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Dan S. Martin's Principal Rider

 

To teach is to create a space in which obedience to truth is practiced.

-- Abba Felix

 
 

This is a record of Dan Martin's Education Ride 365. In 2012 he set out to visit all 50 states and speak to educators, and ride 50,000 miles on the Cycle of Education. He did it! The ride is over but his blog remains as a record of the trip.

 

Education Ride 365 One Year -- 50 States -- 50,000 Miles

Goal: 50 States
TX LA MS AL FL GA AR NM AZ NV CA OK KS CO WY MT ND SD NE MO IA MN TN OH PA MA IN ME NY NH VT RI CT WV OR WA AK KY ID UT NC SC IL WI MI NJ DE MD VA HI
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  |  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  |  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  |  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  |  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  |

Miles per Month; Goal: 50,000 Miles Total (roll over for details)

 
 
 

Who is Dan S. Martin?
dan.s.martin@edclick.com

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  Entries from December 2010
Posts 1 - 25 of 75 > >>|

Friday, December 31, 2010

Trends: Progressive Education Then And Now

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
Speaking of the forties, the tug between traditional and progressive education models is not a new one in America.  Nor is the instinct for education reform.  Is project-based instruction today's progressive education?  Just what is progressive education in 2011?  Is it compatible with the accountability movement?  Has the traditional model of education won out?  Is technology part of the answer?  Where to from here?  Or, as asked in previous posts, what exactly do we want from our schools?

The footage below is seven minutes of "the more things change, the more they remain the same!"

"The world is moving at a tremendous rate.  No one knows where.  We must prepare our children not for the world of the past, not for our world, but for their world. 
The world of the future."  --John Dewey



Posted at 2:19 PM (permalink) 0 Comments View/Leave Comment Share this post with email Share this post on Facebook Share this post on Twitter Share this post on LinkedIn
Keywords: Trends, Progressive Education

 

Friday, December 31, 2010

Photo Of The Day: Stop And Go

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
Photo Of The Day--- The New Year Is Upon Us....An Opportunity To Stop & Go....New Directions!


Posted at 2:17 PM (permalink) 0 Comments View/Leave Comment Share this post with email Share this post on Facebook Share this post on Twitter Share this post on LinkedIn
Keywords: Photo Of The Day

 

Friday, December 31, 2010

Communication: Propaganda Never Saw A More Imaginative Age!

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
Communication will be a new series on my blog. It will spotlight our attempt to disseminate information to---and regarding---young people.  The reverse flow of information is fair game too!  This should be fun!  The good, the bad, and the ugly!

So, my earlier post on news of a declining teenage birth rate over 16 of the past 18 years---resulting in the lowest rate in seven decades---took me back seven decades...to the good old 1940s.  You suppose this abstinence poster and campaign were responsible for the low birth rate set then?  Or, perhaps much more likely, it was that low because many of the men were overseas!

How about this....uh, questionable....attempt to communicate with young people!



Just Say No!

Posted at 2:15 PM (permalink) 0 Comments View/Leave Comment Share this post with email Share this post on Facebook Share this post on Twitter Share this post on LinkedIn
Keywords: Communication, Propaganda, Teen Pregnancy

 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Trends: Teenage Birth Rate Continues To Decline...At Record Low

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
"The birth rate among American teenagers reached a record low in 2009, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported Tuesday (Dec.21), hitting its lowest level in nearly seven decades."

Could it be that the more liberal our society becomes, the more informed young people become about their choices...and more are making better ones?  No simplistic explanation like this can explain a complex trend like this!!!  Just trying to bait you!  What do you think is going on?  Please add a comment below!


Posted at 5:56 PM (permalink) 1 Comments View/Leave Comment Share this post with email Share this post on Facebook Share this post on Twitter Share this post on LinkedIn
Keywords: Trends, Health, Teen Pregnancy

 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Photo Of The Day: My Favorite Photo Of The Year...Near Miss?!

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
Photo Of The Day---Perhaps My Favorite Photo Of The Year...(though I do still love that artist's conception of a black hole in my earlier post!)



June 14, 2010 Shuttle Launch

I believe our government gets credit for this photo!

Posted at 3:51 PM (permalink) 1 Comments View/Leave Comment Share this post with email Share this post on Facebook Share this post on Twitter Share this post on LinkedIn
Keywords: Photo Of The Day, NASA, Space Shuttle

 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In The News: Despite #1 International Ranking, China's Schools Need Reform

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
About a month ago, the latest results were released for the international standardized testing effort known as the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA.  I blogged about it on December 7th ...and posted a follow-up on December 14th.

Despite ranking first on this testing, however, Chinese educators are not at all satisfied.  In fact, they acknowledge that this sort of testing plays to the strength of the Chinese educational system---->which may actually be so overemphasized that it is the weakness of the Chinese educational system.  For more, see the article highlights below, or click on the link to see the entire story.

So, in assessing how our students are doing against the rest of the world, are these measures more misleading than they are valuable?  What good is the information if most all who are exposed to it will not understand the nuances---if even the general conclusions---to be drawn from the results?  Do we want students like those from countries at the top of this list?  Or, are we after a different sort of student (citizen)?  What do we really want out of our schools?  What are we willing to expect of our students and the adults who guide them?


Highlights of the National Public Radio article are quoted below.  Read or listen to the entire article on NPR here!

"...Some educators are calling it "a Sputnik moment," like the launch of the Soviet satellite in 1957 that so shocked America. But the Chinese are not gloating about their success: They realize their educational system — which stresses memorization and largely ignores critical thinking — is in need of reform."

"...All Chinese people, no matter poor or rich, they have very high expectations in education. That kind of culture pushes people to study and study and study. I think this is very important," Zhang says.

"...The teacher teaches, the students repeat, and even the principal admits the feared final high school exam that gets you into college — known as the gaokao — is all simply about memorization and rote learning. That principal, Liu Jinghai, though he is proud of his students for testing well, says the West shouldn't worry about the PISA results.

"Developed countries like the U.S. shouldn't be too surprised by these results. They're just one index, one measure that shows off the good points of Shanghai's and China's education system. But the results can't cover up our problems," he says.

"Why don't Chinese students dare to think? Because we insist on telling them everything. We're not getting our kids to go and find things out for themselves," he says.

"...As well as the limitations of the Chinese education system, Liu says, it was only students in Shanghai who took the PISA tests, and Shanghai has some of the best schools in China.

"As long as the gaokao scores are what get you, a student, into college — and those are the scores that also rank the high schools — parents and principals and teachers can't afford to really experiment with a kind of learning that encourages independent thinking, and perhaps, learning from mistakes..."

Posted at 2:36 PM (permalink) 0 Comments View/Leave Comment Share this post with email Share this post on Facebook Share this post on Twitter Share this post on LinkedIn
Keywords: In The News, PISA, International Assessment, Assessment

 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Communication: The Good, Bad, & Ugly Of Our Efforts To Communicate

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
Communication will be a new series on my blog. It will spotlight our attempt to disseminate information to---and regarding---young people.  The reverse flow of information is fair game too!  This should be fun!  The good, the bad, and the ugly!

This image is part of an effort by the City of Santa Ana, California, to educate parents about how to recognize if their child is painting up the city.



Posted on Flickr by Thomas Hawk.  (March 5, 2008)

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Keywords: Communication, Discipline

 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Trends: Common Assessments For Common Standards

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
In an earlier set of posts (1,2,3,4) I highlighted the progress towards adoption of common standards for math and reading across our country.  As of a few weeks ago, 43 states had approved the common standards and 5 more are expected to.  There are only two maverick states regarding common standards--- Texas and Alaska.

Now that the common standards effort is so far along, attention has shifted to the common assessments that will test the common standards.  The web page below provides a bit more context and links to the two proposals being promoted

In part, the page reads:

"One report comes from the Aspen Institute, which also hosted a panel discussion about the proposals with representatives from each consortium (you can watch the video of that 90-minute presentation, too, if you wish.).

The other comes from the ETS' Center for K-12 Assessment & Performance, the same folks who have already produced graphic and Power-Point depictions of the two consortia's testing proposals. (All of these resources, along with the newest report, "Coming Together To Raise Achievement," are available at the Center's publications page.)"

Click here to see "Curriculum Matters" at Education Week

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Keywords: Common-Standards, Standards, Accountability, Common-Accountability

 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pass It On Education Tools: Tessellations

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
Some of the neatest projects I've seen students produce were tessellations.  I've seen them used creatively in both Art and Mathematics.  So I started to wonder, is there a difference between how Tessellations are used in the two subjects?  If you've ever walked the halls of the schoolhouse and wished you knew more about the distinction yourself, here are two sources....one from each perspective:

Art Perspective


Click here for Tesellations.org

Math Perspective



Click here to see this web page

Check It Out!  Pass It On!

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Keywords: Pass It On, Pass It On Education Tools, Tessellations

 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Trends: Too Large To Make A Connection

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
I attempted to contact TIME and CNN yesterday to ask if the Black Hole picture I posted recently should even qualify for their pictures of 2010 feature.  Perhaps, if it should be included, a more complete explanation is called for in the caption.

The result?  No contact established.  It seems that some companies have become so large and faceless in our new century that it is near impossible to speak to a human who works there.  One thing I really appreciate about working with Dr. Tennant at EdClick is that we still engage our customers...in a timely and personal manner.  Not a time goes by that we can't speak with a customer within a few hours.

This makes me think again about the question of optimal school and district size.  Are some of our districts and campuses too large to effectively provide the personal touch?  Some districts, like Frisco ISD here in Texas, have made a commitment to "cap" the size of their campuses.  In Frisco ISD's case, they are committed to schools no larger than 4A size.

Are there diminishing returns for school and district size once a threshold is reached?  Are some schools more institutional than personal?

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Keywords: Trends, School Size

 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More Education Needed: The Cold Has Won Out Over Global Warming

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
This will be a new series that makes light of the fact that we could all use
more learning in our lives!



Uttered on "Fox and Friends" yesterday, December 28th, by a guest host:

"There's nothing like a big blizzard
to renew the debate of Global Warming."



Credit: Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen

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Keywords: More Education Needed, Global Warming

 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Education Funny: It Takes A Village

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
This is about the point in a long holiday when parents start desiring to send them somewhere...anywhere...like a school where you work!!!



Credit: 2003 GEC Inc. Dist. by United Features Syndicate, Inc.

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Keywords: Education Funny, Teenagers

 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Photo Of The Day: Sucked In

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
Photo Of The Day: Follow-up!  So, I went searching for the hi-res image and found it at NASA.gov, a great website.  The only problem is, I have learned enough about the image now to know that it is an "artist's conception" of the Black Hole?!?!!  "As the drawing suggests..."   Huh, does this even qualify for a "Pictures of the Year" list?  TimeCNN?  No wonder I was blown away by the epic image.  Ha, ha, you would think I planned these two posts as a follow-up to the "Bad Day--Shark" photos!



P.S. The hi-res image is still awesome!  It is now my desktop background.  "A Thousand Points of Light"

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Keywords: Photo Of The Day, Visual Literacy

 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pass It On Education Content: Blue Beauty

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
A little closer to home...about our home...this PowerPoint is spectacular!  Earth from space, with features pointed out and remarkable night/day transition photos.  Make sure to let each slide "develop" before clicking through. 

Science and Social Studies teachers will likely love this!  In fact, I bet most all of us can appreciate it!

Check It Out!  Pass It On!

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Keywords: Pass It On, Pass It On Education Content, Earth From Space

 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Photo Of The Day...Or Possibly Of All Time: Black Hole

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
Photo of the Day: This is simply one of the most intriguing photos I have ever seen.  Really extraordinary.  Even mind-blowing.  I need to find this in hi-resolution!

Science teachers will love you for making sure they have seen this!

It is one of 48 photos Time and CNN present as best of 2010.  You can see the entire photo gallery by clicking here!  There are many great photos teachers could use in lessons.


Click To Go To This Photo In The Gallery

Check It Out!  Pass It On!

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Keywords: Photo Of The Day, Black Hole

 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Photo Of The Day: 1+1=1?

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
Photo Of The Day --> What clues should we have considered when judging the authenticity of the yesterday's Photo Of he Day? There were plenty of clues in the two posts yesterday.

We need to help students learn not to trust sources of information too readily.  They must learn how to evaluate the mass of information---plenty of it misleading---they are bombarded with in our information culture.


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Keywords: Photo Of The Day, Visual Literacy

 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Photo Of The Day: More Fishy Stuff

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
(Photo Of The Day) --> I'll Add The Caption For It and re-pose the question:
How could this photo be used for a visual literacy exercise?


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Keywords: Photo Of The Day, Visual Literacy

 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Photo Of The Day: Bad Day At Work!

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
Photo Of The Day: How could this photo be used for a visual literacy exercise?


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Keywords: Photo Of The Day, Visual Literacy

 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

In The News: Farmers Branch Takes Next Step Towards What Hasn't Happened In Texas In Over 30 Years

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
When I first posted on the story "C-FB District Break Up?" I thought that was probably the end of the story.  But wait...

"Farmers Branch wants its own school district, and on Tuesday night, the City Council took the first step toward splitting off from the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD and the Dallas ISD....

Creating a new school district in Farmers Branch remains a long way off — if it even happens at all.

On Tuesday, the Council chose to let the voters decide what to do."

"....The city is considering seceding from the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD and creating a new Farmers Branch ISD.

Mayor Tim O'Hare and others are most recently concerned about the CFBISD's grading policy; it's too lax and too generous, they say."

"...Citizens will go to the polls in May to decide if they want to vote for or against a new district in Farmers Branch. Even if the measure passes at the ballot box, the Council will decide what to do next, and how expensive and challenging that might be."

For the complete WFAA story or video, click here

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Keywords: In The News, School District Zoning

 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Trends: 2010 U.S. Census Released, Texas Grows Again

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
The 2010 Census results have been released.  Official U.S. population: 308,745,538  (give or take 3).  Texas gains again.  Population of Texas: 25,145,561. Texas had the largest population increase of any state, so it will gain four additional House Congressional seats (for a total of 36).  The other 49 states probably hate to hear it.


One very interesting feature found on the story above is a 2010 Census Interactive Map, that has tabs for each census over the past hundred years.  It is interesting to see the growth and contraction of state populations over time.  Texas is on an uninterrupted incline over that period.



Social Studies teachers should know of this interactive map!

Check It Out!  Pass It On!
Notice the sharing buttons below!

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Keywords: Trends, Census 2010, Census 100-Year Interactive Map

 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Photo Of The Day: Today Is The First Day Of Winter!

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
Photo Of The Day: Today is the first day of winter!!!! 

Photo By familymwr on February 13, 2007.  It is on Flickr here.

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Keywords: Photo Of The Day

 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Photo Of The Day: Raising Teenagers Is Like...

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
Random sign seen in Portland, Oregon.  So true!  Much like educating them!


Photo Of The Day courtesy of "Major Clanger" on Flickr here
The photo was taken in Portland, Oregon on October 31, 2005.


What do you think raising teenagers is like? 
Leave a comment, "Raising teenagers is like..."

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Keywords: Photo Of The Day, Raising Teenagers

 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Education Funny: Important Concepts Taught To Us By Mother

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin
I am trying to keep it a little lighter here heading towards Santa's visit and the more care free final days of the year.  Rest assured, though, substantive stuff will still be part of the daily fare! 
Check back regularly!


For now, some concept-based teaching most all of us can relate to:

Important Concepts Taught To Us By Mother

RELIGION

"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

TIME TRAVEL

"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into next week!"

LOGIC

"Because I said so, that's why."

FORESIGHT

"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

IRONY

"Keep laughing and I'll *give* you something to CRY ABOUT!"

OSMOSIS

"Shut your mouth and eat your supper!"

STAMINA

"You'll sit there 'til those lima beans are gone!"

HYPOCRISY

"If I've told you once, I've told you a million times - don't exaggerate!!!"

CIRCLE OF LIFE

"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION

"Stop acting like your father!"

ENVY

"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do!"


Let me know if you have any idea who I can credit for this.  It was sent to me some time ago without credit info.

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Keywords: Education Funny, Concept-Based Teaching

 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Guest Post: What are schools for?

Guest post by Harry Tennant

I just watched an interesting talk by a teacher, Diana Laufenberg, How to learn? From mistakes. She started her talk by pointing out how different the needs of education were for her grandmother, father, herself and now her students. Her grandmother and father had to go to school because that's where the knowledge was. It had to be transferred from the teacher's mind to the student's mind. Her situation was a bit different because with encyclopedias in the household, there was a lot of knowledge available outside the school. Today, students have an abundance of knowledge and information online, so why do they still need to go to school?

She went on to argue that because of today's information abundance, education should shift from providing the right answers (characterized by standardized testing) to an environment where students are challenged, they make mistakes, and they learn far more from their mistakes than they would otherwise learn.

But Ms. Laufenberg is wrong, isn't she? Schools have always provided far more than information. First, schools provide a value judgement on what is important to learn, the curriculum. One can disagree with what it is and perhaps that it is far to uniform across all students, but it is more than just information. Second, schools provide the necessary exercise and practice to make knowledge one's own. Let's face it, most of us tend to enjoy the fiction that if we're exposed to some knowledge, we've mastered it.

Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.
--William Butler Yeats

Education must involve some bucket filling as well as some fire lighting. Ms. Laufenberg's very interestingly described assignments no doubt do a good job of fire lighting. When I look back on my own education, projects and reports stand out as some of the most enjoyable and inspiring things I did in school. And I wouldn't call doing practice problems in math class inspiring. But I'm very glad that I did those practice problems, and learned the prepositions and periodic table and the did the physics experiments and practiced writing paragraphs and so on. I'm glad my teachers took the time to fill my bucket so that when intellectual fires did start to burn within me, I had an adequate foundation on which and with which to build.

So, to my teachers for insisting that I do what they knew I needed to do: Thank you!

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Keywords: by Harry Tennant

 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Education Funny: Terrorism Sure Has Changed Life In America

EdConnections Posted by Dan S. Martin


Wish I could give a credit for this.  I clipped it years ago.  So long ago, I think they are referring to violence by children at the time, and the responding trend to add X-Ray machines in some schools.

I'm the one who tied it to terrorism vigilance!  My description is a "modern day" interpretation! 

Protect Santa.  Give peace a chance!  Happy Holidays!

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Keywords: Education Funny

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