Saturday, May 14, 2011

What's Popular This Week on The Innovative Educator

Here’s the roundup of what's been popular on The Innovative Educator blog this week. Below you’ll see my top weekly posts along with the number of pageviews in the past 7 days.

This week 7 Solutions for Educators Who Want 21st Century Students to Tune In is the big winner for the second week in a row. In it I combat the idea that technology is to blame for distracted students, but rather it is the fault of teachers who haven't learned to update practice. I'm happy to find that also at the top are two posts dear to my heart Developing an Authentic ePortfolio and 6 Ideas to Prepare Students for Success without Standardized Testing. I can only hope these sensible and authentic practical ideas gain popularity.

Next up are two posts that expose a school and content provider who have dismissed the pleas of a mother who wants to opt out of standardized testing because it was making her son ill.
This mother was bullied by the school who demanded she have her son report to testing or he would be kicked out.  I am happy to report that K12 stepped up after the posts and tweets about the issue and said they would talk to the mother rather than continue to dismiss her and hand off the blame to the school alone.  Big content providers like this need to take a stand on how the students who receive their content are being treated.  I have asked them to share a public statement on their stand in supporting parents who choose to opt out of tests if they feel it is in the best interest of their children.  I have not yet received a response.  I hope to have an update by next week.
Rounding out the top is my favorite post in a long time Teen Takes Control of Her Own Learning and Opts Out of School. I co-wrote this post with 16-year-old Leah Miller who opted out of school this year because she felt school was not set up to provide a meaningful education.  She took control of her learning and even put together a presentation outlining her personal learning plan to help convince her family that this was a good idea for her.  I am thrilled to share this post with you and to also inform you that this post is a sneak peak into the Teenager's Guide for Opting Out of High School. Stay tuned next week for that terrific guide.  

There’s several other interesting posts as well. I hope there's something here that looks of interest to you.  If it does, check it out. If you’re so inspired leave a comment.

7 Solutions for Educators Who Want 21st Century Students to Tune In
Apr 25, 2011, 13 comments 2,048 Pageviews
Give an idea and get dozens more for using iPads i...
9-May-11 1793 Pageviews
Developing an Authentic ePortfolio
May 5, 2011, 7 comments 1502 Pageviews
6 Ideas to Prepare Students for Success without Standardized Testing
May 6, 2011, 3 comments 1499 Pageviews
Teen Takes Control of Her Own Learning and Opts Out of School
13-May-11 1382 Pageviews
Want to Build the Home-School Connection? There's an App for That
May 9, 2011, 5 comments 1404 Pageviews
School chooses making profit even if it means making children sick
11-May-11 1363 Pageviews
School leaves child with special needs behind
10-May-11 1327 Pageviews
Six Reasons I’m excited about homeschooling my future children
May 8, 2011, 3 comments 1313 Pageviews
Osama bin Laden Dead. GoGo News helps with difficult social studies topics
8-May-11 1207 Pageviews

1 comment:

  1. I was intrigued by the links which sent me over here from the Instapundit coverage of the higher education bubble, down to even the high school level. I would ordinarily be a sympathetic reader, as I believe that much of our educational practice does students no favors. For background, I have five sons, including two foreign adoptees.

    So I was puzzled about your clear discomfort with standardised testing and browsed around to see what the problem is.

    Standardised tests do not measure race and parental income, as your petition suggests. That is simply false. They are correlated with race and parental income, for very good reasons that make everyone uncomfortable, myself included. The data are unfortunate, and leave us with some very nasty social problems to address, and I have no ready, simple solutions. That "intelligence" in the sense of candlepower, is not the most important quality for a child to have, either for employment, character, or enjoyment of life, is certainly true, and the formal valuing of other traits (I think adaptability is going to be the most important survival trait going forward) is greatly to be desired. But none of that gets around the fact that standardised tests do measure candlepower and do that quite well. That candlepower is not evenly distributed among groups is not the fault of the tests. The tests are fine, it is reality that sucks.

    Similarly with parental income - it is not the income that produces the brighter student, it is that brighter parents tend to make more money, and genetically endow their children with better g-factor. (I write this as a bright parent who doesn't make a lot of money, BTW. Heh.)

    Repeating the tests every few years may be an exercise in futility - that I can see. But that is because students are not going to move up or down the scale much, so it doesn't provide new information. What we need is to be able to measure other traits, such as determination, self-control, and adaptability, as well as we measure IQ and athletic ability, which we somewhat overvalue.