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Showing posts from 2017

What CTE Gets, What CTE Needs To Get More

Most of us (educators, business leaders, researchers, students and parents) have realized by now that our educational system has been and continues to be desperately behind in terms of success, especially as it connects to the future of work and our economy. If you don’t agree, stop reading and go watch one of those “Housewives of $%&^#*” shows. With the continued demand need for change, we have turned to many solutions - including, but not limited to new standards, assessments, technology and programs. Historically, we had two high school tracks. There was vocational education - programs designed to train people for blue collar jobs. And then, in contrast, there were those that did a college prep program where the goals were college and a white collar job. Ironically, many of our college grads and non-grads now find themselves in grey collar jobs (underemployed and working in a career that did not require a college degree or their level of education). But I truly digress. What …

If We're Banning Phones, We Won't Connect Our Students To The Future

For those of us that follow the news, especially education news, we don’t have to wait very long for an educator, or educators, to give us the excuse for a blog post. This week’s winner goes to the principal and staff at Korematsu Middle School in California’s East Bay Area.
They were recently featured, and apparently heralded, by an article in  Ed Source (http://bit.ly/EdSourceCellPhones) for their recent compliance and control upgrade that bans students from using their cell phones at lunch and during their free time. According to principal Matthew Burnham, they tried to let the 7th and 8th grade students use their cell phones last year during these times and it was, according to them, an abysmal failure. The school claims that due to the students being “glued” to their cell phones, no one was talking and interacting with one another. And after watching the movie “Screenagers” and drinking from that proverbial firehose of biased information, this school was trying to …

21st Century Educator Oath #1: Defend Young People Whenever You Can

This blog post represents a new challenge and series. I hope to release a series of posts each representing an oath that I believe all educators should take. This is 21st Century Educator Oath #1: Defend Young People….. One does not have to travel very far, or pay attention for very long, to hear some adult (older person) make a disparaging remark about a young person. I hear it almost every day and sadly often from educators. It’s a litany of young people attacks such as calling them “lazy,” “irresponsible,” “selfish,” “immature,” and so on. One can also hear continuous criticisms of their music, dress, language and more. It’s not only a pattern that repeats, but it almost seems to be an obligation. I know my dad has these criticisms about myself and my peers at times and I can guarantee that his dad did about him as well. I have continuously worked hard to not fall into this trap as I have gotten older. (photos courtesy of Joe Sanfelippo) After almost three decades of  of working with…

The Power of Professional Presentations For Students

Due to the increased degree of high quality project-based learning, as well as changes in standards, instruction, and technology, students are doing more presentations. Some of our students’ presentations are for their peers. Others are for more public audiences like parents, community members and business leaders. And some are shared with globally and digitally through social media.
First, having all students consistently present their work is a good idea. Secondly, we know all students need support in improving their skills as presenters.

Presentation Rubrics (see http://www.bie.org/objects/cat/rubrics) are a great start, but we actually need to make the presentation skills part of our curriculum. Students need to learn about design, audience, messaging, branding and storytelling at the outset of a project and not just as an afterthought. Stories are how the most inspirational or motivational speakers present ideas, initiate innovation and ultimately get people to think. Need…

13 Reasons Why Education Transformation Is Slow, Challenged

Recently, Modern Learners wrote a piece about pending educational transformations. Naturally, this is not a new topic. Many have predicted sweeping change before. However, this time, the author indicates that it’s going to be different. (See complete article here: https://modernlearners.com/why-this-time-is-different/) The article’s initial contention has always been mine. The question is asked: “Given the number of books that have been written and papers that have been presented around  school change over more than 50 years by some very well informed and esteemed writers, why has there been so little change in schools and why do you think it will be any different this time ?” First of all, I hope the writer is right. I would love nothing more than to see our entire educational system truly evolve and adapt into real 21st century models relevant to today’s students, economy, culture and technology. The problem is that my shoulder angel and devil are battling it out. It’s classic optimis…