terça-feira, 22 de maio de 2012

Students Endlessly E-Mail Professors for Help. A New Service Hopes to Organize the Answers. - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Students Endlessly E-Mail Professors for Help. A New Service Hopes to Organize the Answers. - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education:

Students Endlessly E-Mail Professors for Help. A New Service Hopes to Organize the Answers. 1


Pooja Sankar contacts professors individually to talk to them about Piazza, her Web site that hosts course-related question-and-answer sessions.


Meet the Ed-Tech Start-Ups


It's a golden age for educational-technology start-ups. The past three years have seen a spike in venture-capital investment in upstart companies, many founded by entrepreneurs just out of college. Last month The Chronicle outlined the trend ("A Boom Time for Education Start-Ups"), but we wanted to dig deeper.
Below are short features on three such companies, focusing on the problems they hope to solve and the challenges they face in selling their unusual ideas. To get a sense of the emerging field, we've included a list of a dozen other start-ups competing for a piece of the action.

Pooja Sankar may eliminate the need for professors to hold office hours, or to endlessly respond to student questions by e-mail.

Ms. Sankar, a recent graduate of Stanford University's M.B.A. program, leads a start-up focused on finding a better way for college students to ask questions about course materials and assignments online. Her company, Piazza, has built an online study hall where professors and teaching assistants can easily monitor questions and encourage students who understand the material to help their peers.

5 Ways Teachers Can Evaluate Educational Games

5 Ways Teachers Can Evaluate Educational Games:


Dr. David Dockterman is chief architect, learning sciences atScholastic Education and an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is an educational software pioneer and has designed dozens of award-winning instructional technology programs.
A recent Joan Ganz Cooney Center survey of 500 educators found that half of all kindergarten through eighth grade teachers are now regularly using digital games in the classroom. Nearly one in five are using them every day. It’s clear that in the age of the iPad, digital games are opening up a world of new possibilities for teaching and learning, and for increasing engagement in the classroom. But teachers must be reassured that the games they are using are connected to instructional goals.
As part of my work to develop educational math games, we established a process for creation and educational integrity. Here are the five areas we evaluated that teachers can also consider when trying to determine what games to offer their students.

segunda-feira, 21 de maio de 2012

Take a Hike: How to Make Being Outdoors In | Edutopia

Take a Hike: How to Make Being Outdoors In | Edutopia:



nature deficit
Credit: Mark Todd
Though his parents once lived in the countryside in Mexico, Juan Martinez grew up in crowded Los Angeles, barely noticing the earth and sky that was masked by the concrete and smog. Six years ago, when Martinez was fifteen, his science teacher proposed he earn extra credit and raise his failing grade by joining the school's ecology club. He found he liked working in the school garden, which led to a trip to the Teton Science Schools, in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. It changed his life.
"Just to be able to see a fresh stream -- not the LA Aqueduct, but to see an actual stream with fish in it -- to actually see the stars was magic," Martinez says. "This happened at a moment in my life when I needed something to motivate me." Today, he leads overnight camping trips for nature-deprived Los Angeles teens and helps them restore their neighborhood parks, even as he studies to become an environmental lawyer. "I can't live without nature," he says. "I've got to have it in my life."

Sustainable development is the only way forward | Jonathan Glennie | Global development | guardian.co.uk

Sustainable development is the only way forward | Jonathan Glennie | Global development | guardian.co.uk:

Development co-operation needs to shift focus from poverty eradication to a broader, more inclusive framework



MDG : Rio+20 : Sustainable future : Brazil's Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira
Brazil's environment minister Izabella Teixeira at the launch of the Vision 2050 report ahead of the Rio +20 conference on sustainable development. Photograph: Reuters
The term "sustainable development" emerged in the 1970s and 80s as awareness grew of the natural limits within which human development takes place. Despite near-universal recognition that it is a powerful unifying concept, bringing together social, economic and environmental factors, it has spent the 20 years since the first Rio Earth summit languishing in environment ministries.

Rural education offers Morocco's women promise of a quiet revolution | Santorri Chamley | Global development | guardian.co.uk

Rural education offers Morocco's women promise of a quiet revolution | Santorri Chamley | Global development | guardian.co.uk:

Women in remote parts of Morocco are benefiting from a literacy scheme that also teaches civil rights, numeracy and beekeeping



Women's literacy in Morocco
Fatima Kadmire (left), one of the beneficiaries of the literacy programme for women in Beni Zuli. Photograph: Santorri Chamley
In a tiny classroom at the Maison de Citoyenneté support centre for the education of rural girls and women in Beni Zuli, an isolated village in Zagora, deep in south-eastern Morocco's Draa Valley, Fatima Kadmire is describing how learning to read and write is transforming her life.

sexta-feira, 18 de maio de 2012

Communication is everyone's business | Teacher Network Blog | Guardian Professional

Communication is everyone's business | Teacher Network Blog | Guardian Professional:


In response to the government's SEN progress report, Wendy Leeargues recognition and understanding of children's speech, language and communication needs must improve
Speech bubble
An astonishing one million children and young people struggle to communicate. Without special help this can blight their education and have a hugely negative impact on their adult lives. Photograph: www.alamy.com
Few people are aware of the fact that over one million children and young people in the UK have some form of speech, language and communication need (SLCN) and numbers are growing; over the last five years, there has been a 58% increase in the number of children and young people with SLCN as a special educational need.

terça-feira, 15 de maio de 2012

What Exactly Is "Understanding?" And How Do We Assess It? | Edutopia

What Exactly Is "Understanding?" And How Do We Assess It? | Edutopia:


Terry Heick
Terry Heick is interested in learning innovation in pursuit of increased social capacity. He is editor of Edudemic Magazine for iPad, Director of Curriculum atTeachThought, and a regular blogger for Edutopia.

Assessing understanding might be the most complex task an educator or academic institution is tasked with. Unfortunately, professional development gives a lower level of attention to developing quality assessments, training that is rarely commensurate with this complexity. The challenge of assessment is no less than figuring out what a learner knows, and where he or she needs to go next.
In other words, what does a learner understand?
This in itself is an important shift from the days when curriculum was simply delivered regardless of the student's content knowledge.
Among the big ideas Richard and Rebecca DuFour brought to the educational mainstream consciousness was a shift from teaching to learning, a subtle but critical movement. But even with this shift from curriculum, instruction and teacher actions, and toward data, assessment and learning, there remains uncomfortable murkiness.

How Live Tweeted Brain Surgery Reached 14.5 Million People

How Live Tweeted Brain Surgery Reached 14.5 Million People:




A live tweeted brain surgery this week reached an online audience of more than 14 million people, according to the hospital that used social media to broadcast the operation.
Dr. Dong Kim of Houston’s Memorial Hermann hospital system performed a brain tumor resection surgery on a 21-year-old patient Wednesday morning. But the routine operation came with a catch — outside the surgery room, his every move was relayed on Twitter by hospital staff, and graphic photos and video were posted to PinterestYouTubeand other platforms. A brain tumor specialist on hand helped answer questions
“We wanted to spread the educational experience as far as possible,” Natalie Camarata, Memorial Hermann’s digital marketing manager, told Mashable on Thursday.

10 Ways to Optimize Your iPad for Kids With Special Needs

10 Ways to Optimize Your iPad for Kids With Special Needs:




When we think about ways the iPad has changed the world, our minds usually shoot to publishing, entertainment, or mobile communication.
For the community of people living with disabilities, the iPad may have broken even more ground. The iOS device is not only cool, but provides education, therapy and, of course, entertainment.
Last summer, Mashable explored ways iPads are making these changes. Now we’re following up with Sami Rahman, the father of 4-year-old Noah and co-founder of BridgingApps, the Internet’s largest database of special needs app and reviews.
Noah began using his iPad when he was two and was assessed to be 12 months behind with language and cognition. Within four months, he was on par for his age. Now, two years since he began using the iPad, he is 15 months ahead developmentally, can read English and Arabic, and is learning Mandarin.

sexta-feira, 11 de maio de 2012

Great Science Education Starts With Inspired Teachers

Great Science Education Starts With Inspired Teachers:


Mashable OP-ED: This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.
Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, is president and CEO of Sally Ride Science. Each summer her organization hosts the Sally Ride Science Academy Brought to you by ExxonMobil, a teacher development program to strengthen STEM education in the United States. Follow her@SallyRideSci.
Thank you, Dr. Mommaerts. If you hadn’t taken a personal interest in me in high school, who knows what career path I might have followed.
Dr. Mommaerts was the teacher most responsible for me becoming a scientist and an astronaut. She challenged me to be curious, ask questions, and think for myself. But more importantly, she helped me build self-confidence and believe that I could go on to do anything in science. Believe me, I needed some convincing! 

Teams from 39 Southern California Schools Prepare for Solar Boat Races -- THE Journal

Teams from 39 Southern California Schools Prepare for Solar Boat Races -- THE Journal:




Student teams from 39 Southern California high schools are putting the finishing touches on solar-powered vessels they will operate over a three-day cycle of racing on Lake Skimmer, just north of Temecula, CA, beginning May 18.
Billed as "the nation's largest solar-powered boat competition," The Metropolitan Water District's Solar Cup includes students from high schools in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura counties. Contestants will apply their skills in math, physics, engineering, and communications over three days to compete and gain a better understanding of environmental resources such as solar power and water management, the event's sponsors said.
"What makes this competition so unique compared to other science-based events is that it's interdisciplinary. It not only fits science, technology engineering, and math core curriculum guidelines, but it also integrates the environmental sciences, along with visual and language arts, into the program's learning objectives," Solar Cup coordinator Julie Miller, a state-certified teacher in Metropolitan's education programs said in a news release.
 
In addition to the team-building aspects of the competition, students are also encouraged to understand the environmental sciences, including water resource management, conservation, and alternative energy development.

Student Calls for a Learning Revolution | Edutopia

Student Calls for a Learning Revolution | Edutopia:


Nikhil Goyal
Nikhil Goyal (@TalkPolitical on Twitter) is a student at Syosset High School in NY. He's the author of the All Hands on Deck: Why America Needs a Learning Revolution (September 2012), columnist for the Huffington Post, guest blogger for New York Times: Dot Earth, and a conference speaker. Visit his website.

Last year, industrial designer Dean Benstead unveiled the 02 Pursuit -- a prototype for a motorcycle ruled not by gas or electricity, but by compressed air. Just last month, Google announced to the public its secret initiative, Project Glass, the company's first venture into wearable computing.
And yet, in the world of education, the "next big thing" is merit pay for teachers and boosting test scores. Do our policymakers not understand that the world is going through a revolution in the way we live, interact and learn?
Our education system is stuck in paralysis. We have tried doing the same thing over and over again with the expectation of a different result. This is insanity at its finest. The way we educate is based on the tenets of the Industrial Revolution -- conformity and standardization.
For instance, creativity is virtually extinguished as a child goes through his or her schooling. In their 1998 book Breakpoint and Beyond, George Land and Beth Jarman refer to a study in which 1,500 kindergartners between three and five years old were given a divergent thinking test. Divergent thinking tests don't measure creativity, but rather one's propensity for creativity. The test asks questions such as "How many ways could you use this paperclip?" or "How many ways could you improve this toy fire truck?" -- questions designed to encourage creative thought rather than elicit right-or-wrong answers. Ninety-eight percent of kindergarteners tested at genius level. The kids were tested every few years. By the end of post-secondary education, only two percent of students tested at genius level.

quinta-feira, 10 de maio de 2012

Education research exists, so why isn't it used in policymaking? | Education | The Guardian

Education research exists, so why isn't it used in policymaking? | Education | The Guardian:


The EPPSE study, initiated by the Major government, followed the life trajectories of 3,000 children
The EPPSE study, initiated by the Major government, is following the life trajectories of 3,000 children. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Earlier this year, the House of Lords published a long and detailed report on the outwardly rather dry topic of government chief scientific advisers. This 100-page report was based on almost 400 pages of evidence and made some important recommendations about how scientific evidence should be acted upon in public policymaking.
I only came across it after being alerted to the submission from Oxford University's Professor Pam Sammons, who used the government's freeschools as an example of how policies are not always based on robust evidence. She suggested that a more in-depth look at the researchwould have shown the impact of Swedish free schools and American charters on standards and narrowing the gap is not as clearcut as the 2010 white paper, The Importance of Teaching, suggests, and that such policy initiatives should be piloted before being rolled out.

quarta-feira, 9 de maio de 2012

Steve Gerrard joins call for school cookery lessons to fight obesity | Society | The Observer

Steve Gerrard joins call for school cookery lessons to fight obesity | Society | The Observer



Footballer and nutrition experts warn David Cameron that cuts in food education will be a 'disaster' for Britain's youngsters

Secondary school pupils in cookery class
Experts have called for a minimum 24 hours of compulsory education about food and cooking in the school year for key stages one to three. Photograph: Paul Doyle/Alamy
England football international Steven Gerrard teams is teaming up with medical experts and academics to demand that cooking and food education should remain compulsory for all children aged five to 14 to help fight obesity.
A letter to David Cameron signed by the Liverpool captain and a group that includes Professor Terence Stephenson, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, says the Olympics have already been "tainted" by the UK's shameful obesity statistics.
They make clear it would be a disaster for the health of young Britons if a review of the school curriculum now under way allowed cooking and food education to be downgraded. Gerard's intervention places further pressure on education secretary Michael Gove and health secretary Andrew Lansley, who have been criticised for failing to do enough to tackle obesity and encourage good diet and exercise.

Maintaining Content Standards in a Digital World -- THE Journal

Maintaining Content Standards in a Digital World -- THE Journal:




Even though non-print-based learning objects have been in the classroom for years, the shift to digital content has gotten more attention lately. One development that's made the difference is the Apple initiative to introduce its iBooks textbooks for iPads, generating a notable amount of buzz. That and President Obama's announcement that he believes every student in every state should have an all-digital curriculum by 2017. The US Department of Education and the Federal Communications Commission have jointly issued a "playbook" to help guide district efforts to prepare for that transition. Florida already has committed to going all digital by 2015, while San Diego has distributed 78,000 digital textbooks to its students.
That's why it should surprise nobody who's looking for signs of the arrival of a digital revolution that the Vail School District (AZ)--a tiny rural district southeast of Tucson with 10,000 residents, two grocery stores, and no bookstores--is part of an advance charge to stop buying textbooks for its students. Vail's grand vision, called Beyond Textbooks (BT), began nearly five years ago with a goal of shifting to the use of open educational resources--digital content--in all of its classrooms. But it's grown into far more than that.
Today, nearly 50 other districts in the state have teamed up with BT as paid partners to gain professional development and access its wiki-based repository, which includes lesson plans, quizzes, interactive web links, ideas, presentations, and other digital matter. (In fact, the work won the Vail district the 2011 Sylvia Charp Award from the International Society for Technology in Education and THE Journal.)

Building Civilizations, Brick by Digital Brick | MindShift

Building Civilizations, Brick by Digital Brick | MindShift:



Take a look at how teacher Joel Levin uses the online game Minecraft to teach second-grade students how to work together and build little civilizations. The video was released as one of three case studies along with the report by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center on Teachers’ Attitudes About Digital Games in the Classroom.
“I want the kids to learn to be responsible, self-reliant, innovative thinkers who are comfortable using technology to interact and create,” Levin said in an article last year. “I want them to realize that how they treat others in a game, online, or in the physical world is all really the same thing.”

Reinventing Education To Teach Creativity And Entrepreneurship | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation

Reinventing Education To Teach Creativity And Entrepreneurship | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation:


As you read this, students all over the country are sitting for state standardized exams. Schools spend up to 40% of the year on test prep, so that, shall we say, no child is left behind. Schools’ futures and funding depend on the number of students who fall into performance bands like “Advanced," “Proficient,” and “Approaching Basic” based on bubble sheets and number two pencils.
This piece is part of a Collaborative Fund-curatedseries on creativity and values written by thought leaders in the for-profit, for-good business space.
But this is not the rant you think it is.
Let’s get one thing straight from the beginning: As a former high school teacher, I’m not opposed to standardized testing. Common assessments are a critical way of maintaining high expectations for all kids. Great teachers want benchmarks to measure progress and ensure that they are closing the gap between students in their classroom and the kids across town. What you measure should matter. The problem is, most American classrooms are measuring the wrong thing.
Schools used to be gatekeepers of knowledge, and memorization was key to success. Thus, we measured students’ abilities to regurgitate facts and formulas. Not anymore. As Seth Godin writes, “If there’s information that can be recorded, widespread digital access now means that just about anyone can look it up. We don’t need a human being standing next to us to lecture us on how to find the square root of a number.”

Educators Grow Green Schools | Edutopia

Educators Grow Green Schools | Edutopia:


Desk with plants growing on it and hummingbirds flying about
Credit: Allison Kendall
Green schools are emerging around the country, and they are nothing short of spectacular. Whether built from the ground up or retrofitted, they are awash in daylight and the glow of natural wood, equipped with individualized air, light, and temperature control, and surrounded by rich landscapes designed to shade and regenerate our air and water.
Green schools cost less than 2 percent more than conventional schools to build but provide 20 times the financial benefits, according to author Greg Kats. Even in existing schools that are making smaller changes to lighten their impact on the planet, the benefits are obvious: savings in energy, water, materials, land, and transportation. In a 2006 study of 30 American schools, Kats identified an average 33 percent reduction in energy use and a 32 percent reduction in water use in green schools (as defined by the U.S. Green Building Council) when compared with conventional schools.
Less well known are the seemingly invisible assets of environmentally healthy buildings. A school designed to have a smaller carbon footprint can also have a big impact on the learning and health of its students, improving test scores, reducing absenteeism, advancing new levels of learning, and reducing asthma and allergies. Good ventilation, daylight, cleanliness, reduced noise -- all attributes of green design -- are not merely aesthetic improvements; they can actually promote better educational outcomes.

BBC News - China: The world's cleverest country?

BBC News - China: The world's cleverest country?:

Pupils in Yuexi county, Anhui province


China's results in international education tests - which have never been published - are "remarkable", says Andreas Schleicher, responsible for the highly-influential Pisa tests.
These tests, held every three years by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, measure pupils' skills in reading, numeracy and science.
Pisa tests - the Programme for International Student Assessment - have become the leading international benchmark.
The findings indicate that China has an education system that is overtaking many Western countries.
While there has been intense interest in China's economic and political development, this provides the most significant insight into how it is teaching the next generation.

Just what is gifted and talented? | Teacher Network Blog | Guardian Professional

Just what is gifted and talented? | Teacher Network Blog | Guardian Professional:


boy looking at rare beetle through magnifying glass
How can teachers support the children who have potential that marks them out from their peers? Photograph: www.alamy.com
My daughters are both exceptional at art; my son has always been a mathematical genius. My girls have won prizes for art; my boy has won an academic prize every year of his life, including university scholarships. Are my kids gifted and talented?
What do we mean when by "gifted"? Françoys Gagné (2003) says: "Gifted students are those whose potential is distinctly above average in one or more of the following domains of human ability: intellectual, creative, social and physical. Talented students are those whose skills are distinctly above average in one or more areas of human performance."
Gagne's key word is potential. He believes in the power of environmental factors, that being natively smart isn't enough; a child needs support and guidance to achieve his/her gifted potential. Supporting and encouraging gifted kiddies is exactly where home and school collide.

12 Reasons to Get Your School District Tweeting This Summer | Edutopia

12 Reasons to Get Your School District Tweeting This Summer | Edutopia:




Joe Mazza
Joe Mazza (@Joe_Mazza on Twitter) is principal of Knapp Elementary in Lansdale, PA, a school where 20 languages are spoken at home. His blogeFACE Today offers ideas on connecting families using technology. Join #ptchat(parent-teacher chat), which Joe co-hosts on Wednesday nights at 9EST.

Everyone is on Twitter these days, so why not your school district? Twitter provides an easy platform to keep your followers updated -- moment by moment, if necessary! -- about developing situations, sudden brainstorms and calls to action. Following are 12 reasons to get your school district tweeting this summer so that you can hit the ground running at the start of the next school year.

Reason #1: It's a perfect fit to your current mission statement and overall vision.

In our district, we have a fairly comprehensive mission statement that reads something like . . .
"Working collaboratively, our school district will provide an effective, innovative, student-focused community of teaching and learning where students will:
  • Become independent, adaptable, life-long learners who transfer understanding to new applications
  • exhibit creative and critical thinking
  • achieve at the proficient or greater level in all academic areas
  • adapt to a changing technological world
  • transition from competent student to productive, responsible citizen of the global society