EDWORDS: Latest Blog Posts

  • Breaking down barriers between the classroom and the real world

    One of the things I frequently experiment with in my classroom is ways to connect what my students are learning with the real world. It is a useful approach since it stimulates engagement and interest from students, it links in with instilling a sense of lifelong learning, and, ideally, helps to make classroom-based work much more relevant to learners’ own interests and passions. Breaking down these barriers between classroom and real-life offers great scope for personalized learning trajector ...

    by Adam Bodley
    Wednesday, 01 July 2015
  • How to Choose the Best CDA Professional Development Specialist

      When the new CDA 2.0 process launched, the roles of the CDA Advisor and the CDA Council Representative merged into one, new position– the Professional Development Specialist… or PD Specialist, as it is commonly called. The tasks that were formerly completed during several visits by two individuals are now accomplished by one person at one visit. Like many aspects of CDA 2.0, this has been streamlined. However, as it goes with many cases of streamlining, there is the good and the not-so-g ...

    by Debra Pierce
    Tuesday, 30 June 2015
  • The Best Plans...

      I had it all figured out. Take the kids to daycare. Then, go work on cleaning up email. Post the new questions for the summer book studies. Write a blog post. Maybe even get through a Google module for certification.   It was all going so well until...the phone call from daycare. Argh! Who is sick? What happened? I answered apprehensively, because those phone calls are never good. My oldest has a spot on his forehead and it needs to be looked at. Bummer. I saw it this morning, bu ...

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    by Amy Heavin
    Tuesday, 30 June 2015
  • IMAG0182

    How to Crush a Ten-Year-Old in 4 Easy Steps

            This is my first blog post from a parent's perspective, but I can't help sometimes wearing my  teacher hat.      My daughter just graduated survived 4th grade this week. It was a dreadful year for her academically and socially, thanks almost entirely to her classroom teacher. If you would like to achieve similar powerful results with your students next year, then please follow this short manual: 1)  Make no effort to include and assimilate ...

    by Andrew Swan
    Friday, 26 June 2015
  • Social Media and the Connected Superintendent

      “The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.”– John Sculley, Business Executive   Leadership, growth, progress, relationships and success are built upon a foundation of Trust and clear Communication Times have changed. Ten years ago, in 2005, superintendents used the U.S. Postal Service to support communication and leadership. They used paper memos and inter-office envelopes and even voicemail. Communication today is instant and immediat ...

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    by Michael Lubelfeld
    Friday, 26 June 2015
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Posted by on in General

One of the things I frequently experiment with in my classroom is ways to connect what my students are learning with the real world. It is a useful approach since it stimulates engagement and interest from students, it links in with instilling a sense of lifelong learning, and, ideally, helps to make classroom-based work much more relevant to learners’ own interests and passions. Breaking down these barriers between classroom and real-life offers great scope for personalized learning trajectories, since learners can see reflections from their own life, experiences, and interests. It is also a great way to introduce older students to a range of careers that they may not previously have considered.

In this post I will outline a few of the more exciting ways I have been trying out recently in order to break down these classroom-real world barriers.

Bringing in guest speakers is always a great way to focus learners’ minds on how their classroom learning can relate to the wider world. I am a biology teacher who works in a Thai high school in Bangkok, Thailand, where English is the medium of instruction for my learners. Last year I invited a Thai researcher from a local university to come and talk to my Grade 12 students about the evolution of drug resistant malaria on the Thai-Cambodian border. This served a number of purposes. It helped my learners to link their evolutionary theory with real-time evolutionary processes that have a direct impact on human health, it was a public health issue that was geographically close to them (the Thai-Cambodian border is only around 250 kilometres from Bangkok), and the speaker was a Thai scientist with an international research profile, who gave her presentation in English, and was therefore a great role model for my students.

This year we went a step further, and a colleague and myself invited a team of international researchers from the mathematical modelling group of the Mahidol-Oxford Research Unit here in Bangkok to run a day-long mathematical modeling workshop for our Grade 12 students. The workshop included both epidemiological and health economics modeling. Following the workshop, learners’ evaluation feedback suggested that they appreciated gaining insights into the lives of working scientists as well as the opportunity to learn about mathematical modeling.

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

 

When the new CDA 2.0 process launched, the roles of the CDA Advisor and the CDA Council Representative merged into one, new position– the Professional Development Specialist… or PD Specialist, as it is commonly called. The tasks that were formerly completed during several visits by two individuals are now accomplished by one person at one visit. Like many aspects of CDA 2.0, this has been streamlined. However, as it goes with many cases of streamlining, there is the good and the not-so-good.

 

On the positive side are the qualifications needed to be a PD Specialist. These persons must meet the requirements of a Council Representative in order to apply. In the past the CDA Advisor position had fewer recommended qualifications and these were never really verified. This was the person responsible for conducting the formal observation and completing that lengthy Observation Instrument in the old process. Because of the loophole, many of these observations were conducted by a CDA candidate’s co-worker or an acquaintance, many of whom had little or no experience, early childhood background, or any business even doing this task.

With the new process, once an individual verifies her qualifications, she (or he!) embarks on a training process that consists of several online modules and a series of videos, each of which require passing an assessment.

...

Posted by on in Education Leadership

 

I had it all figured out. Take the kids to daycare. Then, go work on cleaning up email. Post the new questions for the summer book studies. Write a blog post. Maybe even get through a Google module for certification.

 

It was all going so well until...the phone call from daycare. Argh! Who is sick? What happened? I answered apprehensively, because those phone calls are never good. My oldest has a spot on his forehead and it needs to be looked at. Bummer. I saw it this morning, but didn’t think much about it.

 

...

Posted by on in General

IMAG0182   

    This is my first blog post from a parent's perspective, but I can't help sometimes wearing my  teacher hat. 

    My daughter just graduated survived 4th grade this week. It was a dreadful year for her academically and socially, thanks almost entirely to her classroom teacher. If you would like to achieve similar powerful results with your students next year, then please follow this short manual:

1)  Make no effort to include and assimilate a new student.  Just plop them in a chair and let the learning begin! -- The teacher (and administration/guidance) did nothing to facilitate new friendships or acquaintances. The only lasting peer relationships my daughter made were with 1st-graders and kindergarteners during shared recess time. Our family moved to a new district over the summer, so she missed Step-Up Day and other transition events. We managed to get a school tour and brief teacher introduction a couple days before the school year began, but that's it. He also did not know until late-October that my daughter had a 504 plan of accommodations relating to a seizure disorder. Oops.

2)  Assign the most boring and useless homework imaginable...and do NOT give any meaningful feedback.

...

Posted by on in Education Leadership

 

“The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.”
– John Sculley, Business Executive

 

Leadership, growth, progress, relationships and success are built upon a foundation of Trust and clear Communication

Times have changed. Ten years ago, in 2005, superintendents used the U.S. Postal Service to support communication and leadership. They used paper memos and inter-office envelopes and even voicemail. Communication today is instant and immediate. Today’s superintendent is connected 24/7 and is able to communicate with blogs, audio, video, text messaging, e-mail, and any number of social media applications like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Remind, Snapchat, etc. The past ten years have shown significant changes in terms of consumption of information and “fingertip” access. Yes, times have changed. Communication has changed, but the importance of communication in support of leadership and innovation remains the same. Today’s superintendent knows how to leverage the power of technology to harness effective and impactful communication. Are you a superintendent of today, or yesterday?

During in-services and meetings I have shared videos on YouTube in the “Did You Know” series where they show statistics about the number of emails, members of Facebook, technology impacts of the modern world, etc. The messages from these videos also support and explain and define this generation’s ubiquitous relationship with technology. As I write in 2015 it is difficult to imagine that it has only been five years since people first began using iPads. Now it is impossible to go anywhere and not see people using iPads. How has our world changed so much that a device no one knew about six years ago, introduced five years ago, is now in the hands of more than 200 million people?

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