College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

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#GivingTuesday 2018

Donate to Help a Student Today

 
 

#CollegeCareerReadiness through #BlendedLearning

College and Career Readiness is LIFE READINESS.

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Enter Connected, Hyperlinked Students

Reaching and teaching the hyperlinked student

by Eileen Wedegartner, Blended Learning Specialist

I recently had a conversation with one of the teachers I work with about a course she is teaching this year. The content is intriguing, relevant and full of rigor. It has to do with social media, networking, media bias, and how we humans are adapting to these rapid changes. It is a course I would have been dying to get into in high school or college.

I left the conversation excited for, and slightly envious of, the students who would be part of this class experience. Over the subsequent weeks I have thought a lot about the course and read some of the materials the teacher shared with me. It’s easy to see the relevance to the world we’re living in.

Phones are an issue for virtually every school. There are policies in place, but students can always maneuver around policies. It’s what teenagers do best. Schools block sites and have secret passwords for Wi-Fi, but kids always manage to outflank the defense.

As the adult in the room who needs students to pay attention, I struggle with the reality that everyone is connected all the time. The question now seems to be: how do we, as educators, capitalize on the connectedness that students live in?

I am of the generation that is still awestruck at the amount of power we have in our pockets. I marvel that I can access a calculator, look up a math formula, find articles on Darwin’s theory of evolution, read or listen to a book, and even talk to someone– all on the same small hand-held device.

I know it’s old news. Having this technology in our pocket is commonplace and has been for years. But we are still in the early stages of learning how to navigate and manage all that information, teaching people how to navigate it well, and understanding how it alters the way we interface with the world and process information.

It’s a new school year. New classes are meeting and there’s excitement in the air. I am eager to learn about and see firsthand the innovations our teachers will produce. Teaching is not a flat transmission of information. It’s the creation of a physical and mental space where curiosity can flourish, and discovery can unfold.

School is in session.


Related ‘3rd party’ content worth sharing
U.S. Teachers See Digital Devices as Net Plus for Education
Gallup Panel web study published 4/2018

The Advantages of Using Electronic Gadgets in Teaching in School
Classroom.com, 7/2018

Debating the Use of Digital Devices in the Classroom
Concordia University-Portland, updated 7/2018

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Frederick Wiseman, When gods walk the earth

Frederick Wiseman, Chronicler of the Western World

by Gary Kaplan, Unbounded Fan of ‘Fred’

I was at a conference this morning and felt the need for another cup of coffee. The conference was in a lecture room at the front of the building and the food in another room at the back. I sat for a few minutes debating whether to make a spectacle of myself by exiting the room. Caffeine withdrawal finally settled the issue and I slid as silently as possible out of the lecture room and into the corridor. I tiptoed to the rear of the building, decanted my cup of brew, and headed back toward the front. All this, from the first caffeine craving to the return, took perhaps four minutes. Just as I approached the doorway back into the lecture room, a diminutive figure emerged from another doorway and came toward me down the carpeted corridor. It was a small old man with cameras strapped all over his slight frame. Recognition was instantaneous. “Fred!” I blurted. “What are you doing here?” As if it was any business of mine, and as if he knew me from a hole in the wall.

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JFY Partner School Spotlight

Sometimes We Need to Be Reminded…
… that our schools are full of great kids, hard-working and creative teachers, overworked and underappreciated administrators, and effective programs.

Read more about some of these outstanding people, schools and communities in our series: Spotlighting JFYNetWorks Partner Schools… October 2018 edition.

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Language Arts and Math

Two disciplines with a common purpose

by Cathie Maglio, blended learning specialist

Ever since fifth grade I wanted to be a math teacher. I fell in love with the subject at that point and never wavered from it.

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in math, I knew I wanted a master’s degree but didn’t know in what. It took twenty years to find the right program, a Masters of Education with a concentration in Technology in Education at Lesley College (now University). The program was being offered at a local school one week-end a month for 22 months.

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Minding the Gap… GAP Year that is

Should you take a year off after high school?

by Joan Reissman, Blended Learning Specialist

If you’re a senior, you are probably thinking about college. The traditional pattern has been to attend college right after high school, but many students now are taking a year off before enrolling in college. The so-called “gap year” got a lot of attention when Malia Obama decided to wait a year before attending Harvard. Her decision attracted both praise and criticism. Was it a good decision? Let’s examine the gap year option.

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Astronomy in the Fenway

Reading the Red Sox’ Stars

by Greg Cunningham, Blended Learning Specialist

    “I’m amazed you can see Venus with all the lights around Boston,” my friend Tyler commented as we walked back to the car after a Red Sox win at Fenway Park.

    “That’s not Venus,” I assured him. “That’s Mars.”

    “It can’t be Mars. It’s too bright to be Mars.”

    “Actually, Mars is at its brightest point in 50 years right now. And the only time you can see Venus is right after sunset or right before sunrise. It’s too late for Venus.”

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Is access to literacy a constitutional right?

Of Literacy and Democracy

Is access to literacy a constitutional right?

by Eileen Wedegartner

On July 5, 2018, Thomas Birmingham and William Weld co-authored an opinion piece in the Boston Globe titled, “Mass. has to return to its high standards for education.” The former governor and senate president re-visited the 1993 Education Reform Act on its 25th anniversary, praising its successes and making an argument to raise the ante and not relax the push for high standards that has brought Massachusetts success in education.

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JFY Partner School Spotlight

Sometimes We Need to Be Reminded…
… that our schools are full of great kids, hard-working and creative teachers, overworked and underappreciated administrators, and effective programs.

Read more about some of these outstanding people, schools and communities in our series: Spotlighting JFYNetWorks Partner Schools… September 2018 edition.

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Of Engines and Mountains-little engine that could

 

Teaching students to think they can


by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning Specialist
Illustration by George and Doris Hauman

In the classic children’s story “The Little Engine That Could,” the little blue steam engine is asked to pull a train full of toys and gifts to boys and girls on the other side of the mountain. Even though the engine is the smallest in the train yard, she gives it a try. She encounters many obstacles on the way up and each time she says, “I think I can, I think I can.” And in the end, as all children know, the little blue engine does make it over the mountain to deliver the toys to the children.