Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

August 2, 2011

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


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

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

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

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

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope in 10 years teachers start to get respect again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New to Edchat?

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

More Edchat


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

What do you think? Leave a comment!


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!


May 11, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

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

Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can we be disruptive without being dismissed? 

To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


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

What do you think? Leave a comment!

December 14, 2010

School Policies: Helping or Hindering Student Learning?

#Edchat 12-7–2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

This topic is one close to many teacher’s hearts and the participating edchatters were no different. Ideas of good practice , bad practice,  hopes and desires all came out in the discussion. To capture the essence of this we are very grateful to Josh Stumpenhorst (@stumpteacher). He has done an amazing job in getting to the heart of the discussion and drawing out all the different threads. Thank you Josh. See more about Josh in his bio at the end of the post.

This weeks #edchat topic was about how schools’ policies are often hindering student learning in large part due to their restrictive nature. Many people had strong views about bad policies that were being imposed in their schools. One of the big ones that kept coming back up was the amount of filtering that takes place over the Internet. Most understand the need for filtering due to liability and the need for some form of filtering due to government regulations. However, teachers would like a middle ground and to be trusted to make educationally sound decisions on behalf of their students. Another theme that came out of this conversation is that often times the decisions that are being made about policy are being made by those farthest from the classrooms. To help solve this problem teachers and students need to be more vocal and collaborate with administration at every opportunity. In addition, administration needs to be more aware of the needs of students which is often done by simply being amongst students in the classrooms. At the end of the day, it is easy to point a finger for bad policy, but that won’t change anything. We must all work together, students, parents, teachers, and administrators, to write policies that reflect the need of today’s learners.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 
There were many themes that came out in the most recent #edchat conversation on 12/7/10. The central theme was how policies are hindering student learning and how to influence those policies to have a positive impact on student 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.

@ShellTerrell: Schools need to rethink filtering. We should take these learning opportunities to teach Ss about digital citizenship
@cybraryman1: Policies should be set collaboratively (students, teachers, admin and parents)
@cybraryman1: Have to give parents hands-on workshops on how tech is being used in classrooms to get them on our side
@stumpteacher: Tough thing is that policies are written by those farthest from the students and classrooms
@jorech: Biggest hindrance to learning: a curriculum, atmosphere centered around achievement on high-stakes standardized tests
@shamsensei: Change can only be done if u know how to do it

@ileducprof:  Too many school administrators are only concerned with what occurs in their district. Missing out on collaboration opportunities.

@shamsensei:  DO not wait until you KNOW how to make change. Start now. Fail and try again. Do not wait.
@jgmac1106: 2 me it boils down two types of leadership models: Fear and Respect. Which one does your school use? Model? when it comes to filters
@smitha834: If teachers aren’t allowed 2 model social media use we are not letting students know how to properly use it to learn
@stumpteacher: Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Don’t give up and keep pushing for change! Student’s learning MUST to be the corner stone! 
@ShellTerrell: One way to change the bad policies is by having these conversations in our communities w/ staff, students, admin, & parents
@bjnichols: The best way to change policy is to show how it could work better. Set up pilots, models, etc. Provide visuals  
@milenagarg: we have a kid check statement that we try to run all policies through so that we do what is best for kids
@MZimmer557: I don’t know if it is all bad policies, it is just there are so many policies that get in way of quality teaching.
@shamsensei: has any1 asked d kids wat they want to change?
@cybraryman1: Ask not what your school can do for you–ask what you can do for your school’s students.
@fliegs: A Policy should not be created to police the less than 5% that would use something inappropriately
@ShellTerrell: Can each of us make a goal to try & collaborate with others to effectively change at least 1 ineffective policy in our schools?

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

How do we move our classrooms and students to be driven by learning and mastery instead of by testing and grades?

To follow the complete discussion see here 

 For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

cybraryman1:  My Cyber Citizenship page is an important beginning with students: http://bit.ly/5fDZ4f

datruss:  My daily-ink: Twitter EDU – Some simple advice to set yourself up for success… http://post.ly/1In03

jamesshelley:  Check out the animation from @SirKenRobinson speaking at @thersaorg – http://youtu.be/zDZFcDGpL4U

TheHelpGroup:  We had a big drive to join our Facebook pg, then realized everyone had to wait to join until they got home :\ http://on.fb.me/9v6Oe8

shamblesguru:  Playing with #Rockmelt : Social Media Browser built on Chrome http://www.shambles.net/pages/staff/browsers/ #edchat #edtech #browser

missydow:  I love that a student shared this resource with me during a conversation about citing sources /giving credit. http://bit.ly/gzWKRa

datruss:  See http://bit.ly/aeVfuv  RT @ShellTerrell: Yes it is! RT @stumpteacher: Sometimes it is better to ask forgiveness than permission!

marketeducate:  #edchat Natl Ed Tech Plan calls for education transformation through technology. Already happening, isn’t it? http://bit.ly/dhiUEU

imaknight:  anyone familiar with Project Share (Texas) http://bit.ly/gaSXIW  #edtech #edchat

bhsprincipal:  New Post: Why We Use Tech in Our Class http://bit.ly/guItex  #edchat #edtech #bhschat

cybraryman1:  You have to periodically review your AUP (Acceptable Use Policies): http://bit.ly/9ViT9i

briankotts:  Korea and Finland top OECD’s latest PISA survey of education performance http://bit.ly/fvbRE3 /via @OECD_Edu  #edchat #eduswe #ukedchat

dcinc66:  Constance Steinkuehler examines the role of games and play as an integral part of learning. http://bit.ly/hiKmIB  #bif2010  #edchat

jonbergmann @alvintch Check our #revlearn and the flipped classroom. Works well with 1:1 http://bit.ly/bE6TCC

cybraryman1:  @ShellTerrell We really need a Twitter Academy to collaboratively show them how to really educate http://bit.ly/as9R0g  #twitacad #edchat

michellek107: It’s Time to Trust Teachers with the Internet via @web20classroom http://bit.ly/icCx9D  #policies #edchat

stumpteacher: We can’t be like John Mayer and wait on the world to change… http://bit.ly/e0dBbP  #edchat

web20education:  #edtech20 Web 2.0 #Resources for Educators #edtech20 #edchat http://goo.gl/fb/cneEb #uncategorized #bit #classroom

smitha834:  One thing that could help spur policy change is educators blogging both publicly and accurately #edchat http://ow.ly/3lnaV

baldy7:  posted last night. http://bit.ly/cbkhEO  What Do You Do. #edchat #cpchat

mizztcasa:  Giving African girls a chance to learn http://bit.ly/i01XpV  #edchat

TEDxUBC video #8 – Jeffrey Piontek -Teaching Jetson Children In Flintstone Schools http://t.co/rW5Hi2z  via @youtube #tedxubc #edchat #cpchat

brockgrubb:  Chris Rush (School of One) – to improve student outcomes, “assume anything can change” #bif2010 #edchat http://bit.ly/1SmCzT

web20education:  Here you can read more about eSafety #edtech20 http://teachlearnplayesafetyeducation.wall.fm/blogs/11  #edchat

eshwaranv: Blogged: Could you tell me something about it? http://bit.ly/e96tWX  #edchat #ntchat #elemchat #kinderchat #lrnchat

gret: Great post! “Know the Power of “Hello”” by @4thGrdTeach http://me.lt/4x0aF  #edchat

World4Children:  Disapp. 2 see only 1 educator @ #TEDWomen http://ow.ly/3lnsI  People concerned about #education need 2 join events like this! #edchat #cpchat

cybraryman1:  @Online4School My Educational Chats page with times and days: http://bit.ly/c6mAWB

royanlee: New Post: Why We Use Tech in Our Class http://bit.ly/guItex  #edchat #edtech

gmbondi: Let’s rename 21st Century Learning – call it Digital Dewey or Progressive Education http://bit.ly/dMEYcs   #edchat #cpchat #edtech

fliegs: Share Your Successes for Better Ed Reform http://goo.gl/fb/wJekv  -New Blog Entry #edchat #cpchat

Aminhotep:  Education reform begins in your classroom http://wp.me/tcfd  #edchat #educationreform

internet4classr:  Let students own the learning – http://tinyurl.com/28un686  (via @drmmtatom ) #ntchat #elemchat #edchat

MikeGwaltney:  An Education Policy Novice takes over the largest education system in the nation. Strange. http://nyti.ms/eEaUXG

MSTA:  We absolutely agree! RT @michellek107 It’s Time to Trust Teachers with the Internet via @web20classroom http://bit.ly/icCx9D  #edchat

joe_bower:  Student learning environment first, teacher’s work environment second. http://bit.ly/eXoN4N  #abed #edchat

tomwhitby: My Latest Post: To Be Better Teachers, We Need To Be Better Learners. http://bit.ly/hx697O  Pls  read & comment. #Edchat

lisalearner: blogpost: how to help your English learners get around Internet obstacles http://bit.ly/i9tYr5 #edchat #ellchat

iEARNUSA: @AsiaSocietyPGL PISA analysis on http://CNN.com http://bit.ly/fXXIuy  <= learn with, not just about, the world #iearn #edchat

EdEquality: Check out Michelle Rhee on NBC discussing her new organization: Students First. http://on.msnbc.com/fFwkYz  #edreform #edchat #edgap

Josh Stumpenhorst is a 6th grade Language Arts and Social Science teacher at Lincoln Junior High School in Naperville, IL. I have been in this same position for eight years and have not plans on leaving the students! I have a passion for using technology and empowering my students through its use in my classes daily. Twitter has changed my life and I thank each and every member of my PLN and those that participate in #echat for the valuable things you have taught me. You can read my blog at stumpteacher and you can follow me on Twitter @stumpteacher.

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!

December 3, 2010

My Edublog Award Nominations 2010


A bit of a ‘last minute Larry’ (again!) but at the eleventh-hour I am happy to share my personal nominations.

There is so much out there and the list of  educators producing valuable and thought-provoking content is growing so fast that it’s sometimes overwhelming!! As each year goes by the wealth of great ideas and techniques continues to grow – so does collaboration and this can only be a good thing.  So…..

My Personal Recommendations for the Edublog Awards 2010 are:

Best individual blog – Kalinago English  – Karenne Silvester

Best individual tweeter – Cecilia Lemos Coelho (@cecilialcoelho)

Best class blog – Our Good News  – Greta Sandler

Best resource sharing blog – The Cybraryman website

Most influential blog post  – The 30 Goals Challenge   – Shelly Terrell

Most influential tweet / series of tweets / tweet based discussion –  #ELTchat

Best teacher blog –  A Journey in TEFL  – Eva Buyuksimkesyan

Best librarian / library blog – Library Tech Musings – Gwyneth A. Jones

Best educational use of audio – Breaking News English  – Sean Banville

Best educational use of video / visual – Teacher Training Videos  – Russell Stannard

Best educational wiki –  Celebr8UandMeDigitally  – Eva Büyüksimkeşyan and Alexandra Francisco

Best educational podcast –  EdTechLive  – Steve Hargadon

Best educational webinar series – Serendipity & Topic sessions  – Jo and Phil Hart

Best educational use of a social network – The Educator PLN ning – Tom Whitby

Best educational use of a virtual world –  Slanguages Conference – Heike Philp

Best use of a PLN – #Edchat

Best of luck everybody!!

September 29, 2010

Is a blend of e-learning and face-to-face learning viable for reform?

#Edchat  9-21-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST


This #edchat discussion was fast and furious and obviously a topic close to the hearts of many who participated. We are very grateful to Lisa Tingey (@lisalearner)who, with her background in educational software and learning online has produced a fantastic summary which gets right to the heart of the issue. Find out more about Lisa from her bio at the end of the post. Thank you Lisa for a great post!

Major Themes

●      Teaching Practices. E-learning is not a substitute for sound teaching practices. A poorly trained face-to-face   teacher is also likely to be a poor e-learning teacher.

●        Accessibility. Will established e-learning programs extend the learning beyond the walls of the classroom and provide students with opportunities to take courses that aren’t normally taught at their school? At the same time, could these programs widen the gap between rich and poor or students and their peers with disabilities? 

●        Differentiation. E-learning is a feasible way to differentiate instruction if programs provide assessment tools for teachers and allow students to progress at their own rate.

●        Student Engagement. E-learning places responsibility to learn on the student. Success is more dependent on student engagement with e-learning than it is in a traditional learning environment.

●        Asynchronous Learning. What’s more powerful, synchronous or asynchronous learning? How does feedback play into this?

●        Professional Development. Will a blended e-learning implementation be an intuitive process for teachers and students? Or will a lot of time be wasted learning to navigate e-learning technologies?

 Hello, fellow edchatters! I’d like to start this recap with a big thank you to @rliberni for the opportunity to synthesize last week’s #edchat and share my take away. Each #edchat I’ve participated in has left me inspired and enlightened, so thank you, too, for welcoming me into the community and for joining the conversation

Last week’s #edchat was of particular interest to me, considering my experience creating educational software. We discussed the benefits and potential challenges of blending e-learning with face-to-face learning.

Many contributors were excited about the prospects of more differentiated instruction, wide accessibility that extends the classroom beyond school hours, and students who are more fully engaged in learning. Still, others were concerned that e-learning programs would benefit only the most engaged, leaving other students to fall behind, and that accessibility would be an issue for both underprivileged students and students with disabilities.

In the end, one theme I took with me was that technological advances do not and cannot make up for poor teacher training, which often results in bad practices, and that even with additional technology teachers must continue using sound teaching skills to find success in the classroom.

While there were so many important tweets that enlightened the discussion, I sifted through and pulled what I felt were the best representations of the opinions, sentiments, and ideas of last week’s #edchat—listed in chronological order to represent the development of conversation. Also, take a look at the links section at the end, full of great resources that were shared during the chat. Special thanks to moderators @shellterrell and @rliberni, who did a great job in steering the conversation.

k_shelton: E-Learning can be blending into virtually any situation as long as it is with properly trained educators and appropriately supported #edchat

rliberni: @Becky_Ellis_ agreed, so design is very important but the std driving is what makes good e-learning #edchat

TwitClass: Would a blend of Elearning & Face to Face instruction be viable for all age groups & levels? #edchat

Tkraz: Experience lectures at home (through gaming, etc.) and discuss in class #edchat

Fliegs: E-learning will be one more way to widen the gap between rich and poor. #edchat

Rliberni: @olafelch they need to be able to self-manage their learning, to be self critical and honest about their work & make thr own choices #edchat

 Akevy613: Again as with any technology e- learning is a tool used but the focus as always has to be student learning #edchat

Becky_Ellis_: One HUGE advantage to E learning is the think time asynchronous instruction can provide for students. #edchat

Tina_Barr : @aklinekator @Becky_Ellis_ @MissCheska bad teachers R bad no matter the format does elearning have potential 2 make tchrs better? #edchat

ShellTerrell: Amazing! RT @fliegs: True. Last year, we used skype to help a very sick child stay connected to the class. #edchat

Paulbrichardson: @Becky_Ellis_ Agree that ‘think time’ is important. Asynchronous can give the shy learner opportunity to flourish #edchat

andycinek: I see “e-learning” as an organizational tool to assist and archive the classroom learning. It does not replace the learning process #edchat

iDESIGNsol: @lisalearner right on! in an e-environment, students move at their own pace in a safe environment-not always an option in trad model #edchat

frogphilp: RT @ShellTerrell If all schools integrated elearning then this would help extend learning beyond the classroom walls #Edchat that’s the key!

Anotherschwab: Student engagement is even more important in E-Learning, if they are not engaged it doesn’t work. #edchat

Andycinek: Whether its f2f or e-learning the content is the same.stdnts still need 2 B taught. SD learning only works w/ skill sets in place #edchat

olafelch: @drdouggreen I did. And from my own experience, learning how to learn online is neither instant nor instinctive. #edchat

fliegs: In most schools I’ve encountered, f2f learning needs to be differentiated more. Tchrs need to focus there and leave e-lrning out #edchat

ShellTerrell: Agree! RT @Becky_Ellis_: elearning helps differentiate for the individual student more effectively than 1 teacher can. #edchat

rliberni: W/ good elearning u take ur time, u choose ur direction, u self-evaluate, get good feedback. it opens up a new world #edchat

Tina_Barr: Will elearning make school difficult or impossible for some students w/ learning disabilities? #edchat

eshwaranv: @Tina_Barr VLEs need not be always visual. Blended learning can be customized. That’s the beauty of it. #edchat

cybraryman1: The key factor is having teachers who know the best methods to improve student learning with & without technology #edchat

ColinTGraham: The challenge with introducing anything new to your teaching approaches is that it should be purposeful, not just experimental #edchat


To follow the complete discussion see here

 For the stats on #edchat participation see here

Great Links

 markbrumley: @aklinekator Here’s my view of that. I think sports and other elective will drive this. http://tinyurl.com/23qtd4y  #edchat

jonbergmann: Check out how we do the blended classroom http://bit.ly/3PAZ1K http://bit.ly/dwA6to  #edchat

ISILBOY: Why Blended Learning is so imp? http://bit.ly/98sryY #edchat

Drdouggreen: @fliegs http://bit.ly/chShUa here it is. #edchat poor kids and handhelds.

Brunsell: @ShellTerrell @regparsons elearning does enhance f2f – http://tinyurl.com/y9jr6gs #edchat

Rliberni: Some amazing work done in India on kids teaching themselves and then others http://bit.ly/d5j4UK Sugata Mitra #edchat

ShellTerrell: Gaming in the classroom: Rock Band http://bit.ly/9k5jTU #edreform #edchat

Briankott: Virtual degrees? Is online education the way of the future or just a fad? http://nyti.ms/b7xsQv  via @NYTimes #edchat #edtech

RebeccaLeaRay: Social Learning Snapshot http://bit.ly/alYv5y #elearning #learning #leadership #astd #hr #lrnchat #edchat #edtech20

Rliberni: 10 e-learning principles http://youtu.be/ngN1yGRI3jw #edchat

Rliberni: Good and bad e-learning http://www.johnconnell.co.uk/blog/?p=2176 #edchat

Jonbergmann: I have started a blog on blended learning and how we are implementing it http://bit.ly/90OWo1 #edchat

JBEducation: How important is it for students to be physically in the classroom? http://nyti.ms/9PVvCt #edchat

Eshwaranv: @Tina_Barr Here is something which I had blogged sometime back on this: http://bit.ly/dqgssV #edchat

ISILBOY: E-learning Vs Classroom Learning http://bit.ly/aFDjIC #edchat

Eshwaranv: @Tina_Barr Check out my post on this: http://bit.ly/bFqaKO #edchat

ImagineLearning: How is this for e-learning expectations? #edchat http://yfrog.com/mzu7xkj


Bio for Lisa Salazar Tingey

Lisa has taught English as a second language in the US and abroad and, for a period of time, attempted to teach Spanish (a language she used to know well) to a class of Hungarians (in a language she barely knew).

After a brief stint as a magazine writer and editor, Lisa joined the software development team at Imagine Learning, where she writes stories and designs activities to help children with language and literacy. She is honored to work with teachers every day in developing tools to help their students succeed, and she would love to hear from you—just tweet @lisalearner

New to Edchat?

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

Edchat: Join the Conversation
Using Tweetdeck for Hashtag Discussions

More Edchat

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


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

What do you think? Leave a comment!

September 13, 2010

What should be the single focus of education if we could agree on only one goal?

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

One goal for Education - what is it?

Thank you to Katherine Maloney (@1katty) for this summary of #edchat. Last week’s discussion was fast and furious and I think this is reflected in Katherine’s post here – so many tweets and so many great ideas! Thank you Katherine for a very comprehensive and thoughtful summary. Read Katherine’s bio at the end of the post.

For those of us involved in the daily grind of school, today’s #edchat helped us all to take a step back and look at the big picture:  what should be the single focus of education if we could agree on only one goal?  @rliberni and @ShellTerrell were our moderators, and they, as usual, did a brilliant job.  Thank you!

 While final consensus on a single focus of education may be difficult to reach, my personal takeaway from this #edchat was the realization that it is extremely important for us to try to arrive at one.  My experience in life has taught me that success cannot be achieved without clear goals.  While the process of identifying these goals may be a difficult and messy one, I do believe that it can be done and that doing so will be worth it in the long run.     

 Please see below for a summary of the main themes of the discussion and a selection of a few of my favorite tweets from it. 

Main themes from the discussion: 

  • Suggestions for a suitable focus for education included:  life-long learning; critical thinking and problem-solving; helping students to find and pursue their passion(s); learning from failure; global citizenship; creativity; fun. 
  • Several suggested that there was a need for a clarification of terms:  is the right word “focus,” or “vision,” “mission,” “philosophy” or some other?
  • Participants in the discussion also reminded us that “education” need not be confined to “school.”    
  • The more conventional ideas that education should focus on preparing students for success on exams, college, future employment, etc. were also debated; it was generally agreed that these should be referred to as “targets” or “outcomes” rather than as “focuses,” and that these targets need not be the same for everybody.  
  • Predictably, questions were raised about whether or not it is possible, or even desirable, to identify one, single focus for education.  While being focused and having clear goals can help to bring about powerful change, a “one size fits all” approach to education could end up excluding many.  
  • The questions of how we arrive at this agreement – the obstacles that are preventing agreement from being reached – and how to turn the agreement (if it can indeed be arrived at) into a reality were also discussed.  For example, who gets to decide on this focus – the students, the teachers, the parents, or…?  Once established, how can we ensure that there is no conflict between individual or local interests and national or international ones, or even between student/parent/teacher/school goals?  How can we ensure that everyone interprets the goal in the same way?  How can we know whether or not the goal has been achieved (i.e. how do we measure a goal such as “life-long learning”?  Portfolios, or…?)?  Finally, how can educators implement a goal such as “instill a life-long love of learning” within our current system – an often limiting and restrictive one?      
  • While there was not final agreement on whether there should be one focus or many, or what exactly this focus (or focuses) should be, most participants in this discussion did agree that change is needed, and that it can only be accomplished by working together and involving all of the key stakeholders in the decision-making process.  Parents and policy-makers are an important part of this discussion, though very few if any were present in our #edchat.         

A selection of some of my favorite tweets (organized according to theme): 

 Ideas for a single focus: 

@Mollybmom: Inviting our students to engage as life long learners.
@CrudBasher:  Single purpose of education: To help each child reach their full potential.
@Mollybmom: Personal reflection, self discovery, curiosity, asking questions and seeking answers…owning the learning.
@andycinek:  Single focus options:  adapt, change, learn, fail, discover.
@1katty:  How about – “tailoring individual learning experiences so as to meet the unique needs of each student”?
@tracymercier:  My largest goal is for them to be socially responsible. Everything else is gravy. 
@lisalearner:  The principle goal of education is to create men [and women] who are capable of doing new things. – Jean Piaget
@SECottrell:  That they invest their lives in pursuing the greatest good for every life they touch.
@Lauren_Learning:  Lifelong learning is the only sustainable focus. If we simply teach skill mastery, the learning ends when students leave school.
@malcolmbellamy: Education should be about preparation for life, not exams. 
@sjhannam:  Education should be about preparation for life, but life = competition in job market nowadays.  Exams are gatekeepers.  How do we change this?
@smitha834:  I agree with the push back on exams but educators need to show the public what’s going on and that they’re not afraid to be assessed.
@tomwhitby: Are students ever allowed to establish a goal beyond stating what they want to be when they grow up?

“Focus,” “Goal,” Or…?
@TechCzech:  We need to differentiate between aspirations, goals and objectives. Let aspirations be lofty. Goals realistic. Objectives measurable.

One goal, or many? 
@web20classroom:  Should there be just one goal? Can there be just one goal?
@domi75P:  One goal seems impossible.  There is so much diversity among people it would be easier to define what we do not want. 
@discomfortzone:  Is it wrong for schools to differ? Do they need to be universal? Have the same goals?
@drtimony:  Single focus? Options.
@TechCzech:  I went to school in a country (Czechoslovakia) where all “educators” agreed. Not sure it was for the best.
@CrudBasher:  I am for charters, public, private, unschooling, handschooling, online, offline and not invented yet. More choices!
@tonychilders: Anything beyond two or three goals waters down efforts and distracts. 
@lisalearner:  Without the same goals, we’ll never reach any goals. A divided house can’t stand, right?
@W3iGHTLESS:  Yes, but does agreement on one goal honor the diversity of our students? As long as the overarching goal is broad enough.
@lemino:  I think all movements have a defined vision, passionate leaders who define vision for others who run with it! We need that in education!
@tomwhitby: If educators cannot agree on where we are going, how can we ever get from where we are, to where we need to be?
@1katty:  Without a clear overarching goal, perhaps educators make themselves more vulnerable to the latest fad or trend.

@ShellTerrell:  What is preventing us from agreeing on one educational goal?
@michellek107:  Success defined differently by different people from different cultures and places.
@SECottrell:  Agreeing on realistic goals for students requires a vision of the world they will live in. 
@sjhannam:  Educators in a school may agree with goal, but interpret differently what that means. Uniformity unrealistic?
@CrudBasher:  Here’s a related question: Who currently determines the goal of education?
@tomwhitby: What if a parent’s goal for the child’s education is not in sync with the school’s?
@tracymercier:  Unfortunately, we are all mandated to teach specific content (NOT concepts) that limits the amount of autonomy we provide students.
@tomwhitby: Lifelong learning only happens when people control their learning. If that’s the goal,when do kids control their learning in our system? 
@sjhannam:  We need to ask why teachers are not involved in policy making.  What’s the point of educational policy? Why is it discriminatory?
@ShellTerrell:  Is education transformation halted by educators not agreeing on one goal or a few goals?

  Let’s not make excuses for why it is hard to achieve this goal and start focusing on accomplishing the task. 
@michellek107:  Schools, communities, and parents must partner together for children’s education.  Not in sync – need to meet and discuss.
@web20classroom:  Big goals must be supported with action steps that move everyone in the right direction.
@smitha834:  To truly disrupt education change needs to include the constituent stakeholders; if less are alienated more can make a movement.
@cybraryman1: Love to see us take all these wonderful ideas and meld them into our mission statement for education.
@smitha834:  My #edchat takeaway: my goal is to disrupt education by focusing on learners, community, and process. School is anywhere learning occurs.


To follow the complete discussion see here 

 For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

 As ever, there were some great links shared:

andycinek:  My goal this year in edu is to teach and learn without boundaries and to understand that I may fail http://bit.ly/cr4uDE  #edchat #edcamp

web20education:  #edtech20 #edchat Why Teachers Are The New Principals.: Read the full article at New York http://url4.eu/7DPBO

briankotts:  European Lifelong Learning Indicators (ELLI) places the Nordic nations at the top of the list. http://bit.ly/9rFqPW #edchat

TechCzech:  I think Becker’s results from 60s still hold. Students selforganize their efforts around institutional goals. http://j.mp/cZ4Pod #edchat

TechCzech: My take on the fate of goals in education: ‘A Becker attractor’ http://j.mp/9Vgo96 #edchat

DeronDurflinger:  New blog post #cpchat http://bit.ly/b6Itrw  Threat to the Status Quo, What are you doing to change the system? #edchat #vanmeter

malcolmbellamy:  RT @rliberni: @discomfortzone this is a great failing with our systems Ken Robinson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY  #edchat

cybraryman1:  @tomwhitby When students are ready how about Self-Directed Learning? My SDL page http://bit.ly/9Z9VLW  #edchat

lemino:  @W3iGHTLESS @discomfortzone Start by making learning fun. Knowledge – a game. http://bit.ly/cusRcw

andycinek:  Just completed a 2.46 mi run – In edu and learning the goal is not a finish line. #edchat. http://rnkpr.com/a9jo1p  #RunKeeper

Tina_Barr:  @Parentella I agree! http://bit.ly/90qspd  issues such as this make it hard to motivate the communitee

rliberni:  Some views on learning and edu Amy Tan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D0pwe4vaQo&feature =channel

rliberni:  and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fnh9q_cQcUE&feature =related Tom Woodward

rliberni:  and Edward de Bono http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjSjZOjNIJg&feature=related  #edchat

lemino: @lisalearner This reminds me of the question “what is peace?” here: http://bit.ly/diO6fu  #edchat

TechCzech:  Parents’ images of education are one of the factors behind the persistence of the “grammar of schooling” Cf http://j.mp/dpa9t1

lemino:  @ShellTerrell been watching @SirKenRobinson http://youtu.be/r9LelXa3U_I talk about revolution and not evolution. Goal?

CrudBasher:  @tomwhitby This is your brain. http://bit.ly/96rv55  This is your brain on #Edchat http://bit.ly/bS68pn

My name is Katherine Maloney, and I have been teaching IB English and Theory of Knowledge overseas for the past 12 years. I have a passion for reading, writing, the environment, traveling, art, yoga, and for using technology to enhance my students’ learning.  You can read more at my blog “KatScan”, or by following me on Twitter at 1katty

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 22, 2010

Is too much emphasis placed on low and high achieving students?


7-20-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Matthias Heil (@MatthiasHeil) is the producer of this week’s mammoth edchat summary! It’s an amazing piece of work and if you were there you know that it was a marathon – one of the most exciting #edchats yet! Matthias’s summary really catches the energy that we all felt during Tuesday’s session and the passion about teaching and learning and the importance of getting it right that came over so strongly is really captured here. (See Matthias’s bio at the end of the piece.)

Yesterday’s first #edchat session (1800 CET, 12PM EDT) turned out to be a much better experience for me than the previous ones – maybe because what we discussed really touches upon the heart of what educators are doing every day, willing or not. The way we deal with our ideals, curricula, prescribed and self-developed forms of assessment, and of course our own power and influence in the classroom, all this significantly determines our professional aim, and our contribution to our learners’ lives and development.

Following the first part of the discussion was especially fascinating for me because – teaching at a German Secondary School – my conception of “low achieving” must differ from the one of those teaching in countries that care not to generally make the first four years of school the basis of a young person’s long-term career chances (i.e. the rest of the world).

Consequently, the controversy over labeling students “low/middle/high achievers” – the first major theme of yesterday’s #edchat – struck a special note as in many contributions political, ethical and anthropological aspects mixed with brief reflections on the (sometimes all-too-careless) ease of seemingly simple and superficial everyday decisions and assessments that serve to establish how “well” students meet their teachers’ (and their own) expectations. All of this comes together in the vision we share of what we are aiming at, and of course in our understanding of ourselves as professional instructors, pedagogues and partners in learning. 

Interestingly, some edchatters seem to show great reservation towards labeling students at all, whereas others state assessment is paramount to finding out how to let learners shine, respectively how to detect and develop their talents as well as possible in the face of other classroom requirements. Both defining terms like “labeling” and “assess” and explaining routines and strategies entailed in flexible and learner-friendly ways helped clearing inevitable misunderstanding in many dialogues and trialogues that ensued in this second major part of our discussion. Many participants feel very strongly about this theme, and, to my mind, especially this part revealed the weakness of the 140 characters conversational format #edchat is currently taking. A Wiki- or Wave-like format may have encouraged a calmer communication atmosphere and an even more satisfying exchange of experiences.

Although classes are more homogenous than elsewhere, even at a German “Gymnasium”, i.e. in a terminally selective educational system there are also “low achieving” students that require much more attention and supervision than others. Therefore, my initial answer to the session’s main question was “Yes, and how could it be otherwise?”. Yesterday’s session, however, also served as a treasure chest of ideas and concepts facilitating ways of teaching to the advantage of all students, not only those easily passing or terribly failing a more or less oblique-angled framework of objectives. To name but a few of those ways that triggered discussion, there are differentiation, “feedforward”, collaboration, portfolios, critical thinking, blogging, ULD and many more (see “Part 3” comments and link sections for more).

All in all, this #edchat provided a perfect mix of everything that makes it so valuable: expertise, criticism, commitment, anger, introspection, idealism, frustration, creativity, dilemma, hope, ideas and a refreshing portion of humour in countless contributions.

 Thanks, PLE!

 Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

Are we, by focussing on high and low achieving learners, neglecting those “in the middle”? As mentioned above, instead of producing simple answers to the given question, contributions mainly dealt with three themes:

  •  Is it fair to label students?
  • What is our assessment’s objective?
  • How can we motivate all learners?

Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

There was so much wisdom and wit in this #edchat session!

a) Part 1: Is it fair to label students?

@paulawhite – We’re not neglecting teaching middle children – we’re neglecting teaching ALL children well.
@sguditus – It’s easy to forget that when we teach to a particular niche that usually those techniques are good for ALL learners.
@paulawhite – Our expectations for all children are WAY below what they can do—and DO outside of school pursuing their own interests/passions
@mrdfleming – The question should be “am I giving each student what they need?” Sure low students will require more time, because they need more
@cybraryman1 – We cannot overlook any of the students that we teach. DI should be employed: http://bit.ly/bOWv96
@theprofspage – Middle kids are not failing but not being challenged. Students with Bs or Cs. No discipline problems.
@malcolmbellamy – the minute we talk about “middle” we are labelling
@paulawhite – children have passions – we need to find those and allow ALL students to use their strengths.
@discomfortzone – Is the current curriculum the reason why we put people on a scale from low to high achievers? Who is it we compare the learners to?
@rliberni – Does the drive for tangible results stop us seeing students/children as individuals?
@davidwees – I hate thinking of kids as being “low”, “middle” or “high”. Kids will meet expectations.
@flourishingkids – We need to help kids discover own passions 4 learning & get them out of thinking it only occurs at school.
@davidwees – Would you want the teacher of your kid to tell you that your kid is “just average”? Are they average to you?
@flourishingkids – One problem is that kids often learn at own pace/ timetables. School is rigid. Kids are, flexible and fluid.
@Room5Friends – @4thGrdTeach Exactly my point. No matter how you “rank” them, it’s subjective, so why rank them? Why label them?
@discomfortzone – In Germany we put low achiv. into “Hauptschule”; middle into “Realschule” and high into “Gymnasium” after FOUR yrs of elem. SAD.
@malcolmbellamy – We need to allow children the freedom to learn not the straightjacket of setting by our expectations.
@suedensmore: Why do we have to rank them at all? Shouldn’t properly designed rubrics help prevent ranking?
@gericoats – I don’t think all kids should be sorted, however, when there is a drastic difference in ability between peers it should be addressed
@findingdulcinea – Labeling is convenient for schools/teachers, harmful to kids. RT @EricBurgess Labeling kids is destructive, I think.
@MissCheska – @STEDISub I think labeling leads to self-fulfilling prophecies. If we can instill self-confidence in our stdts, then yes
@web20classroom – Just thinking that kids are all different. Thinking maybe there isn’t really a middle anymore…

 b) Part 2: What is our assessment’s objective?

@davidwees – All students deserve the opportunity to demonstrate what they KNOW, instead of what they do NOT know.
@ColinTGraham – I also feel a great many ‘results’ are normalized, statistically, so 60% always get a B/C, 5% A+ etc. Rather than having absolutes.
@theprofspage – The truth is we need to measure kids based on their individual improvements and achievements.
@davidwees – Grades are not meant to assess what kids know, they are meant to show that they know MORE than someone else.
@sguditus – Grades: should they be a reflection of exceptional output or exceptional growth?
@teachingwthsoul – Communication of progress is key! RT @4thGrdTeach: @gericoats Agreed, all parents deserve to know how their kid is doing truthfully.
@BrandiJClark – We place glass ceilings on grade levels, can’t go beyond them (note sarcasm)
@davidwees – At the end of the day, our education system is premised on the idea that competition between kids is healthy…
@baldy7 – If we individualize and customize, why does it matter whether a student is “low” or “high”?
@davidwees – Let’s grade teachers like we grade students. We’ll call it “performance based pay.” Teachers will love it!
@paulawhite – @sguditus follow the three ps of grading–progress, performance, process http://tzstchr.edublogs.org/2010/01/26/gradefog/
@davidwees – The objective of grading should be to demonstrate kids competencies not their relative weaknesses.
@baldy7 – The problem with this whole discussion is that our labels are based on arbitrary, meaningless assessments.
@theprofspage – @suedensmore How do you measure mastery?
@4thGrdTeach – Grading should be used as a map for future learning not as a map for past failures.
@mrdfleming – @davidwees but doesn’t knowing their weaknesses along with competencies help us to teach?
@davidwees – A number based grading system leads to ranking students, which leads to discussion of ability instead of successes.
@davidwees – @mrdfleming Yeah exactly. Let’s measure students against themselves using rubrics or similar system.
@paulawhite – @gericoats assessment is absolutely crucial to know what a kid needs.
@4thGrdTeach – Grades are just a measure of how much homework was done and whether I liked it or not, not their learning
@discomfortzone – We also need to remember to assess properly! Authentic assessment, not multiple choice exams!! Then we get to know students.
@davidwees – @celfoster We use the MYP grading system for 6-10, which (to me) closely resembles mastery style assessment.

 c) Part 3: How can we motivate all learners?  

@sguditus – We forget that middle kids – in whatever sense – still improve and grow. We need to celebrate mini-benchmarks with all kids.
@discomfortzone – @BrandiJClark Agreed! Open learning, rotations, inquiry, transdisciplinary learning (IBPYP). Developmental scope and seq., too.
@4thGrdTeach – If we set up support in our room and teach students to help each other we will see the labels blur.
@flourishingkids – Cooperative learning & shifting roles in projects helps all learners grow when done right. Kids learn 2 appreciate each other.
@sguditus – We need to individualize student goals to make learning and expectations relevant and authentic.
@4thGrdTeach – To increase student engagement you must know your student, the way they learn and what their strengths are.
@sguditus – Schools today do not systemically provide forums for students to reflect on learning, revamp strategies, and celebrate victories.
@stevebarkley – @averyteach I use this thought: Effort times Ability focused on a Manageable Task equals Success.
@crystalmgrand – @MissCheska I’ve found student blogging is effective b/c they can share their thoughts to the public and receive feedback.
@4thGrdTeach – So is the answer differentiation as always?
@2footgiraffe – It’s been said many times today. It is all about passions. If they can learn by their skills and passion potential is endless.
@sguditus – Should schools reward high-achievers for performance and/or celebrate growth for all? #edchat
@BrandiJClark: Schools are operating with 21st Century tools, 21st century kids, 20th century content in 19th century classrooms.
@averyteach – Differentiation helps with individualization AND can allow students to steer their own learning – doesn’t have to be teacher driven.
@2footgiraffe – How do we blend passion and state curriculum?
@baldy7 – If school is meaningless and irrelevant, why should any kid be a high achieving student?
@MrTRice_Science – ePortfolios are a great way for kids to demonstrate meeting their learning goals.
@4thGrdTeach – @sguditus celebrate growth for all #edchat
@malcolmbellamy – Develop skills of cooperation and collaboration where children can support each other not sit in rigid groupings with walls around
@rliberni – What does ‘gifted’ mean? All kids have talents we just need to find them.
@averyteach – High expectations with differentiation should engage all students-the other key is having strong relationships w/students!
@BrandiJClark – RT @4thGrdTeach: so is the answer differentiation as always? – I think the structure of the day and blended classrooms is also a must
@baldy7 – @rliberni I wrote about “gifted” last week. #edchat http://ow.ly/2e1V1
@STEDISub – What do you think would happen if we treated all students like they were exceptional learners? Would they all become exceptional?
@cybraryman1 – The good teacher makes the poor student good & the good student superior. ~Marva Collins
@suedensmore – We need to double our teaching staffs and half the class sizes. Would likely solve much of the problem. Haha.
@sguditus – @averyteach Some teachers feel that time constraints prevent proper differentiation. Is embedded collaboration/PLCs the answer?
@stangea – @johntspencer Social Voice link http://bit.ly/cL0DwR is good. I’d love more examples of strong student-centered blogging
@suedensmore – Kids tend to rise to the expectations we have for them if we are consistent and positive about them. At least in my experience.
@miltrehberg – @sguditus We need to teach more meta cognition, give students the opportunity to reflect on their learning , try many strategies. 
@4thGrdTeach – Doesn’t differentiation seem to be the buzzword nowadays?
@BrandiJClark – Our job is to make students expert learners through multiple means of representation, expression and engagment #UDL
@discomfortzone – @raysadad @4thGrdTeach: Feedforward and not just feedback, yes, but numbers (grades) don’t provide much info for improvement
@smitha834 – When I’ve had students generate rubrics – THAT’s when I’ve had gifted students differentiate themselves
@flourishingkids – Raising the bar 4 all kids&getting them excited about passions/interests will lead to growth for all. We can do this at earlier age.
@edtechdhh – IEPs for all students. Learning should be individual. Acknowledge and reward ind growth
@mrdfleming – @celfoster I focus more on giving students individual goals for improvement, based on rubrics. Then I share these goals with Ss
@LesLinks – Somtimes if it’s hard to differentiate every day, having a, say, ‘Math Monday’, on which every subject is taught through fun Math activities…
@Room5Friends: But Differentiation can be as easy as asking diff. students diff. questions about the same topic, not as hard as we make it seem…
@sguditus: We need educators to be honest with themselves about what’s working and what isn’t – culture of trust is a necessity.
@Begabungs – Some teachers just teach how to copy and not how to think out of the box
@crystalmgrand – @bf_teach4change Using Web 2.0 tools that students are familiar with may engage them and want to continue learning
@edtechdhh: IEPs for all students. Learning should be individual. Acknowledge and reward ind growth – YES
@smitha834 – @ColinTGraham I see blogs as the portfolios of the 21st century; personal and portable.
@crystalmgrand – @rliberni Keep learning current. Perhaps change learning to digital. Incorporate tools they use everyday in the class
@plnaugle – We labeled students on brink of next achievement level as ‘bumpables” and then worked to bump them up.
@2footgiraffe – @rliberni I hope to do videos, posters, podcasts, sculptures, books, and many other projects this year with that purpose in mind.
@BrandiJClark – We need to see that classrooms have many “little” teachers
@KTVee – learning has to come from questioning, investigation, curiosity, and collaboration; not from textbook chapters
@teachingwthsoul – Such a key ingredient!~>RT @EducateGlobally: Remember: You never stop learning. Especially when you’re teaching.
@onewheeljoe – Rubrics can work if they trend toward descriptive rather than evaluative.
@EducateGlobally – @paulawhite @raysadad @BrandiJClark Let them see the world. Digitally, physically, emotionally.
@2footgiraffe – teacher @ my skool put students into groups of math level and they taught themselves the whole year (with a little guidance)
@MissCheska – @rliberni Choice is very empowering for students!

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

 As ever, there were some great links shared:

@paulawhite – 5 levels of giftedness (http://www.educationaloptions.com/resources/GiftedorHighlyGifted.htm) Schools don’t reach the top levels.
@joe_bower – For the love of learning: Slave to the grades: http://bit.ly/9iYqM1
@paulawhite – @DeborahMersino http://www.educationaloptions.com
@paulawhite – @ktenkely Social & Emotional Issues: What Gifted Adults Say About Their Childhoods http://tuinyurl.com/29vjzr8
@paulawhite – @sguditus follow the three ps of grading–progress, performance, process http://tzstchr.edublogs.org/2010/01/26/gradefog/
@markbarnes19 – Powerful blog and excellent Alan November video: Moving Beyond Adequate – Kyle B. Pace http://ow.ly/2e1JL
@paulawhite – TWICE exceptional: http://tinyurl.com
@discomfortzone – The worst kind of sorting: http://bit.ly/8ZdtFV
@DeborahMersino – Has anyone read “Your Child’s Strengths” by @jeniferfox? http://www.strengthsmovement.com/ Powerful approach – all levels.
@baldy7 – @rliberni I wrote about “gifted” last week. #edchat http://ow.ly/2e1V1
@paulawhite – Shows how rewards of all sorts undermine our efforts to teach students, manage workers, and raise children: 
@paulawhite – Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes by Alfie Kohn
@ColinTGraham – @4thGrdTeach The CEFR is set out here. aussi en francais. http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/cadre_en.asp
@jofrei: Is it a cheetah by Stephanie Tolan http://www.stephanietolan.com/is_it_a_cheetah.htm
@bhsprincipal – I think this post from @baldy7 is spot on in regards to this conversation http://bit.ly/a7ZcMN
@crystalmgrand – Ten Steps to Better Student Engagement via @edutopia http://ht.ly/2e2vH
@Nunavut_Teacher – The Trouble with Rubrics By Alfie Kohn http://bit.ly/18Nkjq
@briankotts – Unwrapping the Gifted – not-so-rosy side of being gifted http://bit.ly/9SLr3c
@jofrei – @sguditus Dive into differentiation http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/files/dive02.ppt
@paulawhite – Read # 4, 9, 19 about middle kids Distinguishing myths from realities: http://tinyurl.com/GTmyths
@Room5Friends – Labels, Be Gone… http://mlkolis.blogspot.com
@min_d_j: #UDL guidelines aren’t a prescription — they’re a framework. http://bit.ly/cA3akJ

@MatthiasHeil, teacher (English and Religious Education) and teacher trainer (Media, Methods) from Fulda, Germany.

Blog: http://www.MatthiasHeil.de, E-Mail: Webmaster@MatthiasHeil.de, CV: http://matthiasheil.de/personliches/curriculum-vitae/


New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


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

What do you think? Leave a comment!

April 15, 2010

How should successful and innovative teaching and teachers be rewarded?


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

How should we reward great teachers?


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

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

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

Here are some of the comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To follow the complete discussion see here  

 For the stats on #edchat participation see here  

 As ever, there were some great links shared: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New to Edchat?

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

More Edchat


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

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

March 31, 2010

Passion in Education and How it can Drive Change

Passion in Education is truly alive and well!


    3-30-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST    

Yesterday’s edchat followed a slightly different format. In preparation for the webinar with Sir Ken Robinson hosted by The Future of Education and due to take place in the evening, it was decided that a discussion, as a lead in to the webinar would be held. The topic was on passion in education, a theme in Sir Ken’s book, The Element, which was going to be the basis of the webinar. As ever a crowd gathered at the appointed time (though there was still some confusion over clock changes!) and off we went! 

The discussion was lively and yes, well, passionate! 

Here are some of the emerging themes – there were so many: 

  • Passion is the love of something for its own sake.

  • Education needs to help people to find their passion (students, teachers, all involved in education)

  • Passion in education is about serving others.

  • How to sustain and maintain it? What causes it to go away?

  • Passion is a two-way street, both teachers and students can spark it.

  • How do pay & conditions, systems, testing etc.. affect passion?

  • PLNs can have a strong positive impact on nurturing and growing passion.

  • Does passion translate into vision?

  • Passion needs direction and guidance

  • Is passion the difference between great teachers and mediocre ones?

Here is a flavour of some of the comments.

MatthiasHeil: To me, passion is what makes us tick, and explore – even at great cost. Has to do with teaching, I guess…- 

 joe_bower:  Passion is a love for something for its own sake and someone couldn’t stop you from doing it if they tried. 

Malcolmbellamy: can we change passion to vision? I feel this is essential for change 

 Msmultipoint: Passion is what makes the world go around. Certainly in teaching, there has to be a HUGE amount of passion for serving others. 

 SECottrell: If you don’t have a passion to teach, you will end up wishing you were anywhere else. 

 cybraryman1: Passion is boundless enthusiasm 

 derrallg: Passion is the overiding drive backed by reason and emotion to accomplish what is more important than ourselves 

 Horizons93: PAssion is essential for learning. Most schools kill it. 

 tomwhitby: Is the amount of passion the difference between great teachers and mediocre teachers? 

 InspiringEd: Do you feel like passion is more of a goal of education (creating it in students) or a way of approaching the educating process? 

 Teachingwthsoul: But can we not continue “against all odds”? This is the key to never allowing the external systemic pieces to put out the fire 

tomwhitby: What drains the Passion from those who have it? #edchat Old ideas and habits from above 

 iangowans: If you think of YOUR favourite tchr growing up, one quality I’d bet you name about them was their passion. 

 rliberni: I think we see it when students begin to ask lots of questions when they hunger for more 

 akenuam: to inspire passion we need to show how our students are so much more capable than people give them credit, raise expectations. 

 Mamacita: All too often, truly passionate, dedicated teachers are targeted & disciplined for that very thing. Dangerous wavemakers! 

 Teachingwthsoul: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”~Eleanor Roosevelt 

jorech : The more I hear, the less I like the word “passionate.” Is “focused” better? I have known some “passionate” yet ineffective teachers 

 elanaleoni: #Education is the civil rights movement of our time. Without passion all hope for change is lost. 

To follow the complete discussion see here  

 For the stats on #edchat participation see here  

 As ever, there were some great links shared: 

@cybraryman1: Teaching is not a profession; it’s a passion.Ed. Quotes: http://bit.ly/EPRmh 

@joe_bower: I wrote this last night in anticipation of today’s passion/Sir Ken Robinson talk on #edchat http://bit.ly/9MREpU  I am passionate about this! 

@Edu4U: Good read on the changing face of the University http://budurl.com/q2kq 

@joe_bower: You have 2 convince the kids who hate school to become tchrs if you want it 2 change (@rrmurry) <–real change! http://bit.ly/cLcPeB 

@joe_bower: Wanna get ready for @Sirkenrobinson’s #edchat webinar? Read on! http://bit.ly/beKRyZ http://bit.ly/9FTZsY http://bit.ly/d0xD6q   

@DUMACORNELLUCIA: Web 2.0 and new tehnologies in education #edchat , #edtech20 http://web20ineducation2010.ning.com/  http://tweetphoto.com/16427534  

@R4RLA: Collaborate with professionals to renew your passion! Attend/present at our conferences http://bit.ly/ccP37Q 

@DeputyMitchell: Coveritlive has #edchat in one place here: http://bit.ly/9uOQrL 

@malcolmbellamy: for a short introduction to Sir Ken Robinson’s ideas see http://bit.ly/aXl6AQ 

@MikeGwaltney: Most people are more afraid of Failure than Mediocrity. It should be the reverse. http://bit.ly/9dhrUh @danielpink 

@akenuam: what teachers make: http://bit.ly/27oCDA 

@web20education: Teachers connect with other teacher @ShellTerrel – passion #edchat http://web20ineducation2010.ning.com/video/web-20-and-new-tehnologies-in 

@graingered: @joe_bower Yes, inspire mindful students #edchat @ http://tinyurl.com/yc58hyd 

@tomwhitby: Upon the conclusion of #edchat watcht this video on leadership. It fosters passion in followers. http://bit.ly/b9b6M4 

@isteconnects: ETAN needs teacher advocates to tell Congress their stories. Share your passion! http://bit.ly/9enJ8M 

joe_bower: Sometimes subversion is an act of professionalism to salvage passion in public edcuation http://bit.ly/bkDVoG 

@graingered: We (teachers) look far & wide 4 solutions in education… we R the SOLUTION! We need to find our passion! http://tinyurl.com/ydhkd8r 

@irishscott: Might read before the webinar: Sir Ken Robinson and The Element – http://bit.ly/w0Mdj 

@joe_bower: Studies show that behaviourism, extrinsic manipulators like rewards and punishment are corrosive to passion http://bit.ly/aK3fXG 

@DUMACORNELLUCIA: Our students learn more if they have a passionate teacher http://differentbutequaletwinning.blogspot.com/ 

@graingered: @rliberni Its OK to be wrong, right? http://tinyurl.com/yl6hhov 

@graingered: @TEFL Know your students! Create personal learning stories http://tinyurl.com/yjggtwo  Find their passion 

@DUMACORNELLUCIA: Web 20 and new thnologies can bring passion for teachers and for students http://teacherluciandumaweb20.blogspot.com/ 

@joe_bower: Here is a cool TEDtalk on passion in education. Very cool story from India http://bit.ly/9cFfR1 

New to Edchat?

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

More Edchat


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

What do you think about passion in education? Leave a comment!

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