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Recently, I did an interview with Tony Wagner where he extolled the power of digital portfolios to document meaningful accomplishments both inside and outside of school. I wanted to explore more deeply into digital portfolios through someone that has created one of the best platforms out there — David Niguidula. Niguidula led the original research on digital portfolios while managing the technology group at the Coalition of Essential Schools and Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. His work has focused on issues of technology, assessment, and school reform. You can see more of his work at his web site, www.richerpicture.com .
A paper published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest has evaluated ten techniques for improving learning, ranging from mnemonics to highlighting and came to some surprising conclusions. The report is quite a heavy document so I’ve summarised the techniques below based on the conclusions of the report regarding effectiveness of each technique. Be aware that everyone has their own style of learning, the evidence suggests that just because a technique works or does not work for other people does not necessarily mean it will or won’t work well for you.
Leonie Haimson, who leads Class Size Matters in New York City and was a co-founder of Parents Across America, has worked with other parents and with educators to compile a comprehensive list of corporate reform organizations and to identify the lingo of the reformers. She asks your help in reviewing the list and letting her know about errors and omissions. Review the list of organizations and definitions.
Having heard so much hype surrounding Pinterest , I decided to check it out and in particular look at how much value it has for educators. Could it perhaps tie in to the work students do using creative software and technologies? For those who aren’t familiar with Pinterest, it is essentially a virtual pin board, where users can pin any visual or audio link from the internet; so anything from photographs and product images to video clips and articles can be captured in one place.
A teenager who developed her creative writing skills, in large part by interacting with peers on the Internet, and who was eventually offered admissions to selective colleges on the basis of her strong writing samples. A young man who learned how to make a living as a professional web comics artist by connecting with knowledge and communities of artists on the Internet. A public school in Chicago experimenting with a two-week period each term where students work on complex and collaborative projects where they need to define roles, problem solve together, and share their work with a broader community. All of these are examples of what my colleagues and I have been calling "connected learning" -- learning that is highly social, interest-driven, and oriented toward educational, economic, or civic opportunity.
So over the course of several lunch periods, I went from table-to-table, asking, “What qualities do you look for in the best teachers? The best teachers (blank)…” While my methodology will cause my college statistics professor to cringe, the students were remarkably honest. I interviewed about 200 students and fewer than 5 answered “no work” or “allows us to sleep in class.” The answers reaffirmed that students really do want to learn and be challenged. Not surprisingly, the answers didn’t differ much from Angela’s list either.
An Education Week analysis of data collected by the U.S. Department of Education illustrates the wide variation in how schools use out-of-school suspension and expulsion to discipline students. It also calls into question the validity of the data for some schools. For the 2009-10 school year, the Education Department's office for civil rights collected data for more than 72,000 schools and nearly 7,000 school districts about school discipline practices, along with information on a variety of other data points, including students' access to advanced courses, student retention, and teacher salaries and attendance rates. Education Week found that at some schools, the proportion of students suspended out of school or expelled was 100 percent or very close to that.
Details Written by Mark Clements If I touch a hot stove and burn my hand, I immediately learn that touching a hot stove results in a burned hand. My brain makes the connection almost simultaneously. There’s little need for reflection because the “hot stove=burn” connection is one that my mind makes almost immediately. Similarly, suppose I’m driving in bad weather and going WAY TOO FAST for the conditions.
To put it bluntly, the pressure is now on us to collaborate on new designs for learning that will engage both students and teachers! I walk the hallways at breaks and lunchtime and I overhear many students' conversations. '… is so boring' , 'I don't see the point in …' , 'I don't want to go to …' . I observe students desperately asking their friends for answers to worksheets and textbook questions.
As districts begin the long process of implementing the Common Core State Standards, many teachers are faced with the same challenge: an expectation that we will be teaching these standards, and doing it well, with minimal training, no textbooks, few resources, nonexistent funding, inadequate technology, and students lacking vital prerequisite knowledge. Good times, huh? But as teachers, we are accustomed to rising to meet many seemingly impossible challenges, and this one will be no different.
I recently heard that a conference speaker told his audience, “We need fewer teachers and more facilitators.” My first reaction was, “1986 called and would like its keynote back.” My second thought was that the speaker is dead wrong!
Will Richardson asks the question Why School? in his new book and Seth Godin also asks in this video what is school for? School fills a myriad of roles in our society.
Many schools have a vision for providing a whole child education —one that nurtures a student’s academic, emotional, and physical needs and prepares them for the real world. Given the narrow focus on academic achievement and test scores in today’s education climate, few campuses are actually able to make that vision a reality. For the past three years, ASCD, the international education leadership association, has identified schools that are proving to be models of whole child education and recognized their accomplishments through their annual Whole Child Award. This year’s winner, Byrne Creek Secondary School, a 7-year-old, 1,250-student high school located in the Vancouver area, enables students and families to learn and connect in a culturally rich environment.
December 16, 2012 People learn through a process much like scientists do, discovering the world through observation. They either consciously or unconsciously hypothesize about how the world should work, collect data, compare the data they have collected to see if it fits in their theory, and then revise their theory if they feel enough evidence has been found. In this way, people construct an understanding of the world around them using what they know as a framework for understanding.