By Jenny Edwards, PhD For all of you new teachers out there (and also those who have been in the profession for a while now), I wish you years of success, as you are in the greatest position of all— the position to influence the lives of many students. Right now, your current focus is probably on how to have a successful first few weeks of school. What might be the best ways to spend your time as you are preparing for the school year to start? What are some things you should keep in mind once the students arrive and class begins? Here are 12 tips for success as you begin your career (or school year) and continue growing in the teaching profession. Familiarize yourself with your school district’s website before school starts. Become familiar with the curriculum you will be using and learn about the district policies. Get to know your colleagues and begin to develop a good working relationship with them. Have the attitude of a learner. Be willing to share your ideas with them and be willing to learn from them. Get to know other school personnel, such as the secretaries, custodians, and cafeteria workers. Go out of your way to greet them. Seek out mentors. Identify people from whom you would especially like to learn and get to know them. Set up a classroom management system from the beginning of the year. Ask your colleagues what works for them and use ideas from your teacher training. Know exactly how you will manage the students the minute they walk in the door and use these strategies consistently throughout the year. Create lessons and materials for the first week of school prior to the start of school so that you will know exactly what you are going to do and will have everything ready to go. Think through when students will be turning in major assignments and stagger the due dates. Build positive relationships with your students by smiling, getting to know them, and treating them with respect. Build positive relationships with the parents of your students by making positive phone calls to them in the first several weeks of school. Introduce yourself, say something positive about their child, and let them know that you are looking forward to working with them and their child. Make sure they know how they can contact you and when you will be available. Make use of small bits of time throughout the day. If you have five extra minutes, what might you be able to accomplish? Call the parent immediately should an incident occur to explain what happened. People usually believe the first person they hear. Be sure to inform your principal as well. Ask yourself empowering questions throughout the day, such as “How can I help each of my students to enjoy learning today?” or “How can I build a positive relationship with each student?” Find more resources for heading back to school on ASCD's website. For more from Jenny Edwards, check out her new publication Time To Teach: How Do I Get Organized And Work Smarter?.
Tim Hunt‘s posted a great synopsis of a few usability changes to the Quiz module in the Moodle Forums and now is asking for feedback (votes) through either the forum or the tracker for those who are interested. The improvements aim to remove some of the interstitial clicks required to start a quiz, to make relevant information (whether the quiz has a password, time limit, limited attempts) earlier in the work flow and overall to remove some of the extra clicking that’s required to navigate to start, within, and once a student has completed a quiz.
Constructive feedback is a crucial aspect of the online education experience. Learning how to give effective online class feedback not only enhances your students’ learning experience, it also makes your online classes much sought after by the student population. Read on and learn five easy to incorporate tips for providing feedback in online classes
Key skills needed by a Big Data specialist include:
The ability to define problems and articulate questions The ability to develop deep knowledge of data sources The ability to develop methods and tools The ability to stay current on emerging technologies, data types and methods
The phrase “technology and education” usually means inventing new gadgets to teach the same old stuff in a thinly disguised version of the same old way. Moreover, if the gadgets are computers, the same old teaching becomes incredibly more expensive and biased towards its dumbest parts, namely the kind of rote learning in which measurable results can be obtained by treating the children like pigeons in a Skinner box.1
After a harsh internal critique of the program, the Los Angeles school system's effort to provide all its students with digital computing devices is again in flux.
Richard Jones's insight:
Many lessons to be learned here - despite the quote in the article, what students don't need is to all have the same device with the same restricted content on it - that's "so yesterday" in its outlook.
And 45 million for content? It must be pretty good eh?
John Hattie, the renowned international expert on teacher excellence, is barnstorming in Alberta this week, speaking to groups of educators across the province, and delivering a message certain to make many principals, teachers and the odd provincial education minister extremely nervous. Hattie says there’s far too much focus on things that will do little to improve student success — such as reducing class size, focusing on transformational ideas and leadership, advocating for discovery or inquiry-based learning, and labelling kids with learning disabilities and learning styles — and not nearly enough time and money spent on the one thing that matters: raising the level of teacher expertise.
Richard Jones's insight:
You have to admire John Hattie - he's done all the research to back this up. You can feel his frustration with the fads that go round and round.
Vision K-20 is the belief that to better prepare our nation's students, every K-20 educational institution should effectively utilize modern technologies to:
Personalize learning to increase student engagement and achievementDocument and track student performanceMaximize teaching and administrative effectivenessProvide equity and access to new learning opportunitiesEmpower collaborative learning communitiesBuild student proficiencies in 21st century skills
We need bridge builders to help us see the connections and develop the capacity to integrate technology into our programs...not as an add on. We need those who can break down for us how these 21st century tools can be used within our systems that hold to 20th century requirements and facilities.
Richard Jones's insight:
Very interesting article touching on the current divide between those teachers who are comfortable with new tech and those that are not.
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