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An Eye on New Media
New Media in Society, Business & Classrooms
Curated by Ken Morrison
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Sharing Data to Create Stronger Parent Partnerships - YouTube

By sending home detailed data reports that focus on a specific skill, Humboldt opens a two-way line of communication with parents about their child's learnin...
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8 Top Tips for Highly Effective PD

8 Top Tips for Highly Effective PD | An Eye on New Media |
Among the top strategies for highly effective professional development are making it useful, making it relevant, and making sure that teachers start practicing it ASAP.
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On April 20 classrooms can connect with Dr. Jane Goodall

On April 20 classrooms can connect with Dr. Jane Goodall | An Eye on New Media |

"On April 20, TIME for Kids (TFK) is hosting a unique opportunity for teachers and students from around the world to hear from famous primatologist and United Nations Messenger of Peace, Dr. Jane Goodall, through a live, interactive webinar presentation ..."

Via Leona Ungerer
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Create a Lab / Room Scheduler in Google Sheets

Create a Lab / Room Scheduler in Google Sheets | An Eye on New Media |

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa) , ICTPHMS
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Crowdsourced School Social Media Policy Now Available | Edudemic

Crowdsourced School Social Media Policy Now Available | Edudemic | An Eye on New Media |
I’ve been seeing a lot of people on social media looking for a social media policy and / or an acceptable use policy. So I offered to help spearhead an initiative where some of our amazing readers could help craft these policies from scratch. It started out very basic but, 400 edits later, has materialized into a thoughtful and well-organized document that’s a great template for any school. It may not be perfect for you, but use this as a jumping-off point to get your own policy started.

The School Social Media & Acceptable Use Policy
Social Media
Responsible Use Guidelines

We encourage teachers, students, staff, and other school community members to use social networking/media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) as a way to connect with others, share educational resources, create and curate educational content, and enhance the classroom experience. While social networking is fun and valuable, there are some risks you should keep in mind when using these tools. In the social media world, the lines are blurred between what is public or private, personal or professional.

We’ve created these social networking/media guidelines for you to follow when representing the school in the virtual world.

Please do the following:

Use good judgment

We expect you to use good judgment in all situations.
You must know and follow the school’s Code of Conduct and Privacy Policy.
Regardless of your privacy settings, assume that all of the information you have shared on your social network is public information.
Be respectful

Always treat others in a respectful, positive and considerate manner.
Be responsible and ethical

Even though you are approved to represent the school, unless you are specifically authorized to speak on behalf of the school as a spokesperson, you should state that the views expressed in your postings, etc. are your own. Stick with discussing school-related matters that are within your area of responsibility.
Be open about your affiliation with the school and the role/position you hold.
Be a good listener

Keep in mind that one of the biggest benefits of social media is that it gives others another way to talk to you, ask questions directly and to share feedback.
Be responsive others when conversing online. Provide answers, thank people for their comments, and ask for further feedback, etc.
Always be doing at least as much listening and responding as you do “talking.”
Don’t share the following:

Confidential information

Do not publish, post or release information that is considered confidential or not public. If it seems confidential, it probably is. Online “conversations” are never private. Do not use your birth date, address, and cell phone number on any public website.
Private and personal information

To ensure your safety, be careful about the type and amount of personal information you provide. Avoid talking about personal schedules or situations.
NEVER give out or transmit personal information of students, parents, or co-workers
Don’t take information you may receive through social networking (such as e-mail addresses, customer names or telephone numbers) and assume it’s the most up-to-date or correct.
Always respect the privacy of the school community members.
Please be cautious with respect to:


Respect brand, trademark, copyright information and/or images of the school (if applicable).
You may use photos and video (products, etc.) that are available on the school’s website.
It is generally not acceptable to post pictures of students without the expressed written consent of their parents.
Do not post pictures of others (co-workers, etc.) without their permission.
Other sites

A significant part of the interaction on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks involves passing on interesting content or linking to helpful resources. However, the school is ultimately responsible for any content that is shared. Don’t blindly repost a link without looking at the content first.
Pay attention to the security warnings that pop up on your computer before clicking on unfamiliar links. They actually serve a purpose and protect you and the school.
When using Twitter, Facebook and other tools, be sure to follow their printed terms and conditions.
And if you don’t get it right…

Be sure to correct any mistake you make immediately, and make it clear what you’ve done to fix it.
Apologize for the mistake if the situation warrants it.
If it’s a MAJOR mistake (e.g., exposing private information or reporting confidential information), please let someone know immediately so the school can take the proper steps to help minimize the impact it may have.

Social Media
Acceptable Use Policy

YOURSCHOOLNAME recognizes that access to technology in school gives students and teachers greater opportunities to learn, engage, communicate, and develop skills that will prepare them for work, life, and citizenship. We are committed to helping students develop 21st-century technology and communication skills.

To that end, we provide access to technologies for student and staff use. This Acceptable Use Policy outlines the guidelines and behaviors that users are expected to follow when using school technologies or when using personally-owned devices on the school campus.

The network is intended for educational purposes.
All activity over the network or using district technologies may be monitored and retained.
Access to online content via the network may be restricted in accordance with our policies and federal regulations, such as the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
Students are expected to follow the same rules for good behavior and respectful conduct online as offline.
Misuse of school resources can result in disciplinary action.
We make a reasonable effort to ensure students’ safety and security online, but will not be held accountable for any harm or damages that result from misuse of school technologies.
Users of the network or other technologies are expected to alert IT staff immediately of any concerns for safety or security.
Technologies Covered
YOURSCHOOLNAME may provide Internet access, desktop computers, mobile computers or devices, videoconferencing capabilities, online collaboration capabilities, message boards, email, and more.

As new technologies emerge, YOURSCHOOLNAME will attempt to provide access to them. The policies outlined in this document are intended to cover all available technologies, not just those specifically listed.

Usage Policies
All technologies provided by YOURSCHOOLNAME are intended for educational purposes. All users are expected to use good judgment and to follow the specifics of this document as well as the spirit of it: be safe, appropriate, careful and kind; don’t try to get around technological protection measures; use good common sense; and ask if you don’t know.

Web Access
YOURSCHOOLNAME provides its users with access to the Internet, including web sites, resources, content, and online tools. That access will be restricted in compliance with CIPA regulations and school policies. Web browsing may be monitored and web activity records may be retained indefinitely.

Users are expected to respect that the web filter is a safety precaution, and should not try to circumvent it when browsing the Web. If a site is blocked and a user believes it shouldn’t be, the user should follow protocol to alert an IT staff member or submit the site for review.

YOURSCHOOLNAME may provide users with email accounts for the purpose of school-related communication. Availability and use may be restricted based on school policies.

If users are provided with email accounts, they should be used with care. Users should not send personal information; should not attempt to open files or follow links from unknown or untrusted origin; should use appropriate language; and should only communicate with other people as allowed by the district policy or the teacher.

Users are expected to communicate with the same appropriate, safe, mindful, courteous conduct online as offline. Email usage may be monitored and archived.

Social / Web 2.0 / Collaborative Content
Recognizing that collaboration is essential to education, YOURSCHOOLNAME may provide users with access to web sites or tools that allow communication, collaboration, sharing, and messaging among users.

Users are expected to communicate with the same appropriate, safe, mindful, courteous conduct online as offline. Posts, chats, sharing, and messaging may be monitored. Users should be careful not to share personally-identifying information online.

Mobile Devices Policy
YOURSCHOOLNAME may provide users with mobile computers or other devices to promote learning both inside and outside of the classroom. Users should abide by the same acceptable use policies when using school devices off the school network as on the school network.

Users are expected to treat these devices with extreme care and caution; these are expensive devices that the school is entrusting to your care. Users should report any loss, damage, or malfunction to IT staff immediately. Users may be financially accountable for any damage resulting from negligence or misuse.

Use of school-issued mobile devices, including use of the school network, may be monitored.

Personally-Owned Devices
Students may use personally-owned devices (including laptops, tablets, smartphones, and cell phones) at any time during school hours—unless such use interferes with the delivery of instruction by a teacher or staff or creates a disturbance in the educational environment.  Any misuse of personally-owned devices may result in disciplinary action.  Therefore, proper netiquette and adherence to the acceptable use policy should always be used.  In some cases, a separate network may be provided for personally-owned devices.

Users are expected to take reasonable safeguards against the transmission of security threats over the school network. This includes not opening or distributing infected files or programs and not opening files or programs of unknown or untrusted origin. If you believe a computer or mobile device you are using might be infected with a virus, please alert IT. Do not attempt to remove the virus yourself or download any programs to help remove the virus.

Users should not download or attempt to download or run .exe programs over the school network or onto school resources without express permission from IT staff. You may be able to download other file types, such as images of videos. For the security of our network, download such files only from reputable sites, and only for educational purposes.


Users should always use the Internet, network resources, and online sites in a courteous and respectful manner.
Users should also recognize that among the valuable content online is unverified, incorrect, or inappropriate content. Users should use trusted sources when conducting research via the Internet.
Users should also remember not to post anything online that they wouldn’t want parents, teachers, or future colleges or employers to see. Once something is online, it’s out there—and can sometimes be shared and spread in ways you never intended.

Users should not plagiarize (or use as their own, without citing the original creator) content, including words or images, from the Internet.
Users should not take credit for things they didn’t create themselves, or misrepresent themselves as an author or creator of something found online. Research conducted via the Internet should be appropriately cited, giving credit to the original author.
Personal Safety
If you see a message, comment, image, or anything else online that makes you concerned for your personal safety, bring it to the attention of an adult (teacher or staff if you’re at school; parent if you’re using the device at home) immediately.

Users should never share personal information, including phone number, address, social security number, birthday, or financial information, over the Internet without adult permission.
Users should recognize that communicating over the Internet brings anonymity and associated risks, and should carefully safeguard the personal information of themselves and others.
Users should never agree to meet someone they meet online in real life without parental permission.
Cyberbullying will not be tolerated. Harassing, dissing, flaming, denigrating, impersonating, outing, tricking, excluding, and cyberstalking are all examples of cyberbullying. Don’t be mean. Don’t send emails or post comments with the intent of scaring, hurting, or intimidating someone else.
Engaging in these behaviors, or any online activities intended to harm (physically or emotionally) another person, will result in severe disciplinary action and loss of privileges. In some cases, cyberbullying can be a crime. Remember that your activities are monitored and retained.

Examples of Acceptable Use
I will:

Use school technologies for school-related activities and research.
Follow the same guidelines for respectful, responsible behavior online that I am expected to follow offline.
Treat school resources carefully, and alert staff if there is any problem with their operation.
Encourage positive, constructive discussion if allowed to use communicative or collaborative technologies.
Alert a teacher or other staff member if I see threatening/bullying, inappropriate, or harmful content (images, messages, posts) online.
Use school technologies at appropriate times, in approved places, for educational pursuits only.
Cite sources when using online sites and resources for research; ensure there is no copyright infringement.
Recognize that use of school technologies is a privilege and treat it as such.
Be cautious to protect the safety of myself and others.
Help to protect the security of school resources.
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Users should use their own good judgment when using school technologies.

Examples of Unacceptable Use
I will not:

Use school technologies in a way that could be personally or physically harmful to myself or others.
Search inappropriate images or content.
Engage in cyberbullying, harassment, or disrespectful conduct toward others–staff or students.
Try to find ways to circumvent the school’s safety measures and filtering tools.
Use school technologies to send spam or chain mail.
Plagiarize content I find online.
Post personally-identifying information, about myself or others.
Agree to meet someone I meet online in real life.
Use language online that would be unacceptable in the classroom.
Use school technologies for illegal activities or to pursue information on such activities.
Attempt to hack or access sites, servers, accounts, or content that isn’t intended for my use.
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Users should use their own good judgment when using school technologies.

Limitation of Liability
YOURSCHOOLNAME will not be responsible for damage or harm to persons, files, data, or hardware. While YOURSCHOOLNAME employs filtering and other safety and security mechanisms, and attempts to ensure their proper function, it makes no guarantees as to their effectiveness. YOURSCHOOLNAME will not be responsible, financially or otherwise, for unauthorized transactions conducted over the school network.

Violations of this Acceptable Use Policy
Violations of this policy may have disciplinary repercussions, including:

Suspension of network, technology, or computer privileges in extreme cases
Notification to parents in most cases
Detention or suspension from school and school-related activities
Legal action and/or prosecution
I have read and understood this Acceptable Use Policy and agree to abide by it:

(Student Printed Name)
Ken Morrison's insight:

Does your school have a social media policy for educators and support staff?  If not, here is a nice starter kit.

Other resources on the topic include:

One school's policy:

Northwestern University's policy:


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Strategies to Reach Every Student, Regardless of Language Barrier

Strategies to Reach Every Student, Regardless of Language Barrier | An Eye on New Media |
Helping every student experience meaningful, deep learning is a constant challenge, in no small part because no two learners are alike. To reach students who are particularly challenged — whether because of their ability to speak English or some other reason — educators can find a way in by tapping into students’ interests and passion.

“You don’t have to know how to read and write to think deeply,” said Claire Sylvan, founding executive director of The Internationals Network For Public Schools, schools that serve high school students who have been in the country fewer than four years. Sylvan spoke on a Deeper Learning MOOC panel focused on strategies for helping even the most challenged learners to engage in meaningful work.

Every student at an Internationals school is an English Language Learner, but not all have a common mother tongue. Internationals schools give students projects that involve complex thinking in both English and native languages. “Provide them with on-ramps that allow them to develop literacy in the environment that they now inhabit,” Sylvan said. There’s often a myth that students need to learn English before they can participate in more interesting work, but the Internationals Network has built an entire model on engaging students in learning through work that interests them, giving them a compelling reason to learn English.

“The key thing about deeper learning for the kids we work with is not whether they can do it, but how can we structure classrooms so they can be successful.”

“The one context that’s not particularly useful is trying to teach language by itself as isolated words,” Sylvan said. “Mothers don’t put babies in a row and ask them to repeat. Language is learned by using it to describe things that you are experiencing; so if kids are engaged in a project they have a real reason to learn a language,” she said.

Engagement is important for all learners, but especially for those who have extra barriers to success. Connecting learning to the real world can be an easy way to increase classroom engagement because many of the most disaffected learners have a lot of real-life experience they can draw upon.

“Those kids are often really talented in the real world,” said Ron Berger, chief academic officer for Expeditionary Learning, a network of schools that has pioneered the deeper learning movement. “In real life they thrive in many ways, so the more ways that we can make academic work connect to the real world, we let those kids thrive.”

To that end, educators have to move past the idea that learning is a linear process. “It’s crazy to separate basic skills from engaging complex work,” Berger said. Instead, the basic skills should be in service of something exciting to students because few students show their capacity through textbook work.

An example of a project that meets every learner at their skill level was done in a fourth grade Spanish class in which there were students who had never studied Spanish before alongside native speakers. The teacher partnered with a school in Guatemala online that also had Spanish language learners because its students mostly spoke indigenous languages like Mayan. The two classrooms wrote books for one another. Some books had complicated story lines and others were simpler, but the project gave each student the chance to contribute something meaningful. “They all created something beautiful and of quality,” Berger said.


Reaching all learners successfully is a tough job and requires carefully thought-out structures. “There’s a misperception that deeper learning is unstructured,” Berger said. “It’s really just a question about what you’re going to be tight and loose about. In traditional classrooms they are tight about pacing and about kids being quiet. I’d rather be tight about kids being focused and courteous.” Changing the focus might make for a more chaotic classroom, but meaningful learning is often happening between students in that environment. “It’s an active peer-driven sense of working towards quality,” Berger said. “It’s not just sitting passively and letting someone tell you what to think.”

Careful grouping is important to give all learners the best chance at success. “The key thing about deeper learning for the kids we work with is not whether they can do it, but how can we structure classrooms so they can be successful,” said Joe Luft, senior director of programs for the Internationals Network and a former teacher and principal at one of their schools.

Deeper Learning Series

Beyond Knowing Facts, How Do We Get to a Deeper Level of Learning?

What Keeps Students Motivated to Learn?

The Value of Internships: A Dose of the Real World in High School
“You want to be able to support students academically and in terms of literacy,” said Rosemary Milczewski, a math teacher at Flushing International High School. “They are arguing; they are talking to each other; and I’m walking around as a facilitator.” A common way to teach students for whom English isn’t their first language is to group them by proficiency. But Sylvan says that rarely works. Grouping is a delicate balance of English language ability, native language ability, and familiarity with the academic content. “The grouping would differ based on the task you are asking students to do,” Sylvan said.


In addition to carefully grouping students for project work, it can be very helpful to group teaching staff to best serve the needs of students. At Internationals High Schools, five teachers all work with the same group of students. They coordinate closely on the literacy goals that cross all classes in addition to developing interesting projects together. For example, all teachers may be working on helping students use language to compare and contrast or to use cause and effect language, no matter what subject they teach.

Creating class structures that support student-self esteem and promote an open culture also help reluctant or traditionally hard-to-reach students. “The first thing that comes to mind for me is changing students’ perceptions of themselves so they don’t see themselves as unable to learn,” said Thabiti Brown, principal of Codman Academy, a Boston charter school in the process of growing to be a K-12 school. “If they are thinking about themselves as students who are exercising that muscle, the brain, then it changes their perception of themselves.” Students also need to feel permission to express themselves and to know that their input is valued.

Milczewski immigrated to the U.S. when she was a teenager and attended an Internationals School. She uses her story to motivate her students and create a community of learners. “Telling them my story, I feel like it gives them some hope,” she said. “They realize they can graduate from high school, go to college and all they’ve got to do is work hard.”


Teachers working with challenged students need extra time to plan, tutor, and work together. We need a lot of different time to meet in lots of different configurations around a lot of different issues,” said Ben Daley, chief academic officer at High Tech High. At Flushing Internationals School teachers meet for two hours each week to discuss instructional work and ways to support specific students. They plan the language function and outcomes they’ll be working on and talk logistics.

Additionally, each week they meet to talk about social and emotional needs of students, and there’s always a morning meeting for team leaders to report back on the school-wide administrative issues. In addition to all of that, teachers are on committees to help make decisions about the schools. These school-wide structures help teachers feel supported and connected in their difficult work and keep the staff on the same page about learning goals, but they are often built into the school day, not an addition.

This type of group work also mirrors the project-based learning teachers are asking of students. Adults are working on a complex problem together, collaborating with people different from themselves, and bringing their strengths to the table. “High school people think of themselves as subject people,” Sylvan said. “When you group them across subject you allow teachers to focus on students.”

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Top 10 skills children learn from the arts

Top 10 skills children learn from the arts | An Eye on New Media |
You don't find school reformers talking much about how we need to train more teachers in the arts, given the current obsession with science, math, technology and engineering, but here's a list of skills that young people learn from studying the arts.
Ken Morrison's insight:

I feel that each of the advantages listed below reflect the advantages of the video course that I teach.

I like this concept of changing STEM to STEAM. This would include adding Arts to Science, Technology, Education and Math. Here are the advantages:

1. Creativity

2. Confidence

3. Problem Solving

4. Perseverance

5. Focus

6. Non-Verbal Communication

7. Receiving Constructive Feedback

8. Collaboration

9. Dedication

10. Accountability


Lon Woodbury's curator insight, November 2, 2014 1:21 PM

Playing music (including my own dance band) was a passion when I was young.  I can see how that experience has benefited me in every activity since. -Lon

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American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn't Exist | WIRED

American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn't Exist | WIRED | An Eye on New Media |
Being dumb in the existing educational system is bad enough. Failing to create a new way of learning adapted to contemporary circumstances might be a national disaster.
Ken Morrison's insight:

I am sharing this post because I feel that it fits well with my earlier scoops regarding Project Based Learning (PBL)

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MOOCs: Top 10 Sites for Free Education With Elite Universities

MOOCs: Top 10 Sites for Free Education With Elite Universities | An Eye on New Media |
BDPA Detroit Chapter website.
Ken Morrison's insight:

Here is a list of (only) University-sponsored MOOCs.  Enjoy.

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SEO Teaching: Should SEO Be Taught at Universities?

SEO Teaching: Should SEO Be Taught at Universities? | An Eye on New Media |
Despite the popularity and importance of SEO, the field has yet to gain significant traction at the university level other than a few courses here and there offered as part of a broader digital marketing degree. The tide could be turning, however slowly.
Ken Morrison's insight:

This is my favorite find of the week MOZ (formerly SEOMOZ) shares this article and list of pros/cons of teaching SEO at the college level.


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Rescooped by Ken Morrison from Teaching through Libraries!

A Professional Learning Teacher Toolkit

A Professional Learning Teacher Toolkit | An Eye on New Media |

Via Beth Dichter, Carey Leahy
Ken Morrison's insight:

This picture is worth a thousand of my words.

Saberes Sin Fronteras Ong's curator insight, March 3, 9:38 AM


Annie M Herbert's curator insight, March 6, 10:29 AM

Hopefully I'll be able to use this next year...along with teaching SAMR and connecting M & R to DOK

angel's curator insight, March 31, 9:05 PM

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Education for all by 2015? Not happening, says Unesco

Education for all by 2015? Not happening, says Unesco | An Eye on New Media |
According to the UN agency, countries still lagging behind their goals must spend more on education
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Gamification - Peadar Callaghan

Ken Morrison's insight:

The President of KOTESOL (Korean Teachers of English as a Second Language) is blogging about gamification.

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10 Questions to Ask When Planning Tech Infused Units

10 Questions to Ask When Planning Tech Infused Units | An Eye on New Media |
Here at Edtech at, we've put together a list of potential technology-related questions that you may want to ask yourself when planning for instruction and designing curriculum. Many of these ideas are inspired by existing frameworks and philosophies focused on tech integration.

Via Ana Cristina Pratas, Miloš Bajčetić
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Teaching in a Digital Age | The Open Textbook Project provides flexible and affordable access to higher education resources

Teaching in a Digital Age | The Open Textbook Project provides flexible and affordable access to higher education resources | An Eye on New Media |
The book examines the underlying principles that guide effective teaching in an age when everyone,and in particular the students we are teaching, are using technology. A framework for making decisions about your teaching is provided, while understanding that every subject is different, and every instructor has something unique and special to bring to their teaching.The book enables teachers and instructors to help students develop the knowledge and skills they will need in a digital age: not so much the IT skills, but the thinking and attitudes to learning that will bring them success. [Scroll down for list of contents] Book release date (final version): 1 April 2015
Ken Morrison's insight:

What a wonderful resource (Open Textbook!)

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Beyond Worksheets, A True Expression of Student Learning

Beyond Worksheets, A True Expression of Student Learning | An Eye on New Media |
Possession of facts is not learning. What is an important skill is the ability to sift through abundant information, identify what is valid and meaningful, then use it to create meaning and express it. This is why student creation is so important in the new economy of information.
Ken Morrison's insight:

Ken's Key Takeaway: 
"Far beyond filling out answers on a worksheet, these assignments allow for individual talents and personality to shine through. While it’s unlikely that you have ever heard a person say, “that worksheet changed my life,” most people have an assignment from their childhood that they remember with pride because it was meaningful to them. More often than not, that memorable assignment was one that allowed them to build and create."

Vineta Erzen's curator insight, November 21, 2014 5:28 AM

Can a  true expression of student learnig  be discovered through worksheets snad tests?  A quote from the post I find 'expressive': '' While it’s unlikely that you have ever heard a person say, “that worksheet changed my life,” most people have an assignment from their childhood that they remember with pride because it was meaningful to them. More often than not, that memorable assignment was one that allowed them to build and create.''

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We're Smarter Than 36th In The World: Using Data Analytics to Empower U.S. Teachers and Students

We're Smarter Than 36th In The World: Using Data Analytics to Empower U.S. Teachers and Students | An Eye on New Media |
very three years, a select group of 15-year-old students from around the world is tested on their knowledge of math, science and reading. In the latest round of tests performed in 2012 by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), U.S. students ranked 36th in math, 28th in science and 24th in reading out of the 65 countries in the survey. Clearly, there is plenty of room for improvement.

One emerging area with the potential to significantly improve the performance of U.S. students might lie in harnessing something that has revolutionized the business world over the last several years: data analytics. 

Because the education system places great emphasis on measurement—of grades, national averages, teacher performance, etc.—it’s no stranger to data, especially large data sets that have been used for years to analyze things such as standardized tests. These analyses tend to focus on a measurement of what has been learned and how that compares to a larger population, all of which is important when evaluating students. However, the retrospective nature of this type of information fails to capitalize on the power of data to improve student performance in the classroom while they are actively learning.

Imagine a system that provides teachers with real-time insights to understand how a student is performing. The teacher can then use the data to spot weak areas and adjust the lesson plan accordingly. This type of tailored instruction has the ability to greatly improve student performance. 

Over the last seven years, Xerox researchers have been developing such a system by spending more than 400 hours embedded with teachers, administrators and students from school districts in New York and California. They discovered that teachers wanted a simpler way to grade, analyze and chart each student’s progress. Teachers then could determine what concepts were being taught successfully and which were missing the mark—and they could do it on a student-by-student, class-by-class basis.

This insight led Xerox to develop Ignite, an automated student assessment tool that combines scanning hardware and analytics software. It not only grades exams faster, but also extracts student performance measurements and creates real-time feedback for teachers. This gives teachers the ability to quickly address the reality that students learn concepts at different paces and in different ways, and to customize their teaching, so individually or in small groups, students get the extra attention they need to achieve.

“Instead of spending time scoring tests and making sense of the data, teachers can quickly access relevant views of the data and focus on meeting the needs of each individual student. This is something that is making our lives more effective as educators,” says Principal Marc Nelson of Harris Hill Elementary in Penfield Central School District, one of several districts using Ignite in New York.

Demonstrating its broader importance, the benefits of the system go beyond even the teachers and students. Parents receive a report that shows the progress of their child over the course of the school year. Meanwhile, another report is made available to school administrators showing how students are progressing throughout their district, by class, grade and subject—information previously only available from state-mandated tests.

No one wants American education to succeed more than American educators, 98 percent of whom view teaching as not just a profession, but a commitment to the world’s future. Empowering teachers with the data and insight they need to be more effective educators is just one example of how recent technological advancements can help dramatically improve teaching and the learning experience.
Ken Morrison's insight:

The key will be to find a balance between using big data to help teachers, students and parents measure results without cutting into class preparation and feedback time for educators.  

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Stop Complaining About Your Professors’ Lack of Classroom Tech. Sit and Think a Little.

Stop Complaining About Your Professors’ Lack of Classroom Tech. Sit and Think a Little. | An Eye on New Media |
Lucas Matney, a junior at Northwestern University and columnist for the Daily Northwestern, is concerned that his school is not adequately preparing him for the challenges of today. In his experience, he says, “very few” of his professors “have used technology in the classroom in a way that offers a...
Ken Morrison's insight:

I have shared many posts about the importance of integrating technology into the classroom. Here is a very wise reason for why we should consider leaving tech out of the classroom.

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Rescooped by Ken Morrison from Voices in the Feminine - Digital Delights!

Great Tools That Are Changing Writing, Teaching and Learning

Great Tools That Are Changing Writing, Teaching and Learning | An Eye on New Media |
Great Tools That Are Changing Writing, Teaching and Learning. Vicki Davis talks about how to pick right tool..

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Many, Many Examples Of Essential Questions

Many, Many Examples Of Essential Questions | An Eye on New Media |

Essential questions are, ask Grant Wiggins defines, “‘essential’ in the sense of signaling genuine, important and necessarily-ongoing inquiries.” These are grapple-worthy, substantive questions that not only require wrestling with, but are worth wrestling with–that could lead students to some critical insight in a 40/40/40-rule sense of the term.

I collected the following set of questions through the course of creating units of study, most of them from the Greece Central School District in New York. In revisiting them recently, I noticed that quite a few of them were closed/yes or no questions, so I went back and revised most of them, and added a few myself–something I’ll try to do from time to time.

Or maybe I’ll make a separate page for them entirely. Or, who knows. Nonetheless, below are many, many examples of essential questions. Most are arts & humanities, but if this post proves useful, we can add some STEM inquiry to the mix as well. Let me know in the comments.

Many, Many Examples Of Essential Questions

Decisions, Actions, and Consequences

What is the relationship between decisions and consequences?
How do we know how to make good decisions?
How can a person’s decisions and actions change his/her life?
How do the decisions and actions of characters reveal their personalities?
How do decisions, actions, and consequences vary depending on the different perspectives of the people involved?
Social Justice

What is social justice?
To what extent does power or the lack of power affect individuals?
What is oppression and what are the root causes?
How are prejudice and bias created? How do we overcome them?
What are the responsibilities of the individual in regard to issues of social justice?
How can literature serve as a vehicle for social change?
When should an individual take a stand against what he/she believes to be an injustice? What are the most effective ways to do this?
What are the factors that create an imbalance of power within a culture?
What does power have to do with fairness and justice?
When is it necessary to question the status quo? Who decides?
What are the benefits and consequences of questioning / challenging social order?
How do stereotypes influence how we look at and understand the world?
What does it mean to be invisible? (context: minorities)
In what ways can a minority keep their issues on the larger culture’s “radar screen?”
What creates prejudice, and what can an individual overcome it?
What are the causes and consequences of prejudice and injustice, and how does an individual’s response to them reveal his/her true character?
What allows some individuals to take a stand against prejudice/oppression while others choose to participate in it?
What are the causes and consequences of prejudice and how does an individual’s response to it reveal his/her morals, ethics, and values?
Culture: Values, Beliefs & Rituals

How do individuals develop values and beliefs?
What factors shape our values and beliefs?
How do values and beliefs change over time?
How does family play a role in shaping our values and beliefs?
Why do we need beliefs and values?
What happens when belief systems of societies and individuals come into conflict?
When should an individual take a stand in opposition to an individual or larger group?
When is it appropriate to challenge the beliefs or values of society?
To what extent do belief systems shape and/or reflect culture and society?
How are belief systems represented and reproduced through history, literature, art, and music?
How do beliefs, ethics, or values influence different people’s behavior?
How do individuals reconcile competing belief systems within a given society (e.g., moral beliefs conflicting with legal codes)?
When a person’s individual choices are in direct conflict with his/her society, what are the consequences?
What is morality and what are the factors that have an impact on the development of our morality?
What role or purpose does religion / spirituality serve in a culture?
What purpose or function do ethics / philosophy have in governing technological advances?
How do our values and beliefs shape who we are as individuals and influence our behavior?
Adversity, Conflict, and Change 

How does conflict lead to change?
What problem-solving strategies can individuals use to manage conflict and change?
How does an individual’s point of view affect the way they deal with conflict?
What personal qualities have helped you to deal with conflict and change?
How might if feel to live through a conflict that disrupts your way of life?
How does conflict influence an individual’s decisions and actions?
How are people transformed through their relationships with others?
What is community and what are the individual’s responsibility to the community as well as the community’s responsibility to the individual?
Utopia and Dystopia

How would we define a utopian society?
How has the concept of utopia changed over time and/or across cultures or societies?
What are the ideals (e.g., freedom, responsibility, justice, community, etc.) that should be honored in a utopian society?
Why do people continue to pursue the concept of a utopian society?
How do competing notions of what a utopian society should look like lead to conflict?
What are the purposes and/or consequence of creating and/or maintaining a dystopian society?
What is the relationship between differences and utopia?
Chaos and Order

What is the importance of civilization and what factors support or destroy its fabric?
What are the positive and negative aspects of both chaos and order?
What are the responsibilities and consequences of this new world order described as “global”?
What role does chaos play in the creative process?
What are the politics and consequences of war, and how do these vary based on an individual or cultural perspective?
Constructing Identities

How do we form and shape our identities?
In a culture where we are bombarded with ideas and images of “what we should be,”
How does one form an identity that remains true and authentic for her/himself?
What turning points determine our individual pathways to adulthood?
In a culture where we are bombarded with other people trying to define us, how do we make decisions for ourselves?

What is creativity and what is its importance for the individual / the culture?
What is art and its function in our lives?
What are the limits, if any, of freedom of speech?
Freedom and Responsibility

What is freedom?
What is the relationship between freedom and responsibility?
What are the essential liberties?
What is the relationship between privacy, freedom, and security?
When does government have the right to restrict the freedoms of people?
When is the restriction of freedom a good thing?
Good and Evil in the World

Is humankind inherently good or evil?
Have the forces of good and evil changed over time and if so, how?
How do different cultures shape the definitions of good and evil?
Heroes and “She-roes”

Do the attributes of a hero remain the same over time?
When does a positive personality trait become a tragic flaw?
What is the role of a hero or “she-roe” (coined by Maya Angelou) in a culture?
How do various cultures reward / recognize their heroes and “she-roes”?
Why is it important for people and cultures to construct narratives about their experience?
What is the relevance of studying multicultural texts?
How does the media shape our view of the world and ourselves?
In a culture where we are bombarded with other people trying to define us, how do we make decisions for ourselves?
The Human Condition / Spirit

In the face of adversity, what causes some individuals to prevail while others fail?
What is the meaning of life, and does that shape our beliefs regarding death?
Illusion vs. Reality

What is reality and how is it constructed?
What tools can the individual use to judge the difference, or draw a line between, illusion and reality?
Language & Literature

How is our understanding of culture and society constructed through and by language?
How can language be powerful?
How can you use language to empower yourself?
How is language used to manipulate us?
In what ways are language and power inseparable?
What is the relationship between thinking and language? How close or far are they apart?
How does language influence the way we think, act, and perceive the world?
How do authors use the resources of language to impact an audience?
How is literature like life?
What is literature supposed to do?
What influences a writer to create?
What is the purpose and function of art in our culture?
How does literature reveal the values of a given culture or time period?
How does the study of fiction and nonfiction texts help individuals construct their understanding of reality?
In what ways are all narratives influenced by bias and perspective?
Where does the meaning of a text reside? Within the text, within the reader, or in the transaction that occurs between them?
What can a reader know about an author’s intentions based only on a reading of the text?
What are enduring questions and conflicts that writers (and their cultures) grappled with hundreds of years ago and are still relevant today?
How do we gauge the optimism or pessimism of a particular time period or particular group of writers?
Why are there universal themes in literature–that is, themes that are of interest or concern to all cultures and societies?
What are the characteristics or elements that cause a piece of literature to endure?
What distinguishes a good read from great literature?
Who decides the criteria for judging whether or not a book is any good?
What is the purpose of: science fiction? satire? historical novels, etc.?
Love & Sacrifice

If any, what are the boundaries of love and sacrifice, and where does one draw the line between them?
What are the factors that move individuals / communities / nations to great sacrifice and what are the consequences?
Nature in the Balance

What are the responsibilities of the individual / society / superpowers in regard to the health of the environment?  (local, regional, national or international context can be used)
What are the consequences of being unconcerned with nature’s balance/harmony?
Our View of the World and Ourselves

How do we know what we know?
What is changeable within ourselves?
How does what we know about the world shape the way we view ourselves?
How do our personal experiences shape our view of others?
What does it mean to be an insider or an outsider?
What does it mean to “grow up”?
Where do our definitions of good and evil come from?
What is the relevance of studying multicultural texts?
How does the media shape our view of the world and ourselves?
In a culture where we are bombarded with other people trying to define us, how do we make decisions for ourselves?
What turning points determine our individual pathways to adulthood?
Past, Present, and Future

Why do we bother to study/examine the past, present or future?
What are the recurrent motifs of history and in what ways have they changed or remained the same?
The Pursuit of Happiness

What is happiness, and what is the degree of importance in one’s life?
To what extent does a culture / society / subculture shape an individual’s understanding or concept of happiness?
Relationships and Community

What are the elements that build a strong friendship?
How do friendships change over time?
What impact does family have during different stages of our lives?
What can we learn from different generations?
How is conflict an inevitable part of relationships?
How do you know if a relationship is healthy or hurtful?
What personal qualities help or hinder the formation of relationships?
How are people transformed through their relationships with others?
What is community and what are the individual’s responsibilities to the community as well as the community’s responsibilities to the individual?
Shades of Truth

Who defines “truth”?
How does perspective shape or alter truth?

My brain; Grant’s; L. Beltchenko 2007-2008 and the Greece Central School District, New York; Many, Many Examples Of Essential Questions

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The Learning Network - The Learning Network Blog -

The Learning Network - The Learning Network Blog - | An Eye on New Media |
Teaching and Learning with The New York Times
Ken Morrison's insight:

Here is a good resource for teachers to both a) help bring current events into the classroom and b) help students analyze media.


Like Time magazine, it is wise for The Times to create teaching resources to help teachers and students.

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Why Kids Need Schools to Change

Why Kids Need Schools to Change | An Eye on New Media |
The current structure of the school day is obsolete, most would agree. Created during the Industrial Age, the assembly line system we have in place now has little relevance to what we know kids actually need to thrive. Most of us know this, and yet making room for the huge shift in the system that's necessary has been difficult, if not impossible because of fear of the unknown.
Ken Morrison's insight:

The author really hopes for change in these five areas:





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2014 Horizon Report

Ken Morrison's insight:

As in other years, the links of resources and stories at the end of each section make these predictions for easy to envision. 

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