“Whole Child Learning is a thing; Whole Teaching should be a thing too, no?
Here at TeachThought, Jackie Gerstein’s usergeneratededucation is at the top of our reading list, in large part for her thinking about the human side of formal education. Much of our content–that is, the content here at TeachThought, and that on her site–overlaps because of our shared perspective on teaching and learning: self-directed learning, the role of play in learning, the idea of citizenship, student-centered learning (and student-centered teaching), and more.(The fact that we have to push ourselves to think of the “human side” could be part of our problem; teaching and learning are among the most human of processes–a natural response to our environment and curiosity.)We’ve also long been interested in the work of Costa and Kallick with the Habits of Mind (See What Are The Habits Of Mind? and 16 Strategies For Integrating The Habits Of Mind) as wonderful supplements to an academic curriculum. More and more, they’re richness has us wondering if they’re not more important than the “content” itself.These ideas have pushed us to consider what it is that students really need to know in a modern world, which we’re going to have spend some time this year thinking about. And it is in that whole Habits of Mind/new knowledge demands context comes Jackie’s “Twelve 21st Century Skills & Attributes: Educator Self-Assessment.” Jackie has framed this concept (modern teaching) through 12 characteristics, and again through teacher self-assessment questions for each characteristic.” To read further please click here:
“Google Classroom which is only six months old has managed to host over 30 million assignments turned in by teachers and students. This is a big sign that the tool is being widely endorsed within the education community particularly in the States. With this increasing popularity of Google Classroom, Google recently released some new updates to enhance its performance and make it more mobile friendly. The major update is the release of Google Classroom apps for both iPad and Android .
For those of you who are not familiar with google Classroom, here are some of the things you can do with this platform:
“20 years into my teaching career, I am embarking on what I feel is the third and perhaps last act.
The first 10 years, I was more or less a normal teacher — I taught units, I had fidelity to the curriculum. By the end, though, I sensed things were not quite right — I felt a pull to question and move away from units and try something different.
The next 10, I front-loaded all the curriculum into the first 1/3 of the year, and used the last 2/3 to return to it in ways that created meaning. This liberated the students and me from many things: units, due dates, even the compulsion to learn. Standardized test scores ended up high, which was deemed necessary in order for me to justify not following the curriculum pacing guide or anyone or anything in the 2nd part of the year. Students were motivated to “learn for themselves”, challenged to wring out personal lessons from whatever we were doing in class instead of being compelled to learn for an exam. It worked; I was into it, the kids were into it, and that pairing is really important.” To read further please click here: https://medium.com/teaching-learning/idle-confessions-of-a-teacher-trying-something-new-6897399ddf50>
“Educators literally have a “world of knowledge and resources” at their fingertips, as one director of curriculum and instructional technology declared in response to THE Journal’s national survey. “What better way to learn about the situation in Syria than tweeting #Syria and receiving a tweet from someone there?” But guiding your students in learning new concepts, gaining insights and building their skills requires you to be comfortable with the technologies that can make all of that happen.
Where do you start? We asked your colleagues that same question, and they responded in multitudes. Their recommendations covered the alphabetic gamut, from adaptivity and apps to wikis and a willingness to learn. Although the responses are ranked in order of popularity, you can begin your self-improvement plan anywhere on the list. No matter which one you decide to start with, these skills, sensibilities and products can help you run your classrooms more smoothly.” To read further please click here:
“Are you working harder than your students? Learn practical strategies for making the learning really matter to kids so they’re self-motivated in the classroom. You’ll discover how to inspire kids to give as much energy and effort in the classroom as you do!
This post is based on the latest episode of my weekly podcast, Angela Watson’s Truth for Teachers. A podcast is essentially a talk radio show that you can listen to online or download and take with you wherever you go. I release a new episode each Sunday and feature it here on the blog each Monday to help you get energized and motivated for the week ahead. Learn more about the podcast, view blog posts for all past episodes, or subscribe in iTunes to get new episodes right away.
We talked in the last episode about the importance of creating a reciprocal energy flow–gaining energy from kids instead of letting them drain you. This week’s episode is really a continuation of that topic, because if you want to get anything back from your kids, they’ve got to have some ownership over their learning.
Tell me if this is a familiar scene in your classroom: you ask a question, and the same 4 kids raise their hands every time. The kids aren’t listening to your directions and have no idea what to do for a task so you keep repeating yourself. You’re constantly trying to convince them that a topic is exciting and that the task is going to be fun, and they’re dragging their heels and only completing the work if you’re standing over them, praising, encouraging, threatening, yelling, bribing, or whatever trick you pull out of your bag that day.” To read further please click here:
As you watch the videos, you’ll be prompted to download Mix, so go ahead. But note that it’s a beta, so it isn’t finalized. There isn’t even a guarantee that Microsoft will continue to support it. You’ll see instructions to install it and when you do, you’ll have a new Mix tab on your ribbon, like this.” To read further please click here:
“Microsoft‘s Open Technologies subsidiary today announced new integration between Office 365 and Moodle, partnering with support and hosting services provider Remote Learner. This partnership brings with it a more productive experience for both teachers and students who use Moodle, affecting credentials, calendar management and course content.
The open source service plugins offered by Microsoft will help bolster the backbone to the experience offered by Remote Learner. OneDrive for Business, OneNote and Office 365 Outlook will integrate with Moodle, enabling students and teachers to log in with the same ID. Microsoft will officially release version 1.0 of this plugin on January 21 at the BETT (British Educational Training and Technology) Show.” To read further please click here:
“As many of you will know, every aspect of my teaching is completed in some form of digital manner. This includes everything from attendance and assessment, to resource creation and collaboration. However until recently there was one aspect of my teaching, that I still used paper for and regardless of the systems I trailed, nothing could sway me over to making the jump.
What was I refusing to do electronically?…..Well the answer might surprise you…… It was…… Lesson Planning.
Now the reason behind my refusal to switch, was purely based on my belief that there simply wasn’t a tool out there for me that included the features I needed. So after literally two years of planning, thinking, testing and consulting with other teachers I have finished work on an app that Im safe to say has resulted in me moving to a pure paperless existence has just been released.
Introducing Easy Planner
After two years of planing and development, my award winning Easy Planner app has finally been released. Essentially Easy Planner is a powerful lesson planning tool for the modern day teacher. Designed to work on ANY device with an internet connection. Plan all of your classes with ease with an intuitive interface designed to make lesson planning quick and efficient. Its also FREE.” To read further please click here:
“Great lessons have key characteristics. Many edu-bloggers have discussed the characteristics of great lessons but for me, the one person that nails it is as discussed in my introductory post to this series is Tom Sherrington. In his series he discusses the topic in some detail across ten posts. In my series I will be looking at how we can take these ideas and remix them while integrating technology in to the mix; not to take away the classic teaching methods he discusses but to augment them to help bring about new learning opportunities. In this post I’ll be looking at rigour.
In his post on the topic, Tom breaks it down in to some central themes:
“The nature of rigour can be highly subject specific, but there are some over-arching characteristics:
The teacher pitches the material very high; there is no doubt that the most able students in the room are challenged and engaged.
The teacher presents a strong command of the subject and uses that to select appropriately probing questions and tasks… this may come across as ‘passion’ but not necessarily. Rigour isn’t about excited enthusiasm; that is not what we’re talking about here.
The teacher can respond intelligently to questions and can back-fill or widen discussion with examples, counter-examples and tangential ideas.
Students are required to give precise answers, extended answers and answers that focus on the Why and How… not just the What.
“Google Forms has so many applications for education. For students to fill out to submit data to the teacher, for the teacher to record data on observations about students, for students and teachers to monitor their progress on a task they are tracking, for self and peer evaluation and so much more. Google Forms is the magic ingredient to help your classroom go paperless. Almost anything you were collecting on paper can now be collected through a Google Form. Rubric
Google Forms are great for using as a rubric. It allows you to quickly assess each student against the rubric and have all of the results in one spreadsheet for you to analyze. Self and Peer Evaluation
I am big into self and peer evaluation where students fill out the rubric for their own work or that of their peers. A little math: 30 students evaluating 30 students is 900 pieces of paper!! I do not want to collect and look through and organize 900 pieces of paper. Using a Google Form those 900 lines of data are neatly organized in a spreadsheet.” To read further please click here:
“I am aware that the computer science aspects of the new computing curriculum creates extra work for some teachers as they need to learn many unfamiliar concepts. I know this can be challenging and time consuming, but I think we are very fortunate because there is a vast range of free programming environments /apps available for teachers to use for teaching computer science elements to children. What we need to remember is that the program itself doesn’t just make children develop computational thinking, the context we use, the pedagogical approach we employ shapes the learning experience of our students.
On the next page I have shared a simple activity which can be used as a main task or as an assessment task at the end of a coding session. The aim is to support children to design solutions for a specific purpose by selecting and using correct blocks in a sequence. These activities can encourage them to think in logical steps which is the main foundation of problem solving skills and at the same time provide opportunities for peer or whole class discussions.
“First-day jitters are not the exclusive domain of students. Teachers also worry about what to wear, how to act, how to make a good first impression, and how the school year will turn out. If you are a fresh face on the teaching scene — or even if you’re just looking for new ways to hone your teaching skills — the following resources will help you get going. Building Relationships With Students, Parents, and Others
Building solid relationships with your students and their parents can help you adjust your teaching methods so that learning can be more personalized for your pupils. These resources will give you tips and ideas on how to forge those important bonds.
Back in August 2014, Edudemic published an article that served up five essential back-to-school relationship building tips for new teachers. One of your relationships should be with a mentor, whether that is an experienced coworker at your school or a mentor whom you find online.
What ingredients go into positive student-teacher relationships? In this resource, Phyllis Ohr, a teachers’ consultant and school psychologist, lists the elements of such relationships using “POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS” as an acronym. A few parts of the acronym stand for praise, openness, support, and interest.
Teachingthecore.com describes four keys to an impactful teaching career, one of which is the ability to get along with parents, administrators, and school support staff. The 14 tips that follow include things like assuming that administrators have positive motives and keeping in touch with parents via email.”
“Although it will be seen that there are good pedagogical reasons for using video, it presents much more of a challenge to faculty than the use of text or audio. Producing video that exploits the unique characteristics of video is not something that most faculty have the time or ability to do themselves, and adds substantial cost to a course. The alternative of course is video available as an open educational resources, and good luck with that. I had great difficulty in finding suitable open educational resources to use as examples (although there are talking heads in abundance). If anything, the availability of good quality video OERs has declined recently, with much of the material previously available through Open Learn and other sources such as iTunesU and even YouTube now removed. Copyright of good quality educational video is still pretty restricted, probably because of the high cost of producing it. Reliability of OERs is becoming a critically important issue. If an instructor cannot rely on an OER being available in a year or two after incorporation into their teaching, OERs won’t get used.” To read further please click here:
“A 21st century classroom is a classroom that is multimodally structured in such a way that students, teachers and parents are engaged in synchronous and asynchronous communicational pathways throughout the school year and beyond. Such a classroom is not restricted by geographical and temporal bounds. It is open and accessible to students and parents 24/7 because part of it is based on the cloud. The virtual classroom I am talking about here is definitely not an alternative to physical, brick and mortar classroom (though in some cases such as in MOOCs and online open courseware it is) but rather and extension of the learning that takes place in the real classroom.
“There are a handful of questions I can count on being asked at least once at every school in which I do instructional technology coaching. I’m sure many of you have the same issues, so I thought I’d share the answers here on the blog.
How to show YouTube videos at school
My school doesn’t care if I show educational video clips from YouTube, but the district blocks the site so the kids can’t use it–is there a way I can still show YouTube videos to the class? How do I ensure my students don’t see the inappropriate content that’s related to the video?
“I am a huge Google user. I know how to use Google’s apps and Chromebooks and use them all the time. But, there are times when I’d like some ideas for using Google’s apps in the classroom that will help my students learn subject matter and how to use some of these apps.
Google Apps for Education has a lesson plan page that has tons of lesson plans, from educators, using Google’s apps. It’s a great place to find some ideas to teach content and Google app use.You can search the lesson plans by Google app, subject, or grade level. There are some really great lesson plans here.With so many schools using Google Apps and/or Chromebooks, this is an excellent resource to share.”To read further please click here:
“The popular build-and-survive video game Minecraft could very well be the most surprising tech success of this decade. Created in 2009 by programmer Markus “Notch” Persson, expanded by a small team, and advertised mostly by word of mouth, it now has more than 100 million users. To drive home its success, Microsoft bought the game a few months ago for a staggering $2.5 billion.I’m sure you’ve heard many kids, teens, and adults in your life talking about Minecraft. Here’s why that might be a good thing, and how to keep it from turning bad.
1. It builds creativity
I’m a huge fan of Lego. My son and I have spent hours building the model on the box and then taking it apart and making whatever else we wanted by rearranging the parts. Minecraft gives kids the same creative freedom, but it’s easier on your bank account. Plus, you’ll never step on a loose piece barefoot in the dark.If you haven’t played or seen it, Minecraft is a very blocky world in that everything is built from blocks. The ground is made up of blocks, trees are blocks, and even your character avatar is very blocky. You get progress in the game by scavenging or mining blocks of various materials such as stone, wood, lava, etc. You use these as the basis for your creations, or combine them in “recipes” to create more advanced materials, tools and objects.” To read further please click here:
“When kids are bored, they find other things to entertain themselves with.They start talking with their friends in the next row.They shoot paper balls into the trash can.They start counting the number of tiles in the ceiling, or they suddenly have the urge to use the restroom.They stop listening to you, and start listening to whatever else is in their mind.
“From the beginning of the year until the end, these fun activities will get your students excited about learning. You should definitely go out and get some popsicle sticks for this.
1.The aim is for the child to sort through the blocks and create towers of the same word families. This game will unfortunately pose the same threats to bare feet as normal LEGO pieces do. You’ve been warned.2. Make popsicle stick number puzzles.Combine visual learning and numerical ordering with these DIY number puzzles. Children have to arrange the numbers first, looking to the puzzle as clues to see if they’re doing it correctly, which aids in self-assessment skills. Find the instructions here and use the images provided, or for higher grade levels, print more complex photos for your puzzles.” To read further please click here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/alessiasantoro/teachers-making-learning-fun-literally
“If you are a teacher, student, parent, or administrator, you should be following education blogs. Why? Simply because blogs are an ever-increasing way to spark ideas, creativity, and innovation. The following list is a compilation of blogs for those interested in education.
Written by parents, administrators, businessmen, teachers, and administrators, these blogs stand out with their unique style and excellent content.
“When you step into my classroom, you might find my students in the midst of creating Harlem Shake videos starring the robots of their own creation, or choreographing multiple robot dances. So what does this have to do with learning foundational robotics protocols like driving, turning and loops? How will this help students succeed in learning science, technology, engineering and math?
I began my 24 year teaching career as a high school English teacher, speech and debate coach, journalism adviser, and teacher of science fiction and fantasy. I have taught the full spectrum of students, from the lowest ability readers and students who intensely dislike school to the gifted and talented students and honors level literature students at the high school level. Starting as a humanities-based teacher and slowly morphing into a STEM middle school teacher in the last seven years has given me a strong base in connecting what I teach for Common Core and state standards, as well as in emphasizing written and spoken communication as a way to convey ideas.
In my teaching, I approach the STEM areas as a non-technical person, whose own learning curve has often been more challenging than that of my students. Like all teachers, I have learned along the way and encountered a variety of best practices related to motivating students to want to learn in the classroom.
.Game-based learning is a topic we have revisited numerous times on EmergingEdTech. The implications it has on student engagement and learning are powerful and cannot be overstated. If you have not already experimented with game-based learning with your class, make 2015 the year you do!
One program that is doing an outstanding job of gamifying Common Core Math is the Prodigy Math Game. Prodigy is a free, adaptive math game that integrates common-core math (grades 1-6) into a fantasy style game that students absolutely love playing. Prodigy takes game-based learning a step further and provides teachers with a powerful set of reporting and assessment tools that allow them to easily identify trouble spots, differentiate instruction, and better manage classroom time.” To read further please click here: http://www.emergingedtech.com/2015/01/prodigy-math-game-based-learning-for-common-core/
“A little over a week ago, we posted a story calling for submissions from teachers, administrators, and aides working in America’s public schools. The post itself received over 1,000 comments and my inbox was backed up with hundreds of emails from teachers who wanted to share not just horror stories but successes, too. Many told me they found the job fulfilling but the system broken, that the misconceptions about what they do were not only tiring but prohibitive. The comments section of the post had a fair number of non-teaching dissenters.
I think the most galling thing is that people are increasingly mad that teacher’s make a decent salary in most states and have a robust benefits package. People are made that they no longer have those benefits and I’m glad I have the union to fight for me and mine. People want to tear that down instead of fighting for their own benefit. It’s a race to the bottom and instead of attempting to build up the American worker to some stable plateau we want to just say “well I don’t get that, why should you?””
“Wearable technology’s role in education is closer than you think. In fact, New Media Consortium Horizon’s2013 report claims that “wearable technology will be a common classroom staple in 4-5 years.” According toJuniper Research, “13 million wearable technology devices were shipped in 2013 and expected to increase to 170 million by 2018.”
The increasing accessibility and application of wearable technology is making its debut into many industries, and education is next. Holding the belief that wearable technology’s application in education is “somewhere in the distant future” will have you finding yourself trying to play catch up.
Today educators have the ability to introduce video into the classroom, to use technology to flip their classrooms, and deliver lectures in unprecedented ways. With the introduction of wearable technology, the classroom will become a place of deep immersion in learning with attention to interactivity and a more hands-on approach. ” To read further please click here: http://blog.tophat.com/education-technology-myths-to-leave-behind/
“Google has announced that it will shortly be rolling out a new version of its Google Translate iOS app, with two significant enhancements.
First, it is replacing the existing camera-based text translation with the far slicker Word Lens system. Google acquired Word Lens back in May of last year with this upgrade in mind. If you haven’t ever tried it, this was the app that brought home to me the truth of the Arthur C Clarke saying that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
The near-instant augmented reality translation of signs and menus from any one of French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish–without needing an Internet connection–still makes me boggle every time I use it
Second, Google has added the simultaneous interpretation feature–where two people who speak different languages can hold a conversation with the benefit of instant, spoken translations–first seen in the Android app last year. It also now automatically recognizes which language is being spoken, so tap the mic once to start the service and you can then just pause when you want what you’ve said to be translated.” To read further please click here:
Here’s what happened in my classroom. I was teaching my hardest topic of the year — binary numbers, where students learn to add ones and zeros like a computer. It looks harder than it is, and many of my students will shut down and not even want to try. So I taught how to count in binary numbers, and we worked some examples together. After a few minutes, two students piped up.
“We’ve got this, it’s easy,” they said. “Can we move on?”
I looked at the other students and asked, “Do you have this?”
They nodded their heads furiously up and down in a “yes.”
My teacher instincts said that everyone knew it, but I decided to experiment. So I wrote a problem on the board. Students were already logged into Socrative, and a box opened up on their screens. Each student typed in his or her answer to the problem. They clicked enter, and all of their answers appeared on my screen beside the name of each student.” To read further please click here: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/5-fast-formative-assessment-tools-vicki-davis
“Art has long been recognized as an important part of a well-rounded education — but when it comes down to setting budget priorities, the arts rarely rise to the top. Many public schools saw their visual, performing and musical arts programs cut completely during the last recession, despite the many studies showing that exposure to the arts can help with academics too. A few schools are taking the research to heart, weaving the arts into everything they do and finding that the approach not only boosts academic achievement but also promotes creativity, self-confidence and school pride.
“Internet Citation Organizer is an excellent graphic organizer provided for free by Read Write Think. Students can use this fillable PDF document to help them record bibliographical information of the resources they use from Internet. These pieces of information can later on be used to properly cite and reference online materials and websites.” To read further please click here: