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Showing posts from 2012

How Deeper Learning Contributes to Digital Learning

Today on the "Getting Smart Blog," I saw a great infographic that gives great examples of how our eLearning2 Initiative in Edina can transform student learning.

Many of our staff are already implementing learning like this in their classrooms, and our professional development plan will definitely include these ideas!

TIES 2012: Tuesday Keynote: Tony Wagner on Creating Innovators

Tony Wagner, author of the book, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The Worldwas the keynote speaker on Tuesday, December 11 at the 2012 TIES Conference
He began by sharing the story of a classroom in New Orleans, where kids were excitedly using do test prep.
In another question, he talked about a teacher using lots of technology, but never explaining, "why math?

Knowledge today is commoditized. Very quickly you will be able to get a college education without leaving your house. What's school for then?

Routine jobs are being outsourced. 
The world no longer cares how much our kids know. It cares about what are students can DO with what they know!
Students need to be able to transform knowledge.
So what is the teachers roll?

When he read, The World is Flat, it scared the heck out of him. He talked to executives, community leaders, college teachers and recent graduates. They stated that the following competencies are more important than co…

TIES 2012 Monday Keynote: Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek, author of the book, "Start with Why" was the keynote presenter Monday at the TIES Conference. His TED Talk on content from his book has been extremely popular.

Sinek, considers himself an early adopter, but he likes human beings more than technology! How do we use technology to make things work better for the human being?

We need a human problem before technology is used most effectively.
He gave the example of screens with string to pull down. 

A brilliant example of tech is to go to Bed Bath and Beyond. Some toasters have a function where if you lift the button, the toast comes up. 

First, what is the human problem we are trying to solve? We have to remember why we are teaching this in the first place. We teach students, not curriculum!!

So what can technology do for education? Sinek believes it can be used for:

Humans are fundamentally social. What is so remarkable about us that made us not only survive, but thrive?
Human beings want to feel that they belong. Especia…

TIES 2012: Kathryn Smith: Innovative Spaces Support 21st Century Learning

Kathryn Smith, former Bemidji State professor, presented on Innovative Spaces Support 21st Century Learning.
Her presentation slides can be found here.

Today, learning can happen anywhere, anytime, and on any device. 
She started by using PollEverywhere to ask about the status of mobile technologies and school learning environments.

She thinks that the TPACK model is a good one to use when implementing professional development around 21st Century learning. We are using this model in our BYOD professional development.

Smith notes that the National Educational Technology Plan, is a great road map for change. Research has shown that the appropriate use of technology and the appropriate design of learning spaces is having a significant positive impact on learning.

The learning spaces today are not that far removed from 19th Century classrooms. She showed this video from the University of Michigan on research on design of learning environment.

Here are more videos from SteelCase, that show new le…

The Side of Flipped Learning We Don't Always See

Often, when people talk about Flipped Learning, the focus is on the videos students sit and watch. Rarely, do we get to see how classroom pedagogy shifts. The other day, I came across this scene at one of our middle schools.

The teacher was working with a small group of students showing them how they would be using iPads to create their own videos for classmates on problems that were directly tied to power standards in math. His other students were in the classroom, organized in groups solving problems. By moving his instructional lecture to video, he was freed up to work with this small group. Too often, the focus of flipped is on the videos, and not enough is spent showing the classroom interaction that can occur because the lecture is online.

eLearning2...The Shift

The following article was recently sent out to parents to share some of the ways teaching in Edina has "shifted" as a way to introduce our eLearning2 Initiative.

The Shift
A recent post on the educational blog Mind/Shift captures a discussion educators around the world are having today. In the article, How Should Teaching Change In the Age of Siri?, the author points out that students can ask Siri (the iPhone/iPad voice recognition system) almost any “knowledge based question” and instantly get an answer. In order to stay relevant and provide students with the real world skills they need, teachers shift their instruction from asking students questions for the purposes of getting answers, to asking students to analyze, synthesize and create new meaning based on the answers they find. Fortunately, many Edina Public Schools educators are already making that shift in their instructional practice, modeling innovative and creative teaching that is not only fulfilling our 2015 Technol…

The Pedagogical Shift in a BYOD Classroom

Recently, I was sharing an opportunity for professional development that staff at our secondary schools will be able to participate in for teaching in a "Bring Your Own Device Classroom."
One of the teachers asked a common question that I hear from colleagues, 
"So you are telling me that now I will need to know how to use all of these devices, not just the ones that the district provides?"
My initial response was, "No, it's the student's device, and they are the ones responsible for knowing how to use it." Part of our training is helping to identify the "Device Agnostic" tools that will work on virtually any device. Later that day, while looking through a great slide deck talking about Using Technology to Support Higher Order Skillscreated and shared with me by Ollie Bray, an educator from Scotland, I ran across this slide:

I think it speaks to a growing understanding that in today's world of Web 2.0 and beyond, that it is impossible fo…

Superhero12: Mini-Sessions

In this session at the Superhero conference, participants shared a 15 minute session on a topic. 

Flipping with Glogster
Rojanne Brown shared her ideas about Flipping the classroom with GlogsterEdu.
Here is a link to her resources.

This provides a different way for students to share information. With the paid version, teachers can manage student accounts.

Breaking the Barrier of Space and Time Siri Anderson who is the Director of Online Learning at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, talked about how to transform their practice. Here is the link to her presentation.
Right now, colleges are really worried about COWS!
Here are her notes:
Breaking the Barrier of Space and Time Siri Anderson, St. Catherine University
There is a lot of concern about MOOC’s right now in higher ed. Coursara, Udacity, EDX, MIT Open Courses in higher ed. Coursara, Udacity, EDX, MIT Open CoursesCan we use the acronym RATS = Replacement - Amplification - Transformation  to transform what can we transform as a g…

Superhero 12: Cool Tool-ThingLink

Tonight while reflecting on the Superhero Conference, I saw this tweet from Carolyn Fruin:

Thinglink is a site where you can upload an image or grab one off of Facebook, Flickr or another Website. I decided to test it out to see what it was like.
I grabbed a photo from our family vacation this summer and went to work, adding tags to the image, linking to sites and resources or to other photos I had taken. Roll your mouse over it to view the "Hotspots," that can be customized and include links.

I can see this as a tool for digital storytelling, or reflection with students. It's fairly easy to use, and I like it's embedding qualities, thought I would first make the image no wider than 640 pixels to be sure it is viewable.

Superhero12: Molly Schroeder on Project 17 What Does Learning Look Like in 2017

My colleague, Molly Schroeder led this session on 
"What Will Learning Look Like in 2017?" We began attempting to individually answer questions on the Google Doc about what learning might look like.
In her experience as a Google Certified Teacher, she has visited many Google offices, and has seen many different cool work environments. In fact, at Google, they recognize that work does not have to always happen at "your desk." She recently had the opportunity to visit Albany Senior High School in Auckland, New Zealand. The school opened recently  with the philosophy that learning is an active 2-way process.

Learning spaces today need to be flexible. We saw that here at the conference, where people gathered to share ideas. Albany has windows and spaces that connect the inside to the outside community. The space is open and shared.They don't have bells, because they don't want to signify that learning has a beginning and an end. Kids begin their learning on the bu…

Superhero 12: John UnruhFriesen on Presentation Zen

The focus of this breakout session at the Superhero Conference was to look at presentations and how we can make them better. It was one of the more popular sessions at last year's event, and I wanted to be sure to see it! 
John UnruhFriesen shared how PowerPoint bullets are all our students see.
Following the Explore...Explain model of Ramsey Mussalam's Keynote, he began by having us begin by creating our own presentation via Google Docs.
Here is my finished model:

In Google Presentation now, when searching for images to include, you can now see only images that have been labeled for reuse!
Always size from the corner. Filling the entire screen is better!

Malcolm Gladwell in Blink asks, "How many seconds does it take for a student to judge your effectiveness?" Gladwell says, "10!" When we see something good right away, that sets the mood for the way things will go in the rest of the time.

How many bullets do we see in meetings? We do the same thing in the classroo…

Superhero12 Keynote: Ramsey Musallam-Pseudo Teaching

The Superhero 12 Conference kicked off with Ramsey Musallam, a Chemistry teacher from San Fransisco, California, who is a co-host of "Infinite Thinking Machine."
The title of his talk was "Pseudo Teaching", and began by talking about "Michael Scott," who THINKS he's a great manager.

Pseudo Teaching was defined by Frank Noschese and John Burke to describe lessons and pedagogy that you think are great, but really aren't. Musallam thinks Michael Scott is a great metaphor for this. He shared his background, going through pre-Med at UC-Davis, and how he loved explaining things to people as a tutor. As a Chemistry tutor, he decided he needed to be able to show students how to "blow stuff up!" One of student quotes: I still have no idea how to balance a reaction, but I loved watching you blow @#!$& up!
He thought engaging and entertaining were the only keys to good teaching. It was when he thought about "Mr. Miagi" from Karate Kid, and …

Diane Ravitch at the Education Minnesota Conference using Storify

I attended the Education Minnesota Conference on October 18, mostly to hear Will Richardson and Diane Ravitch. It was good to also connect with fellow educators at the conference, and it was really cool to see Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Jackie Roehl encourage educators to reflect on their practice and apply for the Teacher of the Year program.
After talks by Jackie and elected representatives, Ravitch spoke to the crowd about the myths currently driving the education reform movement, and the real motivation behind several initiatives. I decided to use Storify to pull together some of the pertenant tweets and articles shared while she was speaking. I can see this as a great way for students and staff to aggregate information. I was working quickly, and realize there may be many duplicate retweets. I first tried the regular format but quickly found that it was way too much scrolling, so I opted to use their Slideshow format to embed.

[View the story "Education Minnesota Conferenc…

When There Isn't Enough Class Time

The following is a guest post from South View Middle School Government Teacher, Claude Sigmund. Claude needed a way to present and chat with his AP Government students outside of class, and we decided it was the perfect time to use WebEx, a video conferencing tool that we had recently purchased. Up until this time, we had only used it to present professional development to staff, but we thought there would be times, especially at the secondary level, where teachers could use it for help sessions with students outside of the school day. I like that the teacher can present, include video of themselves, have a backchannel chat as well as audio and video with the students, AND it all can be recorded for playback if students couldn't attend. Here are Claude's thoughts about the experience. 

My teaching time was cut short.  With a retreat, NWEA MAP testing and the Education Minnesota Conference,  I was only going to see my kids 2 times in three weeks.  This is ridiculous!

The kids sti…