TEDxPhilly – Chris Lehmann – Education is broken

A very interesting video on why our educational system is broke and what he did to fix it in his school.  And the results demonstrate that it works for his students.  Will this work for your students?


Dan Meyer: Math class needs a makeover

Wow!  I love this Tedtalk by Dan Meyer.  I am a math teacher and have had so many of the same thoughts.  I have kids that are forced to take my Math class so right away I have to “wow” them and get them interested in Math.  I also believe the books are horrible in presenting the material.  Dan did a great job of explaining why with his analogy of the TV show.

The issue for me was, I did not know how to combat all the things he mentioned and I tried several things to differentiate my class so that they can learn the concept and process vs memorizing the formulas (“plug and chug”).

His suggestions were wonderful and look forward to using them in my classroom.

Podcast on Four Must-Know Tips for Giving Effective Feedback


The host asks three panelists on tips for teachers to use in their classroom on the do’s and don’ts of feedback.  I thought the tips were spot on.  I have learned to use many of the tips they suggested throughout my career and also have found they work nicely in the classroom.  I also learned that some of the feedback I use in my classroom were not effective.  Overall I liked the podcast because I learned something new and it reinforced some of my teaching strategies.

Since this was my first podcast, I am now more inclined to watch/listen to them for my continued learning.  It was easy to do and I found the information very informative.  I also liked how it was a nice break from reading.

Edutopia: Mini lesson on race and gender identities for the classroom


Edutopia posted a great article on how to use the racial tensions going on across the U.S. as a teaching tool in the classroom.  They provide teachers with a mini lesson outline to implement in class.  I loved it and would definitely use it in my class.

Extracurricular empowerment: Scott McLeod at TED talks

What a great video to demonstrate what happens when you empower a child instead of trying to control them.  Controlling someone is just another way of forcing someone to do what you want to do (isn’t this a form of bullying we teach our students not to do in school?).

As a teacher, I know we have to be in control of our classroom.  But I also believe we need to empower our students to thrive, learn and use their natural curiosity.  Integrating technology into the classroom is only scary because as teachers we believe we lose a little bit of control.  I do not look at it as losing control and instead l believe it is empowering my students to be creative, use critical thinking skills and allow them an opportunity to fail (which in turn allows them to learn).

Why not ask your students how they want (or could) use technology in your classroom.  Then you become the decision maker on what is used from all their suggestions.  The students will have great suggestions and when you involve them in something, they are more likely to participate.

Maybe a goal is to have a class blog that gets noticed by the secretary of Education (Arne Duncan)?  Maybe noticed by some of the other big names in education?  Then you have created an environment where the students willingly participate in your class instead of using force.  What do you like to do more?  Participate in something willingly or be forced to participate?