“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.
Keep time and autonomy sacred
Badging platforms need to talk to one another
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.
“Given the growing ubiquity of [technology] in schools, as well as the increasing numbers of educators advocating for their use, it can seem as though education may have reached a tipping point when it comes to improving students’ 21st-century skills. According to the Partnership for 21st Century skills, these can be categorized as the 4Cs: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration.” — Beth Holland
Beth goes on to share that she has started to worry about the growing presence of what she calls the Fake Cs.
“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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Virtual Flipped Classroom: classes are offered entirely online and actual class time is not needed.
Flipped the Teacher: students record video tutorials as projects to teach a skill to the teacher thus showing mastery of the skill (Source).
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.
“ThingLink is an interactive media platform that empowers publishers, educators, brands, and bloggers to create more engaging content by adding rich media links to photos and videos…Use ThingLink to create interactive news photography, maps, posters, family albums, infographics, and shoppable product catalogs in minutes” (Source).
The following video will help you start using ThingLink.
Setting up ThingLink for the Classroom
This playlist, compiled by Susan Oxnevad, contains tutorials for setting up ThingLink channels, embedding Google docs, setting up student accounts, organizing students into project groups, and more.
ThingLink can be used:
To communicate the directions and expectations for class projects, small group activities, independent learning, etc.
With book reports, research projects, and science projects.
To add narration to images.
For teacher and student introductions at the beginning of the year.
To develop interactive posters to communicate with students and parents.
For student reflections.
To integrate multimedia and dynamic data with maps, infographics, Wordles, and other images.
For organizing and sharing professional development resources.
“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).
Visible Thinking makes extensive use of learning routines that are thinking rich.
Join us on Thursday, June 18th, for the EdTech Summer Showcase at the University of Memphis. This event will be hosted by the Instructional Design and Technology Program and will feature outstanding Mid-South teachers demonstrating ways that they effectively integrate technology and learning. You won’t want to miss this fantastic opportunity to gain new ideas for your classroom.
I’m looking forward to speaking at today’s Project Zero Memphis Winter Workshop. Here are some of the resources that I’ll be sharing.
Visible Thinking includes methods for making students’ thinking visible through learning routines that are thinking rich. These routines encourage the development of a culture of thinking and can be used across all grade levels and content areas. With freely available technologies students can engage in Thinking Routines to provide evidence of their thinking and demonstrate their understanding of course content in multiple ways (images, audio, video, presentations, artwork, and more). The Making Thinking Visible with Technology (MTVT) project seeks to provide professional development, a database of lesson plans, and resources to help teachers to develop opportunities for students to make their thinking visible with technology.