The 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…)
The 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…)
The 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…)
After a round of districtwide budget trimming, principal Riley received some tough news: His school’s two instructional coaches would be reassigned to classroom teaching positions. Although Riley knew all along that instructional coaching could end up on the chopping block, he truly believed its positive record of improving teaching would guarantee funding. Sitting in his office, absorbing the implications of the change, Riley was initially gripped by a series of emotional reactions. From despair over the loss of support to key teachers who were just beginning to respond to coaching, to anxiety about having to break the news to the coaches themselves, Riley knew this change would be difficult for many to accept. Knowing that people follow his emotional lead, Riley thought about how he could acknowledge the loss yet respond with an appropriate amount of what he calls, “can-do-ism.” “After all,” Riley explains, “I can’t call myself a leader if I’m not helping people see challenges as opportunities.”
If your leadership experiences allow you to relate to principal Riley, you probably also recognize in him — and in yourself — the seeds of resilience. (read more…)
Why music education? UCLA professor James Catterall led an analysis of a U.S. Department of Education database. Called NELLs88, the database was used to track more than 25,000 students over a period of 10 years. Catterall conducted a study and found that regardless of socioeconomic background, music-making students get higher marks on standardized tests. The study showed that students involved in music generally tested higher than those who had no music involvement. The test scores studied were not only standardized tests, such as the SAT, but also reading proficiency exams. The study also noted that the student musicians scored higher, no matter what socioeconomic group was being studied. So why not music education?
Having visited several classrooms, it appeared to me that in many cases, music education tended to begin in the third grade, for those that were fortunate enough to have a music instructor. Even then, the instructor was often stretched thin, being shared by several classrooms, and even several schools within a given district. (read more…)