Leadership – Education – Technology – Other Interesting Stuff

Archive for April, 2012

New ideas about attention…thoughts on summer reading loss…virtual PE class

This week I found a new blog that fascinates me. Linda Stone names concepts I have turned over in my mind for years about attention. Linda does research on attention…”Attention is the most powerful tool of the human spirit. We can enhance or augment our attention with practices like meditation and exercise, diffuse it with technologies like email and Blackberries, or alter it with pharmaceuticals. In the end, though, we are fully responsible for how we choose to use this extraordinary tool.” She defines “continuous partial attention,” “attention density,” “ages of attention” and a few other terms new to me.

This concept from Alan Kay of Apple via Linda Stone is so intriguing to me — point of view is worth 80 IQ points — to consider when putting together a team or group to problem solve, brainstorm, reflect…

How to help kids avoid the summer reading loss – did you know as few as 4-5 books could to that? See what the Book Whisperer has to say.

You know how I advocate for video games in education – after a tornado, this physical education class goes “virtual.”

An infographic that shows what times of day are better for blogging

Creating data visualizations without software is challenging. The Miso Project has just released Dataset, a JavaScript library to help setup the foundation of any good data graphic.

Gifted & Talented, Web 2.0, Interdisciplinary, Grading and Data…

Providing “real-world relevant kinds of opportunities” for kids is a mission of many schools. In Cottage Grove, OR, a project-based learning model is working to flatten the walls of the school…and being successful. (Al and Sandy, you will like this one.)

LiveBinders are like a 3-ring binder, which lives in the cloud, where you can organize and store resources. Some public binders include resources for differentiation, high ability learners, gifted education and Common Core. There is even an app for LiveBinders. The Web 2.0 binders are of interest to me. It seems related to Pinterest only with more capabilities.

An interview with Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the world-wide web, talks about how personal data (online) could lead us to a new era of personalized services.

Just in case you missed it – here is the Time magazine list of the 100 most influential people in the world. It seems pretty interesting that two, young and highly respectful athletes are in the top 5 – Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow…along with Salman Khan.

This article about planning interdisciplinary units in middle school reminds me of the challenge the first time I attempted this. Thank goodness for my colleague, Maureen, who embraced the idea.

Decades ago when I got my teaching license, states were beginning to require a certain amount of hours in specific areas for certification, for example special education. Now there is a move across states to require elementary teachers to take a licensing test focused on reading.

Sue Brookhart and Tom Guskey’s responses to this blog about grading systems are very interesting.

David Ginsburg’s blog about when to return tests and the very accurate cartoon about what happens when teachers do, make me think about the formative assessment practice of feedback. For me, it isn’t so much about when you return graded work – more about what students get to do with the work returned that matters.

I wish all recipes were this easy – a pancake recipe via Venn diagram.

Found an interesting blog by Leslie Graves from Ireland with great notes about gifted education.

The tagline on the web site for School Digger says, “The Web’s Easiest and Most Useful K-12 Search and Comparison Tool for Parents.” The site allows you to pull recent comparative data for schools across a state or locale, down to the level of ethnicity breakdowns, fulltime teachers, freed/reduced lunch, Title 1 funding and more. Thanks to Gervaise for this one.


Infographics – economy & science

The first thing that got my attention about this NY Times article is the title – Why Is Her Paycheck Smaller? Then the trend in the graphic reminded me of lines I see in student achievement and student growth data.

THIS is just too cool! If you are near Grand Central Terminal in NYC you should take time to see the 3D infographics display. And if you are not going there, take the time to watch these short videos (each under 3 minutes). If you teach economics, geography, history, statistics, or any “global” thinking course, how might you use this information? What can we do in education to engage all stakeholders at this level with the mounds of data to which we have access? Next step…once engaged, what paradigm changes or disruptive innovations can we cause such that ALL kids learn and grow the most they can?

  • FT Graphic World Live – project installation and beginning
  • The Global Economy – fascinating statistics about everything from education to drinking worldwide
  • Recession and Recovery – the rays of light in global economy
  • Money Talks – cell phones transforming world economy

 The details about this display are found at Financial Times Graphic World.

 The Scientific Visualization Studio is a repository of engaging visualizations of a variety of earth and space science from the Goddard Space Flight Center. Due to the dry weather winter we’ve had, this one about snowfall caught my attention.

Because I recently shared a different kind of visual about the ocean, this one about ocean currents also caught my attention.

Just a quick shout out to Nathan Yau and his Flowing Data blog, which I have followed for a couple of years now. Many of the infographics shared here were found as a result of his blog.

For teachers…

A new report about why schools should not ban mobile technology. I totally appreciate and support the concept that the use of mobile devices should be paired with instruction in digital citizenship and acceptable use.

Facebook revisits its original roots with the release of Groups for Schools.

For AP Biology teachers – summer 2012 professional development opportunity  

NCTM’s Summer Institute for teachers of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Probability/Statistics

Smithsonian’s Summer Science Education Academies for Teachers – Earth’s History & Global Change, Biodiversity, Energy: Past, Present & Future 

4 reasons why Early College High School might support students

Having taught woodshop for 5 years, I know the kind of rap CTE courses can get. The skills, rigor and experience students receive in these classes are needed to succeed in both college and the workplace.

College readiness begins in kindergarten. when I was in a district I collaborated with the information office to create posters promoting that thought.  This short video (under 10 min), from Montgomery County Public Schools, MD,  shares data about college and 7 keys to college readiness.

Check out Resources for Idaho Teachers if you are looking for tips and resources on differentiation, instructional strategies, curriculum ladders (using DesCartes) and rubrics. While aligned with Idaho state standards, these are ideas that can definitely be adapted.

Oceans, resumes, MAP…

Plotting the depths of lakes and oceans – really interesting view (great infographic), inclusive of James Cameron’s “mysterious door”

What do recruiters look at when they peruse your resume? Eye-tracking software can tell us – For years I have used the style where my education is at the end. I’ll have to rethink that if sending my resume to a recruiter. There were six main points they focused on: name, current company and title, previous company and title, previous position start and end dates, current position start and end dates, and education.

New and hot off the press for Web Based MAP NWEA has new, interactive e-learning to bring proctors, teachers, and other users up to speed quickly. (Not for client-server partners at this time.) It’s called MAP Essentials, and you can share it today with your staff. Coming soon, you will see more training modules. Also, the MAP Essentials link will be available directly from the MAP home page in place of the existing tutorials.

Data in different forms…

Swimming or drowning in data?

Recent interview with Matt Wahl of the Khan Academy on recent stats and partnerships

The role and gestures of conductors — Where was this video when I was trying to teach myself conducting? That was a class I had missed and when I got my first teaching job as a band director, it turns out the book I used to teach myself had the photos printed backwards. C’est la vie! —  

The “empty chair” is the ultimate “boss” at Amazon. How many other companies employ this physical philosophy?

 Would you (could you already) have fired Steve Jobs?

From the Godfather to Geotagging…

Did you catch the 5 essential leadership lessons in the Godfather? Read it to believe it.

  1. Build a powerful community
  2. Hold people accountable.
  3. Don’t get emotional.
  4. Be decisive. 
  5. Spend time with your family. (Oh, and Anne and Sue, I hear “balance.”)

This interview with Amy Astley, editor in chief of Teen Vogue describes her leadership experiences, style and some lessons learned – and she talks about a “benevolent dictatorship.”  

Stealing from one of the world’s fastest shrinking glaciers  – ice cubes for sale.

The mobile device future in the classroom – more about cellphones…and then the bigger picture – how do we change pedagogy? What is the impact on student achievement? On learning?   

I admit it, I had not thought about kindergarteners Tweeting their learning log to their parents…and it is such cool version of a learning log (formative assessment technique).

Who knew fantasy band camp could help CEOs get better, let alone even existed?

Thoughts about protecting us from the time when the sky really does start falling  

An app and an online service to help you pay attention to the image perceived from your use of social media  

Back in the mid-90s, I bought a whole notebook for learning how to brainstorm. Who knew I needed it? What I learned is we assume folks (even kids) know how to do this. We don’t. I love the personas given to a brainstorm facilitator in this article

Geotagging articles in Wikipedia leads to a fascinating picture of those whose “voices” are “heard” on the Internet. The mapping tool is utterly fascinatingand slightly scary at the same time. How DO we get all the voices in the room?

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