The only rational answer to the conundrum of curiosity is to disengage our educational system from standardized testing and common curricula. Curiosity does not hold up well under intense expectation. Give agency to teachers, with the explicit message to slow down and provide students time to wonder and be curious.
To celebrate the winter season we are gathering stories, songs, poems, illustrations, and photographs from students all of ages, teachers, and schools around the world. Once we have gathered all of the winter stories in the collaborative Google...
Teachers have long known that making content more playful can be a great way to engage students and add diversity to classroom activities. As technology becomes an ever more significant part of modern classrooms, it makes sense that teachers are using video games for everything from teaching content, to keeping tabs on learning progress, and for skills practice. In a recent survey, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center found that 74 percent of K-8 teachers surveyed use digital games for instruction in some way and 55 percent use them weekly.
Recently many of our Year Six students have been involved in projects that require them to utilise the brain of a maker. Facing challenges involving the exploration of how everyday objects are manufactured and while responding to their ‘Genius Hour’ ambitions they are facing a new set of problems and discovering the joy that comes from solving these with their hands as much as their brains.
“Are you saying I’m incompetent?” That’s what my friend asked when I told her the newest trend in education is “competency-based education.” I’ll be honest. I don’t love the term...no, competency-based education doesn’t mean past graduates were incompetent. But it does mean that today’s students get to move ahead based on what they know, which is better for the student, more efficient for the institution and provides real, positive social and economic change for the country.
Moving backwards—back to the three-Rs and the old-fashioned way of doing education—that would be incompetent. This is an exciting time to be in education and, moving forward, I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Formative assessment is one of the most widely used—but poorly understood—instructional techniques. This special report highlights common misconceptions about the approach and shows how formative assessment differs from other kinds of assessments, such as summative or benchmark tests. It also illuminates some ways that educators can use formative assessment in their classrooms to find out on the spot whether students are really "getting it."
The show’s newest initiative aims to change how people think about and discuss the condition...
This video, “Family Time with Grover,” is one of nine that were released online last week as part of the latestSesame Street initiative—Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children. The web-based project includes an interactive storybook that introduces the program’s first autistic Muppet, Julia, as part of an effort to teach kids about their friends with the condition. In addition, the website provides digital cue cards for parents to teach their autistic children basic skills, like brushing teeth and washing hands. At this time, the materials are only available on the Internet, not TV.
The embracement of the maker movement is being seen in K-12 schools and districts across the world. As a result, makerspaces are being instituted to allow students to tinker, invent, create, and make to learn. A makerspace can best be defined as a physical place where students can create real-world products/projects using real-world tools in a shared work space. With natural connections and applications to STEAM areas as well as a focus on self-directed, inquiry-based, and hands on learning, it is difficult not to appreciate and admire the positive impact that makerspaces can have on all students. In times when many schools and districts have cut programs such as wood/metal shop and agriculture, makerspaces provide a 21st Century alternative to meet the learning needs of our most at-risk students.
With only a month and a half left until 2016, we thought now is as good a time as ever to take a look back at all the new features Google Apps released this year. There were so many amazing updates that this list could have been three times as long, which is why we chose to only focus on 16 of our favorites.
Educational debate around technology is, as my father often says, ‘arse before elbow’. It’s obsessed with devices – tablets, mobiles, whiteboards, holes-in-walls, 3D printers and so on - which is to focus on the wrong end of the problem. Device fetishism has been a destructive force in research, procurement, projects and outcomes. So here’s some blowback. Note that I’ve been implementing and writing about the use of tech in learning for 32 years, so I’m speaking, not as a philistine, but a convert.
This is Audrey Mullen, a US high school student, with an entrepreneurial flair. She does Kite Reviews, through a consultancy that hires out fellow students to evaluate Edtech. I like this. I founded and ran a large test lab, called the ‘Epicentre’ for years and got to know a lot about testing, usability and target audience evaluation. One thing I did learn, was to listen to real users, backed up with methodologies developed by Nielsen, Norman, Krug and others. It’s so easy to get 50 year-olds entranced by shiny devices, to buy stuff, implement their ideas, only to find that they are then treated with contempt by users. Young people always like receiving new shiny toys, then look on their use in school as if they were watching their dads dance in a nightclub.
Current education practice places the process and outcomes of learning in the hands of the teacher who determines what is to be taught and how it is to be taught when, in fact, it needs to be in the hands of the learner (Coughlan, 2004). Given these beliefs about people’s ability to learn and an education and training system that disempowers rather than empowers, we decided on the term self- determined learning to describe this innate power of people to learn as an alternate view. Chris, the linguist that he is, then manipulated the Greek word for self, ηαυτος, and came up with the word heutagogy: the study of self- determined learning.
Many of us will trace the recent cry for modern learning reform back to Sir Ken Robinson’s now ubiquitous, Changing Educational Paradigms talk. His first TED talk on creativity in schools is the most-viewed TED talk in the world. It was given in 2006, just under ten years ago. So, a decade later, what is the state of change in learning and teaching? What do some of the leading innovators in education think? What’s the state of the revolution just under a decade “post-Robinson?” Why are the lone nuts like Appino discontent?
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