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Showing posts from December, 2012

"6 Reasons Why Students Should Blog"

What is the ideal transformative learning activity for students to demonstrate and share their knowledge?  I say it's blogging, and here are six reasons why:


Blogging provides opportunities for students to demonstrate creativity and innovation.  They are able to express themselves individually or as a team. Students can identify trends, forecast possibilities, and communicate new ideas, products, or processes. (NETS-S #1) National Education Technology StandardsStudents can use blogs to communicate and collaborate with others. Blogs provide evidence of student learning and blogs support the learning of others. Blogs provide a means to interact with, and share, various forms of digital media. Blogs also connect and engage learners from different cultures. Blogs can be published solutions to problems, or summaries of completed projects. (NETS-S #2)Planning, research, ("Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize and ethically use information from a variety of sources and medi…

"Double Flip for Your Students"

Teachers who are looking to "sharpen their saws", "move their cheese", or "evolve their pedagogy", should consider flipping their learning, not once, but twice. Double flip the instruction to advance student learning in significant ways.




What do you mean by double-flipping the learning?
Notice that I did not mention classroom - the concept of classroom is fast becoming a restrictive and obsolete container for students and teachers. "The world is our connected learning playground."
First flip (Flipped Learning / @jonbergmann) your learning by providing students the means to absorb curricular content digitally, or via the web. Material and information that would have traditionally been presented during class time is now "shared" digitally. Face-to-face time is now spent doing the "work" associated with the course. "Classwork at home, homework in class." Ask yourself, "why am I giving homework?" Short, animated …

Preparing for Connected Learning in 7 Steps

Several poignant questions were asked during our Connected Learning workshop for 3rd - 4th year teachers.  One of the most direct and relevant was...

"What should we be doing now to prepare for 1:1?" After providing a summary of what I felt was a solid response, I said that I would follow up with our current 1:1 teachers to gain their perspective on this.  I then posed the question to the students taking my in-district course, "Digital Tools for Connected Learning".  These seven items were consistently given as suggestions for preparation for creating a connected learning (1:1) environment for students:


1 Establish an LMS (learning management system)Schoology NETS-T 2, 4, 52 Digitize content, establish cloud storage w/ sharingGoogle Drive NETS-T 1, 3, 53 Establish collection of web resources Diigo NETS-T 1, 2, 54 Familiarize yourself with 1:1 hardwareiPad NETS-T 1, 2, 35 Keep learning goals, objectives, & skills at the forefrontiTunes-U NETS-T 3, 4, 56 Continually ask “WHY?…

What Teachers Can Learn From Effective Coaches

In my educational world teaching and coaching involve the same processes. The people that impacted my own learning most significantly were coaches. Could it be that great coaches were ahead of their time with respects to instructional best practices? Let's take a look at ten coaching practices that thankfully have found their way into the classroom.

Standards-based Grading - coaches aren't concerned with arbitrary measures of success such as letter grades. Great coaches identify a requisite set of skills that are necessary for advancement and success. Promotion and achievement are based upon clearly identified levels of skill mastery. Authentic assessment - coaches are looking for their athletes to demonstrate their skill mastery under game-like situations. The best coaches incorporate game simulations and competitive, game-like drills into their practices. Winning coaches will use the contests as assessments for the preparation of the team and of individual players.  Success i…

Where Does the YouTube App Belong?

Having just downloaded the new YouTube app onto my iPad, I began to wonder, where should I put the icon?  My title question actually has significance to me as an educator, as I would like to pass along an answer to students and colleagues who may be grappling with this same pressing question.  
(By the way, the YouTube app for iOS - outstanding!  *****)
Like many iPad users, I have created folders to help organize the dozens, OKhundreds, of apps that I have acquired during the past several months.  Some of my folders are labeled as follows;  Education, Entertainment, Productivity, Social, Personal, and of course,Google.
"Where is the best place for my YouTube app icon?" Education - Is YouTube a frequently used app in teaching and learning?  Well, if it's not, then your students are missing out on billions of potential learning opportunities?  Facebook aside, I see more students on YouTube that any other app - hands down.  YouTube is a primary resource for my connected learn…

"Five Reasons Why Schoology Rocks!"

Networking at IETC last week provided me validation in my choice for best learning management system, Schoology. Having used Moodle, Edmodo, Canvas, and Blackboard, I can tell you that these are all terrific products for digital instruction. However, for the past several months, I felt that Schoology was a better choice than these previously mentioned products. Many times, asking the right questions is a precursor to making sound decisions. Here's an article that serves as a guide to asking the right questions when choosing a learning management system:


10 Questions Everyone Should Ask When Choosing an LMS
Here are five reasons why Schoology remains my #1 choice for a classroom LMS: Full-featured classroom organization tools, a collaborative learning place for teachers and students, device-independent applications, Schoology API allows the program to play nicely with others, and the basic level instructional components are, and will always be, FREE.

1.  Schoology's classroom mana…