This was an Ignite style session where I expressed my own personal frustration with educational technology at scale and attempted to then offer some redeeming alternatives actively being pursued by others. Below are a few of the slides and roughly what I tried to get across.
Response: Seven Strategies For Working With Student Teachers – Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo – Education Week Teacher
This week’s question is:What are your suggestions for teachers who are supervising a student teacher, as well as for student teachers themselves?In Part One of this series, we heard from Emily Geltz and Linda Rief, who co-authored their contribution Emily was Linda’s student teacher two years ago; Carol Ann Tomlinson, Jessica Bennett and Jane Fung. Part Two’s responses come from Michael Opitz and Michael Ford; PJ Caposey; Patty O’Grady; and Sally Zepeda.Today’s final post in the series features what I think is a particularly interesting combination — a quest response from Ted Appel, the principal of the inner-city school where I teach, who describes the innovative requirements he insisted upon if a university was interested in placing student teachers with us; followed by a commentary from Pia Lindquist Wong, director of a university teaching credentials program who found that her ideas dovetailed with those of Ted’s – the two then developed a partnership.In addition, I include many comments from readers.I also had a interesting conversation with Emily Geltz and Linda Rief on my ten-minute BAM! Radio Show that should be live in a few days. BAM! seems to have resolved their technical problems, but are still a bit behind. They did, however, just post my show about book recommendations for teachers, and you can listen to it, and previous shows, here.
Response: Letting Student Teachers ‘Sink or Swim’ Is ‘Not Permissible’ – Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo – Education Week Teacher
This week’s question is:What are your suggestions for teachers who are supervising a student teacher, as well as for student teachers themselves?In Part One of this series, we heard from Emily Geltz and Linda Rief, who co-authored their contribution Emily was Linda’s student teacher two years ago; Carol Ann Tomlinson, Jessica Bennett and Jane Fung. Today’s guest responses come from Michael Opitz and Michael Ford; PJ Caposey; Patty O’Grady; and Sally Zepeda.I also had a interesting conversation with Emily and Linda on my ten-minute BAM! Radio Show that should be live sometime this week.Response From Michael Opitz and Michael FordMichael Opitz is professor emeritus of reading education at the University of Northern Colorado and Michael Ford is chair of the Department of Literacy and Language at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Friends and colleagues for more than two decades, they began working together as a result of their common reading education interests and extensive work in the field. Opitz and Ford co-authored Engaging Minds in the Classrooms: The Surprising Power of Joy ASCD, 2014:
Response: Student Teachers Should ‘Be Colleagues’ – Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo – Education Week Teacher
This week’s question is:What are your suggestions for teachers who are supervising a student teacher, as well as for student teachers themselves?It’s that time of the year when many student teachers are being placed with their supervising teachers including me!. We’ll hear some good advice from guests and readers in this three-part series I’ll also throw-in my two cents in Part Three.Today’s guest responses come from Emily Geltz and Linda Rief, who co-authored their contribution Emily was Linda’s student teacher two years ago; Carol Ann Tomlinson, Jessica Bennett and Jane Fung.I also had a interesting conversation with Emily and Linda on my ten-minute BAM! Radio Show. BAM! has had some technical issues, but should have that show and my previous one on book recommendations for teachers online within a few days. In the meantime, you can listen to interviews with previous guests.Response From Emily Geltz with Linda RiefEmily Geltz an 8th grade Language Arts teacher, who just finished her first year of teaching at Laconia Middle School in NH interned with Linda Rief a Language Arts teacher for the last 30 years at Oyster River Middle School in Durham, NH during the 2012-13 school year, as part of a 5th year Masters Program through the University of New Hampshire.
The piecemeal work of the assembly line model intentionally separates the labor from its context. It mechanizes the practical and the concrete. It understands that humans are more efficient when we ignore the conceptual and theoretical foundation of our own actions. It is good for business, but it robs humans of their dignity; they no longer participate in their own world. Like horses wearing blinders, or Uber drivers chasing the next fare, content without context allows us to see only the objective immediately ahead.The most devastating impact of this industrial epistêmê has happened in our schools. It has infected our schools public, private, and charter with the viral high-stakes testing and comparative grading that contextualizes knowledge as piecemeal facts that make us more “solution oriented.”That’s supposed to be a good thing, being “solution-oriented.” Our employers tell us all the time, “come to me with solutions, not problems!” But they’re wrong. They’re asking us to be piecemeal thinkers. On the contrary, problems and questions are precisely what drive human creativity. When Henry Ford said, “If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses,’” he was telling us that the skill was in identifying the problem, not the solution. A faster horse was an appropriate solution to their familiar problem. The issue was that they hadn’t identified new questions yet; they had only a piecemeal approach to an established paradigm–they couldn’t see the larger context.Ford presumably believed “the masses” weren’t capable of contextualized thinking; and he built a manufacturing system that kept individuals in their place: isolated, divided, solution-oriented. His thinking soon permeated our schools, designed to train piecemeal industrial employees. So much so that our current way of thinking about education, with its regurgitation, examination, and multiple choice questions, still only reinforces a non-creative, solution-only, piecemeal mentality.
Think back: you’ve just dumped a bin of LEGO® bricks onto the floor with a satisfying crash, and you have the whole day ahead of you to build whatever you want. There’s something pretty amazing about being able to piece together your ideas with just a collection of colorful bricks.
Well, we think the creative freedom of LEGO bricks shouldn’t be limited to plastic bins—which is the idea behindBuild with Chrome, a collaboration between Chrome and the LEGO Group that brought these colorful bricks to the web using WebGL, a 3D graphics technology. It was originally built by a team in Australia as an experiment, and now we’re opening it up to everybody. So now you can publish your wacky creations to any plot of land in the world.
Recently, I attended the EdSurge Summit in Los Angeles where I had the chance to take a first hand look at a great, new, FREE app called MathChat. We can all relate to a similar, enormous challenge while growing up: being stuck on a math problem with no one to help. As a result, we oftentimes turned to the back of the book. However turning to the back of the book only gave the solution, it didn’t help explain how to get there. MathChat helps to solve that problem! In that moment where you are struggling with a problem, MathChat provides a platform that allows you to get instant help and connect with other individuals. Working together, you can solve problems and get assistance right when you need it.
While banning might be a good idea for the “sit, listen, discuss, repeat” style of teaching, for the rest of us, not so much. The disengaged classroom Shirky describes brings to mind the scene from the 1985 comedy “Real Genius” where eventually most every desk had a tape recorder and eventually the professor also gives in and replaces himself with a reel to reel to deliver his lecture.But is this really a problem with “kids today?”
I have this exact conversation with my best friend all the time. She hate, hate, hates the Common Core and she always says: *You know exactly what’s going to happen, Lily. You know the Common Core is just going to be turned into one more high-stakes punishment. It will be all about cut scores, you get fired, this kid doesn’t graduate.* I can’t disagree with her on that. She’s basically describing what happened in New York. Before teachers were even trained to know what was in the Common Core at their grade level, before they had time to do anything in a thoughtful way, it was clearly so much more important to have the cut scores and the punishments in place. But here’s what I tell my friend. Let’s say you could develop the perfect standards. They’re so perfect that everyone is throwing up confetti because that’s how perfect they are. And you find the perfect curriculum and you have text books that are aligned to these perfect standards. And you only have to give one test a year instead of a thousand of them. In other words, it’s perfect! But some politician says, *you get punished, you get a prize.* It’s not the standards. It’s not the curriculum. It is the high-stakes punishment that is hooked to them. That’s why people are so upset about the standards, because of the high-stakes punishment that’s now attached to them and that has corrupted what it means to teach. We have to get rid of that.
When the Digital Divide Meets a Systems Approach | LFA: Join The Conversation – Public School Insights
Creating a one-to-one environment may be necessary to support at-risk students, but it is not sufficient. The programs and software must provide an interactive learning experience, both responding to individual student inputs and offering students a sense of ownership in their learning – through creating individual material and exploring possibilities at their own pace. Teachers should be familiar and comfortable with the technology in use and able to provide individual guidance and encouragement to enhance the online experience. At a time when schools seek to cut costs, while at the same time rolling out ambitious new technology initiatives to support at-risk students, it will be important to base changes on these three variables