The One Thing Teachers Want That No One is Talking About

This post was last updated on November 19th, 2018 at 07:55 pm

Ask any teacher what is one thing they wish they had that would make their job better. For most the answer is time. 

The solutions to this problem are complex and in many cases outside the purview of educators but there is one increasingly growing aspect that no one seems to be talking much about. Time spent looking for stuff. 

“Stuff” is more or less content. While many jurisdictions are understanding that content may not be as important as developing skills, content is still important and necessary for learning even if your focus is on skills. 

The most progressive curriculum I know is in British Columbia. Teachers are free to focus on big ideas and core competencies and student agency is the goal. Yet as excited as educators are to embrace this, many I’ve worked with and spoken to are struggling to find content. The curriculum is less concerned with content and yet without something to build upon, analyze, create with, the efforts to develop skills and competencies fail.

School Has a Content Problem. It doesn’t seem to want any. ….But try as we might to think of

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Future Ready is Overrated

This post was last updated on 7 days ago at 7 days ago

Updated: (added this wonderful video thanks to Maria Galanis)


“Future Ready” is a theme I’m hearing more and more in our schools. The idea that schools is about preparing for the future and getting kids ready for adulthood. It’s important stuff and certainly schools need to be in this business. And yet….

Mindfulness has been and continues to be something I try to practice and live daily. The stress that so many of our young people experience as well as adults concerns me. I worry that this stress is partly the fault of schools and the overt and subtle pressures we place on them. I’m concerned with my own parenting as I witness my own children often speaking about “getting through this” or “once this is done I’ll feel much better”. Those are natural but somewhat debilitating thoughts. Living in the moment is very hard. I would argue the vast majority of our day is spent on planning ahead or reflecting on the past and not so much on just focusing and enjoying right now.

I watched this clip on 60 minutes this week and it reminded … Read the rest

Evernote as an Assessment Tool

I wanted to share how I’ve been using Evernote as an Assessment Tool.

I used Explain Everything on the iPad to create this video. I apologize the audio is not great, not sure how to improve this as I tried yelling, and using a headphone mic.

I’ll be sharing more about how I do the self assessments although I’ve written about it here but I do love the ability to record audio and have a more “conversation like” experience with my students.

Update: I forgot to mention, I email the note back to them but you could share notebooks as well but this way, they don’t have to have an evernote account.… Read the rest

Yourls

Chris Craft is a smart dude. Actually it's Dr. Craft now. 

2 years ago, he talked to me about a custom url shortener he had installed on his server. Sounded cool but I wasn't ready to invest time into getting it installed. Last year he talked to me about it again, because I asked about it. I thought specifically the ability to track these links and clickthroughs seemed interesting and useful information. Sites like bit.ly do the same but I think anytime you can own your own stuff, whether it's a domain or website, that's good move. D'arcy Norman's taking this idea to its fullest in his latest pursuits of ownership. 

Anyway, I sometimes get in this geeky mood and want to roll up my sleeves and use things like FTP, MySQL and config files. Truth is I barely know what those things are but sometimes force myself to be geeky because it's good for me. 

So I managed to install the thing on my server and short of had it working. What it does is take your existing domain, in my case I chose my shareski.ca domain as opposed to ideasandthoughts.org because it's shorter and also is a little … Read the rest

IFTTT Meme

I've not wrtten ia post about a tool in a long time. Mostly because I usually don't think about it that much and other people do a better job writing about it than I do anyway. But I've been using If This, Then That for a few months and quite like how it's helped my work flow. Will asked a few of us how we're using it and rather than try and cram it in a few tweets figured I could blog about it. Blogging is quite lovely thing for stuff like this. 😉

Let me share the tasks I've set up and why I use them..

 

I had a number of plugins that were supposed to autotweet new blog posts to twitter but they often failed. I've used the little cheesy phrase, "I've got something to share(ski)…." and it's easy to add that text in this task. It works well. 

One I hardly if ever use. I'm not very active on Facebook and really only have a presence there because of family. I thought I might occasionally have tweets using a #fb tag to go their but I never think of it. May be I wll someday. 

There's Read the rest