Education News » February 2016

Monthly Archives: February 2016

Education

Making the Learning Process Visible #LeadLearner

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The term “lead learner” is something that has been thrown around a lot lately, although it has been term used since at least the 1980’s (if not earlier).  Although some use it to replace their official title, I have argued that there should be more than one “lead learner” in any organization, whether it is the school or the district level.  It is kind of like using the term “administrator” and “leader” interchangeably; one is fact, yet the other is dependent upon how others see you.  You are not a leader if no one is following, no matter your title or position.

From the post discussing there should be more than one “Lead Learner”:

Should the principal/superintendent still openly share their learning?  Absolutely.  With technology now, that is easier than ever, but note I used the term “model” their learning.  Administrators have been learning forever but it was hard to communicate and share their learning on an ongoing basis.  That being said, there is a difference between a “leader that learns” and a “lead learner”, as one creates the notion that there is a “top learner”, where we should create an environment that in organizations, both inside and outside, learning by all is essential to success.

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Education

Confused About Your Student Loans? You’re Not Alone

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Chris Nickels for NPR

Americans have about $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. And there’s yet another survey out that shows students in this country are confused about their loans, in the dark when it comes to knowing what they’ve borrowed, uncertain about how to pay them back.

I’ve written before about how I was one of those people. My federal student loans were a constant source of stress, and after doing the math I figured I was paying more than 30 percent of my income every month in loan payments. And because of high interest rates, I was deeper in debt than when I graduated.

And then came my epiphany, courtesy of President Obama and his 2014 State of the Union address: “We’re offering millions the opportunity to cap their monthly student loan payments to 10 percent of their income,” the President said.

That opened my eyes to the opportunities out there, and to the importance of keeping informed about your rights and options.

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Education

Does learning in your school take place more by design or chance?

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This notion of careful curriculum design and planning is something that I believe is vital to improving student learning in a school. This is particularly true given teacher differences with a school and between schools.

In the context of this post, learning by ‘chance’ is to mean that learning happens completely randomly; it will largely depend on the student’s teacher and what they do and do not do in the classroom.

I have seen it from both sides now. I have seen parents and students come and see me to request that they avoid a particular teacher or be placed in a particular teacher’s classroom. As a relatively new parent myself, I have thought about the chances that this year will be a good or not so good learning year for my son.

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Education

Making Science Teaching More Than ‘A Backup Plan’

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Amelia Westerdale works with physics students during a tutorial session at the University of Colorado Boulder. Westerdale is part of the Learning Assistant Program, tasked with helping to coach and tutor students.

Theo Stroomer for NPR

“Squat! Squat! Squat! Higher! Faster!”

In the basement of the Duane Physics and Astrophysics building at the University of Colorado Boulder, a science demonstration is going on, but it looks more like a vaudeville act.

One by one, students balance precariously on a rotating platform. Then they are handed what looks like a spinning bicycle wheel, holding it by two handles that stick out from either side of what would be the hub of the wheel. When you flip the wheel over, like a pizza, your body starts rotating in the opposite direction.

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Education

The Science Of Getting Kids Organized

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If you’ve ever gotten a glimpse inside a high schooler’s backpack or locker, you know organization doesn’t always come naturally to teens. Being scatterbrained in school can make make it tough to stay focused and do well.

That was the case when Lilli Stordeur was about halfway through her freshman year of high school in Northampton, Mass. She felt totally overwhelmed.

“I was being tutored for the classes I was having trouble in,” she says, “but I would be having a hard time organizing my binders, and notebooks and stuff, and knowing when to hand things in.”

To help Lilli get stuff done, her parents hired Melissa Power-Greene, a former tutor and special-education teacher, to work with Lilli on something called executive function.

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