Saturday, June 7, 2008

Meaningful Evaluation

Edutopia magazine has an interesting article on developing more meaningful assessments of student work. The longer I've been teaching, the more I've come to worry about the way teachers traditionally assess work. I don't know that the system developed in the article is the be-all-and-end-all, but it seems to hit at something I've been considering.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What Are Kids Searching For Online?

According to Thinkronize, a child safe search engine used in many schools, its largely games and dogs. For a look at their press release, look here. It's a corporate product, so there's a fair bit of advertising, but it's still interesting.



1 Games

2 Dogs

3 Animals

4 Civil War

5 George Washington

6 Holocaust

7 Abraham Lincoln

8 Multiplication

9 Math Games

10 Weather

11 Frogs

12 Fractions

13 Planets

14 Sharks

15 Plants

More on Evolution

The opponents of evolution are taking a new approach to getting their views across. According to an article in the New York Times, there is a move in Texas schools to require that textbooks discuss the "strengths and weaknesses" of evolution. According to some of the people interviewed, this is more or less the camel's nose under the tent to push in creationist or intelligent design theories.

Texas is a huge purchaser or school textbooks and if it gets the "strengths and weaknesses" language into the curriculum, it could have national implications.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Teaching Evolution?

A new report from the Public Library of Science claims that one in eight U.S. high school biology teachers teach that creationism is a valid alternative to Darwinian evolution. I won't editorialize, but the report merits reading.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Why We Know Less Than Ever About the World

The TED web site has a great video with Alisa Miller from Public Radio International that discusses news coverage of world affairs. It's pretty shocking (in a completely expected sort of way) how little we get.

I cannot embed the video for some reason, but you can look at it here.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Virtual Students

The Orlando Sentinel has a piece on a university in Florida that's using virtual students to help train teachers. It's still a pretty basic simulation, but the potential is interesting...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Comics and Education

I don't really read many comics/graphic novels, but I've been increasingly interested in their educational value (see my earlier blog post). Edutopia has a great article on how schools are using comics to promote learning. It's an interesting "trend" that apparently goes back quite a while.

Stan Lee (creator of Spider Man) also has an article on how comics can increase a kid's love of learning. It's brief, but I think it's really well done and speaks to those of us who have ever taught or raised a kid who doesn't like to read.