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Nigel Coutts

Reflections from The Future of Education Conference - The Learner's Way - 9 views

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    The Future of Education is a topic often discussed, and at the recent gathering of educators in Florence, it was the title and theme for the conference. Now in its ninth year, The Future of Education is an international conference that attracts educators from around the world and across all domains touched by education. The conference is an inspiring two days of discussion and sharing, with the city of Florence, the centre of the Renaissance, providing a constant reminder of what might be possible when creativity and critical thinking combine. Here are my key takeaways from this event.
Nigel Coutts

Becoming a reflective practitioner - The Learner's Way - 17 views

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    There are particular behaviours and a mindset that accompanies effective reflective practice. Understanding and applying these allows us to become reflective practitioners.
Nigel Coutts

Realising the benefits of reflective practice - The Learner's Way - 9 views

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    It is generally accepted that learning is enhanced by the inclusion of deliberate, reflective practice. Indeed the act of reflecting on the impact that our actions have towards the achievement of any goal (learning oriented or other) is shown to have a positive impact. Reflective practice is defined as the praxis (interdependent and integrated theory, practice, research, thought and action) of individuals or groups to move from 'better thinking to better action' as a result of reflection for, in and on learning (Harvey et al. 2010 p140). With this in mind, it is worth considering what reflective practice might look like and to consider it in a range of contemporary contexts. 
Chema Falcó

A Strategy for Effective Student Collaboration - 54 views

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    A well-known protocol can help student teams reflect intentionally on their work-a necessity for improvement and learning.
Nigel Coutts

Initial Reflections on ICOT 2018 - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    The past five days have provided me with an amazing learning experience as I have attended ICOT 2018. With the conference just wrapped up and with Florida providing another remarkably wet afternoon, here are some initial reflections.  
Nigel Coutts

What if? Reflections from the ACSA Conference - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    Last week I spent three days thinking about curriculum and all that it means to teaching and learning thanks to the Australian Curriculum Studies Association's biannual conference. It was three days of deeply thoughtful conversation and learning with just the right mix of academic research and ideas for grounded practice straight out of innovative classrooms and schools. With keynotes by Alan Reid, Dan Haesler, Bob Lingard, Robert Randall and Jan Owen combined with Masterclasses from some of Australia's leading educators there was much on offer. The biggest challenge was deciding which workshop you would attend when every session offered such outstanding opportunities.
Nigel Coutts

Reflections on a service trip to Fiji - The Learner's Way - 4 views

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    Recently I left the cold and dark of a Sydney winter and journeyed north to the warmer climate of Fiji. A jewel dropped in the warm waters of the Pacific, Fiji is a popular holiday destination for those looking for a tropical escape. This trip was very different from the norm. There would be no resorts, no five-star dining and my company was to be a group of 24 Year Nine students. It was to be a journey full of learning and insights into the challenges facing education. 
Nigel Coutts

Learning vs Work in a Culture of Thinking - The Learner's Way - 36 views

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    Earlier this year a group of teachers I work with explored the 'Eight Cultural Forces' identified by Ron Ritchhart of Harvard's Project Zero. In doing so we decided to focus on our use of the term learning instead of the word work. Our goal was to bring our language choices into the spotlight and explore how a more deliberate focus on learning might alter the culture of our classrooms. Two terms later this focus persists and it is worth reflecting on the effect that this has had.
Dan Bench

Process vs Product in Maker-centered Learning - The Learner's Way - 42 views

  • by ‘Making Thinking Visible’ (MTV) can help here. MTV strategies offer two advantages to teachers and learners. Importantly they provide structure to thinking and encourage a deeper engagement with concepts and ideas. They also allow the thinking that is occurring to be made visible and thus a part of the assessment process
  • mastery of the process that students are utilising as they solve the problems they encounter in their making. How do they deal with obstacles? How did they plan their solution? How effectively do they collaborate? What did they do to understand the problem and how did they monitor their progress?  
  • Students move through phases of thinking that include empathy, needs analysis, ideation, planning, prototyping and evaluation in patterns both linear and non-linear as needs require.
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  • Failing is a part of the process and failing disrupts output based assessments. At the core of the maker philosophy is a process of ideation, iteration and emergence.
  • their Personal Passion Projects. Many of the projects fit neatly into the description of maker-centered learning. These are the projects where the students have identified a need and the solution is a product which they design and then prototype.
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    The maker movement and with it maker-centered learning brings new possibilities and challenges into the classroom. It has spawned makerspaces and students are busy designing and making products. The danger with all this frenzied making is that it is very easy to miss the point, to focus on the product and not the journey.  
Nigel Coutts

The Future of Education - 31 views

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    Reflections from The Future of Education Conference in Florence, Italy After two days of discussing the future of education with a host of educators from around the world in the beautiful city of Florence, the clearest statement on the matter might be that 'it is complicated'.
Nigel Coutts

Girls in Tech - Reflections from VIVID Ideas - The Learner's Way - 11 views

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    Sydney has become a beacon that brings people together and sparks conversations. Most recently the conversation centred on the topic of girls in tech and what might be done to re-dress the gender balance in STEAM subjects and related career pathways. Sponsored by INTEL this Vivid Ideas event drew a mix of entrepreneurs, educators and tech luminaries to the Museum of Contemporary Art on a Saturday afternoon to share their ideas on what might be done.
Clint Heitz

Edu Leadership:Tech-Rich Learning:The Basics of Blended Instruction - 38 views

  • Blended learning, with its mix of technology and traditional face-to-face instruction, is a great approach. Blended learning combines classroom learning with online learning, in which students can, in part, control the time, pace, and place of their learning. I advocate a teacher-designed blended learning model, in which teachers determine the combination that's right for them and their students.
  • Tip 1: Think big, but start small.
  • Tip 2: Patience is a virtue when trying something new.
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  • Tip 3: Technology shouldn't be just a frill.
  • Tip 4: Weaving media together makes them stronger.
  • Tip 5: Students need to know where they can get online.
  • Student-centered classrooms are the goal of my teacher-designed blended learning model. Giving students control over the learning process requires that they know how to communicate, collaborate, and solve problems in groups, pairs, and individually. This work can be messy, loud, and disorganized, but in the end, the learning is much more meaningful.
  • Then I found Collaborize Classroom, a free, dynamic discussion platform. I used it to replace many of my pen-and-paper homework assignments with vibrant online debates, discussions, writing assignments, and collaborative group work.
  • Remember that mistakes lead to learning. The best resources I've designed and the most effective strategies I've developed were all born from and refined through mistakes.
  • I anticipated that students might hit some bumps as they navigated their first TED-Ed lesson, so I set up a TodaysMeet back channel so students could ask questions, make comments, and access a support network while going through the online lesson. A back-channel tool makes it possible for people to have a real-time conversation online while a live presentation or real-time discussion is taking place.
  • I asked students to reference specific details to support their assertions, as did one student who commented on the town's poverty by noting that the local doctor often took potatoes as payment for his work. She also showed how the characters nevertheless reflected the country's "cautious optimism" about its future: That same doctor was still able to support himself, she pointed out, and he enjoyed his work. Students posted their responses, complimenting strong points made, asking questions, and offering alternative perspectives.
  • I asked students to analyze examples of strong discussion posts and revise weaker posts. I also realized that I needed to embed directions into our discussion topics to remind students to respond to the questions and engage with their peers. I started requiring them to thoughtfully reply to at least two classmates' posts, in addition to posting their own response to the topic.
  • It's crucial for students to see that the work they do in the online space drives the work they do in the classroom so they recognize the value of the online conversations.
  • For example, during the To Kill a Mockingbird unit, we researched and discussed the death penalty in preparation for writing an argument essay. The students debated online such issues as cost, morality, and racial inequality and then delved into these topics more deeply face-to-face in class.
  • In the classroom, the teacher might give small groups various topics to research. Then he or she could ask students to go online to research and discuss their topic on a shared Google Doc and create a presentation using Glogster, Prezi, or Google Presentation Maker.
  • When we read Romeo and Juliet, I use this strategy to encourage students to research such topics as the monarchy, entertainment, and gender roles in Elizabethan England so they have a better understanding of the historical context in which Shakespeare wrote. Back in the classroom, each group then presents its findings through an oral presentation.
  • Compared with traditional in-class group work, which typically yields a disappointing finished product, online work provides the time necessary for students to complete quality work together.
  • Some teachers think that incorporating online work means they have to be available 24 hours a day. This is not the case. When students are connected online, they have a network of peers they can reach out to for support, and they begin to see one another as valuable resources in their class community.
  • I've embedded a Google map in my website that has pins dropped in all the locations on our campus and in our community where there are computers with public access to the Internet.
  • I even wrote the local computer recycling center to request a computer for my class.
Nigel Coutts

A meeting of the Hare and the Tortoise - 44 views

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    Schools like any large organisation by and large run on meetings. Recently we have implemented two very different styles of meeting that target different needs and have allowed us to be effective, reflective and creative.
robert morris

Education Theory/Constructivism and Social Constructivism - UCD - CTAG - 56 views

  • Deep roots classical antiquity. Socrates, in dialogue with his followers, asked directed questions that led his students to realize for themselves the weaknesses in their thinking.
    • Manuel Condoleon
       
      Good link to Socrates
    • robert morris
       
      I think this is the essence of teaching and learning - asking questions, for nothing is really true.
  • Emphasis is on the collaborative nature of learning and the importance of cultural and social context.
    • robert morris
       
      I agree - context, and culture play a very important role. And this might change from corner to corner, it can change quickly, neighbours etc
  • Believed that constructivists such as Piaget had overlooked the essentially social nature of language and consequently failed to understand that learning is a collaborative process.
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  • Constructivist learning environments provide multiple representations of reality
  • Multiple representations avoid oversimplification and represent the complexity of the real world
  • Constructivist learning environments emphasize authentic tasks in a meaningful context rather than abstract instruction out of context.
  • Constructivist learning environments provide learning environments such as real-world settings or case-based learnin
  • Constructivist learning environments encourage thoughtful reflection on experience.
  • Constructivist learning environments support "collaborative construction of knowledge through social negotiation, not competition among learners for recognition.
  • Jonassen (1994)
  • There is no absolute knowledge, just our interpretation of it. The acquisition of knowledge therefore requires the individual to consider the information and - based on their past experiences, personal views, and cultural background - construct an interpretation of the information that is being presented to them.
  • Teaching styles based on this approach therefore mark a conscious effort to move from these ‘traditional, objectivist models didactic, memory-oriented transmission models’ (Cannella & Reiff, 1994) to a more student-centred approach.
  • Students ‘construct’ their own meaning by building on their previous knowledge and experience. New ideas and experiences are matched against existing knowledge, and the learner constructs new or adapted rules to make sense of the world
  • John Dewey (1933/1998) is often cited as the philosophical founder of this approach
  • while Vygotsky (1978) is the major theorist among the social constructivists.
  • Bruner (1990) and Piaget (1972) are considered the chief theorists among the cogn
  • Dewey
  • Piaget
  • John Dewey rejected the notion that schools should focus on repetitive, rote memorization & proposed a method of "directed living" – students would engage in real-world, practical workshops in which they would demonstrate their knowledge through creativity and collaboration
  • Piaget rejected the idea that learning was the passive assimilation of given knowledge. Instead, he proposed that learning is a dynamic process comprising successive stages of adaption to reality during which learners actively construct knowledge by creating and testing their own theories of the world.
  • A common misunderstanding regarding constructivism is that instructors should never tell students anything directly but, instead, should always allow them to construct knowledge for themselves. This is actually confusing a theory of pedagogy (teaching) with a theory of knowing. Constructivism assumes that all knowledge is constructed from the learner’s previous knowledge, regardless of how one is taught. Thus, even listening to a lecture involves active attempts to construct new knowledge.
  • social interaction lay at the root of good learning.
  • Bruner builds on the Socratic tradition of learning through dialogue, encouraging the learner to come to enlighten themselves through reflection
  • Careful curriculum design is essential so that one area builds upon the other. Learning must therefore be a process of discovery where learners build their own knowledge, with the active dialogue of teachers, building on their existing knowledge.
  • Social constructivism was developed by Vygotsky. He rejected the assumption made by Piaget that it was possible to separate learning from its social context.
    • robert morris
       
      On Vgotsky`s side here - I don`t think you can forget the role of "social learning", peer to peer learning and the role of social interaction.
  • The basic tenet of constructivism is that students learn by doing rather than observing.
  • By the 1980s the research of Dewey and Vygotsky had blended with Piaget's work in developmental psychology into the broad approach of constructivism
  • 1. Discovery Learning (Bruner) In discovery learning, the student is placed in problem solving situations where they are required to draw on past experiences and existing knowledge to discover facts, relationships, and new information. Students are more likely to retain knowledge attained by engaging real-world and contextualised problem-solving than by traditional transmission methods. Models that are based upon discovery learning model include: guided discovery, problem-based learning, simulation-based learning, case-based learning, and incidental learning.
Jennifer Diaz

13 Strategies to Improve Student Classroom Discussions - 149 views

  • These 13-teacher and expert-tested strategies will strengthen your students' ability to find and use evidence from any text
  • Texts that inspire questions encourage students to return to the text and find support for their answers
  • starting with one overarching focus question
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  • Require students to have evidence ready at the start of the discussion
  • "prove it"
  • evidence will actually open up a text to different interpretations
  • The challenge is getting students to expand and explain. To get students to explain why they choose a piece of evidence, provide them with a structure that moves from evidence to interpretation. Williams' students use a graphic organizer with three columns: They write their answer in the first column, note textual evidence in the second, and explain their evidence in the third.
    • Jennifer Diaz
       
      I want to do this!
  • Use sentence starters strategically
  • In the text ... the author mentions ...
  • the author uses this evidence to ... this lets us know that ...
  • Give students enough time to flip through and find just the right piece of evidence. If other students are getting antsy, choose one of your always-ready students to share, then loop back to the student who needed time with the text
    • Jennifer Diaz
       
      Good idea to keep the pace moving, while providing enough time to find better evidence.
    • deniseahlquist
       
      And if you encourage a collaborative atmosphere, having students ALL look for evidence related to each person's idea will mean they are all engaged in searching whenever anyone makes a claim. Either choose someone who has found it, or have them mark the page and keep searching for more evidence. Then have students ALL GO to the passage cited, so they can closely follow and respond with additional or conflicting evidence.
  • "Just because there's more than one right answer," says Riley, "doesn't mean there's no wrong answer."
    • deniseahlquist
       
      Part of what students do when they all look for evidence for each idea is to learn to weigh evidence for competing ideas and sift out "weaker" or unsupported answers from "stronger" claims. Brainstorming an idea that later doesn't pan out should not e seen as bad or wrong, but more accurately as the way idea-generating and sifting actually happens in many situations.
  • According to page
  • create an anchor chart
    • Jennifer Diaz
       
      Create and authentic anchor chart of student/teacher generated starters and prompts.
  • Listen for how students personalize the discussion, and encourage them to develop their own voice.
  • go back to the text
  • They answer the focus question a second time, explain whether or not they changed their answers, and reflect on how the evidence brought up during discussion impacted their thinking.
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    Great ideas for 6th grade response to literature discussion and writing.
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    I haven't taught sixth grade for 3 1/2 years now, but if I ever go back to ms, I'd incorporate this into my weekly plans. One way I get my second graders to grow their thinking is by having them respond to one another using the following prompts:  I agree with the part about…  Going back to what you said about…  One thing I noticed…  One thing I pictured…  It reminded me of…  I am not sure what you are saying. Could you say it in another way?  I agree with what you are saying because…  What you just said matches what is in my mind because…  I hear what you are saying, but I see it differently because…  If what you said is true, is it not also true that…  That is true, but… Or - That is true, and…  Could you say more?  Could you give me an example?  I would like to add on to what _________ said.  I have an example of what you just said.  I wonder why…  I was surprised to see…  Another thing that goes with that is…  So are you saying…
Deborah Baillesderr

Free Screen Sharing and Online Meeting Software | Screenleap - 81 views

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    Free screen sharing from any device, including smart phones and tablets. Hmm ... does this replace reflections or Apple TV in presentations?
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    I like this one but could someone comment on how their experiences was when using it, and what did they use it for. This would be helpful.
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    Mary Vaughn writes:  Want to share and collaborate across the classroom?  How about across the state or further?  http://www.screenleap.com/ is the perfect tool to do that.  Easy to use, all you have to do is download the java applet and you're ready to share your screen with anyone at anytime.  This works in tandem with apple devices or any device that has internet connection.  Unfortunately, right now it's a one-way deal - you'll have to use a pc or mac to share.  It gives a simple code or website you can share with others to see your screen.  There's a little lagtime but not terribly so.  So, if you have teachers who have data projectors going on the fritz, want to do a PLC with other colleagues, or whatever collaboration you're working with, this could be the perfect tool.  Hint:  use the tabs to open up different websites - you have to keep the original screenleap up and running.
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    Instantly share your screen with a join code.
Amber Bridge

Technology Integration Matrix - 171 views

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    The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed (i.e., reflective), authentic, and collaborative (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003). The TIM associates five levels of technology integration (i.e., entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments. Together, the five levels of technology integration and the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments create a matrix of 25 cells.
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    Neat visualization of stages of integration, with clear characteristics/descriptors.
Matt Renwick

What Reflects a Great School? Not Test Scores - Education Week - 79 views

  • These gains often turn out to be an achievement mirage
  • Three interconnected factors are as essential for whole-school achievement as knowing how to teach well: trust, collaboration, and authenticity.
  • professional learning is ongoing and embedded
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  • They let parents know through social media, a phone call, or an email when a child has done something well
  • observe, coach, and co-teach
    • Matt Renwick
       
      Teacher Rounds/Peer Observations
  • rich and extensive classroom libraries
  • students choice and easy access to books
  • they partner with teachers to ensure that all resources and texts used in the classroom are well written and are crafted by notable authors
  • the quality of relationships within the school and across the community
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