Researcher John Hattie has shown time and again that nothing has a greater impact on student learning than organizing teachers into collaborative teams and convincing them that if they work together, they can have a positive impact on learning for every student in their classrooms—including those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and those who have traditionally struggled in schools (Hattie, 2017). Read more
William M. Ferriter
William M. Ferriter is an eighth-grade science teacher in a professional learning community near Raleigh, North Carolina. A National Board Certified Teacher for the past 28 years, Bill has designed professional development courses for educators nationwide on topics ranging from establishing professional learning communities and using technology to reimagine learning spaces, to integrating meaningful student-involved assessment and feedback opportunities into classroom instruction.
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Let’s start with a simple question: are your students spending any of their free time watching videos on YouTube?
Here’s the answer: most likely.
While there is little direct statistical evidence of YouTube use by elementary-aged children, 81 percent of parents of children under age 11 who were surveyed report that their children are consuming content on the popular video-sharing website.
Marketing companies—who produce some of the most detailed statistics on YouTube use—report that 74 percent of kids between the ages of 12 and 24 use YouTube on a weekly basis, that YouTube captures about 30 percent of the total screen time of teenage users, and that the average teen spends about an hour each day watching YouTube.
Now another question: do you know what kind of YouTube videos your students are watching? Read more
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
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