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Jill Carlson

PLE Articles - 3 views

  • I could stand to be more savvy in my own organizing of online learning and networking:
    • krcouch
       
      This is so me! I really need to create a personal learning environment for myself with everything in one place.
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      I know that I do not take full advantage of these and I should! It just needs to be my go to and make it a habit. It totally makes sense to have everything in one place.
    • dykstras
       
      Right on sisters! I wonder how many of us DON'T feel this way?!?!?
    • brarykat
       
      For me taking the step after doing more of my own PLE would be to help my staff.
    • tifinif
       
      Exactly. How is it that I can create a Symbaloo and resources for teachers but can't find the time to do it for myself. I feel like a chicken with my head cut off some days trying to remember all my favorite places and websites that I use for different lessons.
    • dassom
       
      I am terrible at this to. I have lately been creating folders on my bookmark toolbar to get more organized. There are so many resources that we have learned about from each other and this course that I have forgotten about and I wish I would have come up with some way to organize them as I was learning about them.
    • carlarwall
       
      DITTO! I find myself going through many bookmarks on my computer daily. Need to get things organized and manageable.
  • ou can embed media (images, videos, and Slideshare presentations) in a tile, as an instructor, you can make a webmix quite interactive.
    • krcouch
       
      Love that this can be done especially so kids don't have to go to various websites all the time and try to navigate which can be tricky even for us adults at times.
    • brarykat
       
      Symbaloo has improved options since I was first introduced to it.  I'd like to help staff create their own!
    • Heather Whitman
       
      I agree with the ease of it and having others use it. I think it is imperative they have a full hour or more to work with it. I would recommend they come with sites/images/links they definitely want to include before work time. They may spend more time on that and not finish it. Suddenly, it gets pushed back and not used.
  • allows students to direct and manage their own learning experience while pursuing educational goals.
    • krcouch
       
      Nothing says great learning more than this...they decide how to reach their educational goal. great!
    • brarykat
       
      Agreed.  It makes sense that students with invested interest in their education and ability to make choices will be more successful.
    • emmeyer
       
      Exactly. This would motivate the students more than anything else.
  • ...31 more annotations...
  • Learning isn’t germane to structured classroom environments alone; it occurs in both formal and informal settings.
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      This has been true for centuries, yet our schools still function with the thought that things must be learned in the classroom. That thought is starting to shift and progress has been made, but we still have a long way to go to change some mindsets.
    • brarykat
       
      I love getting updates from friends teaching through outdoor classrooms or non traditional settings.  They always share the successes but also acknowledge any difficulties.  Trouble shooting is key for those making shifts to PLEs.
  • The employ of PLEs in the classroom can go horribly wrong if teachers fail to prepare students and set usage parameters. PLEs place a large amount of responsibility on students and thus requires a high level of self-management and awareness.
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      These are critical steps! We can't just assume students know how to do it. We have to teach them the skills either at first or as you go along. Throwing students into the situation is setting them up for potential failure.
    • dykstras
       
      Agreed Kim! I also made a comment earlier about student motivation factoring into this too
  • What I do like about Symbaloo is that if I make any updates to this webmix, students receive the updates as well!
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      I use symbaloo for my library resources. I am able to embed it on my library page. What I like is that it gives the students the direct link to many of the resources without them having to hunt for them. There are times that I want them to do that, but sometimes it just needs to be quick and Symbaloo works well for that.
    • brarykat
       
      I like the links readily available for a teacher's specific unit. Symbaloo helps students stay connected to assignments and increases efficiency of finding information.
  •  I encouraged students to use their accounts as an information dashboard for “professional” or school interests as well as personal passions.
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      I really like this idea. I have never really explored Symbaloo enough or thoroughly enough to use it with students. I would like to explore that possibility more as part of my personal learning plan
    • brarykat
       
      I thought that was an interesting idea also.  We've discussed Symbaloo for years but I hadn't considered students creating their own.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      I like the clean look of it. People get easily lost in many online sites. Symbaloo forces you to find the key sites. This can really force you to find the best of the best.
  • Students engaging in networked learning have to learn to be more self-directed than in the typical classroom
    • Kim Foley-Sharp
       
      This is definitely a concept that we need to teach our students. Cooperative/group learning was something that I did not like growing up as I was usually the one most responsible in the group and ended up doing most of the work. We need to teach all of our students how this concept works so that it can be successful for all.
    • brarykat
       
      Very true for this to be successful.  I think a step before that is to do an in-depth training for staff.  So many times new methods and teaching tools are dumped in our laps without training, supports, or guidance.  PLEs could have lasting, powerful effects on students so I'd make sure it's all staff not just teachers to benefit from training.
  • A PLE is the method students use to organize their self-directed online learning, including the tools they employ to gather information, conduct research, and present their findings.
    • dykstras
       
      Interesting ... a PLE isn't a physical environment at all, but rather a method ... hadn't thought of it that way before reading this article.
    • blockerl
       
      I think what is also crucial to think about is how to get students to effectively research. We find this as a battle a lot. I wonder, though, if students are picking their own path that we would have more time to teach and reinforce these skills with them.
  • These tools provide a medium for students to create their own learning space that is more natural and unique to their interests and learning styles.
    • dykstras
       
      What? You mean our kids don't like to physically come to school, sit down, listen and learn anymore? And we are to adjust our 'teaching' to best fit their learning, including the delivery methods and mediums?!?!? Now that takes a GROWTH mindset!
    • brarykat
       
      Lol!  I have a small group of students everyday.  Because of the numbers I let them choose where we work each day - comfy loungers, table with rigid seats… I also let them make decisions on as many things as possible every period.  I like to think these students feel empowered, valued, and appreciated because of these simple tweaks to my teaching style.  However, realistically I believe this would be more difficult for me in a class of 30.  I want to learn strategies and then help other teachers to take the leap.
  • This encourages students to apply their learning in different venues which creates a culture of lifelong learning.
    • dykstras
       
      This to me seems like the greatest benefit to a PLE, but still relies HEAVILY on learner motivation. If a student is not motivated to learn (individually or otherwise) a PLE seems like it could be a way lose touch with that student
    • brarykat
       
      I agree with this also.  Motivated students are not my concern.  It's my middle school students that project their lack of interest, refuse or struggle to learn in the traditional setting, and those that show apathy toward any aspect of learning.  These students may benefit the most from PLEs but how to convince them in a class of 30+ is daunting.
  • facilitation of students’ “active role in the learning process”
    • dykstras
       
      I think a lot of modern day teachers (will) struggle with this ... moving from the keeper and giver of knowledge to facilitator of knowledge. We don't 'teach' them anything anymore that they can't learn on their own ... if they WANT to (even the quadratic formula). The challenge to me is how do we motivate and teach today's kids to WANT to learn on their own?
    • brarykat
       
      Yes, how do we instill the intrinsic value of personal growth and learning?  I see one way is connecting to real-world implementation.  Students ask "why learn this" and "when will I ever use this".  I agree that some or many teachers will struggle shifting from keeper to facilitator because it's out of comfort zone and control issue.
    • dassom
       
      I currently have a few students that would be ready and do well with this learning environment. How do we change the mindset of those other students that think school is useless and would do nothing all day long if given the opportunity? I'm afraid the "active" role may need to be more facilated that what we have been reading about so far.
  • The concept of PLE is not a way to replace classroom learning, but to enhance it.
    • bbraack
       
      I think this is important because some people might think that having a PLE for a student, then the teachers role is done. The teacher still has to provide what students need to learn, standards, but it is the student who decides how and the teacher is there to be a facilitator.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      I second this comment. This concept would take a lot of background and professional development. Teachers may feel threatened and some may worry about losing jobs as the internet can replace everything. Understanding it is not meant to replace is essential.
    • carlarwall
       
      So important to know that the teacher still plays an important role in this type of environment. Especially as students who are so used to the traditional learning environment move to a PLE.
  • Teachers, she explains, are no longer the primary or even the best source of information available to students
    • bbraack
       
      This is so true! With all of the ways students can find information using technology, the teacher is more there to help or facilitate a students learning if needed. Unlike "back-in-the-day", when students relied on the teacher or library for almost all of the information or learning.
    • emmeyer
       
      Truth. While the teacher's job has changed greatly, they are still very necessary. Now however, the need to teach students how to find the information and find good and trustworthy information.
  • Not every student is ready for this responsibility,
    • bbraack
       
      It would be nice if all students would be able to have a PLE, but some are not mature enough or motivated enough to work independently. Some students still need to be "pushed" to get work done and stay on task.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      There has never been one way for students to learn. We have to be flexible and offer different ways. I agree, this does not fit all students. We can still integrate pieces of this for students but use traditional means as well!
    • dassom
       
      The concept of PLE's seems really appealing to "lazy" teachers and it will unlikely work. For those of us that use technology frequently in our daily instruction you know that it takes a lot of pre-planning to incoporate technology appropriately. If you add the element of a student not being ready to take this step you either have teachers never try or really really fail.
    • carlarwall
       
      I agree that some teachers may think that using the PLE will be an easy out for them in regards to planning and instruction. If it is done well, the teacher who is part of the PLE actually should have more work to do as they monitor students on their individual work.
    • emmeyer
       
      Even while this does not work for all students, a modified version would still beneficial for all students. Some would need more guidance while still setting goals and completing projects.
    • Jill Carlson
       
      I would totally agree that not every student is ready, but isn't this the point of personalized learning?
  • PLEs give learners a high degree of control over their work by allowing them to customize the learning experience and connect to others, including experts in the field.
    • bbraack
       
      I think when students are able to customize their learning, then they take more ownership of it and are more inclined or motivated to do it, share and work with others wanting to learn the same thing or similar things.
  • clean, visual interface of Symbaloo and the ease of adding content; they also liked that they could customize the “tiles” they were adding and that their webmixes loaded quickly.
    • tifinif
       
      I'm in an elementary school and use Symbaloo in my library site. The kids and teachers love how easy it is to use and find the sites that they use quickly. I even have teachers accounts linked to our school page so that specific ages can go to their own class symbaloo.
    • blockerl
       
      That's smart! I bet it is really helpful for the elementary students! :)
    • carlarwall
       
      I have been out of the classroom for a couple of years. I would love a chance to share these ideas with some of the new teachers I coach in my work.
  • Because Symbaloo is web-based, you can access your favorite webmixes from different computers.
    • tifinif
       
      Teachers and kids love this at my school. I even give families the link so that they can use at home. They know that if I put a resource on it, that it is safe to use and they don't have to be roaming around looking for stuff that may end up being inappropriate.
  • Instead of a teacher providing resources that everyone uses, students can utilize their PLE to acquire information using preferred apps and resources such as blogs, YouTube, Pinterest, Ning or Delicious.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      This is such a win, win. The students are finding what interests them, helping others, and also helping the teacher. All too often teachers spend a large amount of time finding the resources. This works much better in the upper levels as it is essential to talk about reliability and good sources. I think it is essential to look at databases provided by the AEA and others purchased. These are reliable and good places to go. In the elementary, I send them here for reading levels and as they don't have the same ability to search online.
  • PLE by creating blogs, wikispaces, prezi presentations and photo collages as final projects; thereby diversifying instruction.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      This is where I get frustrated in the elementary. Most sites are for students ages 13 and up. I won't allow them to create their own prezi, animoto, powtoon, etc. accounts. So I have them use my login & password which is likely breaking copyright rules. These social media platforms (including Pinterest), need to create student friendly ones for ages 7 and up (just threw out an age) so that we can integrate similar style of teaching.
    • dassom
       
      I agree. If we wait until they are in middle school to have them "appropriately" use websites they have already developed their sense of digital citizenship without the proper instruction we know they need.
    • schma3
       
      Heather- I did some digging into Symbaloo's privacy policy and it looks like as long as you have obtained parental permission, students under the age of 13 can create an account- but I would look into a creating a pro account. I know I'm going to check it out! "By making any such personal information available to Symbaloo, you acknowledge that you have obtained the consent of a parent and/or guardian of that individual to provide such personal information, and that you have taken reasonable precautions to prevent individuals under the age of 13 from falsifying such consent"
  • Students can extend their learning into questions to parents, email conversations, Facebook posts or even twitter hashtags.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      Organizations/schools have always tried to increase communication. Parents have always continued to want more understanding of what students are learning. Using this type of format and inviting them into the learning is crucial. They can give feedback, see how to help, and also feel confident in what students are learning and the type of projects/products. The trick- how do we integrate families without internet? That is not impossible (especially if they come pick at school and allowing access in the library), but something to seriously think about. Rural areas can't go to McDonalds 20 miles away to do homework. We must have a policy to help those without internet.
  • supporting students in developing their skills and motivations for becoming themselves networked and sophisticated online learners
    • Heather Whitman
       
      I was elated to read this quote. I think we can focus too much on the what verses how do we grow and improve our resources. The sheer number of resources is overwhelming and can cause people to shut down. I think the key is to teach how to evaluate a resource and think about if it fits the current need. Curating is not like liking or making comments everywhere. We need to teach people how to decide.
  • teacher centered classrooms to more learner centered classrooms
    • dassom
       
      When we can get teachers to put the focus back on what the student needs, ideas and classroom revolutions like PLE's or flipped curriculum become much more likely.
  • teachers must pursue training and be knowledgeable of how to utilize PLEs to enhance learning and ensure that students are using this e-learning tool in a meaningful way.
    • blockerl
       
      This is extremely important. If we want to do something well, we must have good support and good training. It makes more sense for the teacher to initiate the training because there will be more buy-in.
  • I decided to revisit Symbaloo, which I first discovered about a year or so ago through my colleague and friend Wendy Drexler.
    • blockerl
       
      Our teacher librarian uses Symbaloo to organize the library resources like databases, the library link, etc. It's a nice visual.
  • Personal learning environments are beneficial because they support learning anywhere and allow learners to connect the diverse environments of school, home and play
    • carlarwall
       
      I think it is great that this type of learning will help to shift the mindset of the students to one in which they think learning can happen anywhere.
  • Study group resources
    • schma3
       
      I saw this being used with Freshman- this was a way for them to organize their resources for a research paper.
  • Symbaloo EDU
    • schma3
       
      I was doing some research on Symbaloo EDU and it looks like they have created something called Learning Paths- https://www.symbalooedu.com/learning-paths/ This would be a way for students to move through learning at their own pace.
  • You can share with the public or with a select group of individuals (via email).
    • schma3
       
      I like how easy it is to share web mixes with others. You could use Google Classroom to share different symbaloo's with different sets of students.
  • let’s never forget it is an ongoing balancing act. 
    • emmeyer
       
      This is true of teaching in general, especially when they are doing PLE!
  • sharing with others.
    • Jill Carlson
       
      This reminds me of the first grade blogs, I used to have my students do years ago. They loved the feedback from their parents and grandparents.
  • The social media platform that supports PLEs creates a perfect space for peer collaboration and sharing information.
    • Jill Carlson
       
      What would be the best social media platform to use for lower elementary students?
  • Symbaloo
    • Jill Carlson
       
      I love Symbaloo and the fact that it is user friendly enough for first graders to use!
marydermit

PLE Articles - 2 views

  • PLEs place a large amount of responsibility on students and thus requires a high level of self-management and awareness. Not every student is ready for this responsibility, so teachers need to have strategies in place to guide and support these learners.
    • moodyh
       
      This is the part that I get stuck on.  Many students are either not mature enough for this yet or have been so put off by school that they think there is no educational topic that interests them.  In a more one-on-one environment, like my alt school, I can usually find something to interest them and get them going.  However, in a traditional school setting, where I see students only for an hour each day for only 60 days, and so many of them, it's hard to work with each student one-on-one to get them motivated.  I think all the comments that the whole school would have to shift (rather than just one classroom) makes sense because the students would have to learn how to deal with this new level of responsibility.  60 hours with one teacher just won't get that accomplished, no matter how phenomenal the teacher is.
    • alissahansen
       
      I definitely agree with you on this. Since I teach freshmen, I feel like a lot of time is teaching them just how to be good citizens (at school, at home, in the community, and in the world)! I only see them for 45 minutes each day, but I do see them all year. I would really like to implement a more personalized learning environment for them, but I know it's going to be an up-hill climb all of the way!
    • alissahansen
       
      Last comment by Alissa Hansen.
    • edamisch
       
      This would be a challenge for me as well, since I only have my 6th graders for 9 weeks per school year, and my 7th and 8th graders for 7 weeks per school year! 
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      Being a teacher in an alternative program, most of my students just want to be done with school as quick as possible. They are so tired of playing the game of school. I must admit, unfortunately, that I may feed that "get-done-with-school-as-soon-as-possible" mentality by pushing students to stay on track or get ahead of the game. However, if the student becomes the driver in their own learning then maybe they will be more motivated. As educators, we need to tap into the "What's in if for me?" mindset that many students have. Find an interest of the students and build their learning environment around that interest. Much easier said than done.
    • dwefel
       
      I agree with this. I also think that parents need to be aware of what teachers are doing as well. A high school teacher at my former school put everything on Twitter and one parent did not want her 15 year old daughter to have a Twitter account. Something to always think about and be ready to have alternative ways to do assignments or simply make it a requirement.
  • professionalism is far more about the effective manipulation– access, evaluation, & applicatio
    • moodyh
       
      This seems to be a recurring theme as well.  Getting students ready for the "real world" isn't so much about making sure they know lots of details about every subject area, but making sure they could find and understand any detail in any subject area that they will need.  The goal of education seems less about passing on information as teaching students how to organize and understand the over-abundance of it.  How then do we balance this with the extreme focus on core-curriculum?  Finding a balance is the challenge.
    • lisalillian311
       
      Yes, it seems there needs to be instruction on how to gather/organize the information and reliable sources, and then instruction on using it.  While the end result is positive, it will take time to jump start students in their own PLE.
  • Symbaloo has created a version of the platform specifically for educators
    • moodyh
       
      We got introduced to Symbaloo at school this year, although I might check into the EDU version.  I got logged in and played for a few minutes, but never had the time to develop something usable because as a district we were on to something different.  I like that our district provides us with many topics and learning opportunities, but I wish that I had more time to focus on one thing.  I think this is probably what it's like for students.  They get exposed to so much, but they need help organizing it and time to explore.  
    • lisalillian311
       
      Yes, Symballoo seems like more than one day of PD.  I haven't started my own yet, but I think it will take time to get a handle on the lingo as well as using the tools within the website.
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      I agree as teachers we would need to be taught or have time to explore this site and learn how to exactly model it appropriately to our grade level. I would love to see how other teachers use this and model it in their classrooms too. 
    • edamisch
       
      I can relate to this feeling, whenever I attend a conference, I learn so much that I need a day or two afterwards to just process and create the new games and activities that I've found, but it is always straight back to teaching. 
    • moodyh
       
      Some teacher as my school went to a conference this year and actually talked administration into another professional development day where they could just process all of their information.  It was pretty cool.
  • ...37 more annotations...
  • Some instructors empower students to use their own mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones as a means to create PLEs.
    • lisalillian311
       
      We have 1-on-1 technology in our district, which is ideal for PLEs.  However, when the student forgets the laptop or has no power left in the battery, the smartphone comes in handy.  It is tougher to monitor the smartphone.
    • lisalillian311
       
      Autonomy is a great concern for me.  With collaboration being stressed in CCS, will students be able to conquer this skill without the use of technology?  At some point, some issues have to be discussed face-to-face, and there is a separate skill set for that environment.
    • lisalillian311
       
      I like the idea of Symballoo--kind of like a favorites list and bookmarks in my Google account.  What will take time for me is learning all the lingo attached to Symballoo!
    • lisalillian311
       
      What is aggregator?
    • alissahansen
       
      I have always been a support of helpful tech resources that students are interested in, which is why I am always trying to learn more about different Apps and tools and explore them myself. Once I play around a bit, I usually introduce it to my students. Sometimes the resources are new, sometimes not, but there are so many wonderful tools out there. I visit Richard Byrne's site once a day! Currently, our language arts department has Chromebook carts for each classroom and the district is allocating more and more to different departments. They are wonderful to have, but students will get bored very quickly if they are only being used for tech sake. I LOVE the idea of having students create a Symbaloo. In fact, my plan is to have them begin one at the start of the school year and then they can add to it as we move through different units. This would have been particularly helpful during our research unit.  I also like the idea of "empower"ing students to use their phones and other mobile devices, but we do have a pretty strict policy on phone usage at our school. Sometimes students' phones work much more efficiently than the Chromebooks. (Alissa Hansen)
    • spfantz
       
      I think my students would love deciding which medium to use. I also have a lot of artistic students who would chose to create a paper/pencil project similar in format to a prezi presentation or blog with pictures.
    • edamisch
       
      Choice can be such a motivator for students, we all have our strengths and weaknesses! 
    • emilyzelenovich
       
      This is something I also worry about with the students I teach. While I appreciate their willingness to use technology and the creativity it lends itself to, I worry about their ability to solve problems and communicate effectively face to face. How do you ensure they are learning these essential skills as well when things are so individualized? 
    • Jessica Athen
       
      This made me think about how difficult it is to have a PLE in a traditional classroom setting. We have 1:1 technology in our district, but students are extremely limited in what websites and programs they can use (You Tube, all social media, etc is blocked for students.) We also do not allow students to use tablets or smartphones in the classroom, with some teachers wanting to enact a school wide ban on smart phones and tablets so that they are not allowed in school at all. I am so excited to be learning about all of the opportunities PLEs offer students, but I also think there are many changes that will have to be made before we can start moving in this direction.
  • The vast array of options and sense of autonomy that lies at the very heart of personal learning environments can also be a huge inhibitor.
    • alissahansen
       
      I also worry about autonomy, as I teach freshmen English and 14 and 15 year olds do not have a "high level of self-management and awareness," at least not many. Like any classroom, however, guidelines need to be firmly in place and I think autonomy would need to be frontloaded before jumping into a PLE. I do think students would do very well in this type of environment. In fact, I often have students telling me about different resources they go to on a daily basis...whether it's to get advice, read a review, write a review, or even write a short story! The possibilities are endless, but I do think structure needs to be in place. At least to begin with. I start the year with my freshmen discussing and reading/watching material regarding civility, we made a code of civility in each class, and then we blog about our practicing of it throughout the year. I would like to implement a PLE in much the same manner. (Alissa Hansen)
  • The idea of having one site to log into daily and then a pre-constructed  dashboard of all the learning tools and spaces available to us seemed appealing to the 7th period students
    • alissahansen
       
      I do think that using a Symbaloo is a great idea to manage resources, and it looks like something my students would enjoy working with. However, my school has really moved towards using Google Classroom and teachers having Google sites, which I spend a lot of time and energy on with both. I think too many tech items can be a cognitive overload for students and teachers alike. I think if I am to use something like Symbaloo, I would need to eliminate at least Classroom or Sites and maybe even some of the other many sites that I have students use (Newsela, NoRedInk, Kahoot, etc.). It's just hard for me, especially with the site that I have created because I have spent so much time on it over the past three years. I just don't think students would benefit from having to click around to a lot of different resources, especially if they are teacher-created. (Alissa Hansen)
    • ascallon
       
      I like the idea of a daily log in for updates.  I think this would work in the Green Belt classroom for relaying information as students don't attend the same schedule each day.
  • Teachers are challenged to provide the appropriate balance between structured lessons and learner autonomy in order to facilitate self-directed learning.
    • alissahansen
       
      Great quote on the benefits of PLE, but getting students who are not "ready" or mature enough to handle this type of self-direction will struggle. A challenge for teachers indeed! I think the classroom (physical environment) setup is the first thing that needs to be changed in order to prepare students for this type of autonomy. What do the rest of you think? (Alissa Hansen)
    • alissahansen
       
      I guess I should also state that I do not think students are getting enough opportunities to be autonomous, which is why they struggle and fear it when they are given the opportunity. (Alissa Hansen)
  • A personal learning environment (PLE) with personal knowledge management (PKM) tools An eportfolio A collection of resources related to a problem-based learning challenge Study group resources
    • alissahansen
       
      I am really looking forward to starting this with students. It's like a one-stop shop for their individual needs. One of the biggest setbacks I have faced in recent years was trying out a multitude of tech resources and although some were helpful, clicking around all over the place was overwhelming! (Alissa Hansen)
    • spfantz
       
      I was devistated when google removed igoogle, and I think this could definitely take its place. I agree that students will appreciate the convenience of this site.
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      Alissa, I get overwhelmed with the amount of resources and tools available. I often don't know where to start, so I opt not to. Thankfully, I'm taking this class and I have the opportunity to investigate and use some PLE tools like Diigo and Symbaloo, things I've never heard of until now!
  • method students use to organize their self-directed online learning
    • spfantz
       
      I think this would be very powerful and I would love to create something like this, personally. I think my accellerated students would thrive, but worry that my lower level students would struggle due to a lack of confidence in themselves and lack of self-awareness. I wonder if there are certain organizational PLE templates that would work better for certain learning styles? Or perhaps a template would defeat the pourpose.....
  • attend to supporting students in developing their skills and motivations for becoming themselves networked and sophisticated online learners
    • spfantz
       
      I love the idea of supporting students individually, I just struggle to envision being able to support all my students adequately within my classroom. I feel like it would be easy to digress with a student over their PLE, but feel it could be difficult to find the time.
    • jroffman
       
      I sooo agree!!!! I would love to watch how an expert teacher teaches in a PLE classroom! I love the concept and the idea I am just struggling to make it work in the classroom.
    • Kristina Dvorak
       
      I like this concept, I think it is easier to do in a classroom that is content specific.  I can see where it would be more difficult if a teacher was responsible for teaching multiple content areas.  At the same time, that teacher doesn't have to be the the information source for all the students, time is just the factor.  
    • moodyh
       
      That's interesting.  I think PLEs would be easier to manage in multiple content areas because they would have to be working on their own thing.  The environment is really suited for it.
  • subscribe to news feeds and blogs, discern the value of social bookmarks, and set up the aggregator to manage all the Internet resources.
    • spfantz
       
      Subscribing to news feeds and blogs would be a great technique to compare and contrast views related to the students' topics of interest. This could be difficult for the teacher to monitor, digo might be a great way to track this!
    • jroffman
       
      This is what I am trying to develop in my preschool class room where the students are in charge of their own learning, and I am more of a resource. What I struggle with is classroom management, I feel like all of the students are demanding my attention and I can't help everyone. 
    • edamisch
       
      Sometimes it is hard to fathom the classroom management of a PLE of 12-22 students, which is what I currently have, let alone 30+ like many districts have.  
    • nwhipple
       
      Having your students be more independent is wonderful.  This past year I did less large group instruction and more small groups.  I taught my kindergarten students "Ask 3 before me".  They had to ask 3 people for help or what we were doing before coming to me.  When they came to me, especially when i was working with my small group, I asked them "did you ask 3 before me?".  If they didn't, they would just turn around and go find something.  This is a start for having your students become more independent.  BY creating a PLE for young students, they feel more in control of their learning too.  If you, the teacher, set it up and give them access to a variety of things to do, they will enjoy what they are doing and feel they are making "their own choices".  
  • Personal learning environments are beneficial because they support learning anywhere and allow learners to connect the diverse environments of school, home and play. Students can extend their learning into questions to parents, email conversations, Facebook posts or even twitter hashtags.
    • jroffman
       
      I don't want to sound negative in my post here because I really am all for personalized learning. I wonder how we can get administration on board with us. I struggle with old school administration who tell me as a teacher that I can not use my phone during the day, that I can not use facebook, and about passed out when they realized that parents text me, questions and changes in their child's schedule. I did have a secret facebook page and it was wonderful I would use it to include parents with our studies. 
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      Good point. I agree with your post. It is hard to get some administrators going along with this new idea of personalized learning. Even at my other school I taught at Facebook and some other social networking sites were blocked. I like the idea of having a Facebook page with parents and students to keep parents informed with stuff going on at school, and also a way for students to post and communicate with parents and classmates. I think these social websites are necessary in schools, but the big question is how do we get teachers and administration to go for it? 
    • Kristina Dvorak
       
      Our District has blocked a lot of the social sites as well, it comes from the upper levels of administration and not our building admin.  I think they tend to be out of touch with the possibilities and fear the unknown.   It would be great to use Facebook for connecting with parents and students.  The alternative given to us is Canvas in which parents have access to teachers.  But it isn't as easy or convenient as Facebook.  That is certainly one site I wish we could use at work.   I do like the idea of personalized learning environments, especially the concept of students seeking knowledge that is useful for them!  This appears to be the best way to create life-long learners!
    • edamisch
       
      Facebook is blocked at my school as well, which is a shame since it'd be a way to create an immersion like setting in my Spanish classroom.  If I see something cool on the site that related to class, such as photos from a friend's time in Panama with the Peace Corps, I turn the wifi off on my phone so that Facebook will work, and just walk around the class showing kids, which is risky, I know.  I'm sure there is a cord that I could connect from my phone to SmartBoard to make this more feasible.  I should probably get a separate teacher facebook page for things like this.  Some of the articles that pop up in my feed from magazines like Women's Health are not school appropriate!  
  • Students engaging in networked learning have to learn to be more self-directed than in the typical classroom… they are required to take a more active role in the learning process
    • jroffman
       
      by teaching students how to be self learners and how to be active in the learning process I think that as kids and adults these students will want to be life long learners and not someone who only does it because they have to. Or worse yet lets everyone else do it for them. I love the independence PLE classrooms create
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I see so many students who do not understand how to play an active role in their learning because they have been conditioned to rely on the teacher. Many students get very anxious and really don't know what to do when they are asked to complete self-directed activities. I think PLE will provide students with the opportunity to take responsibility for their own learning, which will help them throughout their lives.
  • Personal Learning Environments (PLE) are not to be confused with Learning Management Systems (LMS) that are implemented and maintained by institutions.
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      This is very important! I see the (LMS) approach in our school and in many other schools. I feel like it wouldn't be hard to confuse (LMS and PLE) these different approaches, because they seem so different. The chart gave a good outline of how different they are compared to each other. 
    • Kristina Dvorak
       
      The chart is helpful in understanding the differences.  The LMS could also be a tool in a student's PLE.  
    • edamisch
       
      Agreed, charts and lists make learning so much easier than paragraphs, at least for me. 
  • continue to collect feedback from students on how this learning tool is working for them and how they are using it for themselves as well as within their groups–I’m excited to see what will happen.  I may also informally introduce Symbaloo to some of last year’s Media 21 students and get their feedback on how they think Symbaloo compares to Netvibes and what their preferences are as students.   In the meantime, I’ve created
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      I like the idea of getting student feedback on technology and the use of different resources. You can really learn student interest and their honest opinions through surveys or different forms of feedback. 
  • It’s easy to use A learner can pull information that’s personally useful to him/her Learners can personalize tiles to make them easy to spot Learners can add to, and draw from, a community of webmixes Interactivity + personalization = fun
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      These look like awesome reasons why Symbaloo is a great learning tool for students. I can definitely see this resource being used in grades k-12. Although, for example, I teach 1st grade and I can see my students loving this, but they will need lots of guidance and modeling of how to set it up and use it to help them become independent with it. I can see once it's set up it would be awesome for students to have all of their favorite resources and sites all in one place! 
    • ascallon
       
      I like the idea of having research available at one spot.  So many times when I ask a student where he/she found the information, it cannot be located.  I want to see projects with more detail.  
    • ascallon
       
      I have a concern about distractions.  Students tend to use their phones and computers more for entertainment and chatting with friends over research and presentation.  
    • edamisch
       
      Agreed, a high school I taught at did not have locks on lockers, meaning kids brought their phones to class so that they wouldn't be stolen. Preventing snapchatting was difficult for me!  
    • marydermit
       
      I have experienced the same issues with my high schools students.  I may take a different approach based on one of the side articles that stated, "students are still learning while they are wasting time because they will see consequences are for late work."
  • “learning by doing” and “student as worker,”
    • ascallon
       
      I would like to have some strategies to help students having an understanding of the shift in learning for them to become more involved in their learning.  How do I motivate them to go beyond bookwork to exploring topics?
    • moodyh
       
      When you find the answer, please fill me in too!
    • nwhipple
       
      I feel this is a big struggle right now in our district.  Teachers are wanting their students to dig deep into a topic or their work.  Students are given choices but still only surface the top of the water, doing the bare minimum, when we want them to dive in and go to the bottom.  In my classroom, my students have a writing journal.  We write in this "special" journal once a week.  At the beginning of the year, I give them ideas to write about.  Some write while others will simply draw a picture because they don't know how to write.  By the middle of the year, every is writing something, whether it is a complete sentences or a few words.  I will give them a few choices to choose from or they can write about something they want to.  BY the end of the year, they know to take out their journals and write about anything they want.  I want my students to take control of their own learning and reflect back on their work over the year so by having this year long journal, they can see their progression and how they took control over their writing.  
  • Many students in the first class that tried Symbaloo today commented that they liked the clean, visual interface of Symbaloo and the ease of adding content; they also liked that they could customize the “tiles” they were adding and that their webmixes loaded quickly.
    • Kristina Dvorak
       
      With my limited experience with Symbaloo, I agree with the fact that it does seem easy add and customize content.  I think my students would find this to be a helpful tool.  I also like the idea of encouraging students to use it for tracking both personal and school related information.  
  • learning toward facilitation of students’ “active role in the learning process” and teachers’ provision of the right balance between structured lessons and autonomy; let’s never forget it is an ongoing balancing act.
    • Kristina Dvorak
       
      This is a good reminder.  Students need to take on a more active role, but there is always a good balance.  It probably shouldn't be all one way or all another way.  
    • principalchris
       
      How true!  It will be difficult for some students to lead their own learning.  They have been passive for so long it will be a shock to their systems.
  • a number of tiles to get you started,
    • edamisch
       
      So like the apps that come with an iphone. 
    • principalchris
       
      Just set up my account and can't wait to see what else I can add.  This is a great time saver.
  • teachers must pursue training and be knowledgeable of how to utilize PLEs to enhance learning and ensure that students are using this e-learning tool in a meaningful way.
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      I believe this is where the transformation must start, with good, consistent professional development. The key here is ensuring students are using the technology, whether that be a tablet, laptop, or smartphone, appropriately for learning.
    • marydermit
       
      I very much agree the process must start with PD.  PD needs to be personalized. From a baby boomer perspective we need mini PD sessions for technology applications.  Otherwise I think there will be resistance from this age group because of limited tech skills. 
  • I could stand to be more savvy in my own organizing of online learning and networking: I’ve been slow to use tools and develop skills for managing online resource
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      I can so relate to this comment. Finding time to explore and become comfortable with the vast array of tools avaiable is my biggest challenge. I get so caught up in the day-to-day management of 10+ students attending the alternative program (I am the only adult in the room with the students), I don't often have time to explore what's out there. Even when my admin and tech people pass along a list of resources, it is overwhelming to me. Much of my time is spent tracking down students, following up with parents, and documenting the events of the day.
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I also feel overwhelmed by all of the technology that I "should" be learning about and using with my students. We spend a lot of PD time on technology and incorporating it into our classrooms, but I feel like we just get a quick overview of whatever program they want us to use at that time, and then we never really get time to explore it and develop ways to incorporate it into our teaching.
    • jenniferlb
       
      I'm with you! There are so many cool resources and tech tools I want to learn and use...but actually finding the time to explore and implement is another story!
  • Teachers, she explains, are no longer the primary or even the best source of information available to students
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      As a teacher in a one-room alternative program, I KNOW this to be true. I feel like the jack-of-all trades, master of none on many days. I see myself more as a manager and facilitator of their learning than the direct source.
    • dwefel
       
      I always think this after I watch the history channel. I learn so much from the history channel and it is so much more interesting than listening to a lecture.
    • moodyh
       
      I am in a one-teacher room as well, and while I try to keep up, there is now way to know it all.  Even in the traditional classroom where I teach personal finance, I feel unable to keep up with it all.  But it is hard to let go of the reigns when you have taught that way and everyone else around you teaches that way.
  • I encouraged students to use their accounts as an information dashboard for “professional” or school interests as well as personal passions.
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I really like the idea of showing students how to use this technology and their learning for both "professional and personal use." I think when you tell students that it is "ok" for them to use technology this way, they learn more because they aren't compartmentalizing their usage of this technology as only for school, which means that they are more likely to use the program and play around with it, which will increase their learning opportunities.
  • This encourages students to apply their learning in different venues which creates a culture of lifelong learning.
    • dwefel
       
      This is exactly what educators are going for, to create life long learners. Using PLEs will create that. I am so excited to incorporate this in my classroom and help others do the same.
    • jillnovotny
       
      I completely agree with you that we want students to become life-long learners! When students leave school, we want students to be able to do seek out their own research, contacts, and resources to solve everyday problems. If students are never presented with opportunities to direct and manage their own learning, they will not be as successful. Giving students permission to learn about and engage with things they are passionate about can only lead to positive educational outcomes (with appropriate supports of course)!
  • For example, you can create tiles that link to challenges, quiz questions, polls, discussion forums, chat pages, and other types of content and media that will facilitate more student involvement and creativity.
    • dwefel
       
      This sounds fun. I am looking forward to set up an account. I think kids would really like this. It is nice to have one place for everything.
  • students still needed some kind of information dashboard to manage all of their information streams for the upcoming project.
    • jillnovotny
       
      I think it is a great idea to have a place for students to "store" the information they need to research and interact with their content. My students have used symbaloo in computer class and it has taken away a lot of the management concerns. Students know where to go to find the tools they need to keep progressing with their learning!
    • principalchris
       
      What a great idea!  When that notebook with all the notes is missing, it could be stored and used during class instead of searching or pretending to search.  Maybe we could teach them responsibility again!
  • PLEs give learners a high degree of control over their work by allowing them to customize the learning experience and connect to others, including experts in the field
    • jillnovotny
       
      This is exactly what we want - students to have a high degree of control over their work! By allowing them to customize the learning experience and connect with others, including experts, students are getting real-life experience that will help them solve the problems they face in their everyday lives. A PLE can help students organize this self-directed learning. Students will likely know what they want to learn but organizing that learning is often what students need support in. PLEs are helpful in providing students with tools they need to gather information, conduct research, and present their findings!
  • personalized learning that allows students to direct and manage their own learning experience while pursuing educational goals
    • jillnovotny
       
      In my opinion, this is exactly what we want students to be able to do! By supporting students in their academic endeavors, students learn to view teachers as guides or facilitators rather than "the one who knows all." In thinking about what we want students to be able to do when they leave school, we want students to be able to do seek out their own research, contacts, and resources to solve everyday problems. If students are never presented with opportunities to direct and manage their own learning, they will not be as successful!
    • marydermit
       
      You are right!  If students do not get to practice this skills by doing then they will struggle when they enter the workforce. 
  • The development of PLEs represents a shift in focus from teacher centered classrooms to more learner centered classrooms. As such, teachers must learn to effectively incorporate these social media based initiatives into their lessons.
    • jenniferlb
       
      This sounds absolutely ideal. The challenge we as educators face with students using their own technology during instruction and competing for their attention has steadily increased over recent years. How cool would it be if it were used to enhance their learning rather than get in the way of it!
    • katie50009
       
      I do have some concerns that a lot of the PLE is based on on-line learning. Students use technology constantly, but I have also seen them get frustrated with technology and on-line learning when it seems hard to navigate or they are not receiving adequate feedback.
  • The Symbaloo interface looks a bit like a high-tech Scrabble board with movable “tiles” on it. These tiles give you access to Web pages or other webmixes.
    • jenniferlb
       
      As someone completely new to this type of program, I really like the looks of it.  It appears friendly and seems to lend itself to some really great things.
  • What I do like about Symbaloo is that if I make any updates to this webmix, students receive the updates as well!
    • nwhipple
       
      This is really handy for parents as well.  I send them the link and they can access my web mix at home.  When I make an update, I alert parents via my shutterfly site.  Parents can go to my web mix and have their child show them games we are playing that reinforces our learning goals.  It is also nice because parents don't have to download anything or search for hours on something educational for their child to do because it is already done for them.
  • Because Symbaloo is web-based, you can access your favorite webmixes from different computers.
    • nwhipple
       
      This is so great because I can share this with parents and their child can access my game page at home.  If parents allow screen time at home, I feel that by providing this web mix to them to access will only benefit their child and help them learn and reinforce our learning in the classroom.  
  • The concept of PLE is not a way to replace classroom learning, but to enhance it.
    • principalchris
       
      This is the comment many teachers were hoping to read.  I understand the hesitation to give students control of the learning environment, but is it working by controlling them?
    • marydermit
       
      PLE research shows there are less behavior issues because kids get to learn based on their interests promoting intrinsic motivation to learn.  I think it would be great to teach in a PLE.  
  • Personal learning environments (PLE) are a new approach to personalized learning that allows students to direct and manage their own learning experience while pursuing educational goals. The idea for PLEs was born from the emergence of Web 2.0 tools and the ubiquity of technology in today’s society. Students now have access to desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and game systems that connect them to free online tools that are always available. These tools provide a medium for students to create their own learning space that is more natural and unique to their interests and learning styles.
    • katie50009
       
      One of the key phrases here is "learning goals." I think we have to also explore how to help students define and establish learning goals for themselves. I am not sure they are always able to do this--at least in a way that is pushing and challenging what they already know or are able to do.
  • The social media platform that supports PLEs creates a perfect space for peer collaboration and sharing information.
    • katie50009
       
      I must remember that baby steps can get use to PLE for more students. It is overwhelming to think about changing the traditional model of education so many are used to until I read this line and take a deep breath. The sharing and conducting of "research" students are doing in individual leassons or units is a stgep in the right direction.
  • o horribly wrong if teachers fail to prepare students and set usage parameters.
    • katie50009
       
      I feel so much better reading this. I experienced this first hand. I thought my students were ready for the responsibility I was handing over; I thought I had set the "right" parameters, but, alas, the learning was not as rich as it could have been. In many cases, it turned out to be a huge waste of time. I still feel guilty about it. I guess the positive is that I am still trying to learn more about implementing PLE's effectively.
    • marydermit
       
      Yes, it is a positive because you learned from the experience.  Now you know what worked and what needs to be revised.  
mpercy

PLE Articles - 3 views

  • Write and Store Notes
    • lwinter14
       
      This seems like a tool that would be effective for all of my students. Most of them still take notes in their science notebooks--but a few have dabbled in writing their notes digitally. The problem I see with this is that they write them in separate google documents and then do not find a way to organize them so that they can access them easily when needed. This could be a good tool for them to learn early in their high school career and then carry it on as they get into courses with a larger need for note-taking.
  • The employ of PLEs in the classroom can go horribly wrong if teachers fail to prepare students and set usage parameters.
    • lwinter14
       
      This is definitely something that I would worry about with my students initially. Because they are used to having technology, I sometimes take for granted the skills I expect them to have when it comes to using different sites. Moodle has been a bigger learning curve for my students than expected, so I know that I would definitely need to prepare my students for setting up and using PLE first. Which also means that I need to feel comfortable explaining what it is and how it works to my students as well.
  • our work must increasingly attend to supporting students in developing their skills and motivations for becoming themselves networked and sophisticated online learners.
    • lwinter14
       
      I find this becoming more and more true the longer I teach. My frustration comes from where to start in supporting students so that they can become more sophisticated in learning online. For example, I use Moodle for my courses rather than Google Classroom and I run into more hesitation and complaints from students than I anticipated because it is "something different." I'm not sure if it is because only a small subset of teachers are currently pushing their students outside of their comfort zones when it comes to online learning and that's where the pushback is, but I feel like we need more teachers to buy into changing the landscape of online learning beyond Google Classroom. I feel like only then will students start to develop those skills and abilities to grow in their capacity as online learners.
  • ...16 more annotations...
  • Teachers are challenged to provide the appropriate balance between structured lessons and learner autonomy in order to facilitate self-directed learning.
    • lwinter14
       
      This is definitely a balance that I am still trying to find within my classroom and even one that I think my students are trying to figure out. There are some days where they would rather take control on their own, but other days when they want to be given more structure and told what to do or how to do something. I think this balance is hard to find depending on the particular student because some really struggle with the autonomy provided in online learning and still need those additional structures in place. Is there a formula to follow in terms of finding that balance? Does the balance vary from class-to-class depending on your students or can it be a one-size-fits-all approach? These are things I know I will figure out in time, but it can be frustrating at first.
  • teachers must pursue training and be knowledgeable of how to utilize PLEs
    • jhatcher
       
      I agree with the comment above wholeheartedly. I think this is what caused my genius hour plan to not be what I had hoped a couple years ago. I saw weak projects and kids not very motivated. This is what I want to make sure does not happen again. I just wonder will I really be prepared and confident? Will I have learned enough? Hope so!
  • Symbaloo or NetVibesas a foundation to help learners create and maintain their personal learning environments.
  • Others utilize sites such as
    • jhatcher
       
      I use Sybaloo and can definitely see how its use by students as they are creating/ learning in Personalized Learning would be useful.
  • I could stand to be more savvy in my own organizing of online learning and networking: I’ve been slow to use tools and develop skills for managing online resource, such as the use of vehicles like Symbaloo, Evernote, or Diigo, and I want to take inspiration from the 7th grade student in the video above to move forward in this way and learn and practive better these skills and with these tools.
    • kimgrissom
       
      This is true for a lot of teachers--I think we are often slow to set up our own professional learning tools whether that's joining a professional learning network via an LMS, Twitter, or just tools to help us organize our own resources.
  • Students engaging in networked learning have to learn to be more self-directed than in the typical classroom
    • kimgrissom
       
      Yes, passive learning doesn't get far in personal learning so we have to find ways to change the narrative and train learners to understand a new set of "success criteria." What used to look like being a good student won't work as well.
  • as an instructor, you can make a webmix quite interactive
    • kimgrissom
       
      I've used symbaloo as a way to organize myself and I've even put together webmixes on a specific professional development topic before. Reading about Symbaloo in this context makes me rethink how this tool might be helpful in personalized learning. Building in interaction is a really interesting idea I had never considered.
  • Not every student is ready for this responsibility, so teachers need to have strategies in place to guide and support these learner
    • kimgrissom
       
      What does that look like? Explicit expectations for what learning looks like, encouragement, assistance and tutorials for tools, formative check-ins to see how things are going and offer guidance. There's a lot to think about .
  • A PLE is the method students use to organize their self-directed online learning, including the tools they employ to gather information, conduct research, and present their findings.
    • Wendy Arch
       
      This makes a PLE sound more like an LMS or organizational tool - which I am in desperate need of! We assume students can work through a linear progression, but even adults struggle with that! I know I'm guilty of putting more emphasis and effort into WHAT students will learn rather than HOW they will learn or what the EXPERIENCE will be like.
  • facilitation of students’ “active role in the learning process” and teachers’ provision of the right balance between structured lessons and autonomy; let’s never forget it is an ongoing balancing act. 
    • Wendy Arch
       
      One thing I also do is forget that students have lives outside of my class. I set what I think is a reasonable amount of time for a task - but neglect to acknowledge that I'm basing that time estimate on my own abilities or on previous experiences in a face-to-face setting where students (and I) could get fairly immediate feedback on the learning (or lack thereof) occurring. While we have to balance between structured lesson and autonomy, we also have to balance between what can feasibly be done by students all alone versus students being actively guided in person.
  • Susan and I loved that students could organize their Netvibes portals in a way that made sense to them and that a page could contain a diverse range of information streams:  a webpage, an embedded document, a RSS feed, a database widget, the link tool that made a webpage “live” within the Netvibes page.  Not only could students organize information, but they could also publish content they were creating through tools like Google Docs and VoiceThread as well as original works, such as artwork and videos.
    • Wendy Arch
       
      Ideally, this sounds a lot like the WIki feature on many LMS. Our school uses PowerSchool, which offers a student Wiki option that allows students the same features. I can see Netvibes being a great alternative if a school doesn't yet have an LMS or uses a not fully featured LMS.
  • What Are the Potential Issues With PLEs?
    • Wendy Arch
       
      An issue i don't see addressed directly below is the issue of students accessing or pulling inappropriate or inaccurate content. Maybe this falls under the "Not every student is ready for the responsibility" category. Depending on the age range, students could so easily get lost in "fake news" or general misinformation, so there would have to be appropriate media and tech literacy lessons provided.
  • The concept of PLE is not a way to replace classroom learning, but to enhance it
    • mpercy
       
      As I have been reading information on the PLE, it often seems like a complete overhaul of the current educational system is necessary. It is good to hear that is not the case but changes can be made to improve the current classroom environment.
  • Some instructors empower students to use their own mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones as a means to create PLEs
    • mpercy
       
      It is really ideal to have students use their smartphones to enhance their learning rather than distracting their learning!
  • PLEs place a large amount of responsibility on students and thus requires a high level of self-management and awareness.
    • mpercy
       
      This is a big concern as I see many students that don't display self-motivation and desire to achieve at a high level. Will they be successful in this environment or get left behind?
  • Teachers, she explains, are no longer the primary or even the best source of information available to students,
    • mpercy
       
      The role of teacher has completely changed since I first entered the profession. As we encourage our students to be life long learners, we have the opportunity to show them what that means.
Evan Abbey

ollie4_1: Building a Better Mousetrap - 0 views

    • Kay Durfey
       
      The idea that the rubric is genuinely "assessing what students have actually learned rather than what they have been taught" is certain what all educators and trainer (for work environments) are aiming for.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      You nailed it Kay. A teacher must use this to help them teach, not just give the grade.
    • Kay Durfey
       
      If rubrics were designed and implemented correctly students and teacher could see where the thinking of the student was on target and where they went wrong.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      I think if the rubric is "good" (that is a hard word to use but pretend it fits well), then you can have students assess themselves and together with the teacher 4 or 5 times in the writing process on certain aspects of the rubric to help with the writing process. The piece I wish I would have implemented more (and can but a little tricky as the teacher librarian) was to have families assess with the student as well and to ask a family or 2 BEFORE beginning if they understand what the big assignment & rubric is about and to assess whether the rubric means what it should from their perspectives. If they don't get it, redo it!
    • Aaron Evans
       
      Rubrics are a great tool to build self-assessment skills in all subjects. Two years ago I led my department in an effort to create a self-assessment startegy that builds the abiltity of students to self-assess their learning in math class. Part of this was creating a rubric that measures their progress from 6 to 12 grade. Now we have to go back and refine the rubric, because it is defintiely not to the "good" stage yet.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      I think it is good for students to be involved. They see that teachers change as well and aren't always right about everything.
  • Moreover, rubrics can help the student with self-assessment; what is most important here is not the final product the students produce, but the habits of mind practiced in the act of self-assessment. However, for the student to successfully use a rubric this way, the criteria must be made clear to them and the jargon used must not only be understandable to the student but also be linked specifically to classroom instruction.
    • Lisa Jacobs
       
      I think the most important use of a rubric is to communicate "quality" work and expectations to students.
    • Lisa Jacobs
       
      Using the rubric to self evaluate their own work.
  • ...23 more annotations...
  • Moreover, some teachers have noticed how students who were good writers become wooden when writing under the influence of a rubric. Dona Patrick, an elementary school teacher noticed that while her sixth grade students did well on their state writing test, those students who had been natural writers, those students who had “stylistic voices full of humor and surprises, produced less interesting essays when they followed the rules [as outlined in a rubric]” (Mathews).
    • Kay Durfey
       
      I think that writing with a rubric only becomes "wooden" if teachers present the idea and implementation of rubrics as a formula rather than a "guideline or set of criteria" that have been noted in effective writing.
    • Aaron Evans
       
      I think that the inclusion of minmum numbers of references/usages is the leading cause of this. If you give a student a minimum, it becomes the target and all they care about. Just tell them you will look for something done well and you get better and more natural results.
    • jquandahl
       
      Something else that might help to keep students' writing from becoming "wooden" would be to have examples of great writing and discuss how those pieces meet the guidelines of the rubric. I think this shows studnets that they can continue to use their own style when writing - as long as they also pay attention to the expectations of the assignment
  • Rubrics can be designed to measure either product or process or both; and, they can be designed with dimensions describing the different levels of that “deep learning” so valued in WAC programs.
    • Kay Durfey
       
      I absolutely agree that rubrics can assess more than a product; it can and should assess the process or "thinking process."
  • cross the board; meanwhile, the teacher that uses specific rubrics is always composing new descriptions of quality work, but their students have cle
  • Consequentially, when rubrics are published in the classroom, students striving to achieve the descriptions at the higher end of the scale in effect guide their own learning. We must keep in mind, however, that other aspects of good pedagogical practice play into student success: rubrics that are outside of the students “zone of proximal development” are useless to the students.
    • Kay Durfey
       
      Interesting.
  • Usually a numerical value is assigned to each point on a scale. You can weight dimensions differently if you feel that one dimension is more important than another. There are two ways in which you can express this value judgment: 1. You may give a dimension more weight by multiplying the point by a number greater than one. For example, if you have four dimensions (content, organization, support, conventions) each rated on a six-point scale, and you wish to emphasis the importance of adequate support, you could multiply the support score by two. 2. You may devise scales of unequal length, which would mean that the shorter scales would count less than the longer ones. For example, organization, support, and content could each be rated on separate 6 point scales, while punctuation and / or spelling could be rated on separate 3 point scales. A paper that was well organized and punctuated would yield 6 for organization and 3 for punctuation. A paper that was perfectly punctuated but poorly organized might yield a 3-3 score.
    • Kay Durfey
       
      This paragraph about weighting certain  parts of the rubric goes directly to what our group was discussing last week regarding our rubric we were creating. This is a kind of how-to.
    • A Hughes
       
      Yes, this explains how a multiplier can be used to show some criteria weighted. I would like to see examples of rubrics using weights.
    • jquandahl
       
      This is nice explanation of how to assign different weights. When we were discussing it lsat week, I think I was making the process more difficult in my own head! I would also like to see examples. I think that weighting dimensions of n ssignment differently can be very helpful in focusing on the most important aspects of an assignment.
    • Bob Pauk
       
      I agree that this weighting could help to fix one of the possible problems with rubrics. When you give the same points for various categories sometimes you are giving an easy way to get a grade without always doing the most important part of the learning.
  • Or you can build your own rubric from scratch—convert existing revision or discovery heuristics into rubrics; convert comments that used to show up on A, B, C, D, and F papers into descriptive phrases, or start completely anew. The Chicago Public Schools web-site offers simple guidelines to follow when designing your own rubric. If you visit the web page I cut and pasted this from, you will find that each item is hyperlinked to a full explanation of the step.
    • Kay Durfey
       
      Creating own rubric can  be very effective but also time consuming.
    • jquandahl
       
      Creating rubrics with the help of students is something that I found very effective when I was in the classroom. Studnets had more ownership of the work and a very clear understanding of expectations when they were part of the process of creating the rubric.
  • Clearly defining the purpose of assessment and what you want to assess is the first step in developing a quality rubric. The second step is deciding who your audience is going to be. If the rubric is primarily used for instruction and will be shared with your students, then it should be non-judgemental, free of educational jargon, and reflect the critical vocabulary that you use in your classroom.
  • well-designed rubrics help instructors in all disciplines meaningfully assess the outcomes of the more complicated assignments that are the basis of the problem-solving, inquiry-based, student-centered pedagogy replacing the traditional lecture-based, teacher-centered approach in tertiary education.
    • Aaron Evans
       
      This is really where the Iowa/Common Core is taking us. How many teachers are going to be prepared with ways to measure how their students are progressing in problem solving before the students are being assessed with the new assessments? Since the new state assessments are supposed to emphasize these skills more, will more teachers need to use rubrics to meaure these skills rather than just thinking that rubrics are for judging the quality of writing or projects?
  • they should articulate the vital features that they are looking for and make these features known to the student
    • keri bass
       
      I think the key here is whether or not the rubric is written in a way that is user friendly. Sometimes, they get so specific that they are too long and the reader stops reading. I would think this would be a problem with kids in particular.
  • The result is many students struggle blindly, especially non-traditional, unsuccessful, or under-prepared students, who tend to miss many of the implied expectations of a college instructor, expectations that better prepared, traditional students readily internalize.
    • Aaron Evans
       
      This is true at all levels of education, not just high school. How often had you had a student who was struggling on an assessment and after having the expectations explained to them in a different way completed it easily?
    • keri bass
       
      Absolutely, it is frustrating as a teacher for students to struggle with understanding an assignment and not perform well because of lack of understanding the directions and not the information. I find that in an online environment, this can be even more problematic.  Directions and rubrics that I feel are clearly written, are easily misunderstood by others, and people who would have gleaned understanding from questions others asked in class, feel silly asking questions themselves.
  • rubrics, in effect, dehumanize the act of writing. According to Thomas Newkirk, an English professor at the University of New Hampshire, “rubrics promote ‘mechanical instruction in writing’ that bypasses ‘the human act of composing and the human gesture of response’” (Mathews).
    • Aaron Evans
       
      How do computerized essay graders fit into this? This would seem to be a direct attack on their use.
  • if we have assigned ourselves the task of getting a good rubric to use, we need a rubric to judge our performance—that is, we need a meta-rubric to assess our rubric.
    • Aaron Evans
       
      Hadn't thought abou tthis but it totally makes sense. We already do this reflection, as was evidenced by our rubric activity last week, but having the rubric to frame our thoughts makes the process much more efficienct.
    • jquandahl
       
      interesting point
  • When instructors do not explicitly delineate the qualities of thought that they are looking for while grading, they reduce learning to a hit or miss endeavor, where “assessment remains an isolated […] activity and the success of the learner is mostly incidental” (Montgomery).
  • When instructors do not explicitly delineate the qualities of thought that they are looking for while grading, they reduce learning to a hit or miss endeavor, where “assessment remains an isolated […] activity and the success of the learner is mostly incidental” (Montgomery).
  • When instructors do not explicitly delineate the qualities of thought that they are looking for while grading, they reduce learning to a hit or miss endeavor, where “assessment remains an isolated […] activity and the success of the learner is mostly incidental” (Montgomery). T
  • Moreover, some teachers have noticed how students who were good writers become wooden when writing under the influence of a rubric.
  • A rubric with two or more separate scales is called an analytical rubric, as it takes apart or breaks up the rating system for each trait; a rubric that uses only a single scale is called a holistic rubric. A holistic rubric is more efficient and the best choice when criteria overlap and cannot be adequately separated; an analytical rubric, however, will yield more detailed information about student performance and, therefore, will provide the student with more specific feedback.
  • A rubric with two or more separate scales is called an analytical rubric, as it takes apart or breaks up the rating system for each trait; a rubric that uses only a single scale is called a holistic rubric. A holistic rubric is more efficient and the best choice when criteria overlap and cannot be adequately separated; an analytical rubric, however, will yield more detailed information about student performance and, therefore, will provide the student with more specific feedback.
  • The issue of weighting may be another area in which you can enlist the help of students. At the beginning of the process, you could ask a student to select to select which aspect she values the most in her writing and weight that aspect when you assess her paper.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      I kept this private: oops: I am always amazed how students self-assess themselves. I was a language arts teachers and did a lot of writing. When I ask students today or in the past, how they think they did, I was floored how some of the writings/projects I thought were great, assessed themselves negatively, and the ones I thought needed more work, gave/give themselves exceeds. It takes a lot of good modeling and scaffolding for students to fairly assess themselves. For the ones that big time missed the assignment goals and self-assess themselves well, it really goes back to the teacher going back and reteaching again to help improve learning.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      Oops- I kept this private. How many teachers did I have that graded in red? I remember many especially in math and writing all over writing assignments. I used to think that the assignment was complete, it was time to move on, and I just had to accept what they said. Rubrics do give the student a voice when they self assess. I find it interesting it is rooted in the word red or reddish.
    • Evan Abbey
       
      These are good questions... red is a color we have pre-conceptions about.
  • While many educators make a compelling argument for sharing rubrics with students, others worry that doing so will encourage formulaic writing. That “rubric” is listed in most thesauruses as a synonym for “formula” does nothing to dismantle such fears. Well-designed rubrics, though, should not do this; unfortunately, most state issued rubrics used in secondary school standardized testing are poorly designed rubrics that list specific static elements encouraging students to simply make sure their essays have those features.
    • A Hughes
       
      The english teachers who attend Iowa Writing Project professional development are discouraged from using rubrics because of formulaic writing in students. These teachers are encouraged to only score a couple of criteria on each assignment instead of trying to "fix" all of the writing and discouraging students.
    • Heather Whitman
       
      I tok the Eastern Iowa Writing Project 8 years ago. Even when I taught, I told the kids, that I would give anything to not have to give them an actual grade. I followed the ideas and allowed them to write whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. I saw huge growth in their writing, but I know I did poorly "grading" them. I told them over and over to focus on writing process, trying to improve themselves, and comments I gave to help them improve.
    • Bob Pauk
       
      This is my biggest concern with rubrics. I am glad to see it articulated because I have been a little reluctant to share this because rubrics are so popular lately that it seems like I am being negative if I don't care for them. In my highest level projects, I expect students to "wow" me to get an A. It is hard to do that if you are simply following a formula.
    • Lisa Jacobs
       
      Yes, rubrics can limit creativity. We re-learned this with our Ollie group rubric assignment this week with the powerpoint and audio files that did not match the "written" rubric my group designed.
  • To begin with, rubrics can be either “general” or “specific.”
    • Lisa Jacobs
       
      This whole section reminded me of the Iowa ICAM assessments. I spent many years leading the scoring sessions for the ICAM reading and math assessment scoring sessions. The training was very intense with both general and specific rubrics for each item.
  •  
    I was in a class today sponsored by Intel. We discussed Habits of the Mind and how powerful it is for kids to self-assess their work & their learning.
  • ...3 more comments...
  •  
    This makes assessing sound like a game between teachers and students. Kids are lucky if they guess what teachers are assessing.
  •  
    Do kids become so engaged in meeting the requirements of the rubric that they aren't as fluent in their writing?
  •  
    I wasn't aware that rubrics were grouped into holistic and analytic. After reading the descriptions, I'm not sure that I've ever used a holistic rubric.
  •  
    The idea of having kids help create rubrics seems to be recurring.
  •  
    I usually get the best feedback from kids about various rubrics that I use. It helps me tweak it for the next time.
lfreund

Implementation in an Elementary Classroom (Articles) - 0 views

    • marthaschwind
       
      It's difficult for veteran teachers, too, to unlearn what they've been doing for many years and let go of the control.
  • traditional teaching methods be characterized as obstructing learning?
    • marthaschwind
       
      This makes me think of the quote: I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. - Confucius
  • because they’re so used to being spoon-fed information that they can barely critically think
    • marthaschwind
       
      I've seen more of this over the last few years with technology getting bigger and bigger. They want answers immediately and just given to them.
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  • Playful, teacher-led learning activities tap into the brain’s multisensory engagement, making content more memorable
    • marthaschwind
       
      Kids always remember when they are up and doing thing rather than just sitting in their seats listening.
  • Share planning duties with a fellow teacher
  • the Class Learning Snapshot that guides what a teacher anticipates their learners strengths, challenges, aptitudes, interests, preferences, and needs. We introduce the Personal Learner Profile.
    • juliannehoward
       
      When reading this I agree and truly believe this is essential, however with a large group (90+) students how do you get the time to spend on learning every student's PLP? This seems overwhelming...
  • Using the Class Learning Snapshot (CLS), we guide you in how to select and integrate tools, apps, and resources to universally-design instruction and learning strategies. Considering the learners in your CLS, you will outline the learning strategies and skills in the lesson along with the skills from NETS (National Educational Technology Standards) for Students to create a Class Learning Toolkit (CLT). Personal Learner Profiles (PLP) of two learners will be used to demonstrate how to develop a Personal Learning Backpack (PLB) that will support the learners in achieving their learning goals in this lesson.
    • juliannehoward
       
      I have had to re-read this paragraph over about 5 different times. First because it is overwhelming to read how many abbreviated terms there are, remembering what they are and then really trying to understand them. Am I the only one feeling this way?
  • Although her natural inclination is “to help my students when they’re stumped or confused, I need constantly to remind myself that when I supply an answer or even suggest a method for finding an answer, I’m not truly helping.” In terms of the tenets of inquiry-based instruction, she explains, when she answers students’ questions straightforwardly instead of asking questions to help the students find the answers themselves, she’s actually interfering with the learning process.
    • juliannehoward
       
      This whole thinking is exactly how I feel when students need or want help. I want to help and I need to remember that I need for them to help themselves by also asking a question to help their learning process. I also have an old mindset though of feeling like I've let my student/class down by not helping.
  • Thinking Maps, she explains, help students gain control of the process by offering them eight distinct ways to organize their inquiries — a circle map for defining in context, for example, or a bubble map for describing with adjectives, etc.
    • juliannehoward
       
      I looked into these Thinking Maps and I love them! So much that I would like to use them, however you have to go through a whole school process. Does anyone know how to get these without doing that?
    • lfreund
       
      In my opinion, any graphic organizer would be beneficial to use for those visual thinkers. It looked like to me that it was exactly as you said...a whole school process, but you can still see the eight maps and possibly tailor it to your student learning.
  • “helping children gain active control over the process of thinking so they learn how to learn, which will serve them well throughout their lives.”
    • juliannehoward
       
      Powerful statement that I need to continue to repeat to myself in order to best serve students and even my children at home as well.
  • it requires “unlearning” many of the lessons of traditional teacher-preparation programs.
    • lfreund
       
      After many years of teaching and lots of curriculum programs, this is a nice reminder to allow students to discover new learning!
  • graphic organizers known as Thinking Maps,
    • lfreund
       
      I think graphic organizers are important to use for students so that they can see examples of how to organize the information, as well as a "picture" of their learning to remember.
  • Marcon tracked children from preschool through the third and fourth grades and found that those with “overly academic” preschool experiences struggled in their later elementary years when they were expected to “think more independently and take on greater responsibility for their own learning process.”
    • lfreund
       
      I can completely see how not allowing students time to "play" is taking away social skills, language development, critical thinking, and self monitoring skills.
kathleenweyers

Implementation in an Elementary Classroom (Articles) - 0 views

  • the children “do science.”
    • ecsexton1
       
      Will the students be taught how theorize, test, analyze, or experiment? Or without telling the students this is what they are already doing? Is there any pre-teaching to the unit about rocks or exploring on their own?
    • rmeyer1130
       
      It seems like in large group sharing, the teacher would want to introduce those important terms. I wonder, too, if the rocks unit was in the curriculum or if it came up in classroom discussion as a new area to explore. When a band listening example led to a lot of student questions about African drums, I made sure to change some of my concert plans and found a new piece of music and utilized the expertise of one of our other band staff members to build on the kids' enthusiasm and inquiry.
  • nvite women
    • ecsexton1
       
      I think this is a great idea to invite scientists who are women! It makes the nation's stereotypes decrease and women in the science field increase.
    • katieconnolly20
       
      I also think this is a great idea. It is interesting in my classroom this past year as we were talking about community helpers.. we had a discussion of can a garbage man be a garbage woman and talked about different roles. It was so interesting that even at a young age some students have already stereotyped different jobs to different genders. I think that the more that students see the more they will be able to be interested in a subject and career. Science is something that is slowly fading and becoming less important in classrooms. It is important as educators to give our students these opportunities.
  • thinking about thinking
    • ecsexton1
       
      The way Mrs. Moore teaches makes sense to me. I can finally see how personalized learning can work without using computers and technology. I think some teachers in my building already do this without realizing that it is PL.
  • ...26 more annotations...
  • helping children gain active control over the process of thinking so they learn how to learn, which will serve them well throughout their lives.
    • ecsexton1
       
      I think Personalized learning is easier to do in a classroom with science and social studies because they are more exploratory subjects compared to reading and math. Anybody have good ideas on how to make reading and math personalized without using technology?
    • efabscha
       
      I like this idea also. I feel like this is a skill that students will use all throughout their lives- at college, in real life, and in their careers.
    • kspedersen
       
      I love this. I believe that if students learn how to love the process of learning that they will continue on to be life long learners!!
    • rmeyer1130
       
      I love it, too! If kids are enjoying the process of learning, I think they're more willing to try new things and learn more even in areas that may not be their strengths.
  • Ms. Moore understands the reluctance of many other teachers of early grade students to employ this method because it requires “unlearning” many of the lessons of traditional teacher-preparation programs. She must, she says, continually resist the temptation to lead her students through lessons.
    • efabscha
       
      She is exactly right. Teachers have been taught to lead their students through lessons. This process is very uncomfortable for many of us as we have not been taught how to "teach" or "facilitate" this way.
    • rmeyer1130
       
      I think about this when we're always asked to post our learning targets for students. It seems counter productive to tell kids we're going to learn a certain skill when we want our students to discover the skill through the lesson we created... I have found that instead of telling kids fingerings on their instruments for new notes, if I lead them to the fingering chart, they get so excited about using their fingering chart to learn more than that one new note.
  • During this first instructional phase, noise and activity levels sometimes reach eardrum-piercing levels and
    • efabscha
       
      Many of us are not used to a lot of noise in the classroom either. Some students may struggle with a classroom that is overly loud. How do we ensure the noise level is comfortable for all to learn?
    • plsummer201
       
      The noise level during this phase should be stated in the rubric during discussion. I agree not everyone is immune to loud voices.
    • kspedersen
       
      This is something that I know I would/will struggle with when implementing personalized learning. I completely agree and believe that students should be conversing with one another...however, I struggle with all of them doing this at the same time. 25 voices going all at once is sometimes a lot to handle!..and something that I would learn to get used to :)
  • Most teachers know the classroom is the perfect place for children to play, but opportunities to provide those benefits are on the decline. Reduced recess, cuts to physical education
    • efabscha
       
      This really hits home for me as I have a daughter who was in PRE K (transitional kindergarten) last year and the preschool teachers are now required to implement so many minutes of reading/guided reading into their curriculum. Are these preschool aged children getting enough play/social time?
    • katieconnolly20
       
      It is scary that we are asking you're asking if preschool is getting enough time.. I hope so!!! They aren't even to elementary school yet. I am told time and time again that kindergarten is the new 1st grade. It seems that the more demands that are put on us as educators, the more play time we have to cut. I am lucky in a way that I have a team of teachers who refuses to give up that free time play at the end of the day. We believe it is so important. I am not sure how many more years we will get away with it but for now, we will let our students be little so that they can play and explore like they should!
    • kellijhall
       
      I always laugh when I share with parents that I learn so much from observing their kiddos playing games (either at recess or indoors). It is truly where they have more authentic experiences learning how to communicate and solve differences.
    • plsummer201
       
      What about developing the small muscles thru play-dough? In the last few years I have noticed that 3rd graders can barely hold a scissor properly and much less cut a simple figure.
    • plsummer201
       
      What about developing small motor skills thru play-dough? I have 3rd graders who can barely hold a scissor properly much less cut a simple figure.
    • kspedersen
       
      I firmly believe that students learn by playing!! There are ways to set-up classroom situations where students are playing but also digging into concepts as well!!
  • tudents who miss time to play miss opportunities to let their minds soar and connect the dots between what they do at their desks and what surrounds them in the world
    • katieconnolly20
       
      As a kindergarten teacher, I believe that that play is key to learning! This past year I was amazed at what my students were able to connect through play to what we were learning in the classroom. In my classroom, it is key to provide students with those opportunities to play and explore.
    • rmeyer1130
       
      Play IS key to learning! Especially when we can't assume our students are given opportunity to play and create and imagine with other kids outside of the school day.
  • But when you're staring out at 20 or 30 students as individual as snowflakes, you may find yourself asking that ever-daunting question: "How?"
    • katieconnolly20
       
      As good educators, we want to make sure that each of our students needs are met. The daunting question that we all ask is HOW?! How do we make each of our student feel cared for, important, and set them up for success? I continue to find it interesting how students have so many things that are similar and different about them. I think this article does a nice job of laying it out and showing what we can do between five minutes and five years!
  • when she answers students’ questions straightforwardly instead of asking questions to help the students find the answers themselves, she’s actually interfering with the learning process.
    • heidimeyer
       
      Yes!! I must remember this always! It's so easy to answer questions for students. However, if I keep questioning them, it will allow them to learn on their own.
    • annabrousard
       
      This is something that I am continually trying to work on. It is so easy to help a struggling student but your really are doing them a disservice.
  • encouraging and allowing students to discover fundamental principles on their own.
    • heidimeyer
       
      I'm a visual person and I know I like to "see" things for myself. Allowing our students to discover conclusions will be something that they will remember longer than if a teacher "told" them what happens.
    • anonymous
       
      Yes! I agree! As I read this I remember learning about gravity as Billy Nye threw objects off the top of a building... watching this video was better than listening to the fact ... but participating in the activity would be even better than the video.
  • free play is how children learn about themselves and the world around them. And, if they’re not playing, they’re not learning in all the ways that count most.
    • heidimeyer
       
      For the early childhood ages, this is key and missing in elementary schools. I'm saddened by how academic our kindergarten programs have become over the years.
  • A simple take-home survey can give you quick insights about a child's hobbies, interests, strengths, or struggles. Arts and electives teachers in your school could offer insight on certain students, as well.
    • heidimeyer
       
      I loved receiving a parent survey from our child's teacher at the beginning of the year. It was a great way to introduce our child with details he may have never shared with his teacher. What a great way to set up some personalization at the start of the year.
    • kellijhall
       
      I have been doing this since my first year and I love it! It gives me so much valuable information before I start to learn about them but I also feel like if gives the parent a space to let me know things they may not feel comfortable sharing in front of other people or their child.
    • rmeyer1130
       
      I do a parent survey at the beginning of band, and it really helps me get a feel for a family's background experience with band, and also what they're hoping for their kids for the year.
  • If you add and master just one at a time, refining the best techniques as you go, eventually you'll have a big arsenal.
    • heidimeyer
       
      I need to remember, this is a process! This statement validates that.
    • kellijhall
       
      This reminds me to only pick one thing to focus on at a time...which is so hard!
  • Thinking Maps, which help children categorize information in visually coherent ways
    • anonymous
       
      I remember in junior high being required to answer the essay/critical thinking questions of our science tests through the use of thinking maps. I didn't realize at the time how much it helped me organize my thoughts. I wonder how I can be begin applying them in my reading and math courses at the elementary level. Graphic organizers are so important to consolidate and organize information.
    • annabrousard
       
      I have never heard about Thinking Maps before. I explored the website and definitely see how this can be beneficial for children of all ages.
    • rmeyer1130
       
      Thinking maps! Kids love them and they're great tools for brainstorming and digging in to new learning
  • Share planning duties with a fellow teacher
    • anonymous
       
      This is so important! I love planning with gen. ed. teachers because often there are more students than just my IEP students that need the lower level differentiation in the gen. ed. setting. We don't need to reinvent the wheel, but work together to create shared resources. Our problem is, how do we create time to plan together on a weekly basis?
    • kellijhall
       
      We run into these same issues! We are five gen. ed. teachers but one of us coteaches with sped. and one of us with ELP. We also cluster group our students...and this is where we hit the wall. Our classroom make-ups are so different and our kids move at different paces. How do we work divide up the work and still respect the pacing in each others' rooms?
  • assigns each student a role within the group
  • a unique item of jewelry
    • anonymous
       
      What a fun conclusion to the unit!! I wonder how the teacher completes her summative assessment for the unit? The students have their journals but what does she use to prove that students have retained the information and met the state standards?
    • eswartzendruber
       
      As a 4th grade teacher, we work with rocks and minerals as well. It would be fun to create videos of their learning as a summative assessment. Students could also share the videos with their parents when they are finished!
  • when I supply an answer or even suggest a method for finding an answer, I’m not truly helping.”
    • eswartzendruber
       
      It's so tempting to scaffold them to the right answer, but I realize that's not helping them be independent thinkers. I find that my students then rely on me to always be there to help them figure out the challenge.
    • plsummer201
       
      I agree but others need prompting to be able to focus on the right direction therefore differentiation is needed.
  • “Kids are not blank slates.”
    • eswartzendruber
       
      It's easy to assume this, but they've had years of being influenced by their peers already and are soaking in the information they hear. This might be from daycare/preschool or home.
    • kellijhall
       
      Agreed...not to mention home life, family make-up, and outside influences. They have preconceived notions when they walk through the door.
    • kspedersen
       
      Yes! What a simple, yet profound way to put it. I agree. No matter where a student comes from they do have a background. There is always something to build upon and connect with!
  • in their hearts they may not believe it.
    • eswartzendruber
       
      We must give them a chance to experiment with hands on learning opportunities.
  • “The first thing we do is begin an ‘I see — I wonder’ exercise,
    • rmeyer1130
       
      I teach in a school with a lot of focus on inquiry based learning, and it's amazing how the kids gain confidence with this kind of thinking and growing as the year goes on. When I play new music, I have kids record what they hear, what they think, and what they wonder. The class discussion leads us to a wonder that we can explore together, and modeling this as a teacher is important.
  • Plan assignments with choices.
    • rmeyer1130
       
      This is something we all do, and a great first step in individualized instruction!
  • her trust in the inquiry process is tested, when she must practice patience and restraint.
    • kathleenweyers
       
      The learning is probably remembered more if it is discovered by the learner.  It would take patience not to tell kids the answer!
  • Thinking Maps, she explains, help students gain control of the process by offering them eight distinct ways to organize their inquiries
    • kathleenweyers
       
      I think the Thinking Maps would add some method to the madness!  Love this idea and the variety of ways they can be used!
  • “I introduce one Thinking Map per week during the first eight weeks
    • kathleenweyers
       
      I appreciate the pragmatic approach to teaching these one at a time, one week at a time.  It seems that then it becomes second-nature, which is truly amazing!  Using thinking maps is a powerful tool for teaching children how to think and organize their thinking!
  • Play is, after all, the way children are wired to learn, especially in the preschool and kindergarten years.
    • kathleenweyers
       
      This reminds me of how kids learn technology or to play video games, by playing with them, by tinkering and trying things.  I think that is why kids are more advanced than many adults at using technology, because they have MORE time to "play" with it than adults do.
  • guided play is a good alternative.
    • kathleenweyers
       
      This would be like the math games in EveryDay Math.  Kids are playing games to learn and that learning is more memorable than a worksheet!
  • each procedure needs to be practiced 28 times to stick. When you introduce a new activity, such as independently listening to an audio book, give students enough practice to become adept at it
    • kathleenweyers
       
      28 times to learn a new procedure seems like a lot!  It makes me think I might want to slow it down a bit to let kids get adept at it!
bkoller86

PLE Articles - 2 views

  • These tools provide a medium for students to create their own learning space that is more natural and unique to their interests and learning styles.
    • djarends
       
      I like this idea with special education students. I think to have a place where they can find resources to help them is a great idea. I have provided many resources, but since they are not easily available or at least the students feel they are not, the students do not use them. I also like that they choose which ones will be helpful to them.  I can't wait to try this.
  • teachers must learn to effectively incorporate these social media based initiatives into their lessons.
    • djarends
       
      A concern for me. I have grown greatly in my skills with technology, but it still takes me time to learn the skills and how to implement into my classroom on top of all the new initiatives that the district is adding to our plates. I'm diving in but concerned. 
    • Denise Tatoian
       
      I agree! It seems as I master something new in the area of technology, something bigger and better takes its place. Hard to keep up with technology in the education world.
    • kbolinger
       
      It is hard to keep up, and it takes time to implement anything new into a classroom, even with students that are pretty techie. In my experience with younger students, most of them need a lot of instruction and guided practice before they feel comfortable working independently.
  • Not every student is ready for this responsibility, so teachers need to have strategies in place to guide and support these learners.
    • djarends
       
      This is true of all learning resources.We need to teach students how to use the tools we give them or allow them to find. Knowing this will allow me to prepare a lesson(s) on how to use PLEs. 
  • ...18 more annotations...
  • I’ll continue to collect feedback from students on how this learning tool is working for them and how they are using it for themselves as well as within their groups
    • djarends
       
      I like how the author collects feedback on the usefulness of the tool. I have done this many times. As I approach Symbaloo, I will remember to ask students for things that worked for them and concerns. 
    • bkoller86
       
      I would be interested in how many students use Symbaloo on future projects that doesn't require its use. 
  • I’ve been slow to use tools and develop skills for managing online resource, such as the use of vehicles like Symbaloo, Evernote, or Diigo
    • djarends
       
      That is me! I have used Evernotes with students and like it. I have loved using Diigo. I plan on teaching students how to use it. I'm excited to try Symbaloo. Next step, figure out how to implement.
  • The concept of PLE is not a way to replace classroom learning, but to enhance it.
    • anonymous
       
      As a higher level Spanish teacher, every year I am trying to incorporate a system or resources that can allow students to go to a deeper and higher level of their language learning. Some students want to go on to minor and become more fluent, while others just want the credit. I'm hoping that a PLE can reach those students to dig deeper to become more fluent and culturally aware!
  • It’s easy to use A learner can pull information that’s personally useful to him/her Learners can personalize tiles to make them easy to spot Learners can add to, and draw from, a community of webmixes Interactivity + personalization = fun Instructional uses for Symbaloo include using Symbaloo to help learners create: A personal learning environment (PLE) with personal knowledge management (PKM) tools An eportfolio A collection of resources related to a problem-based learning challenge
    • anonymous
       
      I have created quite a few symbaloos and knew it was a cool tool but never knew how to incorporate those into my classes for students to use - I'm super excited to know how to set this up so that they can access my webpage see what they need to do on a daily/weekly basis and then have resources right there to help them do what they need to do. Can't wait to try for fall:)! 
  • you can create tiles that link to challenges, quiz questions, polls, discussion forums, chat pages, and other types of content and media that will facilitate more student involvement and creativity. You can provide a tile linking to a web page describing a number  of exploratory activities a student will need to engage in, but make the path for accomplishing these activities (e.g., the numbers and types of tiles used) up to the student.
    • anonymous
       
      Love the idea of creating a path for students... could there be a digital checklist also? Teacher could guide students for all class Kahoot game or other challenges. Students can also add a presentation/doc tile to prove their learning - love that, also. Great for project based, research and problem solving activities.  
    • bkoller86
       
      I like the idea of the students having the resources to take responsibility of the learning, and they can review and learn at their own pace. It is like a one stop shop.
  • students had to subscribe to news feeds and blogs, discern the value of social bookmarks, and set up the aggregator to manage all the Internet resources.
    • anonymous
       
      I am very unfamiliar with how to use news feeds and blogs with students - this would be something I would need an inservice for and how it can be put into a language classroom...
    • Denise Tatoian
       
      Me too! I would need training on how to implement in the classroom.
  • Many students in the first class that tried Symbaloo today commented that they liked the clean, visual interface of Symbaloo and the ease of adding content; they also liked that they could customize the “tiles” they were adding and that their webmixes loaded quickly.
    • anonymous
       
      I can see my students setting up their own symbaloo (I can have them add my webmix to their account!) based on their skills needed to practice or go beyond for Spanish (vocabulary, grammar, culture, then speaking, writing, listening acts, readings)
  • students could demonstrate their learning through their PLE by creating blogs, wikispaces, prezi presentations and photo collages as final projects; thereby diversifying instruction. Some instructors empower students to use their own mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones as a means to create PLEs.
    • Denise Tatoian
       
      in some cases will students become more proficient than their instructors, especially in the case of technology?
  • The notion of a PLE for students, grounding them intentionally in an environment of information tools and productive applications, is a great way to seek, develop, and structure that balanced approach.
    • Denise Tatoian
       
      I am inspired by PLEs and what's happening with them in education. I worry about schools who are not 1:1 with technology and/or students who don't have personal devices of their own.
  • Teachers, she explains, are no longer the primary or even the best source of information available to students, and our work must increasingly attend to supporting students in developing their skills and motivations for becoming themselves networked and sophisticated online learners.
    • Denise Tatoian
       
      Teacher's are not experts in all areas. In PLEs they serve as facilitators. I love my ah-ha moments when I learn something new from a student.
    • kbolinger
       
      The teacher's role in student learning looks very different in a PLE, which might be hard for teachers to adjust to.
  • The employ of PLEs in the classroom can go horribly wrong if teachers fail to prepare students and set usage parameters.
    • Denise Tatoian
       
      Or if students do not have the skills to manage their PLEs.
    • kbolinger