Recently found … 04/22/2015 (a.m.)

  • tags: gamification assessment education reform

    • Based at Electronic Arts’ Silicon Valley headquarters, GlassLab is bristling with PhD-level learning scientists and assessment experts who are experimenting with ways to combine game mechanics with academic content. The effort’s ultimate aim is essentially to do away with standardized testing as we know it.

      The project is part of a larger effort across academia looking for alternatives to standardized testing.

    • schools, for all of their obsession with testing, have an inability to do something with the results. The tests happen at the end of the school year, when there’s little time to change course. What else is there to do in the face of failure but fire the educators who brought you all those terrible scores?

      If games do nothing else, they lower the cost of failure, making it happen early enough and often enough so that players can regroup, recover and come back with a better plan. That’s where real learning takes place. Why can’t school work that way?

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

You can’t just cherry-pick data and choose what is true about the world and what isn’t.

Promoting his new show StarTalk, Neil deGrasse Tyson said:

So what does it mean to complain about what politicians do? We should complain about what the electorate does. I’m an educator, so I see it as one of my duties, especially as a science educator, to alert people of what science is and how it works. About what it means for there to be an objective truth that we would then act upon.

Yes! Read the entire interview.

Now we are 6. Ready for college!

Things that make you go hmmmm.

It wasn’t so long ago in our history that kids were expected to go to work at a young age to help support their families. It has been considered a hallmark of an enlightened and progressive culture that we provide schooling as a time for childhood.

Is it no longer okay to just be a kid?

Check out this video from the NY Times

Recently found … 03/05/2015

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Recently found … 03/03/2015

  • from David L. Kirp in the NY Times

    tags: educational reform assessment teaching learning

    • During the past four decades, this school — and thousands like it — have adopted what’s called the Escuela Nueva (New School) model.

      A 1992 World Bank evaluation of Colombia’s schools concluded that poor youngsters educated this way — learning by doing, rather than being endlessly drilled for national exams — generally outperformed their better-off peers in traditional schools. A 2000 Unesco study found that, next to Cuba, Colombia did the best job in Latin America of educating children in rural areas, where most of the schools operate with this model.

    • this is how children — not just poor children — ought to be educated.
    • Escuela Nueva turns the schoolhouse into a laboratory for democracy. Rather than being run as a mini-dictatorship, with the principal as its unquestioned leader, the school operates as a self-governing community, where teachers, parents and students have a real say in how it is run. When teachers unfamiliar with this approach are assigned to these schools, it’s often the students themselves who teach them how to apply the method. “In these schools, citizenship isn’t abstract theory,” Ms. Colbert told me. “It’s daily practice.”
    • Decades ago, John Dewey, America’s foremost education philosopher, asserted that students learned best through experience and that democracy “cannot go forward unless the intelligence of the mass of people is educated to understand the social realities of their own time.” Escuela Nueva puts that belief into practice.
    • Rachel Lotan, a professor emeritus at Stanford, added, “Doing well on the high-stakes test scores is what drives the public schools, and administrators fear that giving students more control of their own education will bring down those scores.” Officials, and those who set the policies they follow, would do well to visit Colombia, where Escuela Nueva has much to teach us about how best to educate our children.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Recently found … 02/25/2015

  • See Stephen Krashen’s response: 

    Many college professors are now independent contractors, known as “adjuncts.” They are paid separately for each course they teach, and are not paid very much, and get no benefits. As budgets at universities get tighter, departments are gradually moving toward adjuncts.

    Will public school teachers become independent contractors? This is, I think, one of the goals of school “reformers,” whose reforms are all dedicated to more profit for the .01%. Eliminating retirement and benefits, and making teaching a part-time profession would release billions for more unnecessary technology in the schools (of course some technology is great, but much of it is being imposed on schools in a great hurry without proper testing).

    tags: leadership teaching

    • The rise of “independent contractors” is the most significant legal trend in the American workforce – contributing directly to low pay, irregular hours, and job insecurity.


      What makes them “independent contractors” is mainly that the companies they work for say they are. So those companies don’t have to pick up the costs of having full-time employees.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.