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My Way or the Highway

"Formative assessment encompasses all those activities undertaken by teachers, and/or by their students, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged."  - Dylan William
Last week, my old pickup truck started acting funny - loping, inconsistent idle, delayed erratic transmission shifts. Through years of experience, I know how most repair shops work, and I'm not in favor of spending money diagnosing an issue I can research myself. 
It took roughly twenty minutes with Google and YouTube for me to pinpoint the problem. Luckily, I didn't need a new transmission, but I didn't have space or tools to do the repair myself. Several online forums and auto repair sites told me what I likely needed was an input speed sensor replaced on the transmission; a thirty dollar part, cool!

I called a local repair shop, booked an appointment, and limped my truck to the shop. It's incredible how patient other …
Recent posts

Winning the Conference Presentation

"Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world."- Robert McKee

It's that wonderful time of year. It's time for us to submit our content for the handful of conference sessions we'll be facilitating during the coming year. I'm fortunate enough to have been able to attend more than one hundred conferences through the years, I present at nearly all those I visit. I used to have an aversion to public speaking, that's long gone. My preparations and presentation strategies have evolved. Unfortunately, many of the so-called innovative #edtech sessions I've attended recently are still mired in the sit-n-git style of the previous century. We can do better, and if we aspire to make our classrooms places of great learning, then we must do better.

** Caution, this post is likely to contain some snarky sarcasm, but for the most part, my purpose is to share some observations and some research-based practices to help you win your conference presenta…

Digital Downsizing (part two)

What if we treated time like currency? How would this impact our decisions and behavior? These were the questions posited on a radio talk show a few days ago. The commentator got me thinking about all of the time I waste deleting spam, closing pop-up windows, and scrolling past banner ads. Digital downsizing works. As recently as five days ago, I was receiving dozens of spam email messages each day, following my newly instituted digital diet plan, I now get one or two unwanted messages per day, one from Harry's Razors and one from Facebook - go figure, right?!?


Last week, I published a post about decluttering and securing my digital spaces. I've now shifted my focus to keeping my digital areas clean and safeguarded. Nearly all of my online activities have ties to Google. As I mentioned in my previous post, the DuckDuckGo private browser extension provides tracking information. In other words, which sites are tracking and coalescing my information. Since nearly fifty percent of …

Learning to Fly with Authentic Feedback

"Autonomy is what distinguishes between personal learning, which we do for ourselves, and personalized learning, which is done for us."- Stephen Downes


Why is feedback critical to learning processes?Why should the learner be at the center of the feedback process?Where within Schoology can personal feedback be shared and leveraged by learners?What do paper airplanes have to do with personal learning and feedback?
Premise
On the second day of the SchoologyNEXT-19 conference, more than 100 adult learners gathered to build paper airplanes and discuss these questions. Here’s what we learned.

Those who’ve attended my sessions know I subtly push the envelope, taking some risk, in the hopes of the transfer of the unique experience to professional learning activities and classroom adventures. If we don't want passive "sit-n-git" in our classrooms, then we should design conference sessions and staff meetings to model the active learning we desire.
The content of this session…