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We're Doing It Wrong: 25 Ideas in Education That Just Don't Work―And How to Fix Them

David Michael Slater is a veteran middle and high school teacher who was named the City of Beaverton, Oregon’s Educator of the Year in 2012. He is also an acclaimed author of over 20 works of fiction for children, teens, and adults. His work for children includes the picture books Cheese Louise!, The Bored Book, The Boy & the Book and Hanukkah Harvie vs. Santa Claus; the early chapter book series, Mysterious Monsters; and the teen series, Forbidden Books. David's work for adults includes the comic-drama, Fun & Games, which the New York Journal of Books called “hilarious.” David teaches in Reno, Nevada, where he lives with his wife and son. 

David has written an insightful book about the 'Broken' American education system which is really worth a read.  As a result I have given the David the very rare opportunity to share some insights about himself and his great book below.  Please note that this is NOT a paid article.  We never receive payment for articles.

I’m not humble-bragging when I tell you that I’ve been stunned by the praise piling up for We’re Doing It Wrong: 25 Ideas in Education That Just Don’t Work – And How to Fix Them. I was hesitant to begin the project (my first work of nonfiction), unsure whether there was really any need for a collection of thoughts that, in my opinion, were 1) mostly common sense and 2) shared by many, if not most, teachers I’ve worked with over nearly twenty years. In other words, I feared wasting my time stating the obvious.

It seems the obvious needed to be stated – and that our discussions about education could benefit from an injection of common sense.
— David Michael Slater

Teachers who read early drafts of the book confirmed that they shared many of my opinions – but pointed out that no one ever asks for them. And it’s true: in all the endless chatter about public schools, the last people consulted on how they operate and might be improved are the people who actually work in them. Seeing their views and experiences working in an increasingly fraught environment reflected by a fellow teacher felt like a victory all by itself for many of the book’s first readers. It was equally exciting that a slew of educational gurus found the book worthy as well, experts who’ve read and written countless books on the subject.

But perhaps the best news is that WDIR has also been appealing to non-teachers. It’s been gratifying to hear from folks who are finding the book valuable in combating the chaos of misperceptions the general public has about public education. Everyone knows our schools have issues, but they really don’t know what they are. What they do know is that they’re tired of being told what to think about education by people with zero training in it – and who have never stepped foot in an actual classroom.

We’re Doing It Wrong is for everyone who wants to hear from people who spend every single day, year after year, in the classroom doing the hard work of teaching. It’s a conversation for them – for you I hope – and I’m humbled and honored to do my part in getting it started. If you’re interested, we’re continuing this critical dialogue at www.weredoingitwrong.com, where anyone with strong opinions about education are encouraged to share their thoughts.

ViralEd showcases excellent educational animations on YouTube

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There is little doubt video is both the present and future of self paced learning, and this week I was contacted by an Australian teacher Chris Burgess who is taking this concept to new heights by creating his own animated high quality educational content at ViralEd. 

It is great to see innovative teachers who can speak the language of modern day teachers and students, and I commend him for this.  His animations and instruction are excellent.

I first and foremost highly recommend checking out ViralEd and subscribing as I know he is working on loads of great new content as we speak.

Below is a sample of the great content he is producing.  If you read on after the video I asked Chris to supply some background about ViralEd.  

So great stuff Chris, keep up the good work and don't forget to subscribe to his channel.

(The content below was written by Chris.) 

About ViralEd
We are a newly formed YouTube channel that creates both enjoyable and easy to understand animated videos that cover a variety of subjects. Unlike most channels our videos we are unique, being made up of teachers, we understand what is needed in the videos, meaning all videos are relevant. As a teacher, we found that videos to support content being taught were hard to come by and therefore this channel was created.
Channel Link:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGtdKQw0oZK1u5szxXr9MEA

Check out the videos at our channel the link is provided above. If you like the videos hit the like button, leave a comment on something you think can be improved or subscribe so you don’t miss out on any videos in the future.

Target Audience
If you’re a teacher, pre-service teacher or just someone who loves learning new things this channel is perfect for you. These videos will assist you in your classroom as a visual aid to back up the content being taught. This will therefore assist students in gaining a greater understanding. ‘

Future Aspirations
We currently produce 1 video a week, covering Science and Health and Physical Education topics. As the channel grows in popularity we have planned to cover a wider range of topics and work to producing more frequent videos. We are also working towards providing lesson plans that accompany the videos.

Free Computational Thinking Graphic Organizer

Computational Thinking is being adopted through curriculum the world over as an essential thinking and problem solving strategy every student should know to survive in the 21st century workforce.

Don't let the name scare you though, computational thinking is  an incredibly simple concept which doesn't even require a computer.  Students aged 5 and up can apply it, and you have probably been using parts of it for decades without actually knowing.

It is a four step thinking process that can be applied to any problem, challenge or task.  The four steps are decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction and algorithmic design.  Be sure to watch the video below for a detailed explanation each of the four elements and how they work together. 

When you are ready to give computational thinking a go be sure to download our FREE COMPUTATIONAL THINKING GRAPHIC ORGANIZER which briefly explains the purpose, order of operations and context of Computational Thinking

Click here to download.  And, as always enjoy!!

Bebras Australia Computational Thinking Challenge

The next round of the BEBRAS Australia computational thinking challenge is occurring over the following weeks for teachers and students from years 3 - 12.

This is similar to challenges such as the Math's Olympiad but is more focused on general problem solving and use of logic. It is completely free and offers amazing data and analytics for students and teachers who are participating.

Above all else Bebras offers highly engaging resources and teaching and learning opportunities which are globally recognised as key components of a 21st century curriculum.

I can't recommend this enough for all teachers and am confident it will become a regular event on your school calendar.

http://www.bebras.edu.au/