"The rise of the Maker has been one of the most exciting educational trends of the past few years. A Maker is an individual who communicates, collaborates, tinkers, fixes, breaks, rebuilds, and constructs projects for the world around him or her. A Maker, re-cast into a classroom, has a name that we all love: a learner. A Maker, just like a true learner, values the process of making as much as the product. In the classroom, the act of Making is an avenue for a teacher to unlock the learning potential of her or his students in a way that represents many of the best practices of educational pedagogy. A Makerspace classroom has the potential to create life-long learners through exciting, real-world projects."
"Emerging technologies is, can be, should be a driving force of this evolution towards Education 3.0. Information access, communication methods, the ability for creative express is qualitatively different than any other time in history due to technological advances."
There is mounting evidence that complementing or replacing lectures with student-centric, technology-enabled active learning strategies and learning guidance—rather than memorization and repetition—improves learning, supports knowledge retention, and raises achievement. These new student-centered blended learning methods inspire engagement, and are a way to connect with every student right where they are while supporting progress toward grade level standards.
Author David Price writes: "If schools are coming into direct competition with the learning opportunities available in the informal social space, it has to be said that this is a pressure, which barely registers within the political discourse.
In the following pages, Price describes three cases across the globe — in London, Sydney, San Diego — that have mapped a vision that answers the questions above. Here’s what they have in common:
- By insisting that their teachers and mentors share their learning, all three have de-privatized teaching and learning.
- By opening up the commons, and by designing workspaces without walls, they have brought Edison’s ‘machine-shop culture’ into education.
- By bringing into the commons, experts, parents and investors, they have given an authenticity to the work of their students that is impossible to simulate in an enclosed classroom.
- By modelling collaborative working to their students they have fostered the peer learning which is at the heart of ‘open’.
- By emphasizing adult and real-world connections, they ensure that students are preparing for the world beyond school by being in that world.
- By making their expertise and intellectual property freely available, they have created high demand from their peers and ensured that knowledge travels fast.
- By seeing technology not simply as an aide to learning but as the imperative for change, they ensure that their programs are relevant to societal needs and societal shifts.
- By trusting in their staff and students, and by giving them freedom and responsibility in equal measure, they have fostered a culture of learning that rewards respectful challenge, shuns unnecessary deference, and therefore constantly stays in motion.
Rotana Ty shares a wonderful essay on collective learning for Permamarks blog. He has curated ideas by many thought leaders on the topic including Marcia Conner, Nilofer Merchant, John Hagel, Tiffany Shlain, Gideon Rosenblatt, J.
Testing, especially any sort of standardized testing tends to get a bad rap. Teachers complain that they spend too much time teaching to a test. But assessments do have value, and an important place in our learning structure. By measuring what students are learning, we as teachers can look at how we are approaching different subjects, materials, and even different students. The handy infographic takes a look at different types of assessments and their attributes and questions. Keep reading to learn more.
"This week I’ve been getting excited about using Kahoot in the classroom. Kahoot delivers online quizzes and surveys to your students.
It works very similar to the more well-known Socrative. The teacher displays the question and the answers on the beamer or tv in the front of the classroom. The students see the corresponding icon and color on their screen. They have 30 seconds to answer on their devices and get points for every question they answer right. The quicker they answer the more points they receive. After each question the top 5 students are shown on the board with their scores. This is where it gets exciting. The students love this immediate feedback and want to get to the top position. I have never seen students so focused on answering the questions correctly."
"The dictionary definition of blended learning (sometimes called hybrid learning) is so broad, it sometimes feels like nearly every modern classroom could fit under that umbrella. But the key to understanding blended learning is that it's not about the technology; it's about transforming instructional design to maximize teacher time, to better utilize digital resources, and to build a community of engaged learners of all stripes. To help you navigate the meaning and the potential of blended learning, I've gathered a playlist of videos and resources to explore on the topic."
"You know the content, you understand pedagogy, and you can navigate the minefield of diplomacy when dealing with parents, students, administrators, literacy coaches, and the local news station when they want to see the iPads glow on the students faces.
You know how to manage and coddle, inspire and organize, assess and deliver content.
But the technology is different. That part you do okay with, but, truth be told, the students are geniuses with technology. Born hackers. And of course they are, you tell yourself.
"In this quick post I want to share with you this beautiful interactive image on the SAMR model. I learned about this resource from a tweet shared by our colleague David Fife. As you can see from the image below, iPadders provided examples of how to use each classroom task according to the different SAMR categories. And in each category, a set of apps and tools are provided to help you carry out the task under study. I invite you to have a look and share with your colleagues. Enjoy"
The culmination of my quest for more powerful learning grounded in theory and research came when recently I conducted an experiment in pushing constructionism into the digital age.
Constructionism is based on two types of construction. First, it asserts that learning is an active process, in which people actively construct knowledge from their experience in the world. People don’t get ideas; they make them. This aspect of construction comes from the constructivist theory of knowledge development by Jean Piaget. To Piaget’s concept, Papert added another type of construction, arguing that people construct new knowledge with particular effectiveness when they are engaged in constructing personally meaningful products.
Imagine my surprise and joy when I realized that I had arrived at constructionism prior to knowing that such a theory even existed. I believe that thousands of other educators are unknowingly working within the constructionist paradigm as well. Although many within the Maker movement are aware that it has it’s roots in constructionism, the movement is gaining impressive momentum without the majority of Makers realizing that there is a strong theoretical foundation behind their work.
After I came to understand this connection between my practices and the supporting theoretical framework I was better able to focus and refine my practice. Even more importantly, I felt more confident and powerful in forging ahead with further experiments in the learning situations I design for my learners.
Classrooms should be spaces that students don’t want to leave. Some communities are still hesitant about these futuristic looking learning spaces and have resorted to older, traditional physical spaces. Hopefully, they will begin to embrace changes to better prepare students and move them in the 21st century global economy.
This is a common concern of teachers who are new to project-based learning. Things can appear to be going smoothly -- students have been engaged by the project, they've been learning content and skills, they've been busy and meeting deadlines -- but their thinking is not as in-depth and their final products not as polished as they should be. If this is your experience, it's time to ask yourself some questions: