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Sara Thompson

Testing the Teachers - NYTimes.com - 79 views

    • Sara Thompson
       
      assessment, yes; testing, no. There are plenty of other forms of providing data, such as portfolios. 
  • There has to be a better way to get data so schools themselves can figure out how they’re doing in comparison with their peers.
    • Sara Thompson
       
      Does he actually think No Child Left Behind WORKS???
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  • If you go to the Web page of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and click on “assessment,” you will find a dazzling array of experiments that institutions are running to figure out how to measure learning.
  • Some schools like Bowling Green and Portland State are doing portfolio assessments — which measure the quality of student papers and improvement over time. Some, like Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, use capstone assessment, creating a culminating project in which the students display their skills in a way that can be compared and measured.
  • The challenge is not getting educators to embrace the idea of assessment. It’s mobilizing them to actually enact it in a way that’s real and transparent to outsiders.
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    There's an atmosphere of grand fragility hanging over America's colleges. The grandeur comes from the surging application rates, the international renown, the fancy new dining and athletic facilities. The fragility comes from the fact that colleges are charging more money, but it's not clear how much actual benefit they are providing.
Michaella Thornton

Ethics as a Form of Critical and Rhetorical Inquiry in the Writing Classroom - 0 views

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    English Journal article by Teresa Henning, 100.6 (2011): 34-40. Copyright by the National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved.
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    I think this English Journal article makes a compelling case for how ethical inquiry can be further supported in writing classrooms.
Marc Hamlin

Reintroducing students to Research - 144 views

  • First, we think research, broadly defined, is a valuable part of an undergraduate education. Even at a rudimentary level, engaging in research implicates students in the creation of knowledge. They need to understand that knowledge isn’t an inert substance they passively receive, but is continually created, debated, and reformulated—and they have a role to play in that process.
  • we recognize that research is situated in disciplinary frameworks and needs to be addressed in terms of distinct research traditions.
  • research is a complex and recursive process involving not just finding information but framing and refining a question, perhaps gathering primary data through field or lab work, choosing and evaluating appropriate evidence, negotiating different viewpoints, and composing some kind of response, all activities that are not linear but intertwined.
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  • learning to conduct inquiry is itself complex and recursive. These skills need to be developed throughout a research project and throughout a student’s education.
  • the hybrid nature of libraries today requires students to master both traditional and emerging information formats, but the skills that students need to conduct effective inquiry—for example, those mentioned in your mission statement of reading critically and reasoning analytically—are the same whether the materials they use are in print or electronic.
  • Too often, traditional research paper assignments defeat their own purpose by implying that research is not discovery, but rather a report on what someone else has already discovered. More than once I’ve had to talk students out of abandoning a paper topic because, to their dismay, they find out it’s original. If they can’t find a source that says for them exactly what they want to say—better yet, five sources—they think they’ll get in trouble.
  • In reality, students doing researched writing typically spend a huge percentage of their time mapping out the research area before they can focus their research question. This is perfectly legitimate, though they often feel they’re spinning wheels. They have to do a good bit of reading before they really know what they’re looking for.
  • she has students seek out both primary and secondary sources, make choices among them, and develop some conclusions in presentations that are far from standard literary criticism. One lab focuses on collecting and seeking relationships among assigned literary texts and other primary sources from the second half of the twentieth century to illuminate American society in that time period.
  • For this lab, groups of students must find ten primary sources that relate in some way to literary texts under discussion and then—here’s the unusual bit—write three new verses of “America the Beautiful” that use the primary sources to illuminate a vision of American society. Instead of amber waves of grain and alabaster cities, they select images that reformulate the form of the song to represent another vision of the country. At the end of the course, her final essay assignment calls upon all of the work the previous labs have done, asking students to apply the skills they’ve practiced through the semester. While students in this course don’t do a single, big research project, they practice skills that will prepare them to do more sophisticated work later.
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    What are our assumptions about how students get research done in the humanities? How do those assumptions affect our instruction, and what really is our students' approach to research?
Clint Heitz

Primary Source Analysis Tool - Library of Congress - 76 views

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    Web tool form recording responses to a primary source.
Mark Gleeson

TeachersFirst: Now I See! - Infographics as content scaffold and creative, formative assessment - 119 views

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    Teachers First is offering an online class about this topic on Tuesday, April 9: http://teachersfirst.wikispaces.com/OK2Ask
Brianna Crowley

Teaching like it's 2999: The Gripe Jam: Getting everyone on the digital learning train - 65 views

  • This originally started off with me bringing a large, empty jar to one of their weekly staff meetings and labeling it "Gripe Jam". I put a few pads of sticky notes on tables and played a rock anthem like "We're Not Gonna Take It". They had until the end of the song to write down any and all issues they are facing in their classrooms. I took these sticky notes, went home and created a Google Doc / Spreadsheet showing how as many of these challenges as possible could be addressed by digital learning tools/strategies/sites/etc. When I returned the next week, I shared this spreadsheet. The teachers then voted for or select one strategy they'd like to learn more about. This is how we decided where we began our exploring of digital learning.
  • Acknowledging that many teachers respond better to new ideas when we first listen to their current issues makes them feel heard and respected.
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    Classroom teacher and technology educator shares a strategy for engaging teachers in effective professional development around technology integration. 
Jennie Snyder

How 21st Century Thinking Is Just Different - 2 views

  • nstead, we might consider constant reflection guided by important questions as a new way to learn in the presence of information abundance.
  • There is more information available to any student with a smartphone than an entire empire would have had access to three thousand years ago.
  • Truth may not change, but information does. And in the age of social media, it divides and duplicates in a frenzied kind of digital mitosis.
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  • new habits of mind.
  • Persisting.
  • Managing impulsivity.
  • Responding with awe.
  • Questioning.
  • Innovating.
  • Thinking interdependently.
  • This hints at the concept not so much of student motivation, but student impetus.
  • the 21st century’s model is form and interdependence.
  • How the Habits of Mind develop is not as simple as merely naming them.
  • It is one thing to remind little Johnny to persist in the face of adversity. It is another to create consistent reasons and opportunities for him to do so, and nurturing it all with modeling, resources, and visible relevance.
  • The tone of thinking in the 21st century should not be hushed nor gushing, defiant nor assimilating, but simply interdependent, conjured to function on a relevant scale within a much larger human and intellectual ecology
  • The shift towards the fluid, formless nature of information—thinking of information as a kind of perpetually oozing honey that holds variable value rather than static silhouettes and typesets that is right or wrong—is a not a small one.
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    How 21st C really is different. Think differently.
s2 art

The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness: Do you Tweet? As an Educator..You Should! - 55 views

  • Edchat Edtech Education Technology
    • Drew Seibel
       
      Key groups to follow in Twitter. Many resources and very active.
  • 1.) 100 Educators to Follow on Twitter 2.) Twitter 4 Teachers Wiki 3.) Educators on Twitter - Google Doc Spreadsheet.  You can add yourself by filling out the following form once you create your Twitter account. 4.) Connexions - Directory of Learning Professionals Online 5.) You can get some more ideas at Free Technology 4 Teachers: Seven Ways to find Teachers on Twitte
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    Great tips on using twitter as an educator
Rafael Morales_Gamboa

The underlying inequality of MOOCs | OEB Newsportal - 26 views

  • There are a variety of mitigating factors that limit access to MOOCs, many of which are the same as those that also exclude disadvantaged groups from traditional educational models and stem from financial, geographical and educational disparity.
    • Rafael Morales_Gamboa
       
      Of course they are! Whoever is expecting MOOCs to solve the inequality problems created by thousands of years of human culture has a serious mental problem. 
  • often form a core part of MOOC resources
    • Rafael Morales_Gamboa
       
      Often does not mean it has to be that way. So it is an argument against a particularly common type of MOOC, but not the only (neither the best) one.
Brianna Crowley

Response: Several Ways to Get the New Year Off to a Good Start -- Part One - Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo - Education Week Teacher - 60 views

  • Every day that first week, even in the first meeting, teach something substantive in the curriculum. Make it something that is brand new, not something reviewed from the previous year. Students are hungry for intellectual engagement after a summer off, and they want to think great thoughts and do great works.
  • Mix academics with administrative and Get-to-Know-You activities. It should be about 50-50: half engagement with interesting academics, half focused on forms, announcements, or activities meant to build classroom community. Keep the ratio: students will grow impatient and disillusioned if too much time is spent on get-to-know-you activities. It sounds weird, but most students are not looking for continued summer camp experiences so much as they are seeking confidence and engagement.
  • choose poems related to growing up or modern culture, or read share the lyrics of powerful songs of any generation.
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  • Tell students what new opportunities and freedoms they now have instead of just listing rules and the consequences for breaking them.
Clint Heitz

Do we read differently on paper than on a screen? - 9 views

  • In total, there are more than 180 researchers from 33 different countries participating in the COST-initiated research network E-READ, reading in an age of digital transformation. This network examines the effects and consequences of digital developments in terms of reading.
  • It is not a case of "one size fits all," but patterns are beginning to emerge from empirical research into the subject. The length of the text seems to be the most critical factor. If the text is long, needs to be read carefully and perhaps involves making notes, then studies show that many people, including young people such as students, still often prefer a printed book, even if it is available as both an e-book and in electronic formats with options for making notes, enabling the user to search for and highlight the text digitally. This is not the case when it comes to shorter texts.
  • When reading long, linear, continuous texts over multiple pages that require a certain amount of concentration, referred to as "Deep Reading," the reader often experiences better concentration and a greater overview when reading from a printed medium compared to a screen. When we are reading from a screen, only one section can be seen at a time and the available reading surface area is limited. If you read a printed medium such as a book, several text areas are available simultaneously and it feels easier to form an overview and make notes in the margins.
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  • However, an interesting finding in some of the empirical studies is that we tend to overestimate our own reading comprehension when we read on screen compared to on paper.
  • it has been found that we tend to read faster on screen and consequently understand less compared to when reading from paper. This is a very new research topic and there are studies that have not found any differences in this area.
  • such findings do highlight something very important, namely that we may have a different mental attitude to what we read on a screen. This has very significant implications, including in the context of education.
  • For example, reading literature has proven to have a stimulating effect on the imagination and encourage the development of empathy. Reading has an effect on our ability to concentrate and for abstract thinking. We want to discover if such processes are influenced by the reading medium.
  • There is a need for more empirical research on reading comprehension in terms of screen reading and also on the subjective reading experience.
Clint Heitz

Screen Reading Worse for Grasping Big Picture, Researchers Find - Digital Education - Education Week - 27 views

  • Among young adults who regularly use smartphones and tablets, just reading a story or performing a task on a screen instead of on paper led to greater focus on concrete details, but less ability to infer meaning or quickly get the gist of a problem,
  • The findings align with other emerging research on how students process information differently in print and digital forms. A 2014 series of experiments found that while taking more notes overall was better than taking fewer, students who typed notes on their laptops rather than writing them on paper tended to take down information verbatim rather than summarizing concepts, and the more students wrote verbatim, the less they remembered a week later. 
  • For example, she said, teachers should consider the format of information when designing different types of activities, to help students focus on details or overall themes. 
grayberg

Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education - 48 views

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    This article is one of the many written by D. Randy Garrison on the value of e-learning both as an independent entity and (as in this article) part of the blended learning environment. The authors are Dr. D. Randy Garrison, professor and academic director of Learning Commons at the University of Calgary; and Dr. Heather Kanuka, professor and academic director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Alberta. Both authors have written extensively on the topic of e-learning, distance education, and adult education. This article discusses the potential of blended learning in higher education. The authors conclude that blended learning can have a substantial benefit for the student both in terms of logistics and educational satisfaction. "Blended learning is about rethinking and redesigning the teaching and learning relationship." However, it requires that the program's administrative and leadership issues are addressed and a solid action plan is in place. A "community of inquiry" must be formed by good course design which can be at the same time quite simple and yet complex. This topic is of great interest to me as I would like to reinstate a successful blended learning program at the college where I teach.
Clint Heitz

Study Finds Difference In Recollection From Screen Reading Vs. Paper Reading | HuffPost - 25 views

  • The study followed people who used computer screens for learning versus paper reading to learn, and found that while screen learning helped solidify the details of the learning, paper reading helped readers better understand abstract concepts.
  • Better put, concrete memory from reading involves the who and when, whereas abstract concepts tend to lean towards where and why.
  • The results showed that abstract thinking was impacted by computer screens but concrete memory was not.
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  • The basic gist that we can take from it is that when learning something, it may be in your best interests to digest the information from multiple media forms. For example, if you want to recall the dates of certain events, a computer screen may help you better remember them when studying. However, if you want to recall why such an event occurred or where, paper may be your best bet.
  • The next time you go to study something, consider this twofold approach. Perhaps read up on the topics online and then print out the cliff notes. Next, study those as well. See if this helps you store all of the abstract and concrete information better.
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