Flip that sub plan

5-6 class periods, 25-35 students per class, 2-3 different preps, 5 days a week. That’s the typical schedule for an American high school teacher, and as I have noted before, it doesn’t allow much time for professional development, reflection, or even creative preparation, let alone absence. Just staying on the treadmill – keeping up with…

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Tech devices are powerful – but not motivating

The optimists among us see technology creating schools full of self-directed, collaborative workers, using the power of the internet to advance their own learning at light speed. The pessimists see technology allowing teenagers to become image-conscious dabblers, skilled at manipulating their Facebook profiles, taking selfies and playing games — but not much else. This digital…

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Could you learn in the ‘classroom of the future’?

(image from Atlantic magazine) Which metaphor best describes the way you learn? Your mind is an empty vessel. A teacher pours in new knowledge to fill you up. Your mind is fertile soil. A teacher plants a seed, and the interaction of the seed, nutrients and water — with careful tending — creates new knowledge.…

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Why teachers don’t behave like entrepreneurs

Should classroom teachers behave more like entrepreneurs? What would that even look like? In a recent article on EdSurge, Senior Editor Mary Jo Madda, a former middle school teacher, argued that we should run our classrooms like “lean startups,” borrowing Eric Ries’s term. She suggests this process: Think of what you want your students to…

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They might not be paying attention

If you could secretly observe each of your students during class one day, what would you see them doing? I hope I would see my students all on task, listening intently to me (or their classmates), contributing to discussions, taking thorough notes, working collaboratively during group time, and getting the most they can out of…

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Stop waiting for a revolution

Traditional schools will disappear. Knowledge itself will be obsolete. In the revolutionary education system of the future, textbooks and standardized tests will be eliminated, and reasoning skills will triumph as groups of children abandon boring classrooms to connect with peers across the globe and pursue answers together in virtual spaces. Really? Well, that’s what I…

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