When I was in school, we weren’t allowed to use calculators. We did our calculations by hand. That included long division, and deriving square roots, and looking up logarithms and trig functions in computation tables. It wasn’t until my senior … Continue reading Don’t Criticize What You Can’t Understand
A few years ago, MSN fired all of their reporters and replaced them with artificial intelligence. “Reporters” might be the wrong word. MSN didn’t report their own news. They used other news sources, and curated their own news site based on the content that they gathered from other places. They found that this could be done just as easily by software as it can by humans. All the software has to do is go out and find news from other sources, paraphrase it to avoid copyright issues, and post it on their own site. That worked about as well as … Continue reading Did I Really Write This?
One of the recent trends in schools has been the creation of a “portrait of a graduate.” This is a process through which a school district, with input from students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members, defines the characteristics we … Continue reading The Problem of the Portrait
I carry my work life in my backpack. I try to make sure it has everything I need, everywhere I go. If I’m in a school or at a meeting or in a coffee shop, my backpack has all the … Continue reading Cleaning Out the Backpack
A few weeks ago, I had a request to remove Zoom from our student devices, and block students from reinstalling it. “We’re never going back to that,” the teacher explained. Apparently the fifth graders are using the chat function in Zoom to talk to one another, which she wants to stop. By “that,” she meant remote schooling. At the start of the pandemic, we leaned heavily on technology to continue instruction. Students took their devices home. They had Zoom and Google Classroom and lots of apps and strategies and work-arounds to try to continue learning. Those first three months were … Continue reading Unzoomed
Snow days are magic. There aren’t many things that remind us how unimportant we are. But that call from the school changes everything. Suddenly, that homework assignment isn’t due for another day. The test has been postponed. The faculty meeting … Continue reading Snow Days
Years ago, my elementary schools were very fond of Accelerated Reader. Students would read a book from the Accelerated Reader list, and then take an online quiz that measured reading comprehension. If they passed the quiz, they were awarded points … Continue reading What Do Grades Mean?
I’ve always tried to be balanced. While my work generally focuses on technology, my personal life is centered around the arts. I was trained as a math teacher, but I originally enrolled in college as an English education major. If … Continue reading Day and Night
Last year, we spent a great deal of time crafting our portrait of a graduate. The trend in public education over the last several years has been to identify the characteristics that we would like our graduates to leave with. … Continue reading Living the Vision
For years, I used the same company to buy most of my technology supplies. If I needed printers or cables or memory or consumables, I would always go there. The company had pre-negotiated contracts with several different agencies and consortia, … Continue reading Friction
John Hattie wanted to answer a very simple question. We’ve been studying school improvement for decades. We’ve tried all kinds of new initiatives, programs, philosophies, and approaches to improve student learning. We’ve spent millions of dollars on research, and thousands … Continue reading Effect Size
Remember 21st Century Skills? Back at the turn of the century, we were all abuzz about the needs of our students as we moved into the new millennium. We knew we had moved from an industrial society to a service … Continue reading Blended Hybrid