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Learning in a networked and collaborative way
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21st-Century Students Need Books, Not Textbooks

21st-Century Students Need Books, Not Textbooks | Connected educator | Scoop.it

Textbooks are expensive, outdated, and stifling to creativity, says a veteran English teacher. And worst of all, they don't promote a love of reading. The reality today is that the materials in textbooks need only take up digital space. Most stories, poems, essays, plays, and novels currently offered in these textbooks can be found online and linked on teacher websites or class wikis. Some public domain stories are available in audio formats such as the texts at LoudLit. Teacher-generated materials can be uploaded to teacher websites, wikis, or other platforms like Google docs, and linked to an online table of contents or syllabus.


Via  Colin Harris
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6 powerful strategies for paradigm-shifting teacher PD

6 powerful strategies for paradigm-shifting teacher PD | Connected educator | Scoop.it
As educators and leaders, we need to re-think every aspect of our professional practice to consider ‘could we be doing this better?’ Here is a brain-dump of the 6 most powerful strategies that I have used or in which I have participated. Encourage as many staff to develop courses or present at conferences or workshops The benefit of this approach is that any person from beginning teachers through to highly experienced people can be affirmed in their professionalism. As they articulate their journey and thoughts, so they strengthen and live those approaches. Again, another win/win. (Works with students too). We have been growing this culture for many years and our biggest challenge now is either fitting in all the PD courses that our teachers wish to prepare for their colleagues or working out the logistics for the large numbers of teachers getting selected to present at external conferences to attend.
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“Flip Your Classroom”: the new book from Bergmann and Sams

“Flip Your Classroom”:  the new book from Bergmann and Sams | Connected educator | Scoop.it

Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, two rural Colorado public school secondary chemistry teachers, have launched something over the past five or six years that is truly significant and lasting.

 

Flipping educates parents… and makes your classroom transparent.” Transparency is always a virtue: so often what happens in the classroom when the door is closed is murky if not opaque to parents, to other teachers, to the community. Knock down the walls and let everyone see– this is an age of sharing and light, and teaching can be a part of it.

From the book:

As it turns out, many parents were watching right alongside their children and learning science. this leads to interesting discussions between students and parents about the content of the lessons.

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5 ways to develop a connected student

5 ways to develop a connected student | Connected educator | Scoop.it
Unlike their parents, today's students can communicate, collaborate, cooperate, and connect with the world in meaningful ways that were never before possible.

Uncover student interests. Start by supporting young people in discovering, then developing their interests, which may turn into passions. One way to do this is by giving them a student interest inventory.

Comment on blogs and publications. Help students find out who’s writing about what they care about. When they do, support them in joining the conversation by commenting on those topics and even proposing a guest post or article
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Facebook and YouTube Offer Guidelines to Help Schools and Parents

Facebook and YouTube Offer Guidelines to Help Schools and Parents | Connected educator | Scoop.it
Flickr:Dan Taylor By Matt Levinson Online social giants YouTube and Facebook have taken big steps to attempt to provide guidance on digital citizenship for kids online. Google (which owns YouTube) just launched its ten-step online program for smart and safe YouTube use, with a series of instructional videos that hit on topics from cyberbullying to privacy. And Facebook has teamed up with Edutopia to help schools create social media guidelines.
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Connected Educators Month: Voices from the Learning Revolution (Wk 1)

Connected Educators Month: Voices from the Learning Revolution (Wk 1) | Connected educator | Scoop.it
It’s Connected Educators Month – the first major celebration ever of the powerful potential for educator-driven professional learning vested in the Internet and today’s social media tools.
Each Wednesday of this month (five in all) we’re going to feature several posts written by our Voices from the Learning Revolution bloggers. From among nearly 200 articles posted since we launched VFLR in March 2011, we’ll select about 20 that seem to best underscore the spirit and vision of the Connected Educators website and the USDOE-sponsored Online Communities of Practice project.
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Join us for a #plpnetwork Twitter Chat on August 9

Join us for a #plpnetwork Twitter Chat on August 9 | Connected educator | Scoop.it
Our recent PLP Network Twitter chat experiences were such a rockin’ success that Connected Educator Month seemed like the perfect time to launch yet another #plpnetwork Twitter chat.
On Thursday, August 9, at 7 p.m.
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Design Thinking Workshop for Educators: Applying Creative Problem Solving to Classrooms | Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning

City, the workshop is scheduled for five weeks but can be completed at any pace. Included is a free, downloadable Design Thinking Toolkit—94 pages that take users through the key steps involved in defining a challenge and building a solution: discovery, interpretation, ideation, experimentation, and evolution. Workshop participants can also join collaborative design challenges and weekly online brainstorms.
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21st Century PLNs for School Leaders

21st Century PLNs for School Leaders | Connected educator | Scoop.it
With all of the new technologies that are surrounding us, and to the many school administrators that are not feeling comfortable with Twitter, Facebook, etc., I would like to suggest three ways (as opposed to the typical round number of 10) that you can focus on your own professional development over the summer. Less is oftentimes more in the digital world as we move from simply being “literate” to “fluent” in this language.
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Are you changing your mind?

Are you changing your mind? | Connected educator | Scoop.it
We as leaders of learning have a responsibility to model our own learning, our own “growth mindsets,” and the ways we are changing our opinions if we are to expect our colleagues and our students to open their minds more widely, to experiment and take risks, and to develop their own growth mindsets.
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Top 10 trends in ed. tech to watch for in the next three years.

Top 10 trends in ed. tech to watch for in the next three years. | Connected educator | Scoop.it
  Education today changes quickly, and it is a common mistake for educators to believe that what they are current on today will hold them over for another decade. It is wise to keep a weather ...
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Invisible or Intentional: Thoughts on the metaphors for integrating technology in learning and life.

Invisible or Intentional: Thoughts on the metaphors for integrating technology in learning and life. | Connected educator | Scoop.it
I woke up one morning last week with a bit of a jolt, recognizing in an epiphany that there is a contradiction, or at least a fascinating tension, in the way I think about using digital media in learning. But just as easily as these digital tools can be used for good, they can be abused as well.    Plugged in connectivity brings me, my colleagues, and my students both phenomenal advantages for learning, creating, and producing, and at the same time it distracts and diverts us from our focus and our surroundings, and so much more.

Howard Rheingold gets this just right.   It isn’t easy to strike the balance of expressing genuine, forceful enthusiasm for digital lives while also calling for disciplined moderation about appropriate use, but in Net Smart he does so brilliantly:

When it comes to the interacting with the world of always-on info, the fundamental skill, on which other essential skills depend, is the ability to deal with distraction without filtering out opportunity.

The meaning of unproductive, like distraction, requires both context and a firm idea of one’s goals.  If your aim is to produce a certain amount of external output, as opposed to the more internal production f learning), then the invitations to serendipity, play, and digression that digital media offer are obstacles and dangers.   If your aspiration is to learn, help build community, and explore, then the issue gets more complicated.
 
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Khan Academy: The hype and the reality

Khan Academy: The hype and the reality | Connected educator | Scoop.it
Khan Academy boasts almost 3,300 videos that have been viewed over 160 million times. That’s a heroic achievement.
But, a mathematician says, there’s a problem: the videos aren’t very good.
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Voice of the Active Learner

Voice of the Active Learner | Connected educator | Scoop.it
I was recently sent this video that puts into perspective the new type of learner that is entering our schools.
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Flipped classrooms: Let’s change the discussion

Flipped classrooms: Let’s change the discussion | Connected educator | Scoop.it
Since Sal Khan’s 2011 TED Talk, the Khan Academy has been nearly synonymous with “flipped classrooms.” This is because since then, Khan Academy has been promoted by the Gates Foundation as well as major media outlets like CNN and CBS.

 

Students have a voice. Flipped learning is about reversing the roles in education. The teacher is no longer the center of attention … students are. Class time is spent focusing on their needs, not on the teacher’s schedule. Students are encouraged to make decisions, question, succeed and fail in a supportive, dynamic learning environment. Choice is rampant in flipped learning, and students are given an opportunity to defend their choices as a partner in learning rather than a subordinate.

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For 'Connected Educator Month,' Tips From 33 Educators We Admire

For 'Connected Educator Month,' Tips From 33 Educators We Admire | Connected educator | Scoop.it
We asked everyone who has written for or collaborated with us on the blog to answer two simple questions. Read what these 33 educators have to say to get over 100 great recommendations and ideas.
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Connectedness as the Standard

Connectedness as the Standard | Connected educator | Scoop.it
We become the epicenter of our learning and determine what, where, and when we want to learn.  This makes the learning process meaningful, relevant, applicable, and convenient.  With these structures in place, the foundation is established to unleash passion, creativity, and a pursuit of innovation to do what we do better.  Connectedness and control of our learning provide each of us with the ability to determine our own path and to differentiate to meet each of our diverse learning needs. 
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What’s the big deal about Blogging?

What’s the big deal about Blogging? | Connected educator | Scoop.it
A short time ago I attended a meeting where members of a college English department were doing a presentation to the faculty about their writing program. As I listened to about a 30-minute presentation I was waiting for two words that never came; blog and post.

As an educator I believe kids should be introduced to blogging early.  A writer’s work will quickly improve with a real audience. Writing for an audience of only one is a tedious process. This is the preferred method in education. The writer needs to wait for the composition to be graded. Of course the student writer can always shake off the teacher’s criticism; because the writer is convinced the teacher hates him anyway. With comments from a real audience providing proper feedback, the writer gets a better sense of impact on the audience as well as recognition for accuracy and focus. Of course it is also on the teacher to teach kids how to responsibly comment and respond on other’s posts. We can’t hold students responsible for things that we don’t teach them.
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What should a networked educational leader tweet about?

What should a networked educational leader tweet about? | Connected educator | Scoop.it
What should a networked educational leader tweet about?

Sharing innovative strategies and news from your schools. As an educational leader, we are a needed voice and advocate for our own practices.  Twitter only allows for 140 characters, so often you will have a link to an article or accompanying blog post within that space.  This is a great way to be your own “press” while also contributing to the greater good of education.  Sharing is a must!
Educational articles that influence your thinking. I read so much online and you probably do to.  If you believe that the article written by an organization or another educator is beneficial to your learning and/or the learning of others, tweet it out.
Thoughts and quotes. As leaders we need to be thinkers.  Sometimes it is nice to have a space where we can share these thoughts.  Also, these short quotes may be just the fuel someone else needs to push through
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Seeds of change in 21st-century education | SmartBlogs

Learning and connectedness to information happens anywhere and anytime. True 21st century education needs to be based on that simple fact. Assessment in the form of an IEP — an individualized plan — in which educators map out goals with the student so they can together assess progress based on their defined aspirations appeals to me. A word of warning: We need not to systematize it with software, committees and nonsensical rubrics. It can simply be a guide that works to support each individual student. No one-size-fits-all education solution can or will work for our 21st-century citizens.
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The Flipped Classroom: Pro and Con

The Flipped Classroom: Pro and Con | Connected educator | Scoop.it
Why It Matters
So in the end, why should we care so much about the flipped classroom model? The primary reason is because it is forcing teachers to reflect on their practice and rethink how they reach their kids. It is inspiring teachers to change the way they've always done things, and it is motivating them to bring technology into their classrooms through the use of video and virtual classrooms like Edmodo and similar tools. As long as learning remains the focus, and as long as educators are constantly reflecting and asking themselves if what they are doing is truly something different or just a different way of doing the same things they've always done, there is hope that some of Dewey's philosophies will again permeate our schools. We just need to remember that flipping is only the beginning.
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The Five Percenters

The Five Percenters | Connected educator | Scoop.it
I agree with Hacker; every child needs basic math skills. And I think every child, especially today, needs a good dose of statistics in order to understand the tidal wave of data we’re subjected to on a daily basis. But I look at my own kids and wonder about all they ways they could be going deep into the things they love, becoming better, more effective learners in the process, rather than struggling through four years of stuff of which they will ever use only a small portion.
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Rheingold’s Excellent Net Smart: How to Thrive Online, An Appreciation

Rheingold’s Excellent Net Smart: How to Thrive Online, An Appreciation | Connected educator | Scoop.it
Choosing what I believe is the Book of the Year is always a fun task —what new book each year most informs, illuminates, and influences me?     2008 the nod went to Tony Wagner’s Global Achievement Gap (Godin’s Tribes the close runner-up), 2009 Perkins’ Making Learning Whole,  and 2010 was the year of Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From (with Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus close behind.)  In 2011 John Seely Brown’s New Culture of Learning took my prize.  (Christensen’s Innovators DNA and McGonigal’s Reality is Broken were also contenders.)
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“The Only Thing Worse Than Being Bored Is Teaching The Bored” – Michael Fullan | Bloggucation

“The Only Thing Worse Than Being Bored Is Teaching The Bored” – Michael Fullan | Bloggucation | Connected educator | Scoop.it
The key here, however, is that students are not engaged by the sheer virtue of a devices existence. “Technology must be based in good pedagogy.” Their must be a solid purpose and goal for the use of any tool in the teaching and learning process and technology is no exception. For you see, it is the teacher that engages the student, not the technology. We must also remember that just because students can be engaged through the use of technology, it doesn’t mean they are learning anything. As with anything, the integration of technology into learning must come with the appropriate professional development to support the teacher in both the technical use of the equipment and the pedagogical use of the equipment. Technology changes practice – and practice must change with it.
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Chris Lehmann on educational colonialism | Dangerously Irrelevant

Chris Lehmann on educational colonialism | Dangerously Irrelevant | Connected educator | Scoop.it
To me, when you ensure your own child has an arts-enriched, small-class size, deeply humanistic education and you advocate that those families who have fewer economic resources than you have should sit straight in their chairs and do what they are told while doubling and tripling up on rote memorization and test prep, you are guilty of educational colonialism.
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