Learning a language with the iPad. TeachBytes. Ben Jatos: Why I Teach. Ben Jatos is a high school English teacher in a Portland, Oregon area high school.
He has taught for 20 years. He just started his own blog, and he began by asking why he became a teacher and why he continues to teach. He begins: “As a new school year begins, I think it’s important for every teacher to answer the question: Why do I teach? This year, this is my answer. “When I reflect on the circumstances that led me into teaching, there are three main things that happened to me prior to declaring as an education major in college. Are You the Keymaster? There have always been stupid ideas around education.
Always. Mostly from one of these sources. 1) Highly educated amateurs. You remember that moment from student teaching. You were about to implement one of those great ideas that you were taught in methods class, and your co-op either explained to you why you should never, ever, do that, or she let you go ahead and try and you went down in flames. College professors, both in and out of education departments, have always had their pet theories and core ideas that they felt could be implemented in a classroom. Highly educated amateurs get us everything from management techniques like having low function eleventh graders run a discussion of nature-based symbols in Romantic literature by tossing a rubber ball to each other for speaking privileges, to New Math (best explained here by Tom Lehrer, animation and a bad lip synch, and which may seem vaguely familiar these days). 2) Regular old amateurs. 3) Vendors and other snake oil salesmen.
Sparking innovation, learning and creativity. Building the Culture of an Empowered Mindset Towards Technology Innovation. I have been having an incredible year of learning in my half-time role with Parkland School Division, along with speaking and consulting for other schools/districts.
I have learned a lot from both positions and I feel that it is very valuable to be able to look at school cultures within your organization, while also looking at what other schools do from an outsider’s perspective. In this work, I have realized how truly important the role of principal is in building, not only in creating a positive culture, but an innovative one. These schools continuously strive to understand the changes happening in our world to not only catch up, but to lead the way in providing amazing learning opportunities for our students. Often times, as the principal goes, so does the culture of the school. This is not to say that individual teachers can not be leading the way within the school themselves, but this goes back to the notion of “pockets of innovation” as opposed to a “culture of innovation”. Technology, leadership, and the future of schools.
Dy/dan. Open thinking.
Bad Education Archives. Bad Education Archives. Hack Education. Mixed Messages And Simple Truths. On Monday, I heard Dylan William say that computers don’t make a difference to learning in the classroom.
On Thursday, I heard Gerry White say that technology is responsible for a 12% increase in achievement. Both asserted that their statements were backed by research. Dylan William said on Monday (and Friday), “You are entitled to your own opinions. You are not, however, entitled to your own facts.” John Hattie said something similar back in 2011 when he was in Adelaide, “I’m sorry but you can’t argue with the research.” Over time, we as educators have become used to listening to and reading from gurus with simple truths. Another example from Monday. “What would some blogger know about Brain Gym? So I kept my mouth shut. Don’t get me wrong. Just think of it as a form of information literacy. Schooling the World. On Power, Knowledge, and the Re-Occupation of Common Sense photo by Carol Black One of the most profound changes that occurs when modern schooling is introduced into traditional societies around the world is a radical shift in the locus of power and control over learning from children, families, and communities to ever more centralized systems of authority.
While all cultures are different, in many non-modernized societies children enjoy wide latitude to learn by free play, interaction with other children of multiple ages, immersion in nature, and direct participation in adult work and activities. Once learning is institutionalized under a central authority, both freedom for the individual and respect for the local are radically curtailed. The Local Internet School. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Yale professor David Gelernter in the Wall Street Journal, lengthy but important: A local Internet school sounds like a contradiction in terms: the Internet lets you discard geography and forget “local.” But the idea is simple. A one-classroom school, with 20 or so children of all ages between 6th and 12th grade, each sitting at a computer and wearing headsets. They all come from nearby. And that vision isn’t the most troubling part.
I’ll say it again: The key question we need to be asking AND answering is “What value do schools have in a world where technology can deliver the traditional curriculum and raise standardized test scores “better” than teachers can?” If we can’t answer that question compellingly, we’re toast. Will.