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Beyond English, best way to teach reading may vary - Futurity

Beyond English, best way to teach reading may vary - Futurity | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Phonemic awareness is a common part of teaching children to read English, but researchers say it may not be ideal for other languages, such as Spanish.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

An interesting article on how we teach reading and, perhaps, how we might need to rethink that.

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200 universities just launched 600 free online courses. Here’s the full list.

200 universities just launched 600 free online courses. Here’s the full list. | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it

If you haven’t heard, universities around the world are offering their courses online for free (or at least partially free). These courses are collectively called MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses. In the past six years or so, close to 800 universities have created more than 8,000 of these MOOCs.


Via Steve Yuen, Yashy Tohsaku, Jim Lerman
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

There are lots of reasons to sign up for one or some of these courses including that for a reasonably nominal fee, you can get credit that counts towards a certification or micro-credential. Pay attention universities. This model hasn't died yet and seems to have a lot of potential for a range of learners.

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The Making of a Makerspace - Part 2 The World Clock Challenge

The Making of a Makerspace - Part 2 The World Clock Challenge | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
A 2nd grade teacher's blog about using technology in the classroom
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I was just thinking about all of the cardboard boxes in my basement and how I have to get rid of some of them. Then I read this and now I'm going to reach out to a couple of my neighborhood schools to see if they'd like to do a World Clock Challenge with me.

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The 6 Drivers of Inquiry-Based Learning

The 6 Drivers of Inquiry-Based Learning | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Note #4: Constraints and that faintly shocking idea of thinking INSIDE the box. Because sometimes it's not quite possible to think outside of the box without thinking about what's inside the box. Apollo 13. They needed to do some way out of the box engineering but had to work with the constraints of what was in the box. Lots of richness there. Don't miss it. 

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Doing More With The Classroom Makerspace

Doing More With The Classroom Makerspace | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Lots of expensive stuff does not a makerspace make. I agree that [m]akerspaces should be filled with more questions, problems and failures than answers, solutions and successes." I know too many teachers who create makerspace projects they think students will find "fun." Then the teachers are disappointed when the kids just do the activity. I also know too many teachers who fret that their students don't have enough exposure to the world or creativity to come up with something in which they might be interested or about which they might be curious. Well then, expose them to something new or something in their community or around the school and see what they come up with. This won't be easy or fast. It will be frustrating and take more than a few stutter steps. The first foray may not go anywhere you want it to go. But then you as a teacher need to persist (modeling perseverance) and continue to work to find something, anything that might spark some interest in your students. The fact that you don't give up AND continue to encourage them to explore something beyond themselves and what they think they know just might help them stumble into something amazing.

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10 Easy Activities Your Students Can Do With Vocaroo

10 Easy Activities Your Students Can Do With Vocaroo | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I love Vocaroo and share it with teachers all the time. Another thing we know is that students will find ways to use these kinds of tools to support their learning and their demonstration of their learning if we'll just let them.

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Victor Ventura's curator insight, November 4, 5:48 PM
Start with this simple tech tool and the 10 activities are ones that students will enjoy.
Arizona State University, Claire McLaughlin's curator insight, November 5, 6:10 PM
I began using Vocaroo with my EFL students a few months ago, and it is so easy, that I am going to find more uses for it to assess their pronunciation and fluency.  I love the other ideas mentioned in this article too.  So useful and easy!
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This Is What Understanding Looks Like

This Is What Understanding Looks Like | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
This is what understanding looks like: Using 'Self-Initiated Transfer' to drive 21st-century assessment.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

This transfer? That's what PBL and makerspace enables and allows to happen, and often in wonderfully magical ways. At some point, the various powers that be will finally realize that there must be a balance between written assessments and organic, dynamic, authentic demonstrations of learning.

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How a Tough Challenge Taught My Students More About Coding Than I Ever Could 

How a Tough Challenge Taught My Students More About Coding Than I Ever Could  | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Challenge students. . .and get out of their way. LOVE that!

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Women in Computer Science | ComputerScience.org

Women in Computer Science | ComputerScience.org | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Learn how to get involved in the computer science field, review scholarships, and see which schools excel at educating women in computer science.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

"Redefine the field." Can girls get excited about robotics? Yes, of course. Are they logical and often creative problem-solvers? No doubt. Is "computer science" misleading? Personally, I think so. It could be "computer engineering" or "computing engineering" or even "computing arts." What comes after "computer" or "computing," in my opinion, is almost irrelevant. When kids think about what doesn't use some sort of coding technology, they might be amazed. And when they start to think about the ways coding technology COULD be used, they themselves might be amazing. You want to experiment with some options and possibilities? Check out https://www.madewithcode.com/

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Victor Ventura's curator insight, October 27, 9:12 AM
There is no reason now for this to continue. Let’s do our part to reduce this disconnect.
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What’s the deal with the ‘E’ in STEAM? Practical ways to plan for engineering in your classroom

What’s the deal with the ‘E’ in STEAM? Practical ways to plan for engineering in your classroom | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Do you know how to plan for the engineering concepts when engaging students in STEAM learning? Here are some ideas.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Some great insight if you're still struggling with the "E" in STEAM, reminding us on the importance of the knowledge and skillset that defines engineering.

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The Secret Sauce to Choosing Edtech? Find Tools By Fit, Not Feature - EdSurge News

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

Pedagogy, then technology. Learn about TPACK. Ask, maybe even beg, the district to put a moratorium on initiatives because throwing more tools at you isn't going to improve your teaching or your students' learning. Do a technology audit to make sure you know what you already have, what you use, and how you use it. Figure out if you have any gaps (other than training). Collaborate with your grade-level and schoolwide colleagues to see what's being used, what's not being used, and what you need and WHY you need it. Then think a bit into the future to make sure the what and WHY you need it will make sense for a foreseeable future recognizing your powers of prognostication may be limited. Work with your technology people or hire someone (call me) to help make choices and decisions, and figure out what training you really need for tools and resources that will really make a difference for your students.

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This STEM-focused district hands out paychecks along with report cards - The Hechinger Report

This STEM-focused district hands out paychecks along with report cards - The Hechinger Report | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I can imagine district personnel saying this would never work in their district. The challenge is finding one person who will build a relationship with one organization that will allow students to work on a small problem--maybe one that's already been solved so the students can compare their work to that of professionals. When students and school prove themselves, maybe the company will underwrite buying materials to work on another project. Then perhaps another company will underwrite buying materials to work on one of its projects. No one has to pay students for their time as that is very unusual. But the opportunity to work on or simulate work on real-time problems and projects is invaluable and the experiential paycheck is incalculable. 

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Making experiences

Making experiences | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Throw away the instructions. Making is about the experience, not the project. Ask "Now what can you do?" or "What else could you do?" Yep, that about sums it up.

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​Engineers, Recruiters and Professors Weigh In: Future Programmers Need Writing Skills, Too - EdSurge News

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

A very long while ago I was a tech writer for some rocket engineers, literally. I worked in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Cape Kennedy and tried to translate rocket engineer-speak into something other people could understand. Years later I was a systems analyst/programmer myself. As an English major, I had a secret talent: I could write well. I often found myself in the position of translator between systems people and customers. And I often found myself rewriting user materials so the actual users could understand them. Yes, writing skills are important. Certainly not 5-paragraph essays, but, at the very least, clear process pieces that explain how something should be done, could be done, is being done. . .and why.

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Novel Engineering | Books

Novel Engineering | Books | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

LOVE LOVE LOVE! "Novel Engineering is an integrated approach to teaching engineering and literacy. As part of Novel Engineering, students develop projects based on texts they read in English Language Arts or other content classes, such as history. The characters become their clients and students pull from the text to scope problems and set constraints as they engage in engineering design." Thanks to my colleague Liz Parry for sharing this with me!

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13 Reasons Why Education Transformation Is Slow, Challenged

13 Reasons Why Education Transformation Is Slow, Challenged | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

It's true. We have been in the throes of an attempted educational revolution for nearly 20 years. We haven't a lot to show for it though we can point to some success stories. I think it is key for us to remember that education is about the students: it is THEIR learning and THEIR futures at stake. There is no silver bullet, no magic program or app, no single tool or resource that will be the tipping point in any classroom in any school. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Candid assessment of each school--its students, its teachers, its administrators, and its community--could help in the crafting of a realistic plan for change (Knoster's Model of Change). Borrow more from business to conduct a SWOT analysis of that single school. Revisit that action plan for that single school with an outside other who can see you more clearly than you can see yourself. Identify no more than 3 specific and actionable items to pursue and with a specific and reasonable time frame, and then begin your own transformational revolution.

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, November 8, 2:26 PM
This is a good read. The more things change the more they stay the same in our schools. Transforming is moving beyond where we are. It is not totally disruptive, which is what we want to think it is. Conversely, it is not just remaining stuck. The change we make is often deforming our schools, rather than reforming or better yet transforming them. We probably are changing, but it is hard to see.
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A Modern Professional Learner’s Toolkit for 2018 – Modern Workplace Learning Magazine

A Modern Professional Learner’s Toolkit for 2018 – Modern Workplace Learning Magazine | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

If this is true for the workplace, imagine what we should be seeing in higher ed and even in K-12.

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Daniela Silva's curator insight, November 8, 5:52 AM

If this is true for the workplace, imagine what we should be seeing in higher ed and even in K-12.

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Computational Thinking in ELA - Absolutely

Computational Thinking in ELA - Absolutely | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

As an English major who became a computer scientist/systems analyst/software engineer who became a writing, literature, math, and computer science teacher, I concur. The connections between computational thinking and literacy skills are irrefutable.

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Minecraft Can Transform Your World Language Classroom

Minecraft Can Transform Your World Language Classroom | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
A Spanish teacher gives us the low-down on how the open world game can engage language learners in new ways.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

This is pretty cool.

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Victor Ventura's curator insight, November 4, 5:56 PM
Gameplay, imagination, creativity, communication...
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Tips for Implementing Design Challenges in Your Makerspace - edWeb

Tips for Implementing Design Challenges in Your Makerspace - edWeb | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
A successful school makerspace needs an enthusiastic maker community, school-wide participation, and staff support.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

The range of the design challenges is limited only by your imagination for what can be. Go make!

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Inspiring the Next Generation of Innovators Requires Cultural Change

Inspiring the Next Generation of Innovators Requires Cultural Change | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
K–12 must leverage partnerships and boost excitement to encourage STEM success.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I applaud the concept of cultural change. These kinds of educational shifts are more than paradigm shifts. They are wholesale shifts in thinking and doing. Perhaps they will come; I hope not too late for our kids and their futures. As an aside, I have a concern that so often we want learning to be "fun." Well, sometimes learning isn't fun. Sometimes it's hard. But that doesn't mean it's not also inspiring, engaging, pushing our curiosity buttons. I'd actually be pretty happy with learning simply pushing our curiosity buttons because that's when it becomes a kind of fun.

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The First MakerBot K–12 Innovation Center Teaches Students STEAM Skills

The First MakerBot K–12 Innovation Center Teaches Students STEAM Skills | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
A high school in New Jersey is preparing its students for the real world with 3D printers.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Speaking of engineering, a big advantage to a 3D printer is being able to create a 3D prototype or model, perhaps even a final product. Students who draft requirements, create a 2D model or prototype and refine that version before trying the 3D model will have gone through several engineering steps. Lots of opportunity to be STEAMy with a 3D printer!

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Micro-Credentials in Middle School Makerspaces #EdChat

Micro-Credentials in Middle School Makerspaces #EdChat | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Totally love the idea of micro-credentials or badges for kids. Already happens some time through Class Dojo or even through SeeSaw. There are other ways including the badges that kids can put on "their" computers--depending on the policy at your school or district. But we have to think about how badges could make a difference and not go overboard by micro-credentialing or badging everything so it's no longer meaningful.

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Padlet Now Has Voting and Grading Tools

Padlet has added a couple of new features that bring it even closer to being an all-in-one formative assessment tool. 

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

I'm a big fan of Padlet for a lot of reasons. This takes the product to a whole new level!

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5 Benchmarks That Will Define A Technology Backed, Future Ready School

5 Benchmarks That Will Define A Technology Backed, Future Ready School | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Are we measuring what really matters for the progress of a child?
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

"Are we measuring what really matters for the progress of a child?" Are we really measuring realistic success factors for that future-ready kid in a world we cannot really imagine? I have a colleague whose district has asked her to move away from some foundational kindergarten skills (sight words, letter sounds, etc.) for more engaging and dynamic lessons. Um, I'd recommend some balance because the foundation should be secure for the student to continue to build on that learning. But it's entirely possible that what will be considerable truly fundamental and foundational is undergoing its own dramatic change and we just can't yet see it.

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5 Tech-Free Classroom Innovations, and Ideas for Getting Started

5 Tech-Free Classroom Innovations, and Ideas for Getting Started | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
By Kyle Wagner - Here are five simple tech-free innovative learning experiences that will help you and your students think differently.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Innovation does not always require fancy technology. It's true, especially if you consider paper and a writing utensil or even a book as a form a low-tech tech. Schools that implement some form of Genius Hour or 20% Time have students who experience delightfully unexpected results so that's as good a place as any to start.

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