Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

October 12, 2011

How can educators deal with the poverty and culture gaps that have such a devastating effect on standardized test scores?

#Edchat 10 – 4 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

This edchat topic was always going to be  a tough one and it aroused a lot of passion among the participants. I cannot think of a better edchatter to write this summary than LaRon Carter and he has produced a fantastic post which gets right to the heart of this topic. He poses more questions than answers and these are exactly what we discovered when we tried to tackle this massive issue. LaRon has shared some great videos to give you further food for thought and I encourage you to follow him and check out the web links in his bio at the end of the post. Thank you LaRon for a post that gives us all so much food for thought!

The foundation of a question searching for answers that connect solutions to challenges faced when crossing the bridge of standardized test scores sounds academic. Factor in hauling a backpack loaded with cultural differences and the pains of poverty and educators are as overwhelmed as the students taking the test.  This EdChat topic solicits feedback from educators on how to deal with it.  The conversation was only able to scratch the surface of solutions offering temporary relief to a much bigger set of systemic issues.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 
  • Worrying about poverty because of the tests is a bit horrifying
  • Correcting poverty is a moral thing to do
  • Teaching as a culturally sensitive pedagogic method
  • Success happens when teamwork happens between all stakeholders
  • Home visits promote healthy relationships early on
  • Teaching to the test is just plain bad practice
  • No food – No learning – Stressed teachers teaching test prep – No Learning – No win
  • Do you save all of a few or a tiny fraction of all?
Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

@davidwees: The topic for today assumes that we should be dealing with gaps in poverty & culture BECAUSE of tests, which is absolutely false. #edchat

@leahmacvie: #edchat fun fact: Finland got rid of state-mandated tests and replaced them with highly trained teachers+ problem solving assessments.

@TeacherSabrina: Part of prob is that tests are designed by people good at taking them. Will always favor their learning styles/ways of performing. #edchat

@harrelldewayne: @davidwees #edchat the word “test” will never show “true education,” it enables a school & person 2 feel a since of accomplishment

@ericconti: A start would be to provide high quality early childhood education for all children. #edchat

@CTuckerEnglish: Programs like AVID for 1st gen college bound students are supporting these students. We need more support for these students #edchat

@teachingwthsoul: My whole teaching/admin career based in schools w/high poverty & ELL Ss. Our scores soared! Worked as a team w/ all stakeholders. #edchat

@jessievaz12: RT @TeacherSabrina: .@davidwees @drdouggreen If a test consistently shows cultural diffs, it’s testing culture not academics. Throw it out & start over! #edchat

@kstansberry: Big question for educators: do we try to change culture or help students assimilate to dominant culture #edchat

@drdouggreen: @davidwees I think we should focus on opportunities for poor kids. The war on poverty started in the 60’s and hasn’t worked so well. #edchat

@TeacherSabrina: @drdouggreen @davidwees Actually it was working well until its gains began to be reversed under Reagan. #edchat Our greatest success w/ +

@ICTwiz: @cybraryman1 But standardised tests benefit ONLY a certain type of pupil. More formative assessments need to happen #edchat

@tomwhitby: If we recognize Poverty as a critical element in a failing education system, why is this not at the forefront of reform? #edchat

@ShackKyle: RT @tomwhitby: If poverty is a prime force in edu failure, how will any teachers feel supported when their rating/job depends on test scores? #Edchat

@CTuckerEnglish: More we break down barriers between students = more likely they are to communicate, collaborate & engage w/each other RT @rliberni: #edchat

@Kerry_EasyBib: @tomwhitby Poverty isn’t at the forefront of edreform b/c its the 1 issue even more seemingly insurmountable than edreform #edchat

@jessievaz12: For me, culture seems to be less of an issue bc we support international minded view. Looking at all cultures & perspectives. #edchat

@tomwhitby: If the culture within poverty areas is also counter to Edu that magnifies the problem freezing some schools in the failing zone. #Edchat

@teachingwthsoul: In high poverty schools, must meet the families where they are. Then build! Home visits/out reach were powerful tools. Care,support. #edchat

@cybraryman1: RT @weisburghm: School leadership is *so* important in driving achievement in schools serving poverty areas #edchat

@jgmac1106: It would also help if the teachers in high poverty schools looked like and shared experiences of their students #noteasy… On more macro level high poverty schools need to become community centers with open libraries, breakfast, TESOL adult ed, health #edchat

@CTuckerEnglish: I use my online discussions to present release questions then have students discuss them & brainstorm strategies for solving. #edchat

@rliberni: @jgmac1106 many schools here serve breakfast to kids some parents go to work very early #edchat

@weisburghm: Let’s develop more Ss as peer leaders, and let them teach and lead as part of their education #edchat

@TJwolfe_:  @teacherdebra Would be great to have more, split up responsibility between Admin and teachers, and visit more students at home #edchat

@38rg: When students aren’t engaged,can we honestly say they’re learning?

@jessievaz12: AMEN SISTER!=>RT @prlowe91: There is no need for teaching to the test if students are taught how to think & question. #edchat

@prlowe91: @weisburghm Totally get that single moms have it tough. We need to find a way to connect. #edchat

To follow the complete discussion see here
As ever, there were some great links shared:

 The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (Multicultural Education) via @leahmacvie http://www.amazon.com/Flat-World-Education-Commitment-Multicultural/dp/0807749621/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317944684&sr=8-1

 One thing citizens must do his take our voice to the poles and hold our politicians accountable. #edchat http://t.co/p8d4zYt5  via @laroncarter


Shared my thoughts on good education & the importance of diversity in thought here: http://t.co/ikKcZVd1  Have to go, but great #edchat-ting! Via @TeacherSabrina         



http://laroncarter.com LaRon Carter creator of http://twitter.com/K12Live is an education behavioural strategist and author of Stop Crying in the Restroom [it ain’t that deep]: A Guide to Your Best Year Teaching With Smart K12 Goal Setting Methods.  Follow Carter “The Guest Teacher” @laroncarter http://twitter.com/laroncarter on Twitter


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!

October 10, 2011

What specific things can teachers do to promote creation of content by students?

#Edchat 09 – 28 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

This topic created quite a buzz in #edchat with lots of ideas and examples flowing from participants (see the links at the bottom of the page). It proved to be a popular session and extracting the main points to provide this summary cannot have been an easy task. So, hats off to Jessica Allen for her great summary this week. Everything you need to find out more about the ideas and opinions of this #edchat are here including the great links and she has provided us with the video above which gives us even more food for thought! Thank you Jessica! Find out more about Jessica from her bio at the end of the summary.


In my opinion it is one of the most topics that need to be discussed by teachers who are trying to implement educational technology in a relevant and meaningful way with students.  As the research, experts and edchat conversation suggests, we need to include students in not only using technology but using it to help them communicate their thinking and sharing their voice through the creation of digital content.  This is a key move that many teachers are unable to move to when first using technology.  It’s a push to go beyond using to incorporating necessary 21st century skills such as creativity, creation, expression and communication.

There were two main types of ideas that spread throughout the discussion. Theories on why it is necessary to implement more creation with students and Ideas on how to implement creation with students.  Below are the top bullet points in each category:

Theoretical Ideas/ Reasons:

1. Teachers need to use more group work and collaboration with their students which are based on student interest

2.  Teachers need to scaffold the experiences of creation and move from structured assembly to free unscripted creation

3.  Students need to be given purposeful, relevant projects which require problem solving and collaboration to create a product to inform or help others

4.  Teachers need to model creation and show that texts and other sources are only resources for curation to share learning and ideas with others

5.  Curriculum and teachers must explicitly give time and attention to understanding and doing creation of content to prepare for future needed skills

Ideas for Implementation:

1.  Ask students what they are interested in during their free time and use those ideas as a place to start

2.  Give students facts and information on an issue and let them determine the problems that need to be solved while resisting  the urge to help; instead give them the space to problem solve creatively in a group

3.  Have students use technology as the “collector” for all of their shared and created content; digital portfolios, blogs, wikis, interviews, edmodo, etc.

4.  Give students the final goal/ outcome/ concept that they need to understand and ask them how they would like to get there through their own questions and then design their learning around the questions

5.  Consistently provide choices for students to share and demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways

These were a few tweets that caught my eye:

There were so many great tweets that it was too hard to pick a few! Here is a selection of the best, each one starts with the person who sent the tweet (I highly recommend following that person if you liked their point of view!)

@USCTeacher: Teachers can promote creation of content by engaging students in projects & encouraging group work & collaboration #edchat

@davidwees: I’d like to make sure we talk about the difference between the Lego “follow the script” creation and unscripted creation. #edchat

@newtechnetwork: Much content and content creation tools are blocked…unblock for better access to relevant information. #edchat

@drmcgettigan: project based learning is key, so is collaboration at times–also having a purpose -as way to inform or help others #edchat

@Mimiotechnology: Could be digital or physical, but teachers need to create a space for content creation. Great example: http://t.co/DZLUiUGa #edchat

@delta_dc: Because the current educational system expects consumers of information, not creators, we must address this explicitly w/ students.#edchat

@newtechnetwork: Model content creation by using the textbook as a resource, not a manual and curating content yourself. #edchat

@aletheia_vox: Devices are secondary. Creativity comes first – the devices are merely the tool students use #edchat

@coreydahlevent: I think that if teachers MODEL creation of content, kids will follow. #edchat

@thenerdyteacher: #edchat – Once I let I let students create their projects, class engagement skyrocketed. Ownership is key.

@coreydahlevent: I think a major barrier students have in creation of digital content is the teacher. #edchat

@Kerry_EasyBib: If you want them to create, just ask students what they already make in their free time & start there #edchat

@CTuckerEnglish: When I ask students to create, then look at me w/a blank look. Many need guidance to develop these skills #edchat

@davidwees: Do some assembly, do some creation, push kids towards creation over time. Scaffold the experience. #edchat

@drmcgettigan: Give students a problem to solve and resist urge to help them–let them problem solve, use creative means to solve. #edchat

@drmcgettigan: Students so focused on “right” answers–need to get them out of that habit for creativity to flow. #edchat

@newtechnetwork: All of these ideas sound like #PBL #edchat

@KTVee: A great teacher is not one who is perfect, but one who is willing to reflect, search for growth, and open to improve always. #edchat

@birklearns: I think we need to teach kids to find problems, not give them problems to solve. Give them facts, let them determine issues. #edchat

@ctuckerenglish: Allowing students 2 approach projects through the lens of their passion might be a good compromise- allow choice #edchat

@CTuckerEnglish: Biggest hurdle 4 teachers in supporting creation of content is it takes more time to scaffold. Must sacrifice quantity 4 quality #edchat

@tomwhitby: Bloom Advocates: Creation is the highest form of learning. Tech tools for learning are engaging to students. Do we see a connection? #edchat

@MulgraveSchool:  Online social learning is about developing, not evaluating, student thinking online. So, our practice is never mark student blogs. #edchat

@davidwees: Is technology a necessary component in 21st century content creation? Can kids learn effective creation skills w/o tech? #edchat

@kylepace:  Meet students where they are consuming the content and guide them to create, publish, and contribute to it positively. #edchat

@kathycook1:  Allow students to question, challenge, make connections, and explore ideas and options. #edchat

@laroncarter: Have student (short) video document small group projects to stengthen blogs and family nights presentations. #edchat

@DataDiva:  We can A. create with the tools we have or B. seek out the tools we need to create. Depends on creator #edchat

@davidwees:  I think the question is, can skills kids learn related to creation transfer from non-tech to/from tech? #edchat

@coreydahlevent: YouTube is the perfect example of creating digital content. It’s what we do! Let’s do this in school! #edchat

@fereydoon1975:  The perfection & the beauty of what our Ss creating is not as important as the questions and problems they faced during the creation #edchat

@newtechnetwork: Students can publish and present rather than “turn in”. #edchat

@mauilibrarian2: Just coined a new word: “bookremarkable”. Definition: web term for a remarkable source that must be bookmarked. 🙂 #edchat #TLChat #HASL11

@birklearns: Can we teach concepts more than content, and have students use their interests/creativity to demonstrate concepts in a portfolio? #edchat

@jaymelinton: #edchat Show students/parents/admins that we need to value creativity and problem solving over test scores.

@bbray: Be co-learners and co-designers with your students. Students can meet standards by creating projects and pursuing their interests. #edchat

@jessievaz: After getting students involved in the topic, we ask “what do you want to know?” and creation follows from there. #edchat

@DRescigno: Beauty of #edtech is it allows students to not only create content but to share/interact/remix/collaborate, etc. Real life skills. #edchat

@MulgraveSchool:  funtion of admin is to create that environment where teachers are encouraged and expected to create, innovate #edchat

@coreydahlevent:  Should “creating digital content” become part of the eval process? I think so. #edchat

@USCTeacher: Think about the possibilities if students are creating content and sharing with other students thousands of miles away on a blog #edchat

@kathycook1: Student created content focuses on learning NOT teaching. #Edchat

@jheil65: Teachers shouldn’t be afraid to say to students, “this is the end goal” “how do YOU want to get there?”Expand possibilities #edchat

@tomwhitby: Content delivered from the front of the room should no longer be the model educators to focus on. OK ocassionally as needed. #edchat

@CTuckerEnglish:  Think about ways to use mobile devices as “curiosity amplifiers”- use to find info, empower kids & encourage creativity #edchat

@steveperchar: Teachers need to realize that it is through freedom that creativity, and thus learning, happen. #edchat

@aletheia_vox:  The teaching part is giving the students space to create

@kathycook1: Student created content focuses on learning NOT teaching. #Edchat

@CTuckerEnglish: Promoting creativity also required educators to think about how students define “creativity,” not how we define it. #edchat

@delta_dc: Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what you want to achieve, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

@tomwhitby:  If a kid gets excited abt creating content we’re going beyond a curiosity for learning & moving to passion for learning. Great Goal #Edchat

@CTuckerEnglish: Instead of markers, paper, glue & scissors, think Glogster, iMovie, Wix, Blabberize, etc. Let’s get them using tech to create #edchat

@mister_jim:  I agree but surely there needs to be a creativity revolution, not evolution. Current edu model does not fit this need. #edchat

@Schmidjon:  Very true, education is more than the workplace, it’s preparation for life. #edchat

Follow the complete discussion here:

These were useful links shared:

















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

How can we encourage teachers to see the value in becoming professional life-long learners?


I have been working in education and international schools for over 14 years.  I’m passionate about technology and inquiry learning and have been working for many years with the International Baccalaureate program (PYP) exploring where these two ideas meet.  I currently live and work in Santiago Chile and am enjoying learning more about Latin American cultures. Follow my blog to see ideas and thinking on inquiry, technology and the culture of change in education:  http://edu-mashup.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!

September 22, 2011

Can educators in the 21st Century be content experts, but media illiterate and still be relevant?

#Edchat 09 – 20 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Unfortunately I was unable to make this week’s edchat so I cannot speak from personal experience, but judging by this summary, it seems to have been another fantastic event! Thank you to Sarah Fudin @USCTeacher for this very insightful precis of a topic that must surely make us all stop and think. Sarah has also provided the two videos which add great weight to her thoughts on the discussion. You can find out more about Sarah in her bio at the end of the summary.  

 The Chat:

In general, I’d say that 21st Century educators first need to be content experts and second need to be media literate to be relevant to their students.  That being said, not all great educators are media literacy experts, but they should be cognisant enough that their lessons are relevant and up to speed.  We can’t expect students to use media correctly if as educators we’re not willing to jump in and learn, share and collaborate with our personal learning network.


These were the main points covered in the discussion:   

  • Content experts are a necessity, but there is no excuse to be media illiterate
  • Let students be your guidance if you need help with technology
  • “Media Literate” means willing to learn continuously about tech
  • Using new tools is necessary — new learners have new tools
  • Media savviness doesn’t necessarily mean great teacher
  • Content knowledge is a necessity to evaluate the quality of sources
  • Must remember that many teachers are in different places regarding their tech knowledge — differentiating support is necessary
  • How do Schools of Ed play into this?  What’s their responsibility?


These were a few tweets that caught my eye:   

  1. @cybraryman1: The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. #edchat
  2. @drdouggreen: teachers should be experts in their subject matter, but that doesn’t mean they should forget the tech #edchat
  3. @SamGliksman: How long will it even remain possible these days to become a content expert without connecting and using media? #edchat
  4. @tomwhitby: How we teach often reflects how we learn. New learners have new tools. Many teachers learned & teach with old tools. #edchat
  5. @J_Bednar: Being a content expert without media literacy is like being a cooking expert but only in raw cuisine. #edchat
  6. @cybraryman1: The key is that we all have to be lifelong learners, not afraid to make mistakes and to try new things (like tech to enhance lrng) #edchat
  7. @QZLPatriotHawk: We hv 2 remember that many tchers r @ different spots in their tech knowledge & need differentiated support #edchat
  8. @TenMarks: RT @CriticalSkills1: @cybraryman1 It’s not about a “tech in ed” course, it’s about showing how to use tech when it’s the right tool for the job #edchat
  9. @jheil65: Technology needs to be the medium of education, not an appendage! #edchat
  10. @murriza: I think it’s all about trial and error. You check out a new tool. Plan how to use it in your lessons and see if works #edchat
  11. @suzemuse: My college has some gr8 success with our Yammer network. 360 teachers & staff interacting & learning from each other. #edchat


To follow the complete discussion see here

 These were useful links shared:   

  1. Student Blogging Resources: http://mrspripp.blogspot.com/2011/09/student-blogging-resources-to-get-you.html
  2. Web 2.0 Tools for Math Educators: http://missnoor.visibli.com/share/rXY1Pn
  3. New Media Literacies (video): http://community.learningobjects.com/Users/Nancy.Rubin/Objects_of_Interest/2011/07/The_New_Media_Literacies#.Tni7cvL1uLs.twitter
  4. Modeling Tech use for Students: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/20-ways-model-technology-students-heather-wolpert-gawron?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EdutopiaNewContent+%28Edutopia%29
  5. On Teacher Development: http://www.edutopia.org/teacher-development-introduction
  6. Banned Website Awareness Day: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aaslissues/bwad/bwad.cfm?utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=AdLit.org


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

Is it practical to have state standards for testing?  Should standards be nationalized? Should testing even exist?

Sarah Fudin is a Community Manager for the University of Southern California’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, which provides aspiring teachers the opportunity to earn an MAT degree and teaching credential online.  USC also partners with Teacher Certification Map to offer information on teacher salary by state.  Outside of work Sarah enjoys running, reading and Pinkberry frozen yogurt.

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!

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!

July 15, 2011

6262011 – Special ISTE edition – How are education conferences to stay relevant in a free Internet

#Edchat 06 – 21 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Mea maxima culpa! This is sooo late. Apologies to everyone and above all to Doug Green who prepared this fabulous post. A combination teaching and then a horrible throat infection 😦

This truly is a fabulous post. But was truly a fabulous #edchat with all that energy coming from the ISTE11 conference and all those great edchatters in one room! I think Doug has done a great job in capturing some of that energy and although the benefits of online PD via online conferences was explored and acknowledged to be invaluable, the sheer power coming from the delegates at ISTE11 couldn’t be ignored and there is a need to meet face to face and have that boost of learning that only a live event can give. Thank you again Doug for a great post. You can find out more about Doug and his amazing productivity in the field of education in his bio at the end of the post. Please take some time to visit hos blog to find out more!

Modern education conferences are changing to allow for more interaction and participation online by those who cannot attend. There is agreement that there is no substitute for face to face meetings and that ideally educators can profit from both face to face and online sources of professional development. It’s hard to match the hands-on benefits conferences offer.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • Some were concerned about the costs of conference registration and other associated costs. A great deal of online activity is free.
  • Modern conferences allow for some level of participation of people who cannot physically attend.
  • Face to face meetings are not the same as online meetings but both are valuable. Ideally you can have both. The hands-on aspect of conferences may be the most valuable part.
  • Thanks to back channels, modern conferences already combine face to face and online aspects.
  • Some people wouldn’t know about things like Edchat and other valuable resources if they didn’t attend conferences like ISTE11.
  • Following conference hashtags can extend the conference in time. You can start to participate before you get there, check the back channel at the conference, and follow it after you get home. You also interact online with people you meet after the conference.
  • Many people would like conferences to be more interactive with shorter presentations and/or presentations available online. The TED model of presentations was cited by some as an improvement over longer presentations.

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

ShellTerrell @stumpteacher absolutely agree that the human connection is important

DrDougGreen There is no substitute for face to face. The trick is to keep the cost down like #140conf. I would be in Philly if iSTE charged $140 #edchat

agutierrezIT Can stay relevant by continuing to having great Keynote speakers, accepting unique sessions/presenters, & strive to be unique

blairteach Conference sponsors are going to HAVE to have wireless access or they will appear “dated” & out-of-touch

tecjtromom ed conferences need to model using tools from the web in all topic areas

daveski61 Personal interaction remains critical. A virtual handshake isn’t as good as a physical handshake.

malalande Asynchronous is great for some activities, but not ideal for hands-on where I-to-eye feedback is relevant

blairtech IMO, conferences offer great opportunities to connect f2f w/our online colleagues & there’s great value in building relationships.

techtrimom @web20classroom: face to face contact will never die and so these conferences are invigorating and very important

blairtech Conferences can be very motivational; the online PD can extend the enthusiasm kindled at the live event.

earthspacequest Physical presence has more power to inspire than online friendships!

elanaleoni @ShellTerrell Human connection is def important but we need to reinvent conference structures to become more relevant.

elanaleoni Instead of lectures & ppts, let’s do interactive/collaborative workshops where participants can try things & fail & try again 🙂

tkraz A real place to gather as a community will always be important. It’s what makes the community stronger.

rjwassink @drdouggreen Its not the random relationships, but meeting virtual friends in real life after getting to know them digitally is key

davidwees How many educators here actually pay 100% attention during a 1 hr lecture? PD should be more interactive.

I’ve been following the #iste11 hashtag since October and will continue to follow it. No more one shot conferences.

tkraz Conferences are getting tougher to pay for with so much available for free online

caroljallen @davidwees Agree and in my case I find a ‘hands on’ element the most useful

bjnichols Discussion is great either f2f or virtual…I am more interested in the action that results from discussion

davidwees You should expect teachers to engage in PD somehow. Extrinsic motivation like money will serve to kill interest and passion

MrBernia I’d love a flipped conference, where attendees listen to a presentation before, then attend and collaborate with the presenter.

davidwees Suggestion: If you are running a conference, offer at least one option for unconference style learning

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

Wow, what a lot this week!

@jpk38:  http://t.co/o6769ql  #iste11 #edchat Collaborative notes, please share and add to. Lets learn from the whole as well as r parts!

@ILT2012: Experience Some of the International Society for Technology in Education Conference without being there: http://t.co/uHiBoUN  #ISTE11 #edchat

@MoodleMcKean: Cool Websites – 21st Century School Teacher http://bit.ly/ieF5i8  #edchat #lrnchat #edtech #elearning #webtools #websites #tlchat #education

@businesscardsav: and who would I give my business cards to w/out ISTE? #edchat http://bit.ly/h3OIKg

@rkiker: Sneak peek at my Emerging Google Tech preso in the Google Teaching Theater at 12:30 Wed. Come by! #ISTE11 http://goo.gl/OVh96  #edchat

@KevinfMcCabe: take look at this @DavidPriceOBE: New on Blog: Michael Gove and ‘respect’ for teachers: http://t.co/TjQuWL3  #edchat #ukedchat

@SErwin: Great tool. “@russeltarr: YouCube: Students choose 6 relevant vids for a topic, then present them with this: http://t.co/vFijP7Q   #edchat

@NextGenLC: Schools Blend Computers With Classroom Learning via @nprnews http://ow.ly/5pVRj   #edtech #edchat

@amckiel: Magical Moments http://bit.ly/kgIXgG  #edchat

@aaallain: Let Me Learn My Own Way- fantastic article on Jungian learning styles with a math twist! http://bit.ly/lMdnZZ  #math #edchat #homeschool

@azjd: Separate process of work from the product of work – by @davidwees http://is.gd/la9fA7  #edchat

@davidwees: Here’s an example of what I mean. “The Best Professional Development of My Life” http://t.co/PalivcP  #edchat #iste11

@tadawes: 13 Things You Pay For That Your Library Has For Free http://bit.ly/lg8erv  #bibliotek #edchat

@ekendriss: WiFi nonaccess @ f2f conf #edchat #ISTE RT @jranck: Epidemiology and social media: conference fail http://j.mp/jEICM0

@MarjieKnudsen: The 3 most important questions in education – Wash Post http://t.co/xLLSDxb  #edchat #parenting #education

@joycevalenza: Camilla will share list of great ipad apps for ed in wiki #iste11 Leadership Symp. Wiki http://t.co/7UplyzC  #tlchat #edchat

@RealLifeUnplugd: Sweden Tackles Gender in Classroom http://bit.ly/mDI64m  #k12 #edchat

@drtimony: You see this badge? http://ow.ly/5qydn  This is MY town, errr, presentation. #edchat #iste11

@gingerconsult: @humekaren: How kids are affected in the age of multi-tasking http://ow.ly/5ndap  #edchat #edtech #adhd #education

@azjd: Is this the future of learning? Sophia – Social Learning Community – by @InnovativeEdu http://is.gd/yLPPAG  #edchat #edtech

@EdutopiaBetty: Thanks for a great day, #ebc11! My Report from EduBloggerCon11 at #ISTE11 http://bit.ly/meDZfh  #edchat

@joycevalenza: Camilla will share list of great ipad apps for ed in wiki #iste11 Leadership Symp. Wiki http://t.co/7UplyzC  #tlchat #edchat

@8Amber8: darn it #edchat!!! Quit bng so engaging!! http://lockerz.com/s/114374558

@drtimony: Teach like this: http://ow.ly/5qyoC  trust your students, no matter who they are, collectively possess much info #edchat #iste11

@DavidPriceOBE: New on the Blog: Michael Gove and ‘respect’ for teachers: http://bit.ly/iEOjTn  #edchat #ukedchat #clvfestival

@lookforsun: Looking for a 15 minute option? See this picture. http://bit.ly/j3xSG8  #edchat

@ILT2012: Experience Some of the International Society for Technology in Education Conference without being there: http://t.co/uHiBoUN  #ISTE11 #edchat

@azjd: So You Want to Integrate Technology – Now What? Via @4thGrdTeach http://is.gd/YcSnGW  #edtech #edchat

@azjd:10 videos that WILL ignite a discussion – Part 5: great resource from @justintarte http://is.gd/uZVyru  #edchat #cpchat

@tcbird1: I love this article! Teachers are the educational experts http://t.co/26m2TUt  #edchat #edreform #politics #education

@blairteach: Admins & Tchrs: Would appreciate additional input on value of PLN (if you haven’t already contributed).Thx. http://bit.ly/kKKR2V  #edchat

@davidwees: This picture describes to me the value of the unconference model of PD. http://t.co/8FiZ3Br  #edchat #iste11

@blairteach: @web20classroom Sometimes use this article to prompt discussion of change: http://bit.ly/9hSKFt   #edchat

@EDREFORMERIFFIC: INEPTION http://post.ly/2FWx3  @NBCNews @AdamVerdugo @meetthepress #StandUpNJ #Edchat

@dlpd17: @teachingwthsoul: @BuckleyLibrary G-Doc with Twitter Chat schedules~>> http://tinyurl.com/66ar5v9  #edchat #iste11

@stumpteacher: @mbteach Any newbies need help with twitter/tweetdeck feel free to share some tutorials on my page. http://j.mp/f5RUbv  #edchat

@azjd: Look where you want to go and steer in that direction: How a blog started a school – via @ktenkely http://is.gd/l87ian  #edchat

@KTVee: holy schmoly – next time someone says there’s “nothin’ on twitter” show them this! http://t.co/S2PaMkM  (Thanks @ljconrad) #edchat #ISTE11

@HappyTeacherLA: @PatParslow this is kind of heavy, but this is one of my guides of what’s my point. http://t.co/lAT5TYu  #edchat

@gwynethjones: Lady GaGa Librarians Unite! http://t.co/uelGRG9  #ISTE11 #TLChat #EdChat @ladygaga #SIGMS

@johnnybevacqua: Love is not enough http://t.co/5hN0uHM  by @DrTroyRoddy #bced #cpchat #edchat

@cybraryman1: My all about #EdChat page with pictures from today’s session at #ISTE11 http://tinyurl.com/4f8pqfn

@DelaneyKirk: @michellek107 @mrsalander Michelle-great post on building PLN! OK if I link to on my blog? http://t.co/rvWfHXe  #edchat

Dr. Doug Green. @drdouggreen

I have been an educator since 1970. After teaching chemistry, physics, and computer science, I became an administrator for the next 30 years with experience at the secondary, central office, and elementary levels. I have also taught a number of leadership courses for The State University of New York at Cortland and Binghamton University and authored over 300 articles in computer magazines and educational journals. In 2006 I gave up my job as an elementary principal to care for my wife who had Lou Gehrig’s disease. After her death in March of 2009 I decided to see how I could use my expertise to help busy educators and parents hone their skills and knowledge. Doug’s blog can be found here.

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!


June 14, 2011

What advantages could be gained by using criteria other than age to group kids in classes?

#Edchat 06 – 08 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Thank you to Pam Wesely (@pamwesely) for this summary on what turned out to be a very interesting chat. There were many ideas and many reservations too which all made for a very thought-provoking discussion. Pam has captured all of this to great effect in this summary. Thank you Pam for a great roundup of the ideas and themes and a thoughtful commentary on the topic. Find out more about Pam in her bio at the end of the post.

The participants in this #edchat talk all heartily agreed that grouping kids by criteria other than age has been under explored in current educational practices.  We were able to identify an array of positives to grouping by things other than age, often focusing on the ability to individualize instruction and encourage peer-to-peer mentoring and cooperation more effectively.
    Beyond this response to the initial prompt, participants in this #edchat discussion addressed several other related topics, notably: WHAT CRITERIA the alternate groupings would have, WHAT SCOPE the alternate groupings would have, WHICH LEVELS of students are grouped by age (and which should be), and WHY we currently group students by age.  As I tend to be more conservative in the #edchat discussions, I was pleased to see participants even offer reasons why this grouping does make sense in some cases.  
    Upon reflection, I see lots of areas where educators can expand on this discussion, notably in including and considering other stakeholders in education; developing the notion of groupings that vary throughout one child’s day; and considering the ways that peer mentoring can become more a part of classroom practice.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • Decisions about promotion that completely disregarded age (as @LHoog eloquently put it, putting the «child genius who’s 8 with 14-year-olds”) was not seen as preferable.  Participants still felt for the most part that age (or developmental level) needed to be considered in grouping students.
  • Participants shared personal experiences about observing older and younger students working together – both well and not-so-well.
  • Types of alternate grouping suggested included interest/project grouping, ability grouping, mastery grouping, achievement grouping, and grouping in peer-mentor relationships.
  • Perhaps the most common rhetorical flourishes critiquing age grouping were references to non-school-based contexts – the idea that «ages are mixed up in X context, why do we force such an unnatural grouping in schools!» with X context being playgrounds, adult workplaces, sports teams, etc.
  • Where some participants thought that avoiding age grouping would help students find like-minded allies of any age, others argued that the academically adept but socially underdeveloped would suffer if advancement were based on academic criteria.  
  • An important point of contention that emerged at the end of the discussion involved how, exactly, teachers would decide how students would advance to the next level, if not somehow by age.

Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

 @nancyrubin: Group stronger academic students with those that need a little more help for peer mentoring opportunities.
@MertonTech: The biggest issue is that academic maturity and social maturity are not always the same.
@USCTeacher: Many factors could be used to categorize students: age, gender, economic standing, performance – how are we to determine what is fair or works?
@tomwhitby: If age was not an issue, social promotion or non-promotion would not be one either.
@darcymullin: Multi-aged groupings (or other methods) also force us to look at our pedagogy and re-think what and how we deliver instruction.
@QZLPatriotHawk: This is not a one-size-fits-all debate. I believe you have to look at the students as individuals. Schooling is so much more than about academics.
@CTuckerEnglish: Maturity can be an issue, but there’s value in having older kids lead, support & guide younger students.
@rliberni: I think the older kids also learn from the younger ones – re-igniting their curiosity.
@JasonFlom: I think there need to be opportunities for ages to mix, regularly, but social development is so key early on.
@ShellTerrell: I’d like to see parents, students, & teachers collaborate in placing the student.
@karimderrick: We should also not group by subject….but instead by project! How great would that be!!
@tomwhitby: Ability should be a part of it but too much emphasis on any component will affect the result. Balance is the key.

@coreydahlevent: Is the question about age or ability, or is it about TEACHERS allowing or NOT allowing extended learning?
@karimderrick: Mixed-age groups would ultimately be more natural – same age groups is a product of factory schooling.
@Sam_EnglishEd: In mentoring group, 17-yr-old to me: “I don’t want to be with these little KIDS.” These KIDS were 14-15. Complaint often heard.
@BrandiJClark: Focus on the learning, not the sifting and sorting.
@malcolmbellamy: We mature at different rates, and not according to the year we were born.
@mrmadden77: I’m still concerned with ability grouping – worried that focus will become too much about curriculum, not enough about the child.

@JohnMikulski: For ability grouping to be successful, there has to be fluid movement from one group to next when student shows improvement.
@JasonFlom: “Fluid movement” for a teacher is one thing. “Fluid movement” for students in social groups is another.

To follow the complete discussion see here  
For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

@NextGenLC:  What’s been your experiences with programs like this? “Some schools grouping students by skill, not grade level” http://ow.ly/5caH4  #edchat
@NextGenLC:  @pamwesely This #edchat has me thinking about Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers’ argument about cutoff dates for kindergarten http://ow.ly/5cbf0

@NextGenLC: @brandiheinz Me too. Just found this post about the “Outliers” argument: http://ow.ly/5cbqX  #edchat

@allisonletts: the Changing Ed Paradigms Video by @sirkenrobinson http://ow.ly/5bgEa  #edchat

@davidwees: Here’s a study about pros and cons of older/younger sibling pairs. Some good stuff, some not so good. http://bit.ly/iHBGZ1  #edchat

@nancyrubin: Collaborative Learning: Group and Teams in the Classroom http://t.co/yAndKbk   #edchat

@karimderrick: Assess perf in proj orientated groups NOT using criteria – but comparative judgement http://bit.ly/dP6O8E  Bye, bye stand tests #edchat

@darcymullin: @JasonFlom check out this awesome school in Aus. Very cool http://bit.ly/lefZ72  #edchat

@pamwesely: @rliberni That’s true after I tweeted that I remembered this great film abt a 1-rm school – Etre et Avoir http://imdb.to/8r71Rt  #edchat

@ToughLoveforX: @WendyGorton @ShellTerrell Crowdsourcing Authority in the Classroom http://ilnk.me/8d36  by @catinstack

@mister_jim: #edchat sorry, a bit behind but aren’t we missing the point? Teachers enable learning situations. Shouldn’… (cont) http://deck.ly/~kiq6j

@irasocol: http://www.fsd.k12.ca.us/menus/k8/addmat.pdf   #edchat the K-8 advantage

@irasocol: Philadelphia K-8 analysis http://www.csos.jhu.edu/new/Comparing%20Achievement.pdf  #edchat

@johnpassantino:  Students progress at own pace: Adams County District Standards-based Education model http://bit.ly/lO5ut3  #edchat

@tomwhitby: My latest Post dealing with Filters, Bans & AUP’s: “How do we fit the policy to the need?” http://nblo.gs/iM77n   #Edchat


Pam Wesely is an Assistant Professor of Foreign Language and English as a Second Language Education at the University of Iowa. She teaches teachers and people who want to research education.  Her research interests include K-12 student, teacher, and parent beliefs about foreign language education.  She also harbors a growing interest in how teachers use Web 2.0 tools to connect and teach their students.  She is a former middle school French teacher and Concordia Language Villages counselor/administrator.  You can see her professional website at: http://sites.google.com/site/pamelawesely

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!

June 7, 2011

What additions or changes can colleges make to better prepare teacher?

#Edchat 05 – 31 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

This #edchat topic was a very interesting one. There seemed to be many different experiences among the group. The summary has been expertly prepared by Michael Zimmer (@MZimmer557) and he has brought together all the threads into a great digest of all the thoughts. As he explains here our world today is somewhat different from the one many of us trained for. Thank you for a great post Michael. You can find out more about Michael in his bio at the end of the post.

Having missed the passed few #edchats because of other obligations, it appeared that I returned for a thought-provoking discussion about teacher education programs.  My personal experiences were mixed.  I had several good professors and several others who obviously were out of touch with what education was like in the 90’s and now in the 21st Century.  Education is constantly going through various reforms, especially lately, yet little emphasis in those reforms has focused on teacher education programs.  Are they working?  Most educators have heard the statistic that half of the new teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years.  If that is the case, then shouldn’t there be a focus on those that are preparing teachers for the workplace?  If teacher education programs are properly preparing students for the classroom this statistic would not be so staggering.   

    Another issue facing teacher education programs is preparing teachers to teach in the 21st century and prepare teachers to use educational technology.  In my personal experiences in teacher preparation there were two things that were constantly emphasized: My Philosophy of Education and Creating Lesson Plans, which is something over time that has had little impact on my actual teaching.  Beneficial classes would have been how to integrate and use technology with students.  Teacher education programs need to hire professors that are knowledgeable about this technology and how to use it.

    When I look back, it is interesting to me that my teacher education program was about 24-30 hours of course work, but my content area was 3-4 times as much.  If teaching is the primary goal at graduation from college, shouldn’t there be an equal amount of classes.  It is apparent that all that content knowledge won’t help teachers if they don’t get a quality education on how to be a great teacher.  During student teaching we would return to campus and meet with groups of other student teachers.  There was always stuff planned for us.  It would have been more beneficial for us to communicate with each other our experiences. 

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • More in class time with students and teachers.  There needs to be more interaction between college students in teacher education with teachers and students in the schools
  • More classes related to learning how to use technology as an engagement tool.
  • To much focus on methodology and theories and not enough focus on real world teaching
  • More mentoring among teachers and professors
  • More opportunities for teachers to get into the classroom while in the teacher education program
  • Professors need to go back to the classroom so they are not out of the loop on what is going on in the classroom
  • More focus on why they teach the content, not necessarily what they content is
  • Teacher preparation needs to include more about classroom management, dealing with parents, the extras duties that come with the job, special education, and school law
  • More emphasis on what it means to teach in the 21st century

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.
@CTuckerEnglish: I felt really prepared for teaching, but not for teaching in an increasingly digital society.
@davidwees: Every teacher’s college should spend some time talking alternative education systems. (especially in the 21st century)
@maryannesacco: More time with practical in-class experiences with cooperating teacher–PT conferences, lesson planning, teacher pd meetings
@teachersnet: It can’t be repeated too often: pre-teaching programs must include more classroom management training
@stumpteacher: IMO teacher ed programs I have been in and worked with miss the boat. Teaching kids how to teach 30-50 years ago. Not current.
@iteach4change: teacher ed programs need more on tech, special needs, and politics/finance of education; also more on culturally responsive teaching
@davidwees: Teacher education systems should spend time focusing on building people who expect to learn continuously, rather than sporadically
@kegluskin I had many field placements in different grades &urban & suburban environments which helped me feel comfortable in all settings
@cybraryman1 Yes teachers should be prepared for all different types of learners
@ericjuli Teacher Ed programs should teach high school teachers to believe they teach kids first, not content
@Tina_Barr: More mentoring in the classroom as part of the college curriculum could prove effective
@davidwees: If our classrooms are supposed to be student centred, so too should our teacher colleges.
@tomwhitby: teacher prep might improve if cooperating teachers were trained as to what to do w/student teachers.
@ShellTerrell: Teacher Ed programs should have a course designed on effective communication w/ parents, admin, students! Not enough comm in edu
@davidwees: How many teacher colleges invite alumni back to talk about their experiences? Share their ideas?
@MZimmer557: Allow more teachers with Master’s in education and administration to teach the courses…not professors far removed from classroom
@Whtevri4c: Faculty should go back to the classroom for a semester every three years to stay current.
@tomwhitby: College classes can make good teachers. Great teachers are made from their own classes
@davidwees: Idea: 1 year of preparation followed by 1 year of teaching, followed by a summer (at least) back in teacher college.
@txlibraryguy: Tech skills, theory and practice are great, but young teachers need confidence and coping skills or they won’t stay in profession.
 @chrisemdin: Teacher prep is missing metacognitive reflection. Teachers must learn to think about how & why they teach the way they do

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

 As ever, there were some great links shared:




http://mbfxc.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/i-am-change /

http://wrightslaw.com /

– @mbfxc:  http://t.co/V1csZ63  #edchat

My name is Michael Zimmer (@MZimmer557) and I am currently a Technology Integration Specialist in a school district in Kentucky.  I will be returning to the classroom next school year to teach Social Studies and am looking forward to using and integrating several of the things I have learned since using Twitter professionally.  I also write the blog: The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness


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!

May 23, 2011

If we are to be more effective in reforming education, should there be a focus on content or a focus on methods?

#Edchat 05 – 17 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Thank you to Rob King (@inquirebook) for this very thought-provoking summary of last week’s #edchat on method versus content on education. The chat was, as ever, very lively with lots of ideas and thoughts tumbling out in quick succession. Rob faced so much good content that I know he found it hard to pick out the best bits so his summary is very comprehensive! I’m sure you will enjoy it and if you weren’t there this will certainly evoke the mood for you! Thank you Rob. Find more information about Rob in his bio at the end of the post.

As always, this topic resulted in a spirited and thought-provoking discussion. To start with, most participants expressed the sense that content and methods were inextricable–that solid methods of instruction were the only route to content, and that content was the only reason for solid methods.
The conversation, then, turned to the issue of policy: What policy shifts would help bring about positive changes in methods and content? A group of participants discussed the importance of creating common goals in the education community–and the difficulty of doing so given the diversity of students, educators, and learning environments. A number of participants bemoaned the standardized testing environment of education, saying that learning skills are difficult to measure using bubble cards. Others pointed out that issues of education policy also draw in politics and money. Most participants agreed that teachers need more autonomy, not less–that they need to be freed up to teach. The consensus was that this sort of change must come from the grass-roots–incremental improvements happening one teacher at a time.
As the conversation continued, the definition of “methods” seemed to broaden, taking in not just the way that teachers teach but also the way that students learn. In other words, “methods” came to mean the skills that all of us need to learn content. At that point, many participants (including myself) moved toward the importance of methods. The idea was that the Information Age has made content so available that sheer memorization is less important than being able to find information, evaluate its quality, and think critically about it. Participants wrote about the importance of teaching the lifelong learning skills that allow students to adapt to an ever-changing world. Many also wrote about the need to be lifelong learners ourselves.
Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 
1. Both content and methods are important. They are intertwined. Methods provide access to content, but content affects the methods used to teach it. Both should be open to reform.
2. To create real change, educators need to be able to state common goals for reform. In order to do so, they must bring together a very diverse group of teachers and learners and overcome political obstacles. As experts in instruction, teachers need more freedom, not less.
3. If methods include not only the way teachers teach but the way students learn, then perhaps reform should focus on methods. Methods of instruction should help students become content creators rather than just content consumers. Methods of teaching should foster curiosity, thinking, and lifelong learning.
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.

@coreydahlevent: They need equal attention. Content is as important as methods. #edchat
@geraldaungst: Need to include both, and they can’t be considered as separate elements either. Integrated and intertwined. #edchat
@rliberni: Multiple methods, extensive content – start with the learner and provide skills and guidance #edchat
@TutorSolutions: How about neither? Let teachers teach, be passionate and provide a support system to allow for improvement, rather than punishment #edchat
@drthomasho: @davidwees I think a change in methods would lead to a change in content! #edchat
@Tina_Barr: In order to achieve reform we need to stop talking and start changing therein lies the greatest challenge #edchat
@chiyanlam: @cybraryman1 it seems that there are two levels to your question. ed reform within one’s classroom (student-level), and edu system #edchat
@republicofmath: Hard to do #math at all without “content”, but impossible to do well without “methods” #edchat
@PatrickatDS: Nobel winner says methods trump everything (title is provocative, read on) http://fxn.ws/isXFI4 #edchat
@aaronmueller: In language arts, the content can be interchangeable, what I teach are methods: interpretive, communication, evaluation. #edchat #edchat
@TutorSolutions: The biggest change that needs to be made in education is to stop trying to change it. Give teachers support/time and let them work. #edchat
@aaronmueller: My end-game is to teach a student how to be a better person, not a collection of content. Skills trump everything else. #edchat
@alicemercer: It seems to me that real ed reform is not going to be possible in current context. We need to reform ed politics #edchat
@TutorSolutions: I’m all for summers off, but imagine what great teachers we’d be if we worked those days to collaborate and learn. #edchat
@ericjuli: To meet the needs of diverse learners in urban schools, pedagogy matters more than content, but it’s not either/or #edchat
@inquirebook: If we teach students to seek answers, we make them content creators rather than just content consumers. #edchat
@cybraryman1: @coreydahlevent We must involve students in the learning process. Teachers should be more faciliators of learning #edchat
@HHG: @davidwees Before debating method or content, don’t we need to publicly stake our claim on a clear and common purpose? #edchat
@derrallg: @HHG unfortunately common purpose is difficult when you throw in socio-economic factors into what type of school a student attends #edchat
@coreydahlevent: Balance in everything. Change your methods, adjust your content. Don’t teach the same every year. #edchat
@maryannreilly: RT @HHG: @davidwees I don’t think we need ONE common purpose, any more than we need common curriculum or common pedagogies. #edchat So Agree
@Oroku_Saki: Teacher autonomy is a must. Curriculum is my rough draft. I meet what I have to, and fill in the holes with chaos. #edchat
@Mike_Prater: @HHG Agree. Teachers are the experts who know the children. Should be involved in instructional, curricular, and program decisions. #edchat
@isteconnects: U.S. doesn’t produce stuff anymore; we make $ on ideas and content. Schools need to prepare studs for a knowledge economy #edchat
@cybraryman1: @inquirebook @coreydahlevent: Don’t have to master all content as we can use Blended Learning to connect students with experts #edchat
@rliberni: Is content easier than method? Is that why it might dominate? #edchat
@QZLPatriotHawk: Outside forces control the content – I always tell the teachers, worry about what U can control. In this case it is delivery. #edchat
@Oroku_Saki: Bottom line: Adapt to your students, content, and delivery; the same way your students are expected to adapt to a changing world. #edchat
@pickledtreats: But if methods becomes legislated, where is the wiggle room to adjust when necessary – to help individual students? #edchat
@tomwhitby: If method affects how kids learn and content is what they learn, I think how they learn should be the Focus. #edchat
@aleecotton: @tomwhitby: I completely agree. Teaching how to learn makes understanding content easier & encourages lifelong curiosity/learning. #edchat
@jonbergmann: Not all Stds need all content, but all benefit from learning how to learn #edchat
@drthomasho: Focusing on METHODS will also motivate us to MEASURE, won’t it? That’s the key to REFORM, isn’t it? #edchat
@tomwhitby: The least educators should do is create a curiosity for learning. The best is to create a love of learning for a life long process.#edchat
@sram_socrates: RT @QZLPatriotHawk: How many of U have been 2 a conference w great content but a horrible presenter. Content w.out good delivery is ineffective. #edchat
@pickledtreats: @aleecotton @jonbergmann Exactly. How to learn, how to engage w/ content throughout life, is more important. #edchat
@delta_dc: #edchat I don’t know the exact content my learners will need. But being a problem solver and critical thinker will always come in handy.
@CTuckerEnglish: Content in many disciplines is constantly changing, so teaching methodology is creating long term learners #edchat
@tomwhitby: Instead of memorizing content, kids should learn it in the process of creating their own content.#edchat
@cybraryman1: “If children cannot learn the way we teach, we must teach the way children learn.” #edchat
@irasocol: Education is the most political thing any society does. “EduReform” is just an expression of your socioeconomic beliefs #edchat
@aaronmueller: Time to engage all school community members to refocus learning onto skills and not content. .. #edchat
@CTuckerEnglish: Students who develop adaptive expertise can approach new info & use knowledge flexibly to make sense of it=confident learners #edchat
@nancyrubin: RT @inquirebook: @davidwees Compartmentalizing knowledge encourages students to forget it once they leave the class. #edchat
@sram_socrates: RT @dendari: good content dies with boring teachers #edchat – and boring content blooms with exciting ones
@dendari: Great teaching dies without authentic content #edchat
@Tina_Barr: Education reform requires enrichment of each teacher’s intellectual competence. #edchat

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 


As ever, there were some great links shared:

@coreydahlevent:  This cartoon…what do you think? Content or method? http://flic.kr/p/9yZqzD

@FNESC: Educational parity too long denied – Editorial from the Edmonton Journal http://t.co/MCC5fHM  via @AddThis #edchat

@schoolsEDU:  We’ve talked about it in the past but more & more professors r using #socialmedia for better impact on students http://clck.co/2w8t1  #edchat

@PatrickatDS: Nobel winner says methods trump everything (title is provocative, read on) http://fxn.ws/isXFI4  #edchat

web20education: #infographic Coolege students : is #twitter hurting your grade ? on #edtech20 PLN: http://ning.it/mvbNxe  #edchat #ukedchat #socialmedia #elt

@mrmadden77:  New post on bringing our professional conversations to the general public – http://bit.ly/j4Vim2  #edchat

@TutorSolutions: Excellent guest post written by Nikki Robertson about @cybraryman1 and @shellterrell – http://bit.ly/krgWn5  #edchat

@mrsebiology: Overcoming the barriers to educational innovation: http://bit.ly/jwhcZq  If you have time, a good read #edchat #cpchat #edadmin

@4thGrdTeach: School: The Killer of Curiosity http://me.lt/4xg5k  #edchat #elemchat

@davidwees:  Some of the greatest ideas have come from people who have mixed areas of knowledge. See Lorenz for example. http://bit.ly/ipIzss  #edchat

@JudyArzt: Leading From the Classroom: Are Educators Ready for Cloud Computing in Schools? http://t.co/wwN5TxI  #edtech #edchat

@nancyrubin: Content Strategy for the Web http://t.co/b4l63Yw  #edchat

@cybraryman1: @pickledtreats Agree! My Cross Curricular – Interdisciplinary page: http://tinyurl.com/4gkgv6n  #edchat

@malcolmbellamy: My response to an article in the Higher Education Chronicle: What makes a good teacher? http://wp.me/pKfOP-Ri  #edchat #ukedchat

@mrsebiology: Curriculum and Instruction: A 21st Century Skills Implementation Guide: http://bit.ly/iSA2Yf  #edchat #cpchat #curriculum

@BrainTrack: Letters to a future teacher: http://bit.ly/iFoJKs  #edchat RT@lmtv

I am Rob King, lead author of Inquire: A Guide to 21st Century Learning. This middle-school student handbook teaches 21st century skills such as critical and creative thinking, problem solving, communicating, collaborating, and using media. It also focuses on the inquiry process and project-based learning. My co-authors and I tweet from our account, @InquireBook. I’m also editor in chief at Sebranek, Inc., the parent company of Thoughtful Learning, UpWrite Press, and Write Source. To learn more, go to www.thoughtfullearning.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 18, 2011

Thinking critically within the bubble:

#Edchat 05 – 10 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Critical Thinking  is a very popular topic on #edchat and the chat was fast paced and crammed with ideas, links experiences and opinions – it was really hard to keep up! So a very special thank you to Anthony Lohse who, despite the pace, has managed to put together an amazing summary which captures the excitement of the chat as well as all the wonderful content that was shared! He is a dedicated and passionate edchatter who, as you will see from his bio (at the end of the post) is also somewhat of an evangelist for our Tuesday chats. Thank you very much Anthony for this great post!

How do we focus on the teaching of Critical Thinking skills in a standardized test focused curriculum?
What a fun topic for me this week (per usual for edchat).  I actually almost missed it as I was running late from a meeting.  Don’t tell my superintendent, but I may have pushed the speed limit a bit in a school vehicle to get to my computer.  
As an administrator for the past 9 years, I have wrestled with this question often.  I feel horrible about focusing so much on the test when I know that focusing on the test probably isn’t what is what our kids need for being better thinkers.   

Many strong opinions were shared during this amazing fast paced hour of learning.  It is hard to argue that critical thinking skills are vital to be taught and what we SHOULD be teaching.  However, it is scary for teachers and administrators to deviate from not teaching to the tests when the system is currently set up with sanctions and penalties for those schools that do not do well on the tests.  It was agreed by many, including me, that great teaching that includes teaching students how to think, rather than what to think, while ultimately produce strong results.  

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • We are still in a Standardized Based Assessment World
  • Educators would love to minimize the importance of these assessments
  • Public and politics have driven standardized testing & believe this is the most effective way to measure schools success
  • Can we teach critical thinking and still have success on these tests?
  • If we don’t focus on standardized tests, how do we measure our success?
  • Critical thinking skills can be successful taught with a correlation to high achievement on the tests but patients and trust from those in authority have to be granted
  • Educators have to take charge of public perception and political thinking in regards to standardized testing and what is best for kids
  • Ultimately it is up to us to do what is best for kids and teach critical thinking because it is the right thing to do

Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

@cybraryman1:Topic: How do we focus on the teaching of Critical Thinking skills in a standardized test focused curriculum?

@cybraryman1: “The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think”
@fliegs: If kids learn critical thinking, test scores will follow. #edchat – exactly, well put
@ktenkely: NOT complying with state standards could be cause for insubordination or even dismissal
@tucksoon: Do parents want their children to be critical thinkers or A graders?
@jswiatek  Our district just announced new evaluation system. 50% based on student test scores.
@carneysandoe: Critical Thinking in an Era of Standardization http://bit.ly/l753aE This is a gr8, extremely relevant article!
@davidwees  For the people who argue that standardization helps prepare kids for future employment, I ask, where are the standardized jobs?
@ShellTerrell Don’t focus on the standardized tests…If you get students talking, discussing, creating, etc, they will succeed
@tucksoon my daughter gets all A’s in honors & AP courses but I worry she’s NOT very ‘curious’ because she just does what she’s told
@dianeravitch when we foster environments of critical thinking and questioning, the tests take care of themselves.
@ShellTerrell What support can we offer teachers to take the bold steps not to teach to the test?
@QZLPatriotHawk: How do we prove how effective we r without tests in the short term to the public?
@jessievaz12 I think by definition critical and creative thinking cannot be standardized
@ktenkely I don’t think it’s just conservatives shaping the message. Edu’s have too long allowed politics to shape message.
@CTuckerEnglish: As teachers, we are taught to teach the “whole child,” yet these exams only assess a small part of the child. Hypocritical.
@tucksoon: Critical thinking takes time to develop. Policy makers must be realistic and not expect to see immediate outcomes]
@prlowe91 Some students are not good test takers but that doesn’t mean they have not learned & can apply it
@ShellTerrell: Ideally curriculums should allow students to explore various solutions to problems in collaborative environments
@davidwees: Some of the greatest achievements in history were made by people who did not follow the standard path to success
@cybraryman1 Just wish all tchr/admin were as passionate as everyone here & were allowed to teach/facilitate what children really need to learn
@SidewaysSchool  Pragmatically, I’m of the mind to ignore the tests, focus on engagement and the results will take care of themself

To follow the complete discussion see here  
For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

@raventech, @nmhs_principal & @pluginsin have to say about “Communicating & Connecting w/Social Media” http://ow.ly/4R4N1  #edchat

@nancyrubin: Critical Thinking – How Do We Get There? http://t.co/cPCpGFm

Critical Thinking in an Era of Standardization http://bit.ly/l753aE  This is a gr8, extremely relevant article! #edchat

@davidwees: Not one of your ordinary lists => 10 Ways to Fight Standardization: http://t.co/6f7VdvR  #edchat #coopcatalyst

@tsocko: Child-driven education will enable kids to think critically AND redefine the standards. http://tinyurl.com/26pgrr7   #edchat

delta_dc:  @ktenkely @cybraryman1 This was an idea I had a few months ago http://t.co/dTi3yVc  and then presented at #edcampDet last week

@juandoming:  Read Psicopedagogía crítica on http://t.co/F2yguhc  .@juandoming #elearning #socialmedia #edtech #edchat #educación #educachat #web20

@cybraryman1: @ThomsonScience My Critical Thinking page: http://tinyurl.com/ygojrl6  #edchat

@ktenkely:  @delta_dc I like it! My answer-start school that doesn’t operate that way. Show them how it can look different. http://t.co/szeXXWh  #edchat

@cybraryman1: There are alternatives to ST. My Standardized Test page has links to them: http://tinyurl.com/43vugou

nancyrubin:  Critical Reading Resources http://t.co/ou9Fh9O  #edchat

@davidwees: #edchat @HHG Every time a parent asks “how is my child doing compared to the rest of the kids in the class,… (cont) http://deck.ly/~cFyQK

@davidwees: #edchat @HHG Happy = relatively easy to measure in terms of emotion. Successful = measured against what. It’… (cont) http://deck.ly/~QVFVA

@nothingfuture: Why grade levels & hour/yr requirements are crazy: http://t.co/xCa7gzO  I think it’s obvious, but the DOE doesn’t. #edchat #bhschat #cpchat

@makeafuture: Is this what you have in mind for 21C learning and the future of education and work? http://bit.ly/l911lW  #bced #edchat

@MattEasley: This is the best advice I’ve had all week! Thanks! RT @kylepace Tips for Twitter Chats: http://bit.ly/kVaabK  #edchat

@cybraryman1: @geraldaungst @domi75P My Learning from Mistakes page: http://tinyurl.com/4qke9y2  #edchat

@johnnybevacqua: Curriculum Reform: The Spark we Need (New Post) http://bit.ly/jv42xI #bced #cpchat #edchat #edreform #abed Will follow

@michellek107: @courosa @davidwees @hhg Define “successful” for me here, please: http://bit.ly/fyj7Un  #edchat

@juandoming:  Critical Thinking – How Do We Get There? http://t.co/YGGnC5x  vía@AddThis   #elearning #mlearning #education #socialmedia #edtech #edchat

@juandoming:  http://on.ted.com/9DGz   Sugata Mitra: The child-driven #education #elearning #soicalmedia #edtech #edchat #web20

@George_Haines: @ktenkely @michellek107 re: Finland– they’re actually behind us: http://bit.ly/h7iZAj  #edchat

@delta_dc: @profhutch Part of problem is we put too much faith in results http://literacygurl.blogspot.com/2011/03/teens-with-axe-to-grind.html

@nancyrubin: Project-based Learning: Why do it? http://t.co/cULgHFh  #edchat

@EnterTheGroup: Developing Awesome Virtual Classrooms: A Case Study http://bit.ly/lGBp9I  #edchat #edtech #iste

@drthomasho: @tucksoon i hope you’ll check out http://blog.LearnStream.info & http://facebook.com/DrThomasHo

My name is @QZLPatriotHawk or better known as Anthony Lohse.  I am a middle school principal and district special education director in a district of about 1000 students in rural Iowa (West Central Valley Schools).  

 I am first and foremost a dad of 3 beautiful young girls (Quinn 8, Zoey 6, and Libby 3) thus the QZL in my Twitter name.  I also have an amazing wife, Heather, who inspires me daily.  Beyond my passion for education, I love watching sports –Go Mavs, Patriots, Hawkeyes and Blue Jays.

 I am very new to this whole technology thing.  I stumbled upon Twitter last summer to follow some of my favorite sports teams and somehow ended up learning daily as a result.  I don’t know the exact day that I found #edchat and all the great educators in my PLN, but that day did changed my thinking dramatically about teaching and learning.  As a result, my staff gets sick and tired of me promoting  SM, technology integration in the classroom, and Twitter.  I was so honored to be asked to write this week’s summary and look forward to participating in many, many more chats and learning from all of you.

 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. 

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