In the past year, experts and practitioners in the field, whole child partners, and ASCD staff have shared their stories, ideas, and resources to help you ensure that each child, in each school, in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged and prepared for success in higher education, employment, and civic life.
This week, IBM released its annual predictions of the five technology innovations that will change the way we live in the next five years: The 5 in 5. This year's predictions center around emerging computing systems that will learn, reason, and engage with us in a more personalized way.
New one-page profiles of the 2013 National Blue Ribbon schools highlight each school's mission, demographics, culture, and goals.
The 286 schools—210 elementary schools, 22 middle schools, 53 high schools, and one K–12 school—represent promising ideas in different settings, from rural areas to major cities. Schools were recognized in one of two categories: Exemplary High Performing, based on overall academic excellence, or Exemplary Improving, grounded in improving student achievement. Now in its 31st year, the program celebrates schools that serve as admirable examples of the United States' vision and commitment to education.
Post written by Jessica DuBois-Maahs, a Medill School of Journalism candidate at Northwestern University concentrating in finance reporting and interactive publishing and business reporter for MediaTec Publishing in Chicago, Ill.
Gary Stager has taught in classrooms all around the world, and he said the common thread that binds exceptional learning experiences together is hands-on project-based learning.
In his 2013 ASCD Annual Conference session, "The Best Education Ideas in the World: Adventures on the Frontiers of Learning," Stager showed attendees videos of elementary school students building robots and solving complex engineering problems while appearing to enjoy the process.
The audience members smiled and clapped as they watched a young Australian student use nothing but pipe cleaners, LEGO blocks, and her brain to build a toy ballerina that spun. In his presentation, Stager theorized that this type of project-based learning can propel modern curricula because students use critical thinking in multiple disciplines to create the end result.
For years, school researchers have pointed to the digital divide between students from disparate socioeconomic groups as a major problem in public education. But now a different digital divide is receiving a closer look as research chronicles the widening gulf between the technology skills of teachers and the students who enter classrooms across the United States. While students often tend to be the earliest adopters of new technology, many teachers find that after lesson planning and grading there is little time left to become tech savvy. Unfortunately, many choose not to stay current, and they simply ignore or avoid technology as they continue to teach the same lessons in the same fashion. Therein lies the problem. Nearly 70 years ago, John Dewey claimed, "If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow." Dewey's prescient understanding of our emerging divide begs the question, "How can 20th century teachers effectively teach and lead 21st century learners?" While others have suggested a long-term solution that classroom educators must become 21st century teachers, I propose that the first step is in becoming a 21st century learner.
What keeps you up at night? Perhaps you're struggling with preparing your students for the real world, or confused about how to assess individual learning when students work together. Maybe you need strategies to integrate tablets with effective instruction or to maximize time for learning in your classroom. Join leading ASCD authors in a free webinar about their new ASCD Arias™ publications, which provide the answers you need from voices you trust.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 3:00 p.m. eastern time Register now!
I've had ongoing discussions with artists and educators who aggressively advocate for high-quality human experience they believe they can provide via handheld tablets. The artist is adamant his iPad paintings are a valid form of art. The educator is touting his implementation of iPads to kindergarteners in a Maine public school district. In both cases, I asked the same question: "Are you advocating for this because it adds value, or just because you can?"
I ask the question because we live in the age of "just because I can." We don't need a reason. We simply push the boundaries of traditional assumptions. If I can do something that couldn't be done five years ago, it has de facto value and any arguments are invalid. In a virtual-world vacuum this may be true; in a vacuum there are no real-world implications. But as educators, there are very real implications for how we think about research-based learning theory and the integration of technology into learning. I continue to think through this personal pedagogical dilemma, as a veteran educator and techie. I write this as an open invitation to you to think this through with me.
At the recent ASCD Leader to Leader (L2L) conference, attendees had a series of passionate unconference conversations. Several groups refined their thoughts into a series of presentations to share with other attendees in an "idea marketplace." During the idea marketplace, unconference groups presented for four rounds of 10-minute sessions, giving their peers the opportunity to learn from several groups in one session.
This post, written by ASCD Affiliate leaders Sara Marcum (Arizona ASCD), Verneth Patterson (Bahamas ASCD), Kym Stein (Iowa ASCD), and Angeline Savard (Ontario ASCD); ASCD Emerging Leader Torian White; ASCD Student Chapter leader Melissa Getz (Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg); ASCD Whole Child Network school leaders Evangeline Iglesias and John Wesolowski (Guam); and ASCD Faculty Molly Bensinger-Lacy and Alicia Monroe share their group's experience. Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #ASCDL2L.
During the idea marketplace at ASCD's L2L conference, our group's conversation focused on closing the gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots." The power of this conversation emerged from a common advocacy for all students and the reality that, regardless of educational context, we all serve those who possess resources and those who have limited resources. Some examples of these resources shared by participants include
Ryan Twentey of Parkville High School in Maryland is known as a dedicated teacher who fosters his students' artistic interests to develop the skills they need to be successful in school, in the community, and in preparation for college. His photography and multimedia students have earned a 100 percent pass rate on the AP exam.
Twentey also teaches interactive media production. He produces tutorials to help each student work at his own pace to reach understanding. He encourages his students to persevere, collaborate, and offer respectful critiques to help one another improve.
Earlier this summer I created my first Vine. A month ago I would have thought that statement to be an indication that I had taken up gardening as a hobby, but I've since learned that Vine is a social media tool that allows users to create and share a personalized six-second video loop.
Each summer, when the school year comes to a close, I try to evaluate the past year, seeking to understand what worked effectively as well as recognize areas of needed improvement. During my 10 years in the classroom, I have avoided becoming stale by adding new advanced placement, and more recently International Baccalaureate, classes to my class load. As a result, my end-of-year reflections typically pointed out areas of the new content in which I needed to become more proficient. For two straight years, however, my schedule has not had any new courses, and as a result, content knowledge is not my main priority this year. Rather, I'm currently exploring ways to incorporate my district's goal of personalizing instruction for each and every student.