Pitchroom

Share your education ideas!

President Obama’s most recent State of the Union address highlighted the crisis in American education: Budget cuts, conflicts between teaching staff and the administration, and byzantine structural problems remain some of the biggest challenges in revamping our public schools. Fixing these issues requires the collaboration of teachers, parents and policymakers at the local, state and national levels.

But inside the classroom, it’s a slightly different story. The challenges are still there — trying to improve passing rates, preparation for the SATs, getting students interested in science and technology — but teachers throughout the country are coming up with their own innovative ways to help their students.

We want to hear more ideas. If you’re an educator and you have one practical idea that can be implemented in a classroom to help students, then take part in our Education Ideas project. Upload a video that discusses your idea to our YouTube channel, and we’ll pick some of the best ones to showcase on our website, and possibly our national broadcast.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Use a digital camera or video recorder to make a video that discusses your idea. Please don’t use any copyrighted content or images of students without parental consent!

2. Log in to your YouTube account (if you don’t have one, you can create one here) and upload your video.

2. Go to the Need to Know Education Ideas video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVeN7MFVnmg

3. Click on the comments field. A button should appear that says “Attach a response video.” Follow the instructions from there.

Looking for inspiration? Take a look at some of the ideas that have already been submitted:

Learn from successful schools
Pedro Noguera, sociology professor at New York University

Invest in parents
Zakiyah Ansari, parent leader with the New York City Coalition for Educational Justice

Study the brain
Sue Szachowiczk, principal of Brockton High School in Brockton, Mass.

Need more ideas? Watch the preview for our hour-long episode on successes in teaching, airing Friday, February 11. Then share your ideas with us and help inspire other educators.

 

Comments

  • N1dquwma

    Technology will NOT fix everything. Need to teach the basics again. Kids today can’t read, write, do math. or even find what state they live in on a map, without aid of some type if technology. Take away their eletronics and they can’t do any of the above. Got to find a way to make kids THINK again.

  • Sergio C Munoz

    I believe that Art can be used as the buffer for virtually any subject but especially reading, writing, arithmetic and science. Character based programs, developed by artists and students together, can be utilized effectively as a learning tool to keep and retain the interest of the student on their own terms. If there were seed capital to fund one such program in its entirety, the revenue models for the program itself could sustain replica systems worldwide. This is also the link between education and entertainment.

  • Jculbertsonv

    We need to start thinking about the Costs Vs. Benefits of current school paradigm. Would students be better served pursuing their natural curiosity? Could they get the same level of instruction from a virtual device/platform as they can get in a class room? I think we have so many more tools available to have every educational experience tailored to every individual. I think the localized office type of job is becoming a dinosaur and creates unwanted overhead. How do we prepare kids to work and find success in that world? Why are we holding on to the old one?

  • Robert S. Miller, Ed. D

    I really relished 10x the Education program tonight, Friday. One critical area of education was not covered, which is the active interface between teacher and pupil. Does this teacher like this student ? Can this teacher ‘reach’ this student, and how is it done ? Does the teacher really enjoy interacting with this student, and these students here present ? Does this teacher even respect this student, or these students as fellow human beings ? Does this teacher understand how this student’s personal ‘issues’ may affect the interface, the interaction. I can count on one hand the teachers who understood me, or tried, or who liked me. Not enough fingers and toes to name the teachers who scolded for my weaknesses.

    R. S. Miller, Ed. D.
    Bainbridge Island, WA

  • Wayne Douglas Pickette

    Attention Live Oak Classmates! I do not know if any of you remember that in 1967, we ran some experimental classes in Mr. Credio’s history unit where the instructor sat in the rear of the room while groups of students presented the lessons.

    Well, I have tonight watched a PBS show Need to Know where they have just touted 2010 classes like these at an eastern high school……

    Other teachers got the principal to cancel the experiment on the basis that not enough qualified lecture hours were being generated!

    It turns out those were the best method 43 years too soon! Look at all the time we’ve wasted!

    Wayne Douglas Pickette

    It’s called training children to think! Once they learn to think, their own curiosity will guide them to learn the basics very well.

  • Wayne Douglas Pickette

    Attention Live Oak Classmates! I do not know if any of you remember that in 1967, we ran some experimental classes in Mr. Credio’s history unit where the instructor sat in the rear of the room while groups of students presented the lessons.

    Well, I have tonight watched a PBS show Need to Know where they have just touted 2010 classes like these at an eastern high school……

    Other teachers got the principal to cancel the experiment on the basis that not enough qualified lecture hours were being generated!

    It turns out those were the best method 43 years too soon! Look at all the time we’ve wasted!

    Wayne Douglas Pickette

    It’s called training children to think! Once they learn to think, their own curiosity will guide them to learn the basics very well.

  • Dennis Knutsen

    The Education Special tonight showed how discipline plays such a tremendous role in opening so many doors for students and teachers. I am referring to discipline itself, not to what the students were disciplined to do.

    The discipline of circling, and underlining words and organizing thoughts requires focus which in turn leads to academic achievements.

    The discipline it takes of physically working out leads to better brain function and a positive attitude leading to academic achievements.

    The discipline of social responsibility achieved from working in teams leads to academic achievements.

    Now if a Science teacher shared her simple disciplines that opened the door to her curiosity or an Art Teacher shared the disciplines which led to the door of imagination, and so on…

    Maybe we should draw from this Education Special that small disciplines eliminate the need for “extreme discipline.”

    Dennis Knutsen

  • Dennis Knutsen

    The Education Special tonight showed how discipline plays such a tremendous role in opening so many doors for students and teachers. I am referring to discipline itself, not to what the students were disciplined to do.

    The discipline of circling, and underlining words and organizing thoughts requires focus which in turn leads to academic achievements.

    The discipline it takes of physically working out leads to better brain function and a positive attitude leading to academic achievements.

    The discipline of social responsibility achieved from working in teams leads to academic achievements.

    Now if a Science teacher shared her simple disciplines that opened the door to her curiosity or an Art Teacher shared the disciplines which led to the door of imagination, and so on…

    Maybe we should draw from this Education Special that small disciplines eliminate the need for “extreme discipline.”

    Dennis Knutsen

  • Are0307cam

    well, i believe that education is a “Human Right” not a political thing so please united ourself and become a one voice in this straugle to become a better nation int the world.

  • Thumb

    I reviewed state test scores of several high schools in my city. Many bemoan the low graduation rate at these schools. But in some cases the graduation rate is higher than the rate of passing the tests! Dr. Szach and colleagues have progressed far beyond this lamentable disconnect. Rah!

  • Sha457
  • Sha457

    sorry posting was incorrect here is the corrected link:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=h60r2HPsiuM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  • Sha457

    until students are taught at home about decency in appearance and behavior and self respect and respect for others and community and country they will continue to live as their parents have regardless of race and monetary class. The problems begin at home and we live what we are taught. If that is all you know and all you want then stay stupid and do nothing….those type of students should be expelled.
    Also classes should be segregated by gender and by academic achievement. An honor student should not be hampered by the lacks for those that don’t want to learn and participate therefore holding others back. Nor should an Honor student or Average student be relied upon to teach and help those that don’t want to learn and participate. THE CURSES of some of our lifestyles need to change, and it needs to begin within the home first.

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Miller,
    Thank you for pointing out the importance of teacher-student rapport, and I’m sorry that your own educational experience was marked by such negativity. I can think of two of my teachers in high school who demonstrated what I perceived as negativity to me that to this day I do not understand, but these were only two among the many who helped me to develop self-confidence, empathy, self-awareness, and independent thought.
    I believe education has made leaps and bounds since I was in high school, from differentiated instruction to (truly) collaborative learning to authentic lessons that integrate the individual interests of students to closer collaboration with guidance councilors and school psychologists to understand what is going on in the student’s life. There is greater training to meet a student’s individual learning needs, and I believe there is greater empathy of the student’s life circumstances. I believe teachers may now act more as social workers or reading specialists in addition to their academic specialty.
    However, as we’ve moved beyond “chalk and talk” and it may be harder to find John Houseman’s character in “The Paper Chase,” I worry that we may have irreversibly turned a corner in education: yes, a lesson must always be dynamic, and the teacher must care (I hope that is why the teacher became a teacher, sometimes to be the opposite of those we feel did show us the caring we needed at a vulnerable age), but not every lesson will carry the interest of an incoming text, and even the compassionate teacher may not be given the respect she or he gives. Even as we try to overcome mistrust and transference for reasons we (and maybe even the student) may never understand, we continue to search for ways to “reach” the student.
    In other words, as American education is compared to Asia (where students in Japan may be cleaning the school to begin the day), sometimes some administrators may say that if only the teachers cared more, and if only the students felt cared for, we would not have the behavioral problems that we do, and students would be engaged in lessons; if they’re not, the lesson must not have been engaging. Child and adolescent psychologists might have a different take on this. This now provides a frustrating situation for some…some…administrators, who may be a little quick to place blame upon the teacher.
    Again, I’m sorry that you experienced such a negative educational experience. That was absolutely wrong. Perhaps we may both be part of generation that is caught between cultural change. I find myself saying, “When I went to school, the teacher was right, even when the teacher was wrong, and now the teacher is wrong, even when the teacher is right.” There was a national news story that explored why, in some cases, parents may seemingly unconditionally support their child, even when the evidence may be overwhelming that their child was in the wrong. The news story interviewed psychologists pointing to factors from working hours to time spent with family to influences distancing parent and child to finally a common enemy to rally against in the teacher.
    No, we are far from perfect as educators, but I believe education has made great strides even as educational achievement may have declined. How is that possible? Better education with worse results? I believe there are outside economic and cultural factors at work here. Yes, we must continue to improve rapport with our students, and coordinate additional services when needed. At the same time, both of us had to work hard whether or not the teacher was trying to reach us. Now, I see teachers striving to reach students who at least posture as if they don’t want to be reached, and we continue to strive, but are we also taking away from some of the greatest lessons we can teach students: to take responsibility for their own learning, to respect themselves and their classmates, and to ultimately value their own education, even when, or especially when, it involves hard work?

  • Gary

    The Need to Know program on education was excellent. As an adult education teacher, I know these students as well as younger students need STUDENT LEARNING SKILLS. Yes, Reading, Math, and Grammar are important but one must know HOW to think and learn skills. I taught students SQ3R plus the 4 critical thinking skills of comprehension, application, analysis, and evaluation. As a result, students got more involved in their lessons and test scores increased. A student must ask themselves questions before, during, and after a lesson. The goal is to help students become self-learners and know learning can be fun. As one learning skill door is opened/mastered, 5 other doors are available. Watch Dr. Daniel Amen on PBS and he also talks about brain research. I was a C student in vocational high school classes which were enjoyable. However, when I went to college, I had to learn student thinking skills to succeed. I went from a D student to a B student immediately. Later, I went to college at age 41 and earned 2 Bachelor Degrees while having limited vision. My average was 3.95. Learning takes skills, personal effort, and a desire to reach a goal.

  • mc

    You are talking about crisis in American education. By you, I mean the School District, State Government Offices. On one hand, you are saying that there is shortage of teachers and our high school education is way below the standards of the high schools from Foreign Countries India, Japan, South Korea, and China.

    At the same time, the State is going through serious Budget Crisis. Our previous Governor could not do anything. Our present Governor mentioned no new taxes without voters’ approval. But that is not happening except the lay offs and hiring freeze. As a result, 5000 staff, including teachers and administrative personnel have to be laid off. Many State Agencies are moving out of Southern California by closing down their offices here.

    Interestingly, our new Governor has mentioned the hiring freeze in his Executive Order. With all these variables, how can anyone positively think of improving the SAT and English scores of high school students in Los Angeles?

    I don’t understand how the City and County Offices of the State of California can derive their Revenue if all they do is to shutting down businesses by closing City Offices and laying off people.

    Taxpayers are the ones that give the highest contribution to the State and Federal Government in the form of Sales Taxes, Property Taxes and Income Taxes.

    So closing down the State Offices, laying off teachers, and increasing the Taxes without adequately increasing the Revenues will not solve the problems on hand.

    It is simple economics. Cost of living is going up and the chances of living is coming
    down. If the same trend continues without any improvement, many Americans would soon look for alternatives and leave this State and move to another State or Country where they could generate some decent income.

    Politicians should give serious thought to the current economic trend.
    Winning the Election is only half the battle. Now the election is over. This is the
    Real Economic Crisis.

  • Liche321

    use spaced repetition systems PROBLEM SOLVED