Saturday, February 28, 2015

Great interview with Catlin Tucker


Interview with Catlin Tucker, author of Blended Learning in Grades K-12

Retrieved February, 28 2015

 Catlin Tucker is very knowledgeable in regards to technology in the classroom.  She goes into depth about how blended learning has been very beneficial in her classroom.  She also describes how making sure all children have access to the internet and to a computer is vital in order for our students to achieve success.  This was very informative  I thought and would be useful to all in the education field.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Teacher Personality Bias

Intended Audience: Educators, Teacher Researchers

Key Points: The article I found discussed a German study for how teachers relate to their students better when they have similar personalities. The similar personalities can influence a bias in the classroom.

Relevance: I found this interesting because of what we have been discussing in Critical Perspectives and Inquiry. That a bias goes beyond race, culture, and religious perspectives, but anything that can connect people together. How can our commonalities influence a classroom dynamic? How do we avoid designing classrooms that are more catered to one than another?


Here is the link to the study from Educational Psychology Journal:

Personality similarity between teachers and their students influences teacher judgement of student achievement

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Transition Planning and the IEP

Transition Planning for Students with IEPs

I found this article regarding planning for Transition when a student has an IEP.  I have read the article and found that it covers many areas of consideration when planning for Transition i.e. when, who, outcomes and resources.  This is an area that I see under communicated and the importance needs to be recognized.

Monday, February 23, 2015

10 Homepages that teach something everytime you open a tab

10 Homepages that teach something everytime you open a tab
by Amy Mae Elliot
January 19, 2015
Intended Audience: Educators
Relevance: technology integration is an essential element of today's educator. This idea can help to enrich anyone's web presence.
Key Points: Elliot suggests that teachers should take advantage of rich resources on the internet to keep learning alive and creative. And she suggests, "You could start every day by learning something new, getting motivated by the creative arts or enjoying an inspiring visual." Here are her suggestions:
Merriam-Webster's "Word of the Day" Why not have a word of the day, or for that matter also include a Spanish word of the day?
Google Doodles We all get a kick out of Google Doodles. Sometimes it can be fun to see what they are celebrating that day.
You can't really go wrong including pictures from these kinds of sources. National Geographic's Photo of the Day and Astronomy Picture of the Day
Other suggestions include Wikipedia's "Random Article", The Current's "Song of the Day", Poets.Org's "Poem-a-Day", Today I Found Out's "Surprise" Article, and Daily Kitten

Though some of these might not be what you would choose for your particular classroom setting, the idea still works. Just find what's appropriate and bring it in as a gadget or new post!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Arts and creativity 'squeezed out of schools'

Arts and creativity 'squeezed out of schools
18 February 2015 
Source: BBC News: Education & Family
Intended Audience: Parents, educators
Key Points: This article share highlights from the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Values in the United Kingdom. The study found that "between 2003 and 2013 there was a 50% drop in GCSE [General Certificate of Secondary Education] entries for design and technology, 23% for drama and 25% for other craft-related subjects". Other findings included a decrease in teachers and course offerings in arts, design and drama as well as specials or other related subjects. On the other hand, there was an increase in cost for extra curriculars making them out of reach for students from low SES.  A couple of other interesting quotes from the study:

"It found that youngsters born into poor families with few qualifications were the least likely to work and be successful in cultural and creative industries."

"There are major concerns that the educational system is not focusing on the future needs of the cultural and creative industries and the broader needs for innovation and growth in the UK," the commission said.
Relevance:  It is interesting to note that the US is not the only educational system that is cutting back on arts and extra curriculars as part of the regular curriculum offering. The article mentioned that the focus on STEM should move to an emphasis on STEAM to include the Arts - an issue that is also debated here in the States. However, it was not clear whether the decline in arts and extra curriculars is related to the increased focus on standardized testing that we are experiencing here in K-12 education.

Opting Out of State Standardize Tests

I found an article on OregonLive about the debate of standardize tests. Students are being ask to take more and more standardize tests. These test are supposed to measure for a school's report card and for individual student academic achievement. The concern for parents is whether or not these tests are really worth it. In the article, the author discusses how some parents are responding to the tests and what they're doing to opt out of them. The school districts felt differently.

In the article, the author introduces a standardize test called PARCC that aligns itself with the Common Core Standards. Here is a link to their website if you're interested in looking around ( I noticed that the testing company is run through Pearson Education, Inc. Pearson was the same company who administered my Essential Academic Skills Test (ORELA- state requirement) for getting into our masters program. I found it interesting that Pearson was involved in both state tests, administering ORELA and PARCC. (Side note: Pearson is a British Company) Thoughts??

After investigating Pearson, I found the article below that describes how closely connected Pearson is with the our government. Everything is always about money.

Flocabulary and the Power of Educational Hip-Hop

Flocabulary and the Power of Educational Hip-Hop
Posted February 18, 2015

I came across this article about using hip hop style music videos and rhymes as an aid in teaching. I watched two of the videos, one was about the 5 elements of a story and the other was a vocabulary lesson. Both were engaging. This article is a review of the company and its program

Here is a taste of what they do

Monday, February 2, 2015

Blogging about Critical Issues in Education

Unless you are already in the practice of checking news and media sources on a regular basis, it can be challenging to stay current on the issues being discussed in relation to our field. This blog has been created to support exploration of educational issues from a variety of sources. We will talk about some of the different media venues we might want to use and I have also included some links to the right.

Our goal is to cultivate a habit of practice of regularly monitoring or reading and writing/posting reviews [or annotated bibliographies as appropriate] on important educational topics. Aim for at least one posting a week, and try looking at a variety of sources outside of the ones you typically frequent. Sources can include newspapers, research journals, books, book chapters, magazines, and radio segments or podcast, television shows, and credible internet media. In other words...the gamut!

Practice your blogging skills and embedded visuals or multimedia.
Please ensure links are live.
Don't forget to add a label so that we can access posts by themes. A number have already been created in previous posts created by my students in other courses, so use those or create new ones as needed.

Posts can be either a short form annotated bibliography, or a summary that includes the following:
  • Title
  • Source/Author/Date
  • URL Link
  • Key Points
  • Relevance
  • Intended Audience