Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Things That Have Me Thinking This Week...March 26, 2012

Here are a few of the blog posts and articles that made me stop and think over the past weak. Enjoy!
Beyond The Textbook - Dean Shareski

This blog post from Dean Shareski of Discovery Education provides an overview of a meeting that took place at Discovery Ed. headquarters last week with some phenomenal educators from all over North America on the topic of what a 21st Century version of the textbook will look like.

While there is a lot of debate about who should create these "techbooks," this quote sums up the the most important thing that we have to keep in mind in this conversation.
"I do feel like the intent is to create something of value, be that a service or product and empower and support students and teachers in a variety of great learning opportunities."

Report: Test Cheating May Be Widespread - CNN 

This story from CNN was a result of the Atlanta Journal Constitution's investigation of standardized testing from around the country. The study showed the following:
"The seven-month long investigation of testing data examined 1.6 million records from almost 70,000 public schools nationwide. Suspicious score increases, high numbers of erasures and other irregularities were uncovered in about 200 school districts."
If you are interested in reading the entire report, you can check it out here.  Personally, I look forward to a day when we stop relying on multiple choice tests to measure the progress of our students and our schools.  That is what I call cheating.


Should we require school employees to have RSS readers? – Part 2 (more questions)

This is an older post from Scott McLeod's Dangerously Irrelevant Blog, but it is still relevant with its questions about the best way to get teachers to adopt new practices. The major question is whether or not teachers should be forced to adopt new resources or whether they should be shown the benefits of new resources and decide for themselves whether they "buy-in." Here's an excerpt that sums it all up:
"Douglas Reeves says that “action drives belief,” not the other way around. He contends that it’s usually difficult to see the benefits of something before we do it because it’s too abstract. We have to start doing it - and thus turn the conceptual into something more concrete - before we actually see the benefits and buy in. This is why, for example, many school districts require educators to be in professional learning communities (PLCs)."
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