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February 02, 2012

Should Kids Read 'Trash' in School?

In a lively podcast, Jeffrey Wilhelm, a professor of English Education at Boise State University, discusses the preliminary research behind his forthcoming book—the wonderfully titled Let Them Read Trash: The Power of Marginalized Texts to Promote Imagination, Satisfaction, and Social Action. W...

January 30, 2012

Too Much Parental Involvement?

On the New York Times Room For Debate blog, Florida high school English teacher Scott Sterling questions the feasibility—and wisdom—of a newly enacted New Hampshire law that requires schools to provide alternative lesson options to students whose parents or guardians object to assigned con...

January 20, 2012

Has the Textbook of the Future Arrived?

In case you haven't heard yet, Apple Inc. announced yesterday that, in partnership with major textbook publishers, it has developed a series of digital textbooks designed for the iPad. (Don't say we didn't warn you.) The textbooks, to be listed at $14.99 or less, include multimedia elements such as ...

January 18, 2012

Classroom-Projects Grant Opportunity

Heads-up: Starting next month, the Kids in Need Foundation, in partnership with Elmer's Products Inc., will be accepting applications for "Teacher Tool Kit" grants of $100 to $500 to support creative classroom projects. The projects must be selected from a database of award-winning lesson ideas comp...

January 11, 2012

When Cross-Curricular Lessons Go Wrong ... Really Wrong

A Georgia elementary school has gotten a flurry of unflattering media attention over the last week, since 3rd graders took home a math assignment with questions about slave beatings and cotton-picking. The worksheet, created by a 3rd grade teacher at the school, went home with four different class...

December 01, 2011

Teaching Resources on AIDS

Today, December 1, is World AIDS day. If you're looking for some last-minute ideas to help commemorate the day in the classroom, the aids.gov website offers fact sheets and posters for download and ideas for using social media to raise awareness. This morning, President Obama and several celebritie...

November 22, 2011

Book Notes: Steve Jobs Blasted Teachers' Unions, Planned Digital Textbook Feature for iPad

Apparently Bill Gates isn't the only personal computing pioneer to have expressed strong concerns about the ability of America's public schools to prepare students for the economic future—and to lay a good part of the blame on teachers' union regulations. Toward the end of his bestselling biogr...

November 17, 2011

Tearing Down Writing Instruction

Washington Post education writer Jay Mathews argues that writing instruction in most schools today is "academic and lifeless." Nor does he think the new common core writing standards—redolent, in his view, of "clerical work"—will help matters much. So what's a language arts teacher to do...

November 04, 2011

Could Teachers Be Displaced by Technology?

Will Richardson says that teachers urgently need to redefine their professional role in light of advancements in technology and prevailing expectations for schools. If teachers' main purpose is seen as improving student achievement as reflected in test scores, he argues, they will soon be displaced,...

October 21, 2011

Poll: Public Skeptical of Digital Texts in Schools

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 ...

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