Schools worldwide should reconsider their efforts to ban smartphones from the classroom, writes Pasi Sahlberg, former director general at the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and current professor of education policy at Australia's University of New South Wales in Sydney. In this commentary, Sahlberg asserts that students should be taught how to use their devices responsibly instead of just banning them.
Engineering teacher Brian Copes has turned a biomedical unit into a long-lasting humanitarian engineering project for students at his Alabama high school. Working with a village in Honduras, Copes and his students have repurposed automotive parts into prostheses, built utility vehicles and created solar panels for a school.
Japanese researcher Fumihide Tanaka has developed educational robots designed to help students learn English vocabulary. The robots act as so-called "dunces," who make mistakes that students in the classroom can correct.
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UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay is pressing world leaders to invest in education to encourage tolerance and counter the rise of violent extremism. "Education is the best rampart against discrimination and racism," Azoulay says.
Standardized tests should have high stakes for students -- not teachers -- said Andreas Schleicher, director of education and skills with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development during a recent forum sponsored by Future Ed. Schleicher also said that the top school systems worldwide have high standards, a shared vision about their goals and more local autonomy over schools.
There may be a connection between the time that school starts and students' weight, according to a study of about 30,000 students ages 10 to 18 in Canada. The study found that students who started school earlier in the day tended to weigh more than their peers who were the same age, height and sex.
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Without context and regularity, classroom observations can damage trust between teachers and principals and fail to recognize the complexity of teachers' work. In open letters, principal Rachael George and teacher Paul Murphy identify flaws in the walkthrough process and share strategies for improving teacher-leader relationships so that all parties understand the rhythms of the classroom.