QuizPedia is a fun and engaging learning tool that can be used in primary education and onwards. And it’s free! How is it different to a typical quiz making tool? Quizzes aren’t new to the classroom but QuizPedia’s approach is. We flip the tables and transfer the task of making quizzes from teachers to students.…
What’s “Theory of Knowledge?” I asked Burvall. Her email reply confirmed my instinct to jump in on a high school tweet-chat about epistemology: “Theory of Knowledge is a compulsory course at the core of the International Baccalaureate program that offers students an opportunity to think about their own thinking, the nature of knowledge itself, and what constitutes knowledge in the various disciplines they study. Students explore “how we know what we know” and how knowledge is created, shaped, vetted, and changed. One of the key premises is that personal knowledge should result from careful inquiry and examination of evidence rather than simple acceptance of claims.”
The course unit guide focuses on a series of “big questions” students are prompted to ask rather than specific answers they are expected to learn. Social media — blogs, Twitter, video, Storify, a Google+ community — are enlisted for specific purposes of inquiry, reflection, metacognition, mindful personal participation in the digital commons, collaboration and creative problem solving.
Applying 7 actions gleaned from successful business practices could help students and teachers excel in the classroom.
In recent years, school leaders have debated what, if anything, schools can glean from the way businesses are run. Should schools be managed like business organizations? And to what extent?
Now, three educator-researchers are sharing their findings on the topic as they wonder if classroom teachers can use successful, proven business strategies to run their classrooms better and increase both student happiness and engagement.
Kelly Kosuga at Alpha Public Schools, Rebecca Weissman and Linda Rogers at Redwood Heights Elementary School, and the advisory team at Khan Lab School, identified highly-regarded business organizations and identified strategies that successful managers in those organizations use to create positive cultures and productivity.
Three common strategies emerged: empowering teams and avoiding micromanagement, being great coaches, and emphasizing accountability.
From artificial intelligence to virtual reality, will technology change further education in 2017?
But what does the immediate future hold for education technology, and what are we most likely to see make a breakthrough in the coming 12 months? 1. Mobile learning comes into its own 2. Self-marking exams 3. Analytics 4. Automated AI learning coaches 5. Open Knowledge unlocks learning content, and creates new challenges 6. E-proctoring takes off 7. More learning content designed for AR and VR 8. Social learning
Elliott Masie still understands branding as this 'VRLearn' report shows. Do yourself a favour, skip the user-hostile web presentation (unless you like simulated paper (complete with page-turning sounds)) and go straight to the 12-page PDF. Virtual Reality has a lot of potential, writes Masie in the introduction, but it brequires three things to grow: authoring systems, a marketplace of VR/AR learning content, and an assessment focus. According to the report, applications exist in hands-on occupations such as aviation and space, medicine and health care, military, sports and even warehousing. Related: THE - VR in Education - Don't believe all the hype.
In the same way as many other industries, education has begun to fully embrace the digital movement. Educational technology, or “EdTech,” not only allows teachers to create more innovative classes, it’s giving students everywhere much easier access to the educational materials they need.
Up until now, the giants in EdTech have included Apple, Google, and Microsoft, which collectively sold 10.8 million devices to primary and secondary schools last year. But software is becoming more important than hardware in digital learning, and the latest company to employ this idea is Amazon, with its new platform “Amazon Inspire.”
Amazon Inspire is a marketplace of free resources for teachers and educational institutions. This new platform, released in beta on June 27, enables teachers to drive Amazon’s “commitment to making digital classrooms a reality” by augmenting its already impressive catalog of resources. When educators sign up, they can upload, download, and edit digital educational materials for the classroom such as lesson plans, teaching modules, and worksheets.
Since my book came out, I've had the opportunity to talk to teachers from all over the world about Making and Makerspaces. I found myself saying something over and over again when asked about creating spaces in their schools or classrooms.
"Makerspaces will die if the culture of Making is not there."
Building a space in a classroom or library is awesome, but students need to understand what is possible in these spaces. Teachers need to know what they are capable of doing with access to a Makerspace. Administrators need to know what they can do with PD now that a Makerspace is available.
Future Ready Librarians is an expansion of the Future Ready initiative aimed at raising awareness among district and school leaders about the valuable role librarians can play in supporting the Future Ready goals of their school and district. Two guiding questions are central to Future Ready Librarians. How can librarians and libraries support Future Ready schools? How can librarians and libraries become more Future Ready? Future Ready Librarians will provide resources, strategies and connections for district leaders and librarians to be able to work together to promote and implement innovative learning opportunities for students.
Regardless of what we call them, the 21st century skills represent a type of skill that is not traditionally connected to standards and skills our students are evaluated on. Even though we know these types of skills are imperative to success in the workplace, in relationships, and in life–they are still seen often as “nice to have” instead of “need to have” for our students.
Seth Godin recently wrote an article, “Let’s Stop Calling Them Soft Skills“, in which he describes five categories of skills that we all look for in colleagues, employees, and students–yet, don’t seem to value over other content and standardized skills.
What I love about Seth’s view is that it is one outside of education. He has created businesses, written books, designed products, and even started his own altMBA school. Seth believes these so-called “soft skills” are more important now than ever before.
When I was in primary school it was recognized that I finished my schoolwork quickly. The school was well prepared for high achievers, and once a week a small group of us would be shipped off to a special class to challenge our minds. The other children called it “square school,” and we were ridiculed for our abilities.
Personally I shrugged off the taunts, as the chance to learn from a university mathematics professor, or to try new tasks, was enthralling. I didn’t have to escape to a fantasy world whilst I waited for the other students to catch up, and this time was my favorite part of the school week.
However when I hit high school, the school I attended was not as well prepared. I quickly became bored with achieving perfect marks with little effort. I was forced to re-learn the algebra I had already studied whilst being accelerated in primary school. My potential was not being tested. So I looked for new experiences elsewhere.
For two weeks in third grade, I preached the gospel of the wild boar. My teacher, the sprightly Mrs. DeWilde, assigned my class an open-ended research project: Create a five-minute presentation about any exotic animal. I devoted my free time before bedtime to capturing the wonders of the Sus scrofa in a 20-minute sermon. I filled a poster as big as my 9-year-old self with photographs, facts, and charts, complete with a fold-out diagram of the snout. During my presentation, I shared my five-stanza rhyming poem about the swine’s life cycle, painted the species’ desert and taiga habitats in florid detail, and made uncanny snorting impressions. I attacked each new project that year — a sketch of the water cycle, a history of the Powhatan — with the same evangelism.
Flash forward to the fall of my senior year in high school, and my near-daily lunchtime routine: hunched over at a booth in Wendy’s, chocolate Frosty in my right hand, copying calculus worksheets from Jimmy and Spanish homework from Chris with my left while they copied my notes on Medea or Jane Eyre. Come class, I spent more time playing Snake on my graphing calculator than reviewing integrals, more time daydreaming than conjugating verbs.
What happened in those nine years? Many things. But mainly, like the majority of my fellow Americans, I fell victim to the epidemic of classroom boredom.
In our travels, we’ve asked educators all over the world about the most important skills kids need to thrive in life beyond school. It’s pleasing to see that nurturing student creativity is very high on that list. In fact, it’s number 2, directly below problem-solving. But why is it so important, and how do we ensure we are letting students exercise these abilities in ways that will serve them—and the world—in the future? Robyn Ewing AM and John Nicholas Saunders have this to say about creativity’s essential place in modern learning. This comes from their article Why Pushing Creativity Out Of Classrooms Will Stop Children Succeeding in the 21st Century, featured on The Guardian: “As any passionate teacher will tell you, it is possible for education to nurture key skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, problem-solving, imagination, communication, agility, and empathy. And, as many studies will tell you – or perhaps even your own experience as a student or parent – the common path to nurturing these skills is to foster fun, play, and creativity in the classroom.” As you can see, creativity is a lot like a compound muscle movement; exercising it benefits many different areas at once. To the above list, we might also add things like abstract reasoning, design thinking, cultural awareness—the list goes on. But, you get the idea.
6 Activities To Bring Maker Education Into Your Classroom A couple of weeks ago, our Youth Programming Coordinator Michelle shared with us the importance of getting youngsters involved in maker education. One could argue, in fact, that an education absent of hands-on maker activities is lacking in a big way. The skill set required by the world and the economy in the coming decades is intimately linked to what is learned through a good maker education. Fortunately, the Maker Movement is making its way into classrooms around the world. We asked Michelle what her top 6 picks would be to help educators bring maker activities into their classrooms (each link leads to a lesson plan)!
By things I mean information. Perspectives. Ideologies. What’s socially acceptable and what’s not. Our collective cultural biases and intellectual prejudices.
Educultural views on homosexuality, edtech equity, homeschooling, bullying, accountability, and academic standards.
Edtech views of big data, cybersecurity, YouTube, social media, texting, smartphones, and the cloud.
How students see “school.”
How the world sees itself.
What we read, and why.
Sentences fragments become sentences, tweets become paragraphs, and headlines become content. The expiration date for information has moved from months to minutes. Among other things, this affects how we think of information itself. It becomes an inconspicuous note in a symphony; the symphony is the performance while the notes disappear.
Exceptional thinking is less arresting than it’s been in the past because thinking, in a digital and social age, is designed and packaged from the ground-up to be alarming or it doesn’t stand a chance.
Among other effects, this can reduce our dwell-time with ideas. There is less of a tendency to sit and wrestle with an idea when that idea is characterized less by its truth than its change—or the change it represents.
And note–there is zero chance that the age of information hasn’t been a catalyst for this. Consider for a moment that this is an age of information–and that’s not as flattering as it sounds. Information isn’t wisdom. There is so much access to so many people and so many networks sharing so much data that we necessarily adjust everything else to fit the urgency of it all.
What devices we use to access what kinds of data and what times of the day.
What we save and why.
What we share and why.
What causes real change in our behavior, and what we smile at and move on. What we dismiss, and how easily we learn to do so.
Adaptive learning in mathematics is the wave of the future,” says Spencer Hansen, principal of Centerville (UT) Junior High. Educators across the country are riding this wave into the future of learning—in math as well as in language arts and other subject areas. They’re finding that improved adaptive learning technologies offer unique benefits and options for learning, in addition to valuable data and efficiencies. This collection of success stories showcases schools and districts that are celebrating achievements gained through the efforts of dedicated staff implementing adaptive learning strategies.
Browne Education Campus students benefit from adaptive learning technology. For Browne Education Campus, the impetus to embrace adaptive learning technologies came abruptly. When Browne (K–8) was named one of the District of Columbia Public Schools’ 40 lowest performing schools in 2012, Principal Andre Samuels and staff began working with Education Elements to assess, plan, and implement both solid PD and innovative adaptive learning strategies. The results speak for themselves.
The head of the Department of Education in Helsinki, Marjo Kyllonen, explained the changes: “There are schools that are teaching in the old-fashioned way which was of benefit in the beginning of the 1900s — but the needs are not the same, and we need something fit for the 21st century.“ Instead of individual subjects, students will study events and phenomena in an interdisciplinary format. For example, the Second World War will be examined from the perspective of history, geography, and math. And by taking the course ”Working in a Cafe," students will absorb a whole body of knowledge about the English language, economics, and communication skills.
Digital Information Fluency (DIF) is the ability to find, evaluate and use digital information effectively, efficiently and ethically. DIF involves knowing how digital information is different from print information; having the skills to use specialized tools for finding digital information; and developing the dispositions needed in the digital information environment.
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