Archive for the ‘Doug’s Original Work’ Category

Happy New Year – Check Out My New Book

Monday, January 1st, 2018

May your 2018 be all you and those you love expect and need. Take time to rest and recharge, and set some new goals. One of my goals for 2017 was to finish and publish a book. I hope you will consider picking up a copy and sharing it with anyone you know who has the power to make some needed changes. It’s time to move past one-size-fits-all instruction and a failed test-based accountability system among other things. Join me in this vital fight.

Thanks so much for your support and if you are looking for some New Year’s diversion, check out my previous posts and archives. Happy New Year and God bless.

Rocket Science Book

Teaching Isn’t Rocket Science, It’s Way More Complex: What’s Wrong with Education and How to Fix Some of It by Doug Green

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If Supporting Student Passion Is So Important, What If They Don’t Have Any?

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Teaching Isn't Rocket Science

My informal research has found that many if not most students lack serious interests let along a passion for anything worthy of academic effort. When I ask students what they are interested in or what they want to major in someday, I often get little more than a shrug. So what should we do?

What My Blogging Effort Reveals

  • Every day I surf the Internet searching for resources for my audience of parents and educators. I have found a number of themes that show up often. These themes form the basis of my recent book Teaching Isn’t Rocket Science, It’s Way More Complex: What’s Wrong With Education and How to Fix Some of It. (Purchase at Amazon — Executive summary) In it I deal with themes like the importance of relationships, personalizing instruction, and the harm caused by standardized testing.

So what should we do?

  • One reoccurring theme is that teachers should allow students time to pursue their interests and passions rather than being forced to only study the school’s standard curriculum. I like this idea. In some schools, students are allowed to study what they want on a regular basis. This resembles Google’s 20% time where employees can do what they want one day each week and let everyone know what they accomplish. Other schools weave student interests and passions into project-based learning.

Most Lack Passion

  • While this sounds good, my informal research has found that many if not most students lack serious interests let along a passion for anything worthy of academic effort. When I ask students what they are interested in or what they want to major in someday, I often get little more than a shrug. I don’t count passions for things like social media or computer games as topics that we should turn students lose to study in school, although I’m sure creative teachers can work them in somehow.

Convince the Teachers

  • We need to convince teachers that it’s important for students to find interests and passions about topics that could lead towards a career. The next step is to suggest ways they can help students find their passion as part of their current teaching practice. I don’t think this should be too difficult. Regardless of what one teaches, one can make an effort to simply expose students to as many potentially interesting aspects of their discipline as possible.

Be Direct

  • Tell students directly that it is their job to find things they are interested in as they encounter new things anywhere and to make notes of what they find attractive. They should turn in a list of things that they would like to explore further. The teacher then carves out time for individual exploration that can be online and hands on. Students need to be responsible for reporting on what they find.

Put Student Work On a Blog

  • A classroom blog can help. With help from the school IT staff it should be easy for students to post their work. Once posted, the teacher, their classmates, and parents can see evidence of growing passions. Students should be allowed to continue with a subject of interest or to explore something else. This seems possible and I believe that it would serve the students well and accomplish the vision of many people with strong expertise in the field of education.

Who is Dr. Doug Green

  • Doug has been an educator since 1970. After teaching chemistry, physics, and computer science, he became an administrator for the next 30 years with experience at the secondary, central office, and elementary levels. He has also taught a number of leadership courses for The State University of New York at Cortland and Binghamton University and authored over 300 articles in computer magazines and educational journals. In 2006 he gave up his job as an elementary principal to care for his wife who had Lou Gehrig’s disease. After her death in March of 2009 he decided to see how I could use my expertise to help busy educators and parents hone their skills and knowledge and started this blog.
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London Calling – Tips from Dr. Doug’s travels in England

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

After nine days in London I have recommendations for your bucket list. It’s a great trip for educators, parents, and children of any age. Museums are amazing and free, but some special exhibits have entrance fees. Below are links to pictures from those I visited. All cater to school groups as every museum should.

I also recommend Golden Tour’s day trips from London. I took two and each stopped at three sites. I was dropped off on my own so I didn’t have to walk about with a crowd. Prices were right and tour guides were excellent. Check my Facebook album for pictures from my trip. I stayed with my niece and her family, but if you don’t have relatives in London, see if some of your Twitter followers are up for a visit. For my regular readers there are some of my Net Nuggets at the bottom.

London Museum of Natural History – This is much bigger than it’s counterpart in New York City with lots more dinosaurs.
Science Museum of London – The best science museum I have been to and I have been to many.
V & A Museum of London – This is more like a smaller version of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City but it’s by no means small.
Tate Modern Museum of London – If you like modern and abstract art this is the place for you. Even if you don’t it is a pretty cool space.
Tate British Museum of London – This place is chuck full of great paintings. I liked it better than the Tate Modern. You can go from the Tate Modern by boat.

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March Madness – UPDATED 4/1/2010!

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Updated 4/1/2010 after announcement of round one winners (Start with slide 15 for update.) I couldn’t help but notice how the current madness associated with the Race to the Top finalists and the Obama Administration’s blueprint for reauthorization of NCLB are analogous to the other madness associated with March. Don’t forget that the secretary of education was a basketball player. Thanks to information from the New York Times, Education Week, and my own thinking, I have a humorous (I hope) and factual take on the current status. Let me know what you think (dgreen@stny.rr.com).

Click here to see Dr. Doug’s March Madness..

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My Christmas Present to You – A Free Chapter From My Book

Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

In order to spread the word about how policymakers and corporate leaders are messing up education and what we can do, I published a book this year. I’ve been flattered by the positive feedback so if you haven’t read it yet it’s time to take a taste. Just scan the table of contents below and find your favorite topic. If you are having a hard time deciding, go for chapter 19 as it’s a topic I haven’t seen covered elsewhere. Thanks for your support.

Rocket Science Book

Here Is the Deal

  • Below are the chapter titles from my book Teaching Isn’t Rocket Science, It’s Way More Complex: What’s Wrong With Education and How to Fix Some of It. As my Christmas gift to you, I’m offering the introduction and a free chapter of your choice with no strings attached. Just select your favorite and send me an email with the chapter number to dgreen@stny.rr.com. The chapters are all self-contained so they can be read in any order. If you like the free sample you can purchase the book in softcover or Kindle editions at Amazon. You can also read an executive summary on my blog.

Chapter Titles – Just Pick Your Favorite

  • 2. Education Isn’t Rocket Science, It’s Way More Complex
    3. How to Cheat on Standardized Tests and Not Get Caught
    4. Are You Smarter Than Bill Gates?
    5. Failing at the Business of School
    6.Achievement Gaps and Ethnic Groups
    7.The Drive to Fire Underperforming Teachers Will Not Improve Our Schools
    8. Special Education Shouldn’t Be Special
    9. If Gifted Lessons Are So Good, Why Can’t All Students Participate?
    10. Education Drugs: Learning on Steroids
    11. Kindergarten is the New 1st Grade
    12. Math Class: The Champ at Slowing Down the Fast Learners.
    13.Not Ready for College? Flunk Gym.
    14.Coding for Everyone? Are You Serious Mr. President?
    15. SAT’s for All? One More Bad Idea From the Political Elite
    16. Forging Strong Relationships With Students Should Be Top Of Your To Do List.
    17. Good Luck Learning a Foreign Language in American Schools?
    18.The Arts: One More Victim of Common Core Testing.
    19.Teachers/Parents: don’t run away from discussing porn.
    20. It’s Time For An Assessment Revolution: Give Students Access To The Internet
    In Exams And Scrap Traditional Grades.
    21. Why Would Anyone Let Their Kid Play Football or Anything Else?
    22. Bathrooms and Locker Rooms: A New Battlefield
    23. The Drive To Fire Underperforming Teachers Will Not Improve Our Schools
    24. If Education Is Going To Improve, We Must Work On Improving Initial
    Teacher Training
    25. Five Ways Hectically Busy School Leaders Can Stay On Track
    26. Think About How To Do It Right, Rather Than Doing It Over
    27. As A Teacher, It’s Important To Get Good At What You Don’t Like To Do
    28. A Word About Flipping Your Class
    29. Can We Save Opera? The Barriers to Digging the World’s Greatest Art Form
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NCLB Ethnic Groups are Stupid

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Current NCLB rules require schools to show progress for each of five approved ethnic groups in addition to kids who are poor regardless of ethnic group. I see these groups as somewhat arbitrary and I believe that keeping track of groups serves no real purpose and complicates our efforts. I believe that poverty is the one thing we should focus on. I hope you agree that the slideshow linked below helps make this case. It may take a minute or two to download as it is mostly pictures.

Click here to see my Diversity Slideshow .

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Nobody interviews for a living.

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Interviews are less predictive of job performance than work samples, job-knowledge tests, and peer ratings of past job performance. Even a simple intelligence test is dramatically more useful. This is according to Dan and Chip Heath, authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. The article can be found in the January issue of Fast Company. (www.fastcompany.com) They cite studies that show that the only thing interviews correlate with is the ability to interview. People who think they are good at judging people in interviews need to think again. A college transcript is based on four years of the cumulative evaluation of 20 to 40 professors. If you think you can do better after an interview, I admire your self-esteem but not your judgment. So what does an administrator do? Simple, watch someone teach. Better yet, get input from people you trust who have seen the person in action. They are more likely to see the real thing as anyone can turn it on when the boss walks through. Listen carefully for indications of teaching talent rather than superficial judgments like those you would gather during an interview.

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Should Educators Talk of The Bar or Your Bar?

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Should Education use The Bar or Your Bar?
by Douglas W. Green, EdD ©2012
Twitter: @DrDougGreen
Email: DGreen@stny.rr.com
Blog: HTTP://DrDougGreen.Com

Today I offer an original piece that takes on the folly educators indulge in when they talk about The Bar. I hope you enjoy it. Please share.

  • In education, we often hear talk about how we should raise the bar. The bar they speak of is a metaphor for the passing standards we set in schools as well as at state and national levels. This metaphor comes from the world of track and field where people who compete in the high jump or the pole vault try to jump over a pre set bar. What educational leaders and policy makers miss is while there is one bar that all players use, each athlete gets to decide where the bar will be set for their first try. Thus the commonly used metaphor of “the bar” breaks down because the geniuses who use it fail to notice that there is one bar but many different heights.
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So You Want to Be a Dr. When You Grow Up?

Monday, February 6th, 2012

I received a request for this post from Will Deyamport, III, who as @peoplegogy is one of my Twitter favorites. Hope you enjoy it. Also be sure to check his blog.

I find that have a number of Twitter friends out of 1500+ (as of this writing) involved in doctoral work or considering it. For educators contemplating this adventure, I offer the following guidance. If you find that you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to send an email to Doug@DrDougGreen.Com.

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Social Media for Learning and Connecting: Tips for Educators & Parents

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Welcome to Seton Catholic Central in Binghamton, NY. This is a first rate school where I am presenting to the staff on the above topic. Here are my speaker notes with links so you can take advantage of my talk even though you didn’t attend. Like it or not, we swim in a sea of social media and so do the students we teach. While some schools block social media and don’t allow students to bring their own devices to school, others embrace the technology and are busy exploring how it can be used to enhance the learning experience for all. Today we will take a look at what the innovators are upto, and how some students and adults have used social media for negative purposes.

Professional Connections

  • Blogging: If you want some good reasons to blog yourself, start with my summary of Staff Sackstein’s book Blogging for Teachers: Writing for Professional Learning. Also check her blog as a great example of what a teacher can do.
  • Twitter and Twitter Chats: Twitter is a great way of engage in daily professional development and expand your personal learning network (PLN). Try following the #edchat hashtag at noon and 7 pm on Tuesdays.
  • For Twitter chats that match your interests here is the Education Chat Calendar.
  • Email/Blogging/Twitter/Facebook Advice: This is simple. Don’t post or email anything that you wouldn’t want anyone to see. This includes text, pictures, and videos. Also, don’t take pictures or make videos you wouldn’t want posted on the internet. Consider posting this on your classroom wall. If students and educators follow this advice they should stay out of trouble. Many have not. Also, don’t substitute email or text messages for situations that can benefit from face to face conversation.
  • Should you use social media to communicate with students and parents? Many educators do. I suggest that you use school accounts for this purpose.
  • Have you heard of Yik Yak? It’s allows you to make anonymous posts that anyone nearby can read. Check out this New York Times article Who Spewed That Abuse? Anonymous Yik Yak App Isn’t Telling. Are kids using Yik Yak on your campus?

Flipping Your Class/BYOD and 1:1 Programs

  • The idea behind flipping is that students watch direct instruction independently so that more class time can be devoted to individual or group work facilitated by the teacher. See my summary of Flip Your Classroom by Jonathan Bergmann and Arron Sams. You don’t have to flip everything at once, and you don’t have to make your own videos. To be effective, all students need access to your flipped video, which means they probably need their own device. Many schools have started issuing laptops or tablets. When each student has there own device in class, all students can be expected to participate.
  • How Flipped Learning is Growing – This is a pretty cool infographic that shows how flipping is catching on.
  • Blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace. Learn how Blended Learning Changes the Game. How much blended learning is happening in your school?
  • A popular notion is that students will learn better when they are working on subject matter the are interested in or passionate about. I see it as our job to help students find things that they are interested in. The best way to do that is to introduce them to a lot of things. Here are some sites your can use for that purpose. Free Technology for Teachers offers daily learning resources. Paper.li lets you create your own daily newspaper. Here is a link to a recent issue or my paper. Digg.Com gives you all sorts of newsworthy and interesting stuff. Some content may a bit on the adult side but nothing graphic.

Cyber-Bullying

  • Be sure to tell students that Efforts to Harm Others Tend to be Self-Destructive. This applies to traditional bullying and cyber-bullying. Consider posting this on the wall. Also, cyber bullies are more likely to be caught and punished as they leave a trail to follow. Check this story about famous baseball player Curt Shilling as an example. I think the best way to reduce bullying is to help students understand that the bully may suffer more than the person being bullied.

Digital Footprints for Better or Worse

  • Let’s Google Getting in trouble with social media. This will change from time to time, but it is pretty easy to find students, teachers, administrators, politicians, police, military people, and just about anybody who screwed up using social media. Every student needs to do their own thinking as groupthink often results in stupid moves. The idea of failing and learning from your mistakes is getting a lot of press today in business and education journals. When it comes to making mistakes via social media posts, this is one area where you want to learn from the mistakes of others.
  • Students and teachers should understand that they have a digital footprint and work to make it look good. Start by Googling yourself. Here what happens when you Google Douglas W. Green, EdD and Dr. Doug Green. So far I’m pretty happy with my digital footprint. Schools and other organizations have digital footprints too. Be sure to check out those you are connected to. Also do searches on Youtube.

Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to show up on YouTube