Graphics and Glitter and Gaps, Oh My!

How to Keep Your PD on Point

Sylvia Duckworth, an “AIM French teacher and techno-geek” out of Toronto, shares “10 Things Teachers Want for Professional Development” in a happy little infographic. The value of the list is threefold: 18121142350_682ac1f50a_m

  1. PD Content creators ought to constantly keep these in mind when researching and developing curriculum for educators
  2. School leaders should use these as an evaluation tool when selecting programs for in-house training and in recommendations for offsite training for their teams. Additionally, there are a few reminders on how to remain a team player when attending professional development activities with your team.
  3. Although the infographic speaks of what teachers already want, it’s a good reminder on what to look for when seeking out your own development opportunities.

More artful edu-wisdom from Sylvia can be found on her twitter @sylviaduckworth or her page.

 “I will never miss the glitter…”

No time is a bad time to share stories that restore faith in humanity. And this reflection on the saints who are preschool teachers is no exception. If you’ve ever parented a 3-year-old, cared for a 3-year old, or observed a screaming one in the aisles of a Wal-Mart, you know that wrangling even one of these angels is not for the faint of heart. So head over to the Huffington Post to read about just a few of the things we ought to thank preschool teachers for, then go find a teacher and thank her yourself. Faith in humanity: restored. 

Want to share a story of an outstanding teacher? Tell us:

Gaps and Overlaps

When considering the achievement gap that plagues our at-risk and under-privileged youth, we think of the traditional classroom and efforts that can be made to close that gap during the school year. What we often overlook is the perpetuation of the achievement gap that occurs during the summer months, when students with fewer academic resources at their disposal face a continued lack of resources: a viable network for finding employment.

According to the superintendent of school in Rochester, NY, “There is no other time in the lives of minority and poor children in the nation where the opportunity gap is so widened than during the summer time.” But all is not lost! Read on in this EdWeek article to see what proactive cities across the country are doing to empower the youth in their community this summer.

Is your community linking youth with opportunity? Tell us about it:

Direct Yourself

We’re always looking for schools who are “doing it right” when it comes to the 21st century learning movement. Change is never easy, and enacting meaningful change when it comes to education comes with a lot of bureaucratic red tape, budget limitations and a well-padded comfort zone that must be overcome. So when we find schools that seem to have found a way over or around those hurdles, we’re excited to learn more and share their inspirations with the world. Prepare to have your mind blown by – that’s right – seventh grade chemical engineers. Read it here

Do you know of a school doing progress, disruptive, impressive thing? (Bonus points if it your school!) Email us:

 Readers Gonna Read

If you happened to read “Five Ways to Keep the Pencil Sharp This Summer” on the Lumen Touch blog last week, then you received a little nudge about reading outside your comfort zone. If you’re still stuck on where to go, check out this week’s book recommendation:

Remember when the crazies at Duke University gave every incoming freshman an Apple iPod? The catalyst of that hair brained brilliance, Cathy N. Davidson, writes about the experience, as well as her other experiences with disruptive learning in her book: Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn. Read a full summary here. Or buy it here.

Do you have book ideas to contribute? Email us:

 On the Blog

This week on the blog, find out what competitive cooking, reality TV and project-based learning have in common. A few ingredients may leave you queasy, but we hope the recipe itself helps you cook up some delightful project ideas!

Share your project-based learning ideas! Email us:

Welcome to ShiftED

This is your weekly digest of articles on education – not your grandma’s education or your dad’s education or even your own education. ShiftED focuses on 21st century educational ideas and practices: making learning a global, cross-disciplinary experience for all students.

What’s Data Got To Do With It?

According to a recent New York Times article, those who advocate more collection and analysis of data in the classroom say it can give teachers concrete evidence of what instructional strategies work. Read the full article here.

One dissenting commenter disagreed:  “Why can’t I just teach my kids? They are not data! They are human beings!”

What do you think? Post your comments on the website or email us.

Stop Start Playing Around 2015-05-21_11-25-45

The power of positivity. It’s a pretty cliche line by now; but neuroscientists are giving the concept of positivity a revival, and it has everything to do with students’ learning trajectories.

TEDx Speaker Shawn Achor gives a 12-minute peek at just how powerful positivity and the act of play are for learners of all ages. Watch the Video.


2015-05-21_11-28-22Not Enough Neuroscience?

If you haven’t gotten your fill of neuroscientific research for one day, fret not. Here’s a little more neuroscience for you, complete with theme parks and a DIY rollercoaster. (Disclaimer: no adrenaline junkies were harmed in the execution of this experiment.)

The Profound Learning Institute highlights one enterprising team of sixth grade teachers who tapped into more neuroscience power with a cross-disciplinary project on rollercoasters. We dare you to watch this video without being moved. Pun totally intended.

A Recipe for Blended Learning 2015-05-21_11-39-14

Blended Learning is a popular buzzword these days. There are various models and submodel templates floating all over the internet. We’re not claiming there is a definitive right answer but The National Center on Time & Learning released a study on Morton Middle School’s implementation of one version that’s produced some successful results.

Watch this video on the blended learning model that’s working for Morton Middle School.

Blend this: could data collection mixed with a blended learning model like this one be a recipe for 21st century classroom success? Tell us what you think!

On the Blog

This week, indulge yourself in a Superbowl ad throwback and see how baby formula relates to the plight of 21st century education. Lumenary and former English teacher, Risa, pieces it all together for you here.

We want to hear from you! Respond to articles, submit your questions, and suggest topics you’d like to read more about. Email us.