by Kate Gerson
As a teacher in an urban high school, I used to tell myself a lie every day. I told it as I led lessons on Catcher in the Rye, Night and Sula. I told it as I met with students after school and when I graded their homework. Every day I told myself I was doing what I could for every student and that I assumed they could all go on to be successful in college or career if they did what I asked of them. And every time I did, I lied to myself – and to all of my students.
What I am awakening to is that that lie is part of my unconscious bias.
Unconscious bias is a real phenomenon in all schools. It thrived in my practice as a teacher and principal even though I felt devoted to my students. It lives in me still, though I work constantly to examine it. It’s painful to admit, but I must. We all must.
As educators, we are sometimes unconvinced that every student can do the same work, hit the same targets — at least during our short watch. When we avoid addressing these low expectations, they have powerful consequences for how we teach, coach and advise, leading us to unknowingly assume the outcomes and eventualities for students based on race and class. Those assumptions become the core of structural racism, making our education system – and all of us in that system – complicit in systemic inequity. Continue reading
As a long time education reform advocate, I don’t mind saying that the reform agenda has gotten a bit stale. Standards based reform dates back to the 70s. The first charter laws schools were passed over 20 years ago, just as a body of research confirmed the impact of great teaching on student achievement. Sure, reform has made progress. But with only 1/3 of our students college and career ready, it would be a shame if we used today’s opportunity to rehash tired old debates about choice and accountability.
What we really need is a new conversation that begins with what our children want and need and empowers them to pursue their interests. There’s a name for it—personalized learning–and it’s based on the common sense idea that our schools should meet every child where they are and help them get where they want to go.
No two students enter the classroom at the same exact point, even if they’re identical twins. Over the course of a school year, some will feel overwhelmed, get frustrated and fall behind; others will get bored and tune out. Under the circumstances, the teacher will do the only rational thing and teach to the middle.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. The personalization of learning allows students to demonstrate competency as soon as they’re ready – and once they do so, let them go on to achieve higher. It allows teachers to target learning in a way they never could when they’re teaching 30 kids all at once. Continue reading
1) Speak Up 7 for 2017: Top digital learning trends in K-12 schools today
Today at the ASU GSV Summit, we shared 7 trends that we are watching!
Following are seven trends in digital learning based on the the Speak Up 2016 data.
- Funding, the achievement gap and staff morale top the list of superintendents’ concerns.
- Administrators say data-informed instruction, social media communications and online assessments are some of the education technology approaches that are generating positive student results.
- Online videos and games top the list of types of digital content being used in classrooms.
- Students are using mobile devices (for learning) differently when directed by a teacher and when self-directing their own learning.
- Teachers, administrators, parents and students remain on different pages when it comes to using technology for learning.
- Social media plays role in learning for students and educators.
- Parents prefer personal emails for receiving information from their child’s school.
Tweet: Speak Up 7 for 2017: Top #digitallearning trends in K-12 schools today http://bit.ly/speakup7for17 #asugsvsummit #edtech #mlearning #eddata Continue reading
Computer-savvy students share their expertise with seniors struggling with today’s technology.
(TNS) — LONDONDERRY — Renata Dryer came to the senior center with a list of things she wanted to accomplish.
That included learning how to send text messages and download apps on her iPhone.
Luckily, she was joined by Londonderry High student Lizzie Niven, who helped Dryer with her technology troubles.
Dryer was one of about 16 local seniors participating in a technology help program that joined area seniors with Londonderry High students for an afternoon of technology support. Continue reading
Is a picture really worth 1,000 words?
Two interesting observations:
- In the K–12 classroom, today’s youth spend 90 percent of the time with text-based materials and 10 percent of the time with image-based materials.
- Outside the K–12 classroom, today’s youth spend 90 percent of the time with image-based materials and 10 percent of the time with text-based materials.
(CN is saying that ES is exaggerating (again). OK, OK … The percentages aren’t exact —but they are absolutely in the right ballpark.)
Let’s start with Snapchat, the social media service where pictures users send to each other disappear after being viewed for 10 seconds (though a “story” — made up of sequences of pictures — last 24 hours). Why do the pictures disappear on Snapchat? Just as verbal conversation disappears, so now picture conversations disappear. Snapchat embodies the ephemerality of conversing — but in pictures. Continue reading
Posted in Articles/Reports, Teaching and Learning
Tagged 21st Century Fluency, 21st Century learning, images, learning, literacy, media, media literacy, picting, pictures, teaching, writing
When Aly Buffett was a young girl struggling with reading, her parents brought in a tutor. The tutor told her, “You’re struggling right now, but I’m here with you, and you’re going to do amazing things,” Buffett said. Now 20 years old and a junior at Tulane University, Buffett believes her tutor’s warmth and confidence altered the path of her life. She realized that the steady support she’d received from her parents, teachers and tutor isn’t something every struggling child receives.
“A lot of kids aren’t told, ‘You’re going to be successful, you’re going to achieve a lot,’ ” she said. Conscious of her good fortune, and grateful to all who helped her, Buffett is considering a career in politics so she can shape education or health policy. “I feel the need to pay it forward,” she said. Continue reading
Alert: This very week, the last week of ISTE Advocacy Month, Congress is determining final funding levels for fiscal year 2017 and ed tech funding is at risk.
One critical decision being made is how much money Congress decides to allocate for the new block grant in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which provides funds that school districts can use for technology professional development; blended learning; and computing devices, digital educational content and services, and equipment.
Action: To ensure adequate funding for the block grant, we need you to flood the phone lines of your U.S. senators’ and representatives’ offices and let them know why this funding is critical.
If you’re a Facebook user, follow these easy steps to help ensure ample edtech funding for the 2017-18 school year. If not, use the tools to contact your representative on iste.org/TakeAction. Continue reading