Useful Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Learning styles: fad or useful?

 I found this video as I was going though information about learning styles.

In the video Professor Daniel Willingham describes research showing that learning styles are a myth. It is interesting to watch.

This was an interesting perspective. The concept of learning styles has been around a long time. This video made me go back and reflect on why I was going to have my students look at learning styles.

I thought I would use an on-line survey with my students and have them analyse the results. It was to be a starting point for some discussion about how they like to learn best. Not about one way but all the ways they find they it easier to learn and the things that they find more difficult. I want to encourage my students to “own” their learning and become active participants in their own education. I want them to understand what it is that they find difficult and how they might go about improving in those areas. The information about how they like to learn, how they believe they learn best and what they need to improve upon, will not only help them but also help me when I am preparing lessons and resources. I have always tried to offer several approaches to the lessons/resources I want students to learn from, with varying degrees of success. It is always useful to get student feedback on what worked/didn’t work but it would be better if it included a description of the why (from each student).

I believe most teachers do not set put to simply ‘cater’ to their students’ strongest learning styles. Most of the better teachers try build up their students weaker abilities(learning styles) whilst giving them an opportunity to demonstrate and refine their strengths. The best teachers provide a balanced learning environments. that challenge and support all(most)students.  

I found watching Dan Willingham’s video interesting because it challenged other, very pro-learning style, theorists. I am still going to have my students do the learning style survey along the lines I indicated above. I want them to gain insight into their own learning strengths and weaknesses, so they can improve in all aspects as well as appreciate that the differences, within the class of 24 learners, to create a better learning environment. From here it is a small step to understanding the potential for wider learning opportunities, beyond the classroom walls.

Iam going to look at Dan Willingham’s Teaching Content Is Teaching Reading video next. If the 1st video is anything to go by, then this should give me something to think about as well.

Looking for inspiration

 ideas2inspireMy 201st post and it seems along time since my first one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Ideas to Inspire’ is a collection of Google Docs presentations, which offer a large number of ideas for engaging lesson activities in a range of curriculum areas.The presentations are a collaboration between lots of fantastic teachers around the world.

Mark Warner created the site that was inspired by the Google Docs presentations that were created by Tom Barrett. (He had a lot of contributions from the  many teachers who read his blog and are part of his Twitter network) Mark also found that many people responded to his idea and has put them into his site and included some of Tom Barrett’s presentations as well.

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Also have a look at what Tom Barrett writes on his blog ICT in the classroom. His blog post 100 Interesting Ways is a fantastic resource if you are looking for ideas that will engage students. There are some great slideshows that inspire you to use the technoloies available to make learning interesting. Ways of using GoogleEarth and GoogleDocs in the classroom as well as “35 ways to use your pocket video camera in the classroom“. The ideas are not too difficult and are easily adapted to all types of subjects and lessons. The ideas have come from teachers and have been shared with Tom, who has collated them into his slide presentations.

The latest of Tom’s posts was about using instant messaging to engage students in reading comprehension.

My target in the lesson was to engage the children with reading comprehension using technology we use in our classroom. I think we did that. It is taking what the children enjoy doing and harnessing that engagement, attempting to merge and utilise the skills they use outside of school to impact on their engagement with their learning.

After a long day or a meeting, where you hear stories about how technology does not work as well as pen and paper when educating young people, it is really good to be able to find these websites. Here you can read about positive stories and be reminded of all the times when lessons have been successful in engaging students, in learning and higher-order thinking, whilst using a variety of digital resources for the activities.

Useful Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

iPods in the classroom

I found this video on Christine Southard’s Blogspot.  In  it you will see some great examples on how iPods could be used as a helpful technological tool in our classrooms.

Our school is looking to change the previously restrictive policies on these technologies in the classroom. Every example we get to show how they can be used to aid learning is great. There are so many possibilities for iPod use in the classroom  that spring from the video.

 

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