In the spring of 1991, I returned to teaching after more than five years as a Benedictine monk. The monastery had been founded in China in the 1920s, and when exiled after the Chinese Revolution, the community had relocated to the Mojave Desert in California. During my novitiate, I had taken up a private study of modern Chinese history, even though my research and academic formation at Cambridge University had been in early modern English puritan studies. When my community sent me to study theology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, I also studied the history of missiology and continued to read about the modern emergence of Christianity in China. So when the history department of a small liberal arts college in Santa Barbara asked me to teach a non-Western course after I left monastic life, I suggested Modern Chinese History.
Donna Farren's insight:
Mistaking teaching with learning - so may times, with short PD sessions and tired teachers after school who insist their preferred learning style is listening to lectures it is easy to fall into telling teachers what I have learned and not letting them learn it for themselves.
I recently came across this infographic on learning theory on the most excellent blog, TeachThought. As you can see, with the digital age, a new theory of learning has emerged called Connectivism. it is a theory advanced by George Siemens that is based ...
Don’t fret, we’ve all been there: You’re up late the night before Thursday and you have to teach a lesson at 8 AM the next day. So, what do you do? Throw some text on a PowerPoint and get ready to talk through your points. Couldn’t hurt, right? You might not always read straight off of the slides--t
Could your students identify the most important concepts in your discipline? Do they leave your class understanding these most fundamental concepts, including the ability to reason using these concepts to answer essential questions? Do your students become critical thinkers who connect concepts and practices in your course with other courses? With their future professional lives?
I especially like the attention paid to the fact that learning styles cannot be substantiated by research. A lot of time and effort is wasted in narrowing down students' learning styles when it is best to use a variety anyway.
What’s the difference between a “training culture” and a “learning culture”? The answer is, “A great deal.” As the chart shows, in a training culture, responsibility for employee learning resides with instructors and training managers. In that kind of culture...
Donna Farren's insight:
I found this blog post to be very helpful in re-focusing the goals of our professional development - what do we really want to be doing? Training people or teaching them to learn?
In addition to the already full plates of educators, in-house online content and course development remains a challenge. With a healthy dose of optimism and motivation to better serve their current, digitally-inclined
Institutions of higher education are increasingly using online courses and fully-online programs as tools to increase enrollment. There are many issues surrounding the subject of online education as an enrollment strategy. For instance, attrition rates are higher in online courses and online programs than in the face-to-face environment (Carr, 2000; Moody, 2004). It has been well-established that academic and social integration are key factors influencing retention, yet many institutions do not take a systematic approach to ensuring adequate integration opportunities for online students. Faculty members, at the front-lines of the retention issue, can help to improve student success rates by providing a sense of community in the online classroom and making meaningful interaction and student engagement a priority. Functional units of student services should work collaboratively with faculty members to expand the breadth of support for online learners, with the conviction that retention is everyone’s issue, and fostering student success is everyone’s responsibility.
The number of higher education students taking at least one online course in 2014 is up 3.7 percent over the previous year — the slowest rate of increase in over a decade, according to a new survey from the Babson Survey Research Group.
The use of online discussion in both blended and fully online courses has made clear that those exchanges are more productive if they are structured, if there’s a protocol that guides the interaction. This kind of structure is more important in the online environment because those discussions are usually asynchronous and minus all the nonverbal cues that facilitate face-to-face exchanges. But I’m wondering if more structure might benefit our in-class discussions as well.
Students struggle with academic discourse. They have conversations (or is it chats?) with each other, but not discussions like those we aspire to have in our courses. And although students understand there’s a difference between the two, they don’t always know exactly how they’re supposed to talk about academic content when discussing it with teachers and classmates. Would providing more structure provide that clarity and make the value of discussions more obvious to students?
The basic cognitive skills needed by previous generations are no longer enough. Students in the conceptual age must also master the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, including creation, metacognition and self-actualization.
“It will require an upgrade to our curriculum, new instructional methods and materials, a new profile of a global graduate and an open mind,” say Smith, Chavez and Seaman.
For ideas about how to re-create your classroom for the conceptual age, including potential classroom setups, blended learning models to mix and match, and a curriculum design process, take a look at the infographic
This post does an excellent job explaining how digital learning and MOOCs are changing the face of traditional education FOR THE BETTER! "Any college or university that bases a significant part of its business model around an information transfer model will be first irrelevant, and then quickly insolvent. " I hope that this will be true for any K12 school or classroom as well!
This bird might look like a holiday ornament, but it is actually a rare half-female, half-male northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis, pictured with female plumage on the left and male plumage on the right) spotted a few years ago in Rock Island, Illinois. Researchers have long known such split-sex “gynandromorphs” exist in insects, crustaceans, and birds. But scientists rarely get to extensively study a gynandromorph in the wild; most published observations cover just a day or so. Observers got to follow this bird, however, for more than 40 days between December 2008 and March 2010. They documented how it interacted with other birds and even how it responded to recorded calls. The results suggest being half-and-half carries consequences: The cardinal didn’t appear to have a mate, and observers never heard it sing, the researchers report this month in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology. On the other hand, it wasn’t “subjected to any unusual agonistic behaviors from other cardinals,” according to the paper. Intriguingly, another gynandromorph cardinal sighted briefly in 1969 had the opposite plumage, they note: the male’s bright red plumes on the right, the drabber female feathers on the left.
I really like how they describe the characteristics of a teacher in a blended classroom and the roles they take on. It has real concrete examples of thways teachers should be working in a blended classroom.
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