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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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

Recognizing and Overcoming False Growth Mindset | Edutopia “A growth mindset is the belief that you can develop your talents and abilities through hard work, good strategies, and help from others. It stands in opposition to a fixed mindset, which is the belief that talents and abilities are unalterable traits, ones that can never be improved. Research has shown (and continues to show) that a growth mindset can have a profound effect on students’ motivation, enabling them to focus on learning, persist more, learn more, and do better in school. Significantly, when students are taught a growth mindset, they begin to show more of these qualities. However, I slowly became aware that not all educators understood the concept fully. Identifying a False Growth Mindset: It all started when my Australian colleague Susan Mackie informed me that she was seeing more and more false growth mindset. This is when educators think and do all sorts of things that they simply call growth mindset.”

Aligning Assessments with Learning Objectives – TeachOnline “When you are creating a course, strive to design with the end in mind. After you have established a set of measurable learning objectives for your course, work to develop assessments that are aligned with your stated learning objectives. Think of the learning objectives as a set of skills, knowledge, or abilities that your students will be able to demonstrate a mastery of at the end of the course. Then consider the assessments as a way for the student to prove they are capable of that mastery.”

Innovation Is Not a One Time Event | Connected Principals “One of the things that have to really see is that innovation in school is not about a day, a week, or a class.  Although creating those experiences are great, if you look at these characteristics above, how can we promote them through what we do everyday in school?”

Five Ways to Build Your School’s Instructional Brand and Connect with Families | EdSurge News “Although the obvious result of the work discussed in the post is about creating high levels of transparency between the home and school, the byproduct is making your instructional brand clear to the entire community.”

What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship | Edutopia “Digital Citizenship or Just Citizens? There are those like expert Anne Collier who think we should drop the word “digital” because we’re really just teaching citizenship. These are the skills and knowledge that students need to navigate the world today. We must teach these skills and guide students to experience situations where they apply knowledge. Citizenship is what we do to fulfill our role as a citizen. That role starts as soon as we click on the internet. In the classroom, there are two essential approaches in the digital citizenship curriculum that Vicki Davis uses to teach: proactive knowledge and experiential knowledge.
“Proactive Knowledge: I want my students to know the “9 Key Ps” of digital citizenship. I teach them about these aspects and how to use them. While I go into these Ps in detail in my book Reinventing Writing, here are the basics”
“Experiential Knowledge: During the year, I’ll touch on each of these 9 Key Ps with lessons and class discussions, but just talking is not enough. Students need experience to become effective digital citizens. Here’s how I give them that:”

Learning with ‘e’s: Learning from each other  Corneli and Danoff’s approach – paragogy – anyone can teach anyone else, because everyone knows something, but no-one knows everything. Students can even teach their teachers, in an extreme form of flipped learning”

Critical Thinking: A Necessary Skill in the Age of Spin | Edutopia “Fortunately, when students are educated about information-gathering techniques and critical thinking, they have the tools necessary to see through spin and make decisions based on fact, rather than myth or propaganda. Regardless of your subject, critical thinking is one of the most important skills you can teach.”

Tools and Materials – Maker Ed’s Resource Library ““Tools and Materials” contains lists and examples of useful tools and resources in making activities and makerspaces, including suggestions for consumables, hardware, machines, open source software, and other technologies. This category also includes guidance or tutorials on specific tools or skills. The resources in the post are listed in alphabetical order, as a default. They are also organized into subcategories, accessible by the tabs at the top of the grid. When hovering over each box, keywords provide a simple description and glimpse into the content of the resource, which is accessible by clicking on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner.”

2016 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers | Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) “The Quick Picks list, presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting suggests books that teens, ages 12-18, will pick up on their own and read for pleasure; it is geared to the teenager who, for whatever reason, does not like to read. The 2016 list features 67 titles and 2 series, drawn from 181 nominations.”

16 Things Teachers Should Try in 2016 [infographic] | Shake Up Learning “This is a list of 16 Things for Teachers to Try in 2016 to help inspire educators to try something new this year. Not expensive and adaptable.”

Culture of Creativity or Constraints? – Curiosity, Exploration, Wonder “There are a few possibilities discussed here that help to create that culture of free creativity and innovation. Educators need to build this culture at a young age and when challenges arise students will have what it takes to innovate. How will we bring about opportunities for students to explore their creativity and innovate?”

Top 5 Emerging EdTech Trends you Must Know in 2016 “The post looks at the top 5 big trends in e-learning and education technology that could change the teaching-learning in 2016 and beyond. There are some key ideas here for online educators as well as for teach-preneurs in E-learning and educational technology.”

The Teacher’s Guide for Using Social Media [Infographic] “Online Colleges created this simple teacher’s guide for using social media below. It provides some specific strategies for applying tools like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube to any classroom. It has tips for communicating and curating, and celebrating student work. ”

7 innovative Australian startups bringing education into the 21st century | Ideas Hoist “This post looks at seven startups which look to either fill in some gaps, or improve on old habits across the whole spectrum of education”

10 Epic Tools Busy Teachers Need to Be Aware of A useful annotated list of tools.

What is a Makerspace? | Create, Collaborate, Innovate “Making looks different at different types of makerspaces. However, schools, public libraries, and even artist collaboratives have some universal themes that tie us all together (and owning a 3D printer isn’t one of them.)”

Learn2Earn | Whooos Reading This online, gamified reading log rewards kids for reading and motivates them to read more. After logging their most recent reading, they answer a CCSS-aligned comprehension question. They earn Wisdom Coins for logging their reading and answering the questions, which can be spent in the Owl Store where they buy virtual accessories for their Owlvatar. The reward system motivates kids to read more every day and gives teachers a chance to monitor what students are reading outside of the classroom Different priciing options

Studio Pango | Funny apps for smart kids Young reader are in control with this reading app. It allows them to be directly involved in the story. They are encouraged to explore what’s going on, find hidden objects, move characters from one place to another, and more. The reading levels progress as the student improves so the app allows kids to move onto more complex texts when they are ready.

PlayTales Kids apps | iPhone, iPad, Android Interactive books for kids | Apps for children. This app, available on IOS and Android, gives students unlimited access to classic, new, and educational stories (for a low monthly fee). Because it’s interactive, students are encouraged to dive deeper into the text, whether they’re simultaneously drawing or watching the words come to life with animation.

What Should I Read Next? Book recommendations from readers like you This simple website does one thing: tells you what books to read based on the book you input in the search field. Students can get frustrated when selecting their own reading material, making reading more stressful than it needs to be. Give your students access to this website when choosing a new book; they’ll be excited to see what comes up and feel more confident with their choices.

A Beginner’s Guide To Personalized Learning – “There is a difference between personalized learning and differentiation. Differentiation is a kind of personalized instruction, where teachers adjust process, & product, according to a student’s readiness, interest, & learning style. Planning of the learning starts with the content, and the content remains the same for all students. This is a school and curriculum-centered approach that attempts to amend the delivery of the content to match the student’s needs, strengths, and general readiness.
Personalized learning starts with the learner and asks the question, “What does this student need to understand, and how best can that happen?” This is a student-centered approach, and is built around the idea of recognizing the vast differences in students–not just in terms of literacy or schema, but an authentic need to know.”

35 Digital Tools To Create Simple Quizzes And Collect Feedback From Students “The sites, tools, and apps mentioned here can save teachers time by allowing them to create simple quizzes that can be taken asynchronously, and make polls and forms to collect feedback from students (content-based or otherwise).”

6 Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning | Edutopia “Project-based learning (PBL) naturally lends itself to differentiated instruction. By design, it is student-centered, student-driven, and gives space for teachers to meet the needs of students in a variety of ways. PBL can allow for effective differentiation in assessment as well as daily management and instruction.  We all need to try out specific ideas and strategies to get our brains working in a different context. Here are some specific differentiation strategies to use during a PBL project.”

How You Can Become a Champion of Digital Citizenship in Your Classroom | EdSurge News“Why Digital Citizenship is No Longer Just an “Elective” As teachers, it is now part of our responsibility to lead by example when it comes to sound digital citizenship practices. As soon as children have devices in their hands, they should be educated about digital citizenship and their digital footprint. Think about this: even before babies are born, they have a digital shadow, because pictures and other media are shared about them via various social media outlets.”

25 Critical Thinking Apps For Extended Student Learning – “There are many apps that do promote critical thinking–and often extended critical thinking and learning at that. These aren’t clinical “critical thinking building” programs either, but rather often enjoyable exercises in strategy, tactics, and problem-solving thought. In this post there is a collection of 25 of these critical thinking apps. Most are for grades 8-12, but several are for students as young as kindergarten.”

Teens can’t tell the difference between Google ads and search results | The Verge “The familiar narrative of teens and technology is one of natural proficiency — that young people just get technology in a way that older generations don’t. But research suggests that just because children feel at home using smartphones, it doesn’t mean they’re more aware of the nuances of how the web works. In a new report published by the UK’s telecoms watchdog Ofcom, researchers found that only a third of young people aged 12 to 15 knew which search results on Google were adverts, while this figure was even lower — less than one in five — for children aged 8 to 11”

Open Educational Resources (OER): Resource Roundup | Edutopia “Explore this educator’s guide to open educational resources for information about online repositories, curriculum-sharing websites, sources for lesson plans and activities, and open alternatives to textbooks.”

Free Technology for Teachers: How to Get Free eBooks on Your Mobile Device “With the rise and prominence of eBooks have come a number of resources for educators and students to access free content on virtually any device. Using e-readers, tablets, or computers; in conjunction with apps such as Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Google Play Books, and OverDrive; you can access libraries of books for free on virtually any device. By downloading these free apps, you make your device a digital reading device that is not dependent on a specific vendor. ”

Digital Citizenship Resources for the Home | Common Sense Media “You don’t have to be an expert on texting, Instagram, Minecraft — or whatever else your kids are into — to have The Talk. Start by reading up on what’s going on in your kids’ world (for younger kids and older kids). Ask them to show you what they like online, and why. Make sure to listen🙂 Then, express a few basic expectations, with the understanding that this isn’t a one-and-done kind of chat.

Writing commons – Home “A free, comprehensive, peer-reviewed, award-winning Open Text for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research.”
“Writing Commons is a viable alternative to expensive writing textbooks. Faculty may assign Writing Commons for their composition, business, STEM/Technical Writing, and creative writing courses. Writing Commons houses seven main sections: Information Literacy | Research Methods & Methodologies | Writing Processes | Collaboration | Genres | New Media | Style ”

7 Fun (And Effective!) Reading Websites That Engage Students “A collection of a number of websites that teachers, parents and students can use to help guide student reading selections. The aim : to assist students to find books to that they really like, then they’ll be more inclined to make time in their busy schedules for reading.”

A Collection of Project Based Learning End Products — Learning in Hand “Post discusses products created by students through project based learning experiences, with an emphasis on what students create to express their answer to a driving question than just read a summary of the project.
Gathered here are some samples can be used as inspiration for your class projects. And, critiquing these samples can help students think of ways to make their own productions better.”

Worlds of Learning | Top Ten Makerspace Favorites of 2015 “The most successful makerspaces include tools, materials and resources that inspire and allow for an environment rich with possibilities, allowing all students the opportunity for open-ended exploration.  In addition to tried-and-true favorites such as Spheros, Makey-Makey kits, littleBits, and Legos, there is now such a vast array of makerspace-related products available. As this year draws to a close, we can’t help but reflect upon some of our favorite makerspace things. “

Free Technology for Teachers: Digital Note-Taking with OneNote “Two features distinguish OneNote from other note-taking apps like Evernote. First, notes can be shared and collaboratively edited in real time – much like Google Docs. This includes collaborative handwriting when on tablets. Next, OneNote notes can be opened and edited in multiple locations at the same time. Consider a student taking notes in OneNote on a laptop or Chromebook while inserting photos from their phone”

Resources and Downloads to Facilitate Inquiry-Based Learning | Edutopia “Find information, strategies, protocols, and tools — including resources and downloads from teachers and schools – to promote curiosity and engage students in asking questions, thinking critically, and solving problems.”

10 ways for teachers, students to share links in class | Ditch That Textbook “In a class with technology, links are like digital currency. If you have the right ones to the right places, you can quickly open up doors to great learning opportunities. The key is having them at the right time and being able to deliver them to students.”

Libraries Lend Record Numbers of Ebooks and Audiobooks in 2015 | Digital Book World “2015 was a big year for libraries’ digital efforts, with a record number of readers borrowing ebooks and digital audiobooks. Overdrive, the leading supplier of digital content to libraries and schools, reported Tuesday that, in 2015, readers borrowed more than 169 million ebooks. This marked a 24-percent increase over 2014. There was also a notable spike in audiobook usage, which saw a faster growth rate than ebook library borrowing”

What’s most pressing for K-12 tech leaders in 2016? | Education Dive “Two tech leaders for their thoughts on the biggest ed tech issues, developments, and trends administrators will have to face this year (US). Aso links to further insight in the Education Dive’s recent survey on the state of K-12 ed tech.”

A vision of educational technology | Teaching using Web Tools for Educators The author concentrates on what she thinks is the most important point that should be made concerning the use of technology in class.”If your technology use in your classroom is for Powerpoint presentations and taking notes, you haven’t really understood the potential. If you as a teacher think you need to know it all before letting your students loose, you need to reconsider.

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

More on Student Groups – Infographic 2

A second great infographic by Mia MacMeekin It offers an addititional infographic that compliments the first, with similar ideas but also a few different ideas.

  1. Bond
  2. Supplies
  3. Intervene (If they are struggling)
  4. Praise
  5. Research steps (clear and simple)
  6. Freedom (the one I particularly like)

The freedom to:

  • explore
  • fail
  • have fun
  • be creative
  • do it their way

An Ethical Island

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6 ideas for Forming Effective Student Teams and Groups

I have been working teachers and their year 7 students. They have been working in literature circle groups and others on some research activities.
It is interesting watching the dynamics and how different groups and classes perform their tasks. It is easy to put students into groups but creating effective student groups takes a bit more work.

I liked the following infographic by Mia MacMeekin as it offers a few ideas to help assist teachers to make groups more productive but still student lead. It is logical and not really new but it helps to remind us that these form a range of the approaches, particularly useful as “one-size never fits all.”

There are 6 Tips For Creating Effective Student Groups

  1. Create a ZPD Zone. This refers to Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal development. He frames student ability in terms of developmental range. This is different for each student and understanding the different ranges for the students can assist in making decisions about the groups.
  2. Cognitive Dissonance is Good. Encourage the student to stretch themselves beyond what is comfortable
  3. Numbers Count. (4-6 being optimum)
  4. Praise and recognition of good group behaviours)
  5. Give Them Something to Do. Use the PBL (Problem-based learning) approach which works well in a group setting allowing for different knowledge and strengths of all in the group.
  6. Facilitate the team bonding by assisting in the initial brainstorming activity. The trust that comes with good team bonding allows everyone a voice and participation by all.

An Ethical Island

1 Step in the Process:

Creative Commons License
This work by Mia MacMeekin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Flipping the classroom: where do your sit?

I watched another report this week about how getting good marks is the main goal of education and students are doing anything to achieve the highest marks possible. This aim was not about being a better learner but about the game of beating the system. When marks, not learning or understanding how to learn, become the ultimate concern,the education system is in trouble.

I enjoy reading about what some schools and teachers are doing to get their students engaged their learning. I love seeing students taking responsibility for their own learning and even more, enjoying the process of learning. These students are giving themselves a good basis for being successful throughout their lives.

I have been reading more about flipped classrooms lately. These classes offer a type of learning that seems to fit the bill about allowing students to take responsibility for their learning.

One article entitled About flipped classrooms from the University of Queensland gives a good description of the roles and expectations of teachers and students in flipped classrooms and the important technologies. They also provided the diagram below about “the  Learning opportunities of the flipped classroom (adapted from Gerstein)”.  There are also useful links to more information.

I also found the infographic below, from a post “Is a Flipped Classroom Right for You?” by Jennifer Prescott on the We are Teachers site,  useful. It would help any teacher work out where they are in relation to “flipped classrooms”. It clearly sets out some of the basic ideas then leaves any reader with enough knowledge to investigate further.

Another great resource about this topic is a post on the coolcatteacher blog, “Preparing your students for flipped learning”, where Jon Bergmann talks with Vicki Davis about this with many examples given.

He explains the difference between flipped classrooms and flipped learning, which is more in-depth pedagogical method. Jon explains how to flip learning in areas without connectivity, how this system improves learning, and raises grades.

Flipped classrooms

Useful links

Educational Postcard: ”Get students list by Ken Whytock, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Ken Whytock 

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