Jeff Leppard's Blog (8)

Schmoker: Focus and teaching English Language Arts


Mike Schmoker’s new text Focus (2011) offers a passionate, persuasive call for a return to some old-school methods of teaching, especially with regard to the teaching of English. As a teacher at a school that is moving (finally) to a 1:1 computer environment, the risk is that we could forego much of the reading and writing we do in favour of more ‘creative projects’. What Schmoker calls for is simple: plenty of reading. He suggests that in each English course, students should…


Added by Jeff Leppard on May 15, 2011 at 10:26pm — No Comments

The Shallows

Nicholas Carr's latest, erudite work The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains is well worth reading. In particular, I would recommend the chapter "The Juggler's Brain" which does an excellent job of compiling and refuting such notions as multi-tasking. He refutes well the contention of Everything Bad Is Good for You (Johnson, 2005). With connections to work on working memory (cf. Alloway, Tracy) and suggestions as to how technology, when not used with circumspection, can change… Continue

Added by Jeff Leppard on May 15, 2011 at 9:35pm — No Comments

Education: Agricultural not Industrial

In class today we watched Ken Robinson's "Bring on the Revolution" on TED in which he calls for a revolution in education. He suggests that we need not reform a broken, outmoded system, but rather we must fundamentally change what we do to/with kids. The metaphor Robinson uses is a shift from an industrial model (factory-like, all kids learn the same things at the same age levels, in preparation for 'university') and move to an agricultural model, where… Continue

Added by Jeff Leppard on May 25, 2010 at 8:01pm — No Comments

21st Century Education is Happening: What does it look like?

The video posted on this page on 21st Century Learning suggests requirements that neither make all schools the same, nor require we drop everything we do. But it does suggest a framework for renewal. We need to:
  • Use a project/problem based curriculum and experiential learning
  • Have students address real world problems
  • Nurture and support creativity
  • Instill curiosity -- lifelong
  • See the arts as…

Added by Jeff Leppard on May 9, 2010 at 8:10pm — 2 Comments

Multi-Tasking a Myth?

Or, the original PBS on the Digital Nation:

Muti-tasking is a myth: Evidence abounds in texts such as Brain Rules. Students who are multi-tasking make… Continue

Added by Jeff Leppard on May 9, 2010 at 7:20pm — No Comments

TED Commandments for Speaking

Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out thy Usual Shtick

Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, Or Share Something Thou Hast Never Shared Before

Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion

Thou Shalt Tell a Story

Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the Skae of Blessed Connection and Exquisite Controversy

Thou Shalt Not Flaunt thine Ego. Be Thou Vulnerable. Speak of thy Failure as well as thy Success.

Thou Shalt… Continue

Added by Jeff Leppard on May 8, 2010 at 8:41pm — No Comments

Homework: A response to Alfie Kohn

Response to Alfie Kohn's interview in Maclean's magazine
Alfie Kohn’s…

Added by Jeff Leppard on May 8, 2010 at 8:38pm — No Comments

Radical Ideas at Work in Education: A Response

Today I was accused of being a 'lazy teacher'. Amused, bemused, I asked why. The response, "I walked past your classroom today and your students were just busy talking to one another and you weren't lecturing them. It looked like you were doing nothing." I felt rather thrilled at the characterization.…

Added by Jeff Leppard on May 8, 2010 at 8:00pm — No Comments


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