EducationPedagogySecondary EducationTechnology

Use Microsoft Excel to be More Data Driven (Part II)

This is Part 2 of a piece about visualizing assessment data, designed to help teachers see more information about an assessment than just the class average.  If you missed Part 1, stop now and go read it first.  I will assume that you have assessment data in a tidy format …

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Excel Example of filtering at work
EducationPedagogySecondary EducationTechnologyUncategorized

Use Microsoft Excel to be More Data Driven (Part I)

As a teacher, one of my tasks is to assess how well students are comprehending the material I am teaching. There are many ways to assess student comprehension, but this post will focus on using Microsoft Excel to extract meaningful information from formal assessment data.  I am defining a formal …

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EducationHigher EducationPedagogySecondary EducationTechnologyUncategorized

MOOCs, A High School Teacher’s Perspective

If you haven’t heard of MOOCs yet, welcome to the education blogosphere, it’s nice to have you here!  The New Yorker recently wrote an article challenging the mission and execution of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) offered at places like Coursera, Udacity, EdX, and Khan Academy.  It so happens that …

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Book Shelf Science and Skeptical Books
Required Readings

Contraceptives and Teens, DC Schools Achievements Questioned, and McCaskill’s Report on College Sexual Assault: Required Readings 07.13.14

In a not-Hobby-Lobby related contraceptive story, Colorado has been offering free birth control to teens and low income women.  The results:  A drop in the teen birth rate by 40% over the past five years, and a drop in the teen abortion rate by 35%.  It makes economic sense, it …

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Book Shelf Science and Skeptical Books
Required Readings

In UK: Creationism Takes One More Kick to the Groin, Teach Your Daughters to Code, S. Africa Transitioning to Digital Textbooks: Required Readings 06.22.14

Some would claim a recent ban on creationism in UK public schools is a win for the British Humanist Association, who has been campaigning for such a ban since 2011, but really its a win for all humans (who, by the way, share a common ancestor with chimpanzees).  The UK government …

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Book Shelf Science and Skeptical Books
Required Readings

PhD Debt, 400k University President Salaries Too Much?, How much Emphasis Should We Put on Handwriting? Required Readings 06.08.14

The cost-benefit analysis of getting an advanced degree is a complex one, but ultimately you should be able to answer this question:  Will my earnings potential with the degree outweigh the cost of earning the degree?  Well, in academia, this question is getting easier and easier to answer, and that …

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Book Shelf Science and Skeptical Books
EducationRequired Readings

Scientology in CA Public Schools, Christian College Struggles with Evolution, Gender Discrimination in FL: Required Readings 05.31.14

The Church of Scientology is doing California a public service.  If that sentence made you throw up in your mouth a little, then your skepdar is properly calibrated.  Narconon, an anti-drug arm of the church has been invited to speak at 28 California public schools since 2007.  SFGate has a …

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Book Shelf Science and Skeptical Books
EducationGovernmentPrimary EducationReligionRequired ReadingsSecondary EducationTechnology

CCSS Fatigue Being Exploited by Religious Right, Gay Teen Denied Her Senior Yearbook Picture, Pledge Court Decision, Tablet Technology: Required Readings 05.18.14

A new report is out this week from the Southern Poverty Law Center about how the Common Core is being used as a rallying cry for those with ideological opposition to secular, public schools.  The director of the SPLC was interviewed by Salon.com, and she provided a cogent and articulate …

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Book Shelf Science and Skeptical Books
GovernmentHigher EducationPrimary EducationRequired ReadingsScienceSecondary EducationUncategorized

Wyoming Rejects NGSS, More Common Core, Take Better Notes: Required Readings 05.11.14

I think we can all agree that when evaluating how well science education policy is being implemented in a state, Kansas is a pretty low bar.   Yet, this week Wyoming made a bold move to duck under the bar.  Citizens of Wyoming slapped their foreheads in unison as their …

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Book Shelf Science and Skeptical Books
GovernmentRequired ReadingsSecondary EducationUncategorized

Common Criticisms: Required Readings 05.05.14

I’m an educator in a public high school in a state where the Common Core is currently being implemented.  I’ve sent two cohorts through the state testing cycle, and I’m in the final month preparing a third.  I’m still struggling to figure out how I feel about CCSS.  Mostly that’s …

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