To flip or not to flip? That is not the essential question. In assessing the optimal classroom dynamics, I would argue that we need to take a good look at what our classrooms look like right now, what activities our students gain the most from, what we wished we had more time for, and what things about our class we wish we could eliminate. Do I flip: yes. Would I recommend it: enthusiastically. But let’s start by rewinding for a minute, to my 2009 AP Calculus class. Running Out Of Time Worst of all, I felt that I never got to hear from my students because they were trying their best to digest the newly presented material. So I asked myself the same questions that I posed at the beginning of this essay: what is working, what is not, and what do I wish I had more time for? Planning In math, we often have the preconceived notion of a boring, rigid learning environment where the teacher lectures and the students do endless practice problems until the skill is mastered.
Warning Signs for Personalized LearningA more nuanced, shared language to describe how online and blended learning differ from other forms of digital instruction is crucial to lasting educational change. When Julie Young founded the Florida Virtual School in 1997, her team coined the slogan “any time, any place, any path, any pace” to describe how the school’s online courses liberate students from traditional classroom constraints. That phrase has become the mantra for people who are trying to articulate how K-12 schools need to change from a “factory-based” model, in which students progress in standardized batches with monolithic instruction, to a more personalized, student-centric model. The growing consensus is that, like it or not, digital technology is the one innovation that can bring personalized learning into reach, because it makes customized education for all students affordable. The trouble is that digital technology is a huge category, and many do not bother to unpack it.
Flipping Blooms TaxonomyTeacher Shelley Wright is on leave from her classroom, working with teachers in a half-dozen high schools to promote inquiry and connected learning. I think the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy is wrong. Hear me out. I know this statement sounds heretical in the realms of education, but I think this is something we should rethink, especially since it is so widely taught to pre-service teachers. Old-school Blooms: Arduous climb for learners Conceived in 1956 by a group of educators chaired by Benjamin Bloom, the taxonomy classifies skills from least to most complex. Many teachers in many classrooms spend the majority of their time in the basement of the taxonomy, never really addressing or developing the higher order thinking skills that kids need to develop. I dislike the pyramid because it creates the impression that there is a scarcity of creativity — only those who can traverse the bottom levels and reach the summit can be creative. Here’s what I propose. Blooms 21 works great in science
Rise of the Machines: Robots as Teaching AidesThink back to when you were in grade school; were there ever any special tools or devices that teachers would sometimes use that got you excited about learning? I know that for me, any time that we were able to watch something on TV or use the computer lab, or even use dry-erase boards, the day was going to be more fun than usual. Kids going to school today, though, would be put to sleep by that sort of thing; now computers and even tablets in the classroom are becoming more and more common and they’re allowing kids to have fun while they’re learning. This new generation’s children are going to have something even cooler coming their way in terms of in-class technology: robots. Today’s infographic from onlineschools.com shows how robotic technology is advancing and how it will hopefully be integrated into learning in the not-too-distant future. For more details on this growing trend refer to the infographic below and onlineschools.com. Share This Infographic
Digital Badges For Learning in the Classroom and Beyond6.20.12 | A pair of stories by Education Week reporter Katie Ash provides a big-picture overview of the pros and cons of digital badges and a close-up look at how badges are being used in a graduate course. Alex Halavais, who teaches a master’s program on interactive communications at Quinnipiac University, began implementing digital badges in place of a traditional grading scale last spring. The new system enables him—and his students’ prospective employers—to better gauge the specific skills his students master. “It’s an index of your learning biography,” Halavais told Education Week. “It allows you to stitch together your [educational career] in interesting ways.” In addition to substituting a certain number of badges for letter grades, Halavais also introduces a collaborative element. The badge system Halavais created relied on a peer-review process in which certain students who had achieved a certain level of badge could approve other students’ badges, says Rossi.
Web 2.0 ToolsWorld Wide Web sites that use technology beyond the static pages of earlier Web sites A tag cloud (a typical Web 2.0 phenomenon in itself) presenting Web 2.0 themes Web 2.0 (also known as participative (or participatory) web and social web) refers to websites that emphasize user-generated content, ease of use, participatory culture and interoperability (i.e., compatible with other products, systems, and devices) for end users. The term was coined by Darcy DiNucci in 1999 and later popularized by Tim O'Reilly and Dale Dougherty at the first O'Reilly Media Web 2.0 Conference in late 2004. Although the term mimics the numbering of software versions, it does not denote a formal change in the nature of the World Wide Web, but merely describes a general change that occurred during this period as interactive websites proliferated and came to overshadow the older, more static websites of the original Web. History Web 1.0 Characteristics Web 2.0 Search Tags