Author: Nicole

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About the author

Nicole (@MsTuckerSmith) is CEO of Lessoncast Learning. Currently residing in Baltimore, Maryland, she's been an assistant principal, district-level leader, professional developer, consultant, adjunct professor, supervisor of parent support services, and - most importantly - a teacher. In founding Lessoncast, she believes the future of student learning depends on our ability to merge innovative best practices with classroom realities. Mother of two, she holds with utmost respect the awesome responsibility of educating someone's child. | Favorite Quote: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mohandas Gandhi

On Mirages and Movements: Confessions of a Professional Development Leader

Silhouette camels in Thar desert

  The recent TNTP report, The Mirage, revealed a secret that I’ve long avoided admitting out loud – that most teacher professional development (PD) efforts do not appear to have a measurable benefit to teacher or student learning. I suspected this to be the case five years ago when I coordinated systemwide PD for a large …

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Crowdfunding Despite the Clouds

A few weeks ago, I decided to enter the Women Startup Challenge, which involves a crowdfunding campaign, designed to break down barriers and get more women-led startups funded. Then…Monday, April 27th happened. My heart ached as I sat in my home in Baltimore a few miles from the riots of frustration. I’ve taught these kids, now …

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A Letter to My First Year Self

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week and Edutopia’s “If I Knew Then” challenge, I’m sharing this letter to myself on my first day of teaching. Dear Ms. Tucker, You are about to take your first step on an amazing journey, full of laughs and tears and surprises and mistakes. Here are a few wise words …

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Misconceptions of Scaling Ed Innovation

Golden Lady Justice

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons Great things are happening in education, but too frequently success occurs in pockets. There is a path to scaling effective innovations, but beware of falling for misconceptions that lead us down side roads of disappointment and blame. Scaling innovation is a process that recognizes teachers as thoughtful learners and learners as insightful …

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Embedded Assessment & Blended Learning: Fresh Air for Deep Roots

Embedded assessment undergirds each of the five levels of blended learning (as illustrated below). “Embedded” means that the assessment is part of the learning experience, not a separate activity. In this age of accountability, there is an imminent danger of over-assessment, spending so much time on testing that we’re compromising time for learning. Embedded assessment …

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Blended Learning & the Learner: What’s edtech got to do with it?

What do we really want students to be able to do with technology? Sometimes blended learning or the integration of specific tools is held up as the goal when really they are the means to achieving a higher purpose: high-quality, optimal learning experiences for each and every student. This poster says it all: (posted by …

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