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Learner-Centred Innovation – New Book From @KatieMartinEDU

The Principal of Change George Couros - 7 February, 2018 - 09:57

I am truly excited to announce that the second book from IMpress, a subsidiary of Dave Burgess Consulting, “Learner-Centred Innovation”, is now available on Amazon.  This book is by one of my favorite writers and someone I look to as a thought leader in education, Katie Martin.  I have known Katie for several years, and am also proud to call her friend.  Below is my foreword to the book, and I encourage you to get a copy as it is an incredible read.  I am proud to have been a part of this project and help bring Katie’s work to a larger audience.

In 2015, I had the wonderful opportunity to write and publish the book, “The Innovator’s Mindset. Katie Martin, a dear friend and colleague of mine over the past few years, was crucial in what was written in those pages. Her mind toward where education was and where education needs to go is one of the brightest that I have met in the past few years. When writing my book, after completing each chapter, I gave Katie carte blanche to edit anything that I wrote as she saw fit. To be honest, I can’t think of one other person in the world that I would trust so much with a book that would bear my name.

This doesn’t mean we agreed on everything, and to this day, we still don’t. The push and pull of ideas that Katie has provided me have sharpened my own thinking. It is something I wish were the norm in schools today. Often, we agree on ideas or practices in person, but are we too afraid to have the tough conversations and embrace the meaningful conflict needed to really create the important changes education needs to move forward? If we do not embrace opportunities for challenge, who does that benefit in the long term? Definitely not the educator, and most certainly not the students. We need that balance of “push and pull” if we are going to create effective change, and it is important that we have critical friends in our work as educators. Katie will not only challenge your thinking in this book, but she will also push you to ask more questions. Her approach is about starting and deepening the conversation with you, not telling you what to do. She knows that people who ask questions first are the ones who change the world.

When I met Katie several years ago, we spoke all things education for a significant part of the day. Her ideas challenged me and provided me with inspiration to try new things and question my own assumptions about what I believed I knew in the world of education. As she continued to speak, I stopped her and told her, “you need to blog.” My belief was that someone with the vision Katie had for educators and students (learners) should not be limited to a conversation here and there, but her thinking needs to be shared with the world. It would not only help Katie really reflect on her own learning but more importantly, that thinking would be shared with the world.

Katie eventually took me up on the challenge to blog, and her blog subheading, “Inspired by Research, Refined by Practice,” is exemplified through her work. Katie strikes a fine balance between identifying what has worked in the past while keeping an eye on what students need in the future. Too often, books take a stance on one side of the spectrum or the other, but Katie weaves the two intricately together, to help schools create students who ask questions and identify problems in the same way she creates experiences where the adults do the same.

The work of educators is challenging. We must recognize individuals and systems for the gains we have made, and we must create a culture that continuously looks to develop students’ strengths and improve in areas of weakness. And just as we expect of the children in our schools, we need to continuously grow as learners. Both elements are crucial for growth that is spurred by validation. Katie provides both in this book. You will end up feeling inspired to push your own learning through stories and examples of practice happening in education right now, and you will feel affirmed by the knowledge that many of your current practices that enhance student learning are putting both schools and individual students on the right path.

Three things I ask you as you read this text:

  1. Identify what has challenged you.
  2. Identify what has been reaffirmed.
  3. Identify what you will do moving forward.

This will give you a path to make your own connections to where you are and where you are going. No idea in education can simply be carbon copied, as each community and learner is at a different place. Katie writes this to provide the ideas, but it is up to the reader(s) to make the actions happen.

I have been blessed to have direct access to the wisdom of Katie Martin for the past several years, and I am glad that her ideas will now reach many more schools through this book. The ideas here will inspire you to challenge your own thinking, ask more questions, and create better schools for our students. What more could you ask?

Categories: Planet

10 Ways to Use Screencasting for Formative Assessment

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 7 February, 2018 - 03:03

Screencastify and Screencasting for Formative Assessment (a sponsored post)

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Screencasting is a useful assessment tool. While I use it for my video tutorials, I also have my students make their own screencasts to help me assess their progress. In this blog post, I’ll share how I use screencasting to assess student work. I’ll also give some suggestions for using screencasting in formative assessment. Specifically, I’ll mention features of Screencastify, the tool I recommend for students to use for Google Chrome or Chromebooks.

(If you’re unfamiliar with screencasting, see the “Getting Started” section at the end of this post.)

This is a sponsored post by Screencastify. Why Screencasting Is a Useful Formative Assessment Tool

For their assessments this week in my class, my students are demonstrating the process they use to code their video games. They’re explaining their code and how it works. They’re also running their video game and letting me see how that works.

What I Learn When I Can Look “Under the Hood” of Student Projects

When students are showing me their code, I sometimes realize that they don’t understand what they’ve done, or that they haven’t actually set up their code correctly. Therefore, by seeing how students are displaying their code, I can actually determine whether they understand coding at all. I make a note so that I’ll have a list of things to discuss with each student.

I’ve also noticed when students aren’t doing the assignment correctly. As we program in Scratch, the video game is supposed to start and the commands are supposed to run. However, some students will just pick up the mouse and move it manually. That’s not really a program, just something that they’re doing on the screen. When students are screencasting, I can very rapidly catch these types of things that I might otherwise miss in the busy noise of my classroom.

Bandwidth Savings when Uploading to Google Drive

Also, saving screencasts to Google Drive is an advantage because I don’t have to download those large video files. I can just go to the link and see what the students have done.

So, when you’re teaching programming, a tool like Screencastify is so useful because you can understand exactly what students are learning. Therefore, it’s pretty much my daily formative assessment tool when teaching programming of any kind.

Screencastify is to Chromebooks what Explain Everything has been to iPads all these years — a formative assessment tool well-suited to any device running Google Chrome. So, in addition to being able to capture screencasts, Screencastify can also let you write on the screen and do a variety of other things with the toolbar.

10 Classroom Uses for Screencasting for Formative Assessment 1. Assessing code

Students explain how their code works and show what happens when they run it. (We’ve already discussed this one above.)

When students do work on projects, they can make a quick screencast and send the link to their teacher in Google Classroom or their LMS for fast formative assessment.

2. Demonstrating a skill

This practice fits with the old adage:

“If you want to understand something, teach it.”

For example, you might want to make sure that students understand how the advanced Google search works. Have them demonstrate it in a 20- to 30-second video. You’ll notice that when you give students a time limit, they may have to record and re-record. (The Screencastify restart button helps with this.) Working through the steps and explaining them out loud will cement their knowledge.

3. Explain a math problem

Often in math, the right answers aren’t enough. We need to know that students understand the process. To help with this, you can bring up a white screen and then use the screencasting tools to write on it while giving an audio explanation of a math problem. This is great for math teachers and can turn your Chromebook into a very simple way of ensuring that you understand how students are working problems.

Since chalkboards were invented, teachers have had students work problems on the board to see their process. Now, using screencasting, every student can work on their board at the same time and be seen by their teacher and evaluated.

4. Peer review for writing or other online work

Students often prefer verbal feedback, but it can require quite a bit of your time as a teacher. Now you can use this technology for peer feedback. Have students bring up another student’s Google Doc and record a screencast about what they find as they’re going through it. Now, admittedly, sometimes Google commenting is best for small snippets of feedback. 

However for longer verbal peer review feedback in a blended or online classroom, this technique can be useful.

Give students specific things to look for. For example, if you’re focusing on comma use, then have them find three issues. Or have them talk about three things that they like about the piece and perhaps explain three places where it’s unclear.

When they’re finished, students can just attach the link from their Google Drive and the other students can listen and understand exactly what the issues are and where in the document to find them. This has advantages over the even face-to-face conversation the specific problems are easy to spot in the screencast.

Remember that this is a useful tool for evaluating both the student receiving feedback and the student giving it.

Screencasting of writing or online projects is a fantastic and quick tool for peer feedback in blended an online classrooms

5. Reading and translating languages

If a student in your class learning a new language, they could go to a website that uses their new language and translate some of the content. They could also read the different language aloud and then translate it for their teacher. This is an authentic way of assessing whether students are able to comprehend and translate another language.

6. Explanation of student work

With the webcam enabled, students can display an artifact in their screencast. Or if they’ve created a website, a portfolio, or something else that a teacher uses to assess their learning, they can record a video as they’re looking at their artifact and explain what they’ve done and their thinking process. So instead of the teacher looking for things, students can show you. It saves time!

7. Virtual exit slips

Class Tech Tips blogger Monica Burns uses screencasts as virtual exit slips. You can do this by setting aside the last three to four minutes of class for students to explain how to do what they learned in class. Then they turn in the link to their short screencast on Google Classroom. This is a quick way to make sure that they understand the concepts of class without just repeating what another student has said, which can be the case with class conversations instead of exit slips.

8. Book reviews, journals, or opinions

Screencasts are fantastic way to have students speak their opinions. This is particularly helpful if a student struggles with the mechanics keyboarding or handwriting. So, for example, they can display a book cover on the screen and explain about the book or give their review. They can also bring up an artifact, a piece of art, or another item on the internet and share a journal entry or their opinion about that object.

This is a great way to see if students can express their thoughts and summarize their thoughts without requiring them to write. Speaking on a screencast lets them analyze and share what they know while meeting some of the standards without struggling with the mechanics of writing. This is very helpful for students and teachers.

9. History artifacts

Students can bring up a historical document on their screen and analyze the artifact. As they show it on the screen, they can narrate and write on the screen. The teacher can understand if they’ve effectively analyzed the nonfiction text. You can also make a gallery where students can share their analysis with others in the class.

10. Fluency in reading assignments

Sometimes, you may just want the student to read a book excerpt or a part of an article. Maybe you want him or her to identify and explain vocabulary words in context. Or you might want to verify that a student is able to find a word and look it up. So whatever aspect of literacy you’d like to see the student demonstrate, screencasts are a fantastic way to assess for this fluency.


Screencastify: A Valuable Addition to a Teacher’s Toolbox

As a teacher, you always need a quick way to create and share a video when you’re using Google apps or G Suite in your classroom. Now it’s easy to upload a screencast to Google Drive, copy the link for sharing — and you’re done!  

Screencastify is an easy-to-use tool saves many steps, and if you’re using the pro version of Screencastify, you can get unlimited recordings, more editing features, and even more capabilities.

(If you want a quote, let them know that Cool Cat Teacher sent you for a discount.)

If you currently have Chromebooks or use Google Chrome in your classroom, I highly recommend Screencastify Lite, but really suggest that you consider Screencastify Pro for your classroom.

You’ll be glad you did.

Getting Started With Screencasting Step 1: Install Screencastify

Students need to install the Screencastify Google Chrome plug-in.

Step 2: Set Up Screencastify

Once a student starts to record, Screencastify will give three options: save to youTube or Save to Google Drive. (You can also download the video.)

I like my students save into their Google Drive. This means that they’ll be able to access their Screencastify videos from whichever computer they use. Also, when a student clicks “link,” it will copy the link to the video so they can give it to me in our Learning Management System (LMS).

A Note about Publishing: Remember that students could publish directly to YouTube if it’s enabled on the device they’re using. While my students have YouTube channels, I typically don’t want these screencasts posted to YouTube, so I just have them post to their Google Drive. If you’re an IT Director, however, and you’re often posting tutorials, this could be a handy feature for you.

Also, remember that a screencast is unedited video. This means that my students will just be explaining their work and their process to me without editing. I like this because it’s as if the student is sitting at my desk, and I can hear everything in their voice and how they’re feeling about this project.

Screencastify is an excellent tool for formative assessment in the classroom. Get your students started today.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.)

The post 10 Ways to Use Screencasting for Formative Assessment appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Try It Free - Coding App for Kids | codeSpark Academy

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 6 February, 2018 - 23:26


Tags: kids, coding, elearning, app, game, 21st

by: Gaby K. Slezák

Categories: International News

Technology isn’t the problem

Bluyonder Greg Whitby - 6 February, 2018 - 14:05

Yes, you heard it right. The Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham and NSW Premier, Gladys Berejikilian have suggested that schools lock up phones until the end of the school day to prevent students’ from being distracted. Naturally the comments generated a lot of debate on radio particularly among frustrated parents and teachers. I understand their frustration. Growing up my children wanted TVs in their bedroom because most of their friends had them. Our response was that we had to renegotiate the boundaries of TV viewing.

The same applies to today’s medium – the mobile phone. This is a boundary issue, not a device issue. The simplistic response is to either ban the technology or blame it for inappropriate behaviour. If mobile phones are such a distraction, then why aren’t we banning them from workplaces also? Simple reason (aside from employee revolt) is that mobile technologies are now part of modern work environments. We’re using them to communicate, collaborate, transact and search so much so that they are no longer devices but tools of our trades.

I believe the bigger question is how we as a society, respond to the seismic shifts happening. Since we can’t ignore the digital age, we must find ways of navigating the new frontier including what we deem as acceptable and appropriate use at home, at work and at school. Banning mobile phones is not a solution, it’s a reaction to the massive waves of ever-changing technologies. There’s an air of anti-intellectualism in all of this – a fear of the new sciences that was just as evident in the time of Galileo. 

Let’s look at this as a learning moment involving a learning tool. The focus for schools is on how to use technologies more effectively to engage learners and to improve the quality of teaching in a digital world. We don’t prevent learner drivers from accessing highways nor should we prevent learners from accessing the information superhighway. What they need are good instructors and an array of engaging experiences that develop confidence, knowledge, skill and safe behaviours.

I’m tired of hearing people blaming the tools. Great teachers like Eddie Woo from Cherrybrook Technology High in Sydney are using technology in simple yet powerful ways to engage learners in maths. Engagement is the missing link here. Technology would never be an issue if teachers are maximising the opportunities to deliver relevant learning experiences. Students are tuning into Netflix and YouTube in class because they are turning off the learning. What makes a successful school in the digital age is the concept of a learning community, where teachers and leaders, parents and students are essentially learners, seeing learning (about technology) as a major task of everyone.

The pressing challenge is not to exclude the digital from an out-dated analogue model of schooling. It is to reconsider the very nature of schooling itself which, in today’s world, has two dimensions – the virtual and the physical. Technology has already claimed an important place in society, and while these tools refuse to be constrained by the traditional boundaries, we need to create new ones because they have the power to promote new thinking and vastly different learning experiences for young people.








Categories: Planet

Bluyonder voices podcast #6 – School of life

Bluyonder Greg Whitby - 1 February, 2018 - 20:48

Emma Husar MP left school before she completed Year 12. Describing herself as a non-conformist at school, Emma went on to become the Federal Member for Lindsay in NSW. Emma has strong views on how to improve education for all learners and why society needs to value teaching more.

Categories: Planet
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