Monthly Archives: January 2011

Jan. 24, 2011

Getting Kids to Write About Tragedy

I had intended to post this week on a new idea we have for assessment of writing. I will post that next week. Events have overshadowed and overtaken that plan.

On Jan. 17 a 16-year-old sophomore in Brattleboro, VT, took her own life. Few knew outside the immediate community because it was a holiday and she had died at home. News organizations rarely report about a private suicide.

On Jan. 18, 200 miles away, a 15-year-old boy shot himself in a bathroom of his high school in northern Vermont. His death was more visible; since it occurred in the […]

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Jan. 24, 2011

Simple Tools for the Digital Classroom

The hardest thing for teachers to do is make the transition from paper and pencils to online media: Not enough computers, not enough knowledge, not enough time and a whole new way of doing things. We work with hundreds of teachers in the same situation and we offer this advice:

  • Take small steps.
  • Find a couple of tech-savvy kids in each of your classes to help.
  • Explore the digital world on your own.
  • Seek out people in the school or in professional development spheres to mentor you.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail.
  • Don’t be afraid if you don’t have […]

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Jan. 16, 2011

Simple Communication Tools for Schools

This is a follow up to my blog post at the end of November urging educators to improve communication with their students and their families. I contend that publishing basic class information gives parents a window into your classroom and helps students get digitally organized. It’s now easier than ever as a plethora of tools exist to help people publish without a lot of technical steps. Creating and maintaining a class web site also does not have to be a time consuming chore.

Now that holidays are over and schools are back in session, perhaps now is a good time to explore […]

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Jan. 7, 2011

Students as Contributors: A Podcast with Silvia Tolisano

In this podcast, Alan interviews Silvia Tolisano, 21st Century Learning Specialist, along with other administrators, teachers and students at Martin J. Gottlieb School. Here, students are being encouraged to take more of a leadership role in their learning as they take part in a variety of jobs inspired by Alan November’s article, Students as Contributors: The Digital Learning Farm.

The jobs these students are doing give them a great deal of responsibility and provide them with authentic tasks that result in meaningful content that supplements their learning and connects them with experts from around the world.

Silvia will be a presenter at the 2011 Building Learning […]

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