Monday, February 24, 2014

What I Learned @teachSDA

Monday night at 8pm we will talk about teacher training.  What works?  What doesn't?  How should we be preparing teachers to succeed?   "Confronting the Crisis in Teacher Training"  We just finished teacher observations this past week at my school so this is fresh on my mind.  I will be including several apps that make it easy to organize observations.

Observation App Round up:
1. GoObserve(tm) Classroom Observation and Walkthrough Tool
GoObserve enables school administrators to conduct their classroom Observations and Walkthroughs in a totally mobile and paperless environment. By connecting user accounts, GoObserve with GoCloud service creates analytics gauging performance trends at the department, school, district, and even state levels.

2. iAspire can be customized to meet the evaluation needs of your school. Save time by using iAspire to observe, evaluate, take notes, aggregate information, and share evaluation data instantly.

3. Observation 360
Observation 360: The Observation and Evaluation Component of the Educator Effectiveness System.

4. iWalkObservation v5 is premium FileMaker application for school administrators, teacher leaders and instructional coaches designed for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Apple or PC laptops. Twelve observation tools are fully customizable allowing you to focus on your school's and district's priorities, crafting teacher and student lookfors based on your curriculum, best practices, and student goals

Now for the education articles:
1. Indiana Vouchers Will Help Fix Church Steeples
The recent post regarding St. Jude's Catholic School/Church's reconfiguration of tuition has brought attention to how the Catholic Schools might restructure their management of the funds being distributed to their schools from the state.

2. RESPONSE TO ARTICLE #1: The recent post regarding St. Jude's Catholic School/Church's reconfiguration of tuition has brought attention to how the Catholic Schools might restructure their management of the funds being distributed to their schools from the state. As a tax-paying citizen, I have some issues with what was proposed in this post. Also, as a parent and member of the Catholic Church, I also have some serious reservations about this model. 

3. See How Our Educators Down Under Encourage Leadership Training.
The 360 Reflection Tool describes fifteen attributes that are evident in the behaviours and actions of high performing principals and school leaders.  Using the 360 Reflection Tool provides principals, school leaders and aspiring school leaders with the opportunity to connect with the Australian Professional Standard for Principals (486KB PDF) and gather formative feedback on the leadership behaviours they exhibit in their daily work.

4.Turning around schools: it can be done
Some of Australia’s most troubled schools are turning around their performance to achieve remarkable results. Formerly marked by behaviour problems, low expectations and poor staff morale, these schools are implementing reforms that make them models for all low-performing schools. These schools are thriving not just because their leaders are often inspirational, but because they have followed the same path as turnaround schools around the world.  

5. Turn YouTube into a Classroom with eduCanon
You know the Internet is loaded with great videos that can teach just about every subject imaginable. But holding students accountable for watching an assigned video, or making the viewing experience more active, is a challenge. Without standing right over students, how do you know if they’re really watching? 

6. 50 Great Books For Teachers
If you’re a teacher, you probably don’t have oodles of free time on your hands (unless you’ve thrown lesson planning and grading your students’ work out the window!), but when you do, a good book recommendation is almost always welcome. 

7. 20 Reasons Why you Should Use Google Plus
Google Plus is a relatively  new platform in the social media arena yet it has has gained in popularity what makes it a serious threat to Facebook and Twitter long established reputation.No wonder Google has invested a lot of engineering in it and is determined to take it to the top. Google Plus has become a determiner of the search results you get while searching Google. Those links that are plused  by anyone from your circles are given priority in search results. Similarly, when you plus blogs and websites then chances are when you conduct a query in Google search engine , Google will first poll links from those websites and blogs you already plused . This is one strategy Google is using to establish Google Plus as a leading social media website . 

8. Nurturing children: Why “early learning” doesn’t help
Children should start attending school later, not earlier, Canadian development psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld reveals. “Early learning” programs for young children have no benefits for kids, he adds. So why are governments running down the opposite track? 

9. What Happens When Students Use Technology Better Than Teachers?
You know the content, you understand pedagogy, and you can navigate the minefield of diplomacy when dealing with parents, students, administrators, literacy coaches, and the local news station when they want to see the iPads glow on the students faces. 

10. Curious Homework: An Inquiry Project for Students and Parents
International educator Scot Hoffman is a big believer in the power of curiosity to drive learning. After nearly two decades of teaching around the globe, he also realizes that school isn't always so hospitable to inquiring minds. 

11. How to Build Students' Creative Confidence
I recently visited a school district where teachers are experimenting with Genius Hour. Sometimes called 20 percent time after the Google practice of reserving a day a week for individual research, Genius Hour offers students a regular time each week to tackle projects that reflect their personal interests and passions. 

12. Different examples of formative assessment
I've created a presentation (with some help from my colleagues) on different examples of formative assessment. 

13. The Best Teachers Don’t Do What They’re Told
When I became a teacher, I wanted to be like Robin Williams in Dead Poet Society, bringing students to the thinking of old, dead (is that redundant?) white dudes. I figured their ideas had endured for centuries for a reason, and the students would benefit from a relationship with that kind of thing. 

14. Scholarship Pressure May Deter S.C. Students From Tough Classes
t's a real dilemma. Should high school students take advanced classes or play it safe to protect their grade point average?  When a lucrative scholarship hangs in the balance, as is the case in South Carolina, it can be an especially hard choice.

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