FIT Teaching … the book!

FITT_Cover(Warning: shameless self-promotion ahead )

Very excited that the book I’ve co-authored with Doug Fisher (@DFISHERSDSU) and Nancy Frey (@NancyFrey) is available here!

FIT Teaching is a field-tested and experience-honed process that captures the essentials of the best educational environments and empowers teachers to adapt the most effective planning, instructional, and assessment practices to their particular context. We highlight teachers as leaders who work collaboratively to support their students.

Google victims

6th grader in a social studies class learning about Ancient China, on completing his 24/7 report on the Tang Dynasty (students present on a topic for 24 seconds, then summarize with a 7 word sentence, based on the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony):  They developed a great orange breakfast drink.

tang

Teacher’s response: Have a seat, we need to talk about how to use Google.

How do we support students to think when they’re searching on the Internet?

 

Free textbooks?

Emblazoning their social media posts with #GoOpen, teachers, principals, advocacy organizations and trade groups rallied behind what the department described as “high-quality, openly-licensed educational resources” for K-12 schools. Worth noting: These books and materials are free.

“Openly licensed educational resources can increase equity by providing all students, regardless of zip code, access to high quality learning materials that have the most up-to-date and relevant content,” acting U.S. Education Secretary John King said in a statement.

Read the article here.

College degree = higher level skills

According to PIAAC, 3/4 of US unemployed workers had either a high-school diploma or less; roughly 1/2 of those adults placed in the two lowest score levels for numeracy. Among unemployed college-educated adults, 13% scored in the two lowest levels.

The study is one of the first to show that a college degree confers core knowledge that adults without degrees are less likely to possess.

“This allows us for the first time to be able to compare what it is that someone knows with what sort of degree they have,” said Stephen Provasnik, a researcher for NCES and a technical advisor on PIAAC. “That allows us to make distinctions that we haven’t been able to make in the past. Economists have always used level of education as a proxy for the skills that one has. Now what PIAAC does is allows us to measure directly those skills, without having to use the education certification as a proxy.”

Read the article here.

Google Tools — New Templates

Many of my colleagues are reluctant to use google docs, spreadsheets, or presentation slides because of perceived limitations — but they have improved steadily over the past few years. And now there are some great templates available to make collaborative work easier and more professional. Visit docs.google.com, sheets.google.com, or slides.google.com to check out what’s available.

The End of Average

Reading The End of Average by Todd Rose, a fascinating book that argues that standards and standardized assessments are radically outdated.

“Contemporary pundits, politicians, and activists continually suggest that our educational system is broken, when in reality the opposite is true. Over the past century, we have perfected our educational system so that it runs like a well-oiled Taylorist machine, squeezing out every possible drop of efficiency in the service of the goal its architecture was originally designed to fulfill: efficiently ranking students in order to assign them to their proper place in society… (p. 56)

How can a society predicated on the conviction that individuals can only be evaluated in reference to the average ever create the conditions for understanding and harnessing individuality? (p. 58)

… but once you free yourself from averagarian thinking, what previously seemed impossible will start to become intuitive, and then obvious.” (p. 72)