Teaching Adolescents How to Evaluate the Quality of Online Information An essential part of online research is the ability to critically evaluate information. This includes the ability to assess its level of accuracy, reliability, and bias. In 2012, my colleagues and I assessed 770 seventh graders in two states to study these areas, and the results definitely got our attention. Middle school students are more concerned with content relevance than with credibility They rarely attend to source features such as author, venue, or publication type to evaluate reliability and author perspective When they do refer to source features in their explanations, their judgments are often vague, superficial, and lacking in reasoned justification Other studies highlight similar shortcomings of high school and college students in these areas (see, for example, a 2016 study from Stanford). So what can you do to more explicitly teach adolescents how to evaluate the quality of online information? Dimensions of Critical Evaluation Modeling and Practice Prompting
Powerful Learning: Studies Show Deep Understanding Derives from Collaborative Methods Today's students will enter a job market that values skills and abilities far different from the traditional workplace talents that so ably served their parents and grandparents. They must be able to crisply collect, synthesize, and analyze information, then conduct targeted research and work with others to employ that newfound knowledge. In essence, students must learn how to learn, while responding to endlessly changing technologies and social, economic, and global conditions. But what types of teaching and learning will develop these skills? And, just as important, do studies exist that support their use? A growing body of research demonstrates that students learn more deeply if they have engaged in activities that require applying classroom-gathered knowledge to real-world problems. Research shows that such inquiry-based teaching is not so much about seeking the right answer but about developing inquiring minds, and it can yield significant benefits. Project-Based Pathways Good Signs
The 13 Best Science and Technology Books of 2013 by Maria Popova The wonders of the gut, why our brains are wired to be social, what poetry and math have in common, swarm intelligence vs. “God,” and more. On the heels of the year’s best reads in psychology and philosophy, art and design, history and biography, and children’s books, the season’s subjective selection of best-of reading lists continues with the finest science and technology books of 2013. Every year since 1998, intellectual impresario and Edge editor John Brockman has been posing a single grand question to some of our time’s greatest thinkers across a wide spectrum of disciplines, then collecting the answers in an annual anthology. In 2012, the question Brockman posed, proposed by none other than Steven Pinker, was “What is your favorite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?” In the introduction preceding the micro-essays, Brockman frames the question and its ultimate objective, adding to history’s most timeless definitions of science: Be still.
OPB American History Interactive: Thesis This interactive exercise will guide you through the process of evaluating primary sources in order to develop a thesis. INSTRUCTIONS:Using the provided primary source materials as evidence, you will consider four different hypotheses about the causes of the Civil War. The relative importance of these arguments remains a hotly debated issue among historians, so do not assume that one clear answer exists. Step 1 - Review the four hypotheses Conflicting Economic InterestsPreservation of the UnionSlaveryState's Rights Step 2 - After weighing the importance and authority of each piece of evidence provided, determine which explanations you think the evidence supports (it may be more than one) and how strongly it supports each hypothesis. Step 3 - Once you complete this process, you will rank the four proposed causes of the Civil War from the factor that is most-supported to the least-supported, creating your own thesis about this considerable historical question.
How teachers can best use TED Talks in class What happens when a teacher mixes Madame Bovary and a TED Talk? Good things, actually. Photo: iStockphoto My high school English class had just finished reading Madame Bovary, and we were all confused. That night for homework, our only assignment was to watch a TED Talk: “Why we love, why we cheat” by anthropologist Helen Fisher. I didn’t realize what my teacher was doing until class discussion the next day. “So,” my teacher said, “if Gustave Flaubert and Helen Fisher were having a conversation about love, what would they say to one another? There was a pause, and then: “I mean, the thing about love being a drug, like cocaine, seems like Emma felt love like that?” “But then what about Charles? “Well he wasn’t intense, and he wasn’t possessive. “He died for love.” “Did he die for love or for heartbreak?” “What’s the difference?” The discussion continued, back and forth. I graduated from high school in May. I wanted to find out why Ms. Her comment clarified something for me.
Fostering a Culture of Inquiry How can we apply literary elements and work with local experts to create high-quality graphic novels? How do cycles of revision improve our artwork? How might we impact voter turnout for a local municipal election? How do we deep our students' mathematical thinking? Now in its 13th year, the Calgary Science School has had a consistent focus on problem-based and inquiry-based teaching and learning. Inquiry also infuses the school's approach to professional development. "The name 'Calgary Science School' can be a bit misleading," Stephenson says. How does Calgary Science School define inquiry-based learning? Adding Value with Outreach As a Canadian charter school, Calgary Science School has a dual mission. One method of outreach is the school blog. Internally, the blog provides an institutional memory and project archive. In another outreach effort, Calgary Science School invites collaboration with other schools. U.S. Please share your thoughts in the comments.
6 Free Online Resources for Primary Source Documents The Common Core Learning Standards describe the importance of teaching students how to comprehend informational text. They are asked to read closely, make inferences, cite evidence, analyze arguments and interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text. Primary source documents are artifacts created by individuals during a particular period in history. 1. The National Archives is a fantastic resource. 2. Also run by the National Archives, DocsTeach is full of activities for educators. 3. Spartacus Educational is a great resource for global history. 4. Fordham University is another good resource for global history. 5. Broken down by time period then listed in alphabetical order, the Avalon Project at Yale University also has primary sources for global history teachers. 6. Google and Life Magazine have a wonderful search engine that lets users search millions of images from the Life Magazine Photo Archive. Easy iPad Access Using iPads in your classroom?
Document Analysis Worksheets Document analysis is the first step in working with primary sources. Teach your students to think through primary source documents for contextual understanding and to extract information to make informed judgments. Use these worksheets — for photos, written documents, artifacts, posters, maps, cartoons, videos, and sound recordings — to teach your students the process of document analysis. Follow this progression: The first few times you ask students to work with primary sources, and whenever you have not worked with primary sources recently, model careful document analysis using the worksheets. Don’t stop with document analysis though. Materials created by the National Archives and Records Administration are in the public domain. These worksheets were revised in February, 2017.
4 Things You Don't Know About the Jigsaw Method Say “Jigsaw” in some teaching circles and no one will bat an eyelash. It’s one of those techniques that has been with us so long, it is no longer seen as new. When considering methods to share in my collection of instructional strategies, I ignored it for a long time because I assumed most people already knew how to use it. Still, I figured it was worth including at some point. When I finally sat down to review the steps of Jigsaw, I came across a few surprises. Although Jigsaw is typically presented as just one in a number of cooperative learning strategies, its origin story has little to do with academics. Rather than take a crisis management approach to the situation, which they believed would only put a band-aid on the problem, Aronson and his colleagues wanted a solution that was more organic, something built into the structure of students’ everyday learning. For a more thorough understanding of the strategy and its history, read the Jigsaw Classroom’s Jigsaw Basics white paper.
Introduction to Inquiry Based Learning At the Calgary Science School we focus on inquiry-based learning, technology-intergration and outdoor/environmental education. We believe these three pillars come together to provide students with opportunities for authentic, meaningful and relevant learning. At the core of our program is inquiry - an approach to learning and teaching (including teacher learning) that is the foundation of all we do. Our thinking around inquiry is that it is more than just 'doing projects' but is rather nurturing a dispostion toward critical thinking, reflection and idea improvement in all learners in our building. In creating and sharing these projects, we are thankful to the Galileo Educational Network for their role in shaping much of our thinking about inquiry. On this blog you'll find a growing collection of inquiry-based projects. This document is currently in a text-only format and our next goal is to embed illustrative video throughout the document.