"The theory of contructionism is experiencing something of a revival in recent years with the emergence of maker spaces, robotics, 3D printing and other tools that can promote the making of objects. Furthermore, the new school curriculum in England now includes computer programming and algorithms for primary age children. Many schools such as Plymouth School of the Creative Arts in South West England, and Taupaki School in New Zealand have made learning through making their primary strategy. The connections between thinking and making are important, and curricula based upon this principle draws out creativity and encourages children to experiment, take risks and ask more 'what if'? questions. Talk to head teacher Dave Strudwick at PSCA or principal Stephen Lethbridge at Taupaki and they will tell you the results are astounding, with children in both schools often exceeding expectations for their phases of development."
Bloom’s Taxonomy is one of the most cited theoretical constructions within education and e-learning. This is well earned since, after its first publication in 1956, the taxonomy has quickly become an important milestone within educational theory.
However there are many professionals within the educational and e-learning fields that have only a vague idea of what the Taxonomy is all about, or that have only met the taxonomy (or some revisited version of these findings) for the Cognitive domain only, leaving the Affective and Psychomotor domains at the margins, if not completely out of the picture.
"The interest in inquiry-based learning seems to ebb and flow based on–well, it’s not clear why it ever ebbs.
In short, it is a student-centered, Constructivist approach to learning that requires critical thinking, and benefits from technology, collaboration, resourcefulness, and other modern learning skills that never seem to fall out of favor themselves.
Regardless, St Oliver Plunkett Primary School has put together two very useful images that can help you populate your iPad–or classroom of iPads–with apps that support both inquiry-based learning (the second image below), and a more general approach to pedagogy based on Apple’s uber-popular tablet (the top image)."
I made a “Mystery Calendar” for October. I found a list of historical people and events from October here, and chose 4 of them. Then, I used iMovie to create short videos that gave clues about each one. Because I have a Mac at home, I had a bit of trouble finding a good calendar template for the iWorks suite, but I finally landed on a good template for Numbers here.
"All of my classes, regardless of student age or demographics – elementary gifted students or graduate students, begin with ice-breakers and team-building activities. I recently developed a passion for using students’ mobile devices to do so as this devices have become natural and personalized extensions of students’ “selves.”"
The popular web platform Canva has recently released a great free app for iPad users. For those of you who are not yet familiar with Canva, this is a web tool that allows you to create beautiful visuals, posters, and flyers. The simplicity of Canva is what makes it a viable tool for using in class with students. You do not need to be a graphic designer to use Canva. All you need is a computer or iPad and internet connection. Canva provides you with a variety of pre-made templates and layouts that you can choose from to create your poster. It also provides numerous images and illustrations to use on your layout.
"My journey into exploring the power of making continues for a 3rd year with two added goals. First,I plan to expand the depth of learning that goes with "making" by creating Maker Connection Logs where students write, take photos, and record short videos to show their thinking while making connections between curriculum areas and their creations. The goal of the “Maker Logs” is for students to be able to give me insight into their creative process, thinking and provide a way for reflecting with the hopes of improving the future process of "making.
My second goal, which I recently accomplished, is to create an "Un-Maker Space." Simply put, a space where kids can take things apart. So many of the creative geniuses I met at the Bay Area Maker Faire two years ago spoke of taking things apart when they were kids. Watching my 3 year old son recently take apart his toy vacuum really solidified this idea for me. We all have this inner drive to create an understanding of the world around us. This is founded in the desire to answer all the "why" and "how" questions in our thoughts. Why did that little wheel spin when I pushed the play button on that cassette player? How did the electricity get from the cord into the monitor and then create a picture? How can I take this apart? So my students will have a space to dissect all the discarded and unwanted items and to ask those questions. In this un-maker space they’ll have the chance to explore the possible answers."
"With modern technology, a global exchange of goods and ideas can happen at the click of a button. But what about 2,000 years ago? Shannon Harris Castelo unfolds the history of the 5,000-mile Silk Road, a network of multiple routes that used the common language of commerce to connect the world's major settlements, thread by thread."
ClassBadges is a free online tool where teachers can award badges to students for accomplishments or academic mastery. Through your teacher account, you can award badges customized for your classroom or school. Badges can easily be aligned to academic goals or associated with existing school awards.
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