Blogs on High (9-12)

Blogs on High (9-12)RSS
Heather Wolpert-GawronMarch 28, 2014

I think when we talk about using music or art or theater in the Core classes, there is still this persistent suspicion that a teacher who plays music in the classroom must be too "soft" or "granola-y." Don't get angry; I'm just stating an observation of perception, not a fact of truth. I would push back, however, that using the arts in the core subject-area classes is far from fluffy.

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Anne OBrienMarch 26, 2014

Most high schools rank their students by grade point average (or weighted grade point average), bestowing the title of valedictorian upon the one who comes out on the very top. But in interesting article* in the March 2014 issue of the Phi Delta Kappan, Thomas R. Guskey asks a simple question: Why?

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AdamBCarterMarch 25, 2014

Instilling "global citizenship" in students is essential to prepare them for our rapidly changing world. Being a global citizen goes well beyond simply traveling or living in another country. It refers to a more holistic view of the world, understanding the commonalities we share and recognizing our responsibility to help our fellow man and safeguard our planet's future. Schools have grappled with how best to facilitate this skill set, but a model has recently emerged thanks to some forward-thinking global collaboration projects that incorporate digital tools and a fresh perspective to break down the walls of the classroom. By focusing on pertinent social issues and cross-cultural understanding, students are able to learn about these other cultures and also become activists as they collaborate with other students from around the world to become global citizens and achieve positive change.

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Suzie BossMarch 25, 2014

More than 400 high school students from China and the United States gathered in the mega-city of Shanghai this month to tackle issues ranging from human rights to air quality to income inequality. Participating in the Global Student Leaders Summit developed by EF Educational Tours meant collaborating in real time with team members from different life experiences, language and cultural traditions, and world views. "We didn't come here for easy," said a student from Jackson, Mississippi.

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Jennifer GonzalezMarch 24, 2014

So. You've tried flipping your class, and it didn't go well. Or you've heard about flipping and want to try the approach, but you're pretty sure it won't work in your school. Don't give up yet -- with a slight twist, flipping might be possible for you after all.

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Troy HicksMarch 21, 2014

Anyone reading this post right now -- whether on your computer, tablet or smartphone -- knows that the interfaces for reading have indeed changed. Whereas just a decade ago, touchscreens were still a novelty, today they permeate our lives. And, according the Pew Internet Project, teens have a device ownership rate of 68 percent for smartphones and, overall, 91 percent for cell phones.

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Bob LenzMarch 21, 2014

Most educators, policymakers, and parents agree that today's students need a mix of knowledge, skills, and dispositions to prepare them to be successful and engaged citizens. Given that students need a mix of these things, educators, policymakers, and parents are also asking, "How do we know if students are learning both what we are teaching and what they need to know to succeed?"

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Mark PhillipsMarch 20, 2014

It's a small town in southern Indiana's beautiful farm country. Once a thriving metropolis, it's now one of many across America that economic forces have reduced to struggling for survival. The local high school population, reduced to a handful of kids, refuses to surrender its identity by being absorbed into a large consolidated school district. Formerly the town's greatest pride and still a center of hope that holds it together is the high school basketball team. Their record last year was 0-22.

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The breakthrough happened after the student took the Bartle's Gamer Profile Quiz and we found out that he was a "killer." Off-the-charts killer, but achievement meant nothing to this student. Just like grades.

No, we haven't identified the next school shooter, and I sure wish that Bartle hadn't named one of the four gamer profiles "killer" -- but nonetheless, this student identified with this profile. Jane McGonigal mentioned it in her Gaming Can Make a Better World TED Talk when she discussed an epic meaning. My so-called "killer" student (and we really should rename this when applying it to education!) simply saw things as a battle between good and evil and wanted to fight on the side of good in an epic quest to make the world a better place. Points don't matter in gameplay, and grades don't matter, either. But when we tweaked the kinds of work he was doing in our Gamifi-ED project to focus on "world-changing games," he was suddenly engaged. Now his face lights up when he sees me. He's one of the first kids to class. He's an engaged gamer and, finally, an engaged student.

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David WestMarch 18, 2014

"School is boring." There is no place for that statement when teachers are creative, engaging and promote genuine learning. But how do teachers make their classes the opposite of boring?

When I began teaching high school business courses four years ago, I was just 23 years old. Because I had recently lived through traditional high school and college instruction, I knew there had to be a different way -- a better way.

Inspiration struck one night, months into my first year of teaching, while watching what was then a new TV show called Shark Tank. Here, entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to millionaire and billionaire investors in the hope of securing funding to start, grow or save their business. When I showed my business students one episode, they begged to watch more. At that point, I knew I had something. So, to capitalize on my students' enthusiasm, I created a project out of it.

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