Student Centered Instructional Methods

Another one of Mia Macmeekin’s great infographics. This one offers inspiration to teachers with a range of 28 different ideas for promoting active learning in the classroom situation. These suggestions are general in nature so they can be applied to various types of lessons and learning areas. There are brief statements included to give starters to teachers for planning lessons.

Students are the focus in in the learning processes mentioned here. They involve individual learning methods, group work and communication between students and some include using various technologies.

This is a great overview different methodologies that could make any classroom management more inclusive and welcoming to all students.

An Ethical Island

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What makes a good teacher in 2016

We have recently had parent teacher conferences, some professional learning activities and staff appraisals, for a number of our teachers, occur at this time each year. This has prompted some discussions about what teachers do and what should they do.

I found the following infographic interesting and thought it might form the basis for further discussions. It would be interesting to hear what my colleagues think about what attributes are need to be a good teacher in today’s schools and what it will take to be so in the future.
What Makes a Good Teacher in 2016 Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Useful links

Your Online Presence is a Digital Tattoo, Not a Footprint | The Golden Age of Education Some nice infographics that explain why why we must model and demonstrate how to actively create digital tattoos instead of passively leaving digital footprints.
DERN: Digital Educatioonal Research Network (DERN) “Free Research Reviews – published fortnightly. The latest 2 research reviews are FREE.”
IFLA School Library Guidelines, 2nd edition This is the new edition of the School Library Guidelines, approved by the IFLA Professional Committee in June 2015.
These guidelines constitute the second edition of the IFLA ‘School Library Guidelines’. The first edition of the school library guidelines was developed in 2002. They have been developed to assist school library professionals and educational decision-makers in their efforts to ensure that all students and teachers have access to effective school library programs and services, delivered by qualified school library personnel.
TLT | Australian Teaching and Learning Toolkit What impacts most on student learning. Teaching and Learning toolkit
Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner | MacArthur Foundation – YouTube A thought provoking video about critical and creative thinking from John Seely Brown
Bebras Australia | Digital Careers Computational Thinking Challenge For Students “Bebras is an international student challenge whose goal is to promote computational thinking for teachers and students (ages 8-17 / school years 3-12). Bebras is aligned with and supports information and communication technology curricula across Australia. Bebras Australia is run by NICTA under the Digital Careers program, funded by the Australian Government. It’s a great way to get students interested and participating in information and communication technology (ICT) which could lead to an interest in pursuing a career in the exciting ICT industry!”
ISTE | 9 resources for teaching digital citizenship “In classrooms where digital citizenship is taught effectively, the teachers often share two things in common: They model ethical technology use for their students on a daily basis, and they naturally incorporate conversations about it whenever technology is part of their lesson plan. In other words, they weave digital citizenship seamlessly throughout their curriculum.” There are some resources here to help you ion your task
8 Apps for Testing Student-Created Curriculum Many teachers still create their own lesson plans, activities, and assessments based on curriculum standards and scope and sequences provided by their various educational guiding bodies. Technology can give students more opportunities whilst still allowing teachers to maintain a guiding hand.

Mean What You Say: Defining and Integrating Personalized, Blended and Competency Education – iNACOL “This paper provides a scan of the literature to expand the knowledge base for the field of online, blended, and competency-based education. Authors seek to integrate the core ideas of personalized learning, blended learning, competency education, and standards. The goal of the paper is to explain the nuances of key terms used across the field of K-12 education related to personalized, blended and competency education, and how the ideas integrate in order to create new learning models.”

The right conditions for creativity — The Learner’s Way “Creativity is best served by a culture that values it. Ultimately the sum total of our beliefs, attitudes and behaviours will define our cultural valuing of creativity. Encouraging creativity begins with what we say and what we do to support it but the ultimate success of our endeavours will be measured by the degree to which creativity becomes a part of the culture of a school.”
A Handy Chart Featuring Some of The Best Tools and Apps for Creating Educational Screencasts ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “A screencast is a great way for teachers to create and share instructional videos and explanatory step-by-step tutorials with students. The quality of the video screen captures can sometimes impede the communicative intent of the message. Therefore, knowing what tools to use to create educational screencasts is as important as the content of the screencasts themselves. To assist teachers this curated collection of some of the best screen casting tools was put together. They are divided into four major categories: Web tools, Chromebook apps, iPad apps, and Android apps.”
Using Twitter In The Classroom – From The Perspective Of Students | The Edvocate At the end of the year students were asked to reflect on their classroom highlights. Using twitter in the classroom was one of those. The are some interesting comments
Stories Teachers Share | Free listening on SoundCloud  Katrina Schwartz and Ki Sung at MindShift started a podcast titled “Stories Teachers Share”. It highlightst the many varied and interesting work teachers do daily. It gives teachers the opportunity to help the larger community better understand what it really means to be a teacher.

Letting Students Lead the Learning | An effective way to have students learn about a topic. “Instead of giving them access to that Google Document full of information and instructions, I asked students to investigate RSA animation to find out what it is and how they are created. Then groups worked together to write a project proposal explaining how they were going to execute this project. It required them to think through the purpose, strategy, and process before beginning their work. It asked them to do the work that most teachers do for them.”

Portal 2 Puzzle Maker – Valve Developer Community “The Puzzle Maker (also known as Puzzle Creator or Editor) is an in-game puzzle editor that allows the creation, testing, and publishing (to Steam Workshop) of custom single-player and co-op test chambers. The Editor also adds new lines from Cave Johnson which, altogether, adds a story to downloaded test chambers. The DLC introduces the player to “The Multiverse” which contains an infinite number of Earths, an infinite number of Apertures, and therefore, an infinite number of test chambers.

Puzzle Maker is not intended as a replacement of Hammer, which while more powerful and generalized in nature, is significantly more difficult and time consuming to use. It is possible to export a VMF from Puzzle Maker and open it in Hammer; many mappers do this to add polish or features that are not currently possible using the Puzzle Maker. Some mappers use the Puzzle Maker to quickly iterate through (and test) puzzle designs before building a chamber from scratch with Hammer. It is not possible to load a Hammer VMF file in Puzzle Maker.”
Kids Start Coding Their Vocab | Teacher Tech An interesting approach that teaches coding and gives students a reason to do it. The idea is to practice coding using Google Docs. Links to more how-tos and extra options also in the piece
10+ Tips for Using Brain Based Methods to Redesign Your Classroom | EdSurge News Interesting article. If are you looking to redesign your learning environment, this piece offers some ideas about where you might start.
10 Things Every Teacher Should be able to do on Google Docs | Indiana Jen Google Docs is a powerful word processing tool that many schools are now using. Most of its features are intuitive to use and it can function like of a traditional word processor, it also provides more capabilities that offer teachers many valuable options.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

TEEN ZONE – Book Lists Some useful loists for YA literature. Grouped under various topics and each book given a short description.
7 Ways You Can Be a Digital Citizenship Leader Webinar presented by Susan Bearden, Director of Information Technology at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy and hosted by Common Sense Education.
Global Digital Citizenship—in 15 Minutes! (Global Digital Citizen) “tTe final instalment of our Global Digital Citizenship in 15 Minutes blog series. This series covers the 21st Century Fluencies and Global Digital Citizenship. It shows how to explore them with students in 15 minutes or less each day. In this one they they look at the Global Digital Citizen.”
Science Of Persuasion – YouTube “The animated video describes the six universal Principles of Persuasion that have been scientifically proven to make you most effective as reported in Dr. Cialdini’s groundbreaking book, Influence” useful ideas to keep in mind
24 Websites to Offer Coding at School “A collection of some of the best tools to help teach coding in schools. They included sites for training for teachers to prepare to teach programming, and games to keep students learning beyond the classroom.”
Free Technology for Teachers: The 2016 Google Science Fair is Now Open “To help students develop project ideas the Google Science Fair website offers a Make Better Generator. The Make Better Generator site asks students to complete the phrases “I love,” “I’m good at,” and “I will make better.” From the students’ responses to these questions the Make Better Generator site generates a collection of videos and websites that could spark project ideas in their minds.”

Make Better Generator – Google Science Fair 2016 This may be a useful device to help students develop project ideas for science. On the Google Science Fair website there is a Make Better Generator. The Make Better Generator site asks students to complete the phrases “I love,” “I’m good at,” and “I will make better.”  From the students’ responses to these questions the Make Better Generator site generates a collection of videos and websites that could spark project ideas in their minds.

The Importance of your Digital Reputation – Cyberbullying Research Center “Those who do not learn how to utilize social media strategically run a great risk of encountering obstacles when seeking employment or admission. Research has been clear that social media can serve important professional purposes, such as personal branding, self-promotion ad impression management (Chen, 2013; Jackson & Lilleker, 2011; Labrecque et al., 2011; Zhao et al., 2013), and we encourage its intentional positive use. We suggest that all youth (and young adults!) work extra hard to do great things at school and in their community (e.g., making the honor roll, volunteering, extra-curricular activities, etc.) so that when one does search for them, they find evidence of hard work, integrity, and civic-mindedness.”

George Couros: The 8 Ingredients of the Innovator’s Mindset – Cool Cat Teacher Blog  “The greatest innovation in the modern classroom happens not when we innovate with technology. It begins with the Innovator’s Mindset. George Couros shares these 8 important ingredients of the Innovator’s Mindset in this new show series. “
This is the Future of Education | John Spencer “The future of education can’t be found in a gadget or an app or a program or a product. It doesn’t require a think tank full of pundits. The future of education can be found in the classroom. The classroom is packed with creative potential. Teachers have all the innovation they need right there in their room and they they have the power to make it happen. “
Three Reasons Students Should Own Your Classroom’s Twitter and Instagram Accounts | EdSurge News “Social media is happening—with or without teachers. The lessons students learn by taking ownership of social media ends up enhancing all of their work, both in and out of school.
Type with your voice – Docs editors Help The official list of available commands for editing and formating Google Docs by voice from Google.
An Educator’s Guide to Acceptable Risk Taking @coolcatteacher “Risk taking is not a bad word. If we want to help students read, write, and learn anything – we have to learn to take risks. But how can we understand what risks are worth taking? How can principals, teachers, and students learn how to take acceptable risks? From routine busting to reflection, George Couros, author of the Innovator’s Mindset helps us understand the risks and rewards of great teaching.”
National Poetry Month: Useful Resources for Teachers and Students | Edutopia “This is a great place for students to explore the works of favorite poets, from Oscar Wilde to Percy Shelley. All of the poems are in the public domain and are open and accessible for classrooms. The Poetry Foundation also features an immense collection of more than 12,000 poems that are searchable by topic, occasion, author, and more.”

10 Things Your Kids Can Learn Online Infographic

There is still a lot of discussion about the internet and how useful/wasteful/dangerous it is for our children. Like all things, it is how you use it and whether you have developed the skills to get the best from it.

 This infographic from the Pumpic team makes some suggestions. The team has selected 20 services that they believe will teach your kids 10 skills for life. Starting from essentials, like reading and improving grammar, to cool ones: playing the guitar and programming. All of these is easy to achieve with educational games available online and apps introduced on kids learning sites

10 Things Your Kids Can Learn Online Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Useful links

 Public Domain Poems – Selected Public Domain Poetry from the Great Public Domain Poets – Yeats, Shelley, Whitman, Frost,Tennyson,Wilde, Browning, Hardy and many more! This is a great place for students to explore the works of favorite poets, from Oscar Wilde to Percy Shelley. All of the poems are in the public domain and are open and accessible for classrooms. The Poetry Foundation also features an immense collection of more than 12,000 poems that are searchable by topic, occasion, author, etc.
4 Strategies for Teaching Students How to Revise | Edutopia ” The classroom writing process involves: Brainstorming (Think About It) Drafting (Getting It Down). Revising (Making It Better). Editing (Making It Right). Publishing (Sharing It!). At the beginning of the writing process, I have had students write silently. For it to be successful, in my experience, students need plenty of topics handy (self-generated, or a list of topics, questions, and prompts provided). Silent writing is a wonderful, focused activity for the brainstorming and drafting stage of the writing process. I also think it’s important that the teacher write during this time, as well (model, model, model). However, when it comes to revising, and later, editing, I think peer interaction is necessary. Students need to, for example, “rehearse” words, phrases, introductions, and thesis statements with each other during the revision stage”
10 Things You Need to Know to Develop a Growth Mindset“Some suggestions you could follow to develop a growth mindset. It will help you to look at situations and problems from a new perspective.”
5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Unmotivated Students | Cult of Pedagogy  “This blog post offers a ways of diagnosing a problem many teachers struggle with. What we perceive to be reduced student motivation may be, in part, be caused by our decisions. This post looks 5 questions to help use turn this around.”
Teaching Geography – A Unit on Liveability for 5/6/7Australian Curriculum Lessons “Summary of Unit: Students will explore features of a range of countries and the factors that influence where and how people live. Students will investigate the inquiry question: ‘How liveable is Australia?’ Students will compare life in another country and will choose from Europe, North America, Asia and Europe. Throughout the inquiry students will be collecting a variety of data and information, recording and representing data with the focus of maps, tables, charts and graphs”
10 Teacher Tools to “Techify” Your Classroom – Learn2Earn Blog “Thereis a vast array of technology tools that can be used in the classroom to increase student engagement. Sometimes, however, the world of educational technology can seem daunting and extremely overwhelming. The list of of teacher tools listed here will hlp to “techify” your lessons one step at a time. Each one has the potential to enhance your classroom biome and get students excited about your content.

How Minecraft could help teach chemistry “Minecraft is more than just a game and used carefully it can also be a powerful educational tool. It allows young people to create and explore places that are completely inaccessible by other means. Within the blocky world, they can roam around historical sites, delve into the geology beneath their feet or fly through the chambers of a heart, and much more besides.

The rich resources of these virtual worlds, coupled with the educational version of the game, allow teachers to immerse young people in a comfortable but exciting learning environment. Minecraft has the ability to bring just about any conceivable structure to the classroom, and beyond.
Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job — The Message — Medium “It’s about preserving our digital history, which as we know now, is as easy to delete as 15 years of GeoCities.We can’t expect for-profit corporations to care about the past, but we can support the independent, nonprofit organizations that do.”

100+ Great Google Classroom Resources for Educators “Google Classroom allows teachers to easily manage student work and teaching with Google Docs, Google Forms, Google Spreadsheets and anything Google. This handy tool has opened up the doors of blended learning and collaborative classrooms like never before. Teachers wanting to implement Google Classroom can use these resources to get started, level up their learning, or become a pro at all things Google. Vicki Davis spent several weeks combing through resources and has picked some of her favorites.”

Part 3: Tech Resources and Tools for Differentiated Learning … Writing Process | 21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning “The focus of the post is on Differentiated learning using writing technology tools. The author sees this as multiple concepts. One dealing with the actual writing process and the others provide tools and resources for  various writing opportunities  and student engagement”
graphite | The best apps, games, websites, and digital curricula rated for learning A free service from the terrific Common Sense Education site that makes it easy to discover the best apps, games, and websites for classroom use. There are many reviews of tools such as Edmodo, Kahoot, ClassDojo, and LightSail put up by educators. Assists in finding the best edtech tools by providing reviews written by teachers in the classroom and experts in the field. “On Graphite, you can learn best practices for teaching and connecting with our growing community of educators.”

How Turning Math Into a Maker Workshop Can Bring Calculations to Life | MindShift | KQED News Great practical (hands-on) approach to teaching maths concepts

These Two Buttons in Google Drive Will Help Keep You Organized | The Gooru “To help locate files more quickly, Google has relocated two buttons in Drive to help you organize your files and avoid spending time searching for a document. These buttons will appear when you are in Shared with me, Recent, Starred, or looking at Search results in Drive. When you select a document in one of these views, the below bar will appear at the top of your Drive page.”

5-Minute Film Festival: Teaching Digital Citizenship | Edutopia A good range of options if you are looking for short videos/films as entry points to discuss digital citizenship with students.
20 Free Stock Photo Sites for Your Social Media Images “An annotated list of some free stock photo sites whose images fall under CC0 license.”
Good Free Photos – Free Public Domain Stock Photos Many unique public domain photos.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

Educational Postcard: We need authentic by Ken Whytock, on Flickr
Educational Postcard: We need authentic” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by  Ken Whytock 

 

6 Reasons You Should Be Doing Digital Storytelling with Your Students | Getting Smart ” Digital storytelling is a blend of video, audio, images, and text to convey stories, information, and ideas. If you are not yet convinced of the benefits of digital storytelling, this post gives you the top six reasons why you should be doing digital storytelling activities with your students.”

Free Technology for Teachers: How to Set a Time Limit on Google Forms

“Post created after a question from a teacher who was looking for a way to impose a time limit on a quiz or test administered through Google Forms. My suggestion was to try using the Google Forms Add-on called Form Limiter. In the video embedded Richard Byrne demonstrate how to install and use Form Limiter.”

Free Technology for Teachers: Choosito – A Search Engine With Reading Level Index “Students who feel overwhelmed by unfiltered results on Google or Bing, could benefit from using Choosito to filter search results. Likewise, students who have trouble refining their search terms could benefit from Choosito’s “related searches” suggestions. Teachers who are looking for reading materials for their students, should appreciate the option to filter results to a reading level appropriate for their students”

The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels” | Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… Having the “same” text written for different levels of English comprehension can be a life-saver for a multi-level class of English Language Learners or for a teacher with a mainstream class that includes some students that are facing other challenges. They can be an important tool for differentiation.
Listed here are a few sources where you can get these different versions other than creating them yourself.

10 Chrome Extensions Every Student Should Install | The Thinking Stick A useful annotated list with some good suggestions (for students and teachers).
3 Steps to Becoming a Coding Teacher | Edutopia The are some good ideas here as well as some questions you could ask before beginning coding in your classroom.
Unlocking the Code for Robotics in the Classroom | Edutopia The post discusses five reasons why teachers should consider purchasing robotics for the K-12 classroom.

Kiddle – visual search engine for kids This search engine is powered by editors and Google safe search. Kiddle blocks all explicit content by default so you, as the user, don’t need to change any settings. Creators state that it is not possible to turn off the safe search filter on this search engine. It also has filtering so that in the case of some inappropriate words are present in a search query, the “guard robot” will block the search.
Most search results are illustrated with large thumbnails, making it easier to scan the results, differentiate between the sites, and click the most appropriate results to the query. The thumbnails serve as visual clues and are especially beneficial to kids . The text for the search results is in large Arial font, for easy readability for students.

Trust, Authenticity, and Genuine Digital Leadership | Edutopia “We all have the capacity to influence our profession and the digital tools that we have access to provide us with a forum to reach an audience of educators who are willing to listen and be influenced. If our colleagues are listening to us, we better make sure that we’re genuine and authentic. Those of us who are in a position to lead (which is arguably all of us!) should work at earning the trust of the professionals we may have influence over and these four pointers provide some influence that I hope will be helpful.”

4 Great Google Drive Add-ons for Math Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning  The Google drive add-ons/apps discussed here enable you to solve mathematical equations, create graphs, work on complex calculations, perform basic math/stat operations of cell values in a Google Docs table. They also foffer other options depending on how you want to use them.

Seven Stages in Moving from Consuming to Creating | John Spencer “here are seven stages I see students go through as they shift from being consumers of media to creators of media:”
6 New EdTech Tools for Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “Some of the things you can do with these web tools include: creating different types of diagrams (e.g flowcharts and organizational charts), solve math problems using Symbolab calculator, design print-friendly Bingo cards to use in class, build and share word searches online, convert/compress and share video files”
SparkNotes: Today’s Most Popular Study Guides Spark Notes is a fantastic tool to help students through difficult assignments and essays in Literature and English classes. The notes shouldn’t be a replacement for reading. Rather, use them as an aid to help you understand the concepts. If you’re reading Shakespeare, for instance, Spark Notes will help you understand the language so you can better understand the story. Spark Notes can also offer study tips or break up the text into smaller pieces to help students manage their workload.
Teaching Students the Skills of Expert Readers | Edutopia “A summary of the seven strategies of highly skilled readers. A brief purpose for using each strategy is provided along with a corresponding protocol. The seven strategies can be used with a variety of texts depending on the discipline.”
4 Student-friendly Tools for Creating Educational Presentations ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning “a collection of some very good  tools you can use in class with students to create beautiful presentations and slideshows. All of these tools are web-based and do not require any software download. They are also very simple and easy to use so students won’t have any major problems working on them.”
STUDYBLUE | Find and share online flashcards and notes from StudyBlue. Any subject, anywhere, anytime. Study Blue lets students across all ages and subjects create flashcards to help with the study process. The website will store your flashcards for later use, or for the use of others who might want a more cumulative set of study resources. Study Blue boasts the “largest and fastest growing library of online study materials,” including quizzes, review sheets, and the aforementioned flashcards.
Free Technology for Teachers: 4 Free Tools for Creating & Playing Interactive Quiz Games “This post looks at 4 interactive quiz game tools that Richard Byrne has used with great success in his classroom and or in his workshops.”
Crafting Connections: Four-Star Reading Responses “An anchor chart that shows the progression from a 1-star Post-it note to a 4-star Post-it note for upper elementary students based on the Say Something Post-it Note reading strategy.”
Wacky Books Will Hook Reluctant Readers “Some suggestions for when you have a child who doesn’t want to read, a reluctant reader. Get them engaged in a wacky book or silly story.”
Historical Inquiry: 20+ Creative Ways History Teachers Can use Primary Sources @coolcatteacher  “Historical inquiry helps make history class exciting. History teachers can use primary sources in creative, exciting ways to make history come alive. What is historical inquiry? How can it be used to teach history? How can you use technology, creativity, and exciting projects to teach history? The post explains how.”
How to Determine if Student Engagement is Leading to Learning | MindShift | KQED News  “With or without technology, there always seems to be a great deal of emphasis on student engagement, but the fact of the matter is that engagement does not necessarily equate to learning.”
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
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