teachers

Personalized Learning

Bloomfire Formalizes Informal Learning

Here’s an article with a little western MI love for  Bloomfire , a Kalamazoo start up creating groups “of informal, social-learning opportunities can be dedicated to anything from sales strategies to fishing.” Bloomfire Manefesto is a little groovy, but if you’re not thinking about the future of…

Personalized Learning

Bad Proxies for Good Teachers

Read Rotherham’s Atlantic article on Teach For America (TFA) and what it takes to be a good teacher. It’s a great summary of what the field, TFA in particular, has learned recently about the attributes of good teachers.  However, it’s frustrating that we remain so unsophisticated about the predictive…

Personalized Learning

The Weight 2

On a sunset walk after a spectacular day on Poverty Bay with blue sky and fresh snow on the Olympics, I thought of three personal stories that illustrate the weight of leadership. 1. The afternoon I was appointed superintendent, I had coffee at the mall and watched hundreds of…

Personalized Learning

Motivation May be More Important than Style

Jay Mathews dug up a report that suggested there was little evidence “to justify incorporating learning-styles assessments into general educational practice.”  I think most teachers would agree that it’s obvious that kids learn in different ways.  But it’s fair to say that books like multiple intelligences was taken…

Personalized Learning

Educational Dilemma: Rigor v Relevance

We argue about testing in the US, but the focus on and stakes related to testing is much higher in China and India where the tip of the human funnel is the 12th grade exam; to a large life options hang in the balance. In the US, there are lots…

Personalized Learning

Belief + Acceleration + Effective Practice = Success

Paul Wezman changed my daughter’s life.  He is an extraordinary teacher that in the mid-90’s was making full use of instructional technology.  Here’s a note from him about the importance of our perceptions of what kids can do and the importance of effective instruction.  He’s a middle school math teacher…

Personalized Learning

The Best of School: Lawrence & Zolynas

M. Scott Peck defines love as, “The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” When I read that sentence on a beach after my first year as superintendent, I scribbled ‘teaching’ in the margin.  What could better describe the work of teaching.

Personalized Learning

Augmented Reality will improve field trips

eSchool News posted a update on Augmented Reality. Here’s a couple snippets: This computer-enhanced view of the world is not just available to cyborgs in science-fiction movies. Increasingly, it can be found on cell phones, for free or on the cheap, through programs that provide “augmented reality.”…

Personalized Learning

How teacher pay should work

Kim Marshall’s December 16 EdWeek commentary attempts to “demolish the argument for individual merit pay.”  He makes good points that suggest that individual bonuses based solely on value-added test scores are not a good idea.  He suggests, instead, team-based bonuses and more pay for master teachers. There’s an…

Personalized Learning

Lapoesia, Neruda

I spent a couple hours this week thinking with a friend about how kids (and adults) decide what to do–where to go to college?  What to do for a living?  I reminded me of David Whyte’s work. Lapoesia (Poem), as David Whyte points out in a Heart…