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
Students Learning From Their Blogging Buddies Posted by Mrs Kathleen Morris on Tuesday, March 27th 2012 I seem to be continually uncovering more and more benefits to educational blogging. Aside from the advantages that I’ve shared here and here, having your class involved in the educational blogging community allows students to learn from and with their peers from all around the world. In my class we often use our blogging buddies’ posts as inspiration for classroom activities, and as role models for high standards of work. One such example was the readers’ theatre activities that we were doing last week as part of our CAFE reading program. Throughout the week, we read a range of readers’ theatre scripts and used the posts on Mr Salsich’s Classroom Blog and 4T’s Classroom Blog as inspiring models. We published one of our own performances on our class blog here which hopefully continues the cycle of sharing. There have been many other instances when my students have learnt from their blogging buddies.
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
1:1 implementation This week I will have the opportunity to work with a school that has implemented a pilot 1:1 program while simultaneously focusing on implementing inquiry based instruction. Last year I had the opportunity to work with a group of their teachers as they planned to make this change to their learning environment. According to early reports, things have gone successfully thus far. Their implementation was different than the ways that many schools implement 1:1, but it is a model others should consider.
Creative APP-titude: iPad Multimedia Tools for Creativitity Professional Development for Teachers with PEBC Professional Learning 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. Visual.ly: It doesn't get much simpler than using Visual.ly. 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?
Rapid Product Development Association of South Africa 10 Videos You Could Use to Inspire Writing. From the time teachers first viewed The Piano by Aidan Gibbons on a training course, it suddenly became legitimate to use short independent film to inspire writing. Films like the Piano are perfect for lessons as they are often: Emotive and thought-provokingAesthetic - the animation is often captivating and of high qualityShort and therefore easy for children to take in and teachers to build questioning aroundOriginal – as the children have not seen the film before they do not come at the clip with expectations or baggage. I love finding clips which I use with my class as a weekly alternative to class story. Alternatively I use a well-chosen piece as part of our literacy work for a way into poetry or story writing. I have also found that embedding a clip on our class blog has led to some excellent review writing. Though I have watched these myself and feel they are appropriate to use in class, I do advise you to watch any of these clips all the way through and make up your own mind.
A Must-Have Model For 1:1 Success In Schools Easier as it would be to pretend otherwise, the truth is that integrating mobile technology into a school is not a ‘one size fits all’ sort of thing. That said, there are some basic principles which I think probably stand true for all schools going on this journey. This graphic illustrates the model which I think any school would benefit from understanding if not following. Why? To explain it briefly I believe that there needs to be a vision for WHY you are embarking upon this project (I will discuss this briefly later). This WHY will be different for each school and that is how it should be. Necessary Collaboration The Principal and the Lead Teacher need to share this vision. I have deliberately labeled a ‘Lead Teacher’ and not ‘Head of ICT’ and to me it is absolutely essential that the Network Manager and the Lead Teacher are different people as the roles are ridiculously different. Training The next step is to train up a core set of teachers who will fly the flag for you.
6 Reasons Why We Should Be Using iPads | iPads for Learning Vineet Madan, vice-president of McGraw-Hill Higher Education eLabs, spends time developing ways that technology can improve learning among college and university students. He recently talked about the reasons why iPads are ready for the college classroom. K-12 schools across the country (and just down the street) are putting huge chunks of cash aside for 1-to-1 iPad initiatives. Madan argues that iPads are tailor-made for the university level. I think they are. iPads Are the Best Way to Show Textbooks iPads are capable of displaying incredible ebooks featuring images, video and audio. And when there is text, the iPad allows students to highlight text, take notes in the margin and access a dictionary directly within the book itself. Kids Are Ready for Tablets While iPads have been around for just over 14 months, kids have been using smartphones for years and understand touchscreen technology. iPads Can Raise Test Scores iPads Have the Software to Be Competitive Is the iPad a silver bullet?
12 Ways To Integrate (Not Just Use) Technology In Education There are a couple dozen ways to ‘use’ technology in education. There are also a couple dozen ways to integrate technology in education. Think those two things are the same? Think that throwing a few iPads and a few Edudemic blog posts into a classroom is the best way to launch a 1:1 initiative? In case you couldn’t guess, it’s not. Situation 1 You’re a school principal and decide to make the Apple iPad a cornerstone of your school’s curriculum. Situation 2 You’re a school principal and decide to make the Apple iPad a cornerstone of your students’ learning. Weigh In Which principal would you want?
Six Examples of iPad Integration in the 1:1 Classroom There has been a lot of conversation and debate in multiple forums, both online and face-to-face, about schools adopting or already working in a 1:1 environment. While many of these conversations revert back to replacing teachers and what device is best, the real conversation begins with providing our students with the best learning environment possible. At Burlington High School in Burlington, MA, we are entering our eighth month of a 1:1 iPad initiative that began in September 2011. Don't get me wrong, we think the iPad is a great device for learning and gives each of our students a dynamic learning tool that can be used across the content areas and to accomplish a variety of tasks. Many of the critics claim that we are backing our students into a corner by giving them one brand and one skill set to learn exclusively on one device. This is not the case at Burlington. Our teachers have been compiling exemplary work and engaging our students in a diverse manner. Recently, Ms. 1.