The personal learning network for 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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
Added by Thomas Whitby on February 18, 2015 at 12:26pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Thomas Whitby on February 11, 2015 at 3:54pm — No Comments
Added by Thomas Whitby on November 21, 2014 at 2:23pm — No Comments
In the 21st Century our approach to education can and should be very different from previous centuries. The basic skills we teach are pretty much the same, but the tools we have to use require a different approach, as well as additional and very different literacies from centuries past. Information once difficult to find, maintain, and disseminate is now found by a voice command to a mobile device. The model of the teacher as the content expert standing in the front of the room,…Continue
Added by Thomas Whitby on October 28, 2014 at 1:29pm — No Comments
How much of what we do as educators is done because that’s the way it’s always been done? I imagine that whenever these things, that we do out of a respect for history, were originally executed, there was probably a reason for it. My question is with our society and all of the systems within it changing so rapidly over the past few decades, are those original reasons for doing things a certain way still valid? How would we know unless we re-examined the things that we do in education and see…Continue
Added by Thomas Whitby on September 11, 2014 at 12:11pm — No Comments
I just read a post by my friend, Tony Sinanis, #EdCamp: What's The Point? Tony had an unconnected colleague attend an Edcamp. The colleague was most impressed with the ever-present passion. According to Tony’s friend:
This whole experience seems to be one of the best examples I have ever seen about the power…
Added by Thomas Whitby on August 13, 2014 at 8:30pm — No Comments
Being connected as an educator offers a unique perspective. It is almost as if there are two different world’s in education, and a connected educator must travel within both. Technology in our computer-driven society has enabled collaboration to occur at a level and pace never before available in the 19th and 20th century versions of education. For the modern educators who have embraced the idea of connectedness, the world of education looks very different from it has…Continue
Added by Thomas Whitby on August 11, 2014 at 11:36pm — No Comments
Recently, the editors of Edutopia were considering a theme for their bloggers to blog about concerning testing. In order to keep things timely, they needed to find out when most schools were being affected by standardized tests. It was a reasonable consideration, worthy of a responsible examination of the subject. It was the question posed to the bloggers however, that set me off about our evolved approach to these standardized tests. When is your Testing Season?
Added by Thomas Whitby on June 18, 2014 at 1:29pm — No Comments
I just finished reading a post from my good friend and co-author of The Relevant Educator, Steve Anderson. His recent post, “Why Formative Assessments Matter” got me thinking about assessments in general and how often they are misunderstood and often abused by well-meaning educators.
We have all been taught…Continue
Added by Thomas Whitby on June 16, 2014 at 9:05pm — No Comments
I have written about why I feel Tenure is important and how it is used as a scapegoat for inadequate follow through on the part of many administrators inTenure’s Tenure. I guess it comes as no surprise that I am appalled at the recent decision in California against Tenure.
Of course the statement that upset me the most came from the presiding judge. Judge Treu wrote, “There is also no dispute that there…Continue
Educators like all learners have a preferred way of learning. Some think of it as different “styles of learning”, but even that theory of “learning styles” has been questioned by some. In a profession, which resides in a world where content and information constantly change and evolve at a rapid rate of speed, educators need to maintain relevance in order to create an authentic and meaningful environment for their students to learn and create.
Educators have always needed to master…Continue
Added by Thomas Whitby on May 20, 2014 at 7:42am — No Comments
I recently put out a tweet that was meant to be provocative. I often do this to stir things up in order to benefit ye olde creative juices. I tweeted that I recently had a heart procedure done, (which I did) and I did not ask the doctor to use any 20th Century methods or technology to complete the task. I thought it might stir up a discussion of relevance in education as an offshoot of that tweet. That did not happen. Someone asked, based on that tweet, why I thought educators could not be…Continue
I have been thinking lately about professional relationships and what role they play in how we learn as professionals, and as people. It would be difficult to learn much in total isolation. We are social beings, so exchanging ideas and opinions is a natural occurrence for us. I think we tend to seek out people with whom we can share things. We have personal relationships to share personal things, professional relationships to share professional things, and casual relationships to handle…Continue
Added by Thomas Whitby on May 5, 2014 at 2:26pm — No Comments
Well, if you watched the Academy Awards last week, you witnessed the global impact that social media has in the world. Ellen DeGeneres was able to take a picture of a group of actors that, in the first half hour of it being posted, was re-tweeted 700,000 times, which temporarily knocked Twitter off the Internet. It has now become the number one tweet of all time. That is one example of the effect that social media is continuing to have in countries around the…Continue
Added by Thomas Whitby on February 28, 2014 at 2:49pm — No Comments
After five decades of being an educator, I am growing weary of the constant discussion over the divide between education and technology. When will we reach a point where we will discuss Education, teaching and learning without having to debate technology? The idea of learning hasn’t changed since the beginning of time. We learn to survive and improve. Much like breathing, it is what we do naturally. Unlike breathing, some learn better than others, but the concept is the same for…Continue
From my introduction to Dan Pink through his book Drive I was amazed at how he could write a book about business that pertained so much to what educators do. It was not in the sense of how to create widgets, which is often a business approach to education, but rather what incents people to do what they do in the best way possible. It was more than just the best way to drive students, but the best way to drive educators to their highest potential as…Continue
Added by Thomas Whitby on January 9, 2014 at 1:22pm — No Comments