Looking to learn more about what’s trending in education?!? Here’s a recap of this week’s news.
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After 20 years, A Teacher Reinvents Her Classroom Using Technology (The Hechinger Report)
Convinced there had to be a better way, this D.C. Public Schools Teacher took a fellowship with the CityBridge Foundation in 2013 to research and develop a new teaching method. She traveled to see other schools in states such as California and New Jersey, and she noticed technology offered a solution. It inspired her to create a new method of instruction. And in the process she found her zeal for teaching returned.
What Is ‘Personalized Learning’? Educators Seek Clarity (Education Week)
Many school officials, and companies scrambling to do business with them, use that omnipresent phrase to refer to efforts to tailor lessons to students of different ability levels—an appealing concept, given the pressures schools face to raise the achievement of students coming to academic topics from very different starting points.
Technology Is Not The Answer: A Student’s Perspective (Education Week)
When does technology become too prevalent in education? It is a widely held belief among school administrators that technological innovation enhances education by providing students with personalized attention and technological literacy. Consequently, schools have eagerly increased the presence of the Internet and devices that utilize it. As a current high school junior, I see signs of this push everywhere.
Overcoming the Top Barrier to School Connectivity (eSchool News)
Funding remains the largest and most-cited obstacle when it comes to updating schools’ infrastructure and installing high-speed broadband internet access, according to a survey from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).
Presumably, the way the human animal learns stays more or less constant. Still, reformers, policy makers, and curriculum designers fight over what’s best for our schools. That’s because, although the mechanism of learning is static, subject matter is dynamic. That body of knowledge through which we think critically about our world can (and does) change immensely from one century to the next. Each change requires new teaching tools.
District’s Ambitious Personalized Learning Effort Shows Progress (Education Week)
As students file into math teacher John Williams’ 6th grade class at Whittemore Park Middle School here, they eye the back wall carefully. That’s because their names are displayed there, for all to see, along with what percentage of coursework they’ve completed. No grades are posted, but each day students can watch their progress toward curriculum completion.
STEM Contests Challenge Students to Make a Difference (eSchool News, eClassroom News)
An “eco-friendly” battery that converts carbon dioxide into electricity, solving two global challenges at once. An alarm system that saves children and pets from being left inside a sweltering car. Computer modeling that could result in new drugs for controlling flu outbreaks. These projects might sound like the work of the nation’s top scientists and inventors, yet they were designed by K-12 students.
Push For ‘Learner Profiles’ Stymied By Barriers (Education Week)
For many proponents of personalized learning, the notion of a digital “learner profile” is something of a Holy Grail—tantalizingly powerful to imagine, but stubbornly difficult to actually find.
E-Rate Funding Insufficient, District Leadership Groups Contend (Education Week)
Despite recent changes, the federal E-rate program remains insufficient to help all schools—especially those in rural areas struggling to access affordable, high-speed fiber-optic cable—meet ambitious broadband connectivity goals, according to a new survey released this week.
How Can Students Have More Say in School Decisions? (KQED Mind/Shift)
Two years ago, Zak Malamed and a few friends held their first Twitter chat for students who were feeling frustrated about how little say they had in the school reform debates going on all around them. At the time, Malamed and two other friends were still in high school, and one friend was in college. But when they formed Student Voice, the group that rose out of that first chat, they agreed that “Revolutionizing education through the voices and actions of students,” in whatever form that would take, would be their mission.
In her excellent book, Building A Better Teacher, the journalist Elizabeth Green tells a story of a new hamburger that the A&W Restaurant chain introduced to the masses. Weighing 1/3 of a pound, it was meant to compete with McDonald’s quarter-pounder and was priced comparably. But the “Third Pounder” failed miserably. Consultants were mystified until they realized many A&W customers believed that they were paying the same for less meat than they got at McDonald’s. Why? Because four is bigger than three, so wouldn’t ¼ be more than 1/3?
Teach By Example: Leverage Technology in 3 Steps (Education Week)
A lot of the conversation taking place about technology and education today focuses on digital classroom tools that are meant to help educators teach better or to help students learn better. But technology can and should have a huge impact on the administrative process as well.
The teacher-student relationship impacts every aspect of the educational experience. When students don’t feel safe, respected, or truly known by their teacher, they are less likely to invest and engage in their education. Conversely, when teachers feel distanced from or distrusted by their students, it’s nearly impossible to muster the enthusiasm to walk into the classroom each day, let alone instill motivation or investment in our students.