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Making Mobile Meaningful — A Starting Point

Hall Davidson, Director of Discovery Education Network, had a session at ASCD’s 2012 Annual Conference this morning on “Making Mobile Meaningful.” You can connect with his slides here. Here are a few of the resources he shared for utilizing mobile devices students in and out of the classrooms: Poll Everywhere: Students can text in answers […]

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Whole Child Arithmetic: More Than the Sum of Its Parts

Bringing about transformative change in our education system necessitates that we take a semi serious and semi ridiculous look at the numerous dynamics influencing schools, schooling, education and learning. If we do our jobs well, at the center of this effort should be the whole child. And when we do, we’ll find that the results […]

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Localizing Learning. The Edcamp Model

Ever get the feeling that the professional development (pd) you get in your in-service days just doesn’t inspire you? Or drive your practice? You’re not along. A few envisioned something a bit different. Edcamp founders and organizers Kristen Swanson, Ann Leaness, and Christine Miles began their ASCD12 session with two things: 1. A backchannel discussion […]

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4 Problems with Parent Trigger Bill

Saying nothing of the fact that business interests, such as the Chamber of Commerce, love this bill (which always gives me pause in education policy) there are some inherent problems with the “Parent Trigger” bill (SB 1718) about to go to vote on the floor of the FL Senate this week. I laid many of […]

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Review of Bill Sterrett’s Book, “Insights into Action”

IF you listen to too much of the rhetoric about school reform these days, you may be led to believe that schooling is about achievement, first and foremost. However, for those on the ground floor, achievement is a byproduct of something more profound and simple — Learning. Life long learning. For most educators it is […]

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Repurposed Military Technology Solves Education Problems!

If you’re a teacher or have ever been a teacher, you know you’ve thought it. We all have, at some point. “If they spent half as much on education as they do on the military . . .” Well, what if we had our cake and ate it too? Why not keep the military spending […]

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Emerging Trend: Educating for Humanity

In a faculty meeting this week, a colleague shared the following Holocaust survivor letter with us. Dear Teacher, I am a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no man should witness: Gas chambers built by learned engineers. Children poisoned by educated physicians. Infants killed by trained nurses. Women and babies shot and […]

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Enduring Trend: Blissful (Environmental) Ignorance

We can talk about merit pay, accountability and tenure. We can debate (endlessly it seems) students first, testing, failing schools, poverty and unions. We can go toe to toe over the value of choice, charters and vouchers. PISA, Finland, Arne and Rhee. Ravitch, Race to the Top and common core. All worthwhile conversations. And necessary. […]

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How to Support Teachers

Below is an infographic illustrating what teachers feel is most important toward improving instruction. (Click on the image for a closer look.) Its data is telling to be sure. At a minimum it can serve to illustrate the gap between merit pay proponents and educators themselves. Perhaps we should look at this graph and wonder: […]

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Advocacy 101: Born Screaming

In one of the sessions ASCD’s Leadership Initiative for Legislative Advocacy (LILA) DC conference earlier this week, Tina Dove, Legislative Advocate at ASCD, gave a crash course in advocacy. While her accompanying comments related specifically to education related content, the core content of her power point applies to advocacy work in any subject and at […]

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Congressional Gap: Bridging the Lawmaker-to-Student Divide #LILA11

After one plane ticket, two days of substitute lesson plans, several hundred dollars in hotel costs, 12 hours of travel, 24 hours of info cramming and 48 hours of nervous stress, all for 2.5 hours of talking to the aides of four Florida congressmen and one senator, I’m left wondering, “Was LILA worth it? Was […]

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Harper: We’ll Miss You

We used to say two things about Harper: 1. His favorite part of a walk was getting home, and 2. The only things that ever need fear him were flies and bowls of dog food. Both of those things certainly were true, but with his passing yesterday, I’m overwhelmed by a flood of other cherished […]

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Smokey the Bear Says, “Fires Allowed Here”!

Want to give your students transformative learning experiences? You’ll need these: Engagement Content Relevance Students must be engaged and involved to the point of being vested in the outcomes of the experience. They must encounter content that deepens their knowledge base and provides them with the intellectual tools they need to be successful. And the […]

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Sir Ken Robinson’s Divergent Learning Talk, RSA-Style

Sir Ken Robinson’s talk on Why Education is Killing Divergent Learning Skills is given an RSA upgrade. Watch, listen, and be inspired.

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My Inner Pollyanna’s Ed Reform Blue Sky

Even amid the heated debates & discourse, my inner Pollyanna still dream’s big. Here’s my blue sky, if I had my way: 1. United Teachers They become a force to be reckoned with. Politicians, news outlets, and policy makers take notice and make room at the table. They ask teachers questions like, “What can we […]

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Let the Curriculum Build

Love this. Not just because it is catchy & filmed really well. (Shot in one take!) And not just because Nyle’s got some sweet skills.  I love this as a metaphor for curriculum building. Check the song: Nyle “Let The Beat Build” from Nyle on Vimeo. When teaching, we start somewhere, somewhere small and simple. […]

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My NBC Education Nation “Big Idea”: Applied Sustainability

Below is the idea I submitted for NBC’s Education Nation Town Hall. Though it was not picked (perhaps because of my critique of their program), I believe there is great potential in combating the apathy and boredom that leads to student disengagement and higher dropout rates through relevant programs in concept development and application. Submitted […]

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Emerging Trend: Superman Snubs the Justice League, Lex Laughs to the Bank

NBC’s Education Nation confirmed their list of panelists for the upcoming education summit — none of whom are teachers and all of whom seem to take snaps from the same ed reform playbook. All except for the lone Randi Weingarten. She will play the role of Dissenting Voice in an ed reform narrative that is being ballyhooed across […]

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A Teacher’s Field Guide to Parents

Teachers would be foolhardy to label parents as either good or bad. Not all parents are created equal and cannot be categorized on a single spectrum.  To do so would jeopardize a teacher’s ability to survive. Literally.  I mean, I’m talking life or death here. You see, when normally mild mannered and reasonable people become […]

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