If It Doesn’t Matter to You, I Won’t Care Either

Some time ago, Ken Lindblom, a professor of English Education at Stony Brook University, wrote a blog post, The Rubric Criterion that Changed Everything , about a simple move that helped him attack the never-ending pile of grading he (and all writing teachers) face. He added a single, simple criterion to his rubric for grading writing assignments: Is it interesting? Voila! The weight of grading suddenly lightened by a […]

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Writing Teachers: Think You Don’t Matter?

Think again. Because our students are not only listening, they’re living as writers, for reasons both professional and personal. Last weekend, I attended a WordPress meetup called “Bogging for Professional Development.” Dozens of people showed up at a co-working space on a Saturday afternoon t o hear a panel of young professionals talk about the ins and outs of blogging. Yes, they talked about blogging […]

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Goldilocks and the 3 MOOCs

Right now, I’m participating on various levels in three MOOCs: #Change 11, facilitated by Siemens, Cormier & Downes, Alec Couros’ EC&I 831, and Bud Hunt’s Writing & the Common Core on P2PU. This experience is a little like being Goldilocks in the MOOC version of the fairy tale. There’s the Daddy-size MOOC (#Change 11), a Mama-size MOOC  (EC&I 831), and a Baby MOOC (P2PU) and […]

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The Knife-Edge of Praxis

You can tell we’re entering crunch time in the semester; more of us are closing the library at night and I’ve taken to packing a power strip when I head in for the day– it’s hard to believe there are not enough outlets for a table of six earnest (panicking?) grad students. My current mission is a short paper due tonight, for my class in […]

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It’s the WRITING, Stupid.

When Bill Clinton ran for office, his advisors hammered home the importance of staying on point. For the campaign workers, for the brilliant candidate who could get tangled in the nuances of complex ideas, for the voters at that time in the nation’s life, there was one point, and one point only: It’s the economy, stupid. Here we are, many years later. Now it is […]

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Homework Becomes Electric

As part of my class in curriculum theorizing, I have to devise a homework plan, something that will move me along in my own work as I engage the ideas and readings from class. I’m going to do it on my blog, under the category of Homework. We are in the middle of a revolution in public schooling, and I see it as a revolution […]

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Take My Gradebook. Please.

It’s time to turn in grades. Thus begins the all too familiar struggle– at least, all too familiar for me. I’m always amazed at the certainty some teachers have about grading. They’re the teacher, they grade. Period. Me, I agonize. Do I grade each student according to his/her progress from the start of the semester the end, or do I compare student to student, lining […]

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Choosing Sides

This week, I spent an afternoon in a “good” high school. I was there to show the English department some tech tools they could bring into their teaching. The afternoon started with the usual stop at the front desk to sign in. At this school though, they don’t don’t just look at your license, they take it. The young woman at the desk earnestly explained […]

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“There’s Just Too Much”

is what a teacher told me recently. Information, that is. Email, posts to discussion forums, blogs. And you know what? There is. Right now, I have 516 unread posts in my Netvibes reader. (Does it count that I just got back from vacation?) I have 4 active email accounts– o.k., it’s really 3: one web-based email account just collects the email from all the others […]

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