"All great teachers do great work. And not only that, but they also do different work. Great teachers are always looking to improve practice, steal ideas and try new things -- all in order to meet the needs of their students. PBL teachers are no exception. Any teacher who is truly doing PBL would also agree that it's different. There is something about being a PBL teacher that requires different work, and work that is especially capitalized when implementing a PBL project. Because I work with so many PBL teachers, I feel there are some things that PBL teachers should specifically be proud of. I present them in these six affirmations."
"This piece was written by a member of the Teaching Georgia Writing Collective , a group of educators, parents, and concerned citizens who engage in public writing and public teaching about education in Georgia. Members write anonymously because many fear there would be consequences to them or their children if their views were publicly known.
Goals of the collective include: 1) empowering educators to reclaim their workplace and professionalism, 2) empowering families to stand up for their children and shape the institutions their children attend each day, 3) empowering children and youth to have control over their education, and 4) enhancing the education of all Georgians."
" Politics and education frequently walk hand-in-hand on the beach at sunset when they aren’t arguing with one another over pretty much everything. And for good reason: the school system, on local, state, and federal levels, needs some serious reworking if it genuinely wishes to offer equal opportunities to all American kids and adults. With so much information pushing and shoving against each other, hopping on Twitter helps streamline the research process by spitting it all out in 140-character-or-less chunks. Pay some of these hashtags a visit for a quicksilver glimpse at the super serious issues pockmarking the education sector these days."
Sharing audio messages with your students on your blog or classroom website is an effective way to maintain communication with them and their parents. Chances are short audio messages may attract students attention better than textual ones. In this regard, I have compiled some awesome tools that can allow you to easily record a short audio message and share it online without any need for signing up .
"When I [Richard Byrne] lead workshops or give presentations I typically don't distribute handouts in paper form. Instead I just give the link to my digital resources for that day's presentation or workshop. Recently, I have started to deviate from that policy just a little bit. Now I like to place printed QR codes in a dozen or so locations in the room. Those QR codes are linked to my slides and digital handouts. I started doing this because often people would miss the links when they're just on a slide at the beginning and end of the presentation. This way people can scan the QR codes with their phones and tablets and have instant access to the resources for the day."
Robin Good: JISC provides a very well documented guide to the use of Creative Commons licences (also referred to as CC licences) which can greatly facilitate the copying, reuse, distribution, and in some cases, the modification of the original owner’s creative work without needing to get permission each time from the original rights holder.
In addition to this the correct use and embedding of CC license may greatly help in the effort to make original sources more transparent to the final reader, in many context, including news and content curation efforts of many kinds.
Creative Commons licences can be embedded into a variety of resources, such as PowerPoint, images, Word docs, elearning resources, podcasts and other audio visual resources.
While specifically prepared for UK public sector organizations this document can be quite useful for anyone interested in the use of CC licenses to distribute digital content online.
Key Benefits of embedding CC licences for content curation and attribution:
- It can help the user see that the resource is an 'open' resource and licensed under a specific CC licence terms
- It can help reduce the future 'orphan works' (works for which the rights holders are unknown or cannot be traced), and assist in creation of appropriate attribution, citation and potential negotiation for further permissions. By embedding the selected CC licence to the licence details even if the resource gets detached from its metadata. This is particularly the case if the resource is found via a search engine instead of the original website platform which might host specific copyright restrictions.
"The Boston Student Advisory Council details the history of their campaign to get student voice's heard in teacher evaluations."
Excerpt - Final Regulations On Evaluation Of Educators
603 CMR 35.00 Evaluation of Educators
35.07: Evidence Used in Evaluation
"2. Student feedback collected by the district, starting in the 2013-2014 school year. On or before July 1, 2013, the Department shall identify one or more instruments for collecting student feedback and shall publish protocols for administering the instrument(s), protecting student confidentiality, and analyzing student feedback. In the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years, districts are encouraged to pilot new systems, and to continue using and refining existing systems, for collecting and analyzing student feedback as part of educator evaluation."
"When we tell students to study for the exam or, more to the point, to study so that they can do well on the exam, we powerfully reinforce that way of thinking. While faculty consistently complain about instrumentalism, our behavior and the entire system encourages and facilitates it.
On the one hand, we tell students to value learning for learning's sake; on the other, we tell students they'd better know this or that, or they'd better take notes, or they'd better read the book, because it will be on the next exam; if they don't do these things, they will pay a price in academic failure. This communicates to students that the process of intellectual inquiry, academic exploration, and acquiring knowledge is a purely instrumental activity—designed to ensure success on the next assessment.
Given all this, it is hardly surprising that students constantly ask us if this or that will be on the exam, or whether they really need to know this reading for the next test, or—the single most pressing question at every first class meeting of the term—"is the final cumulative"?
This dysfunctional system reaches its zenith with the cumulative "final" exam. We even go so far as to commemorate this sacred academic ritual by setting aside a specially designated "exam week" at the end of each term. This collective exercise in sadism encourages students to cram everything that they think they need to "know" (temporarily for the exam) into their brains, deprive themselves of sleep and leisure activities, complete (or more likely finally start) term papers, and memorize mounds of information. While this traditional exercise might prepare students for the inevitable bouts of unpleasantness they will face as working adults, its value as a learning process is dubious."
"A new literary network revives an old Pashtun tradition."
"In a private house in a quiet university neighborhood of Kabul, Ogai Amail waited for the phone to ring. Through a plate-glass window, she watched the sinking sun turn the courtyard the color of eggplant. The electricity wasn’t working and the room was unheated, a few floor cushions the only furnishings. Amail tucked her bare feet underneath her and pulled up the collar of her puffy black coat. Her dark hair was tied in a ponytail, and her eyelids were coated in metallic blue powder. In the green glare of the mobile phone’s screen, her face looked wan and worried. When the phone finally bleeped, Amail shrieked with joy and put on the speakerphone. A teenage girl’s voice tumbled into the room. 'I’m freezing,' the girl said. Her voice was husky with cold. To make this call, she’d sneaked out of her father’s mud house without her coat.
Like many of the rural members of Mirman Baheer, a women’s literary society based in Kabul, the girl calls whenever she can, typically in secret. She reads her poems aloud to Amail, who transcribes them line by line. To conceal her poetry writing from her family, the girl relies on a pen name, Meena Muska. (Meena means 'love' in the Pashto language; muska means 'smile.')"
"Most of the media in these collections are attached to generous copyright licensing. (See Creative Commons Licensing.) Though you may not need to ask permission to use them when publishing on the Web for educational purposes, you should cite or attribute these images to their creators unless otherwise notified! If you see any copyright notices on these pages, read them for further instructions. Also visit our new Thumbnail list. Note: always check individual licensing notices before publishing on the Web or broadcasting!"
"If you’re always on the hunt for new ideas to implement in the classroom or want to keep up with the latest news in education, then turn to Twitter. With teachers tweeting in droves, if determining whom to follow first is overwhelming, start by checking out these top 25 teachers, educators and experts on Twitter. By following their tweets, you will gain access to education news as it happens and numerous tips, activities and resources to use in your classroom or with your children.
"What really brings history alive is when you can interact with it – when you can see it, feel it and touch it at places like museums and at historic monuments. However, many of us are tied to a computer three quarters of every day, and it’s hard to break loose to get out there and interact with history very often. There is some hope for you busy history-buffs though. In this article I’m going to share 6 really cool interactive websites that bring American history alive in ways that never would have been possible on the Internet a decade ago."
"Speak Up, a national online research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow®, gives individuals the opportunity to share their viewpoints about key issues in K-12 education.
Any college student, who is participating in a degree or credential program that will prepare them for a career as a K-12 teacher, is eligible to take the survey, regardless of prior student teaching experience.
Speak Up for America's Future Teachers is facilitated through online surveys and will be aggregated at the national and institution level. All of the data is 100% confidential and no specific institutional findings will be shared with anyone outside of the participating college or university."
"In what is shaping up as an academic Battle of the Titans — one that offers vast new learning opportunities for students around the world — Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Wednesday announced a new nonprofit partnership, known as edX, to offer free online courses from both universities.
Harvard’s involvement follows M.I.T.’s announcement in December that it was starting an open online learning project, MITx. Its first course, Circuits and Electronics, began in March, enrolling about 120,000 students, some 10,000 of whom made it through the recent midterm exam. Those who complete the course will get a certificate of mastery and a grade, but no official credit. Similarly, edX courses will offer a certificate but not credit.
But Harvard and M.I.T. have a rival — they are not the only elite universities planning to offer free massively open online courses, or MOOCs, as they are known. This month, Stanford, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan announced their partnership with a new commercial company, Coursera, with $16 million in venture capital."
When done right, evaluation in any career provides not only accountability, but also a welcome boost to the next level of excellence."
"ike other states across the country, mine (Massachusetts) is in the midst of piloting a new teacher evaluation system. I'm a teacher, so this matters deeply to me. But it also matters to anyone with any stake in education, as the impact of how we measure teacher effectiveness will be immense.
Now, how are these evaluations going so far? Last month, Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellows sent a survey to teachers in Massachusetts's Level 4 Turnaround Schools, who are currently piloting the new system. While the purpose of pilots is, of course, to iron out the kinks in something before rolling it out more broadly, the data compiled from the 112 responses is still concerning and eye-opening, and it points to some major areas for improvement:
• 41% of teachers rated their evaluator as fair or poor overall • 35% rated the quality of their evaluator's feedback as fair or poor • 45% rated their evaluator fair or poor in content knowledge
The iPad may only be two years old, but it's already begun to change many things. Reading is one of them. Work is another. It is selling like crazy, but it will be some time before most of the people you know own a tablet.
"Computers are fast when it comes to grading test essays, but they can be fooled."
"A recently released study has concluded that computers are capable of scoring essays on standardized tests as well as human beings do.
Mark Shermis, dean of the College of Education at the University of Akron, collected more than 16,000 middle school and high school test essays from six states that had been graded by humans. He then used automated systems developed by nine companies to score those essays.
Computer scoring produced “virtually identical levels of accuracy, with the software in some cases proving to be more reliable,” according to a University of Akron news release.
'A Win for the Robo-Readers' is how an Inside Higher Ed blog post summed things up."