Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 12/02/2013

The ongoing discussion of engaging Introverts in education continues with Elena Aguilar's telling post at Edutopia. Poverty is also a hot topic as the US works to increase college applications from low income students and the PBS tells the story of the heartbreak and heartache caused by poverty in the Philadelphia school systems. School supply drives are important so that all kids can have what they need to learn. Meanwhile, things are tough all over as a UK educator ponders the pressure of testing and the negative impact on teaching and learning and Pernille Ripp shares why she will give the tests (even though she doesn't like them.) Miguel Guhlin writes an epic post on surviving transition that is for any educator struggling through transitions and tough times – we're all there at some point in our careers.

I noticed lots of sharing of teacher / former interior designer Erin Klein's work with classroom design so I share the post that is going around and a 10 minute interview I did with her where she shares why cluttering up the walls is the WRONG thing for elementary teachers to do.

In “Excellence in Teaching” today, there are many things you can watch and read to make you a better teacher. Watch videos from BBC Wales about how Finnish teachers are really educating kids and view some funny gifs trending on Tumblr about great teachers. Teacher Pana Asavavatana from Tapai Emerican School shares how she's using Aurasma and Chatterpix with her kindergarteners and we have the name and an interview with the teacher who made her own picture a lesson for the world: Julie Culp from Nashville. Justin Tarte has 7 proven strategies that will engage students and Joli Barker shares her 3 steps to a Fearless Classroom. Dawn Casey-Rowe talks about how she overcomes in a tough classroom situation to innovate and create. Project Based Learning Expert, Suzie Boss, finishes up a trip to American School of Bombay in India and shares her reflections over at Edutopia. Meanwhile, a cool new site has emerged, Eduslam, with short, quick easy to implement ideas like the Kathy Cassidy video about how she uses efolios with her young students. Meanwhile, design thinking is being celebrated in schools with a database listing the K12- higher ed schools offering design thinking as part of their curriculum.

Then, as we sharpen your brain, take a look at Mind Tools to improve your career skills and at Info is Beautiful to look at interesting visualizations of big data. I love Lifehacker's “25 Websites to make you cleverer” and have been tinkering with some of these this weekend.

I've got a whole spate of resources for Hour of Code including coding games for the little ones and ideas for all ages as you prepare for the Hour of Code next week. (more on this later).

Then, we close up today's news with Mia MacMeekin, an educator emerging as one of the best infographic makers I know. (You'll want to add her to your RSS reader.) Two new research studies on mobile learning will be discussed and shared by everyone. Finally, a great infographic relating the SAMR Model to the Common Core.

I'm back to school today and haven't had time to add the Twitter handles to this post but I'll try to come back to it later today. Meanwhile, I wanted you to get all the goodies from this weekend. Lots of educational topics were trending on Twitter over the weekend. It looks like many of us used the weekend to share, retweet, and discuss. Let me know in the comments if you like this format for Daily News – it is still evolving.

Have a great week and remember to keep up the intensity — some of the best teaching happens when others relax (I see it that students have more energy for me!)

Teachers rock! Education is important. Learn something new every day.

–Vicki @coolcatteacher

Introverted Teachers and Students in Education

  • The Power of Introverts: An Essential Understanding for Teachers | Edutopia

    This book continues to be discussed heavily in education. I love Elena Aguilar's poignant discussion of the book on her blog at Edutopia. Wow.

    Elena writes:

    “About a year ago, I read Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. I wanted to tell everyone about this book right away, but I also wanted to let what I'd learned sink in. I wanted to sit alone with my new self-awareness, process my experience, and absorb the revelations I'd had — all in true introverted fashion. See, as I'd read Cain's book, my predominant thoughts were, “She's describing me! I'm an introvert! And there's nothing wrong with that!” The margins of my copy are littered with stars, exclamation points, and scribbles that, as I look back, reflect my profound relief and gained understandings.”

    This would be a great book for education book clubs to consider. Just make sure you take time to let everyone share and reflect and include even the introverts in the conversation – though they may say less, they may actually have more to say than we truly understand.

    tags: education news introverts all_teachers

Poverty, Pressure, and Education: Helping Every Child Succeed in Education

  • Encouraging more low-income and first-generation students to earn a degree

    While not everyone community is as forward thinking as Kalamazoo, Michigan (which gives every child in that community a free college education at a public university of their choice in Michigan), helping children from low income families apply for college is imperative. I love this article because it gives practical advice and discusses the issues as well as some creative approaches. I think that the least communities could do is fund college application fees for low income students… helping kids go to college is a start, but a very important one.

    From this AP Article from NBC Latino…
    “Yet, nationally, about half of high school graduates from families making below $18,300 enrolled in college in 2012 compared to about 80 percent of those whose families earned above $90,500, according to the College Board.
    In Washington, where Duarte lives, only 30 percent of high school graduates go to college – a lower percentage than the number who drop out of high school, despite the city having the highest level of college attainment in the nation, according to the College Board.
    Nearly all the students at Roosevelt qualify for free or reduced lunches.
    To help create a college-going culture, a bulletin board near the school’s front doors features the names of seniors and the colleges they were accepted to. College acceptances are announced over the intercom.”

    tags: education news edreform college highered

  • Unrelenting Poverty Leads To ‘Desperation' In Philly Schools : NPR

    This NPR article on the school situation in Philadelphia is heart wrenching. Poverty impacts everyone, especially children. For those who have never seen it, it is hard to understand. I remember in Mumbai, seeing kids with a tiny notebook and pencil down to the nub that had been used the whole school year – kids were erasing unimportant things (if they still had an eraser) to add more to their notebooks. Yes, there are many places that desperately need school supplies and help and Philadelphia is one of the many cities who are really struggling. Take time to read/listen and understand and set up this holiday season to help.

    “”Clothing, books, all of the school supplies, backpacks,” Kantor says. “And you see some kids that are really suffering. Some kids don't ever have a dime. They have one pencil, they have a spiral book, and they don't have any of the supplies.”

    Other teachers say they've had to bring in cleaning supplies — even toilet paper.

    But lots of nonmaterial things gnaw at Kantor: She says some parents, many of them single moms, seem overwhelmed and disengaged. Kantor says she knows they're stressed out and tries to reach out by phone, but is too often left discouraged.”

    tags: education poverty Philadelphia recession joblessness

  • Secret Teacher: low morale and high pressure leaves no time for inspiration | Teacher Network | Guardian Professional

    These heartbreaking words from a teacher in the UK. As the world tries to improve education by the numbers, the world has forgotten kids aren't numbers. They are precious, individual and unique and deserve education systems that celebrate and encourage that. OK, teachers, it is time to man the media – you are the media now! Are you fed up yet? It might not be you right now, but if you don't speak, it will be, wherever you teach, such stories impact us all and the profession we care for so much.

    “As a teacher, I vowed that I would work hard to nurture my students, to make each and every student feel valued and for them to know that they have a voice, and a place in the world.

    However the last two years have made me feel like that insecure 14-year-old again: I have lost my confidence because of the overly-rigid current education system. We are constantly being told we are not good enough and that we are not doing enough: enough intervention, enough rigorous marking, enough sustained and rapid progress.

    What excited me the most about becoming a teacher was discovering the hidden talents and sparks of genius in my students. However, it breaks my heart to say this, but I feel that I no longer have time, nor am I encouraged to make these discoveries.

    We are so caught up with data and so many progress checks that we don't give our students the time to shine. I wonder what would happen if the greats of the world like Einstein, Gaudi, Picasso and Martin Luther King were to attend school in 2013, would they be able to cultivate their talents and thrive?”

    tags: education news edreform UK all_teachers

  • Why I Will Not Refuse to Give the Tests | Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension

    Pernille Ripp's poignant post shares why more teachers don't refuse to give the tests. Unless it is done en masse, it can't really be done. That said, parents can refuse to have their children take the test without repercussions and in fact, a national opt out movement is brewing.

    “If I were to refuse administering these state mandated tests, I would get in trouble.  That is an absolute guarantee.  And while I have never been one to shy away from too much controversy, the kind of trouble this time would be much bigger than a write up.  I could even lose my job for failing to do my duties.  To some that may not seem like a big deal, after all, I should be standing up for my students and their rights, my own opinions, I should protect those children that I teach from the tests.  But my job is vital to my own children.  My job is our health insurance.  My job gives us just enough money so that we can pay our bills.  I wish my husband had a huge paying job, he doesn’t, and so we are a very dependent two income family.  So losing my job refusing tests just isn’t something I can rationally do and in a sense, I am not sure I should be the one refusing the tests anyway.”

    tags: education news testing edreform

  • Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org: Keys Changing Hands – 7 Tips for Surviving Leadership in Transition #edchat

    If you're dealing with leadership transitions in your district, Miguel Guhlin has penned a pretty epic post. In it, he is blunt about the ups and downs of working with great leaders, and “hatchet men.” IN the post, he also includes steps to making staff development actually work and his frustration to be asked to read books that no one else read or implemented. This is a great post and one that leaders should read (so they can be visionary) and staff and teachers should read (so they can find wisdom for making it through tough transitions.) Every transition is tough – I've been through several myself during my 12 years and even when the leader is a very good one, it is hard to do and endure because so many people take their “eye off the ball” and the ball is learning in the classroom. Drama in the front office should be kept at a minimum so classroom learning can be kept at a maximum.

    tags: education edreform leadership all_teachers

Classroom Design:  Is clutter keeping kids from learning?

Excellence in Teaching: Learn from the Best

  • Creating a Fearless Classroom In Three Steps

    Joli Barker, author of the Fearless Classroom Blog, talks about how to become a fearless classroom in 3 steps. She's an inspirational practicing classroom teacher and I've blogged about her before. Just amazing what she does with technology, writing, and improving her classroom.

    tags: education teaching edreform

  • One on One With a Teacher on the Leading Edge

    A show I recorded with Dawn Casey-Rowe, an overcomer who is using technology (and kickboxing too). She gives advice on transforming classrooms to demands all teachers face. She shares her thoughts about leading, learning, and embracing education technology.

    tags: education news edreform bestpractices

  • In India, a School that Empowers Students and Teachers | Edutopia

    I'm a huge fan of the American School of Bombay and visionary Shabbi Luthra – this article on Edutopia from PBL expert Suzie Boss captures so much about this amazing school that uses laptops at a very young age in ways that empower students to learn, create, and share. Shabbi is passionate about bringing the best to her school but also shares expects that what is brought and discussed there will be used. Such a great school – it is well worth attending ASB Un-Plugged when they host it just to see what they are doing. It is hard to find a better school anywhere in the world.

    tags: education news asb unplugged best practices edreform bestpractices

eLearning Tools, Sites, and Techniques

Hour of Code Resources: Teach Computer Science to Every Child

Education Infographics and Experts

  • Mia MacMeekin makes amazing infographics and so much more. She's worth following on Twitter and you definitely want to add her to your RSS Reader — she's been making infographics for a while and some of her recent ones are awesome (and some older ones – admittedly, I need to go through all of them.) Thought you'd want to know about her to follow her – she's @MiaMacMeekin on Twitter.

    tags: education news infographics teaching

  • Mia MacMeekin at “An Ethical Island” has made a profound infographic “27 Ways to innovate” that you'll want to share and read.I love the quotes and suggestions throughout this graphic which is inspiration, insightful, and very motivational.Why not get each teacher to pick something and come back together and discuss.

    tags: innovation education teaching creativity matters

Mobile Learning Research: 2 New Studies

  • Two studies were released in an attempt to “quantify the benefits of mobile technology in education and the infrastructure needed…”

    In these students students had tablets and Internet access at home and at school. Of course, I'm not sure that it is tablet computers that give benefits, Internet access, cloud computing, or a combination, but I'm sure these studies will be touted by many far and wide. Of course, remember if they had strapped the tablets to the kid”s back and hadn't used them – they would have had lower scores. All improvement is all in how technology is being USED to teach.

    “The studies put Android tablets in the hands of students and their teachers in two schools — eighth-graders at Stone Middle School in Fairfax County Public Schools and fifth-graders at Falconer Elementary School in Chicago Public Schools — and provided wireless access to the students both in school and away from school. (The devices were HTC Evo tablets.) Researchers then followed the students' activities over the course of a year, with the aim of evaluating “how access to these devices for communication with teachers and classmates increases comfort with technology, extends the learning day, and allows students to develop digital citizenship skills within a safe and secure learning environment.””

    tags: education news mlearning mobile devices bestpractices research

SAMR Model and the Common Core Infographic

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Kevin Homstad December 10, 2013 - 10:01 pm

I read the book Quiet by Susan Cain because I am always interested in how to best “fit in” and succeed as a person who considers himself at times an introvert and at times an extrovert. I learned that there are not clear-cut lines that separate introverts from extroverts. I also learned, though I did not expect to,things that impact my work as a teacher.

I have recommended this book to several parents already this year as they discuss with me the challenges and successes of their “shy” child. Though our society seems to have a bias for extroversion, introversion need not be a negative thing nor an impediment.

My teaching has also changed. I feel that there is so much emphasis on collaboration and group work that we may be making the school day more difficult for introverts than it need be. I try to regularly give kids time to independently process learning before putting them into a group. This book would be a great read for all teachers.

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