Recent Blog Posts
As many of you know, I've written a book on responsible technology integration titled Teaching the iGeneration for Solution Tree.
It's a book I'm remarkably proud of because it takes a skills-first approach to 21st Century teaching and learning.
Instead of introducing readers to interesting web-tools, I introduce readers to specific strategies for teaching students to communicate, collaborate, problem solve and manage information.
Sure, readers learn about specific web tools that can make communicating, collaborating, problem solving and managing information easier---but the focus of the text is...
I'm sure every one of us has sat through a class, as a student or an observer, and thought, "Gee this teacher must love the sound of his or her own voice." We watch the students tuning out the teacher's words, waiting until it's time for them to participate or "work." Some students take the opportunity to entertain themselves or each other, while simultaneously checking to see if they can get the teacher...
So I’m completely hacked off tonight.
You see, I’ve spent a few hours wrapped in the criticisms of public schools found in the first pages of The Global Achievement Gap, Tony Wagner’s bit on how schools need to change if our kids are ever going to survive in tomorrow’s world.
Wagner—like many of the educational, political and business leaders who chime in on the “crisis” in public education—fills his preface with the kind of “sky-is-falling” rhetoric that dominates most of today’s #educonversations.
Now, maybe I wear my emotions on my sleeve, but I took Wagner’s criticisms personally and I felt attacked.
Finally reaching the bottom of one my reading stacks, I found myself fascinated and frustrated by the findings of a new study on the relationship between teacher turnover and student achievement.
The study, led by Matthew Ronfeldt and his education economist colleagues, used sophisticated methods to uncover empirical evidence on how teacher attrition, especially in high-need schools, seriously harms low-income and black students. They point out that previous researchers assumed that turnover rates negatively affected high-need students because high quality teachers were the ones leaving.
But this is not the case.
Teacher attrition has a detrimental effect on...
I've been on a bit of a writing hiatus this month while I charge through the first month of school. It's been a great year so far, and I'll be writing more about why in subsequent posts. I first want to shout out two amazing posts by my TLN colleagues.
Over the past several years, we at CTQ have been documenting how school conditions and designs affect the way teachers teach and students learn. Research has demonstrated that curriculum, instructional resources, preparedness and stability of faculty, and connections to after-school and summer-school programs have strong impacts on student achievement. Teachers say the same.
Furman Brown’s Generation Schools are promising models of re-envisioned school conditions. Nearly 90% of the full-time professional staff teach classes. Students get more instructional time (up to 200 days), and...
T. S. Eliot had it wrong— for new teachers it’s September that’s the cruelest month. This is my fourth year at my school and each year my classroom is more stable and the bar is higher for what my students and I can accomplish together. But I remember my formative first September in the classroom and I’m seeing similar patterns play out with new colleagues.
Based on my experience and recent conversations with the newbies, here are the discoveries of September:
- What’s in a name? Everything.
Learning students’ names ASAP is critical. It rubs me the wrong way when people who I’ve met multiple times before don’t remember my name; students feel the same way. Dropping a kid’s name...
This commentary by Barnett Berry originally appeared as a guest post on Getting Smart's blog on September 1, 2011.
Imagine a new teaching profession — the one that students of today and tomorrow deserve. Here’s how “schools” and “teaching” could look:
- In transformed learning environments, digital tools enable students to learn 24/7 and use skills demanded by local and global economies. Meanwhile, similar technologies allow teachers to learn from each other anywhere, at any time.
- Expert teachers create seamless connections in and out of cyberspace. They bridge students’ virtual learning with...