Archive for June 24, 2013

17th in the Top 100 Influential Education Blogs

I don’t know who Onalytica is and if they do high-quality rankings, but I found the methodology interesting. This blog came in 17th among the top 100 most influential education blogs. What’s surprising is that it has one of the lowest “popularity” rankings in the top 20, but one of the highest “over-influence” ratio of influence-to-popularity. As Alfred Thompson suggested to me on Facebook, that points to the small community of CS Ed researchers and bloggers, but that a high percentage of them read here. I appreciate that!

For a detailed explanation of the methodology we refer to out previous post. As before, we report the following metrics: Onalytica Influence Index, Popularity and Over-Influence.

Influence index is the impact factor of the blogs, similar to the impact factor of academic journals; Popularity measures how well-known a blog is among other education blogs and Over-Influence seeks to capture how influential a blog is compared to how popular it is.

The movements in the ranking have been caused by a change in the quantity and quality of citations that a blog has received. If a blog has gone up it means that it has been cited by more influential blogs lately and/or has received a higher number of citations. Moreover, there are new influential blogs that we have only recently started monitoring.

Change In Rank Rank Name Influence Popularity Over-Influence
New Entry ★ 17 Computing Education Blog 35.9 9.0 2.7

via What has changed in the Top 100 Influential Education Blogs ranking? | Onalytica Blog.

June 24, 2013 at 1:40 am 3 comments

NCTQ and US News Report on Teacher Prep: Making CS Teacher Prep Better

The National Council on Teacher Quality and US News and World Report have  released a state-by-state report on teacher preparation — and it’s pretty dismal.  I’ve copied some of the top “take-aways” below.

Important “take-aways”

  • In countries where students outperform the U.S., teacher prep schools recruit candidates from the top third of the college-going population. The Review found only one in four U.S. programs restricts admissions to even the top half of the college-going population.

  • A large majority of programs (71 percent) are not providing elementary teacher candidates with practical, research-based training in reading instruction methods that could reduce the current rate of reading failure (30 percent) to less than 10 percent of the student population.

  • Only 11 percent of elementary programs and 47 percent of secondary programs are providing adequate content preparation for teachers in the subjects they will teach.

via Teacher Prep: Findings.

There is some significant critique of the NCTQ study, particularly on its methodology. This is from Diane Ravitch’s blog:

NCTQ is not a professional association. It did not make site visits. It made its harsh judgments by reviewing course syllabi and catalogs. The criteria that it rated as most important was the institution’s fidelity to the Common Core standards.

As Rutgers’ Bruce Baker pointed out in his response, NCTQ boasts of its regard for teachers but its review of the nation’s teacher-training institutions says nothing about faculty. They don’t matter. They are irrelevant. All that matters is what is in the course catalog.

via That NCTQ Report on Teacher Education: F | Diane Ravitch’s blog.

I’d rather see the NCTQ study as pointing out problems for computing education programs to avoid. Given the results coming in from the UChicago Landscape study, I doubt if we’re doing much better now in computer science.  From a positive perspective, the best practices identified in the NCTQ report can inform what we do in computing education teacher professional development.  As Jeanne Century said at SIGCSE this last year, one advantage we have is that we’re starting from a pretty much clean slate — there’s not much out there.  We can try to build it right from the start.

June 24, 2013 at 1:18 am Leave a comment


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