Beyond the Textbook

I am humbled to be part of a team of educators, many of whom are esteemed peers, converging in a little under a week at Discovery Education headquarters  to discuss the future of the textbook, specifically the digital textbook. As an elementary teacher, I know that my opinions and experiences with textbooks differ from those who…

Big Ideas

As I settle down to sleep after a long day of conversation, reunions and inspiration at Educon, there is a recurring theme: Big Ideas. While sitting at dinner with friends, it was brought up that many teachers attend conferences to get practical information. They want the 5 tips or the handouts that they can then…

Change from Within vs Change from Without

Until recently I counted myself among those change-minded folks who believed that true change could be enacted (and must be at some level) enacted from within ‘the system.’ Amid the discussions of many homeschoolers and unschoolers, who believe that it is time to throw the whole system out, I have always argued that there has…

Getting Education Leaders to #takethetest

Unless you were under a rock last week, you probably saw the Washington Post article “When an Adult Took Standardized Tests Forced on Kids.”  This article has spawned the Twitter hashtag #takethetest, and it has also inspired some of my favorite education bloggers to share their own thoughts. Canadian educator and blogger Joe Bower was even…

Give Us Back Our Voices

Despite leaving the Philadelphia School District for a charter school in 2010 (a direct result of the Renaissance School Initiative), I have been watching the developments and news in the District very closely. I have read harsh, aggressive comments about charter schools, neighborhood schools, parents and teachers along with name-calling and exaggerations in comment areas…

Why I’m Going to Stop Using the Word ‘Authentic’

Tonight’s #edchat conversation was varied, but I was particularly struck by my conversation with Steven Anderson and Lyn Hilt about the word authentic. I often hear people use the term when talking about student-centered, project-based, real world learning. All of these things, I like. However, upon closer scrutiny, I think the word authentic does not…