The New Classroom

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theatlantic:

Should High Schools Offer More Job Training?

Just seven years ago, the Texas Legislature mandated that all high schoolers pass two algebra courses and geometry to graduate. This summer, the state reversed course, easing its strict math, science, and social-studies requirements to free up class time for job training.
Texas legislators want to create a more flexible system that helps students who aren’t headed to four-year colleges enter the workforce. And it’s not just Texas. State legislatures nationwide are enacting laws to promote career and technical education and workforce training in high school.
But that approach carries risks. While it’s true that not all students will go on to college, pulling back on college preparatory coursework has to be handled carefully in a state like Texas, with its hundreds of thousands of low-income and minority students. They’re the students who would benefit from college the most—and who need the most help getting there.
Read more. [World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr]

theatlantic:

Should High Schools Offer More Job Training?

Just seven years ago, the Texas Legislature mandated that all high schoolers pass two algebra courses and geometry to graduate. This summer, the state reversed course, easing its strict math, science, and social-studies requirements to free up class time for job training.

Texas legislators want to create a more flexible system that helps students who aren’t headed to four-year colleges enter the workforce. And it’s not just Texas. State legislatures nationwide are enacting laws to promote career and technical education and workforce training in high school.

But that approach carries risks. While it’s true that not all students will go on to college, pulling back on college preparatory coursework has to be handled carefully in a state like Texas, with its hundreds of thousands of low-income and minority students. They’re the students who would benefit from college the most—and who need the most help getting there.

Read more. [World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr]

Some Free Books I Have been Reading from the iTunes Bookstore

holtthink:

image

I have noticed a proliferation of free material in the iTunes bookstore. Some good, some bad, some excellent. Here are a few I have been looking at with links to each.

Some Free Titles on Ed Tech on the iBookstore

Here are some titles I have seen recently on the iBookstore that have an ed tech slant and are free. Can’t beat the price and you might get some great ideas:

25 Ways to Become a Tech Savvy Teacher Monica Burns
As a NYC Educator and EdTech Blogger, I’m always finding new and innovative ways to use technology with my students and I’m excited to share these discoveries!

Discover Design Thinking Jan-Erik Baars
Design Thinking is a big buzz these days: it‘s also an indication that we are truly leaving behind the industrial age. In the transition to what is next there is a risk that it subsequently will be used as a tool, solely with the attempt to improve the current system that is still dominated by industrial thinking. But that‘s like sticking an engine on a horse. For design thinking to really improve our current system, the system needs to leave the old thinking behind. I hope that some of the experiences and suggestions mentioned in this book can help stimulate in doing so. 
This book contains a collection of essays and reflections, initially published on various blogs, like designfokus.net and designthinkingnetwork.com, between 2010 and fall 2012.

An Avalanche Is Coming: Higher Education and the Revolution Ahead by Saad Rizvi, Sir Michael Barber & Katelyn Donnelly
This publication argues that the next 50 years could see a golden age for higher education, but only if all players seize the initiative and act ambitiously. 
If not, an avalanche of change will sweep the system away.
This report challenges all players in the system to act boldly. Citizens need to seize the opportunity to learn and re-learn throughout their lives. University leaders need to take control of their own destiny and seize the opportunities opened by technology to offer broader, deeper and more exciting education. Each university needs to be clear with which niches or market segments it wants to serve and how. Finally, governments need to rethink their regulatory regimes for an era when university systems are global rather than national and a student’s education can take multiple paths.

The key messages from the report to every player in the system are that the new student consumer is king and standing still is not an option. Embracing the new opportunities set out here may be the only way to avoid the avalanche that is coming.

Digital First: Enhancing Teaching, Learning and Research at Ohio State

The Digital First mission is to inspire innovative instruction through emerging technology. We are redesigning the campus experience at The Ohio State University by optimizing wireless and classroom technology, inspiring instructors to offer engaging digital learning content to students, and enhancing the student experience from enrollment to graduation and beyond.
In this interactive book, learn how Digital First is transforming teaching, learning and research at The Ohio State University.

26 Instructional Strategies On the iPad
Courtney Pepe
This is book provides a bevy of Instructional Strategies that can be used on the iPad.  The author of this book has experienced success with many of these strategies working in her school district that has a one to one iPad initiative.  There is literally a strategy or APP for every letter of the alphabet.  You will find at least one thing in this book that can transform your learning environment in an innovative way.

The Teacher’s iPadoPedia
by Philip Johnston
The largest compilation of uses for iPads in the classroom ever assembled; clearly presented, comprehensively cross-referenced, filled with images and video tours of the apps discussed, and sorted by what teachers actually do each day. Rather than focusing on iPad’s features, this guide answers a more fundamental question for teachers:how can iPad help me do my job? For elementary and secondary school teachers of all subjects, this iPads-in-education guide was created by one of music education’s best known writers and presenters. 


Proven Approaches to Effective Technology Integration
by Atomic Learning
A student today needs a host of skills to succeed beyond the walls of the school. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are still the fundamentals needed to build an education, but much more is expected of a 21st century learner. Students need to be prepared with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will prepare them for the technology and ideas of the future. 
To get there, students must use technology in new ways. Technology is not simply a replacement for textbooks, notebooks, and overhead projectors. It is an important tool that must be used to its fullest potential. 
As an educational leader, you are an agent of change. Any change comes with a whole set of challenges. Understanding how change happens and what prevents initiatives from succeeding is a vital part to any implementation plan.
This eBook will highlight why, as an administrator, your planning must go beyond buying the hardware. It’s not about the software or apps used, or even the type of device. It’s about understanding how the technology can help educators advance students to reach their fullest potential.


How People Learn
by Christopher Bertha & Dominique Craft
This handbook is intended to give you a foundational understanding of how the brain acquires new knowledge and how, as a teacher, you can best facilitate and optimize this process. 

Jun 8

The Best Apps for Educators | Mediashift | PBS

Vine in Education - Online Universities.com

gjmueller:

How do you add voice comments in Google Docs? Easy, watch!

imagininglearning:

I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate||Spoken Word (by sulibreezy)

The question is: Will we listen? Either way this generation is transforming society for us! They are the present, they are the change makers, the dream makers! Mad Props to this brilliant word smith!

Mar 6

What is the smartest thing a child has ever said?

chels:

If you need some lunchtime reading, go get lost in this incredible Quora thread. Each answer is great, but this one is my favorite: 

A few years ago when I was teaching a class of five and six year olds, a child came in and asked to do show and tell. He showed a wrapped lolly (sweet, candy….whatever you prefer). He told us that he had taken this lolly from an art gallery, from an exhibit that was a pile of lollies in a corner. The artist’s idea was that anyone could come up and simply take a lolly.

A few of the kids then blew my mind completely by having an intense debate about whether or not such a piece truly constituted art. I felt like it should have been three o’clock in the morning and we should have all had glasses of shiraz in our hands. It was unbelievable. I just sat back and marvelled at the amazing depth of their discussion.

But then….a young fella named Tyson said (and please bear in mind that he was five years old at the time…)

“I keep wondering if it’s still art when all the lollies have been taken and it’s back to being an empty corner.”

Revolutionize Education: Ipadio Revolutionizes Podcasting in the Classroom

revolutionizeed:

image

I don’t know about you, but I find that students constantly want to use their cellphones. Schools can make all the policies they want about them. I’ve taught in schools where cellphones must be kept in lockets. I’ve taught in schools where cellphones are not…

Study Shows How Classroom Design Affects Student Learning

infoneer-pulse:

As debate over education reform sizzles, and as teachers valiantly continue trying to do more with less, a new study suggests that it might be worth diverting at least a little attention from what’s going on in classrooms to how those spaces are being designed. The paper, published in the journal Building and the Environment, found that classroom design could be attributed to a 25% impact, positive or negative, on a student’s progress over the course of an academic year. The difference between the best- and worst-designed classrooms covered in the study? A full year’s worth of academic progress.

» via Fast Company

Jan 5

When public schools are judged by how much art and music they have, by how many science experiments their students perform, by how much time they leave for recess and play, and by how much food they grow rather than how many tests they administer, then I will be confident that we are preparing our students for a future where they will be creative participants and makers of history rather than obedient drones for the ruling economic elite.

- Mark Naison, Fordham professor and social justice activist (via socialismartnature)

Jan 4

650 free courses from top universities

heidicomestolife:

likeapairofbottlerockets:

or what i’ll be doing now that i don’t have a job

ooooh!

Jan 1

World Studies: The Final Project

edtechexp:

For the final project in my world studies class, I am trying something new.  We don’t have extensive time to cover every country in the Middle East in detail, so students will be doing presentations for their finals.

Each student was randomly assigned a country in the Middle East or Central Asia and they are to present their country in extensive detail.  This will allow them to use their technology (we are 1:1 with MacBooks) and use their prior knowledge about countries, current events, and demographics in general.  

Here is the information required on their presentation…

Slide 1- Introduction Slide (flag, name)

Slide 2- General Information (location, geography, resources)

Slide 3- Population/ People (Ethnic groups, who lives there, interesting information)

Slide 4- History of Country (established, under other country’s rule, how did it get to where it is today)

Slide 5- History of Country (same as slide 4)

Slide 6- Politics (type of government, relations with U.S. or other large nations, relations in their region)

Slide 7- Economy (type of economy, GDP, imports/exports, how they make money)

Slide 8- Education (literacy rate, what types of schools and who attends them, how do people learn)

Slide 9- Culture (traditional foods, attractions, how do people dress, famous people from country)

Slide 10- Current Event (share at least one current event of something happening in this country from the last two months)

Slide 11- Any interesting facts that you found in your research that you would like to share/ if you can’t find interesting facts then share pictures of tourist attractions or exotic animals from country. 

Slide 12- Sources (MLA format)

***Slides should include some general information (6x6 rule) but the majority of your information should be spoken in your presentation. Make your slides easy to read and appealing to the class by including pictures. 

Any thoughts?

3 Ways To Quickly Share Bunches of Links With Your Students

revolutionizeed:

These are some great tools to share a lot of links.  I used to use them a lot, but now I just attach all my links to a post in Edmodo.  

Dec 4

Library Of Congress Unveils Massive Common Core Resource Center

world-shaker:

There’s even more awesome stuff if you click through :o)

Primary Source Sets – Sets of selected primary sources on specific topics, available as easy-to-print PDFs. Also, background information, teaching ideas, and tools to guide student analysis.

Presentations & Activities – Presentations and activities offer media-rich historical context or interactive opportunities for exploration to both teachers and students.

Collection Connections – Historical context and ideas for teaching with specific Library of Congress primary source collections.The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are on many teachers’ minds this school year, and the Library of Congress is ready to help. The Library’s teacher resources are a great fit for teachers trying to meet key CCSS goals, including critical thinking, analyzing informational texts, and working with primary sources. They’re all free, and finding them is as easy as going to www.loc.gov/teachers.

(via Daphne Koller: What we’re learning from online education)