:: The 4th Era ::
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Impact of the internet age on human culture and K-20 education policy/administration
Curated by Jim Lerman
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Introducing this work

Introducing this work | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

For the purposes of this site, the history of human interaction with information may be divided into 4 eras. The first (spoken) era ended with the invention of writing around 3000-4000 BC. The second era ended with the invention of the printing press in 1440. The third era ended, and the fourth began, with the invention of the Internet (depending how one defines its operational beginning) somewhere between 1969 and 1982. We now exist early, but decidedly, in the fourth era.

 

All readers may not agree with this interpretation of the history of information, especially with the division and numbering of the eras. That is not the main point. Rather, it is that humankind presently exists in an era distinctly different from the one that preceded it -- that in fact, this new era is accompanied with, and characterized by, a new - and quite different - information landscape. This new Internet information landscape will challenge, disrupt, and overpower the print-oriented one that came before it. It will not completely obliterate that which preceded it, but it will render it to a subsidiary, rather than primary, level of influence.

 

Just as the printing press altered humanity's relationship with information, thereby resulting in massive restructuring of political, religious, economic, social, educational, cultural, scientific, and other realms of life; so too will the advance of digital technology occasion analogous transformations in the corresponding universe of present and future human activity.

 

This site will concern itself primarily with how K-20 education in the US, and the people who comprise its constituencies, may be affected by this transformative movement from one era to the next. All ideas considered here appear, to me at least, to impact the learning enterprise in some way. Accordingly, this work looks at the present and the future through a lens that is predominantly, but far from entirely, a digital one. -JL

 

Opinions expressed, scooped, or copied in this Scoop.it topic are my own, or a result of my own judgment, and should in no way be understood to reflect those of my employer.

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Margaret Waage's comment, June 20, 2013 7:43 AM
Jim - I like your perspective. Great subject matter here!
Margaret Waage's comment, June 20, 2013 7:46 AM
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Azania Nduli-AmaZulu UbuntuPsychology.ORG's curator insight, July 8, 2013 6:24 PM

Beautiful!

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Coggins: Politicians Have Been Backing Away From Education Reform. Now Philanthropists Are Too, New Analysis Finds | The 74

Coggins: Politicians Have Been Backing Away From Education Reform. Now Philanthropists Are Too, New Analysis Finds | The 74 | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"Over the last several years, politicians at all levels of government have been moving away from issues of school reform that had dominated policy and political debate through the Bush-Obama era. Now, a new analysis from the nonprofit Grantmakers for Education finds the same trend among philanthropists who had been making up for shortfalls in public funding. Contributor Celine Coggins presents the findings and poses some key questions about what the lessons of the past decade might mean for the future of America’s schools."

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Mindfulness Won't Save Us. Fixing the System Will. :: ASCD

Mindfulness Won't Save Us. Fixing the System Will. :: ASCD | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
For educators to create classrooms where students can truly practice mindfulness, we must do the work to understand the challenges our students face, the world they inhabit, and our roles in it. We must learn the history of the community where we teach and create assignments where students share their voices, explore their hurts, or question themselves. We must open our classrooms to the full spectrum of human experience, both beauty and heartbreak.

Meditation and yoga are tools my students and I can use to prepare for, or feel restored after, difficult or emotionally charged work on social injustices. For example, when I am in a heavy discussion about race, mindful breathing and acknowledging my emotions helps me move away from feeling defensive or angry and toward a constructive conversation.

Mindfulness is not the solution; it's a tool. Simply because we are using these tools does not mean we can shirk our responsibility to work alongside our students to understand and fight systemic injustice. We must use mindfulness to restore us for the difficult but worthwhile path we walk with our students toward a society that provides them with everything they deserve.
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Morehouse Graduates’ Student Loans to Be Paid Off by Billionaire - The New York Times

Morehouse Graduates’ Student Loans to Be Paid Off by Billionaire - The New York Times | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
The 396 young men began the day as students in caps and gowns, ready to graduate from Morehouse College — full of hope, but burdened in most cases with the debts that financed their education.

Then their commencement speaker went off-script with an extraordinary pledge: the newly minted alumni of the historically black college in Atlanta would go forth into the world student debt-free.

Robert F. Smith, the billionaire investor who founded Vista Equity Partners and became the richest black man in America, told the crowd that he and his family would pay off the entire graduating class’s student debt, freeing them to begin their next chapter, whether it was a master’s program, a position with Teach for America or an internship at Goldman Sachs, without loan payments to worry about.
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Can You Measure the Value of College? New Gates Foundation Commission Will Try | EdSurge News

Can You Measure the Value of College? New Gates Foundation Commission Will Try | EdSurge News | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"GATES TO MEASURE COLLEGE VALUE: So what is college really worth? The Gates Foundation is tackling that question head-on with a new commission tasked with defining the value of higher education. But some worry whether the group’s stated focus on economic benefits will mean other yields of a liberal-arts education will be left out. "

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College Board to Add ‘Adversity Score’ to SAT in Hopes of Promoting Diversity | EdSurge News

College Board to Add ‘Adversity Score’ to SAT in Hopes of Promoting Diversity | EdSurge News | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"SAT SCORES STUDENT ‘DISADVANTAGE LEVEL’: The makers of the SAT have built a system that can send admissions officers an “adversity score” along with test results, to provide context about the environment the student lives in. “An SAT score of 1400 in East LA is not the same as a 1400 in Greenwich, Connecticut,” said Jeremy Singer, president of the College Board, which runs the college admissions test. Here’s a look at how this new score is computed, and how colleges in a pilot project are using it. "

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FCC CHAIRMAN PROPOSES CALL BLOCKING BY DEFAULT TO HELP COMBAT THE SCOURGE OF ROBOCALLS :: Press Release

FCC CHAIRMAN PROPOSES CALL BLOCKING BY DEFAULT TO HELP COMBAT THE SCOURGE OF ROBOCALLS :: Press Release | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"WASHINGTON, May 15, 2019—Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing bold action to help consumers block unwanted robocalls. He has circulated a declaratory ruling that, if adopted, would allow phone companies to block unwanted calls to their customers by default. In addition, companies could allow consumers to block calls not on their own contact list. The accompanying draft Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would propose a safe harbor for providers that implement network-wide blocking of calls that fail caller authentication under the SHAKEN/STIR framework once it is implemented.

 

“Allowing call blocking by default could be a big benefit for consumers who are sick and tired of robocalls. By making it clear that such call blocking is allowed, the FCC will give voice service providers the legal certainty they need to block unwanted calls from the outset so that consumers never have to get them,” said Chairman Pai. “And, if this decision is adopted, I strongly encourage carriers to begin providing these services by default—for free—to their current and future customers. I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this latest attack on unwanted robocalls and spoofing.”

 

"Today, many voice providers have held off developing and deploying call blocking tools by default because of uncertainty about whether these tools are legal under the FCC’s rules. Allowing default call blocking by voice providers could significantly increase development and consumer adoption of such tools. This blocking could be based on analytics and consumer “white lists.” Similar analytics are currently used by third-party developers in call blocking apps. Consumer white lists could be based on the customer’s own contact list, updated automatically as consumers add and remove contacts from their smartphones."

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The hero’s journey through the landscape of the future :: Deloitte

The hero’s journey through the landscape of the future :: Deloitte | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"RAPID advances in technology and the liberalization of public policy have shaped a world in which large companies face increasing performance pressure amidst sinking return on assets, intense competition, and changing workforce dynamics. Individuals are taking advantage of lowered barriers to market entry and commercialization to become creators in their own right.

 

"As a result, a new economic landscape is beginning to emerge in which a relatively few large, concentrated players will provide infrastructure, platforms, and services that support many fragmented, niche players. In this way, both large players and small will coexist and reinforce each other. Some parts of the economy will be more affected by fragmentation than others, and more quickly, but the fragmentation will be enduring rather than transitory. In this new landscape, much of the world’s economic value will be created by the relationships among participants. Therefore, it is less useful to look at any one company than to consider the dynamics that will develop among the large and small players.

 

"This changing landscape will have implications for companies and individuals. Large companies will likely play one of three roles in this new landscape: infrastructure providers, aggregation platforms, or agent businesses. Today’s large companies will need to assess whether the market for their core products or services is susceptible to fragmentation and choose where to focus in the future. The actions they take today can help to position themselves for the role they choose to play in the future. For individuals and small entities, the new landscape offers opportunities to transform the pressures of today into profitable new ventures."

 

Jim Lerman's insight:

 

A deep dive into our economic future. The notion of simultaneous centralization/concentration and fragmentation is quite evident at the present time, perhaps even more so than when the piece was originally published. I see these concepts as essential to understanding the evolution of the economic landscape as it impacts decisions made by individuals regarding work settings they may choose and the forces that drive them in one direction or the other.

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How You Can Tell If You Might Get Replaced By A Robot

How You Can Tell If You Might Get Replaced By A Robot | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"Our research is based on the idea that every individual’s work creates value in his or her day-to-day job.

"That value may be something a customer pays for, may enable co-workers to do their own jobs or may help the company to function internally. In any case, every job provides some degree of worth or usefulness to another party. The value is constant, but the way it is created and delivered to the end user can be threatened by automation and AI. Only after we’ve evaluated that can we determine how the coming wave of technological change will affect a job’s future prospects. To assess these threats, we need to break value down into two key components.

"First, value is created by the skills required to complete a job, such as a programmer’s ability to code or a painter’s knack at prepping a wall and applying paint cleanly. In general, we’ve found that when skills are standardized, they are more likely to be threatened by automation or AI.

"The second component of value, though, is separate from skills. It’s the method of delivering a job’s value to someone else, which can also be threatened by new technology. We call this “value form.”

""By considering these two threats together, workers can better assess if their jobs are at risk."

 

Jim Lerman's insight:

 

Yes, automation and AI are threats to many workers' jobs. This article adds a second dimension to analysis of these threats, that of "value form," or the ways in which a job's value is delivered. This yields an interesting 4-factor frame for analysis. If this general topic is of interest to you, this article offers a more refined analysis than what is usually found in the popular press.

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The Missing "One-Offs" : The Hidden Supply of High-Achieving, Low-Income Students :: Brookings Institution

The Missing "One-Offs" : The Hidden Supply of High-Achieving, Low-Income Students :: Brookings Institution | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"We show that the vast majority of low-income high achievers do not apply to any selective college. This is despite the fact that selective institutions typically cost them less, owing to generous financial aid, than the two-year and nonselective four-year institutions to which they actually apply. Moreover, low-income high achievers have no reason to believe they will fail at selective institutions since those who do apply are admitted and graduate at high rates.

 

"We demonstrate that low-income high achievers’ application behavior differs greatly from that of their high-income counterparts with similar achievement. The latter generally follow experts’ advice to apply to several “peer,” a few “reach,” and a couple of “safety” colleges.

 

"We separate low-income high achievers into those whose application behavior is similar to that of their high-income counterparts (“achievement-typical”) and those who apply to no selective institutions (“income-typical”). We show that income-typical students are not more disadvantaged than the achievement typical students. However, in contrast to the achievement-typical students, income-typical students come from districts too small to support selective public high schools, are not in a critical mass of fellow high achievers, and are unlikely to encounter a teacher who attended a selective college.

 

"We demonstrate that widely used policies—college admissions recruiting, campus visits, college mentoring programs—are likely to be ineffective with income-typical students. We suggest that effective policies must depend less on geographic concentration of high achievers."

 

Jim Lerman's insight:

 

This landmark study, published in 2013, was one of the first (if not the first) to document that "probably the vast majority of very high-achieving students from low-income families do not apply to a selective college or university." Some 6 years after publication of this paper, the problem continues to persist to very much the same degree.

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Activists want a San Francisco high school mural removed, saying its impact today should overshadow the artist's intentions

Activists want a San Francisco high school mural removed, saying its impact today should overshadow the artist's intentions | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
 

"For nearly a century, a massive mural by painter Victor Arnautoff titled “The Life of Washington” has lined the hallways of San Francisco’s George Washington High School.

 

"It may not be there much longer.

 

"The mural “glorifies slavery, genocide, colonization, manifest destiny, white supremacy [and] oppression.” So said Washington High School’s Reflection and Action Group, an ad-hoc committee formed late last year and made up of Native Americans from the community, students, school employees, local artists and historians.

 

"It identified two panels as especially offensive. One shows Washington pointing westward next to the body of a dead Native American. The other depicts slaves working in the fields of Mount Vernon....

 

"The mural’s detractors say that it dismisses the humanity of indigenous peoples. But why must it necessarily be read as dehumanizing to Native Americans? Could it not instead be seen as throwing into sharp relief the inhumanity of the founding fathers?"

 

Jim Lerman's insight:

 

This article brings into sharp focus a number of difficult questions. The controversy it describes is central to our current re-appraisal of the narrative of American history. That it is playing out in the context of a diverse, public high school named for George Washington causes the issues to be visible in a particularly dramatic fashion.

 

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THE EXPERIENCES OF PROGRESSIVE SCHOOL STUDENTS :: Dean Kloss

THE EXPERIENCES OF PROGRESSIVE SCHOOL STUDENTS :: Dean Kloss | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"Progressive schools have shown a remarkable resiliency in recent decades, continuing to operate as an alternative to the public schooling system. This study draws upon interviews with graduates of one small progressive school in Upstate New York to investigate how their schooling affected their subsequent lives. Alumni were asked to describe their educational experiences and the advantages and disadvantages they provided them with as they went on with their lives. The former students’ comments were overwhelmingly positive. Four advantages are described here---Community, Small Setting, Freedom, and Trust, along with two disadvantages-- -Limited Extra-Curricular Opportunities and Limited Socialization The author draws upon the work of Mollie Gambone and her, “Trusted to Teach: An Ethnographic Account of' Artisanal Teachers' in a Progressive High School,” to frame the results. Connections between her work and the interviews of these alumni are provided."

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David W. Deeds's curator insight, May 6, 4:27 AM

This is interesting. Thanks to Jim Lerman.

Hamza Yousaf's comment, May 6, 3:11 PM
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Warren wants to forgive student loan debt; it could help the economy :: Business Insider

Warren wants to forgive student loan debt; it could help the economy :: Business Insider | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a 2020 presidential candidate, has proposed erasing a good portion of student-loan debt and providing free public college.

Her plan, released last week, was met with mixed reviews on Twitter, with some users debating whether it was equitable to people who have already paid off their loans or who selected a different school to avoid education debt.

Meanwhile, some experts think a plan like Warren's could stimulate the US economy.

What the big deal with student debt?

"Student debt in the United States ballooned to $1.57 trillion in the last quarter of 2018. It's held by more than 40 million borrowers, according to the US Department of Education. In 2017, the average amount of debt held by a graduate was $28,500.

 

"This can lead debt-holders to postpone hitting some common benchmarks of adulthood (like buying a home), adding to long-term savings, or paying off other debt. CNBC reported that a Bankrate survey published earlier this year found that 73% of respondents had "delayed at least one major life milestone because of their student loan debt."

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Washington State Moves Toward Free and Reduced College Tuition, With Businesses Footing the Bill - The New York Times

Washington State Moves Toward Free and Reduced College Tuition, With Businesses Footing the Bill - The New York Times | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Washington State lawmakers have taken a major step toward offering free or reduced college tuition using funds from businesses there, including Amazon and Microsoft, in a move that is being applauded by policy analysts for its innovation and reach.

Last week, state lawmakers passed the Workforce Education Investment Act, which would raise almost $1 billion over a four-year period with a surcharge on companies that employ highly skilled workers, like accounting, engineering, architecture and consulting firms, and the technology behemoths that operate in the state.

The bill, which is before Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, would effectively provide free or reduced tuition for lower- and middle-income students attending community colleges and public institutions, provide new funding for strapped community colleges and eliminate wait lists for financial aid beginning in 2020.
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In These Rural Schools, the Computer Science Teachers Are Volunteers Who Work for Microsoft, Amazon and Google. That’s Opening Doors for Their Students | The 74

In These Rural Schools, the Computer Science Teachers Are Volunteers Who Work for Microsoft, Amazon and Google. That’s Opening Doors for Their Students | The 74 | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"A TECH TEACHING CORPS FOR RURAL SCHOOLS: While computer science is growing in U.S. high schools, one of the biggest barriers to access is finding experienced teachers. Microsoft TEALS has been trying to solve this problem for 10 years, especially for schools in rural areas. The organization recruits volunteer teachers from tech companies — like Google, Amazon and Microsoft — to present computer science lessons every morning with a classroom teacher.

 

"But because these tech volunteers often live in major cities, they teach lessons to students in rural schools by way of video conference. While the students said it was a little weird at first to get used to this style of teaching, they’ve started to view their teachers as mentors, learning about new careers, new college opportunities and new ways of thinking from them. Here’s how the program has affected students and teachers from central Washington to rural Kentucky."

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How Schools Can Spend Time More Wisely: 4 Big Tips From Daniel Pink

How Schools Can Spend Time More Wisely: 4 Big Tips From Daniel Pink | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
School and district leaders love using research to decide which curriculum to adopt or what kind of professional development to offer.

But educators—and professionals in just about every other field—often ignore research when it comes to thinking through how to use another precious resource: Time.

In fact, almost everyone, including K-12 leaders, think timing and scheduling is an “art,” said Daniel Pink, the best-selling author of When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. But really, it’s a “science.”

That’s the message Pink delivered to K-12 district leaders at Education Week’s Leaders to Learn From event this month. And it is a message he will likely continue repeating until people start paying attention.

“When we make our timing decisions we tend to make them based on intuition,” Pink said. “We tend to make them based on guess work. That’s the wrong way to do it. We should be making them based on evidence.”

And there’s a ton of research that shows how key timing is outside of education. For instance, you’re much more likely to get better medical care in the morning, since doctors are more prone to make mistakes in administering anesthesia or prescribing unnecessary antibiotics later in the day. And on a different note: Divorce filings spike at certain times of the year—March and August to be exact, Pink said.

So what does the research on timing suggest for K-12 educators? Here are four big takeaways.
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Opinion | The Rich Kid Revolutionaries - The New York Times

Opinion | The Rich Kid Revolutionaries - The New York Times | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
This country is rigged in favor of making the very wealthy even wealthier. That’s what Democrats keep saying on the 2020 campaign trail. And it’s what some of the people who have reaped the rewards of this rigged system think too. Abigail Disney, granddaughter of Roy Disney, is one recent high-profile example. On Tuesday, she called out the “naked indecency” of the $65 million in compensation that goes to Disney’s chief executive, Bob Iger. That figure, she noted, is “1,424 times the median pay of a Disney worker.”

A growing number of privileged young people, a generation younger than Ms. Disney, are also questioning the morality of their advantages and the social arrangements that produce them. Many are involved with Resource Generation, an organization for people under 35 who are in the top 10 percent through their own or their family’s income and wealth.
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How Goddard’s New President Plans to Save His Struggling Experimental College | EdSurge News

How Goddard’s New President Plans to Save His Struggling Experimental College | EdSurge News | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"BID TO SAVE EXPERIMENTAL COLLEGE: Bernard Bull has long been a champion of experimental higher ed models. And one of his biggest inspirations has been a tiny college in Vermont called Goddard College. Then one day Bull got offered a dream job to be its president. But he soon found out the famed college is broke, and in danger of closing. We asked Bull how he hopes to turn things around. Read here or listen on this week’s podcast. "

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If you use WhatsApp, Download latest version of software, now :: NY Times

If you use WhatsApp, Download latest version of software, now :: NY Times | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

WhatsApp disclosed a vulnerability in its software. The Facebook-owned messaging app, which is used by 1.5 billion people, said it discovered that hackers could install spyware on iPhones and Android phones just by placing a phone call through its app — even if the victim did not answer the call. The company released a patch for the vulnerability on Monday. What to do? Make sure to download the latest software update for WhatsApp, pronto.

[May 15, 2019]

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Harvard looking to help solve New York rural schools’ issues | Olean | oleantimesherald.com

Harvard looking to help solve New York rural schools’ issues | Olean | oleantimesherald.com | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Some New York rural schools are about to get an assist from Harvard University.

Harvard’s new National Center for Rural Education Research Networks (NCRERN) is looking to work with 30 rural school districts in New York state, as well as another 30 in Ohio, to create school improvement plans that address students’ chronic absenteeism, college readiness and college enrollment.

The 60 participating districts across the two states would identify, pilot and test solutions before eventually sharing them amongst a network of other rural districts.
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True Merit: Ensuring Our Brightest Students Have Access to Our Best Colleges and Universities :: Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

True Merit: Ensuring Our Brightest Students Have Access to Our Best Colleges and Universities :: Jack Kent Cooke Foundation | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"Thousands of low-income students every year graduate from high school with high grades, high test scores, and strong academic motivation but do not apply to selective colleges and universities. Our research shows that only 23 percent of high-achieving, low-income students apply to a selective school, compared with 48 percent of high-achieving, high-income students (Figure 8). Termed “under-matching” by researchers, many high-achieving, low-income students choose not to apply to schools whose student bodies have high levels of academic ability on par with their own, and instead apply to schools where the average student’s academic capacity is lower than their own."

Jim Lerman's insight:

 

This is the report that you may have heard about regarding the "undermatching" of high-achieving, low-income students with selective colleges and universities. It documents that, "Being admitted to a selective institution is actually harder for the high-achieving, low-income students than for others."

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Hattie's 2017 Updated List of Factors Influencing Student Achievement

Hattie's 2017 Updated List of Factors Influencing Student Achievement | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
In Hattie's 2017 updated list, you can discover new factors and the things that have changed since Hattie published his book Visible Learning.

Via Aysin Alp, Jim Lerman
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Most of America's rural areas are doomed to decline

Most of America's rural areas are doomed to decline | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Since the Great Recession, most of the nation’s rural counties have struggled to recover lost jobs and retain their people. The story is markedly different in the nation’s largest urban communities.

I’m writing from Iowa, where every four years presidential hopefuls swoop in to test how voters might respond to their various ideas for fixing the country’s problems.

But what to do about rural economic and persistent population decline is the one area that has always confounded them all.

The facts are clear and unarguable. Most of the nation’s smaller urban and rural counties are not growing and will not grow.

 

Jim Lerman's insight:

 

Fascinating infographics and data.

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The 10 Vital Skills You Will Need For The Future Of Work

The 10 Vital Skills You Will Need For The Future Of Work | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
To stay ahead of the curve and prepare to be relevant in the future workforce that will look very different than it does today and demand different things from human employees, it's time to assess your skill-set. Here are ten skills you will need for the future of work.

Via Nik Peachey, Jim Lerman
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Nik Peachey's curator insight, May 7, 9:41 AM

Great to see that creativity comes out at number 1!

Rachel Bellack's curator insight, May 17, 10:42 AM
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This tiny New England high school was just ranked second best in the country - The Boston Globe

This tiny New England high school was just ranked second best in the country - The Boston Globe | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"A small high school nestled in a tiny northern Maine town bordering Canada was named the second-best public high school in the nation Tuesday in US News & World Report’s annual rankings.

 

"Maine School of Science and Mathematics’ dean of enrollment Alan Whittemore was giddy with excitement Tuesday morning.

 

“We know what we’re doing up here, but for us, as a small school on the fringes of Maine, to be recognized nationally — for others to take hold of the data and say we’re worthy of being second in the nation — I’m still numbed by it. It’s a great feeling,” he said."

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Math test opt-outs high on Long Island for fifth year :: Newsday

Math test opt-outs high on Long Island for fifth year :: Newsday | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Nearly 68,000 elementary and middle school students in 95 districts across Long Island refused to take the state math test this week — 47.9 percent of students eligible in those systems to sit for the exam, according to responses this week to a Newsday survey sent to all 124 districts.

Friday was the end of the spring test season for most Long Island students in grades three through eight. It also marked the fifth straight year of large boycotts, with nearly half of the students opting out of exams both in math and in English Language Arts in the districts responding to the newspaper's surveys.The English test is given first, usually in April.

The exams, mandated by federal law and formerly known as Common Core tests, sparked a revolt by parents and educators that started on Long Island and spread statewide. Those opposed to the assessments say they do not accurately measure student achievement and are not developmentally appropriate, and that the tests and preparation for them take up far too much class time.

Over the years, the controversy became so heated that the state Board of Regents tossed the Common Core name and adopted a new set of academic benchmarks dubbed the Next Generation Learning Standards. Test days were shortened, and the exams now are untimed. In addition, questions were created, selected and reviewed by educators in New York.
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