Every Child Deserves a Great Education

Archive for April, 2012

Academicia — “Why can’t we see evidence of alien life?” 0

Posted on April 23, 2012 by dmayer

Embrace your inner teachiness.

Lessons Worth Sharing

This is one of TED Ed’s first lessons.

Why can’t we see evidence of alien life?

Last year at TED2011, Chris Anderson and TED announced a new project to accelerate the push of TED into the realm of education. This new initiative, dubbed TED-Ed, was a Think Tank forum for members of the TED community including exceptional educators, animators, and thinkers.

Chris joined TED-Ed at its launch and provided as much perspective on the Millennial generation’s view of learning, education, and social media as possible to help catalyze the inputs from educators from around the world who are working directly with students in their classrooms and can’t quite put their fingers on what is missing…or what is working well. Why can’t we see evidence of alien life? is one of the first lessons born out of that collaboration.

Academicia — Bloom’s interactive taxonomy 0

Posted on April 19, 2012 by dmayer

Embrace your inner teachiness.

Ammar Merhbi is an edtech/e-learning integration specialist interested in computer-assisted language learning, teacher education, and workplace performance technology. He produced an interactive Bloom’s revised digital taxonomy wheel and the almost overlapping knowledge dimensions. Bloom’s taxonomy has been used extensively in education. The 2001 update of Bloom’s taxonomy for the 21century is depicted in this interactive wheel.

Bloom’s Revised Digital Taxonomy Wheel


EdWatch Update: Stand for Children 0

Posted on April 17, 2012 by dmayer

Yesterday I received an e-mail asking for help.

My name is ********. I am a teacher in the ******* School District. You’ve probably heard, but last night our union voted to strike. Our neighboring school districts are in similar situations. Not a good thing. I have been feeling that something was very strange with this negotiation. Something was up. A colleague and I started to dig a little. We thought perhaps the “Tea Party” might have influenced our school board, but there seemed to be little there. Then we stumbled upon you (Oregon Save Our Schools of which I am a member) and Stand for Children.

The three districts have ties with the ******** law firm. Perhaps you know of them. They specialize in busting unions and defending school districts. Our board members seem to be involved with Stand For Children.

. . .

Our associations have been at a loss to explain where these new ideas have come from, and so far, they have been outmaneuvered by the professional negotiations and tactics being employed by our administrators. And so, we are being forced to strike. I feel like we are being led into a trap.

In response we have updated the Stand for Children EdWatch page to include the most recent financial statements, annual reports, and articles about Stand’s shenanigans around the country. Stand executives, board members, and wealthiest supporters are arrogant enough to think that Oregonians aren’t aware of its dirty dealings including teacher and union bashing and outright election buying in other states. They don’t seem to realize that what happens in Massachusetts, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington doesn’t stay there. We hear about it in Oregon, too, and we don’t expect to be treated any differently.

Find out more about Stand for Children on EdWatch.

Academicia — Are Tests Biased Against Students Who Don’t Give A Sh*t? 0

Posted on April 16, 2012 by dmayer

Embrace your inner teachiness. (Rated Mature for language.)

Academicia — Organizing help from Mendeley 0

Posted on April 13, 2012 by dmayer

Embrace your inner teachiness.

Mendeley is the world’s largest crowdsource library. Teachers can use it to manage curriculum, do research and create original research projects, or just to get organized. Mendeley uses the latest technology to continually improve the product and deliver useful features researchers need. The basic software is free. Organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover new research.

to watch for a brief introduction or visit Mendeley for all the details.

Academicia — Maybe you do need a real teacher 0

Posted on April 11, 2012 by dmayer

Embrace your inner teachiness.

Right before April Fools Day, 2011, math students at Biola University in Southern California learned the difference between real and imaginary numbers from professor Matthew Weathers and his imaginary self, who appears as a virtual teacher in a YouTube video.

Weathers produced the video with the help of Andrew Staver, a Biola student studying film production. Check it out:

Academicia — TED Lessons worth sharing 0

Posted on April 09, 2012 by dmayer

Embrace you inner teachiness.

TED-Ed: Lessons worth sharing

TED, the organization behind the popular conference series with the same name, just launched a new initiative that aims to bring TED-like video content to high school students. The idea here is to repackage existing TED talks as well as videotaped lessons from teachers around the world with additional graphics and effects to make them more palatable to a younger audience.

TED-Ed’s mission is to capture and amplify the voices of great educators around the world. We do this by pairing extraordinary educators with talented animators to produce a new library of curiosity-igniting videos. A new site, which will launch in early April 2012, will feature these new TED-Ed Originals as well as some powerful new learning tools.

Nominate an educator.

Nominate an animator.

Suggest a lesson.

The Sham of Teach for America on Education Radio 0

Posted on April 09, 2012 by dmayer

In Seattle fights Teach for America, I recently wrote about the stand-off between Seattle parents and their school board over the contracting of Teach for America (TFA). On March 22, 2012, parents lost the battle — for now — as the board voted 4 to 3 to continue the contract with TFA. You can follow the struggle by reading the Parents Across America blog.

Education Radio has produced a scathing critique that may help parents everywhere keep Teach for America out of their schools in the future. For the most part, the information is not new, but it is nicely packaged to make a compelling case against the organization that for years has belittled the teaching profession while making unsubstantiated claims about the organization. It says out loud and with authority the very things so many educators have been screaming about, unheard, for years. Hopefully, the extraordinarily wealthy and our elected officials will listen, literally.

You may listen to the show here on Education Radio.


In this week’s show (Part One of a two part series), Education Radio continues to disrupt the dominant narrative of corporate education reform by investigating the organization Teach for America (TFA). TFA is one of many insidious examples of how the language of social justice and equity is hijacked and appropriated, and instead employed to further the goals of the neoliberal education reform agenda. This agenda includes a firm belief that education should primarily serve the interests of private profit and as with all neoliberal education reformers, TFA is actively intensifying racial and class inequality, and the destruction of education as an essential public good along with the continued decimation of unions – two institutions that are primary determinants of a democratic society.

In addition, some of the myths that have long been perpetuated by and about TFA are debunked. Education Radio interviews education experts and former TFA recruits for critical input.

We speak to a variety of people who have researched and experienced Teach for America, including Barbara Veltri, Assistant Professor of Education at Northern Arizona State university, TFA corps member mentor, and author of Learning on Other People’s Kids: Becoming a Teach for America Teacher. We hear from University of Illinois Chicago Professor of Asian American Studies and Education Kevin Kumashiro on TFA’s impact on teacher education, and Associate Professor of Education at the University of Alabama Philip Kovacs, who has investigated TFA’s research, and from education historian Diane Ravitch. We also hear what TFA founder Wendy Kopp has to say about their mission and philosophy. We close the show by hearing from CUNY professor and leading proponent of critical pedagogy Ira Shor, who talks about the importance of creating spaces for authentic teaching and learning.

I would take issue with one recurring statement in the program. TFA is referred to repeatedly as a part of the neoliberal education reform agenda. In fact, the so-called education reform that showcases Teach for America is supported by both liberals and conservatives. Appropriating our public schools and handing them over to the wealthiest 1% is the only thing Democrats and Republicans can agree on. TFA grew substantially under No Child Left Behind under Gerorge W. Bush and continues to flourish as Race to the Top does its damage under President Obama. So, I hope the folks at Education Radio will correct that misconception. We have found one thing that liberals and conservatives agree on. Let’s broadcast it widely.

But homegrown Democrats can be taken by surprise when education reform legislation is promoted by one of their own. During the Q & A following his state-of-the-state address in January 2012, Oregon’s Governor, John Kitzhaber, said he would welcome Teach for America to this state. I’m hoping that the mounting evidence against Teach for America in programming like this show on Education Radio will change his thinking. All children, Oregon’s included, deserve professional teachers. I’m hoping Oregonians can avert the fight that Seattle is waging. Children can’t protect themselves, they count on us for that.

An Evening with Dr. Yong Zhao 0

Posted on April 01, 2012 by dmayer


Preferable Futures for Oregon Education

Please join us for an evening with Dr. Yong Zhao, distinguished author and lecturer, as we listen, discuss, and collaborate to create a positive vision for public education in Oregon. Dr. Zhao, Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, College of Education at the University of Oregon, is the author of Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization.


His book raises interesting and provocative questions about the current direction of educational policies in the U.S.

Is Oregon headed in the right direction?
Is there a different direction we need to go?
How do we create a just and equitable education system? What defines success?
How should a return on educational investment be measured?
How do we define a high quality education?

Location: First Unitarian Church
Date: Thursday, April, 5, 2012
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Join us for a presentation and discussion about education equity. Is Oregon catching up or leading the way?


For additional details and to register for this event, click here.

An Evening with Dr.Yong Zhao is brought to you by Oregon Save Our Schools, Rethinking Schools, and Great Schools for America.

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