Sunday, November 2, 2014

Faculty in Focus No. 4: The science educator

If there are any CU-Boulder School of Education faculty that embody our new "Be Boulder" slogan, it's Valerie Otero.
As a physics education researcher, Valerie Otero mentors university faculty and community K-12 teachers who teach in a variety of science disciplines to help them build learning environments that are empowering for students. She is driven to continue to improve the way science is taught, at all levels, and believes in progressive learning environments that enable students to use and develop the critical and creative intelligence they already have.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Essay on the mismatch between graduate programs at research universities and hiring needs at most colleges

Maybe I shouldn't be, but I'm always amazed at how many of my graduate school colleagues had college-educated parents and grew up in a culture of education prestige, either by attending private schools, travelling extensively for academic reasons, or even just had family and friends in higher ed. It just sounds nothing like the world I grew up in. This article expresses the concern that such people aren't well-prepared to work in community colleges or public regional 4-year schools because the cultures are so different.

Children's Mathematics: Why Every Math Teacher Should Know About Cognitively Guided Instruction

Here's Christopher Danielson's brief guide to what he wishes all secondary teachers knew about Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI).

Sunday, October 12, 2014

What's a rekenrek? At Fernandez, it's building to learn

<blockquote>This week, Fernandez Center students are putting their talents to work to help their school district, completing an order of 500 math-number racks for Stevens Point students in kindergarten through third grade. The number racks are based on the rekenrek, a math tool developed in Holland that looks similar to an abacus and helps with addition and subtraction.</blockquote> You don't see the word "rekenrek" in news headlines, but this story from Wisconsin talks about how older kids in a school district make these math learning tools for younger students.

Teacher preparation enrollments plummet

<blockquote>Enrollments in teacher preparation programs in California are continuing to decline at a precipitous rate, according to new figures from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Between the 2001-02 and 2012-13 school years, enrollments in teacher preparation programs dropped 74 percent.</blockquote> No surprise: It may be getting difficult to recruit new teachers and increase pressure/blame on the teaching profession at the same time.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

I must admit that I occasionally find myself in meetings that start to head this direction, although rather than technicalities later it's been trips to the deep weeds of potential design choices.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Real World Math

I haven't used it, but I like the idea of a curriculum site that integrates mathematics with data from Google Earth.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Napster, Udacity, and the Academy

I don't know if Clay Shirky is right about MOOCs, but I value this essay for his recognition that people will generally accept *good enough* if they can get it for little or no cost.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Discover the world's best K-12 curriculum

THere are a lot of curriculum repositories on the web and new ones crop up all the time. This is one of them. One way this site seems to have tried to differentiate itself is by enlisting the help of some prominent math teacher-bloggers for curating some of their content. Now they list a high school student as their content expert -- let's just say that's not ideal, but as a nonprofit in an increasingly crowded space that lacks good revenue models, maybe that's just making the most out of who you have available.

The Case for Slow Reform in Education

In response to Elizabeth Green's article in the NY Times titled "Why Do Americans Stink at Math?" Ilana Horn took to Twitter to rant a bit about the lack of high-quality professional development, a need for better frameworks for teacher development, and other ways we could be better at helping math teachers than we are now.

The product design sprint: a five-day recipe for startups

In my work with and for teachers I've needed to expand my conception of design. Sometimes it's a physical object, sometimes it's software, but frequently we're designing a process or routine and thinking about whatever templates or facilitation guide that might make that process or routine replicable and effective. Given that designers like to design things, Google Ventures has designed a five-day sprint for startups that we're considering applying to some of our work. It's a design for design, and a new process might give us perspectives we haven't yet had.

Design for a Thriving UX Ecosystem

One of the research projects I work on involves a customizable curriculum repository that houses the district curriculum, supplementary tasks and materials, along with tools for sharing and planning. The design of that tool includes a lot of teacher input, but increasingly we see the need to think about the user experience ecosystem, not just our site. It's just natural to think now that people want their social media streams and cloud storage to work in concert with other content on the web, which gives us a lot of interesting potential use cases to think about.

Friday, September 12, 2014

CGI Assessment Teacher’s Guide An assessment tool based on the work of Cognitively Guided Instruction

I've read quite a few of the published studies on CGI, but I'm really not that familiar with CGI from a teachers' point of view. Now that I'm working with teachers in lower elementary, I might find resources like this site useful.

These Test Questions Show How Math Has Totally Changed Since You Were In School

I made the mistake of trying to add an intelligent comment to an article that didn't seem to have enough of them. It didn't help. The one reply I got to my comment kinda got under my skin a little, which is exactly what I'm sure the troll who left it was looking for.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

I must admit that I occasionally find myself in meetings that start to head this direction, although rather than technicalities later it's been trips to the deep weeds of potential design choices.