Not so irrelevant 008

My latest roundup of links and tools...


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I read blocked blogs

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Are you up to the challenge?

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Why K-12 educators shake their heads at academia

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  • Rick Hess perfectly captures one of my primary complaints about academia, which is that much of what we do is completely inaccessible (and/or meaningless) to K-12 educators
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No hand-held electronics in front of the kids!

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I was incredulous to read ... the decision by the London Catholic School Board in Ontario banning hand held electronic devices in schools. . . . Even more bizarrely ... school board employees are only allowed to use these devices "in areas from which students are excluded." Taken to its logical extent then this includes staff also being unable to use digital cameras to record student work or projects, create and listen to podcasts and so on.
– Gareth Long

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Like Alfie Kohn, Dan Meyer forces us to rethink / justify

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New tools I'm finding quite useful

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The impetus is on us, not them

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Help a teacher develop an integrated lesson [that] ... focuses on a local issue of real importance, in which they, their families, and/or others in their community have a genuine stake and interest. If their learning is situated in that type of context, I think you'll find the impact of their learning experiences will be far greater, and many more of them will learn digital literacy skills alongside traditional literacy skills. Teaching in a problem-based learning environment is a lot more work than simply lecturing and delivering content to students, but it is the type of learning environment our students need to remain engaged in school work. Too many kids today are BORED by school. As the adults running our schools, it is our responsibility to remedy this situation.
– Wesley Fryer

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A couple of gems from Clay Burell...

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And a couple more from Gerald Bracey

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We are a little egocentric, aren't we?

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And, finally, a reminder from John Pederson

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One year ago: Well, what's your answer? and Principal blogging not allowed

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LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

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Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Top Video Splash
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and things that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way.".

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
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Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

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