A press release marketing two-for-$200 Flip video cameras for educators just came my way. Cisco announced in April that it will no longer make the devices, which many teachers have incorporated into their classrooms because they are relatively cheap and easy to use.


Here's a surprising, somewhat out-of-the-way finding: A national poll conducted last month found that most Americans (68 percent) are opposed to the idea of schools using iPads or e-readers in place print books. Interestingly, women and young people (ages 18-29) were the most strongly opposed. Only 12 percent of the young people surveyed favored the use of e-readers over printed books in schools. Anyone care to speculate on the reasons behind this? Maybe young adults are already nostalgic for their print-immersed school days? More seriously, might they be saying something about the differences in the ways people read and retain ...


Reflecting on some recent biz-tech reading he's been doing, Bill Ferriter questions whether schools are doing enough—if anything—to evaluate prospective teacher-hires by their potential for innovation. He's developed a few sample interview questions to help them along. Here's a good one: What well-established professional practice are you skeptical about? Similarly, ed-tech pioneer Will Richardson once told us that if he were a principal who was hiring new teachers, he would "look for people who aren't asking how, but instead are asking why."...


Riffing on the Occupy Wall Street movement, New York Times human rights columnist Nicholas Kristof argues that the most effective way to reduce inequality in the United States would actually be to expand early child education. Kristof reports—as any elementary teacher already knows—that significant learning gaps between well-off and disadvantaged students begin before kindergarten and have a lasting, calculable effect on achievement and opportunity. He notes: One common thread, whether I'm reporting on poverty in New York City or in Sierra Leone, is that a good education tends to be the most reliable escalator out of poverty....


Today, October 20, is the third annual National Day on Writing, according to the National Council of Teachers of English.


A new education documentary, The Learning, which premiered on PBS about a month ago, takes a close look at the experiences of four Filipina teachers, who leave their schools in the Philippines to teach in Baltimore classrooms.


Miss Eyre at NYC Educator describes feeling "insanely, irrationally jealous" of her students during their free reading time. She writes: It's really hard to do quality reading during the school year, especially if you're an English teacher and you have to stay on top of the texts you're reading with your students. ... I need someone to sit me down, stare at me, and instruct me to do nothing but read for a period of time every day. The jealousy is probably heightened in part because of her hands-off policy on book selection. Miss Eyre explains: Now, true independent reading involves ...


A chemistry teacher who teaches in Bristol, Pa., has been conducting class from Alaska via webcasts.


Well, here's one educational problem we probably don't have to worry about in the U.S.: Were you aware that the South Korean government is now conducting late-nights raids to enforce a new curfew on after-hours tutoring operations? The raids, Amanda Ripley reports in a fascinating article for Time, are part of a far-reaching effort by South Korean authorities to "humanize" the country's education system. While South Korea is frequently lauded for its students' high scores on international comparison tests (including by the Obama administration), the country's leaders are increasingly concerned that its time-honored emphasis on high-pressure school admissions exams ...


Two quick-thinking and remarkably composed phys. ed. coaches at a middle school outside Dallas are being credited with saving a 12-year-old girl's life last month.


Ariel Sacks says teachers need to be mindful of how much class time they take up with the sound of their own voice: The teacher's voice is an important piece of the teaching puzzle, but it's not the key to student learning. When the balance tips too much in the direction of the teacher's voice, it can actually hinder student learning, by diminishing space for students to think, comprehend, solve problems, collaborate with one another, and find words to express their thoughts. Avoiding the loquaciousness trap, she explains, takes practice and monitoring....


Apropos the current buzz on teacher-coaching, the Arizona Republic interviews a Mesa educator who's actually doing it: As a master teacher, I provide professional development for the teachers on our campus. That means I teach an instructional or a learning strategy during an hourlong meeting once a week to small groups of teachers throughout the day. We then follow up by observing teachers and provide them with feedback. As a master teacher, I coach teachers, provide demonstration lessons and field test new learning strategies by teaching students. In addition I try to keep my own instructional practices honed so I ...


Over at The Wall Street Journal, NFL player Hall of Fame quarterback turned entrepreneur Fran Tarkenton makes a contrary argument--that tenure hurts the teaching pool--which he illustrates with a football analogy.


Tennessee's newly implemented teacher-evaluation program is getting a less than enthusiastic reception from many educators, with some even abandoning the classroom because of it, according to a story in The Tennessean. The new evaluation program, developed in connection with the federal Race to the Top grant competition, grades teachers on both student test scores and multiple classroom observations. As of now, the observations seem to be the primary sticking point, with both teachers and principals complaining that they are cumbersome and unfair. The article notes that, among other things, the evaluators are required to use a three-page checklist to review ...


Back in 1994, UNESCO and Education International marked October 5 as World Teachers' Day, a time to celebrate and appreciate the teaching profession all around the world.


At a conference in Washington on Tuesday, sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education, advocates for strengthening new-teacher supports gathered to shift the teacher effectiveness discourse, at least temporarily, from evaluation to induction.


A recent study from the University of Missouri has found that "black teachers who work for a black principal are generally happier with their jobs," according to the Washington Times


In a recent policy brief, the Progressive Policy Institute, a Democratic-aligned think tank based in Washington, proposed preparing a corps of tech-savvy teachers aimed at boosting 4th grade literacy rates in low-income communities, using Teach for America as a program model.


On the New York Times' Opinionator blog, a Notre Dame philosophy professor warns against the inclination to take "immediate and drastic" corrective action based on subpar student standardized test scores. Tests, he suggests, are not always a good gauge of students' applicable knowledge in a particular subject area. And even when they are, there's usually no easy or uniform solution for how to boost the requisite knowledge and skills for all students. In this connection, it's noteworthy that, according to the article we highlighted yesterday, Finland's education leaders seem to take very little interest in the Programme for International Student ...


This month's Smithsonian magazine includes an interesting article exploring the (relatively recent) success of Finland's school system. The author highlights a certain Zen-like quality in the way Finnish schools operate: Teachers in Finland spend fewer hours at school each day and spend less time in classrooms than American teachers. Teachers use the extra time to build curriculums and assess their students. Children spend far more time playing outside, even in the depths of winter. Homework is minimal. Compulsory schooling does not begin until age 7. "We have no hurry," said Louhivuori [a school principal]. "Children learn better when they are ...


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