How Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing Inspired a Legion of Lyman Wannabes

See on Scoop.it21st Century Education and Teaching

Before Obama-mania, The West Wing’s President Josiah Bartlet inspired a generation of political idealists. Juli Weiner talks to the kids who always wanted to be Josh Lyman.

Now this isn’t specifically related to teaching, but I wanted to scoop it because a) The West Wing is my favorite TV show of all time and b) it is my favorite because it is inspirational and we could use a bit of inspiration right now.  The show is one example of the power of technology to inform, inspire, educate, and entertain all at once.  

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Promising New Evidence That Poor Teachers Can Learn To Be Good Ones

See on Scoop.itImproving Your Teaching Practice

The conversation about how to improve American education has taken on an increasingly confrontational tone.

The first study cited in this article relies on test scores to evaluate the remediation of bad teachers, which makes it suspect – in my opinion.  Using test scores to determine if a teacher is getting better is comparing apples to oranges, even if the  data set (the students) are the same.

The second study evaluates the effect of feedback on student performance.  In my opinion, it’s common sense that constructive feedback joined with explicitly stated high expectations will serve students better than feedback that is given for its own sake.

The third study uses behaviorist methods (negative reinforcement) to get teachers to work harder at improvement.  Yuck.

So… although I’m scooping this, I do so because it starts a good conversation about what not to do to help teachers performing poorly.  I even question what the authors mean by performing poorly, considering the data gathered.
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Educational CyberPlayGround

I have been taking a professional development course through the SAS (Standards Aligned System) website offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  One of my assignments in this course was to develop a cross-curricular lesson, so I created one that integrated social studies instruction with language arts.  While I was on that creative journey ( 😉 ), I came across this website which seemed promising, especially for those of us who teach English Language Learners.  Give it a look-see, as they say.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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The Twitter Political Index

The Twitter Political Index.

Are you interested in how the Twitter community feels about the US Presidential election candidates?  Then you should check out the Twindex.  Please vote this November and exercise your right to choose our leadership.

Mapping Language: Limited English Proficiency in America

See on Scoop.it21st Century Education and Teaching

Although English is America’s common tongue, immigrants’ efforts to learn it present challenges to institutions and individuals alike. These graphics compare regions, schools, and communities where newcomers have settled to learn and integrate.

I do not like the term “Limited English Proficiency,” but the map is an interesting conversation starter for ESL teachers. 

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“They Will in a Minute.”

Innovative Education | Learnist.

My favorite part of this video was:

Once there was a girl that never paid attention in class.  One day, she was drawing a picture in the back of class.  The teacher approached her and asked, “What are you drawing?”

The girl responded, “A picture of God.”

The teacher countered, “But no one knows what He looks like.”

The girl responded, “They will in a minute.”

Michelle Obama’s Visit to Bethlehem, 8/9/12

These are just a few photos from Mrs. Obama’s visit to Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, last night.  She’s a great speaker!

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