Whether reading about resources for teaching financial literacy or debating the validity of using grades in the classroom, SmartBlog on Education readers have been showing us what’s important to them by sharing and commenting on their favorite posts. Take a look at April’s most-tweeted education posts.
5 ways to continue growing as a teacher
One of the noblest jobs in the world is that of a teacher. We’re clearly not in the trade for the money. We’re there because we love teaching and we love the kids. Period.
Two years ago, seventh-grade history became the only ungraded class in the school. The administration agreed to let me try it, as a means of empowering students to take more control over their learning.
Dispelling misunderstandings about PBL
I spend a good chunk of time on Twitter, often participating in or lurking on a Twitter chat. I have seen project based learning — PBL — a topic of discussion, but at the same time, I see a lot of claims about PBL that are just not true. (read more…)
Few topics seem to strike a chord with educators like grading practices and, specifically, the practice of not giving grades. That was true this week as educators posed provocative questions to middle-school history teacher Hadley Ferguson after reading her blog post “Ungraded students.” Here’s a brief question-and-answer session based on that conversation, covering topics including parent buy-in and the relationship between grades and competition.
Q. Great concept, but are we underestimating the importance of competition? Grades on a test/assignment in school are equivalent to stages/scores in video games. Kids don’t learn or excel at gaming for the camaraderie, they are driven by the ability to compete, to win, to lose. Is it really the system of grades we should change, or is it our approach?
A. My experience is that the strong students enjoy the competition of grades, because they succeed at it. For the mid-range and struggling students, who have often given up all hope of “winning” at this competition, grades often hold back their learning. (read more…)
Nearly 60% of respondents to a SmartBrief on EdTech poll said their school or district uses technology as part of instruction or assessment in all core subjects. Data indicate that it is most often used in math instruction.
Of those using technology in math, more than 63% said they use classroom tools such as clickers and interactive whiteboards, about 21% said they use mobile devices, and roughly 15% said they use computer labs and other schoolwide technology.
In addition, more than 67% of respondents say the use of technology is at least somewhat — and some say greatly — improving math achievement among students in their school or district.
In which of these subjects does your school or district currently use technology?
All of the above
Which tech tools are being used in your school or district as part of math instruction or assessment? (read more…)
Some schools and districts plan events around national-level campaigns like Digital Learning Day. However, a majority of respondents to a recent question posed by EdTech editor Katharine Haber say it is teachers and others at the school-level or district-level that drive their current use of classroom technology. Still others report that it is a combination of all three.
When asked about the forces standing in the way of increased use of technology to enhance classroom learning, an overwhelming majority of respondents say funding is the culprit. Others say time for training and teacher support are factors, while just a few cite resistance from parents.
Did your school or district participate in or host any events associated with Digital Learning Day, held on Feb. 6?
Which type of support is driving the current level of classroom technology use in your school or district?
School- or teacher-led programs
District policies and initiatives
All of the above
National or state policies and campaigns
What is the biggest obstacle to the increased use of classroom technology in your school or district? (read more…)