Friday, April 15, 2011

Squeezing every last drop out of Michele

Taylor Mali poem: Michele's blog "Talyor Mali: My Favourite Teacher & Poet"

How to support toxic communities (Conference in New Orleans)
-focus on designing authentic learning environments
-equity where we don't lower our standards

Will wait on the edge of my seat for Michele's favourite booklist to be posted on her blog!

Provocative Ideas:
Knowledge building as the most important 21st century skill
  • we must engage with technology
  • Managing on the twelfth (Clifford & Friesen, 1993): what matters is that you engage the students
    • we have to empower them so their work is of value outside the classroom
    • think carefully about what you're asking your students to do
  • students want to create, connect, and collaborate
  • they need to be knowledge creators
  • we need to question our own deeply held beliefs about teaching
  • Choice and Voice for Every Child -see YouTube video (which we totally didn't watch in class)
    • what if we provided technological accommodations for ALL students?
  • Hands-on vs. Hands-up video
Engaged teaching matters more than ever in a participatory digital world
  • Unengaged teaching is not improved by technology
  • we need support to both new and experienced teachers in designing and leading the type of technology-based learning 21st century students need
  • Teaching and Learning in 21st century Learning Environments: 3 year longitudinal design based exploratory study (elementary and middle schools)
    • cognitive investment required by students
    • instructional style: how is the teacher relating to the students in that particular lesson?
    • authenticity
    • level of student engagement during every 1/3 of the lesson
    • enduring finding: strong correlation between cognitive investment, instructional style, and authenticity and student engagement
    • galileo network-involved schools demonstrated high success -they implement the tasks, make appropriate changes, and evaluate what happened (focus on teacher development)
    • shared and critiqued practice
    • scaffolding: feedback more than once, possible from more than one source
    • learner-, knowledge-, assessment-, and community-centered = most exemplary results
Inquiry and technology 1:1
Changed mindsets and changed technological contexts
  • changed ideas about knowledge, teaching, learning, and technology
  • result of disruptive technologies (see Rick Van Eck video posted below)
  • Blended, inter-active (collaborative), social, performance
  • groupings and how we organize students in the physical space
  • mobile, participatory, networked, dynamic
  • increase in connective and expressive capabilities
  • Papert: social constructivism
    • we have to engage children in producing external representations of their thinking
    • powerful ideas + children + computers = amazing learning

Inquiry, Technology and assessment: 3 significant shifts

Grade 8 Digital Story: Perspective, Self and World View
This is an amazing video. The language used is superb.

Great Learning Tasks:
  • are authentic
  • are active and participatory
  • are academically rigorous
  • connect beyond the school
  • use digital technologies
  • provide for elaboarte communication
  • use assessment for learning
Final Thoughts from Michele
Let learners know you believe in them.
Let learners know you will not give up on them or on yourself.

Find someone to be your mentor who challenge your practices, someone who will always tell you the truth.

Be 5 eyes
Interested and interesting, inspired and inspiring, idealistic.

Beware of cynical people that will try to snuff out your flame. The giggles that overcame the class demonstrated how we've all had these encounters already. Don't wear yourself out trying to change the cinicism, focus on the positive change.

Start out with just one inquiry project before December, and one before June. Create the culture in your class that supports it.

Love yourself, your colleagues, students, discipline, profession. And be a good colleague yourself. Invest in your professional development. Help students develop their passions and let them dislike things. It's not your job to make students like everything they are meant to learn. But hopefully they can take it up in a way that is meaningful to them.

Always be part of the solution, not the problem.

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