Archive for the 'Teacher' Category

Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it?

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 to a technology integration teacher. Any technology integration teacher should offer direct instruction in exactly what the teacher wants. A friend of mine just came back from a one-on-one training session on a management system. He felt lost since the technology integration person showed all the possibilities and my friend became very confused as to what to actually do. My friend felt like the technology integration teacher was boasting about all she knew about the program. My friend did not come away knowing how to use the program. He did not have what he needed for his class. He did not know the time.

How do you, technology integration teachers, instruct teachers in exactly what they need in a simple manner so that they can spend their time on helping students learn their subject area instead of their spending hours trying to figure out how to use a technology?

How will students’ mobile device be used for learning?

How will the  students’ mobile device primarily be used? What other ways can teachers have students use mobile devices to engage in  learning?

  • to introduce the learning goal to the students  before the teacher does in class  such as in a flipped classroom
  • to introduce the learning goal during the class presentation
  • to present alternative ways of learning the learning goal
  • to practice the learning goal after a presentation (drill and practice)
  • to apply the learning concepts at a higher level of thinking (compare/contrast, synthesize, evaluate)
  • to incorporate the learning into an individual student’s  big project such as project based learning
  • to capture in class learning such as taking a picture of the whiteboard or video recording a project
  • as a written, visual, audio or media  prompt for a learning activity
  • to collaborate with others within and outside the class on a project
  • to compete against other learning groups
  • to get information from the web (websites, images, etc.)
  • to get information from others via texting, email, etc.
  • to  poll or survey students’ interest about some part of the  learning goal
  • to assess student learning  and provide feedback to the students (formative assessment)
  • to assess students summatively (final grade on unit, project…)
  • to collect examples of student work for a portfolio
  • My ebook, 90 M0bile Learning Modern Language Activities, is available at http://bit.ly/90mlact.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/tbookMy modern language blogs are  now at  http://bit.ly/imprml.  I have developed 27  Spanish activities and 4 Modern Language Visual activities in which students begin to express themselves in the modern language and to  move toward spontaneous speaking Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

10 Ways Mobile Learning Changes the Teaching-Learning Process

 

Teachers’ role


Higher level thinking


QR codes

Students show learning

Teachers monitor learning

Bring outside in

Take learning out

Communicate

From text to media

Global/ Cultural


Extra: Use all of mobile, not just apps

What is the Role of Technology in the Teaching-Learning process?

A very creative elementary teacher will retire in June because she no longer feels she can teach due to her district’s technology push.  Her district purchased a math online program in which the computer program presents the math concept and  the program has students do stations for a designated amount of time each day. Her job is to make sure that the students rotate through the stations.

Another teacher no longer has time to relate his subject area to the real world because he has to push through his textbook so students can do the  designated  and scheduled online drill and practice for each unit. The district looks at the student data from the online activities as an assessment measure.

A science teacher has to have her students do a specified number of app activities for each unit.  Although this teacher used to do many student inquiry labs, she has had to eliminate those labs in order to provide students time to  complete all the apps.

Finally, students in Carpe Diem schools spend half to  two thirds  of their day doing computer work. These students score well on state tests. (http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2011/04/22/carpe-diem-charter-school-seizes-tomorrows-innovations-today)

What is your view of the role of technology in the  teaching learning process?  Do teachers or technology determine how students spend their learning time? Who/What  makes decisions about what learning gap  students have and supplies a new strategy to overcome the gap?

I have developed many  Spanish activities that allow students to begin to express themselves and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking as in a natural conversation.  My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (20+) includes Modified Speed Dating (Students ask  a question from a card-whole class), Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs),  Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawing from 2-4 people) and Speaking Mats (Can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas- pairs or small group),  Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs),  and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My three formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Use any Web 2.0 tool at any Level of Bloom’s Taxonomy, Don’t be Limited by Listings

I have been teaching for many years.  In fact, one of my earliest presentations was on “Using Print Shop at All Levels of Bloom” (the original Print Shop).  Therefore, whenever I see the listings that supposedly say what Web 2.0 tools works at what level of Bloom’s taxonomy, I become very confused. A few of the many such listings are http://www.usi.edu/distance/bloom%20pyramid.jpg, http://tsheko.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/visualblooms1.jpg?w=500&h=359, http://www.bcps.org/offices/lis/Reference/images/web_2_Bloom.jpg, and http://edtech2.boisestate.edu/candacemcenespy/Images/vectormap.gif There is only a very slight overlap among the listing, each usually puts the same Web 2.0 tools at different thinking levels.

Let’s look at Google docs which a few sites place at the lowest level of Bloom, Remember/Knowledge. Google docs can be used to help students recall information. However, it can just as easily be used to paraphrase the information (from the original Shakespeare to modern day texting messages), to apply/use information (How does Pareto’s 20/80 rule apply to this story? ), to analyzing/contrasting (How are these two poems the same? Different?), to evaluating (Which literature that we have read this year best expresses man’s inhumanity to man? Why?), and synthesize/creating (Write a short story in which you mock some modern day thinking or organization.)

Teachers determine how any Web 2.0 tool is used. They determine at what Bloom’s level they will use the Web 2.0 tool. If they want their students to be bigger thinkers, they will use the higher levels of Bloom. If the teachers want their students to remain in small thinking, they will use the lower levels.

The choice of what level to use any Web 2.0 is up to the teacher. At what level do you use each Web 2.0 tools? Do you consciously build up Bloom’s taxonomy with each different technology you use during a unit?

Tuttle’s formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Teachers as Producers, Not Consumers, at Faculty Meetings

Many teachers  consider  faculty or department meetings a waste  of time. They often complain that a memo could have given the critical information, that a person talked to long about nothing, or that they had better things to do that would  help their students. An administrator can transform meetings so that teachers move from being passive consumers to active producers.

Instead of having someone talk about ways to improve student learning, have the teachers group together by subject area and go to a designated room.  Each subject area group can think of the students’ major learning blocks in their curriculum and have the team suggest specific strategies that students can use to overcome those blocks.  The principal, curriculum leader, librarian,  or technology integration specialist would have set up a private  subject area curriculum wiki such as pbworks (pbworks.com) for this group.  Someone  in the group will word process in the wiki each learning block and the strategies that the teacher suggests.  For example, a teacher may identify that students often have trouble in finding evidence to support a position such as in a Social Studies Document Based Question (DBQ) in which students have to find references from historical documents to prove a certain statement. A teacher may offer that she has students identify the key word in the original statement in a red highlighter and then has students highlight in red that word or any synonym each time it appears in the document. Usually the highlighted words become the key to the students finding sentence that provides the necessary evidence.   If any  teacher has a video, website, podcast, etc that he/she uses, he/she  can give that link to the recorder.  The recorder lists the learning block and all the strategies that directly help students overcome that block.   At the end of the faculty meeting, the teachers end up  with a large variety of strategies that can help students as  they encounter difficulties in their learning.

Furthermore, the teachers can check the subject area wiki anytime to remind themselves of the new strategies that their students can use. The teachers can add more as they counter additional learning blocks and figure out effective strategies to help their students.  The  wiki becomes a living document that offers teachers useful student learning strategies.

Tuttle’s formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Pollinate Great Learning Ideas Through Social Media

As administrators walk around and see examples of higher level learning,
they can capture the learning through pictures or videos. They will make sure that the pictures or videos clearly show the specific learning goal and the higher level learning as opposed to some “cute”
picture of students.  For example, an administrator takes a picture of a student made Social Studies concept map that contrasts the causes of the American Revolution and the American Civil War.  The administrator  posts it to the school website,  the school facebook page, or a flickr school page. Likewise,  the administrators can tweet  “English 8 students works in groups of three to help each other have more evidence and details in  their essay paragraphs.”  In addition, the building leader can record students talking about what they learned during a certain unit and then post this as part of the school podcasts. Through using technology, the administrators shares these great learning ideas with their buildings teachers so that these classroom  teachers can learn about  and implement new strategies for improving student learning.  Furthermore, the administrators will find that teachers will soon be contacting them about the higher level learning taking place in their classrooms so that their students can be featured in the next social media blast.

Tuttle’s Formative Assessment books

Why a physical textbook?

It seems so “yesterday” to use a physical  textbook such as in a Spanish classroom. Any instructor can easily find PowerPoints, Youtubes, etc. that teach and practice the   grammar and vocabulary in Spanish.  Any instructor  can easily find online sites that explain grammar and drill that grammar.  An instructor can find Internet sites that have vocabulary lists or can easily post such lists to a class  wiki.  Imagine if a department asked each instructor  to create one activity such as a spoken conversation or  a listening comprehension that takes the grammar and vocabulary to the level of communication. The instructors can find current pictures of the culture from Flickr and other sources.  Students can converse about the daily culture that relates to  the situations in the virtual textbook.  Students can communicate about the situations.

With a few handouts made in Google docs and the links to the grammar, vocabulary, communication activities, listening, reading,writing,  and culture, the instructors could run a whole course without a physical textbook.   All the resources can exist in the class wiki.  Students can have access to theses resources 24/7.   Since the resources come from various sources, there is more of widening  of the students’ learning. When instructors use  virtual textbooks, they can add more resources in areas where students demonstrate weaknesses (formative assessment).

In addition, students can contribute to the virtual textbook.  As they do activities such as writing five important questions about the situation, these questions  can be posted to the virtual textbook for other students to answer.   I believe that within a year, instructors could have a virtual textbook that outshines the limits of the physical textbook. I have used  a virtual text and feel that it best meets the needs of my students.   The virtual textbook can fit the specific goals of the instructors while meeting national goals. The virtual textbook can be easily modified as better resources become available.

The virtual textbooks will not cost any money! Also as students migrate to smartphones, their phones become a valuable learning tool in class.

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.

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

Contractors – Summative and Formative Assessment

I had several contractors in to give me estimates for some changes to my house.  The first one measured the room and left.  The second one measured the room and then spent double that time in asking me questions about the room and the house. I went with the second one because he understood what I wanted and how that fit in with the rest of the house.

I see the first contractor as a summative assessment- get a number and leave.  The second contractor was formative. He had numbers but he needed to know what those numbers meant in terms of what I expected in terms of the room (the end goal) and in terms of the whole house (all the other data from the house). He gave me several suggestions for improvements (getting me from where I am to where I want to be) and let me select the one I felt was the most helpful.

Which type teaching contractor are you- summative or formative?

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

Reponding to Your Students

Having Students Go from Proficient to Above Proficient Through Improvements

In my Oral presentations (speech) class, I’m grading their final speeches on how much they have improved from when they originally gave the speech. They have to show me their original speech, the rubric in which I indicated their strengths and gaps, and a sheet which explains how they are overcoming their gaps. Their final (two speeches that they select from those they have done) are graded on improvement.  If they show the three  improvements, they get an A. For each learning gap that is not changed into a strength, they loose ten points.  So far students have shown drastic improvements, their speeches have gone from being below proficient or being proficient to being above proficient. They have learned to support their speeches with image-based PowerPoints that drive home their messages. When we raise the bar and prove ways for students to improve, they go over the bar!

How do you have your students improve and become above proficient?

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

Reponding to Your Students

Student or Teacher Duty: Improving Time for Feedback

On Sunday, the church congregation was surprised to see a young ten year boy be the liturgist. He said the prayers, introduced the hymns, and read the scripture.  The boy had listened to the adults who usually do this and thought he could do it.  He did a good job!

It made me think of what duties are only teacher duties in the classroom and what are student only duties. Students can pass out materials, collect material, take attendance, do class review, prepare classroom materials such as handouts or PowerPoints, make quizzes, and assess other students’ work. Students often present information in a way that their classmates can easily understand the information.

If we have students do more in the classroom, we can spend more time on giving small group or one-on-one with students. We have more time for formative feedback.  We spend out time not in many managerial things but in helping students to learn.

Let’s give our students more duties so that we can help them more!

Teacher Portfolios- Real Student Success or Faked Success?

Individually, I talked  to two teachers who had to present teacher portfolios and had received back  comments on their portfolio.  One teacher had glowing feedback.  He told me how he had only put student material in the portfolio that demonstrated above proficient work. He explained that usually only one or two students in all of his classes had reached that level for each standard and so he included that  work.

The other teacher had put in student work at all levels of proficiency.  Her feedback focused on how she had to help students to be successful. She had included the percent of  students  at each level of proficiency; she had even included a graph for the proficiency rates on  the four major standards. She indicated some strategies she had tried and whether each strategy succeed or did not succeed with these students.

The administrators were looking for measures of the teachers’ success in helping students to learn. They did not discern the difference between  a staged or fake representation of success for a teacher and a teacher’s  full disclosure about classroom learning.

How can your teacher portfolio show your growing success in reaching more and more students?

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

Reponding to Your Students

Going to the Well to Be Refreshed

I recently attended a conference.  Yes, I did a presentation but I really went to go to the well, to refresh myself with new ideas and new viewpoints.

When people present different viewpoints, I have an opportunity to better examine my own views.  When a teacher tells how her first grade students use a wiki for literature study,  I am confronted with my belief that wikis are for older students, a belief that I did not know I had.

I like to take someone’s idea and extend it or elaborate on it. For example, a person talked about a website that offered assistance to students at various points in the learning.  I began to think of how I can  build help into student material such as handouts or PowerPoints.

What well have you gone to recently (talking content with a colleague, exploring a topic on the web, reading a professional journal, viewing an educational show or a Youtube video on the topic)? How have your let yourself grow due to this experience? Be refreshed and a better educator!

School Awards For Teachers

I recently  attended a college’s award ceremony for faculty and staff.  I was impressed with all the categories of awards.

I’ve made up some awards that I would like schools to give. These awards will not be given to just one teacher but to any teacher who does any of the following:

Focus their students’ learning on the standards

Spend more working with students than lecturing

Diagnose students’  learning problems instead of just giving grades

Give specific feedback that actually help the students to move forward in their learning

Keep cumulative records of students’ strengths and learning gaps in a specific learning goal

Celebrate their students’ standards-based learning successes

Transform academic learning  into real world learning

Invite parents and other experts in the classroom (physically or virtually)  to share their wisdom about a learning goal

Involve the students in meaningful community or global projects that truly make a difference in other students’ lives.

Empower students to feel that they are capable of being successful

Share the learning goal, assessments, and success strategies with other teachers

What other awards would you like to schools to give?

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.

A Tight Formative Feedback Fit for Students

Today I put plastic insulation on the windows in my 1910 house. The insulation will keep the cold air from blowing in. The tricky part is to put the plastic on tightly. If it is not tight, then the air can blow it off.

I wonder how tightly our formative feedback fits our students? Do we give them general feedback such as “You need to improve your topic sentence. Remember to restate the thesis and then identify the category of this paragraph”. Or do we give specific feedback to one of our students who is a football player “Think of a topic sentence like a sports game. The goal is always to win the game. Each play is to win the game through doing (this play). A topic sentence has the same format of the essay thesis (the game purpose) and the particular paragraph game play.”

Do your students understand your formative feedback? Unless they understand it, they cannot move forward. Does your formative feedback tightly fit them or will they blow it off.

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.

Two Observations, Two Different Approaches

I was talking to two teachers from the same school. Both teachers were going to be observed. One supervisor not only did a pre-conference a week before the observation but also gave the teacher the evaluation rubric. This supervisor asked about any special conditions in the class or if the classroom teacher wanted the supervisor to look for anything in particular. As soon as the class observation was over, the supervisor gave some positives and some suggestions for change. Then within a week, the supervisor sent out the formal evaluation.

The other supervisor showed up two minutes before the class for the pre-conference. He looked over the lesson plan. After about two weeks after the class, the teacher received the formal evaluation.

I’m wondering which technique we use when we observe our 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.

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.

Learning from a Young Child

I was watching my 4 year old nephew and niece (twins) as they were playing, watching tv, drawing and having fun.  My niece drew scribbles and then told me a story about the scribbles.  Her parents obviously read to them. She did  sentences such as   “The cow goes to the party.  The horse goes to the party.  The dog goes to the party. They have fun.”

I thought of how much her parents read to her and of how interesting the story was that she wanted to hear it over and over again. Her parents have encouraged her to tell stories.

I wonder how we present interesting material to our students so that they want to pay attention to it, how we present the same information in different ways to them , how we expect them to learn big skills, and how we encourage them to tell us their learning stories.

Or do we read to them our book that does not interest them and only expect them to remember obscure details from the story instead of achieving big skills?

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?

Gladly would the teacher help the students to learn

Chaucer wrote “Gladly would he learn and gladly teach.” I would like to change that to “Gladly would he/she learn and gladly help students to learn.” Unfortunately some teachers think of teaching as presenting information and then testing on that info. In the formative assessment process, the focus is on helping the students to learn.

Glick wrote :”It is not what the teacher does but what he gets the students to do that results in learning” Our focus should be not on what the teacher does but on what the teacher helps the students to do. The teacher’s “best” lecture is not good if it does not help students to do something to learn the standard. Teachers should teach less and have students learn and do more in the class. The more students do in the class, the more teachers can observe them, diagnose them, and offer formative feedback to help the students so that the students can improve drastically in their learning.

Do you focus on teaching or learning?

Common educational vocabulary Formative Assessment

I think that every six months or so every school district, state education, and educational publication should publish its current definition of all educational terms. I  have looked at four different educators’ definitions of formative assessment and those definitions differ drastically.  One educator feels that formative assessment focuses on teacher instruction.  Another feels that it focuses on the assessments that are given periodically. The third concentrates on formative assessment as the weekly quizzes that a teacher gives.  The fourth sees formative assessment as the feedback that teachers give students. Since these educators do not define formative assessment in the same way, they get confused when each other talks. They do not have the same language.  Therefore, they  do not work together.

When will teachers accept a common vocabulary for the good of all teachers?  When will educators become a community of learners instead of educators on different pages? Let’s work together to help improve student learning!

Use a district wide Wiki to share  and develop common definitions and provide examples of that definition. Have educators build on the components of that definition.

Professional Development, Leadership and Student Learning

I’m a little confused about professional development, teacher interest and administrative leadership. I thought that all professional development should focus on enabling the teachers to help their students be better learners.

However, I know of a professional developer who gets all the topics for the professional development from the teachers. The teachers are happy because they get their topics; the developer is happy because teachers attend professional development. I was asked do some professional development there. When I found out the topics, “Math Websites”, “Social Studies Websites” and “English websites”, I asked if I could add some teaching strategies in. I changed the courses from jumping from website to website to seeing how the websites helped in assessment and analyzing the structure that the websites provided for struggling students. I found it interesting that I had to take the leadership in creating professional development that would focus on student learning.

Do the professional developers you know lead or follow? Do these developers focus the professional development directly on improving student learning? Or do they focus on the teachers’ desire for the newest tech toys? Or do they focus on productivity items such as making handouts look better? How does professional development in your area lead directly to improved student learning?

Quarterly Benchmarks Programs and the Role of Teachers

Many companies are now selling quarterly or more frequent benchmarking of the students. The companies make it sound like the benchmarking will solve the educational woes of teachers and schools. I agree that benchmarking can provide a valuable summative assessment of the student. Unless the benchmark specifies what the student can do to improve than the benchmark is summative, not formative. The teachers have to spend time going through the data to figure out what each student needs. If a school’s solution is for a computer program to diagnose and then give formative feedback (i.e. have the student do certain activities which the benchmark happens to provide), I wonder what the role of a teacher becomes. Do teachers in such environments simply become managers instead of instructional classroom leaders? Does all their expertize get thrown away since the computer program does it all? Teachers could be working with small groups of students but then the benchmarking program would not have that information to keep track of students’ progress. How do teachers integrate these benchmarks into their class?

Birth of a Child and Hope for the Future

Rowan

My grandson, Rowan, was born yesterday early in the morning. Mom and Dad are doing fine. As I ponder what his life will be like I focus in on his schooling and technology. I think about my many years of teaching and my son’s educational experience. The last school district I was in had limited technology -every teacher did not have an LCD; in fact we shared one within the department of 20 people. There were a few mini-labs but there were many thousands of students and their teachers vying for those labs. My son had many excellent teachers and some not so good ones. A few teachers used technology but he had more technology at home than in school.  I think that maybe schools have changed but then I think about my working with a large city school district for the past year and I know that some schools have not changed. They have not changed in terms of curriculum and in terms of using technology to create in-depth learning experiences.

Have we fundamentally changed how and what we teach? How we globally integrated technology to provide probing learning experiences? What will be different in five years when he starts his first formal schooling? What will cause a change?  I wish the best for Rowan in his schooling!

Excitement or Content in Learning

I recently attended a conference. In the first session I went to the person was enthusiastic, excited, and full of personal stories that had very little to do with the content. We got through about 1/4 of the content and then very superficially. The next session was a very methodical person who went step by step through a process and showed examples. I wonder how we are when we teach. Do we focus on content as the second person did or do we focus on being interesting & friendly as the first person? Yes, we can combine both but usually we focus more on one than the other. I spent time last year in visiting many schools and I find most teachers were trying hard to make the class exciting. They tried so hard that they spent less time on content and more on “fun and games”. One of the teachers had PowerPoints that made weird sounds and had flying things. The PowerPoint become more like a circus show than a learning environment.

How do you teach and how do you use technology to support your teaching?

Technology Skills Assessment

A push is on to assess the technology skills of students and teachers. Let’s add administrators.

Here are some questions that Roger Sevilla and I thought of:

  • Who will determine what skills will be assessed?
  • Will the skills be assessed in a “paper and pencil” self-perception survey mode or will the skills be assessed in actual performance?
  • Will the teachers be assessed on what technology skills they have or on what technology skills they use in the classroom? Same for students. Same for administrators.
  • Will the district create its own assessment or will they use commercial programs?
  • Will everyone be assessed or will there be a sampling? If sampled, will it be a percentage of each school or only certain schools?
  • If the survey reveals that the students, teachers, and administrators have a high degree of technology skills, are technology integration teachers needed?

Cherry Picking Metaphor For Technology Integration

One summer I worked picking cherries. I would move a tall ladder into a cherry tree and pick as many cherries as I could from that one location before I would get down and move the ladder to another section of that same tree.

What if I told you that I moved the ladder to one tree, picked one cherry, moved the ladder to another tree, picked one cherry, and continued tree by tree picking one cherry each time? You would think I was crazy! Yet isnt’ that what many technology integration teachers do? They work with one teacher in one building, go to another building and work with one teacher, go to another building and work with one teacher. When they are done, they have a few cherries in their basket.

What if they had a cherry picking mentality of working with a large group of teachers from the same building – perhaps, all 7th grade social studies teachers, perhaps all English teachers at the high school, or perhaps all elementary teacher in one building interested in using a wiki in their classroom? By working with a group, there can be group momentum and collaboration. The technology integration teacher can work with a larger group at once in the same building and help them to be successful in learning how to integrate the technology into the classroom. The classroom teachers can feel excited by the success of their students in improved learning through the onsite mentoring of the technology integration teacher.The technology integration teacher can collect many cherries at once; he or she can share with the building principal a big success instead of just working with one person. The technology integration teacher can collect large groups of cherries in each building; therefore, they have a huge basket of cherries in just a few months.

How do you collect technology integration cherries?

Pool Curriculum Resources for Students’ Success

I have been asked to do three courses next semester, two of which are new to me. I was given a one page syllabus listing 7 outcomes and the name of the textbook. This course has been taught for over 16 years and surprisingly, that is all the resources I’m given. Why do school districts or universities not have a pooling of resources so that any new teacher can not only start off running but can start off at a high level of running? If schools and universities want their students to be successful, then each course should be built on the students’ successes from when the course was taught in the past. What helped the students to advance in the standard? Which learning experience were not helpful in moving the students forward? Where did students encounter learning problems in the course? Of course, each class is different but if teachers had all that previous information at their fingertips, they could have their students soar in their learning.

Does your district, school, or team pool resources so that each teacher is curriculum rich in practical strategies to help students be successful?


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 […]
    hgtuttle
  • 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 […]
    hgtuttle
  • 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 […]
    hgtuttle
  • 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 […]
    hgtuttle
  • 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 […]
    hgtuttle
  • 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. […]
    hgtuttle
  • 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 […]
    hgtuttle
  • 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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