eSchool News recently polled their readers on what education practice they believed should be replicated nationwide. The top five practices were (Late Night style):
5. Monitoring networks to gauge application usage
Not exactly in the style of Big Brother, but more so to see what applications teachers and students are using most to make future purchasing decisions.
4. An extra day for teachers to plan and collaborate
Students would be on a four day schedule and teachers on a five day, with the fifth day dedicated to planning and collaborating with colleagues. I think there is a district in NJ that has something similar in place. It might be a half day once or twice a month for professional development. I'm wondering out loud if a four day week would be viable. Assuming an 180 day school year, a four day week for students would extend the school year through the summer (10 additional weeks to make up for the one day a week for collaboration). There were be less learning loss due to summer vacation, and the time to get back into learning mode/classroom systems would be decreased as well. Maybe a half day every week would accomplish the same.
3. SEED Math Program (Special Elementary Education for the Disadvantaged)
2. Reading as a high school graduation requirement
I would add effective communication skills to the graduation requirement
and the number one education practice that should be replicated nationwide...
1. Tablet computers and electronic interactive textbooks for students
Technology would certainly help districts go green, and would absolutely engage the students, but would it save money in the long run as proposed in the article? Obsolescence is always an issue when dealing with technology, whether it is purchased or leased. Cost of maintenance another. Would students bring their own technology? Would bringing their own create a digital divide? Can the district's infrastructure handle the number of users that result? Hmmm...
The 5 practices are so important each in their own way and for specific individuals - the teachers, special needs students, students, reading - I think that they are all important. I would love to have a day of collaboration where we can really hone in on what the objectives are for the class. In our district with so much change in our curriculum planning(we are switching to Rubicon) we would have the time needed to meet the curriculum that we all are working to meet. This was a good article.
I took the same spine on my blog post.. Professional development is something that is one of my main concerns. I agree that we need to 'shake' up the system to give teachers more time to collaborate and work together. I think I said in my Blog Post that Michael Horn author of disrupting class said at VSS that reason education has not evolved is that we have not let the teachers shake up the system. I like your idea of 1 day per week, which would result in a longer school year. I would argue for at least one day a month. I would like to see more flex time in the original school day. I have suggested that using digital tools, lesson plans, etc...we (teachers) can free up some prep time. As my friend at GE Health Care tells me, I can't believe they don't pay you and give you time to learn new technology, we take retreats 3-4 times a year to learn new technology. I hope the 'roll' of the teacher can continue to evolve and we can be allowed in changing the education system.
oops..I logged in with the wrong account.
Eric Lehmann @ Waukesha, WI
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