Some educators have internet-phobia. Even worse, some have computer-phobias. After all, clouds disappear, networks go down and files get lost. The internet isn't as secure as the filing cabinet in the classroom and there is less of a chance of a hacker breaking into a manila folder or a briefcase. However, in these days of instant access 24/7, isn't it worthwhile for educators to try to get on the internet and join the 21st century? There are people who enjoy writing notes in a notebook or bringing their personal calendar along so they can literally write in dates. Typing ...


"I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no "brief candle" to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations." George Bernard Shaw What if college wasn't an option? What if you soured academically though your secondary education but knew that you could not further your education anymore because of money? In ...


"In a world dominated by images and video, the ability to see through propaganda and understand the ever-present slick marketing messages, is critically important. By some estimates, we are exposed to an average of 3,000 media messages everyday. Everyone, it seems, is out to sell us something. Today's young people, exposed to thousands of media messages, don't think critically about their media habits or consumption. They tend to believe everything they see, read, and hear. If it's on television, or the Web, then (they've concluded) it must be true. Media illiteracy is rampant." Frank Baker Do we really believe ...


A friend of mine was on the train from N.Y.C. to Poughkeepsie and watched as a few young children began jumping around the seats and doing pull-ups on the luggage bars. As much as most adults would prevent their children from doing these activities in the first place, these children were fortunate enough to have parents and relatives who cheered them on. Apparently they must be training for the Cirque du Soleil. Some passengers on the train stared in disbelief and others tried to ignore the spectacle. Using her 21st century skills, my friend posted a comment about ...


Have you ever read a story and wondered if it was accurate? When doing research, do you not only read your primary sources but also dig down a little deeper and read the sources they used? Do you take it a step further and look for arguments that give the other side of the story? In these days of 24/7 media we are hit with so much information that I often wonder if it is true. I don't mean to sound like a pessimist, but there is no way that all the information that is present in our world ...


Parental involvement is important. We all know that. There are countless studies that show students who have involved parents do better academically. It's a no brainer that parents have the biggest impact on their children (National Coalition of Parent Involvement in Education). In these times of children who play multiple sports, families seem to be busier than ever and that involvement has changed. As a school system, we have to find ways to evolve with our ever changing family structure. The other evening my school PTA had a summer meeting at the PTA president's house. It's something we have been ...


A local guy running for political office showed up to my door the other day and said that he supported education. In his defense, he did not know that I am a school principal. He also did not know that many of us have experienced millions of dollars in budget cuts. Nor did he know that I have had to lay off teachers and have watched students leave to go to private school or homeschool because their parents were concerned over high stakes testing and our changing education system. He merely showed up to the door and said his name ...


Beware of information junk food. Every morning I get up and check Facebook to see what my friends have been up to; then I skip over to Twitter and catch up on some educational reading. While that is happening I'm listening to the local news on the television in the other room. It's a lot of noise coming at me in the morning but it's how I get energized before I leave for school. After all, I want to stay informed in case I get any really tough questions from my fifth graders. I enjoy being connected and learning new ...


Teachers need to make sure that they are fostering strong PLN's in the classroom because as much as it is important to learn from a teacher, we also understand that the conversations students have with one another can be invaluable as well. Through social media and other venues there is a lot of talk about personal learning networks (PLN). A PLN consists of all of the places where you get your information and its how educators tap into educational conversations with colleagues near and far. It's a fantastic way to stay current in our practice as educators. As a principal, ...


In response to NY Times columnist David Brooks: Everyone has an opinion about school. It happens because most people have been affected, positively or negatively by their school experience, so therefore they have an opinion about how it needs to change. Opinions are as diverse as the people who hold them but it is amazing how one can come off accusatory and sarcastic while the other comes of inspiring. In a recent NY Times column (Honor Code), David Brooks gave the example of how Henry V, "one of Shakespeare's most appealing characters" would be medicated and verbally abused by today's ...


The opinions expressed in Finding Common Ground are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments