WikiProject Classroom Coordination

Wikipedia Globe

TeacherJay has long been fascinated with the experiment that is Wikipedia (see previous post). It is still surprising to him that users all over the world have come together to create a body of knowledge that is responsible when it comes to copyrighted information and accurate, insofar as references and citations are included to verify information. In his daily wandering of Wikipedia (he loves that Random Article link), TeacherJay came across the WikiProject Classroom Coordination page and also information on School and University Projects. These two projects are aimed at encouraging teachers to use Wikipedia not as a research tool, but as an authoring tool by creating lesson plans for students to learn how to contribute to the Wikipedia community. Students can research topics and help to revise articles – this could provide them with much-needed support that their work is actually meaningful and will be used by others, as well as instill in them a responsibility in their work.

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Whatever Happened to Carmen Sandiego?…

…did she die from dysentery on the Oregon Trail? Ever since the Apple II began making its way into homes and classrooms the software market has been making games and other applications designed to be educational. How have they evolved?, Are they any good?, and Where can I find my old favorites? are just a few of the questions that today’s post looks at, as well as handing out some gold stars to some of the early developers of this now multi-million dollar industry. Read the rest of this entry »

Strong American Schools

Observant visitors to TeacherJay’s blog may have noticed a new button (down towards the bottom of the left-side column). It is to the ED in ’08 site and their campaign sponsored by the group, Strong American Schools. Today’s post gives an overview of the organization and their primary goals. Read the rest of this entry »

The First Days of School

As a child, was the first day of school a time of nervous excitement?, or maybe a day that was dreaded all summer long?… well, many teachers tend to feel the same way. Not because they hate being there, but because they want everything to be perfect and know the importance of making that all-important first impression. With the school year already begun, perhaps this post is a little bit late, but it should still be helpful for many. Today’s post reviews The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher by Harry K. and Rosemary T. Wong – a book that TeacherJay likes to read every summer as a reminder of how to be the most effective teacher possible; and he gives out a gold star. Read the rest of this entry »

Spellings Test

While searching for some funny clips of politicians, TeacherJay found something a bit unexpected… to date, the only (active) member of the Bush administration to appear on Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart was Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, on May 22, 2007 (Wikipedia). Although she is one of the evil architects authors of the No Child Left Behind Act, TeacherJay was interested in the interview and in today’s post gives his reactions to the clip. Read the rest of this entry »

School Breakfast

Coming to school and sitting in class with an empty stomach makes learning difficult. Many school districts around the country serve breakfast, and often it is free or at a reduced price for students who already receive free or reduced lunch. So why are many students not partaking of this offer and still going hungry in class? Notoriously bad cafeteria food may have something to do with it, but some recent reports and this recent NY Times article may also shed some light on the issue. Today’s post looks at some of the reasons this may be happening and also introduces the beginnings of a plan to correct the problem. Read the rest of this entry »

Paying for An Education

Don’t be confused, this post is not about the differences between private and public schooling… TeacherJay has already put forth his opinions on that over at Karl Frank Jr.’s blog. This post is however about pilot programs that are paying students for good grades and test scores, as well as the high test scores on economics that are showing up nationwide. In a school near you, students may soon be paid actual cash just for coming to school and doing what they are supposed to be doing… learning. Is this an innovative method of getting kids interested in going to school or just a ploy to turn them into capitalist drones? Read the rest of this entry »