Monday, March 24, 2014

Authentic Classroom Resources 03/25/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Authentic Classroom Resources 03/08/2014

  • Classroom tasks that are worthy of students time and attention, relevant, connected to the world and organized around the ‘big ideas’ of a subject can develop understanding, intellectual interest and engagement with students.

    tags: inquiry learning pbl authentic

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Authentic Classroom Resources 03/07/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Authentic Classroom Resources 03/06/2014

  • " helps you read more, understand difficult English faster, and learn words in new ways. Just paste in difficult English (or enter a web page URL) and click the yellow button. You'll see an easier version, for fast understanding now. You'll learn what the hard words and phrases mean with our Smart Highlighting. (Click it or tap it.) You'll read (and teach) better tomorrow with vocabulary lists, learning activities, quizzes, flash cards, and more—that you get instantly, with answer keys—from any block of text you enter!"

    tags: comprehension rewordify reading simplify education authentic

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Conference Presentations

This year The Authentic Classroom returned to the Collaborative Conference On Student Achievement in Greensboro NC to talk about Inquiry Based Learning in the classroom environment. The consensus of the conversation was that it has to start early, and because we are asking students to change the way the think about their learning teachers need to be prepared to show learners that they can do take charge. Teachers need to have strong knowledge in their content but that its alright if teachers don't know the answers to the questions that learners pose, as long as you have established a mechanism for learners to create answers for themselves. Finally, engaged learners retain more information under concept driven instruction when they have outlets for demonstrating both their knowledge and their creativity. Here are the slides for the presentation. What are your thoughts on how Inquiry Based Learning fits into your class?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Authentic Classroom Resources 02/21/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Authentic Classroom Daily Resources 02/05/2014

Down With Textbooks - David Cutler - The Atlantic

tags: education pln authentic

The unquestioned assumption of online education - The Tech

Online education is growing rapidly. Recently, six new universities have been added to the edX platform. Each new university plans to develop its own set of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). Between the big three — edX, Coursera, and Udacity — there are now hundreds of MOOCs from universities all over the world. Advocates are quick to highlight that these MOOCs have already served millions of students, enabling anyone with an Internet connection to receive a world-class education.
tags: authentic edtech

President Obama Educational Announcement

Today, following up on his call to action, the President is announcing major progress toward realizing the ConnectED goal to get high-speed Internet connectivity and educational technology into classrooms, and into the hands of teachers trained on its advantages. The FCC and private sector are taking key steps to answer the President’s call, including through:
tags: authentic edtech education

25 Rules Of Thumb Deemed Important In Instructional Design

What rules do instructional designers rely on to solve design problems? What insights become patterns for future use?
Know your learners
Determine what it is you want your learners to perform after the instructional experience. What is the criterion for successful performance?

Making History Accessible: – ProfHacker - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

"Sometimes, an interesting project gets started unexpectedly. That’s what happened with, a new, collaborative digital project that launched February 3, just as Black History Month began."
tags: history authentic pln education

You Didn't Know You Could Do These 5 Awesome Smartphone Camera Tricks

"Your smartphone camera is one the ultimate lifehack tools. We’ve already taken a look at four ways you can be making better use of your smartphone camera to turn your smartphone into a makeshift scanner, a memory aid, and more, and today we’re at it again."
tags: authentic pln education

The Benefits of 'Repeating' Subject Matter - Bridging Differences - Education Week

"Our version of Hirsch. The entire Mission Hill school studies ancient Egypt at the same time (kindergarten through 7th grade) for two to three months, and the next year ancient Greece, followed by ancient China, followed by some particular early South American culture. "
tags: benefits subject subject matter education pln authentic

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Authentic Classroom Daily Resources 02/04/2014

As the 21st century moves forward we begin to see more learners creating and taking control of their PLN.  How often do we talk about learning networks with kids in the public education system?  Do we help them build their own learning networks beyond the classroom walls? 

Learning Without Technology - The Educator's PLN

The more we learn about learning, the further we seem to be getting away from the primary teaching lessons of the past. Lectures, although necessary, are no longer the focus of teaching methodology. Today’s methods seem to be relying on more collaborative and authentic learning. Actually doing and making, as opposed to having descriptions and theories delivered by lectures, is a shift, which is taking place in education today. Critical thinking, always addressed to some extent in learning, is now becoming more prominent in education.

tags: education pbl ibl

Students propose changes for India's educational system | The Chronicle

While many undergraduates were preparing to move in for the Spring semester, 100 students contemplated solutions to educational challenges in India and the United States. This year’s Winter Forum, titled Rethink Education: The Innovation Challenge, featured speeches from two former North Carolina governors—Jim Hunt and Bev Perdue. The three-day forum—hosted by the Center for Child and Family Policy at the Fuqua School of Business—allowed students to work with experts in education to create proposals to eliminate common problems in the field. At its conclusion Tuesday, groups of about eight students presented their solutions and winning teams were announced.What do you think?
tags: education pbl ibl

No wonder nobody wants to come | Dangerously Irrelevant

"Ira Socol says: If your school, and your school day, is not about students collaborating, connecting, and building knowledge and understandings together, why would anyone come? Serious question. If students want to learn in isolation; if they want to sit at a desk and work on their own stuff, occasionally checking in with an “expert,” they have no reason to come to school. They can do a lot better at home, or at their local coffee shop, or even the public library, where both the coffee and the WiFi connection will be better."
tags: education ibl pbl

Lisa Nielsen: The Innovative Educator: Student @CGressmanTHS explains the power of her PLN

"With or without the guidance and support of educators and parents, students across the globe are developing and building their personal learning networks. Knowing how to do so effectively is a key to successful learning independence.  Below you will hear from Courtney Gressman. A young lady in the midst of building a learning network to help open the eyes of educators to students feelings about school and learning.  Read on to discover how this has impacted her as well as how both her teacher and mother supported this work. "
tags: education pbl ibl pln

Western Massachusetts to test new standardized exam called PARCC |

"n the spring, thousands of students across the state will become guinea pigs as they take a new national assessment exam for the first time. Nearly two-thirds of 647,700 students in grades 3 through 11 will test a portion of the PARCC, or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers exam, that is being rolled out with the new national Common Core education standards which 18 states, including Massachusetts, have adopted."
tags: test exam education pbl ibl
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Authentic Classroom Daily Resources 02/01/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Reading with Digital Sources

Reading is far to often a challenge for learners.  Though they may be able to pronounce, identify and understand the words on the page, true literate reading in which learners are able to create meaning and understanding from text is a complex task.  Schools are inundated with reading programs the majority of which are designed around traditional paper bound texts or printed sheets.

However, more and more often educators and learners are turning to digital formats for classroom and homework reading.  Digital media represents a cost effective and open system that allow learners access to their own interest as well as a wealth of content information.   That torrent of information can quickly become an impenetrable labyrinth for learners of any experience level.  Finding good and reliable tools and strategies to aid learners is made more difficult when services close down or change pay structures making them unusable.

There are a few reliable strategies that make all of this manageable for both educators and learners.  Learners need to develop sound search strategies.  Google Power Search is an open course that demonstrates many of  the lesser known capabilities of what the Google Search page can do for learning.  Specific searches such as Google Scholar bring academic and professional research to younger learners and give them access to content experts.

Good search techniques can bring learners to the information that they need, but once there new digital literacies begin to effect a learners ability to deal with that information.  Learners are quickly confronted with not only the text but multiple images, videos, colored links and advertisements specifically designed to draw there attention and pleading them for a mouse click.  As learners hyper-navigate their way from one link to another they begin to use up valuable class and study time clicking and scanning without making good judgments about the accuracy and value of the content of the sites that they are visiting.  Collecting and curating information amid all the distractions is vital to developing good digital reading techniques.  Educators promote quite distraction free environments and good note taking or reading journals for learners while the read printed texts.  Those same strategies are also important to digital reading.

Before Readability
Apps that limit images and advertising, such as Readability and Evernote Clearly help to limit the online distractions.  These services strip away all of the distraction through a browser app leaving the text free of most images and ads.  The links that remain can be managed through the right mouse click "open in a new tab" option that lets the reader open the link that they want to follow without breaking the learner's reading flow.  By encouraging learners to read one page at a time, they can continue to use their print reading strategies to full effect.

After Readability
 Many educators encourage learners to read print media with a highlighter or pencil so that they can mark up documents in order to increase comprehension.  When reading from a screen a physical writing utensil will not mark a digital document.  The simplest solution to this is a notebook in which students hand write questions, thoughts and content notes.  These physical notes make it difficult for learners to keep track of links, images and make video impossible to record except by written description.

Bookmarking, markup, and notebook software digitizes this important digital reading process.  When reading online it is vital that learners become good curators of information.  Organizing resources for learning so that they may return to them for later is an important strategy for digital reading and learning.  There are several good digital notebook services online including Evernote and Springpad each with web clipping tools that allow learners to tag and collect information directly from websites to a personal notebook.   Sringpad has an additional social aspect that learners find useful in which they can send invitations for whole notebooks or individual notes to other learners or they can make them public and can create online discussions around content ideas, issues, or problems.  Both services are user friendly enough to grow with the learner.  Regardless of educational level anyone can benefit from learning and developing digital reading strategies.

The simple truth of reading online is that there is too much information for anyone to take in all at once.  Learners must learn to read in a multidemensional format that allows them to navigate deeply into the text at the touch of a button.  Young learners must read with a skeptical mind and to dig for detail, never assuming that the first link from a search engine is the best or most effective answer to their person content questions.  They must learn to collect and curate information and to process it into their own creation while giving credit to those sources that made their work possible.  As learning become more social in the 21st century digital notebooks and collection of information will become the new currency of the digital realm.  Are we readying learners to profit from this?