Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

August 2, 2011

In light of education reform, what will a teacher look like and be doing 10 years from today?


#Edchat 08 – 26 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Great video isn’t it! I love the idea that we will be able to access the internet EVERYWHERE! I learned about this video from a student who works for Corning and he told me that all of this is possible now. The incredible flexibility of glass as a material for technology is mind-blowing and to think that it is such an ancient product – it makes you think! Can you imagine greeting your students on the door of their refrigerator each morning  before they come to school? It’s so exciting! And how about the whole wall that turns into a screen – awesome!  I want one in my classroom! The world might look SO different in 10 years from now.

This was our topic last week at #edchat and we have a really amazing summary here written by Tracy Brady @mmebrady) who is a vibrant and innovative edchatter and this was a great ‘blue-sky thinking’ #edchat session. Tracy has really captured some of that excitement and buzz that was flying around twitter during the hour. I’m sure you will love reading her summary here and you can find out more about Tracy and her work as a French teacher in New York at the end of the post. Thank you so much Tracy for this great post 🙂

This topic provided for a phenomenal opportunity to discuss our “educational wishlists” and imagine the future.  Thinking back 10 years at how different things were, I think most of us realize that although much has changed (technology) sadly, much still remains the same (bureaucrats, the have-nots, row seating, farm-based schedule, standardized tests…).  Many of the ideas put forth were fascinating, exciting, thought-provoking, fill in your own blank.  Looking to the future is always a fun exercise, but it was also pointed out, that we need to focus our efforts on the classes of 10 minutes from now — exert control over our own realm.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  •  Classrooms will be paperless
  •  Will the digital divide widen or narrow — (between students as well as schools)  will the bureaucrats still be in control? where should the $ be spent?
  •  Classrooms should be more student centered with passion based learning and more individualized instruction — “communities of inquiry”
  •  Teacher prep needs to change significantly
  •  Communication will be improved as learning continues outside class walls and time (perhaps year round?) — mobilization, globalization, and collaboration
  •  There will be more flipped /blended classes — the human element (interpersonal) will always be necessary
  •  PLN/PD needs to be ongoing — teachers will need to continue to develop their own skills to continue to be relevant
  •  We should see the end of standardized tests — authentic assessment should replace it
  •  flying robots — it is hard to envision the future based on how different things were 10 years ago — like predicting a hurricane
  •  We will see the end of filtering websites, and  teach digital citizenship  instead.  We will take advantage of the digital native status of students AND teachers — byod
  •  We will see new learning spaces (not just formal rows inside classroom walls)
Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

CoachB0066 Looking at the economic landscape I believe that BYOD programs will be more popular than pure 1:1 programs

USCTeacher 10 years-teachers will be even more tech savvy, assignments will be submitted paperless, and schools will continue refining tech use

inquirebook @mmebrady I think tech will continue to change so fast that everybody will have to constantly learn and adapt.

inquirebook Technology is really just about connecting students to teachers and to each other, and connecting all to information.

stumpteacher My hope is that in 10 years our government listens to teachers and not businessmen/cheaters

stumpteacher @cybraryman1 I would hope the teachers continue to step back and empower students. Give up more control of learning to students.

NoodleEducation @rliberni would like to see technology provide objective assessment on a more holistic level for indiv students to replace STD tests

allisonletts @MarkWinegar one step: students pursuing a passion during classtime–learning how to learn independently about something fascinating

USCTeacher @rliberni Think about the communities that will be able to form! Not 1 building, 1 community, but 1 world

2footgiraffe @NathanSandberg @stumpteacher agreed. Tech is not the answer in education. It is just one part of student engagement.

CTuckerEnglish I’d like to see a move to customize & individualized instruction using tech integration to meet diverse needs if students

lauwailap1 In 10 yrs:Hoping teachers will have more control + input in the curriculum, which should be flexible+allow us to constantly innovate.

love_teach Schools need to prep them on how to facilitate learning and how to guide students to discover their own knowledge and tools

after_school 10 yrs from now more kinds of people will be recognized as teachers: museum/library/afterschool staff, kids leading othr kids.

CrudBasher I predict in 10 yrs, the most valuable skill in the world will be the ability to learn anything at anytime.

saraallen91 2 prepare tchrs 10 yrs from now, we have 2 prepare them 2 constantly challenge their thinking, experiment w/ new tech, & take risks.

Akevy613 In 10 years learning should be mobile and global and move way beyond the walls of a classroom

I hope in 10 years teachers start to get respect again

inquirebook @cybraryman1 I hope augmented reality is ubiquitous–another change to our relationship with information.

drdouggreen @ShellTerrell Let’s stop building schools with rows of identical classrooms and more open areas. Some are.

ShellTerrell Perhaps 10yrs from now we have better solutions to improving schools rather than firing teachers

mrbarranca @drdouggreen @beyondtech1 That’s a great point. Can’t teach new teachers 1980-1990 practices and expect them to then be cutting edge

CrudBasher You can plan the education system in 10 years in the same way you can plan a hurricane. #beyondcontrol

drdouggreen @jenniferg92 All teachers must be comfortable learning from students. It empowers both.

MaryAnnReilly The division we know among teacher, student, coach, mentor, and community member will blur. We will need new language to name.

chrisemdin I love the idea of predicting what you want things to be like in 10yrs. Imagination is the seedbed of possibility

 To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

ShellTerrell: Educators on Google+ http://bit.ly/oz4qK8  #edtech #edchat

CoachB0066:  We need to focus on educator prep (teachers and admin) to change pedagogy #edchat We can infuse all the tech… (cont) http://deck.ly/~WT9C4

cybraryman1:  What role will Blended Learning http://tinyurl.com/483kbhl  have in the future? #edchat

briankotts: The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here http://bit.ly/dT2u47  #edchat #ukedchat

SnaPanda: RT @rscon3: Check out: Sharing values in the classroom: When, How, Y & Y not http://bit.ly/pJdN41   video by @brad5patterson #eltchat #edchat

findingDulcinea: Awesome commentary on EdTech RT @mcleod My opening remarks at Iowa Education Summit http://t.co/8Oul1kM  #edchat #sschat

iObservation:  New York State Education Department Approves Dr. Robert Marzano’s Teacher Evaluation Model http://bit.ly/mnnS86  #cpchat #edchat

Kerry_EasyBib: @NMHS_Principal was featured in USA Today in a great article about social media and the future of the classroom http://ow.ly/5NHL6  #edchat

drdouggreen: @malcolmbellamy Colleges serve to widen gap between haves & have nots. Check my summary of Academically Adrift http://bit.ly/oCig5G  #edchat

cybraryman1: What role will Augmented Reality (http://tinyurl.com/346ogtf ) play in education in the future: #edchat

cybraryman1: My Student Centered Classrooms page: http://tinyurl.com/454czsq  #edchat

rliberni: Here’s a great vision for the future with tech everywhere! http://youtu.be/6Cf7IL_eZ38  #edchat

cybraryman1: Personalized, passionate learning http://goo.gl/fb/jJhR3  #edchat

iObservation:  Video: Robert Marzano on His Career in Research http://youtu.be/G0yOZpPSu7s  #edchat #education

cybraryman1: I can see more Self-Directed Learning http://tinyurl.com/3yzrakm  with teacher there to faciliate the learning #edchat

drwetzel: What is the Technology Footprint in Your Classroom? http://t.co/9A67ruv  #edtech #edchat #elemchat #teaching #education #web20

tuchodi:  @ShellTerrell From our school district http://bit.ly/q7JzvN  #edchat

web20education:  Pls rt I work #edtech20 #socialmedia #curation project gateway to knowledge in #education20 , I need #PLN help #edchat http://t.co/WvMFXQh

cybraryman1: @lauwailap1 See Open Doors School-Business Partnership (left column down) http://tinyurl.com/4zyk5qq  #edchat

engaginged:  Interested in global collaboration? Here’s a great project: Challenge 20/20: http://t.co/CyxrsYo  #globaled #edchat

AAEteachers: #Education is hurt by #politics according to Arne Duncan. #teachers – what do you think? | http://is.gd/xIS2v3  #edreform #edchat

CrudBasher: @SamGliksman Reading expressions online. http://bit.ly/nzWq8I  #edchat

Social_LMS: 2011 Learning Tools Directory : http://t.co/YjZLRGb  #lrnchat #edchat #ednewschat

mjgormans:  10 Steps to Transform Past Lessons for 21st Century .,, If u r at #BLC11 plz stop in at 1 of my sessions http://t.co/XNrOJ9A  #edchat

OECD_Edu: PISA – Against the Odds: Disadvantaged Students Who Succeed in School http://bit.ly/nbEIdO  #edchat #ukedchat #finnedchat

joe_bower:  Assessment wagging the dog http://t.co/iT9TXPe  #abed #edchat #edtech

web20education:  I update #curation story #googleplus gateway to #semanticweb #web30 in #education20 http://t.co/EOISqqY  #edtech20 #edreform #rscon3 #edchat

My name is Tracy Brady  I am a French teacher (middle and high school) in Central New York.  I strive to push against constraints of time and space to globalize my students’ learning experience.    I am a strong proponent of BYOD and thinking outside the box to bridge the digital divide.  My colleagues don’t always know what to make of my wild ideas, but then again, neither do my 2 beautiful daughters (Florica and Aline).  Sometimes it takes a little bit of crazy to get the job done.  #edchat is an invaluable tool in my PD arsenal, and I am honored to have been asked to write this summary.  My blog can be found at http://mmetechie.blogspot.com

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 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? Leave a comment!


May 11, 2011

What is the definition of an educated person and what strategies will get us to reach that goal

#Edchat 05 – 03 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Thank you to Jeff Richardson (@jrichardson30) for this week’s very enlightening summary. This week’s topic is key to what we are all about on #edchat and if we can’t come close to a definition, how do we decide what we must do in our organisations? The chat was a very interesting one and I think that Jeff has really captured the essence of our dilemma here.  Jeff is a dedicated edchatter and you can read more about him in his bio at the end of the post. Thanks again Jeff!

Looking back over this chat, I am reminded once again that the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.  These chats are so rich, so challenging and so full of great information that I really don’t know what I did before Twitter, edchats and these critical global conversations.  Each and every time, I am inspired and my thinking is pushed in new directions.  This chat brought so much to the table because the topic is truly at the heart of what we are all trying to do…which is to educate students and ourselves.  

We all must reflect upon and decide for ourselves what it means to be an educated person so that we can use our gifts, passions and abilities better in order to help others become “educated.” We don’t have to agree on all the qualities, and semantics can get in the way on a topic like this, but certain traits do remain consistent throughout this conversation and for me, passion is one of those. It is apparent that if we want a united front and we want to see significant progress, then this topic is something that needs to be discussed at all levels in schools from teachers and students in the classrooms to administrators at the highest levels.

As for this edchat, I think everyone involved peeled back layers, exposed realities and suggested effective ways that we can move closer to our goal.  I know my thinking was challenged and made some great new connections.  Thanks for contributing and I am honored to have the opportunity to put together this summary.       

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • Attributes of an educated person
    • creative, curious, searching, passionate, motivated, adaptable
    • a good listener, a life-long learner, has choices
    • someone who knows where to find information
    • Problem-solver, challenge seeker, self-discoverer 
    • Learns from mistakes
  • How to achieve the goal of more educated people
    • Passion needs to be modeled, encouraged, valued & explored
    • Teachers must embody a true, visible passion for learning
    • Students need choice, have a say in their own learning
    • Schools need to be exciting, student-centered if we want students to be “educated”
    • Stop standardizing and start individualizing 
    • Curriculum needs to be more flexible
    • Encourage exploration/discovery
    • Get kids outside! Service learning
    • Personal relationships are critical

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.

@jpsteltz:  an educated person knows how to communicate via writing, speaking, listening, and observing #edchat

@jrichardson30:  Someone who can find info & leverage to meet their needs or the needs of others. #edchat

@TutorSolutions:  Educated person must be able to understand the difference between right and wrong. #edchat
@rliberni:  Defining an educated person is not easy, many facets but I think they will be self-sufficient in dealing with the world #edchat

@cybraryman1:  The only person who is truly educated is the one who has learned how to learn & change #edchat
@CTuckerEnglish:  Education is a life-long process of discovery. Teachers must provide students w/skill set necessary to “discover” & learn #edchat
@rliberni: Defining an educated person is not easy-many facets but I think they will be self-sufficient in dealing with the world #edchat
@jpsteltz:  students must have the itch to learn, the willingness to search for answers, and the courage to share with the world #edchat
@msmith833:  A person who learns to make discoveries on his own, not because an assignment is due! #edchat
@Akevy613:  To be educated you need to be willing to learn& grow and to make mistakes along the way but learn from your mistakes #edchat
@Akevy613:  We as educators need to be inspired and passionate about what we do so that we can instill those values and feelings in our students #edchat
@jessievaz12:  @jpsteltz Couldn’t agree more! Involve the students in finding out about what inspires and makes them curious. That’s educated. #edchat

@inquirebook:   Our society so values certainty, but educated people are willing to dwell in uncertainty in order to learn. #edchat 

@westgatehusker:  #edchat give learning real life meaning will encourage passion and the desire to continue learning
@ShellTerrell:  I would like to see educators inspire all students to be lifelong learners! Most schls turn kids off to learning #edchat
@malcolmbellamy:  passion cannot be taught but can be discovered #edchat
@ContentLiteracy: Passion comes from ownership or investment. #edchat
@QZLPatriotHawk:  Life creates more educated ppl than school. School as we know it fosters task completion. #edchat
@jessievaz12:  Tchrs role is to provide context that provokes uncertainty….from there the curiosity and learning are endless. #edchat
@maryannesacco:  if we don’t allow for choice, how do students learn how to make them? #edchat

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

How can we be disruptive without being dismissed? 

To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

malcolmbellamy: What would you do? The future of education: building windmills or walls http://wp.me/pKfOP-Qd  #edchat #ukedchat

 @mrsebiology: If You Can’t Reach Them, You Can’t Teach Them (via @ASCD) – http://bit.ly/jWiwea  #edchat #lrnchat #midleved #elemchat

MarjieKnudsen: Bloom’s Taxonomy: Critical Thinking Skills for Kids – http://goo.gl/0j0uL  via @exquisiteminds1 @DrLynneKenney #parenting #edchat #ptchat

GWoodJCG:  http://ning.it/mKYDEs Nourish your soul #edchat teach first with kindness

@cybraryman1: My Learning from Mistakes pg http://cybraryman.com/learningfrommistakes.html   #edchat

@cybraryman1: My Motivating students pg http://cybraryman.com/motivating.html   #edchat

@davidwees:  John Taylor Gatto on “12 Things You Might Not Have Learned in a Classroom” http://bit.ly/mRcLCx

 @InnovativeEdu: Diplomas Don’t Prepare Students for the World. ePortfolios do http://t.co/5hrhhib   #ptchat #edchat #edreform

@pearsonls: 7 Solutions for Engaging 21st Century Students http://ow.ly/4M2Iy via @Marbellis #education #edchat #highered

@voxy:  A Call to Arms for #Education Innovation – http://ow.ly/4M7Ez  via @HuffingtonPost #edchat

@mattledding:  @tomwhitby standardized students need 2b identical so system can b tuned to them. Maybe: http://bit.ly/k72yDw  is a gd picture. #edchat

@elenischool: @pearsonls: 15 Important lessons you may not have learned in school http://ow.ly/4LYt4  via @debsylee #education #edchat

@InnovativeEdu: Have schools forgotten they were supposed to prepare students for the real world? http://t.co/DcU5YvO  #ptchat #edchat #edreform

@ShellTerrell: How do we begin to get schools 2 rely less on testin… (cont) http://deck.ly/~HNrLx

@delta_dc: @wendygorton @jasonflom @usedgov we certainly need to reclaim assessment – my idea here: http://t.co/dTi3yVc

@MN2020: Why are leaders taking us in the wrong direction on education policy? Share your thoughts @ Tuesday Talk: http://bit.ly/k6tW9G  #edchat

@willrich45: Would love your thoughts on this: Have Schools Reached Their Limits? http://huff.to/iwH9pi  #edreform #edchat

web20education: Top 12 Pioneers in Education http://bit.ly/iuDgrN  #edtech20 #elearning #edchat #ukedchat #eduswe #elemchat #lrnchat #elt #efl

@davidwees: Please help refute this argument. “Why Classrooms Should Be Teacher-Centred” http://bit.ly/m5mu2z  

I am @jrichardson30 on the Twitter and my other name is Jeff Richardson.  I’m a tech coach for 3 elementary schoolsin Hoover, Alabama and have been for 4 years.  I taught 8th grade World History for 5 years prior to this.  I consider myself fortunate to be in a district that thinks big, wants to move forward and provides the infrastructure as well as the leadership needed to make it happen.  The biggest thing motivating me as I learn and work to challenge and grow teachers are my own kids.  I have 3 (3 yo, 8 yo, 11 yo) children who go to school in the district where I work. I want to make sure they all have amazing experiences in school.  As a family, we love being outdoors and we are currently learning how to sail.

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 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? Leave a comment!

April 20, 2011

Can schools be successfully run with shared decision making policies (SDM) or is Principal as sole decision maker the best method

#Edchat 04 – 12 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Our thanks this week go to Canadian school principal Darcy Mullin for the edchat summary. Although Darcy is quite new to edchat and PLN in general he has already made a big splash with his blog (see address below) and is becoming a star performer at edchat! This was an important topic for teachers and the discussion explored lots of ideas and practices. These have all been captured in a very vivid way in this summary and I am sure that everyone will enjoy reading it. Thank you Darcy. Find out more about Darcy in his bio at te end of the post.

I found today’s #edchat extremely interesting.  What I found particularly interesting was the almost universal agreement that SDM is an effective way to affect school change and that many people were able to cite specific examples of effective SDM in their schools.  As @cybaryman1 pointed out, it was great to have teachers and administrators on the same page and engaged in quality conversation.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • Shared Decision Making (SDM) means just that.  It is important to engage all stakeholders – teachers, students and parents.
  • SDM benefits the school because everyone shares the vision and had a hand in its development.
  • SDM is most effective when a leader is courageous enough to cede control, but maintain focus, take ownership of problems, but give (not take) credit for successes
  • Ultimately, someone (often the principal) must make the final decision, but seeking input from all stakeholders is essential.  Some issues such as contract, salaries etc. are not conducive to the SDM model.
  • Sometimes, with SDM there are too many voices and efficiencies are lost.  It is best to use prudently for decisions that involve many or all stakeholders.
  • When administrators are willing to give up some of the decision-making control they empower staff teams.  That said, if teachers are not willing to be part of the process they must respect the outcomes.
  • In order for the model to be effective there must be a culture of collaboration and trust in the school.

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.

@cybaryman1:  Great to see administrators and teachers discussing this here.
@inquirebook:  Creating a rubric is one form of goal setting. Involving students in the process helps them share the goals
@tomwhitby:  Once you’ve got them by the RUBRICS their hearts and minds will follow
@CTuckerEnglish: Letting go of control is scary for many, but the possibilities & potential when all voices are included is infinite
@jonbergman:  Visionary leader needs to rely on their experts and cast the vision collaboratively
@TonyEdTechTip:  along with Trust..follow through is important. Every1 has to do what they said they are going to do
@QZLPatriotHawk: No decision I’ve made as a principal has worked better than the ones my teachers & students have made.
@UltimateTeacher: SDM will raise teacher’s job satisfaction…which is highly needed now. The question is how much to give?
@fliegs: No 1 person has the right answer but collectively we can find common best fit
@davidwees: Everyone involved in SDM have their own agendas. You can’t make a decision without a perspective
@ericjuli: I think admins need to create a culture of Shared Decision Making, aligned to core values that whole school community agrees with
@jessievaz12: The only thing you MUST ensure is shared understanding of the vision or goal. W/out that you are sunk with shared decisions.
@thomsponscience: Sustaining commitment can happen when people are given REAL responsibility, not just asked for opinions
@davidwees: You can’t turn SDM on and off. Once the genie is out of the bottle, people will expect input (which is OK!)
@tomwhitby: It is always difficult to buy into someone else’s vision. A vision developed by a team is easily adopted by the team
@QZLPatriotHawk: I have found the best admin are the ones that take blame for failures and give away credit for school successes.
@davidwees: Advantages of SDM: Students get opportunity to learn HOW to make decisions.

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

@NewVictory: Incredible. Empower more principals! RT @alizag: The Fragile Success of School Reform in the Bronx – http://nyti.ms/gBfsiI

cybraryman1:  Flowchart of the Shared Decision-Making Process (District level – adapt to school level) http://tinyurl.com/3ufwr7x  #edchat

@tomwhitby: Agreed! RT @L_Hilt: Awesome. @datruss Open Educator Manifesto | Connected Principals http://bit.ly/eeCjRB  #cpchat #edchat

@amandacdykes I Don’t Rock http://bit.ly/gVw7Qf  #edchat

4thGrdTeach My district’s technology plan http://ow.ly/4yCUC #edchat 

 This is Darcy Mullin.  He is a Principal in a small rural school in British Columbia, Canada.  He lives in  Summerland which is located in the beautiful Okanagan Valley.
I am relatively new to the world of twitter, blogging and using social media as a learning tool.  I am excited and empowered by the learning I am able to be a part of as I navigate this new medium.  I am very interested in Personalized Learning and student engagement. I am always looking to learn and connect.  Please feel free to drop by my blog darcymullin.wordpress.com and leave a comment.


New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 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? Leave a comment!

September 3, 2010

How do teachers, experts in education, gain a voice in the education reform movement that targets them as a problem?

#Edchat  8-31-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST  


Effecting Educational reform


Tuesday’s #edchat was something different to say the least! Firstly it was invaded by ‘tech Gremlins’ (as described by @esolcourses) with both moderators experiencing twitter and connection problems. (Thank you to all those edchatters who stepped in to rescue the situation!) At first two topics were making the rounds – but things finally settled down and in true PLN-collaborative-form #Edchat forged ahead.   The task of  writing the summary this week has been valiantly undertaken by Jarrod Drysdale (@knackisms). Although not a teacher, Jarrod works in the field of education and technology so he gives us a bit of a birds-eye view on this topic! Thank you Jarrod for stepping up to the plate to provide the summary of what was one of the strangest #edchats to date! See Jarrod’s bio at the end of the post.   

 While #edchat participants are frustrated with having a target painted upon their foreheads, they’re still motivated and excited to participate in education reform. Educators want to shift the conversation to the positive and work together with the community to make necessary changes. Educators desire respect and trust, and are willing to do the hard work. Conversations made clear that teachers need to get more involved with current events and focus upon the big picture rather than just the scope of their individual classrooms. In addition, educators need to better inform the public, including politicians and parents, of the challenges they face.  

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion:    

  ●        Teachers need to stand up and communicate the reality of what is happening in schools.  

 ●        Change the story to focus on all the positive achievements by educators.  

 ●        Teachers need to get involved with local elections and the press.  

 ●        Trust is critical among teachers, administrators, and parents.  

 ●        Teachers face a lot of negativity in the press, communities, professional circles, and politics.  

 ●        Learning is the responsibility of students, families and educators together.  

 ●        It’s difficult to define what makes a teacher effective, but teachers are best equipped to evaluate their peers.  

 Here is a selection of some of the comments:    

  @MissCheska:  I think first and foremost to affect change is to encourage transparency in what’s going on in our own classrooms #edchat  

  @baldy7:   #edchat if educators/teachers want to have a voice, they need to stand up and be heard. Too much being done to them!  

  @cybraryman1:   Educators have to educate the policy makers and get more say in their decisions. #edchat  

  @blairteach:   Tchrs also need to take a leaf from the PR handbook & publicize the INCREDIBLE things going on in sch; counter-programming to bad. #edchat  

  @tracymercier:  Even if we are tenured, when you do say no, disagree/stand up you are ignored (just shut up & do it) #edchat  

  @baldy7:   #edchat education is perceived as a noble field, but one that “anyone” could do. we allow the perception to exist.  

  @ImagineLearning:   I am seeing a general thread that the school-home connection is an important step to this issue #edchat  

  @tomwhitby:  How can we get local communities on brd with tchrs not even knowing what to address?If we don’t get it, how can we expect others to? #Edchat  

  @PeacefulSchools:  Communication between schools and families can often be a great struggle. #Edchat  

  @TheDSCWay:  Teachers are easy to attack because they are the most visible and people know what they are supposed to be doing (or think they do) #edchat  

  @rgallwitz:  What makes a great teacher? Results or relationships? #edchat  

  @lisamireles:   #Edchat how about by changing the story? Talk about teachers as the solution not the problem…  

  @Smichael920:   #edchat the more parents r involved in their chdns ed, the more respect they have 4 tchrs. Mayb more politicians should spend time in sch!  

  @JasonFlom:   Think globally, Elect locally. Teachers need to be involved in their local elections. Call out misrepresentations by candidates. #edchat  

  @JasonFlom:   Teachers need to write letters to ed, op-ed pieces, and other bits of opinion to balance one-sided representation. #edchat  

  @TheDSCWay:   If you haven’t taught, it is hard to imagine all of the competing directions teachers are pulled in. It is a hard job! #edchat  

  @leaguelearn:   Public clings to tests ’cause that’s what they know & remember, need to see rigorous alt assess in person – student led portfolios #edchat  

  @michellek107:   As educators, & more spec, teachers, we need to encourage local media to come see what we are doing WELL! Beyond test scores. #edchat  

  @davidwees:   Politicians need to stop thinking of education as a short-term objective and more of a long term investment in our well-being. #edchat  

  @michellek107:   As a teacher, I MUST help my community understand that students’ edu needs are different than they were 5, 10, 50 yrs ago. #edchat  

  To follow the complete discussion see here    

  For the stats on #edchat participation see here    

  As ever, there were some great links shared:   

 @ImagineLearning: Newsweek gives case study of PLB helping the “Creativity Crisis” http://bit.ly/dj6W1F  

 @Parentella I interviewed @vickysaumell about using Project Based Learning: http://edition.tefl.net/guest/vicky-saumell/  

 CoCreatr:  @blairteach teachers can #innovate around pressures through developing “growth mindset” http://bit.ly/97XJFN  via @jorgebarba  

 briankotts:  Teachers, public sharply divided on key issues | BostonGlobe http://bit.ly/dzu1F3  

 leahmacvie:  I think the best way to assert your voice is to start a movement. Blog, tweet, gain followers. http://bit.ly/aoeO8Y  

 getschooled: One student drops out of high school every 26 seconds (1.2 million/yr). http://ow.ly/2xlF0  

 andycinek:   What will you say on day one? http://bit.ly/bF7aJG  #edchat #edcamp #ntcamp [Day one is critical, and this is great! ^CB]  

 joe_bower:  I am listening to Richard Byrne’s Reform Symposium presentation on Back Channeling. http://bit.ly/bUO9zU  #abed #edchat  

moehlert: #TED must watch! “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds” by Temple Grandin http://bit.ly/8XReoV  via @rkiker @dcinc66 #edchat   

ImagineLearning:  Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything West wing cilp starts at 40 sec http://bit.ly/aOEkoo   

davidwees:  @MissCheska Read this article I wrote about comparison between education and other fields of study. Much clearer. http://is.gd/eNDD6  #edchat   

SkippingRobyn:  We all want to help students succeed, but being a HS teacher can be tough work! Are you up for the challenge? http://ow.ly/2xpq4  #edchat   

CoCreatr:  @blairteach that is the point. Check Professor Carol Dweck’s research in the video http://bit.ly/97XJFN after #edchat 😉   

mikeoconnor1982:  Tips for Engaging Your Audience (be it students or adults) http://t.co/qbJqjvI   

fullonlearning:  http://tinyurl.com/2utphxf “If everyone could educate, we could educate everyone” #edchat #gtchat   

briankotts:  Why We Must Fire Bad Teachers | Newsweek http://bit.ly/apGE8h  #edchat   

cybraryman1:  My Education Reform page of links: http://bit.ly/diXT0v  #edchat   

web20classroom:   Cool Prezi On Problem Based Learning: http://bit.ly/9R3Ojc  #jccstech #edchat   

MatthiasHeil:  Children can learn from bad teachers! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10590460   

ImagineLearning:  research shows that kids who have 2, 3, 4 strong tchers in a row will eventually excl Newsweek #edchat http://bit.ly/btRz5c   

davidwees:   The death of the amateur mathematician. Why it is critical to invest in education. http://bit.ly/9Nmc5a   

Smichael920:  Short post on sharing good news w/children, govs & staff (Every) Photo (tells a) Story: http://wp.me/pvUIF-57  #edchat this helps us   

JoHart:  Other TZs post http://bit.ly/92XdGs  wth overview & rec link recent Edublogs Webinar “Your PLN what’s in it for all of us!” #edchat   

blairteach: Yeah, the long-term PD thing is tough. PLP was huge for this. http://bit.ly/aG6w0f   

smartinez:  Focus on results can make children do worse, study finds http://bit.ly/9IaEcA  #edreform #edparadox #edchat   

ToughLoveforXhttp://ilnk.me/41c8 Syllabus: My fav” (so far) 4. How Do We Know What We (Think We) Know? #edchat   

LesLinks: Plse read @ljconrads new blogpost… excellent call to arms for US ed system.. http://bit.ly/aVwqgT  #edchat #elemchat #gtchat #gifted #teach   

LesLinks:  It has been really interesting & exciting to be here will come again!! more info on #gtchat at http://www.ingeniosus.net/gtchat  #edchat   

ImagineLearning:  just used BlastFollow to follow everyone from today’s #edchat http://bit.ly/9ZEKpu   

blairteach:  I’ve been using http://youtu.be/nBJV56WUDng  to show that the way we always do something may not be the best way to do it. #edchat   

davidwees: New blog post: Every educator should experience being a bad student. http://bit.ly/9BfPGP   

Jarrod Drysdale is a professional designer living in Denver. He recently built and launched a new web application called Knack For Teachers, and is emphatically devoted to assisting educators via technology. Jarrod has worked on everything from movie websites to digital advertising to financial software, all for national companies and household brand names. He’s decided education is where it’s at. Four of Jarrod’s immediate family members are educators. He blogs actively at the Knack Blog   


New to Edchat?   

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!   

●        Edchat: Join the Conversation   

●        Using Tweetdeck for Hashtag Discussions   

More Edchat          

If you would like to join others in transforming the discussion into action, please feel free to join the Edchat group on the Educator PLN ningJerry Swiatek does an incredible job of posting each archived transcript on the Edchat wiki created by Steve Johnson. This way you can look back at your favorites!  Find previous summaries here on this blog – see edchat category on right sidebar. Follow other Edchatters and make sure you are on this Twitter list if you participate in Edchat! Read summaries of the 7pm EST/1 am CET Edchat discussions.  


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? Leave a comment!

August 2, 2010

Should we save money in education by exchanging textbooks for internet content for authentic learning?


7-28-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST


We are grateful To Jessica Kelleher (@discomfortzone) for this week’s summary and reflection on what was a very lively #edchat session. As you can tell from her twitter name, Jessica is no shrinking violet when it comes to educational matters! She has captured very well what was, on balance a very measured approach to this topic with some very interesting ideas and links. For more about Jessica see her bio at the end of the post.

Technology is great, it has enriched personal and professional lives in so many ways. For many of the educators we meet on Twitter and Ning (or other platforms), their PLN is the most important professional development. And for those people, textbooks may not even be an option for teaching and learning these days. 
Our initial answer to the proposed question could be “Yes, please!” and enthusiasts may envision themselves with bundles of money available for the newest gadgets and professional development. 
But before we chuck the books out, and put the publishing houses out of business, there is more to consider. This discussion has shown that edtech enthusiasts have concerns too.

 Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • Textbooks offer out-dated material, or become out-dated/irrelevant quickly
  • Textbooks only represent one perspective
  • Access to online technologies or computer technologies varies greatly throughout the world (equal opportunities)
  • Some teachers will struggle without a textbook, or with dynamic online environments
  • Technology is just a tool, it is not the resource
  • The necessity of information literacy and critical thinking when using online resources 
  • The increased need to collaborate 

The use of textbooks, as well as technologies varies greatly between individual educators, school districts, and countries. While some educators have not touched a textbook in years, they still are seen as a “safety net” for other teachers. In this discussion, there was mainly agreement on the first two themes.
A big problem for this shift in education is accessibility to both computers, as well as reliable internet connections. Rural areas are often at a disadvantage within the developed world, however, looking at it globally, there are massive discrepancies. 
Ability and willingness to use online resources and technology was brought up several times. Teachers unable or unwilling to leave their comfort zones to learn and experience new technologies and forms of learning, would not be happy to swap their textbooks for an ipad, but as it was also pointed out, it is those educators we need to support and continuously encourage. 
Using content available on the internet means that students, no matter what age, need to develop as critical thinkers. Without the “right answer textbook”, students, and teachers, need to know what sources are reliable, but they also have the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of perspectives. Information literacy and critical thinking already form part of the curriculum of some schools, while others still need to develop.

Lastly, I would like to comment on the theme “technology is just a tool, not a resource”. 

For me, this can be linked to some of my comments during this discussion:
  • Just because something is online, does not mean it is better than a textbook (some publishers put textbook content on their websites, including some workbook content, get a neat programmer to add some animations or similar, and sell it as their interactive content. For me, this is a FARCE! The content, and as such, the resource stays the same, but the tool changes. Same goes for ebooks!
  • There is more to the discussion than technology or textbook. People and places are amazing resources too. And while these can be accessed in person (if possible) or virtually (neat! Streetview, Skype, SecondLife), they provide other perspectives, require different skills and are much more engaging than some books.

 The last point goes back to the why and how of learning in schools. When we have definite answers to that, then we can choose engaging and authentic resources. In some of my units, people were a much more valuable and authentic resource than any book could have ever been. Seeing the marble caves of Carrara, then seeing marble processed in Pietrasanta, including a little workshop, to seeing Michelangelo’s David in Florence…. an indescribable experience. And with technology  growing, this could possibly be accessible to children all over the world at one point. 
It makes me question whether the topic for this week’s edchat was not too limited. Are our choices really just textbook or technology? No! But it helped us to start exploring the need to question the use of both. However, let’s not forget to reach beyond the tools!!

@CoachB0066: Opportunities must be based on school/students’ accessibility, cannot have an uneven playing field 

@malcolmbellamy: the idea is excellent but we then need to teach internet literacy skills to get the best results 

@easybib: the authenticity of learning depends on the resource, not necessarily the medium

@tomwhitby: Once information is recorded in a textbook it can become irrelevant. The prime sources on the internet may be constanly updated

@crystalmgrand: Teachers need to stray away from the textbooks and blackboard and work on student engagement. Be more creative

@dannymaas: Would LOVE to see > student-created wiki textbooks with multimedia & web 2.0 embeds! >> Students leading knowledge creation! 

@discomfortzone: Just because a resource is accessible online/electronically, doesn’t mean it’s better than textbook!

@leahmacvie: Teachers need more collaboration time, they also need support and facilitation. 

@discomfortzone: Tech is not the only alternative to textbook! People and places are too! Rethinking resources is important, not the tool/medium

@ShellTerrell: With tech we have opportunities to give our stdts experiences like Skyping w/ Holocaust survivor vs. just reading 

 @Nunavut_Teacher: We have to teach students how to be critical thinkers when it comes to using the web.

@ShellTerrell: Wouldn’t doing away with textbooks encourage educators to go online & perhaps develop a PLN?

@marynabadenhors: If everyone in first world uses computers and everyone in 3rd world paper, how will we communicate? Must be able to do both

@TechCzech: Many students & teachers thrive on the structure provided by textbooks. Many don’t. OERs could cater to both. Present system can’t.

@ESLlibrary: If your admin doesn’t agree, just print out the transcript of today’s #edchat.

@tcash: Think about what kinds of resources we use as professionals – domain specific – THAT’s what we should use in class -authentic 

@rosamariatorres: Want to avoid textbooks because they are “oppresive”-determine what you need to learn? How “oppresive” is Wikipedia? And mass media?

@Mamacita: Let’s not completely dismiss ANY source; let’s pick & choose & encourage students to do the same

 Here is a selection of some of the comments:

 To follow the complete discussion see here 

 For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

 As ever, there were some great links shared:

schoology:  Interesting article about e-book educatipn push http://ht.ly/2hh6F

heoj:  curious to hear if anyone’s used the NYT Learning Network for authentic learning, how it went, etc. http://nyti.ms/2WbL84

HigherEdMorning:  Facebook and grades: What’s the link? http://bit.ly/aLzyrQ

BlueSkyDrive:  should we really be branding “educated”? http://bit.ly/dt3ESu

joe_bower:  for the love of learning – The Daily Riff http://bit.ly/9lxXbD

ToughLoveforX:  I also think it’s important for this #edchat that people are aware of Verizon’s move into edu. http://ilnk.me/36ac  The others will follow.

beabitcraZEE:  @whatedsaid10 ways my thinking has changed over time. http://bit.ly/bbzk GV WAKING UP TO THE FACT THAT PEOPLE NEED TO THINK TO LEARN #edchat

briankotts:  The 21st-century textbook – O’Reilly http://oreil.ly/9Qfp7t  #edchat It’s living, interactive, participative, adaptive, and connected.

malcolmbellamy:  see the interactive textbook of CK-12 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfHd1FpJXbU  TedX NYed talk #edchat

billgx:  Dan Meyer’s TED talk on Math Curriculum Makover is very relevant to this discussion. http://bit.ly/cP4GmY #edchat #TED

andycinek:  Example of digital news paper learning setup with wiki and RSS http://bit.ly/9xHARH  #edchat Please steal this idea

TechCzech:  Charles Leadbeater-Education innovation in the slums “education needs to work by pull not push.” http://bit.ly/dtIM6W  #edchat #metaphor #ted

andycinek:  Another example from my blog of RSS and wiki use for current events and indp. reading #edchat http://bit.ly/bAviaW

evemarfil:  How to create engagemt? Here you have Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation http://on.ted.com/8Tno  #edchat

ColinTGraham:  I like student blogs where they talk about their work, ask questions and get help, with teacher guiding e.g. http://bit.ly/bnsRMs  #edchat

marynabadenhors:  A new digital divide: In one class (between those who can use technology effectively, and those who can’t) http://bit.ly/bQkug1  #edchat

Schoology:  Interesting article about e-book educatipn push http://ht.ly/2hh6F  #edchat

elanaleoni:  Jumping in late to #edchat but have you all checked out CK-12? Free #opensource online textbooks: http://bit.ly/9uTdoA  Very impressive

briankotts:  Alvin Toffer and Heidi on education (material & system) Worth watching. http://youtu.be/04AhBnLk1-s  #edchat

crystalmgrand:  Wasn’t there an issue a few months back that Texas was rewriting history? VIDEO: http://ht.ly/2hiE2  #edchat

ESLlibrary:  Bookmark to read after #edchat: Vicky Saumell interview on daring to drop textbooks http://edition.tefl.net/guest/vicky-saumell/

dannymaas:  http://bit.ly/GPnX RT @olafelch More errors in encyclopedia than wikipedia #edchat (debatable, and depends on what you call an error

andycinek:  @crystalmgrand http://nyti.ms/9pMNLm  #edchat

FOSSwiki:  Jumping in late to #edchat but have you all checked out CK-12? Free #opensource online textbooks: http://bit.ly/9u… http://bit.ly/cSqUG2

andycinek:  A perfect example of how textbooks can skew information to state a belief http://nyti.ms/9pMNLm

elanaleoni:  @SheldonWordNerd This article may be helpful: How to Teach Students to Search Smart http://bit.ly/aZIhzD  #edchat

TechCzech:  Many of the ideas discussed in #edchat on role of resources were contained in the 1970s Humanities Curriculum Project: http://j.mp/brPxbl

andycinek:  I’ll teach out of a textbook or via a wikispace or a blog thanks PLN! http://bit.ly/9s8eSv  #edchat

ShellTerrell:  Don’t forget to attend the free 48 hr virtual conference #rscon10 w many members of our PLN this Fri. http://bit.ly/bIH6Dp #Edchat

irasocol:  @VanessaSCassie http://is.gd/dMAhB  #edchat http://is.gd/dMAvu  and best http://is.gd/dMACt 

RevoltMarxism:  EDUCATION! http://ow.ly/2gW6Y  #classwar #p2 #topprog #edtech #gopcodered #speakingout #p2 #ownpersonalhell #p #edchat #sociology #Econ

irasocol:  http://www.life.com/archive/gallery #edchat

Reflective. Inquiring. Curious

Jessica Kelleher is currently a PYP (International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme) teacher at the International School of Modena in Italy. She teaches Grade 3.
Jessica trained as a primary school teacher in Germany, where she worked at KLAX Primary and Middle School in a variety of roles, including Mathematics Middle School teacher, class teacher, and Middle School coordinator. 
She has since worked at Westminster International School in Pisa as a PYP class teacher and PYP     coordinator.
Jessica’s professional interests currently revolve around inquiry-based teaching and learning, educational technology and curriculum development. Her degree in Learning, Technology and Research has sparked a further interest in professional development and action inquiry, as well as eLearning and eEducation.


New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 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? Leave a comment!

July 17, 2010

What should be the first two problems addressed in order to begin educational reform?


7-13-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST


Our thanks go to Colin Graham (@ColinTGraham) for this week’s #edchat summary. It is a very frank and honest resume of his thoughts on both the topic and the progress of the discussion. He invites comment and it will be interesting to see how other edchat participants react to his point of view. Colin is a regular and enthusiastic edchatter and his committment to education is very clear (see his bio at the end of the post). It is a great post and I hope it will spark some further discussion.

I have to say I approach this post with a good deal of trepidation. Although flattered to have been asked to summarize the discussion, I have to start by saying that I was not engaged with the choice of topic – and that was before the discussion started.  I started into the Twitterverse almost exactly 40 days ago, at the time of writing, and seem to be finding a way to keep my head above the flood.  Those who know me or have experienced my style of tweeting, will know that I tend to jump into chats or discussions but for some reason I held back on this one.  In fact, it was almost two-thirds of the way through before I decided to make any comment.  I had to ask myself why.  Having had time to reflect and also having gone through the transcript several times – more than I would otherwise do – I think it was because most of us lost sight of the topic which had been voted on, and went off into our separate rants/hot buttons/sound bites, etc.  There were some valiant attempts made to return, but we failed to reach a conclusion about the what the first two problems are that need to be addressed.  I did not really see any discussion of what was meant by educational reform – most of the comments seemed to be directed towards attacking a local system (the US system is local in relation to the rest of the world!), complaints about lack of funding, sound bytes taken out of context because they were attached to a ‘name’.  Not everything was negative but the topic was basically gone.  People were tweeting about the first step, but with all due respect, the first two problems were never really identified or agreed upon. If you can find them in the transcript, please point it out, I would love to be proved wrong!  My first tweet was totally ignored.  I rephrased it 11 minutes later, it was retweeted twice without comment. About 40% of the discussion was retweeting without any comment or addition.  I really see that as a lost opportunity, unless you were moderating the discussion.  What the first problem is, I don’t know: we never discussed it fully.  Maybe the first step in educational reform, however, begins with a re-assessment of the purpose of the scheduled #edchat discussions and where they are headed in the future.  They should not be seen as an opportunity to be noticed, to act as a place to release stress, or to subvert the discussion towards personal or local issues.  Yes, use #edchat to do that at other times, but not during the scheduled discussions, please!  I would suggest adding comments to RTs, and try to keep in mind that there is a topic for discussion.  The topic at 12:00 EST is always the 2nd choice from the poll.  I know, because I asked how the decision was made during my first #edchat.  You wouldn’t come into a lesson unprepared, and I think we should all try to adopt the same attitude towards participation in the scheduled #edchat discussions, with allowance made towards first-time participants.  If we can’t manage to stay on-course in a one-hour discussion, then our chances of bringing about the reforms we would like to see seem to be less achievable.  I have selected tweets that caught my attention (with no apologies for including my own, either!).  For me, as a discussion of the chosen topic, this was – almost – a failure, you are welcome to disagree…

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • localization of response, UK/Europe responding to UK, US responding to US…
  • calls for action to be taken, without any agreement about what needed to be changed
  • funding issues are a general problem, not just in education
  • administration, or resistance from it, is seen as an issue
  • educators need to work as individuals in their own schools and communities if change is to be effected
  • goals need to be clearly defined before any action can or should be initiated
  • any action needs to be clearly directed towards specific goals in order to provide opportunities for success and building on it

Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

 @skipvia:  The first one surely must be “to what end are we educating our students?”

@StarrMatica:  I agree with @johnccarver 1. Vision/Plan 2. Buy In from Staff, Parents and Community. Parental support is critical.

@hshawjr:  We need to know the mission of K-12 education and empower educators (its practictioners) to be active in the direction it goes.

@sguditus:  Problems with education reform: 1. Pace of change 2. [lack of] Buy-in from all members (staff, parents, community, admin, kids!).

@Parentella:  One of the 1st problems we need to deal with is the mindset of the school staff. They have to be prepared to embrace the changes.

@smitha834:   Sir Ken’s point is valid but we still have parents that want blue grammar books & math drills.

@malcolmbellamy I agree with the mindset problem there is a need to breakthrough or go backwards!

@ShellTerrell:  One of the main problems is who leads education reform! Educators need to take the lead vs. politicians.

@21stcenturychem:   We really need to decide what our goal as educators is: to help students learn, or to train complacent worker bees.

@phsprincipal:   We have to get to the point where we have definable and actionable goals.

@PTPIPaige:   Education should focus more on [learning about] world cultures, language proficiency and community service (i.e. citizenship!).

@billgx:   Worker bees are highly valued in our society, but they do not create, invent, etc.

@drtimony:  Education reform will only happ with [money]. Standards for teachers and administrator quality have decreased because of need. This is a bad move. It will be a long recovery from that.
@CrudBasher:   As long as schools are essentially extensions of politics, there is little hope of reform or transformation.

@samchaltain:   In the spirit of educational renewal (not reform), Finland has some useful lessons to offer us.

@mrdfleming:   The subject is overwhelming for one teacher.  It needs to be narrowed.  How can you effect change in your school, or school district?

@L_Hilt:   We need more involvement from actual educators in political roles.  Government influence isn’t disappearing… we need to be in it.
@Parentella:   I hate to suggest this, but perhaps it’s easier to “talk” about changes than actually stepping up and following through.

@briwcarter:   Stop trying to convince people, and move forward with those on board.

@tomwhitby:   In order to change education, we need to change the culture. That cannot be done behind closed doors. Engagement with parents is key!

@RushaSams:   In schools where powerful reform is happening, the changes come from within, by the teachers individually and collectively.

@altucker:   Parents have to start showing some anger about what’s being done to their children – teachers’ voices are not going to be enough!

@teachersnet:  How many teachers believe it is others who need to reform, that they are already doing what students need?

@ColinTGraham:   When we talk about reform, we need to be clear about whether it is a systemic reform or an attitudinal reform which is needed.

 To follow the complete discussion see here 

 For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

 As ever, there were some great links shared:

graingered:  @jorech So totally agree “Tchr centered” =budget crossd w/social engineering. Would apprec UR perspectiv@ http://tinyurl.com/35eox5f #edchat

MatthiasHeil: RT @gpinard: Sir Ken http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution.html regarding education revolution #edchat

PTPIPaige: @4thGrdTeach We match classes for international collaboration!! Register today – http://bit.ly/16UQFL 

 @gpinard: i’d highly recommend http://bit.ly/9sIcjY regarding education revolution #edchat

graingered:  @MatthiasHeil Completely disagree- wrong POV–>causes flashpoint emotional wheel spinning. Pls comment @ http://tinyurl.com/267bpcd #edchat

susayoun:  RT @edutek: 5 Ways to Teach Cyber Safety and Digital Responsibility | #ISTE10 #EdTech #EdChat http://ow.ly/2aqox

dallasm12:  Questions to ask leading to quality Instructional Design for online learning #edchat http://post.ly/n1ft 
davidwees:  One way to start ed reform is by signing up for the action you are going take for educational reform. http://is.gd/dqghx #edchat

samchaltain:  In the spirit of ed renewal (not reform), Finland has some useful lessons to offer us. See http://bit.ly/cd2yK6 #edchat

Parentella:  RT @cybraryman1: Yes, I have an Educational Reform page: http://bit.ly/diXT0v #edchat {Of course!}

StephenLazarOtC:   http://bit.ly/9AtAs5  NY seems to have it backwards. They’re talking about changing the assessment, but we don’t have a curriculum.#edchat

graingered:  @kelalford As long as politics funds ed (& it should B) we R prof respons 2 work together@ http://tinyurl.com/3yncsvw #edchat

graingered:  @DrTimony Change is best when incremental in MHO- also like concept of morphic resonance- idea tipping@ http://tinyurl.com/257vvsc

graingered:  @Parentella Systemic change happens best (most efficiently) when its incremental. See morphic resonance @ http://tinyurl.com/257vvsc

markbarnes19:  The Innovative Educator: The Innovative Educator’s Building Learning Communities ( BLC10 ) Picks http://ow.ly/2aJup #edchat

jorech:  What DOESN’T work is having students write for teachers as audience.Solution: http://bit.ly/aJnbVp  #edchat

LHSSchmidt:  RT @samchaltain: My newest blog post: How to Build a School System That Nurtures Creativity – http://bit.ly/cd2yK6 #edreform #learning #education #edchat

Slewth:   [Resource] HEA Research Seminar Series: Access and Success for All. 2009 materials now online at http://bit.ly/dD8h8i #disability #edchat

followtheleague:  Creativity spawns innovation! RT @malcolmbellamy: http://bit.ly/an2WvJ important article on importance of creativity in #education #edchat

GeofferyKehrig:  Success stories lead the way … Let your class be a success story … Ex. PS22 Chorus (public school) http://youtu.be/o0LKRuOLTsQ #edchat

graingered:  @drtimony @ewellburn 100yrs ago arg-silly World hasnt chngd(then&now)-it nevr stops chngin! Shift thinkin http://tinyurl.com/267bpcd #edchat

graingered:  @jgmac1106 I am admin-I embrace change/understand it HAS 2 come fr/within- http://tinyurl.com/368zuvs -aligns/leads 2 systems change #edchat

Colin Graham spent eight years as a statistician and computer programmer before deciding he preferred working with people rather than machines.  After retraining as teacher of Secondary Mathematics (11 -19 years old) in the UK, he taught a wide variety of students across all levels of ability, from basic skills to advanced level statistics, including IT when it was still 1.0 (actually more like 0.5!).  His exposure to ESOL students helped convince him that the language used in teaching is almost as important as the subject being taught, and he diverted his career towards teaching English as a Foreign Language – in Japan, for eleven years!  In Japan, he became involved with teacher development and, in his spare time, participated in missions to developing countries to help with teacher training. Having recently returned to the UK, he is continuing his research into the impact of the use of language on learning, particularly in Mathematics.  He is about to complete an M. Ed. in Applied Linguistics, before moving on to a Masters in Mathematics Education.  He believes strongly that the best student is one that takes responsibility for their own learning. Labelled by his friends and colleagues as a ‘perpetual student’, he takes this as a great compliment.  He adores music and loves singing, composing and arranging.  He’s probably most known by current Tweeps for being (deliberately) provocative, having a quirky sense of humour, being Scottish, poking his nose into #musedchat and kick-starting #mathchat.  He’d also like to think that he’s helped from time to time, too!

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 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? Leave a comment!

May 19, 2010

Saving District Money: 4 day Week/Extended school day.


5-18-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

1,000 participants and 4,000 tweets!!


We’re thrilled to have John Steltz (@jpsteltz) providing this week’s #edchat summary. He is a regular at edchat and devoted to technology in education. I think you will agree that his summary is a very thoughtful representation of what was a great discussion! See John’s bio at the end of the summary.

Our topic began with several pros/cons to the idea of having a four-day school week and extending the hours of those four school days.  The topic transformed from a discussion about funding and budgets back to doing what is needed for our students.  Great educators always bring every discussion back to creating opportunities for our students to be successful.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion:

  1. Maximize/Optimize Regular School Day
  2. Saving on Transportation Costs would make Significant Impact
  3. Options for 5th Day: Professional Development, Community Service for Students, Mentors w/ Local Businesses, Virtual Schools, DOWNFALL – Child Care
  4. Timeshift via Technology Use: Schools w/out walls, Blended Classes, Work in Shifts
  5. Impact on Extra-Curricular Activities:Activities in morning/Academics in afternoon, Learning Outside of Classroom, EC Important to Education and Students Finding Passion
  6. Change – Not One Size Fits All: Rural Districts vs. Urban Districts
  7. United States Edu vs. Other Countries
  8. Start from Scratch, Build Something that Lasts

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.


We may want to consider blended classes using Technology to timeshift learning and reduce time in the building.

Berni Wall rliberni

We need a classroom without walls approach

Shaelynn Farnsworth shfarnsworth

scheduled day -Friday to hold all extras -field trips, college tours, group projects, comm. would cut down disruptions dur. reg. wk

Jane Byers Goodwin Mamacita

Are any coaches going to chime in about games, practices, etc? Those always ruled the roost here.

Shelly S Terrell ShellTerrell

This school found a 4 day wk to be successful, greater student attendance & attention http://bit.ly/cDNwtO

Cheska Lorena MissCheska

What about configuring A/B block schedules to align w/ more problem-based/project-based instruction?

skipvia skipvia

The 800 lb gorilla in this discussion is child care.

Tina nocturne4342

“American students spend about 30% less time in school than students in other leading nations,’’ Senator Edward Kennedy

Tom Whitby tomwhitby

@wmchamberlain Tech enables us to timeshift. collaboration does not revolve around school time. BTW I do not disagree with you.

Howard Glasser hglasser

Why not a 7-day “learning” week? Learning can (should!) occur always even when outside of school. Why not break outside of “school?”

Maggie Powers farfalla3

4 days could of in class could open up lots of possibilities 4 day 5: research, field work, service, trips. Doable at your school?


Change in time (schoolday) and change in space (learning environment) go hand in hand; it can’t be done piecemeal.

Debra Pierson piersoncci

As a parent, I can’t imagine trying to find care for my kids during day 5? What if my employer doesn’t do 4/10s?

Matthias Heil MatthiasHeil

My dream: (at least) double periods, time 4 projects, no homework, loads of study time, everybody moves on at the end of the year


How does a 4-day week for students mesh with 5-day work weeks for parents?

Martin Swanhall Swanny203

how about those students who are not ‘morning people’ – let them go to school from 3 to 8ish (night shift)

Cheska Lorena MissCheska

I like Google’s idea of letting employees spend 20% of time work on personal projects. That could translate well to education.


I would rather have an extended day in which the work gets done at school than the current day with hours of homework.

Chris Franzen franze98

@rliberni transporation costs, but those will vary by district. lunch costs & other hourly support staff costs lessened


Moving school days to business 4/10 schedule seems practical, but how does that fit students’ development? Attn span is already shot

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

How can educators, teachers and administrators, in the same building genuinely work together for the success of students?

To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here

As ever, there were some great links shared:

nocturne4342: http://bit.ly/lCC8i article from last yr. on experimntl schl extend day in MA. While 4/5 different funding culd still be issue

skipvia: Time should be a variable. Learning/standards should be the constants. (YES! http://www.sbs.adams50.org)

Mamacita: Many older students would do much better if their day began at noon. Teens need more sleep than toddlers do. #edchat http://ff.im/kwmUP

ShellTerrell: This school found a 4 day wk to be successful, greater student attendance & attention http://bit.ly/cDNwtO

mamacita: Are any coaches going to chime in about games, practices, etc? Those always ruled the roost here. #edchat http://ff.im/kwnx2

mamacita: I like the idea of shifts, so a.m. lovers can do morning & night owls can do later. #edchat http://ff.im/kwnPd

dumacornellucia: New blog post #edtech20 ad comments and rt http://bit.ly/cirVwi

piersoncci: Indiana study on 4 day wks – http://bit.ly/bNykcB – works best in rural, small districts.

luis2010: Google Gives Away Google Voice Invites to College Students. http://is.gd/cbCld

Mamacita: Isolated subjects are worthless. We must help students learn that everything is connected to everything else. #edchat http://ff.im/kwqGz

Mamacita: Good teachers know how to make connections. Teams are nice but not always necessary. #edchat http://ff.im/kwroV

Mamacita: How about a full day for academic students, & a half day school/half day actual job for the non-academics? #edchat http://ff.im/kwrQs

NMHS_Principal: explains the power of Twitter to change Public Education for the better: http://bit.ly/bsS2On

dumacornellucia: New blog post on # eskills about my activities using new tehnologies in education #edtech20 http://bit.ly/9itljs

datruss: @mctownsley Ideal PD can vary in length, but see my final ‘trap’ here for my perspective http://bit.ly/9IQYRJ

Mamacita: Without the arts, we are bumpkins stuffed with facts. #edchat http://ff.im/kwszM

cybraryman1: @readtoday See: Open Doors, a School-Business Partnership, on my Careers page: http://bit.ly/34zO7O

Pappyo: Putting #edreform with #edtech into perspective. Interesting read. http://oreil.ly/a6y1No #edchat (via @radar)

nocturne4342: 4-Day School Weeks Might Be Coming In Illinois http://bit.ly/ckEEQt

ShellTerrell:  Another successful case of a 4 day school week http://bit.ly/9yRoyZ

Dowbiggin: Here’s a link to that 19th Century Schools blog I wrote almost a year ago: http://bit.ly/aDaWjE

Dowbiggin:   I don’t like AM anything. I am a night owl. #edchat //Amen. http://ff.im/kwuFf

tomwhitby: We are trying to get a handle on the reach of #edchat. Please help us by filling in some survey info. THX http://is.gd/ceOU7

Mamacita: College admission standards should be more stringent. I teach college now & have students who can barely read. #edchat http://ff.im/kwv5K

Mamacita: Far too many kids go to college on the Parental Fantasy Plan. #edchat http://ff.im/kwvA2

leahmacvie: Great article: Feed money into the system that will school your future employees. http://cot.ag/azlWde

elanaleoni: @farfalla3 BBC just did an article on Finland: http://bit.ly/dgpKlB & Linda Darling-Hammond has research: http://bit.ly/aFpbth

cybraryman1:  @readtoday See: Open Doors, a School-Business Partnership, on my Careers page: http://bit.ly/34zO7O

lizditz:   @k_5remediation: 85% of low SES 4th graders failing in reading http://bit.ly/9AwPgr

Parentella: Middle School: are we done yet?!? http://bit.ly/da5l3z

My name is John Steltz (@jpsteltz).  I am a teacher of students, father of four, and loving, devoted friend to Desiree, my tremendous spouse.  My subject area is English/Language Arts.  I teach in Seymour, WI.  Twitter and  #edchat has been instrumental in igniting a spark in my classroom for my students.  Thanks to all the members that make #edchat go each week!!!

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 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 a 4 day Week/Extended school day? Leave a comment!

February 3, 2010

Do we believe all educators should further educational reform? Why?


 2-2-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST 

Education reform begins with Edchat!

Edchat reformers - #teachertuesday!


This topic was one that really got everybody going! The discussion was lively and there were several threads being explored. The role of the teacher, other stakeholders, politics and of corse the students themselves all featured.

Here are some of the main themes:

  • Teachers must be involved in any educational reform because of their position at the centre.
  • Reform is a natural process of evolution and will happen anyway.
  • There are political implications which cannot be ignored.
  • The monetary aspect of any reform will always play a large role.
  • We need to ask questions such as ‘what’ and ‘why’ before considering any reform.
  • Reform can happen at classroom and school level.
  • Any reforms must include all stakeholders to be effective and have consensus.
  • Reform is a slow burn and starts with grassroots movements  like #edchat
  • Does reform have to be universal, a one size fits all approach – there is a case for localisation.
  • The poverty gap was one specific issue discussed and how through educational reform this might be addressed

Suggestions were made for having ‘brain trusts’  to include teachers, parents, administrators and other stakeholders. The feeling generally was that starting small and analysing carefully were key. There was also a call for further discussion this topic in future edchat sessions with, perhaps, more of a focus on specific areas for discussion. So, watch this space!!

Check out the Ning to register interest in an action group.

Here are some of the comments 

@hadleyjf We need to do more than identify the problem. We need to identify the goal! What do we want for students

@akamrt: Don’t teachers have a moral obligation to instigate reform? Yes, it’s a part of education looking at innovation

@kunami10: What exactly are we trying to reform? Instructional practices, curriculum, or both?

@Esolcourses agree up to a point, though IME government directives/cost considerations seem to carry more weight than other factors

@TallGamer What type of reform or we talking about here? Tech in the class teaching methods are the kit and kaboodle?

@swalker2: We need to reform our goal of education first – agree on what that is – and then get into the details

@StarrMatica So true. Should be a requirement to spend significant time in a classroom before working on reform.

@elanaleoni I wonder though, r “21st century skills” really that different from learning how to learn–critical, creative curiosity?

@ShellTerrell: If we are always disagreeing & never doing then that becomes a problem too! #edchat we eventually need to take the step

@elemveee: how do we reconcile reality of “testing culture” w/ desire 4 imaginative, purposeful teaching?

@sudam09 Politcians should be asked to allocate their social funds randomly out of their constituency so that vote politics can be minimised

@akenuam: reform must begin within the classroom, we (teachers, schools, parents) must raise our expectations of students

@paulbrichardson Yes! The open source movement would be gr8 for ed reform. Infuse bottom up creativity into ed reform.

@Boundstaffpress I’m working this semester to influence my fellow teachers a few at a time to get involved here. #edchat has reformed my best practices

@Evmaiden sounds like we need less “reform” a little more “transform

@acmcdonaldgp: IF I were charged with reforming a district, the first thing I did would be to work 2 identify the shared vision of all stakeholders

@cybraryman1: How do we convince legislators that we elected to allow teachers, parents and students more of a role in ed reform?

@jennar: just did something interesting- read through #edchat convo backwards replacing the word ‘reform’ with ‘refocus’ … made me think

@Akamrt I would have to disagree. If we had a relevant purpose for doing school, wouldn’t reform processes be more successful?

@Teachingwthsoul Has got to be to advocate for best practices that enhance student achievement, that then lead to change.

@Acmcdonaldgp I enjoy these a great deal. Would love to turn a chat like this into an action research proj.

@CHuckeba good discussion, but agree with many that we need a follow-up. How will we actually make change? How do we reform?

@Bcinfrance I just started thinking there must be huge cultural differences in the question…but got brilliant too late, lol! #edchat

@olafelch: Most of the reforms don’t need extra funding – they need new thinking. #edchat

@readtoday: If teachers were equal members at the reform table we would finally see real change

To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here

Many great links were shared

One education chat #ecosys is working on How to drive change in Public Education. See Ed Chats: http://bit.ly/7w7P59

tech in classroom..ugh…how to get experienced teachers on board? http://bit.ly/9duhwI

 I always worked to provide a new teacher boot camp at my school. This is critical. DuFour/Eaker Chapt 8-9

understanding educational reform: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20487.html

This is high quality creative teaching: http://bit.ly/cUhIti @thenerdyteacher’s latest blog post is fantastic

Start with vision and leadership. See page 4 onwards in: http://tinyurl.com/yhg9fda.

At the root of it all don’t they need to be critical thinkers? http://www.litland.com

Reform on the local level: http://bit.ly/djY8Cx

Distance education for parents of children with autism found effective – http://bit.ly/aceYWn

Exploring One School’s Success with a Technology-Based Reading Program http://tinyurl.com/yefsznu

powerful article-leadership inspiration-winning hearts/minds: http://is.gd/7yR0z

Teachers and students should press for an education worthy of a democracy http://bit.ly/2zu27D

From a press perspective, one role teachers can play is challenging politicians school myths http://bit.ly/autjsZ

Anyone is interested in continuing a convo about making #edchat the focus of an Action Research project? at the ning http://bit.ly/1RSL2n

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 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 education reform? Leave a comment!

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