Problem-based learning ( PBL) is a student-centered pedagogy in which students learn about a subject through the experience of creating a problem. Students learn both thinking strategies and domain knowledge. The PBL format originated from the medical school of thought, and is now used in other schools of thought too.
Discussion around the theme of how positive surprises should be useful for learning. There is good common sense justifications for the importance of surprises. The connection of learning to observations in neuroscience is interesting and should be elaborated more. The 7 tips are in any case worth trying.
Moodle is a magnificent free product and has the potential to enable schools and teachers to build wonderfully unique interactive online learning courses in which learner interaction can be tracked, measured and responded to. Despite this the vast majority of Moodle courses I see are a long list of Word and PDF documents with at best a few forums that enable a minimum of human social interaction.
Via Nik Peachey, Elizabeth E Charles, Reijo Kupiainen
Mikko Hakala's insight:
Problems and possibilities of Moodle (and other similar platforms) outlined by Nik Peachey:
* Why Moodle courses often suck?
Not so intuitive platform to work with, lack of teacher training and skills to create online learning material (I agree with these points), excess security issues.
* What to do to improve.
* Comment about ready-made courses.
There are various problems, for example these often contain little student-teacher or peer interaction. I agree that the ready-made digital material, in my experience, is not very personalisable (and therefore difficult to teach in an inspired way).
* How to develop your Moodle skills?
The post gives 9 links to practical video tutorials (how to create a quiz, add a youtube, etc.). There are also free Moodle platforms to practice.
Mark Sandy, blogger in CTQ (@teachingquality), reminds in his post that sense of trust and relationships are the key in education. The students and teachers are responsible to one another. Easy to agree with this.
Steven Anderson shares a good blog post on his teaching of Periodic Table and learning that formative assessment.matters. It's a strong story saying that formative assessment, in one way or another, should be incorporated in the lessons. This can be done traditionally or with EdTech tools.
Feedback at the end of the class, or real time, and quizzing are examples of ways to do this assessment.
A good post to provoke teachers think critically what they ask the students to do. How can the students do "work that matters"? That is, meaningful tasks that have potentially a wide audience and that reflect students' own interests.
In the traditional way, the student's "assignments" (exams, exercises, projects) are passed to the teacher for a grade, or in a little more advanced situations, to peers for review. Are these felt as "work that matters"? There have been of course plenty of opportunities to design meaningful tasks, but now access to web (global connections, collaboration, sharing) allows to amplify the audience and potential for real-world applications.
An interview with Peter Hirst, director of Executive Education at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Mikko Hakala's insight:
An interesting interview, from university perspective, about issues when we go beyond face-to-face interaction in on- and off-line learning and working. The digital tools allow both mimicking real-life interaction and something completely different.
I have started to use quizzes in the beginning of my lectures. The questions are about the topics in the previous lecture. Here's why I think this is beneficial for learning and for the teacher him/herself:
1) The teacher can choose questions that highlight the most important (must-know) content of the past lecture.
2) It shows fast which concepts are more difficult than what the teacher initially thought.
3) We can spend more time on the difficult topics (selective review of past material).
4) The quiz can be done in groups with peer-learning possibility.
5) The students bring up new viewpoints and unexpected interpretations of the questions.
6) It shows the overall level of students' capacity and speed of learning new things.
7) The quiz questions can be used in the final exam.
8) As it's based on already taught material, it's not 'forced' problem-solving before having the resources.
The original article (link) that gave the idea for experimenting:
Content curation in relation to students' work and assignments is discussed in this blog post by Ibrar Bhatt. (And more general, what implications content curation could have for education.)
From the revised Bloom's taxonomy perspective, curation could be seen next to creation at the highest level, see Steve Wheeler's great post on this: http://sco.lt/66Yxwf, (The post had a big influenced when I started with Scoop.it and ZEEF.)
This post by Jan Jensen explains in detail how a flipped science course could be organized. It contains concrete explanations about the 'lectures', homeworks and how the curriculum was chosen. The background pedagogical considerations are also discussed.
An informative and useful post, especially for science teachers.
"Project based learning is a teaching learning methodology that has been widely praised for its efficacy in enhancing learning achievements.The premise underlying PBL revolves around getting students engaged in authentic learning events through the integration of mini-projects in class. These projects can be as short as one day and as long as a year. However, there is a difference between mere projects and project based learning. This table from Teachbytes provides a great illustration of the nuances between the two concepts."
Excellent table reminding about the difference between projects and project based learning. Projects are too easily assigned as exercises to students, without paying attention to the issues on the right hand side of this table.
As education grows and changes educators have the opportunity to change the way they envision their roles and their classrooms.
Jobs in education, Pink said in a recent interview, are all about moving other people, changing their behavior, like getting kids to pay attention in class; getting teens to understand they need to look at their future and to therefore study harder.
At the center of all this persuasion is selling: educators are sellers of ideas.
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