Archive for the 'student learning' Category

Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting

 

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 Schoology
– Avoids misplacing paper certificates

Con – Prefer Paper Certificates
– Looks more official / credibile
– Has a physical touch
– Is easier for me, limited tech at home
– Is easier to read the proficiency name
– Can have it when the course / Schoology ends
– Can see a pile of my certificates
– Can easily show it to others
– Can post it on frig / decorate my folder with it

Advantage of Both:
– Tells me my actual speaking skill, not my grade with homework,etc.
– Shows my  progress in speaking (still have lots to do)

Interesting (Some issues) : Teacher
– Uses badge to cover each individual proficiency or to cover categories of proficiencies. (i.e. 100 proficiencies or 12 categories)
– Makes badge names short but meaningful (not I.A.2)
– Determines level of proficiency for badge (80%, 90%, 100%)
– Needs student proficiency demonstraton time
– Needs time to award badge

Web 2.0, Audience and Draft or Best? (Glogster example)

Educators state that Glogster is a great Web 2.0 tool since it makes the students’ work visible to the world.  I assume that the educators mean that the audience will be other students, teachers, and parents. Do students publish their drafts or   final products?  Usually the idea of audience implies that what a student offers to his/her audience is a final product just as musicians practice in private and then perform their best in a concert.   However, in looking at several random Glogster projects in Spanish, I discovered many basic  student errors.  Are educators having their students put their best work up on the web or just putting up rough drafts? Do we want the audience to see the many errors or do we want the audience to see the students’ best work?

The other reason to publish something is for the reaction of others to improve the work.  However, it seems that most Glogster posters are “final” posters. They do not get reviewed by others and then modified. The students simply do the e-poster.

If we believe in the power of audience as an essential element of Web 2.0, then we need to help our students give their best performances and not just their practice. Let’s improve the quality of our students’ work on the Web and therefore, help others to learn from our 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.

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.

Improve FL Speaking Fluency With Formative Assessment

NYSAFLT  Conference Oct. 16, 2010

If we want students to be speakers of the language, then we have to let them speak more in the classroom.  Engage them in real language use.

Formative Assessment my definition: The process of helping students to immediately move forward from their present diagnosed learning to the expected learning.

Formative Assessment components:

Student does something in the language →

Is monitored →

Is diagnosed (determine present status and assess the gap between the present and expected learning; identify a strategy to improve) →

Is given formative feedback →

Has time for improvement →

Is re-assessed to show improvement →

Celebrates success

Formative assessment  create a culture of success, of constant improvement

Two Formative Assessment videos from the UK:

Secondary Assessment for Learning

Modern Foreign Languages Peer Assessment


Formative assessment advantages and concerns. You do not grade formative assessment or it becomes summative. It is critical that students be given a new strategy or a new way to think about the learning.

Success or Failure Grading?

Importance of Peer assessment. When peers assess peers, students can talk more in class and get more feedback.

Speaking Assessment: Identify the specific language function and level.

Student 1 speaks for a minute while Student 2 records number said. Student 2 reports back to Student 1 and gives additional suggestions. Student 1 practices the improvements.

Student 2 speaks on another topic  for a minute while Student 1 records number said. Student 1 reports back to Student 2 and gives additional suggestions. Student 2 practices the improvements.

Record the information on this baseline.

Students may need teacher given strategies if they do not show sufficient improvement from peer-to-peer help.  The  teacher has to have a large variety of strategies, each of which leads directly to the students’  being successful.

I have worked on 16 different speaking assessments and each one has about ten different strategies for the students.

Tuttle, H. G. (2009). Formative Assessment: Responding to Students. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.

Hopefully, my book, Improving Students Speaking Through Formative Assessment, will be out in late April. To be put on the mailing list, email me at htuttlebs@gmail.com

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.

Build a real class learning community

Teachers can create a class community such as everyone knowing two things about everyone else in the class without having a learning community where students continually work together to better each other.   Likewise, teachers can have students work together (Student A does this/ student B does that….) without really collaborating (interacting and changing the individual or group’s ideas) .

I would propose using formative assessment to build a class learning community. When students continually help each other by peer-reviewing and offering new ideas to others, they  have a learning community.  For example, in pairs, the students have peer-reviewed each other’s brainstormed evidence for an English essay and the teacher has given the original authors time to make appropriate changes. Then they continue being formative by creating groups of three to four.  In turn, each author reads his/her thesis and his/her brainstormed evidence; the group has the responsibility of adding three to four new pieces of evidence to the original list. After they help the first person, they rotate through the group.  Each group has a single purpose: to help each author to have three to four new pieces of evidence.  Those groups are truly learning communities

What learning communities do you have in your class?

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

Improving Students’ Self-Assessments Skills for Increased Learning

Part of the handout for the conference session:

Reasons for student self- assessment

Closed- ended assessment

Some examples:

Check answers against a paper or digital “answer” key.

Take online quiz.

Transitional assessment

Some examples:

Take online tests until ready for “real” test

Learn the quality in an assignment

Open -ended assessment

Some examples:

Self-assess and change strategy if necessary

Digital portfolio updates

Students' Self Assessment Growth Chart

Students

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.

New Windows, New Visions: Insights into Class Learning

Our church is having its stain glass windows cleaned. As the window company took out the stain glass windows for cleaning, they put in clear windows. The sanctuary is covered with light now. Things that we did not notice, we know notice.

I wonder how much light we have in our classrooms. Do we see which students are struggling? Do we see how they are struggling? Do we see which resources we can use to help these struggling students? Do we see how we can lecture less and spend more time helping students? Or do we teach our lessons so we only see darkness (our teaching) and not students’ responses?

Turn on your lights by noticing how students respond to your higher level questions through their hand signals or personal response systems. Brighten the classroom by observing students doing in class exercises to determine where their strengths and learning gaps are. Enlighten your classroom by having numerous formative feedback activities to help students who struggle.

Let student learning shine brightly in your classroom.

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.

High Quality Student Work Early in the Semester

My students have given their first speech in my college oral presentation course. I analyzed their entering speaking skills and adjusted the curriculum. We have gone over the speech rubric, analyzed three speeches using the rubric, analyzed the text of one speech, and created a template that incorporates good presentation. They organized their ideas with a graphic organizer. We spent time going over techniques for relieving nerves. They did a practice speech to a partner who gave feedback. As my students gave their first speeches, I was in shock. Wonderful Shock. Their speeches were actually at the same high level as the final speeches of my students from last semester even though this semester’s students are only in the third week of class. I had raised the bar for these students, they understood the high expectations and they had the tools to help them reach that high.

I congratulated the class on a superior job in presenting. I look forward to hearing their other speeches as they shine even more.

How do you structure your class so that your students soar in their learning? What do you do so that this year’s students do drastically better than last year’s?

If you are interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

Time to Teach or Time to Learn

I was talking with another educator who teaches the same course I am now teaching. He spends the first half of the course in teaching about how to give a speech and then, in the second half of the semester, he has the students do speeches. I have my students give speeches after the third class. I think that I have scaffolded their speeches so that they can be successful in including all of the elements of good speaking. The proof will be tomorrow when they give their first speech.

Do you spend much time in teaching the material and then give the students a little time to practice it or do you present the material quickly and then give the students much time to practice?

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?

Feed Forward From Student Learning Gaps to Student Success

Student Present Learning Status to Success in Standard Fishbone

How do you identify the student’s present standard condition (strengths and areas for improvement /”learning gaps”)  through the use of technology?
How do you help provide scaffolding so that the student moves forward in the standard through the use of technology?
How do you assess that the student has been successful in the standard through technology?

Videoconferencing Ways, Types, or Cateogories in Public School Education

I’m doing a presentation in a few weeks on “20+ Ways of Videoconferencing in Education”. In a previous post (May  7, 2006 Videoconferencing in education: Students, Administration, Faculty, Community), I listed many different examples of videconferencing under the categories of administration, student, professional development, and community.  I would like to see how many more categories you can help me add before then and how many different examples we can generate.  So far I’ve thought of these general categories. If you have examples of a new category or type of videconference or of a more general category for one of these categories , please make a comment. Likewise, if you have examples of any of these please add by putting the category and your example  such as  expert: hear an expert talk about an animal

Administration:

Professional Development:

Instruction:

-Expert
–Students ask questions of the expert.
–The expert demonstrates a physical procedure or process such as stacking in PE.
–The expert runs sophisticated equipment for the class such as a scientist.
–The expert gives feedback on  students’ projects or work such an artist whose style the students used.
–The expert explains something  such as an animal at the zoo.
–The expert has students create a model to demonstrate a concept like flight.
–The expert walks students through a thinking process to develop an analysis skills such as analyzing a work of art.

-Peer-to-peer

-Assessment:

Mentoring:

Interviewing:

Community:

??:

??:

Fun or Learning: Your Choice in Videoconferencing

I recently watched a videoconference between two elementary schools. During the thirty minute videoconference, the educators only asked one question (a prediction one) to the students. The educator accepted about three answers and then moved on; probably the students responded for a total of about thirty seconds. So 30 seconds out of 30 minutes x 60 seconds = 30/1800 = 1/600 = 1% of student time.

Did they have fun? Sure, they did. The two educators commented on the fun factor.

A recent math study revealed that fun is not necessarily connected to learning; in fact, the more fun students rated math, the worse they did in math. The USA was in the middle range on this.

I do not think that it is an learning and fun is an either or situation but we have to insure that learning is the priority.

FUN…………………………………………………………….LEARNING

LEARNING ………………………………………….

.

.

FUN

Visual Literacy: Solid Education or New Technology Focus

I do many presentations and workshops on topics such as visual literacy. I am constantly amazed at how teachers want to hear about the newest and best technology but they do not want to hear about good educational approaches that involve technology. If I mention a new-to-them website such as a site that allows them to find pictures from various locations such as http://www.woophy.com/map/index.php there is excitement in their eyes. I hear an “Awww” from the audience. If, on the other hand, I show them how them how they can use digital images to develop higher level thinking in their students in their subject area, I see the boredom. They will admit that they have not done any of these in their classroom and that they did not know about scaffolding within visuals. They even admit that they did not even know of these uses but their eyes still gloss over as I go over the educational-based learning approaches to using visuals as I am using vivid images.

 

Visual literacy, particularly using visuals of all sorts to learn from and to express learning is such a rich area for the classroom P-university. Visuals can be used to teach new vocabulary(body parts for health), to clear misconceptions (is a trench a little curved area on the side of the road or a very deep hole used in wars?), to show concepts that are hard to understand (chaos theory abstraction vs shoreline from high above), to promote “what next” or “what if” thinking (two pictures and predict what will happen next) to show changes (a plant growing over time), to see current up-to-the-moment culture from another country, to compare two items (such as two flowers).


Create a visually rich learning environment that does not depend on new technology!

 



Digital Camera and the Classroom Websites: Visual Learning Irony

I have been preparing a presentation on using the digital camera to improve student learning in the various subject areas. I found tons of websites about the topic such as http://www.glenbard.net/Glenbard_North/pages/library/2005/services/audio-visual/help/digicam-sites.html

Most of them described a multitude ways in which teachers could use digital cameras.

However, I find it highly ironical that when a website tells about how teachers and students can use a digital camera in the classroom, it does not show actual photographs. If a website is emphasizing visual learning, then the website should use visuals! This seems to be the same as describing the Mona Lisa instead of showing her in an Art class. Imagine if a math teacher could not show students what a square or triangle looked like!

 

Students can be engaged in learning through digital cameras. Their abstract learning becomes very real when they have to demonstrate their learning. Students already know how to use cameras and probably the only thing for them to learn is how to reduce the memory size to make their PowerPoints or webpages

The following photograph taken in Tijana, Mexico can serve as

  • a writing prompt for descriptive writing for ELA students

  • a writing prompt for comparison writing (the man and the statue) for ELA students

  • an analysis picture for Social Studies students of the Mexican culture

  • a speaking prompt for Spanish students.

 

Mexican musican and statue

 

 

Videoconferencing in education: Students, Administration, Faculty, Community

Students

Collaborate with students in other schools who are working on the same learning project such as pollution.

Peer critique students from another school who are working on the same standard.

Share an expert ( a university professor may work with students from several schools)

Take a courses within the school district (one AP teacher for the 10 students in one school and 13 in another). Likewise, take a course with other districts. One Latin teacher for several districts.

Do research by videoconferencing with experts in their universities, labs, business, or museum

Join a cultural celebration such as a

Have an expert assess your project. A corporate business person can review ads created by art students

Practice your new language with people from that language area.

Teach a topic to students from another school (no need to travel or to limit where the students are)

Attend class even if hospitalized or at home.

Do portfolio reviews where the reviewers are there via videoconferencing. Same for science projects reviews.

Inquire about a college by interviewing with a recruiter and students from that university.

Interview for a job in business.

 

District/Administration

Have many district wide meetings through videoconference so faculty do not have to drive to other distant schools.

Special Education Diagnosis can be done with experts from one location talking to a student in another location.

Interview teacher candidates or future administrators

Meet with lawyer or contractors.

See student or faculty Board presentations when the students or faculty are in a far away school.

 

Professional Development:

Provide professional development from one site to all the schools within the district.

Have a virtual expert teach a professional development even though she lives on a different continent.

View sample lessons using a specific technique. Teachers can watch a classroom teacher as he/she actually teaches using the technique; after class they can talk with that teacher.

 

Faculty:

Can co-teach a course over two buildings. Build on the strengths of both teachers.

Ability to interact “face-to-face” with teachers of the same subject area to plan a common course, lessons or assessments.

 

Community Events:

Sister school or sister community exchanges

For large areas, have videoconferences to bring all the people together to discuss a topic or celebrate a special day.

 

How to use technology to scaffold student learning?

Jamie McKenzie’s writing on scaffolding http://fno.org/dec99/scaffold.html

made me realize that there are two types of scaffolding: 1) to successfully learn a concept and 2) to climb up levels to more complex learning about a concept.

 

We can have students go to website in which they practice a certain math formula through breaking the formula into its subparts. The website scaffolds the process so that they can correctly use the math formula. The students have succeeded in learning the formula.

 

We can have students go to another website where they have to figure out which math formula to use and apply it to real life situations. If students want help (scaffolded learning), they can go to a section which asks them questions about each formula and its use. The students have succeeded in learning information at a higher level through the scaffolding.

 

Another image is between a web scavenger hunt for facts and a higher level thinking webquest in which students compare and contrast information.

 

How do we use technology to scaffold student learning? To learn the lower level of a concept or to explore the higher more complex level of the concept?

 

 

Videoconferencing’s Purpose and Place in a Learning Unit

The educators’ academic purpose for videconference determines where the videconference fits into the learning unit:

an introduction to the unit
an activity during the unit
several activities during the unit
the main activity during the unit
the only activity in the unit
an end of the lesson summary
a follow up activity to the unit
and a special motivation.

So where do you place your videconference in your learning unit? Why is that an effective location? How does your assessment reflect that learning purpose?

 

Learning, Videoconferencing, and Assessment: Part 2

Several people emailed me about my previous blog. They disagreed with my views:

Their points and my response:

 

1) Videoconference learning does not need to be assessed since it is simply one activity in a bigger unit. My response: How can you proceed in the students’ learning if you do not know what they have or have not learned? Madeline Hunter was famous for her “monitor and adjust” as critical part of the learning process before students could move on in their learning. Frequent embedded assessment is a major issue in education now.

 

2) The students’ discussion during the videoconference shows that they understand the topic. My response: How did you assess the students’ individual comments and questions during the discussion? Did everyone participate? At what higher level of thinking? Or did you get “a general feeling” about the understanding of the topic from those students that volunteered?

 

3) When students enjoy something such as the videoconference, they learn better. My response: I do not disagree that students enjoy videoconferencing. I want to see tangible learning results rather than just smiles. I have no problem with affective learning is that is the stated primary purpose of videoconferencing. How will you measure their emotional responses?

 

4) They learned so much about other students’ culture through the videoconference. My response: Wonderful. Was that a major goal of the project or did it just happen? If it was a major goal, than how did you structure the videoconference to increase global awareness? What cultural attitudinal changes did you want to happen?

 

5) They learned so much factual information. My response: Couldn’t they have learned the same amount through a good encyclopedia entry or an educational “movie”? I would hope that when we bring experts into the classroom, they can help our students to use higher level thinking skills in that topic.

 

 

Videoconferencing and Learning: Candy or Carrots



Candy or Carrots

Sweets or nutrition

Melting in mouth or crunching and chewing

Instant pleasure or body nurturing over time

Sugar high or slowly building up


Do educators see videoconferencing as candy or carrots?


I’m been researching articles and websites for some chapters I’m writing on videoconferencing. I found tons of candy: “My students really enjoyed it”, “They liked seeing the elephants”, and “My students learned a lot about videoconferencing.”


Only a few of the articles and websites even mention the carrots of learning. Occasionally, there are questions like “Did this videoconference meet your educational goals?” There are many general statements like “My student learned so much!” The detail or proof is very sketchy. “We predicted what would happen.” Did someone check each student’s prediction or did some students volunteer? Was a whole group assessment done?


Do educators in your educational institution use videoconferencing as candy or carrots?


How can you decide? Assessment is the key.


Do your educators assess the learning from the videoconference immediately or the next few days?


Do your educators have students do follow up performance tasks based on the videoconferencing? Do they assess those tasks?

The big picture of student learning: Eportfolios

a few pebbles from a beach

three city lights

a pen and a piece of paper

 

None of these tells the whole picture. Most teachers’ tests and quizzes focus on a discrete part of the curriculum and often those assessments focus on the most easily measured but not the most critical parts. For example, a teacher may give a quiz on A Midsummer Night’s Dream that has the students identify what actions the major characters did in the scene but the teacher does not ask how that characters’ action illustrate a major theme in the play.

 

Students can present the big picture of their learning through eportfolios as long as the eportfolios do not chop up the learning into tiny pieces. In most assessments the tiny pieces do not create a combined whole; they are a holding tank of tiny discrete items. For example, some learning institutes (K12 schools and universities) have picked certain proficiency subparts to measure. A proficiency may have four parts – A, B, C, D. The students do each part but they do not show how they four parts become the whole proficiency. The dots do not connect.

 

When students focus on the big picture of their learning (the whole proficiency) such as how they show that they can critically analyze literature (ELA Standard 3, New York State), they can show many different kinds of critical analysis. They can show examples from poetry analysis, from watching a play, from comparing two novels, and from their feedback on another student’s writing.

 

Go from a microscopic view of learning to a wide-angle lens of student learning.

 

State Benchmarks, Weekly Data Collection, Life long learning

The other night I was on a conference call with people around the state. I heard the comment about how much testing is being done in school and how much data collection is being done. Several people felt that collecting the data (taking state benchmarks) was interfering with instruction.

 

I have several reactions to the statement.

1) If we give benchmarks once a year, then we are only collecting a snapshot that probably is not a big enough picture to inform instruction. For example, for students to write two essays in three hours in an English Regents means that each essay is really a draft, not a finished product.

 

2) The benchmark results are transformed into data that is supposed to help improve instruction. However, with most benchmarks, the students in that year’s class have gone to the next grade level; the data should go to their next year’s teachers, not the present year’s teachers.

 

3) Teachers need to build formative standard-based assessments into their weekly instruction so that as they assess part of the state standard, they can build in adjustments (Remember M. Hunter’s Modify and Adjust?) I believe that unless we do this on a weekly or very regularly basis, then we will not truly improve student learning. Cramming at the end is not educationally sound. Gradually improvement (building on success) is sound.

 

4) Teachers need to have students collect their own data on how well they are doing. For example, how many students monitor their vocabulary strategy to see if it is effective for them? How many students monitor the words they write in a daily journal to see if they improve on the quantity of the writing (getting in the zone)? I have done both of these and find that students like to be able to monitor their own learning and make improvements. Sounds like life long learning to me ( I remember when that was a purpose of schools.)

 

Proficiencies, Eportfolios and OSP

The School of Education students had a much more in depth Proficiency Portfolio which they had put into the Open Source Portfolio (OSP) system. The students included a narrative, a statement explaining how they demonstrated the proficiency, many artifacts of their public school students’ work to demonstrate that proficiency, and a reflection on their growth in each proficiency.

 

This semester three faculty reviewed in depth each students’ eportfolio and gave a rating to each part of the portfolio that they reviewed. The faculty accessed the eportfolios from their home or office. In addition, many faculty met to discuss the students’ portfolios after they had looked at the students’ portofolios individually.

 

For the first time there has been an in depth review of the students’ eportfolios by multiple reviewers.

 

The students in School of Education will continue to build on their previous eportfolios as they go through the School of Education program. Each semester the students show greater progresss in the School’s proficiencies.

Dependent or Self-Sustaining Technology-Infused Learning

I heard a state education leader talk about a school district that once was considered to be a national model. The district had an abundance of the newest technology in each classroom. Teachers were doing exemplary technology-infused learning. The superintendent left the district and within a few years, the technology emphasis became minimal.

 

 

In a school building, there was a computer lab assistant who created powerful learning experiences using a wide variety of technology. When he left for a teaching position, his replacement taught keyboard and word processing skills. Now very few teachers do technology projects.

 

 

It is good to analyze your building and district for the people who are the leaders in using technology. If a key person left, what would happen to technology use in your building or district?

 

 

Have teachers embedded technology-infused learning activities into their curriculum so that they are self-sustaining and even constantly improving? Or is technology use dependent on people outside the classroom?

Misconceptions About Learning and Technology

I just read Robert J Marzano’s Building Background Knowledge for Academic Success: Research on What Works in Schools (ASCD, 2004). I appreciate his blend of theory and practice. One school gives a daily reading tip based on Marzano. Marzano points out the misconceptions that we have about vocabulary learning. He shows that word frequency it not a valid indicator of knowing a word since jellybean occurs very rarely but it is easily recognized by readers. Also, he demonstrates that giving a definition of a word does not lead to knowing what a word means; student have to translate that word into their own meaning. Furthermore, he shows that assuming that students will learn vocabulary by simply reading more is not valid; unless they encounter the same word in different contexts, they will not understand the word.

A science friend says that his students have more misconceptions that solid conceptions about science.

I wonder what misconceptions we have in education and technology?

Maybe it is a misconception that we teachers….

Know more about a topic than our students can easily find on the Internet?

Can explain things more clearly than a Internet website can?

Know more about how to integrate technology into our classes than our students do?

Think that the written word is exciting to today’s multimedia students?

What other misconceptions do you have to offer?

 

A Flickr Fliction: Not Bright Enough for Me

A Flickr Fliction: Not Bright Enough for Me

When I started teaching Spanish in 1968, I used transparency pictures for class writing, conversations, oral comprehension and quizzes on a daily basis. (The overhead was a new technology back then!) Yes, it was a big pain to find the right picture from magazines or newspaper and then to make transparencies of the pictures. Yes, sometimes the transparencies melted (cheap transparencies and hot overhead machines). Also, I used a slide projector to show cultural pictures that I had taken in Spanish speaking countries. In 1975, I wrote an article (“Using Visual Material in the Foreign Language Classroom” Learning Resources, Vol 2-5 ,Feb. 1975, 9-13) on improving students’ language and cultural skills through fifty uses of visuals in the Foreign Language classroom. In addition, I mailed (not emailed) pictures of our area to students in Spanish speaking countries who asked us questions about our area. I made handouts of pictures for students to use in a variety of group activities within the classroom.

 

The basic educational concept has not changed throughout the years. Many students are visual learners and they react well to visual images. Can you say Millenial students? The students are engaged when visuals are used.

 

So, what would I like from Fliction? I want it to do more than I could do with the overhead, slides, handouts or mailing pictures. I want a more powerful learning technology. So far, based on the two presentations I have seen on Fliction, I have only seen one story attached to one specific picture and one comment on that writing. What about multiple stories to one picture? What about “continue my story” approach?What about two contrasting pictures to create higher level learning about a topic? What about a series of pictures showing a local community or topic? What about multiple comments to the multiple stories? What about a dialogue between the picture presenter and the story writer? What about writers role playing different people in the picture and having a conversation. For example, in above picture which I took are the two people happy or sad? What are they saying to each other? What are they saying about their location? How might the location represent their relationship?

Visuals are rich learning resources. I want students to have rich responses to them and to be able to respond to the pictures easily.

 

I’ll wait for a better developed learning-embedded technology image than Fliction. I’ll wait for a brighter use of technology to help students express their in depth ideas.

 


RSS Education with Technology

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