Blogs on Integrated Studies

Blogs on Integrated StudiesRSS
Ainissa RamirezJune 24, 2013

We love to organize things into boxes: black or white; red state or blue state; mustard or ketchup. We like to categorize subject matter, too, and teach it in discrete bits. We silo subjects. In one class period we teach one subject, followed by another subject in the following period. While subjects might be taught by the same teacher and in the same space, we never see their connections. We never see the links.

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Shawn CornallyJune 7, 2013

So I recently quit my job and started my own school with the support of a local media company, the second largest school district in Iowa, and a groundswell of community interest.

Our philosophy boils down to a fairly liberal project-based learning environment. As I began the marketing push to enroll students, I uncovered some frankly stunning assumptions that many students have about learning:

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Andrew MillerMay 1, 2013

Just what is a game jam? It is a short event, usually only a day or two, where game developers plan, design and create a short game. Similar to a music jam session, game jams don't involve much pre-planning and rely on immediate idea generation and improvisation. Game design companies have these jam sessions regularly, and while many of the games that happen here are digital, some are paper-based. They usually occur in one physical location to allow for immediate, organic collaboration. While there is an element of competition, most of the work is focused on collaboration towards a common goal.

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Shawn CornallyApril 18, 2013

In light of last week's release of the Next Generation Science Standards1 (NGSS), I'm reminded of a quote from a veteran teacher in my building:

"Do they really think the reason kids aren't proficient is because we don't know what to teach?"

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Matt DavisFebruary 18, 2013

The Academy Awards are just around the corner, and there are a number of nominated films that can be great teaching tools for educators this year. It looks like it might be a big year for Steven Spielberg in the classroom and on Award night -- his Lincoln has been nominated for 12 Oscars, including Best Picture.

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Ah, the silver screen: we all love to escape into other times, other worlds, and other peoples' stories. While millions tune in to the Oscars with bated breath and bowls full of popcorn, I know there are some educators out there who are wondering how they can drum up that kind of excitement and engagement in their classroom. Gone are the days when all the students fell asleep as soon as the lights went dim -- movies and videos can be incredibly powerful teaching tools, if you know how to use them well.

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Erin PowersFebruary 5, 2013

As full implementation of Common Core State Standards nears, educators are searching for answers to three questions: 1) What are the CC State Standards? 2) How will they change what I do? and 3) Why are they here? Some of the details are frustratingly elusive as various groups -- publishers, school districts, states, and universities -- jockey for positions in the first post-NCLB initiative.

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Ben JohnsonJanuary 15, 2013

It is time that teachers and administrators realize that public education has reached a dam in the river. We have gone about as far as we can go with isolated instruction and learning. While it may have served the purpose for the older generations, it does not meet the deeper learning needs of students today and tomorrow. Deeper learning can be accelerated by consolidating teacher efforts and combining relevant contents, in effect, opening new spillways of knowledge.

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Everyone is talking about Abraham Lincoln. Steven Spielberg's blockbuster movie Lincoln took theaters by storm, and Edutopia staffers who saw the film thought it could be classroom fodder for years to come. A few enterprising organizations produced study guides for the film. There's never been a better time to drum up good resources to teach about our 16th president -- and the tumultuous times in which he led the country.

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Susan RileyNovember 30, 2012

These days, integration in any area, be it STEM or the arts, seems to be the buzzword to curriculum designers everywhere. There are so many resources floating around out there with the claim of integrating content areas. Yet, true integration is often difficult to find. Indeed, integration is a rare yet seemingly "magical" approach that has the capacity to turn learning into meaningful practice.

Which of course, as any teacher will tell you, is anything but magic.

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