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The New Scarlet Letter

Something’s Gotta Give

Educators abound spend 90% of their time prepping students for state exams, and the other half of their time is spent complaining about them (my apologies to Yogi Berra).

The main complaint from teachers (and parents, and some legislators, and…) is that state exams zap too much valuable instructional time. The time spent in testing sessions is draining to students and ultimately results in a loss of class time.

The bigger argument against the way we mass assess our students (and the one that goes largely unvoiced) is that it does relatively little to prepare students for life and their future ahead.

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Towers of Power

One of the hardest things to figure out from social media is whether or not something is real. And even more important, if what you find is accurate.

Most definitely, there are trusted sources of news and other information that we can turn to for facts and a variety of data. But in the world of internet, everyone has a voice and sometimes that collective voice is loud and overwhelming.

20150917_150811For this blog post, my point is this:

As a teacher, I have no idea how anything I do in my classroom compares with what happens in other teachers’ classrooms.

Why? Because in the social-media-cybersphere, everyone else has brilliant students doing amazing work with unlimited physical resources and enthusiastic support from everyone involved in the educational process.

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The Powers That Be

Onward, Brave Voyager!

At #NeverSummer, we are about growth as much as success. Perhaps they are one in the same. But it is a disservice to lump them together. They are each powerful in their own right.

Growth requires setback. It requires failure. Setback and failure are of course not the goal, but they are necessary nonetheless. Without them growth moves at a snail’s pace.

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Tools and Tips for a New Year

So Little to Do… So Much Time

Strike that… Reverse it. On we go!

Classic Willy Wonka… and so opposite of what this time of year is all about. Public school teachers and administrators maxed out trying to get ready for students to reappear for another year.

It may seem like odd timing to dive in and learn new tools for the classroom now with so much professional development looming in the coming days before students arrive, but this is a perfect time. JumpStart: DT Primer just launched for busy educators like you.

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Educators United

What does it mean to be educated?

A recent report by TNTP — The New Teacher Project — asked the question:

Do we know how to help teachers get better?

Their report titled The Mirage has caught the attention and focus of many educators on Twitter. There is much to consider in their findings about how to make professional development for teachers better and more effective.

Perhaps an underlying question that all educators must ask first is this: What does it mean to be truly educated in the 21st century?

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Google Makes Life Too Easy

I Bet You Can’t

Did your parents ever play this game with you? They would say “I bet you can’t… run to the refrigerator and get me a soda in less than 10 seconds.” You got into your best trackster stance and waited until they said On-Your-Mark-Get-Set-Go! Away you sprinted to the fridge while they pretended to count.

Almost every kid has done this… and if you didn’t learn it from your parents, then chances are good an older brother or sister tried it out on you. It probably worked a few times, maybe more, until you wised up and said something like “Go get your own soda!”