Category: Discussion

Dec. 7, 2013

The most successful students are those who feel real “ownership” of their education

Via a blog bost by Joshua Koen :

Thomas Friedman, in his Op Ed post in the New York Times,  Can’t We Do Better?, summarizes the results from “. . .the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, which compare how well 15-year-olds in 65 cities and countries can apply math, science and reading skills to solve real-world problems” as “. . .the most successful students are those who feel real ‘ownership‘ of their education. In all the best performing school systems, said Schleicher, ‘students feel they personally can make a difference in their own outcomes and that education will make a difference for their […]

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May. 6, 2013

Guest Post – Implementing the First 5 Days

The following post has been cross posted by permission of author and #BLC12 attendee, Dáithí Murray.

I was introduced to the hashtag #1st5days on the first day of the Building Learning Communities conference in Boston this summer. Host, Alan November, challenged delegates to try something new, something different in their classrooms on their return and to write about it, share it, tweet it, blog it and to use the hashtag #1st5days wherever possible.

The idea is simple, yet profound. Alan was challenging us to make the first five days of term a launchpad for a change in our practice, and more importantly to share this phenomenon with teachers and interested others in the online world.

So what […]

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Jul. 13, 2012

How Twitter Can Be Used as a Powerful Educational Tool


In the third part of their three-part series on eSchool News, Alan and Brian demonstrate how Twitter can be used in any classroom to connect students to the world and provide students with immediate, practical, real-world problems.

If you missed  part one or part two of the series, we invite you to read them before reading the final installment.

After reading the article, we invite you to come back and share your thoughts.


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Jul. 3, 2012

Connecting Students to Geometry Through Twitter

Alan and Brian have been working with a cohort in Texas made up of teachers and administrators who are a part of the Texas Association of School Administrators. At a recent event in Austin, high school math teacher, Jessica Caviness, shared a fun implementation of Twitter in her geometry class. We thought it was so great, we simply had to share it. Jessica provided us with a quick write-up explaining her work.

“When will we use this?” It’s the question all teachers hate and motivated me to change my approach to teaching. Being a geometry teacher, it was easy for […]

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Jun. 1, 2012

Web Literacy: Where the Common Core Meets Common Sense

In the second of their three-part series revisiting Alan’s earlier article, Teaching Zack to Think, Alan November and Brian Mull dig deeper into their three pillars of Web literacy. They share examples that demonstrate the struggles that the majority of students and adults have effectively researching on the Web. In addition, they share techniques that can be used to boost research effectiveness.

Also, Alan and Brian expand on two driving forces that create an urgency to redefine what it means to be literate in today’s world: common sense and the Common Core.

If you missed part one of the series, we invite you to read […]

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May. 9, 2012

Why More Schools Aren’t Teaching Web Literacy—and How They Can Start

Fourteen years after writing Teaching Zack to Think , there is still no Internet skill more critical than Web literacy. However, simply teaching students to be able to search for and validate information is not enough. The ever-growing amount of information on the Web and the immediate access to experts and peers from around the world create great opportunities for thoughtfully organizing and expanding upon learning.

Alan November and Brian Mull have recently written an article titled  Why More Schools Aren’t Teaching Web Literacy—and How They Can Start,  which now appears on the eSchool News site and discusses a three-part framework for making sure students are Internet savvy.

You are invited to read this article […]

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Mar. 27, 2012

Flipped Learning: A Response to Five Common Criticisms

Alan November and Brian Mull have recently written an article titled  Flipped Learning: A Response to Five Common Criticisms which now appears on the  eSchool News site. Within the article, they explain how to deepen student learning using the Flipped Learning method, and they also address criticisms this method has received.

You are invited to read this article and share your thoughts and questions here.

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Oct. 18, 2011

The Pro-D Flip

Since writing my 3 Keys to a Flipped Classroom blog post, I have been reading many great contributions to the discussion around flipping classrooms. Last week I was commenting on Lisa Nielsen’s thoughtful post Five Reasons I’m Not Flipping Over The Flipped Classroom and something occurred to me…

I have flipped my Professional Development!

I’ve done this with my blog and with Twitter.

Professional Development for me used to be about going to sessions on specific days and then trying to ‘bring back’ what I’ve learned and incorporate it into my daily practice. Sometimes this was very challenging, I would get inundated with new information and find it very hard to […]

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Oct. 1, 2011

BLC11 Keynote: Dr. Eric Mazur

Today, we are officially relaunching our opening keynote from BLC11 with Dr. Eric Mazur. Dr. Mazur is the Area Dean of Applied Physics and  Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.

In his keynote, Dr. Mazur shares his vast research on teaching and learning. Students in Dr. Mazur’s class are moving far away from the traditional stand and deliver lectures given in many k-12 and university classrooms around the world, and they are gaining a much deeper understanding of the material being taught in the process.

As you watch this video, we invite you to […]

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