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23 GSuite Ideas to Excite Your Students about Learning with Eric Curts

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 25 July, 2017 - 19:45

Episode 112 - The 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Eric Curts @ericcurts  teaches us twenty-three ways to use Gsuite tools in our classroom. With ideas for Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Drawings for all subjects and ages, you’ll want to scroll down and follow the links in our enhanced show notes.

Podcast Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Staples. Staples is my go-to back to school shopping source. Check out coolcatteacher.com/pro for 10 Ways to tackle back to school like a pro. And remember to sign up for Staples Teacher rewards for free shipping on orders over $14.99 and 5% back. Staples has everything we need in stock all season long and ready to go for school. Go to www.staples.com/backtoschool for more information and great deals!

Check out back to school tips for teachers

Below is a transcript modified for your reading pleasure. For information on the guests and items mentioned in this show, scroll down to the bottom of this post.

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Transcript of Episode 112: 23 GSuite Ideas to Excite Your Students about Learning with Eric Curts

Download the transcript

VICKI:          It’s back to school and so many of us are getting ready to introduce the G-Suite of tools in the classroom for those of you who don’t know what that is. That’s all these Google tools. And Eric Curts @ericcurts from Control Alt Achieve   and co-leader of their higher Google Educators group has so many fantastic ideas. You’d definitely want to check the transcript and show notes for all of these ideas.

This blog post is being added to 100+ Great Google Classroom Resources for Educators. This resource has a curated list of Gsuite resources, books, and tips.

You’ll definitely want to go to Eric’s website Control Alt Achieve and his YouTube channel.

VICKI:                    So Eric, give us some cool ways that we can use G-Suite to start of the school year with a punch.

ERIC:               What I’m going to take a look at here as we run through these today are just some of the common Google tools that we tend to use but maybe look at them from a different angle and some fun ways they can be used. So why don’t we start off with Google Docs. http://www.controlaltachieve.com/docs

Today, Eric goes through some engaging ideas for using 4 of the Gsuite apps:

    ERIC:               Most people think of that as Google’s word processing program which obviously it is and that’s a fantastic way for students to write reports and wrote stories on all the normal things. But some fun twists that you can put on this, some folks don’t know that Google Docs support emojis. You can actually insert emojis right from the ‘insert special characters’ menu and it’s going to open up a lot of really fun activities for students.

Idea #1: Write Emoji Stories Idea #2: Summarize Something You’ve Seen or Read Using Emojis

If you’re looking for a way to get them engaged and excited early on in the year, they can write emoji stories or they can summarize a story or a movie or something they’ve seen recently using emojis.

See: 5 Emoji Activities for Google Docs  where Eric describes how to do all of these emoji activities including the emoji math picture shown below.

Idea #3: Use Emojis to Explain Math Variables

ERIC: They can also incorporate this into math. Yes, I used to be a math teacher so I just have a soft spot for math.

[00:02:00]

Emojis can be a great way to replace variables to bring a better concrete understanding of what you’re doing when solving math problems. And then there’s a lot of other possible neat examples. And like you said in the show notes, there’d be links to all of my blog post that go into the specific details on those. But that’s a fun thing.

Emojis help variables come alive and make sense. See Eric’s blog post on emojis in Google docs to learn how to do this.

Idea #4: Black Out Poetry in Google Docs

ERIC: While still on the topic of docs another neat thing to do is to use the highlight tool but not for highlighting. Let’s turn it on its head and use it to black things out. In Google Docs you can use the highlighting tool to do blackout poetry where students start with some text and then remove all the words except what they want to leave for their found poem, you can also use the exact same tool to do summarization.

Idea #5: Article Summarization with Black Out in Google Docs

It’s a process called text reduction strategy which is typically done with a big black marker and an actual piece of paper or an article, but you can do it in Google Docs as well, you can take an article from one of the many excellent websites like DOGO News, throw that in there and have the students go through and remove everything that’s not critical so that they end up with their summarization of the article. It’s a great way to help move students toward those summarization skills.

Read More: Improve Reading Comprehension with Google Docs “Black Out”

Idea #6: Choose Your Own Adventure Stories

Beyond that, lots of other fun things you can do include creating choose your own adventure stories. Create one for students to work together in a group where they write a story and use hyperlinks inside of the doc to jump to different pages as they write their choose your own adventure stories.

Those are just a couple of Docs ideas.

Read More: Choose Your Own Adventure Stories with Google Docs

Idea #7: Teach Anchors and Hyperlinks

VICKI:          And plus, choose your own adventure, we give you the ability to teach about anchors and teach about hyperlinks. There are so many things you can do with these ideas. I love them, Eric.

A hyperlink links to another web page. (Just go to insert –> Hyperlink.) However, an anchor links within the document. This lets you skip down a long page. I do this an easy way in a long document by making headings. Then, insert a table of contents. The headings automatically become anchors. You can also insert anchors manually.  they are a big time saver for students and teaches on long documents, for example, if you’re writing a book.

ERIC:           Absolutely.

VICKI:          Okay, what’s next?

ERIC:            Sure. Let’s jump over to Google Slides. http://www.controlaltachieve.com/slides

A lot of times we think of Google slides as the presentation tool, which of course it is, and there’s nothing wrong with that, please don’t get me wrong. It’s fantastic for kids to just do a presentation. Stand up in front of the class, do a book talk or talk about their explorer or their animal. But there’s a lot of other fun things you can do with slides.

Idea #8: Comic Strips with Google Slides

[00:04:00]

ERIC: One way to do is to create comic strips with Google Slides.   And what you can do is think of each slide as a different panel of the comic strip. And students could then insert clip art and animations and speech bubbles. And when they then published that to the web you’ve got an online animated comic strip, whether it’s to explain a vocab term or science concept or retell part of a story.

Read more: Creative Slide Uses for Students

Idea #9: Create eBooks or Storybooks with Google Slides

In the same vein you can create eBooks or storybooks with Google Slides   where each slide is a page of the eBook and you are allowed to change the page dimensions, it doesn’t have to be the normal landscape. You can make it portrait, you can make a square to make it whatever size book you want.

Read: Google Slides for Student Created Storybooks

Idea #10: Create Stop Motion Animations in Google Slides

Other fun things include stop motion animation. This is a fun trick you can do with slides where basically you just speed up the slide show by hacking the URL just a little bit on the presentation so that you get each slide going by maybe a quarter of a second and you can either take actual photographs using the built-in webcam of your Chromebook or whatever device you have or you can just add images and move them around from one slide to the other.

Read: Stop Motion Animation with Google Slides

Idea #11: Dr. Seus Manipulative Slide Show

But, again, it’s another great creative way for kids to tell stories or express their understanding. Beyond that, some other fun things you can do especially with the little ones – I do have a bunch of manipulative type slide shows. We’ve got a one-fish, two-fish, red-fish, blue-fish sorting activity,   that’s great when you’re doing Dr. Seuss stuff.

Read: “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” Sorting with Google Slides

Idea #12 Build a Snowman Creation and Writing Activity with Google Slides

I’ve also got a Build a snowman one.    You may want to hang off on that a little bit further into the winter month, there’s great template that allows students to build their own snowman with a wide collection of eyes and noses and mouths and ears and hats and all sorts of other things. And so they copy and paste those onto their snowman and then there’s a box where they write a little story about what their snowman has done that day or what he’s going to be going off to do.

So lots of real fun things that you could do with slides besides just a traditional presentation.

Read: Build a Snowman with Google Slides

Idea #13: Pixel Art in Google Sheets

VICKI:          Now, all these hacks, you have cute little videos and tutorials and things to help us. So we’re just giving you teachers an overview and then you could pick what you want. So do we have time for another?

[00:06:00]

ERIC:                Sure. Google Sheets  is another fun one. We usually think of Google Sheets as something for math or for doing charts and graphs and it certainly is. Don’t forget that it’s always great for that. But it’s also a great way to do things like pixel art.   I have a template that you can use where you simply put in some letters there and it creates a colored in box for each one of those and you can make pixel art.

Read: Pixel Art Activities for Any Subject with Google Sheets

Idea #14: Random Writing Prompt Generator with Google Sheets

ERIC: Or how about language art with Google Sheets? Absolutely. Sheets are great for randomization.

So I’ve got two templates for random writing prompt generators.  One gives works being randomly put together…

Read: Random Writing Prompt Generator with Google Sheets

Idea #15: Random Emoji Writing Prompt Generator

ERIC:  …another one is random emojis being put together.   And both places, it allows you to generate a whole bunch of random writing prompts that will be great for journal entries, short stories or poems.

Read: Emoji Writing Prompt Generator with Google Sheets

Idea #16: Create Graphic Organizers with Google Drawings

ERIC: Beyond that, if we can still squeeze something in I’ll throw in Google Drawings. http://www.controlaltachieve.com/drawings

One of my favorites, I think it’s overlooked a lot of times because it’s kind of hidden down in the menus there but Google Drawings is a great way to do loads of things including graphic organizers…

Read: Language Arts Graphic Organizers with Google Drawings

Idea #17: Create Interactive Posters with Google Drawings (These are like Thinglink)

ERIC: …interactive images which is like ThingLink, people are familiar with that.  You can use Google Drawings to make images and put hyperlinks on that branch out to videos and websites and additional information.

Read: Googlink: Creating Interactive Posters with Google Drawings

Idea #18: Magnetic “Drag and Drop” Poetry

ERIC: Google drawings is a great way for creativity with magnetic poetry, drag and drop poetry.   It’s also fantastic for math.

Read: Eric has two articles on magnetic poetry

Idea #19: Use Manipulatives and Tangrams in Google Drawings

ERIC: A lot of great manipulatives and interactives you can do such as teaching congruent figures and similar figures,  partitioning shapes…

Read: Pattern Block Templates and Activities with Google Drawings

Idea #20: Download Templates to Teach Shapes and Algebra So You Don’t Have to Create Them Yourself

ERIC: we’ve got algebra tile, pattern blocks, lots and lots of templates that I’ve created that you can just hit the ground running with those.

Read: 11 Ways to Teach Math with Google Drawings

Idea #21: Create Greeting Cards Using Google Drawings

ERIC: But Google Drawing also services well as a desktop publishing tool because it really isn’t something built into Google Suite that quite does what Microsoft publisher does. And so Drawings is a nice stand in for that for things like creating greeting cards, I’ve got a couple of templates for that…

Read: How Your Students Can Use Google Drawings to Make Greeting Cards

Idea #22: Make Motivational Posters in Google Drawings

ERIC: as well as making educational, motivational posters.  We’re used to those big black posters with the big picture and word at the bottom with a neat saying. Those can be done for actual motivation topics or you can pick a vocab term of the week and then add an appropriate image to go with it and a definition in your own terms.

Read: Have Students Create Educational “Motivational Posters” with Google Drawings

Idea #23: Explore Templates on Eric’ Site

[00:08:00]

ERIC:                    And all of those again, those templates are all available on the control of the ControlAltAchieve.com website.

Read: Here is an index of templates on Eric’s site. What a fantastic resource!

VICKI:          Teachers, I know your mind is blown but here’s the thing, you’ve all got great ideas, whether it’s emojis for variables in algebra there’s so many ideas. So one of the greatest things to do with kids is to show them something they’ve never seen before. And the best time to do that is in the first week or two of school. Blow their minds.

Follow the links in the show notes and I love Eric website particular because he shows us how to do stuff but also all the free templates. I have been tweeting out and sending out stuff of his all day, the day we’re taping here just because I love it. It’s great resource for G-Suite. And good luck with back to school. And get in there and use these tools and have some fun.

Thank You, Staples, for Sponsoring Episode 112 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast!

Staples is my go-to back to school shopping source. Check out coolcatteacher.com/pro for my ten ways to tackle back to school like a pro. And remember to sign up for Staple’s Teacher Rewards for free shipping orders over $14.99 and 5% back. Staple has everything we need in stock all season long and ready to go for school. Go to staples.com/backtoschool for more information and great deals. Good luck with back to school

Thank you for listening to the Ten-minute Teacher Podcast. You can download the show notes and see the archive at coolcatteacher.com/podcast. Never stop learning.

[End of Audio 0:09:43]

[Transcription created by tranzify.com. Some additional editing has been done to add grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Every attempt has been made to correct spelling. For permissions, please email lisa@coolcatteacher.com]

Bio as Submitted

Eric has been in education for 25 years, and is currently serving as a Technology Integration Specialist for the Stark Portage Area Computer Consortium in Canton, Ohio where he oversees Google Apps for Education implementation, training, and support, as well as online learning and other technology integration initiatives.

Eric is an authorized Google Education Trainer and a Google Certified Innovator and provides Google Apps training to schools, organizations, and conferences throughout Ohio and across the country. He is a co-leader of the Ohio Google Educator Group (GEG) at tiny.cc/geg-ohio and runs the award-winning blog www.ControlAltAchieve.com where all of his Google Apps and edtech resources can be found. Eric is married with four children.

 

The post 23 GSuite Ideas to Excite Your Students about Learning with Eric Curts appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Transform Learning this School Year with Eric Sheninger

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 24 July, 2017 - 19:45

Episode 111 - The 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Eric Sheninger @E_Sheninger motivates us to transform learning this school year. We’re starting Season 2 with a bang and a big book Giveaway, Learning Transformed by Eric Sheninger and Thomas C. Murray! Enjoy!

Podcast Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Staples. Staples is my go-to back to school shopping source. Check out coolcatteacher.com/pro for my 10 Ways to tackle back to school like a pro. And remember to sign up for Staples Teacher rewards for free shipping on orders over $14.99 and 5% back. Staples has everything we need in stock all season long and ready to go for school. Go to www.staples.com/backtoschool for more information and great deals! Listen to the Show

Below is a transcript modified for your reading pleasure. For information on the guests and items mentioned in this show, scroll down to the bottom of this post.

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Transcript of Episode 111: Transform Learning this School Year with Eric Sheninger

Download a PDF of the transcript

[Recording starts 0:00:00]

Today’s show is sponsored by Staples, my back to school shopping location for my classroom. Stay tuned at the end of the show and I’ll tell you how to get my tips and trips for back to school.

Get motivated to transform learning this school year. This is episode 111 and the start of Season 2.

The Ten-minute Teacher podcast with Vicki Davis. Every week day you’ll learn powerful practical ways to be a more remarkable teacher today.

Eric Sheninger and Tom Murray have a new book, Learning Transformed. We’re hosting a giveaway. Click here to see how to enter.

VICKI:   Welcome to Season 2 of the 10-Minute Teacher. Today we have one of the most motivational people I know for our Motivation Monday, Eric Sheninger @E_Sheninger has a new book that he has co-authored with Tom Murray @thomascmurray called Learning Transformed. http://amzn.to/2tWOSLF

So, Eric, how can you get us pumped up to transform learning this school year?

ERIC:           When we think about transforming learning I think we have to look first and foremost at why we do what we do and ask our kids. All kids have greatness hidden inside them, it is the job of an educator to help them find and unleash it.

An essential mindset for starting the school year

Our mindset is perhaps one of the most important things we have as we start the school year. If we look at students as having greatness inside and view our job as unleashing greatness. It makes a big difference!

ERIC: How do we help them unleash it? You know what, first off, we got to focus on the ‘what ifs’ instead of the ‘yeah buts’. We have to look at the opportunities and the potential of the tools, the ideas, the pathways, the strategy that we have now to unlock creativity and limitless potential of our kids.

I think as we begin the year it really comes down to this, don’t prepare students for something, prepare them for anything. So as we reflect on our practice, how do we prepare kids for anything, how do we move past the status quo, how do we change our thinking? Because if we utilize the same old thinking we’re going to get the same old results. And when we think about transforming learning, Tom Murray and I spent well over a year looking at the research.

[00:02:00]

                    We unearthed over 180 research citations to focus on the why. I love the work of Simon Sinek @simonsinek, and if you have not watched his TED Talk on leadership  and focusing on the why. It is a great way to start the year.

Motivate and Inspire Yourself to Be Remarkable

Start the school year with your colleagues by showing a video get in the right mindset. The Simon Sinek TED talk is a great one. If your principal doesn’t show you videos, watch it yourself to get in the right frame of mind. Don’t let the doing keep you from being the kind of teacher you need to be!

ERIC: But if we don’t articulate the why, our vision, our mission, our values it is kind of fuzzy. My message, Vicki, to everyone listening is as we think about out beginning of the year, celebrate our success, celebrate what we do well, but keep an eye – where do you want to be? And what are those areas of our roles that we can do what we do better?

VICKI:          The why is so important and I hate say this – and my mom won’t be listening to this particular podcast, I hope, but sometimes our big ‘buts’ get in the way, they really do because so many times you talk about something transformational and then somebody look at you and here you see, and it’s coming and it’s coming and they say, ‘but’ and you’re like, “Please, let’s just focus on these students.”

We start building a culture of trust with our colleagues and students on the first day.

ERIC:           Yeah it’s interesting. ‘Buts’ really put up a barrier, a roadblock. And that road block inhibits us from building a culture of trust. We need to build a culture of trust with our kids, with each other. When we think about our work, when we think about learning, it all comes down to relationships. Without trust, there is no relationship, without relationships, no real learning occurs. And those ‘buts’ just enable us to, again, revert back to a fixed mindset, status quo, this is the way we’ve always done things and yeah, I guess it’s worked.

But when we think about kids the world is different. Kids are learning differently, the environment in which they learn is different. So we need to think, learn and act differently.

VICKI:          Yes, you have to relate before you educate.

Yes, you will hear me say this a lot. You have to relate before you educate. Before you create. Before you innovate. You relate first. I believe I’m a better teacher now because I’m better at relating and building those relationships. On Wednesday in episode 113, Nancy Blair will talk about a genius idea to help a whole staff relate better to students.

VICKI: Now, Eric, I want you to travel back to the time when you were principal and you’re looking at those teachers and you’re thinking about the first day and you’re about to give the a pump-up speech to really reach those kids and leave the past behind and move behind, what do you say?

[00:04:00]

Eric Sheninger’s essential reading list

Leaders are readers and readers are leaders as John Maxwell says. (I paraphrased a bit.) I keep a list of books I might want to read in my to-do app. Many years a go, I read that Brian Tracey says to be in the top of your field, you need to only read an hour a day. That has been my habit for at least eight years now and it does make a difference. Here are some great books to start reading.

ERIC:           Well, I can tell you what I did many, many years ago. Part of my mindset shift was reading a lot of books. I read Drive  by Dan Pink, Linchpin by Seth Godin, Outliers   by Malcom Gladwell, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and I read another book, it was called the No Complaining Rule  by Jon Gordon and the rule was simple. Let’s not complain, we don’t want our kids to complain but complaining helps to create an environment that’s not conducive to change innovation. So when we think about our complaints and we think about our challenges which we have, we have realistic challenges. I would encourage everyone to think about solutions. If we focus on solutions as opposed to excuses and challenges we can truly begin the process of implementing the type of changes that our kids will appreciate.

And the other thing I would say is put yourself in the shoes of your students. Would you want to learn under the same conditions as your kids? Would you want to learn in the same environments as your students? And I think that gives us a lot of motivation to begin to change our practice, help our kids see value by modeling and implementing a better way.

The Biggest Mistake Educators Make Starting the School Year

We need to lear from our mistakes. But if we learn from the mistakes of others, we can get better, faster.

VICKI:          So Eric, what’s the biggest mistake educators make when they start the year?

ERIC:           I think the biggest mistake is we’re so focus on getting the schedule set up, going through our syllabus, going through the rules the expectations, going through them monotony of school. Basically, we’re prepping the kids for another year of school. And I think we have to flip it. I think instead of going through the monotony of the job and what we think we have to do because that’s the way it’s always been done, what about thinking about asking kids, engaging them, why are they here? Why is learning important? How can we together create an amazing learning experience for you? What do you need to be successful?

[00:06:00]

                    And I think taking Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5Tw0PGcyN0 , the why, the how, ‘the what’ to sort of flip that first experience we have with our kids can really jumpstart learning and begin to set the stage for a pretty exciting things as the year goes on.

VICKI:          So Eric, how do you have that conversation? Because honestly, some kids, if you say why are you here, it will be “because mama dropped me off”?

ERIC:           And that’s the challenge. If kids don’t see the ‘why’, we don’t engage kids enough at understanding the significance of learning. And I think we have to have those more conversations, we can’t be afraid of having difficult conversations because if we let that mentality go on, as the year goes on we just run the risk of losing kids more and more. And I think that ‘why’ is tying into the bigger picture, the bold new world of work, the exciting world and thinking about our interest of our kids, aligning that in the beginning days to the work at hand. It’s a difficult conversation, Vicki, but I think it’s a conversation we shy away from much too often.

A remarkable school year starts by captivating kids on the first day. How will you do it? Sure, we need to cover procedures but think about what students will SAY about your class on the first day when they go home to their parents. The first day is an important first impression. Use it well!

VICKI:          Well, and I believe that a remarkable school year starts by captivating students on the first day and I don’t know if anybody’s syllabus is exciting enough to captivate someone’s mind and capture their heart.

ERIC:           I don’t think so. And I think in our book, Learning Transformed, Tom and I talked about redesigning learning experience and we really don’t focus as much on personalized learning as we do personal learning. Get to know your kids, find out how their summers went no matter how old they are. Find out what books they read, what did they do with their free time and use that as a catalyst to plan future lessons, future units, future projects. Get kids excited about why they’re in your classroom and what they’re going to gain from that experience.

VICKI:          So Eric, we’re going to do a giveaway of your book, the information will be in the show notes. Tell us quickly about it.

[00:08:00]

About their book Learning Transformed

Enter the book giveaway competition.

ERIC:           Learning Transformed was Tom Murray and my attempt to bring all of the research together to, again, emphasize the ‘why’ but the showcase innovate practices in action. We don’t just present a ton of research, we present educators across every position that are implementing change, that are getting results. Sir Ken Robinson @SirKenRobinson said in his words, “This is a manifesto for the change that we need in schools.” And that’s a lot coming from Sir Ken who’s work on creativity we all appreciate.

So I think educators will find it research-driven, evidence rich and sort of it showing how we can bring efficacy to all the amazing ideas that we’re talking about.

VICKI:          So educators, let’s get out there and have a remarkable year. And Eric is giving us so many wonderful ideas. So let’s get motivated.

Thank you Staples for sponsoring this episode.

Our sponsors help keep this show going. I’ve been sharing my favorite products for makerspaces and other tips for back to school shopping for this year. Thank you for supporting our sponsors.

Staples is my go-to back to school shopping source. Check out coolcatteacher.com/pro for my ten ways to tackle back to school like a pro. And remember to sign up for Staple’s Teacher Rewards for free shipping orders over $14.99 and 5% back. Staple has everything we need in stock all season long and ready to go for school. Go to staples.com/backtoschool for more information and great deals. Good luck with back to school

Thank you for listening to the Ten-minute Teacher Podcast. You can download the show notes and see the archive at coolcatteacher.com/podcast. Never stop learning.

[End of Audio 0:09:49]

[Transcription created by tranzify.com. Some additional editing has been done to add grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Every attempt has been made to correct spelling. For permissions, please email lisa@coolcatteacher.com]

Bio as Submitted

 Eric is a Senior Fellow and Thought Leader on Digital Leadership with the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE). Prior to this, he was the award-winning Principal at New Milford High School. Under his leadership, his school became a globally recognized model for innovative practices. Eric oversaw the successful implementation of several sustainable change initiatives that radically transformed the learning culture at his school while increasing achievement. He has emerged as an innovative leader, best selling author, and sought after speaker

Competition to Win the Book

Learning Transformed Book by Eric Sheninger and Thomas C Murray

The post Transform Learning this School Year with Eric Sheninger appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Is Computer Science Education Facing a Bursting Bubble?

The other day Audrey Watters, one of my favorite contrarians, posted  Why Are Coding Bootcamps Going Out of Business? which focused on the failure of some coding bootcamps and the consolidation of others. Today I read A Tech Bubble Killed Computer Science Once, Can It Do So Again? also posted in the last few days. Articles like these make on think about the future of CS education. Well I think about that a lot anyway but mostly I travel in upbeat circles. CS education is seeing growing interest and is being taught to more students. All good right?

Both of these articles focus on CS education as a way to get jobs in software development. While that is probably a good reason to study CS it is not the only one. Of course we have seen lowering demand for CS professionals decrease interest in studying CS drop in the past. SO it is something we do have to look at and think about.

Part of the problem here is getting a clear view of the demand for CS professionals. Many companies say there is a shortage of skilled developers. The contrarian view is that there is a shortage of people willing to do the job for the money being offered. Those people see the calls for more H1B visas as a way to keep salaries low more than as a way to fill a real shortage. I suspect the way the Trump administration looks at foreign workers (see the H2B visa shortage this summer) may give us a chance to find out. On the other hand some people predict that tech companies are headed for a bubble burst so there is that as well.

If tech companies do falter that may indeed cause a drop in interest in CS education. I’m not quite ready to predict an eminent bubble burst there though. It really feels to me like a lot of things are moving forward very strongly and very widely across industries for that to happen soon. We’ll have to keep an eye on what this means for jobs though. While it looks like starting salaries for recent university graduates are up slightly (Salaries for 2017 College Grads Hit All-Time High) tech like many other industries has this tendency to hire young and squeeze out older more expensive workers. I hear lots of stories of how hard it is for experienced professionals in their 40s and 50, let alone 60s, to get jobs in tech.

Personally I still maintain that learning CS is important for people in all lines of work and that becoming a professional software developer is not the only or even the best reason to teach CS to everyone. Even if there is a drop in people majoring in the field if there is an increase of people learning some CS we’ll be better off. The hard part is convincing all these other people that the reasons we teach all HS students Physics and Biology are just as valid, if not more so, for computer science. We need to go beyond the vocational idea of CS education. If we can do that we can continue to see CS education grow to the benefit of us all.

Categories: Planet

5 Questions to Ask Your Students To Start the School Year

The Principal of Change George Couros - 23 July, 2017 - 21:38

Schools are about more than learning; they are about experience(s).  They help shape us in our present and future and those experiences stick with us long past our time as students.  Unfortunately, this can either shape us in a positive or negative manner.

I asked this question of educators recently:

In your time as a student in K-12, what made an impact on you. Not who, but what? What do you remember that influenced you today?

— George Couros (@gcouros) July 22, 2017

(I encourage you to look at the responses from the original tweet.)

What you will notice is that in a lot of the responses, what people experienced as a student in the K-12 system, has helped shaped people today, whether it was from a negative or positive experience:

I remember never feeling like I belonged. Hence, I graduated a year earlier. Today, my hope is that my Ss feel that they are seen and heard.

— Carolynn Sánchez (@a_bee_si) July 22, 2017

I wish I remembered…It’s why I work on making memorable experiences for my Ss…Daily!

— Laurie Lawver (@LaurieLawver) July 22, 2017

The lack of genuine interest. I make sure my students feel welcomed and loved every day!

— Tonya Coats (@TeacherCoats) July 22, 2017

Being told I wouldn’t do much after high school it’s lead me to be involved in edu today

— Jeremy Boeh (@jeremy_BAY) July 22, 2017

One day I class I finished an assignment first. I was so proud and happy to show my grade 3 teacher. She didn’t even look at it. +

— Monica G. (@mlvlatina) July 23, 2017

She told me to go sit down because her “smart” kids weren’t even done yet. I was hurt. That was the moment I knew for sure I would teach.

— Monica G. (@mlvlatina) July 23, 2017

The experiences we have in school are extremely important and shape much of what we do today. Personally, a lot of what I do today was shaped both negatively and positively by my experiences in school, as it was by many others.

Because we all know that this has such an impact on the lives of our students both during and after their time in school, it is important that we think about what we do each day. Your actions this year could be what a student not only remembers for the rest of their life but shapes them long past your time.

In a video I often share in workshops students come back to talk to an educator at the end of their career, and one student shares this thought with their former teacher:

““I will cherish the impact you have had on my life forever.” Student

It is an extremely important job and that quote from a student is a humbling reminder of what educators do.

But what we need to understand as educators is that a student’s input in their own experience is paramount. The best way to show students that their voice matters is by ensuring you give them the opportunity to be heard.

Because of this, here are five questions to think about asking your students as you start off this school year to help shape their experience with you.

1. What are the qualities that you look for in a teacher?

We are quick to share our expectations of our students to our students, but do we give them the opportunity to share their expectations of us?  If students have been in school for a few years, the teachers that they have connected with the most obviously have had some impact.  I am not saying that you should change your entire personality to suit each child, but I think that understanding what they have connected with in the past would make a difference.

When students look back at their education career, they should not only be able to name one teacher that had an impact.

2. What are you passionate about?

What I do not want people getting mixed up with here is that I am saying, “Ditch the curriculum and focus on your students’ passions only!”  Knowing what a student is passionate about not only helps you bridge connection to their learning, but it also helps you bridge connections to them as human beings.

Years ago, we did a school-wide “Identity Day” (led by our awesome Assistant Principal at the time, Cheryl Johnson), where all students and staff would share one thing that they were passionate about in a display that people would be able to walk around. This process really made a connection for me as I would watch teachers connect much of the curriculum to what piqued the interest of the students, which made it much more relevant to them.  For example, if I loved sports, could you bring that into mathematics instruction?  It also helped see the empowerment in the students when they were passionate about something they were sharing, which made for much better relationships with our community.

3. What is one BIG question you have for this year?

Jamie Casap states, “Don’t ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. Ask them what problem they want to solve.”  Whether this is tied to your course or not is entirely up to you, but giving students the opportunity to stoke their own problem-finding/problem-solving abilities in your classroom is one that will only empower students while stoking curiosity.

Will Richardson talks about how important curiosity is to future success:

The most “successful” (and you can define that just about any way you want) people moving forward will be the most curious. The ones who are constantly asking questions. The ones who are always wondering “What if?”

Don’t just ask this of your students at the beginning of the year.  Ask them throughout. Check their progress, see if their question has changed, or if there are any ways you can support them.  Empower students to be the leaders of today, not only tomorrow.

4. What are your strengths and how can we utilize them?

If you are challenging your students (as you should be), at some point you will find their weaknesses. Far too often, we place too much emphasis on that throughout the year. By starting with students asking by what they are strong at, it will let students know you value their gifts, and that you are not there to “fix them” but to help them get better.

According to Psychology Today, there is growing evidence that focusing on strengths leads to more confidence, creativity, and happier lives (amongst other things), but do our students feel that we are there to fix them or to unleash their talents and gifts.  This is not to say that weaknesses don’t matter, but when you start with strengths, and tap into them, students (like staff) feel that you are not trying to fix them, but just make them better.

5. What does success at the end of the year look like to you?

The hard thing about this question is that students will often say what they believe the adults want them to hear. Maybe adding something like “outside of your grades” (no student wants to do poorly in your class or curriculum, whether they are interested or not), might help them think about something deeper that will last with them past their time at school. How you define and characterize success, could be different from me, as it could be for your students. Find out what their important measures are for this year and help them get to that point.

My success is not defined by you, nor your success defined by me. Yet helping students clearly identify what it means to them and how they can get there, can help them significantly not only in the school year, but build important habits that go beyond school.  Many (including adults) learn to identify successes through the eyes of others and often compare themselves.  This practice is not helpful and can lead to feelings of inadequacy. If we decide our own measures of success, feel comfortable learning from the successes of others as well, it puts us on a constant path of growth, while learning to focus with “the end in mind.”  This is important skill at any age, but it does not hurt to start this with our students.

These are not THE five questions, but just some ideas that might help you shape the year with your students. Obviously teaching at different levels will give you different opportunities with students, but no matter what you teach, it is important to listen to your students at the beginning of the year and ask for feedback to move forward, not only after they have left your care.

I would love to know what questions you would suggest to start off the year with your students and why it is important. An important way we can serve our students is by getting to know what works for them and moving backward from there. This research into the children in front of you is crucial to help create a year that they will not forget, but that can make a tremendous impact on them moving forward.

Categories: Planet

The purposes of our pedagogy — The Learner's Way

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 23 July, 2017 - 18:57

Comments:

  • The debate over the most effective method of instruction continues as ever and where one stands on the topic is largely influenced by the purposes one attaches to education. Analysing a series of research articles reveals the nature of the debate between advocates of direct instruction compared to those who support a problem based learning methodology. - Nigel Coutts

Tags: pedagogy, teaching, learning

by: Nigel Coutts

Categories: International News

The Education “Bat Signal”

The Principal of Change George Couros - 21 July, 2017 - 21:32

When I first started teaching, I was blessed to have a grade level partner who shared everything with me.  As an educator, I was extremely lucky to work beside someone who had a lot of experience in education and was willing to share their knowledge and wisdom with a brand new teacher. I was also lucky to be in a school where someone was teaching the same grade level. Many schools to this day might have only one grade level or subject area teacher in the entire school, and the isolation of that could be extremely tough.

That being said, I look back at a lot of what I used to do as a first-year teacher and cringe.  This was not because I did not have the support of a great staff, but I was building experience.  Most of the great educators I know look back at their first year and feel the same way.  To be honest, it is part of the reason they are great educators.  They constantly learn and grow in the profession and continuously get better at their craft.  I hope ten years from now I look back on this time and see that I have grown as well.

The reason I am looking back at when I first started teaching was because of a conversation I recently had with a new teacher starting in the same grade level in which I started (grade four).  I talked about my experience teaching that grade level and shared that I loved what I did, but there are so many things that I have learned from that time,  What I did share is that he will look back on these years of teaching at some point in his career and feel the same way I do.  He will think, “I cannot believe I used to do that”, and for good reason.  I would be concerned if he didn’t.

That being said, he should be so much better a first-year teacher than I was.  I had access to an awesome teacher; he has access to thousands of awesome teachers through social media.  Simply looking up the hashtag #4thchat will give him access to both teachers that work at the same grade level, or ideas related to teaching that grade. Something tweeted to that hashtag doesn’t make it automatically good, and some filtering will be needed. Filtering through what is useful and what won’t help is not something we should only do online as well but in our face-to-face interactions.  Something being shared doesn’t automatically make it good but sometimes even bad ideas can be adapted to become great ideas. Joe Sanfelippo shared with me that “culture is not copied, but created”.  This also goes with what and how we teach.  You cannot simply carbon copy an idea for your students that someone else uses and ensure that it is 100% successful. Working backward from the point of your students often means iterations to even the best ideas.  Start with your students, not necessarily the strategy.

Looking through hashtags like #4thchat is not the only way to use this medium.  I often encourage people to find their hashtag and use it as a “Bat Signal”.  The main people who will keep an eye on #4thchat are other 4th grade teachers. #4thchat” will increase the opportunities that other educators that have a similar job will be able to share their wisdom, experience, and learning with you.  Who better to learn from than people that are doing your same job?  The best person to make you an amazing fourth-grade teacher is not me; it’s other fourth grade teachers.  Utilize their wisdom.

Here is something I believe and have shared often:

What I mean by this quote, is that teachers have access to other teachers in a way that I did not have even when I first started teaching in 1999.  In less than 20 years, so much has changed, and the opportunities as a first-year teacher and a 50th-year teacher are mind blowing.  It would be crazy to not take advantage of learning from the wisdom and experience of others in the same profession.  Find your “bat signal” and use it to learn from others.

Categories: Planet

Five Must Read Blogs for Computer Science Teachers

I maintain a computer science education blog roll with as many good blogs for computer science teachers as I can find. It's a good like for the most part. Some of the blogs listed are seldom updated though. And some are really more general purpose education or not as focused on CS education. (Doug Peterson's blog is an example but I never miss it.) So I decided to write about the five best in my humble opinion. Just to get people started. Other than the first, these are in no particular order. I always read these blogs.

If you only read on blog it should probably be Mark Guzdial's Computing Education Blog  Mark is probably doing more research in how to teach computer science right than anyone else I know.  He talks about the work they are doing at Georgia Tech both in terms of teaching new and different courses there as well as the Georgia Computes! program that is helping to develop more CS education at the HS level in Georgia. I wish I wrote half as well as Mark. Whether if be his commentary on the various articles he finds or information about his own work or discussion of  things his graduate students are doing what you will find here are well thought out, well written and informative posts. His are the first posts I read most days.

For some often contrary opinions but always interesting reads try Mike Zamansky Mike used to run the computer science program at Stuyvesant High School in New York City (a top public magnet school).  These days he is working on the honors program at Hunter College. He has strong opinions and a long background in teaching CS to back them up. If you want someone who doesn't just take ideas at face value Mike is the man to read.

The small school perspective is a highlight on posts by Garth's CS Teacher Blog  Garth Flint is a teacher at a private Catholic school in western Montana. Garth always gives me things to think about. He writes about curriculum (He's always trying new things), teaching, and even some system management. In many small schools the CS teacher is also tech support. I love his writing style as well.

Doug Bergman is the award winning head of Computer Science at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC. Doug is very innovative and a huge proponent of project based learning. He is also great at getting grant money to buy new hardware for teaching CS. Robots, Kinects, and even HoloLens devices show up in his lab (and blog posts) as he has students work on very interesting projects. Doug gets excited and it shows.

I recommend my blog as well. I think to think I write with a teacher voice but my background in industry over the years gives me a different perspective. Plus I link to good stuff from the (possibly too many)  blogs I follow as well other things I find on social media. If you don't care about my ideas you may still find value in the stuff I share. Sharing good ideas from others is my passion.

Categories: Planet

TEACHER VOICE: When it comes to teacher training, the U.S. could learn a thing or two from Canada - The Hechinger Report

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 21 July, 2017 - 16:16

Comments:

  • "Preparation for a career shaping the minds, values and spirit of our youth requires people of substance who are attracted to the profession because being an educator is an engaging and secure job choice" (¶17). - Paul Beaufait

Tags: 21st century, Alberta, Canada, curriculum, degrees, education, educators, empowerment, international, qualifications, teacher training, teachers, U.S.

by: Paul Beaufait

Categories: International News

5 Simple Ways to Improve Teacher Professional Development

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 21 July, 2017 - 08:06

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

A common cry from teachers across the world is for relevant professional development.

A 2014 Gates Foundation study shows only 29% of teachers satisfied with current teacher PD. Another 2015 study shows that only 30% of teachers improve substantially with PD. So, what we have doesn’t seem to be working.

So, what can we do to improve teacher professional development?

This is a contribution to Cathy Rubin’s Global Search for Education Top Global Teacher Blogger’s Column. This month’s question is about how to improve teacher professional development. 1 – Model What is Being Taught

In my own experience, I remember sitting through a class on differentiated instruction. The “teacher” had more than 200 slides. She read them to us.

To further make this point, let’s discuss what differentiation is. Think of it this way — Some students learn by seeing. Others learn by hearing. Others learn by doing. But no one learns one way. So, when you have many ways of teaching material, nearly every student learns better.

But during this class on differentiation, the teacher didn’t differentiate with us. She lectured. She showed slides. We didn’t act it out. We didn’t see a movie. We didn’t do any kinds of hands on activity. We didn’t talk about it with the person next to us. All the content on differentiation was delivered in a non-differentiated way.

So, if differentiation works – do it. If project based learning works – do it. Model teaching what you’re teaching if it works.

In my opinion, if you can’t teach me about game based learning by using games, you’re not qualified to teach game based learning.

Professional development should teach using the methods being taught.

2 – Commit to Personal Professional Development

Kaizen is a Japanese term for “continuous improvement.” Kaizen is a mindset. Organizations following Kaizen look at a system as a whole and make slow, small steps to improve.

My strategy of Kaizen innovation is that I “innovate like a turtle.”

Although I’ve been teaching in K12 for fifteen years, the last eleven have been transformational. Eleven years a go, I made a decision that changed my teaching. Coming back from GAETC 2015, I realized that I had been to the conference before but my classroom was unchanged. I had a list of fifty things and did none of them.

So, I decided to do two things:

A – List My Big 3. I would keep a list of the next three things I wanted to learn. Just three, no more. I would steadily learn about those things until I integrated them into my classroom. Sometimes, one of the three wasn’t suitable, and I’d abandon it for something else.

B – Turtle Time. I take 15 minutes 2-3 times a week during my morning break to learn something new.

I’m dedicated to Kaizen, but that term is not one that excites me. By calling it turtle time, I acknowledge my commitment to slow, steady improvement. Forward progress is progress.

3 – Understand and Use Micro Teaching Practices

In John Hattie’s updated ranking of effect sizes on student achievement, microteaching is near the top. Microteaching is

“a video recording of a lesson with a debriefing. The lesson is reviewed to improve the teaching and learning experience.”

Most teachers have a device that can record video. If we use our phones to record small portions of our lessons, we can use microteaching to improve. Certainly, there is a method of improving through microteaching.

Personally, I learn so much when I record my own teaching and watch it later. (I use a Swivl and my iPhone. The device follows and focuses on me around the room.)

4 – Use Student Feedback to Shape Learning with Just in Time Learning Strategies

Formative assessment can help teachers understand how students are learning. Formative assessment is a snapshot of how knowledge is forming in a student’s mind. Instead of asking one student what they know, you can ask the whole class.

The point that can make all the difference. But what does a teacher do when students aren’t learning? When a teacher realizes students aren’t learning is perhaps when the greatest professional development could happen. There are several strategies a teacher could use today, however, each of them has limitations and reasons teachers don’t. Perhaps if we understand these, we can work together to improve just-in-time learning strategies for teachers.

An Instructional Coach

The business world has “life coaches.” Education does have “instructional coaches.” Unfortunately, in some schools, these instructional coaches also have administrative responsibility.

To understand a common problem with instructional coaching, let’s look at the business world for a moment. For example, in the business community, a life coach is typically not someone in your chain of command. The person doesn’t have the ability to evaluate you. The “life coach’s” job is to help the person. Often a life coach doesn’t even work for the company of the person they are coaching.

In the education world, instructional coaches can be called by a teacher for help. However, if the coach is helping a teacher improve in an area, that needs to be confidential. If, however, the instructional coach makes a beeline to the principal, let’s see what could happen. Let’s say the coach told the principal,

“Mrs. Jones has me helping her with a classroom management problem.”

Now, suddenly the principal thinks Mrs. Jones has a huge problem.

In reality, however, every single teacher on staff has problems and areas to improve. Mrs. Jones is just the only one asking the instructional coach for help. Mrs. Jones may be one of the best teachers on staff, but she’s penalized for getting help to improve her teaching.

Until schools make it ok to admit struggles and get confidential help, teachers will keep their personal pd needs private. Teachers won’t ask for help even when student formative data shows they need it if their request for help is misunderstood or even worse – used against them.

Just In Time Resources

Many teachers use YouTube and other video services to search for help. For example, if they have a problem with Google Classroom, a video tutorial may do the trick.

However, with a few exceptions, edtech seems to dominate the teaching videos available on YouTube. It is hard to find answers for classroom problems like classroom management by searching YouTube.

Books, Videos, Courses, and Conferences

Teachers can find books, videos and courses to help them on an issue. However, typically curriculum directors or district officers determine how money is spent. Teachers have a difficult time getting money for individual opportunities. If they ask for it, they have to justify their need and may end up in the same situation they often have with some instructional coaches – they have to admit the problem they are trying to solve.

One problem with materials such as this is that classroom teaching is evolving so rapidly. So while a content creator may have a Ph.D., sometimes they may not be as relevant as a classroom teacher. Many teachers love Teachers Pay Teachers while others frown on the resources because they prefer traditional textbook companies.

Microcredits and Badges.

An emerging professional development “economy” of competency based micro credentials has teachers taking a new type of course. These small courses, for example, could have a teacher focusing on “checking for understanding.” They would take online instructional materials, but then involve peers and colleagues in a person submitting a demonstration of skill.

The fascinating aspect of micro-credentials is the melding of online and offline learning.

This area is evolving rapidly. So quickly, that the proliferation of badges has many calling for more rigor in the earning of badges. So, in this case, not all micro credentials or badges are created equal.

5 – Unconferences

If you’ve read this far, perhaps you can see why the teacher unconference is so popular. The most popular form of the unconference is the Edcamp, but many conferences are scheduling an “unconference” day with this same format.

At Edcamps across the world, teachers show up on a Saturday morning to an unconference location. It is free. Teachers self-organize into topics. If people want to learn something, they show up to the designated room. If a session doesn’t meet their needs, they can leave and go to another one. Teachers can model and create and innovate together. Sometimes they bring gadgets or share lesson ideas. Many teachers love this environment.

However, some locations don’t give teachers professional development credit for these valuable sessions. Understandably, some teachers hesitate to give up personal time without continuing education “credit.” Others like things to be more organized.

But on the whole, many innovators I know like unconferences and prefer them over any other method of professional development.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Personalized learning is the conversation in student learning today. It should be for teachers as well.

We know professional development as it has always existed isn’t working. We also know that we must improve teacher knowledge and learning.

What many people don’t know is that teachers don’t have much time. I have had years with too many “duties.” Those are the years I didn’t innovate. You can’t innovate like a turtle when you’re working like a dog.

So, first, we need to make sure that teachers have time to learn. Let’s streamline paperwork. Let’s remove non-teaching duties. Let’s help teachers focus on teaching and learning about teaching.

Second, teachers must personally commit to learning. If we teachers are freed up to learn and use it to hang out in the teacher’s lounge and bash students, we aren’t innovating like a turtle – we’re becoming toxic waste. As a teacher, it is my professional duty to level up and learn continuously.

And third, I think we need to let teachers have a major role in vetting and determining how they’ll learn and what they’ll do with their PD. We should give teachers the financial resources and the time to go to professional learning opportunities. While teacher shortages are a problem in many places, we can’t shortchange teaching professionals and keep them from learning how to become better teachers. Effective professional development should be a priority.

If personalized learning works, perhaps it should start with teachers.

Let’s learn. Let’s become better teachers. And let’s be part of the evolution of teacher professional development. It’s about time.

The post 5 Simple Ways to Improve Teacher Professional Development appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Algorithms, Bias, and Beautiful Women

I've been keeping my eyes open for things to discuss with students this fall, especially in Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles. This week bias in algorithms kept crossing my path. It was even a topic for the #EthicalCS Twitter chat this week. It's a real problem if we really want software to meet the needs of everyone. And really to keep people safe.

I've got a couple of good examples to share. One is attempts to scientifically determine what beautiful women look like. Personally I think that is a silly goal as beautiful is in the eye of the beholder but it sells magazines I guess. Take a look at this story. The 10 Most Beautiful Women in the World, According to Science. All of the women are white. Do we really believe that beauty is limited to white women or is there perhaps a bias involved? I would suggest the latter.

While that is sort of trivial in the scheme of things some biases in algorithms have a lot more risk. Take this story A white mask worked better': why algorithms are not colour blind about the discovery that some facial recognition doesn't recognize Black faces. More information at this TED Talk Joy Buolamwini - How I'm Fighting Bias in Algorithms. Imagine the possibilities. Police and other authorities use this sort of software and this suggests the possibilities for miss identification are frightening.

Take a look at this story as well Samsung adds and swiftly removes sexist Bixby descriptor tags Not so much an algorithm bias is a software inclusion of biased opinions. How did they miss that? I wonder how many women were in on that decision?

Biases are pretty much unavoidable. As one professor Tweeted me "Most biases are inherent/unavoidable part of cognition. See books by D. Kahneman, R. Thaler, or D. Arielly." If anything this agues for more diversity on software teams. Different biases may, one hopes, help to balance things out in algorithms and software in general. I think though that as educators it is the job of computer science teachers to discuss this issue with students. They need to be aware of the issue if they are to have any chance to moderate the effects.

Categories: Planet

GP–A General Purpose Block Programming Language

I added GP to my list of block programming languages this morning. Mark Guzdial announced on his blog that it was available in Beta (The General Purpose Blocks Programming Language, GP, is now in beta)

According to the website “GP is a free, general-purpose blocks programming language (similar to MIT's Scratch) that is powerful yet easy to learn. It runs on most platforms, including laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, and web browsers.”

This one looks particularly interesting because the GP stands for General Purpose. What does that mean? I think it means more sorts of apps can be developed with it than the more domain specific block languages we have seen so much of.

Since I am not a fan of web apps, that it is available as an executable for a wide variety of platforms (Windows, Raspberry Pi, Mac, and Linux) I’m happy. Available as a web app as well for you Chromebook people!

The development team includes some pretty impressive people who have experience teaching with it. And they have some teaching resources available already because it has been used for teaching. This one seems really worth a deeper dive.

Categories: Planet

The X-factor

Bluyonder Greg Whitby - 19 July, 2017 - 12:58

An interesting dichotomy exists in our society between how teachers are represented within traditional forms of media. Film/TV have typically depicted teachers as walking on holy ground having earned the respect and admiration of students particularly those on the margins. Think of To Sir with Love, Dead Poets Society or Goodbye Mr Chips. Then there are the tabloid newspapers that blame teachers for lacklustre NAPLAN results and the decline in educational standards.

I suspect for most students, their experience of teachers lies somewhere in between the two extremes. In a particular year or subject they end up hitting the jackpot, and in other years or subjects, not so lucky. It is often evident which teachers are having a positive impact on student learning. These are the ones who inspire a love of learning; who can challenge students while maintaining their enthusiasm to persevere and succeed.

As one parent asked recently, ‘Why don’t all teachers have that X-factor?’  It’s difficult to answer because no matter how good teachers are at their craft, there is always so much more to learn (about students, themselves, their practice etc). I believe there is an intellectual arrogance that is deeply embedded in the teaching profession. This equates to the belief that once teachers step into classrooms they know everything there is to know.

I believe the X-factor relates to curiosity and a willingness to innovate to achieve the best outcomes for each learner. This means assuming greater professional responsibility and accountability for teachers’ own and their students’ learning. It is reflected in an openness to embrace change and to continuously transform one’s self, one’s practice and in the process, one’s students.

Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard argued that Christians should never think of themselves as ‘being’ but rather ‘becoming’. The same argument applies to teaching. The work is never complete; we must always be in the process of ‘becoming’ a teacher.

The best script teachers write is the one in which students see learning as essentially humanising and teachers are as open to learning as they are to teaching. In an age where artificial intelligence (AI) will have an impact on almost every profession as we know it, the real X-factor may be that great teachers are irreplaceable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Categories: Planet

Some of the Worst Advice You Will Ever Get as an Educator

The Principal of Change George Couros - 19 July, 2017 - 06:36

At the beginning of my career, I was told (more than once) to “not smile until after Christmas”.  As a new teacher, I was told that it would be important to ensure that students respected me and took me seriously, and if they saw that I was “too nice”, they would lose respect for me.  I am not the only teacher to have received this advice in my career.

Yet I genuinely like students.  I always have.  So the thought was that I need to be something I am not.  Personally, I feel a much better connection with people that seem to genuinely care about me.  I am not talking about being “friends”, but have a caring nature for those that you serve.

But some people will take this as “do you expect me to be friends with the kids?” Not at all.  I expect students to be treated with a caring and respectful nature while having high expectations. Kind of the same way we would want to be treated as adults.

I wrote this in “The Innovator’s Mindset“, from the chapter “Relationships, Relationships, Relationships”:

If we want meaningful change, we have to make a connection to the heart before we can make a connection to the mind. Spending time to develop relationships and building trust is crucial to moving forward as a whole. Without culture, there is no culture of innovation. It all starts by creating an environment where people feel cared for, supported, and are nurtured—the very things we know that impact learning for students in the classroom.

In a world where digital interaction is the norm, we crave human interaction more than ever. That’s why the three things you need to ensure that innovation flourishes in your organization are relationships, relationships, and relationships. Fifty years ago, relationships were the most important thing in our schools, and fifty years from now, it will be no different.

You can push people, but they need to know that you have their back.  The best professional and personal relationships I have had exemplified those two traits.

The next time you hear someone share, “Don’t smile until after Christmas” as an educational strategy, I encourage you to ask them how they would do in that same environment? I don’t think I would want to be there past Thanksgiving (Canadian or American!).

I have changed a lot of my thinking in the years of writing this blog, but my belief in the importance of relationships in education will only get stronger over time.  It is the foundation we build on to create amazing schools.  It is not the only thing, but without, you have nothing.

Categories: Planet

Students Personal Finance

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 19 July, 2017 - 04:29

Comments:

  • Students Personal Finance Internet Library has learning materials for students of all ages, parents, and teachers.
    http://www.textbooksfree.org/Students%20Personal%20Finance%20Internet%20Library.htm - Walter Antoniotti

Tags: education, learning, resources, teaching, video

by: Walter Antoniotti

Categories: International News

Amazon Alexa in the Classroom

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 19 July, 2017 - 03:48

Episode 108 with Bill Selak

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Bill Selak @billselak shares how he’s using Amazon’s Alexa via the Echo and Dot in the classroom. He shares the ideal grades (in his opinion) and how the Echo is an “assistant” of sorts for his teachers. He also talks about how his school made an app for the Echo and about the biggest mistake they made in implementation.

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Bio as Submitted by Guest

Bill Selak is the Director of Technology at Hillbrook School in Los Gatos, California. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator, ISTE 2014 Kay L. Bitter Vision Award recipient, ISTE 2013 Emerging Leader, and a Google Certified Innovator. Bill is currently obsessed with sharing his professional learning on Snapchat.

Transcript

www.coolcatteacher.com/e108

 [Recording starts 0:00:00]

About the Podcast

Starting the week of July 3rd, for three weeks, we’re going to be taking a well-needed summer break from the Ten-minute Teacher. But I wanted to take the chance today to thank those who have supported me on Patreon. You can go to patreon.com/coolcatteacher.

Thank You’s

And I want to give a shout out to Evelyn PV, Deborah Johnson and Gina Boyd. I also want to give a shout out to four people who have recently left iTunes reviews; William D. Parker, Diana Maher, Always Learning Admin, and Teacher Mike. I do appreciate those reviews, and it does really help other people find the show. I am so grateful for all of you listening to the Ten-minute Teacher and telling your friends.

For this first season, I also have to thank Lisa Durff, the most amazing research assistant, extraordinaire in the world. And also, my dear husband Kip, who has been an incredible producer. And I hope you guys will give him a shout out, because he’s really done a tremendous job editing the show. I had no idea we would be on such an adventure or so many of you would listen, and I’m really grateful. Thank you so much. And have a great summer.     

About This Episode

Episode 108. The Amazon Echo in the classroom. This is a special ISTE Episode. And I do want to warn you. After some discussion, we decided not to bleep out what we say to activate the Amazon Echo. So if you have one, you might want to listen on headphones or turn the Echo off so we don’t activate your Echo. Enjoy the show. And I hope all of you have enjoyed all the ISTE goodness.

The Ten-minute Teacher podcast with Vicki Davis. Every week day you’ll learn powerful practical ways to be a more remarkable teacher today.

[00:02:00]

How Bill Selak is Using the Amazon Echo in the Classroom

VICKI:          Happy Edtech tool Tuesday. Okay, so I have an Amazon Echo in my kitchen and I love it. But Bill Selak @billselak is using it in his classroom. Bill, how are you using the Amazon Echo?

Note from Vicki Davis: There is the Echo – http://amzn.to/2uz1KHp and the smaller, Echo Dot http://amzn.to/2tcp6PD. Technically, I have the Echo Dot hooked to speakers in my kitchen. Many people who have speakers in their classroom already are just using an echo Dot and hooking it into their class speakers.  

BILL:    Yeah. So that’s a great question, Vicki. We actually have it in all of our first and second-grade classrooms. I got the idea talking with Scott Bedley; @Scotteach  he’s a fifth-grade teacher in Irvine. He applied for a grant and actually got four of them for his classroom, and put one in each corner. And just, he had kind of a hunch and was like, how might we use these as learning tools? Because he was feeling overwhelmed with students coming to him, what’s this and what’s that. You know, in fifth grade, the state report is a big thing in California.

So, like, you know, well, what’s the capital of Massachusetts; and he’s like, just look it up. So all those kind of low-level stuff, students were able to actually use the Echo to get the information from, which freed him up for the more interesting things that I think teachers would want to be doing, like looking really critically at some of these projects.

So I heard him talk about that about thought, wow, how might we use those at Hillbrook School? And so was just telling the story at lunch to Sarah Lee, one of our second-grade teachers, and she was like, “that’s amazing; I would love to have one of those in my classroom; imagine the things you could do.”

So at the lunch table, I just took out my iPhone, bought an Amazon Echo for her and put it in the second-grade classroom, and she was blown away. And so she got it. And we have two sections of second grade; so then the other second-grade teacher thought, well, that’s really cool, I hear students talk about it all the time. You know, they share students an awful lot. And so they would go into the other second-grade class and say, you know, where is the Echo? Or even better, sometimes they’re just…

Or even better, sometimes they’re just…

VICKI:          Where’s Alexa?

BILL:            They’re just like, hey, Alexa; what’s the – and nothing replied.

VICKI:          Oh. Talking to nothing. I guess she’s not in there.

BILL:            I know. And then first and second grade, all four of those classrooms, share one building. We call it a pod. And the first-grade teachers had a couple of Amazon Echos at home, and so they asked, how might we use these in first grade? And that seems to be the sweet spot.

Takeaway: First and second grade seems to be the ‘sweet spot’ for Amazon Echo devices according to Bill Selak and what he’s seen in his school.

[00:04:00]

                    Talking with the kindergarten teachers, and they weren’t particularly excited with the use of it. And we even tried it in a third-grade class, and third-graders got just so excited that no matter what, Alexa will always talk back at you. And so just kind of first and second grade for us, kind of for our culture to be the sweet spot for it. So we’re using it a lot for just really basic facts that are so super important as a first-grader and as a second-grader, so, like, how to spell things and double-checking math facts.

So things that students want to know they got right, so it’s not like a way to cheat, which is a great thing about the Echo. If you’re doing like two-digit addition, if you shout across the room, hey, what’s 24 plus 36, everyone is going to know that actually the Amazon Echo is giving you the answer. But if you’re doing a little bit of work on your own, you can just walk over quietly and say, what’s 24 plus 36; you get the answer and go, cool, I’m right.

So it’s enabled us, in first and second grade, for students to have way more control over their learning and in double-checking things, and it’s freed the teacher from that bottleneck of, how do you spell this, how do you spell this, considering writing time; the teachers are able to work on the more interesting things like story, and let’s try and get a really good hook, and the students write the spelling, which, again, is a really important part of second grade; to be able to spell correctly, it empowers the students to take ownership over their own spelling. So it’s been really cool.

How the Amazon Echo Works

VICKI:          You’re blowing my mind. But I have a couple of questions. So those of you who have not had an Amazon Echo, the way that you activate, it’s kind of like “OK Siri”, and now probably all the devices on my desk are going to go crazy. And I’m actually hoping that Alexa doesn’t hear me from the kitchen. You say Alexa, and then you tell Alexa what to do, and then she’ll do a variety of things, whether it’s, you know, play Jimmy Buffet or set a timer or what’s the news; there’s just so many things you can do. Now, do you have more than one Echo in a classroom?

[00:06:00]

BILL:            We have not tried that. We’re just putting one in every classroom.

VICKI:          See, I’m afraid to do that. Because I would be afraid that she would hear the different places. Now, here’s the next thing; does the school actually have the Amazon account?

BILL:            Yes. So that’s how we did that.

VICKI:          Okay. But you turned off purchasing, obviously. Because if you turn on purchasing at the house, you can say, you know, Amazon, deliver some dog food, and she’ll do it.

BILL:            Yeah, exactly. We have one account right now. And I’ve heard that Amazon is looking at ways of schoolifying these to make them so that a school can own it and it feels a little bit less like, “hey, buy some more fruit loops,” and you’re able to use it. Like, the interface becomes more education-facing.

VICKI:          Yeah. The thing I love is that you can actually look back and see all the things that have been searched on Alexa. So you can monitor it. It’s not like she’s being asked all kinds of things without you knowing what they are; you can actually look and see what those are.

BILL:            Exactly. That’s so powerful, actually, for the teacher to get the analytics on what are students wanting to double-check spelling on.

VICKI:          You know, when I heard, I saw it on Facebook, and you all were talking about using the Echo in a classroom. And I’m like, why didn’t I think of that? I use it all the time. And I’m calling her her, and it’s a thing. What are your teachers thinking about this?

Teacher Response to the Echo in the Classroom

BILL:            It’s great. They actually don’t talk that much about it, which I think is one of the greatest things you can have with technology, is that it just becomes another tool. Like, our teachers aren’t talking about scissors; oh my gosh, we have these new scissors, can I show you how great the scissors are? You might do that like the first day, and then it’s another tool. So Amazon Echo has really just become that pretty quickly.

We went from one classroom to four classrooms in just two years, and it’s another tool; it’s another great thing they can do. We also have TVs, Apple TVs hooked up; beginning of the day, had some kind of mellow, chill music as students come in.

[00:08:00]

                    And that used to be on the TV. And I’ve seen, depending on, I guess, their mood, sometimes they’ll just be playing on the Echo, just having some nice music in the background.

VICKI:          You can just say, you know, Alexa, play some calm music or play some piano music. I mean, you can just say whatever and it just plays it.

BILL:            Exactly.

The Biggest Mistake Made While Implementing the Amazon Echo

VICKI:          So as we finish up, now, we have to say that this is actually part of your whole school life movement to more flexible classroom. And we are going to do an upcoming episode on that, because that’s really the big picture. This is just a tool that’s part of this student-customized environment. But, Bill, what do you think the biggest mistake that you made with the Echo when you first got it?

BILL:            I think the biggest mistake was not setting expectations with students. If you introduce it and say, this is the coolest thing, you can ask it anything, and all you need to say is, hey, Alexa; if that’s how you tee it up, then every human, I would imagine, is going to go, hey, Alexa. But if you talk about, hey, there’s this amazing tool that will help us check math facts, help us check spelling, will give us all kinds of facts, will actually tell jokes also; that’s a big part of the culture at Hillbrook School, is telling jokes. We do that school-wide every Monday. And so, you know, Alexa will even tell us jokes. But saying, here is what we’re going to be using it for so that students see it immediately as an educational tool in the classroom and not just, oh, I can ask it any random question, and be silly around it. And that’s so important. And that’s just, you would do that classroom management-wise with any new thing.

We do that school-wide every Monday. And so, you know, Alexa will even tell us jokes. But saying, here is what we’re going to be using it for so that students see it immediately as an educational tool in the classroom and not just, oh, I can ask it any random question, and be silly around it. And that’s so important. And that’s just, you would do that classroom management-wise with any new thing.

Amazon Alexa Skills

VICKI:          Yes. And they can be silly because you can tell Alexa to talk like a pirate, can’t you?

BILL:            Yes, you can. You can also – you might not know this one. One of our parents actually built a skill – that’s what these little apps are called on Amazon Echos – a skill called the Hillbrook bear, so you can download that skill and say, hey, Alexa, ask Hillbrook bear, and the Hillbrook bear will give you, like, what letter day it is and what school-wide events they are.

Note: A Skill is an app for the Amazon Echo devices. See how to create an Amazon Echo Skill in 6 steps

[0010:00]

                    So we’ve actually used that as part of kind of our morning meeting each morning to find out what’s happening schoolwide. So that’s been a really cool thing also. It’s more than just talking like a pirate.

VICKI:          Yeah. Because skills are something you can add features and functionality. So we have 30 seconds left. What are the – you’ve already talked about math, you’ve talked about spelling, and now you’ve talked about a special app just for your school. Is there anything else cool that people need to know about the Amazon Echo will do in the classroom?

BILL:            So I love just the inquiry that second-graders do around it. When they got it, it was just, what questions do you have. And the second-grade class shared that with me, and it was just 100 Post-it notes. And they went through, like, what’s a question that a database can answer and that can’t answer, and talked about opinions and facts. And it led into so many amazing authentic discussions.

Teaching Tip: Classrooms using Amazon Echos might want to have a discussion about fact versus opinion. Bill’s suggestion here is a great tip for teaching. 

Instead of just saying, today, we’re talking about fact and opinion; you can frame it around, so Alexa didn’t answer this question because it’s an opinion, let’s talk about that. So it became just really authentic learning that was much more student-driven than it otherwise would have been.

Is Alexa an Artificial Intelligence App?

VICKI:          Would you call Alexa AI, artificial intelligence, or not?

BILL:            I don’t know. I think the jury is out on that one. I think that it’s a specific thing; you could make a case either way.

VICKI:          Yeah. Because, really, it’s almost like the semantic web; it’s just accessing the web with your voice, right?

BILL:            Yeah. I think it’s more of just that and other specific things. It can search and query and give you the results of. I don’t think that it really learns in the way that we think of as artificial intelligence.

VICKI:          Yeah. Okay, so we’ve hopefully given you an exciting new tool to consider for your classroom, the Amazon Echo. Happy Edtech Tool Tuesday.

 

Thank you for listening to the Ten-minute Teacher Podcast. You can download the show notes and see the archive at coolcatteacher.com/podcast. Never stop learning.

 

[End of Audio 0:11:51]

 

[Transcription created by tranzify.com. Some additional editing has been done to add grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Every attempt has been made to correct spelling. For permissions, please email lisa@coolcatteacher.com]

The post Amazon Alexa in the Classroom appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Teach Me How To Teach

Garth Flint hits it out of the part with It is not about coding

Key issue?

"Although both camps were for teachers neither dealt with any pedagogy on how to teach coding or programming. Both stressed syntax and how to read the curriculum they had designed. It was implied in both camps that although pedagogy was important it was something that would somehow be easier that coding and syntax."

This may be the biggest problem with professional development for computer science teachers - we are taught what to teach but not enough of how to do the teaching.
Categories: Planet

Seven Things That Happen When Kids Embrace a Maker Mindset

The Principal of Change George Couros - 17 July, 2017 - 21:46

John Spencer is someone I have connected with and followed for years. I have become a huge fan of his work, and I am proud to have been a part of his book “Empower” with AJ Juliani. He now has a Makerspace Master Course available.  Here are some of the details:

The Makerspace Master Course

John Spencer has designed a week-long Makerspace Mastermind Course. He has spent the last two months interviewing experts throughout the maker movement with the goal of creating a self-paced course for anyone who wants to design a makerspace. The result is a framework you can use to design your own makerspace in a week.

  • Easy-to-follow lessons? YES
  • Instructional videos? YES
  • Curated resources? YES
  • A set of five complete makerspace projects, unit plans, and resources you can use from day one? YES
  • Supportive community of fellow teacher-makers? YES
  • Unlimited access to personal coaching with a design thinking coach? YES

The course costs $125 but you can get it for the price of $99 if you use coupon code “George” when you are checking out.

If you are more interested in learning about John and his thoughts on education, and in particular makerspaces, below is a post of his on “Seven Things That Happen When Kids Embrace a Maker Mindset”.  I also encourage you to read his excellent blog, “The Creative Classroom“.

 

I once taught an eighth-grade student who had written four novels online, despite the fact that she had only been learning English for three years. She spent her free time in class looking up how to set up lead magnets and create funnels for an email list. She read blog posts about how to create more suspense in a plot and how to use action rather than description to develop characters.

She had a maker mindset.

I once had a student who taught himself how to code by playing around with Scratch when he was in the sixth grade. With the help of a teacher who mentored him along the way, he was the first child in his family to graduate high school. And now, he’s working on a master’s degree in engineering.

He had a maker mindset.

But I also taught students with immense talent who never pursued their dreams because they were waiting for an invitation that never came. They were compliant and well-behaved, but they weren’t self-starters. They were adept at the art of filling out packets but they didn’t know how to solve problems or design products. So, they continued for years, waiting for an offer that never materialized.

The Old Formula is Failing

Not long ago, you could follow a formula. Work hard, study hard, go to college, and climb the corporate ladder.

It wasn’t about choice or passion or interests. It was about compliance. It was about putting in your time so that you could make it in the world. And it worked — not for everybody and not all the time — but for enough people that society embraced it.

We live in an era where robotics and artificial intelligence will replace many of our current jobs. Global connectivity will continue to allow companies to outsource labor to other countries.

The corporate ladder is gone and in its place, is a complex maze.

Our current students will enter a workforce where instability is the new normal and where they will have to be self-directed, original, and creative in order to navigate this maze.

The Hidden Opportunity

This is a terrifying reality.

And yet . . .

There is a hidden opportunity in all of it. True, the rules of have changed. But that also means students can rewrite the rules.

People often say, “We need to prepare students for jobs that don’t even exist right now?” But who do you think will be creating those jobs? Who will be dreaming up new possibilities? Who will be building a future we could never imagine?

This is why we want students innovating right now:

Not every student will create the next Google or Pixar or Lyft. Some students will be engineers or artists or accountants. Some will work in technology, others in traditional corporate spaces and still others in social or civic spaces. But no matter how diverse their industries will be, our students will all someday face a common reality. They will need to have a maker mindset.

Dale Dougherty, one of the founders of the maker movement, puts it this way:

Makers give it a try; they take things apart; and they try to do things that even the manufacturer did not think of doing. Whether it is figuring out what you can do with a 3D printer or an autonomous drone aircraft, makers are exploring what these things can do and they are learning as well. Out of that process emerge new ideas, which may lead to real-world applications or new business ventures. Making is a source of innovation.

Isn’t that what we want for our students?

Seven Things That Happen When Kids Embrace a Maker Mindset
  1. They engage in iterative thinking: When students engage in rapid prototyping, they realize that mistakes are a part of the learning process. They learn to distinguish between fail-ure (permanent) and fail-ing (temporary). As they revise and improve, they begin to design products that are better than they initially imagined. This is iterative thinking. It’s the idea that we should constantly test, tweak, and improve our work until we succeed.
  2. They become problem-solvers: Every creative work, whether it’s a documentary or an engineering challenge, is a series of problems. When students embrace a maker mindset, they learn how to look at a problem from multiple angles and generate strategies for solving it. Over time, they become critical thinking problem-solvers who embrace big challenges.
  3. They learn to think divergently: Divergent thinking is all about looking at things from a unique lens. When students think divergently, they are able to connect seemingly disconnected ideas. They find new and unusual uses for common items. They learn to ask, “What if?” Some of the best maker projects involve creative constraint, where students must work within tight parameters to create something new. I used to do MacGyver-style projects in our classroom makerspace. Here, they had five items and had to design a a product or solve a specific problem. At first, they struggled with the process, but over time they learned to find new applications for everyday items. They were thinking divergently.
  4. They take creative risks: When students embrace a maker mindset, they begin to take creative risks. It might involve launching their work to an authentic audience or it might mean trying out something new even if they are worried that it might not work.
  5. They begin to own the creative process: When students embrace a maker mindset, they own the entire creative process from the initial concept through the ideation, into the prototyping, revision, and launch process. The more they experience this ownership, the more likely they will be to define themselves as makers and designers. And when this happens, they take this maker mindset outside of school as they initiate their own projects at home.
  6. They become systems thinkers: Being a maker requires people to navigate systems. These might be digital platforms, physical products, or human systems. But it goes beyond navigation. The more they develop a maker mindset, the better they are at designing their own systems for their creative work.
  7. They grow more empathetic: The best design begins with a sense of empathy. Students might interview a group of people or set up a needs assessment and this pushes them to think about others and to see things from a new perspective. As they work through the design process, they gain a deeper sense of understanding of what others think and feel. This is vital for the creative economy, where companies need products to fit the needs of their customers. But it goes beyond this. When students learn to be empathetic, they learn what it means to serve others. They become better people.

So, how do we actually make this a reality in our schools?

We Need Makerspaces

If we want students to develop this maker mindset, we need to design spaces where making can thrive. You might be thinking, “If making can happen anywhere, do we need a special space for it?”

But makerspaces aren’t designed to limit creativity to one space. Rather, they are spaces that open up new worlds and inspire new possibilities. As students develop the maker mindset, they take these ideas home with them and transform their own worlds.

I love the way Dale Dougherty puts it:

We must try to bring this kind of magic into schools, hard as it may be. I have been focusing on the importance of creating a space where kids have the opportunity to make—a place where some tools, materials, and enough expertise can get them started. These places, called makerspaces, share some aspects of the shop class, home economics class, the art studio, and science labs. In effect, a makerspace is a physical mash-up of different places that allows makers and projects to integrate these different kinds of skills.

In other words, a makerspace is all about vintage innovation – connecting to a tradition of making and also pushing innovation. It’s not about STEM or STEAM. It’s interdisciplinary and connective. It’s the powerful moment when students learn to think like designers, builders, problem-solvers, and tinkerers. When this happens, you realize that making is magic.

It changes lives.

Categories: Planet

Avoiding Assessment Mistakes — The Learner's Way

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 16 July, 2017 - 20:25

Comments:

  • Assessment is arguably the piece of the learning cycle we get most wrong. Whether looked at from the perspective of the learner, the teacher, the school administrator, the politician or the parent, assessment is misunderstood and poorly utilised as a tool for learning. The importance of changing this situation is only made more salient in light of the countless research studies from the likes of Jon Hattie & Dylan Wiliam that points to the power of effective assessment. So, what are the common mistakes and how might we avoid them? - Nigel Coutts

Tags: assessment, learner, education, teaching, learning

by: Nigel Coutts

Categories: International News
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