By Larry Ferlazzo: An award-winning English and Social Studies teacher at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, Calif., Larry Ferlazzo is the author of Helping Students Motivate Themselves: Practical Answers To Classroom Challenges, The ESL/ELL Teacher's Survival Guide, and Building Parent Engagement In Schools.
I find it challenging to work out how to differentiate (or whether I am differentiating) lessons in secondary school classes where everything is driven by the needs of an examination system. This idea, that there are multiple incarnations of differentiation, I find quite helpful.
Technology plays a primary role in my teaching, but I rarely turn on the computer that makes the classroom “smart.” Occasionally, I project the class tweet stream. I am an advocate of Twitter for higher ed.
Very interesting discussion about the role of technology within teaching. Particularly interesting is the differentiation between what needs to be brought into the classroom and what should stay outside - the idea that if the purpose is merely to transmit knowledge, like a file transfer from one computer to another - then that does not need to be part of classroom activity. I'm going to have to reflect on that one further as I look at what I do in the classroom and what takes place in my school.
Teaching someone a skill is not the same as helping motivate them to understand and use it. Metacognition is a process of varying approaches thinking about and using different learning styles to enable the teacher to teach better.
David Miles's insight:
An introduction to metacognitive approaches in teaching, for teachers.
Use your voice to give students feedback about their papers in Google Docs. I've only played with this a little bit so far, but I'm really excited to be able to use Kaizena to give my students feedback this year. Being able to add links to resources and reuse those links for other students is so helpful. If you have questions I'm on twitter @JenRoberts1 and the guys who make kaizena are @kaizenaFB if you have feedback for them, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
"Have you read The Paperless Classroom with Google Docs by Eric Curts? http://bit.ly/104vztx ; If not, you should. It is a great way for Google schools to harness the power of Google for sharing documents, and establishing a workflow for students to turn in work for teachers to grade and return in a paperless environment. I love it. In fact, I liked it so much that I decided to pay homage to it with a version that is dedicated to doing the very same thing on the iPad using just the Google Drive app.
Regular readers will have seen my last post, How to Use Comments on the Google Drive iPad app http://bit.ly/14koJzE . For me, this was a key change to the Google Drive iPad app, and one that had huge implications for the iPad classroom. It inspired me to think about just how much you can do in Google with an iPad and the Drive app, and I soon discovered that you can do a lot more than you might think.
So, with the blessing of Eric Curts himself, I sat down and went through all the steps he meticulously outlined for the desktop version of Google Drive, and converted as many as I could to the equivalent actions in the Google Drive iPad app. Then I added some additional steps for other things like taking documents offline, or grading PDFs, images and movies."
ÈIt can be intimidating to try something new in your classroom. This is especially true with technology. I believe that technology should make the work of teachers easier while creating an environment that excites and engages students. Even though I'm coming from an iPad classroom, these structures and routines are great for introducing all one-to-one devices."
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David Miles's insight:
A great way to help students develop critical thinking skills, this approach has applications in all areas, not just in History.
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