eSchool News annoints four ed bloggers "the best" (strangely a PDF) - Tim Stahmer's Assorted Stuff, Frank LaBanca's Applied Science Research, Wes Fryer's Moving at the Speed of Creativity and Andrew Rotherham's EduWonk.
Here are a few excerpts from each:
AssortedStuff: "Working with a Bad Foundation
I’ve never been a fan of internet filters, mostly because they don’t work and tend to offer teachers and parents a false sense of security. But as I’ve said before, they are necessary to catch the really bad stuff.
Most blogs, though, are not the really bad stuff. They represent the thoughts and ideas - of all stripes - that used to be expressed primarily in limited communications. Now these conversations are open for all to participate. Welcome to life in the 21st century.
However, there’s a bigger problem here: the structure of the American education system as a whole, something I rant about regularly. And Miguel, in the response posted on his blog, offers a quote which supports that very point.
It may be that the reason there is less use of technology for instructional purposes by the nation’s K-12 teachers is not resistance to change or lack of teacher training. The root cause may indeed be the inappropriateness of trying to layer technology on top of an obsolete education system.
Moving at the Speed of Creativity: "Invitation to Complex Problem Solving"
Compare the level of engagement, and the allure of the challenge, offered by a game like Empire at War to a typical lecture at the high school or college level. Is it any wonder teachers have trouble keeping the attention of digital natives under their instructional care? These dynamics make the need to engage students in interactive learning experiences even more apparent and pressing. (That need certainly pre-dates the Star Wars dynasty, however.)
Bush bashing is rampant in the high schools! This case in Colorado got some attention and now everyone is looking at this one in New Jersey. In both cases teachers taught/said controversial things about President Bush. The Lefty bloggy storyline basically goes like this: Say something critical of Bush, get in big trouble because we live in an Orwellian dystopia under the Bush Administration. The Righty bloggy storyline basically goes like this: More evidence that liberals are traitors and have ruined the public schools.
But as these things usually do, this is taking on a life of its own divorced from the more basic issues:
What the Colorado teacher did was pretty ridiculous, listen to the audio yourself. It's not a lesson or even a lecture, it's a wild rant and it's inappropriate for a public elementary and secondary school.
The New Jersey case, however, is a lot different.