- About ACCE
- Digital Resources
I have been hearing a lot of the same argument about social media lately and it has been stuck in my head. There is an idea that young people do not know how to interact because they are always on their phones. This is not about one or the other, but about teaching skills and understanding of conversation and communication in multiple ways. Many glorify a student intently focused on reading a book, yet when it is on a device, many refer to it as “checking out”. They are not necessarily the same thing, but our bias often comes from what we are comfortable with, as opposed to what is new.
Often when this question is posed, my response is, “How much do you use social media yourself?” The usual answer is “not very much.”
My belief is not that students should not have face-to-face interactions. I have always said that face-to-face is better, but not always possible. But what is also true, is that the ability to communicate both online and offline are important; we cannot simply it is one or the other. There are some powerful opportunities when we can have a conversation in person, but there is also some amazing opportunities through connecting through social media.
One thing that is important to note, when I went to school, there were students that were not comfortable having face-to-face conversations. This has nothing to do with devices (there were none at the time), but just who they were at people. Some of those same kids, now have opportunities to feel they have a voice for the first time, and schools need to provide options, not an either/or narrative.
One of the things I don’t have near enough time to talk about in a one semester first programming course is performance. Arguably that is much more real computer science than just programming is but one has to prioritize. It doesn’t help that understanding the performance of code is a pretty complicated thing.
My recent post about finding different ways to solve a problem showed this in the comments where several of us went on a bit about performance. Even simple problems can have solutions with very different performances. There was a time when things seemed a lot less complicated.
In the early days some compilers produced assembly language code which was then often hand tuned by experts. One would be able to find some performance bottlenecks more easily that way. Compilers were relatively simple and “stupid” back then. Then we moved on to optimizing compilers. This changed things quite a bit. It really messed up some of the benchmark software that a lot of people used to understand how fast computer hardware was.
For example some test programs had null loops – loops that iterated many times but did no real work. Before optimizing compilers the loop would run some number of times doing adds and compares and a time would result. An optimizing compiler would examine the code, realize it do no useful work, and just not include it in the running program. Huge performance improvement apparently.
Writing programs that tested the performance of the hardware became much harder. Of course that was a good thing for software development because these compilers allowed average programmers to write very high performing code. Programmers did not have to know as much about how the hardware worked.
That doesn’t mean that people can’t write slow code that the compiler can’t fix. Trust me it can be done. I’ve done it myself and my students are often amazingly good at writing bad code. So it is something we have to think about and teach to some degree. My students who advance to Advanced Placement Computer Science will get a lot more discussion on performance which will be good for them.
I believe one of the benefits of formal computer science education can be a deeper understanding of performance issues. Someone who understands how multi-dimension arrays are stored and processed (yes it can make a big difference) has an advantage over someone who doesn’t. And there are many more possible examples.
There is a lot going on behind the scenes in software. There is often a difference between writing software quickly and writing software that runs quickly. Understanding compilers, hardware, assembly and machine language, and other details about how things work can be very useful.
My daily commute to work used to be 8 minutes tops. Enough time to tune into a bit of breakfast radio, listen to some banal commentary and maybe a good tune, then turn into the school gate and begin the working day. That was then…
…this is now. Get up at the crack of dawn, get ready, then spend the next hour in the car making my way to work. I started with breakfast radio, switched channels over the course of a few days, then realised that the presenter’s tendency to drag a story out over a laborious 20 minutes really wasn’t how I wanted to spend my waking hours.
Solution. The podcast.
Serial, a podcast from the creators of This American Life and hosted by Sarah Koenig, got me hooked last year. It was a twelve episode podcast recounting the murder of Hae Min Lee, a high school senior whose body was found in a city park in Maryland. Her ex boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested and found guilty of her murder and has been incarcerated since 1999. Serial reinvestigated the evidence and sparked massive Internet interest in the case. I binge listened to the first five episodes, then waited with baited breath for the weekly updates that would be posted around 10.00pm on a Thursday night in Australia. I’d tune in straight away, ear buds at the ready, waiting to see what new evidence had been located that made Adnan’s incarceration seem questionable. No spoilers here – if you haven’t listened, I suggest you head to the Serial site and tune in.
So, I’ve been hitting the podcasts pretty hard. When you commute an hour each way, you can power through a lot of content. Here’s what I’ve been listening to and what I’d recommend you give a try.
I LOVED this podcast. Literally couldn’t wait to get into the car to be consumed by the stories being shared. Here’s the description of the podcast from the NPR site:
Invisibilia (Latin for all the invisible things) is about the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Co-hosted by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, Invisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently.
They’re right – the hidden gems they unveil do help you make connections to your own life. I’d find myself nodding my head as I drove along, making connections. Cannot wait for the next season to start!
2. TED radio hour.
Guy Raz has me mesmerised. He has one of those voices that makes him instantly familiar. I’ve listened to nearly every TED radio hour podcast over the last few weeks and the pearls of wisdom shared have me heading home to explore links to find out more. Here’s the description of the podcast;
Based on Talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centered on a common theme – such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections – and injects soundscapes and conversations that bring these ideas to life.
According to ‘my podcasts’, I have only two episodes to listen to until a new one is released. Tragic! And yes, I am subscribed. This is a podcast I can’t miss.
3. On Being
How did I find ‘On Being’? Why, by listening to the TED radio hour and hanging in there for the last couple of minutes where they recommend other podcasts. And I’m very glad I found it. Here’s what it’s about.
On Being opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live? We explore these questions in their richness and complexity in 21st-century lives and endeavors. We pursue wisdom and moral imagination as much as knowledge; we esteem nuance and poetry as much as fact.
Krista Tippett’s interview with Brene Brown is well worth a listen, especially if you’ve read any of her books about vulnerability. On Being will keep me going when the TED radio hour dries up!
Now this is interesting. Here’s what it is;
Limetown is a fictional podcast from Two-Up Productions. Limetown follows journalist Lia Haddock as she investigates the infamous disappearance of a doomed research facility.
It’s a seven part podcast, with only the first two currently available. It reminds me of Orson Welle’s ‘War of the Worlds’ radio broadcast from the 1930’s. (interestingly, a recent Telegraph article claimed the mass panic that surrounded this was a myth) The production quality is reminiscent of techniques used in Serial, and listening to it has made me think of how the creation of a podcast like this would make for a wonderful English class project. Scripting, characterisation, learning how to utilise multimedia effectively – doing something like this would tick a lot of boxes, and I’d bet students would love it too!
Snap Judgement is storytelling.
My favourite episode thus far – Legendary. The story of the Yellowstone wolf known as O6 is going to stay with me for a long time. Listen, and think of how you might weave this into the fabric of a class you teach. Students need opportunities to hear great storytelling like this.
As Molly Meldrum used to say, ‘Do yourself a favour’ and tune into a podcast. Doing so has enriched my world. It just might do the same for you.
The name ‘Sussex’ derives from the Kingdom of Sussex, according to legend it was founded by Ælle of Sussex in 477 AD, then in 825 it was absorbed into the kingdom of Wessex and the later kingdom of England. The region’s roots go back further to the location of some of Europe’s earliest hominid finds at Boxgrove. Sussex has been a key location for England’s major invasions, including the Roman invasion of Britain and the Battle of Hastings. Wikipedia
This journey has been about walking and research but the truth of the matter is I only really visited Sussex to learn more about my ancestors rather than believing that striding out along South Downs Way would be all that great. I now know why Virginia Woolf though it such a deeply inspiring landscape.
I had thought, after the pleasures of the Lake District and Mann, that I would not really find this trail comparatively that wonderful. Happily, I was wrong and wish I had time to walk the entire 100 miles, from Winchester, Alfred’s ancient capital, to Eastbourne.
What you need to understand is that ‘the downs’ are really up high. The South Downs are a range of very chalky hills bounded by a deep escarpment. The views are superb and one has an airy, very free feeling while bounding along with such an outlook. It is almost as good as high fell-walking.
I explored the paths around Washington, Steyning and most memorably, Alfriston, located in the Cuckmere Valley, in the district of Wealden. These are absolutely glorious sections of the route. One afternoon, I descended from the Downs along what one local person told me was ‘the old coach road‘ to loop back to Alfriston. As it turns out, the road must have been a path well before it was used by coaches and I enjoyed skirting farms and walking through woods. The countryside was alive with pheasants, squirrels, rabbits and many small birds I could not identify. It was a lovely afternoon and I walked alone until meeting Nick on the path and chatting for some time.
Mostly I was in Sussex to spend time visiting old farmhouses, record offices and museums. Chris, the curator at Steyning Museum, was really helpful and I will need to keep working with West Sussex Record Office now that I have some more leads. The archives in this record office were the reason I needed to visit Sussex as it held an absolute treasure trove of hand-drawn family trees, wills and other financial records. I located these last year and have been emailing with the archivists and other local people since then to learn from them.
The Goring family have deep roots in Sussex. They donated what is now known as the Wiston archives and these records are important documents for historians. I read up on the parish of Wiston last year and found it had a deeply interesting history.
Rick Goring was kind enough to show me around his family estate. He took me to Guessgate, where I believe Jane Guillod may have lived after the death of her father in 1815, Thomas. Jane’s mother was a Chambers and one imagines that Ann, now a widow, returned to her family for support. Charles, one of Rick’s ancestors purchased Guessgate, probably from the from the Chambers family, in the mid-19th century.
It really helped me to understand the place where ancestors lived as we drove and walked around the estate. Rick was also kind enough to take me to the spectacular Wiston House. I have been reading up about the period (1800-30) and have a much better idea of the rural nature of the life being lived in this area.
Besides walking and research, I took a day to travel around by bus. Generally, I like trains but this gave me an opportunity to jump off and explore villages and towns, many of them listed on baptism, birth, marriage and death certificates of ancestors. I chatted with many people, mostly older folks and some of the conversations were keep playing in my mind.
On one bus a lady, noting my accent, talked about her father who was a British sailor seconded to the Australian navy during World War II. She knew a great deal about his visits to the Blue Mountains, when he was in Sydney. Having once lived in the mountains we spoke about that for quite a while and then I asked her what year he was born. She couldn’t remember and became a little distressed that she could not. We worked it out together as she could remember when he passed away. I started to realise just how old this lady was when she stood up to get off the bus. She must have been over 90. When we were talking she told about how she was very old when first moving to the nursing home outside of Worthing and had not visited any of the places I mentioned from my travels in the last few days. It was quite incredible, considering her frailty, that she could do the bus trip from her nursing home into town.
I wished I’d asked her name.
Another elderly woman, Grace, was most amusing and quite conspiratorial as the conversation continued on what was quite a lengthy bust trip to Brighton. She had been a nurse and certainly knew what was what about human nature. I am reluctant to post some of the things she said here as they were so outrageous but what has really stuck in my mind was her memory of Alfriston. She had been there just once in her long life living in Sussex. Her late husband had taken her for their first date in the village in the late1960s. Shortly after that, she met what seemed like her boyfriend at a bus stop and he hopped on. She spent some time at this stage comparing the excellent adventurous nature of her dead husband to his tame conventionality. I felt a little sorry for John but he seemed to have heard it all before.
It was quite a show.The Long Man
Even though travelling solo has many pleasures, it is good to have a companion. Tim and I have travelled together, on and off, for 21 years. We have had Big Trips to Egypt, India and more recently, Spain! The South Downs is a little closer to home.
We explored some more of the chalky paths and found, after following some false trails, the Long Man of Wilmington. The weather continued to shine and it was a great day of yarning about politics, books and Jeremy Corbyn followed by a good late lunch before catching the train.
Tim’s a Londoner and his home in North London is always a great base for me to explore the city and visit Stratford-upon-Avon, which I have always avoided.
It would be great to explore the West Sussex literary Trail during some future vist. Or maybe there is a West Sussex Shepherd’s Way? My beard is developing in a fashion that may make it a great walk to take.
If you see what I mean?
Next stop – Londinium!
Feature image: flickr photo by Darcy Moore http://flickr.com/photos/darcymoore/21625976858 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license
As I was watching students build a “cotton ball sling-shot” with items that they had, I was sitting there looking at what was in front of them and all I wanted to do was Google how to make something. I actually tweeted the following out:
So I’m struggling with this…kids are trying to figure out how to build something and I just want to google how to do it. Thoughts?
— George Couros (@gcouros) September 29, 2015
I struggled with this concept as there is a balance of trying to figure stuff out on your own, and the ability to connect with others (or information) to find the answer. I then tweeted the following out:
If I have an activity, and I google to find an answer, is that cheating or being resourceful? Does that promote creativity or detract? — George Couros (@gcouros) September 29, 2015
What is interesting is that the responses both helped to shape my thinking, while challenging me. This is something that is quite powerful and although we talk about “collaboration” and “connected learning”, some people see them as the opposite, where I see them as quite similar.
Here is a few things that I am struggling with:
- If you were hiring someone, would you go with someone who would take a long time to figure something out (but eventually will), or the person who connects with others and can find out instantly?
- Are we developing kids that have both the skills listed above?
- Do kids think to Google things outside of school, but when we do activities like this, they don’t even think about it?
Useful Pedagogies and Tools for Educators
Sketchnoting is not just an attractive way to take notes, it can improve retention and learning. These sketchnoting resources will get you started with your students. You don’t have to have a ton of talent, just a little know-how. I’ll update these sketchnoting resources, so tweet me or leave a comment to add your favorites. Don’t get overwhelmed, just get started.
Twitter Tip: If you want to find and share great sketchnotes, follow the #edusketch hashtag on Twitter.Resources on Sketchnoting and Visual Notetaking: Most Valuable Sketchnoting Resources
- Sylvia Duckworth’s incredible presentation Sketchnoting for Beginners.
- Kathy Schrock’s Sketchnoting guide
- Smashing Magazine’s Article on Sketchnoting
- Karen Bosch’s Free Sketchnote Course on iTunes
- Notetaking Skills for 21st Century Students – one of my most popular blog posts that incorporates visual notetaking/sketchnoting into how I teach students to take notes.
- Sylvia Duckworth’s Sketchnote/ Visual Notetaking Blog Post for Beginners
- Karen Bosch’s Sketchnoting Tools Website
- Doodlers Unite – Popular TED Talk by Sunni Brown – She uses the term “doodle” but many I know use sketchnotes or edusketch as their titles. Warning – you can’t really use this video with K12 kids, it has an inappropriate joke in it. Pick some of the others I’ve listed here.
- Sketchnoting Fans: Paper 53 Built a Sketchnote Community
- Karen Bosch’s Tool Recommendations (scroll down for her current recommendations)
- Sylvia Duckworth’s Sketchnote Flickr Account – Sylvia sketches relevant things for educators today.
- Sketchnote Army Website
- Sketchnotes on Pinterest (this is a search for the tag, you must filter to find the ones you want, but I love trolling for ideas here.)
- Sacha Chua’s Evernote Notebook of Sketchnotes (hat tip Todd Finley for pointing me to her!)
- @sylviaduckworth Sylvia Duckworth
- @langwitches Silvia Tolisano
- @braddo Brad Ovenell-Carter
- @karlyb Karen Bosch
- @rockourworld Carol Anne McGuire
- @rebezuniga Rebeca Zuniga
- @amyburvall Amy Burvall
- @sachac Sacha Chua
- The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently by Sunni Brown [BOOK]
- The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual note taking by Mike Rohde [BOOK]
- What are Sketchnotes? (Great sketchnotes explaining sketchnotes.) [SKETCHNOTES]
- How to Create Awesome Visual Notes [BLOG POST]
- Brad Ovenell-Carter’s Sketchnoting Primer (video above) [VIDEO]
- Sketchnote Podcast (they are videos – 10 part series you can use with kids as you watch people draw on camera.) [10 VIDEOS]
http://www.lsri.nottingham.ac.uk/research/drawingtolearn “Ainsworth, Prain and Tyler (2011) in a paper in Science argue that drawing can play a number of important roles in learning:, namely:
Drawing to enhance engagement — surveys have shown that when students draw to explain they are more motivated to learn compared to traditional teaching of science.
Drawing to learn to represent in science — the process of producing visual representations helps learners understand how scientific representations work.
Drawing to reason in science — student learn to reason like scientists as they select specific features to focus on in their drawings, aligning it with observation, measurement and/or emerging ideas
Drawing as a learning strategy — if learners read a text and then draw it, the process of making their understanding visible and explicit helps them to overcome limitations in presented material, organise and integrate their knowledge and ultimately can be transformative.
Drawing to communicate — discussing their drawings with their students provides teachers with windows into students’ thinking as well being a way that the peers can share knowledge, discovery and understanding.” Skills and Strategies | Doodling, Sketching and ‘Mind Mapping’ as Learning Tools – The New York Times
http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/09/24/skills-and-strategies-doodling-sketching-and-mind-mapping-as-learning-tools/?_r=2 Excellent article on the strategies and skills students need about sketchnoting, doodling, and mind mapping. These are important skills. Kathy Schrock is quoted in the article. Hat tip to Sylvia Duckworth for this gem.
The post Epic Sketchnoting Resources: How to Get Started Teaching Sketchnoting appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
I’ve had my students working on a little exercise this week. It’s simple and I know that a lot of teachers use similar projects. The idea is to build a triangle or in this case two of them. You can see what I am looking for on the right.
Now as long as I have seen this project I have always used nested loops to generate the triangles. The outer loop controls the rows and the inner loop the columns. It’s a pretty natural way of thinking especially when it comes in the middle of a unit on loops in a first course. As far as I can recall all of my students have solved this the same basic way – nested loops.
Today I was trying to help a struggling student and realized that there was a way without nested loops. Well it turns out there are several ways one can do this. At least one depends on knowing about some methods built in to the string class in the .NET platform. Other ways should be easily determined by beginners so I’ll not go into that here. Besides, that is not the point of this post.
The point is that it is easy to get into ruts. Easy to fall into the same old solution time after time even as we add more tools to our toolbox. From time to time it is helpful to step back and look at old problems with new eyes. Grace Hopper used to promise her audiences that if they ever said “we’ve always done it that way” she would appear and haunt them. I can’t hear that phrase without thinking of her so I guess she was serious.
I wonder what other old projects I should be taking a new look at?
An Every Classroom Matters Episode
Beth Kanter is a leading social media expert for nonprofits. She gives advice on how schools should manage their Facebook, Twitter, and social media efforts. Most schools need more volunteers and donors (or at least positive press). Schools can even motivate students to share positive things. Social media can help if you know how.
- How should schools spend time on social media? Measure success?
- How one group found a video with a million views didn’t help get more volunteers and donors.
- Engage and empower PhilanthroTeens to support your school on social media.
- Make it easier for volunteers to sign up.
- Make it easier to donate through social media. (We talk about Facebook’s “donate now” button.)
- Explanation of A/B testing and how it can help your school.
Beth Kanter wrote the Networked Nonprofit book series. She is considered a leading expert in the use of social media for social change. Social media is a mindset. Social media is a skill. Social media can help you, not just be a problem. Anyone working with social media in schools should follow Beth.
- The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change by Beth Kanter
- Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World by Beth Kanter
- Facebook donate now button
- Volunteerspot.com is a free tool that will make it easier to engage potential volunteers and donors. Make parent-teacher conferences easy. Pick the times you can meet. Email/share the link. Parents DON’T need a password or login to sign up. Volunteerspot will remind them. Volunteerspot is easy and FREE! Sign up today.
The post How to Get More Volunteers and Donors for Your School appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
Code.org announced a set of videos about “How the Internet works.” today. This set of short (6-7 minutes long) videos explain many of the key concepts that make the Internet work. Lots of graphics and narration by engineers from some of the big high tech companies and some real computer pioneers – Vint Cerf for the win! Presenters are very diverse as well which I see as a huge positive. They're very well done. I’ll be using them with my students.
Full list of videos:
- Wires, Cables, and WiFi
starring Google engineer Tess Winlock
- IP Addresses and DNS
starring the co-founder of the Internet Vint Cerf and
Microsoft engineer Paola Mejia
- Packets, Routing, and Reliability
starring Spotify engineer Lynn Root and
- HTTP and HTML
starring Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp and
XBox program manager Jasmine Lawrence
- Encryption & Public Keys
starring national intelligence expert Mia Epner
- Cybersecurity & Crime
starring Google Security Princess Parisa Tabriz and
Jenny Martin from Symantec
Code.org has a library of videos for teaching computer science with still more videos.
Hot Research, Trends, and Teacher Resources Today
I’m going to be experimenting again with a news feature that I ran a few years back. I’ll summarize some of interesting research, trends, and helpful resources. Let me know in the comments if you like me bringing back this feature and if you find it useful. I plan to try this for a while and measure the response. I want to help educators be excellent every day. Part of being excellent is reading things and being a lifelong learner. Tweet me things you think need to be shared on a wider basis.Resources You Can Use in the Classroom Free Technology for Teachers: Google Expeditions is Possibly Coming to a School Near You
Cool virtual reality tool. I have one my sister gave me for Savannah college of Art and design that they did with the iPhone. It was incredible. Cardboard with a smartphone inserted. It uses the accelerometer inside to really make it feel 3d. It does. You can actually get kind of dizzy.
From Richard Byrne’s site.
“Earlier this year Google unveiled a new virtual reality program for schools. The program is called Expeditions. Expeditions uses an app on the teacher’s tablet in conjunction with the Cardboard viewer to guide students on virtual reality field trips. Today, Google announced that they are bringing Expedition demonstrations and the required kits to schools all over North America, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.”We’re NASA Mars scientists. Ask us anything about today’s news announcement of liquid water on Mars. : IAmA
https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/3mq1wl/were_nasa_mars_scientists_ask_us_anything_about/NASA mars scientists posted at 1:30 pm on 9/28/2015 just a few hours after it was announced that liquid water was found on MARS — that they would be answering questions on Reddit. This is a cool thread. yet another reason to join Reddit. 10 Questioning Strategies to Differentiate Instruction | Minds in Bloom
Laura Poinier’s post has some easy-to-do strategies that can help you start differentiating NOW. I especially love what she says about giving kids prior notice.
The simplest and most effective strategy to help students succeed is to give them extra time to process. Do this by giving prior notice before cold-calling. Assure specific students that you will never “cold-call” them and will instead let them know ahead of time when they will be asked to participate. How? During independent practice or bell ringers, privately tell a student, “Your answer to number one is perfect; I’m going to ask you to share it when the timer goes off,” or “After Bobbi and Jake read, you are going to read paragraph three aloud.” Many students who struggle academically act invisible or act out to avoid public academic failure. Giving prior notice is a great way to reduce anxiety and misbehavior.Free Technology for Teachers: 5 Research Tools Students Often Overlook
A fantastic overview / reminder to students about some incredible research tools right in front of them. Share this one!Writing
Editing tips to take your writing from good to great – Crew blog
This is an awesome article with tons of quotes from writers. A marvelous one to share with your creative writing classes.Research that People Are Talking About
“The authors–C. Kirabo Jackson, associate professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University, Rucker C. Johnson, associate professor of public policy at University of California, Berkeley, and Claudia Persico, a doctoral candidate in human development and social policy at Northwestern University–show that “increased school spending is linked to improved outcomes for students, and for low-income students in particular…Increasing per-pupil spending yields large improvements in educational attainment, wages, and family income, and reductions in the annual incidence of adult poverty for children from low-income families.
As they also show, it matters how the new money is spent–such as on instruction, hiring more teachers, increasing teacher pay, hiring guidance counselors and social workers. Money well-spent “can profoundly shape the life outcomes of economically disadvantaged children and thereby reduce the intergenerational transmission of poverty. Money alone may not lift educational outcomes to desired levels, but our findings confirm that the provision of adequate funding may be critical.””
Sleep Scientists Confirm Getting To Work Before 9 AM Is Torture
“Children of anxious parents are more at risk of developing an anxiety disorder. But there’s welcome news for those anxious parents: that trajectory toward anxiety isn’t set in stone.
Therapy and a change in parenting styles might be able to prevent kids from developing anxiety disorders, according to research published in The American Journal of Psychiatry Friday.”
Music and Learning: Why Teachers Should Consider Music in the Classroom | The Inspired Classroom
Being a Better Online Reader – The New Yorker
Fascinating overview of the research and controversy of online and e-reading versus reading with a physical book. From what I’ve read the “jury is still out” but still, there are definitely times you must have a physical book. For example, my daughter struggled in Calculus – we decided to save up and bought her the $800 printed calculus book (instead of the $124 online book). Her grades are decidedly UP. There are certain materials, I believe, that are best shared on the printed page. Here’s what researcher Anne Mangen a professor at the National Centre for Reading Education and Research at the University of Stavanger, in Norway is quoted in the article which says,
Much of Mangen’s research focusses on how the format of reading material may affect not just eye movement or reading strategy but broader processing abilities. One of her main hypotheses is that the physical presence of a book—its heft, its feel, the weight and order of its pages—may have more than a purely emotional or nostalgic significance. People prefer physical books, not out of old-fashioned attachment but because the nature of the object itself has deeper repercussions for reading and comprehension. “Anecdotally, I’ve heard some say it’s like they haven’t read anything properly if they’ve read it on a Kindle. The reading has left more of an ephemeral experience,” she told me. Her hunch is that the physicality of a printed page may matter for those reading experiences when you need a firmer grounding in the material. The text you read on a Kindle or computer simply doesn’t have the same tangibility.
One interesting note on this article. They don’t follow some of the principles of helping make a page readable online. I found the page hard to read not because of the words, but the layout. I would argue that the way a page is presented also impacts how reading happens.Trends About Today’s Students
http://www.information-age.com/technology/mobile-and-networking/123460243/how-mobile-technology-education-shaping-next-generation-employeesThis article talks about how today’s teaching is going to change the business world. Sadly, I think that much of the teaching they CLAIM happens (such as mobile learning and differentiation) may not be as widespread as they think. Either way, this generation is different and I do think they expect to be a truly mobile workforce. Of course it will be interesting to see how the kids who are lucky enough to have personalized learning feel about the workforce. How one school is turning Generation Z into entrepreneurial innovators | Information Age
http://www.information-age.com/it-management/skills-training-and-leadership/123459052/how-one-school-turning-generation-z-entrepreneurial-innovators And I’m seeing this too. This generation wants to start their own business. We see this with Shark tank type experiences. This is a cool overview of what one college is doing as they literally help students start businesses in school instead of doing projects that go in the trash.
The post Improving the Education of Kids in Poverty and Other Helpful News appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
York is a ‘Scandy‘ town but not Durham.York & Durham
Arriving in a very old city is a strange and wonderful experience. Often one may have relatively little knowledge of the geography, history or people but on arrival, there’s always a gut feeling one has about the place or at least a response as simple as, “I like it’ – or not so much. This intuition is a mere blink but travel enough and you start to trust these ridiculously fleeting impressions and often, after a little research, there’s plenty of flesh one can place on the bones of these feelings.
I alighted from the train at York in sunshine, after what must have been heavy rain as the streets were very wet, walked to my apartment located at one of the main entrances to the old Roman fort at Bootham Bar. The ancient city felt buoyant and fresh. There was optimism in the air and an openness about the place. Within minutes – and it was not in my mind or something that I was thinking prior to arrival – York felt so obviously more Scandinavian than any place I have visited in England over the last 21 years. It is hard to put my finger on the specifics but it was overwhelming. Yes, it was the faces in the street mostly – but also a vibe.
I had thought all this and then kept seeing people who looked like they had walked straight off the set of Vikings. For example, there was a tall blonde woman striding along with what was more wolf than dog; it was so large one instantly thought of Rob Stark’s direwolf. I was laden down with bags and packs and had no camera handy, even my phone was out of reach. Missed opportunity that.
When I arrived at this other Northern English city, my impressions could not have been more different than those about York. It was the most English of English towns…without even a whisper of anything ‘Scandy’. After visiting York, I was surprised that this was the case, expecting to see Viking heritage all around too but soon discovered more as I dug into the local histories of both cities.
York was founded by the Roman Legio IX Hispana in CE 71 as a defensive position and was known at that time as Eboracum. This area had been controlled by the Brigantes. Interestingly enough, and you will know this if you ever read Rosemary Sutcliffe’s novels or saw this recent film, that this Ninth Legion disappears from history by CE 120. Theories have abounded as to what happened to the legion but the most popular is that they were wiped out by the “indigenous Northern tribes”. There was a good reason, it seems, to build Hadrian’s Wall if a legion of 5000 of Rome’s finest soldiers were completely annihilated. Tellingly, the wall was commenced in CE 122 which lends credence to the theory.
Several Roman emperors visited York and Constantine, on the death his father, was proclaimed emperor while in the city. When the Romans withdrew from Briton, York declined. It was settled by the Angles in the 5th century and over the next couple of hundred years saw the growth of christianity. Viking raids from the late 8th century proliferated until eventually Danish or Norwegian kings ruled most of the north. Of course, when the Normans came York was consolidated into the new regime rapidly. It could have all been very different perhaps if these Vikings had not been defeated in 1066. In fact, the truth of the matter is that William the Conqueror’s great-great grandfather was a Viking anyway and had ruled Normandy. The Normans had long ago been infiltrated from Scandinavia.
For those of you who read, then watched Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, I would particularly recommend a visit to the astonishingly beautiful and interesting York Minster. It is the main tourist attraction in York so most will visit as it is an absolutely magisterial cathedral par excellence but if you have enjoyed the series, it add a little extra interest, especially when in the Chapter House. I could not find a clip of the sequence, in the first episode of the television adaptation set in York Minster, where Mr Norrell proves his magical abilities to some disbelievers by bringing the cathedral statuary to life but the following video interview will give you the idea and is also a good insight into the challenges of adapting a novel for the small screen. It is very cool.
Here is another look at the special effects using York Minster and surrounds if you were a fan of the show.York City Walls
York’s city walls are a treat for tourists who like walking. They are not continuous but there is certainly a few kilometres to traverse. Students of historical trivia should note that the only reason these walls still exist probably due to the fact the Archbishop of York fought the Corporation of York over the removal of some of the wall 200 years ago and won. The legal precedent effectively saved the walls from demolition and now York is the most complete example of such a city in Europe.
Another piece of trivia I gleaned was that Hitler wanted to retaliate for the loss of cathedrals in Germany during Allied bombing raids. He chose to attack York after reading a tourist guide book that waxed lyrical about the city, especially York Minster. Also, in a final not really related piece of trivia: I noted as I was wandering the walls just after finishing the second novel in Cixin Liu’s, Three-Body Problem trilogy, John Goodricke‘s amazing personal and scientific achievement.
When you walk out of York Minster or off the city walls, there’s a jumble of medieval streets to explore and many plaques that bring the past into the present. If you like wandering such cities it really doesn’t get much better. The Shambles is particularly great to explore and I found some cool gifts for my family.
I visited the York Museum, mostly to see an exhibition about Richard III but was very underwhelmed. It seemed the mainstay was a video of Laurence Olivier playing the legendary king who murdered his nephews. That’s not completely fair commentary but the huge banner out the front of the beautifully located museum did lead one to expect something more expansive, especially with all the controversy in recent years.
I am not a pub-goer but loved the names of those medieval drinking establishments close to my accommodation. In fact, all over England it is a delight to note pub names. In Australia, we tend to have pretty boring names for inns and hotels imho.
“I unhesitatingly gave Durham my vote for best cathedral on planet Earth.”
One can see why Durham was chosen for the final resting place of St Cuthbert, my new favourite medieval saint**. The location is a brilliant one to defend against the Viking hordes who were pillaging Lindisfarne, the original resting place of this most important early christian saint, as the river is not navigable. This is one of the reasons why Durham did not feel the impact of two hundred years of Viking incursions and rule, as did York.
I particularly liked the ‘Sanctuary Knocker‘. When a wrong-doer sought sanctuary at the Cathedral and knocked, watching monks would grant entrance, day or night. In 1623 new laws effectively meant that sanctuary was no longer legal for criminals.
The market square is truly charming and walking along the riverbank on a hot day is just as relaxing a pursuit as one could possibly imagine. Fans of the most Venerable Bede should note he was also interred in the cathedral to avoid the Viking excesses.
Even though York Minster is truly inspiring in every way – architecture, history and the stories – I do not disagree with Mr Bryson!
**I was initially attracted to Cuthbert’s ‘incorruptibility‘, but soon realised it was not anything to do with this saint being a particularly ethical character. Click on the link as it is an important part of the Durham story.
I visited Durham as Thomas Guillod was baptised here in 1772 and my efforts to uncover more detail about his ancestors had drawn a blank. Thomas’ baptismal record only lists his father, Daniel. I have made so much progress with my other research that is hard to accept that Daniel, who I placed on a tree so very long ago, is proving so resistant to my investigations. My visit to the Durham Record Office confirmed that there is nothing at all in Durham re: the Guillod family, that can be uncovered. In the lead-up to my trip several archivists tried to find out about Daniel but without success and during my visit they were very helpful but all to no avail. That’s not quite true. I did discover that the vicar at St Mary-le-Bow*, which is now a heritage centre, would not record the mothers’ names on the baptismal record.
I visited St-Mary-Le-Bow where Thomas was baptised and learnt a great deal to help me creatively re-imagine the period. Firstly, it stands literally in the shadow of the grand cathedral, at the North Bailey. Secondly, after seeing some of the exhibits at the heritage centre and talking with the staff, I realised that Durham was a major stop on what was the Great North Road between London and Edinburgh. It was especially thriving in the time Thomas was baptised.
I am starting to hypothesise the Guillods emigrating from Switzerland or France. Maybe they were heading south to London, where Thomas seemed to live his life. Could it be possible that Daniel had Thomas baptised en route from a port further north? It would explain why there are no other records of the family in Durham.
*BTW The ‘le Bow’ quite literally refers to a part of the wall that was buckling under the weight of the stone.
I am fascinated with the story of Thomas’ daughter Jane, orphaned before she became a teenager, when Thomas dies of consumption in 1815. Jane, dies in Australia in 1879 and I am slowly uncovering her life, travels and times. More on that next post.
Before catching the evening train back to York, after a well-satisfying day, I sat by the river and had a grand late lunch, or maybe it was an early dinner. It sure beat the cold meat and cheese sandwiches I eaten for the last week. The photo of the poached egg and wild mushrooms does not do the meal justice.
Featured image: flickr photo by Darcy Moore http://flickr.com/photos/darcymoore/21659775842 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license
- "Students understand the power of social media but are they making good decisions about what to post online? How can we, as educators, help them understand not just the immediacy of their posts but also the permanence of online communications? Learning is becoming more digital and educators at all levels should be instrumental in building students’ understanding about how their online presence impacts both their personal and future professional lives. Educators are also instrumental in helping students develop lifelong habits to create and maintain a positive online identity. You can look to the 2015 ISTE White Paper, Building and Keeping a Positive Digital Identity, to help kids be more intentional in what they post online. This paper applies ISTE standards to the idea of building and maintaining a positive online identity. It poses five questions adults can use to kick-start meaningful conversations about online behaviour and identity." - Rhondda Powling
by: Rhondda Powling
- "Online whiteboards can be a fantastic aid to students when they’re trying to help each other work through problems or tutor each other. Online whiteboards are also helpful to teachers who are crafting visual explanations for students. Sketchlot and Stoodle are excellent online whiteboard tools. Both will work in the web browser on your laptop, Chromebook, iPad, and Android tablet. Video demonstrations of both tools are embedded below. Sketchlot allows teachers to create and manage student accounts. Stoodle offers a platform for collaboration through whiteboards." - Rhondda Powling
by: Rhondda Powling
“Our teachers aren’t asking for this.”
This is a sentiment that I have heard from administrators often when talking about initiatives/technology in school in why they may not have certain things in the classroom. Whether this is YouTube opened up for student use, revamping professional learning, or even something as simple as having a projector in the classroom, not asking for something doesn’t mean that it is not needed.
The problem with this logic is that many teachers don’t know a different way because a) they never knew it was a possibility in the first place, or b) they have done fine without those things in the past.
As leaders, we need to not only take care of those we serve currently, but look to the future as well. Developing things like innovation teams, that explore the possibilities of what is possible, and become like a research and development team for the school, are crucial to success in a constantly changing world. These should not be one-off initiatives, but organizational norms in schools which are to embody “learning organizations”. If we are stuck in the same place we were years ago, we are not modelling at a system level what we expect from individuals.
Administrators need to always listen to educators, but they also have to put themselves in the forefront as well. What seems impossible to one school, is already commonplace in another. There is something wrong with this picture, and if we don’t actively seek and deploy ways to becoming innovative, we will perpetually be stuck in the past.
Still a lot of news going on about New York City's plans as well as other places also looking at adding more computer science education. It seems like more and more people and places are jumping on the bandwagon. It will be interesting to see who pulls off what. And how well it works. Speaking of how well it works. Let’s start off with some news from code.org.
Code.org ’s program evaluation is available in summary. It shows some promising results and some challenges http://blog.code.org/post/129570949752/codeorgs-program-evaluation-promising-results Worth a read. Short answer: Adding more CS is not easy and it can be expensive. But it is doable with the right support.
Now a couple of posts about New York City. The first is a bit pessimistic while the second one from someone deeply involved is a bit more upbeat.
- Chalkbeat: Why computer science? The story behind the city's flashiest new education initiative
- Who will teach #CS4All?
2015 Faces of Computing contest underway! Upload your video entries by November 7 for a chance to win!
Virtual BBC Micro:Bit Now in Beta – lots of resources for teachers who are going to be getting these cool little devices for their classroom. Plus something to play with for those of us who are curious about them.
Australia will teach coding in schools, with a new update to the national curriculum! Will the US keep up nationally or just in some areas?
Tags: building, class rules, cooperative learning, cooperative learning activities, criteria, hands-on, lesson plans, make a tower, maths 4 kids, reflection, teamwork, skills, newspaper, curriculum, lessons
by: Rhondda Powling
Hey School Leaders, 92% of teachers believe classroom design has an impact on student learning – A.J. Juliani
- Interesting discussion about the physical environment in classrooms and other school spaces.Backed up with some research too. "In a 2012 pilot study by the University of Salford and architects, Nightingale Associates, it was found that the classroom environment can affect a child’s academic progress over a year by as much as 25%. " - Rhondda Powling
by: Rhondda Powling
by: Rhondda Powling
- Student-centered classrooms include students in planning, implementation, and assessments. Involving the learners in these decisions will place more work on them, which can be a good thing. Teachers must become comfortable with changing their leadership style from directive to consultative -- from "Do as I say" to "Based on your needs, let's co-develop and implement a plan of action." This first of three posts on student-centered classrooms starts with the educator. As the authority, teachers decide if they will "share" power by empowering learners" - Rhondda Powling
by: Rhondda Powling
- You can download free sound files from JetCityOrange . There aredifferent sounds here on this page you find sounds from nature including the sound of crickets, waterfalls, waves, storms, and waves. - Rhondda Powling
by: Rhondda Powling