Monday, November 30, 2015

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 12/01/2015

  • This article gives the benefits and weaknesses of PLNs and PLCs.

    tags: pln plc pd professional development edutopia

    • a Professional Learning Community is "a group of educators that meets regularly, shares expertise, and works collaboratively to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students."
    • A PLC is made up of "a school's professional staff members who continuously seek to find answers through inquiry and act on their learning to improve student learning.
    • Teachers who work in more supportive environments become more effective at raising student achievement on standardized tests over time than do teachers who work in less supportive environments.
      • a PLC is typically:

        • Face to face
        • High accountability
        • Comprised of colleagues from a face-to-face or daily environment
        • Comprised of peers with similar professional responsibilities
    • Torrey Trust defines the PLN (PDF) as "a system of interpersonal connections and resources that support informal learning.
    • according to multiple, peer reviewed studies, simply being in an open network instead of a closed one is the best predictor of career success . . . the further . . . you go towards a closed network, the more you repeatedly hear the same ideas, which reaffirm what you already believe. The further you go towards an open network, the more you're exposed to new ideas
      • PLNs are typically:

        • Online and open
        • More informal
        • Open to a free flow of ideas
        • Often welcoming to newcomers

      • PLNs' weaknesses are:

        • Teachers get excited about an idea but meet resistance in their local school.
        • Teachers have no way to share and discuss ideas with their local school.
        • Some educators use their PLN inconsistently and have no accountability to keep learning.
        • PLNs can be overwhelming because it seems like too much, or users can't focus.
        • Authentic conversations can become dominated by a few loud voices.
        • Some hashtag founders exhibit territorial behavior that limits conversation.
        • Trolls and spammers can derail hashtag conversations.
    • "Blend" your school's PLC by creating an online space for it. Make this a simple place to share resources and ideas gleaned from participants' PLNs. Many teachers don't collaborate online because it's just one more thing to do. Make it simple to share. Give the less social-media-savvy educators simple options such as an email subscription to a few blogs.
    • Encourage educators to share ideas. Set specific goals. You can't be everywhere and do everything. Focus can achieve incredible results if you're all searching your PLNs for new ideas to tackle a troubling issue in your PLC
    • 5. Link the online and face-to-face worlds.


      Administrators and others should mention the online spaces in staff meetings. Likewise, an online reflection of something said at the PLC helps show continuity. Educators should see both the online and face-to-face spaces as substantial parts of their PLC.

  • "Part of the strength of the TELL Project is its built-in ability for teachers to self-determine how well they currently meet the criteria defined in the Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning Framework, relative to the growth they would like to make. To assist teachers in this aspect of reflective practice, TELL makes available self-assessment documents that allows an educator to pause and consider their current practice to identify possible areas of professional growth."

    tags: self-assessment foreign language Spanish

  • "Service Learning: Growing Action From the Roots of Passion"

    tags: service learning service passion projects

  • tags: thanksgiving SocialStudies Pilgrims history

  • tags: youtube youtube editing adblock technology tech tools

  • Tips for how to gamify your classroom with small tweaks rather than big changes.

    tags: gamification teaching learning

  • tags: apps ipad reading writing

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

Friday, November 27, 2015

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 11/28/2015

  • tags: project based learning DesignThinking design thinking ProjectBasedLearning STEAM STEM maker maker movement

    • Integrating tinkering and making into instruction can also create a differentiated environment that nurtures diverse learning styles.
    • Common Core calls upon teachers to shift away from writing daily lesson plans and toward carefully mapping out long-range units.
    • In PBL, the project is the unit. It requires careful planning from start to finish, as BIE emphasizes in its project planning framework.
    • pose questions, gather and interpret data, ask further questions, and develop and evaluate solutions or build evidence for answers.
    • Students need ongoing access to inquiry experiences that build their understanding of the world through text, and that explicitly teach them how to support arguments with evidence
    • Through balanced assessment in PBL, teachers can assess the critical thinking process as well as products, enabling students to self-assess their critical thinking skills.
    • Revision and reflection, one of BIE's 8 Essential Elements, requires PBL teachers to provide students with regular, structured opportunities to give and receive feedback about the quality of their work-in-progress, demonstrate perseverance, and polish their products until they successfully meet the established criteria for success.
    • Well-crafted Driving Questions are both understandable and inspiring to students, and provide a meaningful, authentic context for learning. Projects motivate students to learn because they genuinely find the project's topic, Driving Question and tasks to be relevant and meaningful.
    • Collaboration is a requirement in PBL.
    • A Maker is an individual who communicates, collaborates, tinkers, fixes, breaks, rebuilds, and constructs projects for the world around him or her. A Maker, re-cast into a classroom, has a name that we all love: a learner.
    • A Maker, just like a true learner, values the process of making as much as the product.
    • In the classroom, the act of Making is an avenue for a teacher to unlock the learning potential of her or his students in a way that represents many of the best practices of educational pedagogy. A Makerspace classroom has the potential to create life-long learners through exciting, real-world projects.
    • Collaborate with your students by having them list their queries and send them off to find answers from a myriad of sources. Keep the ones they can't answer yet. In a strong inquiry process, the students reveal their previous knowledge and their needs, allowing the teacher to craft respectful, differentiated learning goals that match.
    • Making is a process, and strong essential questions allow the educator to frame the journey while allowing the learner to make inquiry-driven discoveries.
    • The teacher can break down large units into smaller essential questions ("How does the arm length effect the distance of a catapult shot?"), and use these smaller questions to build to a monster prompt ("Can I make a catapult which shoots a marshmallow over 30 feet using these materials?").
    • Good projects require failure. Great projects can teach a student grit, but you have to model it yourself first. Processing failure with your students turns a moment of fear into an opportunity for learning in a safe place.
      • Teachers new to PBL and Making often make similar mistakes:

        • Choosing projects too large for their comfort level and resources
        • Focusing on the outcome, not the process of Making
        • Thinking the educator must have the answer
  • tags: PBL Project Based Learning projectbasedlearning Kindergarten

    • it's not truly PBL if students are simply making a collage about a story, constructing a model of the Egyptian pyramids, or analyzing water samples from a lake.
    • These artifacts and activities could be part of a rigorous project if they help students meet a complex challenge and address a Driving Question.
    • In well-designed projects students gain content knowledge and academic skills as well as learn how to solve problems, work in teams, think creatively, and communicate their ideas.
    • students need something to think critically about -- it cannot be taught independent of content.
    • A project is not meant to "cover" a long list of standards, but to teach selected important standards in greater depth.
    • a teacher does not have to go all-PBL, all the time
    • You can also save planning time by collaborating with other teachers, sharing projects, adapting projects from other sources, and running the same project again in later years.
    • Projects can increase student motivation to read, write, and learn mathematics because they are engaged by the topic and have an immediate, meaningful reason to apply these skills.
    • For students with disabilities, teachers can use the same support strategies during a project as they would use in other situations, such as differentiation, modeling, and providing more time and scaffolding.
    • For teachers only used to direct instruction, it may be challenging at first to manage students working in teams and handle the open-endedness of PBL, but with more experience it gets easier.
  • This article is a primer describing the different types of (fill in the blank)-based learning.

    tags: PBL Project Based Learning projectbasedlearning problem based learning maker

      • At BIE, we see project-based learning as a broad category which, as long as there is an extended "project" at the heart of it, could take several forms or be a combination of:

        • Designing and/or creating a tangible product, performance or event
        • Solving a real-world problem (may be simulated or fully authentic)
        • Investigating a topic or issue to develop an answer to an open-ended question
    • So according to our "big tent" model of PBL, some of the newer "X-BLs" -- problem-, challenge- and design-based -- are basically modern versions of the same concept.
    • We decided to call problem-based learning a subset of project-based learning -- that is, one of the ways a teacher could frame a project is "to solve a problem."
      • problem-BL is still more often seen in the post-secondary world than in K-12, where project-BL is more common.


        Problem-based learning typically follow prescribed steps:

        1. Presentation of an "ill-structured" (open-ended, "messy") problem
        3. Problem definition or formulation (the problem statement)
        5. Generation of a "knowledge inventory" (a list of "what we know about the problem" and "what we need to know")
        7. Generation of possible solutions
        9. Formulation of learning issues for self-directed and coached learning
        11. Sharing of findings and solutions
    • By using problem-BL, these teachers feel they can design single-subject math projects -- aka "problems" -- that effectively teach more math content by being more limited in scope than many typical project-BL units.

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

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 11/06/2015

  • @JillBergeron2 check out Chrono Cards from @Swenyo and @ndef! So cool! #sschat

    tags: sschat

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

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 11/05/2015

  • This article extolls the benefits of tech integration to both students and teachers.

    tags: technology_integration edutopia technology integration

    • Effective tech integration must happen across the curriculum in ways that research shows deepen and enhance the learning process. In particular, it must support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts.
    • Effective technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is routine and transparent and when technology supports curricular goals.
    • Through projects, students acquire and refine their analysis and problem-solving skills as they work individually and in teams to find, process, and synthesize information they've found online.
    • And, as an added benefit, with technology tools and a project-learning approach, students are more likely to stay engaged and on task, reducing behavioral problems in the classroom.
    • Technology also changes the way teachers teach, offering educators effective ways to reach different types of learners and assess student understanding through multiple means. It also enhances the relationship between teacher and student. When technology is effectively integrated into subject areas, teachers grow into roles of adviser, content expert, and coach. Technology helps make teaching and learning more meaningful and fun.

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

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 11/04/2015

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

Monday, November 2, 2015

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 11/03/2015

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