Why Teacher Unions Are Good for Teachers and the Public

In the current climate, when it is in vogue to select non-educators to administer school systems, it is vital that teachers have a voice. School reform cannot possibly succeed when teachers—who are on the frontlines of implementation—are left out of the decision-making process. If there is no “buy-in,” if teachers do not willingly concur with the orders handed down from on high, then reform cannot succeed. If administrators operate by stealth and confrontation, then their plans for reform will founder. They cannot improve what happens in the classroom by humiliating and bossing around the teachers who are in daily contact with the children. Only in an atmosphere of mutual respect can administrators and teachers produce the kind of partnership that will benefit students. And administrators cannot achieve this collaborative atmosphere unless they are willing to talk with and listen to the leaders chosen by teachers to represent them.

Read the whole article

Six trends for 2007 and the 21st century

Via Stephen Downes and ZD Net

eSchoolNews editor Gregg Downey offers six prognostications for the coming year. He has listed

Web 2.0.

Cloud computing

Service-oriented architecture

The gathering SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model)

Telepresence …

The sixth is

21st-century learning

An organization called the Partnership for 21st Century Skills has developed a program designed to help educators prepare their students for the future. According to the Partnership, students need the following skills. The job of educators in the 21st century is to deliver them:

  • Information and communication skills;
  • Thinking and problem-solving skills;
  • Interpersonal and self-direction skills;
  • Global awareness;
  • Financial, economic, and business skills; and
  • Civic literacy.

Website update

I updated the website for teachers last night.

These are the pages updated.

Polar Regions
Behaviour Management
Books in sign
Fiction activities
Computers & ICTs
Thinking skills
Books for teaching similes
Anorexia – booklist

and I have also updated the Quotations about Teaching and Education

and the Just for Fun pages

Social-networking sites confound schools

At least half of school systems in a recent poll do not have policies to address students’ use of MySpace, Facebook, and other such sites

More than three years after social-networking web sites such as MySpace and Facebook first began cropping up online, school leaders still struggle with how to set policies regarding the use of such sites both inside and outside of school–and many school systems lack these policies altogether, according to a recent survey. Read on …

Schools mull new Microsoft technologies

Office 2007, Windows Vista promise greater security and ease of use–but upgrading will require significant planning and training

Software giant Microsoft Corp. will begin licensing two major new releases, Office 2007 and Windows Vista, to schools and businesses at the end of this month.

The programs include a host of new features aimed at boosting security and improving their ease of use–but upgrading will require significant planning and training on the part of schools.

Read on …

‘Second Life’ develops education following

Virtual world being used by some educators and youth groups for teaching, socialization
By Justin Appel, Assistant Editor

Second Life, an enormously popular program that immerses participants in an online virtual world of their own making, is being used by a growing number of educators and youth organizations as a vehicle for instruction.

November 10, 2006—An online virtual world that has become one of the web’s most popular activities is also becoming an increasingly popular venue for teaching and socialization among educators and youth organizations.

Read on …

Tag: Second Life

Momentum builds on e-books

Texas schools the latest to switch from textbooks to electronic versions

Momentum appears to be growing on the use of eBooks in K-12 education:

More and more school districts are replacing traditional textbooks with electronic versions that can be accessed through a school server or downloaded onto student laptops–and a few school systems have opted to eliminate textbooks altogether.


Atomic Learning releases free blogging workshop

desk – businessThe new blogging workshop with over 100 tutorials is perfect for learners of all abilities. The workshop engages learners, explaining the difference between various kinds of blogs, introducing them to some hosting solutions, and showing them how to setup their own blog using Blogger™.


Tag: blogging

Educators slow to wise up to the gender problem

Last month, Melissa Roderick, a University of Chicago professor and leading authority on school reform, arrived at a startling conclusion: The traditional measurements of the nation’s progress in improving education, which use race and income as markers, are flawed.

Why? Because boys and girls coming from the same race, families, incomes, neighborhoods and schools are turning out very differently. The girls are doing better.

Nearly half of all boys graduate from Chicago Public Schools with less than a 2.0 average, compared with a fourth of the girls. Only 8% of the system’s African-American boys have a 3.0 average – a key indicator of the ability to complete college – compared with 18% of the girls.

The numbers are jarring, which explains Roderick’s revelation that Chicago schools won’t improve without strategies that focus on boys’ achievement – the same kinds of strategies used so successfully to boost math and science skills among girls.

Read on …