Teaching, Learning, Growing
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Letter Grades Deserve an 'F'

Letter Grades Deserve an 'F' | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
The adoption of the Common Core could usher in a new era of standards-based grading.

Via Mel Riddile, Cindy Riley Klages, Ivon Prefontaine
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I think one of the keys is this paragraph: "Teaching and learning with an eye toward mastery of a defined list of competencies circumvents many of the pitfalls that points-based grading causes. If mastery of a specific concept or skill is the stated goal for everyone, students are free to be more creative in their thinking. They are encouraged to challenge themselves in pursuit of that mastery."


Let's be honest: there is a lot of subjectivity in a lot of grading. Perhaps Common Core, for all of its flaws, will challenge us to think differently about how we assess. Not just how we grade student work, but how we make decisions about how students can demonstrate what they know and can do.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, March 12, 2014 11:50 PM

The core of the argument is sound and draws on seminal thinking about student assessment. The addition that might be made is that thinking was based on considerably more teacher autonomy and local community involvement in their schools. I think the two go hand-in-hand. We need teachers to be teaching students and that includes effective assessment which can be communicated to students and their parents.

iPamba's curator insight, March 13, 2014 10:53 AM

More important than the grading system is whether or not, throughout the process of learning, communication strategies and tools are used, including meaningful feedback to learners,  to enable them to recognize their challenges as well as assess their progress and achievement.

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These Are The Biggest Skills That New Graduates Lack

These Are The Biggest Skills That New Graduates Lack | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Plenty of newly minted members of the workforce think they're well prepared for success. Hiring managers aren't convinced.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Alert to EVERY high school teacher. If kids aren't developing these skills in high school, heck even in elementary school, they are NOT going to develop them in college. Seems like we need wholesale educational intervention STAT.

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The Importance of Breaking Free of ... Yourself

The Importance of Breaking Free of ... Yourself | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
By Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh  We know countless students who entered college thinking, “I’m going to figure out who I am, and then make my life plan, and hopefully have an impact on the
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I agree with the concept of not limiting ourselves to one idea of who or what we might be. My life is rather a testament to that. If Chinese philosophers help you find your way to that path of freeing yourself from yourself, then follow it. I'm inclined to use a different Teacher.

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Too geeky for girls? Tech industry stereotypes are hindering equality

Too geeky for girls? Tech industry stereotypes are hindering equality | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Teachers are gradually being given the tools to get girls into computer science, but tech companies must pull their weight too
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Ugh. Coding is NOT too geeky for girls, but I understand why that seems to be the case. I watch TV. ;) So it seems that more of us women who have coded or are coding need to help debunk the myths and eradicate the stereotype.

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What Colleges Can Gain by Adding Makerspaces to Their Libraries

What Colleges Can Gain by Adding Makerspaces to Their Libraries | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Colleges are following the lead of K-12 schools and libraries by creating easily accessible makerspaces that are available to the entire student body.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

In my opinion, if a library--college or public--adds a makerspace, they can have BitsBox, arduino boards, and other such techy such like 3D printers. But they can also have blocks and Legos or just random pieces of stuff to see what kids will put together plus Qtips, fingerpaint or markers, etc. For colleges near schools, this can be a boon for students--and teachers!!--whose own libraries can't, for whatever reasons, provide these opportunities. Such spaces can reinforce the value of whatever hands-on learning teachers have already been doing and, perhaps, remind others to reconnect with hands-on learning.

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The Maker Movement in K-12 Education: A Guide to Emerging Research

The Maker Movement in K-12 Education: A Guide to Emerging Research | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
As Maker Education evolves in K-12, researchers are exploring related equity issues, design principles for Maker spaces, and the impact of this approach on student learning.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I try not to be aggravated; I really do. But then I read stuff like this and I just shake my head and mutter under my breath. What constitutes "maker" isn't new; what we call it is new that's why some are so delirious about it. Come on, people. We've been doing hands-on learning for decades. DECADES. What has changed? The tools which have opened up the options for hands-on learning. The fact that other teachers are beginning to think about hands-on learning because it's the cool, trendy thing. I'll take it. Whatever gets teachers to reflect on their students' learning and think about new approaches to teaching.

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7 Academic Search Engines Not Named Google

7 Academic Search Engines Not Named Google | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
7 Academic Search Engines Not Named Google
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Always good to know other resources are available. Yes, there is research beyond Google.

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Innovation is overvalued. Maintenance often matters more

Capitalism excels at innovation but is failing at maintenance, and for most lives it is maintenance that matters more
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Absolutely. Yes, we need entrepreneurs, innovators, creative thinkers. Yes. But we also need the computational thinkers and problem solvers who can help ensure the change is systemic and sustainable. All the great ideas will matter not one whit if there is no one to execute on them and maintain them.

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Why Aren't There More Podcasts for Kids?

Why Aren't There More Podcasts for Kids? | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Kids learn from podcasts, so why aren’t adults making more for them?
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Weird. I was thinking about this recently and started scribbling some notes for podcasts I want to create. Cool!

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Why Pedagogy First, Tech Second Stance is Key to the Future

Why Pedagogy First, Tech Second Stance is Key to the Future | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
As districts across the country purchase technology at a feverish pace, they must ensure they have a solid implementation plan.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Pedagogy first. Period. Many of us say this time and time and time again, yet we often hear educators--teachers and administrators--bemoan the lack of 1:1. "If only. . . " But the fact of the matter is that technology is a tool used to faciliate learning. I get to work with educators through Discovery Education, a huge proponent of digital literacy and resources, but also one of many consistently saying "Pedagogy first, technology second." Learning outcomes, student knowledge and skills demands/expectations, pedagogical content knowledge all of which can be informed and transformed by appropriate use of appropriate technology. 

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The Daring Librarian: A Shockingly Private Blog Post About Social Media

The Daring Librarian: A Shockingly Private Blog Post About Social Media | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it

Is it shocking that I would use such an obvious click-bait blog post title? Shameless! But this post is all about the difference between sharing what is personal versus private on social media.

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Not only is Gwyneth Jones an amazing library media specialist, but she does the fabulous things she does at a middle school.

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Survey: What Gen Z Thinks About Ed Tech in College

Survey: What Gen Z Thinks About Ed Tech in College | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
A report on digital natives sheds light on their learning preferences.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Please note: The kids "expect these technologies to allow for learning in individualized ways at a pace that’s suited to the student."

 

While I'm intrigued by the list the kids offer, what's evident is that students also don't really understand the power of whatever technology they already have at hand. I'm in schools all the time and many of them have limited resources. Even so, when teachers learn strategies and tools they can use to leverage what they have, they realize that while 1:1 may be something to continue to strive for, when they have the right training and good coaching, they can provide learning opportunities that can meet their students' needs and then stretch them to learn just a bit more.

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Criticism Is Not Feedback

Criticism Is Not Feedback | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
There’s a huge difference between feedback and criticism. Feedback is helpful and constructive; criticism is hurtful and damaging.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

This is applicable for educators, too, as they think about how to get meaningful feedback to their students.

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PD: From epic fail to epic sail

PD: From epic fail to epic sail | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it

"During my years in school administration, I often had mixed feelings about scheduling professional development in-service workshops. . . a lot had to go right for these programs to be a success."

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

As administrators and teacher leader teams are starting to plan for next year, they should be thinking about their overall PD plan. If not, perhaps they'll read this article and see why starting plan now for next year and the next few years makes sense.

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'Stackable' Credential Options Rise in Online Education

'Stackable' Credential Options Rise in Online Education | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
In some programs, learners can earn several smaller credentials for an immediate career boost and build their way up to a degree.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I love the idea of stackable credentials. I think it can work well for potential career changers as well as those who are trying to move up or over or wherever. I also think there's potential in secondary education as students are exploring possibilities, especially for high schools smart enough to partner with community colleges, four-year institutions, and education organizations that might be able to offer certifications. Oh, and options shouldn't be limited to online education.

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3 Tips for High School Teachers to Use Social Media Responsibly In Class

3 Tips for High School Teachers to Use Social Media Responsibly In Class | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Most teachers have not integrated social media into classroom learning, according to a new survey.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

There are plenty of resources to learn how to use social media responsibly and effectively in class. One of them is here: http://www.coolcatteacher.com/10-amazing-ways-teachers-have-used-social-media-to-enhance-learning/.

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How to Digital Nomad Like a Boss [Infographic] | Daily Infographic

How to Digital Nomad Like a Boss [Infographic] | Daily Infographic | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
This infographic is exactly the kind of thing a digital nomad would get paid to create.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Some number of decades ago when I was in college, I had an on-campus job that required me to use a device I'd never seen before. But I could see the manual next to it, so I said I knew how to use it because, well, I could read. The first couple of forays were a bit wobbly, but then I could use the thing with ease. Using tools at hand to learn and grow is ALWAYS a good idea, and if helps you do work you love and in which you learn more, even better.

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Knowledge is ‘not enough’ if students are to find jobs after the ‘fourth industrial revolution’, says Lord Baker

Knowledge is ‘not enough’ if students are to find jobs after the ‘fourth industrial revolution’, says Lord Baker | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Learning a computer language at GCSE will be more useful than learning a foreign language, according to the former education secretary
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Worth thinking about.

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Enough With the Word Gap

Enough With the Word Gap | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Are efforts to boost kids’ vocabularies before kindergarten missing the mark?
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

There's some interesting conversations going on about this study and its efficacy, but less conversation about the reality of low literacy skills. There's a remark that there are possible racial intimations in this study because of the study group, but let's be honest. Where are the majority of our most challenged students? Yep, and with parents who often have to travel distances to work the two or three jobs they have to have to care for their families. There are several complex factors contributing to "word gap," so let's be honest and realistic that there is no easy fix and solutions must be found for the whole family.

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Digital Leadership: A New Paradigm Shift

Today's school leaders are expected to be collaborative, knowledgeable, and in possession of a new set of technology skills.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I know there are some folks who believe that leadership is leadership, but I also know that school leaders have different responsibilities, especially when they consider their stakeholders as students, teachers, parents, and school board members. The authors of this have some good points and it's worth the read. . .up to the program and author plugs.

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Why Teachers, Parents, and Society at Large Have Destroyed Kids’ Love of Learning

Why Teachers, Parents, and Society at Large Have Destroyed Kids’ Love of Learning | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
The pressure to achieve academically is a crime against learning.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Failure is hard. Let's be clear about that. Curiosity can lead to frustration as well as discovery. But there is learning in all of that, including the frustration and how or why that frustration forces you to revisit a problem or look at a situation differently. We drive kids to be more concerned about the grade than the learning. The press for passing standardized test scores don't help.

 

We need to work harder to redirect our thinking about what it means to learn. We need to work harder to redirect our legislators, lobbyists, unionists, administrators, teachers, and parents about how we can and should measure learning. Being a straight-A student isn't indicative of perseverance, the ability to think creatively and critically, the ability to parlay failure into learning and perhaps success. It really isn't the grade that matters.

 

"If that answer at the end of the page is wrong, or if she arrives at a dead end in her research, she has failed—no matter what she has learned from her struggle. And contrary to what she may believe, in these more difficult situations, she is learning."

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The Pros and Cons of Technology in the Classroom | Edudemic

The Pros and Cons of Technology in the Classroom | Edudemic | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Educational technology has its pluses and minuses. It’s up to teachers, administrators, and district personnel to decide whether the good outweighs the bad.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I thoroughly disagreement with @amanda_ronan that it is "easy to be a fence sitter" about technology in the classroom. Let me be clear (again): pedagogy first, technology second. Those items listed as cons can be easily remedied, eliminated, mitigated, and/or managed by that simple philosophy: pedagogy first, technology second. Technology is a tool, a resource. I've also said, and will say again, that edtech is not an option. How it's used, well, that is where there is a tremendous amount of choice. There is no need to go 1:1 and expecting very young students to use technology can be rendered by. . . . yep, pedagogy first and technology second. Use it when and where and how it makes sense for students to accomplish the learning targets. As for issues of privacy and disparity of access outside of class? Well, have a plan for managing privacy and usage before you integrate technology and. . .pedagogy first, technology second. If technology is used only occasionally and for centers in the classroom? Excellent. Do what makes the most sense for your kids in your school. There is no single plan and no single approach to edtech integration.

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Brick by brick: the Lego approach to learning

Brick by brick: the Lego approach to learning | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
DCU’s Lego innovation studio is developing creative approaches to teaching science and maths. It might sound like a gimmick but it seems to be working
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Problem-solving. Engineering strategies. Creative thinking. Computational thinking. Let there be Lego!

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Never Too Young To Code

Never Too Young To Code | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Tot-oriented robots and resources give coding lessons a friendly face.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Now before you react, just think about what kids can learn with this kind of directional code: left, right, up, down, etc. But also game-like problem-solving skills, computational thinking, reasoning, critical thinking, communication skills, and more. Yea, that's cool.

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These Will Be The Top Jobs In 2025 (And The Skills You'll Need To Get Them)

As work changes at warp speed, here are 2025's hottest job sectors and the skills you'll need to work in them.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Two observations. First, kudos to my friend Lori Feldman who was promoting computational thinking at least five years ago. Way to see into the future! Second, interesting that lifelong learning is becoming a formal job skill. As a corollary, not only will teachers and trainers have to find ways to keep up with new thinking and possibilities, but we'll have to use our computational thinking skills to see what really makes sense and has some potential sustainability.

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10 tips to use Google Classroom effectively and efficiently

10 tips to use Google Classroom effectively and efficiently | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Google Classroom can be even more powerful with a few tips and strategies to make it efficient and effective.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Because so many teachers are using Google Classroom, the more we know about how to use it effectively and efficiently will mean our kids will have better learning experiences.

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