By Carla Anderson
Don't stifle creativity and engagement with the world around us.
Do discourage conformity.
The proof is in the science.
That's the message from this fascinating animation created by British organisation, The 21st Century Learning Initiative,
and posted at Born-to-Learn.
The 21st Century Learning Initiative explores the latest scientific research into learning and motivation, and posits that many Western educational systems aren't providing the necessary foundations for young people to learn best. They claim this is because schools often focus not on learning but on grades, and stifle creativity in young learners, while fostering social conformity.
At this stage, Born-to-Learn features two completed animated videos, which take complex scientific research and condense it in a more accessible format. But, there are also plenty of interesting views to explore at the 21st Century Learning Initiative's website.
While I agree, in principle and on an idealistic level, with the ideas shared in this video, I wonder about the practicalities of implementing this approach in regular classrooms, particularly those with less experienced teachers, with over-heavy workloads and behaviour management issues. From experience, sometimes the best plan for the most engaging and student-directed lesson comes to naught, while at other times, (and often these are unexpected), there is almost a serendipitous turn of events, that lead to those almost-magical learning experiences - for students AND teacher.What do you think?
- What are some practical ways you've tried successfully that encourage more independent, creative and engaged learning?
- How have you got around issues of resourcing?
- If you are a student, what style of lessons do you enjoy most for taking in and exploring new ideas and information?
- Does classwork have to be 'engaging' to be effective? What does 'engaging' look like? Can we, as teachers, build up a bank of 'engagement', that allows us to feel less guilty for not teaching highly creative lessons, every lesson?
Please share your views. I'd like to hear more about what you
think about this topic. It's one that I've heard raised at various times during professional development sessions, and one that gets discussed a lot, almost as a given, within the broader online learning community.
Bottom line... how do we make it happen in the classroom?Thanks to @joblannin for tweeting this video...
A web-based presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that allows for interaction between presenter and audience.
Yesterday I got to chat, listen and share ideas for using technology in the classroom with teachers from the United States, Asia and Australia.
Today, I was able to attend a seminar with Harvard professor and the father of the Multiple Intelligences theory, Dr Howard Gardner, and teachers from around the world.
Tomorrow there's a session on encouraging teens and tweens to read - that should be interesting too.
And the best part? I can make myself a cup of tea, turn my computer and mic on and settle in to hear the latest in teaching approaches and share ideas, suggestions and experiences with teachers from across the planet. Real-time. Voices. Visuals. Keyboard Chat.I am impressed.
I live and teach in a rural area, so getting away for PD is always a bit of an issue. While clocking up a certain number of hours of additional professional training is a requirement for me as a New Scheme Teacher, the bigger issue is that sharing in the wider community of educators is just so encouraging and motivating. Just think of the experience and knowledge base that you can draw upon if you can participate in professional learning with others from various schools, systems, states and countries!
That's why I'm pretty excited about the online conferencing/training that I discovered through Twitter at Classroom 2.0.
is a social network, particularly for teachers interested in social media
and Web 2.0
. It is a free site that allows teachers to chat in discussion boards and groups, and take part in educated-related webinars. I'm a reasonably new participant at Classroom 2.0, but since I've joined I've received regular emails from site founder @SteveHargadon about online PD sessions, such as the one's mentioned earlier.
Classroom 2.0 uses Blackboard Collaborate as its web-conferencing medium. Using it was fairly straightforward - simply follow the prompts and the interface will open up on your desktop. You will be prompted to check your audio settings - both to hear and to speak, but don't panic. How much you contribute to the discussion is completely up to you - listen, type-chat, or take the mic. You will hear the presenters, see their slides and websites (I believe there is also a video function, but haven't experienced it yet), and be able to read, type comments and ask questions in response to the presentation as it continues.
The first one I attended, 'Succeeding with Web 2.0
', hosted by Arizona educators, Peggy George and Kim Thomas, was well-run, fun and informative. And, I even received a certificate of attendance, so hopefully, it will count as an hour of teacher-identified professional development for me. Of course, if you are also a New Scheme Teacher in NSW, it would be wise to check with the NSW Institute of Teachers
about what training would be 'counted' as part of your required 100 hours.
To learn more about web-based conferencing and learning check out the following websites:
By the way, Peggy and Kim host Succeeding with Web 2.0
the second Monday of each month. Highly recommended. And, a final point, it looks like most sessions are recorded, so you can catch up with one of interest at a time that suits you.
Today's edition of ReadWriteLearn's Daily Digest is now out.
Follow the link for news, media, education, technology and entertainment stories.ReadWriteLearn's Daily Digest
Take a look at the latest edition of ReadWriteLearnWell's Daily Digest
- an online newspaper created with Paper.li.Paper.li is an online content curation service. Basically, that means users can create a readable newspaper-like interface to read and share links, stories, images and videos from Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds of favourite blogs, Twitter lists and hashtags ( # ). Just like a newspaper, these stories are categorised into sections and will vary depending on the links the service is picking up on.In my case, I follow on Twitter a variety of information sources including:
Read more after the break on how to set up your own Paper.li newspaper and what I like and dislike about this service...
- Education - this is my main focus, so ReadWriteLearn's Daily Digest includes LOTS of tips, strategies and resources for teachers.
- News services - Australian and International, and media analysis
- Technology - Tips and resources
- Literature and reading
Check out my latest page that I've dedicated to 100's of web applications for schools and teachers.
You will find links to many web-based software options.
This list only touches the surface of what's available, but there is certainly lots for you to start exploring.
You will find the page under 'Teacher Links - Web Tools for Teachers'.
Don't forget, you can find other useful teaching resources on the 'teacher' pages as well.
Happy browsing! Would love to hear of your experiences with web-based applications.
Today, Wednesday 7th September, is Indigenous Literacy Day.
Indigenous Literacy Day aims to raise awareness of the issues limiting literacy in Australian Aboriginal communities, and to raise funds to improve literacy levels amongst Indigenous children.
Publishers, booksellers, libraries, schools and individuals are combining their efforts for this worthy issue.
There are several ways you can help the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Details are on their website
Learn more about the Foundation's work by watching the video below.
Read this article by Kylie Ladd from yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald HERE
Jane Sawyer http://mrg.bz/xBGruU
By Carla Anderson
Uh Oh! You've got your English Trial paper back and your teacher has written "More detail needed on how language features are used" or words to that effect.
You know that somewhere over the last six years of studying English at high school (and for that matter, before) you've learned about metaphors, and figurative language, and structure, and purpose and ..... well, all that stuff.
But, how do you actually remember it all when you need to??
Make the most of the last remaining weeks of school and read on for my list of 10 tips for being prepared to face that HSC English exam with confidence!
Do you get swallowed up by paperwork?
Sucked in by Facebook?
Forget to get up from the computer or books you are marking until your neck, arms and back remind you that you should have had a break ages
Yup? Me too.
That's why I really liked this terrific mind map from Jane Genovese at Australian website Learning Fundamentals. You can read the full post HERE.Methinks this one is worth printing and laminating, to post somewhere prominent so I'll remember to take a walk, have a stretch, limit my unnecessary computer browsing, keep my desk tidy.....Check out the mind map below, and don't forget to have a quick read of the accompanying post. It has some terrific tips for minimising the distractions.
Yesterday I went to watch the newly-released film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's The Help.And loved it. ♥☺♥As a viewer, I became totally immersed in the telling of a powerful story of individuals being a catalyst for important social change. As an English teacher, I enjoyed the techniques used by the film's composers and made plenty of mental notes on how The Help could be used as a related text for HSC students preparing for the Belonging paper of their HSC.For a brief synopsis of The Help read HERE. For background on the novel read HERE.Read on for my reflections of The Help as a related text for Belonging...