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EduTech Smackdown Open Mic Night | The Daring Librarian

EduTech Smackdown Open Mic Night | The Daring Librarian | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it

Via gwynethjones, Dennis T OConnor
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Be there. Just be there.

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gwynethjones's curator insight, November 24, 2013 10:23 AM

I hope you'll add to the crowdsourced slide presentation & join us on Monday Night 8pm Eastern USA time to share your awesome ideas!

Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, November 24, 2013 1:01 PM

Don't miss this great event.  LIsten to the Power Librarians!

Teaching, Learning, Growing
For educators, about educators, by educators
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5 Things You Need To Know About The Future Of Math

5 Things You Need To Know About The Future Of Math | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Believe it or not, math is changing. Or at least the way we use math in the context of our daily lives is changing. The way you learned math will not prepare your children with the mathematical skills they need in the 21st Century. Don’t take my word for it. I [...]
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Apparently this is math week.


". . .but the skill that is in great demand today, and will continue to grow, is the ability to take a novel problem, possibly not well-defined, and likely not having a single “right” answer, and make progress on it, in some cases (but not all!) “solving” it (whatever that turns out to mean)." That is, by the way, the essence of the purpose of Common Core. Just sayin'.


Indirectly and directly this article argues for hands-on learning, whether you choose to filter that through gamification, using manipulatives, coding (Code.org), MakerMovement, genius hour, or all of the above. Provide students with fundamentals and a working hypothesis, and then let the students experiment and then discover the "why" and the "how." So much learning!!!!

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Learning to Work - Learning to Work - CIPD

Learning to Work - Learning to Work - CIPD | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Learning to Work
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

College and work place readiness are global concerns and this piece from the UK reminds us of that.


The Engage section particularly calls out to high schools and colleges/universities.

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Cornering a Missed Pocket of the Ed-Tech Market

Cornering a Missed Pocket of the Ed-Tech Market | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Entrepreneurs seeking to market to educators would benefit from understanding how new apps and tools align with schools’ day-to-day needs.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Let me sum up: when software (or any) vendor tries to be all things to you, you can scoff in their faces.


Remind them that "[e]ducators would be delighted to know that a product can do one thing reliably well rather than do everything with mixed or opaque results."


Call me when you're looking for that consultative assist.

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Should We Stop Teaching Calculus In High School?

Should We Stop Teaching Calculus In High School? | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Calculus has been a staple of high school math for decades, but do we really need it? Computer science and statistics are far more relevant, but the math curriculum today completely ignores both.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Before I offered any insight, I wanted to make sure I understood what calculus is so I looked for more information. I figure the folks at MIT should be a reliable source. Because I'm a research geek, I figured at least one more source might not hurt; I appreciate the algebra vs. calculus this link offers.


I think the author makes a compelling argument to focus on mathematics that make sense to prepare kids for the work place or for college. I wouldn't get rid of algebra altogether, but Andrew Hacker seems to suggest that algebra could use some retooling, too, to make it more appropriate for what most kids really need to know to be successful in the work place and college.

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How to bluff your way through the changes affecting English language teaching!

How to bluff your way through the changes affecting English language teaching! | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Andrew Dilger and Sophie Rogers, former English language teachers, are part of the Professional Development team at Oxford University Press. In this tongue-in-cheek post, they consider some of the ...
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Please note this is a "tongue-in-cheek post;" however, there are sound elements in the post.


The writers note "the way we handle the change remains the same. We rely on our experience and wealth of teaching techniques to get us through. ‘Change management’ consists of simply adapting what we’re already doing anyway. . . ." True that. And if the educators don't have a "wealth of teaching techniques," well, that's the role of relevant PD. (Call me)


"It’s all about shaping learning together." Also known as "collaboration." Teacher-to-teacher, student-to-student, teacher-to-student. Chat groups? We call those PLCs on this side of the pond (and then we mess them up by imposing weird constraints and unrealistic protocols; again, call me).


So though it claims to be somewhat facetious, it's actually quite realistic, and not just for English teachers.


I'd add a 6th: Don't panic. These authors offered several books and web sites as resources. If you've done any research at all, you know there are thousands. You cannot read them all. You will miss something, but it is not the end of the world. So find three or four books or web sites on which you can rely, work with your chat group or buddy system or PLC to share resources, but don't panic and don't waste time chasing resources that might not be of any use to you and your students. And call me.

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U.S. Gets Low Scores for Innovation in Education

U.S. Gets Low Scores for Innovation in Education | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
The U.S. ranked near the bottom in an exhaustive international comparison of educational innovation, but received high grades for use of assessments and parent engagement.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

First, this may be true; HOWEVER, I have to wonder what anyone means any more by the word "innovation."


Second, when so-called innovation occurs in Denmark, Indonesia, and Korea (the countries with the highest measure of innovation), the nature of the demographics and the size of the countries must be considered. How many ELL students are there and how many second languages are spoken in those countries? What are those countries policies for special needs students? What are the economic demographics of their schools? What kind of training do their teachers get? How do they measure their teachers' performance as educators? And, perhaps most importantly, in what state were their schools before whatever so-called innovations were implemented?


Third, how does one measure innovative pedagogic practices? Just because a teacher introduces something new doesn't mean it's innovative. And just because it's new and potentially innovative doesn't mean it's effective.

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Chart of the Week: Where engineering and English majors end up working

Chart of the Week: Where engineering and English majors end up working | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
A new Census Bureau data visualization depicts the relationships between undergraduate majors and types of occupations.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Some very interesting data and information here. Yep, even English majors can get good jobs in some amazing fields. That might have something to do with above average communication skills.

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Teachers' Practical Guide to A FLipped Classroom ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Teachers' Practical Guide to A FLipped Classroom ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

This is A guide for A way to flip a classroom. "This is only a paradigmatic example which you can adapt with due modifications to your own teaching situation."


Experiment. Figure out what works best for your students in your classroom for your learning objectives.

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The importance of a skilled 1%

The importance of a skilled 1% | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
FEW would challenge the proposition that human capital is fundamental to economic growth. Yet much evidence suggests that during what is arguably the most important...
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

". . the Industrial Revolution was carried not by the skills of the average or modal worker, but by the ingenuity and technical ability of a minority."


Interesting implications for our technology-infused classrooms, both K-12 and HE, and very interesting implications for CTE.

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The seven excuses teachers give for not being able to teach

The seven excuses teachers give for not being able to teach | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
As another teachers’ strike looms on July 10 it is worth setting out the reasons that teachers are unhappy with their profession. It’s not just because of conditions of service, pay, and pensions. Teaching…
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

The author uses the word "excuses" rather than "reasons" in the title, which is telling. The position of the writer, Dennis Hayes, is that teachers need to reject these excuses. I concur. At the same time Mr. Hayes debunks some of these excuses, he likely raises the ire of some educators, especially what he says about neuroscience. While some might not agree with what he says, I believe the subtext is that it's easy to hide behind an array of excuses rather than use our professional judgement and our training and do what's right and best for the kids. Period.


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The 10 Most Important Work Skills in 2020

The 10 Most Important Work Skills in 2020 | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Share this infographic on your site!
Source: Top10OnlineColleges.org

The 10 Most Important Work Skills in 2020

The 6 Drivers of Change
○ All of the 10 skil(...)
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

As educators prepare to think about revisions to their lesson plans for the 2014-2015 school year, as they consider how they might need to think differently about their students and their students' futures, they might take these skills into consideration.

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Students Say They Are More Motivated in Digital Learning Environments than Traditional Ones

Students Say They Are More Motivated in Digital Learning Environments than Traditional Ones | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON, June 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ Students in digital learning environments are more interested in what they are learning in school, more motivated to do well, and feel a stronger connection to their school than students in traditional, face-to-face classes, according to a report released today from Blackboard and Project Tomorrow . The study also found that boys are more likely than girls to take online classes.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

In some ways, this really shouldn't surprise anyone. Let's face it: there are kids who don't get much social interaction when they are in a school building every day. Because of technological capabilities, kids can interact with people AROUND THE WORLD and may, therefore, be in contact with those who truly fuel their interests and help them figure out their passions.

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Libraries and Adult Education Program Team Up on Digital Literacy | UpNext: The IMLS Blog

Libraries and Adult Education Program Team Up on Digital Literacy | UpNext: The IMLS Blog | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

As we're thinking about ways to build infrastructure and provide digital access to ALL students as well as their parents, perhaps districts can partner differently with local libraries and/or university libraries.

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An Open Letter to My Son’s Kindergarten Teacher

An Open Letter to My Son’s Kindergarten Teacher | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Greetings and Salutations!

We haven’t met yet, but we will meet soon. I need to apologize in advance because I am going…
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

READ THIS.


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Learning math? Think like a cartoonist. | BetterExplained

Learning math? Think like a cartoonist. | BetterExplained | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
What's the essential skill of a cartoonist? Drawing ability? Humor? A deep well of childhood trauma? I'd say it's an eye for simplification, capturing the
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

I LOVE this. I went to the cheatsheets link at the bottom of the page and went straight to Pythagorean Theorem. I have no explanation for that.


What I like best about this article and the cheatsheets is the style and tone. He doesn't speak down to anyone. He makes the concepts absolutely accessible and math-appropriate. And, most importantly, he makes it sound as though this is something you might have wanted to know your whole life.

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Why Do Americans Stink at Math?

Why Do Americans Stink at Math? | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
The Common Core should finally improve math education. The problem is that no one has taught the teachers how to teach it.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

For ANY so-called innovation, please keep this in mind: "The trouble always starts when teachers are told to put innovative ideas into practice without much guidance on how to do it. In the hands of unprepared teachers, the reforms turn to nonsense, perplexing students more than helping them."


This piece is basically a very long commercial for lesson study which is, in my opinion, a really good approach to teaching and learning. Call me. In the mean time, you can learn more about lesson study at http://www.tc.columbia.edu/lessonstudy/lessonstudy.html and http://www.lessonresearch.net/. I can recommend some books, too.

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Harvard Education Publishing Group - Home

Harvard Education Publishing Group - Home | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Raise your hand if you like going to meetings. Anyone? Anyone? Hmmm, I thought not.


You don't have to take it from me: the good folks at Harvard will tell you that meetings do matter. Think about why you don't like meetings: seem like a waste of time because of a lack of agenda, lack of organization, etc.


"Every day, millions of people gather in classrooms, faculty rooms, boardrooms, and (sometimes virtual) conference rooms to tackle problems that are so big that no individual can solve them alone."


The fact that we have substantial issues to discuss and from which to learn is reason enough for meetings, but if we are not conducted good, productive, engaging, and collaborative meetings with a clear purpose and appropriate facilitation, we shouldn't bother to have a meeting at all.

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Common Core test scores tell less about what children know than about how test makers decide to measure that knowledge

Common Core test scores tell less about what children know than about how test makers decide to measure that knowledge | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Scores on the new Common Core tests—just like those on earlier forms of assessment—reveal less about what children know than about the way test makers decide to measure that knowledge.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

I started to write my insights, but that commentary got too long so I wrote a blog post instead. http://www.irreverent-learning.com/2014/07/while-were-talking-about-assessments.html

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Education Department Launches $3 Million Evaluation of Khan Academy

Education Department Launches $3 Million Evaluation of Khan Academy | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
The U.S. Department of Education has launched a $3 million randomized control trial to gauge the effectiveness of Khan Academy, the now-ubiquitous online-learning site that popularized the "flipped classroom" model.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

There are likely implications for any online learning site, so it may  bear watching for the results of this study though its methodology for evaluation should be quite telling.

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Next time someone claims they're 'bad at math,' show them this study

Next time someone claims they're 'bad at math,' show them this study | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
A new study proves that people who are good at reading are also quite naturally talented at math.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

I believed that I was bad at math because I was a good reader and loved reading. . .and my mom believed she was bad at math. Turns out, while I'm not interested in abstract math and struggle some with statistics and probability, I am actually pretty good at math. After a career as a programmer and systems analyst, I even taught some math and computer science courses. Not bad for an English major. ;)

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Richard Branson: learning from failure. - YouTube

Richard Branson speaking with Seth Godin about learning from failure. http://innerpreneuring.com/report/2009/July/27/204/
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Even billionaires fail every now and then. The point seems to be not to take failure too seriously and to learn from it.

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Teaching Students, Not Standards or Programs

Teaching Students, Not Standards or Programs | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
If you believe shoddy commentary at The New York Times (and you shouldn't), we have more to fear from balanced literacy than the zombie apocalypse. The central problem with the sudden surge in assa...
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

I've serious educational whiplash. I remember when balanced literacy was all the rage and everyone thought it was the Best Thing Ever in education. Now, not so much. How does this happen?


This article is an interesting perspective on how media and politics meddle with and muddle education. Too many who are commenting on education reform and educational practices are not educators.


Teachers teach students, not standards and not programs. We should invest more time and energy in making sure our teachers have the skills they need to continue developing as educators. I once heard an innovation disrupter say that any good teacher could teach anything with three good novels. No formal curriculum, no standardized tests, no special programs, no specific standards. Fast forward a decade and let's change that word "novels" to texts, which could be in any media, fiction or non-fiction. Still no formal curriculum, etc. That might be too radical, but the really good teachers can probably do exactly that: teach anything with three good texts. Teach on!

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21st Century Work: Career-Readiness Isn't What It Used To Be

21st Century Work: Career-Readiness Isn't What It Used To Be | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
21st Century Work: Career-Readiness Isn't What It Used To Be
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Overlay those 10 most important work skills in 2020 (http://www.top10onlinecolleges.org/work-skills-2020/) with this.


Here's a thought for HS teachers and HE freshman composition teachers: share the 10 most important work skills in 2020 infographic with this article. They can pursue one of two tasks. 1) Create a series of interview questions for a specific position in a specific field and create a rubric for assessing interviewee answers. They need to explain why they think their questions are valid and how the rubric works. 2) Research a field of work in which they believe they are interested and examine at least three entry-level job descriptions for different organizations and for which they might want to apply. Analyze those job descriptions in context of the infographic and the te@chthought article to determine a) in what ways those jobs might change in the next few years and b) in what ways they believe they will be prepared for one or all of those of jobs and what else they might need to learn and/or know how to do to be a reasonable applicant for one or all of those positions.

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Why We Learn More From Success Than Failure

Why We Learn More From Success Than Failure | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Although most people talk about the "wisdom of failure," we often learn better when we're successful.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

Domino's refers to the cookie pizza as a failure in one of its commercials, using it as an example of how they learn from experimentation, which might end in failure.


Regardless of the context--school, life, business--we also learn from success.


"You can't be successful in a complex world without being intensely observational and responsive, but you also can't keep that success up without continuing to be vigilant and adaptable. . .To maximize learning in an organization you need abundant information or experiences that are rich in content and are available to learn from in a timely manner. So to fairly compare the wisdom of failure to the wisdom of success, we should ask some comparative questions about how learning from success of failure captures and processes information."


You can read the rest on your own, of course, but let me focus on this idea: To maximize learning, you need abundant experiences that are rich in content and are readily available.

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Is coding the new literacy?

Is coding the new literacy? | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Why America's schools need to train a generation of hackers.
Elaine Roberts, Ph.D's insight:

I find the current focus, even near obsession, with coding interesting yet disturbing. I was a coder for a long time. I wrote complex programs in assembly language that required overlays because of memory limitations. I learned a lot because of my career as a programmer and as a systems analyst. Is there value in knowing some fundamentals of coding? Sure. Will kids be able to use computers better if they know how to write code? I dunno. Does not knowing how to build a stove impede my ability to cook? Does not knowing how the power train in my car works impede my ability to drive? Conversely, does knowing how to check the air pressure and change the oil make me a better driver? Probably not.


I applaud the advocates for coding. Most of those folks are coders and LOVE what they do. But not every kid is going to love or even like coding. So before we say that coding is the secret sauce that will improve education, let's remember a) there is no secret sauce and b) one solution is not the answer for every student. By all means introduce coding and encourage every single kid to give it a go. But, as is the case with anything else, let's be sure we know why we're asking kids to learn to code and what we hope will be the outcomes of that learning.

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