Cleveland schools nudging parents to comply with the law and meet their kids' teachers CLEVELAND, Ohio – About 15,000 Cleveland children will be giving their parents an extra message from school along with their report cards this week: Get in to the school and meet with my teacher. It's not a request. It's the law. It's a law unique to the Cleveland school district and a nudge the district hopes will draw lagging parents to schools this week for parent-teacher conferences, now that the school year has reached its halfway point.
Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement A while back, I was asked, "What engages students?" Sure, I could respond, sharing anecdotes about what I believed to be engaging, but I thought it would be so much better to lob that question to my own eighth graders. The responses I received from all 220 of them seemed to fall under 10 categories, representing reoccuring themes that appeared again and again. So, from the mouths of babes, here are my students' answers to the question: "What engages students?" 1.
The Teaching Profession: Then and Now Back in the early 1970s, I was invited to give a keynote speech at a National Science Teachers Association meeting. I was thrilled to meet Bill Aldridge, then president of the NSTA, who said to me, "Vicki, the women's movement is ruining education." What he meant was that, up to this point, teaching was the profession of choice (along with nursing) for bright women. The brains behind the viral Goldieblox video Debbie Sterling, CEO of Goldieblox (photo courtesy of Goldieblox) The woman behind a video that recently exploded online–the one showing three girls creating a Rube Goldberg machine out of princess toys, with music set to a modified version of the Beastie Boys’ 1987 hit “Girls”–is a Stanford engineer, yes. She’s also a savvy marketer with viral video expertise. Two years ago, Debbie Sterling created Goldieblox, the girls’ construction and storybook toy start-up that now counts its products among the top-selling toys on Amazon after the commercial went viral (it currently has more than 6 million views on YouTube). She had initial angel investments from friends and family, and a Kickstarter campaign added another $285,000.
Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians for download $3 What's cool about it: Experience an action-adventure game in a whole new way, which incorporates music into every aspect of the vibrant world Symphonia. Six beautifully hand painted levels, each broken into five chapters, take the player through unique locations and vivid color pallets. Featuring an exclusively produced soundtrack with original songs composed specifically for the game by known artists including Austin Wintory, Parov Stelar, Sabrepulse and La Rochelle Band. Overview: Awakened from his slumber, Beatbuddy journeys through lush hand-painted environments on a quest to save his companions and his own immortality. A New York and Chicago Mom Discover What Standardized Rigor Really Means for Their Children I recently volunteered to be on the frontlines of testing. I offered to help during the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test administered to my daughter’s kindergarten class. For two days the teacher needed to be pulled out of the classroom along with all of the kids.
Sign Me Up! The Elementary Email Solution: Linked Gmail Accounts One of my biggest stumbling blocks as I’ve switched gears from middle to elementary school is individual e-mail accounts for the students. Back in middle school, I could always count on every student having their own e-mail account. Even if, for some strange reason, one or two students didn’t have one, I could just ask them to sign up for one before the next class and it would be done. Map: Where You Don’t Want to Be When It Hits the Fan When it hits the fan America’s population centers will explode in violence, looting, and total breakdown of law and order. It’s a theory put forth by numerous survival and relocation specialists, and one that makes complete sense if you consider what happens in a truly serious collapse-like scenario. Survival Blog founder James Rawles calls them the golden horde: Because of the urbanization of the U.S. population, if the entire eastern or western power grid goes down for more than a week, the cities will rapidly become unlivable. I foresee that there will be an almost unstoppable chain of events: Power -> water -> food distribution -> law and order -> arson fires -> full scale looting
The Most Important Skill of the 21st Century The average American adult spends at least 8 hours a day in front of a screen. Computers are becoming increasingly relevant to both working and home life and Americans now rely on processors for a number of essential tasks. So it makes sense that being able to program computers is an important skill, possibly the most important of the 21st century. “[Writing code] is the new literacy. In this century if you want to have the power to change the world, writing code is the most practical thing you can do,” says Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of reddit and author of the new book Without Their Permission.