Stephen Singer: Top 7 Ways Technology Interferes with Learning in Classroom

Important observations about reading actual books and different ways the brain responds to devices.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Stephen Singer explains the ways that technology impedes learning. He is not opposed to technology. He is opposed to its overuse and misuse.

Way #1:

1) It Stops Kids from Reading

I’m a language arts teacher. I want my students to read.


I could simply assign readings and hope students do them, but that’s not practical in today’s fast-paced world. When kids are bombarded by untold promises of instant gratification, a ream of paper bordered by cardboard doesn’t hold much of a claim on their attentions.


So like many teachers, I bring reading into the classroom, itself. I usually set aside class time every other day for students to read self-selected books for about 15 minutes. Students have access to the school library and a classroom library filled with books usually popular with kids their age or popular with my previous students. They can pick something…

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Safe, Seen and Respected

Safe, seen, respected and encouraged to be brave

Schools that can change the world have to be places where people can feel safe, seen and respected. In essence, the schools provide the space so people can do the work.

Teachers nurture, facilitate, guide, challenge and support the work.

Please share your thoughts. Comments are looked forward to.

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The Highlander Folk School

That the center has been damaged significantly by fire caused by  a white supremacist group is devastating . I visited there in 2013 on my cross country research trip, “In Search of Schools that Can Change theWorld” . Yes, this is a school that has managed to make an important impact on the world. MLK, Rosa Parks, and many others gathered here to plan important actions of the civil rights movement.
I am hoping the meeting room was not destroyed. Rocking Chair circles of the most extraordinary have taken place there over the years.

This is an aspect of the history of the civil rights movement that is not generally taught in schools…though there are some groundbreaking exceptions..this article is referring to Martin Luther King. The Highlander Folk School was a school that supported the development of leadership within the civil rights movement.

“On 2 September 1957, King joined with the staff and the participants of a leadership training conference at Highlander Folk School to celebrate its 25th anniversary. In his closing address to the conference, King praised Highlander for its “noble purpose and creative work,” and for its contribution to the South of “some of its most responsible leaders in this great period of transition” (Papers 4:270).

In 1932 Myles Horton, a former student of Reinhold Niebuhr, established the Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, Tennessee. The school, situated in the Tennessee hills, initially focused on labor and adult education.By the early 1950s, however…

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The College Admissions Scandal: Why Am I Not Surprised?

This is what privilege does. Now tell me there is no class system in the US

Diane Ravitch's blog

When I first heard about a federal investigation of cheating and rigging of the college admissions process on behalf of wealthy people willing to pay, I completely misjudged the ramifications. I was not surprised.

Why was I not surprised? I was not surprised because admission to elite colleges and universities has long been rigged, though not as blatantly as the latest scheme. In the present story, ringers were paid to take the tests, and test answers were changed by proctors on behalf of students whose parents paid the price. That’s awfully blatant.

The old-time rigging was more subtle. Start with legacy admissions. If the college had eight applicants for every place, a student whose parent or sibling went to the same institution was likely to be admitted despite his or her grades or scores. That’s unfair.

Then there is the rigging that occurs when the college puts too much weight…

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Going Up the Slide… No Bullies Showed Up!

via Going Up the Slide… No Bullies Showed Up!

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Joy Partnering and Brave Learning

Children need nurturing communities that meet their needs. They require an environment that encourages and supports exploration, discovery, courage, trial and error, imagination, creation, self regulation. Oh and the joy-don’t forget the wonder and joy and the all out hilarity. In this way children can begin to make sense of a confusing world. Adults need/must be an integral part of these communities as facilitators, guides, brave explorers, caretakers and joy partners. This way we make sense of a confusing world together.

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What’s going on here?

An Inside and Outside Classroom.

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Progressive education ( constructivist) is based on scientific theory and research, providing a framework for educators to transform theory to practice.
A quality progressive classroom is thoughtfully planned to provoke and evoke critical thinking in an atmosphere that is both intellectually challenging yet relishes and honors the spirit of childhood. Expect action, dirt and the hum of industry. Project work is collaborative, facilitating the involvement of people no matter their skill level or development. People learn to listen to and to appreciate the abilities and ideas of others. And to learn from them. The educators role is to guide and facilitate the process. Not to dictate or control expectations of product.
Play is understood as being incredibly important and so the environment welcomes it, supports it, and provides extended periods of time for the process. There is no recess. There is no need for it. People are active physically and intellectually all day.

Any questions?

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Democracy in the Garden? Quick thoughts..

It is tricky for educators and parents (adults) to find effective ways  to facilitate compassionate, democratic school classroom communities. Facilitate means guide. Guide. Not dictate. Not exert &…

Source: Democracy in the Garden? Quick thoughts..

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time needed to think …


Time to do this…time to do go to go to art…now do math in groups…spelling time…now eat your go to the toilet. Now do your mindfulness breathing so you can “let it go”. Kids and teachers are regulated all day long in school. Just stop it.  

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Beginning School


What is school for? Is it for sorting, counting, and measuring people to determine which slot to place them in for the unquestioning & optimum performance of a system ?

Or is it a place where people are welcomed, engaged, nurtured and invited to try new things in order to become compassionate , smart and expert navigators in a world that is ever-changing and that needs smart, socially competent and flexible thinkers?

The first day of school sets the tone for an individual’s school experience. A person’s school experience effects their growth and development as social and intellectual beings. It shapes self concept.

Beginnings are incredibly important.

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