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Thank a student
Edutopia (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It is the month of Thanksgiving, and everyone is getting excited about turkey and pumpkin pie. People are also considering the things they should be thankful for. Thank a student? For what? How about anything you can think of? Showing up ready to learn is one great reason to thank a student. They have so much going on in their lives that it is a huge accomplishment to show up in class ready to go. The students make choices every day about how they're going to behave and what's important to them. The fact they show up in class is worth a smile and a thank you. More


Driven to distraction: How to help wired students learn to focus
eCampus News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent Pew Internet & American Life Project report surveyed 2,462 middle and high school Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers and concluded that: "Overwhelming majorities agree with the assertions that today's digital technologies are creating an easily distracted generation with short attention spans, and today's students are too 'plugged in' and need more time away from their digital technologies." Two-thirds of the respondents agree with the notion that today's digital technologies do more to distract students than to help them academically. More

NRC calls for new steps to track progress in STEM education
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The National Research Council in a new report identifies a set of 14 "key indicators" to gauge progress in STEM education, including how much time elementary teachers devote to science instruction, the extent to which districts are adopting instructional materials aligned to the Common Core Standards in math and recent guidelines for new science standards, and the level of teachers' STEM content knowledge. More

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As education standards shift, schools rediscover science class
eClassroom News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students at Quindaro Elementary School in Kansas wildly wave their arms, eager to show off their knowledge of science. A visiting National Geographic scientist already has regaled them with stories of volcanoes, poisonous frogs, a 22-foot snake — imagine the shrieks when he explains that it tried to eat a child for breakfast — and how he and his crew found bananas in the jungle just as starvation was surely setting in. More

Formative assessment is foundational to blended learning
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Formative assessment began long before blended learning. Teachers have used formative assessment for decades as a method to get feedback about how students are progressing in their learning. But formative assessment is particularly in the spotlight now because it features so prominently in emerging blended learning programs. In fact, it's hard to imagine effective blended learning without strong formative assessment at its foundation. More

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'Kids Online' Report: Young children's social networking habits harder to track than teens'
School Library Journal via The Digital Shift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lack of good data on how children under 13 use social networking sites is an enormous problem, according to "Kids Online," a report issued by The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Before experts can effectively design, assess and manage SNSs for kids, the report says, they need to examine kids' habits more closely. Citing the National School Boards Association study (2007), the report points out that although about half of school districts forbid SNS use during the school day, there is still a great deal of "officially sanctioned, educationally packaged social networking occurring in schools." More


No link between asthma and poor educational performance
The Medical News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Research led by Queen Mary, University of London has found that having asthma is not linked to poorer scores in national school examinations. In contrast, ethnicity and social deprivation were associated with poorer educational outcomes in the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE. Long-term conditions in childhood — of which asthma is now the most common — may have a major impact on educational performance. However, in one of the world's first studies to link health, housing, benefits and educational data in over 12,000 children, researchers from Queen Mary, University of Edinburgh and Mayhew Harper Associates found no detrimental effect of asthma on educational outcomes. More

Addressing bullying: Schoolwide solutions
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kids have been bullying each other for generations. But for Generation Z, also known as the iGeneration or the Net Generation, the ability to utilize technology to expand their reach — and the extent of their harm — has increased exponentially. Bullying in all forms, face-to-face or via technology, is of course unacceptable, but today's school leaders need to arm themselves with new rules and strategies to address aggressive behaviors that hurt students' well-being, their academic performance, and school climates overall. More

Ten myths about gifted students and programs for gifted
CNN (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
American educators have struggled for more than 40 years to define giftedness. Yet even now, there is no universally agreed upon definition of what it means to be gifted. U.S. federal law defines gifted students as those who perform or who show promise of performing at high levels in any one of five categories: general intellectual ability, specific academic aptitude, creative or productive thinking, leadership ability or visual/performing arts. More

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Report: Education technology, digital learning not as easy as it seems
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A report from the Alliance for Excellent Education identifies four key challenges that public school district leaders must address in the next two years in order to successfully bring digital learning and education technology into K-12 classrooms. The driving force behind the nationwide effort to adopt a comprehensive digital learning strategy is the move by all states to raise academic expectations by requiring students to graduate from high school college- and career-ready. Additionally, the Common Core State Standards adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia necessitates using technology to prepare students for computer-administered assessments in the 2014-2015 school year. More

Struggle means learning: Difference in Eastern and Western cultures
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In 1979, when Jim Stigler was still a graduate student at the University of Michigan, he went to Japan to research teaching methods and found himself sitting in the back row of a crowded fourth-grade math class. "The teacher was trying to teach the class how to draw three-dimensional cubes on paper," Stigler explains, "and one kid was just totally having trouble with it. His cube looked all cockeyed, so the teacher said to him, 'Why don't you go put yours on the board?' So right there I thought, 'That's interesting! He took the one who can't do it and told him to go and put it on the board.'" More


Why teachers take so many sick days
The Baltimore Sun (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Jill S. McGuirk writes: "As the school nurse at a Baltimore County elementary school, I read Dan Rodricks' recent column on sick days with some agreement and much outrage ("This looks a lot like playing hooky," Nov. 13). Mr. Rodricks seems have forgotten that many educators are women and that at least some of the 35 percent of teachers who took 10 or more sick days during the 2009-2010 school year may have been on maternity leave. There are also many instances of faculty having to have surgery that cannot be delayed, taking sick days to care for elderly relatives or children, and being sick themselves." More

More training is key to better school data use
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Schools and districts have come a long way in gathering and analyzing data to help boost student achievement, but according to a new report from the Data Quality Campaign, what school data initiatives are still missing is the human element. The DQC's eighth annual state analysis, Data for Action 2012, found that although states are making progress in supporting "effective data use" and have enacted data-based policy changes, they have "not yet focused on helping people — especially parents, teachers, and students — effectively use data." The organization issued the findings of its analysis in a report titled "Focus on People to Change Data Culture." More

Parents wonder: Why so much homework?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the movement against excessive homework continues to grow, some parents say they're drawing a line in the sand between home and school. Schools, in turn, are starting to rethink the role of homework and how it should be assigned. If homework serves simply as busy work — proof that kids are "learning," then that time is wasted, some say. Parents are sensitive to pressures on their children and want them to have down time when they get home from seven hours in school. If the work isn't stimulating, then why do it? More

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Bells ring for top principals at National Blue Ribbon Schools ceremony Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Behind every great school stands a great principal. "It's the principal who shapes the vision, sets the tone, and targets the energy of the many people who run a school, Sec. Duncan said. "It's the principal who inspires, cajoles, and models the excellence he or she knows the school can reach." More

District-union tensions foil some RTT proposals
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Disagreement over teacher-evaluation methods and the sustainability and desirability of the programs to be financed by the latest Race to the Top competition has come to a head in several prominent districts, scuttling some plans to apply for the grant and delaying the applications of others. The $400 million Race to the Top district competition is offering grants of up to $40 million for school systems to undertake improvements aimed at personalizing learning for students and adding technology. To be eligible for grants, though, districts must, by the 2014-2015 school year, have evaluations in place for teachers, principals and superintendents — often a point of contention for teachers. More


Duncan implies he will remain Obama's education secretary for second term
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After a week of speculation about the composition of President Barack Obama's second-term cabinet, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan implied in a speech that he intends to stay in his position. "Let me, first, sketch the outlines, or provide a mini-preview, of a second-term education agenda," Duncan told state education leaders at the Council of Chief State School Officers conference in Atlanta, according to prepared remarks provided to The Huffington Post. More

School districts brace for cuts as fiscal crisis looms
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
During the campaign, both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney repeatedly extolled the value of schools and teachers. Romney, in their first debate last month, even vowed, "I'm not going to cut education funding." But if his fellow Republicans in Congress and Obama cannot agree on a resolution for the country's looming debt crisis, the automatic budget cuts and tax increases that will kick in next year could spawn another round of belt-tightening at public schools already battered by the recession and its aftermath. If the government is unable to come to a resolution, federal education programs for elementary and high schools would lose a little over $2 billion — or close to 8 percent of the current budget — starting next fall, according to the Office of Management and Budget and the Education Department. More

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In a change, New York City is steering aspiring principals off the fast track
GothamSchools    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Realizing that its strategies for stocking New York City's ever-expanding supply of schools with excellent principals have fallen short, the Department of Education is launching new programs aimed at slowing down the transition from teacher to administrator. The largest of the new initiatives is the Teacher Leadership Program, aimed at developing leadership skills in hundreds of teachers who are still working in the classroom. Other initiatives are meant to prepare leaders to handle the special challenges of running middle schools and to capitalize on the leadership skills of principals who are already in the system. More

Nashville, Tenn., schools push for more technology
The Tennessean    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some lucky second-graders thought they were playing games when they bought virtual cupcakes and pies by sliding digital dollars across a computerized table, but they were really learning. They were using a recently released digital learning tool that is part of a technological wave changing classrooms. "If we don't prepare our kids in a very universal way, then we set them up to not be successful because they don't have the skills," said Kecia Ray, executive director of Metro schools' learning technology department and president-elect of the International Society for Technology in Education. More

A tablet in every backpack?
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Good for the committee that oversees bond expenditures for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Someone had to slow down Supt. John Deasy's headlong rush to put a tablet computer or similar device in the hands of every student and teacher in the district — 700,000 pieces of digital equipment at a cost of about $450 million, not counting more than $200 million (and possibly twice that much) to update campuses for wireless Internet service. The bond oversight committee put the brakes on this poorly planned effort Wednesday when Deasy's request for a first-phase infusion of $17.4 million in school bond money fell short by one vote. More

Students take lesson home, do work in class    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In James Zoller's seventh-grade world history class, homework sometimes seems an awful lot like class work. And vice versa. That's because Zoller, who teaches at Wyoming Middle school, often "flips" his lessons — reversing the traditional order of things. His students watch his lectures at home, on their computers, rather than in class. And in class they mostly do activities, research or have discussions in groups, instead of doing that for homework. That way, Zoller says, students gain a deeper understanding of the lesson material and get more one-on-one attention from him. More

Free webinar today on principal evaluation
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What are the traits of an excellent principal? How should a principal's skill and impact be measured? NAESP has been grappling with these very questions. In "Rethinking Principal Evaluation," a free webinar today, Nov. 20, learn about the new NAESP/NASSP joint framework on principal evaluation. Researchers Matthew Clifford and Steven Ross will present their insight and recommendations. More

Registration opens Nov. 27 for 2013 conference
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The NAESP National Conference and Expo of the Year in Baltimore is right around the corner. This premiere national event for principals, held July 11-13, offers dynamic speakers, countless sessions exploring best practices and rich networking opportunities to connect with educators from around the country. Registration opens Nov. 27 with a special early-bird price. More


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