Monday, April 7, 2014

What I Learned @teachSDA

Hello everyone!

Join us Monday night at 8pm on twitter at #teachSDA as we discuss "Why Teacher Education Should Include Neuroscience".  If you know a teacher that would like the newsletter have them send a request to!

I just had an abundant week of great articles on twitter!  So I hope you find a few that are interesting to you.

1. How To Use Google Voice In Education
Education is about communication, but few educators are willing to hand out their personal mobile number. With Google Voice you don’t have to.  I've used this for years and it is a great FREE service!

2. Digital Badges for Teacher Professional Development
Increasingly, digital badges are becoming a topic of discussion for educators. A digital badge is a digital token of recognition for acquiring a skill, for demonstrating a competency, or for sharing knowledge gained from the completion of an activity or project. As more of our learning comes by way of digital connections, badges are becoming a more prominent method of acknowledging skills and accomplishments.  Did I mention that teachSDA is using badges?

3. Seven Things Great Employers Do (that Others Don’t)
Over a five-year timeframe, we studied 32 exemplary companies (collectively employing 600,000 people) across seven industries including hospitality, banking, manufacturing, and hospitals. At these companies, the engaged workers outnumber the actively disengaged ones by a 9:1 ratio. To understand what drives that tremendous advantage, we looked for contrasts between them and a much larger set of companies we know to be struggling to turn around bland and uninspiring workplaces.  Do you work for a great employer?

This whole homework thing clearly wasn’t going to work. I decided to take matters into my own hands and implement a “No‑Homework Policy.” My plan was simple. I would work as hard as possible to pay attention and be completely focused in each class, but I would not bring my books home, and I would not do any of the homework assigned to me. If the homework was intended to reinforce what was taught in class, I would be fine--because I would make sure to absorb it all during the school day.

5. Spring Cleaning For Your Leadership
Spring is blooming. It’s time for renewal and some spring cleaning.  Cultures and faith traditions around the world from the beginning of civilization have adopted different rituals for cleaning out the old to make space for something new.

6. 5 Ways To Do EdTech On A Shoestring Budget
If teachers ran the government, we wouldn’t have a national debt. Teachers are frugal. Very frugal. I’m not saying I reuse dental floss or anything, but the lengths I’ve gone to save money are amazing.

7. Revolution, Responsibility and Football: Teaching Financial Literacy to Middle Schoolers
My oldest son is in middle school. He earns an allowance and is always trying out his entrepreneurial skills. What my son and his friends seem to have in common is that they want . . . everything! He's eager to learn about money management because he views it as a means to an end. So my suggestion to you is focusing on teaching middle school kids the concepts that will naturally engage them, because they're meaningful right now.

8. Mistreating Teachers and Students in the Name of Higher Test Scores
A few days ago I received a letter from an experienced teacher in an eastern state that recalled Yogi Berra’s observation, “Deja vu all over again.” Her story brought to mind the treatment that caused my older daughter, a talented teacher, to leave the profession, and it makes me grieve for students, teachers and the institution of public education.

9. The shifting roles of the Librarian and the IT Facilitator…
Once upon a time (in what seems like a faraway land, in another lifetime) students went to the computer room and the library for isolated weekly lessons.

10. Edible Schoolyard Town Hall and Viewing Party

11. Educators get connected: Twitter edition
Just as the printing press not only changed society to provide books for entertainment, it also provided the world with a better way to learn at their own pace.  Social media can do the same.

12. Can Schools Be Held Accountable Without Standardized Tests?
The focus on scoring well on standardized tests has wedged educators into a difficult spot. Teachers are concerned that a poor showing on the tests will jeopardize school funding, or even their jobs, and often feel they have to suspend everything else in order to focus on test prep. Putting so much energy into one assessment — one that doesn’t give teachers and students any granular, actionable information — takes resources, time, and energy away from other kinds of rich learning experiences.

13. Performance Gaps Widen as High-Achieving Students Progress in High School
New research out today from The Education Trust chronicles the performance of students who start high school as high achievers and finds that students of color and from disadvantaged backgrounds, on average, graduate with lower grades, pass fewer Advanced Placement exams, and don't do as well on the ACT or SAT as their peers from wealthier, white families.

14. Popular kids may be targets for bullying: Study
Competition for social status could play a role, researchers say.

15. Using Humor in the Classroom
“But why do I have to go? School is not fun!” That quote is from a first-grade child, asking his mom why he has to go every single day to this place that he was told was going to be a lot of fun, but has not lived up to the hype. If he could articulate further, he might say, "I am only six. I like to have fun, but school is not fun and from what I can tell, it's going to get worse every year, not better."

16. Students Yearn For Creativity, Not Tests
Education is a reflective practice. This blog provides my views on educational leadership, effective technology integration, best practices, and creating a student-centered learning culture.

17. American Students Test Well in Problem Solving, but Trail Foreign Counterparts
Fifteen-year-olds in the United States scored above the average of those in the developed world on exams assessing problem-solving skills, but they trailed several countries in Asia and Europe as well as Canada, according to international standardized tests results released on Tuesday.

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