“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.” by Herbert Spencer

Ted Talks: Education Revolution recently aired on PBS with hosts Baratunde Thurston and Sara Ramirez that had a great line up of speakers. Below is an overview and highlights of the show and I encourage you to watch the show in full here on PBS (60 minutes) or if there is a specific clip you want to watch, they are below. I loved all the Ted Talks as I believe everything they discussed is what we need to do to improve our education system. You can also follow the conversation #TEDTalksPBS.

Sal Khan from Khan Academy

  • Believes there are two key leverage points for learning:
    • Mastery
    • Mindset
  • Believes we should allow students time to master skills based on their need verse a set pacing guide.
  • They need practice and authentic feedback
  • We need to do school differently – we are not in the industrial age but an information revolution age.

Greg Whiteley (no clip, if you want to view – you will need to watch the full video. If you watched – Most Likely to Succeed, Whiteley views are embedded as he was the director.)

  • Believes we need to not teach like we did in the industrial age but for today’s world. For example we should not lecture and have students regurgitate information but rather have student led discussions.
  • Believes teachers should work in teams and blend subjects and contents.
  • Believes students should work on projects verse rote skills.

Julie Lythcott-Haims Author of How to Raise an Adult

  • Believes we spend a lot of time on parents that aren’t involved enough in school and kids lives (and rightly so) that we forget about the other end of the spectrum of the parent that overprotective by micromanaging
  • Parents have the misconception that their student wont have a good future if they don’t (fill in the blank)  get good grades or get into a particular college or don’t get into the career.
  • We deprive our children learning about self efficacy when we do this
  •  Parents should be more concerned about building their skills and habits verse grades to help them become prepared for the real world.

Meshell NDegeocello musician who played in-between Ted Talks

Victor Rios Professor and Author of  Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys (New Perspectives in Crime, Deviance, and Law)

  • Grew up in poverty and incarcerated three times by age 15 but a teacher changed his life by caring and tapped into his soul.
  • He believes there are three strategies teachers can use to help students:
    1. Get rid of our deficit perspective in education
    2. Value the stories that young people bring to school
    3. Provide resources to all students
  • Believes we should have restorative justice course in every school

Heather Courtney and Anayansi Prado co-directed a documentary film called The Unafraid, which follows the lives of undocumented students and the underground movement they are building.

Anna Deavere Smith

  • Goes across the country studying about why so many poor kids can’t make it through school and very often end up in jail.
  • She shares two young people’s stories from Baltimore, Maryland. She does this in a unique way by interviewing them and then acting it out word for word for the audience.

Geeta Gandbhir and Perri Peltz shared a short film on how unconscious bias can sometimes sneak up on us.

Nadia Lopez, Principal and Ted Talk: Why open a school? To close a prison 

  • Her goal was to open a school, to close a prison in one of the toughest areas a Brooklyn, NY.
  • She was up against trying to find teachers that had empathy and want to teacher in this school that had lack of technology, low parental involvement and neighborhood gangs that recruit kids as early as 4th graders.
  • Her student population was 100% poverty, 86% below grade level in Math and Reading and 30% special needs.
  • If our students are not in the classrooms, how will they learn.

Sara Ramirez closed the show performing her song Rollercoaster.

 

 

Become an Apple Teacher

“The most important thing is a person. A person who incites your curiosity and feeds your curiosity; and machines cannot do that in the same way that people can.” by Steve Jobs

Recently the Apple Education Team launched Apple Teacher, a program to help teachers integrate technology skills into the classroom. Apple Teachers are recognized for their understanding of how to use Apple products for teaching and learning. They have proven knowledge of using iPad, Mac, and built-in apps to enhance productivity and inspire creativity in their classrooms and beyond. Apple honors their achievement and commitment to creating the very best learning experiences for students. Anyone can become an Apple Teacher and it is FREE.

To sign up to be an Apple Teacher, click here. You will then be taken to the ‘Apple Teacher Learning Center’. The Apple Education team has personalized the learning experience for you because you can choose which Apple Teacher path you want, either iPad or Mac, to become an Apple Teacher. (You can also do both paths if you want to as well.)

All you need to do is complete eight online quizzes, in any order that you want, to earn badges. You do not need to review the study materials or resources provided if you feel you have mastered the content of a certain quiz, you can just take the quiz. For example, I use iMovie on my Mac a lot; I felt pretty confident that I didn’t need to utilize the resources provide and I just took the quiz. You can complete the quizzes at your own pace and once you earn all eight badges, you’ll receive an official Apple Teacher logo that you can share with the world. 

 

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Apple Education Team will also be updating the Apple Teacher Learning Center, so be sure to come back and check out new learning materials! What do you have to lose, give it a try and Good Luck!

 

Celebrating Dot Day

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” by Erich Fromm

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Join the millions of students, teachers, and librarians this International Dot Day, celebrating creativity and courage in 134 countries!  International Dot Day is staged to encourage people of all ages to harness their creativity on or around September 15-ish each year! The influence behind the event is the children’s book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. Below is how you can get involved with your class in a few easy steps:

Step 1: Register

 

Step 2: Download the free Educator’s Handbook

 

Step 3: Get ideas and connect with others through FacebookTwitter, Pinterest and this Dot Day Google Doc.

 

Step 4: Join Discovery Education’s International Dot Day Livestream on September 13th at 1PM EST. Register here.

 

Step 5: ‘Make Your Mark’ on September 13th, 2016. Don’t forget to share your International Dot Day ideas via #dotday!

 

There are a lot of resources to help you plan this day, including an International Dot Day certificate, check some of them out here!

“Every day brings new choices.” By Martha Beck

I was working on a professional development this week and I decided I wanted to try out a new web tool. I have seen My Simple Show about a year ago being used when it was in beta and so I decided to test it out. I think it is an awesome tool students and educators can use.

https://fast.wistia.com/embed/iframe/7r9nmgpvll

Once you make an account, click on create new video. Then you complete four steps:

  1. Draft: This section prompts you to decide on your audience, the purpose of the video and story line which takes seconds to do. Make sure you enjoy the cute mascot and what he says in-between each step.🙂
  2. Write: Write out your script. If you already know what you want to say, this doesn’t take long. (Learn from my mistake, it is really important to make sure your script is finalized before going to the next step. If you decide to go backwards or want to edit, a lot of items don’t save.)
  3. Visualize: Here you get to pick your images to match the words of your script. The cool thing is it automatically does it for you however I changed a lot of mine up too so I wasn’t always seeing the same images. You can also upload your own images too. If you edit the text at this stage, you do get a message that says “Editing your text will reset your canvas for this scene. It’s best to fine tune your text before deciding on illustrations.” I edited a lot of text because I didn’t like how it broke it up. (That could just be me though)
  4. Finalize: Here is where you can choose which voice you would like to read your script or you can record your own. You can also add subtext and video speed.

Each step has a video guide that makes it very simple to use, however when I did skip the help guide I got stuck a few times so I learned, watch the guide!

You can use this multiple ways as an educator. For me, I used it as a way to introduce a topic to educators through a virtual professional development. As a teacher you can have the students create how to videos, show what they know through explaining or have them compare and contrast two topics.

Other blog posts about My SimpleShow that you might find helpful:

Wow – “My Simple Show” Is An Extraordinary Tool For Creating Free Video “Explainers”

My SimpleShow Offers a Good Way to Create Explanatory Videos

 

 

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed no hope at all.” By Dale Carnegie

The beginning of the year is a great time to introduce the idea of having a growth mindset to your classroom. I complied a list of 20 great growth mindset themed books that you can put in your classroom libraries and have for read alouds.

Ada Twist, Scientist, Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

Not a Box and Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis

Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan 

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

Violet the Pilot by Steve Breen

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain Stretch It, Shape It by  JoAnn Deak Ph.D. 

Making A Splash: A Growth Mindset Children’s Book by Carol E Reiley

What Do You Do With a Problem?  and What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett

Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

The DotIshGoing Places by Peter Reynolds

Other growth mindset blog posts I have written:

Musing on Mindset

Tools to Help Students Build a Growth Mindset

I am always looking for more great growth mindset themed books to add to my library so please share in the comments.

 

 

“Technology can and should be used as a tool to open the classroom to the world, to ensure that teachers present standards in a way that fosters active engagement and participation in meaningful ways.” – from Pencils to Podcasts 

Guest blog post by Katie Stover

Who knew what started as a partnership between my education students at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina and Lindsay Yearta’s fifth graders in Rock Hill, South Carolina would become a catalyst for a larger endeavor. In 2013, both groups of students read Linda Sue Park’s novel, A Long Walk to Water  and used Kid Blog as a platform for ongoing conversation about the book. This digital book club enhanced the fifth graders’ motivation and engagement in reading while providing the preservice teachers with a hands-on experience working with elementary-aged learners. The online reader response provided the preservice teachers with authentic assessment and instructional opportunities without having to physically be present in the classroom. They used students’ written responses as a springboard for online conversation about the shared text. The preservice teachers modeled proficient reader strategies like connecting, predicting, and inferring. They then probed and engaged the fifth graders through questioning to elicit deeper comprehension and discussion of the text.

When sharing about this mutually beneficial blogging partnership at the International Literacy Conference in 2014, we were asked by Solution Tree Publishers to consider writing a book about ways to integrate technology into teaching and learning. Fast forward two years later and we are thrilled to announce our new book titled, From Pencils to Podcasts: Digital Tools to Transform K-6 Literacy Practices will be released at the end of August. In this book, we share more about the online book club as well as over a dozen other suggestions for embedding technology into the curriculum to prepare students to meet the demands of the 21st century. We offer practical suggestions for integrating digital tools into familiar literacy practices to facilitate comprehension, evaluation, publication, and assessment. Each chapter provides a vignette, easy-to-use digital tools, step by step instructions for getting started as well as authentic classroom examples and suggestions for adapting across content areas.

We would love to hear from you as you try out and adapt any ideas from the book in your own schools!  Our Twitter handles are: Katie Stover @kstover24 and Lindsay Yearta @lyearta 

From Pencils to Podcasts

Join #21stedchat on October 2nd, 2017 @ 8:00 EST PM with @edu_thompson and @dprindle with guest host @kstover24 as we discuss the book From Pencils to Podcasts: Digital Tools to Transform K-6 Literacy Practices 

To read more about the blogging partnership and other publications by Katie Stover, visit https://furman.academia.edu/KatieStover.

Also check out another great book coauthored by Katie Stover, Smuggling Writing: Strategies That Get Students to Write Every Day, in Every Content Area, Grades 3-12

 

 

“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” By Mattie Stepanek

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A few weeks ago I was inspired when talking to some educators from across the country about Personalized Learning (PL). When we were talking it became apparent that we needed a place to collaborate our ideas around the topic of Personalized Learning. With a place to collaborate we could better learn from each other while also sharing what we know about PL to help other educators implement PL.

PL looks different in every school and in every classroom but the foundation is about letting students own and drive their learning. PL is not another thing but a philosophy. I decided to create a Personalized Learning Collaboration Facebook Group to give educators, from all over the world, a place to share their resources, questions and ideas as they improve their teaching craft around PL. This group is open to anyone and we would love for you to join and share with anyone that you think will benefit from this group. We already have 245 educators from all over the world that are a blend of teachers, administrators, central office staff to Professors at the University level.

 PL Community Group Guidelines: If we see violation of these community guidelines we’ll remove the content and possibly the person posting.

  • All members are encouraged to share content that connects to Personalized Learning. The group is intended as a PLN for educators.
  • We ask that you respect others in the community. Please refrain from any personal attacks, bad language, and to be cautious of sharing too much personal details (ex: no student names if you are sharing student work etc). Anything we deem disrespectful will be removed and any internet trolls will be permanently removed from the group.
  • No spam or scams are allowed and please refrain from posting content unrelated to the group. If you share a link, we ask that it be helpful to the group. Anything we deem spam or a scam will be removed.

I look forward to collaborating with you all as we start another school year.

 

 

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