Monday, June 27, 2011

#pw10 Fuel your ideas with inspiration ... (design thinking 2 of 12)

Teaching is listening, learning is talkingImage by dkuropatwa via FlickrGet inspired by talking to people who are passionate about the same things you are. You've got something you want to improve, people who share your passions probably want to do the same.

How do you "plan activities to learn from multiple peoples’ perspectives and explore unfamiliar contexts"?

You might "spend more time with a select group of people rather than trying to meet many. It will likely help you learn more." (quote source: see below)

Here's one way to get started:

Step 1: If you don't have one already, get a twitter account.

Step 2: Follow people who teach, or have interests similar to you. Scan through the list of teachers on twitter here or there or in this Google doc. Follow as many as you like. More is good.

Step 3: There are regular "meetings" on twitter of educators (and all sorts of other professionals) discussing how to better do what they do. These meetings are called "twitter chats." You can scan through this fairly comprehensive list of these chats listing the dates and times they "meet" in twitter. Start by lurking. If you really want some inspiration and help getting better at what you do share your opinions and ask questions. (You get 500 points for every opinion you share or question you ask on twitter!) Here are some education related chats to get you started:


By the end of this week, you can consider yourself an advanced player and take an additional 1000 points each time you:
  • make a targeted twitter list.
  • add an educational blog to read in your reader.
  • get suggested articles/books to read by asking on twitter or leaving comments on the blogs posts you've read.
  • many bloggers have a "what I'm reading" section in the sidebar of their blogs, look for those and ask for more info about those articles/books on twitter or in the comments of the blogs you're reading.
Buying a suggested book to read is worth 1000 points, actually reading it is worth 4000 bonus points!

Please share one or two of the best ideas you learned this week in a tweet, blog, leave a comment here or anywhere and include this tag in it somewhere:  #wpedagogy

If you bought or read a book let us know that too! (I'm always looking for good book suggestions. ;-) )

This week we're focused on collecting as many different ideas as we can, we'll dig into this a little more deeply next week and focus our learning a little more; make it more personal and 1 on 1.

(This series of posts inspired by Design Thinking for Educators.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

#pw9 How might we ... (design thinking 1 of 12)

Bob in thoughtful modeImage via Wikipedia"How might we engage students more deeply in ..."

Finish that sentence with any word you like; something to challenge yourself; something that might help you grow as a teacher.

Some possibilities: reading, mathematical thinking, the scientific method, writing, multiliterate expression, critical thinking, understanding bias, media literacy, etc.

Think about the second order principles of the discipline you teach;  use one of those to fill in the blank above. (Examples of second-order concepts in the study of history can be found here and there.)

Spend some time this week thinking about and jotting down one or two second-order concepts, or organizing principles, of the content area(s) you teach. Do you think a focus on these "big ideas" might make for more powerful learning for your students or maybe give them a way to begin thinking about their learning more deeply?

How might you incorporate these ideas into your lessons in the coming school year?

Does thinking about these second-order concepts help you understand your content more deeply?

Is there a course you teach that doesn't have any second-order concepts that underpins the content?

Please share your list of one or two ideas in a tweet, blog, leave a comment here or anywhere and include this tag in it somewhere: #wpedagogy

If you can think of a discipline that has no second-order concepts (SoC) please share that too!

If all this turns out to be hard, don't worry, we'll dig into this a little more deeply next week.  Start by thinking about this on your own. We'll figure out how to get help from other people next week.

(This series of posts inspired by Design Thinking for Educators.)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Design Thinking For Educators

Wiki Portale DesignImage via WikipediaStarting tomorrow begins a series of 12 posts inspired by the Design Thinking for Educators toolkit.

We'll start by deciding on one thing we want to do differently to improve our teaching using a design thinking approach. If any one post seems overwhelming don't worry about it. We'll go slow, week by week, incrementally helping each other figure things out.

The first thing we'll do is pick one thing about our instructional design we want to improve. The weeks that follow will build up to how we might best make that improvement.

Along the way we'll try to get our heads around how the buzzword "design thinking" might be practically applied to our work in the classroom.

View more documents from serve4impact

Monday, June 13, 2011

#pw8 Allow New Evidence to Replace Old

Driving Cars in a Traffic JamImage by via FlickrConsider throwing out students older grades when they've demonstrated competency in a more recent assessment.

Your drivers license doesn't say anything about how many times you took your drivers test before you passed. Why should student's earlier grades affect their final mark if they've later demonstrated competency?

If the final grade you give a student is a reflection of what they know at the end of a course of study should that mark include data (e.g. grades from earlier assessments) that doesn't reflect their current understanding of the course material?

What impact do you think doing this might have on your students' attitudes towards learning in your class?

Talk this over with your students or a colleague, see what they think. Please share the results of these discussions here or elsewhere.

Tweet, blog, leave a comment here or anywhere and include this tag in it somewhere: #wpedagogy

Monday, June 6, 2011

#pw7 Share Evaluation Criteria

bullseye!Image by nchoz via FlickrMake the criteria for judging the range of student performance explicit.  Take this week to show your students exactly how they gain or lose points for a variety of assessment questions.

Ensure students know what success looks like; particularly if your students are writing final exams soon. They can achieve the targets for success we set for them if they know where the targets are and what they look like.

After a week of doing this do you find yourself thinking differently about how you assess student work?

Did this have any impact on the questions your students asked or how they showed their work?

Were there any changes in the atmosphere (culture) of your classroom?

Tweet, blog, leave a comment here or anywhere and include this tag in it somewhere: #wpedagogue