Last week, a client I have consulted with for almost a decade asked me a simple question: With a ton of digital tools being embraced by teachers but a limited budget to pay for districtwide subscriptions, how could he be sure that he was making the right choices about which tools to invest in and which tools to walk away from? Read more
William M. Ferriter
William M. Ferriter is a sixth-grade science teacher in a professional learning community near Raleigh, North Carolina. A National Board Certified Teacher, he has designed professional development courses for educators nationwide.
Over the last several years, I’ve done a ton of experimenting in my sixth-grade classroom with peer feedback—structured opportunities for students to give and receive feedback from one another.
That’s primarily a function of efficiency. Teaching close to 120 students with a wide range of skills and abilities every single year makes it darn near impossible for me alone to provide feedback to the learners in my classroom. If the best feedback is both timely and directive—an argument that Bob Marzano made nearly a decade ago—we need to teach students to look for guidance and support from one another, rather than simply waiting to receive feedback from classroom teachers, who are perpetually buried in stacks of papers that need to be graded. Read more
Let me start with a simple truth: There is no single decision made by the principal of a professional learning community more important than who to hire to fill vacancies on individual learning teams.
After all, the teachers that you hire today are likely to be a part of your faculty—working with students, influencing colleagues, shaping decisions, impacting public relations—for years to come. Heck, the teachers that you hire today are likely to be a part of your faculty long after you have left for a new position. Read more
I read a really interesting Matt Mullenweg article this week detailing one of Apple’s greatest strengths as a brand: Their willingness to ship first and polish products later.
Mullenweg points out that every game-changing Apple device — including the iPod, iPad and iPhone — was panned by reviewers when it was initially released. And in many cases, reviewers were right: The earliest versions of many of Apple’s most successful products were far from perfect. Sometimes, that imperfection was a result of flawed product design or important features that the company hadn’t anticipated. Other times, that imperfection was a result of an inability to access required component parts at costs that could make each individual product affordable.