We need to teach students to think of their writing as something that isn’t tossed off like a rapid-fire text, but rather as something that is meant to be read, something that represents who they are and what they care most about. Our students’ thoughtful, civilized sharing of their dreams and ideas can ultimately help build connections and maybe, just maybe, change the world.
If we are really wanting to help these kids that might be coming from poor situations, we need to rethink the practices that we already have in our schools to provide for them. For example, many schools have “computer labs” where we take kids once or twice a week, to do something with technology or allow them to type out an essay for us. This is not a good use of technology anymore and we should know better now. Technology should be at the point of instruction and be as accessible in learning as a pencil; it shouldn’t be an event. How many pencil labs do you have in your school?
How to teach all those learning styles? How to make diversity work? How to keep kids from cheating? Bullying? Dropping out? How to prepare citizens for democracy and leadership in a complex, changing world? How to get them to love to go to school every day? Treat them as if they each have a teacher within.
Teaching done well is complex intellectual work, and this is so in the primary grades as well as Advanced Placement physics. Teaching begins with knowledge: of subject matter, of instructional materials and technologies, of cognitive and social development. But it’s not just that teachers know things. Teaching is using knowledge to foster the growth of others. This takes us to the heart of what teaching is, and why defining it primarily as a craft, or a knowledge profession, or any other stock category is inadequate. I’m not sure there is any other work quite like it.
Amid the push towards more inclusive settings — now more than ever — a building principal needs to develop staff members’ capacity to successfully meet these needs. Also, since high-stakes test scores are disaggregated, and in some instances, being attached to teacher performance, educational leaders need to have a wide lens when looking at achievement. The only way this can happen is to be in the classrooms and give feedback
Let’s face it—no matter where you live, there’s a great chance that when many people talk about “good” schools, they consciously—or subconsciously—mean schools with low numbers of minority students and children in poverty.
If high IQ scores are not reliable indicators of genius, what are? Advocates of gifted children hope schools can be designed to turn intellectual promise into world-changing creativity. Many of those experts admit that a lot of our gifted programs at the moment don’t add much. What those children get in an occasional pullout class is likely to be less interesting to them than their own research in their parents’ bookcases, kitchens, the local library and the Internet.
It’s far more helpful to take a holistic view of your technological entourage. We tend to weigh up a single device against our myriad potential uses, whereas the smart question is whether a new machine can add to or improve our scenarios of use. Can it let me travel lighter? Will it cause less eyestrain when reading? Does it run an app or game I want? Is the cost worth the benefit, given what I already have?
As we continue to fight to keep the arts in education, it is time to realize that the real fight is keeping the art in education. We need to create a balance of art and science as we nurture the students in our care.
It isn’t enough to simply put the iPad/laptop/chromebook, etc. on your classroom – it must be integrated into your classroom. We must first focus on the pedagogy and then gild the device’s benefits around it. The instructions processes direct the tech. Whatever tool you choose, this remains true and specific to the tool.
Students can hold the sum total of human knowledge in their hand with a device that is the size of a deck of cards. Yet we still tell them to “turn those devices off.” —Will Richardson
News is to the mind what sugar is to the body. News is easy to digest. The media feeds us small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don’t really concern our lives and don’t require thinking. That’s why we experience almost no saturation. Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-coloured candies for the mind.