Archive for the 'Meaning' Category

Abundance or Deficit Thinking For Mobile Learning

Teachers and administrators think and act according to an abundance or deficit mentality. A few examples from mobile learning will explain the difference between the two ways of thinking and acting.

In a deficit mentality, an educator  says the school does not provide mobile devices or that not all students have their own mobile device and,therefore, the teacher cannot use mobile learning in his/her class. However, with an abundance mentality, a  teacher says that at least half of the  students have mobile devices so the  students can work in pairs and therefore, the teacher uses mobile learning in the classroom.

In terms of training with the deficit way of thinking, the teacher would say there is little or no district professional development and, therefore, the teacher cannot begin mobile learning in the class; on the other hand, in an abundance model,  the teacher would ask his/her students to teach him/her about how to use mobile devices.

Furthermore, with regard to  the selection of apps with the deficiency model a teacher would say that he/she does not know which apps to use and therefore, the teacher does not do mobile learning. Conversely, with an abundance mentality, the teacher simply asks his/her students what apps they think they could use in his/her course.

Also, with deficit thinking, a teacher might say there is no money for apps and, therefore, the class cannot use mobile devices. Yet, in  the abundance model a teacher or students identify free apps that they can use.

Likewise,  in the deficit model, a teacher might feel that there is no way to assess students with mobile learning since the students cannot share their screen with the teacher as they would do in a computer  lab and, therefore, he’/she will not do mobile learning.  In an abundant mentality,  the teacher has the students physically show their  device’s screen to the teacher.

Do you have an abundant or deficit way of thinking in your class?

My ebook, 90 M0bile Learning Modern Language Activities, is available at http://bit.ly/90mlact.

My modern language blogs are  now at  http://bit.ly/imprml.  I have developed 25  Spanish activities  and 4 Modern Language Visual activities that allow students to begin to express themselves in the modern language and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My three formative assessment books, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at   http://is.gd/tbook

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Self-Assessment as Critical Skill: Formative Assessment as a Stepping Stone

I am painfully aware that helping students to be able to self-assess is a slow task. On the other hand, I realize how critical this skill is as a lifelong skill. Unless students can self-assess, they will not be able to improve on their own. I certainly do not want my students dependent on me for the rest of their lives to make sure that they are “correct”. I want them to be able to determine for themselves what they are doing and how well it helps them to get to their desired goal. They should be empowered to make their own decisions about the things they do. They do need our help in developing from very structured self-assessments  (Right or Wrong for lower level answers) to evaluating their decisions without any given criteria. Students need to transition through this process.

Formative assessment provides a wonderful stepping stone to self-assessment. As students learn to assess others, they learn what is important about the learning, how that learning can be demonstrated, and  how to identify and implement formative feedback.  They develop the skill to objectively look at their own work. They understand  that they have the techniques to improve.  As one of my English students said, ” I’m learning to look at my own paper as I do when I peer review another student’s paper.”

How do you help your students to be able to self-assess? Do you use formative assessment as a stepping stone?

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.

Meaningful Web 2.0 Tools Listings, Please

In searching for a good free web 2.0 program for making stories, I’ve found some common disturbing trends.  Often people simply list the tool’s name without even explaining what that program does.  Unfortunately, most Web 2.0 names do not reveal what type of program it is.  For example, Animoto is a presentation tool.  Some people even present an alphabetical listing of tools which does not help to find specific types of programs.

At least listers should include the category of the tool.  If people do categorize web 2.0 tools, then they usually do not tell what makes each unique.  For example, I recently opened a page that had  a listing of  15+storyboard programs. I had no way to tell how each program worked until I opened each.  Even a description such as ” create a story through selecting various characters and selecting scenes and typing the text”  tells me that students cannot record their own voices.

I would prefer that the educators list the “best” program in each category  and tell why it is the best.  I really do not care to see a  random list of 15+ programs of the same category.  Bigger is not better to a person searching for a specific type of program. Bigger is not better to someone who wants to know what a program really does.

Many times I wonder if the tool  listers have even used the program.  Rarely do I read anything practical about the program such as “The avatar voice of ….produces the  clearest  modern language voices.”  Why do listers  include programs that they have only heard about but not used?

Please, listers of Web 2.0 tools  be practical to really help other educators.  Do not try to overwhelm us!

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.

Providing Classroom Variation

My wife and I like to go to productions of  the musical Godspell to see how the director will vary the setting, costumes, and dialogue and yet keep the central message of the play. Godspell is a musical that encourages variation.

I wonder how much most classroom teacher encourage variations on the central learning. One English teacher has all of his students write on the same topic for a contrast essay. Another English teacher lets her students select their own topic from a very long list or come up with their own topic for a contrast essay. One   social studies teacher has his students answer the questions from the text book chapter. Another teacher has her students find news articles about the topic and react to the news articles. One science teacher hands out a description of “the” project.  Another teacher provides a tic-tac-toe board with various projects  arranged by learning style.

When we allow students choice, they are more invested in their learning. They have more opportunity to engage themselves through their own interests in their  central learning. They think more and they learn more.

How do you encourage variation?

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

Reponding to Your Students

Making the learning stick

When I was putting the insulation on my windows, I had two different products. One had the instruction of waiting fifteen minutes before I removed the backing to the two sided tape. The other did not have that instruction. The fifteen minute wait tape was far superior to the other.

I wonder how much time we give our students to stick to their new learning before we ask them to use it. Fisher and Fry suggest in Better Learning Through Structured Teaching that when we give our initial modeling of the new learning, we do not ask students to actively participate but, instead they are to think about this new learning. If they do not firmly understand the modeling before we ask them to practice it, then there is a high likely hood that they will do it incorrectly. Their first steps of doing it wrong will be cemented into their brains. Instead, we can model the learning for them and go over an exemplar of it. We can let them think about the new learning and then scaffold them through it.

Let’s organizing our teaching so that we allow students plenty of time to think about the new learning before they are asked to do it. Let’s let them get firmly stuck to the new learning before they use it.

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

Textbook PowerPoint or Student Technologies

Textbook PowerPoints or Student Technologies

I heard about a young lady who has the graduate assistant job of creating PowerPoints for the chapters of a textbook that her prof is writing. Although I am sure that she is very good at creating PowerPoints that cover the main points in the chapter, I’m not sure that PowerPoints may be the best way to communicate the information in the textbook. Are there some YouTube videos that can demonstrate the concepts better? Would a class wiki about each chapter’s information allow the class to add other related information to the topic so that they build a class community of knowledge about the topic? Would a series of short podcasts allow the students to select which topic they needed more information about? Would a series of images from Flickr displayed on a whiteboard allow the class to interact more with the material?

These textbook PowerPoints are “teacher” created so information is being given to the students. Why not have the students generate their own information, debate issues within the topic, challenge each other’s views, and come to a greater understanding of the topic.

Is your class one with you as the teach deliver PowerPoints or one in which students create their own information through various technologies?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Reading for Meaning Through Technology

Reading T-chart

When I was in middle school and high school, I remember that reading Social Studies and Science textbooks was a matter of finding the answer in the passage. For the math textbook, I had to understand and solve problems by applying the formula or concept. For the English textbooks, I had to do literary analysis, a very specific type of reading. There was the textbook and myself, sometimes a weak combination.

So how do we help students to read for meaning today through the use of technology?

Do we

Model our thinking process as we read a passage to the students? An English teacher may ask “If Don Quixote becomes crazy by reading books, will we become crazy by watching tv?” We can digitally record this thinking for the first chapter of the book and then have students record their thinking aloud for subsequent chapters. These digital recordings can become podcasts or web movies that capture the deep thinking in the reading.

Have students answer questions as they go through the text, readings, or websites? In Social Studies, a question can be “What other rivers have been the center of civilizations?” In Science, a question may be ” What other reactions have required heat? Why?” Students can respond in a class blog so that students can see the many possible answers.

Ask students to compare/contrast what they are reading to a previous reading using a T-chart in a Word chart form or in an Inspiration-like form? In what ways are Don Quixote and A Midsummer Night’s Dream similar?

Assign students to find images that prove the idea that they are talking about using Google or Flickr? Images of “bread” from around the world show the universal need for food.

Ask students high-level thinking questions about the topic and have them respond with a personal response system. Sancho is most like which other sidekick? A- B- C- D-

Have them use a Smartboard-like device to underline all the words that show the same meaning or emphasis? Students can read a website passage and underline all the words or phrases that show the author’s bias.

How else do you have your students read for deep meaning through technology? Share your ideas. If I get them within the week, I might include them in an article I’m writing on reading and technology.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
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  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
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  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
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  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
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  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
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  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
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  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
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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 […]
    hgtuttle

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