Teachers Say Tech Is Important but Training Is Too

by Liz Willen, The Hechinger Report, 3/14/14 With apps for everything from annotating poetry to understanding literature through hip hop, it might have seemed teachers in attendance at the sprawling South by Southwest.edu (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas last week were hungry for new tools and technology…. Yet many teachers are clamoring for training on how to […]
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4 Ways to Get–and Keep–Students’ Attention

by Annie Murphy Paul, Time Magazine, 7/25/12 A professor of physics education at Kennesaw State University in Georgia reported the results of a pilot study using special glasses that track where and how long wearers direct their gaze. After analyzing the data produced by undergraduates who wore the glasses during lectures, Professor David Rosengrant concluded that it […]
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Assessments Make Students Smarter

by Henry Roediger III, New York Times, 7/18/14 Tests have a bad reputation in education circles these days: They take time, the critics say, put students under pressure…. But the truth is that, used properly, testing as part of an educational routine provides an important tool not just to measure learning, but to promote it. In one […]
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The Dumbest Assignment Ever?

commentary by Karin Klein, Los Angeles Times, 7/17/14 Bad sources, poor instruction lead dozens of students to conclude there probably wasn’t a Holocaust. This past April, the Rialto (CA) school district asked eighth-grade students to read a few sources on the Holocaust and write about whether it really happened…. As it turns out, several dozen of them […]
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Why Tough Teachers Get Good Results

by Joanne Lipman, from The Wall Street Journal, 9/27/13 I had a teacher once who called his students “idiots” when they screwed up. He was our orchestra conductor, a fierce Ukrainian immigrant named Jerry Kupchynsky, and when someone played out of tune, he would stop the entire group to yell, “Who eez deaf in first violins!?” […]
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Avoid Red Pen When Marking Papers

by Dani Cooper, ABC Science, 1/18/13 Red pens are making students feel blue, according to a study that recommends teachers refrain from using the color when marking. In a paper published in The Social Science Journal, sociology professor Richard Dukes and associate professor Heather Albanesi (University of Colorado), show the use of a red pen in marking has […]
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12 Things You Should Never Say at Work

by Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes Magazine, 2/15/13 According to Darlene Price, author of Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results, “In speaking with hundreds of executives and senior leaders over the past 20 years, certain phrases consistently come up as career-limiting. They jeopardize one’s professionalism and potential for promotion. They may seem harmless. But employees who use these […]
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A Response to “The End of the Essay”

Keep the “Research,” Ditch the “Paper”; by Marc Bousquet, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2/10/14 [Michael’s Note: This commentary addresses Rebecca Schuman’s essay, which appears just below. The focus is on college writing, but imagine the conversation these two commentaries could provoke at the secondary level.] To cultivate undergraduate research, we may have to prune back the […]
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The End of the Essay

by Rebecca Schuman, Slate, 12/13/13 [Michael’s Note: Though this commentary deals with college essays, Schuman’s arguments can be provocative discussion starters for secondary teachers. If you can’t fire up a department meeting with this, good luck with anything else.] Everybody in college hates papers. Students hate writing them so much that they buy, borrow, or steal them instead. Plagiarism is now so […]
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