"When four South Carolina districts joined forces in 2013 to compete for a federal Race to the Top grant, their shared educational vision was clear: Teaching students to be creative innovators and independent learners will improve school performance.
The challenge was finding a model to encompass all the sweeping changes they wanted to implement.
What the districts’ leaders eventually settled on was the term “enterprise learning,” which refers to both a popular public education program overseas, and a model for professional development in corporate America. The South Carolina schools—working collectively as the Carolina Consortium for Enterprise Learning (CCEL)—are now trying to blend the two programs together with the help of $24.9 million in federal funding."
"Whenever a college student asks me, a veteran high-school English educator, about the prospects of becoming a public-school teacher, I never think it’s enough to say that the role is shifting from "content expert" to "curriculum facilitator." Instead, I describe what I think the public-school classroom will look like in 20 years, with a large, fantastic computer screen at the front, streaming one of the nation’s most engaging, informative lessons available on a particular topic. The "virtual class" will be introduced, guided, and curated by one of the country’s best teachers (a.k.a. a "super-teacher"), and it will include professionally produced footage of current events, relevant excerpts from powerful TedTalks, interactive games students can play against other students nationwide, and a formal assessment that the computer will immediately score and record. "
Public Radio clips - Great for students - includes lesson plans
"I just returned from a consulting/coaching visit to Mount Scopus Memorial College, a K-12 Jewish Day School, in Melbourne, Australia. It was a one day full faculty (K-6) keynote style workshop to set the tone for a four day intense follow up work with the upper primary school teachers and students. Together with Edna Sackson, the Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator of the school, we planned the overall theme, Documenting FOR Learning, of the intense week to connect with the whole school goal of using data to inform learning. "
"Edna Sackson, Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator from Mount Scopus Memorial College in Melbourne, Australia, documented a model lesson I was teaching at my recent visit to their school. Edna graciously agreed to allow me to cross post her documentation and reflection of that lesson below from her blog What Ed Said. Edna is an model example of beautifully and fluently combining documentation, reflection and sharing FOR learning.
Does ‘the research’ know best?
“I think that enough research has been done on the delusion of multi-tasking to say, yes, do all the back channel stuff, but perhaps leave it to afterwards?” … This is part of a comment left on my previous post, in which I introduced the notion of back channeling as a form of documenting for learning."
"Whether you're a technophobe or a geeked-out early adopter, there's no denying that the world is run on computers, and the language of computers is code. It seems only natural that there's a wave of interest in the idea of teaching kids to code -- some say it should be a requirement in every school. I think no one would argue that every kid is cut out to be a programmer, but a basic understanding of code couldn't hurt. In fact, this knowledge could give a leg up in an increasingly technology-centric society. Hopefully this playlist of videos will help you learn more about some of the people and organizations who are working to change the opportunities available for kids to learn code."
"NEW YORK — Technology is in every room at P.S. 101 in Brooklyn — it’s even in the hallways. Scan the QR code with your phone outside of the fourth-grade classroom of co-teachers Vanessa Desiano and Jamie Coccia and a video will pop up of a student giving a history presentation on early explorers. Step inside, and fourth-grade students are working together to discover the themes of chapter 13 in their latest book, The Birchbark House, and typing what they find on iPads."
"The report argues "that for technology to reach its greatest potential it needs to be better integrated into an instructional system we call the 'closed loop.'" The closed loop system suggested in the report includes creating learning objectives, developing curricula and instructional strategies, delivering instruction, embedding ongoing assessment, providing appropriate interventions, tracking outcomes and learning, then feeding the results back into creating new learning objectives.
Technology must be integrated into closed-loop instruction to reach its full potential, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum."
"Looking for tools and strategies for effective assessment in project-based learning? To support you, we've assembled this guide to helpful resources from Edutopia and beyond."
"The word “mistake” is a harsh word. It implies flaws, pointing fingers, errors in judgement, something wrong and possibly even a dead end. I would rather think or connect the word “mistake” to first steps, stepping stones, experimentation and exploration. With that being said, those “first steps” or that exploration cannot become a routine cemented in stone how technology is being used in the classroom. Stepping stones are meant to lead to something else. For the sake of the prompt given, here are my top 5 “Mistakes” (in no particular order) which I see, read and hear about as I travel the world to learn and work with schools, teachers and students:
Technology being used to substitute an analog activity
Technology use being seen as an add-on to allow students to use devices, the Internet, a program or an app as a reward, for entertainment, as a time filler for students who finish early
Technology use as a separate subject area
Technology as a $1000 pencil initiative
Technology seen as the solution to motivate and engage students"
"In a packed session this morning, a professor who helped lead the development of the Next Generation Science Standards, described the new standards as "a shift from learning about something to figuring out something."
Brian J. Reiser, a professor of learning sciences at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., who was introduced as "the godfather of NGSS," offered this example: "NGSS does not ask you to explain photosynthesis, NGSS asks you to explain how a tree gets all its stuff.""
Admit it: you only read the list of the six levels of the Taxonomy, not the whole book that explains each level and the rationale behind the Taxonomy. Not to worry, you are not alone: this is true for most educators.
But that efficiency comes with a price. Many educators have a mistaken view of the Taxonomy and the levels in it, as the following errors suggest. And arguably the greatest weakness of the Common Core Standards is to avoid being extra-careful in their use of cognitive-focused verbs, along the lines of the rationale for the Taxonomy."
"Intrigued by game-based learning, but not sure where to begin? Edutopia's series takes a look at game-like learning principles in action and commercial games in real classrooms -- and offers tips and tools for bringing them into your own practice. The Made With Play series is a co-production with Institute of Play; visit their website for many more resources around game-based learning for both educators and parents, including a comprehensive games and learning reading list (PDF)."
"Gene Wilhoit served as chief state school officer in Arkansas and in Kentucky before the Council of Chief State School Officers asked him to assume the leadership of their association. Two decades earlier, Wilhoit had served as an active member of the board of an organization, the New Standards Project, that I had put together to develop new, internationally benchmarked student performance standards for the American states, along with a set of assessments set to those standards. After he took the helm as Executive Director of the CCSSO, Wilhoit led the successful joint effort of the country’s chief state school officers and its governors to create the Common Core State Standards. In this multi-part interview, I talk with Wilhoit about why he thought it so important to create the standards and what he thinks will be needed to fully implement them. "
I’ve noticed a couple of things that trouble me. It is not an easy task to translate standards into a curriculum. You can’t teach standards. They are the objectives. They need to be fleshed out in learning progressions to allow us to create specific curricular designs. But in this country, there is a belief that the curriculum belongs to every local community and every school. We have a lack of capacity to develop strong curriculum at that level and a reluctance to allow others to take this on. Will we be able to translate standards into a strong curriculum design, which will be a basis for instruction and assessment? I see many people ignoring this issue and going straight to tasks and assessment. This is very troubling to me.
Secondly, I worry about assessment. This experiment by two consortia has produced, from what I can see, better assessments than what states have used before. There is every reason to believe the first full-scale field administration of the tests will be successful. At the same time I see a number of states pulling back because they want a cheap test, but you can’t have high quality on the cheap. Some states seem to think that they can produce high quality tests on their own, but I don’t think any state has the capacity to do that. And, with respect to the tests being produced by the two state consortia, I worry about the states’ capacity to keep the two consortia going over the long haul. We may need to explore new forms of public-private partnerships to sustain and continuously update these new tests.
Third, our professional development system isn’t geared toward providing the kinds of support teachers need to implement the Common Core State Standards.
"Welcome to SmartBrief Education’s original content series about the unique stories of teacherpreneurs. These are the innovative individuals confronting challenges, creating solutions and bringing them to market. Robert Ahdoot, a high-school math teacher and founder of yaymath.org, helps us kick off the series with a conversation with his mentor — and teacherpreneur — Bruce Powell. Powell is the founding Head of School of New Community Jewish High School in West Hills, Calif., where Ahdoot teaches."
What do you know about the world you are going to enter when you finish school? What challenges and problems will we face? What jobs will be out there? What skills and learning will graduates need?"
"College students could save an average of $128 a course if traditional textbooks were replaced with free or low-cost “open-source” electronic versions, a new report finds.
The Student Public Interest Research Groups, state-based advocacy groups that promote affordable textbook options, analyzed open-source pilot programs at five colleges and found that the savings for students can be significant."