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"Standardized testing began in the United States in the early 1900s, most notably during the first world war to determine which soldiers were “officer material”, soon to evolve into determining which students were “college worthy”. Advocates for differentiation and personalized learning have denounced the standardized approach to education, embracing research-based findings that students engage with different content in different ways, with one-to-one proving to be the most effective form of instruction."
The Ultimate Survival Guide for the Technophobic Teacher
For a long time, technology within education has been seen in a negative light, as a distraction rather than a tool for learning. Many view technology as a threat, fearing loss of control. Others simply consider it too much ‘hassle’, or too difficult to manage. To celebrate Connected Educator Month, we want to to provide educators with the ultimate guide for professional development, exploring digital learning as a step in the right direction, rather than an obstacle to overcome.
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The Six Big Shifts in Education1. Collaboration
Then: Educators mainly worked alone.
Now: Educators are encouraged to collaborate as much as possible.2. Communication
Then: Educators connected only through staff meetings and email.
Now: Educators around the world are connecting every single day in real-time.3. Resources
Then: Educators relied primarily on textbooks.
Now: Educators are continuously sharing resources and forming new ideas.5. Professional Development
Then: Little emphasis was placed on professional development.
Now: Professional development is considered an essential element of a teaching career.5. Technology Integration
Then: Technology was viewed as a distraction.
Now: Educators are reimagining technology as a an essential part of pedagogy.6. Innovation
Then: Innovative educators were unheard and unseen.
Now: Innovative educators are, literally, everywher
"As data makes a beeline for the classroom, many are asking the critical question: does it really hold a place in education? The ethical conversations are surrounding the move as we struggle to keep up the pace, but there seems to be no slowing it down. Many are objecting to the idea of data-driven learning, and with just concern. Data has earned a damaging reputation for itself over the years, having sent a ripple of fear across continents as private information is leaked and aired for the world to see. This has instilled a fear-factor and an understandable resistance to its movement into the learning environment. Questions like ‘Where is it going?’ ‘Who can see it?’ ‘Will it go on their “permanent record”?’ are spreading as the curiosity and panic around education data grows. These are important questions that need to be addressed. But before we look away, have we looked at what data can make possible in education?"
The intelligent feature signifies a key development in learning analytics, as a facilitator in the personalization process. By enabling adaptive instruction, the analytics not only aid in scaling one-to-one instruction and providing insight into student achievement, but in supporting and developing student self-evaluation, collaboration, critical thinking, and independent learning.
The 2014-15 school year that officially opens today in Michigan will mark a big expansion of technology in many metro Detroit school districts — with thousands of students in some districts getting access to laptops, iPads, tablets or Chromebooks.
Classroom management is a tricky subject in the field of education. Creating a positive environment that keeps every student engaged is not easy. Maintaining that environment is close to impossible. However, there are ways to create and maintain the productive environment that every teacher dreams of, and what better time to start than the first day of a new school year. Following these simple steps, you can transform your classroom into a cooperative and collaborative learning environment, and make coming to class less of chore, and more of a hobby.
"I often hear people moan about teachers moaning. The general consensus is that teachers have a shorter day, work less hours in a week, earn a higher than average salary, and have a more relaxed career, yet still manage to moan more than most. I think it’s time we investigate what all the moaning is about."
How to Combat Cyberbullying
So how can we combat cyberbullying while attempting to successfully integrate technology in the classroom? Many teachers, after coming to terms with the terrifying reality of cyberbullying will quickly revert back to the safety of a ban on technology. But switching off is not the solution. Here’s what we need to do:
1. Allow technology.
3. Raise awareness.
4. Display clear policies.
5. Engage in team building.
6. Create a class contract.
7. Use social media.
8. Conduct surveys.
9. Take immediate action.
10. Create digital citizens.
"The traditional forms of sit-and-get PD are giving way to MOOCs, webinars, Edcamps and flipped learning. But what does all that mean? What does this transition to innovative PD practices mean and where can we find these new forms?"
Check out #PDfun on Twitter!
As educators, we use assessment as a means of measuring student performance and progress. These tests are merely snapshots of continuous learning that too often fail to paint the bigger picture. 21st century educators are faced with the challenge of tracking student performance and progress accurately in an age where we are all aware of the shortcomings of assessment, and yet we still fumble at finding a better alternative. Apart from our awareness of the flaws in our system, we are also conscious that we’re moving swiftly into an age where personalized instruction is at the forefront. How then, can educators ensure every single student is accurately measured through standardized tests riddled with flaws, that somehow incorporate personalized learning? It seems 21st century measurement of student achievement faces the challenge of incorporating the old with the new, the ancient with the modern. It’s clear to me that the chances of succeeding in such a task without the integration of technology are slim to none, which brings me to learning analytics.
Fishtree Education's insight:
8 Simple Tips for New Teachers:
They’re not wolves, they don’t smell fear.
Stop trying to be that teacher, be your own teacher.
Think of your favourite teacher, and figure out how they got there.
Acting is a fine art for a teacher to master!
Don’t try to do too much at once, take it one step at a time.
Relax and have fun with the students, they will respect you a lot more this way.
Be strict when you need to be, but try to maintain a positive environment most of the time.
Never be afraid to fail, it’s the only way to succeed.
What’s your first memory when starting out as a teacher?
"Technology is disruptive. Education technology is in a whole new league. Breaking down the traditional barriers of the school system, it has led to revolutionary changes in the education sector. Where once the golden rule of the classroom was “no talking”, we now have teachers encouraging open collaboration. Where once we had students falling behind without being noticed, we now have systems pinpointing a student’s weaknesses and providing instant help. Where once all communication between student and teacher was lost outside the classroom, we now have social media to connect at all times. It’s simply indisputable that technology is impacting education for the better, and while some remain sceptical, the proof is in the pudding."
"According to the NMC Horizon Report 2014: K-12 Edition, the uptake of BYOD in American schools has increased by over 30% in the past year, with 56% of school districts currently implementing BYOD programs. “This model ultimately gives learners ownership of their learning, as they are entrusted to demonstrate their mastery of required competencies in methods of their choosing, and select the technological tools they need to do this. Education researchers highlight BYOD as the technology practice that will best accommodate this vision of personalized learning.” According to further research, 70% of students report a significant increase in motivation for learning using mobile technology."
#1. Adaptive Learning#2. Mobile Learning#3. Flipped and Blended Learning#4. Competency-Based Education#5. Learning Analytics
The above trends are acting as significant game-changers in the education industry as a whole, completely re-evaluating our thinking about the education and learning process. 2014 marks an exciting time for education leaders, with big things ahead as these trends signify only the beginning… [more to follow].
Where once we had students falling behind without being noticed, we now have systems pinpointing a student’s weaknesses and providing instant help. Where once all communication between student and teacher was lost once outside the classroom, we now have social media to connect at all times. It’s simply indisputable that technology is impacting education for the better, and while some remain sceptical, the proof is in the pudding.
Adaptive learning platform, Fishtree, launches a new Performance Response feature, using learning analytics to further enhance the personalization process, and offer new insights into student learning
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The next generation learning platform, Fishtree, has this week launched a new feature set to accelerate its impact on the EdTech industry. Fishtree, a global leader in education technology, focused on providing the most powerful education solutions, has branded the launch significant in its unique approach to improving the overall teaching and learning experience.
- See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/09/18/666850/10098305/en/EdTech-Company-Fishtree-Launches-New-Analytics-Feature-to-Revolutionize-the-Learning-Process.html#sthash.L3AD2wLc.dpuf
When you bring devices of any kind into your classroom, there need to be some rules to go along with them. Establishing guidelines for your students when they’re using technology is best done early on and reinforced often – with students of all ages! This doesn’t mean just setting out rules about not eating and …
"Who else finds professional development one of the dullest routines in education? For some reason, what should be one of the most exciting and engaging aspects of a teaching career has become a mundane practice, limited to boring meetings and conferences that often leave you feeling less motivated than after a meeting with your bank on that unattainable loan. What makes it so boring? The fact that those encouraging professional development are speaking the wrong language. For most educators - teachers, principals, and superintendents alike - the aim is to learn; to get motivated; to discover; to collaborate; to think. Yet what we too often get is instruction, rather than construction.
Register: Join The #PDfun Movement!
"Changing the world sounds like a tall order. But in reality, educators play their role to help change the world every single day. The summer is a great time to start planting seeds of change in our personal or professional practice. Here are a few quick ideas to keep in mind over the next few weeks before we gear up to go back to school.
Changing the world sounds like a tall order. But in reality, educators play their role to help change the world every single day. The summer is a great time to start planting seeds of change in our personal or professional practice. Here are a few quick ideas to keep in mind over the next few weeks before we gear up to go back to school."
As we’ve studied the educational process, it’s become clear that students learn in a variety of ways and that no single approach is always successful in a classroom. What makes complete sense to one student may sound like gibberish to another. Competency-based or “personalized” learning allows students to master skills at their own pace with …
Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
"I feel so stuck. Nobody seems to get my ideas or feel my passion for teaching.”
In the years when my colleagues and I "invented" differentiation--as countless teachers have invented it before and since--there were no books to explain "differentiation" to us, no videos to model it, no conferences to attend to help us over inevitable humps. We worked from one conviction and five principles. We began with the conviction that we could not serve our obviously heterogeneous students if we taught them without regard to their differences. From that launching pad, we came to five guiding principles.
1) We needed to teach what mattered most in the content for which we had responsibility and in a way that helped students see why it mattered. We asked ourselves often, "Why are we asking the kids to learn this??" Textbooks, grades and tests were not acceptable answers.
2) We needed to plan for student engagement. There was an ad slogan at the time that said, "Medicine doesn't have to taste bad to be good." We clung to the belief that we could be creative enough to teach whatever needed teaching in ways that appealed to young adolescents.
3) We had to build a sense of community--a team of learners--so that both teachers and students had partners for success.
4) We needed to emphasize the primacy of growth--for every student, every day.
5) We had to figure out an ebb and flow of classroom time that allowed a balance between what the class needed to do as a whole and what students needed to do individually or in small groups.
From those "givens," we made proposals. "What if we try it this way?" We shared successes--and lesson plans, and materials. We became comfortable with saying, "That was a mess. There's got to be a better way. Let's look at why this approach worked, or didn't, and go from there."