eventsSelf-worth. Engagement. Purpose. These are three signposts on the journey to unlocking student potential, according to Russell Quaglia, president and founder of the Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations.

Quaglia presented the third general session at the ASCD annual conference in Los Angeles, eliciting a standing ovation at the close of his session: Moving Forward with Our Greatest Resource: The Students or Student Aspirations: The Key to Unlocking Schools Potential.

“We are doing all sorts of cool things going around student voice, but what we haven’t mastered yet is listening,” Quaglia said. “I believe with every ounce of my being that student voice is the instrument of change, but we need to listen.”

“Forty-four percent of students in this country believe they have a voice in decision making. Why is that (number) so low? Because half of the kids in this country don’t think we’re willing to learn from them,” Quaglia said. (read more…)

eventsSmartBrief Education has been on the ground this week, bringing readers coverage of the 2014 SXSWedu Conference & Festival, held in Austin, Texas, March 3-6. Here’s a roundup of our top stories.


SXSWedu keynote: Closing the achievement gap begins at the ground level

Rod Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education and 2014 SXSWedu keynote speaker, developed early in his life the belief that education was a pathway to solving the world’s problem. Paige grew up in Monticello, Miss., during segregation, when “there were two worlds, a white world and a black world.” Read more.

Educational technology for a better classroom experience
Educational technology should not be intrusive in the classroom. It should be designed in a way that makes the most of the real world of teachers, families and students, according to SXSWedu keynote speakers Vivienne Ming and Norma Ming, co-founders of educational technology startup Socos. Read more.

Student voice: Social and mobile learning @SXSWedu
From advice on taking better selfies — and better photos in general — to tips on getting clear audio when recording video with a mobile device, young filmmakers from John B. (read more…)

eventsThe 2014 SXSWedu Conference & Festival kicked off this week in Austin, Texas. SmartBrief Education has been on the ground, bringing readers regular coverage of the event.

Rod Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education and 2014 SXSWedu keynote speaker, developed early in his life the belief that education was a pathway to solving the world’s problem. Paige grew up in Monticello, Miss., during segregation, when “there were two worlds, a white world and a black world.”

Paige, who was a coach, teacher and later the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, brought to Wednesday’s keynote session Education: The Civil Rights Issue of Our Time a rich history of experience as a classroom practitioner and a policymaker on Capitol Hill.

“There is no civil rights strategy that would be more powerful than closing the (black-white) achievement gap,” Paige told conference attendees. “Responsibility is along the pipeline, but it has to be where the people walk the halls with students.”

Paige acknowledged that as a nation there has been a lack of systemic progress in closing the black-white achievement gap, and while there are exceptions that can provide lessons to others, there still is much work to be done to effect change. (read more…)

eventsThe 2014 SXSWedu Conference & Festival kicked off Monday in Austin, Texas. SmartBrief Education is on the ground, bringing readers regular coverage of the event.

Educational technology should not be intrusive in the classroom. It should be designed in a way that makes the most of the real world of teachers, families and students, according to SXSWedu keynote speakers Vivienne Ming and Norma Ming, co-founders of educational technology startup Socos.

“We can build technology that provides amazing support without you ever realizing that it was there,” Vivienne told attendees. “Technology does not need to be intrusive.”

“Stop trying to disrupt everything,” she added. “There are systems out there. Integrate them. You’ll get so much more done that way. We’re not talking about big intrusive technology.”

Here are five lessons Vivienne and Norma shared with attendees to help educational technology designers — and others — keep the promise of educational technology in the classroom. (read more…)

eventsThe 2014 SXSWedu Conference & Festival kicked off yesterday in Austin, Texas. SmartBrief Education is on the ground, bringing readers regular coverage of the event.

From advice on taking better selfies — and better photos in general — to tips on getting clear audio when recording video with a mobile device, young filmmakers from John B. Connally High School showcased best practices in social and mobile learning during the SXSWedu Playground session: Teachers as Executive Producers of Digital Media — #UProducing.

When education conferences include students in the discussion — in the teaching and learning — I know I’m at an event where students matter. I arrived in Austin yesterday for SXSWedu just in time to take part in an afternoon hands-on lesson in the playground, a casual learning space where attendees can engage with educators, students and vendors.

I stopped by for a session facilitated by John B. Connally High School teacher Humberto A. (read more…)