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Tony Richards

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

  •  
    "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.
  • ...67 more annotations...
  • 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

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.
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.
Maureen Tumenas

Online Predators and Their Victims - 1 views

  • adult offenders who meet, develop relationships with, and openly seduce underage teenagers
    • Vicki Davis
       
      This is an important point to make to parents! It is about RELATIONSHIPS not abduction, usually!
  • The publicity about online"predators" who prey on naive children using trickery and violence is largely inaccurate.
  • In the great majority of cases, victims are aware they are conversing online with adults. In the N-JOV Study, only 5% of offenders pretended to be teens when they met potential victims online. (112)
    • David Donica
       
      There tends to be a focus on the negative - no matter what percentage of the actual story is being discussed. Our news from "normal" channels follows the old "if it bleeds it leeds" mentality. The potential of the web towards "good" is highly underated - in my humble oppion
  • ...23 more annotations...
  • Offenders rarely deceive victims about their sexual interests.
  • promises of love and romance
  • 99% of victims of Internet-initiated sex crimes in the N-JOV Study were 13 to 17 years old, and none were younger than 12. 48% were 13 or 14 years old. (115)
  • My (Liz B. Davis ) Summary of Key Points (All are quotes directly from the article): Online "Predators" and Their Victims. Myths, Realities, and Implications for Prevention and Treatment. by: Janis Wolak, David Finkelhor, and Kimberly J. Mitchell - University of New Hampshire and Michele L. Ybarra - Internet Solutions for Kids, Inc.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Remember that we may start annotating articles and extracting this information together as well.
  • it was those 15-17 years of age who were most prone to take risks involving privacy and contact with unknown people. (115)
    • Vicki Davis
       
      This tells us what we need to know about courses on digital citizenship and safety -- discuss these issues probably beginning around 11 -- before soliciation happens -- then have focused programs probably starting age 12-13 -- as with everything -- these ages tend to get lower over time -- what will happen w/ the Webkinz generation is anyone's guess.
    • Kristin Hokanson
       
      I see this more and more...as the parent of webkinz kids...in the past..you had the "don't talk to strangers" talk with them. Now the strangers are coming into our homes and at much younger ages.
    • David Donica
       
      I think we need to be aware that not all "unknown people" are wanting to commit crimes, fraud, etc. Talking to someone you don't know might be the introduction to your new best friend. The content of discussion is important. Not knowing someone, I would not give them personal information. Friendship is built over time.
    • Michelle Krill
       
      A nice way I've heard to describe this is that even though kids think they're tech savvy, they are not relationship savvy. It's this age group that doesn't recognize the complexity of relationships.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      @David - I think, however, that we should be very careful about teaching HOW to make friendships -- friend of a friend and building relationships OVER TIME is often how these things happen. Children want the romance and don't realize the "gentle" stranger they've met wants to harm them. This is a tricky one -- one of my dearest friends is Julie Lindsay who I met online. But that conversation was totally OK, as youwould guess. Teaching them about this is tricky. We'll have to think on this one AND look at the research.
  • take place in isolation and secrecy, outside of oversight by peers, family  members, and others in the youth's face-to-face social networks (115)
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Again, this reinforces my thoughts of NOT having computers in the bedroom! Period. Have family computers w/ screens viewable by everyone!
  • Most of the online child molesters described in the N-JOV Study met their victims in chatrooms. In a 2006 study, about one third of youths who received online sexual solicitation had received them in chatrooms. (116)
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Safe IM practice -- that is a key element of an online safety program.
  • Youth internet users with histories of offline sexual or physical abuse appear to be considerably more likely to receive online aggressive sexual solicitations. (117)
    • Vicki Davis
       
      At risk teenagers are at risk online AND offline!
    • Kristin Hokanson
       
      But I think they are MORE at risk now that they have new outlets...THIS is what teachers / school faculty NEED to understand!
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Yes, Kristin! -- what we saw in Florida this week tells us that -- these students have now found a new way to have life in prison! And it relates to YOutube!
  • ..Although Internet safety advocates worry that posting personal information exposes youths to online molesters, we have not found empirical evidence that supports this concern. It is interactive behaviors, such as conversing online with unknown people about sex, that more clearly create risk. (117)
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Posting personal information is NOT what puts students at risk -- interactive BEHAVIORS! Do! This is one criticism we've had of online projects. At risk behaviors from AT RISK students cause things to happen!!! Listen up!
    • Kristin Hokanson
       
      and your students are lucky that they have you to guide them. Way too many schools are not involving their students in these activities so they don't have these "appropriate" models
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Exactly, kristin -- MORE SCHOOLS have got to do this. It is a travesty that these kids are being victimized when the schools can do something about it. Completely a travesty. I hope we can all get fired up again about this topic, especially with the good research coming out now!
  • Online molesters do not appear to be stalking unsuspecting victims but rather continuing to seek youths who are susceptible to seduction. (117)
  • maintaining online blogs or journals, which are similar to social networking sites in that they often include considerable amounts of personal information and pictures, is not related to receiving aggressive sexual solicitation unless youths also interact online with unknown people. (117)
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Safety habits and teaching students how to interact safely. Learning to interact with people you KNOW in safe ways will keep our students safe. It is NOT about pulling the plug.
  • Boys constitute 25% of victims in Internet-initiated sex crimes, and virtually all of their offenders are male. (118
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Unfortunately, teaching boys to beware of men is something we have to do because that seems to be who is preying on the young boys.
  • Some gay boys turn to the internet to find answers to questions about sexuality or meet potential romantic partners, and there they may encounter adults who exploit them. (118)
  • ..child molesters are, in reality, a diverse group that cannot be accurately characterized with one-dimensional labels. (118)
  • Online child molesters are generally not pedophiles. (118)Online child molesters are rarely violent. (119)
  • Child pornography production is also an aspect of Internet-initiated sex crimes. One in five online child molesters in the N-JOV Study took sexually suggestive or explicit photographs of victims or convinced victims to take such photographs of themselves or friends. (120)
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Again -- behaviors. Teaching children not to take pictures of themselves and post them w/out parental approval is important, particularly for younger kids.
  • Youths may be more willing to talk extensively and about more intimate matters with adults online than in face-to-face environments. (121
    • Vicki Davis
       
      "If you wouldn't say it face to face, you shouldn't say it anyplace," should be our new saying to our students. (Yes, I coined it but it iwhat I will teach to my children.)
  • it may not be clear to many adolescents and adults that relationships between adults and underage adolescents are criminal. (122)
  • Simply urging parents and guardians to control, watch, or educate their children may not be effective in many situations. The adolescents who tend to be the victims of Internet-initiated sex crimes many not themselves be very receptive to the advice and supervision of parents. (122)
    • Vicki Davis
       
      The fact that the victims don't have a great relationship with their parents mean that we must have other outlets for teenagers such as with teachers, counselors, and others who are involved in these discussions!
  • We recommend educating youths frankly about the dynamics of Internet-initiated and other nonforcible sex crimes. Youths need candid, direct discussions about seduction and how some adults deliberately evoke and then exploit the compelling feelings that sexual arousal can induce. (122)
    • Vicki Davis
       
      This recommendation is VERY important!
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Yes, this is a gross mischaracterization. We are afraid of the unknown scary boogeman who isn't who we think he is, when it is the person who is up front that we must worry about. We want someone to blame instead of realizing it is the behavior of kids.
  • Youths need candid, direct discussions about seduction
    • Diane Hammond
       
      The hard part is finding comfortable places to have these discussions. Where is the best place?
    • Vicki Davis
       
      I believe that the Http://digiteen.wikispaces.com project is the best thing I've got going in my classroom with 9th graders in Qatar & Austria. We're having great conversations -- third person looking at things happening and working through what they think is a good way to do it, I believe. I truly think that everyone working with students should be educated to watch for the "signs" -- and we should also have individual programs.
    • Maureen Tumenas
       
      Is this an accurate statistic?
    • Vicki Davis
       
      We can look back at the reference in this study -- the hyperlink is at the top of the page -- I'm not sure of the sample size for this but it looks like this is what the New Jersey study found.
  •  
    Cool summary of an article by Liz B. Davis -- Liz took the article and extracted the most valuable bits to her using google Docs. This methodology is fascinating, but even moreso the fact we may all begin doing this together with Diigo.
  • ...3 more comments...
  •  
    Great article!
  •  
    Cool summary of an article by Liz B. Davis -- Liz took the article and extracted the most valuable bits to her using google Docs. This methodology is fascinating, but even moreso the fact we may all begin doing this together with Diigo.
  •  
    Cool summary of an article by Liz B. Davis -- Liz took the article and extracted the most valuable bits to her using google Docs. This methodology is fascinating, but even moreso the fact we may all begin doing this together with Diigo.
  •  
    Cool summary of an article by Liz B. Davis -- Liz took the article and extracted the most valuable bits to her using google Docs. This methodology is fascinating, but even moreso the fact we may all begin doing this together with Diigo.
  •  
    Cool summary of an article by Liz B. Davis -- Liz took the article and extracted the most valuable bits to her using google Docs. This methodology is fascinating, but even moreso the fact we may all begin doing this together with Diigo.
Vicki Davis

Constructing Modern Knowledge 2009 - 0 views

  •  
    Great post by Ben Grey on his participation in Constructing Modern knowledge - he hits several things including the fact that many at the conference said that computer programming should be mandatory for all students and a presenter who said that the problem with today is that too many people have a voice. My comments from Ben's blog are below. Great conversations happening here! Programming - OK, on the programming thing, here are my thoughts. In our curriculum our objective is not as much a specific LANGUAGE. One year I may use HTML with Javascript, this past year I used LSL - what I want kids to know that when they encounter programming and coding that there are certain conventions. Some are case sensitive, some are not. How do you find out how to add to what you know about programming? Do you know where to go to find prewritten code? Can you hack it to make it work to do what you want it to do? We spend about a week - two weeks but I require they know how to handcode hyperlinks and images - they are just too important. But to take 12 weeks or 6 weeks to learn a whole language - yes maybe some value - but to me the value is HOW is the language constructed or built. What are the conventions and how do I educate myself if I am interested in pursuing. What comes out of this time is kids who say either "I never want to do that" or "this is really cool, I love coding." They are doing very simplistic work (although the LSL object languages were pretty advanced) but since we don't have a full course nor time in our curriculum, I do see this as an essential part of what I teach. I'm not teaching it for the language sake but for the sake of understanding the whole body of how languages work - we talk about the different languages and what they are used for as part of Intro to Computer science and have an immersive experience. To me, this is somewhat a comprimise between leaving it out entirely or forcing everyone to take 12 weeks of it. I
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

The problem with Pearson-designed tests that threatens thousands of scores - 7 views

  •  
    I agree. Students who got to read the passages ahead of time had an advantage - of course, is anyone looking to see if there was a "hit" on other textbook passages - is this luck or is it corruption. Either way - it smells like corruption. There is a conflict of interest if you're testing and selling textbooks to help kids do better on testing.  "students who read the Pearson test before seeing it on the state test had the opportunity to fill the gaps in their own knowledge-whether through class discussion or simply by reading and answering the questions provided in the curriculum-before they took the test. And that means that the validity of a test that aims to differentiate between "good" and "poor" readers is necessarily called into question. Unfortunately, it seems that New York education officials don't realize how significant this problem is. Or even that it is a problem. (Meryl Tisch, New York Board of Regents chancellor, actually defended the quality of the assessments, boasting that, thanks to a rigorous new quality-control review, the Department of Education had avoided the kinds of problems that lead to last year's now-famous pineapple scandal. And that failure to recognize what may be a far more serious and consequential challenge may be the biggest red flag that Common Core assessment decisions are in trouble in the Empire State."
Ed Webb

Many Complaints of Faculty Bias Stem From Students' Poor Communicating, Study Finds - Faculty - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 4 views

  • some perceptions of classroom bias would decline, and students would benefit more from exposure to opposing viewpoints, if colleges did more to teach argumentation and debate skills. Teaching undergraduates such skills "can help them deal with ideological questions in the classroom and elsewhere in a civil way, and in a way that can discriminate between when professors are expressing a bias and when they are expressing a perspective that they may, or may not, actually be advocating,"
  • The study's findings, however, were criticized as ideologically biased themselves by Peter W. Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, a group that has frequently accused colleges of liberal or leftist indoctrination. The article summarizing the study, Mr. Wood said on Friday, "seems to me to have a flavor of 'blaming the victim,'" and appears "intended to marginalize the complaints of students who have encountered bias in the classroom."
  • Students need to learn how to argue as a workplace skill. If they understood this as a key workplace strategy that will affect their ability to advance they may be more willing to pay attention. They are there-- regardless of what we may believe-- to get jobs at the end. Discussion and dealing with disputes or differences is key to professional advancement
  • ...7 more annotations...
  • It's one thing to be closed to students' arguments or to insist on conformity with a prof's views.  It is another altogether when students do not know how to argue their own points, especially points that are not political.  At some point, isn't it the case that the prof does know even a little bit more about their subjects than their students?
  • Several studies (post 1998) seem to indicate that the capacity to understand and engage in logical argumentation has diminished (at least in the 'Western' world). These studies seem to have encouraged the state education boards (committees) of several states to entertain making a "critical thinking" or "Introductory logic" course part of the required core.
  • I have found Susan Wolcott's teaching materials, which are informed by research by K.S. Kitchener and P. M. King, to be the most helpful in addressing student accusations of bias.  I had long been puzzled by why my colleagues in philosophy are so often accused of bias when, in my own observation of their teaching, they take care to keep their own views of a philosophical topic hidden from students.  Indeed, they spend a great deal of time playing devil's advocate and championing the philosophical position that is getting the least airtime in class discussion, readily switching sides if another perspective begins to be neglected.  Wolcott's developmental analysis, which explains how students arrive at college as "confused fact finders" and often get stuck in learning critical thinking skills at the "biased jumper" stage, helps me to understand how students attribute bias to professors when the students lack skills to maneuver around arguments.  The most helpful part of Wolcott's analysis is her suggestion that, if one gives students an assignment that is more than one level above their current abilities in critical thinking, they will completely ignore the assignment task.  This failing is particularly visible when students are asked to compare strengths/weaknesses in two arguments but instead write essays in which they juxtrapose two arguments and ignore the task of forging comparisons.  In Wolcott's workbooks (available by request on her website), she describes assignments that are specifically designed to help students build a scaffolding for critical thinking so that, over four years, they can actually leave the "biased jumper" stage and move on to more advanced levels of critical thinking.  One need not be a slavish adherent to the developmental theory behind Wolcott's work to find her practical suggestions extremely helpful in the classroom.   Her chart on stages of critical thinking is the first link below; her website is the second link.   http://www.wolcottlynch.com/Do... http://www.wolcottlynch.com/Ed...
  • The classroom and campus are not divorced from the polarized language in the greater society wherein people are entrenched in their own views and arguments become heated, hateful, and accusatory.  The focus of this study on political bias is not helpful under the circumstances.  The greater argument is that students need to be taught how to argue effectively, with facts, logic and reasoning not just in the classroom but beyond.
  • What happened to the 'Sage on the Stage' as the 'provacatuer-in-chief'?  Some of my best classroom experiences came from faculty that prompted critical thinking and discussion by speaking from all sides of an issue.  They were sufficiently informed to deflate weak arguments from students with probing questions.  They also defended an issue from every side with factual information.  In the best instances, I truly did not know the personal position of a faculty member.  It was more important to them to fully and fairly cover an issue than it was to espouse a personal preference.  that spoke volumes to me about the love of learning, critical examination of strongly held personal beliefs, and assertive but fair-minded discourse.  Do those faculty still exist?
  • The study suggests that those faculty do exist and in fact are numerous, but that students' ever-diminishing skills in critical thinking and argumentation lead them to misunderstand the questioning, challenging Socratic dialogue and "devil's advocate" work of the professor as simple bias. 
  • When I was teaching controversial subjects the advice from the Administration was, "Teach the debate."  Its pretty hard to "teach the debate" without actually having some of those debates.  When students "checked out" during those debates I always wondered if they were the ones who were going to report on their teaching evaluations that, "the professor was biased."  Of course when the student intellectually "checks out," i.e., remains quiet, only says what they think I want to hear, etc., they are not doing A work in the class.  This reinforces their view that "the professor is biased."
Jonathan Tepper

Pioneering research shows 'Google Generation' is a myth - 0 views

  • All age groups revealed to share so-called ‘Google Generation' traits New study argues that libraries will have to adapt to the digital mindset Young people seemingly lacking in information skills; strong message to the government and society at large
  • “Libraries in general are not keeping up with the demands of students and researchers for services that are integrated and consistent with their wider internet experience”,
  • research into the information behaviour of young people and training programmes on information literacy skills in schools are desperately needed if the UK is to remain as a leading knowledge economy with a strongly-skilled next generation of researchers.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      This is needed for all countries, just few countries realize it!
    • Jonathan Tepper
       
      Multiliteracies approach seems to be the focus now in the education landscape. Paper sabout learning/teaching with technology are emmerging in this area and seem to address this.
  • ...5 more annotations...
  • “Libraries have to accept that the future is now.
  • Turning the Pages 2.0 and the mass digitisation project to digitise 25 million of pages of 19th-century English literature are only two examples of the pioneering work we are doing.
  • the changing needs of our students and researchers and how libraries can meet their needs.
  • We hope it will also serve to remind us all that students and researchers will continue to need the appropriate skills and training to help navigate an increasingly diverse and complex information landscape.”
  • CIBER developed a methodology which has created a unique ‘virtual longitudinal study' based on the available literature and new primary data about the ways in which the British Library and JISC websites are used. This is the first time for the information seeking behaviour of the virtual scholar to have been profiled by age.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      They have created a new technique called a "virtual longitudinal study" that sounds fascinating.
    • Jonathan Tepper
       
      not sure if that is an established methodology... interesting.
  •  
    This study breaks a lot of the stereotypes people may have about use of the Internet. It also presents important information for libraries and schools.
  •  
    Wow -- this longitudinal study shows that all generations show "google generation" traits with over 65 year olds spending 4 more hours a week online than some of the younger ages. It argues that libraries must adapt to the digital mindset AND that young people are lacking in information skills! This is an important study for all educators, business leaders, AND students on the Horizon project. Another reason to remind ourselves that we base practice on RESEARCH not STEREOTYPES!
  •  
    Wow -- this longitudinal study shows that all generations show "google generation" traits with over 65 year olds spending 4 more hours a week online than some of the younger ages. It argues that libraries must adapt to the digital mindset AND that young people are lacking in information skills! This is an important study for all educators, business leaders, AND students on the Horizon project. Another reason to remind ourselves that we base practice on RESEARCH not STEREOTYPES!
Ed Webb

Seen Not Heard- Boing Boing - 3 views

  • Cameras don't make you feel more secure; they make you feel twitchy and paranoid. Some people say that the only people who don't like school cameras are the people that have something to hide. But having the cameras is a constant reminder that the school does not trust you and that the school is worried your fellow classmates might go on some sort of killing rampage.
  • Some people say youngsters are more disrespectful than ever before. But if you were in an environment where you were constantly being treated as a criminal, would you still be respectful? In high school, one of my favorite English teachers never had trouble with her students. The students in her class were the most well behaved in the school--even if they were horrible in other teachers' classes. We were well-mannered, addressed her as "Ma'am," and stood when she entered the room. Other teachers were astonished that she could manage her students so well, especially since many of them were troublemakers. She accomplished this not though harsh discipline, but by treating us with respect and being genuinely hurt if we did not return it.
  • The Library and a few good teachers are what kept me from dropping out.
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  • Schools today are not training students to be good citizens: they are training students to be obedient.
    • Ed Webb
       
      Schools have always attempted to teach this. And they have always ended up teaching how not to get caught.
  • I even read about a girl who ran a library of banned books out of her locker.
  • the football team got a bigger budget than the Library
  • @SchoolSecurityBlog, the issue is that in schools your constitutional rights are completely ignored. Random bag searches are not conducted with probable cause or a search warrant. If students spend the first part of their life in an environment where their rights are ignored, then they will not insist on them later in life. Someone might make the argument that since students are minors that they don't have rights. It is a weak argument. For one thing, I reached the age of majority while still in public school, and they still ignored my rights.
  • most of these so called "reasonable risk reduction measures" are not reasonable nor do they reduce risk. Cameras are entirely ineffective in preventing crime or violence. My school had a camera watching the vending machines, but a student still robbed them and was not even caught (he took the simple measure of obscuring his face). I acknowledge that there have been many court ruling that make what schools do legal. However, even with the "in loco parentis" policy in place, even my parents would not have a legal right to search my stuff without my permission when I turned 18 (which is how old I was my senior year). Yet the school could search my bag if they wanted to. Or my friends car (I am pretty sure he was also 18 when that happened, he was only a few months younger than I). that means that once a kid turns 18, the school system technically had more control over the kid than his parents do. Another problem that I have with in loco parentis is that the school really is not a students parent. A parent presumably has the child's best interests at heart, if they didn't it could be grounds for the state to take the child away from the parent. Unfortunately, school faculty members do not always have the student's best interests at heart. They should and often do, but many times some faculty members just like messing with people. It is an unfortunate fact, and one that I am sure many people would like to ignore, but the fact of the matter is that bullies are not confined to the student body. Also parents go to extraordinary measures for their children. They pay to keep them clothed and fed and cared for. They devote endless hours taking care of them. Therefore it makes sense that they should be granted extraordinary legal measures to take care of their children. To grant these same legal measures to an arbitrary school faculty member is really in insult to the hard and loving work of parents everywhere.
  • The schools of decades past seemed to get by without universal surveillance. Why is it all of the sudden essential today? Could many of these security measures be over reactions stemming from mass publicized incidents of school violence?
Ruth Howard

Half an Hour: An Operating System for the Mind - 0 views

  • The reason I pose these questions in particular is that, while it is necessary (and possible) to teach facts to people, it comes with a price. And the price is this: facts learned in this way, and especially by rote, and especially at a younger age, take a direct route into the mind, and bypass a person's critical and reflective capacities, and indeed, become a part of those capacities in the future.When you teach children facts as facts, and when you do it through a process of study and drill, it doesn't occur to children to question whether or not those facts are true, or appropriate, or moral, or legal, or anything else. Rote learning is a short circuit into the brain. It's direct programming. People who study, and learn, that 2+2=4, know that 2+2=4, not because they understand the theory of mathematics, not because they have read Hilbert and understand formalism, or can refute Brouwer and reject intuitionism, but because they know (full stop) 2+2=4.
  • First
  • . There are more facts in the world than anyone could know
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  • Second
  • facts change
  • We need to be able to determine what is salient or important to ourselves and to others.
  • Third
  • Fourth
  • you need some mechansism to detect and reject false representations of facts
  • comparing and assessing facts
  • Fifth
  • basis for action
  • we can create facts in the world
  • Sixth
  • we need the capacity to act
  • And what we discover when we think about it this way is that it's not simple whether or not we need facts that is important, but also, what format the facts are in that is equally important, if not more important.
  • You need, in other words, need to acquire facts in a format appropriate to your knowledge system.
  • 21st century skills are, in short, an operating system for the mind.
  • They constitute the processes and capacities that make it possible for people to navigate a fact-filled landscape, a way to see, understand and acquire those facts in such a way as to be relevant and useful, and in the end, to be self-contained and autonomous agents capable of making their own decisions and directing their own lives, rather than people who need to learn ever larger piles of 'facts' in order to do even the most basic tasks.
  • What we have learned - what we are understanding, uniquely, in the 21st century - is that the nature of facts is very different from anything we thought before:
  • empowerment,
  • Today - surely we've seen enough evidence of this! - if you simply follow the rules, do what you're told, do your job and stay out of trouble, you will be led to ruin.
  • an abundance of facts will not help you, it will instead sweep you over the waterfall.
  •  
    And the price is this: facts learned in this way, and especially by rote, and especially at a younger age, take a direct route into the mind, and bypass a person's critical and reflective capacities, and indeed, become a part of those capacities in the future.
  •  
    while it is necessary (and possible) to teach facts to people, it comes with a price. And the price is this: facts learned in this way, and especially by rote, and especially at a younger age, take a direct root into the mind, and bypass a person's critical and reflective capacities, and indeed, become a part of those capacities in the future.\n\nWhen you teach children facts as facts, and when you do it through a process of study and drill, it doesn't occur to children to question whether or not those facts are true, or appropriate, or moral, or legal, or anything else. Rote learning is a short circuit into the brain. It's direct programming. People who study, and learn, that 2+2=4, know that 2+2=4, not because they understand the theory of mathematics, not because they have read Hilbert and understand formalism, or can refute Brouwer and reject intuitionism, but because they know (full stop) 2+2=4.\n\nI used the phrase "it's direct programming" deliberately. This is an analogy we can wrap our minds around. We can think of direct instruction as being similar to direct programming. It is, effectively, a mechanism of putting content into a learner's mind as effectively and efficiently as possible, so that when the time comes later (as it will) that the learner needs to use that fact, it is instantly and easily accessible.
Vicki Davis

Global education survey puts Shanghai on top - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English - 0 views

  •  
    Remember one thing as you look at these scores - not all students are tested in many countries and in many countries only the brightest go to school. In my opinion, these tests have some serious flaws. For example, I don't play cricket - my scores would be low -- I don't know that I'm so upset about that. While math, science, and reading are important -- standards vary greatly between countries -- so unless we're going to prep for PISA scores. Also on another note -- comparing "Shanghai to nations makes me wonder - I'm sure there are certain cities in the US that would do very well on such a test. Anyway, I want to look deeper, but I think before we rattle cages and get too upset, the report should be looked at deeply but not only the report - but the test. I remember getting upset that my kindergartener scored in the 60th percentile on "environment" only to see that he missed that a judge was supposed to be a guy in a grey wig (who does that) and couldn't identify a subway turnstile (we live in a town of 5,000). Since that time, I always want to see the test. Lots of people will be talking about this so look at it and be prepared to answer questions. This is the post from Aljazeera so you can see what other countries are saying about the report. "Asian countries have topped the rnakings in a global education report which evaluates the knowledge and skills of 15 and 16-year-olds around the world. The report by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), published on Tuesday, shows that children from Asian nations continue to outshine their western counterparts in maths, science and reading. The city of Shanghai topped the table in the three-yearly reported which tested more than 510,000 students in 65 countries. Children in Shanghai were, on average, the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling ahead of the majority of nations tested."
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.
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  • 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.
Ed Webb

Grading and Its Discontents - Do Your Job Better - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 8 views

  • Most students bring with them an unhealthy attitude toward grading that has been instilled in them by parents and schoolteachers, an attitude based on the flawed assumption that grades are supposed to function as "carrots and sticks." Consequently, it's not enough for me to simply convey the mechanics of my grading policy; I must also ensure that students acquire a more accurate conception of grading, one that will enhance—rather than impede—their learning.
  • Since grades have only instrumental value—rather than any intrinsic value—they must be treated as only means to some end, and never as ends in themselves. I tell my students: If your primary goal in college is to receive good grades, you will probably view the required work as an onerous obstacle and you're not likely to feel very motivated to do the work. But you are most likely to receive good grades when you are so focused on learning that grades have ceased to matter.
  • The students seems to be assuming that they already had a full score and that the professor is therefore responsible for taking away some of what rightfully belonged to them. Needless to say, that is a mistaken assumption.
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  • Learning is never directly caused by anything that a professor does. It happens as a result of the student's own activities (reading, thinking, writing, etc.), while the professor can only facilitate that process. Since the responsibility for learning lies with the student, so does the burden of demonstrating that he or she has actually achieved that learning.
  • You are not your grades. I want my students to avoid defining themselves in terms of a grade. I want them to know that grades represent nothing more than someone's assessment of one or more instances of their academic performance. Given the nature of the grading process and the limited purposes for which it is designed, the grades they receive are in no way a reflection of who they are as people or even what they are capable of achieving in the long run.
  • Professors rarely observe their students outside of the classroom or lab, which is why we are in no position to judge how hard or long someone has studied. We can only assess their actual performance. A student using ineffective methods of study would have to work a lot harder and a lot longer than a student who is using effective methods
  • Some students must invest more time and effort than other students in order to receive the same grade. That may seem unjust, I tell students, but it simply mimics the way "real life" functions
  • being told that the entire life plan of a young man or woman depends on what grade I give them does put me in an awkward situation psychologically: I don't wish to be the person who destroys someone's dream, but I also have a strong need for integrity. It would be best for both parties if students simply do not share this kind of information with faculty members.
  • I believe that when students see their grades as pieces of information, rather than as external rewards or punishments, or as mechanisms of control, they are much more likely to discover the joy that is inherent in the very experience of learning.
Ed Webb

The threat to our universities | Books | The Guardian - 0 views

  • It is worth emphasising, in the face of routine dismissals by snobbish commentators, that many of these courses may be intellectually fruitful as well as practical: media studies are often singled out as being the most egregiously valueless, yet there can be few forces in modern societies so obviously in need of more systematic and disinterested understanding than the media themselves
  • Nearly two-thirds of the roughly 130 university-level institutions in Britain today did not exist as universities as recently as 20 years ago.
  • Mass education, vocational training and big science are among the dominant realities, and are here to stay.
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  • it is noticeable, and surely regrettable, how little the public debate about universities in contemporary Britain makes any kind of appeal to this widespread appreciation on the part of ordinary intelligent citizens that there should be places where these kinds of inquiries are being pursued at their highest level. Part of the problem may be that while universities are spectacularly good at producing new forms of understanding, they are not always very good at explaining what they are doing when they do this.
  • talking to audiences outside universities (some of whom may be graduates), I am struck by the level of curiosity about, and enthusiasm for, ideas and the quest for greater understanding, whether in history and literature, or physics and biology, or any number of other fields. Some members of these audiences may not have had the chance to study these things themselves, but they very much want their children to have the opportunity to do so; others may have enjoyed only limited and perhaps not altogether happy experience of higher education in their own lives, but have now in their adulthood discovered a keen amateur reading interest in these subjects; others still may have retired from occupations that largely frustrated their intellectual or aesthetic inclinations and are now hungry for stimulation.
  • the American social critic Thorstein Veblen published a book entitled The Higher Learning in America: A Memorandum on the Conduct of Universities by Businessmen, in which he declared: "Ideally, and in the popular apprehension, the university is, as it has always been, a corporation for the cultivation and care of the community's highest aspirations and ideals." Given that Veblen's larger purpose, as indicated by his book's subtitle, involved a vigorous critique of current tendencies in American higher education, the confidence and downrightness of this declaration are striking. And I particularly like his passing insistence that this elevated conception of the university and the "popular apprehension" of it coincide, about which he was surely right.
  • If we are only trustees for our generation of the peculiar cultural achievement that is the university, then those of us whose lives have been shaped by the immeasurable privilege of teaching and working in a university are not entitled to give up on the attempt to make the case for its best purposes and to make that case tell in the public domain, however discouraging the immediate circumstances. After all, no previous generation entirely surrendered this ideal of the university to those fantasists who think they represent the real world. Asking ourselves "What are universities for?" may help remind us, amid distracting circumstances, that we – all of us, inside universities or out – are indeed merely custodians for the present generation of a complex intellectual inheritance which we did not create, and which is not ours to destroy.
  • University economics departments are failing. While science and engineering have developed reliable and informed understanding of the world, so they can advise politicians and others wisely, economics in academia has singularly failed to move beyond flat-Earth insistence that ancient dogma is correct, in the face of resounding evidence that it is not.
  • I studied at a U.K. university for 4 years and much later taught at one for 12 years. My last role was as head of the R&D group of a large company in India. My corporate role confirmed for me the belief that it is quite wrong for companies to expect universities to train the graduates they will hire. Universities are for educating minds (usually young and impressionable, but not necessarily) in ways that companies are totally incapable of. On the other hand, companies are or should be excellent at training people for the specific skills that they require: if they are not, there are plenty of other agencies that will provide such training. I remember many inclusive discussions with some of my university colleagues when they insisted we should provide the kind of targeted education that companies expected, which did not include anything fundamental or theoretical. In contrast, the companies I know of are looking for educated minds capable of adapting to the present and the relatively uncertain future business environment. They have much more to gain from a person whose education includes basic subjects that may not be of practical use today, than in someone trained in, say, word and spreadsheet processing who is unable to work effectively when the nature of business changes. The ideal employee would be one best equipped to participate in making those changes, not one who needs to be trained again in new skills.
  • Individual lecturers may be great but the system is against the few whose primary interest is education and students.
Anne Bubnic

Play It Safe: Hackers use the back door to get into your computer; a strong, well-chosen password is your front-door lock - 0 views

  • For the home user, however, password safety requires more than on-the-fly thinking. Pacheco suggests a system built around a main word for all instances. The distinction is that the name of the site is added somewhere. For example, if the main word is "eggplant," the password might be "eggyyplant" Yahoo, "eggplantgg" for Google or "wleggplant" for Windows Live. He suggests listing the variations in an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Password security is a big deal, and if you don't think it is, then someone might be hacking into your computer even as you read this. A strong password isn't foolproof, but it proves that you're no fool. And it might protect you from compromised data, a broken computer or identity theft. Your bank account, your personal e-mails and lots of other stuff are at risk with weak passwords.
  • "A good password is the most important part of Internet security," said Robert Pacheco, the owner of Computer Techs of San Antonio. "It's the beginning and end of the issue. You can't stop it (hacking). You do what you can do to prevent it. You just try to stop most of it." A strong firewall, as well as spyware -- and virus-detection software -- protect a computer's so-called "back door," Pacheco said, where a hacker can gain access through various cyber threats. Those threats include infected e-mail attachments; phishing Web pages that exploit browser flaws; downloaded songs or pictures with hidden trojans; or plain ol' poking-and-prodding of a computer's shields. But passwords protect information from a frontal assault by way of the computer's keyboard.
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  • Other people use easy-to-remember passwords. Trouble is, Rogers said, they're easy-to-guess passwords, too. Good examples of bad passwords are your name, your family's names, your pet's name, the name of your favorite team, your favorite athlete or your favorite anything. Get to know the person -- a technique that geeks refer to as "social engineering" -- and the password is easy to guess. There are message-board stalkers who can guess passwords in a half-dozen tries. Hackers rely on a lot of methods. Some, Rogers said, employ "shoulder surfing." that means what it sounds like -- looking over someone's shoulder as that person is typing in a password.
  • Other people use easy-to-remember passwords. Trouble is, Rogers said, they're easy-to-guess passwords, too. Good examples of bad passwords are your name, your family's names, your pet's name, the name of your favorite team, your favorite athlete or your favorite anything
  • The type of hardware being used can be a clue, said Rogers, a senior technical staffer in the CERT Program, a Web security research center in Carnegie-Mellon University's software engineering institute. It's easy to find a default password, typically in the user's manual on a manufacturer's Web site. If the user hasn't changed the default, that's an easy break-in.
  • Hackers rely on a lot of methods. Some, Rogers said, employ "shoulder surfing." That means what it sounds like -- looking over someone's shoulder as That person is typing in a password
  • Most of the password hacking activity these days goes on at homes, in school or in public settings. These days, many workplaces mandate how a password is picked.
  • The idea is to choose a password that contains at least one uppercase letter, one numeral and at least eight total characters. Symbols are good to throw in the mix, too. Many companies also require that passwords be changed regularly and that pieces of older ones can't be re-used for months. And user names cannot be part of the password. Examples: Eggplant99, 99eggpLanT, --eggp--99Lant. For the next quarter, the password might change to variations on "strawberry.
  • The idea is to choose a password that contains at least one uppercase letter, one numeral and at least eight total characters. Symbols are good to throw in the mix, too. Many companies also require that passwords be changed regularly and that pieces of older ones can't be re-used for months. And user names cannot be part of the password. Examples: Eggplant99, 99eggpLanT, --eggp--99Lant. For the next quarter, the password might change to variations on "strawberry."
  •  
    Password security is a big deal, and if you don't think it is, then someone might be hacking into your computer even as you read this. A strong password isn't foolproof, but it proves that you're no fool. And it might protect you from compromised data, a broken computer or identity theft. Your bank account, your personal e-mails and lots of other stuff are at risk with weak passwords.
Ed Webb

How to Land Your Kid in Therapy - Magazine - The Atlantic - 11 views

  • Meanwhile, rates of anxiety and depression have also risen in tandem with self-esteem. Why is this? “Narcissists are happy when they’re younger, because they’re the center of the universe,” Twenge explains. “Their parents act like their servants, shuttling them to any activity they choose and catering to their every desire. Parents are constantly telling their children how special and talented they are. This gives them an inflated view of their specialness compared to other human beings. Instead of feeling good about themselves, they feel better than everyone else.” In early adulthood, this becomes a big problem. “People who feel like they’re unusually special end up alienating those around them,” Twenge says. “They don’t know how to work on teams as well or deal with limits. They get into the workplace and expect to be stimulated all the time, because their worlds were so structured with activities. They don’t like being told by a boss that their work might need improvement, and they feel insecure if they don’t get a constant stream of praise. They grew up in a culture where everyone gets a trophy just for participating, which is ludicrous and makes no sense when you apply it to actual sports games or work performance. Who would watch an NBA game with no winners or losers? Should everyone get paid the same amount, or get promoted, when some people have superior performance? They grew up in a bubble, so they get out into the real world and they start to feel lost and helpless. Kids who always have problems solved for them believe that they don’t know how to solve problems. And they’re right—they don’t.”
  • I asked Wendy Mogel if this gentler approach really creates kids who are less self-involved, less “Me Generation.” No, she said. Just the opposite: parents who protect their kids from accurate feedback teach them that they deserve special treatment. “A principal at an elementary school told me that a parent asked a teacher not to use red pens for corrections,” she said, “because the parent felt it was upsetting to kids when they see so much red on the page. This is the kind of self-absorption we’re seeing, in the name of our children’s self-esteem.”
  • research shows that much better predictors of life fulfillment and success are perseverance, resiliency, and reality-testing
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  • “They believe that ‘average’ is bad for self-esteem.”
  • Jane told me that because parents are so sensitive to how every interaction is processed, sometimes she feels like she’s walking on eggshells while trying to do her job. If, for instance, a couple of kids are doing something they’re not supposed to—name-calling, climbing on a table, throwing sand—her instinct would be to say “Hey, knock it off, you two!” But, she says, she’d be fired for saying that, because you have to go talk with the kids, find out what they were feeling, explain what else they could do with that feeling other than call somebody a “poopy face” or put sand in somebody’s hair, and then help them mutually come up with a solution. “We try to be so correct in our language and our discipline that we forget the true message we’re trying to send—which is, don’t name-call and don’t throw the sand!” she said. “But by the time we’re done ‘talking it through,’ the kids don’t want to play anymore, a rote apology is made, and they’ll do it again five minutes later, because they kind of got a pass. ‘Knock it off’ works every time, because they already know why it’s wrong, and the message is concise and clear. But to keep my job, I have to go and explore their feelings.”
  • “The ideology of our time is that choice is good and more choice is better,” he said. “But we’ve found that’s not true.”
  • Kids feel safer and less anxious with fewer choices, Schwartz says; fewer options help them to commit to some things and let go of others, a skill they’ll need later in life.
  • Most parents tell kids, ‘You can do anything you want, you can quit any time, you can try this other thing if you’re not 100 percent satisfied with the other.’ It’s no wonder they live their lives that way as adults, too.” He sees this in students who graduate from Swarthmore. “They can’t bear the thought that saying yes to one interest or opportunity means saying no to everything else, so they spend years hoping that the perfect answer will emerge. What they don’t understand is that they’re looking for the perfect answer when they should be looking for the good-enough answer.”
  • what parents are creating with all this choice are anxious and entitled kids whom she describes as “handicapped royalty.”
  • When I was my son’s age, I didn’t routinely get to choose my menu, or where to go on weekends—and the friends I asked say they didn’t, either. There was some negotiation, but not a lot, and we were content with that. We didn’t expect so much choice, so it didn’t bother us not to have it until we were older, when we were ready to handle the responsibility it requires. But today, Twenge says, “we treat our kids like adults when they’re children, and we infantilize them when they’re 18 years old.”
  • too much choice makes people more likely to feel depressed and out of control
Steve Ransom

Talentism: My Son Won't Do His Homework - 9 views

  • Every employer I know of (and I would assume that you are no exception Colin) wants engaged employees who are passionate about their jobs. Most employers do not want employees who hate their work but persist through it anyway. It is a fallacy to believe that we are teaching our kids that the heart of innovative capability (and therefore their future job prospects) is best served by doing something you hate for an extended period of time no matter the consequences.
  • But I have to focus on what will get them work, even if that will hurt them, society, the companies that hire them and everyone around them.
  • "Why are you so convinced that my son is going to be an academic or an investment banker?" Because as far as I can tell, those are the only two things that schools prepare kids to be.
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  • and that the stuff that he loves (art and music and video games) will be a great future for him and the stuff he hates (math and science) is something he will never compete in, never have a chance at.
  • But school doesn’t care, because school does not have the objective of helping my son produce the maximum amount of value in the future that he will probably encounter. School cares about ensuring that he knows how to take tests, follow directions and can do math that he will never have to care about for the rest of his life.
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    Most employers do not want employees who hate their work but persist through it anyway. It is a fallacy to believe that we are teaching our kids that the heart of innovative capability (and therefore their future job prospects) is best served by doing something you hate for an extended period of time no matter the consequences.
Vicki Davis

Secret Teacher: low morale and high pressure leaves no time for inspiration | Teacher Network | Guardian Professional - 0 views

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    These heartbreaking words from a teacher in the UK. As the world tries to improve education by the numbers, the world has forgotten kids aren't numbers. They are precious, individual and unique and deserve education systems that celebrate and encourage that. OK, teachers, it is time to man the media - you are the media now! Are you fed up yet? It might not be you right now, but if you don't speak, it will be, wherever you teach, such stories impact us all and the profession we care for so much. "As a teacher, I vowed that I would work hard to nurture my students, to make each and every student feel valued and for them to know that they have a voice, and a place in the world. However the last two years have made me feel like that insecure 14-year-old again: I have lost my confidence because of the overly-rigid current education system. We are constantly being told we are not good enough and that we are not doing enough: enough intervention, enough rigorous marking, enough sustained and rapid progress. What excited me the most about becoming a teacher was discovering the hidden talents and sparks of genius in my students. However, it breaks my heart to say this, but I feel that I no longer have time, nor am I encouraged to make these discoveries. We are so caught up with data and so many progress checks that we don't give our students the time to shine. I wonder what would happen if the greats of the world like Einstein, Gaudi, Picasso and Martin Luther King were to attend school in 2013, would they be able to cultivate their talents and thrive?"
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