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Thomas Whitby's Blog (130)

No Chicken or Egg Choice

Today,  #Edchat’s first Topic was:  Which should we support first for the best result, a reform in student learning (teaching methods), or a reform in teacher learning (PD)? I did have a preference when I made up the question, but I saved my opinion for the chat. There were a few comments about this being a question similar to: which came first, the chicken or the egg? I didn’t see it that way. I was simply looking for the most immediate way to affect needed change in a system…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on January 11, 2012 at 1:32pm — 2 Comments

Danger in a Little Knowledge

I just finished reading another post on how educators oppose technology,Teachers Resist High-Tech Push in Idaho Schools. The headline from the New York Times misleads somewhat from the content of the article, but it does support the seemingly anti-tech-in-education bias of the NYT. The focus of…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on January 5, 2012 at 6:12pm — No Comments

Another Tarnished Silver Bullet

The latest trend in education may be to shift teaching and learning from the classroom to the internet. We are seeing more and more states tuning to this as an answer to their education woes. Colleges have been transitioning in that direction for years. Online course have exploded over the years. I served on a committee for the New York State United Teachers examining those online possibilities for the secondary level back in the turn of the century, about the year 2000.

My personal…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on December 23, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Edublog Awards Don’t Suck!

Last night was the Edublog Awards Presentation, also known as the “Eddie” Awards. This event happens once a year at this time honoring those who excel in the area of Educational Social Media. Categories include educators, students, groups, and vendors. It originally started out recognizing Blogs and Bloggers, but has now expanded to all forms of Social Media as Social Media itself has expanded. This is an example that schools should emulate; the ability to be flexible and change to meet the…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on December 15, 2011 at 12:14pm — No Comments

I Ain’t Emailing!

I am often intrigued by the controversy surrounding the contraction, “ain’t” which, to the best of my knowledge, has been created by the American education system. Contractions are an informal form of the English Language and should not be used when formal language is required. We generally speak informally, but when it comes to writing, we employ the formal language. That being said, the acceptable contraction for “am not” is “ain’t”, therefore it can only be correctly used with the pronoun…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on December 10, 2011 at 4:43pm — 1 Comment

Who Is the Best EDU Consultant?

I had a busy morning today. I observed a student teacher for her final observation, and I made it home in time to participate in the weekly noon #Edchat on Twitter. As I participated in the #Edchat I was struck by the fact that it had a great deal to do with a conversation I had with my student’s cooperating teacher in a high school that morning.

The conversation that I had with this high school teacher took place in the school’s…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on December 6, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Many Lenses, But Little Focus.

To understand why certain decisions are made, we need to understand the decision maker and the pressures under which certain decisions are made. This is sometimes referred to as looking through the lens of the decision maker. It takes into view many of the factors pushing and pulling on an individual responsible for making a decision. Sometimes decisions of some magnitude may require a number of individuals on a number of levels to make separate decisions. Each of those decisions is made…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on November 27, 2011 at 2:53pm — No Comments

The Heck With Tech

Ever since I started writing my blog, I wondered when I would reach the end of my road and run out of things to rant about. It seems that every time I approach that point, something pops up to get me started again. As luck would have it, two such events occurred today. One incident happened early today and the second came later in the day. Of course, for dramatic effect I will begin with the later.

Late in the afternoon I had an appointment with my dentist for a cleaning. It’s one of…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on November 17, 2011 at 10:10pm — No Comments

What’s a Connected Educator?

The idea of being connected in the Twentieth Century had a very different meaning than it does today. Back then being connected conjured up visions of pinstriped suits and shoulder holsters. Today, being connected brings up visions of computers, Smartphones, and tablets. A general misconception is that to be a connected educator, one needs to be a computer geek, with a vast knowledge of all things having to do with social media. Of course this is a vision that could be overwhelming to anyone…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on November 8, 2011 at 2:19pm — 1 Comment

PD Paradigm Shift

I read a blog post recently which talked about a gathering of technology product executives and politicians who came together to express their vision for learning using technology in education. The author seemed quite pleased with the ideas that were bandied about. I did not disagree that technology may play a big role in education, but I was struck by the fact that there were no classroom educators in the group. I am always offended when…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on November 1, 2011 at 11:04am — No Comments

Social Media,More or Less

The genie is definitely out of the bottle when we look at Social Media. Of course there are many who fail to recognize this, and continue to believe that somehow, someone must approve the use of social Media in order for it to be acceptable in our education system. The glaring problem with that is the lack of understanding on the part of many of those education policy makers to really understand what Social Media is. Many, in their arguments against social media, talk about its limits…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on October 27, 2011 at 12:37pm — 1 Comment

En Educator's Voice

Yesterday, I participated in a wonderful public discussion on Education. The best part about this discussion was that it was with predominantly real educators, people who actually teach, volunteering their time and expertise on the subject of education. They discussed real issues of education and the real impediments to reform from a real educator’s point of view. There were representatives of: teachers, administrators, IT people, school board members, and parents. Dell sponsored the event,…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on October 23, 2011 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Generational Divide in Education

It is my birthday today, so please forgive me for allowing my contemplation once again lead us down a well-travelled path. I have discussed this topic in posts before, but it is a subject that will not go away as long as we have younger people working next to older people. As one of those older folks, I might better state it as the “rookies” working beside the “seasoned veterans”. Of  course all of this is further confused by the introduction of the digital native theory. For these, and some…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on October 17, 2011 at 5:23pm — No Comments

Absence of Leadership?

I recently posted another video of a Diane Ravitch interview with CNN. There are now several videotaped interviews of Diane Ravitch standing up for education reform on The Educator’s PLN. It was with this last post however, that I realized that aside from Diane Ravitch, I could think of few others who stand out on the National stage in support of Education reform beyond something…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on October 11, 2011 at 8:59am — 1 Comment

No Defending Illiterate Educators

I was always intrigued by the saying, “I taught him everything he knows, but not everything that I know!” I always thought that was a pretty clever saying. It was also true of educators in years gone by. They were the content experts. If you wanted knowledge, these experts had it. People paid good money to travel to the places where these content experts delivered their wares, universities, colleges and monasteries.…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on September 21, 2011 at 7:25am — 1 Comment

Assessment: Formative, Summative, Punitive?

For the first time since I have been supervising student teachers, I have a group at the start of the year, as opposed to my usual assignment at the latter half of the school year. This has brought to light a subject that I often fought against as a teacher, and now have to counsel student teachers on how best to approach the subject. Summer Reading: how do we assess it?

New York State’s recommendation for reading is that each student completes reading 25 books per year. Most…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on September 8, 2011 at 12:41pm — No Comments

Shake-Up

After the earthquake on the East Coast last week, I guess I had the term “Shake-Up” on my mind. I don’t know which I considered first, the title, or the post.  The beginning of the school year has arrived as many of us do every year, I am wondering what I will do differently this year from those same classes that I had last year. This is something that many teachers consider as they enter a new year. It is also something that many teachers do not ultimately address, but rather settle for…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on September 2, 2011 at 12:18am — No Comments

Let’s End the Social Media Debate!

As an educational blogger I would love to think, that once I reflected on an issue in education, and addressed it in my blog, everyone would clearly understand the error of their ways and fall in line according to my sage advice. Of course the reform movement would move forward, and I would expect a small plaque would be placed on a bench in front of the lobby of some school commemorating my great contribution to the system that we call education.

That being said, the reality is that…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on September 2, 2011 at 12:00am — 4 Comments

Link List of videos from #140EDU Conference NYC



This is the listing of all of the videos from #140EDU Conference. Please feel free to share these videos with your friends and colleagues:

Chris Lehmann - http://blip.tv/140confevents/140edu-8-2-11-welcome-5465616

Jeff Pulver - …

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Added by Thomas Whitby on August 19, 2011 at 10:21pm — No Comments

Leadership Accountability

I am growing tired of the number of posts and stories I read about everyone’s plan on “teacher accountability”. I see too many holes in too many plans to deal with what is being categorized as “THE PROBLEM” with education; bad teachers. Unfortunately, when the outcome of many of these ill-conceived plans like Merit Pay result in failure, that too will be blamed on the teachers for its failure to work and not the fact that the plan itself was flawed. Teachers are in a no-win situation with… Continue

Added by Thomas Whitby on August 18, 2011 at 1:48pm — No Comments

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