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Five Ways to Bring Innovation Into the Classroom

Five Ways to Bring Innovation Into the Classroom
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12 Questions To Promote Self-Knowledge In Students Merging Metacognition & Citizenship by Terry Heick Ed note: This post has been updated from a previous post in 2013. Why should someone learn? While Paulo Freire, John Dewey, and others have provided compelling arguments for what might be the goal of education, learning and education are not one and the same. Learning—here defined as the overall effect of incrementally acquiring, synthesizing, and applying information—changes beliefs. 12 Questions To Help Students See Themselves As Thinkers Self-knowledge is formed through ranges of meta-cognition and basic epistemology. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Globalization & Citizenship Authentic self-knowledge and accountable local placement promote healthy communities that can solve problems and celebrate knowledge on a scale that resonates globally. How should the role of the teacher change in the light of modern access to information in much of the world? Should education aspire to “keep pace” with technology change?

3 Back-to-School Tips for the Tech-Savvy Professor If you are looking for some free and easy ways to engage with your students this fall, we have a few ideas that are guaranteed to help. Technology should never get in the way of your teaching, but, if used properly, it can be extremely helpful to you and your students. By leveraging a few free services on the Web, you’ll have the opportunity to communicate with your students and connect with other professors using new technology. Here are three ideas to get you started: Office Hours The traditional model for office hours is outdated — and boring. Use Social Media There are so many uses for social media that we’ll have to save them all for a separate post. Write a Blog Documenting your experiences inside and outside the classroom is a deed that other professors will be profoundly grateful for. We hope you are looking forward to the fall 2012 semester as much as we are.

Can Student-Driven Learning Happen Under Common Core? Teaching Strategies Erin Scott By Marsha Ratzel Teachers use different strategies to help students learn. With the inevitable arrival of the Common Core State Standards, however, the big unknown is what will happen when the assessments are released and the states and the federal government develop policies to accommodate them. But if assessments mirror the broad principles and effective pedagogy that the CCSS authors have championed, there is hope that rote learning and teacher-driven classrooms will not be necessary in order for students to pass the test. Most student-driven classrooms start with a question. Three of the eight mathematical practices that lie at the heart of all the Common Core’s K-12 math standards could be statements that describe a student-centered classroom. The “tension” will come when the the goal of student-driven learning bumps up against the traditional teacher’s instinct to provide the context and the questions for students to use. Related

What Would a ‘Slow Education Movement’ Look Like? Big Ideas Shelley Wright/PLPNetwork The many incredible innovations of the 20th century have sped up the pace of life in addition to giving many people more access to information and communication tools. The anytime/anywhere learning made possible by mobile technology and the internet hold great potential for new ways of teaching, but some educators worry that the emphasis on efficiency and instant access is having a negative impact on some of the core tenets of education. “So what does the Slow Movement mean for education? Related Explore: Shelley Wright, slow education

Eric Sheninger: An Idea Whose Time Has Come As we continue to move even further into the 21st century, technology becomes more embedded in all aspects of society. As a father, I see this firsthand with my son, who is in first grade. The gift he wanted the most this past Christmas was an iPod Touch, which Santa was kind enough to bring him. As society continues to move forward in terms of innovation, technology, and global connectivity, schools are being stymied by relentless cuts to education. The world of education is often defined by the "haves" and "have-nots." There are many well-respected educators that I greatly admire who feel that BYOT has no place in schools. We launched our BYOT program at New Milford High School this past September after just piloting it with the senior class last spring. Begin to change the way students view their devices by changing the language when they are referenced.

What Kids Should Know About Their Own Brains Getty Neuroscience may seem like an advanced subject of study, perhaps best reserved for college or even graduate school. Two researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia propose that it be taught earlier, however—much earlier. As in first grade. In a study published in this month’s issue of the journal Early Education and Development, psychologists Peter Marshall and Christina Comalli began by surveying children aged four to 13 to discover what they already knew about the brain. Marshall and Comalli’s questionnaire turned up the same uncertain grasp of the topic, which the researchers attributed to several factors. A 20-minute lesson about the brain was enough to improve knowledge of brain functioning. To that end, they designed a 20-minute lesson about the brain and delivered it to a group of first-grade students. But the success of their effort opens another possibility.

Big Fat Online Education Myths | Cheating Like Weasels in Online Classes An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about ignited a fireball of blogging last week about how online learning will, once again, be the ruination of all higher education. The Chronicle article focused on anecdotal evidence that students enrolled in free massive online courses (MOOCs) are plagiarizing their essays in literature courses. So what’s the problem with online learning this time? It lacks credibility because it encourages people to cheat. To which I say: A business blogger for Forbes immediately picked up the sensationalist torch from the Chronicle and wrote, Says this Forbes blogger: Again: I have taken many tests for courses, both online and on-campus. I was graduated from a residential liberal arts college Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, and I can assure you no one, not once in all my years of residential learning, ever checked my I.D. when I sat down to take an exam. But enough of my opinion. Belief is Not Reality – Online Education Myths on “Rampant” Cheating

The Reflective Teacher: Taking a Long Look School has been in session for a few weeks, and things might be finally settling down for most teachers. Days seem to pass by so quickly that it seems amazing anything was accomplished. Despite the whirlwind start of the year, it's still important to make time for reflection. It took me some time realize that reflection is vital to my growth as an educator. I also needed to learn what real reflection looked like. It's so much more than thinking that I did a good job or changing one essay question. 1. One always scary but very important thing is asking the students how the lesson went. The first time I handed students a survey, I was terrified. 2. Teachers often think they can remember it all, but that's rarely the case. If you use a planner for your lessons, use sticky notes for initial thoughts after a lesson, and stick them in the planner. 3. Blogging has been one of the biggest parts of my professional growth. A blog can be used as a private journal to dump ideas. 4.

Do You have the Personality To Be an Inquiry-Based Teacher? By Thom Markham So far, the challenges of transforming education into a system capable of inspiring students to become skillful, creative, knowledgeable problem-solvers fall into familiar territory: What types of curriculum, standards, skills, strategies, and adaptations to classroom teaching methods will be necessary to do this? But it’s likely these will prove to be secondary questions. As education crosses the divide between a transmission model and an inquiry model, a more pressing issue will be apparent: How do we identify, attract, nurture, and train teachers who have an “inquiry-friendly” personality? The issue already is in view. These are trainable skills. By itself, this would be a valuable step. Primarily, the interconnected nature of cognition is now visible. This research is critical to understanding how inquiry-based teachers will need to engage students. A first clue has been around for more than 20 years. Are you optimistic? Are you open? Are you appreciative?

How to Turn Your Classroom into an Idea Factory Culture Design Thinking Teaching Strategies Brightworks School Students building a cafe at Brightworks School in San Francisco. By Suzie Boss The following suggestions for turning K-12 classrooms into innovation spaces come from Bringing Innovation to School: Empowering Students to Thrive in a Changing World, published in July by Solution Tree. How can we prepare today’s students to become tomorrow’s innovators? If we’re serious about preparing students to become innovators, educators have some hard work ahead. How do we fill the gap between saying we must encourage innovation and teaching students how to actually generate and execute original ideas? Across disparate fields, from engineering and technology to the social and environmental sectors, innovators use a common problem-solving process. In the classroom, this same process corresponds neatly with the stages of project-based learning. Good projects start with good questions. Innovators have a tendency to think big. Related

Let’s stop trying to teach students critical thinking Many teachers say they strive to teach their students to be critical thinkers. They even pride themselves on it; after all, who wants children to just take in knowledge passively? But there is a problem with this widespread belief. As a teacher, you have to have a critical spirit. The need for teachers to engage in this kind of deep conversation has been forgotten, because they think that being critical is a skill. If being critical consisted simply in the application of a skill then it could in principle be taught by teachers who never engaged in it except as a game or defensive device, somewhat as a crack rifle shot who happened to be a pacifist might nevertheless be able to teach rifle-shooting to soldiers. The misuses of ‘criticism’ The misuse of the idea of “criticism” first became clear to me when I gave a talk about critical thinking to a large group of first-year students. “Critical thinking” is a skill. What is criticism?

Why Are Textbooks So Expensive? The beginning of a freshman’s college experience is an exciting time. Dining halls! No bedtime! Taunting your RA! Exorbitantly expensive textbooks! Wait, that last one is no fun at all. Publishers would explain that textbooks are really expensive to make. There’s certainly some validity to this explanation. In the simplest economic terms, the high price of textbooks is symptomatic of misaligned incentives, not exorbitant production costs. Professors pick the course materials, and faculty members don’t have any strong incentive to be price sensitive when it comes to selecting textbooks. Moreover, many students aren’t all that price sensitive themselves. Publishers also counter that widespread sales of used books cut into their bottom line. Is there any truth to this argument? Luckily for students, some external forces are placing downward pressure on textbook prices.

Harnessing Children’s Natural Ways of Learning By Luba Vangelova Fed up with the restrictions at his conventional school, 10-year-old Scott Gray convinced his parents to transfer him to one where children control their own education. His father, Peter Gray, who’s a developmental psychologist, watched his son thrive and began seeking to understand how children learned in such a setting, and what lessons could be drawn from it. The Sudbury Valley School — a “democratic school” where children are involved in setting and enforcing the rules of behavior, and are free to decide what to do with their time — had been around since the 1960s. “The school totally violates our cultural beliefs about what children need to do to become educated,” he says. “Children can educate themselves and are good at doing so if the conditions are right.” To understand how the kids were learning, he and a graduate student observed them closely. To better understand why, he looked at it from an evolutionary perspective. Related