Sunday, March 31, 2013

tech talk - iPads

I came across some great resources for considering iPads in education.

For those of you ELA teachers out there, you might be interested in the twitter chat focused on iPads and English coming up on Monday, Apr 1 from 7-8 EST. Cassie Scharber, assistant professor of Learning Technologies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction as well as a Co-Director of the Learning Technologies Media Lab at the University of Minnesota, will host "The iPad invasion into English Education" at #engchat to focus on iPads and other technologies used in ELA instruction.

Speaking of iPads, I came across this article about iPads in Social Studies classrooms. The article shares a case study of a teacher's integration of iPads into instruction in Social Studies, and discusses some of the ways this technology can enhance instruction.

The point, too, is that iPads alone won't improve instruction, that it is what you do with them using effective instructional practices that transforms teaching and learning. Educators know this, of course, but the point is also stressed in the article "Students first, not stuff" in the latest Ed Leadership issue. Also in that issue is an article by Larry Ferlazzo with lists of great online resources for teachers. Another great resource is the wiki at Teach With Your iPad.

Do you have iPads at your school to use? What apps and resources have you found useful for teaching?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

MN education fair - Apr 15

Those of you who are graduates of MN colleges and universities are invited to the MN Education Job Fair on Monday, April 15th at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Only MN college and university students and alumni are able to attend this event, and in order to attend, you must register through your institution's career services office.

On this page, you'll find a list of all institutions' career services center contact information to be sure you get registered for this important event.

Once you're registered, it's time to prepare for the event. The site has some helpful tips for preparation. You should make sure to have an updated resume and, if possible, you should complete application for your priority districts ahead of time. Develop a "plan of attack" - know the layout of the convention center and where the districts are that you want to visit. And plan a 30-second introduction to share about you and your skills. Practice this with anyone who will listen!

You can review some of the resume and interview tips that I've written about previously here.

Good luck!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

standards-based assessment

Standards-Based Grading is a trend in education gaining more and more traction in schools. Many schools and districts are moving toward this system of grading, which references student achievement to specific standards within each subject area. This system utilizes backwards design to create assessment opportunities and then plan instruction to build student learning towards mastery of the standards. Below are some resources to get you started thinking about standards-based assessment if your PLC, school, or district is considering movig toward this practice.

Many schools in their initial work with standards-based grading draw upon the work of Robert Marzano, in particular his book Formative Assessment & Standards-Based Grading.

Teacher Mike Dappolone published an article "Launching Standards-Based Grading in a Points-Based World" in an issue of Educational Leadership. In the article, he discussed moving to standards-based assessment and, along with his own classroom grading reform, sought to make this change within his school. Also in Ed Leadership, there is a summary of a chapter from the book Becoming a Better Teacher by Giselle O. Martin-Kniep: Ch 3 - Standards-Based Curriculum and Assessment Design.

Teacher bloggers are a great place to get some "insider" knowledge about how standards-based assessment works. The blogger at "What it's Like on the Inside" has a couple of great posts on standards-based assessments here and here. Physics teacher Kelly O'Shea has posts about SBA here. Teacher Shawn Cornally has a great post about the thinking necessary for shifts to standards-based assessment here.

What are your go-to resources for learning about standards-based assessments?