Nowadays, many educators use the same methods over and over again in their lessons for students to express themselves and demonstrate their new knowledge. Today’s students want to express themselves in a variety of different ways. They want their academic work to be relevant, engaging and fun.
Below is a diverse list adapted from resources found at fortheteachers.org of potential student products or activities learners can use to demonstrate their mastery of lesson content. The list also offers several digital tools for students to consider using in a technology-enriched learning environment.
For today’s students to effectively compete in the global workforce, they must develop the skills, understandings, and mindsets necessary to prepare them for the careers and challenges of tomorrow. This means more than learning to read and write – it means being able to master academic content and apply that knowledge across contexts in a meaningful way.
Audio books have become increasingly popular in recent years (see Google Tends), but some people believe that listening to a good book is not as legitimate as reading one. In fact many authors, such as Dickens, wrote their books to be read out aloud. You can make the case that listening to Dickens’ books is more authentic than reading them.
I have been making printed versions of books made with Book Creator on an iPad for many years. The app produces a really decent file for hard copy printing.
First thing to realise is that your video and sound files won’t work on paper. I know that sounds silly but people sometimes get upset when they first realise this. What you do get is a paper book which looks like it was purchased from a bookstore – it looks so professional.
Coding in December has become the thing to do now that Hour of Code has begun sweeping the nation, and this is a very good thing! But is it being explicating taught or better yet infused in otters curricular areas in most schools? That's a question with examining in some detail. My experience tells me that it is not. And I wonder why this is so. As I reflect on this, I wonder if it is because the value & flexibility of coding is undervalued! Also that coding is seen as somehow a mystical, magical beast that will be incredibly difficult to learn and even harder to bring to students in a meaningful way.
All Aboard is rising to the challenge identified in the national Digital Roadmap of building our ‘digital capacity,’ not just in terms of infrastructure, but also in terms of people, their skills, their levels of confidence and their ability to critique and challenge pre-conceptions.
Maha Bali writes: "We often hear people talk about the importance of digital knowledge for 21st-century learners. Unfortunately, many focus on skills rather than literacies. Digital skills focus on what and how. Digital literacy focuses on why, when, who, and for whom."
Maha Bali's article is worth sharing widely with anyone who needs to be nudged ever so gently into the 21st century of education. (We're 16% through it, folks!) Bali addresses the need to teach about digital skills and literacy in an authentic context, not a vacuum, and gives many concrete examples for doing that.
I recently did a lesson on blogging with a 6th grade class. We looked at several tween and teen blogs, then reviewed good digital citizenship practices emphasizing student safety and copyright. Finally, each student created a blog on Blogger. Will they make mistakes? Probably. (When I specifically told them to keep it school appropriate, with nothing in the blog they wouldn't be allowed to do at school, and one student immediately started searching for "Call of Duty 3" images!) Will we all learn something from this? Absolutely.
HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) is an interdisciplinary community of humanists, artists, social scientists, scientists, and technologists that are changing the way we teach and learn
I was asked by the Chang School of Continuing Studies at Ryerson University to do a master class on this topic at their ChangSchoolTalks on February 17, based on Appendix 1 in my open, online textbook, Teaching in a Digital Age.
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.
A question I’m asked often is, “Where should a teacher begin?” Should teachers just let students go or is there a process to good student-centered inquiry? I’ve reflected on this a fair amount, and I think small strategic steps are the key. I think letting students “go” without any structure will likely create failure, especially if students haven’t spent much time collaborating. Skills need to be modeled.
It is a myth that we operate under a set of oppressive bureaucratic constraints. In reality, teachers have a great deal of autonomy in the work they chose to do in their classrooms. In most cases it is our culture that provides the constraints. For individual teachers, trying out new practices and pedagogy is risky business and both our culture, and our reliance on hierarchy, provide the ideal barriers for change not to occur. As Pogo pointed out long ago, “we have met the enemy and it is us.” http://www.cea-ace.ca/blog/brian-harrison/2013/09/5/stop-asking-permission-change
Educational psychology has focused on the concepts of learned helplessness and more currently growth-fixed mindsets as a way to explain how and why students give up in the classroom setting. These ideas can also be applied to educators in this day of forced standardization, testing, scripted curriculum, and school initiatives.
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