Who is in Charge of America’s Schools?

Who is in Charge of America’s Schools?


podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fresh-air/id214089682?mt=2&i=352838278

The Prize is a story about good intentions gone awry.  They turn into political struggles, condescending and arrogant management policies, and money wasted.  They are thwarted by community mistrust which led to rebellion.  Note that none of this mentions the children.  It may be an opportunity lost for them.  If their parents stay involved, workable strategies to improve schools may emerge.

The Prize gives little insight into what works in schools to break the cycle of poverty.  The Newark example explains what did not work.  Individual teachers, given adequate support, are effective.  Some lessons learned about charter and district collaboration have emerged.  Small steps are being taken.  I will post them next.  What we do know is that, in the last analysis, parents own the schools.  Without them, nothing good will happen.

transcription tool

it is a hot topic [and contested] topic at MnSCU, considering ADA. In the MnSCU case, it is video and audio material, here, it is text based. The crowdsourcing idea applies, though…

From: lita-l-request@lists.ala.org <lita-l-request@lists.ala.org> on behalf of Ronald Houk <rhouk@ottumwapubliclibrary.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2015 10:01 AM
To: lita-l@lists.ala.org
Subject: Re: [lita-l] Crowdsourced transcription tool?


Hi Kathryn,

Scripto looks like an interesting project.  http://scripto.org/


On Thu, Sep 10, 2015 at 8:31 AM, Kathryn Frederick (Library) <kfrederi@skidmore.edu> wrote:


We recently had preservation work done on a number of 16th – 18th century land patents. We will be digitizing them, and would like to transcribe the documents which are hand-written in English and, in some cases, Latin.

Is anyone aware of a tool that would allow us to crowdsource the transcription?

Thanks for any suggestions,



Kathryn Frederick

Head of Digital and Collection Services

Lucy Scribner Library – Skidmore College

Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

(518) 580-5505
To maximize your use of LITA-L or to unsubscribe, see http://www.ala.org/lita/involve/email

Ronald Houk ☕
Assistant Director
Ottumwa Public Library
102 W. Fourth Street
Ottumwa, IA 52501


Subject: Re: [lita-l] Crowdsourced transcription tool?


If you’re interested in a fully hosted solution, you might also check out http://beta.fromthepage.com/. The underlying software is open source and you can install it locally as well.

Ben Brumfield, the guy who developed FromThePage also has a blog, http://manuscripttranscription.blogspot.com/, which has some useful information about different systems.

Danielle Cunniff Plumer

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

future of textbooks

Memento Mori: Why the Chegg IPO is Not About Textbooks


About 80% of the revenue still comes from renting textbooks, which might seem a bit outdated with everyone talking about tablet deployments and digital textbooks.

Though heavily funded and with more than 225,000 digital textbooks in its library, the startup was sold for pennies on a dollar to Intel Education last week.

With the Internet and tablet devices, publishers themselves can now go directly for the students through digital products. There is no need for physical bookstores or other middlemen to distribute the textbooks. Also professors are now able to sell their own textbooks directly to students.

This IPO is not so much about the current business of renting physical textbooks but about the time after paper-based textbooks. Chegg apparently does not see a future with publishers or professors by their side, and they will probably choose more direct sales channels in order to balance out sinking margins.

crowdfunding for teachers

Can Crowdfunding Pay for Teacher Professional Development?


Crowdfunding as a movement gained initial traction among platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, where people began soliciting a high volume of small donations to fund a litany of causes, ranging from starting a new comedy club, to funding innovative new products

For educators, platforms like DonorsChoose.org and PledgeCents can similarly be used to crowdfund donations for education-related causes.

Recently, however, I and many of my colleagues have been put off a bit by the proliferation of countless GoFundMe crowdfunding campaigns on Facebook, where individuals seek funding for their college tuition and personal debt. Does the spread of questionable personal campaigns make the general public less willing to invest in worthy campaigns



alternatives to lecturing

50 Alternatives To Lecturing

Learning Models

1. Self-directed learning

2. Learning through play

3. Scenario-based learning

4. Game-based learning (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=gaming)

5. Project-based learning (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=project+based)

6. Peer-to-Peer instruction

7. School-to-school instruction (using Skype in the classroom, for example)

8. Learning through projects

9. Problem-based learning

10. Challenge-based learning

11. Inquiry-based learning

12. Mobile learning

13. Gamified learning (gamification)

14. Cross-curricular projects (teaching by topic: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/03/24/education-reform-finland/)

15. Reciprocal Teaching

16. “Flipped-class” learning

17. Face-to-Face Driver blended learning

18. Rotation blended learning

19. Flex Blended Learning

20. “Online Lab” blended learning

21. Sync Teaching

23. HyFlex Learning

24. Self-guided MOOC

25. Traditional MOOC

26. Competency-Based Learning

27. Question-based learning

Literacy Strategies

28. Write-Around

29. Four Corners

30. Accountable Talk

31. RAFT Assignments

32. Fishbowl

33. Debate

34. Gallery Walk

35. Text Reduction

36. Concentric Circles

37. Traditional Concept-Mapping (teacher-given strategy–“fishbone” cause-effect analysis, for example)

38. Didactic, Personalized Concept Mapping (student designed and personalized for their knowledge-level and thinking patterns)

39. Mock Trial

40. Non-academic video + “academic” questioning

41. Paideia Seminar (http://www.paideia.org/, http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/paideia/, http://www.mtlsd.org/jefferson_middle/stuff/paideia%20seminar%20guidelines.pdf)

42. Symposium

43. Socratic Seminar (https://www.nwabr.org/sites/default/files/SocSem.pdf)

44. QFT Strategy

45. Concept Attainment

46. Directed Reading Thinking Activity

47. Paragraph Shrinking

48. FRAME Routine

49. Jigsaw Strategy


50. Content-Based Team-Building Activities

51. Learning Simulation

52. Role-Playing

53. Bloom’s Spiral

54. Virtual Field Trip (http://web.stcloudstate.edu/pmiltenoff/scw/)

55. Physical Field Trip

56. Digital Scavenger Hunt  (http://web.stcloudstate.edu/pmiltenoff/bi/)

57. Physical Scavenger Hunt




differences between classroom, blended, online and open learning

10 key takeaways about differences between classroom, blended, online and open learning


Tony Bates shares his thoughts on the difference

differences between classroom, blended, online and open learning

Chapter 10 of Tony Bates online open textbook, Teaching in a Digital Age:

– See more at: http://www.tonybates.ca/2015/02/21/10-key-takeaways-about-differences-between-classroom-blended-online-and-open-learning/#sthash.MOymkn9F.dpuf

More on F2F, blended/hybrid and online learning in this blog:




Social Homework Platform-

Social Homework Platform Aims to Boost Student Engagement


Another step ahead/afar from CMS?

Koondis works in traditional large introductory lecture classrooms, blended classes and fully online courses that often are filled with students enrolled from various disciplines who are required to be there for their majors.

Described as a “social homework system,” a “discussion forum that puts students in small groups” and even a replacement for the campus learning management system, Koondis is showing great promise as a pill for student satisfaction.

The idea is that Koondis eliminates the need for teachers to read all of the posts. The program even counts posts for the instructor for grading purposes, and alerts the faculty member to do follow-up when a student isn’t participating.

Discussion Boards, Blogs and Wikis

Differences between Discussion Boards, Blogs and Wikis



Discussion Forums are TOPIC centred.

  • discussions are organised into topics by ‘threads’
  • anyone in the community can start a thread on a topic of their choosing
  • all participants have an equal voice
  • posts require someone to reply for a discussion to take place
  • you can follow through a thread on a particular topic
Blogs are AUTHOR centred.

  • posts are made by the blog’s author only (may be a group)
  • posts are usually opinion pieces and written in the authors voice
  • readers can add comments to the author’s post
  • organised in reverse chronological order so the most recent posts show on the entry page
  • reflect the authors identity in the tone, look and feel and content
Wikis are CONTENT/DOCUMENT centred.

  • wikis are for group authoring
  • editable website with a complete version history kept
  • aim is to reach a consensus or compromise on the content of the page
  • the focus is the content produced, not the individual authors
  • usually neutral and objective
  • discussion/comment is separated from the wiki content