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Great Management Questions from Paul Graham, Jim Collins, and Other Business Leaders

Technology Advances Professional Development for Teachers Posted by Herff Jones | Nystrom on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 · Leave a Comment While classroom technology provides a range of benefits for students, teachers can equally benefit from its use. Online sites, such as Twitter and Pinterest, offer perfect platforms on which educators can virtually exchange ideas, lesson plans and stories. There are, however, other ways that teachers can use technology to help further their careers. Using these devices as tools for professional development can not only lead to higher achievement scores for students, but also increase the impact educators may have on the field of teaching as a whole. Video coaching helps early educators The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Childcare recently announced that it would adopt a video-coaching software to help prepare early-learning instructors. Additional resources Want to learn more about integrating technology in the classroom?

When it comes to mobile tech, Canada can’t afford to be complacent During a recent business trip to San Francisco, I wrapped-up my last meeting at 10 p.m., and walked out into a quiet street with no cabs in sight. Seeking the fastest way back to my hotel, I started searching for taxi companies on my BlackBerry. I landed on Uber – an ‘on demand’ transportation business. Backed by investors such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the firm leverages wireless technology to connect passengers with high-end vehicles for hire in 50 global markets at standard taxi rates. Within seconds, I requested and paid for the closest vehicle with a few taps on my smart phone, and I was picked up in less than three minutes. As I stepped in, the driver welcomed me by name, handed me a bottle of water and inquired about the route I wanted to take. The company only employs drivers with a rating of three or more stars. It’s is just one example of how disruptive mobile technology can transform an industry. The evidence is all around us. Technology is no longer a barrier to innovation.

Are Existing Tech Tools Effective for Teachers and Students? The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation just released a report detailing the results of 3,100 teacher surveys and 1,250 student surveys on the kinds of digital instruction tools that are useful and effective. The foundation has asked teachers and students what they need when it comes to digital instruction, aiming to close the communication gap between commercial developers and schools. One of the biggest takeaways is that most teachers — 54 percent — don’t find many of the digital tools they use effective. That’s partly because teachers often aren’t making purchasing decisions. [Click on images below for higher resolution.] In terms of content, teachers are looking for digital tools that support their efforts to help students become college and career ready, including tools that are aligned to Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. Click here for the full report [PDF]. Related

How U.S. reshoring will force Canadian manufacturers to innovate — and change the very nature of the sector Earlier this year, consulting company Alix Partners released a report that showed the United States had reached cost parity with Mexico as a preferred near shoring location, and that it would reach similar parity with China by 2015. In lay terms, that means it costs American companies no more to keep their production on home turf than it does to offshore it to traditionally low-cost locales in the far east. The cost difference between locating operations in the U.S. or overseas has been rapidly shrinking over the past few years, leading U.S. companies to repatriate approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs between 2010 and 2012. A report released last year by the Boston Consulting Group showed 37% of manufacturing companies with revenues of $1-billion or more were considering re-shoring their operations. Whatever trickle of business that comes back to Canada, there will be upgrades in skills and technology From Prof. Prof. Financial Post

Teachers are Learning Designers Late in 2012, I wrote a blog for the Huffington Post that articulated what I really feel should be and is a role of great teachers. Great teachers are "learning designers" who seek to create a space where all students are empowered to learn. I was further inspired to rearticulate this idea when I saw this video from Sir Ken Robinson: What really struck me is that great teachers create the conditions for success, just as gardeners do. You can't make a flower grow, but you can design and improve the condition for that flow of naturally occurring events. Empower Yourself For so long, teachers have been disempowered to design. Stop Blaming Kids There is one pitfall in Sir Ken Robinson's metaphor of teachers as gardeners and students as fruit. Revise and Reflect As I mentioned earlier, if students are struggling, it's a great opportunity to revise and reflect on the learning design. Are more voice and choice or self-directed learning needed?

11 Ways Big Companies Undermine Innovation - Scott Kirsner by Scott Kirsner | 1:00 PM October 21, 2013 In centuries past, explorers searched for the legendary city of El Dorado, where everything was made of gold. Today, at large organizations, innovation is the new El Dorado. Consultants and keynote speakers all purport to provide maps to it. Chief executives and business unit leaders weave the word innovation into their PowerPoints, hoping it will magically yield better product ideas, or miraculous improvements to existing processes. I’m not (only) mocking the cult of innovation. But in pursuing new strategies like open innovation, hackathons, corporate venture capital investing, or the “lean startup” methodology, the hulking mass of corporate culture and structure can get in the way. No definition or metrics for what success means.

How Teachers Are Learning: Professional Development Remix | EdSurge Guides There are two components to the EdSurge PD framework: professional learning stages and tool classification. On the EdSurge site, each of the 28 tools listed here have been analyzed according to this framework. You can read the analysis of each of these tools by searching the EdSurge site for the individual product page for each of those products. Stage One: Engage Teachers gain tremendous value from interacting with peers and colleagues--sharing challenges, successes, what works, and what doesn’t. We have included “Engage” as the first stage of the professional learning cycle because often it is from conversations with colleagues that teachers identify new practices that they want to implement or solutions to problems they would like to fix. Stage Two: Learn New methods for teaching are being created, reimagined or revived from the past. Stage Three: Support Stage Four: Measure Measurement can be both an informal and a formal process to track growth. Tool Classification What You Learn Pedagogy

Transient Advantage Jaap de Jonge, Editor, NetherlandsAccording to Colombia BS Professor Rita Gunther McGrath, achieving a Sustainable Competitive Advantage (SCA) (establishing a unique competitive position that can be sustained for long periods of time) is nearly impossible these days. Allthough that idea is not new (see for example this discussion on 12manage: Is Strategic Planning Passé? and compare Real Options and Emergent Strategy), Professor McGrath does introduce an interesting new term: TRANSIENT ADVANTAGE (TA). I looked up the word "transient", it means: brief, temporary, passing, provisional, temporal. What I liked most of this article is the seven dangerous misconceptions, most of which indeed I have witnessed several times over the years: 1. 2. To create an innovation pipeline or portfolio of advantages, companies need to apply eight shifts in the way they operate and think about strategy: 1.

When classroom observations make sense Shared on flickr by Ralph Hockens People are incredibly sensitive to the environment and the culture—to the norms and expectations of the communities they are in. ~Chip and Dan Heath Full disclosure: I am no Instructional Rounds expert. The majority (ok all) of my exposure to Instructional Rounds has been experiential and in context of the work I do as part of our district’s Instructional Leadership Team (6 teachers who work on site with teachers in an iterative cycle of co-planning, co-teaching and co-learning). As such I would rate my knowledge of the theory behind instructional rounds as low (I just want to make that part very clear :) ). The majority of our work happens on site with a school based group of teachers. Onto co-planning The co-planning stage sets up the tension for the underlying why of classroom observations (in my limited experience!). Why this kind of classroom observation makes sense: 1. But more than anything else this process helps remind us: Like this: Like Loading...

Light Bandit As much as we love having windows in every corner of the house, there are just some places where one can’t be installed, requiring it to rely on artificial illumination even during the day. The Light Bandit is a facility designed to bring natural sunlight into those unfortunate areas of the house. Basically, it’s a lighting fixture that mimics the appearance of electric-powered home lighting. You know, like fluorescent tubes and light bulbs. Except, instead of LEDs and other artificial lighting elements, it’s actually using illumination from sunlight, which it harvests outside your house. Described as “sunlight you control,” Light Bandit is a box that will sit on a window and collect rays directly from the sun. According to its creators, Light Bandit can deliver brightness the equivalent of three 60-watt incandescent bulbs on a particularly sunny day, although you’ll have to make do with lesser illumination if the weather outside’s on the cloudy end. Check It Out

Recruitment and Retention Part 6: Enhance Teacher Career OptionsThe Educator I’m someone that needs a good challenge, whether it be in my personal or professional life. I like the thrill of facing a difficult problem and having to come up with a creative solution. For example, possibly my most exciting day this year was when my air conditioning went out and I had to figure [&hellip... courtesy of teacherleaders I’m someone that needs a good challenge, whether it be in my personal or professional life. The challenges inherent in teaching are one of the reasons I continue to do it. No educator should ever need to feel that teaching has become boring or mundane. Here’s how a teacher career ladder works in concept. Such systems have faced opposition from veteran educators accustomed to the old step and lane salary systems. Evidence suggests that a career ladder policy similar to the one outlined here would enhance our ability to retain irreplaceables in the classroom. Shelby County is fortunate in that a template for this type of career ladder system already exists.