"Oh, what the hell. Let’s go for it. Let us speak about great writing — not brilliant writing or clever writing or, most tempting of all, exquisite writing. Let us speak of Quixote writing, Lear and Deronda writing. Honor, heroism, decency, justice and “Ah, love, let us be true to one another” writing. Gaah! The very words are marzipan to the tongue."
"HOW TO SHARPEN PENCILS By David Rees Illustrated. 218 pp. Melville House. $19.95.
David Rees credits a 1940 shipfitters’ manual as inspiration for 'How to Sharpen Pencils,' his stupefyingly exhaustive guide to the art, science and artisanal pleasures of manually shaping a thin graphite column encased in a 6.75-inch-long wooden tube to a satisfactorily sharp point for writing, drawing, doodling or inserting up a nostril."
"Do we want schools to squash creativity and reinforce a model that worked well in the 20th century but will not prepare our students for their future?"
"This summer I have made a commitment to reading more, and have chosen books that I think will help me become a better leader. A few weeks ago I finished Drive by Daniel Pink and am now halfway through Linchpin by Seth Godin. I highly recommend both of these books to any educator who is interested about the science behind motivation or overcoming resistance in order to become an indispensible component of an educational organization.
Through my reading of both books, it has become painfully clear that many of our current politicians and so-called educational reformers have it completely wrong when it comes to standardization. Now, I have always thought this was the case, but these two books have not only reaffirmed my views, but have also given me a great deal of concern as we inch closer to an educational system that focuses on test scores as the number one determinant of achievement."
"Research supports Michael Rosen and 90 other writers and artists who urged a reduction in spelling, grammar and phonics teaching and testing, and an increased emphasis on reading for enjoyment (“Children must be free to read for fun,” July 24, 2012).
Studies done over the last 100 years show that spelling instruction has very little effect on spelling accuracy.
Studies done over the last 100 years show that the formal study of grammar does not improve students’ reading and writing.
Studies done over the last 25 years show that heavy phonics study (termed 'systematic intensive phonics') only helps children do better on tests in which they pronounce lists of words out-loud. It has no significant effect on tests in which children have to understand what they read. "
"A 10-minute brisk walk three times a day proved more effective than a single 30-minute workout at keeping blood pressure in a healthy range, researchers at Arizona State University report."
"His work joins a small but compelling body of science suggesting that, for many purposes, short, cumulative exercise sessions are remarkably beneficial. A study published last year in PLoS One, for instance, found that in children and teenagers, repeated bouts of running or other physical activity lasting as little as five minutes at a time reduced the youngsters' risks of poor cholesterol profiles, wide waistlines and above-average blood pressure readings as much as longer exercise sessions did.
Other studies have found that exercising sporadically throughout the day aids in weight control, particularly for older women. It also, in a few small studies, improved aerobic fitness among previously sedentary people as much as a single, longer workout did and, as a regimen, was more likely to be maintained over the long term."
"The mATch up Tool provides information on low, mid, and high tech devices for meeting the unique needs of students. The tool was designed with a variety of users in mind – teachers, parents, administrators, and in some cases, students themselves. The idea is to provide a handy, ready-access way of gathering information on tools that might help open access to academic and non-academic settings."
Discover the tools that support students in reading, writing, communication, organization, etc.
"There are plenty of great articles circling the web on how to be productive. Set goals. Break your goals into do-able action items for the day. Meditate in the morning to clear your head. Wake up early. Tackle the hardest items first. All of these are great tools.
I’m not here to promote or criticize any of them, though, because when you boil things down, to make use of any tool, you need willpower. Without it, even the best system in the world will fail anyone. It’s not that something is wrong with the tools, it’s just a lack of willpower."
"College students come into my classroom not only with a flurry of fears and insecurities, but also with baggage in the form of bad presentation habits they have developed over the years.
My students’ bad habits didn’t happen overnight. These habits develop through years and years of watching terrible presentations. While most of us can recognize a terrible presentation, we don’t yet have the tools to make our own presentations great.
In a class called Professional Communication and Presentation, I teach my students how to break their bad habits. These lessons apply to all presenters: teachers, conference presenters, business executives… anyone who has a speech to deliver. Read on to see how you can un-learn these habits, too!"
"The series of reports explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation.
The first report proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education. You can see a summary of each innovation at the menu on the right. Please contribute with comments on the report and the innovations."
"The mental habits that help us navigate the practical demands of day-to-day life make it difficult to engage with the more remote dangers posed by climate change."
"Climate Change is staring us in the face. The science is clear, and the need to reduce planet-warming emissions has grown urgent. So why, collectively, are we doing so little about it?
Yes, there are political and economic barriers, as well as some strong ideological opposition, to going green. But researchers in the burgeoning field of climate psychology have identified another obstacle, one rooted in the very ways our brains work. The mental habits that help us navigate the local, practical demands of day-to-day life, they say, make it difficult to engage with the more abstract, global dangers posed by climate change.
Robert Gifford, a psychologist at the University of Victoria in British Columbia who studies the behavioral barriers to combating climate change, calls these habits of mind “dragons of inaction.” We have trouble imagining a future drastically different from the present. We block out complex problems that lack simple solutions. We dislike delayed benefits and so are reluctant to sacrifice today for future gains. And we find it harder to confront problems that creep up on us than emergencies that hit quickly."
"The art of writing can be reduced to a few simple rules. I share them with you now.
Rule No. 1: Show and Tell.
Most people say, “Show, don’t tell,” but I stand by Show and Tell, because when writers put their work out into the world, they’re like kids bringing their broken unicorns and chewed-up teddy bears into class in the sad hope that someone else will love them as much as they do. 'And what do you have for us today, Marcy?' 'A penetrating psychological study of a young med student who receives disturbing news from a former lover.'"
"In order to pass along the knowledge of how to succeed, first you must know how to fail. A great deal, if possible. This is essential because it’s far more common (and easier) to make mistakes than to enjoy success. Being aware of potential points of derailment helps to better and more accurately navigate your readers past your own missteps so they can succeed where perhaps you first failed quite miserably.
I happen to be an unparalleled authority on the subject of failure, both through scholarship and experience — though I recommend the latter, as I believe gaining failure 'in the field' is superior to passively acquiring failure from books. One can bake a perfect chocolate cake on the first attempt, but that does not impart the same authority of cakemanship as does baking a perfect chocolate cake after numerous epic fails."
"The Connected Educators Book Club is an opportunity to read books about or related to online communities, then discuss them with your peers and the author, through asynchronous dialog (in a book club circle on Google+) and weekly real-time multimedia discussions (on Blackboard Collaborate). You’ll also receive weekly emails from the club highlighting the latest book-related discussions and events.
Our first book is, appropriately, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach’s The Connected Educator, which compellingly lays out a step-by-step path to using online connected communities to become a connected learner engaged in do-it- yourself professional development. Even if you think you know it all, we promise this book’s club sessions will be engaging and thought-provoking. You can buy a copy of The Connected Educator here, or by special arrangement with Sheryl, you can get a FREE copy by agreeing to write a review of the book (contact Sheryl here for more information about this opportunity)."
"Ed Walker, 44, a lawyer from a prominent local family, has emerged as a developer with an unusual civic conscience, instilling new life in Roanoke’s downtown."
"Mr. Walker’s conference is intended to share his blueprint for urban redevelopment, a field known as placemaking; he will study it at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design this year, with a prestigious Loeb fellowship. But many towns already have their own version of Ed Walker, said Bruce Katz, a vice president at the Brookings Institution and founding director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, which focuses on cities. 'This is happening across the country,' Mr. Katz said.
'What you’re seeing is a group of vanguard developers and vanguard businesspeople who basically spot a trend and then double down or triple down with their own resources' to buy property cheap, collaborating with like-minded leaders 'on the placemaking agenda,' he said."
Information can be useful--and even beautiful--but only when it’s presented well. In an age of information overload, any guidance through the clutter comes as a welcome relief. That’s one reason for the recent popularity of information graphics.
This post includes 10 steps to help you create an infographic, beginning with gathering data and ending with releasing your infographic to the world.
Just how many types of stories are there, you ask? The answer is, as usual, it depends who you ask. Various storytelling aficionados categorize stories in different ways, and there are no hard and fast rules.
These are overviews of each (read the full article for more details and prompts to help you come up with each type of story):
These 5 broad categories and the examples shared in each are really good and will build a good foundation for leadership storytelling. According to Paul Smith in his forthcoming book on leadership storytelling "Lead With A Story" (August 20112), there are actually 21 different categories/applications for leaders to know about and use.
But this article brings clarity to the topic and will definitely get you started!
Thank you to fellow curator Gimli Goose for this article!
"YouTube has a firm place in the current classroom. From Khan Academy’s videos to YouTube EDU and beyond, there’s a reason all these videos are finding a home in schools. In an effort to help keep the ball rolling, Google just launched a set of 10 interactive lessons designed to support teachers in educating students on digital citizenship. A topic obviously quite close to Google’s heart.
Google (which owns YouTube) built the lessons to educate students about YouTube’s policies, how to flag content, how to be a safer online citizen, and protect their identities.
Below is a list of lessons, and the recommended flow for delivery. Lessons are designed to fit within 50 minute classes, but can be adapted to fit your schedule:"
"Gone is the time when PowerPoint was the most impressive communication technology in the lecture hall. These days, students and professors enjoy the power of Twitter, a tool that allows for digital discussions to supplement and even guide lecture sessions. So how exactly is Twitter changing the college lecture as we know it? Read on to find out about 10 different ways."
"Over the past few months, writers from Charles Murray to Timothy Noah have produced alarming work on the growing bifurcation of American society. Now the eminent Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam and his team are coming out with research that’s more horrifying.
While most studies look at inequality of outcomes among adults and help us understand how America is coming apart, Putnam’s group looked at inequality of opportunities among children. They help us understand what the country will look like in the decades ahead. The quick answer? More divided than ever."
If you feel the need to find alternatives to a lectured class, crowdsourcing - “the practice of putting many minds to work on a single problem” - might be a good choice. Smith in the article “Crowdsourcing in Your Classroom” explains 4 concepts and presents examples of thorough classroom applications. These concepts are: 1. Distributed Computing - put crowds of brains working to solve a problem 2. Guerrilla Marketing - the pull of an idea 3. Product Evangelism - someone like a facilitator, whose role implies a shift from the “sage on the stage” to the “guide on the side.” 4. Professional Connections - the people who are part of your PLN (who make you a lifelong learner)
Crowdsourcing is being used in different areas, including education, even though we didn’t name it like that. Now that the concept is known, maybe we’ll feel more inspired to base new learning approaches on it. Moreover, it’s perfectly suitable for online learning.
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Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.