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A blanket ban on cellphones in class would not be smart

The Toronto Star – Staff Writer

“France is going in a similar direction. When millions of French elementary and middle-school students returned to class this week, they were forbidden from using their phones in the classroom or even during breaks. The government of Emmanuel Macron ordered a phone “detox” for all pupils under the age of 15. These are simplistic solutions to a complex problem. The problems presented by addictive cellphone use are clear, but it’s impossible and unwise to ban such technology entirely from schools.” (more)

Cool to Be Kind: At Schools Across America, Embracing Kindness as the Theme for the Start of the School Year

The 74 Million – Meredith Nelson

“Rousseau called kindness the greatest wisdom of all. Our schools are calling it a powerful virtue that can be harnessed to make the world a better place. To that end, they’re weaving kindness into the fabric of students’ lives in a variety of ways. The kindness craze has seen a band of bikers and a celebrity rapper become heroes for defending students against horrendous behavior.” (more)

K12 leaders: Hand over the reins

District Administration – Jennifer Herseim

“The current education system, which places much of the control of learning with the school system, not the learner, will underprepare students for that future, Ziegenfuss says. “The world is changing through technology,” he says. “We’re going to have to make more choices on our own. Learner-centered education is built on that—starting with the learner and having them decide what path they want to take.” Ziegenfuss is a featured presenter for the Future of Education Technology Conference, to be held January 27-30, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. He shares three tips on how leaders can shift mindsets—and more agency—to learners.” (more)

6 Ways to Build a Rapport With Students

Edutopia – Helen Boyd

“How do we get the best out of our students? By building a rapport with them. We hear that over and over again, but do we really know what that looks like or what that means? It’s not about preaching to them or trying to make them better people. It’s about learning who they are, accepting and celebrating their uniqueness, and really listening to them.” (more)

What Makes a Good School Culture?

KQED News Mind/Shift – Leah Shafer

“Most principals have an instinctive awareness that organizational culture is a key element of school success. They might say their school has a “good culture” when teachers are expressing a shared vision and students are succeeding — or that they need to “work on school culture” when several teachers resign or student discipline rates rise.” (more)