Why 20% Time is Good for Schools Have you ever met an adult who doesn't really love what they do, but just goes through the motions in their job and everyday life? Have you spoken with men and women who constantly complain, showing no visible passion for anything in the world? I'm sure that, like me, you have met those people. I've also seen the making of these adults in schools across our country: students who are consistently being "prepared" for the next test, assessment, or grade level . . . only to find out after graduation that they don't really know what they are passionate about. These are the same students who are never allowed to learn what they want in school. Forced down a curriculum path that we believe is "best for them," they discover it is a path that offers very little choice in subject matter and learning outcomes. Enter 20% time. What 20% time allows students to do is pick their own project and learning outcomes, while still hitting all the standards and skills for their grade level. Students Teachers
The Challenges and Realities of Inquiry-Based Learning Inquiry Learning Teaching Strategies Getty By Thom Markham Teachers in a rural southeast Michigan high school were recently discussing the odd behavior of the senior class. It seems the 12th graders were acting more civilly toward the junior class in the hallways. The prom was also quieter and more well-mannered than in previous years. The teachers’ explanation: Project-based learning. Here’s the back story. Stories like this are about to become more important to educators. This is a steep challenge because it forces education to cross a philosophic divide. Standardizing Valuable Skills To put a new system in place, a first key step is to disseminate and train every teacher on a clear set of performance standards to assess skills required for effective inquiry, such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. The challenge: Right now, a standards-based environment forces teachers to straddle the inquiry process. Assessing Collaborative Learning Figuring Out Knowledge
A Printable Guide To Creative Commons Something you probably see a lot of these days as you browse the internet is Creative Commons licensing. You’ll see many graphics that say something like ‘shared under a Creative Commons license’, or you’ll see a little rectangular graphic with some signs in them. Since we live in an age where most of our information comes from the internet in some way or another, its useful to know when and how it is ok to use something that you’ve found. We’ve already taken a look at some fair use guidelines (which comes along with a brief mention of Creative Commons licensing), but we thought that this handy infographic below gave a great, easy to read and understand version of the different types of CC licenses available. These licenses allow you to easily give others the opportunity to share your work.
11 Bad Teaching Habits That Are Stifling Your Growth 11 Bad Teaching Habits That Are Stifling Your Growth by Saga Briggs, opencolleges.edu.au There’s a certain class of mistakes that all educators can eliminate with conscious effort, and in this post we outline 11 of them. They range from habits of practice to habits of thought, but all of them have one important thing in common: they make your job harder. It sounds easier to lecture to a sea of faces than to get through to thirty individuals. It sounds simpler to make students volunteer the answer than to spark voluntary interest. We all make healthy mistakes, every class period of every day. They really only scratch the surface of a long list of potentially destructive practices. 1. Effective instructional strategies change with time; what you learned in teaching school may no longer be relevant to the students you’re currently dealing with. 2. We all know there’s a difference between giving a presentation and actually teaching. 3. 4. 5. 6. Variety is the spice of the classroom. 7. 8. 9.
Habits of Mind Over the past few weeks I've been thinking about the Habits of Mind as described by Art Costa and Bena Kallick. These habits of mind are the dispositions that a student has towards behaving intelligently when confronted with problems. My question has been, do the PYP Attitudes and the IB Learner Profile also promote these habits of mind? How closely are these linked? Taking Responsible Risks - IB Learner Profile: Risk Taker Of all the attributes of the Learner Profile this one has probably been the most controversial - many have questioned whether this is perhaps a "Western" value. They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. Costa and Kallick write about risk takers as being pioneers, having an urge to go beyond their comfort zone and established limits and live on the edge of their competences. Photo Credit: Why by Silvain Masson, 2009
Inquiry Learning Vs. Standardized Content: Can They Coexist? By Thom Markham As Common Core State Standards are incorporated from school to school across the country, educators are discussing their value. It may seem that educators are arguing over whether the CCSS will roll out as a substitute No Child Left Behind curriculum or as an innovative guide to encourage inquiry rather than rote learning. In reality, as time will prove, we’re arguing over whether content standards are still appropriate. Everyday there is less standardization of information, making it nearly impossible to decide what a tenth-grader should know. There is only one resolution to the debate. If you’re a teacher in tune with the needs of your students, you sense the disconnect between the curriculum and reality. So how can you, as a teacher, help move the dialogue forward? But PBL is the near-term solution. REDEFINE RIGOR. TEACH INQUIRY SKILLS. MAKE COHORTS AND TEAMS THE PRACTICE, NOT THE EXCEPTION. team learning. SEE THE BALANCE BETWEEN INQUIRY AND CONTENT AS A DYNAMIC.
Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum – Know your web – Good to Know – Google At Google we believe in the power of education and the promise of technology to improve the lives of students and educators -- leading the way for a new generation of learning in the classroom and beyond. But no matter what subject you teach, it is important for your students to know how to think critically and evaluate online sources, understand how to protect themselves from online threats from bullies to scammers, and to think before they share and be good digital citizens. Google has partnered with child safety experts at iKeepSafe, and also worked with educators themselves to develop lessons that will work in the classroom, are appropriate for kids, and incorporate some of the best advice and tips that Google's security team has to offer. Class 1: Become an Online Sleuth In this class, students will identify guidelines for evaluating the credibility of content online. We are always looking to improve these classes.
Resources for Assessment in Project-Based Learning Project-based learning (PBL) demands excellent assessment practices to ensure that all learners are supported in the learning process. With good assessment practices, PBL can create a culture of excellence for all students and ensure deeper learning for all. We’ve compiled some of the best resources from Edutopia and the web to support your use of assessment in PBL, including information about strategies, advice on how to address the demands of standardized tests, and summaries of the research. PBL Assessment Foundations 10 Tips for Assessing Project-Based Learning (Edutopia, 2011) This comprehensive guide from Edutopia goes over many best practices for assessment, including authentic products, good feedback, formative assessment, and digital tools. Back to Top PBL and Formative Assessment Practices PBL Pilot: Formative Assessment in PBL (Edutopia, 2015) In another blog post from Matt Weyers, find great tips on using formative assessment within the PBL process to drive student learning.
Building Parent Support for Project-Based Learning When a teacher, school or district tells parents, "We're going to do project-based learning," the response may vary. You're lucky if some say, "Great news! Students need to be taught differently these days!" But a more typical response might be: What's project-based learning? Basically, they're asking for the what, why and how. What Schools and Districts Can Do Rather than begin by explaining what PBL is, start with the "why." Ken Kay, CEO of EdLeader21, made a good point about this when he spoke at BIE's PBL World conference in June 2013. To help make the case, have parents reflect on their own work. Another argument you could make has to do with student engagement. Technology is also an angle. Now that you've established the need, you can introduce the way to meet it: PBL. Explain what PBL is using concrete examples, not educational jargon. BIE's PBL Toolkit series and other books on PBL describe many different projects. Reassure parents and other community stakeholders that PBL works.
Creating Classrooms We Need: 8 Ways Into Inquiry Learning If kids can access information from sources other than school, and if school is no longer the only place where information lives, what, then happens to the role of this institution? “Our whole reason for showing up for school has changed, but infrastructure has stayed behind,” said Diana Laufenberg, who taught history at the progressive public school Science Leadership Academy for many years. Laufenberg provided some insight into how she guided students to find their own learning paths at school, and enumerated some of these ideas at SXSWEdu last week. 1. BE FLEXIBLE. The less educators try to control what kids learn, the more students’ voices will be heard and, eventually, their ability to drive their own learning. Laufenberg recalled a group of tenacious students who continued to ask permission to focus their video project on the subject of drugs, despite her repeated objections. 2. Laufenberg’s answer: Get them curious enough in the subject to do research on their own. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
2013-07-22new Mark Wagner, Ph.D. You’ve seen sessions on Google Search, Google Docs, and other free tools for years. Now come learn the latest features (and inspiring ideas) that will benefit you and your students. Google releases “early and often” (with over 120 updates to Google Apps last year), so this session is always new! Discover citations in Google Scholar, news archives in Google News, research tools in Google Docs, multi-media editing “in the cloud” with Google Drive, awesome new mobile apps, and... "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson, 1993 Welcome Activity 2013 CLS Summer Welcome2013 CLS Summer WelcomeWhy new? Dream Out Loud Release Early and OftenIterate, Iterate, IterateDogfooding New Search Tools Translate a URL (like your school website) on the fly... New Google Docs Features New Google Drive Apps More Mobile Apps Devices Even More... What do these new tools mean to you as educators? How will you dream out loud as an educator?