2e

Awesome article about Twice-Exceptional kids, Gifted + Learning Disabled = No Desk for You by Daniel Peters in the Huff Post.

This is EXACTLY what we’re going through. It’s a scary article for me to read – exactly what we’re seeing.

He outlines 3 paths for these gifted/LD kids:

  • ID’d gifted, never id’d LD
  • ID’d LD, never id’d gifted
  • strengths and weaknesses cancel each other, never id’d as either.

Love this quote — this is almost verbatim to what we’ve been told:

If you have advanced cognitive and/or academic abilities, you are able to score below to low average and then considered to be doing “fine.”

 

This one gives me strength to fight again:

We do not need our 2e children to be famous, but we do need them to get the assistance they need to do well in school, and further to bring their talents to bare. They have a civil right for a free and appropriate education and the protection of special education laws designed to give ALL students equal access to learning and achievement.

 

This is crucial:

4. Legislators and educational administrators should eliminate any absolute performance requirements from federal, state, or district policies for the identification of children with specific learning disabilities that prohibit the inclusion of higher ability children from needed services.

 

We have been told over and over again that since our daughter isn’t failing, there’s no way she’s getting any help. Thank goodness she has had a few teachers who have, without questioning, provided necessary accommodations that have allowed her to access the education she has a right to access. One problem is that the type of accommodation differs depending on the class. The school allows only one set of accommodations. Again, thankfully we’ve had teachers who have been willing to work with what is needed.

She’s never, ever, ever gotten any specific help for learning disabilities. We’ve been told over and over that she doesn’t qualify and they can’t give her any help.

The little help she’s gotten has been at our expense. As things are getting worse in high school, I so wish we had pushed harder and had sought out other solutions.

In reading the recommendations, I feel somewhat better — as we’ve done ALL of this — over and over and over. Without success. I’m not sure what more I can do.

1. Trust yourself. You know your child better than anyone. If your child is struggling and he/she is not performing to her perceived potential, advocate for him/her.

2. Talk to your child’s teacher and/or appropriate personnel and let them know where and how they are struggling. Request a meeting to discuss your concerns and for strategies to be put in place.

3. Request a comprehensive evaluation in writing if your child’s challenges are not improving despite initial school intervention or services. Pursue qualification for an IEP or Section 504 Plan.

Every student deserves the room, the space, the opportunity to excel — the metaphorical equivalent of a desk of his or her own.

ISTE Day 2

My ISTE Day #1 wasn’t really an ISTE day…. spent the morning at the World of Coca-Cola. Definitely a polished, high budget experience – very directed. They used an interesting combo of text labels and short 30-second videos scattered throughout. We then went to the new Center for Civil and Human Rights. Blew me away. Deep look into the Civil Rights movement in the Atlanta area. It was fascinating, moving, disturbing and well-done. While it was quite directed, there was still more free exploring. Well done media, lots of reading.

ISTE Day #2:

  • Our poster session was bright and early at 8:00. I arrived at 7:45 — there were people there waiting! We were out of bookmarks (I brought 60) by 8:10. Tons of people, lots of interest, great questions. We have lots of ideas about what to do next year!! Looking forward to it!
  • Caught the tail end of a couple of sessions.
  • Exhibit hall: oddly, had a great time in the exhibit hall. Connected with a few vendors I’d talked with in the last year about digital books. I will follow up with one of them – to keep our options open.
  • Talked with a couple of cool sites/ tools: knewton.com and tackk.com. Tackk.com is a free basic webpage (single page) builder. I can totally see using this in sessions with teachers!
  • Went to a last session about digital content. Very interesting. Confirmed what we knew – teachers want something beyond a pdf. Comments include: extra multimedia, annotation, ability to add content, social sharing.
  • EdTechWomen dinner — awesome! Met a number of interesting and accomplished women: principals, Microsoft employees, business women, teachers. Great conversation and connections. Thanks for the advice, @teachwatts. Will let you know when the book is done!
  • And in true ISTE fashion, I had a great conversation with someone in the hotel elevator that we continued in the lobby. Tip about a digital storytelling session that I missed, but has resources. And we did some great AP History bashing – one of my favorite things! :-)

Iste is really about the people.

Copyright Flowchart: Can I Use It? Yes? No? If This… Then… | Langwitches Blog

Copyright Flowchart: Can I Use It? Yes? No? If This… Then… | Langwitches Blog.

Fantastic blog post about copyright, fair use and more. This blogger has a nice series of posts about copyright, so is a great resource. This is a very confusing, murky topic and deserves some attention.

Please reference the excellent infographic in her post.

 

More Cs!

2 Layers of Learning and Teaching with Technology | IGNITEducation.

Great post with a new framework for thinking about teaching and technology. To summarize: Three Cs for students, Three for Teachers.

Student: Collect, Create and Contribute

Teachers: Curate, Conduct and Connect

(We are, of course, familiar with the other Cs – collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication. In my work, we add content and context!)

From a personal point of view, I definitely don’t see this happening in my daughter’s school. It’s more like memorize, regurgitate and fill in a bubble.

Professionally, I can see keeping this framework in mind as a model for building content for schools. How do we make content available that students can collect? that teachers can curate (although we do the initial curation for them)? How do we make it available that it can be repurposed into various types of projects?

How can we finance the time it takes to curate the content into something manageable for teachers or students? How do we finance the tech infrastructure that is necessary to deliver this content in a manner that is usable? How do we find tools that all schools/students can work with? In this era of ever-shifting platforms, tools and approaches, it’s impossible to land on one solution that fits every need.

Teaching History for the Quiz Show

Fantastic article in The Atlantic, “High School History Doesn’t have to be Boring” by David Cutler questioning why teachers are still (and why they ever) taught history as a class to memorize a series of events. I wish my kids had this guy for a teacher!

Great quote:

But as we go farther into the 21st century, with changes almost too numerous to fathom, I find it mindboggling that any teacher would still treat history class as boring preparation for a quiz show.

 

This is a great way to look at teaching history:

  • Teachers are foolish to expect students to remember anything for long that has little to no direct relevance in their daily lives.
  • Teachers need to do a much better job of connecting history to today, and placing a greater emphasis on how young people could learn from past mistakes.
  • Teachers should assess students on what they can do with what they know, rather than how much they know at any given time.

My daughter’s experience with AP History was horrific — they had to read pages and pages of dense text “to prepare them for college” – what bullshit – and take pages and pages of multiple choice tests with questions that were basic fact memorization. I hear they are doing a little more Document Based Questions in the 11th grade AP US History, but still tons and tons of multiple choice questions.

I’m much happier with her “regular” history class. Few tests, many more projects and less rote memorization. According to everyone, it doesn’t have the rigor. But who cares — we could argue the “rigor” aspect, and it’s not just shoving Google-able facts down their throats.

dy/dan » Blog Archive » Waterline & Taking Textbooks Out Of Airplane Mode

I’ll show you what I mean while simultaneously badgering publishers of digital textbooks. (As I do.)

Think about the stretches of time when your smartphone or tablet is in airplane mode.

Without any connection to the Internet, you can read articles you’ve saved but you can’t visit any links inside those articles. You can’t text your friends. You can’t share photos of cats wearing mittens or tweet your funny thoughts to anybody.

In airplane mode, your phone is worth less. You paid for the wireless antenna in your tablet. Perhaps you’re paying for an extra data plan. Airplane mode shuts both of them down and dials the return on those investments down to zero.

Airplane mode sucks.

Most digital textbooks are in airplane mode:

Textbooks authored in Apple’s iBooks Author don’t send data from the student’s iPad anywhere else. Not to her teacher and not to other students.

HMH Fuse includes some basic student response functionality, sending data from the student to the teacher, but not between students.

In the Los Angeles Unified iPad rollout, administrators were surprised to find that “300 students at three high schools almost immediately removed security filters so they could freely browse the Internet.” Well of course they did. Airplane mode sucks.

The prize I’m chasing is curriculum where students share with other students, where I see your thoughts and you see mine and we both become smarter and life becomes more interesting because of that interaction. That’s how the rest of the Internet works because the Internet is out of airplane mode.

via dy/dan » Blog Archive » Waterline & Taking Textbooks Out Of Airplane Mode.

This is an awesome post by one of my favorite bloggers. He was one of the bloggers I found early on in this research, and his approach really pushed me out of my box. I continue to find his work motivating and inspiring – even if he does teach math and I‘m in social studies!

This chunk of his post is especially relevent to my world right now…. I wish it was easy to create this, as he wants. But it isn’t — yet. I know it’ll get better, easier to do. And I will keep pushing for it. Just can’t quite get there yet. The technology just isn’t there to do in a large scale (at least in a way for a small publisher to do), and honestly, not all teachers are at this place yet. 

Thankfully, he’ll keep asking. That’s what will get content to the right place.