5 KEYS TO SUPER-CHARGED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

With a growing body of research showing that teachers are the most important determinant of student achievement, new and more rigorous teacher evaluation systems and policies have been implemented across the country. At the same time, many educators feel they lack the right resources and support needed to meet the demands of today’s classrooms and heightened learning standards.  pic

In order for professional development to work, leaders must address high-yield instructional strategies aligned to the specific needs of their staff in a positive, supportive and collaborative environment.

No one would ever expect a golfer to improve his score by taking away half of his clubs, so how can anyone expect a teacher to do more with less support? While there’s certainly no lack of professional learning programs and resources available, most unfortunately prove to be inadequate and ineffective at stimulating real growth.

Multiple studies have confirmed in the last several years that the quality of support a teacher receives is directly correlated to his or her effectiveness in the classroom. But this doesn’t simply refer to one event in time. Rather, it’s about the larger plan and support system consistently in place for educators and

The Best Educational App . . . Ever???

If back to school night has one lesson for me. It’s that parents of elementary students are looking for someone to talk to about iPads, phones, tablets, and how their kids are using them. I’m lucky enough to work in an amazing school with a great approach to technology education. Last night at back-to-school night I got to share with the kindergarten through second-grade parents why we do technology the way we do. In my short talk about 10 minutes, I was able to discuss what kinds of things we do in Technology class and the goals we have.
As I was preparing to present to the parents, I created a small slide deck, grabbed a robot, and headed over to the elementary school. When I got there, my first-grade team asked me, “where’s the puppet?” I laughed because I got so wrapped up and prep I’ve forgotten a very important part of who I am in the classroom. So I went back to my office, grabbed my orange friend, and we headed over to back-to-school night.

In my short presentation, I described the work I do as creating a high-engagement high-challenge environment for

Overcoming writer’s block: three tips

book

A common thread in conversations about how difficult academic writing can be is the persistent feeling of not being ready to write. Or not being good enough to write. While academics and PhD students might not call this writer’s block, they talk a lot about procrastination and perfectionism. They list displacement activities checking email, Facebook, references, doing the laundry, cleaning the room, mowing the grass, watching it grow – and they know that all of these involve not writing.

It’s a recognised problem. In his book Understanding Writing Block, Keith Hjortshoj says: “Writing blocks are most common among advanced undergraduates, graduate students, scholars, and other professional writers who are not supposed to need help with writing and do not need the kinds of writing instruction offered in the typical composition class.”

But why is writer’s block so common among academics? Is talking about procrastination just denying the need for help or instruction? Academics and PhD students are supposed to know all they need to know, aren’t they?

Would a request for help be seen as a critical weakness? Or is writer’s block caused by writing-related anxiety?

Landmark Education Concept: Suggestion of Landmark Forum Training

The concept of landmark education emphasizes more the notion that there exists a difference between facts of what happens in situations and its meaning as well as the interpretation of the same or the story about the facts. This education proposes that individuals confuse these facts with the story that they have about them frequently. Consequently, individuals experience suffering and they become less effective in lives. According to Landmark, meaning is invented by human beings in language. Thus, it is not coherent to the events themselves. As such, individuals change their statements. They can also change the meaning that they associate with happenings or events and also become more effective when dealing with events.

How landmark worldwide works

Landmark offers its training programs in 20 countries. Its core operations entail delivering training courses and seminars that are aimed at improving personal productivity, communication skills, vitality and decision making abilities of participants. Some of its training programs and courses are intensive and they can take 2 or 3 days. There are also weekly courses and seminars while others span for up to 6 or 12 months. The training that is offered by Landmark covers different topics including teamwork, public speaking and

Understand Neodymium Magnets Relation With Temperature

Maximum allowable temperature for neodymium magnet can be understood with the help of two key temperatures.

  1. Curie temperature – Temperature level, at which magnetization gets lost.
  2. Maximum operating temperature (MaxOP Temp) – It is a level recommended for each magnet material grade. Generally, it is not perfect, but is a good guideline that can be employed in several situations.

Temperatures magnet can sustain depend on variety of factors

  • Material used (ferrite or neodymium)
  • Magnets shape
  • Magnets temperature kind
  • Positioning of magnets within a group

Neodymium magnet of type N losses partial magnetization permanently, when they reach 80°C, while ferrite magnets at 250°C as well as tapes & sheets at 85°C. A forceful cool-down harms ferrite magnets (-40°) and tapes & sheets (-20°) magnetization strength partially, but does not damage neodymium magnets.

If the magnet is heated over its maximum working temperature, then it loses magnetization partially. Thereafter, it sticks on less firmly to an iron plate, even after if it is cooled again.

Different kinds of temperature losses owing to high temperature

Reversible temperature loss – As long as the magnet is hot, it is less magnetic. As soon as, the magnet is cooled to room temperature, it recovers its original potency. It does not matter, how often you heat or

10 truths a PhD supervisor will never tell you

My father used to tell a joke, over and over again. It was a classic outback Australian, Slim Dusty joke that – like the best dad jokes – I can’t remember. But I do recall the punchline. “Who called the cook a bastard?” To which the answer was, “Who called the bastard a cook?”

This riposte often comes to mind during discussions about doctoral supervision and candidature management. Discussions go on (and on and on) about quality, rigour, ethics and preparedness. Postgraduates are monitored, measured and ridiculed for their lack of readiness or their slow progress towards completion. But inconsistencies and problems with supervisors and supervision are marginalised. In response, I think of my father’s one-liner: Who called the supervisor a bastard? Who called the bastard a supervisor?

To my mind, I never received any satisfactory, effective or useful supervision for my doctorate, research master’s or two coursework master’s that contained sizeable dissertation components. I found the supervisors remote and odd. A couple of them tried to block the submission of the theses to my institution. Indeed, on three separate occasions in my career, academics informed me that if I submitted this thesis, it would fail. The results that followed these warnings were a master

Education The Promise of Personalized Learning

Patty Berganza is a chatty 16-year-old with a mouthful of braces, a thick mane of black hair, and a lightning-fast brain. The last of these left her so bored at her previous Los Angeles high school that she racked up more than 49 unexcused absences in one year and earned a reputation as a slacker. She never thought about college, because nobody ever talked about it. Indeed, she says of her previous high school, “I don’t think my teachers even knew my name.” In many ways, Patty represents countless students who graduate at abysmal rates but who have the capacity to do infinitely better. Unlike others, she found a new school that has helped her tap that capacity.

One learning model at Tennenbaum asks students to work together in groups of four. Pictured (left to right) are Cesar Uribe, Yvonne Arenas, Damon Siah, and Joshua Franco. (All photography/Shawn Jones)

Where Patty once routinely slumped at the back of the classroom, she now perches front and center, attentive and engaged. She has flown ahead of her peers in math, and earned an overall grade-point average of 3.28, and talks hopefully about applying to the University of California, Berkeley. What is remarkable is that

Technology as a Tool to Support Instruction

This week, in an Education World “edu-torial,” Lynne Schrum presents her personal perspective on the ways in which technology can enhance learning — and calls on educators to take a leadership role in determining the ways in which technology is used to support educational goals.

Lynne Schrum, past president of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), is an associate professor in the department of instructional technology at the University of Georgia. Her research, teachings, and writings focus on issues related to distance education, specifically online learning. Schrum also investigates the uses of technology in K-12 environments and identifies ways to support educators in the effort.

We’re all familiar with the extravagant promises of technology: It will make our students smarter — and it will do it faster and cheaper than ever before. Moreover, the promise suggests, this miracle will occur almost by osmosis. We need only place a computer in a room, stand back, and watch the magic take place. If only life were that simple and learning that easy!

Those of us who remember the 1980s, when computers were first making their way into our classrooms, probably also remember a great deal of bad software. As educators, we were

Active Shooter Drills Training Without Traumatizing

Unannounced active shooter drills might seem a perfect way to train staff for the unthinkable.  What better way could there be to accurately test and gauge a staff’s response to an armed intruder than to have personnel respond believing it to be an actual event?After all, some schools conduct unannounced fire or severe weather drills, and those exercises usually occur with few, if any, negative consequences.   It might stand to reason active shooter drills should be included among the list of unannounced drills.   However, is it a wise decision and what are the risks?

You Need to Know

Unannounced active shooter drills are dangerous and create an unnecessary risk to staff, students, bystanders, and the role players.   Additionally, there is a risk it might alter, in an adverse way, a staff member’s response should an actual armed assailant confront him or her.  Finally, the risk significantly increases the exposure to liability of all the agencies involved.   The limited value that may exist in an unannounced active shooter drill does not offset the risks created by the circumstances themselves.

 

Risks of Unannounced Active Shooter Drill

 

It is not possible to set up a completely

How to get published in an academic journal: top tips from editors

Writing for academic journals is highly competitive. Even if you overcome the first hurdle and generate a valuable idea or piece of research – how do you then sum it up in a way that will capture the interest of reviewers?

There’s no simple formula for getting published – editors’ expectations can vary both between and within subject areas. But there are some challenges that will confront all academic writers regardless of their discipline. How should you respond to reviewer feedback? Is there a correct way to structure a paper? And should you always bother revising and resubmitting? We asked journal editors from a range of backgrounds for their tips on getting published.

The writing stage

1) Focus on a story that progresses logically, rather than chronologically

Take some time before even writing your paper to think about the logic of the presentation. When writing, focus on a story that progresses logically, rather than the chronological order of the experiments that you did.
Deborah Sweet, editor of Cell Stem Cell and publishing director at Cell Press

2) Don’t try to write and edit at the same time

Open a file on the PC and put in all your headings and sub-headings and then fill in under

Writing for an academic journal: 10 tips

1) Have a strategy, make a plan

Why do you want to write for journals? What is your purpose? Are you writing for research assessment? Or to make a difference? Are you writing to have an impact factor or to have an impact? Do you want to develop a profile in a specific area? Will this determine which journals you write for? Have you taken their impact factors into account?

Have you researched other researchers in your field – where have they published recently? Which group or conversation can you see yourself joining? Some people write the paper first and then look for a ‘home’ for it, but since everything in your article – content, focus, structure, style – will be shaped for a specific journal, save yourself time by deciding on your target journal and work out how to write in a way that suits that journal.

Having a writing strategy means making sure you have both external drivers – such as scoring points in research assessment or climbing the promotion ladder – and internal drivers – which means working out why writing for academic journals matters to you. This will help you maintain the motivation you’ll need to write and publish

Show Me the Money: Tips and Resources for Successful Grant Writing

THE THREE P’S

Most successful grant writers give the same advice: begin your search for a grant with a project, a plan — and permission. “If you’re planning to apply for a major grant,” Smith noted, “be sure you have the support of your principal or superintendent. Many grants for more than a few thousand dollars require a senior officer’s signature to agree to implement the grant within the school system.” In addition, school districts are limited in the number of state and federal grants for which they can apply. If you’re applying for a government grant, you’ll need permission — whatever the amount.

Before you even start the funding process, however, you need a project. “The most important thing is to have a project in mind and then search for a grant to fund the project,” Smith said. “Many people do the opposite; they hear about a grant and then try to find a project to fit it. The writing is much harder when you don’t have a clear plan in mind and know exactly what you want to do before beginning applying for a grant.”

As soon as you have a project in mind and permission to implement it, formulate your

MyCollegeSuccessStory.com: Empowering Academic, College, and Career Success

10 Expert Tips for Improving Your Grades and Achieving Academic Success

Are you a college student looking to make a real difference in your grades? If you’re searching for more academic success in college, this article is for you. We’ll review 10 great tips on how you can take your academic performance up one or more notches — to feel better about yourself, to learn and grow more as a person, and, yes, to get better grades. Be careful about setting too lofty a goal to begin with — you want a goal that is a stretch for you, but not so much of a stretch that it’s impossible to reach.

    1. Understand Yourself. A big part of academic success is having the right mindset. You have to not only believe in yourself, but also know enough about yourself to know how to achieve that success. Take the time to examine your academic strengths and weaknesses and find ways to capitalize on your strengths while overcoming or minimizing your weaknesses. Finally, understand how you learn things best — your learning style — and try and find classes and study methods that best utilize the way you learn.
    1. Manage Your Courses. Many students struggle academically,

The Metrics: Measuring the effectiveness of training

You’re a training manager at a mid- to large-sized organization that’s recently lost its competitive edge. You know part of the problem is employee training. The staff is overworked and uninterested in missing “valuable” work time sitting in another workshop or training event. You know what you should be doing, but how can you convince management? You recognize that investing in training and development is necessary if your organization wants to retain employees and secure its position as an industry leader, but inevitably you know the m-word will be mentioned. METRICS. How do you plan on measuring the effectiveness of your new and improved (and costly) training program?

Mindflash has recently released a new analytics tool for online training. The cloud-based software, powered by GoodData, will provide trainers with insightful information such as material comprehension and course satisfaction. By arming oneself with this data, trainers can better gauge student needs and tailor the course while training is happening, not afterward. Reports can be easily generated as they are needed.

Mindflash offers its employee and customer training solutions to more than 1,000 clients via an online platform. One of those clients is Efinancial, a life insurance company. We spoke with Andy Wiggins, Retail Sales

How an innovative educator became interested in mobile devices for learning

In September 2005 the decision to ban cell phones in New York City public schools was enacted. At the time policy makers saw cell phones as nothing more than a distraction and tool for academic dishonesty while parents viewed these devices as a lifeline to their children.

The “No Cell Phones” rule was strictly enforced with the help of the New York City Police Department, which was enlisted to conduct random sweeps, complete with metal detectors, and to confiscate technology from kids, many of whom were reduced to tears. There were educators on both sides of the issue.  Some were relieved by the policy but others not only trusted their students to behave responsibly, but also understood that cell phones could serve as powerful learning tools.  My friend and thought-leader, Marc Prensky was outspoken on the issue, explaining in his presentations and writing, “What Can You Learn from A Cell Phone? Almost Anything!”
In his blog, Weblogg-ed, my friend and mentor Will Richardson shares some important lessons students learned as a result of the ban.  

“First, the cell phone ban teaches students they don’t deserve to be empowered with technology the same way adults are. Second, the tools

How to Build Interactivity into eLearning

We all know adding meaningful interactivity into eLearning courses allows learners to participate in the learning process, thus creating an enhanced learning environment. But building interactivities can be challenging if you don’t have the right resources, time, or money. In general, there are two ways to build interactions: 1) use a skill-based team, or 2) use a rapid interactivity builder with your authoring tool. Each method has tradeoffs and what you choose depends largely on the type of training you are developing and how important interactivity is in your course.

How to Build Interactions

The traditional, skill-based approach

Traditionally, companies have used the skill-based, team approach to build complex, custom eLearning scenarios. A skill-based team consists of an instructional designer, a graphic artist, and a programmer/ developer who all work together to create eLearning courses and interactions. Let’s look at an example of how the team approach is applied when building a course with interactive animations.

An organization needs a new course to teach employees the importance of security. The instructional designer designs the course; the team then comes together and identifies content areas where they would like to build some interactivity. The instructional designer wants a series of simulated situations with

How To Improve Academic Performance

  1. Repeat any courses in which you received a grade of “F” (note: courses with a grade of “C-” or below may also be repeated for grade replacement).
  2. Utilize the services offered in the Academic Support Center. The Center includes a math and writing lab, as well as individual tutoring, supplemental instruction and satellite tutoring.
  3. Reduce working and/or student activity hours.
  4. Develop a weekly study schedule with two hours spent outside the classroom for every hour in the classroom. Use the ‘Schedule of Classes Worksheet’ to write in your class schedule and other weekly commitments and then schedule in one hour of quiet study (Library or Academic Support Center) for every hour in the classroom and work in an additional hour of study time for every hour in the classroom on the weekends or at night.
  5. Utilize a daily planner to keep track of due dates for assignments, projects, presentations, events, quizzes and exams. You should keep contact information for all of your instructors in this as well.
  6. Have a consistent sleep schedule. Get 8-10 hours of sleep each night and try to get to bed by 11pm.
  7. Attend and be on time to every class. Sit in the front row and avoid

Top 6 Ways to Use Tech to Boost Student Achievement

Successfully integrating technology into the classroom so that it genuinely advances student achievement—this is the Holy Grail of anyone with a stake in America’s educational system. A recent study on successful tech integration conducted by the American Institutes for Research offers eye-opening data and thought-provoking recommendations. Here are EducationWorld’s best takeaways from the findings.

#6 Not All Tech is the Same – Each technology is likely to play a different role in students’ learning. Rather than trying to describe the impact of all technologies as if they were the same, researchers need to think about what kind of technologies are being used in the classroom and for what purposes. Two general distinctions can be made. Students can learn “from” computers—where technology is used essentially as a tutor and serves to increase students’ basic skills and knowledge. They also can learn “with” computers—where technology is applied to a variety of goals in the learning process and serves to develop higher-order thinking, creativity and research skills.

#5 Use Tech That Will Help Your Students – Before technology is purchased

10 Ways to Increase Student Engagement

Veteran and new teachers alike recognize the fact that if their students are not engaged and fully participating in the learning process then it is highly unlikely that they will comprehend what is being taught and demonstrate mastery of the learning objectives for the lesson. Engaging every student has been a perennial challenge for educators. However, research in this area has revealed much about how teachers can design learning experiences that interest students and maintain their engagement.

This substantive engagement in the learning process drives them to become invested in evaluating and reflecting upon their academic growth.  Students need to be engaged in rigorous assignments and mentally committed to their assignments.  Lessons must move beyond rote learning and superficial understanding to the development of higher order thinking skills and application of knowledge to new and novel situations.

10 Ways to Increase Student Engagement:

  1. Create an emotionally safe classroom
    Emotionally safe classroom settings encourage respectful interactions where children feel they can express themselves without fear.  Failure is a normal part of the learning curve and does not mean that a child who experiences it is actually a failure.  Children who feel that they are in an emotionally safe classroom feel free to explore, debate,

How to Improve Concentration and Focus: 7 Tips

I’ve written about a range of habits related to learning, but one I have not yet covered is concentration – perhaps because I find it among the hardest of habits to truly master.

I’m as apt as anybody to have my working memory hijacked by the temptations of multi-tasking,

….or simply to become distracted by the shiny new learning objects that I encounter on a daily basis,

…or to start writing about one thing and find myself wandering to other topics as new thoughts occur to me,

…or….uh, right – concentration. Here are some of the approaches to it that I find helpful:

1. Be conscious and intentional

I keep coming back to “consciousness” as the cornerstone of most effective learning habits. Before you are likely to be successful at concentrating you have to make a clear, conscious decision to focus your attention. Sounds simple enough, but more often than not we move from one experience to the next without any real consciousness, and certainly without a decision to concentrate.

2. Set clear goals – and victories

I’ve lamented my own lack of goal setting before. To concentrate effectively, it really helps to have specific outcomes in mind.  Break down longer term goals – like mastering a new