Monday, February 27, 2012

Things That Have Me Thinking This Week...February 27, 2012

Here are a few of the things that struck a chord with me in my reading during our vacation week. Enjoy!

#1
How to predict a student’s SAT score: Look at the parents’ tax return - via Daniel Pink


After engaging in a debate with some folks as to the fact that the socioeconomic status of a student's parents is still a very accurate way to gauge success, Daniel Pink took the College Board's 2011 Group Profile Report and inputted the data into an Excel sheet.  Check out graphic that was posted on DanPink.com below. The numbers speak for themselves...




#2 
Afraid of Your Child's Math Textbook? You Should Be. - Annie Keeghan


I came across this post from an excerpt that was posted on Dan Meyer's blog (which is a must read for any math teacher).   The post was from a former editor of math textbooks who gave up her work in the industry due to the low priority that publishers place on the quality of materials. The business is more about getting stuff to market than making sure that the highest-quality resources are produced. Here's an excerpt that sums up the whole problem:
One must conclude that students and their education, if this is judged against product quality, is becoming an increasingly low priority. Not only don’t some publishers care, some have no problem expressing their lack of concern. Example: I received an email from a senior math executive of a well-established publisher responding to a concern I raised about the lack of correlations in a particular math series to the Common Core State Standards, correlations that were part of the product specs. The reason they were part of the product specs is because Common Core State Standards have been officially adopted by 43 states (ascd.org) and publishers are racing to make sure their products address them. This is how the senior executive answered my query: “It doesn’t matter if there aren’t enough correlations; our marketing materials say only that we ‘expose’ students to Common Core.”
#3 The Future e-Book...or So Much More -  Greg Carroll

This post discusses something we need to think a lot more about, especially when considering the post above. Are we looking for e-books for our iPads (or other electronic devices) that simply offer the same content that we have been getting for decades with a few more bells and whistles.  This post features a link to  Ted Talk where she outlines her interactive e-book format Khoya that has the reader become part of the story. We need to look at options like this where students are no longer just consumers of information. They need to be creators as well!  


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