"If education is viewed as a relationship with students, families, and the community, then good communication should be a priority. Communication skills are critically important in education. Teachers and administrators communicate with parents/guardians, community leaders, co-workers, and other stakeholders. A principal can be successful if he understands curriculum design and knows how to support teachers. However, if his communication skills are weak he will not last long as a school administrator. In a world where most people use a SmartPhone for coupons, Twitter, Facebook, alerts from the pharmacy, seeking information, and driving directions, families expect to receive real time communication from school staff. While it is important to focus on curriculum development, assessment, healthy school lunches, exercise, and student safety, some schools could benefit from focusing on how well educators are communicating. Educators could begin by asking, "Are we communicating?"
"The sketchnotes I created for the recent UX Australia and Swipe conferences have generated a lot of interest, and I’ve received a number of questions via email and Twitter about how I go about creating them. While it isn’t strictly related to UX Design, Jared Spool counts sketching as one of 5 indispensable skills that user experience designers should focus on, so it’s certainly a skill you should consider developing."
"Below you will see a slide deck, I shared with an Elementary School during a webinar a few weeks ago addressing challenges and examples of globally connected learning."
"You are a congresswoman’s chief-of-staff and she needs your help coming up with a position on whether a nuclear power plant should be built in the district. These are the kinds of prompts students across the country are being presented with during the first round of Common Core testing this spring."
"This post continues a series begun in 2014 on implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The first installment introduced an analytical scheme investigating CCSS implementation along four dimensions: curriculum, instruction, assessment, and accountability. Three posts focused on curriculum. This post turns to instruction. Although the impact of CCSS on how teachers teach is discussed, the post is also concerned with the inverse relationship, how decisions that teachers make about instruction shape the implementation of CCSS."
"One of the key components of global competence is the ability to weigh perspectives. Today, MaryBeth Jackson, founder and director of The Viewfinder Project, shares the power of photography in helping students see different points of view. Don't miss the list of resources at the end."
"Reading a picture book aloud from her armchair, 20 children gathered on the rug at her feet, kindergarten teacher Jamie Landahl is carrying on a practice that's been a cornerstone of early-literacy instruction for decades. But if you listen closely, you'll see that this is not the read-aloud of your childhood. Something new and very different is going on here."
"Like many teachers, I began the fall introducing my students to the scientific method. I even went a step further, trying to align myself with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and created an Engineering Design Process Chart with my students as well. We went through each step as we conducted investigations and solved design challenges. I was feeling pretty good about what I was doing with my students and their understanding of the steps."
"A performance task is any learning activity or assessment that asks students to perform to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and proficiency. Performance tasks yield a tangible product and/or performance that serve as evidence of learning. Unlike a selected-response item (e.g., multiple-choice or matching) that asks students to select from given alternatives, a performance task presents a situation that calls for learners to apply their learning in context.
Performance tasks are routinely used in certain disciplines, such as visual and performing arts, physical education, and career-technology where performance is the natural focus of instruction. However, such tasks can (and should) be used in every subject area and at all grade levels."
"It’s hard to believe that the Google Hangouts (GHOs) feature has only been around since May of 2013! For many innovative K-12 and higher education teachers, GHOs have become a tool that we can't live without. They allow us to connect with others around the world for impromptu meetings, live podcasts, global edcamps, and school-wide professional development."
"Editor's Note: Matt Weyers and co-author Jen Dole, teachers at Byron Middle School in Byron, Minnesota, present the seventh installment in a year-long series documenting their experience of launching a PBL pilot program.
Project-based learning is a complex teaching method that, in our experience, requires a clear and established workflow to seamlessly accommodate the needs of teachers, parents, and students. Throughout this school year, we have found several apps, add-ons, and programs that have helped us best manage our workflow. Before we provide brief descriptions and links to each of them, it is important to state the current situation in our classroom:
Students in our classes have individual iPads to use during the school day (they stay at school).
Every student has a school-generated Gmail account.
The majority of students have access to the internet outside of the school setting."
"What is qualitative formative assessment? Some call it anecdotal or informal assessment. However, such designations imply passivity -- as if certain things were captured accidentally. I believe the word "formative" should always be included with the word assessment because all feedback mechanisms should help shape and improve the person (or situation) being assessed. Wedging the word "qualitative" into my terminology differentiates it from the analytic or survey-based measures that some associate with the term formative assessment."
"A professor at Stanford's Graduate School of Education has launched a new free math curriculum designed to help engage students more deeply in math.
Dubbed the "Week of Inspirational Math," the program is aimed at students in grades 5-9 and includes five lessons, one for each day in a week, featuring math problems designed to be fun and engaging along with videos with positive messages about math. Teachers using the curriculum will also be able to join a network offering additional support and resources throughout the school year.
"We want to give kids inspirational math tasks that help them see math as a lovely subject of beautiful patterns and deep inquiry," said Jo Boaler, the program's designer, in a prepared statement. "And we want teachers to see what happens when kids are really engaged in math."
Boaler said she hopes teachers will use the program at the beginning of the school year to give students a positive experience right off the bat and set the tone for the rest of the year, but the program can be used at any point.
"The lessons address five key areas of math: geometry, algebra, numbers, patterns and connections," according to a news release. "The problems are so-called 'low floor, high ceiling' tasks that are accessible to all students but can be solved in different ways to challenge those just being introduced to the topics as well as high achievers. They also emphasize different messages: Mistakes help you grow, for example, and it's not how fast you complete a task that's important but how deeply you understand it."
The Common Core-aligned program is the latest offering from YouCubed at Stanford, a program Boaler helped launch that aims to make new research into math learning accessible to teachers and parents.
"We're researching and using new brain science to find out how best people learn," said Boaler, in a prepared statement. "Then, we're giving teachers things they can actually do in their classroom based on this research."
The program will be available on YouCubed in May, but teachers interested can register to receive the Week of Inspirational math right now at youcubed.org.
About the Author
Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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"Do you wish your students could better understand and critique the images that saturate their waking life? That's the purpose of visual literacy (VL), to explicitly teach a collection of competencies that will help students think through, think about and think with pictures."
"n the previous literacy post I identified a few take-away questions and related issues from my recent research on comprehension, and looked at some tips related to the 1st question:
Do students understand the real point of academic reading?
Do students understand that the aim of instruction is transfer of learning?
Am I using the right texts for making clear the value of strategies?
Do students understand the difference between self-monitoring understanding and knowing what they might do when understanding does not occur?
Am I attending to the fewest, most powerful comprehension strategies for academic literacy?
Am I helping them build a flexible repertoire instead of teaching strategies in isolation?
Do students have sufficient general understanding of the strategies (which is key to transfer)?
Am I doing enough ongoing formal assessment of student comprehension, strategy use, and tolerance of ambiguity?"
" Searching by file type and searching by domains is a great way for students to refine their Google searches. Searching for and within a DOC, a PPT, or XLS file can lead students to resources that they might not otherwise have seen. But increasingly a lot of us are creating our documents, slides, and spreadsheets in Google Drive. Many of us are then publishing those files for anyone in the world to see. Thanks to the Google for Education Google+ page, today I was reminded that you can perform a Google search to look for publicly shared Docs, Slides, and Spreadsheets. The screenshots below illustrate how to do this."
"We are in the middle of a enormous change of the culture of teaching and learning. The teacher must see himself/herself as a learner, since he/she is on uncharted territory as well in our ever changing (digital) world. Key competencies and literacies, such as global, media, network, information literacy and digital citizenship amplify our traditional notion and expectation of basic literacy in education. In addition to the traditional content knowledge we are expected to teach/learn in schools, we must include learning how to learn."