Making Micro-Credentials Matter

Here’s another post about micro-credentials that I enjoyed reading. Here are a few highlights.

“Badges, certifications, skill identifiers–you’ve probably seen micro-credentials in one digital form or another. But how do we know whether they actually matter in the real world?” How can we “get micro-credentials to the point where they’re valued as evidence of what adults have learned and can do.”

Here are a few of their suggestions.

  1. Keep time and autonomy sacred
  2. Badging platforms need to talk to one another
  3. Micro-credentialing should target the process, not just the end

I recommend reading the full post as it tackles many of the tougher issues around micro-credentialing.

Source: EdSurge

Flipped Learning: Preparing for the New School Year

Guest Blogger
Kaylah Holland

Flipped LearningImage Source

Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter” (Source).

Why Flip?

Flipped learning allows for a more student centered approach to teaching within the classroom because the majority of the lecture style learning is completed at home; thus, allowing class time to utilize more engaging techniques such as project-based learning, game-based learning, student presentations, discussion, and collaboration. Flipped Learning can also be completed solely within the classroom without requiring students to complete work at home. The main idea with Flipped Learning is simply to allow the teacher to become more of a facilitator of learning rather than the dictator of knowledge.

How to Flip?

The following video from Edutopia will help you understand how to get started.

Examples of Flipped Learning

There are numerous ways to incorporate Flipped Learning within your classroom. The following seven concepts are a good place to start.

  1. The Standard Inverted Classroom: students are assigned any lecture style teaching for homework the night before class so that class time might used for practicing what they learned with the teacher able to give instant feedback.
  2. The Discussion-Oriented Flipped Classroom: lecture style videos, such as TED Talks, are assigned as homework and class time is spent discussing the subject at length.
  3. The Demonstration-Focused Flipped Classroom: teacher records a screencast explaining an activity, math problem, etc so that they students may watch as many times as possible for mastery.  
  4. The Faux-Flipped Classroom: students watch lecture videos or complete assignments via technology at their own pace within the classroom and the teacher acts as a facilitator and supporter.
  5. The Group-Based Flipped Classroom: students learn material for homework and use class time to work together in groups so that they learn from each other through collaboration.
  6. The Virtual Flipped Classroom: classes are offered entirely online and actual class time is not needed.
  7. Flipped the Teacher: students record video tutorials as projects to teach a skill to the teacher thus showing mastery of the skill (Source).

EducationDive showcases the Faux-Flipped Classroom in the article 16 Flipped Learning Uses in K-12 and College Classrooms. A teacher in Florida allows students to complete classwork, take quizzes, and watch instructional videos at their own pace on computers throughout the classroom while she answers questions and provides support to students (Source).

Resources for Flipping

Interested in trying Flipped Learning in your classroom? Checkout the websites below for great information.


About the AuthorKaylah Holland

Kaylah Holland is currently a Middle School Instructional Technology Facilitator at Charlotte Christian School in Charlotte, NC. In addition to teaching coding, app development, and robotics; she has a vital role of assisting teachers with the integration of technology into the classroom through ample research, lesson planning, and training. She is currently completing her doctoral degree in the field of Instructional Design and Technology and is in the process of becoming a Google Certified Trainer. She is passionate about building an innovative culture for learning.

Making Thinking Visible: An Introducton

Visible Thinking

Harvard’s Project Zero: Part 3

Visible Thinking is a flexible and systematic research-based approach to integrating the development of students’ thinking with content learning across subject matters. An extensive and adaptable collection of practices, Visible Thinking has a double goal: on the one hand, to cultivate students’ thinking skills and dispositions, and, on the other, to deepen content learning. By thinking dispositions, we mean curiosity, concern for truth and understanding, a creative mindset, not just being skilled but also alert to thinking and learning opportunities and eager to take them” (Source).

“Visible Thinking is a broad and flexible framework for enriching classroom learning in the content areas and fostering students’ intellectual development at the same time. Here are some of its key goals:

  • Deeper understanding of content
  • Greater motivation for learning
  • Development of learners’ thinking and learning abilities.
  • Development of learners’ attitudes toward thinking and learning and their alertness to opportunities for thinking and learning (the “dispositional” side of thinking).
  • A shift in classroom culture toward a community of enthusiastically engaged thinkers and learners” (Source).

“The idea of visible thinking helps to make concrete what a thoughtful classroom might look like. At any moment, we can ask, “Is thinking visible here? Are students explaining things to one another? Are students offering creative ideas? Are they, and I as their teacher, using the language of thinking? Is there a brainstorm about alternative interpretations on the wall? Are students debating a plan?”

When the answers to questions like these are consistently yes, students are more likely to show interest and commitment as learning unfolds in the classroom. They find more meaning in the subject matters and more meaningful connections between school and everyday life. They begin to display the sorts of attitudes toward thinking and learning we would most like to see in young learners — not closed-minded but open-minded, not bored but curious, neither gullible nor sweepingly negative but appropriately skeptical, not satisfied with “just the facts” but wanting to understand” (Source).

A proven program for enhancing
students’ thinking and comprehension abilities

“At the core of Visible Thinking are practices that help make thinking visible: Thinking Routines loosely guide learners’ thought processes and encourage active processing. They are short, easy-to-learn mini-strategies that extend and deepen students’ thinking and become part of the fabric of everyday classroom life” (Source).

About the Research

“Visible Thinking is the product of a number of years of research concerning children’s thinking and learning, along with a sustained research and development process in classrooms.

“One important finding was that skills and abilities are not enough. They are important of course, but alertness to situations that call for thinking and positive attitudes toward thinking and learning are tremendously important as well. Often, we found, children (and adults) think in shallow ways not for lack of ability to think more deeply but because they simply do not notice the opportunity or do not care. To put it all together, we say that really good thinking involves abilities, attitudes, and alertness, all three at once. Technically this is called a dispositional view of thinking. Visible Thinking is designed to foster all three.

“Another important result of this research concerns the practical functionality of the Visible Thinking approach — the thinking routines, the thinking ideals, and other elements. All these were developed in classroom contexts and have been revised and revised again to ensure workability, accessibility, rich thinking results from the activities, and teacher and student engagement” (Source).

Thinking Routines

Visible Thinking makes extensive use of learning routines that are thinking rich.

Technology Integration

Visit this overview of Making Thinking Visible with Technology by Clif Mims, then enjoy the many exemplary lesson plans and wonderful resources at MTVT.org (See screenshot below).

Making Thinking Visible with Technology (MTVT.org)

* Much of this content courtesy of Project Zero at Harvard University.

 

Google Glass in the Classroom

Glass in the Class

The following is a collection of resources for those seeking to learn more about using Google Glass in educational settings. There are some exciting potential uses and some issues that require serious consideration as the evolution of wearable technology evolves.

Seeing the Classroom through Google Glass

Margaret Powers writes, “As a reflective educator, your goal is to be constantly documenting and learning in the classroom. With Google Glass, that process can be much easier.”

Full Article

A First Look at How Educators Are Really Using Google Glass

“While educators may be impressed by augmented reality features from at-a-glance navigation to spoken Google search-and-response, they frequently save their best praise for Glass’ eye-level video-capture function.”

Full Article

Google Glass: Making Learning Visible with Wearable Technology

“Google Glass provides the educator a means for “making learning visible” (MLV), and can assist with the “observation and documentation in deepening and extending children’s and adults’ learning” that the Project Zero researches from Harvard and Reggio Emilia, who developed MLV, identified as key to effective teaching. The paradox of MLV is that documenting one’s process within the workflow must itself be invisible if it is to be seamless and not “get in the way” of the actual work.” Stacey Goodman provides a nice overview of the technology and presents some potential classroom uses.

Full Article

Reflections on Using Google Glass

Ben is “a special education teacher, and as of late there have been a ton of examples of Glass helping people with disabilities.  If you just look at theGoogle Glass Google+ community you can read about them there. Truly amazing things will come of Glass for people with disabilities.” Ben Hommerding reflects on his experiences with Glass in a series of three blog posts.

Reflection 1Reflection 2, and Reflection 3

Additional Reading

Innovative Learning Solution’s early ideas about Google Glass.

Cecil College uses latest Google technology in classroom

Is Google Glass Suitable for Schools?

Image Source: garysking.wordpress.com

Making Thinking Visible with Technology at #TNLEAD

Workshop Description

Visible Thinking from Project Zero at Harvard University includes methods for making students’ thinking visible to themselves, to their peers, and to the teacher. Visible Thinking makes extensive use of learning routines that are thinking rich. Thinking Routines are mini-strategies that extend and deepen students’ thinking and become part of the fabric of everyday classroom life. These routines encourage the development of a culture of thinking and can be used across all grade levels and content areas.

Workshop participants will learn to develop opportunities for students to make their thinking visible with technology. With freely available technologies students can engage in Thinking Routines and provide evidence of their thinking and demonstrate their understanding of course content in multiple ways (images, audio, video, presentations, artwork, and more). When thinking is visible in classrooms, students are in a position to be more metacognitive, to think about their thinking. When thinking is visible, it becomes clear that school is not about memorizing content but exploring ideas. Teachers benefit when they can see students’ thinking because misconceptions, prior knowledge, reasoning ability, and degrees of understanding are more likely to be uncovered. Teachers can then address these challenges and extend students’ thinking by starting from where they are.

Strategies for designing lessons and practical tips for implementation will be shared.

Introduction

The content of this professional development workshop builds on the research and work of Project Zero at Harvard University. Participants will be introduced to Making Thinking Visible and the use of the Visible Thinking Routines. This is a research-based approach to integrating the development of students’ thinking with content learning across subject areas and grade levels. Before we begin focusing on technology integration, it is important that we have a framework of understanding for these topics as we will build on them later.

  • Making Thinking Visible – Visible Thinking is a broad and flexible framework for enriching classroom learning in the content areas and fostering students’ intellectual development at the same time
  • Visible Thinking Routines – Thinking routines are short, easy-to-learn mini-strategies that extend and deepen students’ thinking and become part of the fabric of everyday classroom life.

Workshop Resources

You can view the workshop slides by clicking below. The handouts, resources, and in depth information are also available.

Making Thinking Visible with Technology

hgsepzfol #hgsepzfol

Students Think They Are “Lucky” to Have Teacher of the Year [Video]

Hather Fisher“Dogwood Elementary 3rd grade teacher Dr. Heather Fisher was named the 2012-2013 Shelby County Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year. The classroom veteran is a life-long learner whose passion for education rubs off on her students and co-workers” (Source).

I became acquainted with Heather just over a year ago when she was selected as a 2012 Martin Institute Fellow to Project Zero. The impact that experience at Harvard has had on her teaching is evident in the video clip below. In addition to spending time together at the Project Zero Institute last July, Heather was also an active participant in our study group during this past school year. She has been committed to learning more about teaching for understanding and has a desire for her students to thrive. Heather has also taken advantage of opportunities to share her expertise with others through presentations and workshops. There’s no wonder why her students feel “lucky” to be in her class.

Event Tags: #pzc2013 #hgsepzfol

13 Yr. Old CEO of Innovative Educational Gaming Company

Elementeo(Repost from 06/11/2007)

Event Tags: FOL2013, hgsepzfol

Anshul Samar is the CEO of Elementeo, a startup company seeking to combine fun and learning. This article provides an overview of the company’s goals, video of Anshul’s CEO speech, and a description of the company’s first game which teaches chemistry through a role-playing board game.

This is interesting to me on many different levels. Watching the video of Anshul’s CEO speech gives me the impression that this may have actually been a class project. Regardless, couldn’t a student activity like this be the jumping-off point for effectively integrating technology with teaching and learning?

  1. How many content areas/topics/objectives/skills would this kind of activity include? I’ve noticed 1) math, business and economics, 2) science/chemistry, 3) art and graphic design, 4) language arts, 5) perhaps copyright and patents, 6) ……???
  2. If this was a class project, do you think that the teacher could have ever imagined that this would be the result?
  3. Elementeo is seeking to put the fun back into learning. Has education taken the fun out of learning? It seems that these students think so. What does that tell those of us that are teachers?
  4. If this is not a class project and Anshul and his friends did this of their own initiative then perhaps we, as teachers, should reconsider what it is that we have our students doing. I suggest that a traditional lesson/unit on entrepreneurship would likely not teach students nearly as much about the world of business (and the other aforementioned content areas) as this activity likely did.
  5. While students weren’t necessarily playing games but rather developing games, this could be an example of effectively bringing gaming into the classroom and integrating it with the curriculum.
  6. Let’s begin to consider all the elements of effective teaching and learning (according to today’s research) that might possibly be identified in a class project like this. Such an activity might include 1) problem solving, 2) discovery learning, 3) legitimate peripheral participation and/or authentic/situated/contextual teaching and learning, 4) communities of practice, 5) collaboration, 6) project management (for those instructional designers among us), 7) ……???

I think this could be a rich discussion. Please, please chime in.

Resources from Storybird Hands-On Workshop at #MSMECA13

StorybirdStorybirds are short, art-inspired stories, presentations, reports, or tutorials you and your students make to share, read, and print. Storybird is a fun, collaborative website that can be integrated in all content areas and at all grade levels. It can be an effective resource for teaching parts of a story, the writing process, promoting creativity, and more. STEM and social studies teachers can use Storybird for engaging alternatives to traditional lessons, reports and presentations. Storybird also seamlessly keeps a portfolio of each student’s work.

Participants will be guided in setting up accounts and helped as they begin using Storybird.com’s tools and services. Participants will learn how to use the teacher-specific tools.

Below are my slides from the workshop that I’ve taught a couple of times this week at the Mississippi Educational Communications Conference (MECA) in Jackson, MS. All the workshop materials and resources (including a video tutorial, additional examples, notes, etc.) are available on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively.