We'll be able to edit Google Docs offline in June. This is big news as the word processing wars heat up. There are some issues still with Google Docs that make it usuitable for formatting an MLA or APA properly but I would think that would be resolved at some point if Google continues to be serious about education. Publishers still want everything in Word, but then again, Google docs can be saved to word.
How to improve global competence. This excellent set of articles is written by Flat Classroom Certified Teacher Honor Moorman who is excellent at collaborating and understanding the pedagogy of global collaboration and teaching global competence by living it.
Poptropica is coming to the DS. I love how these games are writing themselves to seem educational when, in reality, it may or may not be. Sure, kids can read but are they? I like Poptropica but I've found that parents should look into the apps that claim to be educational before buying it.
For those of you who like to follow smart, interesting people, here's another list of educators you'll want to follow. These lists are never comprehensive and I've found always leave out someone important, but they are useful for finding new people.
Principals are succeeding and teachers are failing? This article says that the US department of education is seeing a rise in the number of poor evaluations given to teachers but also less administrators are being evaluated poorly. I find this symptomatic of a shift of blame. I'm not saying all administrators are poor but we have systemic issues. Many teachers teell me that they are evaluated sometimes for just 10-20 minutes A YEAR for an evaluation and that many teachers who are out of controll plan a stellar lesson for that one day. Many feel that administrators don't really know what is happening in the classroom. Likewise, how can administrators be evaluated fairly? Does this measure up?
School districts in sunny areas are beginning to float bonds to install solar power. These projects can have quite a long payback but I do think it is time for us to start looking long term. What happens when the energy cost can be funneled back into education in the long term?
I find the conversations in the UK and the US strangely on parallel tracks. They had "every child matters" and we had "no child left behind" but critics are complaining in both countries that a focus on the minutae of standards is causing the entire child to be neglected. This heart wrenching article goes into the issues in the UK. :It had a huge impact on everyone working in education. Schools suddenly had to ensure that they were looking after all aspects of pupils’ lives. Their breakfast clubs multiplied, and they built close links with social services, health authorities and the police. Councils across the country no longer had education directors. Their fiefdoms were merged with child social care to create new children’s services departments. Eventually, in 2007, Whitehall followed suit with a new Department for Children, Schools and Families.
But today, those changes are unravelling almost as quickly as they were put in place, as a new government prioritises a narrower focus on educational achievement over “the whole child”. Michael Gove, education secretary, recently described the “Every Child Matters agenda” as “meddlesome”, while his department says it is determined to reduce the bureaucracy and regulation it created.
We need adaptive testing that can only be provided by electronic devices. (Why does it take 10 questions to determine a student's ability level when 1-2 will do.) This story out of the UK is worth a read. TES has learned that a leading exam board is trialling the use of portable devices such as iPads, Kindles and laptops in exam conditions.
This activity is for an interactive whiteboard (I believe it uses Smartboard's Notebook program) and is a spelling game based upon the "Draw Something" app that is so popular. It is called "spell something" and could be a fun end of year or review activity when energy is lagging.
Tomorrow at 10:30 am eastern, I'll be speaking with Dr. Nellie Deutsch in the WizIQ platform as we have a conversation about teaching This will be an open conversation where we interact and talk not as much a formal discussion. I look forward to learning about WizIQ and talking with you.