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Showing posts from December, 2015

The Gifts of Making

This holiday season, and in particular, holiday shopping has me put me in a reflective whirlwind. I don't particularly enjoy shopping. The crowds, the noise, and the pressure can be a real downer. When I do stretch my shopping legs, I like to do so with creativity and purpose. My teaching interests bubble to the surface as I look for just the right game, toy, or kit for inspiring thinking while providing fun, interactive learning experiences. I can hear the kids in the background, " I just want to play. " What was your favorite toy or game while growing up? Why was it your favorite? Are some of your favorite toys the same ones that stretched your thinking and creativity?  Here are several memorable toys received as Christmas gifts while growing up. Legos Lite Brite Erector set Lincoln Logs String art kits Chemistry set Model car kits Poster art kits Etch-a-Sketch Jigsaw puzzles Wood burning set 150 in 1 Electronics set Hot Wheels track buil

People, Places, and Things

"Fragmentation of information requires that we weave together elements into some coherent framework."  -  George Siemens At a recent teachers' workshop, I asked the attendees to shout out their favorite digital learning tool. " YouTube !", " Pinterest !", " Twitter ," Google Plus !", " Flipboard !". The answers kept coming. I then asked people to stand up if they used three or more of the shouted responses. With half the attendees standing, scattered throughout the room, I asked them to huddle up with me in the middle. The purpose of this activity was to demonstrate George Siemens concept connected learning centers (CLCs). The Internet and learning networks allow us to access information and resources from a variety of places. Knowledge attained from a variety of information sources is fragmented. Modern learners create centers to add coherence and meaning to information. These centers are simultaneously social and technic

Practice Makes Learning

“Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good.”   ―  Malcolm Gladwell ,  Outliers: The Story of Success Yesterday, I sent a tweet to my friend Aaron Davis to congratulate him on his excellent blog, Read Write Respond , being recognized as a finalist for an Edublog Award ( #Eddies15 ). He graciously responded with this... @robert_schuetz @debsnet congrats to you too Bob. You got a gig as well — Aaron Davis (@mrkrndvs) December 11, 2015 My first thought was, " whaaaa? ". My second thought was, Aaron's in Melbourne and I'm near Chicago, must be something lost in translation. After checking out the Edublog site , sure enough, my blog is listed as a finalist in the Teacher Blog category. Honor and pride began percolating for two reasons.  First, my blog was listed along with others that I read, and comment on, nearly every day. Blogs from people I hold in high regard as friends, as thought-change

What Does it Mean To Be A Change Leader In Education?

@CathyNDavidson @EdTechExposed @mariagalanis @robert_schuetz What does it mean to be a change leader in #education ? #edchat — Eric Patnoudes (@NoApp4Pedagogy) December 8, 2015 This is a terrific question, Eric. I'm shootin' from the hip with my answer. It's tough to answer in 140 characters or less, so here's my long-form answer. I will start by breaking this concept into bite-size pieces.  Change - Not just for change sake, change leaders in education acknowledge there's always room for improvement. Advances in science and technology have driven change in many professions, just ask any dentist, doctor, journalist, farmer, or automobile mechanic. Change leaders see things for what they can be, not just what they are. This vision comes from reading, writing, discussing, and most importantly, learning. Leader - The leader gets others to see and act upon this vision of change. They lead by example, taking risks, and sharing their learning transparently.

Authentic Audience; A World of Difference

The most effective way to engage students in learning is to create an authentic audience , giving them a sense that someone else (besides teachers and parents) cares about their work. - Levy, S. (2008) How many times have you heard students ask, " why do we have to learn this? "  Instead of preparing students for "the real world", stage their learning in "the real world". As Will Richardson reminds us, " standardized curriculum is merely a best guess of how to prepare students for their future ". Providing students with genuine learning to be shared with authentic audiences prepares them to be contributors today, and in the future.  An authentic audience has been shown to increase student empowerment while expanding the time and space parameters of the traditional classroom. Students become motivated to work harder and learn more deeply when they know their learning has purpose and meaning to other learners.  “ Representation of knowledge

"We Fixed It!"; A Practical Application of Modern Learning

People who know me have experienced my affinity for the latest technology gadgets. This doesn't apply to my transportation; older is better. I have a bicycle that's 30 years old, I have a car, originally purchased by my parents, that's nearly fifty years old, and my daily transportation is a truck that's twelve years old. A few weeks ago, my old truck had a loping idle, and fluctuating RPMs with the cruise control set during highway driving.   How would a modern learner , a parent with two college-age children, and two more in high school, solve this problem, inexpensively? Identify the Problem :  I heard the strange pulse of the 4.7-liter engine and observed the fluctuating tachometer while driving. My observations and experiences helped me identify a problem.  Inquiry :   What is causing the fluctuating engine speed? Am I able to fix it? Not only did I need to gain some knowledge about the truck, I needed to assess my mechanical repair abilities.