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My thoughts on a proposed social media policy for school employees (Part 2)

My thoughts on a proposed social media policy for school employees (Part 2)

[In Part 1 of this conversation, I asked for others’ input and received numerous online comments plus some additional emails. In this post I offer my own thoughts. Warning: Long post ahead.] Dear Iowa superintendent and school board members, As founding director of the nation’s only university center focused on P-12 technology leadership issues, I...

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10+1 reactions to closing Iowa’s achievement gaps

10+1 reactions to closing Iowa’s achievement gaps

Today the Iowa Department of Education (DE) released a report on achievement levels in Iowa compared to other states. The report also focuses heavily on closing the significant achievement gaps that exist in our state. Here are some very quick reactions that I have to the report… The emphasis on better meeting the learning needs...

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EdCampIowa!

EdCampIowa!

I am delighted to announce EdCampIowa, Iowa’s first cross-state unconference! EdCampIowa West will be hosted by Prairie Lakes AEA at the Buena Vista University Forum in Storm Lake. EdCampIowa East will be hosted by Bettendorf High School. Both locations will run on Saturday, February 16, from 8:30am to 3:30pm. Our hashtag will be #EdCampIowa. What’s...

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Love. Create. Dream. [VIDEO]

Upcoming travel and events December 3-5 – International School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands February 3 – Virginia Is for Learners Innovation Network, TBD, VA February 25-26 – Missouri Educational Technology Leaders CTO Clinic, TBD, MO March 10-13 – Central & Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA) Annual Conference, Budapest, Hungary June 8-9 – Roanoke County Public...

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Learn about robust, technology-infused learning at the 2013 Iowa 1:1 Institute

Learn about robust, technology-infused learning at the 2013 Iowa 1:1 Institute

It’s that time of year again… time to register for the 4th annual Iowa 1:1 Institute! The last two years of the Institute have averaged 1,200+ attendees. There are multiple reasons why the Institute is so successful. It’s a grass roots conference at which peers talk to peers. The focus is on learning and teaching, not...

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In Iowa, our Department of Education brags about elementary schools that cut recess

In Iowa, our Department of Education brags about elementary schools that cut recess

Everyone wants children to be able to read. But unpacking that educational goal – and the political rhetoric that often surrounds it – may require a bit more digging and critical analysis. Here’s an example… In the 2004-2005 school year, 18 4th graders took the state reading test at Charter Oak-Ute Elementary. Only 14 were deemed...

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State department educational policy advocacy: “Evidence-based” or puffery?

State department educational policy advocacy: “Evidence-based” or puffery?

One of the Iowa Department of Education’s favorite phrases is ‘evidence-based,’ as in “schools and educators should be adopting ‘evidence-based’ practices.” That makes sense on its surface, right? So when the DE issued a press release today touting two Iowa districts that had adopted the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching’s (NIET) Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) –...

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Student achievement and teacher evaluations: The math doesn’t add up?

Student achievement and teacher evaluations: The math doesn’t add up?

Many states are applying for NCLB waivers. But they are adopting teacher evaluation criteria that are statistically, professionally, and morally inappropriate. As Education Week notes: Federal officials say they have generally approved systems in which student growth counts for between 20 percent and 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation. But also acceptable is a “trigger”...

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