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:: The 4th Era ::
Exploration of the new era in human history marked by invention of the Internet
Curated by Jim Lerman
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Open rebellion against standardized school tests in Texas | Opinion Blog | dallasnews.com

Open rebellion against standardized school tests in Texas | Opinion Blog | dallasnews.com | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Rodger Jones

 

"Saying high-stakes standardized testing is "strangling our public schools," superintendents of several high-performing North Texas school districts have jointly signed a letter to top state officials and lawmakers warning about the deterioration of the education system.

 

"Call it open rebellion against the 25-year-old testing regimen. Wow.

 

"The letter goes out to back up Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott, according to Coppell Superintendent Jeff Turner. Scott asserted recently that emphasis on high-stakes testing in some places had become a "perversion" of the system that lawmakers had in mind. Scott's comments about testing inflamed Texas Association of Business chief Bill Hammondand put the governor's office on edge."

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Study: MRI reveals brain function differs in math-phobic children

Study: MRI reveals brain function differs in math-phobic children | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Via HealthImaging

 

Summary from ASCD SmartBrief

 

"Researchers examined the functional MRI scans of 7- to 9-year-olds and found that those with math anxiety had different brain function, compared with those who didn't have math anxiety. The scans showed children with high math anxiety had lower activity in brain regions linked to working memory and numerical reasoning, but had higher activity in the amygdala and in sections of the hippocampus tied to the formation of new memories. The study was published in the journal Psychological Sciences."

 

(Please note, images for illustrative purposes only. -JL)

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Good elementary school teachers: They really can change your life.

Good elementary school teachers: They really can change your life. | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Ray Fisman in Slate

 

"A new study suggests that a good grade school teacher can boost college attendance rates, reduce teenage pregnancy, and increase a student’s earning potential."

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Arne Duncan: Newspapers Shouldn't Publish Teacher Ratings

Arne Duncan: Newspapers Shouldn't Publish Teacher Ratings | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Stephen Sawchuck in Education Week

 

Summary by Carnegie Perspectives

 

"Publishing teachers' ratings in the newspaper in the way The New York Times and other outlets have done recently is not a good use of performance data, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in an interview yesterday. "Do you need to publish every single teacher's rating in the paper? I don't think you do," he said. "There's not much of an upside there, and there's a tremendous downside for teachers. We're at a time where morale is at a record low. ... We need to be sort of strengthening teachers, and elevating and supporting them."

 

I certainly agree. Where is the upside to this? -JL

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Not #beyondthetextbook. #betterthetextbook | Bud the Teacher

Not #beyondthetextbook. #betterthetextbook | Bud the Teacher | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Bud Hunt

 

"The best textbooks moving forward are likely those that start with small building blocks from publishers, OER repositories, classrooms, websites, movie studios, and pretty much any other source for interesting information, and they become textbooks when they are hung onto a curriculum frame by a local school district. This might be done by a committee of teachers, or a small group of curriculum coordinators in a front office somewhere, but what important is that it’s not done by a salesperson seeking to please a state official in Texas or California. 

 

"The shift that I hope is coming in instructional sources is the local creation and curation of this stuff, followed by the local distribution of it to students. Some of this local curation work will be scalable and useful to other places – that is one advantage, for both business and school interests, of the Common Core State Standards. But lots of it won’t.

 

"If textbook companies want to sell us things for and in the rest of the 21st Century, they should be selling the building blocks of content. Small pieces. They should be selling expertise and guidance in how to create these local curriculum creation teams. They might sell the platforms that help us to put the pieces together and distribute them to our communities. Discovery actually does this now – and could lead in this area."

 

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Students footing more of bill for public higher ed  | ajc.com

Students footing more of bill for public higher ed  | ajc.com | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

by Justin Pope

 

"The "public" component of public higher education is rapidly eroding, with public colleges now getting more than 43 percent of their revenues from student tuition as opposed to state and local taxpayers, compared to less than 30 percent as recently as a decade ago.The figures come from a new report out Friday offering the latest snapshot of who pays the bill for America's public colleges and universities, which educate roughly 70 percent of students. SHEEO, a group representing state higher education officials, finds that amid surging demand for college, per-student state and local funding for higher education has fallen 12.5 percent over the last five years and reached its lowest point in the 25 years of the study."

 

Description by Carnegie Perspectives

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AT&T's $250 million to fight student dropout rate | SF Chronicle

AT&T's $250 million to fight student dropout rate | SF Chronicle | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Jill Tucker

 

"Telecommunications giant AT&T said it will contribute $250 million to help reverse what many see as a nationwide student dropout crisis.

 

"The initiative, AT&T Aspire, is the company's response to calls for more corporate philanthropy directed at fixing the nation's ills, said company officials.

 

"Ken McNeely, president of AT&T California, said the company chose to target student dropouts, because the problem has become a national crisis."

 

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Retracting "Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory" | This American Life

Retracting "Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory" | This American Life | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

PBS retracts its story about conditions at the Apple factory in China; seems that it's about as accurate as the "facts" about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. What a shame, all the way around. -JL

 

"This American Life and American Public Media’s Marketplace will reveal that a story first broadcast in January on This American Life contained numerous fabrications.

 

"This American Life will devote its entire program this weekend to detailing the errors in the story, which was an excerpt of Mike Daisey's critically acclaimed one-man show, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs." In it, Daisey tells how he visited a factory owned by Foxconn that manufactures iPhones and iPads in Shenzhen China. He has performed the monologue in theaters around the country; it's currently at the Public Theater in New York.

 

"Tonight’s This American Life program will include a segment from Marketplace’s Rob Schmitz, and interviews with Daisey himself. Marketplace will feature a shorter version of Schmitz's report earlier in the evening."

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The District Goes Digital: Leveraging Online Learning for Broader Student Achievement

The District Goes Digital: Leveraging Online Learning for Broader Student Achievement | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Free webinar Wednesday, March 20, 2012, 2-3 pm EDT. Webinar will be archived for 6 months after event.

 

"In this special webinar, brought to you by K12 Inc., Kim McClelland, Assistant Superintendent of Falcon School District 49 in Colorado Springs, will discuss how her district leveraged lessons learned from the implementation of a full-time, online virtual school to address a much broader spectrum of student needs. Opening the district’s Falcon Virtual Academy in 2010 helped tackle the challenges of a crowded district and improve student performance.

 

"Based on the success of that experience, McClelland and her team took online learning to the next level. Now, as Innovation Leader for the district’s iConnect Innovation Zone, McClelland and her team have developed nine additional part-time and blended learning schools and programs, meeting more individualized learning needs of more students. Next up for the district is the addition of online credit recovery, RTI interventions, gifted-and-talented enhancement, and foreign-language programs."

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7 districts to test use of Xbox 360 to teach academic subjects -- THE Journal

7 districts to test use of Xbox 360 to teach academic subjects -- THE Journal | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"Teachers in seven school districts the United States are taking part in a pilot program that uses Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox 360 to teach math, language arts, history, geography, science, and physical education, and also to help special needs students.

 

"Microsoft has assembled a library of 200 ready-to-use classroom activities there were designed by pedagogy experts and align with Common Core State Standards. The activities are based around a small number of Xbox 360 games, such as Kinect Adventures, Kinect Sports, National Geographic Challenge, and Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster. Teachers can browse through the activity library on the Kinect in the classroom site to identify activities by subject area, age range, and associated Kinect for Xbox 360 game."

 

Via SmartBrief on EdTech   By Leila Meyer

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What America Manufactures

What America Manufactures | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"It's a myth that the U.S. doesn't make anything anymore."  The U.S. economy still produces more through manufacturing tangible goods ($1.5 trillion) than it does in providing services ($600 billion) for the international market.  The maps and graphs in this article are great teaching materials.  The impact of NAFTA is shown powerfully in the regionalization of U.S. trade partners, making this salient material for a discussion on supranationalism as well.   


Via Seth Dixon, Karen Kelly
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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 11, 2013 7:09 PM


This is great because now we can witness the creation of jobs in the country which can help the country get out of the depression that it is in. it also can help people get jobs and not have to worry about if there unemployment check is going enough to cover there expenses. Also people that are working are less likely to get depressed because they are not trapped in there homes because now they have something that is distracting them. But the United States is seeing a great improvement because of all the things being manufactured here. One good example is the Honda accord power plant and the ford motor company plant and even general motors in Detroit. all of these companies is helping the Americans get back into the workforce.

Nicholas Patrie's curator insight, September 10, 3:05 PM

i was surprised to see that our country still exports so many products. What i find even more surprising is that the top countries that are buying our good are our bordering countries, Canada and Mexico. As much Petroleum we receive from the middle east we still are exporting so much of it to Canada and Mexico. It seems that foreign cars such as ones from Japan are taking over the industry yet our top export to Canada is car parts. it is good to see that America still exports.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 12:03 PM

I was surprised and reassured to see how much the U.S. exports to other parts of the world.  I was unaware that the U.S exported to China because we physically surrounded by items made in China. Although our imports exceed exports, we are still producing,

 

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Learning with 'e's: Shock of the new

Learning with 'e's: Shock of the new | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Teachers in many schools will tell you they are running hard just to stand still as they attempt to adopt new technologies for learning. It is a real struggle to keep up with the rapid pace of change that defines the digital age. Often, this is a bewildering process, and one which many teachers try to avoid. And yet, with a clear framework or roadmap for adoption, many of the challenges of adopting new technology can be met, and many of the fears teachers have can be assuaged.


Via Donna Browne, michel verstrepen
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eSchool News » ‘Mass Customized Learning’: The key to education reform? » Print

eSchool News » ‘Mass Customized Learning’: The key to education reform? » Print | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

by Meeris Stansbury

 

"During the American Association of School Administrators’ National Conference on Education [2]Julie Mathiesen, director of Technology & Innovation in Education (TIE), a professional development organization based in Rapid City, S.D., argued that the only way to achieve true education reform is to redesign student learning from class time to curriculum, and from teaching styles to learning spaces.

 

"A key way to accomplish this reform, said Mathiesen, is to implement “Mass Customized Learning,” in which the instruction is tailored to each student’s needs and interests. And technology helps make this mass customization possible through personalized digital learning.

 

“The current Industrial Age system of education is working perfectly,” she said, “if you’re looking for 25 percent skilled and 75 percent unskilled students—[or] if you’re looking to have around one million students fail to graduate high school every year. We need to completely revamp the system.”

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NJ Spotlight | Opinion: One-Size-Fits-All Legislation Won't Solve Separate But Unequal

NJ Spotlight | Opinion: One-Size-Fits-All Legislation Won't Solve Separate But Unequal | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Interesting commentary by Laura Waters, President of the Lawrence Township School Board in NJ, and blogger on NJ education policy and politics at NJLeftBehind.com.

 

In this piece, Waters argues in favor of the Christie administration's pursuit of targeted state policies and programs for school districts, based primarily on their track records of achievement (or lack thereof). This is certainly a departure from the typical one-size-fits-all approach of many state governments' educational policy. -JL

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Lyndhurst to equip district students, faculty with iPads - NorthJersey.com

Lyndhurst to equip district students, faculty with iPads - NorthJersey.com | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Michael Lamendola

 

Summary by SmartBrief on EdTech

 

"A New Jersey school district has announced plans to purchase 1,400 Apple iPad 3 devices, which will be issued to middle- and high-school students. The tablet computers also will be distributed to school faculty, beginning next month, and representatives from Apple are expected to conduct training sessions for educators. "This will take Lyndhurst education to the next level," superintendent Tracey Marinelli said."

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MERISOTIS: Higher education’s Kodak moment | Washington Times

MERISOTIS: Higher education’s Kodak moment | Washington Times | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Description by Carnegie Perspectives

 

"Lumina President Jamie Merisotis writes in The Washington Times: The recent bankruptcy declaration by Kodak, one of the nation’s most trusted brands for consumers, which once held a market share in excess of 90 percent, is stunning. Kodak mistook America’s century-long love affair with its products as a sign of market permanency, missing the fact that camera phones, flip cameras and online sharing would erode its brand and render it irrelevant. American higher education should take heed because it is facing a similar challenge, with implications far more important than the loss of a major corporation."

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The Academies at New Milford High School

Eric Sheninger has emerged as a significant educational leader in recent years. As principal of New Milford HS in New Jersey, he has championed social media and 21st century skills as the keystones of the school's continuing transformation.

 

In Fall 2011, NMHS launched 3 academies as a kind of schools within a school -- not a new concept by any means. But read this brochure and see the nuanced ways so many elements have been built into this academy concept: badges, elevation of the status of teaching, seamless technology integration, personalization, performance assessment, and more.

 

A wonderful example of problem identification followed by creative problem solving. Without a clear analysis of what issues needed to be addressed, a prescription for change this powerful could never have been put together.

 

Great work. -JL

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A response to the crisis of our time | Education Revolution | Alternative Education Resource Organization

A response to the crisis of our time | Education Revolution | Alternative Education Resource Organization | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Ron Miller

 

A deeply thoughtful, long-form piece on many topics; not the least of which is the need to avoid proven, standardized, technocratic, specific methods and techniques in education (-JL):

 

"What I am saying is that from a holistic perspective, we need to understand all perspectives, all methods—and the ways these are implemented—within their historical and cultural context. Since we live in a civilization that worships technique and standardization, it is very difficult to put ideals into practice in a truly organic way, a way that is responsive to the unpredictable rhythms of life. The fact is that both Montessori and Steiner advised educators to pay close attention to the actual experiences and spontaneous growth of live children, and they suggested their methods as appropriate responses to the children they observed in their societies at their moment of history."

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U.S. H.S. Grad Rate Increases 3.5% | Huffington Post

U.S. H.S. Grad Rate Increases 3.5% | Huffington Post | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Kimberly Hefling

 

"Aggressive efforts to prevent students such as Burke from dropping out contributed to a modest 3.5 percentage point increase nationally in the high school graduation rate from 2001 to 2009, according to research to be presented Monday at the Grad Nation summit in Washington. The event was organized by the children's advocacy group America's Promise Alliance founded by former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

 

"The graduation rate was 75 percent in 2009, meaning 1 in 4 students fails to get a diploma in four years, researchers found. That's well below the organization's goal of 90 percent by 2020."

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State and Local Spending on Higher Education Sank to 25-year low in 2011 | The Chronicle of Higher Education

State and Local Spending on Higher Education Sank to 25-year low in 2011 | The Chronicle of Higher Education | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Eric Kelderman

 

"As if anyone associated with public higher education needed a reminder, 2011 was a lousy year for higher-education finance.

 

"A new report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers confirms just how awful it was: State and local money for higher education fell to a quarter-century low for the second consecutive year, while enrollments continued their climb to record highs.

 

"From the beginning of the recession, in the 2007-8 fiscal year, through the 2011 fiscal year, college enrollment increased nationally by 12.5 percent, to 11.5 million students, the report says. But state and local appropriations have decreased by $1.3-billion over the same period.

 

"The national average for combined state and local support is now down to $6,290 per full-time student—2.5 percent less than in 2010 and the lowest amount in the past 25 years, the report concludes."

 

"Largely to make up for the loss of state and local dollars, tuition revenue per student reached $4,774 in 2011, an all-time high, according to the report. Over the past 25 years, the percentage of educational revenue supported by tuition has climbed steadily, from 23.2 percent in 1986 to 43.3 percent in 2011."

 

(graph above for illustrative purposes only...does not reflect actual data. -JL)

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The New Digital Realism: Retina Display, Lytro and Senseg | Endless Innovation | Big Think

The New Digital Realism: Retina Display, Lytro and Senseg | Endless Innovation | Big Think | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Dominic Basulto

 

"And it’s not just Apple. Just days before the demo of the Retina Display to Apple fans, Lytro unveiled its groundbreaking new “light field photography” camera capable of capturing the world’s images at an unprecedented level of reality. This is not just about upgrading to more megapixels on your camera -- the Lytro camera takes a fundamentally new approach to photography:"

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Dropouts 'UnCollege' Path to Success | Voice of America

Dropouts 'UnCollege' Path to Success | Voice of America | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"For many people, attending college is part of the American dream, a gateway to success and a good job. But, as many recent college graduates are learning the hard way, dreams don't always become reality.

 

"It didn't take a diploma for twenty-year-old Dale Stephens to figure that out. Disillusioned with college because he felt he was not getting the skills he wanted, he dropped out and started "UnCollege," a social movement that challenges the notion that college is the best path to success."

 

By Deborah Block

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Re-envisioning Modern Pedagogy: Educators as Curators

Robin Good: A great presentation by Corinne Weisberger and Shannan Butler on the emerging role of educators as curators and about the steps involved in creating valuable curated learning pathways.

Curator: Someone who plans and oversees the arrangement, cataloguing, and exhibition of collections. S/he describes and analyzes valuable objects for the benefit of researchers and the public.


Via Paulo Simões, Gust MEES, Robin Good
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Vision 2020: Transformation in Delta Schools - Inspired Learning

In this video, take a close look at a day in the life of students at Delta Secondary School and Delta Youth Forum. In this model, learn how student interests drive their learning in a British Columbia school district where they are personalizing learning.


Via Kathleen McClaskey, Norton Gusky, Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
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5 Tell-Tale Signs You're Becoming a Teacher Leader | Education Week

5 Tell-Tale Signs You're Becoming a Teacher Leader | Education Week | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Marsha Ratzel

 

"How do you know you're ready to become a teacher leader? Will a trusted colleague tap you on the shoulder and say, "It's time!"? Do you have to get so frustrated by something that you simply must speak up and work toward a solution? Maybe—but sometimes the signs are subtler. Here are a few things that may signal that you're on the road to becoming a teacher leader:"

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