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Blog posts about teaching.

Connected educator: Meenoo Rami of #engchat

By Samuel Reed III on Aug 24, 2012 01:26 PM

Meenoo Rami is a consummate connected educator, a National Board Certified teacher and debate coach at Science Leadership Academy. She is also the founder and moderator of #engchat.

I will co-host the Connected Educator Month #engchat event with Rami at 7 p.m. EST on Monday, Aug. 27. (If you would like to keep pace with Rami's prolific Tweets, then follow her at

To gear up for our conversation, I asked Rami a few questions. In keeping with Twitter's 140-character limit, the questions and responses are short and concise. 

Reed: What motivated you to start #engchat?

Rami: I wanted to learn from my colleagues, build a community for English teachers, and find a place where questions, ideas, and resources can be shared easily.

Bellwether blogging training: 7 things for teachers to learn

By Samuel Reed III on Aug 14, 2012 03:43 PM

Educators from across the country attended the Bellwether Education Partners training session called "Better Blogging: Skills and Tools for Teacher Bloggers" on Aug. 11 in Washington, D.C. This intensive training, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, convened a diverse range of teacher bloggers looking to improve their writing skills and digital presence.

Here are seven tips I learned for teachers and bloggers alike.

  1. Stories matter. Carl Cannon, Washington editor of RealClearPolitics, emphasized in his opening remarks that telling stories is essential even in the digital age. Teachers need to share compelling stories that influence the education reform agenda.

Students to learn STEM with 3-D printer

By Samuel Reed III on May 2, 2012 01:16 PM

Beeber Middle School and Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School will host the Cube Odyssey on May 7. The Cube Odyssey, sponsored by 3D Systems, is a two-month road trip that includes four drivers, four printers, and one car to showcase the potential of 3-D printing.

With the explosion of 3-D movies, one might think 3-D printing involves a 2-D image that looks 3-D with special glasses. Instead, a 3-D printer heats up and prints out plastic in a form that you can hold in your hand. The process works like a traditional inkjet printer – the print head just moves in three dimensions instead of two.

A canopy view: 'The Village Proposal' book

By Samuel Reed III on Apr 12, 2012 10:58 AM

Reforming our schools to deliver a world-class education is a shared responsibility – the task cannot be shouldered by our nation's teachers and principals alone…” (U.S. Department of Education, ESA Blueprint for Reform 2010)

Christopher Paslay brings his expertise as a high school English teacher, contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer and Chalk and Talk blogger to make The Village Proposal a timely and compelling read. The book examines the problems in education by juxtaposing Paslay's personal memoir with solid documented research.

You may not agree with some or all of the arguments, but that is exactly what makes Village Proposal a good read. Paslay argues using a narrative structure not found in many books about education reform. He doesn’t bore the reader with an overly complex or over-simplified problem-and-solution approach to education. He presents a nuanced view of shared responsibility.   

Connected: The networked teacher

By Samuel Reed III on Nov 3, 2011 04:00 PM

I recently sat down with Kira Baker-Doyle to talk about her book and the panel she will moderate during the Philadephia Writing Project's 10th Annual Celebration of Writing and Literacy.

Reed: Why do teachers need to build social networks? Does the connotation of the word “network” mean that teachers need to spend more time connecting with each other online?

Philly teacher finalist in Great American Teach-Off

By the Notebook on Oct 11, 2011 04:14 PM

by Will Treece

Philadelphia teacher and blogger Mary Beth Hertz was selected as one of 10 finalists in the Great American Teach-Off competition for a $10,000 prize. She was eliminated from the competition after the first week of voting for "America's most innovative teacher."

'One Voice' for governing the School District of Philadelphia

By Samuel Reed III on Oct 7, 2011 12:16 PM

In unity there is power. Students, teachers, and parents will test this philosophy when they gather to attend a forum to advocate for having a voice in how the District should be governed.

The forum organized by Ed Voters PA, Public Citizens for Children and Youth, and the Philadelphia Student Union, will take place on Tuesday, October 11 at 5:30 at the United Way Building, 1709 Ben Franklin Parkway.

Books & chocolate event: 'The Networked Teacher' book release party is Oct. 6

By Samuel Reed III on Sep 30, 2011 08:26 AM

Kira Baker-Doyle, author of the book The Networked Teacher (and a Notebook member), is hosting a book-release event  on Thursday, October 6 at 7 p.m. at the Big Blue Marble bookstore  (551 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119)

Entrepreneurship series: A different bottom line

By Samuel Reed III on Sep 2, 2011 04:27 PM

I recently participated in a provocative panel session entitled “Entrepreneurship in Education.”  My co-panelists Christina Rose Dubb, the executive director of the Spells Writing Lab, and Michelle Loucas, the co-founder of Philly Free School, embodied the social entrepreneurial mantra of “doing well by doing good.”

It’s debatable whether education reforms of the past decade driven by privatization and corporate influence have made any significant impact in narrowing the “achievement gap.” So I can understand why some educators would cringe at the thought of teachers as entrepreneurs.

I am not proposing that teachers sign up as free agents and place shingles up in front of our classrooms. Nor am I proposing we place billboards in front of our classrooms and provide our services to the highest bidder. However, I am proposing that some successful principles of social entrepreneurship could improve teaching and learning in our struggling schools.

Entrepreneurship series: What the 'Otis' video offers educators

By Timothy Boyle on Sep 2, 2011 01:39 PM

Sam Reed and Chris Lehmann have both done posts on the role of entrepreneurship in education recently. I really don’t like the word. Call me immature, but I haven’t been able to separate entrepreneur from money, specifically, scheming to take away somebody else’s. Oddly enough, while watching Jay-Z and Kanye West's new video for their song "Otis," something clicked for me.

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