Sara Bernard

Lessons Learned: How a Progressive New School Adapts to Realities

When we envision a well-rounded, progressive education for our kids, we think of a vibrant environment that nurtures students’ passions, provides structure for rich and deep learning, a place where kids can get their hands on projects that are meaningful to them. That’s the goal at Brightworks, a small, K-12 private school just starting its … Continue reading Lessons Learned: How a Progressive New School Adapts to Realities →

Should Students Advance At Their Own Pace?

Flickr:Kreative Eye- Dean McKoy What if student learning wasn’t based on age, but on proficiency? That might happen soon in Oregon’s public schools if Senate Bill 909 unfolds as planned. Oregon governor John Kitzhaber ushered a group of education bills through the legislature in June. One of them, SB 909, created the 15-member Oregon Education … Continue reading Should Students Advance At Their Own Pace? →

Move Over, Sal Khan: Sixth-Graders Create Their Own Math Videos!

Eric Marcos is a sixth-grade math teacher at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, California. But his kids stay after school, spend hours on their homework, and accompany him to education conferences (and even sometimes lead his presentations). None of Marcos’ students are doing this for extra credit. They’re simply learning a lot about math … Continue reading Move Over, Sal Khan: Sixth-Graders Create Their Own Math Videos! →

Brightworks: A School that Rethinks School

  Flickr: tinkering-unlimited At Brightworks, a K-12 private school set to open in San Francisco this fall, there will be no tests, grades, or transcripts. Instead, students will participate in activities and interact with professionals in various fields, design a project that they bring to fruition themselves, and produce a multimedia portfolio that they’ll share … Continue reading Brightworks: A School that Rethinks School →

What Would the Freedom Riders Have Tweeted?

“It was like watching a movie, but it was going on for a month,” says Jennifer Klein, World Civilizations teacher at the Open High School of Utah, an online charter school. Welcome to the latest iteration of Twitter in education. Using TwHistory, a group of 12 of Klein’s students researched historical documents, took on a … Continue reading What Would the Freedom Riders Have Tweeted? →

Retweeting History Brings Those Stories to Life

From following conferences to collaborative story-writing, there are plenty of exciting ways to use Twitter in school (see this lengthy list, for example). But here’s one more: TwHistory, a new, free tool that encourages teachers and students to dig deep into history, get inside the heads of historical figures, and reenact historical events in real … Continue reading Retweeting History Brings Those Stories to Life →

New Teachers Seek Support Online

If you’re a new teacher in your first classroom, a little advice from a veteran educator goes a long way. For those who can’t get face-to-face mentoring time, online mentoring can be a big help, says Alyson Mike, director of online professional development at the New Teacher Center, a nonprofit based in Santa Cruz, CA. … Continue reading New Teachers Seek Support Online →

5 Ways Teachers Are Getting Inspired This Summer

Summertime is typically spent unwinding, unplugging, and for many educators, untangling from the daily rigors of teaching. But summer is also the perfect opportunity to get more familiar with ideas and tools that might take time to understand and use during the school year. We asked a few teachers how they’ve been spending their summer … Continue reading 5 Ways Teachers Are Getting Inspired This Summer →

Five Progressive Schools of Education

If the way we teach and learn is changing, the way that teachers learn should be changing, too. What are schools of education doing to keep ahead? The following is a handful of examples of teacher education schools and programs whose progressive, tech-infused approach toward 21st century teaching is helping educators enter the classroom well-prepared. … Continue reading Five Progressive Schools of Education →

Games, Gadgets and the Cloud: Coming Soon to a School Near You

Cloud computing and mobile learning: That’s the way of the near future in education, according to the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition. Released by the NMC’s Horizon Project, the report distills current trends, challenges, and emerging technologies in K-12 education. “There are so many things to pay attention to in the … Continue reading Games, Gadgets and the Cloud: Coming Soon to a School Near You →

5 Surprising Perspectives About Online Schools

Most people think of online learning as a quiet, solitary experience. But over the past few months, after interviewing students, parents, and educators, a different sort of picture has emerged. We’ve learned about who teaches and learns online, and why, what works and what doesn’t, and perhaps most importantly, whether online learning affords the same … Continue reading 5 Surprising Perspectives About Online Schools →

5 Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) for Educators

Professional development and networking are vital in any field, and that’s especially true for educators. Whether it’s coming up with fresh ideas for lesson plans and classroom activities, seeking mentorship and support from veteran educators, or cultivating resources for technology integration or for meeting state standards, teachers need one another’s expertise. That’s why working with … Continue reading 5 Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) for Educators →

Its Flexibility Draws One Family to Virtual School

Because her husband’s military career kept the family on the move, Patti Joubert — the mother of two full-time students at Florida Virtual School (FLVS) — always homeschooled her daughters. Now that they’re in high school, Joubert wanted to find a more resource-enriched alternative. “[Online schools] offer extra classes that aren’t necessarily in a regular … Continue reading Its Flexibility Draws One Family to Virtual School →