Thursday, December 29, 2011

What Happens When We Stop Writing Letters? « CAFFEINATED POLITICS

What Happens When We Stop Writing Letters? « CAFFEINATED POLITICS:

What Happens When We Stop Writing Letters?

DECEMBER 29, 2011
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There is a debate among some educators over the merits of teaching cursive writing. In an age of computers and gadgets is there still a place for something as ‘old-fashioned’ as knowing how to write legibly? (I think there is.)

There might also be a debate about something equally important–the importance of writing a letter. This week The New Yorker had a column that is worthy of pondering.

As you read the paragraph below ponder the loss of the letters from John and Abigail Adams.

If we stop writing letters, who will keep our history or dare venture upon a biography? George Washington, Oscar Wilde, T. E. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, E. B. White, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Vera Nabokov, J. P. Morgan—if any of these vivid predecessors still belong to us in some fragmented private way, it’s because of their letters or diaries (which are letters to ourselves) or thanks to some strong biography built on a ledge of letters. Twenty years ago, many o

SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: A Teacher At PS 51 In The Bronx Fights Back

SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: A Teacher At PS 51 In The Bronx Fights Back:

A Teacher At PS 51 In The Bronx Fights Back

oday quite disconcerting news came across the SBSB newsroom desk. Nancy Tomassi, a teacher at PS 51 in the Bronx has filed a lawsuit against the DOEalleging that the former building that housed PS 51 led to her unborn child being diagnosed with anencephaly which resulted in her ending her pregnancy.

The crack team at SBSB and myself would like to first take this time to show how support and sympathy to Nancy, her husband Mike, and their entire families i

Reflections from the Ohio Summit 2.5 Part II | Connected Principals

Reflections from the Ohio Summit 2.5 Part II | Connected Principals:

Reflections from the Ohio Summit 2.5 Part II

On Thursday, December 8, 2011 I attended the Ohio Summit 2.5, which is a conference that showcases what Ohio schools are doing to integrate 21st Century skills and technology in the teaching and learning process. I wanted to attend the conference to hear some of the keynote presenters: Karl Fisch (@karlfisch), the creator of “Shift Happens: Did You Know 2.0″, Daniel Pink (@danielpink), author of A Whole New Mind and Drive, and finally Ewan McIntosh (@ewanmcintosh), Scottish educator. I’ve already shared my reflections about the state of Ohio’s Interim Superintendent’s opening remarks, which you can review here. This is part II of my reflections.

The first keynote speaker was Karl Fisch, Director of Technology and Mathematics teacher at Arapahoe High

Full-time cyber schools expanding despite no evidence of their effectiveness, new report finds #edreform #ows

Great Lakes Center For Education Research & Practice:

Full-time cyber schools expanding despite no evidence of their effectiveness, new report finds

Study finds more questions than answers about the benefit of full-time virtual schools

EAST LANSING, Mich. (Oct. 25, 2011) — Full-time virtual schools are expanding despite no high-quality evidence that they are effective, according to a new report released today.

Cash-strapped states and school districts are using online education — including full-time virtual schools with no face-to-face contact between students and teachers — as a lower-cost alternative to traditional public schools. In states such as Florida, virtual schools are used as a loophole in laws that limit the size of classes.

According to the report, authored by University of Colorado education professors Gene V Glass and Kevin G. Welner, full-time "cyber schools" are now operating in 27 states. In at least one case in Arizona, a private firm outsourced essay grading to low-paid workers in India.

"Private operators are gaining access to large streams of public revenue to run cyber schools," Glass said. "But school districts are not getting full information on the actual costs of these programs, so it's not clear if taxpayer money is being used effectively — or properly."

Cyber schools are subject to only minimal government oversight, according to the report.

"We have to make sure that cyber schools don't become just a cheap way of providing second-rate service to disadvantaged schools and students," Glass said.

Big Education Ape: 12-29-11 PM Reform vs. Anti-Reform: Quoth the Raven EDition #OWS #edreform

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