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Monday, February 18, 2013

spOtOn4teachers: Targeted Information for Teachers

spOtOn is the imprint for a suite of online learning modules developed explicitly for educational professionals, especially today’s classroom teachers. The ironic dilemma is that a myriad of useful resources exists – BUT they are often disparate and unqualified. We aim to paint the complete picture by separating the wheat from the chaff, so that teachers can get up to speed on complex issues that directly impact on their students’ achievement.

The spOtOn project bridges the proverbial ‘cracks’ in the current educational system with targeted information that can empower professionals to better serve today’s struggling learners. What’s innovative about spOtOn is how we set up a sustainable network to support ‘just-in-time’ expert answers to the real-world questions that inevitably arise when ‘human subjects’ are involved in unique contexts… no matter how well-prepared or caring, an individual teacher isn’t likely to be able to respond in a timely and absolutely appropriate manner without special help these days.

Integrating established ‘communities of practice’ into the model cultivates functional ‘networks’ to extend the content and to sustain the context for long-term applicability. To be notified of new tools and resources, please join our Facebook community at www.facebook.com/spOtOn4Teachers!

Our 'Take 5' playlist explains key aspects of the spOtOn model using quick (about 5 minute or less) clips (see http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH2Qsr9AvIzt_UU1H3c9tgoix8dWQi7vc)

nSIGHTS: Professional Development in Vision Development

One track developed for spOtOn centers on learning difficulties (disorders and disabilities) and how teachers can easily improve their classroom environment to help learners - and for the benefit of all stakeholders in a child’s education. The prototype module, called nSIGHTS, is focused on vision development. When over 80% of information comes to us visually, it makes a lot of sense to get the word out to educators about ‘hidden’ vision issues! Our fundraising video put out the call to all nSIGHTful, SPECtacular, and VISIONary friends and angels! We really do want you to 'buy-in' on nSIGHTS, professional development in vision development -- figuratively for sure and literally as you can! Please become a part of this grass-roots change by sharing your interest... Learn more about why it really does matter to us all at http://youtu.be/GxXxR-ZarxQ and requesting An Executive Introduction to nSIGHTS

Bias Busters: Gender Bias in Academia

Another track developed for spOtOn centers on bias, addressing key aspects through a targeted look at gender, search, experimental, statistical, author, cultural, and media bias, along with an overarching professional development module on addressing bias in general. Uncovering hidden biases in others when we are often not even aware of them in ourselves, is a challenge.

For example, search engines are the mechanics most everyone uses to find information online today. Figuring out how much we can rely on search engines to help us find what we are looking for is not a trivial task, yet we rarely think about the implications of various algorithms and techniques (the dynamics of discovery). Similarly, the purpose of the first Gender Bias learning module is to generate an appreciation for how deep and broad the gender bias problem still is even in America, and how insidious are its results. Once armed with knowledge, the learning model points to how awareness and understanding can help prepare for, and be transformed into, action that can make a difference.

Over fifty references are included in the module, many of which are hyperlinked to facilitate further in-depth exploration of items of particular interest to learners. Contact us if you're interested in participating in this project pilot.