Tap, tap, text, text, click, click… Are cell phones taking students from merely distracted to dum, dummer, dummest?
I suppose it depends on what “dumb” is. If dumb means instant access to vast sources of information that don’t require memory recall to access, that’s hardly stupid. And if dumb means webs of instant connections for help, sharing, and getting things done, that ain’t so dumb, either.
BUT… dumb is as dumb does, so if these marvelous little devices are getting in the way of student productive academic outcomes, then we’ve got a problem. Continue reading →
Procrastination is a disconnect between the NOW and the LATER. Overcoming the urge to procrastinate requires reconnecting with our own future. “Time Travel” can help bridge the NOW and the LATER.
In Time Travel part 1: Ben Franklin & Managing the Now old Ben gave us some great advice on the consequences of delay. Ben was an incredibly productive man whose pursuits and accomplishments spanned science, literature, politics, and business. Good for him.
By “time management” we usually mean prioritizing, using time effectively, getting things done instead of putting them off. Except that we all “manage” time — it’s a matter of how well. If done properly, the rewards are large — and costly if not.
Ben Franklin put it more succinctly:
Remember that time is money.
So let’s get a new, good start on this “time management” job of ours and break into its essential parts to see how well it can pay. Continue reading →
Do we all have an inner John Wayne, or is grit unique to the gritty few?
Is grit a product of circumstance that reveals it or do we need to bring grit to the scene? I’m thinking it’s a little of both, but it’s certain that some of us are “grittier” than others, and each of us in different ways.
Academics are newly concerned with “grit,” or “resilience,” as long term success requires the ability to get past challenges and set backs. In fact, students who overcome failure and keep steady towards a long term goal are understood to be better prepared for higher level academics and life in general than students who never faced failure at all. Continue reading →
Is math just for math people? Are you just not wired for math? Well, you and your math-struggling student can celebrate Pi day, too!
I was awful at math in high school. So bad, in fact, that I didn’t qualify to take math in college.
Felt great at the time, but looking back on it, what a shame. The only math I could do as a kid was “breaking a twenty” as a cashier at my job at the drug store. I could make change like a champ! Now, cashiers don’t even have to know any math at all, since the machine does it all for them.
On March 1, 2017 at the Arlington, VA Central Library, Michael Bromley presented:
Understanding and Overcoming Procrastination
Michael Bromley discusses strategies to help ourselves and our children overcome the urge to delay. Michael is a high school teacher, historian, published author and founder and president of School4Schools.com LLC & the A+ Club
We hear it all the time. Students say, “I get it when my teacher shows it to me, but I can’t do it on the test.” Then parents tell us that their child “doesn’t test well.”
When children say, “I get it when my teacher shows me,” what they’re really saying is that they didn’t learn it for themselves.
Turning New Knowledge into Prior Knowledge
The process of turning “New Knowledge” (NK) into “Prior Knowledge” (PK) is what I call “internalization.” When our brain receives new information, it looks to store it somewhere meaningful. If there is no related PK to connect it to, then the NK remains just that, unrelated, unconnected information that has no lasting memory.
However, when the NK finds a comfortable home, it is connected to meaningful PK and can now begin the process of internalization, that is going from NK to PK.
When students say they don’t “test well” or that they “don’t know how to study,” parents and teachers often respond with suggestions — and criticism — to, well, just “study harder.” Great. But what does “study harder” actually mean?
We can see how “studying harder” might actually work if we divide learning into the two distinct parts of:
Application of Knowledge
The first is straight memory, while the second requires its application, by which we mean extension through comparison, analysis, evaluation, and so on. Thereby “studying harder” requires development of first, factual knowledge, and, second, using it. Continue reading →
Heading back to school always feels like a fresh start. And like a new set of clothes, getting a new device just makes you feel good.
But for high school and college students, freshmen especially, the choice of technology can really impact academic performance. The wrong choice can make school difficult or, worse, become an excuse not to do well.
Into the start of the 2016-17 school year, I thought it’s time for an update from previous posts here on the topic. The technologies haven’t changed much, but there are more options — and most importantly, more affordable ones.
Parents and teachers think that if only students would connect their short term decisions to long term goals, such as college and jobs, they would quit procrastinating and do their homework.
That’s why we’re always telling them about how important their future is.
Experience tells us that it’s not a reasonable connection. Kids won’t suddenly start doing their homework because they decided one day to be an astronaut or a sports agent. They do their homework because they think the homework is important unto itself. Or not.
Every Child Wants Success
Students of all levels have high-standards and long term goals for themselves. But just wanting to go to a good college doesn’t get the homework done.