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Showing posts from October, 2016

Declining Student Engagement; Are Extrinsic Motivators to Blame?

"Students who are encouraged to think about grades, stickers, or other “goodies” become less inclined to explore ideas, think creatively, and take chances." - Alfie Kohn

Earlier this year, after reading Scott McLeod's alert, I wrote about Gallup's report indicating students become less engaged in school as they advance through their program. David Perkins says this decline in student engagement is the result of a relevancy gap, a difference between our prescribed curriculum and learning experiences that offer a significant "life-worthy" return for students. Later, I asked David White if guiding students towards greater digital residency, in other words, providing more opportunities for interactive digital learning, would increase student engagement. 

David said, "There is ongoing research based on this premise, but any conclusions should include sound pedagogical practice."
As someone who always enjoys learning, and usually enjoyed school, I am havin…

Would You Want to be a Student in This Class?

Attending school open house events always leaves me emotionally conflicted because there are many times when I can't, or don't want to, believe what I'm hearing. I have trouble understanding many of the rules that some teachers include in their syllabus. I feel the need to challenge published grading policies and procedures that are clearly unfair to students. But I keep my parent hat on and keep my educator card in my pocket as I search for more understanding.



Maybe I'm just getting old and losing perspective about classroom management and student evaluation. Regardless if you are a teacher, student, or parent, you can help me with the writing of a more balanced and informed post by sharing your thoughts in the following five-question survey. The policies and procedures included in this short form are from documents distributed to parents during last month's open house season.

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I will share results and comments in a follow-up post.

Thank you for your time an…

To Email, or Not

Should current students learn how to use email?


As someone who celebrates a clean email inbox about once every five years, I found it interesting that the topic of student email usage was on the agenda of our recent high school leadership meeting. The focus of this brief conversation concentrated on these questions.



How can we get students to utilize their school email account better? Should we be teaching students how to communicate with email?When and where should email usage skills be taught? Who's responsibility is this?Why do we want kids to check their email? Those around the conference room table agreed with the importance of students checking their email to stay informed about upcoming events and opportunities. Others mentioned it as being an important part of "digital executive functioning." Time was running short when someone said, "Kids don't use email."

This brief statement sent my mind scurrying in several simultaneous directions. 

First, thinking …