One of the great things about education and educators is that we are very very interested and active in trying to share our best ideas, spread them around and help each other be more successful by giving these ideas for other things we can try.
It’s one of the reasons that we have such a rich professional literature sharing best practices and the results of teachers trying to improve their teaching.
So in this line of thought, I was very happy to see that recently a number of the talks from the TED talks YouTube channel have been Education based.
I had something come across my desk here that I thought I would share with all of you.
I’m sure by now, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, that you’ve heard of TED. I’ve certainly posted enough videos from there or discussed topics from there. The whole idea behind TED is “Ideas worth sharing”
TED has also spawned a number of TED like events, around different themes or in different regions (i.e. TED MED or TEDxHouston).
And now, there’s something for us education folks. TED-Ed. Focused on Lessons worth Sharing.
This is a brilliant idea. It’s not limited to traditional classroom lessons, but can span important lessons on any topic, academic to life lessons.
You can take these videos and supplement lessons you’re trying to teach. You can center your lessons around these videos. You can build a flipped classroom. There are so many possibilities!
And what these videos have done is taken the great lessons that are out there, that are working, that people are engaging with, and bringing them to the public!
I highly encourage you to check out TED-Ed. Some of the lessons have already been flipped, and you can see what is possible with the flipped classroom.
As a side note, if you know of an awesome lesson that you or one of your colleagues, or your teachers, or someone is teaching in a brilliant way, there’s a bit of a contest going on where you can nominate great lessons to be animated for TED-Ed.
Please note, I am in no way an employee or in any other way funded from or supported by Kohls.
So I’ve recently been introduced to the concept of LipDubs, when a group of friends invited me to participate in one (unfortunately I was unable to take part due to conflicts).
In order to prepare, though, my friends pointed me to a sample video to give an idea of what would be involved. Being the librarian that I am, one example just wouldn’t do and I had to find others for a good sample.
What I did notice is that these libdubs have taken on a meme-like nature for college and university campuses as a means of showing school spirit!
What’s particularly inspiring about this is that it’s radically different from the school spirit that we’re so used to. Sure, there have been pep rallies and screaming and cheering at school events; the things we think of when we think ‘school spirit’. These things are still here of course, and heck, they’re even featured in some of the videos out there in some part.
Think about this though. These lipdubs are showing a wide cross section of the student population on the campuses. Whether they be in athletics, fraternities/sororities or lone students joining the fun. They showcase parts of the campus that you don’t usually get to see in the brochures (though some of those show up too). Not to mention, a lot of them integrate a showing of things that would be impossible to seamlessly integrate in the normal libdub fashion (for example, different campus event footage). AND! Pretty much everyone looks like they’re having a great time doing it.
What a fantastic way to showcase the creativity and talent of a campus. I personally don’t know if any of these have been initiated by administration or (as I suspect is the case) are student initiated projects, but if students come to you wanting to put together something like this, I know I would be 100% behind them, and I hope you would be too.
One thing that that may become an issue with libdubs for college campuses is where songs glorify sex, drugs, drinking etc and the school may not want to promote these things by endorsing a libdub where the song or actions of the students in the video aren’t exactly in lines with these (see the UQAM video below). However, if students are to be successful, especially with more elaborate setups (like the ones involving, helicopters maybe??) Administrative support is essential. And what better way to get prospective students excited about your institution?
Here are some great examples of College and University libdubs for you.
University of British Columbia – Particularly notable in that this is the most extensive lipdub I’ve seen so far. It definitely goes places that I haven’t seen others go.
Boston University – an example of a less ‘scandalous’ song selection and actions in the video.
I was watching the following TED talk as I nibbled away at my lunch. I thought the following video was of particular interest (especially with my particular interest in mathematics education).
What I particularly like about this is that it recognizes that students all have different needs when it comes to instruction, and that it’s nearly impossible for teachers to address this perfectly in the classroom in an efficient and effective way.
Many of today’s issues are covered in the system he’s developed, and the class partnerships that he’s described appeal to so many issues that are being discussed in education. Using technology effectively, gaming in education, diverse student needs.
Interested in reading further on Gaming/Technology in education?
Here’s a quick sample search from ERIC that looks at the use of gaming technology in elementary education
Want to find more? Feel free to contact me and we’ll work at finding you more resources on your topic!
If any of you have ever been in a class with me, you’ll probably have seen me use bullying or cyberbullying as search examples. Students have jokingly asked me if I was a bully myself and that’s why I focus on that search. In truth, it’s an example that I find rather useful to demonstrate several concepts in searching. It’s also a topic that’s played into my own studies in education in numerous courses.
But you know why else I use it as an example? It’s because of kids like Asher Brown, or any student who, like him, have been driven to suicide because of the torment of their peers. Asher certainly isn’t the first who has suffered like this, and unfortunately he won’t be the last for some time.
In sort, I like to bring attention to bullying to help bring it back to people’s minds. Especially those who are going back out into the schools and will be seeing this. Far too often it gets ignored or dismissed.
While I don’t know how, in Asher’s case, administration isn’t hearing about these things when parents and students are making it clear that they’re asking for help, I also know that many times people don’t even go for help, whether they believe that people can’t/won’t help or that it’s just something they have to deal with.
The additionally sad thing is that the students who participate in this kind of bullying, or even those who don’t see it challenged are quite possibly the people who participate in it as adults.
In order to help all you education folks out there study, research, and hopefully one day eliminate bullying, I want to highlight a couple new resources.
The Cyberbullying Collection is a collection of ebooks that all address cyberbullying. These are open access resources, so anyone can explore them. In addition, this library also features numerous contributed resources from organizations and government agencies that address issues of cyberbullying.
The Knowledge path is essentially an annotated bibliography of organizations, sites, publications, data and more that are geared towards preventing adolescent violence. This is a great way to get access to a lot of information that can help prevent bullying.
Why is it so important to prevent bullying? Besides the obvious ‘it sucks to be on the receiving end of bullying’ and the ‘it’s the right thing to do’ arguments, consider it a matter of student success.
A study by Lyubomirsky, King & Diener (2005) found that success in a pursuit isn’t what yields happiness. Contentment breeds success.
There are a lot of basic things that can lead to contentment. Things like having a home, loved ones, a full belly, etc. But how content will a student be if they don’t feel safe at school? if they’re being taunted, bullied on a regular basis? Food for thought.
Lyubomirsky, S., & King, L., & Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 803-855.
You may or may not have heard about the changes that are likely going through in the Texas Social Studies curriculum soon (Sometime this week I believe).
Supporters of the changes say that the changes will bring the study of History in Texas schools more in line with what the founding fathers had in mind for the country when they established it. They feel that these changes will eliminate much of the bias that they see in the curriculum.
Opponents are concerned with the way the curriculum hides and de-emphasizes issues like civil rights, separation of church and state, and multicultural contributions to US History.
Regardless of how you feel about this, for or against these changes, I highly encourage you to get informed about the coming changes, and send in your comments if you feel so inclined.
Proposed SBOE Rules. The proposed Social Studies changes are at the bottom of this page.
Here are a few articles that highlight some points about the changes:
Texas curriculum fight as orchestrated over more than a decade – Austin American-Statesmen
Texas schools board rewrites US history with lessons promoting God and guns – The Guardian
At Board of Education, church-state fight grows – Dallas News
Texas clergy to SBOE: Don’t downplay church and state separation
Historians speak out against proposed Texas textbook changes – Washington Post
Admittedly, many of these are critical of the proposed changes, so if you are for the changes, please read carefully.
I highly recommend this TEDtalk about Math instruction. My own background being in math ed, I’m particularly interested.
Much of what he says is very true. I remember seeing the same kinds of questions in my own education, and during my teacher training. I will say that my teacher training did try and push us towards this kind of instruction a lot more, but the current educational climate made it hard to be a shaker and a mover to make such changes.
This is definitely something to think about for math educators out there not already doing this!
Some may wonder why I’m writing Vaccination in an education blog. Especially as someone who isn’t part of the pharmacy library or tied to the HHP program here at UH.
There are so many reasons one could be tied to this debate. You could be a parent concerned about all the stories linking autism to vaccinations, or concerned about the public health implications for your children and loved ones. You could be a doctor trying to education patients about vaccines. The list is endless.
And while this IS an education blog, my focus is not on public health education. Instead, I wonder about the ramifications of the entire debate on the school system.
I recently watched Frontline’s The Vaccine War (and I encourage you to do so as well!), which I felt gave some insight into where each side on this debate is coming from. Clearly, there are those who disagree and I, of course, have my own opinion on vaccines.
My question isn’t about who is right or wrong. Time will tell and this isn’t the forum for that debate.
Instead, I look at this from the point of view of impact on schools and schooling.
Schools obviously have to worry about the situation with the vaccine debate. Every state has its own laws regarding vaccination of students within their schools and, in 2005, the count stood at 32 states that don’t give parents a choice regarding vaccinations. This doesn’t distinguish between states that require them for school/daycare attendance (with homeschooling an option) or simply require it of all school age children regardless of method of schooling.
Which means some parents are having to decide between formal or home education on the basis of whether or not they want to have their children vaccinated. One study on parental attitudes by Kennedy and Gust (2005) *UH users only* has indicated that higher levels of parents in homeschooling situations are skeptical of vaccines. Though whether this is cause or effect is unclear (ie homeschooled because they don’t like vaccinations, or because they’re not dealing with the school system and its legal requirements they’re not ‘indoctrinated’ into positive thinking about vaccines).
School administrations are caught in the middle of this battle. They have legal requirements set down on them, and it certainly is easier when they don’t have to deal with the opt out red tape for those students whose parents have decided that way.
At the same time, the parents they deal with have rights according to state law where they’ve been given the option. There certainly would be legal backlash for those school districts that tried to deny it.
But then what happens if little Johnny comes back from the winter break and picked up something like the Measles? In a school where significant numbers of students may be unvaccinated, what is the school or even the teacher’s role to stop the spread? Granted, responsible parents won’t send their kids to school with evidence of a serious illness.
Presumably school districts have policies or preparedness plans dealing with communicable diseases. Most of the writing on school policies regarding vaccinations (with some cursory searching) tends to deal with students in post secondary education.
But it’s an interesting thing to think about. Putting aside all the arguments surrounding the vaccines themselves, and looking at what this debate means for schools.
Anyone looking for a dissertation or thesis topic? If you would like assistance researching this topic, you know where to find me!
Grants are available from the Department of Education in 18 educational subject areas, including but not limited to, Reading and Writing, Mathematics and Science Education, Teacher Quality, Ed Leadership (and other administrative educational areas), and more!
Check out This Document to find out about the subject specific areas of the program.
The Office of Citizen Exchanges, Youth Programs Division, of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the American Youth Leadership Program. Public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to implement a short-term exchange program for American high school students and educators that will enable the participants to gain firsthand knowledge of foreign cultures and to collaborate on solving global issues. Applicant organizations will recruit and select youth and adult participants from the United States and provide them with a three- to four-week exchange program abroad focused on dialogue and debate, leadership development, and community service. Upon returning home, the students will apply what they have learned to serve their schools and communities.
The project is designed to provide support to the T-STEM Academies by designing innovative science, engineering, and math curricula; delivering teacher professional development; and creating strategic partnerships among business, higher education entities, and school districts to support the effective implementation of the T-STEM Initiative. The T-STEM Centers will ensure national best practices are used in Texas and will identify and document best practices at a local and state level.
The purpose of the research program on Cognition and Student Learning in Special Education (Cognition) is to improve developmental outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities or at risk for disabilities and learning for students with disabilities or at risk for disabilities by bringing recent advances in cognitive science to (1) explore malleable factors1 (e.g., instructional practices, children’s skills) that are associated with better child outcomes for children with disabilities or children at risk for disabilities, as well as mediators or moderators of the relations between these factors and child outcomes, for the purpose of identifying potential targets of intervention; (2) develop innovative interventions; (3) establish the efficacy of existing interventions for improving child outcomes with efficacy or replication trials; and (4) develop measurement tools that can be used to assess developmental outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities or at risk for disabilities and student learning and achievement for children with disabilities or at risk for disabilities.
The purpose of the Institute’s research program on Professional Development for Teachers and Related Services Providers (Professional Development) is to identify effective strategies for improving the performance of current teachers, other instructional personnel, and related services providers in ways that increase reading, writing, language, mathematics, science, social, behavioral, or secondary transitional outcomes, as well as functional skills that improve the educational outcomes of students with disabilities or at risk for disabilities from kindergarten through Grade 12
The purpose of the research program on Transition Outcomes for Special Education Secondary Students (Transition) is to contribute to the improvement of transition outcomes of secondary students with disabilities. Transition outcomes include the behavioral, social, communicative, functional, occupational, and academic skills that enable young adults with disabilities to obtain and hold meaningful employment, live independently, and obtain further training and education (e.g., postsecondary education, vocational education programs).
One of the most common requests I get here at the library from people who are attempting to do research, are requests for statistics of some sort.
While the usual answer for most ed stats is to take a look at NCES or similar sources listed under statistics in the Education Virtual Library, or possibly pulling stats from articles that discuss the kinds of information you want, the simple fact is that sometimes that information just isn’t out there in an accessible format.
I find that the big push for open/public data is very exciting. It means more information and raw data is available out there to help people answer every question. And not only give answers, but provide a means to finding solutions and making change.
Check out this quick video that shows some of the great things that have been done with open data sets.
You can certainly see these data sets becoming more available.
Recently, Google released their (beta as usual) Public Data Explorer.. While the education specific data is limited (some OECD indicators and data from California). It IS beta, and it was JUST released.
The public data explorer provides some interesting visualization tools that allow you to explore trends in a simulated real time fashion. If nothing else, it’s fascinating to tinker with. And I have high hopes that the public data sets will expand and become even more useful to researchers.
Of course, quality varies from set to set (anything from a personal weight loss log from some users, to enrollment data from University Regsitrar’s for example). But with a critical eye, some valuable information can be obtained from either site.
I also believe that both could provide great venues for scholars to share some of the data sets that they’re developing to make the information more available to be shared with other scholars.
I invite you to explore these resources. Maybe that bit of information you’re looking for is already there!