How I became an active learner at ASCD “Empower18”

As ASCD “Empower18” kicked off in Boston on Friday, March 23 I knew the four days were going to be “wicked awesome”—I mean, come on!—it’s Boston. But somehow, the event toped even my highest expectations.

I was motivated to be both a learner and a leader at this year’s ASCD conference. In his keynote, Manny Scott said, “Be a student for your students,” so I prided myself on learning outside of my comfort zone as well as chances to learn within it. I became an active learner and I wanted to maximize every opportunity during this event.

There were so many sessions that matched various interests. My two must-haves: #CultureEd Panel and Unleashing Teacher-Led Innovation in Schools: Practical Tools That Have Real Impact. The common themes were taking risks in teaching and learning and letting your students’ creativity and discovery learning take center stage.…Read More

New partnership to promote the 16 Habits of Mind

ASCD, in partnership with Wonder Media, presents a series of animations based on the renowned 16 Habits of Mind developed by Dr. Art Costa and Bena Kallick of the Global Institute for Habits of Mind. This groundbreaking collaboration offers a unique tool that empowers students in kindergarten through 2nd grade with creative and critical thinking skills for success in school and life.

The Habits of Mind Animations offer educators a revolutionary new tool in alignment with college- and career- ready standards to help students learn how to persist, how to manage their impulsivity, how to listen with understanding and empathy, how to strive for accuracy, and 12 other essential life skills.

Research shows that young children form strong emotional relationships with animated characters, and using these characters to model behaviors helps break down barriers to students’ understanding of difficult-to-teach concepts.…Read More

New ed-tech products target Common Core readiness

Common Core readiness was a key theme in the ASCD Conference exhibit hall

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A number of companies showed products aimed at teaching students to think more deeply.

At the 69th annual ASCD conference in Los Angeles this past week, preparing for the Common Core was a common theme. In the conference exhibit hall, a number of companies showed products aimed at teaching students to think more deeply in order to meet the standards’ rigor.

A Virginia-based company called Mathalicious is trying to make math more engaging and relevant for students, using multimedia lessons that incorporate a real-world, inquiry-based approach. This approach fits nicely with the goals of the Common Core, challenging students to think critically about the world around them.

For example, in basketball, should you ever foul someone at the buzzer? Students use probabilities to determine when the defense should foul—and when they shouldn’t. Another lesson asks students: Who should buy health insurance? Using percents and expected value, students explore the math of health insurance from a variety of perspectives.…Read More

Six strategies for persuasion in the digital age

Best-selling author Dan Pink says persuasion needs a reboot in the Age of Information; here are his six recommendations for how school leaders can influence others to act

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Effective persuasion isn’t about changing people’s minds, Pink said; it’s about making it easy for them to act.

Best-selling author Dan Pink kicked off ASCD’s annual conference in Los Angeles March 15 by noting how important persuasion is to school leaders’ jobs—and yet the dynamics of persuasion have changed radically in the Information Age.

Pink said he was involved in a recent study that surveyed 7,000 full-time adult workers in the United States. When they were asked, “What percentage of your work involves convincing or persuading people to give up something they value for something you offer,” the responses averaged 41 percent.

That means people spend an average of 24 minutes of every hour trying to persuade or move others as part of their job, Pink said—and that’s certainly true of school leaders as well.…Read More

ASCD annual conference draws top-name speakers

Dan Pink, Sir Ken Robinson to speak at 69th annual ASCD event March 15-17

ASCDKeynote speeches from best-selling author Dan Pink and education advisor Sir Ken Robinson will highlight the 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibit from ASCD, to be held in Los Angeles March 15-17.

The conference will showcase ideas for raising student achievement and boosting the effectiveness of teachers and school district leaders. Attendees will be able to choose from more than 350 sessions that will help them prepare students to be creative, critically minded, and compassionate citizens.

“Each year, ASCD holds our Annual Conference and Exhibit Show to bring together educators from around the globe to share, network, learn, and improve their practice,” said Gene Carter, CEO and executive director of ASCD. “This year’s Annual Conference and Exhibit Show in sunny Los Angeles will be no exception, and we look forward to presenting educators with innovative solutions to promote the success of each child.”…Read More

Are you a technophobe or a technophile in the classroom?

The fact that technology hardware today is ever-changing does not help a technophobe, according to an ASCD blog. Computers are now the size of a marble composition book or a two-pocket folder. You can write on it with a computer pen (called a stylus) and save what you wrote. You can see and talk with someone halfway around the world, stream movies, and draw on the person’s face you’re talking to and on the movie you’re streaming (and your computer will save both). I can see how an educator would be intimidated when someone takes out a wafer-thin flat screen monitor, connects it to a wafer-thin keyboard, and when he’s done using his computer, takes it apart and puts it in his wafer-thin tote bag. This is LEGO blocks on steroids…

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How to create a student-centered digital classroom

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The key to creating a student-centered digital classroom is teaching students many web tools, the author writes.

Someone recently inquired if there is a time in the classroom when you just know that everything is right. She asked me to envision that time and to describe it. “When is it great?” she wondered.

It didn’t take long for me to picture a recent day, when my seventh-grade students created that perfect 50 minutes of class. It was magical, but it had little to do with their teacher. Twenty-five 12-year-olds were scattered about the room, some at desktop computers and others on mobile devices.

One dictated a 60-second narrative into his cell phone, while peering eagerly into a computer monitor, waiting for the completed podcast to come to life in his animated character. A couple of chairs away, another student sought advice about an appropriate picture to embed into a slide for her web-based presentation, which she’d share later with the class on an interactive whiteboard.…Read More

Developing sound social media policies for schools

Kimmel Farm Elementary School includes the teaching of social media in its school improvement plan.

In a world where three out of four teens have a cell phone, and roughly the same number have used a social networking website, it’s imperative that schools not only develop social media guidelines for their students and staff but also teach students about safe and responsible social media use, said a pair of education leaders.

Steven Anderson, instructional technologist for North Carolina’s Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WSFCS), and Sam Walker, a technology facilitator at the district’s Kimmel Farm Elementary School, presented a session called “Understanding and Creating Social Media Guidelines for Educators” during ASCD’s 67th annual conference March 25.

Anderson and Walker are leaders in bringing social media into the classroom and teaching students how to use social media safely and ethically. Under their guidance, Kimmel Farm reportedly became the first school in North Carolina to include the teaching of social media in its school improvement plan.…Read More

ASCD, Pearson debut new online professional development tool

Principal Compass is a cloud-based program that helps increase leadership effectiveness for K-12 principals and their teams.

The educational leadership organization ASCD (formerly known as the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) has teamed up with Pearson to launch a new online school leadership program, called Principal Compass.

Created in collaboration with education researcher Robert Marzano and his Marzano Research Laboratory, Principal Compass is a cloud-based program that helps increase leadership effectiveness for K-12 principals and their teams, ASCD said. The organization announced the new tool during its 67th annual conference in Philadelphia March 25.

Using technology developed at Johns Hopkins University, Principal Compass reportedly is the only integrated and scalable online professional development tool aligned with Marzano’s framework for principal growth and development. The evidence-based rubric focuses on five domains of competency, ASCD said:…Read More

Ark. superintendent, Calif. teacher selected as 2012 Outstanding Young Educators

ASCD celebrates the Outstanding Young Educator Award's 10th year.

At ASCD’s 67th Annual Conference and Exhibit Show in Philadelphia, Pa., Matt McClure, superintendent of Cross County Schools in Cherry Valley, Ark., and Liliana Aguas, a teacher at Leconte Elementary School in Berkeley, Calif., were announced as winners of the association’s prestigious 2012 Outstanding Young Educator Award (OYEA).

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the OYEA program. ASCD created the OYEA program in 2002 to recognize creative and committed teachers and administrators under the age of 40 who are making a difference in children’s lives. A panel of diverse education professionals selected McClure and Aguas as the 2012 OYEA winners from a large pool of candidates nominated by educators across the globe.

The winners will each receive a $10,000 cash award and an ASCD Institutional membership. ASCD’s OYEA program provides winners and a cadre of honorees with opportunities for leadership skill building, professional development, networking, and best-practice sharing with one another and the ASCD community.…Read More