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Showing posts from January, 2014

Teaching Like It's 1900

Today, students in Creek Valley Elementary School first grade teacher, Britt Theis's class took a trip to The Old Cahill School in Edina. While there, the students were able to visit a school house that has been preserved to model what a school house in 1900 might have been like. Britt tweeted out this photo:



The picture got me thinking about a few questions:
Asside from the wooden desks and the blackboard, how different is this classroom from the ones in most of our schools today? If your classroom is similar to this one, is it because:
It was the best configuration for students to learn then, and it is still true nowThat's the furniture I was provided withThat is the configuration I grew up in and am most comfortable with OtherIs this the best configuration for today's learers? What pedagogical style is this best suited for? I think by my tone here and the questions I'm asking, you can tell that I think it's time for a change. If we are going to move to a more stude…

It's Not About the Chromebook...

In December, Science Leadership Academy(SLA) in Philadelphia announced that they were changing the devices students would use for their learning from a Macbook to a Dell Chromebook.
Today, with great fanfare, they announced the "Center for Excellence in Learning," a partnership between Dell, SLA and the Franklin Institute to serve as a "resource for best practice for other educators," and "scale their model of inquiry-driven, problem based learning across the country."

Initially, the focus for many was on the switch of platforms, from the Macbook to the Chromebook. After all, they have been an award winning, Apple Distinguished School for the past 5 years. Some saw the move to the less expensive, cloud-based Chromebook a "step down," and that they would lose out on powerful applications for creating multimedia presentations, and that principal Chris Lehmann, "sold out" as a cost saving measure, because ultimately use of the more expensi…

Getting Things Done: A 21st Century Competency?

David Allen, author of the book, "Getting Things Done," came to Edina on January 20 to help kick off a "Work-Flow Institute" in Edina Public Schools. For the last 4 years, our district has been looking at workflow and is ready to move forward. Is "Getting Things Done (GTD) a 21st Century Skill? Allen says that it is, and that it is something that we are all students of. It is a constant learning process. I'll be honest here, that I bought his book 3 years ago, but haven't taken the time to read it. Given my work flow, I know I need too, thus I decided to attend the session!

GTD is a life-long process. Something you engage in, with multiple methods of mastery. It's "best practices for appropriate engagement with your world, no matter what!"

Makes explicit what we all do implicitly to be effectiveMagnifies that ability exponentially if you understand the principleHow many have made a list and felt more focused and in control? How many decidded…