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Patterns: Learning, Thinking, Creating

Patterns: Learning, Thinking, Creating
By Kevin Washburn, on January 10th, 2012 It seems contradictory. The brain seeks and sees patterns, but when asked to find patterns, many people become uneasy. Patterns and the Brain “Patterns” was a major theme at the November Learning and the Brain Conference in Boston. Patterns are the cement of memory. Patterns and Teaching While interesting or even good to know, what do these research-based conclusions about patterns mean for education? Students need to learn how to dig deep and recognize patterns. Searching for and identifying patterns across disciplines should be a common classroom practice. An increased, intentional focus on patterns provides us with a way to 1) make material more interesting and memorable for the brain, 2) better equip students for critical thinking, and 3) open the door to creative thinking much more widely. References Images Related:  iPads in Middle SchoolTeaching

Project Based Learning Resources (image from Project Based Learning (PBL) is a great way to teach students content, 21st century skills, and engage them in something fun and educational. I spoke more about PBL in an earlier blog ( and we had some great reader comments (Tech&Learning, May 2009, page 14). First of all, PBL can be used in any classroom, in any subject, at any grade level. PBL does take planning. For instance, I teach physics and developed a project for my classes on structures and stress and strain. Another example of PBL is having the students research a topic and present it to the rest of the class through a multimedia presentation, website, or poster. Start small. Another idea for projects is to look at your school or community and see what they need. An idea I got from my wife (a Biology Education student) is to have students create a lesson for other students about a topic. Some web resources to get you started:

Real World Math - ideas for using Google Earth in math class Real World Math is a site with lessons and ideas for using Google Earth in the math classroom. There are lesson ideas, examples, and downloads for math that are based on active learning and project based learning, including analysis and creativity. The Lessons page has lessons grouped into five categories: Concept Lessons, Project-Based Learning, Exploratory, Measurement and Space. There is a Community page for teachers to collaborate and share lesson ideas. There is also a Resource page with links to other sites, blogs, or materials that users of Real World Math should find helpful. This is a fun and interesting way to teach, and learn, math. Related: Yummy Math - making math relevant to the world Personalized Learning – Swedish Style « June 14, 2012 by cultureofyes In the middle of an industrial park just outside of Stockholm is one of Sweden’s top-performing schools – Kunskapsskolan Tyresö. It is part of a network of 33 Kunskapsskolan schools in Sweden – all funded by a public school voucher system (Sweden has a national voucher model), and has no tuition, accepting students on a first-come, first-served basis. Having just spent some time with several colleagues who attended High Tech High, in San Diego, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities in the stories they told (Here is a post by Gary Kern and by Lynne Tomlinson) about their experiences. The physical plant itself is modest. Here are some of the key elements we saw as we walked around the school and talked with teachers and students: The bullet points are all quite familiar for those following the personalized learning discussions. Here is Eiken’s full presentation: Just as with High Tech High, there are many “Yeah, buts”. Like this: Like Loading...

Why I Love and Use Learnist (and Why You Should Too) I love Learnist. I’ve had an account with them since it was in invite-only beta form and now, luckily for everyone, anyone can create an account with their Facebook credentials or with a valid email. What Is Learnist? Learnist allows you to create “learn boards” that are dedicated to a particular topic of choice. For example, I teach Advanced Placement (AP) French through the College Board. You don’t just have to limit your learn boards to traditionally educational topics. Recently at my school, we’ve started an Online Educational Resources (OER) initiative to reduce spending on print textbooks. Why I Love it! Once you have an account, you can follow people with similar interests, and they can follow you, you can “like” learn boards or individual “learnings” (the individual resources posted on the boards). Does this sound like Pinterest? Is there an app for that? What can Learnist do for you? Sign up for Learnist at About Franca Gilbert Franca P. Print This Post

The c MOOC as knowledge ecologies Thanks to Stephen Downes for the reference to Dr. Mohamed Amine Chatti’s Knowledge Management: A Personal Knowledge Network Perspective. Here are some abstracts that I would like to quote: Knowledge ecologies are thus self-controlled and self-contained entities. Knowledge ecologies lacked a shared repertoire and are thus open and distributed knowledge domains.The result of participation in a knowledge ecology is a restructuring of one’s PKN, a reframing of one’s theories-in-use and an extension of one’s external network with new tacit and explicit knowledge nodes; i.e. people and information (external level)Knowledge ecology is a more general concept than intensional networks.In essence, a knowledge ecology is a complex adaptive system that emerges from the bottom-up connection of PKNs. That is a wonderful analysis of knowledge ecology, with a model of Knowledge Management based on Personal Knowledge Network perspective. Here I have elaborated such a configuration in my previous post:

Do I just Google that? Tools for Teaching Search Skills in the Primary Classroom Nowadays many pupils, when given a research task, immediately might think to themselves, “I’ll just Google that.” Internet search engines (of which Google is only one of many) are powerful tools but many pupils use only a fraction of the power of them, and then can also have difficulty finding the information specific to the task. There are many resources now available to help in developing pupil skills in searching more effectively using online search engines. And, of course, when they do find information how do pupils know it is appropriate for the task? Or how do they evaluate what is suitable, and how do they present it and show where the information was found. Tools to Help Teach Research Skills The Big 6 One method of teaching information skills for investigating sources of information from databases, encyclopedias and the Internet is that known as “the Big Six.” 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The Kentucky Virtual Library How to Do Research Finding Duclinea Ergo – Teaching Research Skills

Get Over It: The Truth About College Grad 'Underemployment' Guest post written by Abigail Johnson and Tammy Nicastro Abigail Johnson is president of Roeder-Johnson, a Silicon Valley strategic communications and PR firm. Tammy Nicastro is Executive Director of Development at UCSF Medical Center and Benioff Children’s Hospital. This article represents their personal opinions and not those of their employers. In recent weeks, there have been a slew of articles that reported how difficult things will be for this year’s college graduates because they can expect to be unemployed or “underemployed”. It’s just plain arrogant for anyone to consider their job underemployment. First, when people get a job, there is nothing stopping them from making their own luck. Let’s talk about making your own luck: One woman we know was a graduate of one of the finest universities in the U.S. with a very high GPA. We all know stories like these. Now let’s look at this issue of reinforcing the idea of entitlement.

Best Tablet Pc´s software Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 Recognizer Pack, add-on for XP that allows international writting recog.IE7Pro, add gestures on Internet Explorer.RitePen, program that recognizes the writting on the screen, it´s a good method to launch programs.PDF Revu, Pdf editor oriented to Tablet Pc´s. InScribe, TIP for Tablets.InDoku, Sudoku for Tablet PC´s.PenCommander, program launcher that allows Ink. Autodesk SketchBook Pro, drawing program oriented to Tablet´s SmartDraw, business graphics software that supports Tablets.TabletFlash, program that allows drawing on white cards.MathJournal, MathJournal is an interactive program for the Tablet PC that provides a natural and intuitive environment for solving mathematical and engineering problems. Revelation Natural Art, drawing program for Tablets.Apex Nexus, Mobile Sketching & Data Collection, shareware 199$, Nexus lets you draw directly on your Tablet PC just as you would with pencil and paper.

På jakt efter skolpolitisk fantasi | Claes Nilholms blogg Alla politiker förefaller vara överens om att den svenska skolan behöver åtgärdas. Det är inget konstigt med det, verksamheter behöver förstås utvecklas. I debatten handlar det ofta om vilka konkreta åtgärder som behöver vidtas: Tidigare betyg? Inga betyg (kan dock inte sägas i dagens debatt)? Fler skolinspektioner? Här vill jag inte så mycket diskutera konkreta åtgärder utan i stället fokusera på var man hämtar idéerna ifrån. Varifrån hämtar man då svenska politiker sina lösningar för att utveckla skolan? Den andra källan där politiska lösningar hämtas är på den internationella arenan. Det är lite konstigt att man tror att det gamla svenska skolsystemet fungerar i en förändrad värld.

Creative APP-titude: iPad Multimedia Tools for Creativitity Exceptions LectureScribe This website serves as the current distribution point for LectureScribe, a program for easily producing animated "whiteboard lectures" from a tablet PC or electronic whiteboard. LectureScribe is written by Brian C. Dean, an assistant professor of computer science at Clemson Univeristy. Audio Bug Alert: The latest versions of Adobe's Flash player managed to break the audio playback for LectureScribe-generated files (and also for several other prominent applications, e.g., Camtasia) by making playback sound garbled, with periodic squawks and other artifacts. Important Note: 26-minute time limit! Note: Since so many folks have indicated interest in using LectureScribe, I'm in the process of setting up a message board for users to post questions and suggestions, as well as share content produced with LectureScribe and similar programs. On this website, you can find: The LectureScribe program.

Snabbkurs för Tomas Tobé och andra som inte hunnit sätta sig in i de senaste 20 årens forskning om bedömning i skolan | Skolö Med anledning av diverse politiska utspel om fördelar med mer betyg, prov och läxor och det lättvindiga avfärdandet av kritiken mot dessa utspel, har jag tagit fram en Youtube-kurs för stressade utbildningsdebattörer. Den börjar med Skolverkets material kring värdet av en skola på vetenskaplig grund och beprövad erfarenhet. Därefter följer intervjuer och föreläsningar med några av väldens främsta forskare kring motivation, lärande och bedömning. Flera duktiga lärare och rektorer som riktat kritik mot politikernas betygsiver har lättvindigt avfärdats som betygsmotståndare (t.ex. här). Målet med kursen är att studenten ska kunna uttala sig om betyg och bedömning på ett sett som ligger i fas med forskning om motivation, lärande och bedömning och ett modernt samhälles förväntningar på skolan. 1. Skolverkets filmer om beprövad erfarenhet, vetenskaplig grund och evidens 2. Professor Carol S. Daniel Pink 3.

Creating Infographics Infographics. You have probably seen them before. There are so many out there on a wide variety of topics. These really are a great way to visualize data. Here are a few of my favorite sites and tools to use when creating infographics. Wordle: Chances are this is one you have heard of. It doesn't get much simpler than using Stat Silk: This is a set of tools that you can download to create interactive maps and charts. Creately: Creatly is an online mindmapping program that is pretty powerful. Google Public Data Explorer: It probably goes without saying but Google has access to lots of data. Aviary Phoenix-Once you gather your images, charts and graphics, you are going to need a way to put them together. Kathy Schrock has an entire webiste dedicated to using infographics in the classroom. What other sites do you use to visualize data?