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Please update your bookmark and RSS feed, and checkout the new post: 2009 Innovative Principal Forum


21Cent LearningWe are pleased to invite school leaders to our Annual School Leadership Forum 2009! 

We have a fantastic  group of principals and other school leaders presenting on: 

Realizing the Promise of the 21st Century School: A Roadmap for Innovation

Wednesday, July 15, 2009
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115
Annual Forum for School Leaders


More information on the program is included below. Please let your school leaders know!


What is a 21st century school?  Technology is radically changing every sector of our society, yet schools remain largely unchanged. Or do they? Hear from a panel of innovative NYC school leaders on the vanguard of rethinking urban education. They will speak about their experiences regarding what is important, the challenges and what’s possible!

• Alisa Berger: Principal, NYC iSchool
• Sarah Scrogin: Principal, East Bronx Academy for the Future
• Gregg Korrol: Principal, PS 101
• Julian Cohen: Director, New School Development

Teaching Matters will also provide a new and simple assessment tool for gauging where your school lies on a continuum of the 21st century school outcomes. It will help you evaluate your school’s readiness and offer a roadmap of ideas for innovation in those areas you deem most critical.

Wine & cheese will be served!

All principals who attend will be eligible to enter a raffle to jump-start a 21st century classroom with:
15 FREE Flip Video Cameras or 5 FREE Netbooks

Let your principal or school leader know today!!

Please RSVP to our Annual Forum for School Leaders by Wednesday July 8th to LMorris@teachingmatters.org or   212.870.3505

Check out the students at PS 5 in the Port Morris section of the Bronx and their amazing documentary about the history and impact of Nicholas Negroponte’s ground breaking XO pilot project in their school. The video speaks for itself.. I don’t want to give anything away.

Iran Protests

Iran Protests

So I was thinking about the teaching opportunity presented by the Iran election. What a way to see democracy in action…   Yet, until a few minutes ago, where would my students get their news? Not old media.

I just spent an hour searching facebook (search IRAN) and twitter  #iranelection and couldn’t believe the video and posts I was finding.  For one, I found out I should wear green to show my support for the protestors and then watched a whole bunch of videos of riots and marches.


Yet, hours later, CNN finally got with the story. Tear Gas and Twitter: Iranians Take their Protest Online http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=92330174188&h=CHHYj&u=KAJNK&ref=nf

Over 250 students from 25 New York City middle schools performed their own original poetry to an audience of their peers at Teaching Matters’ 3rd Annual Spoken Word Event !

Students performed in breakout rooms and finalists took the stage at the  92nd Street Y (see photos!).

Follow the journey of one of our finalists Aline, thanks to the quick video skills of our high school event volunteers.

Her passionate performance of  “Betrayer” took her through to the final six!  Students and teachers alike gave rave reviews to finalists and to our master guest poet Kahlil Almustafa.

Other finalists performances include:

  • Bronx Early College Academy: Jonathan Goins – “I’ll tell Em”
  • IS281: Kamal Abdelrahman  -“Basketball Is Me”
  • Ryan Middle School: Eden Takhalov -“I am like…”
  • IS129: Aline Dipoumbi -“Betrayer”
  • PS/MS004: Yelena Marmol-“Daughter to Mother”
  • Academy for Scholarship and Entrepreneurship: -Sterling Peguro “Patriot”

Writing Matters introduces 5th through 9th grade teachers to powerful new ways to approach writing instruction using 21st Century technology tools.  Created by Teaching Matters, Writing Matters offers a private, safe, free ezine space for classrooms to publish and share their work.  Check out thousands of classrooms from 40 states publishing online!    .

HUNDREDS of New York students made their voices heard on critical social issues of the day spanning child labor to racial profiling as part of the Voices and Choices program with Teaching Matters!

Speaker Quinn Presenting to Students AND Students Workshopping Social Justice Campaigns with Real NYC Social Activitists

With over 50 schools participating, students met with  policy makers, the business community, and civic activists to present and improve their campaigns for social justice!

Speaker Quinn urged hundreds of 8th graders and their teachers to continue their work in social justice just as she has been doing in the council for years. The students, who researched and prepared unique web-campaigns on civil rights movements presented them to activitists from the NYCLU, Lambda Legal, The Anti-Defamation League, The National Organization for Women, Ensaaf, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn and other organizations focused on social change.

An activists responds to a student presentation at the Civil Rights Summit

An activist responds to a student presentation at the Civil Rights Summit

Students based their web-campaigns on a six-week study of historical Civil Rights Movements and then applied what they learned to advocate for a current day issue learning that history will and does repeat itself UNLESS YOU WORK FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE.  

Meanwhile at the New York Historical Society, seventh graders from all five boroughs offered persuasive testimony to citizen volunteers from the Goldman Sachs Community Teamworks program on constitutional issues such as: Gun Control, the Death Penalty, Subway Searches, Student Free Speech and Religion and Science. Citizen judges selected the most effective presentations from IS 216 in Queens, the Professional Performing Arts School, the Icahn Charter school and IS 234 in Brooklyn and the crowd then gathered to learn tips on what it takes to really persuade an audience. These groups all blew away the judges and the crowd.  At the end, a crowd of over two hundred students left the event with a new (or renewed) appreciation for the power of democracy, chanting, “We the people…”  (And you thought middle schoolers today were jaded… )

How Did This Happen?

For the last eight years, Voices and Choices, a program run by Teaching Matters, has supported thousands of teachers to rethink the teaching of civics for the digital age. In our newly empowered schools (where many say testing rules the day) we help teachers bring  social studies  alive.   And the kids get savvier each year as they learn to research and make their cases on the most important issues of the day. 

Why Civics Matters at Teaching Matters

Technology is rapidly innovating how we communicate, collaborate and participate in our society. We don’t teach technology, we teach the new (and many tried and true) critical thinking skills that technology is making more relevant and more significant than ever before. In fact, we think we helped elect Obama. After all, we were teaching eighth graders how to use the Internet for civics in 1998 …. so guess how old those kids were in 2008?


Seriously. Help us keep this program going!  Private donations like yours make this possible.  Your donations go directly to programs and events for NYC students like the one above.

I had been waiting for someone to invent this. Simulations of some pretty challenging students to test the mettle and prepare pre-service educators. This video below says it all. It appears to be a pretty expensive model of teacher development, but the cost of figuring our classroom management on simulated students, not real ones, might be a few extra points on the ELA or Math tests. And we know that counts for quite a bit these days.