31 March 2009

Privacy in classrooms

This is real and not a hoax .... something worth noting for sure:

Reuters is reporting... Canadians find vast computer spy network...
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Canadian researchers have uncovered a vast electronic spying operation that infiltrated computers and stole documents from government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

The alarming part of this article for me is that spying can take place in a room from a computer......
"The network they found possessed remarkable "Big Brother-style" capabilities, allowing it, among other things, to turn on the camera and audio-recording functions of infected computers for potential in-room monitoring, the report said."

Teachers and students now have a another level of privacy concerns in classes around the globe.

Caio, Steu

27 March 2009

K12 means cloud computing and smart objects?

The New Horizon Project (2009) was released ....

It was full buzz concepts like ....
.......Collaboration environments (increasing since professionals are expected to work across geographic and cultural boundaries)
....Cloud Computing ...the emergence of large-scale “data farms”)
....Mobiles (cell phones)
....Geo-stiff.(good ole GPS)
.....the Personal Web. ( desire to reorganize online content rather than simply viewing it)
.....Smart Objects. (aA smart object “knows” something about itself — where and how it was made, what it is for, where it should be, or who owns it, for example — and something about its environment.)

But the only this I really can apply to a k12 class that I ever taught were the challenges identified ....

...There is a growing need for formal instruction in key new skills, including information literacy, visual literacy, and technological literacy.
....Schools are still using materials developed decades ago, but today’s students come to school with very different experiences than those of 20 or 30 years ago, and think and work very differently as well.
....Teachers are expected, especially in public education, to measure and prove through formal assessment that our students are learning, including collecting and measuring data. But, exiting systems are not capable of managing and interpreting real time information flows on the scale that is anticipated.

The challenges I can relate to 100%. I also get that collaboration environments (Project Based Learning) work to help students assimilate knowledge ... but I don't see the other technology trends impacting K12 classes .... do you?

Cheers Jack

PS - read the report here: http://www.educationreporting.com/2009-Horizon-Report-K12.pdf

Learning Games - thousands of K12 games in all content areas

Ed Tool Directory

Earn Extra Cash - Help K12 Education - work from home part time

Green Education Resources - resources for ecology and project learning

26 March 2009

Radio show - looking for teachers


I am hosting s radio show discussing innovative ideas being used in K12 classrooms around service learning and project based learning.

More specifically, I want to interview some K12 teachers or organizations that work with K12 teachers/campuses in those two approaches.

I'm eager to meet a few folks who can donate 10-15 minutes being interviewed over the phone for the show episodes.

Personally, I'm a big believer in service and project learning since I used them when I was a teacher so I'm hoping to find current K-12 teachers who can volunteer a few minutes to spread the word (your successes) - you'll be helping other K12 teachers! :-)

If interested, please go to this link (click here) ... complete the (confidential) form and I'll call you.

Wishing you the best life has to offer, Jack

Jack Harrington
research: http://www.educationreporting.com/

Teaching is supposed to be fun....

..... where has all the fun gone in teaching?

My classes were rigorous .... I had the students working.

....today these digital kids have so much energy ... I figured ou tthe hard way I have to use energy to my advantage or else they're a fast moving train that's 'bout to run me over.

I was talking to a teacher friend the other day and we were reminiscing ...... we had both been reading and talking to other folks .... all we were hearing ....from many different sources .....was about the pain of teaching ......

This fella and I have similar tastes in learning ... we made the kids do the work. We like to be a guide for students .....

...being the sage in class just doesn't work for us.... apparently it's not working for a lot of teachers nowadays.

I want my students leaving class exhausted ... so I use every tidbit of conversation to fire up critical thinking ... once that fire is burning ....

...all I have to do is stoke it with questions.

Students will get to the learning opportunity with the appropriate guidance.

...and when I'm giving that kinda guidance .... teaching is fun!

If you want some free scoop (research and step-by-step guide) on an effective critical thinking technique then click this link ....


Wishing you the best life has to offer,

22 March 2009

Classroom WIP

Several weeks ago when I introduced teacher WIP, I got a bunch of emails telling me some interesting stories about classroom projects, some good and some scary ones too.

Teaching, my opinion, is a conundrum.

There is no recipe that fits all teachers or every classroom of a certain subject. When I read some of the efforts underway to improve education, they strike me as efforts to homogenize classes not improve scores ….. or better yet improve learning.

For me, WIP is the one global aspect of every classroom, because classes have work in progress.
Here are two excellent WIP examples…

- teacher presentation
When I’m delivering a lesson I tweak it from class to class. No presentation is perfect and being aware of what didn’t work in last class period, can bring a lot more learning to this class period.

- teacher tools
When I first started teaching the older, experienced teachers brought me lots of worksheets and paper resources. AS time and classes went by, I found out how much student attention rebels with those so I had to expand my horizons on resources to produce more effective lessons.

…..more on WIP later.

Wishing you the best life has to offer, Jack

Ed Tools Directory

Education Learning Games

Green Education Resources

20 March 2009

Two ideas to enhance your success

….. through a stroke of synchronicity, a few weeks ago, I reconnected with Greg Nath whom I met while getting my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. He is making the offer to fatten your wallet possible! I like his idea because while you earn some extra cash, you are also helping improve K-12 education. Nope, he’s not asking you to purchase anything and there are no hidden fees.

The second idea is for enterprising folks who want to put their product or service to K-12 teachers, K-12 administrators, K-12 students, or K-12 students.

Check it out at http://cli.gs/Jg3QsB.

Happy Friday, Jack

14 March 2009

Successful Teaching Tools &Techniques For 21st Century Students

San Diego, CA (ER) March 10, 2009 – Statistics show that more than 50% of new K-12 teachers are leaving the profession in their first five years. One contributing factor is student behavior. Teachers without the materials and classroom management skills necessary to sustain engaging lessons end up with classes full of behavior problems. Teachers want to make a difference not babysit students. ER offers a substantial remedy with its’ Education Rebel ezine.

Read the entire press release.

13 March 2009

Accelerating Class Participation

I want you to have the scoop on the importance of building classroom collaboration.

In my classes collaboration fueled learning and definitely helped improve test scores.

Professional Learning Communities (PLC) are the proven method for teachers to share knowledge, so it figures that students can learn the same way we adults do …… with proper classroom management techniques …… you agree?

Collaboration can be used in two ways: class activities and group projects. My goal is to give you some tools that will boost your lesson building skills so they include more student participation. We all know when students are engaged the opportunity for learning is exponential.

…..many of you already acquired my FREE Orchestrating Classroom Participation ebook, now I have another goodie for your classroom…

…..my well respected Education Rebel ezine subscription (12 months) is now only $49.95.

You gain 100% access to my 15 years of expertise and research to 21st century education research, lesson accent material, and experts that rocket your understanding of helping students learn. Yep, I do the behind the scenes work and serve it to you in my online ezine every month…. you’re definitely not going to find this quality resource anywhere else.

With my ezine you have a one stop data mine with scores of video clip resources, professional development resources, content specific web sites, and much more.

The last time you visited Education Rebel the annual ezine subscription was $99.

My special offer to you today is a 50% price reduction!

That’s right, you’ll receive 12 months for one dollar and some pennies per week.

When you subscribe in the next 24 hours I’ll send you - absolutely free - Building Learning Successful Environments. This top notch ebook has the templates, detailed instructions, and comprehensive techniques to fuel student curiosity and explode class participation.

Wishing you the best life has to offer, Jack

Click here to subscribe

PS: I have only a limited supply of Building Learning Successful Environments to offer so act today to receive yours now.

Education Rebel web site

Elephant in the classroom

One overlooked and always present variable in classrooms is peer pressure.

Every student has a lot of attention and concern on what other students think or perceive of him/her. Yes, it was that way for me too when I was younger.Why not put that concern of what others think about you to good use in learning? Every day I do some sort of activity where students are working in small groups, and they’re not always the same groups. After two months, all the students have worked together at one time or another.

Current research proves it and I have heard it from the mouths of students, students learn a tremendous amount from each other when they work together.

Teachers, your job in this type of activity is to be a facilitator. Make sure students: 1) understand the tasks before starting and 2) stay on task. There is a caveat, digital kids today are for the most part good multi-taskers. They can talk about what is going on after school and do their work too. Give students plenty of room to participate with each other and you’ll see their concept understanding grow.

Parents, find out from your teachers how much group activities they do in your child’s class. If all that is going on is reading textbooks and doing worksheets – then I don’t blame the students for acting up or being disinterested. Better yet, ask your child what kind of activity they do in class and compare their answers to the what the teacher reports.

Putting the power of peer participation to use in K-12 classes is an essential ingredient for learning.

Wishing you the best life has to offer, Jack

Checkout my research here.
Teachers, get my free ebook here.

12 March 2009

Measuring Curriculum Checklist

We know that every school and classroom has a curriculum, but how can you measure it?

Everyone will agree, both parents and teachers want the curriculum to develop students.

Traditionally, curriculum will focus on academics. With all the high stakes testing taking place, which starts in middle school, it makes logical sense to focus daily lessons on testing material students will see. I know, I did that when I was teaching.

As a parent, I want my kids to develop the skills to be a progressive thinker. Ya know, be able to think a situation through by examining the circumstances from different perspectives and considering the different variables/outcomes. Then, use that information as a foundation for the choice being made.

Let’s be honest, all us grownups can remember at least one or two bad choices we made. I’m not saying it’s impossible to stop making bad choices, I just want my kids to be equipped with the thinking skills to reduce bad choice making.

I have developed two methods; one for teachers and one for parents to measure curriculum for their unique education requirements. Teachers can use it for developing and delivering more potent lessons. Parents can use it to evaluate classes and student performance, discussions in teacher-parent conferences, or in choosing a school.

I’ll be talking about my methods here for a few weeks. If you want me to send you a free five point Curriculum Measuring Checklist (CMC) send me an email:

Teachers, get your free CMC by sending an email to: edrebelteducators@gmail.com.

Parents, get your free CMC by sending an email to: edrebelparents@gmail.com.

I have already done the classroom work and education research. The way to a better world is by educating our future leaders today, and that is what I have: the nitty gritty on what it takes to develop students. My information drill downs into the core of what works and doesn’t work in educating the whole child during the K-12 years.

Wishing you the best life has to offer, Jack

Visit my education research site here.