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September 17, 2012

How to Change Your Expectations for Students

An interesting NPR story excavates some psychological research from the 1960s showing that teachers' expectations for students can have a profound effect on their intellectual development. Why? In a nutshell, because teachers interact differently with the kids they expect to do better: As [Harvard...

August 30, 2012

Why Digital Natives Need Help With Technology

While kids today have a seemingly innate facility with technology, they are quick to become impatient and discouraged when faced with complex tasks involving digital tools, according to the authors of an article in Scientific American.

July 30, 2012

Will Assessments 'Short-Circuit' the Common Core?

Middle school teacher Jose Vilson says that, as a teacher, he finds it difficult—if not pointless—to form an opinion about the Common Core State Standards without knowing what the assessment components will look like.

July 27, 2012

New Ideas for Improving Teachers Instead of Firing Them

Ray Fisman, a professor of social enterprise at the Columbia Business School, points to recent research suggesting that—pace the heated rhetoric of some school reformers—'there may be perfectly viable ways to improve overall instruction in schools without firing low-performing teachers.

July 18, 2012

Using Social Media to Facilitate Class Community

In Inside Higher Ed, Jonathan Golding, a psychology professor at the University of Kentucky, recounts a successful experiment in using a Facebook group page as a kind of community hub for one of his larger classes. Though skeptical at first, Golding says he was impressed by how enthusiastically his students took to the page and, without much prompting, began using it to exchange ideas and help one another in the course.

June 14, 2012

To Loop or Not To Loop?

Miss Eyre at NYC Educator offers some concise year-end reflections on looping with a class to the next grade level, which she did for the first time between 2010-11 and 2011-12. Among the pros, she says the stability of having the same teacher is good for "your fragile, awkward kids who tend to with...

June 13, 2012

Future Course: The Art of Online Teaching

Speaking of alternative career paths, Time has an interesting profile of a Colorado science teacher who, after being laid off from her classroom job, took a position with an online high school. She is now part of what's clearly a burgeoning industry: According to data cited in the article, 30 states...

June 07, 2012

Do Teachers Grade Too Much?

Instructional technologist Bud the Teacher has some decidedly non-high-tech advice for writing teachers who want to streamline their grading process. Grade less: And that doesn't mean that teachers shouldn't ask students to write, and write often. But we don't need to grade everything that comes ...

June 01, 2012

Is Teaching Heading Toward an 'Ed-Tech Iceberg'?

USA Today has an interesting article on the rise of Khan Academy, the popular and well-funded video-lesson provider founded by former hedge fund manager Sal Khan. As the article notes, Khan's success is partly responsible for the momentum behind the concept of the "flipped classroom," where students...

May 23, 2012

Student-Data Dashboards of the Future

Greg Limperis, supervisor of instructional technology in Lawrence, Mass., says current school data-system dashboards are too voluminous and static to meet the instructional needs of today's teachers. So he envisions an alternative that is more timely, interactive, and mobile: Imagine with me a day...

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