Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

March 29, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

‘Best Practices’ Are Practices That Work Best For Your Students

‘Best Practices’ Are Practices That Work Best For Your Students is the final post in my three-part Ed Week series on the five best practices teachers can use in the classroom.

Today’s post features contributions from Roxanna Elden, Barnett Berry and Pedro Noguera, along with comments from readers.

Here are some excerpts:

The-real-best-practices

Powerful

How-do-I-make-this

December 25, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Guest Post From National Teacher Of The Year: Bad Days “Happen To All Of Us”

'Today is a bad day' photo (c) 2009, Paul Downey - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Readers might remember that last month I posted a popular series at my Education Week Teacher column on the best ways to deal with bad days.

Because of some technical difficulties, I didn’t receive a response from Jeff Charbonneau, 2013 National Teacher Of The Year, in time to include it there, so I’m publishing it here as a guest post.

The good news, though, is that we’ve worked out those technical issues and several responses from Jeff will be appearing in future posts at my Ed Week column.

You might also be interested in those three Ed Week posts in that series:

Response: Recover From Bad Days by Seeing ‘Disasters as Opportunities’, which included comments by Roxanna Elden, Allen Mendler and Julia Thompson.

Response: A Bad Day In The Classroom ‘Will Pass’, with contributions from Terry Thompson, Renee Moore and Cindi Rigsbee.

Response: Using ‘Self-Compassion’ to Recover From a Bad Day, including responses from Amy Benjamin and Dina Strasser.

What do you do when you’re having a bad day in the classroom? How do you get over feelings of frustration?

Jeff Charbonneau is the 2013 National Teacher of the Year. He is a Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering teacher at Zillah High School, in Zillah, WA. You can follow him on Twitter at @JeffCharbonneau:

The first thing to remember is that bad days happen. Period. Having a bad day is not an indication of your ability as a teacher. HOW you respond to that day is.

Let’s think about the different kinds of bad days:

Student Related

We work with students whose lives are incredibly complex. Many of my students have lived a much harder life in their 15 years, than I have in my 35 combined. As teachers we need to remember that.

Very often we become so focused on our lessons, that we assume that our students should have the same focus.

However, the reality is that when a student is acting out, rude, or otherwise non-engaged, it is normally due to something else in their life. We need to understand that sometimes our role as a teacher is to be a sounding board – a safety zone for a student to release the frustration, anger, and disappointment that they are suffering from in other parts of their lives.

I try to remember to not take everything personally. Students may be mad at “the teacher”, but greatly appreciate me as a person.

This does not mean that students should be excused from bad behavior – quite the opposite in fact. The consistency of rules and standards helps to create a safe environment for all of learners. As such, holding students accountable for their actions is a paramount duty.

My biggest piece of advice for dealing with student behavior is to first ask yourself why the student is acting out. Only then can you choose the appropriate course of action. Remember – it’s not about making sure your feelings are not hurt – it’s about helping the student learn to navigate their emotions.

 

Co-Worker Related

The world of “he said, she said” did not end with our teenage years. In fact, many times bad days have very little to do with procedures, policies, or rules, and instead have everything to do with relationships with our co-workers.

As teachers we have learned to have an incredible amount of patience with our students. How many of us give the same level of patience to the adults in our lives?

The next time you have a disagreement with a co-worker, try treating them the same way you treat your students; with compassion, understanding, and most of all, the respect necessary to allow all to remain dignified.  The techniques for building positive relationships with students do not change when working with adults.

 

Reflect to Recharge

No matter the cause, bad days have one thing in common. They happen to all of us.

The catch is to understand that bad days can be incredibly positive turning points in your career depending on how you respond to them. The key is have a meaningful and honest reflection with yourself. Try to calmly answer the following questions at the end of that bad day:

  1. What happened in my life and the lives of others just before the day turned bad? Were there other events that caused uncharacteristic behavior?
  2. What did I learn from today?
  3. What can I do to help prevent similar outcomes in the future?

Just remember that when all is said and done, bad days help to make good days look that much better.

November 3, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“Recover From Bad Days by Seeing ‘Disasters as Opportunities’”

Recover From Bad Days by Seeing ‘Disasters as Opportunities’ is my new Education Week Teacher post, and it’s a good one.

It includes a response from Roxanna Elden, who is one of the most engaging and entertaining education writers around. Her contribution is followed by guest responses from two other exceptional educators and authors — Allen Mendler and Julia Thompson. I also share some advice.

I’ve often shared Roxanna’s work in this blog and in my Ed Week Teacher column. A second edition of her invaluable book, See Me After Class, is being published this week, and I think it’s a “must-have” for newbies and veterans alike.

seemeafterclass

Sacrificing-your

August 1, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Video: “Great Life Lessons From Famous Teachers” (Plus Idea on How to Use It In Class)

This is a fun and short video including clips from teachers in the movies. Roxanna Elden shared it on Twitter earlier today. I could see showing it to students and asking them to pick out one or two scenes they liked, share why they liked it and how they might apply it in life:

May 19, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“Ways to Use Class Time During the Last Two Weeks Of School”

Ways to Use Class Time During the Last Two Weeks Of School is my new Education Week Teacher post.

Today’s post offers suggestions from two exceptional teacher authors: Roxanna Elden and Donalyn Miller. Part Two in this series will include responses from two more great educators: Alice Mercer and Bill Ivey. In addition, that post will share the many reader comments that have been and continue to be contributed.

May 2, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Ideas On How To Finish The School Year Strong….

'December 31, 2006: The End!' photo (c) 2006, Matt McGee - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

It’s that time of the year, and I thought it would be useful to publish this post as a sort of “bookend” to The Best Resources For Planning The First Days Of School.

I’ll also be publishing a post on the same topic over at my Education Week Teacher blog later this month (actually, it’s been posted now, and it’s very, very good. It’s a two-part series that includes responses from Roxanna Elden and Donalyn Miller, as well as others.).

You might also be interested in The Best Resources On The “Summer Slide.”

Here they are:

Coincidentally, Middleweb, the great resource-sharing blog I often write about, also just published their own “round-up” of resources on finishing the last few weeks of school. I’m not going to repeat what they wrote, so I’d just suggest you visit their site.

Instead, I’ll list some pieces of my own that I’ve written on topic. They include:

Today’s post at The New York Times, Ideas for English-Language Learners | Celebrating the End of the School Year  (co-authored by Katherine Schulten).

I wrote Finishing the School Year Strong for Education Week Teacher.

I also wrote Teaching Secrets: The Last Day of School for Ed Week Teacher.

What Do You Do On The Last Day Of Class? (Part Two)

My Revised Final Exams (And An Important Lesson)

Six ways teachers can stay energized is a piece I wrote for the British Council.

Feel free to share what has worked for you…

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the 1,100 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

November 28, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week’s “Links I Should Have Posted About, But Didn’t”

I have a huge backlog of resources that I’ve been planning to post about in this blog but, just because of time constraints, have not gotten around to doing. Instead of letting that backlog grow bigger, I regularly grab a few and list them here with a minimal description. It forces me to look through these older links, and help me organize them for my own use. I hope others will find them helpful, too. These are resources that I didn’t include in my “Best Tweets” feature because I had planned to post about them, or because I didn’t even get around to sending a tweet sharing them.

Here are This Week’s “Links I Should Have Posted About, But Didn’t”:

Hurricanes of Yore: Vintage Newsreels of Devastating Storms is from The Atlantic. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About Hurricanes.

Teaching Students to Become Curators of Ideas: The Curation Project
is from St. Edward’s University. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About Curation.

LingoHut looks like a pretty good place to learn the basics of multiple languages. Thanks to Philipp Jones for the tip. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning Spanish Online.

Chart of the day: the price of inequality is from The New Statesman. I’m adding it to The Best Resources About Wealth & Income Inequality.

Obama’s First Term is a slideshow from The Wall Street Journal. I’m adding it to The Best Places To Learn About President Barack Obama’s Life.

Politics Aside–For New Teachers, It’s Still November
is by Roxanna Elden. It provides advice on how experienced teachers and administrators can best support new teachers. I’m adding it to The Best Advice For New Teachers.

Getting Iran to say ‘uncle’ might not be smart is a useful article from Foreign Policy. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About Compromise.

Nancy Duarte has an excellent series in the Harvard Business Review about making good presentations. Links to each one of the other short articles can be found at the bottom of the one I link to….I’m adding it to The Best Sources Of Advice For Making Good Presentations.

For Students, Why the Question is More Important Than the Answer is from Mind Shift. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About Asking Good Questions.

Lia Lee Dies; Life Went On Around Her, Redefining Care is from The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Websites To Learn About The Hmong.

Here are some other regular features I post in this blog:

“The Best…” series (which now number 985)

Best Tweets of The Month

The most popular posts on this blog each month

My monthly choices for the best posts on this blog each month

Each month I do an “Interview Of The Month” with a leader in education

Periodically, I post “A Look Back” highlighting older posts that I think are particularly useful

The ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival

Resources that share various “most popular” lists useful to teachers

Interviews with ESL/EFL teachers in “hot spots” around the world.

Articles I’ve written for other publications.

Photo Galleries Of The Week

Research Studies Of The Week

Regular “round-ups” of good posts and articles about school reform

This Week In Web 2.0

Around the Web In ESL/EFL/ELL

September 20, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

I Can Think Of So Many People Who Should See “Nice White Lady” Parody

I am SO tired of seeing movies about white teachers “rescuing” inner-city youth, and have posted links to some excellent commentaries on the topic at The Best Places To Learn About (And View Video Clips Of) Teachers In The Movies.

Thanks to Roxanna Elden, who has got to be one of, if not THE, most insightful teacher writer around, I’ve learned about this “Nice White Lady” parody on the genre:

 

Embedding is disabled, so I can’t post it here, but you can check out the short clip on YouTube.

 

April 23, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
8 Comments

The Best Advice For New Teachers

'Classroom with Three Figures' photo (c) 2008, Cliff - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Some great additional links have been in the comments section, so be sure to check them out, too!

This is just a start for a “The Best…” list with advice for new teachers. I’m hoping readers will contribute a lot more resources.

Here are my choices for where you can get The Best Advice For New Teachers:

Ten Alternative Tips for New Teachers is from Nancy Flanagan at Education Week.

12 Tips for New Teachers is from Larry Miller at Rethinking Schools.

10 Great Reads for New Middle Grades Teachers is from John Norton at Middleweb.

Twenty Tidbits for New Teachers is by Lisa Dabbs at Edutopia.

Roxanna Elden is a great writer and author of See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers. Here are some of her excellent articles for new teachers:

Class Dismissed! Parent Communication Tips for Younger Teachers

Teacher Advice: The Good, the Bad, and “That Would Never Happen in MY Class.”

Class Dismissed! Your Principles vs. Your Principal: How to Speak Up and When to Shut Up

Before Thanksgiving Comes The “Disillusionment Phase” For New Teachers

A Skeptic’s Guide to Loving Surviving Teaching in Tough Times

And here’s a “bonus”: one for the people who train and support new teachers — Politics Aside–For New Teachers, It’s Still November


Politics Aside–For New Teachers, It’s Still November
is by Roxanna Elden. It provides advice on how experienced teachers and administrators can best support new teachers.

New Teacher 911 comes from Middleweb.

Five Tips for New Teachers to Become Connected Educators is from Edutopia.

Eighty-Six Things I Learned at P.S. 86 is a great guest post by Hallie Fox over at Larry Cuban’s blog. Here are the first eleven:

Be the first class down at fire drills
Take the stairs not the elevator; it does get stuck and your kids will have no teacher
Know Maria (payroll)
Avoid Dunkin Donuts
Speak powerfully – yell only when it really counts
Don’t make promises you can’t keep
Keep your lab-top over the summer (getting it back the first few weeks is a loose term)
Have Jerry’s Number programmed (IT)
Make Normal Fuentes (or another 30 year veteran) your best friend
Ask for help from people you trust; don’t always take their advice
Know the janitors

The First-Year Teaching Roller Coaster is by David Ginsburg.

New Teacher Survival Guide is a series of videos from The Teaching Channel.

10 commandments for new teachers is from The Guardian.

33 Signs You’re A New Teacher is a pretty funny, sometimes cynical, and often wise list from BuzzFeed.

Your first year teaching, in one chart is from The Washington Post.

A Survival Guide for New Teachers is from Ed Week.

As I mentioned earlier, I hope you’ll recommend more!

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the 900 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

December 19, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2011 — Part Two

There have been so many excellent posts and articles about school reform (and videos, too!) this year that it’s been extraordinarily difficult to narrow them down.

So, I gave up. I’m keeping The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2011 — So Far, which covers the first six months of this year, and making this “Part Two” post so that it only covers the last six months.

In addition to Part One, you might also be interested in these previous editions:

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy — 2010

The “Best” Articles (And Blog Posts) About Education Policy — 2009

The “Best” Articles About Education — 2008

The “Best” Articles About Education — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2011 — Part Two (not listed in order of preference):

How Online Learning Companies Bought America’s Schools is from The Nation.

Roxanna Elden has hit another home run with her post “Five School Reform Sound Bites That Hurt Teacher Buy-In.”

I’m going to humbly include Why schools should not grade character traits, a piece I wrote for The Washington Post.

Paradoxes of the Finland Phenomenon is by Joe Bower.

Atul Gawande’s feature article The New Yorker, Personal Best: Top athletes and singers have coaches. Should you?, sure sparked a lot of discussion on instructional coaches. I did an interview with Pam Moran, the Superintendent of the District featured in Gawande’s article. It is, be far, the most important piece on instructional coaching I’ve seen.

Linda Darling-Hammond’s Getting teacher evaluation right at The Answer Sheet may be THE piece on teacher evaluation.

The Grass Is Greener: Learning from Other Countries is by Yong Zhao.

Bias toward Numbers in Judging Teaching is by Larry Cuban.


School ‘Reform’: A Failing Grade
is by Diane Ravitch.

What Americans Think About Teachers Versus What They’re Hearing is from The Shanker Blog.

Why Are Finland’s Schools Successful? is from The Smithsonian Magazine.

Scapegoating is by Richard Kahlenberg.

When an adult took standardized tests forced on kids is from Valerie Strauss’ blog at The Washington Post.

Feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at the 800 other “The Best…” lists and consider subscribing to this blog for free.

December 4, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Edublog Award Nominees Announced!

Voting is now open for the 2011 Edublog Awards!

You can view the official nominations, and vote, at the Edublog Awards site. Voting will be open until December 13th.

Thank you to those who nominated this blog for The Best Individual Blog and The Best Ed Tech/Resource Sharing Blog. My Education Week Teacher blog, Classroom Q & A With Larry Ferlazzo, made the short list of nominees for The Best New Blog category.

The Edublog Awards are less important for who “wins” and, instead, are more important as an opportunity to learn more about all the great work being done by educators throughout the world.

Most, though not all, of the blogs, tools, and people I nominated have been included in the official ballot. I encourage you to support them by either regularly taking advantage of what they have to offer and/or consider voting for them. Here is a reprint of what I originally wrote about my nominees:

Best Individual Blog

I’m listing two blogs — The Shanker Blog and This Week In Education. Matthew Di Carlo at The Albert Shanker Institute provides the most accessible, even-handed, and savvy analysis of education research around — he makes that blog a “must-read.” And Alexander Russo’s scouring of mainstream and social media for the most informative news and analysis of today’s education policy issues (plus the thoughtful pieces from John Thompson, his regular contributor) ensure that he’s on the top of my RSS Reader everyday.

Best Group Blog

I have to nominate three blogs for this category: Transform Ed, Powerful Learning Practice, and InterAct. Transform Ed is comprised of posts from many educators connected to the Center For Teaching Quality (I’m a member of the Center’s Teacher Leaders Network, but don’t blog at Transform Ed). Many talented educators also blog at Powerful Learning Practice, led by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson. InterAct is the blog of Accomplished California Teachers, though its posts have national significance. David B. Cohen, Martha Infante, and Kelly Kovacic are the primary three bloggers there (I’m a member of ACT, but don’t post at its blog).

Most Influential Blog Post

The Relationship Status of Teachers and Educational Technology: It’s Complicated by Roxanna Elden is hands-down the wittiest, and certainly one of the most insightful, pieces I’ve read about the use of ed tech.

Best Teacher Blog

David Deubelbeiss’ blog, EFL 2.0 – Teacher Talk is my nominee in this category. David gives and gives and gives, and then gives some more.

Best School Administrator Blog

The Wejr Board by Chris Wejr consistently posts thoughtful commentary on issues like parent engagement and rewards, awards and incentives.

Best Free Web Tool

I’m going to nominate the top two web tools on my The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2011 list:

GeoTrio lets you create a virtual tour of just about anyplace on a map. You type in addresses or locations and easily create multiple “stops” that show the Google Street View snapshots of the area. You can also upload your own images. But that’s not all. What really makes GeoTrio stand out is the ability to easily make an audio recording for each stop on the map.

Corkboard Me is sort of a  Wallwisher-clone that is even simpler to use but has fewer features. You just paste virtual sticky-notes on a virtual bulletin board. One nice feature it has is by pasting the url address of an image link, the image will show up on the sticky note. No registration is necessary.

Best Educational Use Of A Social Network

EFL Classroom 2.0 provides a huge service to ESL/EFL/ELL teachers around the world. It’s a treasure trove of resources and relationships.

Lifetime Achievement

I would be shocked if there is anyone who has helped more educators in the social media world than Sue Waters.

Best Ed Tech/Resource Sharing Blog

I was a subscriber to John Norton’s Middleweb email newsletter long before he turned it into a blog which is now regularly filled with great resources. It’s getting better and better all the time!

Good luck to my nominees, and to everyone else who is on the ballot!.

November 15, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

My Nominations For The Edublog Awards

Nominations for this year’s Edublog Awards are now open. I think the whole process is a great way to learn about exceptional resources that are out there, so I’m an enthusiastic supporter!

I’m only going to offer nominations for a few categories this year, but I’m making up for that by nominating more than one in some areas:

Best Individual Blog

I’m listing two blogs — The Shanker Blog and This Week In Education. Matthew Di Carlo at The Albert Shanker Institute provides the most accessible, even-handed, and savvy analysis of education research around — he makes that blog a “must-read.” And Alexander Russo’s scouring of mainstream and social media for the most informative news and analysis of today’s education policy issues (plus the thoughtful pieces from John Thompson, his regular contributor) ensure that he’s on the top of my RSS Reader everyday.

Best Group Blog

I have to nominate three blogs for this category: Transform Ed, Powerful Learning Practice, and InterAct. Transform Ed is comprised of posts from many educators connected to the Center For Teaching Quality (I’m a member of the Center’s Teacher Leaders Network, but don’t blog at Transform Ed). Many talented educators also blog at Powerful Learning Practice, led by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson. InterAct is the blog of Accomplished California Teachers, though its posts have national significance. David B. Cohen, Martha Infante, and Kelly Kovacic are the primary three bloggers there (I’m a member of ACT, but don’t post at its blog).

Most Influential Blog Post

The Relationship Status of Teachers and Educational Technology: It’s Complicated by Roxanna Elden is hands-down the wittiest, and certainly one of the most insightful, pieces I’ve read about the use of ed tech.

Best Teacher Blog

David Deubelbeiss’ blog, EFL 2.0 – Teacher Talk is my nominee in this category. David gives and gives and gives, and then gives some more.

Best School Administrator Blog

The Wejr Board by Chris Wejr consistently posts thoughtful commentary on issues like parent engagement and rewards, awards and incentives.

Best Free Web Tool

I’m going to nominate the top two web tools on my The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2011 list:

GeoTrio lets you create a virtual tour of just about anyplace on a map. You type in addresses or locations and easily create multiple “stops” that show the Google Street View snapshots of the area. You can also upload your own images. But that’s not all. What really makes GeoTrio stand out is the ability to easily make an audio recording for each stop on the map.

Corkboard Me is sort of a  Wallwisher-clone that is even simpler to use but has fewer features. You just paste virtual sticky-notes on a virtual bulletin board. One nice feature it has is by pasting the url address of an image link, the image will show up on the sticky note. No registration is necessary.

Best Educational Use Of A Social Network

EFL Classroom 2.0 provides a huge service to ESL/EFL/ELL teachers around the world. It’s a treasure trove of resources and relationships.

Lifetime Achievement

I would be shocked if there is anyone who has helped more educators in the social media world than Sue Waters. I nominate her for this category every year, and every year she is not considered because she’s an employee of Edublogs. “Conflict of interest” or not, she deserves the award!

Best Ed Tech/Resource Sharing Blog

I was a subscriber to John Norton’s Middleweb email newsletter long before he turned it into a blog which is now regularly filled with great resources. It’s getting better and better all the time!

Good luck to my nominees, and to everyone else who gets nominated. I can’t wait to see the entire list and spend a lot of time exploring and learning from them!

November 7, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

A “Must-Read” Column On Educational Technology

The Relationship Status of Teachers and Educational Technology: It’s Complicated by Roxanna Elden is hands-down the wittiest, and certainly one of the most insightful, pieces I’ve read about the use of ed tech.

After you’re done reading and digesting it, if you want to explore ed tech issues in a more serious vein, you might be interested in these “The Best…” lists:

The Best Research Available On The Use Of Technology In Schools

The Best Posts On The NY Times Ed Tech Article

The Best Places To Find Research On Technology & Language Teaching/Learning

My Best Posts For Tech Novices (Plus A Few From Other People)

August 20, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
5 Comments

The Best Research Available On The Use Of Technology In Schools

'hackNY 2011 Spring Student Hackathon' photo (c) 2011, hackNY.org - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

I’m a big believer in using technology with language learners, and believe that it is a huge teaching and learning asset. My own experience, and a lot of research, bears that out and I’ve compiled it in The Best Places To Find Research On Technology & Language Teaching/Learning.

I’m not convinced that value-added (I hate that phrase because of its connection to teacher evaluation) benefit holds equally true with mainstream K-12 students, but I’m open to learning that it is.

I hope readers will contribute more links.

Here are my choices of for The Best Research Available On The Use Of Technology In Schools:

Technology In Schools: What The Research Says
is from Cisco.

Maine’s Laptop Initiative Improves Student Writing is from The National Writing Project.

Damien Murtagh recommends the Digital Education Research Network (DERN).

David Gilmour suggests Educational Research and Innovation: Are the New Millennium Learners Making the Grade?: Technology Use and Educational Performance in PISA 2006.

The New York Times has published a major article on technology use in schools titled In Classroom of Future, Stagnant Scores.

Leonie Haimson suggests Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies.

Inflating the Software Report Card appeared in The New York Times.

Deconstructing “What Works” in Education Technology is from the Mind Shift blog and offers useful commentary on recent research on technology in education.

Mixed results using iPads reviews a study evaluating tech’s impact on student achievement.

Plugged into learning: Computers help students advance is from Eureka Alert.

The Tech-Driven Classroom Is Here, But Grades Are Mixed is from Forbes.

ADDENDUM:

The Relationship Status of Teachers and Educational Technology: It’s Complicated by Roxanna Elden is hands-down the wittiest, and certainly one of the most insightful, pieces I’ve read about the use of ed tech. It’s not about research, but it’s essential reading.

Do smart devices make smart kids? is from The BBC.

Mixed grades for Peru’s kids laptop program is from USA Today.

What’s Worth Investing In? How to Decide What Technology You Need is from The Mind/Shift blog.

Maine’s Decade-Old School Laptop Program Wins Qualified Praise is from The Huffington Post.

Technology Integration Research Review is from Edutopia.

Studies of iPad Use in Education is from Richard Byrne.

Study Gauges Value of Technology in Schools is from The New York Times.

So, do iPads really improve student learning? is from Plugged-In Pedagogy.

What’s The Evidence on School Devices and Software Improving Student Learning? is by Larry Cuban.

iPads In Special Ed: What Does The Research Say? is from NPR.

Educational technology isn’t leveling the playing field is from The Hechinger Report.

Additional contributions are welcome!

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the nearly 760 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

March 23, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The Best Articles Providing An “Overall” Perspective On Education Policy

'The Bigger Picture' photo (c) 2008, F Delventhal - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I have many “The Best…” lists on specific education policy and school reform issues, and I will soon be creating a compilation of them all.

However, I thought it would also be useful to start identifying pieces that do a good job of “putting it all together.” Towards that end, I’ve identified a small number to start off with and hope that others can suggest more.

Here are my choices for The Best Articles Providing An “Overall” Perspective On Education Policy:

As I wrote yesterday, The American Association of School Administrators has published the text of a speech (and the video) Diane Ravitch gave at their recent conference, and I don’t think you’re going to read or hear a better commentary on education anywhere.

You can read the text of her speech here.

Here are links to the video of her speech, dividing into three parts:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Another article I like is Blinded by Reform by Professor Mike Rose.

Leaving “No Child Left Behind” Behind is a few years old, but Richard Rothstein’s points are still dead-on.

5 myths about teachers that are distracting policymakers is by Barnett Berry and appeared in The Washington Post.

Cathie Black and the privatisation of education comes from The Guardian.

The Test Generation is an article by Dana Goldstein that was just published in The American Prospect magazine.

Who’s Bashing Teachers and Public Schools and What Can We Do About It? appeared in Rethinking Schools and is by Stan Karp. It’s an edited version of a talk Stan gave that I previously posted about.

Five myths about America’s schools is an excellent Washington Post column by Post reporter Paul Farhi.

The Service of Democratic Education is a truly exceptional speech Linda Darling-Hammond gave at Teachers College of Columbia University. Here’s an excerpt:

These new scientific managers, like those of a century ago, prefer teachers with little training—who will come and go quickly, without costing much money, without vesting in the pension system and without raising many questions about an increasingly prescriptive system of testing and teaching that lines the pockets of private entrepreneurs (who provide teacher-proofed materials deemed necessary, by the way, in part because there are so many underprepared novices who leave before they learn to teach). Curriculum mandates and pacing guides that would “choke a horse,” as one teacher put it, threaten to replace the opportunities for teachable moments that expert teachers know how to create with their students.

The new scientific managers, like the Franklin Bobbitts before them, like to rank and sort students, teachers and schools—rewarding those at the top and punishing those at the bottom, something that the highest-achieving countries not only don’t do but often forbid. The present-day Bobbitts would create “efficiencies” by firing teachers and closing schools, while issuing multimillion-dollar contracts for testing and data systems to create more graphs, charts and report cards on which to rank and sort… well, just about everything.

Her speech will certainly be on “The Best..” list of educational policy articles for this year. It provides some fascinating historical background, including much I didn’t know.

Steve Brill’s Report Card on School Reform is a New York Times book review of Brill’s recent book. I’m adding it, with some minor reservations (I’m not as enthralled with Doug Lemov’s teaching techniques as the reviewer says she is) to this list.

American Schools in Crisis is by Diane Ravitch and appeared in The Saturday Evening Post.


School ‘Reform’: A Failing Grade
is by Diane Ravitch.

The bait and switch of school “reform” is from Salon.

‘Education is about preparing young people to make the world better than it is’ is by Pedro Noguera.

Roxanna Elden has hit another homerun with her post “Five School Reform Sound Bites That Hurt Teacher Buy-In.”

Changing the Poisonous Narrative:A Conversation with Diane Ravitch comes from ASCD’s Educational Leadership.

Diane Ravitch gave a great speech at the National Opportunity to Learn Summit.

Why Is Congress Redlining Our Schools? is by Linda Darling-Hammond.

‘Reformers’ playbook on failing schools fails a fact check is by Richard Rothstein.

Teachers Make Handy Scapegoats, But Spiraling Inequality Is Really What Ails Our Education System is an interview with Linda Darling Hammond.

The Coming Revolution in Public Education is from The Atlantic.

Failing the Test is by David Kirp at Slate.

Quote Of The Day: Deborah Meier On Being Part Of The Solution

Five basic lessons on public education (short and long versions) is from The Washington Post.

Messages About Public Education That Don’t Sell Well (And Ones That Will) is by Jeff Bryant.

The world’s most famous teacher blasts school reform is from the Washington Post.

Quote Of The Day: “Educators On What Standardized Testing Means”

Who Writes the Songs? is a very good post by John Merrow that I think gives a very good critique of what is being done in the name of “school reform.” His suggested next step — “peace talks” between opposing groups — sounds a little naive (see my Washington Post piece, Why we can’t all get along over school reform, along with Anthony Cody’s comment on Merrow’s post for a somewhat similar perspective), but the rest of it hits the mark.

Ten Reform Claims That Teachers Should Know How to Challenge is by Jack Schneider at Ed Week.

Teachers And Education Reform, On A Need To Know Basis is from The Shanker Blog.

Pedro Noguera — Reformers Using “Assessment As A Weapon”

Additional suggestions are welcome. I’m sure there are some great articles out there that I just don’t know about.

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You might also want to explore the over 600 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

January 11, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

“Five Words and Phrases that Sound Different to Teachers”

Five Words and Phrases that Sound Different to Teachers is a brilliant and funny must-read guest post at Education Week. It’s written by Roxanna Elden.

Read what these words really mean to many teachers:

“Failure is not an option”

Research-based

Rigor

Status Quo

Paradigm Shift

Thanks to John Norton for the tip.