Archive for the ‘Doug’s Original Work’ Category

Everything is Illuminated, The story of Big History by Andrew Ross Sorkin

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Everything is Illuminated the story of big history by Andrew Ross Sorkin (New York Times Magazine, Sept. 7, 2014) tells the story of how Bill Gates got the idea of bringing a course created by David Christian called Big History to schools in place of existing history courses. While this sounds very cool it is not without controversy. To get an idea of what this is all about, you can watch Christian’s TED Talk, The History of Our World in 18 Minutes.

In the Beginning

  • Big History is unusual in that it does not confine itself to any particular topic, or even a single discipline. It is a synthesis of history, biology, chemistry, astronomy, and other disparate fields that deal with life on Earth. The course is divided into eight thresholds. They are for example: the bing bang, the origin of Homo sapiens, the appearance of agriculture, and forces that shape our modern world. This course is available on DVD as part of the Teaching Company’s Great Courses. After viewing the course, Bill Gates approached Christian telling him that he wanted to introduce this course in high schools all across America. (It is also available online for free. Teachers have to register first and then give course codes to students.)

The Project Launch

  • In 2011, the Big History Project debuted in five high schools. As of this fall (2014) 1,200 schools and 15,000 students are involved. In many places like New York it runs into problems with regulations that require students to take certain specific history course, but states like California allow it to be taken in place of more traditional courses. Christian was teaching history at Macquarie University in Sydney when he started his own form of cross-disciplinary scholarship. The big idea is that everything is connected. As he started to look at the bigger picture of life on Earth, he realized that he needed to go to the starting point, or the beginning of the universe itself.
  • When he started testing his ideas he was delighted by the reaction of the students, and the notion that the course allowed him to address big questions like How did we get here? and Where are we going? that were not possible to ask in a course confined to a silo of content. It also allowed for insights across subjects and wildly ambitions narratives. This is just the opposite of what most students experience in school, which is “one damn course after another” with no connections between the courses.
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Exams Measure What We know, But They’re Also the Best Way to Learn – Article Summary

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Exams Measure What We know, But They’re Also the Best Way to Learn by Benedict Carey takes a look at how pretests that resemble final exams can improve learning. This is from the New York Times Magazine, September 7, 2014. Click here for the full article. Click below to buy his book.

Benedict J. Carey

  • Benedict is a science reporter for The New York Times who focuses on brain and behavior topics. He writes about neuroscience, psychiatry and neurology, as well as everyday psychology. The territory includes the large and the small, memory molecules and group behavior, narcissism and nostalgia, drug uses and drug addiction. You can email him or reach him on Twitter @bencareynyt.

The Set Up

  • Benedict starts by asking if you would study more effectively if on day one of a difficult course you were presented with the final exam without answers. Certainly you would focus on the key questions and work hard to find high quality answers. This is the idea behind pretesting, one of the most exciting developments in learning-science. A recent study at U.C.L.A. by Elizabeth Ligon Bjork found that pretesting raised performance on finals by an average of 10%. The key idea here is that testing might be the key to studying rather than the other way around. A test is not only a measurement tool, it’s a way of enriching and altering memory.

Test Dread

  • Many of us have had the “bombed test” experience, and most of us have only taken tests that counted at the end of a unit, a semester, or a year. The problem is often due to a misjudgment of the depth of what we know. We simply think we are fluent when we are not, and we assume that further study won’t help. We move on forgetting that we forgot. The best way to overcome this illusion is testing, which also happens to be an effective study technique in its own right. This has been understood for some time as we know it is easier to memorize something if you stop and try to recite it after some initial study rather than studying until you have memorized the entire piece. Recitation is a form of self-examination.
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How to Cheat on State Standardized Tests and Not Get Caught by Dr. Doug Green

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Yesterday this article was posted at Education Week Online. My goal in writing it is to do my small part to take down a test and punish system that just about any educator I know thinks is bad for kids, and by extension our society as a whole. I encourage my readers to look for opportunities to do the same. I hope you enjoy it and please leave a comment if you can. My thanks go out to my editor Starr Sackstein (@mssackstein) for believing in my work and doing such a fine editing job.

How to Cheat on State Standardized Tests and Not Get Caught by Dr. Doug Green

Also, be Sure to Check Out My Recent Book Summaries and Guest Posts.

Ball or Bands: Football vs Music as an Educational and Community Investment by John Gerdy (©2014) uses research to support the notion that due to costs, injuries, its focus on elite male athletes, and a negative impact on school cultures, support for high school football can no longer be defended. He also makes a case for why music and the arts in general need more support.

On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting by Thomas R. Guskey explains to all teachers why their grading practices are probably wrong for many reasons.

Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count by Richard Nisbett shows how intelligence is mostly determined by one’s environment and provides concrete things that parents and teachers can do to make kids smarter.

Why Would Anyone Let Their Kid Play Football or Anything Else? This is my latest article posted at Ed Week Teacher’s online site yesterday. Thanks to Starr Sackstein for the great edits. @DrDougGreen @mssackstein @EdWeekTeacher

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The Battle for New York Schools: Eva Moskowitz vs. Mayor Bill de Blasio by Daniel Berger

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Battle for New York Schools: Eva Moskowitz vs. Mayor Bill de Blasio by Daniel Berger portrays the battle between the person who runs the most successful charter school association in New York City and its Mayor. I’m left wondering why the public schools aren’t looking to build on the success of this group of charters that is having amazing success, at least in terms of the standardize tests. Your school might want to see what they are doing.

Daniel Bergner

  • Daniel is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the author of four books of nonfiction: What Do Women Want?, The Other Side of Desire, In the Land of Magic Soldiers, and God of the Rodeo.  In the Land of Magic Soldiers received an Overseas Press Club Award for international reporting and a Lettre-Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage and was named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. God of the Rodeo was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Daniel’s writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Granta, Harper’s, Mother Jones, Talk, and the New York Times Book Review, and on the op-ed page of the New York Times. His writing is included in The Norton Reader. You can email him at and reach him on Twitter at @bergnerdaniel.

Eva Moskowitz

  • With a degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in history from Johns Hopkins, Eva founded her first Success Academy in 2006 for kindergarteners and first graders in the Harlem section of New York City. Since then it has grown to the largest charter group in the city with nearly 9,500 students in 24 elementary schools, seven middle schools, and a new high school that opened in August. Most students are black and Latino and poor enough to qualify for subsidized meals. These are the same type of children that the city’s public school have had little success educating.
  • The 2014 results from New York State Tests on English and math place her schools in the top 1% of all the state’s schools in math, and in the top 3% in English. At one school, where 95% of students are black or Latino, 98% scored at or above grade level in math, with 80% receiving the highest of four ratings. You would think the mayor would be thrilled with this performance, but he has chosen to engage Moskowitz in a ferocious political battle. While they are both liberal crusaders, they have profoundly divergent ideas about how the mission should be carried out. De Blasio has moved to block the expansion of the Success Academies, but Moskowitz is using her own political resources to move him out of the way. The outcome of this clash may determine education’s future.
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Data Visualization Resources for Lawrence C. Stedman’s Class at Binghamton University

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Today I’m doing a guest presentation at Binghamton University for Lawrence C. Stedman’s Education 680: Principles of Visualization and Data Analysis. In the process of preparing, I created this post, which you will also find linked at the left of my home page.

One Way to Use a Correlation

MLB Correlation
With an r squared of about 0.2, it means that money counts for 20% of the wins. This can make a difference, but not with every team. The teams above the line get more for their money.

Why You Can’t Trust Some Statistics

The Trouble with Averages: The Impact of Major Life Events and Acute Stress May Not Be What You Think – Anthony Mancini, Ph.D.

Coontz, Stephanie, When Numbers Mislead, The New York Times, May 25, 2013.

Orin, Ben. Why Not to Trust Statistics,, July 13, 2016. These simple drawings show you in an easy convincing manner how any statistic can be misleading.

Weinberg, Neil. Stats to Avoid: Batting Average, FanGraphs.Com, February 20, 2015. This is a good example of a poplular use of average that has been recently discredited.

Books That Debunk Current Federally Mandated Testing and Therefore Any Data Visualization Done With Them – Links to my summaries are included.

Zhao, Youg (2016). Counting What Counts: Reframing Education Outcomes – Yong Zhao and friends take on the current system with its focus on standardized tests and their sole focus on cognitive skills. Chapters are devoted to defining a variety of non-cognitive skills that are connected with success in life and the current status of how to assess them. They make a case for a new paradigm that would move the system towards more personalized learning and assessment.

Harris, Phillip, Smith, Bruce M., and Harris Joan (2011). The Myths of Standardized Tests: Why They Don’t Tell You What You Think They Do – This provides great ammunition for anyone who wants to join the fight against the test and punish reforms that schools and students are currently suffering from.

Amrein-Beardsley, Audrey (2014). Rethinking Value-Added Models in Education: Critical Perspective on Tests and Assessment-Based Accountability – This describes and analyzes the imposition of value added test-based evaluation of teachers, the theory behind it, the real-life consequences, and its fundamental flaws.

Kamenetz, Anya (2015). The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed with Standardized Testing – But You Don’t Have to Be – Anya Kamenetz explains in some detail the ten things wrong with state tests along with some history and politics. She goes on to tell educators and parents what they should do to help kids survive the madness. Anyone who dislikes state test should get this book.

Kuhn, John (2013). Test-and-Punish: How the Texas Education Model Gave America Accountability Without Equity – John Kuhn follows the history of the modern education reform movement from its roots in Texas. While the tone is strongly one-sided, John makes a compelling case for reforms that diagnose-and-support and finds a way to finance schools in a more equitable manner. If you haven’t joined his battle, it may be time. 

A Book Explaining Item Response Theory

Partchev, Ivaiol (2014). A visual guide to item response theory, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat: Jena, Germany. This is pretty nerdy, but it has some graphs that help you understand the concept.

Infographics and Data Visualization Explained

What Is an Infographic? And How Is it Different from a Data Visualization? These visuals are easily confused with other forms, despite having their own unique history, design, and purpose. @vismeapp

Big Data Exploration – This graphic provides a nutshell glimpse of the discipline.

13 Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics – This is brilliant and research-based.

How to Make an Infographic: A Visual Guide for Beginners [Free E-Book] In a world of information overload, the ability to visualize information is more than just a nice-to-have skill — it’s now a necessity.

Ten Expert Tips on How to Choose Color Schemes for Your Infographics – This contains color knowledge that everyone should know.

Examples of Data Visualization from DrDougGreen.Com – Dates are when they were posted.

5/24/17 Which States Have The Smallest Gender Gap In STEM Occupations? Maryland has the smallest STEM gap with 2.1 men for every woman. The state with the largest gap is Utah at 4.5. How is your state doing? @investzen

5/7/17 With This Interactive Font Map, You Have No Excuse For Defaulting To Helvetica On Everything. IDEO’s Font Map, an interactive typography map built using an AI algorithm, however, makes the process of exploration and selection much easier. @IDEO

4/20/17 Gerrymandering is Illegal, but Only Mathematicians Can Prove It. Studying state maps to look for gerrymandering could be a good student project. This is a great infographic. @EricaKlarreich @QuantaMagazine @wired

3/4/17 One Year Of Air Traffic Around The World, Visualized – This interactive map is pretty cool. Click and drag to move the world. @galka_max @Digg

1/13/17 The Sex Ratio of Each State and County in the U.S. This interactive map will tell you what the deal is in your county. Most counties have more females. Can your students explain this data? @overflow_data

11/14/16 However Deep You Think The Ocean Is, It’s Way Deeper Than That. This is an example of how animated video and visualize data. @RealLifeLore1

10/25/16 An Animated Map Of Unemployment In The US From 1990 Until Today – What does this reveal about the subject. This is an example of using the time-lapse technique for data visualization. @flowingdata @Digg

8/5/16 A Breathtaking Timelapse Of The Never-Setting Arctic Sun – This uses time-lapse photography to help visualize a natural phenomenon. @WitekKaszkin @billstankay

8/3/16 Watch as the world’s cities appear one-by-one over 6,000 years. Another example of time-lapse. There is a ton of learning here. It does a great job of showing where civilization started and spread. @galka_max @DrEdwardMooney @jordosh

7/22/17 How Much Space Does $1,500 Rent You in the 30 Most Populous US Cities? This is an extremely cool interactive representation of data. Hover over the tiles and see how much space $1,500 gets you in the 30 most populous US cities. @Balazs_Szekely @RENTCafeApts

First Time Posted 7/11/17

Interactive Map for the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse – This may be my all time favorite as it is so informative.

Track National Unemployment, Job Gains and Job Losses

Wage Winners and Losers since 2004 You can enlarge the map and when you roll over a county, it’s data is revealed.

Executive Compensation Graphic – Roll over each dot to see what the CEO makes. There is also a table, which might be easier to comprehend. Always include a table where your audience can see the real data.

An Explanation of How Growth Scores Work

Growth Scores Explained In New York State – Note that when you use percentiles you have a zero sum game as in order for some students to move up the percentile ladder, other students must go down. This means that the average teacher score will not change. Also, note that there are no credits at the end. I suspect that this is the case due to the fact that it was produced by the same people who sell the tests and the value-added model to the state.

Dr. Doug’s 1st Visme Project

It took me just about an hour to learn this product and make this infographic. Consider giving this product a try.

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Do Districts Need a Tech Director?

Friday, May 28th, 2010

I am now a guest blogger at Dangerously Irrelevant, which is a popular blog devoted to technology, leadership, and the future of schools. The author is Scott McLeod, L. D., Ph. D. who is a professor at Iowa State University. The post is an article that I did on the idea that districts should think about cutting the position of technology director. This is a position I held from 1982 to 1993 before I became a principal. Thanks to Scott’s popularity, my article has attracted a lot of attention from his readers and is getting much attention of high profile people on Twitter. Let me know what you think.

Click here for access to this article.

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Dr. Doug’s Flood of 2011 Story Page 7 added 9/23

Friday, September 16th, 2011

At 2:30 am on September 8, 2011, a fireman knocked on my door and told me I had to evacuate as my apartment was soon to be flooded. What follows is my story for the next few weeks as I worked to establish a new normal.

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Dr. Doug’s Key Book Summaries and Answers from The #140edu Conference in NYC

Monday, August 1st, 2011

On August 3rd, I was on a panel moderated by Shelly Terrell at the prestigious #140edu conference at the 92nd Street YMCA in Manhattan. Click here for the video. Here are links to my book summaries that you should read if you want to better understand what’s wrong with most schools today. I have also included my answers to Shelly’s questions. Click the title above to see them.

Drive: Daniel Pink

The Myths of Standardized Tests: Harris, Smith, & Harris

Catching Up or Leanding the Way: Youg Zhao

Managing the Millennials: Espinoza, Ukleja, & Rusch

Readicide: Gallaghar

Failure of the Standards Movement: Stedman

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Dr. Doug’s Multimedia Talk: Resources for Schools

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

On December 23, 2015, I gave a presentation on social media for educators to the staff at the Unatego Central School District in Upstate New York. During the talk I referred to the references below that for the most part stand on their own. Enjoy and share with educators you know.

Put this in the wall: Don’t post ANYTHING, ANYWHERE that you wouldn’t want ANYONE to see EVER! That goes for email too. If an email or any post makes you angry, your best reply is “let’s talk — tomorrow.”

You did review digital citizenship and online behavior prior to sending the kids off on the winter break, didn’t you? Research shows an increase of incidents related to sexual content and a spike in the number of students observed for depressive, self-harm, and suicidal issues during this time. Do you know who has this responsibility in your school?

Social Media and Your Reputation

Social media gives EVERYONE (that includes educators) one more way to get in trouble. What kind of trouble? See
Dr. Doug’s slides from his social media talk – This is a pdf file.

Your Facebook Online Reputation Can Help or Hurt Your Future. This is a great video to show students. @JoshOchs @safesmartsocial

Six Ways to Stay on Top of What Kids Are Doing Online

Doug at Stonehenge
Good Selfie?
Bad Selfie
Bad Selfie?

What is the Periscope app? Social Media Safety Guide – There is a lot of good social media advice here. @JoshOchs @safesmartsocial

But What About Sex?

Cave Painting
Grecian Urn
Adult Content Has Driven New Media Since the Beginning of Time.
If you want to read some research on the topic, type “Students viewing Internet porn research” into your favorite search engine or click here.
2015 Stats on Internet Porn – There is data here from many surveys that shows how often students of various ages and adults from various demographics view Internet porn. The big question is what should parents and teachers do about it?

Revenge Porn – What happens to the racy pictures you sent to your boyfriend when he becomes your ex-boyfriend?

Confessions of an orgy addict If you think Tinder is bad, how about 3rinder? Other special sites includ Grindr, JDate, and Christian Mingle. @JaneRidleyNY @nypost

Social Media for Communicating with Parents and Building Your Brand

Check out now New Milford High School in New Jersey uses social media.
If your school isn’t using social media to promote itself and communicate, consider starting a student club to do it.
Twitter People With the Most Followers – See if you can guess before you look.
I don’t advise 1:1 electronic communication with students. Let students post questions to a blog where all students can see the question and your answer. If inappropriate questions or comments come in, take them down and talk to the student in private.
How many kids don’t have access at home? Do you know who they are? Who teaches copyright issues? Have your read your school policy lately?

Social Media for Professional Development and Student Learning

Shouldn’t every educator have their own professional development plan? Social media can facilitate this.
Step one: Join Twitter and attend some Twitter chats. Start with #Edchat at noon and 7pm EST every Tuesday.
There are hashtags for every specialty in education.
Top Teacher Resource Blogs
How to Use Social Media for Professional Development
If you want your own personalized daily paper go here. Here is the link to my 12/15/2015 paper.

Students should have a larger audience.

Teachers should too. Do your teachers and students have blogs? Do students get to see their best work posted on the Internet? Why not?
How One Teacher Uses Her Blog – Note that top student work is posted her also. Is there student work on your blog?
If you want students to search for something that interests them Digg Here.
Should you punish students for social media behavior outside of school? It isn’t unusual for schools to receive viral criticism for over punishing kids. Here is one school that did. Hip-Hop Stars Support Mississippi Rapper in First Amendment Case.

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Drumming In The New Year – Women On Drums

Monday, December 26th, 2011

To follow up on my Christmas post featuring young women on guitar (still available, scroll down), I feature young female drummers for New Years who are invading another male bastion. My goal is to entertain both genders and inspire young women to drum on. Happy New Year and thanks for making DrDougGreen so popular. Click title to see all videos.

An all girl drum group from South Korea is as good as it gets. Here we have The Drumcats on the street. Next we have The Drumcats on stage. If you want more, you get nine minutes of The Drumcats on stage with several routines.

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