What our students can learn from the 2020 tech overload

It’s easy to get frustrated about distance learning. Who doesn’t hate it?  Teachers are overwhelmed by balancing in-person and online instruction, modifying lessons, cramming content into less time and constantly being asked to learn new tools — and we also miss the genuine, fun interactions and a-ha moments that actually make our jobs enjoyable. Students…

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Are you ready for online teaching? Here are some tips to help smooth the way

If you’ve never taught online and suddenly you’re gearing up for weeks — if not months — of e-learning this spring, it can be very intimidating.  You might be tempted to default to assigning an entire pre-made online curriculum package, assuming the kids will watch videos and do worksheets at home.  I hope you won’t.…

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Five tips to make Zoom your friend. Really.

Time to take a deep breath. Yes, we are doing this.  We are teaching online/blended/virtual/hybrid/whateveryoucallit and a little bit face-to-face, and we’re all feeling a little numb by now.  We’re also starting to run into those nagging “how do I make this work?” questions that we weren’t thinking of during our two hours of tech…

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When it comes to new teaching tools, WHY is more important than HOW

Note to readers: Like every teacher I know, I am eager to get back in the classroom with students when it’s safe to do so. I deeply appreciate all of the educators nationwide who have protested the unreasonable expectations put on them and suffered the vitriol unleashed on them by those who don’t see COVID-19…

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Entrepreneurship has lessons for us all

In the past few weeks, I’ve begun writing a series of 15 blog posts for Quarter Zero’s Idea Board. These articles all target major challenges facing anyone trying to teach/coach teenage entrepreneurs. They have been pretty easy to write because frankly, there are a lot of challenges. For example, #1 is about Abolishing the Passive…

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When class is a challenge for the teacher, too

This semester, I taught an experimental Economics Concepts class. If you’re not sure what that means, it’s a modified version of our high school’s regular Econ class, designed to be more accessible to students who would probably struggle in that course. We teach Econ to freshmen here, and it’s typically one of the hardest courses…

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Have you found your educational gold?

  Does your school have a shared sense of what “educational gold” looks like? I came across this term in Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine’s excellent new book, In Search of Deeper Learning. These two did the research I’d always dreamed of doing — they went out and found schools that are succeeding with challenging…

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What DO we know about grading?

I finally finished reading What We Know About Grading, a 2019 ASCD book summarizing a century of research on grading.  Probably doesn’t sound compelling to most people — it’s not going to top the New York Times bestseller list — but I wanted to know what the research says, since we spend so much of…

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Building relationships? Just be yourself

“How do you build relationships with students?” A colleague asked me that yesterday, and I was stumped for a minute. I always struggle with that question and feel a little ashamed — because I don’t do many of the things experts say we are supposed to do. I do stand at the door when kids…

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Is flipping ‘out’?

Does “flipping” your classroom really work? I’ve written about this a few times since I first flipped my AP Macro class two years ago. In my (anecdotal) experience, it’s been extremely effective. But a new study from West Point (reported in this EdWeek blog) says not so fast. Is it time for me to reconsider?…

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