8.16.2017

My Ph.D. path & state education standardization


Which Road Are You On?
I am an ambassador for life-long learning by pursuing a Ph.D. in Education at Walden University. As I strive to be a role model to my children and to those in my sphere of influence, I adamantly believe that blended education is a responsibility for academic professionals. We are curators of curiosity and earners of educational wealth. My Ph.D. path in Learning, Instruction, & Innovation is the embodiment of my passions and shall solidify my personal and career goals.
By necessity, human beings depend on one another. John Donne wrote that “no man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” It is as true in 1664 as it is today in 2017 that we need to work together to accomplish great things. A Ph.D. is not just doing independent research, writing papers, literature reviews, and earning good grades. It is also about creating human connections. People who do not experience online learning do not often understand how interactive and human it actually it. Just as in most schools, it is essential to cultivate a network of like-minded individuals in order to excel. Just like a traditional professional degree we need to support one another. For example, the rubric for this foundational course emphasizes the importance of interactive collaboration by weighting the discussions at 60% of the grade. When you have the determination, work ethic, and internal drive in the 21st century you may reach educational achievements utilizing the power of the internet and the logistical luxury which comes with it. However, making these connections virtually does not replace the face-to-face which is why this is a blended program with residential requirements.
As scholar practitioners, we are elastic amorphous segments in a global spider web; we spin a digital brand by how we invest our time. Everything we do in person as well as online becomes our reality. I am building a network in both realms by being present at events, both educational and social, and by nurturing relationships online and in-person. In a 2015 Ted Talk, a cognitive scientist named Donald Hoffman said: “We're inclined to think that perception is like a window on reality as it is. The theory of evolution is telling us that this is an incorrect interpretation of our perceptions. Instead, reality is more like a 3D desktop that's designed to hide the complexity of the real world and guide adaptive behavior. Space as you perceive it is your desktop. Physical objects are just the icons in that desktop.” (Hoffman, 2015) I inferred from his presentation that reality itself has changed due to the digital world so humans must adapt and utilize technology to survive.
My path to earn a PhD in Learning, Instruction, & Innovation is complex. I am of the same mindset of Kent William Thompson who is interviewed in the video from Module 6 entitled: Which road are you on? (Laureate Education, 2014) Just like Thompson, I assert that earning a Ph.D. will prepare me “to think and create new knowledge across a broad spectrum.” I am an open-minded troublemaker and a risk taker with a tendency to speak up for others. This specialty area is both general and specialize allowing me to make constructive waves in the way students learn and in how ultimately teachers will teach.
I have many career aspirations:
·       Higher Education instruction
·       Authoring of books and higher education/K-12 curriculum
·       Digital literacy and public advocacy
The educational standardization case study problem which I identified is an inadequate implementation of educational standards by the state. With the proper professional development of educators, and improved communications to all stakeholders, we will be on the same page and then we can get creative in our execution. Even teachers with the best of intentions are at a disadvantage if they ill-informed. We need to clarify goals and methodologies and provide the space, support, and trust in our teachers. In the U.S., we have an untapped educational opportunity to be innovative and engaging.
One specific way I am able to problem solve this top-down educational problem would be within the Department of Education, Office of Communications. I would expand e-learning, outreach, and state-approved standards-based training. Clarity would be a high priority as we produce, support, and monitor stakeholder training. When I combine my decade long career in media, public relations, and advertising with a decade as a K-12 teacher and a Ph.D. in Learning, Instruction, & Innovation, I will have the expertise to be successful in the path of my choosing.
According to Walden University, the Learning, Instruction, and Innovation specialization will prepare me to “translate creativity into innovative learning experiences…. solutions grounded in principles of brain-based learning.” Borrowing the words of Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, ultimately, “I want to work on stuff that I think matters.”
I reviewed Looking Ahead to Your Advanced Graduate Degree information on social change, a determining factor in my decision to pursue my Ph.D. here at Walden. I agree with the 2014 Social Change Impact Report, "change is continuous, and it is important." The Information Age is a turning point in history which we must embrace and innovate. Technology is not the enemy of education. The Digital Age provides an unlimited and evolving medium and I want to be part of what makes blended education successful.
Personally, I feel optimistic being part of a community of those who attend Walden University. As stated on the website, "we believe that knowledge is most valuable when put to use for the greater good." I want to make positive changes by helping others, being a trouble maker and I will be fulfilled by the knowledge and experience I obtain. In my life, I encounter those who do not seek out life-long learning opportunities which is not to say that a Ph.D. is the only vehicle for positive social change. For me, it is a personal choice which began at home and developed in the classroom, by successes, and failures.
My path began at home with my family. My parents valued hard work, cultural exposure, and academic success. My father, an immigrant learned English as a third language. He became an attorney and was a twice elected to the legislature serving as an advocate for education. My mom made sure I received a well-rounded education in public school, religious school and participated in extracurricular activities. She supported my identity even when I was rebelling from her. My siblings enhanced my vocabulary and still serve as role models and confidantes. They all taught me that competition is a good thing, that independence is a necessity, and that nothing gets handed to you unless you work hard.
In my teaching practice, I spend my days with teenagers and it is my professional goal to one day widen that footprint to budding educators by completing this Ph.D. There is also a spiritual reason for this difficult undertaking. I assume that Walden doctoral students are here to be “do-gooders” and practice the concept of Tikkun olam, (pronounced tee-KOON oh-LUHM) which in Hebrew literally means world repair. “Tikkun olam has become synonymous with the notion of social action and the pursuit of social justice” (MyJewishLearning.com, 2004) Tikkun olam is the Jewish belief that if you make a positive impact on merely one person, you will change the universe. We have a powerful viral responsibility to use our education for the greater good and this is the road I chose…



References

·      Hoffman, D. (2015, March). Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is? | TED Talk. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/donald_hoffman_do_we_see_reality_as_it_is
·      MyJewishLearning.com: The Personal Gateway to Jewish Education. (8 June 2004). Overview: Tikkun Olam. http://www.myjewishlearning.com
·      Sandberg, S. (2013). Lean in: Women, work, and the will to lead (First edition.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
·      Thompson, Kent W. Laureate Education (2014). Which road are you on? [Video file]
·      Walden University. (2014). 2014 Social Change Impact Report. Retrieved from https://www.waldenu.edu/about/social-change/impact-report-2014

Re: Robert E. Lee Memorials Being Taken Down

I'm a leftward leaning Jew and it’s really hard for me to stay out of a historical conversation. Let’s establish the values held dear…slavery is wrong; treating Black Americans like animals is wrong; white supremacy is wrong, wrong, wrong! Logically, these Neo-Nazi groups are disgusting violent terrorists because they believe in the wrongs listed above. That is a non-debate. Dr. Logan, my high school debate coach from Robert E. Lee High School called this rhetorical faux pas the “Slavery Rule” meaning that you cannot argue something which is (1) inherently wrong & (2) unwinnable. Political conversations breed absolute-value-statements which in my opinion are also wrong.

This is the reason for my rant: Robert E. Lee Memorials Being Taken Down

I’m speaking on behalf of Robert E. Lee. Obviously, I hate the KKK and the actual Nazi party which killed so many of my family. The KKK call themselves supreme, but they also believe in revisionist history. I’m proud to be an American where I’m free to be Jewish, speak out against oppression, and I’m also proud to be a New Yorker of 13 years. There are many instances of Jews aligning with Blacks and so if you call me a racist, I’ll take on that debate and rebuttal with pride… For example, the New York Jews played an invaluable role in the American Civil Rights movement. They became the Freedom Riders, participated in sit-ins, and stood side-by-side with the Black Americans in the South. Jews everywhere including Israel continue to stand up against hate. So, thank you, KKK for hating us, we don’t want your affections!

These demands for revising the legacy of Robert E. Lee and polarizing this historical figure is also wrong. But this isn’t a new issue; today it seems new because there are more stakeholders, more cameras and more consumers with access to the world. From 1990-1994 I attended to Lee High School in San Antonio. In 1990, they took away the Confederate flag and disassociated it with Robert E. Lee’s name. That happened all over the South but those institutions kept the name of Robert E. Lee. The rebel flag is a literal representation of the slave-holding Confederacy and it more than offends people so I totally get that the KKK uses it as a symbol of white supremacy and hatred. I was there when they took the flag down from my high school and remember the stupid Neo-Nazis that showed up and started riots and the media circus which took place.

Biases aside, Robert E. Lee should not go down in history as the poster child for hatred towards Blacks just because the KKK thinks he is awesome like Hitler. Remember the KKK is a bunch of stupid people who believe in a bunch of stupid things! If you study American History, Robert E. Lee’s American military actions are not that black and white. (pun intended). Robert E. Lee was a West Point commandant, served as a military officer in the U.S. Army and fought in the Mexican-American War. He was from Virginia and assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia. (his home) Like him or hate him, he was a brilliant military tactician and he went on to become the legendary general of the Confederate Army and conceded to General Grant with dignity. The South was clearly on the wrong side of history in a humanitarian context and for the most part, they know that. However, Robert E. Lee is no symbol of white supremacy, so desecration of his name means that people need to learn more about American history.

If you still think Robert E. Lee is a symbol of hate, that’s your right, and if you want to debate, inform yourself. If you don’t agree with me and want to erase monuments to men of their time who are wrong by today’s standards, then there’s a whole lot of monuments for many historical figures which need to be taken down.

#slavery #wrong #debate #robertelee #learnhistory #historyteacher

7.14.2017

Clickety Clickett unedited Notes: Law and Civic Education Summer Institute in Manhattan (7/13/17) Fake News / Real Students


       Law and Civic Education Summer Institute                                            

July 13, 2017 

Session I: News Literacy Workshop
Janice Schachter
Center for News Literacy

What is News Literacy? – the ability to use critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports, whether they come via print, television, the internet or SOCIAL MEDIA (usually Social Media)

In the Information Age, YOU are in charge of determining what is reliable… & what is not.
                 
Resources:
·       Wikipedia - has nots of sourcing
·       Snopes.com – great fact checking resource, not google
·       Associated Press
·       Reddit
·       Chrome Extension – “Read Across The Aisle” – color codes push “news”
·       Google “incognito” – search not based on previous searches

How do you create a safe space? Where everyone carries around biases, prejudices…
-        Project Implicate – Harvard Bias Study – to find out what your biases are (fun game to show students)
-        Use Ave Q Song – “Everyone’s a little Bit Racist”

Challenges for empowered consumers in the Digital Age:
·                Information overload
·                Speed vs accuracy
·                Blurring of the lines
·                Challenging our own bias

To be Journalism the information has to be:
·                Accountable – can you contact email address
·                Independent from the story – bias, transparency, not written by the source, parent company disclaimer
·                Verifiable – ex. Vice checks sources 3 times and say that on program

What is “truthiness”? (Stephen Colbert)
-        we usually go to sources that align with our own biases

How do we begin to evaluate websites? -  Search Tips
-        don’t go by rank, Clickbait – SEO
-        what’s “trending” doesn’t mean truth
-        look at domain names (its super easy to get a .com, .org, .net)
-        look at date
-        Reverse Image Search
-        Google with word “hoax”
-        How many followers on twitter
-        Use common sense

Deconstruction is Deconstruction:
1.      Summarize the main points, comparing headline of the story
2.     Summarize the reporter open the freezer? Is the evidence direct or indirect?
3.     Does the reporter place the facts, the story
4.     Who, what, where, when, & why???
5.     Is the story fair to the evidence? Is balance called for? What about fair play and language? “Fairness vs Balance" Ex.  Use the word – “said” while writing news stories. Better than  using “claims” or “alleged” or “advocated”as a verb for a quote.

Nmeumonic Device for evaluate sources: I-M-V-A-I-N
I -  Independent vs. self-interested sources
M - Multiple sources are better than single ones
V - Verifies vs. Asserts
A - Authoritative vs. Uniformed
I - Informed vs. Uniformed
N - Named vs. Unnamed
 Phrases


“Freezer” – did the reporter go as far as they do reasonably what they should have down?
-        Phrase related to the reporter that went to the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina b/c he heard people were murdering each other and they said the bodies were in the freezer, but he didn’t check the freezer and it wound up being incorrect

“Third Degree” – was a tactic used by NYPD to get confessions, lashing, torture

-        Phrase is used in a milder manner today

Special Guest Star:
VP of New York Bar Foundation
Mr. Ellis Mursky

Session II: Student Voice in the Digital Age
“Lessons from the Constitution & the Courts”
(Teaching history through case studies)
David Scott, Coordinator
Project P.A.T.C.H.

Video Presentation: (15 min)
A Tribute to Dr. Isadore Starr: “The Founding Father of Law-Related Education”
-      “The law is here, there, and everywhere.” – Isadore Starr
-        All students should graduate high school with an idea of what is:
-        Liberty, Justice, Property, & Equality – revolving around Power
-        Joseph McCarthy – created an atmosphere of fear & teachers were afraid to teach “controversy”
-        Articles re: teaching controversial Issues though studying supreme court decisions in public education: Social Education
-        Pioneer of Civics Education
-        Mock Court is great in the classroom taking on arguments

First Amendment freedom of speech, it’s a limitation on governmental power to censor you from expressing yourself, not a license to say whatever you want.

The 14th Amendment – as a teacher, we are upholding the rights and responsibilities as written the constitution
Another law to look up - 42UC1983

Landmark Student Freedom of Speech Supreme Court Cases

1. Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent School District (1968-1969 decision)
-                Free Speech precedent- First Amendment Rights were infringed upon
-        Decision: Student speech cannot be censored as long as it does not “materially disrupt class work or involve substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others.”
-        Students have inalienable individual rights
-        Mary Beth (7th grade) & John Tinker (10th grade)
-        Parents were civil rights activists and dad was local pastor
-        Plan was to wear black arm bands to school protest the Vietnam War
-        Also supported Senator R. Kennedy’s call for a Christmas moratorium of fighting
-        Has been cited in over 1000 court cases
-        Majority Opinion says: “It can hardly be argued to that either teachers or students shed their constitutional rights to freedom or speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”
-        U.S. Supreme court only takes 100 cased per term and took the case
-        The “Tinker Test(check this)
o   material disruption of class work
o   substantial disorder
o   invading the rights of others

There is a direct line of Civil Right Movement to laws regarding Students with Disabilities
2. The Fraser Standard
Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser (1986)
-        Fraser gets suspended for giving a sexualized campaign speech for VP of HS as a senior
-        ACLU lawyer - Now a Speech and Debate Coach
-        Applied Tinker Test – but added that free speech in school is protested but couldn’t be “vulgar, obscene sexual innuendo”
3. Morse v. Frederick
-       “Bong Hits 4 Jesus”
-        Argued 3/19/07 - Decided 6/25/07 – Juneau, Alaska
-        Students were permitted to leave class to go to a “school-sanctioned & supervised event” to watch the Olympic Torch pass through town
-        18-year-old student Joseph Frederick was late for school that day. He joined his friends on the sidewalk at the event. He saw it on snowboard and thought it would be funny.
-        He basically made the first amendment for the punchline for joke
-        Different Viewpoints:
o   Advocacy of illegal drug use not protected
o   Political speech remains protected
o   Justice Thomas wanted to reverse Tinker

4. Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier
-        She tried to write an articles on (1) teen pregnancy and (2) divorce
-        Principal pulled the articles
-        ACLU lawyer sucked and evidence was left out, so she lost

*CONCLUSION: Internet Free Speech cases have never heard by Supreme Court: The courts have decided that the internet can build a nexus which is accountable to the Tinker Test
- Layshock v. Hermitage School District (PA) - Internet Based Free Speech, didn’t make it to
- Doninger v. Niehoff
-    Student made a slanderous posting on community blog which leads to suit b/c principal wouldn’t endorse/sign off on a candidate running for student body president to serve on student government 

DASA statute does not grant additional power to schools to oversee bullying – DASA says the school must:
-        report bullying and take steps to
-        fight it
-        have a component in school to combat bullying

“With great power, comes great responsibility.” - Uncle Ben Parker to Spiderman


Dave Scott’s Closing Thought:
“If we empower our students to use their voices responsibly, they can do great things!”