Essential Habits of an Excellent Educator

Educational Innovation Weekly Review for Academics
Curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation
August 4, 2015
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Essential Habits of an Excellent Educator
  • You are what you do every day. The Power of Habit says that habits power excellence. Your habits make you exceptional. The iron law of the universe that you reap what you sow is never truer than when it relates to habits. 
  • Winning teachers seem to do these things like magic. Their magic is in their routine. Dependable habits can free your mind from clutter and let you perform at higher levels. 
  • As you plan this school year, ponder and plan key habits to help you improve. Pick a few or practice habit stacking as you assemble routines of success. Change your habits, change your classroom, change your life. Here are some helpful habits to consider.
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Keywords: educators, professional development, habits
Why the Best Teachers Won't Ditch the Lecture
  • As student-centered, active learning receives considerable attention and is touted as an ultimate goal of 21st century instruction, the lecture has earned a negative reputation. 
  • Active learning alternatives—such as hands-on exploration, project-based learning, design thinking, and inquiry-based learning—all share two core tenets: they require high engagement from students and promote meaningful learning. But these same values are found in the interactive lecture.
  • Instead of leaving lecture-based instruction behind, all of us involved in building innovative educational models should recognize its traditional value and focus our efforts on improving the design of lectures so that they embody the core values of active learning.
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Keywords: active learning, 21st century instruction, student-centered learning, educational trends, opinion
A College Without Classes
The Atlantic
  • A a new model is upending the traditional college experience, and has the potential to change the way universities think about learning. Called competency-based education (CBE), is model that was pioneered by Western Governors University (WGU), a non-profit school founded in 1996. Its goal was to create an institution that would better prepare students for the working world.
  • Since then, WGU’s student graduation rate is rising. Bob Mendenhall, the president of WGU, says mentors make the difference. When students enroll in WGU, they’re assigned a student mentor, who keeps in touch with them weekly through their college careers. 
  • Institutions like WGU upend the faculty model once again. Course mentors are typically Ph.D.s in their field, so this model also has the potential to employ Ph.D. students who might otherwise be without jobs.
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Keywords: competency-bases education, CBE, online education, colleges and universities
What the New Education Buzzwords Actually Mean
The Atlantic
  • Education writing is famous for its alphabet soup of acronyms and obscure terms, but it could just as well be faulted for trafficking buzzwords in search of clear definitions. Ideas like grit, motivation, fitting in, and learning from one’s mistakes are just some of the concepts that are coming up more frequently these days.
  •  A new paper from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching provides definitions for many of these new terms. Each concept has its own section and is accompanied by summaries of key experiments that gave rise to the ideas’ relevance
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Keywords: education, buzzwords, definitions, trends
Hey STEM professor, you’re a teacher too
The Hechinger Report
  • Colleges of education shouldn’t be the only division charged with producing teachers. The entire university must fulfill its mission of meeting the workforce demands of our urban communities. "I have three universities in my backyard, and we can’t fill science teacher positions.” said Kathleen Butler Gordon, of Orange County, Florida. 
  • Universities train enough content experts but our training systems aren’t directing them into teaching. Colleges hurt themselves and our communities when they don’t deploy our best and brightest into teaching. This is why we must fundamentally change the way we identify and train teacher talent.
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Keywords: faculty, STEM professors, teachers
Academics Lack Understanding to Make Business-University Links Work, Says Study
The Atlantic
  • The reportBuilding Successful Collaborations: The SME’s Viewpoint on Partnering with a University, compiled by data firm Beauhurst, found that a third of companies surveyed say that academics lack the commercial understanding needed to make a business-university collaboration work. 
  • Ben McLeod, senior associate at Beauhurst, said that "One of the key things that needs to continue to change is the incentives to get innovation to not just create shiny things, but shiny things that change the world and are able and encouraged to be moved into businesses."
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Keywords: academia, business, science, innovation, research, universities
No Slacking Off! How Savvy Teachers Are Turning to Trello and Slack
  • Teachers have always found ways to adopt and adapt technology tools. Teachers are epic users of Twitter and Google docs. Educators have also enthusiastically used consumer products such as Evernote to organize their classes, and Yammer to create informal, private professional learning networks.
  • Now, a handful of pioneering teachers are turning to other freemium tools used in many companies and startups. Trello and Slack are two tools that many entrepreneurs use every day—and that teachers are beginning to explore.
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Keywords: technology, apps, educational tools
Motivation Matters: How New Research Can Help Teachers Boost Student Engagement
Carnegie Foundation
  • The report “Motivation Matters: How New Research Can Help Teachers Boost Student Engagement”, by authors Susan Headden and Sarah McKay, aims to help educators and policymakers understand the complex topic of student motivation. 
  • The report is organized according to three major factors that contribute to student motivation: rewards and value, academic mindsets, and school-based relationships. 
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Keywords: teaching, learning, student motivation, student enagament
Is There an Uncrossable Chasm Between Research and the Classroom?
Part 1: A Tale of Two Educational Technologies
THE Journal
  • There has always been a chasm between what educational researchers do in their labs and what educational practitioners do in their classrooms. There is no well-defined path for taking an idea from research and putting it into practice.
  • In Part #1 of this post  we will review two pieces of educational technology that have crossed the chasm from lab to classroom: Logo and graphing calculators. 
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Keywords: educational technologies, edtech, research, teaching 
Educational Innovation Weekly Review is curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's  Observatory of Educational Innovation. With the highlights of the week on innovation, technology and education. If you require more information about a specific note, please email us: TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY, 2015.

Observatory of Educational Innovation

Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation: We identify and analyze the educational innovation trends that are shaping the future of learning and education. 

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