Archive for the '21st Century' Category

Make classroom Web 2.0 use interactive, not static

I thought that Web 2.0 was all about interactivity- someone does something and others respond. However, I’ve noticed that numerous Web 2.0  programs are used primarily in a one way mode  (publish and run mode)

Students use Voki to record their ideas.  However, the recording  usually serve as  the end product.  The recording does not encourage others to respond or build on the recording.  Yes, others can listen to it but they usually do not do anything after listening to it.  For example, Modern Language teachers may have their students record what they did last weekend in the second language.  Once the recording is done, the “learning” is done.  No one will probably listen to it except for the teacher.  I propose a transformation  so that class use of Voki goes from being in a static mode to an interactive  Web 2.0 mode.  Modern Language teachers can have students make Voki recordings that are questions that other class members can answer. For example, students can ask questions in the imperfect tense of their classmates “When you were a child, what was your favorite milk?” and the classmates can answer, “Yes, when I was child, my favorite drink  was chocolate milk.”

Likewise, students produce multi-media Glogster eposters.  However, their eposters occur at the end of their learning. Usually, no one is expected to take their information and react to it or build on it. For example, Social Studies students prepare country reports.   I propose a transformation  so that the class use of Glogster  goes from being in a  static mode to an interactive mode.  Social Studies teachers can ask students to compare/contrast the various county reports to see what commonalities show up about the countries. For example, what do the country reports from South Africa have in common? How do they differ?

How do you have your students use Web 2.0 interactively?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

21st Century Skills Critical Thinking- Fact? Inference? Judgment?

Many students need help in developing critical thinking skills as part of  the 21st century skills.  A technique that I have used both when I taught Critical Thinking courses at the college level and when I have taught higher level thinking  in my own Spanish or English  classes is Fact-Inference- Judgment.

Look at this picture taken by me  in Costa Rica:

Fact – something that is obviously (physically)  in the picture, text, movie, etc.  Everyone will agree to this fact.  For example, there are four people in the picture.  There are pigeons.

Inference- based on noticing  things in the picture, text, movie, etc., a person  makes an assumption. This assumption is only a short logical  step from the observation.   A person can state what he/she observed and what inference this lead to.  Others can easily understand the logic of going  directly from the observation to the inference.  Inference making people use statements like “Based on observing… I notice … I see and therefore …).  For example, I notice that they have on short sleeves so I infer it is warm.   It looks like there are young children, a young adult and an older adult, I assume that this is a grandmother, a daughter and her children.

A judgment is a value statement or emotional statement. Although something in the picture or text may be a springboard, there is no logical leap.  Judgments take a strong value or emotional stand on the media.  Judgments usually express their viewpoint through  opinion-based adjectives (“handsome”,  “unsafe”) , adverbs  (“dangerously”,   “peacefully”), verbs (“kill”, “love”) and nouns (“murderer”, “saint” ).  A judgment can be easily challenged by others.  Some judgments for this picture are “The family is happy”  (Not really, the little boy began to cry as the mother moved the pigeon closer to her son.” A fact is that the two older women are smiling. ) and  “Costa Rica is overrun by pigeons.” (Fact: Pigeons are in some city parks.)

As we help students to give only  facts and inferences about media, we develop their critical thinking.  As we help students to see that some statements are judgments (pure opinion not based on  facts  or inferences), we develop more critical thinkers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Skill of Meeting Deadlines as 21st Century SKill

I recent had the opportunity to talk with several business people, mostly managers.  I asked them about what skills they look for in new employees. They mentioned the usual 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, and problem solving. One stated that a critical skill is that of timeliness or meeting deadlines.  She explained  that numerous young employees do not meet deadlines. They see these deadlines as the beginning of the deadline, not as the final date for the deadline.  The other business people added that they had fired new employees for not meeting critical deadlines.

I have noticed in many of my college students the attitude of  “if I get it  in before the end of the semester, it’s OK” even though there are fixed deadlines throughout the course and penalties for handing materials in late. My course is a cumulative course in which each unit builds on the previous one so that it is crucial that students do work in a timely fashion.

We can help prepare students for the 21st century by teaching them about meeting deadlines.

What is your class policy about deadlines?

 

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

21st Century Learning and Student Choices

As educators we say that we are preparing students for the 21st century.  Yet we may be severely limiting that preparation by not giving students real choices.

Do our students have a choice about

1) How they will present their learning?  There are many Web 2.0  tools available today. The students’ presentation tool should not matter as long as they fully demonstrate their learning at a high level.

2) What topics they can use to demonstrate their learning?  Do we give students a single topic?  A choice from a list of topics? Or are students free to pursue their own topic?

3) What resources they use?  Are they limited to printed material?  Can they use Internet based resources such as  contacting an “expert” via Skype?  Can they use visual material such as photos from Flickr?

Our students will never be life-long learners for the 21st century century if we  make the choices for them.

What choices do you give your students?

 

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

21st Century Skills: Making a Difference

We can have our students develop many 21st century skills but they may not use any of these skills for anything other than their own academic improvement.  We can help them to use their skills to make a difference in our community, state, nation, or world.

For example, students examine a traffic problem at their local school,  come up with a viable solution, and present  that solution to the Board of Education.

Students create a video documentary  that shows a  historical perspective on a current problem.  They explore similar problems. They analyze what past solutions seemed to work and why  and which ones did not work and why.   They send their short documentary to their state legislators as these officials consider new legislation.

Students select a national problem such as literacy.  They then figure out how they can begin to work on the problem locally. For example, they may write and illustrate their own books,  digitally record the reading of the books, and create CDs to be passed out at the local food banks.

Students, collectively, select an area of the world and then read the various profiles of people requesting microloans on Kiva. The students decide which person/group they will fund after they decide on a criteria for selection.  Each student contributes one dollar so the class can loan a $25.  They looked at the map of where the other funders come from to see the international dimension of this project.  They monitor the repayment and then reloan the money.

To what local, state, national or world problem do your students apply their 21st century skills to make a difference?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Web 2.0 = Social Networking, Not Social Learning

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,710139,00.html

A study by the Hans Bredow Institute entitled “Growing Up With the Social Web” was particularly thorough in its approach. In addition to conducting a representative survey, the researchers conducted extensive individual interviews with 28 young people. Once again it became clear that young people primarily use the Internet to interact with friends.  Most of the respondents saw the Internet as merely a useful extension of the old world rather than as a completely new one.  More surprising yet, these supposedly gifted netizens are not even particularly adept at getting the most out of the Internet. “They can play around,” says Rolf Schulmeister, an educational researcher from Hamburg who specializes in the use of digital media in the classroom. “They know how to start up programs, and they know where to get music and films. But only a minority is really good at using it.  The second most popular use of the Internet is for entertainment. According to a survey conducted by Leipzig University in 2008, more young people now access their music via various online broadcasting services than listen to it on the radio.  A major study conducted by the British Library came to the sobering conclusion that the “net generation” hardly knows what to look for, quickly scans over results, and has a hard time assessing relevance. “The information literacy of young people has not improved with the widening access to technology,” the authors wrote. Tom and his friends just describe themselves as being “on” or “off,” using the English terms. What they mean is: contactable or not.

The article also urges teachers to help students to use the Internet for educational learning, not just social networking. It advocates that teachers “teach” students how t0 use the educational part of the web.

How do help your students to be Web 2.0 learners, instead of Web 2.0 socializers?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

Purposeful Web 2.0 -Texting

A grandfather and grandmother recently had their teenage grandson with them for the weekend.  The grandfather asked the grandson to help him straighten out the garage.  Two people were needed  to lift and move the heavy objects.  Just after they started, the grandson stopped, pulled out his cell phone, read a text, and then responded.  About five minutes later, he did the same.  About three minutes more, he repeated this pattern of pausing whatever he was doing to answer the text.  His grandfather mentioned that they could get the work done faster if the grandson did not stop so frequently to check his phone and text back.  The grandson did not see any problem.

We can use this story to help us think about Web 2.0 in the classroom. Texting can be valuable as long as it is focused on the academic  task.  If a student is texting about non-academic  things, then the texting is not productive.   Being connected does not always translate into being on task or even  into learning.  In addition, the text needs to move the learning  topic forward or at least  to clarify the learning.  Students need to  be able to express their deep ideas in short phrases that others can understand.

So how do your students use texting in class or for school work?

My  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book,  Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Assess students’ academic learning, not Web 2.0 technology

I thought that we have moved beyond focusing on the technology to focusing on student academic learning.  I thought that back in the 90s.  However, I find evidence even today that technology still has become the true focus rather than student academic learning.  Whenever I look at the rubrics for an Web 2.0 tool, I see that the vast majority of rubric items focus on the “mechanics” of the technology. They do not focus  on the students’  academic learning.

My writing teachers never graded me on the mechanics of a pencil. They wanted to see if I could write something worthwhile. As I went to college, no one graded me on the mechanics of word processing; they did grade me on how I could demonstrate my content learning. Yes, I do agree that we need basic word processing skills  but those technology skills must not be confused with academic learning.

What new academic skills are students learning through Web 2.0 tools?  What new ways of thinking are they developing and how do they demonstrate those ways of thinking?  Does each Web 2.0 tool add a different dimension of learning?

Let’s demystify Web 2.0 learning by focusing on student academic learning, not on the technology!

My new book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Wiki- Collaborative Notes Instead of Individual Ones

My classes use a wiki.  If the classes are sections of the same course, they share the same wiki. For example, my 8, 9 and 12:30 classes are all Writing and Research so I group them together on the wiki.  I  have been having students from each class take class notes and post them to the wiki.  As I read the notes on the same classroom  topic material, I notice  that although each student included the critical information, each student picked different things to emphasize more.

Now that students have gotten use to note taking, we are moving onto collaborate notes. The first person posts  his/her notes and writes his/her name.  Then when a person from another section of the same course logs in to post his/her notes, the second person reads what the first has written and adds to the notes or clarifies information; he or she adds her name where she added info.  Likewise, the third person from another section does the same and adds examples if there exist.  The quality of information has increased drastically. The initial notes get transformed into a complete set of notes that will help anyone who is absent.  The notes serve as a great reminder of what we covered with specific examples. The wiki notes demonstrate that students collaborate to advance everyone’s learning.

How do your students collaborate?

My new book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Let’s Hear it for the Power of Technology! LOL!

I know of a person who does not have any technology in his room accept for a 70s looking overhead.  One day he decided to walk around  his institute and see how the teachers who had technology in their room was using it.  9/10 rooms were using the “elmo” type device to show a handout, a passage from a book, etc.  They were using their fully Internet capable machine as a modern day opaque projector which would project the image of anything put inside it. The one other person was showing a DVD.  How much money has been invested in technology so that people can use technology from the past such as a DVD player or an opaque projector!   Educational institutes need to take a lead in helping their teachers to use the many educational resources that are available.  Perhaps at each faculty meeting there can be a five  minute demonstration  of various ways to use technology to improve student learning in powerful ways.

What does a walk around your school reveal about technology use and student learning?

My new book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Assessing Learning With Web 2.0: Videoconferencing

As students use Web 2.0  tools such as videoconferencing/Skype, etc. to interact with peers and experts, we need a tool to assess their learning. This digital age learning rubric focuses on expert videoconferencing.

Harry Tuttle's Web 2.0 Videoconferencing Rubric

Harry Tuttle's Web 2.0 Videoconferencing Rubric

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Creating Imaginary Worlds in the Class

Some educators feel strongly that schools should use virtual worlds to engage today’s youth. I remember a distant time when teachers had the power to create imaginary worlds in the class. A Social Studies would tell about the Civil War from the viewpoint of a teenager as his middle school students enter in that teenager’s struggles.  An English teacher used A Midsummer’s Nights Dream to explore young love for high school students. They understand the world of crazy love, mistaken love, and true love. The play becomes a vehicle for them to explore an important issue in their lives.  A science teacher had the students adopt a local stream; they tell the stream’s story throughout the school year. They write as if they were the living stream.  Teachers have the power to create wonderful worlds in the classroom.  Students can be transported to other places, times, and events and see through the eyes of others. They learn more in-depth and more comprehensively.

Can you create imaginary worlds in your class so that students enter into a different world? Do you transport them to a different realm of seeing and thinking?  Get your Merlin’s wand out!

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Web 2.0 Learning Only Works With Critical Learning

Web 2.o  allows students to have more access to information through the social interactions. Collecting information is not creating knowledge.  Some  of my writing students have a ton of information about a topic through Web 2.0 tools but they cannot put the information together in a coherent fashion. The problem is not access to information; the problem is thinking.  As we get more into Web 2.0, we need to get more into Critical Thinking.  Students need to be able to analyze, synthesis, and evaluate information (Bloom) . They need to be able to see information from various perspectives (Chaffee) and to think through various aspects of the issue  such as purpose and  consequences  (Noisch). If we want to “teach” how to use Web 2.o tools, then we need to teach Critical Thinking.  Instead of  Web 2.o courses/”new literacies” courses, we need “Critical Thinking with Web 2.0” courses. The thinking skills will be transferable as new tech tools quickly evolve.

Let’s focus on critical 21st century thinking skills so we can use Web 2.0 tools wisely!

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Outside Reviewers Assess Learning in Web 2.0

My sister-in-law lives in Australia and is working on her dissertation. She says that only “experts in the field”, not university professors, will be the final reviewers of her dissertation.

I wonder how often with all of Web 2.0 tools that we have  that outside experts evaluate the work of our students? Do our students only produce work for us or do they produce real world work? Do they apply their math to real life projects so that others can react to their work? Do they investigate science environmental issues and have  local scientists review their work? Do they write up proposals for changes in traffic patterns in their English classes and then have local traffic officials look over the plans? Do our art students create designs for local buildings and then have people judge which design best fits their building?

Do we use Web 2.0 for real world learning or for academic within-the-classroom learning? Do we challenge our students to do real world work?

Social or Learning Network

Web 2.0 apps are called social networking. They build on people to people exchanges.  However, I wonder what we evaluate in the Web 2.0 apps.  Do we measure how much students learn academically? Do we measure how much they share that truly helps another student to grow academically?  Social learning is a critical part of the learning process if we structure it as students coming together to learn from each other or learning together.  The social is more the medium than the purpose. How do you evaluate your  students Web 2.0 learning?

Wii, Web 2.0 Learning, and Improving Student Learning?

I got to spend about 2 hours with Wii sports -bowling,baseball, tennis and golf. I am not very coordinated; you could say I’m ambispastic. I bowl with either hand, both equally poorly. When I play virtual bowling, I do even worse. Being virtual does not make me better.

So how do we prepare our students to be better at learning in Web 2.0 environments? Just popping them into Twitter, Wiki, Blog,  Social bookmarking, etc. does not make them any better learners.  How do we as teachers prepare them for and create environments that are more than just social environments  but that are truly learning  environments?  How do we structure an environment that creates in-depth thinking? That promotes comprehensive thinking about a learning goal? That causes the students to make the connections among big ideas?

I do not need to hear more student chatter, I want to hear more ahas.

How do you structure your Web 2 environments to be be powerful learning environments?

Twitter – Meaningful or Trivial -Up to the Writer

I recently read an article saying that twitter is another example of technology dumming down education. It stressed that nothing important/worthwhile can be said in 140 characters. I disagree; much can be said in those few characters. More important than the word limit is the intent of the writer. Some writers tell about their daily existence while others try to share with others. Here are some of my tweets:

Do we evaluate students’ technology based experiences on their excitement, instead of their in-depth learning?

Do teachers give online pretest/survey before a new concept? If not, then they teach with blinders on,not aware of students.

What do students remember about writing paragraphs? Spelling, grammar & punctuation! Not the writing process, not expressing ideas. Oouch!

I’ve noticed concept maps often limit students’ thinking. They fill in the boxes & then stop thinking. Maps are starting points

Weight lost program says man lost 100 lbs (“results not typical”). Are our students’ technology-based learning typical of higher learning?

If teaching is to impart (or stuff in) knowledge & educate is to nourish (or pull out), which do we use technology for?

My twitter is http://twitter.com/HarryGTuttle.

What do you use Twitter for?

More on Local History & Technology

Someone emailed me that they liked the idea of having students do local history but they were not sure where to start.

Some ideas for Buildings:

Have each student pick an “old” building in town and take many pictures of it – its position among other buildings, the cornerstone , old signs on it, what it looks like from front, both sides, back, and any interesting features. Then they post the pictures to a class wiki under the name and location of the building.

The class invites many senior citizens who have lived in the community into the class. Or the class goes to a local senior citizen center. Each student, in turn, shows his/her pictures. The senior talk about the the building and its meaning to the community. The seniors are either emovied or podcast to record their memories. Someone will have to keep the conversation focused on the building since memories can extend out to many other things. A student will word process any other topics that come up as the senior talk. Another student serves as the recorder for each building; the recorder word processes the critical comments on the building such as its previous names, what other types of stores were in that building, what people owned it, what local events were associated with it.

Later on the class consolidates its information about each building with the student who selected the building as the “chair” for that building. The students read any local community histories or “old” newspaper clippings that pertain to the building. They integrate that information.

Next, the class reinvites the seniors in to hear what they have collected. After each building, they wait for the seniors to react. Again, their reactions are emovied or digitally recorded. Again, a student recorder makes notes of any new information. Later on, the chair person revises the history and reposts it to the class wiki.

Then the class works with the local newspaper to write a local history column about the community. After giving the history of a building and its role in local history, they invite the readers to add additional information, photographs, etc.

When the students finish this local history of the buildings, they give copies of this local history to the local library, the local historical society, and the town government. They have learned much about their community through real life skills of interacting with people, writing for an audience, writing and revising, incorporating various sources of information, etc.

Let’s save Local History Through our Classroom Technology

Many years ago there was a push for students to produce local histories. I’ve not noticed that recently. In my community, the last school publication on this local community was done about 1990 and then it was very superficial- more of an activity book, then a history book. Like many communities, we have WW I and II vets, the people who owned the original buildings, the people who remember what life was like back “then”, the people who saw the rise and decline of the community, the people who have new visions for the community, buildings that are falling down, cemeteries that are being overrun with weeds, local famous people who few remember anymore, local historical landmarks that are being torn down for new buildings, old documents are falling apart, old pictures are fading away, etc.

Today we have so many classroom technologies to capture quickly people’s memories–digital cameras, digital camcorders, digital recorders. Digital storytelling is a big movement. We should not wait until Veterans’ Day to have people from our community into our classroom. Let’s involve social studies, English (narratives), math (chart the population over the years) science (what technology changes have taken place and its impact on the community), health (changes in water and sewage, types of restaurants) and other subject areas to collect valuable historical information on our community before it is lost.

Let our schools save the local history before no one or no objects tells of the past history. Let’s involve our students in real learning that involves community people. Let our students be of service to the community. Not longer do we ask ” Brother, do you a dime?” but “Brother & Sister, do you have technology to save our past before it is gone?”

Digital Classroom – Technology Rich or Technology Poor

In one room that I teach I have a desktop and an LCD. Not even a printer. It is very difficult to be a Web 2.0 class when there are not computers for students. It is hard to be a Web 1.0 when I just have the one computer. There is no Smartboard, no clickers, or nor other interactive technologies. I’m the only interactive technology. The Tech Director had to modify settings to allow me to use programs like YouTube. There are two log-ins. Sometimes technology is almost too difficult to use.

Yes, I do use technology in class but it takes effort to figure out how to do it interactively. Students answer questions in turn instead of individually answering questions like they would  do if they had their own computers.  Students cannot move at their own pace, they move in -lock step.  Students cannot take online quizzes to measure their progress.

Let’s get rid of digital divide! Let’s harness the  power for learning that technology brings to the classroom.

Sensationalizing Weather and Technology Benefits

I’ve noticed this year that the weather people tend to sensationalize the weather just as the news reporters do with the news. They predict horrible storms and we get a few inches.  They warn about possible ice conditions that could making driving extremely difficult and then we get a very thin layer of ice that melts away in a few hours.

I wonder how much we sensationalize the effects of technology.  My class is doing so much better due to ……

Some questions we might want to ask ourselves:

Do we assess how much the students are learning  with the “new” technology through an assessment instrument? Is that assessment instrument similar to one we normally use in class?  Similar to one used on our school final or a state assessment?

Are we noticing the students’ excitement and motivation and misinterpreting those as their learning?

Has the “new” technology allowed our students to probe more in-depth than without the technology? What evidence do we have?

Does more student talk or even student talk with others in distinct locations give students a more comprehensive learning about the goal? What measurable evidence do we have?

Have we restructured how our students do learning activities in the classroom? Is that restructuring the real cause of the student learning and the technology is just the context of the learning?

Has the “new” technology allowed our students to make more mental connections among their learning?  How do you measure those connections by using concept maps or other assessment tools?

Starting a WIKI in my Class

I started a WIKI for a class that I am teaching. It is easy to find free wikis (pbwiki, wikispaces,and wetpaint.

I find it difficult to find examples of how educators are structuring them and why the educators selected those formats. I do not know the advantages of using a no template versus a course syllabus structure. I could not easily find any list of what to do and what not to do in structuring a WIKI. I do not know what features I will need as the class uses the WIKI more. Why have some educators gone to the paid versions?

In additions, in terms of pure mechanics, I created a link from text and did not see the new page so I created another one. I found out that when I clicked on the link that the new page appeared. I did not find out that there was a File section under I had made a page for whole documents.

I wish that more information was teaching about actually using the WIKIs then “selling” them. Perhaps a think-aloud video of how an educator selects to do something within the WIKI would be a great teaching video that could jump start teachers at a high level.

What have you learned about using a WIKI in your class that can benefit others? What advice to you have for someone starting out? What mistakes can you help others to avoid? Let’s learn from each other.

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Does Your Classroom Technolgy Use Support School’s Academic Priorities-Part 2

Priority Precise or Vague

Usually when I do a workshop or presentation on this topic, someone in the audience says something like, “We should not base everything we do in the classroom on state assessments.” I agree. However, whatever we define as our school’s academic priorities must be something we can assess in order to see student growth. The problem with education is that we have been fuzzy in our goals and therefore we have never known if we have reached the goals or not. If your school wants “global citizens,” how do you know how the students are progressing in this wonderful goal? If your school is a 21st Century School, how does it measure the students’ growth in these skills? If your school is a character school, how do you assess and improve the students growth? If you cannot define it, you do not have it as a priority! If you cannot assess it, you do not have it as a priority!

If you cannot define exactly what the “skill” is and you cannot assess it, then you never will be able to use technology to help students reach it!

When I taught Spanish, I wanted my students to be fluid speakers. I defined this as saying at least 15 sentences about a given topic in a minute or as having a conversation in which at least five different questions were asked about a topic with the other person answering those questions. Once I defined it, I could plan how to help students achieve it. I used technology of cameras, television, images, recordings to help them be successful. I measured them frequently to determine how I could help them to be better.

How do you define the priorities within your subject area? How do you use technology to help students achieve those specific priorities?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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LifeLong Learning-Part 5: Students use different learning strategies for different situations

Students Different Strategies for Different Situations

K12 and even college students often employ very few different learning strategies. However, once they enter the real world of business, they will employ many different learning strategies depending on the situation. They will go beyond the memorization of a chart or to the application of a simply formula according to a well-defined structure. They will be asked to solve unique problems that contain many variables, involve many people, and includes diverse cultures.

How do we prepare them for using different learning strategies for different situations while they are in K12?

As students role play in online simulations such as SimCity, they come to develop a more divergent thinking strategy. They realize that one decision can impact on many other aspects of a city.

When students identify and problem solve with students from other countries, they develop a global culture strategy. Students work on local mini-solutions to global warming that are equally valid and yet unique to each culture and country.

Often students will discover that imaginative solutions can overcome problems. Many new problems require creative solutions rather than relying on old answers. As we have students use analogies and metaphors in the class, we begin that creative thinking.

How do you use technology to promote different strategies?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

LifeLong Learning-Part 4: Students Integrate Learning from Various Subjects

Subject areas compartamentalized or integrated

Our students will soon graduate and then be in real world settings where they will be required to integrate knowledge from different subject areas. They will not be in compartamentalized subject area learning “Why are we doing math? This is Social Studies class, not math!” They will integrate their learning from the various subject areas in their projects.

How do we help students prepare for this aspect of their lifelong learning?

Have interdisciplinary assignments. Have them interview people about the local history of a specific area such as a park and prepare a detailed presentation. They combine English and Social Studies skills and use a variety of technology to record the people talking about the park, capturing images of the park, and showing timelines.

Have them do problem based learning (PBL) such as solving the traffic flow around the school or planning an elementary playground. Such problems require that student integrate Math, Science, Social Studies and English skills. They are not doing academic problems but dealing with real world problems that are messy. PBL activities incorporate the use of various technologies.

Have the students work with an expert in a field. A school may work with an environmentalist through videoconference to change school procedures to minimize school pollution.

How do you integrate various subjects into meaning projects in your classroom through technology?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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LifeLong Learning-Part 3: Students Learn From Their Peers, Teachers, Mentors

Students learn from

A third aspect of lifelong learner is learning from different types of “teachers.” Students can learn from the classroom teacher but they can also learn from peers and mentors. Since our students will be on their own after their graduate from school/college, we can help them to see the value in learning from others.

How do we foster learning from others?
Do we have students work collaboratively where they learn from each other? (Collaborative work is very different than group work.)
Do we encourage collaborations that go beyond the classroom such as getting help through IM, Skype, etc from people who live in other locations?
Do we have our students teach a concept to other students in distant locations and have other students teach our students through Web resources such as videoconferencing?
Do we help our students to create instructional videos on standards based topic for YouTube?
Do we have them work with a mentor in a field of their interest through email, Skype, phone calls, etc.?
Do we encourage our students to participate in a blog on an standards based topic and share their learning with the class?
Do we have our students contribute to a Wiki about a standards based topic? To correct others?
Do we ask students to research and create their own topic report through connecting with an expert and bringing that expert virtually into the classroom?
Do we help students to assess the “teachings” of others?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

LifeLong Learning-Part 2: Students Plan Their Own Learning

Teacher or Student Selected

Another aspect of lifelong learning is for students to plan their own learning. This planning goes far from giving students choices of the teachers’ pre-selected activities in the class. A beginning step is for students to design their own activities for their learning of a topic. English students may select their own way of showing the differences between two pieces of literature as long as they show three differences with examples. They may decide to do a word processed essay, a PowerPoint presentation, an imovie, a podcast, etc.

When students set their goals for the course, they take a big step in being lifelong learners. As the teacher tells the major standards goals for the course, the students can decide on what particular areas they want to develop for themselves. They can monitor their process toward their own goals and decide if they need teacher mentoring, peer mentoring, web-based assistance, etc.

An even bigger step is for students to help set the goals for the course. Students can talk about the types of communication that they think are important in the business world and these can be incorporated into an English course.

Teachers may find it difficult to let go of the reins but the students will have to be in control of their own reins very soon and we are to help prepare them for their future.

 

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

 

LifeLong Learning-Part 1: Assess One’s Own Learning

A major movement in the UK is lifelong learning which stresses that once students are done with their formal academic schooling, the rest of their lives they will be learning in informal peer and mentoring settings that require very different skills than the academic schooling. Roughly about 31% of the teachers’ lives will be in formal schooling (masters’ level work) and the other 69% will be in informal learning. One aspect of lifelong learning is assessing one’s own learning

How often do your students self-assess their own learning?

How do they assess it? Do they
– use a rubric to assess themselves?
– look at previous self-assessments accessed through technology to see if they are growing?
– access networked or online models to use to self-assess themselves against?

How do you help students to constantly assess their own learning and to make decisions about future learning?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Reading in the 21st Century

Reading on Computer

I wonder what “reading” means for the 21st century. Does it mean

Getting information from images, graphs and charts, as well as text?

Skimming for links on webpages as well as reading left to right word for word? (I’m sure students read more online than they do offline.)

Following webpage links to more in-depth information about the topic?

Writing down sticky-note comments on the electronic text as a person reads it and those comments are available for others to see?

Questioning the author through emails, blogs, and videoconferencing?

Blogging or videoconferencing with others about the meaning of the text? (Book clubs/literature circles online)

Comparing other sources of the same information such as looking at the same news story from newspapers of several countries?

Writing information to a WIKI about other stories with the same theme, location, or problem?

Getting cultural information that helps in the understanding of the reading material from a person in that country? What would a person from Colombia tell about Hernando Téllez’ “Just Lather, That’s All”?

Reading 50% or more of non-fiction?

Decoding text messages?

Determining the authenticity of the reading material?

Being able to build or do something as a result of reading instructions?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


RSS Education with Technology

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  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
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