College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

Yearly Archives: 2017

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Does Homework Have to be Boring?

by Joan Reissman, Blended Learning Specialist

The value of homework is the subject of longstanding debate among educators. In simpler times, homework required no more than rote repetition of concepts taught in class. That’s no longer enough. Today’s teachers don’t want reinforcement to be merely repetitious. They want homework to drive deeper understanding of concepts. They use techniques that reinforce daily lessons while promoting deeper understanding through application and differentiated instruction. For example, one study of teachers who assigned technology-based homework linked their students’ improved performance on final exams to the way the teachers structured the homework ccording to the principles of cognitive intervention (Butler, Marsh, Slavinsky et al., Educ Psychol Rev (2014) 26: 331).

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Tweet this: More #Civility is needed, abolish cyberbullying

by Greg Cunningham, JFYNetWorks Blended Learning Specialist

In 2010, Massachusetts passed an anti-bullying law that covered student actions and also mandated schools to have a plan in place to address such actions. The law includes cyber bullying, even if it takes place outside the school day. It has been an effective tool used by both parents and schools to reduce the amount of bullying that was often dismissed as “typical junior high or high school behavior.”

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Treat? Or Schtick? Can tricks teach math?

There are many tricks that can help students solve math problems

by Joan Reissman, Blended Learning Specialist

It’s not news that many students struggle with math. According to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the triennial test given to 15 year-olds by OECD, the United States ranked 38th out of 71 countries in 2015.1 Every three years we slide a few more notches. Something has to be done. But what?

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Online Education—Time to Start is Now

by Greg Cunningham, JFYNetWorks Blended Learning Specialist

Online Education can be daunting even for digital natives

Everyone over 30—or is it now 20? — assumes that young people are completely tech savvy. They walk the streets and hallways with their faces plastered to their phones, texting, posting, broadcasting live video from concerts or from lunch, always up on the newest apps to keep constantly enmeshed in their social webs.

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Madison Park MCAS Gain Leads State

The largest Proficient/Advanced gain in the state

by Gary Kaplan, JFYNetWorks Executive Director

MCAS scores for 2017 were released last month. JFY’s partner schools logged many good results, but Madison Park Technical Vocational High School was far and away the year’s high point.

Madison Park has come in for heavy criticism for many years. Every news story about school problems cites it as one of the lowest performing schools in the state. There is justification for concern: scores have historically been low and the school was demoted to Level 4 in 2015. In our skill-hungry labor market, it makes sense to be concerned: how can we support a burgeoning tech-based economy if Boston’s only vocational school can’t produce skilled workers?

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JFYNet Partner Schools
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 2017 edition.

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Roads to Mastery in Math: Math Olympiad

What happens when goals for teaching math, and the strategies employed collide?

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning Specialist

When people talk about the Olympics, they mean the sporting event that happens every four years. But did you know there’s a math Olympics that happens every year? It’s called the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) and it’s for pre-college students. Over 100 teams compete for gold, silver and bronze medals. Earlier this year, the Republic of Korea took home the gold.

The IMO’s inaugural competition was in 1959. China entered in 1985 and has won the gold 19 times since, while the United States has won it only 6 times since its 1974 debut. Why have Chinese students beaten us so often in math? Speaking as a longtime math teacher, I think it’s the way math is taught in the two countries.

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How to Create an Effective Bended Learning Classroom

Assess, Instruct, Measure, Support

by Joan Reissman, Blended Learning Specialist

Everyone today talks about blending technology into their classrooms. When I first started working for JFYNetWorks, many teachers asked, “How can a computer be better than me?” Those days are long gone as technology has become such an essential part of our lives, but many teachers still ask how they can create an effective blended learning environment.