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Personalize My Learning, Please (Infographic)

Personalize My Learning, Please (Infographic) | Teaching English | Scoop.it
Some of the things we think about when designing personalized learning curriculum. What else do you think about? ~Mia

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Beth Dichter's curator insight, November 26, 2014 9:00 PM

This infographic, byt Mia MacMeekin, looks at personalized learning and the three areas below. In each area the question is also "How can curriculum design address personalized learning?"

What are the three areas?

* What is personalized learning

* How to personalize learning

* Examples of personalized learning

In each of these areas she also looks at the How, What, When, Where, and Why, providing key words or phrases that help you dig a little deeper into the subject.

Mia MacMeekin has provided an infographic that you could share with others in your building. Today we are asked to personalize curriculum, but support is not always available. This visual will help you better understand some key concepts, and provide you with ideas on how you might move forward.

Andrew Chiu's curator insight, December 5, 2014 12:11 AM

A matrix to help consider and design learning resources for more personalised learning.

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A Framework for Differentiation

A Framework for Differentiation | Teaching English | Scoop.it

"Differentiation is adjusting and modifying what skills and concepts student learn, what materials the use, and/or how their learning is assessed based on the needs of the students.

Our students are not all the same, so we cannot expect that teaching a lesson one way will reach every student."


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Janet McQueen's curator insight, November 17, 2014 6:57 PM

These differentiation flowcharts will prompt teachers to make good decisions around scaffolding of student learning.  

Becky Roehrs's curator insight, November 17, 2014 7:08 PM

Check out concepts, assessments, and activities for differentiation...

Rob Hatfield, M.Ed.'s curator insight, November 25, 2014 8:02 AM

Excellent resources for your teaching and learning environments. Thank you Mayumi for sharing.

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Personalized PBL: Student-Designed Learning

Personalized PBL: Student-Designed Learning | Teaching English | Scoop.it
Project-based learning may be the best vehicle for personalized learning as teachers move beyond "course-based" approaches and open the way for student-designed curriculum.

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Kim Flintoff's curator insight, August 21, 2014 9:13 PM

An art teacher and I (drama teacher) started to use a negotiated approach with students about 15 years ago.  By working with students to be aware of curriculum expectations and discussing "what would this look like" we assisted students with developingntheir own learnign pathways and expressions of their learning - in keeping with the legislated requirements of curriculum.  I've also noted over the years that elements of the International Baccalaureate - particularly the project work from MYP - reflects a similar approach.

Without reference to research literature, I'd speculate that this speaks to engagement, authenticity and relevance... and needn't be confined to K-12 contexts.... well-documented project work could be conducted outside the confines of formal classes and evidenced against formal assessment criteria.

Durriyyah Kemp's curator insight, August 22, 2014 11:10 AM

Project-Based Learning is a great vehicle for allowing student to gain social and emotional learning (SEL) skills.  The five core competency skills for SEL (self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision-making, and self-management) can be easily integrated into any project-based learning opportunity.

Edgar Mata's curator insight, August 25, 2014 12:48 AM

El alumno determina los proyectos en los cuáles va a trabajar.

 

La gestión es compleja pero los resultados lucen prometedores.

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Think Pedagogy First, Technology Second

Think Pedagogy First, Technology Second | Teaching English | Scoop.it
Think Pedagogy First, Technology Second

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Rachel Vartanian's curator insight, March 28, 2014 4:40 PM

EdTech is about education: student learning and outcomes. 

Jimena Acebes Sevilla's curator insight, August 18, 2014 8:33 PM

Primero la pedagogía, después la tecnología.

Stéphane Bataillard's curator insight, August 24, 2014 1:26 PM

A méditer...

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H.O.T. / D.O.K.: Teaching Higher Order Thinking and Depth of Knowledge: Clarifying and Personalizing a Definition of Rigor

H.O.T. / D.O.K.: Teaching Higher Order Thinking and Depth of Knowledge: Clarifying and Personalizing a Definition of Rigor | Teaching English | Scoop.it

 Clarifying and Personalizing a Definition of Rigor 
What is rigor?We’ve heard it’s what the Common Core State Standards have imbedded in their performance objectives. We know it’s what our principal and site administrators have told us that’s what they’re looking for when they come to observe our classroom. We know it’s the type of teaching we need to provide and kind of learning our students need to demonstrate and communicate. We're constantly reminded to incorporate and increase rigor when we plan and provide our instruction.However, what exactly does this rigor look like, and how do we know if we’re providing it appropriately, effectively, and as expected? If you look up the definition of rigor on dictionary.com, you will find the following definitions:< !--[if !supportLists]-->1. <!--[endif]-->strictness, severity, or harshness, as in dealing with people2. the full of extreme severity of rules, laws, etc.3. severity of living conditions; hardship; austerity< !--[if !supportLists]-->4. <!--[endif]-->a severe or harsh act, circumstance, etc.< !--[if !supportLists]-->5. <!--[endif]-->scrupulous or inflexible accuracy or adherenceThis last definition also give an example: the logical rigor of mathematics, which many of us educators – particular math teachers – may understand. However, what exactly is that logical rigor of mathematics? Or science? Or English language arts? Or history? Or social studies? Or even art, music, or physical education? What does rigor in that context even mean or even imply?


 "You can't teach with rigor if you don't know what it means!!!
How can you teach with rigor if you don't know what it means?!!"


 If you search for synonyms, you will find words such as inflexibility, stringent, harsh, difficulty, and even cruel. Is this what marks a rigorous ? Is being inflexible counterproductive if we want our students to think critically and creatively about what is being taught and learned? How can our students express their own original arguments, claims, conclusions, and ideas supported by the data, evidence, and facts they have acquired if we are stringentabout our expectations? What about the words harsh and cruel? Those words harken images of the schoolteacher in Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2”and that we have to instruct our class like Professor Snape from the Harry Potter novels.
What about the synonym, difficulty? Does that define rigor? If so, then we must already be implementing the rigor in our classroom. Difficulty is generally defined as easy and hard based upon amount and effort. We generally increase difficulty by asking and providing more – more work, more time, more effort, more responsibility. We work our kids harder to get more out of them. We give them time to work in class from bell to bell and extend the learning by giving them more work to do at home. We extend the school day or the school year to give them more time to learn all the stuffthey need to know, understand, and be able to do by the end of the school year. We figure the more they know, understand, and are able to do, the more they have learned.Is teaching and learning for difficulty a bad thing? Of course not, and if anyone tells you that we should not have our students doing hard work or even more workalso does not have a clear understanding of what rigor means. Hard work and more work are a good thing. However, as the old adage goes, too much of a good thing is not a good thing.Is providing more time to teach and learn the wrong approach? Again, no. However, how exactly are we using the time allotted? Are we just giving our students more questions to answer, more problems to solve, and more tasks to complete, and is the more work we providing truly helping our students develop deeper knowledge, understanding, and awareness?Rigor is more synonymous with depth –specifically, depth of knowledge. understanding, and awareness. Education – and society as a whole – expects us teachers and our students to go deeperwith what is being taught and learned. It’s not about how many questions a student can answer, problems a student can solve, or tasks they cam complete but rather how clearly they can explain their thought process and establish connections between academics and the real world. Answers, responses, and solutions are now both quantified and qualified as correct, incorrect, or those that can be defended or justified. It’s not only about what students need to know, understand, and be able to do but also how they can use what they have learned to think critically, creatively, and strategically – or deeply – to answer questions, solve problems, and complete tasks. Knowing what addition is and using it to add two plus to two used to be acceptable. However, our students must now be able to analyze why the answer is 4; evaluate why the answer is not 3, 5, or any other number; and create a real world scenario in which they can use a number of addition algorithms to attain a sum of 4.This concept of rigor follows the definition stated by Barbara Blackburn in her bookRigor Is NOT a Four-Letter Word (2008):Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels; each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels, and each student demonstrates learning at high levels.Blackburn provides us educators a more teacher-applicable and even student-centered definition of rigor we educators can understand and use to base our planning, instruction, assessment, and instruction. She also does an excellent job clarifying what she means. We need to establish a learning environment in which our students learn at high levels, which suggests have them think deeper. We need to support students as they think deeper through facilitation and guidance. We need to set high expectations for our students to demonstrate and communicate their deeper knowledge, understanding, and awareness. If we need further help, Blackburn provides us with a plethora of strategies and tools to help us implement and increase the rigor in our classroom. We can work with this definition!However, it still leaves much for interpretation – which, again, is not a bad or wrong. Every classroom is unique. Every student responds to teaching and learning differently. Every teacher’s approach and expertise varies. What may be rigorous for one child or group or children may not be for another.So how do we implement rigor in our teaching and learning, and how do we continuously increase the rigor to challenge and engage our students? Does it mean increasing the level of difficulty or deepening the learning experience by providing questions, problems, and tasks that are more abstract, complex, and intricate?Perhaps rigor is not something that can be defined universally. Perhaps rigor is more of a personal philosophy or perspective than a standard. Perhaps it is more individualized than standardized. Perhaps in order to for us to truly clarify what is rigor we need to come up with own criteria for what qualifies as rigor by considering the following questions:

 What kind of thinking and action are students expected to demonstrate in order to answer a question, solve a problem, or complete a task? (higher order thinking)

 How deeply does a student need to know, understand, and be aware of a concept, idea, subject, or topic in order to answer the question, solve the problem, or complete the task accurately, appropriately, and effectively? (depth of knowledge)

By considering these questions as we plan and provide teaching and learning, we can come up with our criteria for rigor, which can be simply explained as the following:Rigor is marked by the student’s ability to demonstrate higher order thinking and depth of knowledge, understanding, and awareness of what is being taught and learned in order to answer a question, solve a problem, or complete a task.This provides us not a definition but rather a frame of reference that will help us educators in planning and providing instruction. We can look to Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy to define the level of thinking students must demonstrate and the knowledge they must develop. We can look to Webb’s Depth of Knowledge to determine how deeply they need to know, understand, and be aware of what they are learning in order to answer the question, solve the problem, or complete the task.

We can use the standards, the curriculum, and the text as a basis for planning our instruction. However, we should question whether they go deep enough. Do the story problems in the math textbook show how to apply mathematical concepts and practices in a real life context or do they allow students to gain deeper knowledge, understanding, and awareness of how math is used to address a real world issue, problem, or situation? Does that author study i and the one or two examples of the author’s work featured the English Language Arts textbook provide our students with the deeper knowledge, understanding, and awareness not only of the author’s style but also their impact on literature? Does the history or social studies textbook truly provide enough facts and information about an event or culture or should our students go beyond the textbook and research and investigate further or review other perspectives? Does the science curriculum merely review theories and provide opportunities to engage students in lab experiments in a controlled environment or should we extend the learning and take our students into the field where they can observe and test these theories in the natural environment?If you are asking yourself these questions as you plan and provide teaching and learning, you have a developed deeper knowledge, understanding, and awareness of what is rigor and how is it incorporated in teaching and learning. Now your next step is for you define what is rigorous instruction in your classroom and for your students.

 


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H.O.T. / D.O.K.: Teaching Higher Order Thinking and Depth of Knowledge: What Exactly Is the Thinking Curriculum?

H.O.T. / D.O.K.: Teaching Higher Order Thinking and Depth of Knowledge: What Exactly Is the Thinking Curriculum? | Teaching English | Scoop.it
Teaching Higher Order Thinking and Depth of Knowledge: What Exactly Is the Thinking Curriculum? http://t.co/Cfy39sBkeX #RDPSD

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John R. Walkup's curator insight, April 23, 2014 3:12 PM

Another good blog article by Erik Francis of Maverik Education LLC, based in Phoenix.  H.O.T. is essentially Bloom's Taxonomy, so this page provides some useful strategies for employing Cognitive Rigor in the classroom.

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Content Curation: How To Help Students Learn, Discover and Make Sense of New Topics All By Themselves

Content Curation: How To Help Students Learn, Discover and Make Sense of New Topics All By Themselves | Teaching English | Scoop.it

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Audrey's curator insight, March 21, 2014 7:30 PM

Curating is about finding and selecting information in order to learn about a subject. Youngsters can be encouraged to do this  pre-school.  This motivational 21st century skill can be encouraged at home. with educational games toys and and books which stimulates interest.  For example children can learn about  science by interacting with Chemistry Lab; Horrible Science - explosive experiments; Newton's Cradle and Science Museum.  By the time they get to school they are already full of curiosity and ready to increase their knowledge.  Audrey curating for www.homeschoolsource.co.uk

Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, March 30, 2014 9:27 AM

By Robin Good,

Here's a short first-hand report highlighting how an 8th grade social studies class teacher (Terri Inloes) has fully leveraged the content curation potential to let her students dive, discover and make sense of topics (in this case social reform movements) that they had not studied before. All by themselves.


Here the steps taken to make this happen:


a) By using the Question Formulation Technique, the teacher prepared pairs of photographs representing each of the reform movements, one picture dating back to the late 19th century, and another representing where that social reform movement stands in today’s society. 


b) After checking out all of the photos, students settled on the pair of pictures that most caught their interest.


c) They brainstormed and refined a set of specific questions, and then shared their thinking with the class. 

d) With the feedback received they selected the topic which they would curate. 

e) At this point students planned their research strategies. By using 5 different graphic organizers from the book Q Tasks, by Carol Koechlin and Sandi Zwaan, students were allowed to choose the one that they thought would help them the most in planning their keyword search strategies. 


f) Students were assigned WordPress blogs and provided basic instructions on how to use them to 

curate and publish their research work.


g) Discovery and real learning kicked in as students proceeded in collaborative groups to research and document their chosen topic. 


You can see some of the outcomes that this assignment produced right here:


General Conclusions

http://tmsredvotingrights.d20blogs.org/2014/02/24/conclusion-3/


Voting Rights Inequality

http://tmsredvotingrights.d20blogs.org/


Mental Health Treatment
http://tmsorangementalhealthcaretreatments.d20blogs.org/


Prohibition Acts

http://tmsorangeprohibitionacts.d20blogs.org/ 

 



A very inspiring example of content curation can be effectively applied in the classroom with impressive results. 


Highly recommended. 9/10


Thanks to Nancy White of Innovations in Education for participating, writing and reporting about it.

 Thanks to Robin Good for the fine summary in this insight.
The ideas here offer a great classroom challenge to students.{Monica}
Glenda Morris's curator insight, April 8, 2014 2:57 PM

Important 21st century skills

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162 Future Jobs: Preparing for Jobs that Don’t Yet Exist

162 Future Jobs: Preparing for Jobs that Don’t Yet Exist | Teaching English | Scoop.it

A recent article in The Economist quotes Bill Gates as saying at least a dozen job types will be taken over by robots and automation in the next two decades, and these jobs cover both high-paying and low-skilled workers. Some of the positions he mentioned were commercial pilots, legal work, technical writing, telemarketers, accountants, retail workers, and real estate sales agents.

 

Indeed, as I’ve predicted before, by 2030 over 2 billion jobs will disappear. Again, this is not a doom and gloom prediction, rather a wakeup call for the world.


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Takudzwa Kunaka's curator insight, April 2, 2014 7:42 AM
that is the decade of digital age
Cas Op de Beek's curator insight, April 11, 2014 5:50 AM

First there came the computer and brought us more jobs and now comes more jobs and more. Technology brings us a lot more than only freedom he brings us more jobs as well. One small step for men but a big step for the future. 

Jim Doyle's curator insight, May 9, 2014 9:55 PM

162 Future Jobs: Preparing for Jobs that Don’t Yet Exist

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Your Brain in Love

Your Brain in Love | Teaching English | Scoop.it

You may have heard people say that the most important organ for love is the brain, not the heart. Research on the neuroscience of love has some interesting findings that might surprise you.


When love is a

many-splendored

thing 


Ever fallen madly in love? Researcher Helen Fisher has spent her academic life trying to figure out what's going on in the brains of those who are in the heady, butterflies-in-the-stomach throes of passionate romantic love. 


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Eli Levine's curator insight, March 18, 2014 1:58 PM

Now the million dollar question is this, for me:

 

How does one get it to stop for a particular person?

 

Think about it.

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Addressing Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs with Technology

Addressing Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs with Technology | Teaching English | Scoop.it
A major criticism I have of most educational institutions is that their primary focus is on students' intellectual and cognitive development.  Too often individual learner's needs do not enter into...

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David Baker's curator insight, March 15, 2014 7:21 PM

This is the second perspective on Maslow's hierarchy I have seen in the past few weeks.  As we try to make learning more rigorous and more inclusive for all students the importance of meeting student needs in a variety of ways is very important.  This must include Social/emotional as well as technological.  

Ali Anani's curator insight, March 18, 2014 4:42 AM

A fresh perspective on Maslow's Pyramid of Needs

Ness Crouch's curator insight, March 29, 2014 5:43 PM

I really like this pyramid. It certainly makes the psychology of learning clear. 

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Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning - Getting Smart by Tom Vander Ark - deeper learning, Hewlett Foundation, teacher preparation

Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning - Getting Smart by Tom Vander Ark - deeper learning, Hewlett Foundation, teacher preparation | Teaching English | Scoop.it
A system of teacher development linked to the needs of hiring entities that awarded licenses based on demonstrated competence would provide personalized development pathways for teachers and ensure well-trained teachers for schools.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, March 15, 2014 1:52 PM

I find it interesting that we want to prepare good citizens. Preparing good people with strong character leads to good citizens. I will take the latter over the former, because I will get the former. Plato had a theory of educating for good citizens. It was very narrow. Is that what we want?

Gust MEES's curator insight, March 15, 2014 3:30 PM


Learn more:


http://gustmees.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/is-your-professional-development-up-to-date/


http://gustmees.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/how-to-prepare-for-giving-a-good-course/



Javier Antonio Bellina's curator insight, March 18, 2014 12:13 PM

Capacitando maestros a profundidad.

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Collaboration, Curation and Creation, a Way to ...

Collaboration, Curation and Creation, a Way to ... | Teaching English | Scoop.it
Digital Media Literacy - ThingLink... (Collaboration, Curation and Creation, a Way to Digital Media Literacy | @scoopit http://t.co/790DHUXRaS)

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Ra's curator insight, February 25, 2014 11:58 PM

For those in education designing Digital Citizenship programmes thinking through the sequence of skills and knowledge understanding can be a good way to break down the stages of your course.

Sri's curator insight, March 10, 2014 4:12 PM

New skills required for the new age. Learn them!

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The Maker Movement and the Rebirth of Constructionism - Hybrid Pedagogy

The Maker Movement and the Rebirth of Constructionism - Hybrid Pedagogy | Teaching English | Scoop.it
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.

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Wilko Dijkhuis's curator insight, January 27, 2014 4:22 AM

Nice overview of the political program educational “reformers” try to implement.

Note the claim that their efforts are based on solid theory.
Their view on what a theory is is highly problematic. The un- testable speculations of Dewey, Vygotsky or Rousseau count as theory in that circles. Basically they mean by theory the same as Christian fundamentalist mean when they say that evolution is just a “theory”.

Note also that their proposals make the teaching of real theories (hypotheses that survived the test of empirical evidence and logical consistency) almost impossible. Teaching such theories would involve: a professor that knows it all, who tries to share his treasures with his students; and students that are supposed to make an effort to “get it”. The cultural transmission of theories from one generation to the next will be ended when the “reformers” get their way.


Here is the brutal essence of their reform program: kill the teachers, burn the libraries, let the digital natives gather around the digital campfire and by means of social construction create the world of Warcraft for real.

María Dolores Díaz Noguera's curator insight, January 27, 2014 4:07 PM

Awesome

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How to Turn a Classroom Research Project into an Infographic | Edudemic

How to Turn a Classroom Research Project into an Infographic | Edudemic | Teaching English | Scoop.it

"Conveying information in a striking, concise way has never been more important, and infographics are the perfect pedagogical tool with which to do so. Below, you’ll find my experience with designing an infographic-friendly classroom research project, explained in a step-by-step process you can implement in your own classroom."


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Beth Dichter's curator insight, November 21, 2014 9:28 PM

Infographics might be considered the intersection of information, illustration and design. They provide students with the opportunity to share information in a variety of ways. This post shares the story of one teacher and her implementation of a research project which culminated in an infographic. After a brief introduction (which includes an excellent interactive infographic, 13 Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics). Following this introduction there are six components that are shared:

* Select an Infographic-Friendly Topic

* Begin the Drafting Process by Hand

* Choose the Right Templates or Software

* Refine Content and Design

* Infographic Resources and Tools for Educators

* Share and Critique

Each section provides additional detail and a number of resources that you will find helpful are included.

niftyjock's curator insight, November 27, 2014 4:24 PM

Very cool

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Connectivism - Infographic

Connectivism - Infographic | Teaching English | Scoop.it

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Gonzalo Abio's curator insight, November 17, 2014 6:51 AM

Conectivismo con un toque para profesores y no apenas teórico.

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Being Critically Reflective - What does it mean?

Being Critically Reflective - What does it mean? | Teaching English | Scoop.it
The terms 'critical' and 'reflection' are sorely misunderstood in education. Being critical is often misinterpreted as being negative. 'Reflection' is also frequently distorted to mean "reflect on what you are doing wrong". Too often the students that we teach give negative feedback when asked to be critical. So to counter act this, educators initiate strategies such as '2 stars and a wish' and SWNI (strengths, weaknesses, new ideas).
These strategies are designed to make reflective practices a more positive experience for students. It teaches them that being critically reflective is not just a negative activity, that it is important to be positive and give feedback to help improve or make something better.
Learn more:
http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-learning-and-teaching/?tag=Criticism&nbsp;



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Mirta Liliana Filgueira's curator insight, August 5, 2014 6:05 PM

Critica y reflexión

ManufacturingStories's curator insight, August 17, 2014 11:06 AM

add your insight...


Claudia Estrada's curator insight, August 17, 2014 3:10 PM

This is the skill we all need to learn and urgently develop with our students.  

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The Student-Centered Classroom - Liberate Learners To Flip Their Own Lessons

The Student-Centered Classroom - Liberate Learners To Flip Their Own Lessons | Teaching English | Scoop.it

"The expanded availability of easy tech tools has empowered educators to rethink homework and daily instruction. Flipping the classroom with teacher-made videos allows students to self-direct their at-home learning. Many of these clips, however, still involve a one-day delivery of information, from teacher to student. Another approach is to allow children to make their own educational videos. They can enlighten their classmates with their creations, and they can teach themselves the material and the skills during the process of production."


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Beth Dichter's curator insight, May 26, 2014 8:47 PM

Have you considered having students use the Adobe Voice app (iPad) to create materials that others may use to review work? This post shares how one school has done this with 8th grade students and provides 3 videos embedded in the post as well as a link to a page where you can see more student work.

The post also discussed "four key proficiencies" that students may demonstrate as they create an Adobe Voice video:

* Symbolic and visual metaphor - in choosing images and/or icons  and their definitions of words students are demonstrating understanding of figurative meaning.

* Narrative - students narrate their story and provide images that seamlessly move from one point to another within the story.

* Text- students select key text, highlighting vocabulary.

* Design - students learn critical elements necessary to convey content. Elements may include, music, images, voice, color, transitions, layout and more.

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Move Your Body, Grow Your Brain

Move Your Body, Grow Your Brain | Teaching English | Scoop.it

Editor's note: This post is co-authored by Marcus Conyers (1) who, with Donna Wilson, is co-developer of the M.S. and Ed.S. Brain-Based Teaching (2) degree programs at Nova Southeastern University. They have written several books, including Five Big Ideas for Effective Teaching: Connecting Mind, Brain, and Education Research to Classroom Practice (3).

Incorporating exercise and movement throughout the school day makes students less fidgety and more focused on learning. Improving on-task behavior and reducing classroom management challenges are among the most obvious benefits of adding physical activities to your teaching toolkit. As research continues to explore how exercise facilitates the brain's readiness and ability to learn and retain information, we recommend several strategies to use with students and to boost teachers' body and brain health.

Like "Miracle-Gro for the Brain"

Exercise may have both a physiological and developmental impact on children's brains. Physical mechanisms include:

Increased oxygen to the brain that may enhance its ability to learnAlterations to neurotransmittersStructural changes in the central nervous system

In fact, John Ratey, author of A User's Guide to the Brain, calls exercise "Miracle-Gro for the brain" because of its role in stimulating nerve growth factors.

Studies suggest that regular physical activity supports healthy child development by improving memory, concentration and positive outlook. For example, researchers found that children who had an opportunity to run 15-45 minutes before class were less distracted and more attentive to schoolwork. These positive effects lasted two to four hours after their workouts.

The connection between learning and exercise seems to be especially strong for elementary school students. Given these findings, cutting back on physical education with the aim of improving academic performance, as some districts have done or may be considering, is likely to be counterproductive.

Pump Up Your Brain with Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity is an essential component for maintaining body and brain health for people of all ages. A recent study involving 120 people found that walking briskly 30-40 minutes a day three times a week helped to "regrow" the structures of the brain linked to cognitive decline in older adults. The effect was the equivalent of stopping the brain's aging clock by one to two years. This is one of the first scientifically controlled studies showing the power of exercise in boosting brain regeneration. As we share with educators in our programs, physical activity before, during and after school is smart for your heart, body and brain. "Exercise is really for the brain, not the body," Ratey contends in a WebMD article. "It affects mood, vitality, alertness and feelings of well-being."

By incorporating movement and physical activity into the school day, you can support student learning in a variety of ways:

Start the Day with Movement

Many teachers we know start the school day with exercises such as jumping jacks, arm crosses and stretches. Kim Poore, who teaches K-5 students with behavioral and emotional disorders in South Carolina's Lancaster County Public School District, tells us that her class has led the school in a morning warm-up routine broadcast to classrooms over closed-circuit TV.

Enhance Attention During and Between Lessons

Incorporating short exercise or stretch breaks into lessons can resharpen children's focus on learning. Especially for younger students, dividing lessons into 8-20 minute "chunks" punctuated with activities that involve movement keeps their attention on learning and helps make the content more memorable. Exercise and stretch breaks also work well during transitions between lessons.

Ms. Poore says that one of her students' favorite ways to prepare for tests is with "Snowball." She writes a test review question on a piece of paper, wads it into a paper ball, and tosses it to a student who opens the paper, responds to the question and tosses it back. "It is a fresh and effective way to reach these kids," she says.

Engage the Senses

Our brains receive input from our visual, tactile, auditory and olfactory senses, allowing us to engage with the rest of the world. Incorporating activities that involve all the senses can make learning more memorable. Joe Frank Uriz, who teaches Spanish at Parsons Elementary School in Gwinnett County, Georgia, says, "Sensory experiences are an important aspect of learning."

Mr. Uriz doesn't just teach third graders the Spanish words for fruits. He introduces the tropical fruits of the Americas in a "mystery box" activity that adds tactile, smell and taste experiences to learning. And he makes the most of the power of music and movement to reinforce what students are learning with a clapping chant song called "Frutas."

Spanish teacher Joe Uriz engages students' senses with a mystery box activity.

Credit: Donna Wilson & Marcus ConyersPlay Games

Teaching lessons as active games also enhances attention and memory. How about a kinesthetic spelling bee in which teams of students spell vocabulary words by positioning their bodies in the shapes of letters?

What physical activities do you incorporate into your lessons? Please tell us about them in the comments section below.

References and Resources

Articles from the Journal of Play (4) and WebMD (5) present some of the research on exercise and learning.

This list of BrainBreaks (6) offers additional ideas on movement during the school day. For more information on the body-brain connection, see Chapter 5 of Five Big Ideas for Effective Teaching: Connecting Mind, Brain, and Education Research to Classroom Practice (7).


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Upgrade your KWL Chart to the 21st Century

Upgrade your KWL Chart to the 21st Century | Teaching English | Scoop.it
One of the take aways from the Curriculum Mapping Institute this past week was that it brought an upgrade to THE trusted KWL (Know, What to Know and Learned) Chart to the forefront. It seems a no b...

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Beth Dichter's curator insight, April 23, 2014 9:57 PM

Not too long ago I posted an article that suggested we move from the KWL chart to the KWHL chart...and here is another post that suggests we make it more in-depth by adding the letters A and Q.

What do all these letters stand for?

K - What do I know?

W - What do I want to know?

H - How do I find out?

L - What have I learned?

A - What action will I take?

Q - What new questions do I have?

More in-depth discussions of these new letters are included in the post.

The Rice Process's curator insight, April 24, 2014 6:55 AM

Taking the KWL chart to the next level.

Kate JohnsonMcGregor's curator insight, April 24, 2014 8:43 AM

I love this idea - it fits beautifully with the concept of Inquiry-based learning and students assuming ownership of the research process - Yay ACTION! The idea that learning and research are ongoing - and active - is a key element to new learning models. Very exciting!

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Game-Based Storytelling - Edutopia

Game-Based Storytelling - Edutopia | Teaching English | Scoop.it

"All games tell stories. Unlike other media (books, television, film), the interactivity puts the player in the role of protagonist. Writing games can be quite complex and involve more than characters and dialogue. To get a better understanding, read this article by Darby McDevitt, lead writer of Assassin's Creed. He explains the prewriting and production process. Students should be surprised (as was I!) at how sophisticated game writing is."


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How Assessment Can Lead to Deeper Learning | Edutopia

How Assessment Can Lead to Deeper Learning | Edutopia | Teaching English | Scoop.it

Most educators, policymakers, and parents agree that today's students need a mix of knowledge, skills, and dispositions to prepare them to be successful and engaged citizens. Given that students need a mix of these things, iknowledge, educators, policymakers, and parents are also askng, "How do we know if students are learning both what we are teaching and what they need to know to succeed?"


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Rob Hatfield, M.Ed.'s curator insight, March 29, 2014 10:28 PM

The stakeholders active roles in deeper learning is the key to successful authentic assessment.

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Unite for Literacy Offers Free Early Literacy eBooks

Unite for Literacy Offers Free Early Literacy eBooks | Teaching English | Scoop.it

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Beth Dichter's curator insight, March 16, 2014 9:07 PM

Unite for Literacy is a new website that is providing free eBooks online for young children, Currently there are 120 books available. The books may be read in 15 languages, including English, Spanish, French, Hindi, Russian, Somali and Vietnamese. Each book was written for Unite for Literacy and each is read by a fluent native speaker for each language. This is a great new site for teachers of preK and K (and possibly Grade 1 and 2 if ELL). As far as I can tell they continue to add additional books. Thanks to Joyce Valenza for sharing this jewel...and to go directly to the website click this link: http://www.uniteforliteracy.com

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The Rise of the Super-Digital Native

The Rise of the Super-Digital Native | Teaching English | Scoop.it
The super-digital native will be bold. The super-digital native will be fearless. The super-digital native will be equipped with best practices for engaging critically with technology for teaching and learning....

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aanve's curator insight, March 15, 2014 10:59 PM

www.aanve.com

 

Jamie Ruppert's curator insight, March 17, 2014 8:53 AM

Who are the super digital natives, anyway?

Rosemary Tyrrell, Ed.D.'s curator insight, March 17, 2014 1:58 PM

Somewhat Utopian, but interesting article. 

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How 21st Century Thinking Is Just Different

How 21st Century Thinking Is Just Different | Teaching English | Scoop.it
How 21st Century Thinking Is Just Different by Terry Heick This content is proudly sponsored by The Institute for the Habits of Mind, promoting the… (RT @Learning1st: How is 21st Century Thinking Different?

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Theories of Learning

Theories of Learning | Teaching English | Scoop.it

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, February 10, 2014 2:13 PM

We treat social constructivism as if it is new. Dewey and Montessori wrote about it over a century ago although they did not call it constructivism. The idea of using digital technologies and social media add a new twist to old ideas and it is important to inquire into what that means.

Helen Teague's curator insight, February 11, 2014 1:03 PM

nicely succinct infographic on learning theories

Tom Short's curator insight, February 12, 2014 7:58 PM

Nice overview of various learning theories; positioned against some new thinking about Networked learning theory.