Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

April 29, 2010

How To Provide Equal Access To Quality EDU For All


    4-27-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST    

A World of Educators!

This week’s guest writer is Rich Kiker (@rkiker). In addition to writing the summary he also created the amazing word graphic above. Fabulous! Rich is a regular participant at edchat bringing both his expertise in the edtech arena and his strong dedication to education and the development of young people. See his bio at the end of the summary. 

Once again, I had my Media Technology high school students huddled around my desk to voice their opinions on #edchat via my posts.  They seemed to ignore the “six foot wide”, projected Tweetdeck display of the chat and preferred to yell at my tiny monitor.  The yelling was loud this week.  In a time when many say our kids are getting more disengaged, it was particularly invigorating to see their passion.  Their exuberance made me especially proud because of the discussion this week. 

How do we provide equal access to a quality education for all?  EdChatters rallied as usual this week with a large cache of ideas and emotions on this politically charged topic.  Furthermore, a week after we heard @chrislehmann deliver a refreshing speech at the 140 Conference – NYC, @jeffpulver himself dropped in to hear some of the ideas we were throwing around.  Here is what we came up with and shared: 

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion:  

  • Great education happens because of great teachers.  However, quality resources make the job easier and engage us.
  • Community partnerships can be a powerful equalizer, but educators have to ask for the support.
  • Funding without a discrete purpose and use can easily be wasted.
  • We need more quality teachers in the schools that need them. But, how?
  • Human resources are, by far, the most important resources.
  • We all get frustrated.  However, the usual message was delivered by #edchat again.  All of us are dedicated to making it about every child, all the time.   

Here is a selection of some of the comments:  

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye. 

@spedteacher: I think we start by acknowledging that the current lack of access is deliberate policy 

@tbfurman: Reliance on property tax builds in a poverty penalty as well as a basic inequity 

@akenuam: another problem is that we base funding on test scores, its a never ending self destructing circle 

@ShellTerrell: We start by building relationships w community & business leaders! 

@cybraryman1: It is important that teachers take their insular students out of the classroom & increase their experiences & learning 

@jpsteltz: the one common denominator for all students is the teacher…if teacher is effective, all students have access 

@lhmiles2: unfortunately for those of us in lacking schools, we end up spending our own money to make sure resources are there 

@Parentella: I live in a poorer community and am finding the gap growing between families who can afford and cannot.-Amanda 

@edtechsteve: And when talking about resources, don’t forget the most important ones- the people! And quality professional devt. 

@rliberni: I believe that every child should have the best education that is possible within their context 

@imcraddock: not sure it’s bout making us better teachers. Tools can’t do that. But they can make it easier 2 be a better teacher 

@SSNS_Teachers: Where there is a will, there is a way.. and good teachers have ” the Will” 

@bjnichols: Equity requires being a strong advocate for the students that you serve. We have rscrs because we go out & find em 

@getsweetie: Schools & Community must be willing to provide support when parents don’t provide for children as well 

@EduTechSmith: all teachers need to take pride in students of any background – they are all our future 

@daveandcori: I think it is a truly sad day when schools have to compete for funds from Feds. Quality educ should be priority and $$ based on need 

@seanbanville: must be 1000s of recyclable PCs on which teachers can instal open source, If only more teachers knew what this was

Schools that receive extra $ from gov need 2 spend it in right places.Tchrs need a seat at the table-how can we get 1?

 I’m looking at the #edchat tweets 

I would ask that the following question is added to the poll next week: 

I keep hearing that more and more teachers are getting out of education before they even reach 5 years of service.  So, How can social media inspire new teachers? 

To follow the complete discussion see here  

For the stats on #edchat participation see here  

As ever, there were some great links shared: 

tbfurman: Here’s someone in Illinois doing something about equity. http://tinyurl.com/2bykus4 

rkiker:  @ShellTerrell raising funds or things like http://www.donorschoose.org/ 

EightFalls:  Sweden and Finland are the only two countries in the world that server free school lunches. http://tinyurl.com/32ep5zt 

EduTechSmith:  @rkiker http://www.sweatmonkey.org/ 

cybraryman1: Sources for free & inexpensive supplies for classrooms: http://bit.ly/4cyxFb 

tbfurman:  simple phone calls can do a lot to reduce inequity. http://tinyurl.com/248wmfd 

esolcourses:  @seanbanville @elanaleoni: @akenuam red tape can be a problem, as can.Administrative “deniability” http://bit.ly/cYAuGJ 

anderscj:  Techno Constructivist: Web 2.0 & Connectivist Learning http://bit.ly/cLGrl4 #edchat @siemens @courosa @sschwister #edubloggersalliance 

cybraryman1:  Schools need to build partnerships with business & local community. See: Open Doors: http://bit.ly/34zO7O 

web20education:  RT @DUMACORNELLUCIA: RT @ShellTerrell @Ozge I saw yours gr8 presentations for The virtual Table Conference #VRT10 #edchat http://bit.ly/5MljMZ 

DoeMiSo:  RT @DoremiGirl: Pianist Lang Lang Plays iPad in Concert Encore! http://ht.ly/1DFMx #musedchat #edchat (@digitalnative is this what you meant?) 

graingered:  @rliberni We spend2much time blamin ploitcs4 our issus/we’re srprisd when govt gets it wrng-need2 mov on@ http://tinyurl.com/ybhlrsc 

MusicEdTech:  MUST read every Bd of Ed, Admin & tech consult: RT @jimfrankel: The Other 80%: An Industry Perspective http://bit.ly/btydg0  PLZ RT! 

wmchamberlain:  @eplybon You are so right! Check this out http://bit.ly/cx1bMb There are opportunities to learn more! 

web20education:  This week was 3 gr8 conference #140CONF http://bit.ly/92UaTM  #VRT10 http://bit.ly/cRF35T   

EduTechSmith:  http://maistec.posterous.com/ – Here is where I try and share with others things i have done and implemented 

web20education:  @tomwhitby gr8 presentation in #140CONF http://bit.ly/cBOBXb 

akamrt:  If the tchrs in UK can stand up to stdzd testing & say NO! What’s stopping us? We need remind rselves to: http://twitpic.com/1inje7 

LRIM_loakvik:  RT @rliberni: The importance of reading to children http://bit.ly/9XV8lC 

EightFalls:  RT @peterflom: @EightFalls Standardized testing should be frequent, short,low-stress,and varied. We are 0 for 4. http://ow.ly/1DKzX 

web20education:  RT @nik_nik: 7 Social Media Aggregation Tools To Simplify Your Streams http://ow.ly/1DHGQ  via @socialmedia2day #edtech20 #edchat 

web20education:  #edtech20 follow this channel for #140conf http://dev.ippio.com/140conf 

Smichael920:  Great #edchat this afternoon. For a UK perspective on what’s happening here right now pls read: Assessment for who?: http://wp.me/pvUIF-3A 

graingered:  @wmchamberlain Is teaching a profession? Check out http://tinyurl.com/yjukdkw 

graingered:  Could change in ed be as simple as leading by example? … Morphic Resonance at http://tinyurl.com/yytfrh5 

shmlfc:   for @shamsensei: plight of hashtag conversations #edchat My hashtag tweets not showing up in the stream? http://j.mp/9u0446  #MissingOut 

jpsteltz:  An Argument for Project-Based Learning. I invite your thoughts and comments http://bit.ly/b3Hbem 


Rich Kiker – @rkiker
Bucks County, PA, USA
First and foremost, I am a husband and father of two children. Then, in my spare time, I am the Classrooms for the Future Coach/Media Technology Academy Chair at Palisades High School and an adjunct professor of instructional technology at Kutztown University. I am also an independent consultant leading professional development and adult learning all over Pennsylvania.  I have a BA in MIS and an MEd in Education.  My latest ventures include building an independent cyber charter for our district and building the Palisades Laptop Purchase Program for the entire Palisades community. I am currently rebuilding my wiki as a resource for all educators and learners.  Please feel free to use it and I’d love your feedback and suggestions: rkiker.wikispaces.com 

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 800 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!    

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.    

What do you think about providing equal access to quality education for all? Leave a comment!

April 23, 2010

Should The Grading System Be Replaced With IEPs?


    4-20-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST   

IEPs Versus Grades


Our thanks to Cheska Lorena @MissCheska for this week’s #edchat summary. Cheska is an avid edchatter and a great pioneer for the use of technology in education. (see bio at bottom of post) Thank you Cheska for this summary.

On Tuesday, 4/20/10, Twitters came together to discuss alternatives to the current grading system. The hot topic for the afternoon edchat: Can we create individualized education plans (IEPs) for all our students? Many tweeters agreed that the current grading system is ineffective, but while the thought of IEPs was very alluring, a majority of tweeters also acknowledged that IEPs in today’s learning environment might not be the sought-after cure. Like in most #edchat conversations, this Tuesday’s hour-long discussion peeled back and revealed the many layers of education and student learning.

 Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • Individualized education plans (IEPs) have many benefits for students. When they are done right, they provide students with customized learning environments, modifications and accomodations. IEPs also require the involvement of students, parents, and teachers by allowing all to come together in one place, discuss students’ learning needs and solutions, and bring everyone to the same page.
  • Extending IEPs for all students seems unrealistic/impractical in today’s current educational settings: too many students, too little time and support.
  • Universal IEPs (UIEPs), while great in theory, might turn out to be more paperwork than meaningful change.
  • UIEPs might shelter students from the real world. How would IEPs fit in in a college/university environment?
  • Bigger changes in the current education system should be fixed before focusing on UIEPs. Should we look more into what is being taught in the classroom or focus more on how students learn?
  • Differentiated instruction, personalized education plans (PEPs), and portfolio assessments may be better solutions than UIEPs.
  • Can creativity be measured? Should it be measured and/or evaluated at all?
  • How is assessment different from testing? What do we measure in the first place?
  • If the current grading system was to be scrapped, what would the new system look like? Who would build it? (Choice A: Model after Finland school system! Choice B: Do away with grades! Choice C: Create #edchat environment for students! 🙂

Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

 With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye.

@wmchamberlain: IEP’s are the only safe guard (excluding passionate teachers) that many of our students have to guarantee at least some education.

@esolcourses: Have used ILP’s, (individual learning plans) which are similar. Pro’s : good 4 students Cons: time consuming/extra paperwork burden.

@harrisonmike: The problem w/learning plans is that its more paperwork (or inputting info using computer program) – when can I plan lessons please? 

@Mamacita: 185 students, each of whom must be taught differently & given individual goals? No aides. No additional help. HOW?

@olafelch: The problem with this massive amount of individualised goals, is that the teachers need to be VERY consistent. Could be a problem.

@blairteach: There is REAL danger that UIEPs could just become one more paperwork time-sucker instead of meaningful documents.

@gericoats: I think if you try to simplify an IEP to the point that it is manageable for 100+ students, it is watered down and not useful.

@jswiatek: How would colleges accept IEPs? Without grades, how can universities accept/deny students?

@andycinek: If we individualize our educational system, we are not preparing students for real life interactions.

@mbteach: Education should be individualized, but IEP paperwork for each student is overkill.

@blairteach: I don’t actually think whether or not we use UIEP is the issue; the problems arise from current ways of assessing students.

@jswiatek: From my stdents: Grading system is broken but only because of the vast number of tests that are always given.

 @AngEngland: Much of our education system rewards good test-taking but not necessarily LEARNING.

@rkiker: I think teachers are already accomodating UIEPs if they are truly embracing DI and student centered environments.

@tbfurman: The presence of a rich diversity of electives is a type of IEP.

@CorinaFiore: I have developed some layered curriculum lessons to differentiate instruction. They worked well.

@malcolmbellamy: The alternative to grades is not overloading teachers with IEP’s to prepare but accepting their assessments.

@AtomiClint: What is the purest measure of education success? Readiness for the workplace? Personal stability and satisfaction?

@ededco: Constant assessment (NOT TESTING) = only way 2 appropriately individualize.

@EricTownsley: Could a good grading system be no grading system? or maybe a stadards grading system? 

I would ask that the following question is added to the poll next week:

Via @POWERORGmath: How do we generate student passion into creative outcomes? (Based on offshoot conversation on evaluating student creativity)

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

Todays #Edchat Topic: Should IEPs for every stdt replace today’s grading? http://ow.ly/1ANtE  Plz Join

DUMACORNELLUCIA: Related to IEP and #special needs see a project ,,Different , but equal ” #edchat http://bit.ly/d03DZR

DUMACORNELLUCIA: #edchat ,,Different , but equal ” partenership and collaboration between students with special needs in Europe http://bit.ly/bnrjde

olafelch: A useful link on SMART(ER) criteria. http://bit.ly/b9AMYy A good basis for assessment programs.

DUMACORNELLUCIA: #edchat , #education Gr8 twitter tools http://teacherluciandumaweb20.blogspot.com/2010/04/gr8-twitter-tools-part-1.html

andycinek: Thanks for another great #edchat I must run, but if you get a chance please check out my Tech integration plan http://bit.ly/az7cdp

cybraryman1: I’ve learned not all should have IEP, need to use more DI (http://bit.ly/bOWv96) & we have to revamp curriculum & grading system

pysproblem81: @olafelch I agree – but this is detailed here www.bit.ly/cpg6VM, www.bit.ly/bGgFF2,  http://bit.ly/dmSlb0 would like to C other side

web20education: very interesting twitter application – for you dear friends http://www.bubbletweet.com/channel/web20education/hdpis  members
Cheska Lorena (@MissCheska) is a self-described “twenty-something New Yorker, certified HS biology teacher, and a huge ed-tech enthusiast.”
Currently she is graduate student at The College of Saint Rose, where she is majoring in Curriculum & Instruction and Instructional Technology. Her professional interests are social media, teacher technology integration, and innovate new teacher professional development programs. Her blog is Teaching Miss Cheska.

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 800 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!   

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.   

What do you think about IEPs as replacements for the grading system? Leave a comment!

April 15, 2010

How should successful and innovative teaching and teachers be rewarded?


    4-13-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST    

How should we reward great teachers?


@shellterrell and I were excited to be back at edchat this week after attending the IATEFL conference in Harrogate (only 30 mins away from my home!!). It was a gr8 meetup of many twitter EFL/ESL teachers some of whom are regulars at #edchat!

As ever the discussion for last nights topic was lively and included concensus as well as healthy argument! Here are some of the main ideas expressed.

  • Should rewards even be necessary in education?
  • Isn’t success in the job a reward in itself?
  • How do we measure successful teaching in the first place in order to assign rewards?
  • Being sent to conferences, asked to make presentations, given recognition might be the best rewards
  • Given tenure might work as a reward
  • Having influence over projects or equipment for the class or department as a reward for good work
  • Funding for training and career opportunities would be a welcome reward for many teachers
  • Happy, satisfied students who achieve their goals is definitely a reward for a job well done!
  • Rewards can be divisive and cause problems withing the organisation/team
  • Success is relative so should we be looking at rewarding it at all
  • Traditional rewards can often be punishing (extra workloads, responsibilities etc..)

Here are some of the comments

rkiker: students say it cant be based on grades, because teachers will cheat 🙂 also students dont like bonuses, because it makes too much competition and that is not teaching

eduinnovation: What is the measure of “success” that is being used to based the “reward” on? What is a ‘reward” different for many..$$, recognition

cybraryman1: Education costs money, but then so does ignorance. — Claus Moser

akenuam:teachers should be rewarded with respect first and foremost, creative freedom next, and theres always the salary conversation.

flourishingkids: Teachers who give back by mentoring, taking extra training should be rewarded by stipends to study/pursue more learning opps.

ShellTerrell: Why does Edu policy punish tchrs – take tenure, fire, limit benefits? Edu policy pro teachers would be reward for me!

MissCheska: What about giving teachers venue to showcase their good work? Let them present @ conferences, speakers, etc

MZimmer557: we are “rewarding” teachers who use tech by providing tech to them as part of my job…so far it seems to be working. More FLIP use

olafelch: There are already a lot of suggestions for reward, but we are all skipping around the subject of how to measure success.

Julian3576: @ShellTerrell #edchat Should teachers be seen as Chiefs striving for Michelin Stars, refining menu of teaching to gain top recognition?

doctorjeff: There is reward for professional service, personal reward, but fundamentally reward needs to be driven by ed goals.

bhsprincipal: How many teachers work in places where progressive ideas are encouraged? How many work in a place where the status quo is OK?

michellek107: More rewards 4 teachers- districts should publicize innovative and successful teachers more. Rather hear good news than bad.

Blythe_Musteric: @Mamacita But don’t you think, that with more money, we could recruit more talent? Just a thought…

doctorjeff: KEEP FAITH: We as teachers need to embrace this noble profession & why we joined, even if educational system we work for may not.

k_shelton: @rliberni certainly. I am fine with accountability, just have issue with the method and who is doing the evaluating

MZimmer557: I find this rewarding, chatting with my PLN. Why is it so hard to get other teachers to feel rewarded like me?

ESLlibrary: Teachers of language have more room to be innovative. But does that amount to success hence reward?

rliberni: RT @ShellTerrell: @doctorjeff Let’s organize this dream team then we have plenty here in #edchat

j_ashton: Admin. impact on education is magnified both good and bad as they set the stage. Increase # of good admin = Increase # of good tch.

harrisonmike: @colport Shall we start up #ukedchat RT @akenuam: @ShellTerrell see we need local #edchat chapters for grassroots organizing *winks*

olafelch: Consistent performance over and above the timetable requirements could be rewarded with sponsored conference tickets.

seanbanville: Seconded – RT @malcolmbellamy: here is a big thank you as my reward to all of my colleagues for this #edchat

MatthiasHeil: Can we talk about working with students next time? Too much self-centered reflection makes me sad…-) #edchat

To follow the complete discussion see here  

 For the stats on #edchat participation see here  

 As ever, there were some great links shared: 

MatthiasHeil: Teacher Salaries – International Comparison: http://bit.ly/94qWdL

Brunsell: Highest paid degrees (2010 survey)…education is not on the list. http://www.teachingscience20.com/

akenuam: Teach for America has a teachign as leadership rubric which is among the best i have seen- http://bit.ly/ca1PB7

ericmacknight: Merit pay etc attacks prob at wrong end of the beast http://is.gd/br8EU

worsttofirst: Who Was Your Favorite Teacher? Share your #FavTeacher http://ow.ly/1xWkC

mooresclassroom: PLN question inspired by the latest TED talk: What photos have inspired you to take action? http://bit.ly/aYuDtu

HuffPostDenver: Colorado #teachers face battle for #tenure in legislature: http://huff.to/cMLUF9. Do we grant tenure too easily?

web20education: Join free http://web20ineducation2010.ning.com/ to discuss about new tehnologies in education in 2010

doctorjeff: @harrisonmike I wrote up my concerns in an essay at HuffPost addressing the U.S. crisis: http://bit.ly/4MeSYu

doctorjeff: My open letter to President Obama: http://bit.ly/hdYxI

wmchamberlain: RT @nwevaluation: Obama’s Plan to Reward Schools for Innovation Sparks Congressional Debate: http://ow.ly/1xXvO #edchat (couldn’t resist 😉

teaching_w_tech: What do students want? Teachers that use technology: http://bit.ly/a177nd

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 800 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!   

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.   

What do you think about teacher rewards? Leave a comment!

April 14, 2010

From an educator’s point of view, what should be cut from education budgets when times get tough?


    4-6-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST    

Both @shellterrell and myself (@rliberni) were attending a conference and therefore unable to moderate edchat on April 6th. We are fortunate in having great edchatters to step in and take over this role and thank Sean Banville, Olaf Elech and Joe Bower for doing this – thank you very much!

Joe also agreed to provide the edchat summary for this topic. As his summary on his own blog site was so comprehensive, it seemed foolish to re-invent the wheel so here is the link to the summary  and all the shared links for the topic are listed below for you to explore!!

I believe students should experience their success and failure not as reward and punishment but as information. Author of For the Love of Learning.


To follow the complete discussion see here  

 For the stats on #edchat participation see here  

 As ever, there were some great links shared: 

akenuam: @tbfurman: Florida is a mess http://bit.ly/bkGuYS

akenuam: anyone used the open innovation portal to suggest reform? http://bit.ly/aYsVjO

lisamonthie: @corriekelly i agree: I c articles about students who passed their state test but cant handle college http://tinyurl.com/ylkqmop

reyjunco: Using multiple video chats in education http://bit.ly/9JihxO

SmartEdServices: @corriekelly How 2 show importance of 21st cent. learning- New test measures digital literacy 4 tomorrow’s jobs http://bit.ly/b61BbU

akenuam: budgets aside, how can we close the achievement gap? http://bit.ly/ap3oVZ

joe_bower: No need to census test every kid. Sampling stu is good solution to cutting testing costs. Finland does it. http://bit.ly/cAW6WM

joe_bower: Did anyone else see the $$ Deleware is spending on DATA cops so they could get RttT $ ? http://bit.ly/c07Stx

teacher6th: program idea for helping teachers beat budget restrictions: http://www.donorschoose.org/twt-p/

web20education: RT @DUMACORNELLUCIA: Why teachers must use Social Media in education , #edtech20 , #edchat ? http://bit.ly/5MljMZ . Please repply here http://bit.ly/cNd3z2

joe_bower: Too often educators assume the cuts must happen. If we are organized, we can fight the cuts http://www.investinschools.ca/

reportertanya: These districts saved money by moving activity and facility schedules online http://bit.ly/c96ZRv

web20educationRT@ DUMACORNELLUCIA: Social Media in education  http://tweetphoto.com/17393631

elanaleoni: @EduTechSmith Yes! High Tech High does this well. http://bit.ly/bpxclK #

web20education: RT @DUMACORNELLUCIA: Twitter is also a great tool for teaching and playing , #edtech20 , #edchat 🙂 http://bit.ly/9AGcCh

web20education: RT @bjnichols: New Google Earth Imagery – Google Earth Blog http://bit.ly/c8ltSX

joe_bower: Wanna know how to keep pissing away edu reform $$, keep breaking these five rules http://bit.ly/duT0dd Florida is doing great

DUMACORNELLUCIA:  I involved 110 teachers in project ,,Different, but equal ” . #edchat , #edtech20 see blog http://bit.ly/bTwsnJ Ning http://bit.ly/bnrjde

lisamonthie: @bcahrens u should see interactive lectures by @glennw98 http://bit.ly/bUScoS he does a great job

theresawhite: “Why The Arts Are Important in Schools for the Future of the Workplace” Keynote by Dan Pink http://www.tmea.org/2009keynote/

daveandcori: RT @tomwhitby: Eliminate mailings by using the internet for parent communication. saves $$$ #edchat – I agree-more ways –http://goo.gl/7CGL

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 800 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!   

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.   

What do you think about ‘cuts’ in education? Leave a comment!

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