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Editor: Shanon S. Taylor, University of Nevada-Reno


‘#@FBTweet’ Using Social Media in Your Classroom: A Practical Guide for “Newbs”

Authors: Jeremy A. Houska & Aaron S. Richmond
Institutions: Centenary College & Metropolitan State University of Denver

Abstract: If the world of our students is dominated by social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter, as instructors we must then ask: What role may social media play for educational purposes? Recent research has demonstrated the practical and effective use of social media in higher education (e.g., Blessing, Blessing, & Fleck, 2012; Junco, 2012: Kassens-Noor, 2012). There are also thorough sources on the merits and pitfalls of using social media in higher education (see Keengwe, 2012). However, we strive to provide a condensed, simple primer that discusses why and how social media should be used in your classroom, and offer practical considerations for those instructors contemplating implementation.

Reference: Houska, J. A., & Richmond, A. S. (2014). ‘#@FBTweet’ Using Social Media in Your Classroom: A Practical Guide for “Newbs”. The Researcher, 26(2), 1-5.


Navigating the Job Search Process: A Timeline for Doctoral Candidates in Education

Authors: Leah Wood and Julie Thompson
Institutions: California Polytechnic State University & Michigan State University

Abstract: Procuring a job in higher education requires endurance, determination, and a great deal of preparation. The following article suggests a timeline for doctoral candidates in education who are seeking a post-doctoral or tenure-track position in higher education. Recommendations are organized by job- search benchmarks, including preparing in the summer, applying in the fall, interviewing by phone, the Internet, or in person in winter, and negotiating contracts in late winter or early spring.

Reference: Wood, L., & Thompson, J. (2014). Navigating the job search process: A timeline for doctoral candidates in education. The Researcher, 26(2), 6-12.


Trust and Maintaining Academic Optimism

Authors: David Henderson, Lori Ann Clyatt, Barbara Frank, Susan Dickey Hedalen, Justin Helvik, & Natalie Miller
Institutions: Montana State University

Abstract: This phenomenological study examines the teaching pilgrimage of eleven elementary teachers with varying experience levels from across Montana as they discuss how they have maintained trust despite betrayals by students, colleagues, parents and administrators. Themes emerge from their stories and discussion which have significant impact on how school leaders might better foster collective trust, a key element in Hoy’s Academic Optimism, which has proven to significantly improve student achievement even when controlling for SES. From these themes various implications surface for leadership development and further research.

Reference: Henderson, D., Clyatt, L. A., Frank, B., Dickey Hedalen, S., Helvik, J. & Miller, N. (2014). Trust and maintaining academic optimism. The Researcher, 26(2), 13-19.


Elementary Principals’ Views about Struggling Students: Insights about Perceived Interventions Including Grade Retention

Authors: Suzanne Young & Bret Range
Institutions: University of Wyoming & Springfield Public Schools

Abstract: This descriptive study sought to understand elementary principals’ beliefs about interventions for struggling students, including grade retention. An online survey was sent to 420 elementary administrators in two Rocky Mountain states. Results indicated that principals believed they struggled most in providing support to students who had poor attendance, had poor family support, and displayed poor behavior. They also indicated that neither policy nor general concern about future failure should drive grade retention. Additionally, they believed that teachers’ work with struggling students is the most powerful way to prevent retention and that parent involvement is the most important way to support grade promotion and prevent retention. Finally, the principals reported considering multiple data measures in making decisions to retain students, and some principals described a systematic process in making the decision to retain students.

Reference: Young. S., & Range, B. (2014). Elementary Principals’ views about struggling students: Insights about perceived interventions including grade retention. The Researcher, 26(2), 20-34.


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