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"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"
- President George W. Bush,
Florence, South Carolina, January 11, 2000
Does technology integration improve student achievement? If your child is entering kindergarten in 2013, you may see a SmartBoard instead of a chalkboard. Your child may come home with a blog, rather than an essay. Animoto, Doodle Buddy, Glogster, Story Buddy, Symbaloo, Tagxedo, and VoiceThread may require parents and guardians to purchase a dictionary just to understand the teacher’s assignments. It is an exciting time in education and students are entering classrooms with opportunities that their parents did not have. As teachers continue to use technology as a tool to teach students key skills and concepts, it is important to focus on the learning targets rather than the technology or online tools.
In 1949, Ralph Tyler wrote Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction. In the introduction to the book, Tyler outlined four fundamental questions which should be answered in developing any curriculum and plan of instruction.
Tyler’s Four Fundamental Questions:
1. What educational purposes should the school seek to attain?
2. What educational learning experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes?
3. How can these educational experiences be effectively organized?
4. How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?
These questions are just as important in 2013 as they were in 1949. Tyler never had the opportunity to Skype or create a VoiceThread, but he had a clear understanding of curriculum design. It is easy for teachers to get wrapped up in the activity and teaching students how to use the online tool. “In the absence of a learning plan with clear goals, how likely is it that students will develop shared understandings on which future lessons might build” (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, p. 21)? If teachers desire for students to have an Alphabet Soup vocabulary of Web 2.0 tools, then they should focus on teaching every tool that looks fun and kid-friendly. However, if teachers want students to understand key skills and concepts outlined by standards, then Tyler’s four questions will support curriculum planning. Prior to mobile labs, 1:1 initiatives, SmartBoards, and Web 2.0 tools, teachers designed lessons which led to student understanding. While the tools available to teachers and students will continue to multiply, the basic goals of teaching for understanding remain consistent. President Bush may have been right. Parents and teachers need to ask, “Is our children learning?"
Recommended Resources Which Support Technology Integration and Teaching for Understanding:
Ferriter, W.M. (2013). Digital immigrants unite. The Tempered Radical.
Ferriter, W.M., & Garry, A. (2010). Teaching the igeneration: 5 easy ways to introduce
essential skills with web 2.0 tools. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
Fisher, M., & Hale, J. (Coming in Feb. 2013) Upgrade your curriculum: Practical ways to
transform units and engage students. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Tyler, R. W. (1949). Basic principles of curriculum and instruction. Chicago: University
of Chicago Press.
Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design: Expanded 2nd edition.
Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Leader to Leader News: October 2010
ASCD Leader to Leader (L2L) News is a monthly e-mail newsletter for ASCD constituent group leaders that builds capacity to better serve members; provides opportunities to promote and advocate for ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative; and engages groups through sharing and learning about best practices. To submit a news item for the L2L newsletter, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Add #ASCDL2L to your tweets to share news and resources with your fellow ASCD leaders.
This Month’s L2L News
Your Vote Counts: Cast Your Ballot in the 2010 ASCD Election
ASCD’s General Membership election opened on September 1. Please take advantage of your privilege as an ASCD member by casting a ballot to help shape ASCD’s future leadership. Go to http://my.ascd.org, enter your member ID and password, and click on the “Vote” box. The election closes on October 15.
Please e-mail Governance Director Becky DeRigge with any questions.
Save the Date: 2011 L2L Event Dates Confirmed
Reserve July 21-23, 2011 for next year’s Leader to Leader Event. The 2011 L2L event will take place in the D.C. metropolitan area; details regarding the venue will be announced in the coming weeks.
L2L Event on ASCD EDge: The 2010 L2L Event group will be disabled; join the
Leader to Leader group on ASCD EDge for updates regarding the 2011 L2L
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
Your E-Communications Answered: Join Us for the October 13 L2L Web Seminar
Tech Me Out: Taking Strategic Communication From Page to Screen
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. eastern, Wednesday, October 13
How do you currently share information with your target audiences? Can you share information through new vehicles, while maintaining the quality of what you currently do? Are you looking to transition your print publications to an electronic format? This webinar is your opportunity to address the pros, cons, and strategies around adjusting your communication plan to effectively and efficiently share vital information.
As the second of a three part series on integrating technology into your work as an ASCD leader, this web seminar is an opportunity to ask your questions and get specific answers from ASCD staff experts:
Carole Hayward has worked for ASCD for three years as the director of Newsletters and Special Publications and in education publishing for many years. Current challenges include incorporating social networking into the association’s publications, messages, and website; connecting and engaging members while still providing them with quality content; and balancing the perceived needs and wants of readers while offering them options using the latest technology. Hayward received her master’s degree in multimedia production and editing from George Mason University and her bachelor’s degree in journalism/english from the University of Rhode Island.
Mike Kalyan has been ASCD’s production manager since 2007 and heads a unit that is responsible for the print and electronic production of ASCD’s member benefits and programs, products and services. He has a bachelors degree in communication from American University and a master’s in publishing (specializing in marketing, design and e-publishing) from George Washington University. As a self-confessed technophile, Kalyan is constantly researching social media trends and new ways to showcase content using emerging technologies.
Submit your questions to Carole Hayward and Mike Kalyan in the online registration form and they will answer them live during the presentation.
Register for the Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy (LILA)
Congress is making education policy decisions that affect you, your local schools, and your students. Do not let Congress make decisions without the crucial information you can provide! Come to the national’s capital for information and insights on the behind-the-scenes action where policy and politics collide.
The Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy (LILA), formerly known as LEAP, will be held from January 23 to 25, 2011, in Washington, D.C. E.J. Dionne, journalist, political commentator, and Washington Post columnist, will be the opening speaker at the LILA kickoff session on Sunday evening, January 23, 2011. A more detailed agenda and session descriptions will be posted to the ASCD website in the coming weeks.
Season of the Educational Documentary
We are in the season of the education documentary. Much has been written about the four films coming out for theatrical run and community screenings this fall about the state of the U.S. public education system: Waiting for “Superman,” The Lottery, The Cartel, and Race to Nowhere.
Each film portrays somewhat different issues and presents a range of solutions. Waiting For Superman has garnered the most attention and was highlighted on the Oprah Winfrey Show. These episodes prompted a lot of feedback including from Managing Director of Whole Child Programs Molly McCloskey, and an open letter to Oprah from Executive Director Dr. Gene Carter. But far less has been mentioned about what happens after the final credits roll. The lack of any real follow-up discussion materials for the films The Lottery, The Cartel, and Waiting for “Superman” make it appear that these producers believe their films have made their points and any ongoing discussions should not be about their content but about how to rally troops.
The film Race to Nowhere takes a different approach. This film, which looks at the pressures faced by schoolchildren and teachers in a test-obsessed era and paints a different picture from the other three movies, tells viewers to continue the debate in their communities, schools and homes and search for answers that work at the local level. This approach presumes that the film is the start of the conversation and not the end. It is also, somewhat ironically, the only film that has incorporated direct actions and discussions that actually involve students.
The film fits with ASCD’s commitment to the whole child and Healthy School Communities in particular, but it was the commitment to an ongoing dialogue that prompted ASCD’s Executive Director Gene Carter to write the foreword to the facilitation guide that accompanies the film:
“Challenges, when discovered, need to be addressed. Problems, when they arise, need to be solved. This is never so true as when we are talking about our children—their health, their growth, their education and their development. It is not enough to alert people to issues and then walk away. It is not enough to uncover problems and then neglect to work through them. It is not enough to lay blame and then move on.”
Tune in to This Month’s Whole Child Podcast: The Critical Role of the Arts Throughout a Whole Child Education
Arts play an essential role in providing each student with a well-rounded education that meets the needs of the whole child. Although classes strictly focused on music, visual arts, drama, dance, and art history are crucial, integrating the arts across the curriculum is also key to ensuring that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. How can we provide students with a well-rounded education that includes learning through and about the arts? How can policy and practice support the integration of arts across the curriculum? Join us to hear a discussion about how the arts can increase students’ college, career, and citizenship-readiness in all subjects as well as keep them engaged in school and contribute to their social and emotional health. You’ll hear from exceptional arts educator Vanessa Lopez; recording artist and founder of Operation Respect and United Voices for Education Peter Yarrow; and Senior Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of The National Association for Music Education Mike Blakeslee.
ASCD Unveils New Android App
For customers with Android-based mobile phones, ASCD has released a new application that can be downloaded within Android’s app store Market. This new, free app allows users to stay in touch with all of the latest freely available ASCD news and content, and already has 350 downloads. The app includes Latest News, which compiles all of ASCD’s dynamically served RSS-content and individual content feeds for categories such as Educational Leadership (current issue/previous month’s issue, open articles only), ASCD Inservice, ASCD on Twitter, Whole Child Blog, Whole Child Podcasts, and ASCD YouTube videos.
To Download the Application: Go to the Market icon on your Android phone and then search for “ASCD.”
Alabama ASCD Hosts Annual Conference November 1-3, 2010
Alabama ASCD will hold its annual conference, Building a Leadership Team: Connecting Collaboration, Assessment, and Instruction at the Marriott Shoals in Florence, Alabama, November 1–3, 2010. Tommy Bice, Tim Brown, and Nancy Weber will be this year’s keynote speakers. Session topics will include State Department Updates, Connecting Positive School Culture to Academic Achievement, Grading and Examining Student Work, Using Assessment Results for Decision Making, and Collaborating to Enhance Student Achievement. ASCD Director of Constituent Programs Walter McKenzie will attend to meet with the affiliate board and present concurrent conference sessions on instructional technology.
Arkansas ASCD Supports the Whole Child
Arkansas ASCD Executive Director Mary Gunter and her Board will welcome ASCD Managing Director of Public Policy David Griffith in November to plan advocacy work around the Whole Child Initiative. The first affiliate to pass a Whole Child Resolution through both the state Senate and House, Arkansas ASCD seeks to strengthen its Whole Child resolution through additional state legislation that will provide specifics for implementation. At the same time, Arkansas ASCD is looking to work closely with the state department of education in leading the implementation of common core standards for Arkansas.
Quick and Easy Time Saver: Now It’s Easier to Connect with ASCD Leaders
Now you can get an e-mail notification when someone responds to your comment on ASCD EDge! Change your profile to receive these timely updates in less than 30 seconds. Here’s how—
Now you’ll receive notifications regarding your online conversations on ASCD EDge.
Questions? E-mail email@example.com.
Indiana ASCD Hosts Annual State Conference October 7, 2010 in Indianapolis
Take Action, Indiana - Educating the Whole Child was a full-day event focusing on Indiana’s support for ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative. Executive Director Tami Hicks shares that Alfie Kohn, Stephen Wessler, Tom Jenkins, Kevin Dill, Barbara Resch, Michelle Henderson, the Indiana Department of Education, and ASCD Managing Director of Whole Child Programs Molly McCloskey spoke on the theme to attendees. In a separate Indiana ASCD event, ASCD author Debbie Zacarian is presenting at the ESL Conference on November 3.
Wisconsin ASCD Fall Conference a Success
Navigating Change: Innovation for Transformation, held September 29– October 1 in Appleton, Wisconsin featured Richard Cash of Minnesota ASCD, Robert Marzano, and James Popham. Wisconsin ASCD Executive Director Denise Pheifer shared a highlight of the conference when Marzano and Popham agreed to a lively discussion comparing and contrasting their views on assessment. While the discussion was not in a debate format, it gave both gentlemen the opportunity to share their ideas while affording the audience the opportunity to consider varying points of view on this crucial topic in education.
How to Follow the L2L Conversation on Twitter
Now you can get access to interesting education resources and ASCD news each day on Twitter! Not sure how to follow the #ASCDL2L hashtag conversation? Follow these step-by-step instructions:
Any time you want to see the L2L twitter feed, click on the #ASCDL2L link on the right hand side of your screen, and the conversation will show up.
New Group Features Launched on ASCD EDge
This month, ASCD launched a new groups experience on ASCD EDge that significantly enhances the site’s usability.
ASCD EDge group members can now:
Now there is a group owner for each group page. The group owner has the ability to
If you’d like to start a public or private group on ASCD EDge, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your group, the name of the group owner, a short description, and a .JPEG image of the logo or image that represents your group.
Something To Talk About: ASCD EDge Blog Roundup