Virtual School Meanderings

August 30, 2015

Newsletter From The Ethos Online Community – August 2015

One for my Kiwi readers to begin their week…

Newsletter from the Ethos Online Community – August 2015

Kia ora, talofa lava, and greetings,

August has been turbulent, with high-points, and low points. With great sadness, I share that, Ed Flagg, a dear friend and colleague and member of the community since May 2010, met with a fatal accident at his home in the States. Ed was an accomplished researcher and writer, as well as a generous, compassionate soul – with a wicked sense of humour, and a strong sense of justice. We would often meet with other colleagues to talk about life, learning, students, eLearning and gnarly philosophical points. He shared some key takeaways in this wonderful reflection. Ed will be sorely missed and always remembered; arohanui to his wife, Amy, and young son, Keenan. Kia kaha.


For every down there is an up. Also in August, Ako Aotearoa announced that a lovely friend and colleague, Lara Tookey (who joined the community in May 2015) is the recipient of an Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching 2015. In the announcement Lara is described as a “dynamic, inclusive and inspirational teacher in the field of Quantity Surveying, Construction and Engineering Technology”, who is “highly successful at teaching students from a wide variety of backgrounds, many of whom are educationally disadvantaged”. And “this has seen women succeed in a male dominated discipline and inspired many students, some of whom had never experienced academic success, to continue to higher level studies”. Congratulations, Lara – awesome!!!


Another really positive story shared by the wonderful Natali Rojas (who joined the community in May 2014), was regarding her shift in location as well as career focus: “What an incredible journey! I have spent the last few weeks landing into this special place, reconnecting with the whānau of friends and the whenua. I am working on a few Māori exhibitions that are opening at the end of the year as part of my new role here at Te Manawa, feeling inspired and grateful for this amazing opportunity. One of the exhibitions involves work from Saffronn Te Ratana, and I wanted to share this video where she talks about her mahi and her piece “Whakarongo ki te karanga”. Waimarie, Natali – good fortune, and go well.

Welcome to new members – August 2015

The Ethos Online Community now has 370 members. Hope you will all give a warm haere mai (welcome) to new members to the community who joined in August:


  • From Port Lincoln, Australia, we welcome Margaret Campbell. Margaret is an educator interested in the effects of technology.

  • Andrew Cowie, based in Auckland, is a Consultant and Facilitator in Future Focused Education. Andrew’s interest in ICT enhanced learning lies particularly in how it may support, extend and empower learning and learners. In particular, how digital literacies and behaviour can enrich storytelling, improve equity and how we can effectively share innovative ideas.

  • Again from Auckland, we have lecturer, Haami Lindsay. Haami is interested in how ICT can affect the overall learning experience.

  • We also welcome ex-principal and primary school teacher, now working as a learning and ICT facilitator in Otago, Greg Caroll. Greg helps lead the Learning with Digital Technologies programme across NZ on behalf of CORE Education.

  • Another Auckland dweller, Maria Elizabeth Heron, is a school principal focusing on how ICT may influence enhanced student achievement.

Know anyone who would like to join an international Online Community that’s all about learning – across all education sectors, business & ITOs: Please invite them :)


Member Blog Posts and discussions

In this newsletter, as always we have some great posts. Please jump into the conversation and feel free to ask questions.

  • Our featured blogger for August is Tessa Gray. In her post, Teachers are doing it for themselves – PLD that is!, Tessa weighs in on the surge of educators taking PLD into their own hands. More educators are now actively participating in online communities of practice. Tessa points out the amazing things these networks can facilitate (events, discussions, resource sharing, accessibility etc.) and how this ultimately goes on to positively influence the quality of the learning experience. This post is also jam-packed with fantastic resources on, and advice about, the subject and tools that can be used for PLD.
  • A big congratulations to Nathaniel Louwrens who had his first article published in none other than the prestigious Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning. And he was kind enough to share it with us. In Student and Teacher Perceptions of Online Student Engagement in an Online Middle School Nathaniel and Maggie Hartnett attempt to directly address the gap that exists in understanding student engagement in online and distance learning environments. The article (based on Nathan’s 2012 masters research) considers three key dimensions of student engagement – behavioural, cognitive, and emotional – to explore what engages students when they learn online.

  • Backlash or Implementation Dip? examines the new set of questions that seem to have arisen around digital technologies. Leigh Hynes points out a recent shift in attitude; it seems society has gone from being awestruck at the potential provided by digital technologies to questioning the negative consequences. Leigh suggests this may be an implementation dip – the immersion into disillusionment. She also discusses the importance of the questions being asked and looks at why questioning, rather than complaining, is key.

  • Sarah Whiting asks the question, how do we support students, parents and whānau to not only understand but embrace the direction of learning spaces and what it means for our learners? Sarah believes the answer lies in purposeful, meaningful learning and learning spaces, as well as using imagery that reflects your audience to demonstrate this. In The Concept of Purposeful Learning, Sarah gives two very simple and understandable examples. These could very effectively translate into a range of situations.


Also recommended

As always you have contributed a superb variety of posts this month. Thank you. Here are some of the posts and topics that you may find of interest:

  • Staying safe online is always a pertinent topic. Making the most of learning and teaching online: Fostering skills and strategies to stay safe looks at how age-appropriate, engaging, interactive safety sessions for all students could be a potentially effective way of enabling students to make the most of all the opportunities the online world presents while staying savvy and safe. This post delves into the in effectiveness of policies which merely block or ban students from using digital technologies. There are also some informative resources for teacher, parents and schools.

  • Involved or engaged: What’s the difference? examines a topic that seems to be gaining momentum at the moment – whether parents or communities should be involved or engaged in their children’s learning or place of learning. The post tries to explain the difference between the two terms and the implications of both.

  • Many learners are working with Dyslexia, ADHD, and other challenges that make it tough to learn in current education systems that are often designed to meet the needs of the ‘average’ student. The speakers in this video (A mentoring movement for different thinkers) are involved in a mentoring initiative in the United States that aims, through art and ‘talking’ to support learners who are different thinkers. It is a wonderful example of how openness, connection, relationships and caring can make a huge difference – for the learner and their family.

  • Inspirational – one of five Maori Painters: Saffronn Te Ratana is a great interview with the artist and her new installation. Natali Rojas shared this video saying that she is “working on a few Māori exhibitions that are opening at the end of the year as part of my new role here at Te Manawa…[and I] wanted to share this video where she talks about her mahi and her piece “Whakarongo ki te karanga”.


Recommended videos

From the ever growing repository of videos (1,180 in total – thanks as always to John S Oliver for his awesome contributions), these are a just few of the highlights.

  • In this video Simon Sinek looks at the benefits of reciprocity in mentoring. Sinek answers the question “at this moment in your life, where are you seeking advice and coaching?” Sinek notes how he is taking an approach to better balance mentor-mentee relationships in his life. Specifically, he chooses to mentor someone only if it is a reciprocal relationship, i.e. the mentee also plays a mentor role and vice versa. An interesting thought.

  • This video has some real gems about the benefits of peer coaching to move beyond advocacy into inquiry. The speaker talks of how teachers working and planning together, while also offering support and asking questions, impacts teaching practice in ways that generic workshops don’t. Also important was duration. Because the programme works over an extended period of time, there is time to trial, reflect and evaluate, then to tweak, and trial again. Well worth a watch: Some of the benefits of peer coaching for teacher professional development .

  • Ten characteristics of adult learners is a short video that covers the characteristics many adult learners will have and gives some brief examples of what they might look like in practice.

  • This video shows some facilitation techniques that you may find useful in groups where you are working to restore balance, or in which you are keen to ensure that everyone has a voice.

  • Popular author, John Green, talks about different types of learners and styles of learning. John emphasises that just because someone may not function well in a classroom situation, doesn’t mean they don’t have a love for learning and a huge amount of potential. Take a look: John Green on Paper Towns and Why Learning is Awesome.



  • Another resource to fuel the fire – Phones in class – yes or no? Leigh Hynes shares the slides she created for a school debating cell phone regulations. These include some fantastic apps and links on how phones can aid the classroom experience. Leigh has a unique and insightful view on the subject. She ponders whether “some teachers use the cellphone issue as a control mechanism – they want to control when and how the student gets instruction from them”. Leigh suggests that there are plenty of other (more effective) ways to get instructions across and capture attention. One of which being a flipped classroom. Click on the above link to get all of Leigh’s helpful tips on working with technology, not against it – and join the conversation.

  • A great resource from Jan-Marie Kellow; her own blog! In the post, Inquiring Mind, Jan-Marie links us to her e-learning and student inquiry focused blog. Great for gathering information on such topics and sharing your own thoughts on the subjects discussed.

  • Tessa Gray has shared this very informative webinar recording from the VLN community. In Pakirehua: Teaching as Inquiry With a Maori World View Tammy Gardiner and Marama Reweti-Martin (Te Toi Tupu) give “some food for thought around the whakapapa [history and origins] of Pakirehua, they enlightened us with some understandings about the research that sits behind a Māori world view of inquiry and shared stories of success – where kaiako [teachers] have adopted knowledge building processes in their own learning contexts to help accelerate achievement for Māori students”.

  • This brilliant Prezi created by Maria Andersen looks at how children’s natural curiosity and love for learning changes at some point. When children become more adult they can tend to lose enthusiasm for the idea of formal learning. How to get ‘fun’ back into education explores why ‘play’ has such a bad rap and figures out how to get it back in education.

  • This post shares a new Publication from Association for Learning Technology (ALT). The new study focuses on “Material matters for learning in virtual networks: A case study of a professional learning programme hosted in a Google+ online community” by Aileen Ackland and Ann Swinney.


Lots of other things happening (online courses, conferences and other opportunities) including the The 2015 International Conference on e-Commerce, e-Administration, e-Society, e-Education, and e-Technology Fall Session (e-CASE and e-Tech 2015-Fall) to be held in Kyoto, Japan on September 8th. The aim of this conference is to provide a platform which helps deal with certain important topics of e-Commerce, e-Administration, e-Society, e-Education, and e-Technology. Find all further details in the above link.


Please feel free to add events to share them, or just let me know and I’ll add them :-)



Nāku iti nei, faafetai lava, and warm regards


Hazel Owen

Education consultant / Director

Ethos Consultancy NZ Ltd

PO Box 90391, Victoria Street West,

Auckland 1142

Phone +64 (0)9 9738027 / +64 (0)9 5750206

Mobile +64 (0)21 2273777

Web site:


Email addresses: /

Skype: hazelowendmc

REL Midwest Research Update: Urban Research Alliance

From Friday’s inbox…

To view this email as a web page, go here.
REL Midwest Research Update
Alliance Goal:
To create a community of practice to measure and test continuous improvement efforts, focused specifically on the needs of urban districts.
Message From the Alliance Lead

Nicol ChristieAs a former public school teacher and program administrator in two of the nation’s most complex urban school systems, I am so encouraged by the work that REL Midwest is doing through its research alliances and thrilled to serve as the Urban Research Alliance lead.

The Urban Research Alliance brings together researchers, content experts, and practitioners to explore topics of interest and need among member districts in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Our member districts focus on continuous school improvement through district-wide initiatives that support data-based decision making in areas such as early warning indicators for dropout prevention, social and emotional learning, multi-tiered systems of support, college and career readiness, and school climate, including alternatives to suspension and expulsion. We are very excited to tackle these complex issues and look forward to broadening our understanding and identifying more effective practices in the Midwest’s urban school districts.

As the urban landscape continues to shift and evolve, our charge is to always keep finding ways, through research and evidence, to continue to elevate teaching and learning for all students. –Nicol Christie

Improving School Climate: Strategies From the Cleveland Metropolitan School District

image of specific strategiesIn June, REL Midwest’s Urban Research Alliance hosted a webinar covering specific strategies that schools and districts can use to establish a positive culture to help improve students’ learning experiences. Panelists looked specifically at examples from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD). The webinar featured CEO Eric Gordon and former principal Janet McDowell, both from CMSD, and David Osher, Ph.D., vice president and institute fellow at American Institutes for Research (AIR).

CMSD began examining its policies and programs concerning school climate, particularly student safety, after a school shooting in Cleveland in 2007. CMSD responded to this tragic event not only by implementing new metal detectors and surveillance cameras, but also by dedicating time to developing its “humanware”–the well-being of the people at each school in the district.

Dr. Osher and his team supported CMSD’s humanware development efforts by collecting and measuring the district’s school climate data. The researchers analyzed data from 2008 to 2013 to look at the extent to which changes in conditions for learning—safety; support, care, and connections; peer social and emotional competency; and challenge and engagement—explain and predict changes in schools’ performance. They found that conditions for learning are highly associated with academic outcomes in CMSD.

“While the conditions for learning data are important as a whole, the data that seem to be the biggest drivers are physical and emotional safety,” Osher added.

Gordon and McDowell discussed how Dr. Osher’s findings relate to their practices at the school and district levels. The district intentionally incorporated social and emotional learning skills into its curriculum and instructional strategy. CMSD also implemented assessments, including the AIR-created Conditions for Learning Survey , programming and interventions for students with risk factors, and a system-wide infrastructure and design to embed these practices.

“We redesigned our climate and culture work to put it on par, side-by-side, with our academic work,” Gordon said.

Both Gordon and McDowell cited safety as a priority for school climate work at the district and school levels, echoing Osher. McDowell shared that parents, students, and teachers listed safety as their top concern in a survey that she distributed when she first came to CMSD’s Wade Park Elementary School.

Gordon said, “When I came to Cleveland, safety was our students’ number one concern.”

“Two years ago, that dropped to number two,” he added. “Last year, it dropped to number three. And this year, it dropped off the top of the list, and we believe that’s all because of our social-emotional learning work.”

The archived webinar will soon be available on the Institute of Education Sciences’ YouTube channel. There, you will be able to see a recording of the live video feed and interactive discussion session. The presentation slides and related resources are available on REL Midwest’s website.

Project Highlight: Measuring Fidelity of Response to Intervention With RTI View

The Urban Research Alliance began developing RTI View, a tool to measure the implementation fidelity of response to intervention (RTI) in schools, in 2013 and is currently piloting the system with Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). The research project and tool arose from alliance members’ uncertainty about whether their schools were implementing RTI as intended.

RTI View is a tool that school and district administrators can use to monitor their schools’ implementation of RTI and identify areas in need of improvement. The tool has two main components: a rubric for rating implementation and an electronic platform that aggregates ratings for RTI’s key components and provides actionable information based on the rubric ratings. This includes professional development options and resources for school staff related to 35 indicators.

The system is designed for users at various administrative levels. For instance, school administrators can see how their school’s ratings have improved or declined over time. Alternatively, regional superintendents can see aggregate information across schools to identify patterns of RTI implementation.

During the tool’s development, REL Midwest’s researchers worked closely with MPS and alliance members to develop a customized version of the fidelity monitoring rubric and electronic platform. The alliance determined that the tool would only be used if school and district staff saw the data as trustworthy and easy to use and interpret. As such, REL Midwest’s staff continuously gathered input on the system from teachers, school and district administrators, and district school improvement coaches.

“The process of gathering input has helped us develop a sense of trust among potential users of the system,” said Jim Lindsay, the lead researcher on the project.

He explained, “In this age of accountability, school staff members often run for cover when they hear ‘data-based decision making.’ But by continuously soliciting their input as we develop the system, we have more opportunities to show how the system is being developed to serve as a formative tool.”

Alliance member Deb Gurke, director of research and development at MPS, echoed Lindsay’s sentiment about the value of gathering input from people at the school level.

“The interview process was a valuable way to get the school staff perspective of the framework,” she said.

Meet the Alliance Member

Deb GurkeDeb Gurke serves as the director of research and development at MPS and recently joined REL Midwest’s Urban Research Alliance.

Gurke’s involvement in public education issues begin in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she worked on a project with the local League of Women Voters chapter to help the local school district print communication materials in multiple languages for parents outlining the district’s various schooling opportunities. In addition, Gurke previously served as a local school board member in Stillwater, Minnesota.

Currently, Gurke leads evaluation and survey projects for MPS and also approves applications from external researchers interested in studying the district. She explains that the goal of this work is to help district staff not only better understand research, but also to get to the “why” and “how” behind these data. Gurke is excited by the opportunity to partner with organizations such as REL Midwest to develop meaningful research and address these underlying issues.

“Practitioners have great intentions, but they often don’t have enough time to tackle large research projects,” she said. “We benefit from having external researchers involved to initiate the work and keep the projects moving forward.”

Gurke acknowledged that staff turnover is one challenge for developing research-practice partnerships in urban school districts.

“Not only do urban districts have high mobility rates among students and teachers, but district staff also can change during the course of a research project,” she explained.

For Gurke, the ultimate benefit of a research-practice partnership is that the research product is driven by the issues and topics that are important to practitioners in the field.

“In education, there are a lot of conversations around making decisions based on research and evidence,” she said. “We want to continue to help practitioners get comfortable working with researchers so that we can produce work that will lead to better results.”

Meet the Researcher

Jim Lindsay, Ph.D.Jim Lindsay, Ph.D., is a senior researcher at AIR, with more than 15 years of experience in research and evaluation.

Lindsay first became involved with the Urban Research Alliance in 2009 when it formed as the first of REL Midwest’s research alliances. He points to those early conversations between researchers and directors of research and evaluation in urban districts as creating “the foundation of our current REL work” for this and other alliances.

Presently, Lindsay’s work as lead researcher for the alliance is focused on developing the RTI fidelity monitoring system in collaboration with MPS. This project grew from a challenge identified among alliance members: Although districts were increasingly relying on RTI as a school improvement strategy, there were no research-based tools or systems in place to measure the implementation or outcomes of the RTI. (See Project Highlight: Measuring Fidelity of Response to Intervention With RTI View, above, for more information about this project.)

On this project, Lindsay shares “that with proper training, schools should be able to use the information generated through the dashboard system to improve RTI implementation.”

Lindsay’s work with the Urban Research Alliance has affected his view of the process for conducting education research. Lindsay says he has gained insight into the contextual challenges faced by research directors in urban districts as they attempt to use data, implement interventions, and garner buy-in from school staff. He also stresses the benefits for researchers of applying their research and collaborating with the schools they study.

“Research is a two-way street,” Lindsay said. “If our goal is to help education stakeholders use data more effectively, we need to listen to the views of those stakeholders on how they use data currently and work with them to find ways of viewing data in a way that is easy to interpret and act upon.”

Urban Education Resources and Events



  • REL Midwest and its Urban Research Alliance recently hosted a webinar designed to increase awareness of the research that looks at the relationship between school climate and student- and school-level outcomes in CMSD. View the archived presentation slides.
  • “Sailing to Success in Urban Education,” the 59th Annual Fall Conference of the Council of the Great City Schools, will be held October 7–11, 2015, in Long Beach, California.
Contact Us
Please contact us for more information
about any of the items in this newsletter
or to speak to a member of our staff.
We look forward to hearing from you.       
REL Midwest at American Institutes for Research
Urban Research Alliance
1120 East Diehl Road, Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60563-1486

This material was prepared under Contract ED-IES-12-C-0004 by Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, administered by American Institutes for Research. The content of the publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.


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Beloit College releases its Mindset List for the Class of 2019

From Thursday’s inbox…


As you may have noticed from all the media coverage, the Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2019 was sent out last week. We have found however that it failed to reach some on our email list so we are re-sending the full press announcement below.

There’s more at or, including a Mindset Slideshow, an interview produced by Sonic Foundry, and our “Guide to the Mindset List” that we have shared with colleagues at high schools, colleges and universities.

Hope you enjoy it and sorry for the delay…Ron, Tom and Charles


Beloit College Releases the Mindset List for This Year’s Entering Class of First-Year College Students, The Class of 2019

Beloit, Wis. —  Members of the entering college class of 2019 were mostly born in 1997 and have never licked a postage stamp, have assumed that  Wi-Fi is an entitlement, and have no first-hand experience of Princess Diana’s charismatic celebrity.

Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List, providing a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. For this year’s entering class there has always been Google; Email, informal to previous Millennials, has emerged as “the new formal” for them, while texting and other social media serve as the wild and wooly mode of exchange. Teachers have had to work overtime encouraging them to move beyond the Web and consult sources in books and journals. And Poland has always been a member of NATO, suggesting that Mr. Putin’s heartburn about Western expansion is at least as old as the new college kids are.

“The Class of 2019 will enter college with high technology an increasing factor in how and even what they learn,” said Charles Westerberg, Director of the Liberal Arts in Practice Center and Brannon-Ballard Professor of Sociology at Beloit College. “They will encounter difficult discussions about privilege, race, and sexual assault on campus. They may think of the ‘last century’ as the twentieth, not the nineteenth, so they will need ever wider perspectives about the burgeoning mass of information that will be heading their way. And they will need a keen ability to decipher what is the same and what has changed with respect to many of these issues.”

In fairness to the members of the entering class, this year’s Mindset List also includes an addendum of terms that faculty need to understand if they are going to communicate effectively.

The Beloit College Mindset List, which this year is as old as the entering students themselves, is created by Ron Nief, Emeritus Director of Public Affairs; Tom McBride, Emeritus Professor of English; and Charles Westerberg. Additional items on the list as well as commentaries and guides are found and www.themindsetlist.comRegular updates and discussions are on Facebook and Twitter.


The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2019

Students heading into their first year of college this year are mostly 18 and were born in 1997.

Among those who have never been alive in their lifetimes are Princess Diana, Notorious B.I.G., Jacques Cousteau, and Mother Teresa.

Joining them in the world the year they were born were Dolly the sheep, The McCaughey septuplets, and Michael “Prince” Jackson Jr.

Since they have been on the planet:

1.   Hybrid automobiles have always been mass produced.

2.   Google has always been there, in its founding words, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.”

3.   They have never licked a postage stamp.

4.   Email has become the new “formal” communication, while texts and tweets remain enclaves for the casual.

5.   Four foul-mouthed kids have always been playing in South Park.

6.   Hong Kong has always been under Chinese rule.

7.    They have grown up treating Wi-Fi as an entitlement.

8.   The NCAA has always had a precise means to determine a national champion in college football.

9.   The announcement of someone being the “first woman” to hold a position has only impressed their parents.

10.       Charlton Heston is recognized for waving a rifle over his head as much as for waving his staff over the Red Sea.

11.       Color photos have always adorned the front page of The New York Times.

12.       Ellis Island has always been primarily in New Jersey.

13.        “No means no” has always been morphing, slowly, into “only yes means yes.”

14.       Cell phones have become so ubiquitous in class that teachers don’t know which students are using them to take notes and which ones are planning a party.

15.        The Airport in Washington, D.C., has always been Reagan National Airport.

16.       Their parents have gone from encouraging them to use the Internet to begging them to get off it.

17.       If you say “around the turn of the century,” they may well ask you, “which one?”

18.        They have avidly joined Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione as they built their reading skills through all seven volumes.

19.       Attempts at human cloning have never been federally funded but do require FDA approval.

20.       “Crosstown Classic” and the “Battle of the Bay” have always been among the most popular interleague rivalries in Major League Baseball.

21.       Carry Me Back to Old Virginny has never been the official song of the Virginia Commonwealth.

22.       Phish Food has always been available from Ben and Jerry.

23.       Kyoto has always symbolized inactivity about global climate change.

24.       When they were born, cell phone usage was so expensive that families only used their large phones, usually in cars, for emergencies.

25.       The therapeutic use of marijuana has always been legal in a growing number of American states.

26.       The eyes of Texas have never looked upon The Houston Oilers.

27.       Teachers have always had to insist that term papers employ sources in addition to those found online.

28.       In a world of DNA testing, the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington has never included a Vietnam War veteran “known only to God.”

29.       Playhouse Disney was a place where they could play growing up.

30.       Surgeons have always used “super glue” in the operating room.

31.      Fifteen nations have always been constructing the International Space Station.

32.      The Lion King has always been on Broadway.

33.      Phoenix Lights is a series of UFO sightings, not a filtered cigarette.

34.      Scotland and Wales have always had their own parliaments and assemblies.

35.      At least Mom and Dad had their new Nintendo 64 to help them get through long nights sitting up with the baby.

36.      First Responders have always been heroes.

37.      Sir Paul and Sir Elton have always been knights of the same musical roundtable.

38.      CNN has always been available en Español.

39.      Heaven’s Gate has always been more a trip to Comet Hale-Bopp and less a film flop.

40.       Splenda has always been a sweet option in the U.S.

41.      The Atlanta Braves have always played at Turner Field.

42.      Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have always been members of NATO.

43.      Humans have always had implanted radio frequency ID chips—slightly larger than a grain of rice.

44.      TV has always been in such high definition that they could see the pores of actors and the grimaces of quarterbacks.

45.      Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith have always been Men in Black, not their next-door neighbors.

46.      Their proud parents recorded their first steps on camcorders, mounted on their shoulders like bazookas.

47.      They had no idea how fortunate they were to enjoy the final four years of Federal budget surpluses.

48.      Amoco gas stations have steadily vanished from the American highway.

49.       Vote-by-mail has always been the official way to vote in Oregon.

50.      …and there has always been a Beloit College Mindset List.



In fairness to the class of 2019 the following are a few of the expressions from their culture that will baffle their parents, older friends, and teachers. (Translations at and

  1. They need to plan ahead so they don’t find themselves “dankrupt.”
  2. A heavy dose of “Natty Light” has always caught up with them in the morning.
  3. As long as they can find a ballpoint pen they can use their “redneck teleprompter.” 
  4. “Smartphone shuffles” have always slowed down traffic between classes. 
  5. “Vatican Roulette” has always been risky but acceptable. 
  6. A significant other who is a bit “too Yoko Ono” has always created tension.  
  7. “Quiche” has everything to do with hot and nothing to do with food.
  8. “Trolling” innocents on social media has always been uncharitable. 
  9. They’ll know better than to text their professors “TL DR” about assignments
  10. Slurring “textroverts” have always been a fact of social life


Copyright© 2015 Beloit College

Mindset List is a registered trademark

If you would like to contact Meltwater, we can be reached at:
Meltwater, 225 Bush Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, California 94104

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature…

Worth A Read

People Don’t Like Current Education Policies, So Why Do Policy Leaders?

Posted: 26 Aug 2015 09:00 PM PDT

Jeff Bryant highlights recent results from the 47th PDK/Gallup poll and digs into a recent column by Valerie Strauss (also on the poll). “So the schools American families participate in are generally doing their jobs, but we need better, more qualitative ways of assessing their work, and what schools mostly need is more funding and support. Why don’t we ever hear policy makers and political leaders talk about that?”

Charter Schools: Taking Stock

Posted: 26 Aug 2015 09:00 PM PDT

Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Bruno V. Manno reflect back on 25 years of charter schools in the U.S. “Where it has worked well, the charter-school movement has worked so well that it amply deserves to be sustained and perfected. Where it hasn’t, policymakers should push back against its tendency to turn into a self-interested protector of mediocrity. Millions of children’s futures—and billions of tax dollars—are at stake.”

Follow the Data to Frame New Questions

Posted: 23 Aug 2015 09:00 PM PDT

Joshua Starr, PDK International, shares the latest results from the PDK/Gallup survey. “This year’s results offer many new findings, affirmation of consistent attitudes, and interesting nuggets for further exploration. As always, the 2015 PDK/Gallup poll provides both a unique opportunity to understand how Americans think about public education and a challenge to policy makers to hear and heed what they are saying.”

Poll: Americans Want Less Standardized Testing and More School Funding

Posted: 22 Aug 2015 09:00 PM PDT

Tim Walker reports on the 2015 PDK/Gallup Survey of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. “The results reflect the growing momentum in communities across the nation as parents and educators have joined forces to demand less testing and more time to learn. And lawmakers at every level of government are finally getting the message.”
Is anybody listening?

Posted: 22 Aug 2015 09:00 PM PDT

Joan Richardson, Kappan editor, discusses the results of the latest PDK/Gallup survey. “Are policy makers getting ready to listen to the quiet messages that may be bubbling up from these important sectors of the American public? Or are they just listening to the loudest voices in the room today?”
The Myth of the New Orleans School Makeover

Posted: 21 Aug 2015 09:00 PM PDT

Andrea Gabor adds to the ongoing discussion regarding the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans’ public schools. “There is also growing evidence that the reforms have come at the expense of the city’s most disadvantaged children, who often disappear from school entirely and, thus, are no longer included in the data.”
Sources of Influence on the Problem of a Validity Evidence Gap for Education Achievement Tests

Posted: 09 Aug 2015 09:00 PM PDT

Gabriel Della-Piana, Connie Kubo Della-Piana and Michael K. Gardner “build on previous scholarship describing signs that appropriate validity evidence for education achievement measures is either not gathered, not reported, or not accessible for independent review.”

EBSCO Alerts

ebscoWe have items to report this week.  First, from the alert for virtual school.

1. TI- The Intersection of Online and Face-to-Face Teaching: Implications for Virtual School Teacher Practice and Professional Development.
AU- Garrett Dikkers, Amy1
JN- Journal of Research on Technology in Education (Routledge)
PD- Jul2015, Vol. 47 Issue 3, p139-156
PG- 18p
DT- 20150701
PT- Article
AB- This mixed-method study reports perspectives of virtual school teachers on the impact of online teaching on their face-to-face practice. Data from a large-scale survey of teachers in the North Carolina Virtual Public School (n= 214), focus groups (n= 7), and interviews (n= 5) demonstrate multiple intersections between online and face-to-face teaching. Seventy-seven percent of teachers agreed that teaching online impacted their face-to-face practice. Teachers discussed changes in instructional practices, communication modes, roles of teachers and students, and shifts in purpose and profession. Findings of this study have relevance for teacher education programs and in-service professional development for teachers who will be needed to bridge K–12 online and face-to-face modalities. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
AB- Copyright of Journal of Research on Technology in Education (Routledge) is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
KW- online learning
KW- professional development
KW- virtual high school
KW- virtual teaching
AD- 1University of North CarolinaatWilmington
IS- 15391523
DI- 10.1080/02773813.2015.1038439
AN- 108930853

Next, I received the alert for cyber school, but there were no relevant items.

Finally, I did not receive the alert K-12 online learning.

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