is 10 years, and in math and science, it's only two or three years
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Personal learning networks and RSS readers ARE a HUGE issue here. We need to be customing portals and helping students manage information.
  • “People who've learned to ask great questions and have learned to be inquisitive are the ones who move the fastest in our environment because they solve the biggest problems in ways that have the most impact on innovation.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      How do we reward students who question teachers -- not their authority but WHAT They are teaching? Do we reward students who question? Who inquire? Who theorize? Or do we spit them out and punish them? I don't know... I'm questioning.
  • want unique products and services:
  • developing young people's capacities for imagination, creativity, and empathy will be increasingly important for maintaining the United States' competitive advantage in the future.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      IN a typical year, how often are your students asked to invent something from scratch?
  • The three look at one another blankly, and the student who has been doing all the speaking looks at me and shrugs.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      When teachers tell students WHY withouth making them investigate, then we are denying them a learning opportunity. STOP BEING THE SAGE ON THE STAGE!.
  • The test contains 80 multiple-choice questions related to the functions and branches of the federal government.
  • Let me tell you how to answer this one
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Drill and test is what we've made. Mindless robots is what we'll reap. What are we doing?
  • reading from her notes,
  • Each group will try to develop at least two different ways to solve this problem. After all the groups have finished, I'll randomly choose someone from each group who will write one of your proofs on the board, and I'll ask that person to explain the process your group used.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Every time I do a team project, the "random selection" is part of it. Randomly select -- classtools.net has a random name generator -- great tool - and it adds randomness to it.
  • a lesson in which students are learning a number of the seven survival skills while also mastering academic content?
  • students are given a complex, multi-step problem that is different from any they've seen in the past
  • how the group solved the problem, each student in every group is held accountable.
  • ncreasingly, there is only one curriculum: test prep. Of the hundreds of classes that I've observed in recent years, fewer than 1 in 20 were engaged in instruction designed to teach students to think instead of merely drilling for the test.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Not in my class, but in many classes - yes. I wonder how I'd teach differently if someone made me have a master "test" for my students at the end of the year. I'd be teaching to the test b/c I"m a type "A" driven to succeed kind of person. Beware what you measure lest that determine how you grow.
  • . It is working with colleagues to ensure that all students master the skills they need to succeed as lifelong learners, workers, and citizens.
  • I have yet to talk to a recent graduate, college teacher, community leader, or business leader who said that not knowing enough academic content was a problem.
  • critical thinking, communication skills, and collaboration.
  • seven survival skills every day, at every grade level, and in every class.
  • College and Work Readiness Assessment (www.cae.org)—that measure students' analytic-reasoning, critical-thinking, problem-solving, and writing skills.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Would like to look more at this test, however, also doing massive global collaborative projects requiring higher order thinking is something that is helpful, I think.
  • 2. Collaboration and Leadership
  • 3. Agility and Adaptability
  • Today's students need to master seven survival skills to thrive in the new world of work.
  • 4. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
  • 6. Accessing and Analyzing Information
  • 7. Curiosity and Imagination
  • I conducted research beginning with conversations with several hundred business, nonprofit, philanthropic, and education leaders. With a clearer picture of the skills young people need, I then set out to learn whether U.S. schools are teaching and testing the skills that matter most.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Background on the research done by Tony Wagner.
  • “First and foremost, I look for someone who asks good questions,” Parker responded. “We can teach them the technical stuff, but we can't teach them how to ask good questions—how to think.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      This is a great aspect of project based learning. Although when we allow students to have individual research topics, some teachers are frustrated because they cannot "can" their approach (especially tough if the class sizes are TOO LARGE,) students in this environment CAN and MUST ask individualized questions. This is TOUGH to do as the students who haven't developed critical thinking skills, whether because their parents have done their tough work for them (like writing their papers) or teachers have always given answers because they couldn't stand to see the student struggle -- sometimes tough love means the teacher DOESN'T give the child the answer -- as long as they are encouraged just enough to keep them going.
  • “I want people who can engage in good discussion—who can look me in the eye and have a give and take. All of our work is done in teams. You have to know how to work well with other
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Last Saturday, my son met Bill Curry, a football coach and player that he respects. Just before meeting him, my husband reviewed with my son how to meet people. HE told my son, "Look the man in his eyes and let him know your hand is there!" After shaking his hand, as Mr. Curry was signing my son's book, he said, "That is quite a handshake, son, someone has taught you well." Yes -- shaking hands and looking a person in the eye are important and must be taught. This is an essential thing to come from parents AND teachers -- I teach this with my juniors and seniors when we write resumes.
  • how to engage customers
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Engagi ng customers requires that a person stops thinking about their own selfish needs and looks at things through the eyes of the customer!!! The classic issue in marketing is that people think they are marketing to themselves. This happens over and over. Role playing, virtual worlds, and many other experiences can give people a chance to look at things through the eyes of others. I see this happen on the Ning of our projects all the time.
  • the world of work has changed profoundly.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Work has changed, school hasn't. In fact, I would argue that schools are more industrial age than ever with testing and manufacturing of common knowledge (which is often outdated by the time the test is given) at an all time high. Let them create!
  • Over and over, executives told me that the heart of critical thinking and problem solving is the ability to ask the right questions. As one senior executive from Dell said, “Yesterday's answers won't solve today's problems.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      We give students our critical questions -- how often do we let them ask the questions.
  • I say to my employees, if you try five things and get all five of them right, you may be failing. If you try 10 things, and get eight of them right, you're a hero. You'll never be blamed for failing to reach a stretch goal, but you will be blamed for not trying.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      If our students get eight out of 10 right, they are a low "B" student. Do we have projects where students can experiement and fail without "ruining their lives." Can they venture out and try new, risky things?
  • risk aversion
    • Vicki Davis
       
      He says risk aversion is a problem in companies -- YES it is. Although upper management SAYS they want people willing to take risks -- from my experience in the corporate world, what they SAY and what they REWARD are two different things, just ask a wall street broker who took a risky investment and lost money.
Susan Sedro

Education Research Report: Problems with the Use of Student Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers - 14 views

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    Student test scores are not reliable indicators of teacher effectiveness, according to a new Economic Policy Institute report, Problems with the Use of Student Test Scores to Evaluate teachers. The paper was co-authored by a group of distinguished education scholars and policy makers, including four former presidents of the American Educational Research Association, a former assistant U.S. Secretary of Education, EPI Research Associate Richard Rothstein, and others. The authors find that the accuracy of these analyses of student test scores is highly problematic. They argue that the practice of holding teachers accountable for their student's test score results should be reconsidered.
  •  
    I'm sorry, but if this is news to anyone, you've been asleep at your desk. I'm sick of people being all professional about this issue, it is well past time to rebel against it. It's bad for the teachers, it's bad for the students, it's bad for society, and it's bad for the economics of education too! Get active, join a group against NCLB & high-stakes testing, and END IT. I would post the group(s) I work with, but I don't want to be dismissed as promoting them - find one(s) that are right for you and get behind them.
Vicki Davis

Xerox stepping into grading school papers - 1 views

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    Grading handwritten answers by students as a feature of a copier? Producing data analytics as a result. IF this works, it will not only sell more copiers, but also make handwritten work more of a commodity. Maybe if a computer can quickly grade the easy stuff, teachers can spend more time assessing project based learning and other work that computers cannot do. This won't help me much - except when I teach binary numbers and memory conversion which do require me to check work (I never do multiple choice.) I could see how math teachers would be thrilled. "Xerox later this year plans to roll out Ignite, a software and web-based service that turns the numerous copiers/scanners/printers it has in schools across the United States into paper-grading machines. Unlike such staples of the educational system as Scantron, which uses special forms where students choose an answer and fill in the corresponding bubble, Ignite will grade work where the answers are written in by the students, such as the numeric answer to a math problem. Ignite takes right and wrong answers and turns them into web-accessible data for teachers with reports that say whether a student or teacher of students are consistently having more trouble with certain kinds of math problems. Those reports can be used by teachers to tailor what they're teaching - such as by identifying what group of students needs more help with a certain topic - or given to students so they know where they should focus their studying. It also opens the door to specific tests or homework assignments for specific students becoming more the norm, each tailored to academic strengths and weaknesses."
C CC

Michael Morpurgo: We are failing too many boys in the enjoyment of reading | Teacher Network Blog | Guardian Professional - 1 views

  • Perhaps it is partly that we need to love books ourselves as parents, grandparents and teachers in order to pass on that passion for stories to our children.
  • It's not about testing and reading schemes, but about loving stories and passing on that passion to our children
  • I believe profoundly that everyone has a story to tell, a song to sing. I'm all for empowering children and young people to have their own words especially when they are young. Encouraging young people to believe in themselves and find their own voice whether it's through writing, drama or art is so important in giving young people a sense of self-worth. There are so many young people who don't believe in themselves and their mentality gets fixed in failure.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • 1.Why not have a dedicated half hour at the end of every school day in every primary school devoted to the simple enjoyment of reading and writing.2. Regular visits from storytellers, theatre groups, poets, writers of fiction and non-fiction, and librarians from the local library.3. Inviting fathers and grandfathers, mothers and grandmothers into school to tell and read stories, to listen to children reading, one to one. The work of organisations such at Volunteer Reading Help and Reading Matters are already doing great thing to help young people and schools.4. Ensuring that the enjoyment of literature takes precedence, particularly in the early years, over the learning of the rules of literacy, important though they are.  Children have to be motivated to want to learn to read. Reading must not be taught simply as a school exercise.5.  Parents, fathers in particular, and groupss, might be encouraged to attend book groups themselves, in or out of the school, without children, so that they can develop a love of reading for themselves, which they can then pass on to the children.6. groups training should always include modules dedicated to developing the groupss' own appreciation of literature, so that when they come to read to the children or to recommend a book, it is meant, and the children know it. To use books simply as a groups's tool is unlikely to convince many children that books are for them, particularly those that are failing already, many of whom will be boys.7.  The library in any school should have a dedicated librarian or groups/librarian, be well resourced, and welcoming, the heart of every school.  Access to books and the encouragement of the habit of reading: these two things are the first and most necessary steps in education and librarians, groupss and parents all over the country know it. It is our children's right and it is also our best hope and their best hope for the future.
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 learning - 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 learning 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?"
Vicki Davis

Group Linkrolls - educators | Diigo Groups - 1 views

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    Group linkrolls for the diigo group that can be filtered by tag. This is very useful for pD.
  •  
    The educators group on Diigo now has a linkroll which will allow you to share things. The power of this is that if you are a science teacher, you can filter everything and only share science. Same for all subject areas. I've turned on preapproval for this group to keep the spam out because we are approaching 500 members in this group. Remember, when you bookmark to diigo, check share to a group and then pick educators and at least one standard tag (you can use more.)
Bret Willhoit

The Children Must Play - 20 views

  • Not only do Finnish educational authorities provide students with far more recess than their U.S. counterparts—75 minutes a day in Finnish elementary schools versus an average of 27 minutes in the U.S.—but they also mandate lots of arts and crafts, more learning by doing, rigorous standards for teacher certification, higher teacher pay, and attractive working conditions.
  • it had to modernize its economy and could only do so by first improving its schools. To that end, the government agreed to reduce class size, boost teacher pay, and require that, by 1979, all teachers complete a rigorous master’s program.
  • Finnish teachers earn very competitive salaries: High school teachers with 15 years of experience make 102 percent of what their fellow university graduates do. In the United States, by contrast, they earn just 65 percent.
  • ...4 more annotations...
  • Finnish authorities haven’t outsourced school management to for-profit or non-profit organizations, implemented merit pay, or ranked teachers and schools according to test results, they’ve made excellent use of business strategies. They’ve won the war for talent by making teaching so appealing. In choosing principals, superintendents, and policymakers from inside the education world rather than looking outside it, Finnish authorities have likewise taken a page from the corporate playbook: Great organizations, as the business historian Alfred Chandler documented, cultivate talent from within. Of the many officials I interviewed at the Finnish Ministry of Education, the National Board of Education, the Education Evaluation Council, and the Helsinki Department of Education, all had been teachers for at least four years.
  • Finland’s school system unique is that the country has deliberately rejected the prevailing standardization movement
  • Since 1985, students have not been tracked (or grouped by ability) until the tenth grade
  • The Finnish approach to pedagogy is also distinct
Carlos Martín

About us | Cosas que encuentro para clase - 2 views

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    Spin-off from the Facebook group with the same name which some teachers created last year. Most of us are teachers at Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas, and we like to share ideas, links and debate in Facebook, but we thought that all these posts would be better organized if we had a group so they wouldn't be lost among other entries in our personal Facebook wall. When the group started to grow (there are 92 of us already), we realized that we were missing some kind of categorization, so we thought a blog would do the trick. And here we are. We choose the ideas that are more popular among the posts in our group in Facebook and write a post here.
Gaby Richard-Harrington

Working Toward Student Self-Direction and Personal Efficacy as Educational Goals - 2 views

    • Gaby Richard-Harrington
       
      I think that this is worth listening to. It gives a really different reason for conferences.
  • she observes student-led parent/student conferences.
    • Gaby Richard-Harrington
       
      I think this is worth listening to. It gives a whole new perspective on conferences.
  • improvement of instruction and for evaluation,
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  • mutually-enhancing learning process.
  • In traditional classrooms the teacher is seen as the information giver; knowledge flows only one way from teacher to student. In contrast, the methods used in a collaborative classroom emphasize shared knowledge and decision making.
  • Teachers may have a great deal of difficulty learning how to share control of instruction with students.
  • helping students make their own decisions will conflict with some teachers' learned experiences as well as their feelings about being in charge.
  • For some teachers this is a most difficult challenge
  • Similarly, students who are used to relying on teachers to give them so much structure, direction and information will have to learn to start asking themselves
  • "What can I do before I ask an adult?"
  • Some psychologists point out that fostering self-determination and personal efficacy can conflict with our goals for collaborative work (Sigel) unless we find ways to mold both goals into our instructional programs
  • self-direction can refer not only to the individual but to a group, a class of students, that decides upon goals, designs strategies and collaboratively evaluates progress on a group basis. As Vygotsky (1978) notes,
  • learning to think occurs within a social context; group speech gradually becomes internalized as personal self-talk about confronting life's difficult, complex situations.
  • Finally, personal efficacy means taking control of one's destiny
  • school restructuring and change
  • Some critics (Apple, 1979) suggest that schools help students reproduce knowledge of a dominant social, economic class, and not engage in producing for their own knowledge.
  • Further, many parents are concerned that a reorientation toward student self-direction and personal efficacy will diminish the influence of home and school and inadequately prepare students for the work force.
anonymous

Response: Several Ways Teachers Can Create A Supportive Environment For Each Other - Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo - Education Week Teacher - 10 views

    • anonymous
       
      Relationships are key.
  • One way to address this is to establish a team norm that collaborative efforts AREN'T about studying successful people. Instead, they are about studying successful PRACTICES
  • Because teachers are (1). surrounded by efforts to tie performance to individuals instead of collaborative teacher and (2). used to working in isolation, it is only natural to see competitive teacher-centered language slip into our conversations.
  • ...2 more annotations...
  • The first level is, what can an individual teacher do to impact the culture of her individual professional learning team?
  • The second level is, what can teachers do to impact the culture of their schools?
Martin Burrett

Grouping students into ability-based sets holds back less able pupils - 0 views

  •  
    "Students classed as less able are being hindered by being grouped into ability-based sets, according to new research published today in the Cambridge Journal of Education. Teachers' expectations of pupils in lower sets, which are based on their prior academic record and closely tied to the belief that their behaviour will be more challenging, could instil a damaging 'culture of dependency' on Teachers among these Teacher."
Vicki Davis

Blogger: Cool Cat Teacher Blog - Post a Comment - 0 views

  • I don't feel that any of the names mentioned act or feel like they are better than me and have even included me on many conversations
    • Vicki Davis
       
      This blogger is a good example of someone who has jumped in with all 10 fingers and gotten to know a lot of neat people. As a relative newcomer, loonyhiker knows a lot of people. Newcomers just need to "jump in!"
  • I do love when you say, "if one person reads our blog and get something out of it.. it is important." I try to keep that in mind all the time. Numbers don't matter..people do.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Remembering each reader as an invidual is a vital thing about blogging.
  • Lisa Parisi
  • ...66 more annotations...
  • As far as the ego thing goes who cares. Your blog's this mine is that. Whoopdy do! If you're learning and growing your PLN that is what counts.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      I love Charlie's perspective on this.
  • Charlie A. Roy said.
  • I feel similar frustration. If the point is about learning than reading and commenting is a great way to add to our own creative potential.
  • Tennessee
  • Great response to a burning question/statement that most of us (well probably all of us)feel at one time or another.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      I find tennessee's comment interesting. What is the "burning" question? Do we matter? Is anyone else really out there? Is Internet realilty -- REAL reality. We are grappling with this and just now realizing that there is an emotional thing going on with it all!
  • Many of the people that I have learned the most from are not the ones involved in the "cocktail party" but rather those in the trenches doing what I love to do each and every day, just like you!
    • Vicki Davis
       
      He has an important point -- if you're only reading the uber-popular bloggers -- you're missing the point of the blogosphere. I make it a point to find some newcomers. To me, it is like a game, I want to find new people doing great things and encourage them like so many greats like David Warlick, Darren Kuropatwa, Ewan McIntosh, and more did for me when I started.
  • agree that developing a readership takes time.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Many educators don't know the number of readers they have b/c they don't use the right tools -- I recommend consolidating to ONE feedburner feed. It just makes sense.
  • Carolyn Foote
  • Scott McLeod
  • Re: the depressing aspects of 'comment intensity,' I actually meant it to be an affirming post rather than a depressing one
  • I think that the comment intensity idea is important in this respect: I often see laments from bloggers that they don't get many comments on their posts. What the table above shows is that even those of us who are fortunate enough to have large readerships often don't get many comments. My personal median over the past 20 posts, even WITH the big spike of 89, is still only 2.5. Ewan, your blog and Vicki Davis' are similar. The point is that many, many posts don't get a lot of comments, even those by the more widely read bloggers.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      It could be encouraging for some -- for me it made me feel like I had another thing to count! Although, I see Scott's point -- his article wasn't written for me!
  • tom said...
  • Thanks for bringing this up. This has been an issue for me personally as well. OK, so nobody's IN, but the (pseudo?) community nature of blogging makes it feel that way.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Tom is right -- we all feel this way! I think the feeling of looking in on the blogosphere is one of feeling "out" looking in -- for all of us!
  • But, like other artists, we have to work a little every day whether we feel like it or not, and whether we get validation that day or not.
  • I think many of us are working at blogging because there's an element of self improvement, which implies self evaluation. Without feedback from others it's easy to be hard on ourselves.
  • Christopher D. Sessums
  • For me, the conversation is hardly closed; it is simply a matter of having something to say, something to share.The emotional commitment is another aspect of the conversation that is easily glossed over.
  • MIke Sansone
  • I've found (both with myself and those educators I've worked with in their blogging starts) that the edublogosphere is open and welcoming -- but as we engage in any cultural group (even offline), patience really is a key.Still, we sometimes measure our success by the interaction from those we look up to (esp. teachers - many of whom were probably the best students in their class, yes?)
  • Sometimes we don't see the comments -- because the talk happens offline.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      This is a very important point and one to remember -- the "quiet" audience online may be a very vocal audience offline.
  • Britt
  • I get very few comments on my blog but see through the clustermaps that I have readers each and every day, so continue to feel that the blog is benefiting me through reflection and may even be benefiting others as well.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      This is why having a statcounter or clustrmap is SO very important -- it helps you understand traffic and audience!
  • atruger
  • I NEVER get to share tools I discover because someone ALWAYS beats me to the punch...but I am ok with that.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      But you should share ANYWAY! -- we're not people breaking news -- we're talking about what we USE. So, talk and share!
  • I truly connect with what you write even though I am one of "those" people who reads but rarely comments. YOU do make a difference and so do I!
    • Vicki Davis
       
      These comments mean so much to me!
  • Bego said...
  • the whole cocktail party analogy is just a grown up version of the kickball line-up in elementary school.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      I was always picked last there -- whew this analogy hits me close to home. I was always picked last b/c I was the worst. Even the worst kickball player needs to feel encouraged and not destroyed for getting up and kicking the ball. Even the "worst" blogger - if there is such a thing -- needs to feel encouraged sometimes too just for blogging.
  • In the blog world, change is effected by good content, and while good content isn't always noticed at first, it does eventually get a respectable position--sometimes because the cocktail group points them out.
  • How could I think to be in the same boat as John Scalzi who started in 1998 if I've only been blogging since 2007?
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Remember this -- I've been blogging just over 2 years. Strange things can happen -- consistent creation of meaningful content is important.
  • I found your blog, Vicki, because a project you do for Atomic Learning mentioned you, and your name is on the movies they use.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      I did the Web 2.0 workshop for atomic learning and many have found my blog -- actually I had to use a source that I had permission to use!!! ;-)
  • jeanette tranberg
  • 2005 - you were the only ones out there to follow
    • Vicki Davis
       
      lol -- I started blogging in December of 2005 and had about 7 followers until mid 2006 -- but there are many who think I've been around forever!
  • Oh yes, I have felt the cocktail chill at times. I'm a norwegian edublogger, that have been following your brunks (blogdrunks) for a while. To start with - in
  • Wes told me once I twittered, that nobody should twitter alone and I could not agree more - so I don't.
  • So, from the outer side looking in: Anybody stopping by in Second Life tonight (which is today for you) for a virtual edu cocktail?I'm aka Kita Coage at Eduisland II, waiting to cocktail connect with you c",)
  • Paul Hamilton
  • For most of us, blogging is very much a personal venture.
  • I suspect that we all have a deep desire to be heard and to be accepted. The longer I'm involved in the edublogosphere, however, the more impressed and encouraged I am by the level of acceptance that there is here. It is a good thing that we don't always agree with each other. Disagreement is often at the heart of constructive conversation
  • At the same time, we are no different than the kids in our classrooms. We educators need to know that we will be accepted, no matter what we have to say and no matter how well we are able to express it. I think we help to make the edublogosphere a "safe place" for each other as we try to keep it positive and as we take advantage of the numerous opportunities to be affirming.
  • Jim Dornberg said.
  • I don't at all feel excluded from the blog "cocktail party", because just like a real cocktail party, I am drawn to the people who have something important, and engaging to say and I am content to listen and learn from them. I have seen a few of the "big names" at conferences, and even met a few of them in person. I have emailed several of them and others, or left an occasional comment, and I have been very pleasantly surprised at the thoughtful responses I have received.
  • I read many blogs, but comment rarely, and I suspect that those who read my blog do the same. So I don't feel at all excluded. I'm just happy to occasionally be part of the conversation.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Many people feel this way -- just happy to be a part of the occasional conversation.
  • Alfred Thompson
  • When I was at EduBloggerCon last spring I felt quite the outsider. There were famous people there and I was unknown. I still feel that way in the broad edublogsphere. But honestly the broad sphere is not who I am blogging for. I blog for a niche - computer science teachers. The event for that niche is SIGCSE and there I (blush) feel a bit like a star. Few of the people there know the edubloggers with much larger readership or Technorati ranks. And really reaching the CS teachers is my goal not reaching everyone who teaches general subjects.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Knowing your audience is very important.
  • There is, I believe, room for more at the top if only because the number of teachers reading blogs is still very small but we all hope it is growing. We are still at the ground floor. That makes edublogging different from tech blogging I think.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Alfred thompson is right on the money!
  • Jason Bengs
  • I think we need to all remember our focus for blogging. Mine is for reflection. I use my blog as a tool to improve my teaching. If others start to read and can learn from it, great. To my knowledge I am the only one seeing my blog right now. Which is fine with me. I don't think blogging should be a popularity contest and having a large number of readers is great, it must mean that you, and others, have something to offer that others want to emulate.
  • prof v said
  • I think you could have added three additional points. First, a suggestion on how to increase readership. I think new bloggers (myself included) are still trying to figure out how to make the connections that allow for conversations within blogs. I go back to your list of 10 tips for successful blogging, and still find things I never noticed before
  • would love to see an updated list that perhaps would include how to make sure your blog is part of an RSS feed and how to set up subscriptions for potential readers to make it easy for them to subscribe to your blog.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      If you go to my blog and search for feedburner -- that is what I use -- I've written several posts on that. I'll have to update the original 10 habits. perhaps I'll do that soon!
  • I think even you have realized that it is more difficult to break into the edublogger field as there is now so many new bloggers (just in the last two years).
    • Vicki Davis
       
      I don't know -- I've seen some newcomers like Darren Draper jump into the blogosphere pretty quickly -- it is about getting involved in the conversation, which is easier now with twitter and webcasts at edtechtalk. Good conversationalists rise to the top.
  • Finally, I am surprised that you did not point out how you have helped new bloggers by both asking for new voices and then publishing them in your own blog. I think this is an indication that you are trying to open up the "party".
    • Vicki Davis
       
      I always let my readers defend me. I'm not perfect, none of us. We also don't have unlimited time... so I have to do the best I can.
  • Dean Shareski
  • Isn't the whole point of web 2.0 is that it exudes democracy and equality? Those that get all concerned about rankings and ratings are, as you've suggested missing the point.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Dean has got it right here.
  • We often quickly want to find ways of ranking. Reminds me of the evils of current assessment practices. We tell kids to do their best and work on improving performance and yet continue to use ranking systems that is clearly a mixed message.
  • Anonymous said.
  • I'm new to this world as of Monday...yes, 4 days of immersing myself in as much ed. tech, web 2.0, online collaboration "stuff" that I can. (thanks to Lisa Thumman at Rutgers U.) Cocktail party or not, your blog and the comments people have left have increased my list of people to follow. Even a discussion about "being on the outside" has led me to the "inside". I'm thrilled to be in the company of such great minds and promise to start contributing once I wrap my brain around it all! Thanks to everyone for sharing! cmtvarok
    • Vicki Davis
       
      A 4 day old newcomer to the edublogosphere comments.. what an amazing linkage of conversation! Wow! Older, newer, very new. Wow!
  • Mrs. V.
  • thanks for coaxing me out of my blogger drought!
    • Vicki Davis
       
      She wrote a great post!
  • Vicki A. Davis
  • I believe that this "post" has been made stronger by the comments, which have added to the post greater depth of meaning.
  • All over this conversation I see the change in society. We are all going through the emotions of becoming accustomed to something new... kind of like I first experienced when the Internet first came out.
  • And while, when I began blogging, I didn't really set my sights or aim for a large readership... now that it is here, I will seriously consider and appreciate each individual reader and take my job seriously
  • @tennessee -- Those in the trenches are my most important reads... I just wish there were more of us. It seems as if many teachers view blogging as a way out of the classroom when they should see it as a way to improve the classroom!
  • @scottmcleod - I believe the comment intensity is highly correlated to controversiality AND immediacy. If a lot of people SAW someone recently, they want to interact and comment (immediacy.) If someone says something very emotional or controversial, people want to comment and interact (controversiality.) While I guess looking at these stats are fine, I've found in my very short time blogging that looking too much at numbers of any kind removes my focus from what is important. When I focus intently on conversation, my blog traffic and numbers just grow. I always say "whatever is watered, grows." If I water my investigation of stats, I become a good statistician... if I water my blog but also commenting and participating in the blogosphere as a WHOLE, I become a good blogger. I'd rather be the latter. And while the post was meant to be encouraging... I have to admit I'm a competitive perfectionist and always have to reign in that aspect of my nature.
  • @christophersessums - I think the emotional nature of something is like the proverbial elephant in the Net -- it is there. It always stuns me the number of people who discuss their feelings on this when it comes up... it means that many of us are experiencing the same thing.
Vicki Davis

Students 2.0 - 0 views

  •  
    Been watching this group blog of students and want to share it with you. At over 1000 readers strong, this is an educational blog to watch -- students are speaking out. Who is listening? Of course, teachers IN the classroom had better be listening. I hear my students thoughts in person and on our class blog, but how many teachers truly ask and how many listen? Even more so, how many administrators or curriculum directors listen and are involved. Good teachers listen to students and know when to say yes and when to say no. However, it is great that now students can speak out!
  •  
    A student website that starts on Monday launched by Artus. Cool
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