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Will Letter Grades Survive?

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A century-old pillar of the school system is under fire as schools look to modernize student assessment.

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12 Questions To Ask Your Students On The First Day Of School

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12 Questions To Ask Your Students On The First Day Of School by Terry Heick The premise here is simple enough, and I’ve written about this kind of thing before in greater detail (see 20 Questions Parents Should Ask Teachers). You’ll likely learn their name, roughly be able to estimate their height, know what school […]

The post 12 Questions To Ask Your Students On The First Day Of School appeared first on TeachThought.

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Using Digital Tools in the Music Classroom

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Apps and tools are changing the way students learn to play an instrument, but there’s no getting around the need for lots of practice.

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Texas To Require High School Graduates To Apply For College Financial Aid

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A new Texas law will require all graduating high school seniors to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA, or the state's equivalent.

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Podcast – Harnessing technology for deeper learning

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Last week my interview with Tom Vander Ark went live on the Getting Smart podcast. Tom grilled me about my law degree(!) and then we got to the core of the interview.

Tom and I talked about school transformation and instructional redesign, during which I uttered this immortal line:

GettingSmartpodcast

Hope you enjoy the discussion. Happy listening!

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Talking past each other

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Anthony Kronman said:

When it comes to campus speech, the adversaries tend to divide into two recognizable camps. On the one hand are those who say: This is a special community, an inclusive community, we care about the well-being of all its members and we must see to it that they are not made to feel excluded, wounded, or depreciated. And to that end we need to be careful because speech hurts and offends and demeans. On the other hand, there are the speech libertarians who say that the tradition of free expression rests on the axiom that speech is the great engine of truth, and if that axiom applies to society at large, it applies with quadruple force on a campus, which is after all devoted to the truth.

They’re both wrong because they both miss something important.

The speech libertarians fail to understand that a college is a special community, but not the kind that those who are in favor of trimming speech for the sake of protecting feelings and inclusiveness conceive it to be. The idea of free speech, as a political value, has nothing to do with the idea of a conversation, which lies at the heart of the very distinctive community that a university represents. In the book I use the example of a speakers’ corner, a soap box in the park set up for whoever wishes to use it. People come and go, they talk about whatever they wish, they insult, they harangue, they respond. And that’s great, that’s an important part of our political culture. No one would wish it otherwise. The people who speak and the people who listen are trying to persuade or resist being persuaded. But you cannot describe what is happening as a conversation.

But talking past each other in a classroom: That is out of keeping with the requirements of the conversational ideal, and it is the responsibility of the teacher to keep that ideal in view at all times. That is a special, rare, and valuable enterprise which the speech libertarians simply don’t notice. By the same token, the defenders of limits on speech for the sake of inclusion do not have it in view either. What they miss is the way in which institutionalized forms of sensitivity compromise the conversational ideal and reinforce the idea that what ultimately matters is how I see the world, rather than the prospect for achieving some shared foothold on the ground of reason and truth. Always an aspiration that we fall short of achieving – I have no illusions about that – but the fact that you don’t achieve it does not to my mind deprive the ideal itself of its magnificent force.

via https://www.chronicle.com/article/Elite-Schools-Are-National/246657

We need our classrooms to be safe spaces that value a diversity of perspectives and experiences. We also need them to be spaces in which we can have conversations that may push on our existing worldviews and make us uncomfortable…

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Failing our students

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FailIf our students get a good grade in government class but leave class as apathetic, uninvolved future citizens… we have failed.

If our students pass the state reading test but never voluntarily read a book… we have failed.

If our students survive math class but end up hating math… we have failed.

And so on…

Chris Lehmann and Zac Chase said in their amazing book, Building School 2.0:

With almost everything we teach, we are always faced with two very different challenges. One, what are we doing to unlock the passions and skills of the 10 percent (or so) of the kids who either already are or could become so passionate about our subject that it becomes their course of study past their K-12 education? And two, what are we doing for the other 90 percent of the kids? Why is it important that they are taking the class?

What are our schools doing to help students find meaning and joy in the classes that they take, not just comply with course requirements? And how often and at what scale? If it’s only a few teachers or classrooms… we have failed.

Image credit: Fail, Kevin Krebs

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Prepared Remarks by Secretary DeVos at the Federal Cybersecurity Reskilling Academy Graduation

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Thank you, Jason, for that kind introduction. And thank you for your leadership as our Chief Information Officer (CIO) and more broadly as a leader in developing effective approaches—like this academy—to address information security challenges. I'd also like to thank Federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent and the many agency CIOs for joining us. Thank you as well SANS Technology Institute President Alan Paller and Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget Margaret Weichert.

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Get Organized With Google Classroom, Calendar, and Keep

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The primary way that Free Technology for Teachers stays afloat is through the sale of my on-site professional development workshops and professional development webinars. As of this morning, more than...

Read the whole entry at FreeTech4Teachers.com »

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Socratic Seminars in World Language Classes

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Six tips for using the powerful discussion model with students who are still acquiring the target language.

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