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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.
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  • 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.  
r kleinow

online1: Iowa Online Teaching Standards - 43 views

shared by r kleinow on 05 Sep 10 - Cached
  • Proposed Online Teaching Standards
    • Evan Abbey
       
      These standards are non-evaluative. They are meant to provide guidance in nationally recognized best practices for teaching online.
    • ksteingr
       
      I'm getting ready to work with a group of teacher librarians and we are starting by looking at our guidelines from Dept. of Ed for school library program. I think each year, as we add new tools, strategies, we have to not lose sight of the progress we are making on any standards or guidelines. Seeing how close we are to best practice, only helps us focus on what work we have to do. So, they may be non-evaluative, but maybe also not "optional". Does that make sense? Kristin
    • Evan Abbey
       
      I think that makes sense. There is a proper procedure (I'm assuming) inclusive of the BoEE, SAI, and ISEA on setting standards that would be evaluative... and therefore necessary for licensure. These haven't gone through that process. One of the best things about the standards is exactly what is being done on this page... they lead to good discussions about what is great teaching.
  • Knows and aligns instruction to the achievement goals of the local agency and the state, such as with the Iowa Core (Varvel I.A, ITS 1.f, ITS 3.a)
    • denise carlson
       
      This is not unique to the online teaching standards. It would seem prudent to align anything we teach to students and/or adults with the Iowa Core or the newly adopted Common Core Standards in reading and math.
    • bonnie smith
       
      I agree; with so much to teach these days, the classroom time needs to be tightly tied your Content Area Standards (in my case Reading) and Technology. My students will be in a world quite different from mine, so more Technology use is needed. They are already experimenting with Online usage but without supervision and guidance. The Standards will help me as a teacher to focus on ethics for Internet use and help in guiding them into the best pratices.
    • Julie Townsend
       
      The teaching standards have always provided me with guidance when selecting content to teach my students. When I taught Art, Science or Social Studies. Technology knowledge is critical to everyone, including students in special education. I was unaware until taking this Moodle course, of the online teaching standards. I agree that it is a good tool for teaching.
    • r kleinow
       
      I have always had a strong interest in knowing and aligning the instruction with the goals. It is very easy to fall in to the practice of doing things because: "they have always been done", because I found an exciting new tool, or it is the catch phrase of the month, I feel it is good practice to regularly revisit the desired goal to better assure the alignment of that goal and the instructional opportunities to achieve said goal. I am glad this is here and glad it is at the top, intended or not.
    • r kleinow
       
      Aligning insturction with the goals is somethign I have always had an interest in. I think it is very easy to fall into the practice of: always having done it that way, or trying the new exciting tool, or jumping on the catch phrase of the month with out considering the learnign goal. I think it is very important to regualry revisit the learning and achievement goals to make cetian that the instruction is aligned to that goal. I am glad to see it mentioned here, and intendedl or not, glad to see it at the top.
    • r kleinow
       
      I would agree that aligning the instruction with the goal is an important and often over looked piece of instruction. Way to often instructional practice is done because; "that's the way it has always been done, or because we found a new exciting tool, or because of the catch phrase of the month. I am glad to see the 'goal-instructional alignment" piece mentioned and glad to see it at the top.
    • r kleinow
       
      I would agree and have always been a big fan of aligning instruction with the learning or achievement goals. Way to often I have used a particular instruction because 1. That's the way it was always done, 2. There was a new exciting tool or 3. There was a new or popular catch phrase going around. I am glad to see this listed, and intended or not, glad to see it at the top. I view it as very important to often revisit the goals to assess if the instruction is aligned to that goal.
    • r kleinow
       
      I would agree and have always been a big fan of aligning instruction with the learning or achievement goals. Way to often I have used a particular instruction because 1. That's the way it was always done, 2. There was a new exciting tool or 3. There was a new or popular catch phrase going around. I am glad to see this listed, and intended or not, glad to see it at the top. I view it as very important to often revisit the goals to assess if the instruction is aligned to that goal.
    • r kleinow
       
      I would agree and have always been a big fan of aligning instruction with the learning or achievement goals. Way to often I have used a particular instruction because 1. That's the way it was always done, 2. There was a new exciting tool or 3. There was a new or popular catch phrase going around. I am glad to see this listed, and intended or not, glad to see it at the top. I view it as very important to often revisit the goals to assess if the instruction is aligned to that goal.
    • Evan Abbey
       
      Checking to see if this note goes through.
    • r kleinow
       
      test
    • linda vann
       
      I too was unaware of the online teaching standards, but they make perfect sense. If we expect to bring students into the 21st century classroom, then using standards to guide that work will help all stakeholders. Otherwise, there is really no way to measure our effectiveness in the online environment.
  • Is knowledgeable and has the ability to use computer programs required in online education to improve learning and teaching, including course management software (CMS) and synchronous/asynchronous communication tools (chat, email, web 2.0, videoconferencing, webinar, whiteboard, etc.) (SREB B.3, Varvel III.B)
    • denise carlson
       
      This one puts a bit of trepidation in my soul. I want to use technology well when I teach adult learners. However, I know that I still have a lot to learn in this realm.
    • jalfaro
       
      It's impossible to stay trained and current on all of the available tools. Just pick a few that work for you and work with incorporating those. You are better off knowing a lot about a few tools than knowing a little bit about hundreds of tools.
    • Leslie Roberts
       
      I agree that it is impossible to stay current and trained on all available tools, but I don't think this is what the standard is saying. My interpretation is that it just encourages online educators to be lifelong learners and stay abreast of changes. I also agree that it is better to find the tools we like the best and learn to use and apply them to our course objectives.
    • Pam Buysman
       
      I think this goes back to the discussion we had last week. Knowing what tool will work best in a particular learning situation is important. I try to stay current, but that really is almost impossible. Just in the first week, others in class referenced many online tools that I wasn't familar with, but wanted to learn more about. Using Diigo is another example. I've used this tool for awhile and that is evident by looking at my bookmarks. However, I have not utilized the group function nor have I used the discussion feature. I think this would be a wonderful tool to use in the online environment!
    • ksteingr
       
      I think the focus here makes a good point. An online class will be by definition part of synchronous and asynchronous communication. So instructors and students have to work with tools such as Skype, meebo, Adobe Connect for webinars, videoconferencing, etc. In the case of Skype, this morning I worked with a partner in South Carolina and we used Skype to share screens, send messages, but we didn't use the web camera because seeing each other for this meeting wasn't necessary. We only needed to hear each other and see items on our desktops. And secondly, (although you have it listed first), if you are online, you need a CMS - in this case, Moodle to tie it all together. Teachers need to practice in this environment - set up a meeting with someone to use Skype, register for a free webinar, etc. Expand your learning! :-)
    • Evan Abbey
       
      I think the modifier "knowledgeable" and the "ability to use" instead of "has mastery of" is crucial. Those that wrote the national standards recognized what everyone here has said, that technology changes so much, mastery is not only impossible, but foolish to seek.
    • bonnie smith
       
      As a Reading Teacher I expect myself to be knowledgeable and have the ability to use (though mastery would a goal), but are these Standards for the classroom teacher or the teacher of Technology?
    • fgmcveigh
       
      "has knowledge" is a beginning point. Some of our group members don't feel "knowledgeable" even though they have used many of the Web 2.0 tools. Those wise folks know exactly how big the "ocean" of technology is - that's why there is a bit of discomfort. When that discomfort or thirst for more knowledge leads one to a class like this, IT's a Very good end result!!!
    • Cheryl Mullenbach
       
      Like anything else, you can always find someone who is more knowledgeable, but you can always find someone is less knowledgeable than you are too!
    • Valerie Jergens
       
      Too bad these standards are for online course teachers only. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were moving to blended classes everywhere? It would be for me-I'd like to see a lot more use of online resources. There are so many simulations, games, virtual environments that students could be exxperiencing. And, then having conversation about outside of the classroom. Wouldn't that be an improvement on a worksheet for homework?
    • linda vann
       
      This is a rather daunting standard at first glance. Keeping up with technology is not an occasional event. What it does say to me is that we have to be willing to make this an ongoing effort and not become complacent with learning just one or two tools, but to stay open to trying new tools. I think the key is matching the technology to the learning goal.
    • Jeny Schoenhard
       
      I was wondering the same think as Bonnie, are these standards for the classroom teacher or the teacher of Technology. I feel that we should have some basic knowledge of a tool before introducing it into a classroom full of students, however being that we are all lifelong learnings it is a given that the students will find things within that tool that we didn't know about and be able to teach us something. I just feel that if I wait to master something before bringing it to my students they will never experience it.
  • ...53 more annotations...
  • Understands and uses data from assessments to guide instruction
    • denise carlson
       
      Is this speaking to formative assesment/assessment for learning? How can we be sure that all readers of this document have the same definition of "assessement"? Lack of a common vocabulary sometimes leads to misconceptions and misunderstaindings.
    • fgmcveigh
       
      That's a very critical issue! There are way too many assessments "given" that are not used! And then who gets to decide which assessments should be privileged over others. Reliability and validity do need to count as major players in the decisions!
    • Kim Wise
       
      Good points. Lots going on in this short sentence. I would hope that the intent would be around student learning and not just completion of tasks. This would lead the instructor to be a critical consumer of what data would help him/her accomplish teaching for understanding.
    • r kleinow
       
      I would agree this is an important and, for me, challenging aspect. I am guessing this is implied but I think it is crucial to use data from valid and reliable assessments (whatever that means) as many times I hear of decisions being made based on data that has little to do with the actual skills and abilities we would like the learner to have. Finding easy to use assessments that can provide meaningful data to guide instruction has been a challenge for me but one that I think can help to be addressed by the influx of technolgy tools and their ability to collect and provide graphic representations to aid in analysis of the data. On the simpler side I think it speaks to the importance of the instructor learner relationship. If learning is going to be advanced the instructor must have and use information of where the learner currently is and then instruct accordingly.
    • r kleinow
       
      Using data to guide intruction is another area that I have a great deal of interest in. I am a fimr beleiver that the single most important thing a teacher needs to know is to find out what the learn knows, figure that out then instruct accordingly, and this would need to be an ongoing process. The challenge, for me, is to find assessments that can efficiently provide that information but I think technolgy tools can can certainly help in that area with alll that can be doen to collect and organize data for easier analysis. A key piece to that being certain that I am collecting data that is well aligned with what the learner needs to know and be able to do, as I often see decisions that seem to be made based on data that seems to have little to do with what we really want learns to know and be able to do.
    • r kleinow
       
      I would agree that this is a key piece. I am a believer that the single most important thing a teacher needs to know is what the learner already knows and then to teach accordingly. Collecting and using that information is an important part of any learning process.
    • r kleinow
       
      Again this is something I am glad to see. I am a believer that the single most important thing a teacher needs to know is what the learner already knows. Then to take that information and teach accordingly. I think this standard speaks to the importance of that and the ongoing process that should be taking place with any quality instruction.
    • r kleinow
       
      Again this is something I am glad to see. I am a believer that the single most important thing a teacher needs to know is what the learner already knows. Then to take that information and teach accordingly. I think this standard speaks to the importance of that and the ongoing process that should be taking place with any quality instruction.
    • r kleinow
       
      Again this is something I am glad to see. I am a believer that the single most important thing a teacher needs to know is what the learner already knows. Then to take that information and teach accordingly. I think this standard speaks to the importance of that and the ongoing process that should be taking place with any quality instruction.
    • r kleinow
       
      Again this is something I am glad to see. I am a believer that the single most important thing a teacher needs to know is what the learner already knows. Then to take that information and teach accordingly. I think this standard speaks to the importance of that and the ongoing process that should be taking place with any quality instruction.
    • r kleinow
       
      Again this is something I am glad to see. I am a believer that the single most important thing a teacher needs to know is what the learner already knows. Then to take that information and teach accordingly. I think this standard speaks to the importance of that and the ongoing process that should be taking place with any quality instruction.
    • Evan Abbey
       
      I'd reiterate what Denise said... it is a critical question to ask!
    • Evan Abbey
       
      This is a valuable question to ask, Denise!
    • Matt Townsley
       
      Kim, you said, "I would hope that the intent would be around student learning and not just completion of tasks." I couldn't agree more! This is assessment FOR learning (formative assessment) as we know it in the Iowa Core characteristics of effective instruction. (I think denise mentioned it in an earlier sticky note, now that I look back at it...). Effective instruction in a face-to-face environment seems to be similar to an online environment, too...to some degree.
    • Evan Abbey
       
      This is a good question you posed, Denise!
  • Utilizes a course evaluation and student feedback data to improve the course (Varvel VI.F)
    • jalfaro
       
      This step is crucial. It's very tempting to set up a course and never touch it again. Given the constantly changing online environment, it is even more necessary to stay current with a regularily-scheduled course review process.
    • Leslie Roberts
       
      I have been in online classes where the instructor has taken a course and just "refried it" from offering to offering. Links are no longer valid, dates are incorrect, technologies have changed, etc.
    • denise carlson
       
      That would be terrible. I'm spending so much time putting together my course. I want to be positive everything is in top working condition so participants won't face any frustration.
    • Evan Abbey
       
      "Refried it". I've never heard that term before... it's now part of my lexicon! Denise, what you mention is so true. There is a bit of pride involved in a course, whether online or F2F (at least I should say you can tell the teachers who take pride in their work very quickly). On the other hand, links expire without notice very quickly, and updates are made to Moodle servers behind your back that all of a sudden change the way your course looks. It's tough to keep up sometimes.
    • bonnie smith
       
      Each year I have had the students reflect on units covered this year...It has always been for my benefit...interesting to see it as a proposed Standard now.
    • Sara Youngers
       
      I think "Refried" courses happen whether they are online or in the classroom. This standard should be for all courses, not just online ones.
    • anonymous
       
      I agree, Sara. Our AEA has an online evaluation for courses with participants responding to Likert scale items and given the chance to add comments. Much depends on the instructor's willingness to honestly examine that feedback, consider patterns in the responses, and make adjustments that improve the course.
  • • Assists students with technology used in the course (Varvel III.C)
    • Leslie Roberts
       
      I feel that assisting online learners in a course is very important to keep them from being frustrated and spending too much on the technology and not enough time on the learning. I find that I have to deliver one-on-one help in my online class to teachers who are not as tech savvy as others.
    • Gale Zellweger
       
      Leslie, I have been on the student side of this standard and totally agree with you!
    • Pam Buysman
       
      Leslie: I agree as well. If possible, I think it would be a good idea to have some F2F time. This might work well at the beginning of the class so participants will feel comfortable with the interface. I also think this might alleviate fears learners might have and consequently content will become primary and the technology secondary.
    • Judy Sweetman
       
      Great point about the content remaining the primary focus and the technology secondary. I know I appreciate the tutorials in this course and in others I have taken when it has been provided. If I have to find my own online tutorial or read about it, it takes way too much time and I'm totally stressed before I even begin the actual assignment.
    • Kathleen Goslinga
       
      Staying focused on the content is critical in reaching the overall goals of a course. When I first stated taking online courses I would often find myself double checking what I did to make sure a post occurred or paper uploaded. The more online courses I have participated in has yielded a comfort level with the technology tool and thus the focus can be on the content.
    • charles krueger
       
      I can strongly relate to this, I'm one of those less than tech savvy teachers. There are so many new and potentially very useful tools that it is hard to know which will be useful to me.
    • Jeremy Nally
       
      I agree with that helping with the technology takes the stress off. I think that tutorials over the technology being used is a great way to help both student and teacher save time. This way if something is forgotten you can go back and see what the next step is.
    • Jeremy Nally
       
      I know that when I have something that has to be done using technology I can get frustrated really easily. Having a tutorial like I have for the class I am in right now has been very helpful and that way if I feel like I am lost I can go back and watch the tutorial to see if what I need to do next.
    • Jeremy Nally
       
      I agree with the comments. I know that when I have anything dealing with technology I sometimes get a little worked up. The more I am comfortable with what I am doing the better I do. I really like to the online class I am in right now because the tutorials really help me with the assignments. They allow me to learn the technology before I have to use it.
    • Gale Zellweger
       
      This sounds like "super teacher!"
    • Evan Abbey
       
      Standards have a way of sounding like that, don't they?
    • fgmcveigh
       
      But high expectations are really good for all learners! And if we aren't life-long learners as teachers, how will our students ever be life-long learners? (It's in most of our 35 school districts' mission statements!)
    • Mike Bevelacqua
       
      Content knowledge is one factor that is very highly correlated with student achievement. At least in Math Eduction research...
  • • Maintains an online social presence that is available, approachable, positive, interactive, and sincere (SREB C.3, Varvel VII.A)
    • Judy Sweetman
       
      I know this is one thing I need to work on in my classes. Because I take online classes as well as teach them, it's easy to forget to check in with the classes I teach, as I'm so worried about deadlines for my own assignments.
    • Tony Amsler
       
      I've really try to maintain an online social presence by.... 1. weekly "check-in's" to post tips and suggestions, 2. to setup a calendar that will attempt to keep students "on pace" between due dates, rather posting an email that everything is due tomorrow. 3. always responed to student's posting with discussion forum. I know I could do more.... always looking for innovative ways to do it... even considered meeting in Second Life (keep in mind I teach college students online ;-)
    • fgmcveigh
       
      I think it's also important to think about the " positive and the interactive" that are built in through "community building". I've been in some on-line classes where many folks are working at the "minimum" level of participation and really don't even add much more than a sentence in response to a comment. (YES, worse than the kids when they want to know How Much they need to write!)
    • Matt Townsley
       
      Does this also mean actively participating in social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter?
    • Eldon Bird
       
      I sure hope it doesn't. As much as I am tied to the computer at both work and home, I have avoided the social networking sites with diligence. I don't have a problem interacting with others regarding work related items, etc., but I have a real hesitation to 'share my personal life and thoughts' with the cyber-world. Even the ability to select those 'friends' doesn't really give me any reassurance that a link can be made to those that I don't select.
    • Steve Van Gundy
       
      I have to believe it means some type of professional site, and not Facebook/Twitter. I've avoided social networking sites like the plague, mostly because I like to be off the computer if I'm not working. And I agree with Eldon, I don't necessarily want to put my personal life out there for all to read. But I have no problem maintaining a "professional" online presence.
    • Steve Van Gundy
       
      I have to believe it's not including Facebook/Twitter or whatever else is out there. I've avoided those like the plague, mainly probably because I don't like being glued to the computer when I'm not working.
    • Matt Townsley
       
      I'm wondering what it *does* mean then...any ideas, Eldon?
  • Identifies and communicates learning outcomes and expectations through a course overview/orientation (Varvel IV.A, ITS 3.b)
    • Pam Buysman
       
      I took the instructional design class this past summer. One of the things we needed to do was to create an overview/orientation for our learners. Before I took the class, I already had my course somewhat organized, but had neglected to include this feature in my course. Now, I realize how really important this is. One of my colleagues at work often uses the phrase, "go slow to go fast." I think that's so applicable here. It takes time to create the overview and you're really not having students learn content. However, by providing the necessary guidelines and instructions immediately, things will go much smoother in the class.
    • fgmcveigh
       
      I, too, like the "go slow to go fast"! because teachers need time to absorb the learning. That means that we have to begin with the end in mind or we won't make it to our learning destination. I often compare that to heading to Des Moines but ending up in Detroit, Michigan. They are both DM towns so that would be OK? It gives a "light-hearted" view of the necessity for the overview as you said Pam.
    • Kathleen Goslinga
       
      How very true to "go slow to go fast". I would be one of those individuals who "absorbs the learning". I want to make sure that my skills are to a level that will benefit the learner and not cause confusion.
    • Erica Larson
       
      I often struggle with the phrase 'go slow to go fast' as I am not quite sure how 'fast' benefits any kind of learning. And I don't mean to equate fast to speed; but rather to equate fast to skimming the surface. In the experiences I have had with online courses for adult learners I find using a landscape post to reflect back some of their own quotes helps them think more deeply about the essential question to which they are responding. That deep thinking results in much more conceptual understanding (and dare I say paradigm shifting).
  • Has experienced online learning from the perspective of a student
    • ksteingr
       
      You know this is interesting. We most likely teach as we were taught, but in reality, we need to be teaching very differently today than in the past. Our students are motivated by different things. So taking an online class is a very good idea, but I think "living" and "working" more like our students is as helpful. If they are texting their friends to set something up, are we texting our students? That is their world. Something to think about maybe!
    • fgmcveigh
       
      I can remember not being happy with elementary teachers who had taught my father some 30 years earlier. These times have changed. That ship has sailed! Lectures and standing in front of a group delivering knowledge are not helpful in promoting learning that leads to application and creation!!!
    • Judy Sweetman
       
      I think this is an important benchmark! I know I was very appreciative of what I had learned from the many online classes I had taken before I was asked to teach one. I "borrowed" the ideas that I really liked--especially organizational ideas, and embedded them in my classes.
    • Jenny Sinclair
       
      I heard a quote recently about this exact thing and it really made me think. It was a young student speaking. He said, "Don't prepare us for your world, prepare us for ours."
    • Tony Amsler
       
      As I jumped into online teacher over a year ago, all the material and books on the subject stressed this very point... to teach an online class it is best to experience it from the student perspective. This certainly was helpful when it came to design and implementation of my own course. I have recently join a peer review group called Learning Triangles - 3 instructors all enroll in each other's class for the purpose of furthering improve our instruction.
    • Jason Martin-Hiner
       
      This standard is certainly a big reason why I'm participating in this course. Trying to prepare to teach an online course through "traditional" methods seems a little like trying to learn to swim by reading a book.
    • Eldon Bird
       
      Once again - Jason speaks the right words! We think of how we offer PD - one of the critical pieces of teaching a new strategy or concept is to put the teacher in the student desk and allow them to experience the learning. As always - the best way to learn is by doing. "Sit and git" just doesn't make it!
    • Cheryl Mullenbach
       
      I think everyone who teaches online should first have taken an online course. You really need to see it from both sides.
  • Selects and understands how to evaluate learning materials and resources that align with the context and enhance learning
    • ksteingr
       
      Is this the only place where we mention resources? I think the type of resources works with differentiation, motivation and learning in general. Are we adding content to our classes - digital video, access to print - online, online databases? This is very important, I think.
    • Cheryl Carruthers
       
      Yes, selection of quality resources would be important. Online resources today are vast, and we want to have our students using resources that are age appropriate, MCGF, authoritative, differentiated for learning styles, and that will advance the learning goals of the class. Students should be evaluating the resources that they find online as to validity and usefullness. Lots of opportunities for teacher librarians to work with teachers designing online opportunities for their students in the area of resources!
    • Evan Abbey
       
      In answer to your question, Kristin, this is primarily it for the teaching standards and resources, as utilizing resources in online teaching heavily falls in the instructional design process (std. 3). Specific applications of resources are more heavily identified in the course standards.
  • Designs the structure of the course and the presentation of the content to best enhance student learning, including using unit/lesson overviews and reviews, using patterns in lesson sequencing, and using appropriate visual web design techniques (SREB C.14, Varvel V.F)
    • Leslie Roberts
       
      I feel that course design and presentation are very important. Using good desing techniques helps the student to become more focused on content and better able to organize thoughts. If a site is too hard to follow visually, it can be confusing, distracting and frustrating, especially for novice online learners or technology learners.
    • Evan Abbey
       
      It's funny how something like the design of your Moodle site seems so non-academic (or non-Iowa Core-ish), and yet you are exactly right.
    • Jenny Sinclair
       
      At times I have questioned if I have addressed all of the course requirements, completed the assignments, etc. Taking a course yourself is a good reminder that someone else is going to have to follow your train of thought and act upon it. If my students are confused by the structure, it will take away from their ability to comprehend the material. I am experimenting with color on my Moodle site to see if it helps younger students. For example, all assignments that have to be completed have blue text. Additional resources, tutorials, etc. have red text. Hope that helps them...
    • fgmcveigh
       
      I really like your color coding idea, Jenny. I have been shocked at how "un-linear" I have been in this class as I start in one place and don't necessarily go through the list. I have liked anything that says "you are done!" So anything you do to make those tasks more visible for students will be helpful!
    • Drinda Williams
       
      I agree--color coding sounds like a good idea! Might the Heartland Moodle consider some consistent colors? So as participants move from class to class, they colors stay the same?
    • Matt Townsley
       
      Leslie, I couldn't agree more with your thoughts on course design and presentation. I completed a hybrid online/f2f graduate program a few years ago at one of IA's regents institutions. One of the courses in the sequence was perceived by several in the cohort to be very poorly done. Why? The design, layout and navigation were much different (and perhaps less linear) than the rest of the courses.
  • Tailors instruction to meet the different needs of students, including different learning styles, different interests and backgrounds, and students with special needs or whom are language learners
    • Cheryl Carruthers
       
      Online tools provide lots of opportunites to diferentiate instruction, everything from providing resources at varying reading levels, text to speech capabilities, language translations, visual resources; technology can really be "assistive" for all learners.
    • Evan Abbey
       
      That's one benefit of online learning that is not mentioned enough. We stress flexibility in terms of time, pace, and place, but the flexibility of access to content using online tools is such an untapped benefit for students with different needs.
    • Carla Lee
       
      We also should talk about student engagement. Many students are much more engaged in on-line learning than in the old traditional mode. So this meets that engagement piece as well. I would also agree with both of you as far as access to different types of resouces.
    • Eldon Bird
       
      Possibly one of the biggest hurdles to this is also the primary reason we use online instruction. The logistics of face-to-face are difficult to overcome, so we go online. We can offer many scenarios, but do we really know without the personal interaction how the participants are reacting to the instruction. Is there enough feedback opportunities to vary the instruction as needed? I don't want to seem too negative - just appears to be one of those difficulties without the f2f.
    • Tera Schechinger
       
      Tailoring instruction online seems like it is much easier than fce to face. Purposeful planning is always difficult but an online environment allows the teacher to support those who need it when they need it and push those students to go beyond what they ever imagined they could do. I agree with cheryl that online tools provide teacher with many resources to differentiate for each and every student based on their needs.
    • Phyllis Anderson
       
      Even if instruction isn't designed for specific students' needs, it can be varied in ways that allow different avenues for students to gain understanding. The tenants of Universal Design for Learning fit in here beautifully.
  • Understands and uses course content that complies with intellectual property rights and fair use, and assists students in complying as well
    • Cheryl Carruthers
       
      We just held a workshop at our AEA this past week on Digital Citizenship for Today's Schools that addressed this topic. Our presenter emphasized the importance ot teaching students about ethical use of technology. It becomes especially important as student work moves outside of the 4 walls of the classroom and out on to the Internet and social media. This topic ties directly into the 21 Century Tech Literacy part of the Iowa Core - Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility.
    • fgmcveigh
       
      And ethical use of technology needs to be DEMONSTRATED by all staff, all the time. It's hard to "condemn" students for plagiarizing when the teacher never gives proper credit for visuals or text that may or may not be in the public domain!
    • Evan Abbey
       
      Very well said, Fran. I've been guilty of that myself.
    • Matt Townsley
       
      This is a convicting criteria. I did not do a very good job as a f2f teacher citing my sources - even more important in an online environment!
  • Selects and uses technologies appropriate to the content that enhance learning (SREB M.3, Varvel IV.D, ITS 3.e, ITS 4.f)
    • Pam Buysman
       
      We spent time discussing this in last weeks forum. How do you select the best technology to use in your class? How many different tools do you need in your toolbox so you have an adequate selection? In order to meet this criteria, I think we need to do our best to stay current. Obviously, that can't mean we are familiar with everything, because that would be impossible. We do need to be aware, however, about the different catagories of tools..wikis, blogs, screencasts, etc. This class will certainly help us in that endeavor.
    • Matt Townsley
       
      When I read this criteria, I thought of the TPACK framework and some of the work done on learning activity types: http://activitytypes.wmwikis.net/ When does it make the most sense to use a blog rather than a wiki? My guess is that an effective online teacher can answer these types of questions effectively.
    • Eldon Bird
       
      Ditto Ditto! I was very impressed, but also overwhelmed at all the tools available online. Being a 'dabbler' by nature, I have to force myself to pick a few and try to become proficient at those rather than be less than adequate at a large number of tools. A good carpenter is necessarily a good plumber!
  • Demonstrates growth in technology knowledge and skills in order to stay current with emerging technologies (
    • bonnie smith
       
      How will this be measured?
    • Evan Abbey
       
      Some districts use a skills checklist or Atomic Learning-style skill inventories as a requirement for teachers (they post these in their portfolio). Others would include completion of a class, although the skeptic could say that's not necessarily showing growth. There is the actual lessons or technological artifacts produced from technology work (if you saw a copy of this class from 2 years ago to a copy of it today, you'd definitely see how I've grown in this area).
    • Kim Wise
       
      My family's district had both students and parents fill out a technology skills survey. I'm not sure how it matched up to the skills of our teachers (we're a one to one district) but it was informing for me. My 7th grader was unsure of lots of the terms which indicated to me she wasn't using that technology.
  • student self-assessment and pre-assessment
    • fgmcveigh
       
      Wow! Student ownership for self-assessment and pre-assessment so it's not the teacher who is always doing the "assessing". It seems like the learner is often "left out" of a lot of assessment systems!
    • Drinda Williams
       
      This aligns well with the Iowa Core's characteristics of effective instruction--being more student centered and using assessment for learning. Yeah!
    • Phyllis Anderson
       
      Peer and self assessment are important attributes of Assessment for Learning. They can help students develop life-long learning skills.
    • Erica Larson
       
      Drinda, I agree that this one reflects the research about the benefits of assessment for learning lying in the students' owning the assessment process through peer and self assessment. Do you find that students you have worked with are reflective and skilled peer and self assessors of their learning?
    • Valerie Jergens
       
      I was seeing the connection between this statement and the CEI as well. I think metacognition is woven throughout the attributes of the CEI. If you can do self-assessment well you can have a real start on teaching with CEI.
  • Creates or selects multiple assessment instruments
    • Eldon Bird
       
      How often are we so guilty of using the 'easiest' assessment to grade/evaluate, but it is not the most appropriate for the content and the student? Even less often do we have multiple assessment for different learners.
  • Communicates assessment criteria and standards to students, including rubrics for student performances and participation
    • Kathleen Goslinga
       
      Students need to be made aware of the criteria established for assessment. The rubric provided should clearly identify what is considered to be above, below or meeting standards. Students will then be held accountable for the level or depth of individual learning.
    • Philip Giltner
       
      I agree. Rubrics provides a tool for students to compare their work against the acceptance criteria allowing them to better assess there work prior to submitting it.
  • Promotes learning through online collaboration group work that is goal-oriented and focused
    • Kathleen Goslinga
       
      Collaboration among students in an online learning environment needs to occur early in the course. Just we were asked to complete a profile that provided information as to position, interest, etc...the same hold true for other online courses. Students need to feel as contributing member on the group and fellow students need to be observant in responding to all over time so no single individual is omitted from feedback on their viewpoint of a question, etc...Successful collobration among students may lead to a richer discussion and depth of learning.
    • Carla Lee
       
      No kidding. Working on line would be very important for students to get to know the other students in the classroom. Especially if they are to work together. I also think this is the way of the future and getting students prepared for the work place. Many corporations use on line meetings to cut expenses etc. If we don't start teaching this way, how can we justify that we are getting students ready for work place?
    • Jeremy Nally
       
      These would be good for teachers to use to see if the students can explain some things in a way to peers that may help in the classroom. There discussions online could really help them see diffenrent ways the material was seen online or in the class.
    • Erica Larson
       
      I particulary appreciate the opportunity to 'see' a photo image of the other learners as well as to 'hear' their voices through the threaded discussions when I am collaborating with others on a common online assignment/task/product.
  • Provides and communicates evidence of learning and course data to students and colleagues
    • Sara Youngers
       
      This is right in line with collecting formative assessments. Not only do we need to collect this information, we need to share it with class participants.
    • Sandy Kluver
       
      We are collecting so much data on students now but it's very important to communicate that data to the students too! I think we sometimes forget that they can learn a lot about themselves through the data too.
    • Martha Condon
       
      This first standard (in it's entirity) really sticks out to me as crucial for effective learning. Formative assessment and data-based decision making is the only way for students and teachers to make changes to improve learning outcomes. Online learning adds a new element, in that the instructor must be incredibly purposeful in how data and feedback is provided. With no nonverbals to assist in our feedback to learners, online teachers must become very effective "words-only" communicators.
    • Sue Runyon
       
      I agree that this is formative assessment that not only informs our instruction but informs students about their learning and what they can do to improve their learning
  • Creates a safe environment, managing conflict
    • Sara Youngers
       
      This safe environment is crucial for learners who may struggle. It needs to be a learning environment free from ridicule.
    • Matt Townsley
       
      Handling conflict in an online environment - that could be an entire course in itself! I'm interested to learn more about this one.
    • Jason Martin-Hiner
       
      Hopefully this is addressed in the course expectations - I'm noticing quite a bit of overlap between the teaching standards and the course expectations...I guess I shouldn't be surprised since the course design is so closely tied to how the course will be taught.
    • Sandy Kluver
       
      I've heard college students complain about some on-line classes they took and conflict between participants was one of their main concerns. Instructors need to monitor conversations very closely but this can be hard to do when you have 25-50 participants and lots of discussions going on at once!
    • anonymous
       
      It would seem this is why the community building as part of the course intro is so important - to reinforce that real people - not avatars - are on the receiving end. The illusion (and often the reality) of anonymity causes some people to lose all sense of propriety and decency in online discussions. Just looking at comments on news sites and blogs is evidence. I would agree with Matt: teaching this could be its own course.
    • Valerie Jergens
       
      Handling conflict like this could be a whole new skill set for instructors. Before I read this statement, I would have assumed that this doesn't happen-that there is respect for everyone and their ideas-guess I need to be prepared and learn more.
  • Demonstrates ethical conduct as defined by state law and local policies or procedures
    • Drinda Williams
       
      This needs to be a constant conversation. We recently debated for several days the difference between sharing something online in a webinar, and posting something online. What permissions did we have? Did the originator actually understand what permission we were seeking? What precedent would be set?
  • Applies research, knowledge, and skills from professional growth to improve practice
    • Drinda Williams
       
      Part of this becomes bringing along your students, clients, and participants. Sometimes taking a risk with something online does not go as well as you'd like. Have you let them know what to expect? Have you asked them for feedback to improve your skills? It's not just about the teacher trying new things, it's about teachers and students as a community trying new things.
    • Sandy Kluver
       
      This phrase reminds me of a phrase from the Iowa teaching standards. Very important to use research based strategies as we make decisions that directly effect the students.
  • Has knowledge of learning theory appropriate to online learning,
    • Drinda Williams
       
      This is where I feel I am floundering. I am so glad to have OLLIE to begin developing these skills.
    • Peggy Christensen
       
      Drinda, I'm right there with you. Online learning is a whole new world for me. It is definitely different teaching online than it is face-to-face.
    • charles krueger
       
      It is very difficult to know if a student "has knowledge" about anything, especially in an online venue. Best a student can do is give appropriate responses
  • Meets the professional teaching standards established by a state-licensing agency, or has the academic credentials in the field in which he or she is teaching
    • Matt Townsley
       
      This criteria may stifle innovation a bit, but at the same time could make the standards more credible. What does everyone else think?
    • Erica Larson
       
      Matt, would you elaborate on how you feel this criteria could "stifle innovation"?
    • Matt Townsley
       
      "meeting a standard," in my mind indicates aiming for a baseline proficiency. If moving towards the status quo is the end result (rather than above and beyond), it may be setting the bar too low and in turn stifling innovation. I think I'm overanalyzing it a bit, but that was my gut reaction.
  • Understands the differences between teaching online and teaching face-to-face
    • anonymous
       
      This understanding is certainly enhanced by 7.1 - "Has experienced online learning from the perspective of a student" Having taken an online class, I am more aware of challenges students might face and have a greater appreciation of how skillful instructors anticipate and address potential challenges.
    • Julie Foltz
       
      I agree with you, Mary, that having had meaningful learning online is helpful to an instructor in both designing and facilitating an online course!
  • Provides substantive, timely, and constructive feedback to students
    • anonymous
       
      Not meeting this standard is one of the biggest criticisms I hear about online classes. When instructors and students are not in the same room at the same time, the nature and timeliness of feedback takes on a whole new dimension.
    • Jeremy Nally
       
      I know that sometimes we need to get immediate feedback and this can't always be the case with online classes. We have to find a happy medium so that questions and feedback gets back in a matter that it's still important to the students.
  • Demonstrates techniques for dealing with issues arising from inappropriate student technological use
    • Carla Lee
       
      I would be interested in understanding how some of this might be dealt with. This would be something very new to me. Dealing with behavior is one thing...dealing with inappropriate behavior in an on-line class...if it's written down, students certainly can't deny it, can they?
    • Greg Sleep
       
      We have went to one-one laptops in our school. We are in our second year of having laptops for our 6-12 students. We have boot camp for all new students that come into our district. In that boot camp we address appropriate use. We now have a page in our handbook dealing with our laptops. It is still new and our policies will be forever evolving with technology. We do have a scripted policy for inappropriate use and the consequences.
    • Sue Runyon
       
      I think that one of the issues is that what is written down is there and can't be erased! I think this addresses "bullying" - am I right or is that addressed somewhere else?
  • effective instructional strategies
    • Peggy Christensen
       
      When I see "effective instructional strategies" I think of the Characteristics of Effective Instruction from the Iowa Core.
    • Valerie Jergens
       
      That is what I have been thinking of lately as well, but I have to wonder what role specific strategies in literacy, math, science, ... will continue to have for Iowa educators. I am worried that this leads to a pendulum swing to only focusing on these and possibly neglecting subject specific things.
  • connectivism
    • Peggy Christensen
       
      Our Professional Learning Team at Heartland AEA is studying the idea of "connectivism" and how we might use connectivism in our work. I'm trying to wrap my brain around this whole idea of "connectivism."
  • Continuously uses data to evaluate the accuracy and effectiveness of instructional strategies
    • Kim Wise
       
      I think we often use data to judge student achievement but often fail to use it to look at the effectiveness of instructional strategies. I think that may be a belief system change for some teachers--what I DO may have to be changed instead of "I taught it, they just didn't get it."
    • Eldon Bird
       
      I think you really nailed one of the real problems in education today - teachers expect the students to learn how they learned and how they teach. It is very difficult for them to believe that much of the problem is the effectiveness of the instruction that is delivered. I don't think this is any different that f2f instructional needs.
    • Jeremy Nally
       
      I agree with both of you. I have heard a lot of people say well they they just don't get. Well maybe it's not them that's not getting it, maybe they just need to try to deliver the material a different way. I know that sometimes I can get my mind set that my way is the only way and that I need to remember that students learn a variety of ways.
    • Valerie Jergens
       
      I think the information we use to judge the effectiveness of our instructional strateiges is often misaligned. We may be using a test of pure content knowledge to judge the effectiveness of our science instruction, when Inquiry instruction has so many more goals than content attainment.
    • r kleinow
       
      test
  • Creates a learning community that encourages collaboration and interaction, including student-teacher, student-student, and student-content (SREB D.2, Varvel VII.B, ITS 6.a)
    • Mike Bevelacqua
       
      Diggo goes much further with the Social Networking capabilities than other Social Bookmarking tools that I have looked at previously. Seems that the use of Diigo as a teaching practice has the potential of exposing students to this standard.
  • understands how to teach the content to students
    • Mike Bevelacqua
       
      This is important because we are always talking about content with standards...here this document is talking about how we teach...what have proven practices produce results.
    • Martha Condon
       
      I think this is truly essential for online learning (for all learning, really). We've all been in classrooms, presentations, etc. in which the teacher/presenter was highly knowledgeable in the content but did not know how to teach the content to others. I believe online teaching requires additional precision in the "how" to teach. We must be cautious in the tools, methods, applications, etc. we utilize to best enhance participants' learning.
    • Erica Larson
       
      Mike, I am curious if you see a difference in the pedagogical content knowledge a facilitator must have in a face to face classroom environment and that required in an online classroom environment?
    • Matt Townsley
       
      good point, Mike. we can't forget the "how." This is why I like the Iowa Core framework...both "what" and "how."
  • engage students
    • Eldon Bird
       
      Important here that we not only engage their "doing" but also engage their "thinking".
    • Erica Larson
       
      Glad you brought this up as I can often see the 'thinking' in the online venue; but struggle to see the 'doing'. This is where we want to learn to upload videos as evidence.
    • Greg Sleep
       
      I feel that motivation of students through online teaching is somewhat of a different animal then direct contact instruction. How do you really know what motivates some when it is impersonal to some extinct.
  • appropriate
    • Philip Giltner
       
      I think that "appropriate" is a very key word to consider for online learning. The technologies introduced need to make sense and have a purpose. For example, just because so many people have ipods and they are "cool", the use of ipods would need to make educational sense and not just because they are cool. I was a computer programmer in the corporate world and I all too often saw applications that had eye capturing "bells & whistles" but did not contribute to the objective of the application. All too often these things were added because they could be done, not because they served a purpose. So the question that needs to be asked when introducing a technology is does it serve its purpose?
  •  Demonstrates growth in technology knowledge and skills in order to stay current with emerging technologies
  • Demonstrates growth in technology knowledge and skills in order to stay current with emerging technologies
  • Demonstrates growth in technology knowledge and skills in order to stay current with emerging technologies (SREB B.5)
  • Demonstrates growth in technology knowledge and skills in order to stay current with emerging technologies (SREB B.5)
  • • Demonstrates growth in technology knowledge and skills in order to stay current with emerging technologies (SREB B.5)
  • Demonstrates growth in technology knowledge and skills in order to stay current with emerging technologies (SREB B.5)
  • • Demonstrates growth in technology knowledge and skills in order to stay current with emerging technologies
  • 7Has experienced onl in e learning from the perspective of a student
  • cognitivism
    • Erica Larson
       
      I was curiuos about this term...so I looked it up and found; "Cognitivism often takes a computer information processing model. Learning is viewed as a process of inputs, managed in short term memory, and coded for long-term recall. Cindy Buell details this process: "In cognitive theories, knowledge is viewed as symbolic mental constructs in the learner's mind, and the learning process is the means by which these symbolic representations are committed to memory."
  • models clear expectations for appropriate behavior and proper interaction (SREB D.6, ITS 6.b)
    • Erica Larson
       
      My experience with facilitating online courses in the past indicates that this criteria, when done effectively, can be the reason learners 'stick with' an online course.
    • Evan Abbey
       
      Sticky note - OLLIE
  • Establishes standards for student behavior that are designed to ensure academic integrity
    • Steve Van Gundy
       
      I'm guessing it's pretty easy for students to copy and paste from a website and thus end up plagerizing something. I think that is what this is addressing. I taught math and didn't have my students write papers, but I'm wondering what kinds of standards (and penalties) other teachers have when a student has obviously plagerized something.
  • Networks with others involved in online education for the purpose of professional growth
    • Julie Foltz
       
      I find it takes networking with others at times to learn the 'buttonology' as well as the content!
  • appropriate for online learning
    • Julie Foltz
       
      Throughout this document "appropriate for online learning" appears. To me this means that most are a good practice in any instruction but may need adaptations to improve efficacy online.
  • techniques
    • Julie Foltz
       
      A couple years ago I (and my team) took a course for online facilitation. In that course we learned about the importance of online 'voice'. The tone of online communication with students is critical and words must be chosen carefully so that communication is clear and succinct.
  • Understands student motivation
  • Knows the content of the subject to be taught
  • written communication
    • Evan Abbey
       
      Sample note
  • University of Illinois (Virgil Varvel)
    • Evan Abbey
       
      Sample note
  •  
    self-assessment and pre-assessment within courses Participant self-assessment is so critical at mulitple points - summative assessments are definitely not FOR learning
  •  
    Technology is contstantly changing. How can a teacher stay current and teach with fidelity?
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!
schreckkimberly

PLE Articles - 5 views

  • 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.
    • dixieluna
       
      This is a shift in mindset for many teachers. Students have a a great resource (their cellphone) however, teachers/school do not allow students to use their phones. This would also require a certain amount of trust between the students and teacher.
    • ctinkham
       
      I allow cell phones at all times in my class (we just have a talk about what "within reason" means and how to use them in moderation) for exactly this reason---I have kids that prefer to type papers on their phones because it is faster for them. However, most of the other teachers in our school do not allow them out in class, so it's hard to be "that teacher" that throws off the routine for everyone else. Honestly, however, it's so much easier---I don't have to spend 5 minutes arguing with a kid about their phone.