As a new book by Kaplan and Owings clearly demonstrates, many schools are mired in an education culture that’s a poor match for the needs of today’s K12 students. They need a culture re-boot – a process explored in detail by the authors and summarized by PLP Voices reviewer Sister Geralyn Schmidt.
Pulling children out for extra help can be a tricky area to navigate, writes Arwen Kuttner, reflecting on her first year in a support teacher role. “Elementary age children walk a tightrope between craving the individual attention I can give them, and the fear that others will think less of them for needing that attention. I have to normalize the experience and make them feel good about coming.” Here are some ways she works to accomplish that.
When we read about engaging students in the classroom using technology and social media, authors often leave us with the impression that this work will flow gentle as a stream. When talking about motivation and learning in school, grit is most often left out of the conversation. Yet Dan Pink tells us the best predictor of success is grit, defined as perseverance and passion for long term goals. When we found the right authentic project, my 9th grade English learners showed they had the grit to write a 200pp collaborative book!
Teacher and technology coordinator Sister Geralyn Schmidt reflects on the responsibility of teachers to work with parents as they guide their children in safe and productive online activities.
It appears that while schools and software companies are gearing up for students to start creating and curating a digital portfolio, the reality is that colleges and their admissions directors are more conservative on the current and future role of this medium. Right now, few colleges and universities will consider additional application materials and do not see this changing in the near future.
All of us who advocate for the learning potential of mobile technologies continue to navigate the hurdles of opening up BYOD devices in the unique context of school. My students and I had an “a-ha” moment the other day, in terms of digital citizenship and how we really need to think before we post images to the Internet. Or maybe even before we take the picture.