Saturday, June 29, 2019

Educational Links 6/30/19

How Do I Teach Social Acceptance in Middle School?

  •   Mental Health Issues Increase Among Young People

How Transparent is School Data When Parents Can’t Find it or Understand it?

What is student agency–and why do we need it?

Six Summer Reads for Teachers

How To Fix Higher Education

Inattention, Impulsivity Contribute Significantly to Social Impairment in Children with ADHD vs. Children with Autism and ADHD

Researchers at the University of Michigan found a link between two hallmark ADHD symptoms — inattention and impulsivity/hyperactivity — and greater social dysfunction among children with ADHD vs. children with both autism and ADHD; this link did not exist at all in children with only autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The Human Side of Assessing Writing

Commas, all I can think about is commas.
The higher level thinking skills it requires to write, and assess writing, brings humans right up to the level of angels. Which is a metaphor no computer program could compute, I'm guessing. After teaching kids to write for about thirty years, I will say that allowing a mathematical computer program to attempt to inspire young writers is rather unimaginative, to say the least.

I've seen what those programs did to the Gettysburg Address. Low scores for brevity and poor sentence structure, no doubt. "I Have A Dream," I bet too much repetition and veering off the main topic. We won't consider what a computer would try to do to poetry--ha, it kind of makes me laugh--the overload e e cummings would give it (just on written conventions!)

Can we trust our kids' thought development to a computer program?

1. The Algorithm Didn’t Like My Essay 

No points for free indirect discourse, Jane.

Even English teachers have different perspectives on writing. I've worked with English teachers that will say, "Oh, I don't like poetry." How can that be? How can a person with no taste for the higher developed thoughts of man train young people to be eloquent? How can a machine with no soul?

2. Computers Grade Essays Fast ... But Not Always Well 

The choice of words (and using written conventions, sentence structure, new use of vocabulary) to express thought really need an educated, well-read person to analyze it. And a person tolerant of new ideas. Are we looking for Data from Star Trek? He couldn't even use a contraction or understand an idiom.

Don't we want our kids to create new idioms?

What do they mean, "Miss Bronte, Wuthering Heights too emotional?"

 "There's a terrible tendency to confuse raising standards with standardizing." 

— Sir Ken Robinson


Yes, Sir Ken, standardizing the genius of the next generation will only make them really bored with education. And finding a new venue to express themselves besides traditional school. I think maybe they've already found the acceptance of new ideas online.

I scored 3 on the rubric, same as the Emancipation Proclamation?

 "On a scale of 1 to 6, one of the greatest presidents of the United States was only getting 2s and 3s. " 


- University of Akron's Mark Shermis, on a computer's evaluation of the Gettysburg Address

I've often thought it was a good thing Lincoln had a frontier education. More clear thinking. More clarity of action. Our kids are on the tech frontier and will reject the criticism of an algorithm that is from the past, traditional and can't think; just like they reject intolerant and backword teachers.

We won't be climbing the ladder of Bloom's Taxonomy if we remain super-glued to written on the lower rungs of convention and sentence structure without the inspiration of living language.  Woops, that was another metaphor a computer couldn't evaluate.

Man, I only got a 3 on the Writing Rubric.


"Devise, wit; write, pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio."
Love's Labour's Lost -- Act I, Scene II

Almost funny how William's words would end in the clutches of a computer program--maybe Word's Labour's Lost?


The Summer Wind

Tree in the Wind, Van Gogh

Sirocco?  热风--首页? Santa Ana? (SoCal reference to hot winds.)

Frank Sinatra -Summer Wind (1966)Arrangement by Nelson Riddle.

The summer wind, came blowin' in from across the sea
It lingered there to touch your hair and walk with me
All summer long we sang a song and then we strolled that golden sand
Two sweethearts and the summer wind

Like painted kites, those days and nights, they went flyin' by
The world was new beneath a blue umbrella sky
Then softer than a piper man one day it called to you
I lost you, I lost you to the summer wind

The autumn wind and the winter winds, they have come and gone
And still the days, those lonely days, they go on and on
And guess who sighs his lullabies through nights that never end
My fickle friend, the summer wind

The summer wind
Warm summer wind
Mmm, the summer wind

I Love That Teaching Idea!

101 Ways For Teachers To Be More Creative 

Browse the "Idea Directories"

25 Best Websites for Teachers 

10 Ways to Teach Innovation 

Educating the Next Steve Jobs 

Ways to Make Your Teaching More Effective

Ways to make your teaching more effective

Feel Lost At Sea With Ed Tech?

I won't say the 'average' teacher has issues with the rapidly changing ed tech classroom. I would say 'normal' teachers do. The complexities of the nano-second ed tech progress confuses even the techies. Now the Common Core requires testing online soon and very soon K-12.

Try not to panic, 92% of teachers that are floundering with these all pervasive, complex, overwhelming classroom changes. Don't cry. You are not alone. Not really.
  • Where can I find help? We're going to Chromebook.  I'm a teacher with not much tech expertise.  
Google Chromebook is a good deal for many districts. And the students can really learn to write with it. I have an affiliation with a district that I feel represents the complexities of rural, poor, and tech challenged students and their teachers. They have just acquired 1:1 Chromebooks in the classroom for grades 2-12 . Just weeks ago. The only required training for teachers was the very first level for Google Certified Teachers, and they are walked through it district assistance. Is that enough? For the great number of average teachers who only go online maybe for Facebook, no. What should I do if I'm a teacher in this category? Here are some resources: 

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Understanding Google Certification 

Chrome: Getting started

This is a quote from this page. DON'T YOU FEEL BADLY after reading it. If you are a teacher, such as myself, who has actually spent 24-7 planning and teaching and not sitting in your computer chair--this isn't that simple to you. So here is the smug quote:

It’s easy to get started with a Chrome device, whether you are an IT administrator, a teacher or a student. There’s no steep learning curve standing in the way of learning, teaching and sharing, and the web-based management console makes it easy to administer a fleet of Chrome devices.

I really despise the stuck-up attitude given by some of the ed tech community. We are not stupid, and we have legitimate questions. Don't you tell me, sonny, there's no steep learning curve. Anywho, ask for help, from your grade level, from the tech person, from family. You could pray about it. Don't give up. Some teachers I spoke to said they were retiring because of the changes with ed tech. Retire if you are ready, not to avoid learning something new.

  • I'm a Principal and my teaching staff has the deer-in-the-headlights-look when we talk about ed tech at staff meetings. Its just about an emergency. What to do?
Be reassuring. Remember teaching? Evaluate your students (staff) and differentiate instruction. Organize trainings lead by compassionate ed tech savvy staff that won't embarrass or leave the teachers behind. Maybe there's a Special Ed. teacher who knows ed tech and could do this for you. I'm actually not joking about that. Don't take the teachers' word that they understand ed tech, (their jobs depend on this, they'll smile and nod just like a student), check for understanding through walk-throughs, demonstrations, asking the right questions in a non-threatening environment. Just like a good teacher. Grade level reports with evidence of success. Remember teaching? Check for understanding and, as we all know, teachers (and everyone else) don't do what you expect, they do what you inspect. Ed leadership has to actively support ed tech learning with your staff. Your future test scores depend on your teachers knowing ed tech. Here are some resources:

Office of Education Technology 

Why Teachers Hate Tech Training ... and What to Do About It 

Training Teachers to Integrate Technology
  • I want to use ed tech in my class, but we are not getting the ed tech equipment. I teach Special Education, and also need time for training in ed tech.

Red flag here. By my informal observation, special education classes are not receiving current ed tech. In the past, special education classes customarily received out-dated textbooks, inadequate or inferior classrooms, no equipment or it was shoddy, and somehow funding earmarked special education did not make it to the student even when in an IEP. I'm not naming names, or stating it happened under my watch (it didn't because I'm kind of a watchdog about that.) I have recently been in a Special Education for the Severely Handicapped/Autism Classroom that very effectively used iPads with the students. I would be very interested to see how Chromebooks with the simplified writing opportunities work with this student community. Do Special Education students have a right to ed tech like the other students? How about the teachers?

This is a Special Education legal website. Don't tell anyone I sent you.

Technology and Assistive Teachnology 

Chromebooks for Special Education and Assistive Technology 

What does edtech look like in the special ed classroom?

  •   Ed tech looks so exciting online. Why does seem so dull in a real classroom?

News from Skype in the Classroom
Ed tech is absolutely, mind-boggingly exciting. We have lived to see the future! And the kids are launched exponentially, literally launched into a future of success, productivity, equity, and fascination no one can even dream about. Some teachers are like the explorers of the 'New' World, the New Digital World. What are they reporting back? How can all teachers get in on it? First, all teachers need to board the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria and launch into the unknown. Shake up those lesson plans from 1989 (or even 2011) and incorporate the communication values of the internet. Skype. Email. Virtual tours. TED talks. Research using curiosity. Poetry Slams. Virtual Art Shows between schools. Dance Festivals. School Gardening Shows. Sing offs. Pen pals--an online community for your class from anywhere your district will let you skype. IMAGINATION will drive the best teachers to learn ed tech. Truth be told, not all teachers need to be ed tech experts. Collaborate with ideas for educational experiences within your PLN--how exciting to have all that enthusiasm and expertise united for learning fun. The best part is no one is bored, not the kids, not the teachers. The Common Core is reinforced with teachers reaching the highest level of Bloom's Taxonomy. Principals can arrange for collaboration time. Go beyond CoolMath and Accelerated Reader. The teachers that don't want any change? Let them retire or find another profession.

Exciting Ideas for the Implementation of Educational Technology in the Classroom 

Learn the Ins and Outs of Google Classroom from an Expert 

Cool Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom

Teaching Is Learning Ed Tech 
Teaching Is...Learning Ed Tech

Teaching Is...Learning Ed Tech II


Friday, June 28, 2019

Educational Links 6/29/19

Stifled Creativity and Its Toxic Impact on the ADHD Brain

What If Teachers Didn’t Focus So Much on Individual Achievement?

Screen Time: How Much Is Too Much?

What It Means to Have ‘Impact’ in Education

Why Did That Student Fail? A Diagnostic Approach To Teaching

From their grasp of content and literacy skills, to their engagement level, to behavior and organizational issues, to teacher actions, to the proverbial “stuff going on at home,” the possibilities are maddeningly endless. The following 8-step process is a valuable tool for me as a teacher, so I thought I’d share a version of it here in hopes that it might help you. It was useful not only for me to see what strategic responses I had available to me as a teacher, but it was also useful for students to come to know what to expect.

Check Out Ed Tech To Help Teachers

How Technology Helps Teachers to Manage Their Classroom 

Free Technology For Teachers

Tech Savvy Teachers Talk Less about Technology and More about Teaching

Survey highlights changing teacher opinions on ed tech 

Ten Ideas for Teaching Teachers Technology 


How to Help Teachers Integrate Assistive Technology in the Classroom 

50 Education Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know About 

The Teacher’s Guides To Technology And Learning 


Americana--the Nation's Heart: Grandma Moses and Harriet Powers

The Flag Grandma Moses

Grandma Moses! America's Most Loved Painter of Folk Art!

Harriet Powers' Bible Quilts

Sewing Stories: Harriet Powers' From Slave to Artist Reading

Reading Tips

Reading Tips for Parents (in Multiple Languages)

10 Hacks To Help A Struggling Reader

Adult Literacy Reading Programs

10 Ways to Encourage Your High-Schooler to Read

English Language Learners and the Five Essential Components of Reading Instruction

Learning How to Read: 10 Ways to Help a Reluctant Reader

Ten Things to Help Your Struggling Reader