In a recent research article published by PEW Internet under the title ” The Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing and How Writing is Taught in Schools “, 91% of teachers surveyed report that ” judging the quality of information ” as the top of the digital skills students need for the future. Similarly, another 91 report that “writing effectively” as being essential skill for students while 54 % of teachers think that working with audio, video or graphic content as being important but not essential.
Contemporary curriculum design involves multiple facets: engaging 21st Century skills, using digital tools, collaborating with others around the globe, performance tasks, and more. Getting these design elements into a teacher’s current curriculum demands that teachers create professional habits around Replacement Thinking.
Four considerations for Replacement Thinking around assessments. In a nutshell, those considerations include:
- Students must demonstrate what they’ve learned. Whatever they create with digital tools should still represent what students were to learn. The assessment shouldn’t tell you more about their use of a tool than it does about the student’s work using the tool.
- Students should demonstrate content proficiency and sophistication. Their new product should reflect the content knowledge that they’ve learned and the multiple cognitive zones they participated in during the learning process.
- Students should be frequently reflecting on their choices. Students should be able to articulate and defend their tool choices, content inclusion, and degrees of audience interaction and how those choices affected the resulting product.
- Students must give credit where credit is due. They should know about copyright, Creative Commons licensing, and how to search for and use appropriate content, giving attribution for the media resources they use.
And while assessments are the focus of this blog post, replacement thinking can be applied across the curriculum: in instructional strategies, classroom activities, or in formative data collection using tools such as Kahoot, Socrative, or Google Forms. To help you start thinking about Replacement Thinking, I’d like to offer the following action steps to bring more contemporary ideas into your own professional practices:
- Action Step 1: Stop thinking technology first.
- Action Step 2: Give students authentic choice in how they will demonstrate their learning.
- Action Step 3: Help students seek feedback from other students, other educators, and experts in the field.
- Action Step 4: Provide always-on, asynchronous access to that which is being assessed.
Problem and Issues: What does 21st century learning and assessment look like?
How about Objective and Assessment: (Do technology-based options enhance or detract from student understanding of content? Data from student surveys will be evaluated to determine student engagement in project. Data from student surveys will determine student disposition at three stages of the process.)
Source taken from: John Sole, Founder and CEO of Guerrilla Educators
With one prominent exception, 21st century teaching and learning best practices are largely the same even if the century numbers are inverted. Sound, effective educational best practices in the 21st century share certain strategic, timeless characteristics. To that end, we have identified ten experience based Hallmarks of 21st Century Teaching and Learning that can be used as touchstones in the educator’s pedagogical approach to teaching and learning.
The overarching caveat, of course, is that technology in the 21st century has permeated most aspects of education and culture and has changed everything. How we, as educators, use technology with our students is now the key to unlocking those 21st century global skillsets so that our students can lead and compete in a world where geography has become, in many ways, superfluous.
- Project Based Learning
- Student Ownership/Engagement
- Collaborative Teaching/Cooperative Learning
- Citizenship/Leadership/Personal Responsibility
- Community Partnerships
- Mastery of Curriculum/Development of Higher Order Thinking Skills
- Technology/21st Century Skills
- The Teachable Moment
- Reporting Out/Celebration
1. Project Based Learning
Project Based Learning is the primary gateway through which the Hallmarks are realized. There are consistent characteristics that make a Project viable. Some of these are that Projects should be:
- Student Centered
Just as any discussion about the design of 21st century teaching/learning spaces includes, by nature, flexibility of those spaces, so too the design of 21st century teaching and learning must also be flexible. With technology an integral aspect of our lives, more than ever our students have individual learning styles that must be taken into account. PBL provides a plethora of opportunities for students and teachers to be engaged in ways that are best suited to their optimum learning styles.
This short video demonstrates a real world boat building Project featuring middle grade students at a Philadelphia charter school that authentically models these characteristics: https://youtu.be/lyNNC0Pa3zk.
2. Ownership and Engagement
When students are interested and invested in the completion of a school-based project, they begin to own their educational processes. With ownership, all aspects of their school career, including mastery of curriculum become important to them. With ownership also comes:
- Personal responsibility
- Strategies like critical thinking and generating hypotheses and extension of learning becomes commonplace
- Motivation to succeed
Ownership starts with you, the teacher! Get invested in the processes of PBL. Initiate projects with your students that interest you, so you can authentically model ownership.
Ownership and engagement are essentially 2 sides of the same coin. When students take ownership and personal responsibility for the successful outcome of their Project, it follows that they are engaged and interested. Any good Service Learning project will present students with many opportunities to think critically, make hypotheses, and extend what they have learned. Engagement is the door to performing these important skills, which in turn, engenders academic and civic success.
This high school Project activity using the built environment is a great example of student engagement: https://youtu.be/Mu5vODUKTeg.
3. Collaborative Teaching and Cooperative Learning
Teacher collaborations present powerful opportunities for educators to learn from each other, which can increase the strategies available to them in their pedagogical toolboxes. With technology, it is now just as possible to collaborate virtually with the teacher across the globe as it is across the hall.
Students working cooperatively in small groups to achieve project-based goals is a powerful strategy to achieve curricular and standards based objectives. Moreover, when students are focused on the goals of a project, they are more inclined to negotiate with their peers which clarifies their understandings and solidifies their learning. The cooperative nature of small groups working together for successful completion of the project also has an extremely positive effect on the classroom climate and behavior issues are significantly mitigated.
This Project with post graduate students demonstrates experientially collaboration and cooperation: https://youtu.be/mr04qE46fXg.
4. Citizenship, Leadership, and Personal Responsibility
Development of good citizenship skills as part of the fabric of teaching and learning is critical to the long term, real-life success of our students.
Civic skills give greater depth, context and meaning to student mastery of curriculum and standards. Integral to a Project is the inclusion of Community Partnerships. Professionals who freely give their time and expertise to benefit students are models of good citizenship.
Project Based Learning requires administrative and teacher leadership while developing those qualities in our students. One of the key components of effective leadership is having the humility to know what you don’t know and having the ability to listen and learn, from those who do. So, for teachers and administrators:
- Leadership involves having the inner strength to make decisions and to take personal responsibility for the consequences of those decisions
- Leadership is enabling those whom you lead to be innovative problem solvers without feeling threatened by their success
- Leadership is being able to buffer and protect those you lead from distractions and impediments so they may carry out their responsibilities unimpeded by those distractions
- Leadership is the ability to turn mistakes into “teachable moments” rather than “blamable moments”
- Leadership is knowing when to step back to give opportunities for those in your charge to take the lead, while understanding that ultimate responsibility rests with you
- Leaders understand that leadership is a way of life and therefore unbound by the time constraints of the school or business day/week
It is incumbent upon us as educators to instill in our students that, as much as the teachers have a responsibility to present information in interesting, informative, and innovative ways, students also have the personal responsibility to make sure that they have mastered the requisite information to satisfy the goals and objectives of the Project. Student engagement, ownership, and interest in the successful completion of the Project engenders personal responsibility. Ultimately, one of our most critical functions as educators is to inculcate this sense of personal responsibility in our students.
5: Community Partnerships
Community Partners are the heart of Project Based and 21st century teaching and learning. Having real-world professionals and others in the community work with our students to help address real-world problems present powerful opportunities for students to get involved and engaged as citizens and leaders while achieving and retaining, curricular and standards-based proficiencies. Community Partners also model good citizenship/leadership and provide opportunities for taking class trips that are fun and demonstrate real-world learning skills.
This video demonstrates how Community Partnerships both in, and out of, classrooms can have a transformational effect on students: https://youtu.be/PPrfbiVZmxo.
6. Mastery of Curriculum and Higher Order Thinking Skills
The primary rationale to employ Project Based Learning is, in fact, as a tool for student achievement, both academically and socially. A project’s success is ultimately determined by whether the project-based activities are connected to grade appropriate curriculum and state standards and more importantly, whether these connections enable students to achieve mastery across a range of academic disciplines. We have seen that when students work within the Project Based methodology they own their educational processes, are engaged in a project’s activities, work cooperatively to achieve success, and see citizenship modeled by the Community Partners, then mastery of curriculum becomes more likely.
This video shows second graders making and testing hypotheses: https://youtu.be/b133AGFclCY.
Universal access to the internet by our students has changed the equation of how they learn, whether we, as educators, are ready for this change or not. Unlike the traditional teaching and learning experience, with the Project Based methodology students are gaining knowledge experientially. Rather than feeding the students disconnected facts to be regurgitated on a test, Project Teachers coach the students to apply that knowledge to real world situations which engenders Higher Order Thinking Skills like evaluation, synthesis, and analysis. Many of the videos on the Guerilla Educators blog authentically demonstrate HOTS in Action.
7. Technology and 21st Century Skills
Technology is the #2 pencil of the 21st century. As such, any good Service Learning project will be embedded with a wide array of real-world technology-based applications. We still, by and large, teach interminably about how to use tech applications with our students. Well, that ship has sailed given the fact that the younger we are, the greater our ability to use technology in an agile way. So now, more than ever we need an educational paradigm shift away from learning how to use technology and towards using it.
This high school Project activity using the built environment is a great example of students using technology: https://youtu.be/Mu5vODUKTeg.
8. The Teachable Moment
Agile educators nimbly take advantage of those “off the curriculum grid” spontaneous learning opportunities when they occur. These teachable moments are powerful opportunities for effective, authentic teaching and learning to take place. Being able to identify and use real-time teachable moments is one of those transcendent qualities that good educators possess. Click here to see two examples of teachable moments in real-time.
9. Reporting and Celebration
Students will report out to peers, school staff, and the larger community:
- What they learned
- How they addressed the problems or issues
- Their final products. …and
- They will be celebrated for their important, authentic, real-time work
As a 4th grader concisely put it some years ago, “Teacher John, if it ain’t fun, why would we do it?” School and Fun? While the terms are usually perceived to be in diametric opposition to each other, students having FUN within the framework of their school-based activities is an integral aspect of Effective Teaching and Learning and is one of the overarching links that facilitate academic and civic success.
This short video is a compilation from 2 elementary schools conducting on-site water monitoring and having FUN: https://youtu.be/4VaI_LWu8mY.
Electronic Portfolios are no longer just a good idea, that are an expectation and a powerful element of college and career readiness for many.
Just a few years ago ePortfolios were all the rage with schools and employers. You couldn’t open an education or employment blog without reading tips for creating the best online ePortfolio so you could get into the school of your dreams and land your ideal job afterwards. But it seems the ePortfolio fad has died out or at least slowed down quite a bit as of late. So, what caused the flow of articles on ePortfolios to subside? Are ePortfolios a victim of the struggling economy or just a victim of circumstance? Do ePortfolios matter anymore?
ePortfolios Never Went Away—They Just Became Standard Practice
The easy answer to that question is, “yes!” ePortfolios are still a key component to getting into the schools you want and getting hired for the jobs you desire. In fact, it’s safe to say that they matter just as much now as they ever did, if not more. The reason we’ve stopped seeing as many articles about ePortfolios is because they’ve approached standard practice in the education and employment fields. It’s taken for granted that today’s students will know how to create one by the time they complete their college degrees and seek new employment opportunities, if they didn’t already create one as they prepared to apply to colleges.
Unfortunately, many students remain unfamiliar with the importance of an ePortfolio and the tools and techniques for creating them. This really is a shame given that such a large number of jobs nowadays are either partly or mostly performed – in some shape or form – online. From Information Technology jobs to graphic design, from business administration to teaching, having an ePortfolio is an excellent way for students in many disciplines to provide prospective employers with a glimpse of their work.
Bridging the Information Gap on ePortfolios in 2013
Today, an ePortfolio can be as simplistic as having a website, blog or online resume. Your academic ePortfolio should consist of your collected academic works and achievements that best showcase your pertinent skillsets and knowledge which you’ve attained during the course of your academic career. It should serve as a developmental record and personal reflection over that time period. The main themes you want to get across here are personal and intellectual growth and development. Look at it as your opportunity to broadcast all of your accomplishments and selling points to the world by providing a concise visual record of which others can track your progress by.
Having a strong academic ePortfolio will also help ease your transition into creating a career ePortfolio. The two are extremely similar when it comes to organizing relevant information, accomplishments, skills and qualifications employers look for in easy to find ways. Additionally, career ePortfolios may include things such as:
- Summary of career goals
- Professional mission statement
- Traditional resumes
- Lists of skills and marketable qualities
- Work experience
- Letters of recommendation and references
Updating Your ePortfolio for the Modern World
Now that you know what should be going into an ePortfolio in 2013, here’s a look at some of the things you should be doing to keep up with the changing times and landscapes:
- Think hard about the organization, appearance and general layout of your ePortfolio. Create separate sections for topics such as education, experience, references and contact information.
- Be sure all relevant documents are uploaded to their corresponding sections of the ePortfolio. You want to make the process as easy as possible for the person viewing them—of course, easy doesn’t have to mean boring.
- Avoid bright colors and stick to the more traditional business formatting and fonts (may not be valid for those interested in design schools, etc. Use your judgment).
- Try using WordPress. Take advantage of the themes this platform offers by connecting one with your personality and professional aspirations. For example, don’t use a free-flowing artsy theme if you’re going into corporate business law, and vice-versa.
- Use meaningful pictures to bring some life to your ePortfolio. While the majority of people will have content-based ePortfolios (excluding professions like photographers, artists, etc.), it’s important to remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Be sure they are well-cropped, in good taste and are connected to the most important points you’re trying to get across.
- Write good content and keep it up-to-date. Spell check and grammar check and have a friend do the same.
- Connect your ePortfolio with social media sites so people can find you more easily. Of course, you’ll want to make sure everything on your profiles are “work-appropriate”.
In summary, although a lack of current information seems to suggest that ePortfolios are losing relevance, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Fortunately, as the tools and resources available on the web continue to evolve, there are more and more ways to create and use ePortfolios than ever before.
Source taken: http://www.emergingedtech.com/2013/03/are-eportfolios-still-relevant-for-todays-students/
Assalamualaikum and Hi everyone,
This is a 1st MOOC for ED242 with topic Typography and Page Composition. The instructor of this course; Dr Syamsul Nor Azlan. Please register yourself and join “Introduce Yourself” before engaging with any topics.
Here is the link: https://www.openlearning.com/courses/typography-page-composition
This MOOC will represent ED242 department for ENCONDEV 2017 Exhibition will be held on 15 August 2017. I do need your support to increase the number of participants in this MOOC.