Connected Learners #ce14 #clmooc #DigiLit Sunday

Connections.  Everywhere. A network of sharing and growing.

That’s what being a connected learner is.  My connection with #clmooc has expanded my focus from one classroom and one teacher, to a networked community from which I can give just as much as I can learn.

Here’s a network, a small one:

Note: You can enlarge the MindMap and click the related links.

Create your own mind maps at MindMeister
I’ve made several connections by following blogs of people I admire and learn from on Twitter and in other communities. Here you see and can link to the Two Writing Teachers and Grant Wiggins. Their blogs brought me information about projects, workshops, rubrics, and checklists. I had already read about and started using the question strategies noted in the Right Question book, but Grant Wiggins brought it new dimension.

I designed a project based on a focus question:

Thousands of kids from Central America are entering the United States illegally — and alone.”



Students wrote and considered open and closed questions before reading an article about it. Then they answered their top three questions.

By this time I had read the blogs and Grant’s book, so I designed an authentic task that would include several Common Core State Standards as students collaborated, investigated, discovered relevant content, designed a campaign, and edited each presentation:

“With a team of peers, collaborate to create an informational or persuasive campaign for an audience of your choice to share the information you research about “Thousands of kids from Central America are entering the United States illegally — and alone.” Each team member will create a project for your campaign that meets the expectations of an investigative researcher and project designer. Together, your artifacts will present a thorough, factual, and detailed explanation, and perhaps solution, of the topic. “

Along with the task, considering the Common Core State Standards,  I drafted a set of Essential Questions which we will consider all year:

Essential Questions:

  • Investigate: How do researchers investigate successfully?
  • Collaborate: What strategies and processes do collaborators need for success?
  • Discover and Develop Content: How do readers and writers determine and develop relevant, accurate, and complete topics?
  • Design and Organize Presentation: How do publishers design and organize content for their audience and purpose?
  • Edit Language: Why and how do editors and speakers use and edit with the rules for standard English grammar and language?

I had already drafted a rubric, and now revised it to include the Standards and the five topics of the Essential Questions. Finally, I created draft checklists that explain the rubric and allow students and I to connect and confer on the progress and growth of their work. We now have authentic work: Kids Alone.

Student chose their focus, audience, and purpose and began their investigations, collaborating in teams. I confer with each team as we discuss the checklists and transfer our progress to see how we meet the expectations on  the rubric.

Here are the project documents:

As we work on our campaigns, students are connecting with each other and with me. I provide feedback towards learning goals and standards, and peers teach peers as well. Here is one example from a team of four students: Debate: Are You For or Against Obama?  There audience is bloggers, and their purpose is to consider both sides of an issue.

So, through my connections in blogs, on Twitter, and through blogger’s books, I have developed a learning progression that differentiates student learning, expects high standards of work, and provides a venue for students to connect and collaborate as well. Since many have chosen to publish work online, their connections could grow globally.

We are all connected learners.

 


Post also part of NSD21 and DigiLit Sunday:

DigiLit Sunday is a Sunday post on literacy, an invitation by Margaret Simon, to share literacy strategies and tools for the classroom. This week’s list of bloggers: Sunday, October 19, 2014.

sundaydiglit

#edcampspokane Links

Thanks to #educampspokane organizers and sponsors and Mobius Science Center for a pre-event evening!
mobiusedcampspokane

Things to share:

Google Apps

Benefits of Google Apps

About Google Voice

Learn Google Apps  Lessons

Just Google It Presentation: Apps Based Classroom

Google Apps in the District: Our Websites and Collaboration – teacher  / student; process; example [ Cove Assignment student collaboration]

40 Ways to Start Using Google Apps in the Classroom by Becky Evans

Flubaroo Self-Grading

Google Docs BackChannel   Video 1

iTunes GAFE podcast

iTunes Video podcast

YouTube Training Videos

Google Apps Blog

Eric Curts work:  Google Plus for Schools  Apps User Group

Google Apps User Groups for NW USA

Google Hangouts on Air   Google Plus Hangout Community

Using Google Apps as a Free LMS (community)

Connected Classrooms, a Google Community

Learn Google Apps — for Students — Google Ninja

Google science fair – kids design science project, collect data, analyze, create website.

Google Keep — save, organize, notes

Google Apps Security

Google + email Trick  for other apps (Animoto, Voki, etc.)

Why Google (NSD)

Note: Many sites allow connection to Google for log in, such as Goorulearning:

gooulearning.org  Transform Learning. Inspire Students. Create and share collections of engaging web resources with your students. Browse courses in our K-12 Community Library to get started.

Tips from Google Apps Session with Tracy Sontrop, Session 3

Session 3 Notes

Lesson Plans for Google

Google Search Tips (Richard Byrne)

Better ReSearchers

Google Earth Walks

Google Earth Maps

Ask the Google Gooru

Google for Education

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PBL:  Project / Problem Based Learning

Kathy Schrock’s Authentic Learning Resources

Buck Institute for Education and PBLU (to reopen April 2014)

Projects, Problems, or just projects? by Jackie Gerstein

Genius Hour:  Wiki and Community  Twitter Chat: First Thursday 9 PM Eastern #geniushour

 Add Our Genius: site that includes specific scaffolding for students who need it

Joy Kirr: LiveBinder and Blog

Genius Hour ePub for our district

I Stand Eight: under construction PBL

All Dots Matter and Blog

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Build Your PLN

Edudemic’s Guide to Twitter

Edudemic / Shell Terrell Build Your PLN  Shell on Twitter

ASCD Will Richardson Build Your PLN

Edutopia’s Pinterest for PLN

Extend the Conversation and Blog (Two Friends — Denise Krebs ) and Site

#nablopomo #nablopomoed Blog A Day 24 If only Professional Development

#nablopomo #nablopomoed  Blog A Day  24 If only…

… all schools would learn this model, presented in this post, and the comments, by Tracy Watanabe

Why?

  1. They respect teachers by empowering them to solve the issues regarding the school’s vision through teacher-led Instructional Rounds.
  2. They consider the shift in instruction required by the Common Core State Standards  and focus on project based learning.
  3. They provide the time and resources needed for collaboration to build a culture of learning for students and staff.

If you have read any of Daniel Pink’s work, you will recognize his research shining through Apache Junction Unified School District’s vision and work:

“The secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.”

“the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose”

Tracy’s school district is building a caring, trusting, professional learning community in a shared purpose through autonomy to reach mastery.

I’m sure it’s not always easy; I’m sure there are struggles, but the community will work out the issues together.

If only…

 

#nablopomo #nablopomoed This week I considered…

 

Over the past week I considered my three classes, each as a community of learners. How will I meet their needs? differentiate? create a student-centered focus? include tech tools as appropriate? What projects will inspire them? motivate them? engage them? show their learning? This will be my main consideration.

Over the past week I considered several projects that accomplish meeting the needs of two demands: 1) coaches expectations and most importantly 2) student engagement.

I hope to begin two projects.

For one, we will begin a wiki for sharing “The Six Traits of Writing — You Can Too” [or whatever title the students design]. Our first focus will be Sentence Fluency, which is my part of the collaboration with my colleague who will teach Conventions.

The other is a news project for student journalists focusing on both reading and writing goals. In my mind I see literary and prose — reviews and news. I’m not sure how it will play out — I would like teams on Edmodo to plan , drafts in our Google Docs, and publish in a blog. I may start with reading news, as in this News and You idea. I will revise an old project: News Project.

Over the past week I considered my novel for #NaNoWriMo. November is hectic because I have so much in my personal life to accomplish and so much expected for school. I took a deep breath and planned out the month to meet what I need to do.

And that’s an overview of Day 10: Over the past week I considered…

 

The thing about learning is we forget; #etmooc

The thing about learning is we forget… Jamshed Bharucha

Thank you, Gabriel Bunster, so much for leading me to this TED TALK by Jamshed Bharucha. I have been pondering this dilemma for years as I am required to post and teach specific objectives the students will learn. Yet, as I understand this TED Talk, contrary to current pedagogy, when working in context, the whole process is part of the learning and builds context so that the learning is remembered.

Learning by skills provides no context and while the initial “learning” test indicates a high level of learning, the retention of those skills is not as successful as when learning within a context– a project — a “doing” of the process.

When reading with dialogue about the story as in a Socratic Seminar, the reader builds context and responds with inference and generalizations based on the text. The learning is practicing the complex skills of a good reader. The learning IS learning the more complex skills and the basic skills by “doing” the reading and dialogue. This has more impact on retention and learning than saying, “Today we are practicing our ‘inference’ skills.”

In my own experience, this is what works with kids: the project requires students to practice and apply, and therefore, learn the skills. It is the process of learning by doing holistically that allows students to improve and grow with even complex skills. Currently we are breaking “reading” and “writing” into step by step skills instead of allowing students the dignity of doing real reading and writing, and building from their practice through our discussions, conferences, collaboration, and sharing. Thank you for sharing this marvelous video.

 

Jamshed Bharucha”The dirty little secret about learning…: Jamshed Bharucha at TEDxCooperUnion

How does this relate to Genius Hour ( #geniushour ) and project/problem/passion based learning (PBL)? I think it makes the case for more time on authentic learning and less time of intervention skills.  What say you?