Science teacher Leah Hirsch inspires students’ need to know with a microscopic, absent-minded doctor lost in a patient’s body who sends the class communiques to help him diagnose and cure.
For 12 weeks, sixth graders in my class embark on a learning adventure based on the misadventures of a fictional character called Dr. Smallz. The class is a hands-on, inquiry-based, integrated science and math course. Students get a chance to be scientists, designers, makers and players as they learn all about human body systems, cellular functions, and the ability of the human organism to maintain dynamic equilibrium. The Dr. Smallz Mission is a great example of the type of game-like learning experience that creates a powerful “Need to Know” in students, leaving them hungry to learn more.
OLPC news plays the eulogy. “The XO-1 laptop is history. Sadly, so is Sugar. Once the flagship of OLPC’s creativity in redrawing the human-computer interaction, few are coding for it and new XO variants are mostly Android/Gnome+Fedora dual boots. Finally, OLPC Boston is completely gone. No staff, no consultants, not even a physical office. Nicholas Negroponte long ago moved onto the global literacy X-Prize project.” Not a noble end. Still – would we have had the tablet revolution without OLPC? Maybe – but not for a long time, probably. So it worked out well in the end.
Edutopia blogger Terry Heick suggests helping students find their voice in the classroom through technology, whether a medium in which they’re already comfortable or one that you believe will make them more articulate.
Students need a voice.
By voice, I mean the ability to recognize their own beliefs, practice articulating them in a variety of forms, and then find the confidence — and the platform — to express them.
The platforms part can go a long way toward serving the confidence part. Introverted students (who may be gifted with self-reflection) might find the openness of a social media channel like Twitter intimidating, but they might also love the idea of long-form blogging, or even communicating indirectly through the creation of mini-documentaries, podcasts or music videos.
This is a national learning object repository for schools in Greece, subject of another presentation at INTED 2014 in Valencia. It includes interactive text books, a national digital repository infrastructure, and a digital education platform.
Presentation at INTED 2014 today. “If we want a powerful innovative culture in schools which is self-sustaining we have to empower system-aware practitioners, working ever more closely with the service users, to create it. And to avoid simply creating interesting but isolated experiments, we have to design in collaborative ways of learning and enquiry between professionals – a “ pull” rather than “ push” approach.” See also this presentation from 2012.
Fropm a presentation at INTED 2014 today in Valencia – “It is a web-based learning resource modelled on a real UK high street community provided for academic staff and students or others to use. It aims to meet the needs of a range of subject areas in Business Education by simulating the complexities of modern organisations within local communities with many interdependent and inter-related functions and processes.” The city is composed of OERs, and the information supports various student activities. You can find quite a few more of these resourcess just by searching for ‘Wincton City’ on Google – for example, this fiuctional Wincton Gazette.
The funny thing about this article is that the author does not seem to know just how much of the average love life has moved online, from dating and flirting, getting to know each other, and even day-to-day conversation. Yes, there is the in-person aspect, without which love just wouldn’t be the same. But the difference between love in person and education in person is this: we would feel funny paying highly specialized individuals $150K a year to satisfy aspects of our live life. It feels funny, in this respect, to read a line like this: “Teaching and learning involves human beings, interaction, opinions, facial expressions, emotion, and yes even a touch of the hand or a warm, sweaty handshake.” And that’s where Sky Gilbert misses the point of online learning, done properly. It takes all the bits of an education that be put online, and puts them there, and then leaves us with the tools and the means of providing the interaction and back-and-forth discourse we need for ourselves. Just like love.
Assistive tech specialist and guest blogger Tara Jeffs believes that age-appropriate edtech can help preschool learners reach their potential – if these tools are presented in ways that inspire initiative and creativity.
The sandbox of today has gone digital and is filled with dynamic touch screens that permeate the play area with brilliant colors, music and animation. These devices provide opportunities to increase engagement, participation and social interactions. Parents, educators and related service providers seek out activities that ensure young children can reach their potential. The brilliant colors and unique interface of today’s technologies offer young learners the opportunity to explore and learn in brief-yet-powerful, on-demand learning intervals with increased focus and motivation.
Blogger Maurice Elias outlines a high school lesson with Maya Angelou’s poem, “A Brave and Startling Truth.”
With National Poetry Month just a few weeks away, you may have already started planning. Exposing our students to the powerful words and images of Maya Angelou’s poetry builds their skills in reading, character education, vocabulary, civics, history, and humanity. Deeply exploring the topics and themes found in Angelou’s poetry can be inspiring to students, and even life changing.
In this talk I examine the transition from the idea of the massive open online course – MOOC – to the idea of the personal learning environment. In the process of this discussion I question what it is to become ‘one’ – whether it be one course graduate, one citizen of the community, or one educated person. I argue that (say) ‘being a doctor’ isn’t about having remembered the right content, not about having done the right things, not even about having the right feelings, nor about having the right mental representations – being one is about growing and developing a certain way.
INTED 2014, Valencia (Keynote) March 10, 2014 [Comment]
Poor bandwidth means a leaan newsletter, but here’s a book on MOOCs that you migth want to read. (I’m in Valencia where I gave a talk today.) “Unlike accounts in the mainstream media and educational press, Invasion of the MOOCs is not written from the perspective of removed administrators, would-be education entrepreneurs/venture capitalists, or political pundits. Rather, this collection of essays comes from faculty who developed and taught MOOCs in 2012 and 2013, students who participated in those MOOCs, and academics and observers who have first hand experience with MOOCs and higher education.”
Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller checks in with two mentor teachers to discuss what they do and offer a few nuggets of wisdom for new teachers, mentor teachers and all teachers in general.
Being a mentor teacher to a teaching candidate is quite a privilege and honor, as you are integral in nurturing and helping that new teacher to reflect and improve upon his or her instruction. I recently reached out to fellow mentor teachers and asked them about their advice and best practices, not only for teacher mentors, but also for new teachers in the field. Here are some great quotes and points from these practicing mentors.
Edutopia blogger Todd Finley explains how the Common Core allows for creativity in the ways teachers can plan a unit, and suggests several strategies for hitting the standards while still exercising your free will.
Planning a unit of instruction demands skill and mental exertion — a fact that is not apparent to parents and legislators who believe that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) tell instructors how and what to teach. Despite advocacy groups‘ arguments to the contrary, the CCSS is, for the most part, a destination, not a roadmap.
On Mondays, we publish a Times photo without a caption, headline or other information about its origins. Join the conversation by posting about what you see, and why. A live discussion is offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time.