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Featured Blog Posts (157)

Parent/Educator EDU

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I have long been a guest blogger for Edutopia, which has been both a challenge and an honor. I have always found it challenging to be provocative in promoting change in education in a blog post, while remaining positive in tone. That overriding positive tone however is one constant in Edutopia posts that engenders loyalty, trust and a reliance from about a million followers who want to know more about education. To have my work read and appreciated by that vast audience is…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on July 17, 2017 at 9:30am — No Comments

Are Tech & Learning Compatible?

I recently read yet another article that questioned the effect of using technology in education. I believe it stated that there are 3.6 million educators using edtech as the basis for the post. The post itself was well done, but throughout my reading I was troubled by what defined an edtech-using educator. How is it determined that an educator is truly an edtech user?

I have been in meetings where educators had to fill out questionnaires…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on June 1, 2017 at 11:00am — No Comments

Voice Is Only Effective If Someone Listens



I have been writing in social media about education and changes in education for about a decade at this point in time. One of my observations, as I enter discussions with educators in various parts of the country, is that many educators bring up problems within their own districts that were discussed in detail and often resolved in many other districts a number of years ago. There are topics and ideas brought up that social media has introduced, discussed, and developed as…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on April 20, 2017 at 1:35pm — No Comments

Can Educators Ignore Social Media Any Longer?

A lingering general question hanging over the heads of all has been what effect does social media have on our society? That answer has never been so evident as it has been today as social media tools have been placed directly in the hands of the President of the United States, as well as foreign operatives. Social media is a very powerful tool that can have a lasting effect on what people do, and how they do it. Placing those social media technology tools in…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on April 20, 2017 at 1:30pm — No Comments

The IKEA Effect in Education

Couple assembles ikea furniture - which gender does it better

During a recent snowstorm I found myself perusing a list of recorded television shows on the DVR. While watching an episode of Bull, a show about scientific jury selection, or possibly jury manipulation, there was a term used by Dr. Bull that I had not heard before, “The IKEA Effect”. It was explained by the main character that it was a cognitive bias in which consumers place a disproportionately…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on February 10, 2017 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Blogs: Do They Serve Any Real Purpose?



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This year I made a few changes to my WordPress Blog site. I removed all of the ads that WordPress placed on it and I now use my name as the domain name to more easily traffic readers to the site. As I did these things at a minimal cost, I questioned whether or not it was worth…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on December 28, 2016 at 9:13pm — No Comments

A Key to Education Reform.

Key & keyhole with light coming from it The flipped classroom, maker movement, project-based learning, blended learning, student centered learning, hour of code, collaboration, direct instruction, and lecture, there are passionate teacher advocates supporting each of these methods as the best way for kids to learn. I am sure that there are some additional methods or movements that I have not mentioned.

Each of these methods to teach can be effective with many groups…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on December 7, 2016 at 6:30pm — No Comments

A PD Perspective

profesionnaldevelopment2-785x428 Recently, as I was tweeting about the need for teachers to be more aware of what was going on within their profession an unexpected tweet response came from a connected educator who I greatly respect and hold in high regard. He tweeted that he was tired of the teacher bashing. I was upset for that was the furthest thing from my mind as I tweeted my opinions out.

I have always supported teachers and have a record of doing so during my very public run in social media for the…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on October 11, 2016 at 1:49pm — No Comments

Innovation in Education is Overrated

innovation

As a society, we place a premium on innovators and entrepreneurs. They are admired, or for some revered in Business, Politics, and even Education. The reason for that bias is that innovators and entrepreneurs are scarce commodities. Most people are employees and not entrepreneurs. There is nothing wrong with that. Most people follow trends; they don’t start them. There is nothing wrong with that. Few people lead while most…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on August 20, 2016 at 9:55am — No Comments

The Road That Should Not Be Taken

I remember way back in the 70’s, I think it was Time magazine that came out with an article listing the most difficult jobs in America. I remember it because at the top of that list was the job of an eighth grade English teacher. Time based its list…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on July 26, 2016 at 2:28pm — No Comments

Is Edu Connected Collaboration Just Whistling In The Wind?

Steamboat-Willie

Like many people my first foray into the virtual world of connectedness was through Facebook. I connected with family and friends. This led me to consider making some professional connections out of necessity. I began my connected collaboration as an educator over a decade ago. I realized as an adult learner that I learned best through collaboration and that collaboration could only take place if I was in some way connected…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on July 9, 2016 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Why Change as an Educator?

One undeniable fact Polar bear on Ice about teaching is that teachers not only need to be masters of content within their subject area, but they must also be masters of education as a…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on June 4, 2016 at 12:30pm — No Comments

The Age-Old Faculty Meeting Facelift

Over the many years that #Edchat has been engaging educators, one topic that always generates a huge amount of interest, based on comments, is the faculty meeting. Teachers are required to attend the faculty meetings that administrators are required to hold and very few are happy with the results. The only upside is that with each meeting a check may be placed in the box for attending.

Technology may be a way to update the tired model of the faculty meeting. Email for the faculty may…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on September 21, 2015 at 4:33pm — No Comments

Poor teachers: Who is to blame?

I posed an #Edchat Topic recently based on a number of studies I have been reading about that are claiming millions of dollars are being spent, or wasted, on professional development, while very few teachers are benefitting from it. Again the age-old story of doing things the same old way but expecting different results defeats us as a profession. The method of doing professional development for educators has largely not changed over the…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on September 19, 2015 at 8:01pm — 1 Comment

Twitter Chats for Learning, Easy vs. Hard

One Education Twitter chat that precedes all others is #Edchat. It was founded July 30, 2009 and has run continuously ever since. For those who are not Twitter chat savvy, a Twitter chat originally was a discussion that uses a specific hashtag to conduct a real-time chat on a specific subject. Of course education chats are education-specific. Typically, they run about an hour in length and are running on set periodic…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on September 18, 2015 at 1:26pm — No Comments

How Do We Stop Illiterate Educators?

We are now better than fifteen years into the 21st Century and educators are still discussing what role technology plays in education. The fact of the matter is no matter what educators, who are mostly products of a 20th Century education, think, our students today will need to be digitally literate in their world in order to survive and thrive. Digital Literacy is a 21st Century skill, but therein lies the rub. Most of our educators have been educated with a…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on September 1, 2015 at 3:06pm — 2 Comments

The Importance of Andragogy in Education

As educators one would expect that teachers and teacher/administrators should be experts on the best most effective and efficient methods of getting large groups of children to understand, learn, and use information responsibly to create more information. Theoretically, these educators have an understanding of pedagogy and methodology in order to accomplish these goals. I firmly believe most educators have these very skills to accomplish this with kids.

A question that haunts me…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on April 13, 2015 at 11:02pm — 1 Comment

Do Educators Eat Their Young?

Many years ago I read an article in Time Magazine where they attempted to select and rank the most difficult jobs in the US. The criterion that was used was based on the number of decisions that had to be made on that job in a single day. I was delighted and surprised to see that an Eighth Grade English Teacher position was ranked at the top of the list. As an eighth grade English teacher at the time, I felt both validated and appreciated. Of course, it was an article totally overlooked by…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on March 31, 2015 at 1:15pm — 2 Comments

What’s a Twitter Chat?

There are now hundreds of Education Twitter chats taking place around the world at almost any time of day or night. To follow any chat in real time all one needs is the hashtag (#). The hashtag is the key to the chat. Using TweetDeck, Hootsuite, or some other third party application it is easy to create a column that will follow only the hash tagged tweets of the chat. That will focus on and deliver each of the tweets in the chat in the order that they are posted.

Of course in a chat…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on February 18, 2015 at 12:26pm — No Comments

Admins: A Plan to Consider

Almost daily someone comes out with a plan to do something different in education to make some progress in reforming the system. Most of these changes require that teachers or students make the change. The truth is that until we change the culture, there will be little change in the system.

In thinking about how we approach, analyze and evaluate things, it seemed to me that the people held most accountable were the students and the teachers. They were the most visible and easily…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on February 11, 2015 at 3:54pm — No Comments

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My tech lesson when the internet is down

You have a great lesson planned for today, and the internet is down. Your supervisor is lurking in the doorway, you can just smell the observation coming. What do you do?You teach your kids how to create hyperlinks with just PowerPoint or Google Slides!Here’s my plan.Begin the lesson with having the students create the first slide, a “Table of Contents” sort of slide. Mine looks like this.…See More
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