This is a jing about exactly what happens in FAST Power Hour and a short preview of LuAnn and team’s presentation “The Power of Power Hour” for Promising Practices Conference:
Screen time: Mental health menace or scapegoat?
By Michael Nedelman, CNN
January 22, 2018
(CNN)"Have smartphones destroyed a generation?" Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, asked in an adapted excerpt of her controversial book, "iGen."
In the book, she argues that those born after 1995 are on the "brink of a mental-health crisis" -- and she believes it can be linked to growing up with their noses pressed against a screen.
Her newest study provides more backing to that connection, showing that teens who spent more than an hour or two a day interacting with their gadgets were less happy on average than those who had more face time with others. The research was published Monday in Emotion, a journal by the American Psychological Association.
The study -- which drew from a survey of hundreds of thousands of teens across the US -- also found that roughly 13% of eighth- and tenth-graders who spent 1 to 2 hours a week on social media said they were "not happy."
For those who responded 10 to 19 hours per week, that number was about 18%. For those who spent 40 or more hours a week using social media, that number approached 24%.
By the twelfth grade, however, the negative correlations between screen time and teen psychology had somewhat dissipated. In addition, less is not always more: Teens with zero hours of screen time had higher rates of unhappiness than their peers who logged in a few hours a week.
The study comes two weeks after two major investors urged Apple to do more to combat iPhone addiction among young people.
Twenge's conclusions have come up against criticism in the past. Some have accused her work of oversimplifying or overlooking data that may tell a slightly different story.
"The bottom line with this project is that they're asking the data to do things that the data is not set up to do," said Amanda Lenhart, deputy director of the Better Life Lab at New America, a DC-based think tank. Lenhart, whose own work examines technology use among children and families, was not involved in the new study.
Twenge recognizes that her study shows only a correlation between screen use and "psychological well-being," which is measured using survey questions about self-esteem, life satisfaction and happiness. The surveys can't say whether screen time directly changes teens' mental health, the research states.
"The other possible interpretation is that I'm an unhappy adolescent, and I'm running to my screens to escape from the things in my life that are making me unhappy," Lenhart said. "What are all the factors that are at work here?"
But Twenge is particularly concerned by a drop in happiness and "psychological well-being" that she identified in the survey data, which largely took place between 2012 and 2015.
"The question here isn't what are all the causes of unhappiness," said Twenge. "We're asking what changed in that three-year period that could have possibly caused teens' happiness and life satisfaction to fall so suddenly."
"I spent my career in technology. I wasn't prepared for its effect on my kids," philanthropist Melinda Gates, whose three children were also born after 1995, wrote August in the Washington Post. "Phones and apps aren't good or bad by themselves, but for adolescents who don't yet have the emotional tools to navigate life's complications and confusions, they can exacerbate the difficulties of growing up."
At the same time, she said, kids are learning on their devices and connecting in novel ways. "Marginalized groups such as gay and lesbian students (are) finding support they never had before through social networks," said Gates.
In a 2015 report, 92% of over 1,000 teens surveyed said they went online daily, according to Lenhart's previous research at the Pew Research Center. This includes 24% who were online "almost constantly."
But Pew never asked teens how many hours they spent on social media or texting because "people are remarkably bad at determining how long they spend doing things on screens," Lenhart said.
"I look a little bit out of the side of my eye at that data," she added.
Twenge found that happiness correlated most strongly with sports, followed by socializing in person and religious services. On the negative side were online computer games and social media.
Curiously, the study also found that teens who spent more time face-to-face with friends also spent more time communicating with them online. Twenge said she hopes to explore this trend further in upcoming research.
Other studies have explored the connection between social media and isolation and how "likes" activate the brain's reward center. Some analyses have found that moderate use of these technologies is "not intrinsically harmful" and can even improve social skills and develop resilience.
Lenhart doesn't doubt the premise that people are spending more time on these devices and that it's having a major impact on kids and adults alike.
"These are really important devices that have changed our lives in so many ways -- not just for the worse but for the better," she said. But the latest research "is looking straight at technology and wanting it to be the scapegoat."
How to avoid a government shutdown inside your company
Alaina Love January 22, 2018
Shared vision, transparency key to a healthy work environment
An open, transparent vision where expectations are relentlessly communicated is key to avoiding a back-biting, rumor-filled and low-morale workplace
This weekend, much of the federal government shut down after the failure of the Senate to agree on a bipartisan budget plan that would keep the government operating. As of Sunday, the finger-pointing and blame game began in earnest, with members of both parties holding their opponents responsible for an undesirable outcome that affects millions of Americans who depend on government services for everything from food inspection to medical care.
Beyond an example of partisan bickering and name-calling that’s best reserved for an elementary school playground, what we’re witnessing is a breakdown in the quality of leadership and communication required for solving complex issues and achieving important goals. The ability to engage in difficult conversations and have the result lead to greater understanding and consensus-building is essential, whether you’re leading a country or a company.
The consequences of poor leadership and communication in an organization parallel that of a nation in shutdown. And, if you’ve ever witnessed a company spiraling into failure, you never forget the signs. If you want to prevent a shutdown in your own organization, here are some leadership principles to establish:
Operate with a shared vision
Strong leaders articulate a clear and consistent vision of what the organization values, where the organization is headed, and why that matters, so employees have tangible concepts to which they can anchor. As a leader, your most essential role is to be “chief explainer in charge,” which means you devote significant effort to getting others to embrace your vision so the organization can operate with a unified mindset. This eliminates the vacuum created by a lack of direction. Such a vacuum causes employees to craft their own version of the truth and frantically search for evidence (however small or unsubstantiated) to support their suppositions. Best of all, clear communication prevents the brewing of a primordial soup from which rumors are made. When that happens, a difficult-to-silence “dark web” dialogue seeps into the bloodstream of your corporate culture that can take years to reverse.
Be clear about expectations
Sharing your leadership vision is one thing, but helping everyone understand their role and what they are accountable for delivering is what shepherds visions into reality. Equally important is clarity around how responsibilities intersect, so that employees are positioned to support the collective team in accomplishing goals and discouraged from jockeying to promote individual agendas.
Engage the right people
For your organization to function at peak performance, the old adage by Jim Collins, author of "Good to Great," is still true, “You need the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” But, as a leader, there’s another important factor to consider. Do you have people on the bus who will tell you the truth, and do you invite their input? Living in an echo chamber might seem comfortable because all of your brilliant ideas appear validated, but it’s certainly not the way to innovate, nor does it allow you to capitalize on the opportunities that best support your vision.
Be timely about addressing management issues
Allowing important issues to fester is the pariah of successful leadership. Whether it’s a complex business decision, stalled negotiations about a budget deal or an employee performance problem that needs resolution, addressing issues before they devolve prevents greater disruption from taking hold in your organization. Bad problems rarely resolve themselves; they simply worsen over time.
Never underestimate the power of transparency
Among the most critical leadership principles for sustaining a healthy organization is transparency about how decisions are made. The hallmark of a company in decline is a growth in and reliance on behind-closed-doors deal-making. When the light of day is shone on those inner sanctum conversations, the disconnects between what you have said you want and believe, versus what you’re actually willing to agree to, become apparent to everyone. It’s the fastest way to erode trust in your leadership among employees, customers and the community. When employees don’t trust you, you’re not leading anybody anywhere. When trust in the promise of your brand is lost, so is your business.
As the drama plays out in Washington over the coming hours and days, there is much that you can learn about how not to lead. Watch carefully. Take notes. But remember, there are approaches in play that won’t work in your organization. Unlike the government, you cannot furlough employees if you want your business to survive.
Alaina Love is chief operating officer and president of Purpose Linked Consulting and co-author of “The Purpose Linked Organization: How Passionate Leaders Inspire Winning Teams and Great Results” (McGraw-Hill). She is a recovering HR executive, a global speaker and leadership expert, and passionate about everything having to do with, well … passion. Her passion archetypes are Builder, Transformer and Healer. You can learn more about how to grow leaders, build passionate teams and leverage passion to create great customer outcomes here.
When she’s not working with her Fortune 500 client base, Love is busy writing her next book, “Passionality, The Art and Science of Finding Your Passion and Living Your Bliss,” which explores the alignment of personality, purpose and passion, and the science of how it contributes to our well being. Follow Love on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or her blog.
If you enjoyed this article, join SmartBrief’s e-mail list for our daily newsletter on being a better, smarter leader. We also have more than 200 industry-focused newsletters, all free to sign up.
I am sending out no login notices for all courses this week.
Regular Courses: 1,378 notices sent
CR Courses: 26 notices sent
I will also send out the list of students and courses to mentors and teachers so they are aware who was sent the notices.
Also—I will be meeting with the graduation task force to go over next steps in tracking down Cohort ’18 dropouts.
In STEM we are studying meteorology and I was able to set up a tour with the KSL Broadcast House which I’ve always wanted to take my students to do!
A popular school fundraiser is just ‘junk-food marketing to kids,’ experts say
Caitlyn Dewey, Jan. 17
For 43 years, schoolkids and their parents have clipped the labels from cookie bags and cracker boxes as part of a popular rewards program called Labels for Education.
Through this and similar programs — think Tyson’s Project A+ or General Mills’ Box Tops for Education — schools get cash and supplies in exchange for clipped labels from participating food items.
But these programs, most of which are wildly popular at U.S. schools, may have major downsides for students. Critics say they are designed to sell junk food to children too young to make good health decisions.
Just this month, as Labels for Education wound down — a result of declining participation, said its parent company, Campbell’s — public health advocates cheered the end of a program widely beloved by teachers, schools and parents. It included snack foods, such as cookies and crackers, that many health advocates say should be discouraged.
“It’s just another form of junk-food marketing to kids,” said Colin Schwartz, a senior nutrition policy associate at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, one of several groups that has celebrated the demise of Labels for Education. “We’re glad to see Campbell’s ending its program, and we’re calling on other companies to take the same step.”
Besides Campbell’s, two other companies dominate school rewards: General Mills and, to a far lesser extent, Tyson. Each company awards schools a set amount of money — roughly 5 to 38 cents — for each purchase code or label collected from participating products.
Those products carry a distinctive logo on the front of the box or bag. Schools publicize that logo to parents via conferences and meetings, as well as through materials sent home with their kids.
Many schools also promote rewards programs directly to students, holding contests and constructing bulletin boards to encourage them to bring more labels in. Once the labels are collected, schools exchange them for cash or supplies, ranging from pencils and markers to playground equipment.
The average payout is modest — $750 per school per year, in the case of General Mills — but that can go a long way at some schools, program participants say.
At Glover Community Learning Center, a small, low-income elementary school in Akron, Ohio, money from Box Tops and Labels for Education has bought jump ropes, gym balls, pencil sharpeners, paintbrushes, markers and an insulated water cooler.
“We’re a small school, and these programs are a big help,” said Kia Strickling, the president of the school’s parent-teacher association. “The alternative is teachers buying basic supplies out of their own pockets.”
Critics don’t object to schools getting much-needed funds. But they do protest the nutritional quality of the foods in rewards programs and schools' role in promoting them, which potentially undermines nutrition education and could boost kids’ lifelong taste for unhealthy foods.
Campbell’s, which also owns brands such as SpaghettiOs and Pepperidge Farm, has slapped the Labels for Education logo on frozen desserts and queso dip. Tyson’s Project A+ includes salty chicken nuggets.
When it comes to Box Tops, by far the most popular of the programs, a recent study by researchers at Harvard University's Chan School of Public Health and MassGeneral Hospital for Children found that two-thirds of the products bearing the Box Tops label do not meet federal nutrition requirements for sale in schools.
“The vast majority of these products can't be sold in schools, so they shouldn't be advertised in schools,” Schwartz said.
Food companies point out that their rewards labels appear on healthier foods, too, such as vegetable soups and juices, in the case of Campbell’s, or yogurt and Cheerios, in the case of General Mills.
And they argue that, even if the labels sometimes appear on unhealthy foods, the program is designed to appeal to the parents making shopping decisions, not their school-age children. All three companies have strict policies on marketing to kids.
“The [Labels for Education] program’s marketing is directed to adult coordinators and parents, not to kids,” Campbell’s said in a statement.
“Box Tops for Education is NOT a brand marketing program,” echoed General Mills spokeswoman Mollie Wulff in an email. “It is a fundraising program for parents and a way for General Mills to support local communities and schools.”
But for critics, this is another point of contention: Children are often highly involved in rewards programs, they say, and schools often advertise the programs directly to them.
At Strickling’s school in Akron, the PTA holds contests to see which classroom can collect the most labels and awards a pizza party to the winner.
That type of in-school promotion can cause children to develop positive associations with both the labels and the products they appear on, said Jennifer Harris, a researcher at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. Those associations can be difficult to overwrite once they are established.
“There’s a reason companies want to get kids when they’re really young,” said Harris. “When aimed at children, whose minds are still developing, marketing can create lifelong preferences and habits that contribute to obesity and other conditions.”
Critics have proposed excluding from the rewards programs any product that doesn’t meet the Department of Agriculture’s minimum nutrition guidelines for in-school sales. Schools could also work harder to cut students out of rewards programs by promoting them directly, and only, to parents, critics said.
Many public health advocates would like to see schools withdraw from these programs entirely. But that is unlikely, said Faith Boninger, a researcher at the University of Colorado’s National Education Policy Center, because many schools have grown accustomed to the payouts to supplement decreased public funds. With the exception of Campbell’s Labels for Education, rewards programs remain highly popular.
“There are no good solutions for schools,” said Boninger, who opposes the programs. “Schools don’t have the money they need, which is why they resort to these food company handouts.”
At the Glover school in Akron, Strickling says she thinks “good solutions” are indeed running out. Funding has dwindled for art and gym classes at the school, she said, a result of districtwide budget cuts.
The end of Labels for Education was a blow. Now Strickling is doubling down on General Mills’ Box Tops for Education, with a wary eye on the public health advocates calling for the program to end.
She doesn’t think rewards programs market to children.
“I really disagree with that,” she said. “Parents have to choose healthy snacks. If I buy Froot Loops when Nature Valley has the label — you can’t blame the school or the company for that.”
Hello UTVA High School! Happy TEACHER WORK DAY!
Weekly Checklist and reminders here:
Block 3 Schedule:
BLUE/ YELLOW TRACK:
We are not going to advertise the blue and yellow tracks, but please use this information if students or learning coaches come to you with schedule conflicts or requesting to be excused from attending class. You can give out this student handout when students request flexibility!
Here is the Blue and Yellow Track information: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19IDVp76L_DYHrPJsPEzZ-F58hV2Ze_KZbaKGJwMM7zE/edit
Block 2 Goal: 75% Passing Rate
Extending the Silence
Giving students several seconds to think after asking a question—and up to two minutes for some questions—improves their learning.
By John McCarthy
January 10, 2018
How long do you think teachers pause, on average, after asking a question?
Several studies from the 1970s on have looked into the effect that the amount of time teachers pause after asking a question has on learners. In visiting many classrooms in the United States and other parts of the world, I’ve found that, with few exceptions, these studies are still accurate. For example, according to work done by Mary Budd Rowe in 1972 and Robert J. Stahl in 1994, pausing for three or more seconds showed a noticeable positive impact on learning. Yet the average length that teachers pause was found to be 0.9 seconds.
I’ve observed this phenomenon in many classrooms, and there is a real need to increase the time granted to students to process what they know and to make sense of what they do not understand.
In differentiating instruction, process and learning preference are the keys. Process is how learners make sense of ideas, compose their thinking, and prepare a thoughtful answer. Learning preference, in the case of questions posed to the whole class, refers to how some students prefer to silently process the content, keeping their own counsel (Internal Thinkers), while others prefer to talk or express their thinking with an audience as a sounding board (External Thinkers).
The External Thinkers, those go-to students who can be counted on to talk within the first three seconds, may be shaping their ideas as they talk—they haven’t had sufficient time to fully process but speak out anyway. Meanwhile, the Internal Thinkers have also had insufficient time to process, but don’t feel comfortable responding.
One solution is for teachers to pause for five to 15 seconds before calling on students. The silence for some may feel unbearably long. Yet consider that the fastest male and female 100-meter sprinters in the world run at or under 10 seconds. The world record is under 10 seconds, which goes by quickly. Why not offer a similar amount of time for students to consider their responses to questions that require deep thinking?
Strategies for Providing Students With Time to Think
Provide wait time: Give students five to 15 seconds to formulate a response to a question for which they should know the answer. Not every learner processes thinking at the same speed. Quality should be measured in the content of the answer, not the speediness.
I count in my head to 15. Most times, I get responses by 10 to 12 seconds. If you don’t get responses within 15 seconds, you can call on students, instead of asking for volunteers.
Give think time: Give students 20 seconds to two minutes to make sense of questions that require analysis to synthesize concepts into a different construct or frame. You can aid this by encouraging journaling, silent reflection, or partner discussions. Giving such chunks of time honors the work being asked of students. Quick responses probably mean that the question did not stretch the learners’ understanding. After the allotted time, any student can be called on to share their response.
Teach reflection: Coach students on the value and practice of reflection. Educators and students may appear to be uncomfortable with silence, hence the typical one-second pause time. Silence may be equated with nothing happening.
In reality, when students are provided with structured ways to practice thinking and specific directions about what to accomplish within the silent time, they can become more productive during reflection. Think From the Middle is a collection of approaches for students to hone their thinking processes during reflection and collaborative communication.
Teach students how to manage a conversation: It’s a beautiful thing to witness students running thoughtful conversations around topics that combine curriculum and real-world connections. Establish a culture for students to engage in such conversations, and they’ll soon be doing most of the heavy lifting during the lesson.
One powerful example I’ve witnessed in Michigan and Texas uses a guide for student-led conversation prompts called Talk Moves. This list of conversation stems provides students with communication tools for participating in and sustaining discussions. I’ve witnessed their use in science classes using the Next Generation Science Standards, and they’re equally useful in all subject area courses.
Students choose the starter stem that best supports the topic to be discussed. Teachers use the Talk Moves to coach and guide students to different levels of complex thinking by directing them toward different sections of conversation prompts. The intent is for students to own the conversation, which empowers their ability to process concepts for understanding.
Placing Students at the Center of Learning
We want students to become independent learners who can navigate challenging material and situations. Students learn at different paces, which seems less about intelligence and more about the time barriers put in the path of learning. There may be a place for timed responses and answering questions under the pressure of a clock, yet there are no standards that say that students should master concepts in less than one second.
Most people need adequate time to process their thoughts if they are expected to contribute to a conversation. Life is not a 30-minute game show with rapid-fire questions that require low-level answers, plus commercial breaks. Even if it were, one would need time to develop and master the processing skills to compete.
I wanted to post this here so everyone can have access information about High School Exit Codes. It's a long one!
K-8 Friday Wrap-Up
End of Quarter and Passing Rates!
Thank you all for the extra time you’re spending grading, reaching out to potential passers and doing all you can to see the students in your class succeed!
Detailed instructions will be coming from Jessica, aren’t we so grateful for that lady? He amazes me with her organization and is so great to work out in front to pave a smooth path for us all, thanks JESS!
No School on Monday and teacher work day on Tuesday. Reminder to cancel all CC sessions in the OLS.
Teacher Work Day
We have some work to do in grades and prepping for the new semester that is for sure! But if you have time and want to sneak in a little professional development, what better way to do it than watch and learn from some Veteran Virtual Teaching Pros!
I have 2 recordings for you and I’m sure you’ll glean your own golden nuggets from them but I’ll tell you a little bit about what you’ll see from these two suggested recordings!
#1 is from the Middle School, Mrs. Mary Belliston. You will see:
Thanks for choosing to Matter! In your classrooms, in your communication, in your collaboration with peers. Everyone has different strengths and talents and it’s when we all choose to respect and value each other and when everyone decides to show up and share their genius that the magic happens! Thank you for the contribution you continue to give to our success with these kids we’re entrusted to educate.
The Greatest Showman
Also…if you’re in need of a recommendation for an inspiration, feel good kind of uplifting activity, run don’t walk to see the Greatest Showman! I may or may not have gone to it 3 times….
Happy FRIDAY!!!! WHAT A WEEK!!!!
Please watch our FLIPPED STAFF CALL, Friday’s WEEKLY WRAP UP!!!
FLIPPED STAFF CALL IMPORTANT:
Links in flipped staff call below here:
For new BLOCK:
Here is the Blue and Yellow Track information: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19IDVp76L_DYHrPJsPEzZ-F58hV2Ze_KZbaKGJwMM7zE/edit
FULL ACADEMIC YEAR PLANS (ELA, SCIENCE, MATH, SAGE TESTED SUBJECTS)
Watch Brittney’s Recording on FAY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEYr64ZxgU0
(Teachers can skip to minute 8 if they are comfortable with where to find the data and how to analyze it already).