With the 10th anniversary of No Child Left Behind, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute hosted a panel discussion entitled, "Has the Accountability Movement Run its Course?" on January 5th. Did NCLB, and the consequential accountability movement it embodied, succeed? And with near-stagnant national test scores of late, is there reason to think that this approach to school reform is exhausted? If not "consequential accountability," what could take the U.S. to the next level of student achievement? The panelists also discuss "The Accountability Plateau" report, which challenges its readers with the following: Like the meteor that led to the decline ...


Real world success stories are the most convincing testaments for the potential of technology. We can learn a lot by examining the success of specific individuals and see if any lessons can be applied to education. The latest success story comes from comedian Louis CK. While learning about technology and education from a comedian might seem different, this comedian is very insightful when it comes to looking at how we use technology in our lives. His classic technology rant "Everything is Amazing and Nobody's Happy" is humorously and uncomfortably accurate. This week, Louis CK has given us new insights on ...


It's Thanksgiving week! It's that special time of the year when we recognize the special people and events in our lives. Then, after pausing to give thanks while eating lots of food, we will battle each other for parking spaces and limited quantities door buster sale items. So, as you prepare for the Thursday midnight sales and Black Friday, What technologies are on your shopping list this year? Are you planning to buy technology for any children? Cecilia Kang from the Washington Post published a timely article last week that examines if the expanding availability of education apps for kids ...


Do you believe that all students will have tablet computers within 5 years? Gene Munster, a senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, recently surveyed of 25 educational technology directors about their experiences and opinions of the potential of tablets in schools. The results of the survey were discussed on sites such as Apple 2.0 on CNN, the The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW), and the All Things D on the Wall Street Journal. While Munster admits that the sample size of 25 Technology Directors is small, the opinions of technology directors are important since they often make decisions on technology ...


Can you define what makes a good teacher? Fareed Zakaria aired a Global Public Square (GPS) Special: Fixing Education on November 5 on CNN. During one of the segments, Mr. Zakaria asked Mr. Gates what he thought makes a good teacher. (The Gates Foundation is investing millions of dollars to understand, in their words, "how America can foster great teaching.") Fareed Zakaria: What do you think makes a good teacher? Bill Gates: Clearly, there's something about engaging the student. As I've watched the videos of great teachers, they are constantly looking out and seeing that the kids are starting to ...


Are you a teacher who leads others in using technology? Or, are you a technology specialist in your school? As a technology guru, do you spend your day leading instruction or fixing technology? The following five steps on being a teacher leader in technology, rather than being a technology technician, are based on my article "The Technology Specialist's Dilemma: Computer Repair or Instructional Leader?" As technology becomes more embedded in the daily operation and instruction in schools and classrooms, the role of the technology resource teacher or specialist has evolved to meet these new demands. Whereas such roles were previously ...


Did your formal evaluation give meaningful feedback to improve your teaching and leadership? Unfortunately, many teachers do not find their formal evaluations very meaningful or reflective of what actually happens in the classroom. Many teachers report that evaluations are often procedural, consisting of "drive by" observations from an administrator once or twice a year with feedback often too generic to have practical content and pedagogical application in the classroom. Without specific criteria that define each level of performance, evaluations can often be subjective. Different administrators often have a range of opinions on what represents each performance level. How can teacher ...


In a 1996 interview with Terry Gross from National Public Radio (NPR), Steve Jobs highlighted his philosophy of "Computer Science Is A Liberal Art" that, in hindsight, would by followed by over a decade of innovative products that made technology easily accessible for millions of people. "I think our major contribution [to computing] was in bringing a liberal arts point of view to the use of computers. If you really look at the ease of use of the Macintosh, the driving motivation behind that was to bring not only ease of use to people -- so that many, many more ...


Have you ever made a resolution or promise to do things differently at the beginning of the school year? The best time to ask about resolutions is a few weeks or months after the new year starts to see if there is progress. So, as we are into the first few weeks of school, how are you using your Interactive Whiteboard? Any changes from last year? Over the past year, we have talked about the R's for Interactive Whiteboards 1) The Interactive Whiteboard Readiness Assessment: Are you ready for an Interactive Whiteboard? Or, maybe you inherited a whiteboard or your ...


At an education conference this past summer, a teacher relayed a question the students had asked about a situation they had experienced. "Should students have to accept "friend requests" (on one of the popular social networks) from a long term substitute teacher?" Ugh..... I was hoping for an easy question like, "How can social networks be used in education?" If the question was positively phrased, I could have pointed out some of my previous posts on this issue discussing the benefits and challenges of using the popular social networks in schools. A high school student (gSD) and I have blogged ...


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