Weekend Wrap-Up

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February 21, 2014 by k. liz

I had the awesome pleasure of attending a few educational events yesterday. One on “Right-sizing the Classroom” with @DrMikeHansen and a few others at the Thomas Fordham Institute. The second was on Evaluating Technology with a professor from Johns Hopkins at an EdTech fair. Both were great experiences and pointed a couple of things out to me:

  • I need to take a statistical analysis class STAT.
  • I need a crash course in the world of American public schools and education in America in general. (I realized yesterday that there is a different vernacular used in America than is used in British/European conferences and presentations!)

So, out of yesterday, and my other traversing on the internet this week, I bring to you this week’s wrap-up. (Look for some posts from my adventures yesterday coming next week!)

1. Hackschooling: This kid poses some interesting ideas on what education should be. His talk reminds me of a quote I heard yesterday in one of the presentations,

“Isn’t learning what education is all about?”

And notice the line where he says,

“Much of education is oriented, for better or worse, at making a living, rather than making a life.”

And, as a follow-up to this, send your students over to Soul Pancake’s “The Science of Happiness” series and see what kind of correlations they can make. And, ask the critical question: Is happiness enough?

2. MindShift: This one is super broad, but I’ve just seen a bit of this website, and it looks like there is some great stuff on it (i.e.: the video above!) It is definitely going to warrant some more exploration time!

3. LearnZillion.com: So, this is by no means a review, just sharing this website I learned about yesterday at the EdTech fair. I’ve just looked around a little bit, but this website offers a bunch of lessons pre-prepared for teachers to use all aligned to common core standards. Now, for me, that meant little while I was teaching in Turkey because we did not use common core, so for some of you I am sure it will be worthless. Nonetheless, you can still find good language arts lessons here. If you are an ELA teacher states-side, this is a great way to find lessons already aligned with the standards you are expected to be teaching to. So, since I’m not teaching at the moment, I’ll leave this one to you, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think about the lessons!! (This does seem like it is well structured for classroom flipping, similar to Khan academy videos.)

4. Newsela: So, I just stumbled across this one, today, and it seems like it might be really cool. It is a news site that is set up to help tailor news stories to students’ literacy levels. Now, we don’t always count these the same in ESL, but I think that we could find an appropriate conversion, and the fact that the stories are available at different levels is great. It looks like some stories come with a quiz as well, while others are anchored to different goals or skills to be taught. I would say that this seems similar to Voice of America News except not as tailored for second language learners as far as support activities go, but that being said there may also be aspects I like better about Newsela . . . we shall see.

5. British Council Seminars: Mark your calendar for next Wednesday! There are some interesting seminars that will be live-streamed from the British Council next week! I’m really looking forward to them. One of them is on Listening in the English for Academic Purposes Classroom, and the other is on Laughter in the Classroom. I’m excited to see what Emma Greenhalgh has to say about this topic!

What have you been learning/reading/liking this week?

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