Sunday, February 26, 2017

5 Tips to Getting Started with ePortfolios

Watch out standardized testing. ePortfolios are making a comeback.


Finally!

Want to join the fun where students get to show what they know with authentic work highlighting their best pieces at certain points in time?



Great!


This roundup will help you get started.


1) Choose a platform
First you need to check out what resources are available for ePortfolios. You can start with this list of ePortfolio apps and websites from Common Sense Education. But which to choose? Seesaw and FreshGrade are pretty popular. This video offers a comparison of those two options. Take a look and see which one you like best, or check out one of the others.

2) Find resources to support this work
Helen Barrett has been focusing on ePortfolios for a long time. She has a huge compilation of materials at http://electronicportfolios.com.

3) Understand the process and product
Silvia Tolisano took a look at Barrett’s work and noticed that she explains it is a combination of process and product. Part of that process includes reflection. She laid it out this way:



Saturday, February 25, 2017

3 Hottest Posts Everyone's Reading

Haven’t been keeping up with The Innovative Educator? Don’t worry. That’s what this wrap up is for.  Here are the three hottest posts that you don’t want to miss!

Making its way to the top for the first time is a post that simply clarifies why vouchers and charters won't make public school better.  Next up is a post that takes another look on how to determine if the news you are sharing is real or fake.

Rounding out the top is a post that gives teachers ideas on how to show off certifications and accomplishments. The post has testimonials and samples from real teachers. 

Entry
Pageviews
Feb 15, 2017, 
963
Feb 12, 2017, 
578
Feb 8, 2017, 
196


If any of these posts are of interest, check em out and share with others using the buttons below on Twitter, Facebook, email or whichever platform you like best.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

4 Strategies To Support Digital Responsibility

Note: Twitter won't let you share my blog url so use this instead: http://tinyurl.com/attackideasnotpeople 

Innovative educators have the opportunity to promote, participate in, and model intelligent discourse in face-to-face and digital interactions. This means knowing the importance of making meaning of what we read and hear by gauging credibility, verifying sources, and looking at evidence and facts. It means we know that getting angry and calling others “stupid,” “ignorant,” or stereotyping them is not responsible. Instead, we share evidence with verified sources and present information that provides a variety of perspectives and viewpoints. This enables us to engage in responsible and intellectual, rather than baseless and emotional, conversations.  


Intelligent conversation is an effective weapon in the fight against the spread of fake news and  misinformation. It also helps us make informed decisions and consider what intentional next steps are necessary to achieve desired outcomes.


So, how do we begin?


#1 Share information showing perspectives along the continuum
Don’t just share information from the news source that you always see eye-to-eye with. When you share information, look across the continuum to get several perspectives. Pew's study of Americans' media habits provides a lens for this. It takes the average viewer/consumer of all of these media outlets and plotted them on a continuum, trying to ascertain which outlets are favored by which side of the political spectrum.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

4 Sites to Fight Fake News

Note: Twitter won't let you Tweet my blog url. Please use this shortened url instead: http://tinyurl.com/4fakenewsfighters

Common Sense Education has released a 1-minute video featuring four websites to separate fact from fiction. When the next viral story, makes it to class, take break to discuss media literacy and help your students determine how these sites can be of value.

1)    Opensecrets.org
This site is all about following the money. It points out the connections among political contributions, lobbying data, and government policy. The site is run by a nonpartisan, independent, nonprofit, called the Center for Responsive Politics which is the nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. The site was created so that citizens are empowered by access to clear and unbiased information about money’s role in politics and policy, and so they can use that knowledge to strengthen democracy. The site works to produce and disseminate information on money in politics to inform and engage Americans, champion transparency, and expose disproportionate or undue influence on public policy.


Here are some of the topics you will find on the site.


Innovative Educators: Not only is this a terrific site for the study of social studies and literacy, but it could also be a great resource for math / statistics.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

3 Hottest Posts Everyone's Reading

Haven’t been keeping up with The Innovative Educator? Don’t worry. That’s what this wrap up is for.  Here are the three hottest posts that you don’t want to miss!

Making it to the top for the first time is a post that looks at ways that teachers who receive certifications / micro-credentials are showing off their digital badges. Check out the post to read about their innovative ideas, insights, and see actual examples. Next up is a post that has been at the top for a few weeks. It shares the insights colleagues and I came up with at EduConn 2017 when discussing the role of the teacher in the age of Google.

Another post that has made its way to the top for the first time provides five ways to know if you should really copy, paste, and share that thing someone told you to send. Read the post and save yourself or others the embarrassment of spreading fake news.

Entry
Pageviews
Feb 8, 2017, 
7989
Jan 27, 2017, 
7979
Feb 12, 2017, 
5339


If any of these posts are of interest, check em out and share with others using the buttons below on Twitter, Facebook, email or whichever platform you like best.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Why School Choice Does Not Lead to Fair Competition Or Innovation In Public Schools

Note: Twitter won't let you Tweet my blog url. Please use this shortened url instead: http://tinyurl.com/tworulesforcharterschools

With the confirmation of Betsy Devos, people are trying to understand why there is such an outcry against choice. Isn’t competition a good thing? Reporter John Stossel said in a discussion on my Facebook page, “If the parents get to choose, and the money follows the kids, good schools will grow and bad ones will get better.”


But that can’t happen and the game isn’t fair.


Here’s why.


Once No Child Left Behind was enacted, public schools were forced to leave student-centered ideals behind and focus on ensuring children passed one-size-fits-all standardized tests that rewarded memorization and regurgitation. Authentic learning opportunities went to the wayside in public schools. Models like Big Picture Learning and Schoolwide Enrichment that honored students talents, passions, interests and abilities could not survive in such a climate. As a result, only private schools and charter schools are able to embrace models such as the Montessori Method,  Agile Learning, Reggio Emilia, and Democratic Schools that allow for the freedoms that can be realized when operating outside the restrictions and regulations imposed upon government schools.  


While some of these models were embraced in the past in public education, they can not survive the current climate of standardization and regulation. As a result the competition is rigged. Charters and privates can provide child-centered, innovative learning environments that the government prevents public schools from embracing.


Does it have to be that way?
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