Monthly Archives: September 2011

“Teacher, may I take a photo of the board?”

Posted on September 18, 2011 by Curriki|

How many of you use your smart phone as your primary camera? Primary computer, dictionary or note tablet? I’m sure many hands would be raised as we are addicted to having immediate access to information and productivity tools.

Contrasting, the majority of schools nationwide (and possibly worldwide) have banned the use of cell phones in the classroom. This is totally understandable as cellphones can be used as a tool for bullying, cheating, constant texting as well causing classroom distractions if not managed properly. How do you tell the student who wants to use their smart phone to photograph the chalkboard notes he/she can’t when indeed it will help them? A difficult dilemma.

Schools across the US are experimenting and finding the use of mobile phones in a controlled environment are enhancing the classroom learning experience. In a recent blog, Advancing Mobile Phones as Learning Devices, the Principal of New Milford HS experimented and allowed his teachers to use cellphones in the classroom for student response systems. They utilized Poll Everywhere, an application that checks for understanding, reviews prior learning, and informally assess the work. After a year of experimenting with mobile phones in the classroom, he concludes,

“As educators we must establish a vision for our students and model the use of cell phones as mobile learning devices in order to empower them to embrace the same view. We live in a world where these devices are a huge part of our student’s lives. Schools should position themselves to not only take advantage of this resource as budgets are tight, but also teach students about the powerful tool they possess.”

What are your opinions on opening the door to cell phone use as a classroom tool? Please share your experiences and best practices with the educators worldwide. We’ll all benefit!

Read and comment on the original post here.

 

 My two cents: Use the phones as the intelligent tools that they are. Teach appropriate usage and enforce it. We actually have teachers running gleefully out of an active classroom to grab a cell phone from a student with an, “Aha! Caught ya!”.

  And it’s the student that is the problem here?

Truly,

Steve

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Quebecers back merit pay for teachers: poll

CBC reports on a poll from Leger Marketing that suggests that a great majority of Quebeckers back the idea of merit pay for teachers.

The article points out that it is difficult to find a measure that actually works, but that when done at a very local level, it can work.

I believe that great teachers should earn more than average teachers. But how do you measure it? How do you make certain that favoritism has no role to play? What influences should be considered and how should they be weighted?

No system is perfect. The current system is clearly in need of repair.

But do we really need merit pay?

Let me call out a teacher right here – at Rosemere High School, we have an English teacher named Keith Bellamy. Our family has been lucky enough to have him.  Everyone I know who has dealt with him has been thrilled. In a group on Facebook that brings together RHS alumni, the most common name to read is Keith Bellamy, with students over the past 20+ years saying how much this man has influenced their lives in such positive ways. The man changes lives.

And to top it off, I believe he has been eligible for retirement for a couple of years now – but he keeps coming back, and giving his all to teach our kids.

Great teachers don’t do it for the money, or the recognition.  They do it because they have a passion, and the reward is in fulfilling that passion.  And that is an amazing thing.

But – wouldn’t it be the right thing to do to reward this type of person relative to his impact on people’s lives?

I don’t know how anyone could argue that we shouldn’t.

Merit pay has its merit.

Truly,

Steve

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What teachers really want to tell parents – A CNN story

As a parent, I felt a little defensive a couple of times while reading this.  At the same time, I have to agree with 99% of what it says.

We have loads of extremely competent teachers.  We have a great number of exceptional teachers. And we have some who could perhaps do better in another profession. In the context of the first two groups, I am 100% on board with the crux of this article. In the context of the few teachers who may be in the wrong profession? It really cannot apply.

Read the article here.

Truly,

Steve

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Inside Islam: What a billion Muslims *really* think.

Invest a little less than one hour in watching this:

http://learning.snagfilms.com/film/inside-islam-what-a-billion-muslims-really-think?

We all share one world.  It’d be good to get to know each other, and to communicate without rhetoric.

This is time well spent.

Truly,

Steve

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The ABCs of school success

From CBC news online:

Sharpen your pencils and load up the backpacks – it’s time to head back to class. To help parents and students navigate the sometimes difficult school year ahead, we’ve compiled a list of tips drawn from recent studies. How do you soothe pre-exam jitters? What are the benefits of walking to school? Who cheats and why?

Read more about the research here.

Truly,

Steve

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