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The Joy of Quiet

The Joy of Quiet | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"Trying to escape the constant stream of too much information."

 

"About a year ago, I [This essay's author, Pico Iyer] flew to Singapore to join the writer Malcolm Gladwell, the fashion designer Marc Ecko and the graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister in addressing a group of advertising people on 'Marketing to the Child of Tomorrow.' Soon after I arrived, the chief executive of the agency that had invited us took me aside. What he was most interested in, he began — I braced myself for mention of some next-generation stealth campaign — was stillness.

 

A few months later, I read an interview with the perennially cutting-edge designer Philippe Starck. What allowed him to remain so consistently ahead of the curve? 'I never read any magazines or watch TV,' he said, perhaps a little hyperbolically. 'Nor do I go to cocktail parties, dinners or anything like that.” He lived outside conventional ideas, he implied, because “I live alone mostly, in the middle of nowhere.'

 

Around the same time, I noticed that those who part with $2,285 a night to stay in a cliff-top room at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur pay partly for the privilege of not having a TV in their rooms; the future of travel, I’m reliably told, lies in 'black-hole resorts,' which charge high prices precisely because you can’t get online in their rooms.

 

Has it really come to this?"

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The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Brains

The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Brains | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"Let’s review some good lifestyle options we can fol­low to main­tain, and improve, our vibrant brains."

 

1. Learn what is the “It” in “Use It or Lose It”. A basic under­stand­ing will serve you well to appre­ci­ate your brain’s beauty as a liv­ing and constantly-developing dense for­est with bil­lions of neu­rons and synapses.

 

2. Take care of your nutri­tion. Did you know that the brain only weighs 2% of body mass but con­sumes over 20% of the oxy­gen and nutri­ents we intake? As a gen­eral rule, you don’t need expen­sive ultra-sophisticated nutri­tional sup­ple­ments, just make sure you don’t stuff your­self with the 'bad stuff.'"

 

And eight more. Read the whole post.

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Five Things Students Want Their Teachers to Know about Online Learning

Five Things Students Want Their Teachers to Know about Online Learning | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

The Resource for Education Technology Leaders focusing on K-12 educators. "Kids love having the opportunity to learn online but it’s not merely the medium or the technology that students enjoy. At the recent iNacol Virtual Schools Symposium I listened to high school students who have experience learning this way as well as teachers who have experience with these students, share some advice for making this type of learning even better.

 

1. Socialization is important!

2. Students Want to See Each Other

3. Students Want to See Their Teacher

4. Students Want You to Know Them 

5. Keep it Relevant

 

For details, read the whole post.

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The Year in Blogging: 21k12 in 2011, including the Top 10 posts

"It is time for the annual year in review on the 21k12 blog.  Over the past year I have posted just over 150 times, which is down a tad from 165 posts in 2010, but is meeting my goal of averaging 3 posts a week and about 12-15 a month."

 

"Now the list: Top Ten Posts from 2011 here at 21k12:

 

1. Deeply Disappointed: Responding to the New York Times article on Waldorf education and technology (3342) http://tinyurl.com/3nasg9m 
2. Graduation Speeches (2740) http://tinyurl.com/dyu3j8e 
3. The Flipped Classroom Advances: Developments in Reverse Learning and Instruction (2216) http://tinyurl.com/bsvnqt4 
4. Welcome Back to School Letter, August 2011 (1568) http://tinyurl.com/bskor55 
5. BYOD, Bring Your Own Digital Devices: The Next Wave in 1:1 Laptop learning in our schools? (1170) http://tinyurl.com/3fyzxu4 
6. Structuring Personal Learning Environments for Students: Useful Guidance from Wendy Drexler (977) http://tinyurl.com/cdhv2jq 
7. 7 Steps for Leading in 21st c. learning (944) http://tinyurl.com/brggmsx 
8. Awards at St. Gregory: Changes We are Making to Recognize All Our Students (670) http://tinyurl.com/ctdao6q 
9. 15 Ways our Schools Can Prepare to be Relevant and Meaningful in 2015 and beyond (649) http://tinyurl.com/ck9uer8 
10. Celebrating the new NAIS Guide to Becoming A School of the Future (531) http://tinyurl.com/d5asngp "

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Three Trends That Define the Future of Teaching and Learning

Three Trends That Define the Future of Teaching and Learning | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
In today’s dynamic classrooms, the teaching and learning process is becoming more nuanced, more seamless, and it flows back and forth from students to teachers. Here’s a look at current trends in teaching and learning, their implications, and changes to watch for.

The Future of Teaching & Learning: Three Trends

1. Collaborative
2. Tech-powered
3. Blended
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Rules to Limit How Teachers and Students Interact Online

Rules to Limit How Teachers and Students Interact Online | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"School districts across the country are imposing strict new guidelines that ban private conversations between teachers and their students on cellphones and online platforms."

 

"What worries some educators is that overly restrictive policies will remove an effective way of engaging students who regularly use social media platforms to communicate. 'I think the reason why I use social media is the same reason everyone else uses it: it works,' said Jennifer Pust, head of the English department at Santa Monica High School, where a nonfraternization policy governs both online and offline relationships with students. 'I am glad that it is not more restrictive. I understand we need to keep kids safe. I think that we would do more good keeping kids safe by teaching them how to use these tools and navigate this online world rather than locking it down and pretending that it is not in our realm.'

 

Nicholas Provenzano, 32, who has been teaching English for 10 years at Grosse Point High School in Michigan, acknowledged that “all of us using social media in a positive way with kids have to take 15 steps back whenever there is an incident.” But he said the benefits were many and that he communicated regularly with his students in an open forum, mostly through Twitter, responding to their questions about assignments. He has even shared a photo of his 6-month-old son. On occasion, he said, he will exchange private messages about an assignment or school-related task. He said that in addition to modeling best practices on social media use, he has been able to engage some students on Twitter who would not raise their hand in class."

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Rethinking How the Law Is Taught - Room for Debate

Rethinking How the Law  Is Taught - Room for Debate | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

A recent Times editorial called for changes to legal education. It argued for “apprentice-style learning” and “more courses that train students” for roles as “advocates and counselors, negotiators and deal-shapers, and problem-solvers” instead of a curriculum where professors grill “students about appellate cases.”

 

Does the Socratic method still have a role in law school?

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Skyping with South Korea

Skyping with South Korea | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

Anne Smith is at it again, this time having her all boys' class Skype with students in South Korea.

 

" 'My all boys' class was matched up with Jeff's class in South Korea at the Korea International School. I knew that my all boys' class was going to be writing their "This I Believe" essays on something important to them, something they strongly valued. Jeff let me know early on that his class was going to be writing their essays with a slight twist to the assignment: "I Believe in Evolution...". To help you understand his requirements for their essays, Jeff is a science teacher, thus they were going to be writing about evolution.'"


The time difference between Colorado and South Korea is a bit of an issue, so the students in South Korea agreed to stay up late and Skyped our students from their homes. Read Anne's post for all the details, but this was another great opportunity for our students to connect and learn from/with other students."

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What ‘Multiple Measures’ Assessment Really Means

"Some states say they are are using multiple measures to evaluate student progress. But they are really just slicing and dicing the same standardized test scores — not using different kinds of measures."

 

Examples of real multiple measures abound. Among many possibilities, they include science labs and field work, from short tasks to extended projects; oral presentations in any subject; extended math problems that require application to real world uses; and in-depth history reports, presented orally, in an essay, a PowerPoint, etc.

 

The complex question is how to put these measures together plausibly and defensibly, but this has been done in the United States and other nations. (For more discussion and examples, see FairTest’s Multiple Measures fact sheet. (http://tinyurl.com/7z68b5p)

 

Freed from the strictures of high-stakes testing, Finland (http://tinyurl.com/6gme85g) has achieved great success using true multiple measures. Finnish education (http://tinyurl.com/7mdgtoy) authorities periodically evaluate samples of students’ classroom work to determine the quality of teaching and learning in each school. The nation often ranks at or near first in various international comparisons (http://tinyurl.com/6s4of8r).

 

From Australia to Singapore to England, nations have found ways to use performance tasks and classroom-based evidence to evaluate how well students are doing and to inform school improvement efforts.

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4 Generations: Water Buffalo Movie by T2 Video in San Francisco

"'4 Generations' is a film short documenting my journey in southwestern China (near Tibet) to first find, then deliver a water buffalo to a poor family. The water buffalo led us to a family with an phenomenal story. Inspired and donated by author, educator, and founder of photo.net, Philip Greenspun."

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Do you have a lesson to teach? Seeking nominations for TED2012: The Classroom

Do you have a lesson to teach? Seeking nominations for TED2012: The Classroom | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
For the upcoming TED conference — TED2012: Full Spectrum — we’re looking for 10 of the world’s best teachers to take the TED stage during a special session we’re calling The Classroom. We’re accepting nominations to help track these people down. You can nominate yourself or a remarkable educator we should know about — who doesn’t have to be a teacher in the traditional sense.

After TED, these talks will have a life online as part of TED-Ed, a new initiative we’re launching in 2012. With TED-Ed, we are creating a library of videos sepcifically for educators and students. The videos will be arranged using teacher-centric/learner-centric categories and tags, designed to help teachers quickly discover the perfect video for the lesson at hand. The videos will also be arranged into playlists to give students a multidisciplinary, immersive insight into a learning concept.

The talks we’re looking for will each:

+ be shorter than 10 minutes
+ contain informative material, not just inspiring messages
+ be delivered with a huge amount of passion for the topic
+ engage an audience from age 14 to adult
+ be something you might imagine a teacher using in the classroom as video to supplement a lesson.
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How Online Innovators Are Disrupting Education

How Online Innovators Are Disrupting Education | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
"Part of the challenge with revamping America's educational system resides in well-intentioned people who have focused on answering the wrong question. Nothing matters if we find the right answer to the wrong question. As Clayton Christensen and Michael Horn argued in Disrupting Class, insufficient money, the teachers' unions, and large classroom size, all relevant issues, are not the root cause of our schools' troubles. The real problem lies in the effects standardized education has had on a student's internal and external motivation. As the authors point out, "When education is well aligned with one's stronger intelligences, aptitudes, or styles, understanding can come more easily and with greater enthusiasm." And as the Khan Academy has demonstrated, teachers can serve as professional coaches and content architects to help students progress in ways that they never could under most current models. Students display much more enthusiasm when they can self-direct their learning paths."
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Why You Matter: A Story Shared by Darren Kuropatwa

Daren tells a story from his past. Once upon a time when Darren was a student at the university a teacher who was serious about his expectation that his students be humorous did something that changed Darren in a powerful way. Perhaps Darren's story will change you.

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Will Artificial Intelligence Change Our Relationship with Tech?

Will Artificial Intelligence Change Our Relationship with Tech? | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"Advances in artificial intelligence could cause a big change in the way we interact with our devices over the coming year says one of Intel's experts."

 

"...I think in 2012 we will start to see signs of change in our relationships with devices.

 

Here I do not just mean more forms of new interfaces and new interactions. This is less about gesture and voice recognition and more about machines that are contextually and situationally aware.

....

 

Creativity


I think this means we can look forward to our interactions with digital devices maturing into something more like a relationship, and a little less like a lot of hard work.

 

Of course, some of that is a little way off. In the meantime, we have other things to look forward to.

 

The last couple of years have seen a lot of devices to help us download and consume media content. Those have been great and have clearly found a place in many of our homes and backpacks.

 

And there is surely more to come, as we all still like a good story. But I think 2012 might be a year in which our desire to make things, and not just consume things, really blossoms."

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What makes a brilliant teacher?

What makes a brilliant teacher? | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"Empathy and emotional intelligence are the keys to what our blogger calls "the T Factor."

 

"While watching a brilliant teacher in action, you too may have wondered: 'What is it that makes them excellent?'

 

Do we, as an educational community actually realise what makes a true teacher? Is it purely down to perfect pedagogy, rigorous planning and assessing, diligent resource making and clever behaviour management; or is there something more?

 

As important as all of the above are in excellent teaching, I believe that there is something else, something as of yet not commonly talked about, and it’s called the “T Factor!”

 

In my experience, teachers with the T Factor, run a happy, high achieving environment in which the pupils feel content, valued and achieve high respective standards academically and behaviourally. These teachers create a sense of awe and wonder to develop enquiring minds with an insatiable thirst for learning that endures.

 

'So, what is the mystical T Factor?' I hear you say. Well, put simply, the T Factor is ultimately the teacher’s ability to progressively build, maintain and reinforce high quality educational attachment relationships (linked to the principles of John Bowlby’s attachment theory http://goo.gl/xQEX ). This, in its infancy, can be termed rapport; however, as this is built upon, a quality psychological connection or attachment relationship conducive to learning and attuned interaction is developed and strengthened."

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Video Lecture: Why Students Don't Learn What We Think We Teach

Video Lecture: Why Students Don't Learn What We Think We Teach | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

Duke is captivating, and he makes a clear argument that students don't learn what we think we teach because they're too busy learning what we're actually teaching, which is, often, that precision is more important than understanding and that grades matter. The solution, he argues, is to teach, over and over, the things that we actually want our students to remember after the semester is over. And, that we should not defer learning about "The Good Stuff" until after they've suffered through boring prerequisites. Instead, we should teach the good stuff first and teach what we really enjoy.

 

via Darren Kuropatwa: http://goo.gl/y68VA

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African American Students Suspended and Expelled 2 to 5 Times as Often as Whites

Data suggest African American students are two to five times more likely to get suspended or expelled as their white peers and that the gap exists across the region's urban, suburban and rural school districts..."

"The problems extend beyond the Washington area to school districts across the country and are among a host of concerns about school discipline that sparked a joint effort by the U.S. Justice and Education departments in July to look into reforms.

Experts say disparities appear to have complex causes. A disproportionate number of black students live below the poverty line or with a single parent, factors that affect disciplinary patterns. But experts say those factors do not fully explain racial differences in suspensions. Other contributing factors could include unintended bias, unequal access to highly effective teachers and differences in school leadership styles."
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Social Studies Project Shows 3rd Grade Lives

Social Studies Project Shows 3rd Grade Lives | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
At the International Charter School, teachers and an artist help third grade students document their culture and lives using photographs, writes Julia Steiny. Along the walls are the final exhibitions for “Documenting Cultural Communities,” an annual third-grade social studies project. Each child has chosen three of their own photographs, a self-portrait and two others that document a moment emblematic of their family’s culture. Each wrote two pieces about what we see in the pictures, one in English and one in Spanish. The displays open surprisingly clear windows into the kids’ hearts and homes. The author/photographers are supposed to be stationed next to their work to answer visitors’ questions. But they can manage it only for a moment, trying to be official for a question or two. The gravitational pull to their swarm of friends is too great. They’re proud, excited. Their families are beaming. They’re mostly dressed to the nines. One twirls in her glittery purple dress, making the fringe fly.
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10 Internet Technologies Educators Should Be Informed About – 2011 Update | Emerging Education Technology

10 Internet Technologies Educators Should Be Informed About – 2011 Update | Emerging Education Technology | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
These Technologies Are Changing Education. Are You Familiar With Them?
Via Gust MEES
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The City 2.0 -- 2012 TED Prize Winner

The City 2.0 -- 2012 TED Prize Winner | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"For the first time in the history of the prize, it is being awarded not to an individual, but to an idea. It is an idea upon which our planet’s future depends.

 

The 2012 TED Prize is awarded to….the City 2.0.

 

- The City 2.0 is the city of the future… a future in which more than ten billion people on planet Earth must somehow live sustainably.

 

- The City 2.0 is not a sterile utopian dream, but a real-world upgrade tapping into humanity’s collective wisdom.

 

- The City 2.0 promotes innovation, education, culture, and economic opportunity.

 

- The City 2.0 reduces the carbon footprint of its occupants, facilitates smaller families, and eases the environmental pressure on the world’s rural areas.

 

- The City 2.0 is a place of beauty, wonder, excitement, inclusion, diversity, life.

 

- The City 2.0 is the city that works."

 

>>> "Who will make and oversee this year’s TED Prize wish?

 

The TED Prize organizing team is bringing together a group of visionaries — urban planners, architects, technologists, authors, policy makers, and economists — to act as advocates for The City 2.0 and craft a wish capable of inspiring collaborative action by many. The wish will be unveiled during the TED Prize session on February 29, 2012."

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Fact Sheet: Multiple Measures

Fact Sheet: Multiple Measures | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"Definition. Multiple measures: the use of multiple indicators and sources of evidence of student learning, of varying kinds, gathered at multiple points in time, within and across subject areas. In response to concerns about No Child Left Behind’s narrowing of curricula, some states have begun to use techniques they falsely label 'multiple measures.' Unfortunately, these are usually just multiple uses of the same statewide, standardized test results, not authentic multiple measures.

 

Examples of real multiple measures abound, including science labs or field work, from short tasks to extended projects; oral presentations in any subject; extended math problems that require application to real world uses; reading aloud and conversing with the teacher about a book; in-depth history reports, presented orally, in an essay, a PowerPoint, etc.; writing a paper in a second language; art or music projects; and answering questions from an expert panel about a project the student has done, much as doctoral candidates defend their theses. Documentation of teacher observations or interactions with the teacher can be useful, particularly with young children, if well structured. Many of these can be done individually or in groups (so long as the purpose is clear). This material can be organized so that it can be re-scored by other, independent educators, to ensure the accuracy of the classroom teacher, a process known as 'moderation.' "

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How Will You Measure Your Life?

One of the theories that gives great insight on the first question—how to be sure we find happiness in our careers—is from Frederick Herzberg, who asserts that the powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements. I tell the students about a vision of sorts I had while I was running the company I founded before becoming an academic.

 

In my mind’s eye I saw one of my managers leave for work one morning with a relatively strong level of self-esteem. Then I pictured her driving home to her family 10 hours later, feeling unappreciated, frustrated, underutilized, and demeaned. I imagined how profoundly her lowered self-esteem affected the way she interacted with her children.

 

The vision in my mind then fast-forwarded to another day, when she drove home with greater self-esteem—feeling that she had learned a lot, been recognized for achieving valuable things, and played a significant role in the success of some important initiatives. I then imagined how positively that affected her as a spouse and a parent.

 

My conclusion: Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team."

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Teaching History Through Inquiry

"Stephen Lazar describes how teachers can impart both critical thinking skills and cultural literacy through the use of historical documents and strategic questioning.

One of the great challenges of teaching high school history is negotiating two competing charges.

We must equip students with a degree of cultural literacy by exposing them to America's past and humanity's shared heritage. In states like New York and Virginia (where I have spent my teaching career), students must be able to demonstrate this content knowledge when they take high-stakes history exams.

But we must also ensure that our high school students gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be critical thinkers and citizens in our democracy. Our world is saturated with media, and students need to learn how to evaluate the information they encounter, based on where it comes from, who is producing it and when, its use of evidence, and its intended audience.

I have found that teaching history through inquiry provides a model to serve both these masters, simultaneously. Here are some tips on how to do that:"
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Twenty Tips for Creating a Safe Learning Environment

Twenty Tips for Creating a Safe Learning Environment | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
In her work with UCLA's Graduate School of Education, Rebecca Alber assists teachers and schools in meeting students' academic needs through best practices. Alber also instructs online teacher-education courses for Stanford University.

"Twenty Tips for Creating a Safe Learning Environment

I visit a lot of classrooms. And I'm always fascinated by the variety of ways teachers launch the new school year and also with how they "run their rooms" on a daily basis. From these visits and my own experiences as an instructor, I'd like to offer my top 20 suggestions for keeping your classroom a safe, open, and inviting place to learn."
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Teaching With the Enemy

Teaching With the Enemy | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Charter schools are one thing, but broad reform won’t happen without working with teachers’ unions.

"Last month, Randi Weingarten held a book party for Steven Brill, the veteran journalist and entrepreneur who had just published “Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools,” his vivid account of the rise of the school reform movement. When Brill told me this recently, I nearly fell out of my chair. Weingarten, you see, is the president of the American Federation of Teachers, and for much of his book, Brill treats Weingarten the way reformers always treat her and her union: as the enemy."
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