How to bring global learning to your classroom

The sun was high overhead as we stood in the open, slowly baking in the hundred- degree heat, which was abnormally hot for late October, even by southern California standards. It was late in the afternoon of day three of our expedition, and we weren’t sure what to expect as we got out of the van.

As one of 26 middle school teachers participating in EarthEcho International’s Water by Design Expedition, part of an annual program sponsored by the Northrop Grumman Foundation that leverages exploration and discovery to bring STEM education alive, I had been ferried about this bustling metropolitan area to learn how Angelenos use and manage their water. We were in good company, joined by various scientists, experts, and explorer and EarthEcho Founder, Philippe Cousteau, Jr.

Our destination was the terminus of the Los Angeles aqueduct, near the Van Norman Bypass Reservoir in Sylmar. Try to picture several hundred cubic feet of water per second cascading–no, raging–through a 12-foot diameter cement channel down the hillside and then leveling off in front of us. The snowpack in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas that feeds the aqueduct was abundant last winter, and the torrent of meltwater that had traveled over 400 miles to reach its destination was an astounding sight. I knew that I could use this powerful image with my students, along with the story of the aqueduct’s construction, as an engaging example of how people can engineer solutions to complex, real-world problems.…Read More

TED-ED clubs give students a platform for sharing ideas

The clubs are fashioning the next generation of TED speakers one big idea at a time

One of Mitzi Stover’s biggest challenges as a teacher is convincing her students they have a voice. Stover teaches speech and English at North Torrance High School in a working-class area of Los Angeles where kids seldom travel or even leave the neighborhood.

“Their world is very small geographically,” Stover said during a recent presentation at the CUE 2016 national conference in Palm Springs. “And teenagers are already so dismissed most of the time.”

From her years of teaching, Stover knew that having students delve into their interests and personal experiences was one of the best ways to develop their passions — and in turn their public speaking. But presenting to the same classmates they saw every day was decidedly low-stakes and hardly helped her convince students they had a voice, let alone a global reach.…Read More

Report: Los Angeles Schools Supt. Deasy to resign

John Deasy, the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District who has been at the center of a  troubled $1 billion technology initiative, has told Board of Education members that he will soon resign just weeks after getting a one-year contract extension, the  Los Angeles Times reported. Deasy has abruptly resigned from a schools superintendency before; in 2008, he quit as chief of the Prince George’s County public school district after two years to accept a job as deputy director of the education division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Los Angeles newspaper did not offer a reason for the latest move by Deasy, who took over the district in April 2011 and proceeded to push a series of controversial school reforms, including a new teacher assessment system that based part of a teacher’s evaluation on the standardized test scores of students and an ambitious project to give an iPad to every child in the 650,000-student district and their teachers for home use…

Read more

…Read More