In March, Burlington High School hosted the New England 1:1 summit. This event brought together over 350 teachers, superintendents, IT administrators and some parents. One of the highlights of the day was our student panel. The panel was comprised of eight Burlington High School students, ranging from freshmen to seniors, who led an interactive session with the audience. Our students did a great job answering questions, but I was particularly moved by response from one student. The questioner asked, "How do you refrain from the obvious distractions that the iPad presents while in class?" The student took the mic and answered, "Distractions are nothing new in the classroom, however, why don't teachers take the tools that distract us and turn them into learning tools?"
Everyone is on Twitter these days, so why not your school district? Twitter provides an easy platform to keep your followers updated -- moment by moment, if necessary! -- about developing situations, sudden brainstorms and calls to action. Following are 12 reasons to get your school district tweeting this summer so that you can hit the ground running at the start of the next school year.
We often pontificate about the "haves" and the "have-nots" in our schools -- the unfair way that schools are funded, the ways in which some of our students are robbed of opportunity while others are awash in it.
What we don't reflect on enough is how some educators are connected to the global community, emerging trends and research, and larger conversations around reform and the direction of global education in general -- and how so many other educators are simply not tapped into that world.
As more and more people join the world of Twitter (460,000 signups per day), school parents and teachers are more commonplace on this global social media tool. According to a recent Pew Internet Study, 84% of all Twitter users are between the ages of 18-49. Why is this important to school officials? The age range includes the majority of our school parents.
"Parenting is not for the faint of heart," novelist Harlan Coben writes. Let's face it, parenting is really hard, especially when parents feel that "a vast and frightening Internet culture is hijacking their kids," as New York psychologist Ron Taffel notes.
Protégé of Plato and instructor to Alexander the Great, Aristotle was the archetypal learner-teacher whose contribution to modern writers were three rhetorical proofs: pathos, ethos and logos. When combined with 21st century communication platforms, Aristotle's proofs shower rocket fuel on rhetorical efficacy. Using these rhetorical pillars, students can analyze how texts persuade and how unpersuasive texts can be reconfigured.
Recently, I have had students discover my @TheNerdyTeacher Twitter account and follow me. It usually only lasts a few days before they unfollow me -- a few days of my flooding their feed with blog posts, education news and Edutopia articles. The big question I get from kids is, "Why don't you follow me back?"
This post was co-authored with Elizabeth Alderton, Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
We have all done it: "participated" in a face-to-face discussion, nodding along in agreement, but not really present. Many of us have sat in discussions, afraid to throw in our two cents because we might sound silly. On other occasions, we have had a fantastic idea to share, but the conversation passed by before we had a chance to contribute.