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Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?

Do We Have the Courage to Stop This? | Connected educator | Scoop.it
There’s an epic contrast between the heroism of teachers facing a gunman and the fecklessness of politicians who won’t stand up to N.R.A.

The tragedy isn’t one school shooting, it’s the unceasing toll across our country. More Americans die in gun homicides and suicides in six months than have died in the last 25 years in every terrorist attack and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

So what can we do? A starting point would be to limit gun purchases to one a month, to curb gun traffickers. Likewise, we should restrict the sale of high-capacity magazines so that a shooter can’t kill as many people without reloading.
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Voting is open

Voting is open | Connected educator | Scoop.it
If you sent in your nominations for the Edublog awards, please get over there now to check if your nomination made it into the final shortlist.
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Netsmart; copy and past

Netsmart; copy and past | Connected educator | Scoop.it

EVALUATING INTERNET SOURCES 

 

In a world of information overload, it is vital for students to be able to find information on the Web, as well as to determine its validity and appropriateness. The information you find may vary in reliability and quality: it can be very useful and reliable, very bad or directly misleading. Keep in mind that everyone can publish information on the Internet. This means it is your job to evaluate the quality and reliability of what you find, and whether it fits your needs. A good way to start is to see if you can identify the following:

 

author’s name
• author’s title or position
• author’s organizational affiliation
• date of page creation or version
• author’s contact information

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Join us for a Powering Up book launch party!

Join us for a Powering Up book launch party! | Connected educator | Scoop.it

Over 1,000 of you have downloaded a copy of The Connected Teacher: Powering Up. We are so excited that the book has been met with such enthusiasm!

To keep that momentum going, and to celebrate the launch of our first book, we are hosting a virtual Book Launch Party on Thursday, December 6th at 8pm EDT.

Join five of our Powering Up authors (Kathy Cassidy, Brian Crosby, Patti Grayson, Marsha Ratzel & Shelley Wright) along with PLPress leaders Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and John Norton for readings, “wow” moments, takeaways, and Q&A.

It’s sure to be a blast!

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10 Truths About Educational Technology

10 Truths About Educational Technology | Connected educator | Scoop.it
A few brief, high-impact guidelines for using technology in the classroom.

 

1. The learning objective comes first.
Start by understanding the abilities, preferences, and passions of the kids in the classroom, then choose the right technology to go along with that.

 

2. No technology is perfect.
What works for one classroom might be unsuccessful, unused, and unwanted next door.

 

3. Digital natives? Sort of.
Kids are generally very fast tech learners, indeed, but they don’t come to your room knowing as much as some would assert.
4. Make do.

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Get supercharged with “Powering Up” and Powerful Learning Press

Get supercharged with “Powering Up” and Powerful Learning Press | Connected educator | Scoop.it

Today is a big day here at Powerful Learning Practice!
We are celebrating the launch of Powerful Learning Press — our own unique publishing venture — by giving away a free interactive eBook that we hope will inspire more educators to become connected learners.


About this free eBook

 

The Connected Teacher: Powering Up shares stories written by teachers and school leaders who are making the shift to technology infused, student-driven learning on behalf of their iGeneration students.

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15 Lesson Plans For Making Students Better Online Researchers - Edudemic

15 Lesson Plans For Making Students Better Online Researchers - Edudemic | Connected educator | Scoop.it

Google is usually one of the first places students turn to when tasked with an assignment. Whether it’s for research, real-time results, or just a little digital exploration … it’s important they know how to properly Google. Lucky for teachers (and students, of course), Google has a handy set of lesson plans that are just waiting to be unleashed upon the leaders of tomorrow.


Via Nik Peachey, Maggie Verster
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I used to think…

I used to think… | Connected educator | Scoop.it
My students are competent to show me what they need. I'm becoming a better teacher by giving up a lot of what I used to think.

 

I used to think our current K-12 format made sense. Now I believe it fails so many of our students. I look at students who are in Grade 1 or 2 and struggling to learn to read at the teacher’s pace. For some of them, their little brains just aren’t quite ready yet — all they need is more time. But the current system we have doesn’t allow for it. Kids are pushed along the assembly line and many develop not only large learning gaps, but a lack of self-efficacy.
I see this in high school too. Some kids take longer to develop abstract thinking, and struggle with math and other abstract concepts. The truth is that in high school I couldn’t understand Chemistry. Now I teach it. I could learn it in university, as an adult, because my brain was ready.

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Why I try to follow every teacher I can on Twitter

Why I try to follow every teacher I can on Twitter | Connected educator | Scoop.it

Currently, I follow over 8500 people on Twitter and that count will continue to grow. I rarely look at my “home” column because, as Tony mentioned, it moves way to fast. I use hashtags and lists to find information I am interested in. Every once in awhile though, I take a peek at that home column (interestingly enough, that is how I found Tony’s blog post) and find something amazing, or see someone I follow asking for help. Either I try to help them myself, or “Retweet” them to help them find a connection. If I didn’t follow them, I wouldn’t be able to do that. I do this because so many people have done this for me. Although it is my “Personal Learning Network” it is not just about what I take from it, but also what I can give, not only in information, but in facilitating connections and offering some help. I am, as all educators are, extremely busy, but when I can help, I try to do my best. We are all teachers and we all should focus on what is best for kids.

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Learner Focused

Learner Focused | Connected educator | Scoop.it

If kids didn’t really understand, well, you would have to move on. Getting through the curriculum seemed more important than the kids actually learning.

I don’t do that anymore.

Learning should take on a life of it’s own and my focus is to push people to learn about what they are interested in and help guide them in the process. The process of learning, to me, is much more important than the product of learning. My workshops usually have 2-3 things that we are going to focus on in a day, but I don’t set times anymore because I don’t know where we will be. How could I accurately determine the learning of people if I have never met them? I am not totally there as a teacher, but I am growing and hopefully getting better.

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Guest Post | Three Starting Points for Thinking Differently About Learning

Guest Post | Three Starting Points for Thinking Differently About Learning | Connected educator | Scoop.it
Author Will Richardson suggests three ways to rethink teaching and learning at a time when technology has "upended the basic premise of school."...

Today, there is no doubt that the Web has changed things more than most of us could have imagined way back there at the turn of the century. Every day we have access to more information, more knowledge and more people. In many ways, I can’t imagine there has been a more amazing time to learn.

I also, however, can’t imagine a more challenging time for schools.
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Teaching in the Age of Siri

Teaching in the Age of Siri | Connected educator | Scoop.it

You know the future is rushing towards us when students no longer ask the teacher if they can use a calculator, but instead ask if they can ask Siri. Yes, that iPhone phenom with the sort-of-sultry voice.When I asked Siri, I didn’t just get the answer to my query.

Siri shows me a plot of the equation, what kind of geometric shape it is, and loads of other things that are well above the needs of my 8th graders. I thought the image on my screen looked remarkably like the data one finds at the Wolfram Alpha site. And sure enough, Wolfram is built right into the Siri help menu.

Amazing.

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Important, Intriguing, Beautiful Questions

Important, Intriguing, Beautiful Questions | Connected educator | Scoop.it

Ken Bain:
“ People are most likely to take a deep approach to their learning when they are trying to answer questions or solve problems that they have come to regard as important, intriguing, or justbeautiful. One of the great secrets to fostering deep learning is the ability to help students raise new kinds of questions that they will find fascinating.

 

In the context of questions, schools need a reframing. (Can you imagine an exit test where kids ASK the questions instead of answer them?

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The U.S. State Department Gets in the Education Game

The U.S. State Department Gets in the Education Game | Connected educator | Scoop.it
Trace Effects The U.S. State Department is jumping into the ed-tech world with an online game meant to help teach "American English" to kids between
Ann S. Michaelsen's insight:

The game took five years to develop, in part because the State Department wanted to be sure the game wouldn’t offend anyone. Even the name Trace is fairly free of culture, creed, class or language. ECA’s English program used to focus on teacher training, but in the past 10 years, it has begun transitioning to student focused work with an eye on younger, more marginalized students.

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English Learners & Public Blogging

English Learners & Public Blogging | Connected educator | Scoop.it
Public blogging, says teacher Ann Michaelsen, is helping her Norwegian high school students sharpen their English writing skills. Eleven are finalists for the 2012 EduBlog award for student blogging. 

 

My goal to motivate students by assigning more real-life tasks seems to be a success — many students write long texts every week and some write additional posts about topics they find interesting, without me asking them to do so!

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What I Know Now

What I Know Now | Connected educator | Scoop.it

In her overview of Learning to Code as one of the top ed-tech trends of 2012, Audrey Watters also shares her favorite ed-tech quote of the year, a pithy suggestion from designer/programmer Bret Victor:
“For fuck’s sake, read Mindstorms.”...

 

Schools and teachers and classrooms still have an important role in our communities, and as I’ve said before, I don’t want them to go away. But, as Papert and many others suggest, they must change. They can’t be about courses or credits or grades or curriculum or teaching first and foremost. They have to be about learning. But the way we understand that word must be grounded in something much deeper than test scores and competition. We as educators have to own that word in its purest sense if we’re to move schools in ways that best support and nurture our kids. And we don’t have much time to waste.
So if you haven’t already, for goodness sake, read Mindstorms.
Please.

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Shifting the Classroom, One Step at a Time

Shifting the Classroom, One Step at a Time | Connected educator | Scoop.it

Teachers who are interested in shifting their classrooms often don’t know where to start. It can be overwhelming, frightening, and even discouraging, especially when no one else around you seems to think the system is broken.

 

2. TALK ABOUT LEARNING

alk to your students about their learning — a lot. Especially in the beginning, I talk to my students about why my classroom is structured differently than every other class in our school. I show them Ken Robinson’s talk about how the 20th century school system doesn’t really prepare students anymore. I also show them Chris Lehmann’s TED-X talk emphasizing how education is broken and Karl Fisch’s Did You Know?.

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Labels Limit learning

Labels Limit learning | Connected educator | Scoop.it
James Nottingham

I recently had the pleasure of attending a conference where James Nottingham did a keynote session. James’s company has been awarded the exclusive licence to offer consultancy based on John Hattie’s Visible Learning throughout Scandinavia. Reflecting on the lessons from this work, James offers in this video some insights you can use at school, work or in your home environment. www.challenginglearning.com.

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A "Behaviorally Different Species" of Learner

A "Behaviorally Different Species" of Learner | Connected educator | Scoop.it

Ben Williamson
“ In the traditional conception of school, the learner was invoked as a docile individual who turned up to school to be instructed in a core canon of curricular content and codes of behavioral conduct.

 

I’ve been thinking even more about this shift away from formal (traditional) learning to more informal learning within the classroom. Could we at some point give credit (real credit) to a student for the development of those “soft skills” as they manifest themselves within her work to learn something she chooses, not something that we have assigned her to learn?

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3 tips for teachers new to Twitter

3 tips for teachers new to Twitter | Connected educator | Scoop.it

A colleague who knows that Twitter is my favorite social space stuck her head in my room the other day with a complaint.. “Bill, Twitter’s not working for me. No one ever replies to any of my questions. What’s the point of posting if no one is ever listening?”

 

1. Spend your early time on Twitter following important educational hashtags

2. Persuade colleagues to join Twitter with you

3. Remember that you build relationships in Twitter one good deed at a time:

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Technology Is Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say

Technology Is Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say | Connected educator | Scoop.it
There is a widespread belief among teachers that digital technology is hampering students’ attention spans and ability to persevere, according to two surveys.

 

The surveys also found that many teachers said technology could be a useful educational tool. In the Pew survey, which was done in conjunction with the College Board and the National Writing Project, roughly 75 percent of 2,462 teachers surveyed said that the Internet and search engines had a “mostly positive” impact on student research skills. And they said such tools had made students more self-sufficient researchers.

But nearly 90 percent said that digital technologies were creating “an easily distracted generation with short attention spans.”

Similarly, of the 685 teachers surveyed in the Common Sense project, 71 percent said they thought technology was hurting attention span “somewhat” or “a lot.” About 60 percent said it hindered students’ ability to write and communicate face to face, and almost half said it hurt critical thinking and their ability to do homework.

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The Digital Realist

The Digital Realist | Connected educator | Scoop.it

If you listen hard enough to discussions about online learning or digital technology in the classroom, you’ll find significant philosophical differences underlying the different positions.

 

The student owns the learning, and I don’t really think it’s appropriate for the teacher to determine how they learn best.” understand the sentiment behind this statement. Like Lisa, I want to give my students as much agency as possible. In one of my favorite books about teaching writing (The 9 Rights of Every Writer), Vicki Spandel promotes giving students the right to choose their own topics, to go “off topic,” to write badly, and to find their own voice. I agree with Vicki – that’s the way I teach – so it might seem that I’m aligned with Lisa’s statement above. But nothing could be further from the truth.

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For Students, Why the Question is More Important Than the Answer

For Students, Why the Question is More Important Than the Answer | Connected educator | Scoop.it
Thinkstock In a traditional classroom, the teacher is the center of attention, the owner of knowledge and answers. What would happen if the roles were flipped and students asked the questions?

That’s the premise of the Right Question Institute and a new book by its co-directors Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana. The book, Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions, documents a step-by-step process to help students formulate and prioritize questions about nearly everything.

Coming up with the right question involves vigorously thinking through the problem, investigating it from various angles, turning closed questions into open-ended ones and prioritizing which are the most important questions to get at the heart of the matter.
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The Flip: End of a Love Affair

The Flip: End of a Love Affair | Connected educator | Scoop.it

Most teachers who opt for the flipped classroom strategy are not pursuing a student-centered approach to learning. The traditional model is simply being reversed. As I shifted my classroom from teacher-centred to student-centred, my students began to do lots of their their own research. Sometimes this resulted in them teaching each other. Sometimes they created a project with the knowledge they were acquiring. But the bottom line was that their learning had a purpose that was apparent to them, beyond simply passing the unit exam.

1) I dislike the idea of giving my students homework

2) A lecture by video is still a lecture.

3) I want my students to own their learning.

4) My students need to be able to find and critically evaluate their own resources.

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