Just because the shine's off blogging/teaching right now doesn't mean I haven't been reading. Here's some of the best writing I've read over the past few weeks.
- Technology and the Three Kinds of Teachers.
Slideshare is kind of a bummer proposition for me as it doesn't make room for intra-slide craftsmanship. My presentation expertise is most evident in how I structure fade-ins and wipes — the design of information within the slides.That said, "Technology and the Three Kinds of Teachers" is a compelling show and plays well within Slideshare's retarding constraints. The title plays things diplomatically when a more accurate title would've been: "One Good Teacher and Two Sad Cases." That good teacher, it turns out, is a cross between Jason Bourne and James Bond. Should've seen that coming, I suppose. [via Chris Craft]
- Connected School Climates – Stop, Look, and Listen.
Greg Farr is an impressive fella. He consistently leads the top decile of LeaderTalk posters and, to my recollection, has never written a post that was less than totally engrossing. Here he writes the definitive how-to for positively charging a school's climate and preempting tragedies like that of Virginia Tech. Definitive. All without referencing Virginia Tech by name. The writing is just that confident.1
- The Secrets of Scott Elias' Success.
Scott writes up his seven secrets for personal and professional success, each of which strike me as essentially true. My own efforts towards productivity and something that approximates happiness are like a younger, unsteadier reflection of his. Scott is simultaneously a sidebar link, a hero, and a member of a select crowd I call, "Administrator's I'd Buy A Beer." (Blog banner forthcoming.)
- Productivity Hacks for New Administrators.
Scott again. Get 'em, Scott.
- Star Teachers Grade Less
Learning to Teach, Teaching to Learn is the best blog you aren't reading. Author H., the son of a sharecropper who could only afford a single letter to christen his son (or daughter … these pseudonyms are killing me), is also best blogger who doesn't blog. His only post in April is a sharp and note-perfect analysis of Martin Haberman's "Star Teachers."
- Personal Pies.
Craig Robinson isn't a teacher but he just tossed me several lesson plans. This year I used pie graphs in some pretty bland ways. I asked my Algebra students to divide them into 4, 5, 6, etc., equal slices, getting their hands dirty with degrees, proportions, and fractions. Pretty bland. Next year I'm going to rip off Craig's simple and super approach to pie graphs and have my student's document their lives with their own choice of metrics. Same learning outcome with, like, twice the fun.
- Dashboards – A Practical Data Management Tool.
Have I mentioned Greg Farr? His daily dashboards are one of the most creative efforts towards transparency and empowerment I've encountered to date. From a design standpoint, they're fixer-uppers and will reappear in a future Design for Educators feature but, regardless, a great idea.
Thanks, everyone, for tending to the Internet while I'm taking a sabbatical.
- Incidentally, I've put his official principal's blog in the sidebar. It's necessarily tamer than his corner of LeaderTalk, but the writing and analysis still run circles around the blogosphere.