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Nigel Coutts

A curriculum built on the fundamental questions of our disciplines - The Learner's Way - 6 views

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    As we make plans for how we will engage our students in their learning the decisions we make become fundamental to how they will grow to understand the purposes of learning. How our learners approach the curriculum and the learning is fundamental to the outcomes we may achieve for them. One path will set them up to view learning as the acquisition of information the other to see it as a process of asking and exploring questions of significance through the many unique lenses.
Dennis OConnor

News: The Evidence on Online Education - Inside Higher Ed - 0 views

  • WASHINGTON -- Online learning has definite advantages over face-to-face instruction when it comes to teaching and learning, according to a new meta-analysis released Friday by the U.S. Department of Education.The study found that students who took all or part of their instruction online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through face-to-face instruction. Further, those who took "blended" courses -- those that combine elements of online learning and face-to-face instruction -- appeared to do best of all. That finding could be significant as many colleges report that blended instruction is among the fastest-growing types of enrollment.
  • the positive results appeared consistent (and statistically significant) for all types of higher education, undergraduate and graduate, across a range of disciplines, the study said.
  • On the topic of online learning, there is a steady stream of studies, but many of them focus on limited issues or lack control groups. The Education Department report said that it had identified more than 1,000 empirical studies of online learning that were published from 1996 through July 2008. For its conclusions, however, the Education Department considered only a small number (51) of independent studies that met strict criteria. They had to contrast an online teaching experience to a face-to-face situation, measure student learning outcomes, use a "rigorous research design," and provide adequate information to calculate the differences.
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  • Using technology to give students "control of their interactions" has a positive effect on student learning, however. "Studies indicate that manipulations that trigger learner activity or learner reflection and self-monitoring of understanding are effective when students pursue online learning as individuals," the report says.
  • n noting caveats about the findings, the study returns to the issue of time."Despite what appears to be strong support for online learning applications, the studies in this meta-analysis do not demonstrate that online learning is superior as a medium," the report says. "In many of the studies showing an advantage for online learning, the online and classroom conditions differed in terms of time spent, curriculum and pedagogy. It was the combination of elements in the treatment conditions (which was likely to have included additional learning time and materials as well as additional opportunities for collaboration) that produced the observed learning advantages. At the same time, one should note that online learning is much more conducive to the expansion of learning time than is face-to-face instruction."
  • " What the study demonstrates, she said, is that colleges need to think broadly about using online education, and not be "artificially limited" to face-to-face instruction.
  • Successful education has always been about engaging students whether it is in an online environment, face to face or in a blended setting. And fundamental to that is having faculty who are fully supported and engaged in that process as well."
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    Timely information for our group! The learning time issue in particular is an important finding that points to a cost effective way to increase student learning time without tackling the issue of a longer school day head on. We know that more time on meaningful tasks is crucial, but the physical cost of attending a bricks and mortar classrooms is prohibitive.
Philippe Scheimann

A Vision of Students Today (& What Teachers Must Do) | Britannica Blog - 0 views

  • It has taken years of acclimatizing our youth to stale artificial environments, piles of propaganda convincing them that what goes on inside these environments is of immense importance, and a steady hand of discipline should they ever start to question it.
    • Russell D. Jones
       
      There is a huge investment in resources, time, and tradition from the teacher, the instutions, the society, and--importantly--the students. Students have invested much more time (proportional to their short lives) in learning how to be skillful at the education game. Many don't like teachers changing the rules of the game just when they've become proficient at it.
  • Last spring I asked my students how many of them did not like school. Over half of them rose their hands. When I asked how many of them did not like learning, no hands were raised. I have tried this with faculty and get similar results. Last year’s U.S. Professor of the Year, Chris Sorensen, began his acceptance speech by announcing, “I hate school.” The crowd, made up largely of other outstanding faculty, overwhelmingly agreed. And yet he went on to speak with passionate conviction about his love of learning and the desire to spread that love. And there’s the rub. We love learning. We hate school. What’s worse is that many of us hate school because we love learning.
    • Russell D. Jones
       
      So we (teachers and students) are willing to endure a little (or a lot) of uncomfortableness in order to pursue that love of learning.
  • They tell us, first of all, that despite appearances, our classrooms have been fundamentally changed.
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  • While most of our classrooms were built under the assumption that information is scarce and hard to find, nearly the entire body of human knowledge now flows through and around these rooms in one form or another, ready to be accessed by laptops, cellphones, and iPods. Classrooms built to re-enforce the top-down authoritative knowledge of the teacher are now enveloped by a cloud of ubiquitous digital information where knowledge is made, not found, and authority is continuously negotiated through discussion and participation. In short, they tell us that our walls no longer mark the boundaries of our classrooms.
  • And that’s what has been wrong all along. Some time ago we started taking our walls too seriously – not just the walls of our classrooms, but also the metaphorical walls that we have constructed around our “subjects,” “disciplines,” and “courses.” McLuhan’s statement about the bewildered child confronting “the education establishment where information is scarce but ordered and structured by fragmented, classified patterns, subjects, and schedules” still holds true in most classrooms today. The walls have become so prominent that they are even reflected in our language, so that today there is something called “the real world” which is foreign and set apart from our schools. When somebody asks a question that seems irrelevant to this real world, we say that it is “merely academic.”
  • We can use them in ways that empower and engage students in real world problems and activities, leveraging the enormous potentials of the digital media environment that now surrounds us. In the process, we allow students to develop much-needed skills in navigating and harnessing this new media environment, including the wisdom to know when to turn it off. When students are engaged in projects that are meaningful and important to them, and that make them feel meaningful and important, they will enthusiastically turn off their cellphones and laptops to grapple with the most difficult texts and take on the most rigorous tasks.
  • At the root of your question is a much more interesting observation that many of the styles of self-directed learning now enabled through technology are in conflict with the traditional teacher-student relationship. I don’t think the answer is to annihilate that relationship, but to rethink it.
  • Personally, I increasingly position myself as the manager of a learning environment in which I also take part in the learning. This can only happen by addressing real and relevant problems and questions for which I do not know the answers. That’s the fun of it. We become collaborators, with me exploring the world right along with my students.
  • our walls, the particular architectonics of the disciplines we work within, provide students with the conversational, narrative, cognitive, epistemological, methodological, ontological, the –ogical means for converting mere information into knowledge.
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    useful article , I need to finish it and look at this 'famous clip' that had 1 million viewers
J Black

The 21st Century Centurion: 21st Century Questions - 0 views

  • The report extended literacy to “Five New Basics” - English, mathematics, science, social studies, and computer science. A Nation At Risk specified that all high school graduates should be able to “understand the computer as an information, computation and communication device; students should be able to use the computer in the study of the other Basics and for personal and work-related purposes; and students should understand the world of computers, electronics, and related technologies."That was 1983 - twenty- six years ago. I ask you, Ben: Has education produced students with basic knowledge in the core disciplines and computer science TODAY? Are we there yet? OR - are we still at risk for not producing students with the essential skills for success in 1983?
    • J Black
       
      I had never really considered this before...how computer science has been totally left out of the equaltion....why is that? Cost of really delivering this would be enormous -- think how much money the districts would have to pour into the school systems.
  • On June 29, 1996, the U. S. Department of Education released Getting America's Students Ready for the 21st Century; Meeting the Technology Literacy Challenge, A Report to the Nation on Technology and Education. Recognizing the rapid changes in workplace needs and the vast challenges facing education, the Technology Literacy Challenge launched programs in the states that focused on a vision of the 21st century where all students are “technologically literate.” Four goals, relating primarily to technology skills, were advanced that focused specifically on: 1.) Training and support for teachers; 2.) Acquisition of multimedia computers in classrooms; 3.) Connection to the Internet for every classroom; and 4.) Acquiring effective software and online learning resources integral to teaching the school's curriculum.
    • J Black
       
      we are really stuck here....the training and support -- the acquisition of hardware, connectivity etc.
  • Our profession is failing miserably to respond to twenty-six years of policy, programs and even statutory requirements designed to improve the ability of students to perform and contribute in a high performance workplace. Our students are losing while we are debating.
    • J Black
       
      This is really, really well said here...bravo
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  • In 2007, The Report of the NEW Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce: Tough Choices or Tough Times made our nation hyperaware that "World market professionals are available in a wide range of fields for a fraction of what U.S. professionals charge." Guess what? While U.S. educators stuck learned heads in the sand, the world's citizens gained 21st century skills! Tough Choices spares no hard truth: "Our young adults score at “mediocre” levels on the best international measure of performance." Do you think it is an accident that the word "mediocre" is used? Let's see, I believe we saw it w-a-a-a-y back in 1983 when A Nation At Risk warned of a "tide of mediocrity." Tough Choices asks the hard question: "Will the world’s employers pick U.S. graduates when workers in Asia will work for much less? Then the question is answered. Our graduates will be chosen for global work "only if the U.S. worker can compete academically, exceed in creativity, learn quickly, and demonstrate a capacity to innovate." There they are
    • J Black
       
      This is exactly what dawns on students when they realize what globalization means for them..the incredibly stiff competition that it is posed to bring about.
  • Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century."
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    The report extended literacy to "Five New Basics" - English, mathematics, science, social studies, and computer science. A Nation At Risk specified that all high school graduates should be able to "understand the computer as an information, computation and communication device; students should be able to use the computer in the study of the other Basics and for personal and work-related purposes; and students should understand the world of computers, electronics, and related technologies." That was 1983 - twenty- six years ago. I ask you, Ben: Has education produced students with basic knowledge in the core disciplines and computer science TODAY? Are we there yet? OR - are we still at risk for not producing students with the essential skills for success in 1983?
Steve Ransom

Students Battle School Districts Over First Amendment Rights On Social Media - 12 views

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    Seems more reactionary and controlling. Stronger vision, leadership, and willingness to model social media use and engage students in these spaces likely would help a gread deal here. Conversation leads to learning/understanding. Harsh discipline simply leads to compliance much of the time.
Bill Graziadei, Ph.D. (aka Dr. G)

Innovate: Rhizomatic Education: Community as Curriculum - 0 views

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    The pace of technological change has challenged historical notions of what counts as knowledge. Dave Cormier describes an alternative to the traditional notion of knowledge. In place of the expert-centered pedagogical planning and publishing cycle, Cormier suggests a rhizomatic model of learning. In the rhizomatic model, knowledge is negotiated, and the learning experience is a social as well as a personal knowledge creation process with mutable goals and constantly negotiated premises. The rhizome metaphor, which represents a critical leap in coping with the loss of a canon against which to compare, judge, and value knowledge, may be particularly apt as a model for learning on the bleeding edge where the canon is fluid and knowledge is a moving target.
Tero Toivanen

Google and Wikipedia make learning facts irrelevant to kids - Digital News - Brand Republic - 0 views

  • Tapscott said: "Teachers are no longer the fountain of knowledge -- the internet is. Kids should learn about history but they don't need to know all the dates."It is enough that they know about the Battle of Hastings, without having to memorise that it was in 1066. They can look that up and position it in history with a click on Google. Memorising facts and figures is a waste of time."He dismissed the traditional method as "anti-learning" and argues that teaching kids to learn new things is more important than ever in the information age: "Children are going to have to reinvent their knowledge base multiple times. So for them memorising facts and figures is a waste of time."
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    Google and Wikipedia make learning facts irrelevant to kids
Jorge Gonçalves

5 Things to Look for in an Online Master's Program - 10 views

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    There was a time when it was acceptable to say no to college and look for a job straight out of high school; then came the time when it was imperative to hold at least one degree in the discipline of your choice; and now is the time when a master's degree is more the norm than the anomaly. Some people choose to go to grad school fresh from their undergraduate degree while others prefer to test out the job market before venturing into the realm of master's degrees. It's the latter kind who prefer to study online because of the various advantages that this form of education offers, not the least of which is the fact that they don't have to stop working in order to continue learning.
Sheri Edwards

Education Week: Backers of '21st-Century Skills' Take Flak - 0 views

  • Unless states that sign on to the movement ensure that all students are also taught a body of explicit, well-sequenced content, a focus on skills will not help students develop higher-order critical-thinking abilities, they said at a panel discussion here in the nation’s capital last week.
  • Array of Skills In the Partnership for 21st Century Skills’ vision for K-12 education, the arches of the rainbow depict outcomes, while the pools represent the resources needed to support those outcomes. But critics contend that states implementing this vision might focus too heavily on discrete skills instruction, at the expense of core content. SOURCE: Partnership for 21st Century Skills
  • Ten states have agreed to work with P21 to incorporate a focus on technology, analytical and communication skills into their content standards, teacher training, and assessments.
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  • “We’ve been having this curriculum war for years.”
  • “Teachers will rise to the challenge given the kind of supports they need.”
  • “[But] the liberal arts movement, which we embrace, has not been as purposeful and intentional about the skill outcomes as we need to be.”
  • Mr. Willingham argued not only that the teaching of skills is inseparable from that of core content, but also that it is the content itself that allows individuals to recognize problems and to determine which critical-thinking skills to apply to solve them.
  • Students become proficient critical thinkers only by gleaning a broad body of knowledge in multiple content domains, he said.
  • Those techniques include student-directed methods such as project-based learning, which requires students to work in groups to solve a specified problem, relying on teachers for guidance rather than for explicit instruction.
  • Mr. Kay, in contrast, painted the P21 vision as one that transcends this debate. The partnership tries to encourage states to be more deliberative about how they help students learn the skills,
  • “If [curriculum] is just picking up a manual, or a series of nonconnected or nonsequenced experiments in science or literary works with no connection and no background knowledge, it’s not going to help our kids think any better,” she said in an interview.
  • Academics like Ms. Darling-Hammond said that setting forth a clear understanding once and for all about what students should know, and which teaching methods best help students engage that content in depth, will be crucial to putting such debates to rest.
  • The highest-scoring countries on international exams, she said, undertook efforts to outline such goals specifically 20 to 30 years ago. “When you really think about delivering a rich curriculum, it takes a very skillful type of teaching,” Ms. Darling-Hammond said. “It can be done badly; we have to acknowledge that. But we don’t really have a choice, if we want to join other nations.”
  • Meanwhile the critics go about squawking while promoting their own panaceas
  • he majority of kids just go right on tuning out, dropping out, or just getting by
  • I challenge what I read by looking at source material. These are timeless skills. It's the technology that is 21st century.
  • As for the topics we are unfamiliar with, the poster just before me rightly points out that the Internet is out there for just that purpose. Real teachers are also learners, and should be constantly seeking to know more.
  • Many recent studies have concluded that the current system is broken beyond repair and that point solutions like those being advocates above cannot fix it. We know that people learn best when they teach others so small groups that encourage peer-to-peer mentoring should be encouraged. Those same small groups require the students to learn and use the high-performance skills advocated by P21. At the same time, there is a body of knowledge that has been determined to be important to a student's future - represented by the state academic content standards. Robust, in-depth discussions of academic content help achieve the mastery of academic content. To ensure the content has meaning, it is best learned in a multi-disciplinary environment. By embedding a selected set of content standards from a variety of disciplines into a realistic setting/project the students get the opportunity to use the knowledge and go beyond the standards as their interest leads them.
  • The fact is, while "experts" pore over the fabric of pedagogical delivery methods, online teaching and learning is quietly replacing classroom environments globally. Educators better make some quick adjustments or the very definition of what an "education" means nowadays will make many of these folks irrelevant.
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    What do you think? How do we envision the future and teach for it?
Berylaube 00

Main Page - TEFL World Wiki - 0 views

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    Acollaborative project with the aim of providing useful information for TEFL professionals." TEFL Teaching: This area is all about teaching: how to teach and what to teach. And then how to make sure your students are learning! Included here are loads of activities and ideas for classroom control, discipline, techniques and so on Skills:How to teach the four skills in English: listening, reading, speaking and writing. Grammar Guide:=The TWW Grammar Guide is a comprehensive guide to English grammar written in a user-friendly manner for both learners and teachers.
Nigel Coutts

Mathematical thinking presents teachers and students with new challenges - The Learner's Way - 4 views

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    The shift away from teaching for the rote memorisation of prescribed methods requires teachers to rethink their approach to the discipline. With this new pedagogy comes a need to understand the processes of mathematical thinking in ways not previously required. When we require our students to be able to reason and problem-solve through unique challenges we also require our teachers to have an understanding of the mathematical moves that their learners are likely to call upon.
Paul Beaufait

TESOL Connections: A Sequence of Critical Thinking Task - 31 views

  • Scriven and Paul begin to define critical thinking as ‘‘the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action’’ (quoted in Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2009, para. 2).
  • Bloom (1956) offered one of the first comprehensive elaborations of these important skills. Since the conception of Bloom’s Taxonomy, his colleagues (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001) have carried on his work and developed a two-dimensional taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing student learning outcomes. The Knowledge Dimension identifies four types of knowledge: factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive. The second aspect of Bloom’s Taxonomy, the Cognitive Process Dimension, outlines six ways of thinking (remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create) and their many subprocesses.
  • For the purposes of this article, critical thinking is defined as the practice and development of an active, conscious, purposeful awareness of what one encounters both in the classroom and in the outside world. It is a kind of thinking and learning that demands an investment in personal and communal learning on the part of the student and teacher. Critical thinking does not discount the emotional or gut responses that everyone has. Rather, it complements and enters into dialogue with them so that reasoned judgments are possible.
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  • Observing is the basic starting point of the sequence—so basic, in fact, that some teachers may not immediately consider it to be critical thinking at all. However, observing is critical thinking because it involves a fundamental level of analysis.
  • To read the rest of the article, download the PDF
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    "This article [by John Beaumont] is from Volume 1, Issue 4 of TESOL Journal" (TESOL Connections [website], Features, December 2010).
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