Monday, December 23, 2013

Common Core Math Training

Where do you want to learn about Common Core - perhaps from the authors of Eureka Math is the best way to start!

Teach Eureka:  Grade-Level Webinar Series

Common Core is bringing the curriculum authors to you through a new webinar series starting in January 2014.

These live, interactive events are designed to deliver support as you implement the Eureka Math curriculum—A Story of Units, A Story of Ratios, and A Story of Functions. In this series, currently available for each grade K–9, curriculum writers from the Common Core team will address the mathematical concepts and the instructional strategies contained within each module to assist you in your teaching practice.

Teach Eureka will be offered in two cohorts. Each cohort’s starting point is based upon where you are currently in teaching the curriculum, providing “just in time” support. The table, seen at the right, outlines the starting and remaining modules to be covered for each cohort by grade level. Please consider this table as you determine which cohort best meets your needs. For example, Kindergarten teachers preparing to teach Module 3 in January should register for Grade K–Cohort A.

Both cohorts will begin the week of January 13th and will continue through the week of June 2nd. Sessions are bi-weekly (meeting every other week), are 75 minutes in length, and start at 7pm EST. The cost per registrant is $230. For a complete list of dates and times, please click the button below.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Eureka Math - Common Core Open Curriculum Support!

From the website on their open math curriculum built from the ground up for common core state standards.  

It’s time to hear from the experts who created Eureka Math as you use the modules into your classroom. Common Core is bringing theEureka Math authors to you through a Webinar series starting in January.

These live, interactive events designed to deliver support for teachers as they implement the Eureka Math curriculum—A Story of Units, A Story of Ratios, and A Story of Functions. In this series, available for each grade K–9, curriculum writers from the Common Core team will address mathematical concepts and instructional strategies to promote student achievement in the classroom.

Two cohorts of Teach Eureka! provide starting points based upon where you are in teaching the curriculum. The table below outlines the starting content for each cohort by grade level. Please consider this table as you determine which cohort best meets your needs

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Big Step for Competency Based Learning

From Inside Higher Ed - Lumina is funding a look at competency based learning through a new network - only colleges and universities invited to attend which is interesting.  But -we will be keeping an eye on it since Edevate is all about competency based learning.

From the articlte -

"Competency-based education appears to be higher education’s "next big thing." Yet many academics aren’t sure what it is. And that goes double for lawmakers and journalists.

A new group is stepping in to try to clear up some of the confusion. The nascent Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) will include up to 20 institutions that offer competency-based degrees or are well on their way to creating them.

The Lumina Foundation is funding the three-year effort. Public Agenda, a nonprofit research organization, is coordinating the work.

The group’s overarching goals are to share intelligence and discuss "best practices" on competency-based education, while also influencing the national conversation, according to the invitation for applications, which are due at the end of next month.

"This national network will consist of representatives from colleges and universities willing to commit time and effort to solving common challenges around developing quality competency-based models capable of scaling or spreading to affordably serve more students," the invitation document said.

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed"

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Common Core Update - Math Scores Rising / Handful Upset

Great story out of Yuma, Arizona on Common Core implementation - if you read the headline, you think that many parents are upset with the math curriculum at Yuma schools.  It was 10.  It appears those 10 are mainly upset because it is common core aligned.

However - the district stated:
"initial data on district testing show that students are increasing in their overall math scores, with the exception of at the fourth-grade level.

Christina Murphy, the parent of three at Desert Mesa Elementary School, shared that her children's assignments now fluctuate in difficulty – easy in some areas and complicated in others.

“I don’t also appreciate the fact that my children are being experimented with at this point… we have no statistics to prove anything, and yet my kids are sitting there being the guinea pig this year.”

Associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction Duane Sheppard explained that while a lot of times districts see an implementation dip when bringing in a new curriculum, this has, overall, not been the case with Eureka Math. He added that they are continuing to closely monitor the program and make improvements where needed."

I started working with the team at last month on expanding Eureka Math because it actually is that good - and to see a district using the content AND not seeing a dip in scores because they are actually increasing in the first year - incredible!!

This is great stuff - AND you can download the full common core math lessons FOR FREE! Not a bad deal at all. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

MOOCs - needing a reason to complete

Not surprising here - only 4% who start a MOOC actually complete the course - because most are just exploring and don't have a real reason to complete it. BUT  "Ed Rock, who heads Penn's MOOC initiative, called the findings "entirely unsurprising and not at all troubling. Four or five percent of 1.6 million [current users] is still 80,000 people, and 80,000 people is a huge number to educate."

True enough - the other issue is that MOOCs are not necessarily helping the poor get a college education - but are mainly used by college educated people trying to get ahead in their jobs.  Note - that is why Edevate is creating a way for business to use MOOCs to create training for their teams.

From my friends at STEM Connector -
Thousands sign up for free online courses, but few complete ( 
The University of Pennsylvania is at the forefront of a movement to experiment with free open online courses, but the undertaking, as its own researchers are finding out, has yielded mixed results. While Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have attracted millions of viewers and been heralded as a potential way to address skyrocketing tuition, very few of their viewers - 4 percent on average - actually complete the courses, according to the latest study by researchers in Penn's Graduate School of Education. 

Academics to Udacity Founder: Told Ya (Chronicle) 
In a new magazine profile of Sebastian Thrun, the Udacity founder calls his company’s massive open online courses a “lousy product” to use for educating underprepared college students. That assertion has prompted a chorus of I-told-you-sos from his critics in academe. In interviews for the Fast Company profile, Mr. Thrun reflected on the discouraging results of an experiment at San Jose State University in which instructors used Udacity’s online platform to teach mathematics. Some of the students were enrolled at the university, and some at a local high school. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Blended Learning Benefits for Rural Schools

Great report out last month from iNACOL on the benefits of blended learning for rural schools.  AcceleratingED is working with Sibling Group on some rural education initiatives with - long way around saying this pretty much makes the case this has to happen for rural students.

From the report -
Benefits of Blended and Online Learning

  • Provides extensive election of quality courses beyond what many districts can offer
  • Creates flexibility in scheduling
  • Supplies access to student-centered, engaged faculty trained in e-learing practices
  • Extends learning 24/7
  • Provides access to dual credit and AP courses
  • Creates opportunity to graduate early or recover credits.
  • 87% of teachers found communication between parent-teacher, student-student and teacher-student is the same or better with blended learning
  • 77.% of teacher indicated their ability to monitor student learning is either better or much better with blended learning
Not earth shattering - but increasing access and improving communication with students in rural schools requires increased implementation of blended learning.