Silent majority: A crisis is brewing in basic education In the background of the student protests stand the silent majority – young, mainly black, South Africans deprived of a decent basic education in a democratic South Africa. Many don’t finish school, let alone university. If the student movement is a fuse, this silent majority may well be the powder keg. Many people warned the government about an impending student fees crisis, including a ministerial committee chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Yet the government was caught flatfooted by the conflagration that engulfed universities, Parliament and the very seat of its power at the Union Buildings over the last fortnight.
Integrating Technology and Literacy When teaching with digital natives in a digital world, one question facing many educators revolves around integrating technology to help facilitate learning: How do you work technology into the pedagogy, instead of just using something cool? That task can be especially daunting in language arts literacy classrooms where reading and writing skill development is the crux of daily lessons. However, as 1:1 technology initiatives roll out, integrating technology into the classroom is our reality. With hundreds of sites, apps, Chrome extensions, and platforms available, choosing the right ones can seem overwhelming. As an eighth-grade language arts teacher, I've experienced this myself. Following are four tools that can help provide immediate formative assessment data as well as top-of-the-rotation feedback to help students develop personal learning goals.
Focusing on the ‘Word Gap’ Is Harmful to Poor Students Why do rich kids end up doing better than poor kids in school? Of late, one common explanation for this has been the “word gap,” or the idea that poor children are exposed to significantly fewer words by age three than their wealthier peers. As a former elementary school teacher and now educational psychologist, I understand the appeal of the “word gap” argument. But, focusing on the “word gap” as an explanation for the achievement gap between poor students and wealthier students is both distracting and potentially harmful. Such an explanation could allow educators at all levels to both deny and widen this real gap that exists between the rich and the poor kids. What is the ‘word gap’?
8 Things To Look For In Today's Classroom - 8 Things To Look For In Today’s Classroom by TeachThought Staff What are the kinds of things you should look for in today’s classroom? How One School Creatively Boosted Student Achievement Mr. DeMaio and other teachers star in a video about times tables. It’s not only at Halloween time that the Memorial School students in Union Beach, New Jersey, see their teachers in costumes. This faculty gets dressed up year-round to perform in instructional videos for kids to access online. Information Fluency Information Fluency According to Danny Callison, information fluency is the ability to apply the skills associated with information literacy, computer literacy and critical thinking to address and solve information problems across disciplines, across academic levels, and across information format structures. According to The Associated Colleges of the South ( using critical thinking skills and appropriate technologies, information fluency integrates the abilities to: collect the information necessary to consider a problem or issue employ critical thinking skills in the evaluation and analysis of the information and its sources formulate logical conclusions and present those conclusions in an appropriate and effective way Read the article Key Word: Information Fluency (Word document) by Daniel Callison (SLMAM, in press, 2004). View Information Fluency (Real Media - 3:26).
Creating Classrooms We Need: 8 Ways Into Inquiry Learning If kids can access information from sources other than school, and if school is no longer the only place where information lives, what, then happens to the role of this institution? “Our whole reason for showing up for school has changed, but infrastructure has stayed behind,” said Diana Laufenberg, who taught history at the progressive public school Science Leadership Academy for many years. Laufenberg provided some insight into how she guided students to find their own learning paths at school, and enumerated some of these ideas at SXSWEdu last week. 1. BE FLEXIBLE. The less educators try to control what kids learn, the more students’ voices will be heard and, eventually, their ability to drive their own learning.
Infographics for Educators We live in a world of quick consumption, bite-size morsels of information, and visualizations of just about everything. All of this has become boiled down into the uber-popular infographic. They pop up from time to time on Edudemic and I often have a tough time determining if I should actually run versus another. I’ve been saving up all of my favorite infographics for a post just like this one. 21st Century Fluencies The Essential Fluencies The Essential Fluencies of innovative learning are structured processes for developing the skills that your students need to succeed, today and in the future. Get Started Now “The Essential Fluencies have nothing to do with hardware—they are about headware, and heartware!” Solution Fluency Develop problem-solving superpowers
How To Make Students Better Online Researchers I recently came across an article in Wired Magazine called “ Why Kids Can’t Search “. I’m always interested in this particular topic, because it’s something I struggle with in my middle and high school classes constantly, and I know I’m not alone in my frustrations. Getting kids to really focus on what exactly they are searching for, and then be able to further distill idea into a few key specific search terms is a skill that we must teach students, and we have to do it over and over again. We never question the vital importance of teaching literacy, but we have to be mindful that there are many kinds of “literacies”.
How Google Impacts The Way Students Think How Google Impacts The Way Students Think by Terry Heick It’s always revealing to watch learners research. When trying to understand complex questions often as part of multi-step projects, they often simply “Google it.” Why do people migrate?