No going back: Why schools need to keep some pandemic techniques

For Dr. Matthew X. Joseph, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in Leicester Public Schools (MA), this past year has meant fewer frequent flier miles but a huge increase in his network, albeit virtually.

In this conversation with eSchool News, Matt talks about the importance of these sorts of connections for both students and faculty.

The following has been edited for clarity.…Read More

3 changes that can help the class of 2030 succeed

Today’s kindergartners are the class of 2030, and by the time they enter the workforce, it will look vastly different. Occupations will need expertise, creativity, grit, and, most importantly, people who can learn and cultivate new skills.

But if we’re going to ensure the class of 2030 succeeds, our current education system needs an overhaul and a refreshed focus, according to a new report from Microsoft. The report, which is based on surveys of 2,000 students and 2,000 teachers, was conducted with McKinsey & Company.

Read more: How SEL inspired a transformation in my school…Read More

#10: 8 ways to help students grow their grit

[Editor’s note: This story, originally published on May 11th of this year, was our #10 most popular story of the year. Happy holidays, and thank you for tuning into our 2018 countdown!]

For a relatively new buzzword, grit certainly has a lot of supporters. It is grit, and not necessarily IQ or talent, that can predict students’ academic success. And as educators seek to understand students from a motivational and psychological point of view, grit pays an important role.

“Grit is passion, perseverance for very long-term goals, stamina,” says Angela Duckworth in her now-famous 2013 TED Talk.…Read More

3 ways to promote grit via literacy instruction

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” –Japanese Proverb

J.K. Rowling. Bill Gates. Oprah Winfrey. These are no doubt names that most students recognize as successful. But what often goes overlooked is the perseverance needed to achieve success, and that successful people—including these household names—often overcome great obstacles. To that end, the conversation in schools has shifted to resilience and grit, recognizing that people who demonstrate determination often end up being movers and shakers in today’s world.

Thanks to pioneering work by Carol Dweck, Martin Seligman, and Angela Duckworth, we now know that the ability to cope and persevere through setbacks and adversity can be learned and taught. In a related movement, educators across the country are leading the charge to implement social-emotional learning (SEL) programs and teach the core SEL competencies they’ve always known to be immensely valuable. By teaching skills ranging from self-management to responsible decision-making, educators hope to instill students with the positive mindsets, resilience, and grit they need to succeed in school and life.…Read More

11 ed-tech buzzwords and phrases to think about

Do these “edubabble” terms have meaning or are they just empty rhetoric?

Get a group of educators together either online or in person and at times it can seem like they’re speaking a different dialect. Want to disrupt the fixed mindset and combat the device gap in the age of the digital native? Well, have you tried innovating your hidden curriculum? Just add more grit (or should that be rigor?). And do it all like a pirate. No, wait: a rockstar.

At best, ed-tech buzzwords can serve as a sort of shorthand when conversing with like minds to quickly touch on relevant, universally-understood phenomena, perhaps with an eye toward saving precious Twitter characters to add additional insight. At worst, as one blogger put it, edubabble is “an act of unconscionable self-indulgence.”

Moreover, in fitting with language’s protean nature, shiny new terms are likely to elude a single, fixed definition, making them even more incomprehensible to outsiders, or even other insiders. To educator Mark Johnson, in a recent blog post, it recalled the scene in Lewis Caroll’s “Through the Looking Glass” where Humpty Dumpty misuses the word “glory” in triumph at having successfully explained the concept of birthdays and un-birthdays to Alice.…Read More

The best measure of success and how to teach it

Can you predict academic success or whether a child will graduate? You can, but not how you might think, reports Edutopia. When psychologist Angela Duckworth studied people in various challenging situations, including National Spelling Bee participants, rookie teachers in tough neighborhoods, and West Point cadets, she found: “One characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success. And it wasn’t social intelligence. It wasn’t good looks, physical health, and it wasn’t IQ. It was grit.”

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