Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ASCD Policy Points

From the ASCD Educator Advocates Newsletter:

To help inform educator advocates about the presidential candidates' education views, the inaugural edition of ASCD Policy Points (PDF) lays out the education platforms of President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney in a nonpartisan way, compiling information from the candidates' own resources without external analysis or commentary.

The candidates have markedly different education priorities and opinions about how federal funds should best be used. ASCD Policy Points (PDF) includes quotes directly from the candidates' campaign materials on issues such as K-12 policy and funding, higher education, early childhood education, and education research. Links to all sources are provided for readers to delve more deeply into the candidates' positions.
Stay tuned for future editions of ASCD Policy Points (PDF), which will spotlight timely education issues of importance to educator advocates.

Friday, October 12, 2012

LinkedIn for Educators

With so many social networking sites available, it may be difficult to keep up with them all. You may wonder, "Why should I join LinkedIn when I have a Facebook, Twitter, etc?". LinkedIn is truly a different type of social network. It has many features that allow you to interact with leaders in the field of education while growing your network. Here are 4 good reasons every educator needs a LinkedIn profile.

1. Job Opportunities- One of the main uses for LinkedIn is job searching. More and more schools are posting job listings on LinkedIn. Your profile provides interested companies with a virtual resume. It allows you to connect with people who make the hiring decisions. Not only can you provide information about your education, career history, and qualifications, but colleagues can also endorse your skills and offer recommendations. By connecting with current employees, you get a realistic sense of the work environment

2. Groups- LinkedIn’s groups allow you the unique opportunity to discuss with other educators issues in education, share ideas, and make connections. For example, by joining the "International Gifted Education" group, you have the opportunity to discuss "the best practices and new ideas on gifted education anywhere in the world". Groups are also used to keep in touch with colleagues. Many school districts use LinkedIn to communicate between the school districts and teachers to discuss policy, post announcements, and share classroom ideas.

3. Networking- LinkedIn creates a unique opportunity to develop and maintain connections with others in the field of education. You can use LinkedIn to keep track of your connections in a forum that is more professional than Facebook or Twitter. Many of the world's leaders in the field of education are on LinkedIn. You can open many doors for yourself and your school by using the connections you make on LinkedIn.

4. Connect with former colleagues- When you join, you are given the opportunity to link yourself to your alma maters, previous employers, clubs, and professional organizations. By clicking on their names, you can see others who have also linked themselves to these organizations. Now, you can connect with colleagues with whom you may have lost touch with in a more professional setting than Facebook or Twitter.

Every educator needs an online presence. LinkedIn provides a unique and exciting platform for you to develop and use your connections to grow professionally. It is user-friendly and very self-explanatory. Now go check it out!

While you are there, be sure and follow Pieces of Learning!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Curriculum Compacting by Carolyn Coil

This article by Pieces of Learning author and consultant, Carolyn Coil, was originally published by the Florida Gifted Network in their newsletter Wavelengths from October 2012.

For more information on the Florida Gifted Network, visit www.floridagiftednetwork.org.

Options for Gifted Learners:
Curriculum Compacting
by Carolyn Coil

What Is Curriculum Compacting?

Curriculum compacting, developed by Dr. Joseph Renzulli and Linda Smith in 1978, is a strategy that is extremely beneficial to many gifted students. It is a process by which students are pre-assessed to determine what parts of the curriculum they have already mastered. When those areas of knowledge and skills are identified, these students are not required to complete the grade-level work. Instead, they work on alternate activities. As schools adopt Common Core Standards, the Anchor Standards may be K-12 standards but the specific grade-level knowledge and skills can and should be compacted for those students who already know them.
Curriculum compacting is a particularly important strategy for gifted and other high-ability
students because they often come to school already knowing much of the grade level material. If these students are not challenged with new or different content, they waste time in school, do not learn important study skills, and do not grow as learners.

How Does Curriculum Compacting Work?
The first step in curriculum compacting is to identify the content, skill areas, standards, or benchmarks students have mastered. Compacting works particularly well in subjects or topics that are easily pre-tested such as math, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and map skills. Questions in these subjects generally require one right answer. It is easy, therefore, to determine who knows the information and who does not.

Continue Reading...