Thoughts about Students Who Are Off-Task

6 Traits of Life-Changing Teachers


“In education there’s a lot of talk about standards, curriculum, and assessment—but when we ask adults what they remember about their education, decades after they’ve left school, the answers are always about their best teachers. So what is it about great educators…that leaves such an indelible impression? If the memory of curriculum and pedagogy fades with time, or fails to register at all, why do some teachers occupy our mental landscape years later? We [at Edutopia] started getting curious: What are the standout qualities that make some teachers life changers?”

Edutopia asked its Facebook community to respond to this question and received more than 700 replies. Upon analysis some clear patterns emerged. Read their full findings here.

Source: Betty Ray, Edutopia

Image: Edutopia.org

Managing Online Identities

Keeping up with the state of technology is not easy. New social media services such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Diigo, YouTube , Tumblr, Instagram, and AudioBoo continue to emerge and users sign-up and setup profiles without considering the full ramifications of sharing personal information. Practical tips for helping you and your students thoughtfully setup and maintain your online identities will be shared.

Below are my slides for this session. All the workshop materials and resources are available on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively.

Build. Make. Hack. Grow. Every Kid Can Be a Maker with DIY Club.

DIY is a club for kids to earn Skills. DIY Makers share their work with the community and get patches for the Skills they earn. Each Skill consists of a set of Challenges that help them learn techniques to get the hang of it. Once a Maker completes a Challenge, they add photos and video to their Portfolio to show what they did.

Makers are curious about the world and strive to learn all kinds of practical knowledge and share it. They seek adventure in the outdoors, participate in communities, use technology to innovate, and have the confidence to try new things” (Source).

Take a look at DIY.org and consider the positive impact it can make in your family, classroom, club, civic group, etc.

“Creativity now is as important in education as literacy,
and we should treat it with the same status.”

–Sir Ken Robinson

Internet Safety Seminar in Memphis

I received an email with the following information about an opportunity in Memphis. It is open to the public.

Young people today are smarter than ever about many things; but when it comes to technology safety, they can be frighteningly naive. How can parents protect their children’s safety and privacy? What should parents know about cyberbullying, sexting, Facebook, Twitter, and texting?

On Monday night, August 27, at 6:30, Harding Academy invites you to hear our special guest, Deb Ireland, Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. Ms. Ireland works with the Department of Justice initiative called Project Safe Childhood, which aims to combat technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes against children. She will share information that every parent must know.

This seminar is free and open to the community. Invite your friends and join us at the Harding Cherry Road campus, 1100 Cherry Road, across the street from the Dixon Gallery and Garden. Enter the building through temporary main entrance at the end of the main drive.

Managing Online Identities: Tips for Teachers, Students, and Parents – for #isummitconf

Keeping up with the state of technology is not easy. New social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and Pinterest continue to emerge and users sign-up and setup profiles without considering the full ramifications of sharing personal information. Practical tips for helping you and your students thoughtfully setup and maintain your online identities will be shared.

Below are my slides from this workshop that I’m sharing today at iSummit in Atlanta, GA. All the workshop materials and resources are available on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively.

Facebook Considers Giving Access to Kids under 13 (Video)

“Facebook is working on new technology that would let young children use the social network without having to lie about their age, reports the Wall Street Journal. Facebook currently doesn’t allow users under the age of 13, though many sign-up anyways — last year Consumer Reports said that 7.5 million of Facebook’s users were 13 or younger, including five million under the age of 10. The proposed technology wouldn’t create a separate version of the network for these users, but instead would put in place features that give parents control over their child’s online experience. A child’s account would be connected to their parent’s, for instance, and tools would be put in place to manage who can be added as a friend and what apps and games are used” (Source).

Note that the WSJ is reporting that Facebook is exploring this. It is a multifaceted issue involving Facebook policies and governmental regulations. We will have to see how this unfolds. The following video provides a broad overview about this issue.

 

Image Source: Smosh.com

Interest in Math and Science Careers Sparked in Classes Where Learning Is Directed by Students & Supported by Technology

This post is a follow-up to an earlier blog entry about the findings in the Speak Up 2011 report. The following information provides additional insights and comes from a press release from Project Tomorrow.

— — — — —

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Amber Taylor
703-201-4893, amber@sambertaylor.com

Just Nine Percent of Students Describe Their Most Recent Math and Science Classes This Way; More than 40 percent Still Describe Traditional Format

Washington, D.C. – Nearly one-third of high school students who experience math and science classrooms where instruction is led by teachers, learning is directed by students and where technology is used to support both, express a strong interest in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career, according to the latest findings from the 2011 Speak Up survey (View as: HTML, PDF). Nationally, just nine percent of students described their most recent math or science class this way.

Only 20 percent of students in traditional classrooms, where the instruction is teacher directed and the use of technology is limited, expressed the same interest in STEM careers.

“This is the first time we’ve noticed this correlation between the type of math and science instruction and the students’ interest in STEM careers,” said Julie Evans. “For a nation concerned with developing the next generations of scientists, engineers and innovators, this finding should raise some eyebrows.”

When asked to describe their most recent math or science class, the majority of middle and high school students chose one of these three classroom paradigms:

  1. Traditional class with teacher-directed instruction – lectures, textbook assignments, group projects and labs (43 percent)
  2. Traditional class with teacher-directed instruction as in #1, but with some technology used to support instruction (33 percent)
  3. Traditional class with a mix of teacher-directed instruction and student-directed learning and the use of technology tools to support both teachers and students (9 percent)

“For three-quarters of today’s students in grades 6-12, math and science class is still much like it was when we adults were in school: predominately teacher-centered with little or no opportunities for students to direct their own learning, at their own pace, with their own tools,” said Evans.

“Think about that in contrast to what is being called for by the new Common Core Standards for math. The Common Core approach is based on teachers laying out a specific task and inviting the students to dig in and solve the problem using appropriate tools and resources,” explain Evans. “If our schools are able to implement this type of teaching and learning, the potential for interest in math and science should grow.”

These findings can be found in a Speak Up 2012 report, Mapping a Personalized Learning Journey – K-12 Students and Parents Connects the Dots with Digital Learning. That report and more can be accessed here: http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/2012_PersonalizedLearning.html

This year’s survey findings also show:

  • Significant increase in students’ mobile Internet access outside of school with more than half of all students (urban, suburban and rural) reporting access through 3G/4G mobile devices.
  • Middle and high school students’ access to a personal tablet device doubled from 2010-2011 (26 percent of middle school and 21 percent of high school students now report personal access to a tablet).
  • Students are adopting technologies and then adapting them to support their own self-directed learning (tweeting about academic topics, tutoring other students online, using mobile apps to organize school work, used Facebook as a collaboration tool for classroom projects, etc.).

The 2011 online survey – completed by more than 416,000 K-12 students, parents, teachers, librarians and administrators – offers the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered input on education and technology from those ‘on the ground’ in the schools.

Now in its 9th year, the annual survey about education and technology is facilitated through public, private and charter schools all around the country; every school is eligible to participate. The results provide important insights about education, technology and student aspirations to individual schools, state departments of education and national leaders.

Since 2003, more than 2.6 million K-12 students, educators and parents from more than 35,000 schools in all 50 states have participated in Speak Up. The online survey is facilitated by Project Tomorrow and supported by many of our nation’s most innovative companies, foundations and nonprofit organizations including Blackboard, Inc., DreamBox, Hewlett-Packard, K12, Inc., Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach Initiative, Schoolwires and SMART Technologies.

Project Tomorrow partners with more than 75 different education associations, organizations and think-tanks for outreach to the schools and development of the survey questions including the American Association of School Administrators, Consortium for School Networking, iNACOL, International Society for Technology in Education, National School Boards Association, National Science Digital Library, National Secondary School Principals Association, Southern Regional Education Board and State Education Technology Directors’ Association.

About Project Tomorrow
Speak Up is a national initiative of Project Tomorrow, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world. The Speak Up data represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder input on education, technology, 21st century skills, schools of the future and science instruction. Education, business and policy leaders report use the data regularly to inform federal, state and local education programs. For additional information, visit www.tomorrow.org.