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'Address low literacy levels, or the nation will pay' - Telegraph.co.uk

'Address low literacy levels, or the nation will pay' - Telegraph.co.uk | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
As the Fair Education Alliance calls for politicians to unite behind addressing the educational divide, Jonathan Douglas says time is of the essence
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

True for the UK. True for the US. True for the world. We must do all we can to be sure everyone is literate.

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How Blockbuster MOOCs Could Shape the Future of Teaching | EdSurge News

How Blockbuster MOOCs Could Shape the Future of Teaching | EdSurge News | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Most of the top MOOCs (13 of the 20 courses) involve teaching computer science or some kind of coding. (We’re counting the crypto-currency tech course.) Both edX and Coursera have top courses on teaching Python, one of the most widely-used programming languages. These courses also take advantage of the online medium more fully than courses on other subjects, since many allow students to upload coding projects that are then automatically graded. In other words, students aren’t just passively watching videos—they’re doing projects, and they get instant feedback from the software.

Via Jim Lerman
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I think MOOCs could eventually shape the future of 6-12 learning, maybe even a bit of 4th and 5th grade learning. Imagine, if you will, standards written in student-focused language and organized in a way that students could review what they've learned, how well they've done, and what they need to work on. Imagine, if you will, student options in the form of MOOCs, online techbooks, and other digital resources, perhaps digital and/or print compilations of resources (@symbaloo, @padlet, @googlesites, @weebly. . .so many possibilities for curation and dissemination of choices for students) with teacher as guide and facilitator as students navigate their learning. Imagine, if you will, teacher working with the whole class and with small groups to help focus on specific skills or knowledge, guiding learning strategies and helping students figure out how to ask good questions. Sure, making corrections where corrections are warranted ("Well, that's not the formula for calculating the area of a triangle so that might be the first problem"). I know, it's like the educational Twilight Zone, but it's a fun dream.

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Kim Flintoff's curator insight, June 22, 8:08 PM
Most of the top MOOCs (13 of the 20 courses) involve teaching computer science or some kind of coding. (We’re counting the crypto-currency tech course.) Both edX and Coursera have top courses on teaching Python, one of the most widely-used programming languages. These courses also take advantage of the online medium more fully than courses on other subjects, since many allow students to upload coding projects that are then automatically graded. In other words, students aren’t just passively watching videos—they’re doing projects, and they get instant feedback from the software.
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Trump administration releases plan to combine Education, Labor departments

Trump administration releases plan to combine Education, Labor departments | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it

The proposal likely will face opposition from Congress, even as national leaders shift the way they view the purpose of education.

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

The DOE was established in 1979 when Education was separated from the then Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. According to Wikipedia, the 2017 ed.gov site noted the following functions of the DOE: "The primary functions of the Department of Education are to 'establish policy for, administer and coordinate most federal assistance to education, collect data on US schools, and to enforce federal educational laws regarding privacy and civil rights'". The current overview and mission statements read similarly but a bit differently: https://www2.ed.gov/about/landing.jhtml. However, you will want to read https://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/role.html which expresses "The Federal Role in Education." Huh.

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The Writing Box: Inspiration for Kids

The Writing Box: Inspiration for Kids | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Keep a writing box for kids, full of playful materials to encourage reluctant writers to stretch their creative play and write! Great for literacy.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

The post is geared for homeschoolers, but I like the idea of a writing box. Maybe not for individual students, though it might be possible. Or it could be for a station so the contents in the writing box changes. Maybe kids write something using sticky notes so they can illustrate. (I have lots of thoughts but will try to hold those for a blog post.) Maybe a comic strip or some images or some quotes or some excerpts of a text. Whatever is in the box could be dependent on the objective for that writing station, but the end results could be really amazingly cool!

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Going Deeper with Learning Technology Integration — A 9-Question Protocol

Going Deeper with Learning Technology Integration — A 9-Question Protocol | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Summer is a time of reflection and thinking about what to do differently next year, and how and why. You might want to use this 9-question protocol to help your work.

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How to Raise a Happy Kid in the Digital Age | Common Sense Media

How to Raise a Happy Kid in the Digital Age | Common Sense Media | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Rewrite the rules to coexist peacefully with devices, phones, and other modern stressors. Advice from Common Sense Media editors.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Good digital parenting helps teachers, too. And it occurs to me that these kinds of rules and guidelines will help kids (and grown-ups) be more content and better able to focus on things other than those little screens.

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Developing Your Classroom Presence

Developing Your Classroom Presence | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Simple strategies for developing the strong relationships with students that encourage them take risks and increase their learning.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

When kids describe their teachers, they might say their teachers are nice, funny, mean, strict, fun. I can't imagine many students describing their teachers are self-aware, confident, receptive to new ideas, or just present. The more I thought about this and teachers I've been around who evinced presence, the more I thought about those teachers who were completely focused on their classroom and their students. They weren't distracted by what they needed to do after school or next week or anything. They were totally and completely in each moment in the classroom with those students. And whenever the teacher talked WITH a student, that student felt as though he or she had the teacher's full and complete attention, which is never true because teachers have weird communications systems that enable them to hear everything happening in a classroom all the time even when they're having a focused conversation with a single student. That is presence and can have a powerfully encouraging impact on students and their approaches to learning.

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Vermont hopes new work-based learning will engage students

Vermont hopes new work-based learning will engage students | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it

Vermont’s statewide push to “personalize” learning gives students more of a say over what — and where — they study. Its goals are to keep students in school and in the state, because if Vermont doesn’t find a way to hold on to its young people, it won’t be able to fill the jobs left vacant by retiring baby boomers.

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

Years ago I visited a school in a small agricultural community in KS that had remade its curriculum to reflect the community: the Walton Rural Life Center (http://w-usd373-ks.schoolloop.com/). Each elementary grade level had its chores to care for the animals and the greenhouse, and various lessons were built around their work. I remember there was a lesson in 2nd or 3rd grade during which students compared the nutritional elements of the pig feed vs their favorite cereals. It was math, science, and health. BTW, it should come as no surprise that the pig food was healthier than the kids's favorite cereals.

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Flipgrid's Next Chapter � —

Flipgrid's Next Chapter � — | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Here's what you need to know: Flipgrid is free. I'm a huge fan of Flipgrid and talk about it whenever I can; I should become an official Flipgrid Ambassador. Anyway, it's a good tool. And, if you're not aware, Microsoft has been and is working on some significant updates to Office 365 with some additional tools and resources to challenge Google's grip on the classroom. I can't wait to see what they have to share at ISTE!

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Copyright a growing concern in the digital classroom

Copyright a growing concern in the digital classroom | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it

Recognizing intellectual property rights is increasingly important as digital resources allow educators to mix and match the content they use in the classroom.

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

This is no joke. If teachers aren't careful about copyright violations, they set a bad and dangerous precedent. However, as I learned in a recent workshop focusing on copyright and fair use, most teachers don't really understand it. Put this on your summer "to do" list.

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Tips for Using Nearpod with Early Learners

Tips for Using Nearpod with Early Learners | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Can you use Nearpod with early learners? You bet! This year I’ve had the chance to visit classrooms and work with teachers in different parts of the country.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Nearpod is a wonderful tool that is often underutilized. You'll want to check this out if you have Nearpod or if your school or district is considering it.

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Taking Student Voice Beyond The Classroom

Taking Student Voice Beyond The Classroom | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it

I decided to make student voice part of my life’s work in 2013, at the start of my 6th year teaching Sophomore English.

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

It's always great to learn from what others have done as they experimented with integration of a new approach to student learning.

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Should taxpayers and schools invest in 'growth mindset' programs?

Should taxpayers and schools invest in 'growth mindset' programs? | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
A team of researchers found "small" academic benefits from growth mindset programs to persuade students that intelligence can grow
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I think there is validity in the concept of "growth mindset." I had a conversation with a 2nd grader who told me she couldn't do three-digit subtraction because she wasn't good at math. I held her face in my hands so I could look her in the eyes and told her that she wasn't bad at math but there were skills she didn't have yet and she needed to learn HOW to do the math. We talked about some of the other things that she'd learned and she started to grasp that this development of skills and knowledge is what learning is all about, why she goes to school. (So many other thoughts about THAT, but not now.) We talked about how she would make mistakes in the process and that is also learning. She was focused and engaged for the next hour, but I know she would need to hear that every day for her to change her perception of her self and her learning. If/when that can happen--kids can get the individual support and encouragement they need--then growth mindset, or social-emotional learning support, can make a difference. But snappy posters and anchor charts are only part of the process.

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7 tips to better define personalized learning

7 tips to better define personalized learning | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it

Personalized learning is a pretty well-known term, but educators have different definitions for personalized learning, making for a sometimes-confusing approach to its implementation.

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

Another resource as you gather insights and research to best determine how personalized can and could look in your classroom, in your school, in your district.

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Edcamps: The ‘Unconferences,’ Where Teachers Teach Themselves

Edcamps: The ‘Unconferences,’ Where Teachers Teach Themselves | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Tired of traditional professional development that may not meet their needs, teachers are creating their own events and giving up weekends to do it.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I love the statement that edcamps are "more of a conversation than a presentation." In many ways the best of what a PLN is supposed to do and how teachers should be able to listen, reflect, collaborate, and apply their discoveries about themselves and their teaching.

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Digital Portfolios and Content

Digital Portfolios and Content | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Interested in implementing digital portfolios or improving your approach? Check this out.

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Why Is It so Hard to Teach K-12 Educators How to Personalize Learning? | EdSurge News

As a long-time music teacher and instructional technology coach, modeling has been key to my work for over a decade. The concept of gradual release o
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

And there it is: "what do I want students to be able to do and why?" We have to resist the temptation to provide word count, minute count, page count. We have to resist the temptation to be explicit about format. In other words, if we're trying to personalize, we have to offer students choice. If they are interested and engaged, you will get quality. More importantly, they will ask questions to make sure they're on the right track or want you to brainstorm with them for different/better ways. Years ago I followed the standard practice of asking for a two-page paper. From one student I got two physical pages though there was only 1 sentence on the second page. Huh. Well, I could be more specific about a minimum amount of text on the second page or, I could say, write until you're done. I gave them rubrics. If they thought they met the rubric, well then. I got better papers for the most part. As for the others, well, let's just say I had a few conversations with students. It was all good.

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8 reasons why we should combine art + math

8 reasons why we should combine art + math | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
With declining U.S. student math scores, our schools would be wise to adopt a new formula that is sure to paint a prettier picture for the country’s STEM rankings. Combining math and art classes ma…
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I often see teachers find ways to combine disciplines and content areas. They see the natural connections between them, which is, of course, what interdisciplinary learning is all about. While I would advocate including math in art and art in math when there are opportunities, planned and serendipitously, I wouldn't merge them all the time. There are kids who love the purity and clarity of math; there are kids who find art is their happy place. There are kids who are terrified of art class because they "can't draw" just as there are kids who hate math class. Teachers making and taking opportunity to combine art and math, or history and math, or social studies and art, or social studies and music and science, or whatever makes sense, help students see the world in a very different way. AND give them permission to make connections in ways that will make sense to them.

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3 Backchanneling Websites to Replace TodaysMeet

3 Backchanneling Websites to Replace TodaysMeet | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
From chat rooms to student response tools, there's something on this list for every classroom.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Lots of possibilities for using some of these tools, not just for backchannels. 

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Can we design learning environments geared for maximum motivation?

Can we design learning environments geared for maximum motivation? | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
What can we learn from human psychology about designing learning environments geared for maximum motivation?

Let’s start by identifying core human motivations using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human N…
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

This may come as a shock to some, but education has changed and kids have changed. A lot. Stands to reason, then, that what we do in the classroom and how we do has to change and that includes the learning environment. Can the environment impact motivation? Sure, think about the last time you were sitting somewhere and getting wiggly and squirmy because it was hot or too cold, or the seat was uncomfortable, or the light was funky, or you just wanted to sit in something other than a hard chair. When we're at home we can make adjustments. When we're in a work environment, we probably don't have a lot of control over whether we sit in a comfy chair or at a desk, but as adults, we can bring stuff to help make our work environment more comfortable and, therefore, significantly improve our mindset and our motivation. In a school environment, we're helping them become themselves so whatever we can do to support every aspect of that becoming just makes sense.

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AP courses losing favor among more high schools

AP courses losing favor among more high schools | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it

Eight elite private high schools in the Washington, D.C., area announced they are phasing out AP classes, saying the courses are so common many colleges no longer find them "noteworthy."

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

If you read the article itself (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/06/19/eight-private-high-schools-washington-area-are-dropping-out-ap-program), you'll see that the issue is not just the courses but the STANDARDIZED TEST that's at issue. ". . . focusing on a timed standardized test does not promote inquiry or higher-level discussion among students." Bam!

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Despite A Revamped Focus On Real-Life Skills, 'Home Ec' Classes Fade Away

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

There's a video being posted and reposted on Facebook about adulting skills: sewing, changing a tire, basic cooking skills, etc. It might stand to reason if more students were required to take "home ec" they would have some of those skills. But it's not a core content class with a standardized test expectation. In my slightly informed opinion, what constitutes Family and Consumer Science (FCS) should vary depending on community and geography. Having a single teacher might not make sense either. If I were the FCS teacher, I'd invite a local experts to talk about the topics of the curriculum. I'm sure there is a mechanic who'd love to come in to show kids how to change a tire, but they really need to know about caring for a vehicle. Why not bring in a local chef to talk about nutrition, how to cook for one or two (or more), etc.? Why not bring in a local seamstress or tailor to show how to hem pants, make minor changes to a garment, and yes, sew on a button? How about a local tax or bank professional to talk about budgeting and what to expect when it comes time to pay taxes? There are so many possibilities and, yes, it could be hard to narrow the curriculum. The idea of "adulting" classes aren't new but of sufficient concern that colleges are offering them to incoming freshmen. And, btw, the course doesn't have to start in high school. Middle schoolers could learn some of these skills, too. Just sayin'.

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Will Letter Grades Survive?

Will Letter Grades Survive? | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
A century-old pillar of the school system is under fire as schools look to modernize student assessment.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

My first thought: "Yes, because this is too big a shift for parents as well as educators." My second thought: "Yes, as long as corporations still use outdated scoring mechanisms as part of their performance review process." My third thought: "Yes, as long as college and universities still think a GPA is a meaningful measure of college capability to get into college and a meaningful measure of success of learning while in college, and as long as corporations think a GPA is a measure of student learning and capability upon graduation." My final thought: "I hope not because grades are basically meaningless but finding ways of 'reporting' student learning that will allow for nationwide comparison, etc. may be nearly impossible but I will be cautiously optimistic this change can happen."

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The Maker Movement Meets Literacy

The Maker Movement Meets Literacy | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
In this maker movement inspired lesson, students will dive deeply into character analysis in order to use the design thinking process to create/design a solution to a problem in the story. Students will learn to use the design thinking process to develop empathy for the characters, find problems in the story that need solutions, and work collaboratively to ideate and design solutions.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

First, LOVE novel engineering. There's a link in this article, so you're good. Second, this is a great approach to thinking differently about makerspace and how teachers can help students bridge their own thinking between what we typically think of as non-STEM content. Ha! Engineering concepts are everywhere!!

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Project-Based Learning Is Just the Beginning

Project-Based Learning Is Just the Beginning | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it
Having a job may seem a lifetime away for a child, but by exposing them to different career paths, we can get them thinking about their life after high school
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

PBL meets competency-based learning can lead to amazing results, but EVERYONE has to buy-in to the possibilities.

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3 tenets for developing cultural competency in schools

3 tenets for developing cultural competency in schools | Teaching, Learning, Growing | Scoop.it

Although educational equity is a fundamental pillar of the American education system, school districts are struggling to ensure their students feel included, safe, and supported.

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

Cultural competency is a much more complex topic than it used to be. We cannot deny that others unlike us exist and have a right to be and yet there are plenty who do. So not only do we have to learn more about cultural competency, but we have to have a serious self-awareness check of our own biases, implicit and otherwise.

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