In the News: In China, Daydreaming Students Are Caught on Camera – by Education Next


Will students work harder in school if their parents–or complete strangers–are keeping an eye on them? In the New York Times, Javier Hernandez describes a new approach to motivating students that is being tried across China.

Thousands of schools — public and private, from kindergarten to college — are installing webcams in classrooms and streaming live on websites that are open to the public, betting that round-the-clock supervision, even from strangers, will help motivate students.

School officials see the cameras as a way to improve student confidence and crowdsource the task of catching misbehaving pupils. Parents use the feeds to monitor their children’s academic progress and spy on their friendships and romances. But many students see live-streaming as an intrusion, prompting a broader debate in China about privacy, educational ethics and the perils of helicopter parenting.

In Texas, a law requires schools to videotape special ed classrooms if a parent or school staff member requests it in order to protect students from abuse.

In Education Next, Mike Petrilli makes the case that video cameras should be installed in classrooms to improve teacher evaluations.

— Education Next

Source: EducationNext

The post In the News: In China, Daydreaming Students Are Caught on Camera – by Education Next appeared first on GMM Kindergarten | Learn. Grow. Become.

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18/05/2019 |

Strategic Development for Middle School Students Struggling With Fractions: Assessment and Intervention


Research has suggested that different strategies used when solving fraction problems are highly correlated with students’ problem-solving accuracy. This study (a) utilized latent profile modeling to classify students into three different strategic developmental levels in solving fraction comparison problems and (b) accordingly provided differentiated strategic training for students starting from two different strategic developmental levels. In Study 1 we assessed 49 middle school students’ performance on fraction comparison problems and categorized students into three clusters of strategic developmental clusters: a cross-multiplication cluster with the highest accuracy, a representation strategy cluster with medium accuracy, and a whole-number strategy cluster with the lowest accuracy. Based on the strategic developmental levels identified in Study 1, in Study 2 we selected three students from the whole-number strategy cluster and another three students from the representation strategy cluster and implemented a differentiated strategic training intervention within a multiple-baseline design. Results showed that both groups of students transitioned from less advanced to more advanced strategies and improved their problem-solving accuracy during the posttest, the maintenance test, and the generalization test.

Source: Journal of learning disabilities

The post Strategic Development for Middle School Students Struggling With Fractions: Assessment and Intervention appeared first on GMM Kindergarten | Learn. Grow. Become.

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04/05/2019 |

Making Student Data More Usable: What Innovation Theory Tells Us About Interoperability – by Thomas Arnett


As schools adopt blended learning, many are eager to use the floods of student learning data gathered by their various software systems to make better instructional decisions. We are accustomed to the ease with which we can use data from multiple systems in other domains of life—such as when we use GPS apps on our smartphones to search for dinner options, check operating hours and customer ratings, and then get traffic-optimized driving directions. So it isn’t hard to imagine an ideal world in which all student data flows seamlessly and securely between software applications: a concept known as data interoperability.

But currently, data interoperability across education software tools remains more of a hope than a reality. Often, the software that schools use only provides educators with the data that software developers have deemed necessary or relevant for teachers. Each piece of learning software usually has its own proprietary dashboards and reports, and the software typically does not tag, categorize, or provide access to its data in a way that makes data easy to share across systems.

In the absence of data interoperability, many teachers and administrators spend hours manually pulling data from multiple systems into spreadsheets—a tedious and error-prone process that is unwieldy at scale. Or worse, when the rubber hits the road in the daily work of teaching, data sits unused, gathering proverbial dust inside expensive software systems while teachers go on teaching as if the data didn’t exist.

Education is not the first industry to face these challenges, and it certainly won’t be the last. But the challenge may feel more intractable in some fields than others. Healthcare, for example, is wrestling with similar issues regarding the interoperability of electronic health records. What makes these issues so daunting in both education and healthcare is that interoperability is a business model challenge as much as a technical challenge. As our research on interdependence and modularity illustrates, it isn’t in the interest of subsystem or subcomponent producers to force fit their processes into a standard format when they are trying to optimize their own technology or operations.

How can industries push past this dilemma? Our research, laid out in The Innovator’s Prescription, suggests three potential paths toward interoperability among electronic health records specifically—and across industries more broadly. Fortunately, we’re already witnessing the education field starting to evolve in some of these directions.


The first path toward interoperability evolves when industry leaders meet to agree on standards for new technologies. With standards, software providers electively conform to a set of rules for cataloging and sharing data. The problem with this approach in the current education landscape is that software vendors don’t have incentives to conform to standards. Their goal is to optimize the content and usability of their own software and serve as a one-stop shop for student data, not to constrain their software architecture so that their data is more useful to third parties.

Until schools and teachers <a class="colorbox" rel="nofollow" href="" …read more    

27/04/2019 |

Charters Must Avoid Recreating the Failed School District Financial Model – by Paul Hill


Charter schools start out with big advantages, but there’s no guarantee they’ll keep them. It depends on whether they avoid the same financial traps that school districts have fallen into.

New charter schools control hiring and spending and can adapt to changes in students’ needs and improvements in instructional methods. In comparison, districts are frozen in place by commitments made in the past, to buildings, employees, and retirees.

Districts started out supple, with low overhead structures and few financial commitments to prevent money from reaching the classroom. They could readily adjust if student enrollment or residential patterns changed. But, in the mid-20th century, districts began to take on commitments that made them inflexible. They:

• Assumed long-term debt for expensive school buildings

• Employed teachers on civil service pay scales with automatic salary escalators

• Negotiated teacher contracts that were affordable in their first year but would break the budget later

• Promised pension benefits larger than current contributions could support

These commitments soaked up district money, making it difficult to adapt to changes in needs, technologies, and even student residential patterns. Worse, they ensured that districts could avoid financial collapse only by growing. If district enrollment continually increased, it was possible to build facilities in growing residential areas and pay escalating salary costs. Pensions could be paid if districts hired large numbers of new teachers—and encouraged many of them to leave before their contributions fully vested.

This all worked during the postwar baby boom. But from the late 1950s, districts that didn’t grow (or worse, lost enrollment to white flight) were in trouble. They lacked flexibility to adapt, and the fixed costs of past commitments forced them to spend less and less on the classroom, eliminating programs that parents valued, and causing further enrollment declines.

That’s why so many school systems run big deficits. It’s also the reason districts can’t compete effectively with charter schools and complain that charter growth hurts students in district-run schools. As students leave, the district’s total income declines.

CRPE will soon publish reports on how districts can function more effectively in a competitive environment. But there is an important message here for charter schools and charter management organizations (CMOs). It’s easy for a school or group of schools to become overly reliant on growth and optimistic revenue forecasts and in doing so to mortgage their futures. Really troublesome commitments are the ones that look small at first but grow later. Charter schools can get in trouble because of:

Long-term mortgages on buildings. Charter schools need the flexibility to move to new facilities if their current buildings are in the wrong place or can’t accommodate instructional innovations (for example, new uses of technology, student grouping strategies, blended learning models). Owning a building, especially one that can’t easily be sold and repurposed and that can generate big repair costs, can be a major problem. Charter schools should seek to lease buildings. If they must own, they should choose buildings that can be easily sold. Intermediaries like school real estate trusts can manage stocks of buildings and …read more    

23/04/2019 |
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