pairing—as kids drag, draw and create they learn more about technology and the world around them. That's why we've gathered 60 of our favorite apps for teaching STEAM in the classroom, with recommendations for every grade level. Read on to get our list!
Sunday, September 4, 2016
Saturday, September 3, 2016
In this post, we will focus on WHAT knowledge is relevant in a 21st century curriculum.
A Personal Learning Network involves a group of individuals who share ideas, feedback, and experiences. In the realm of eLearning these interactions take place online, through forums, social media, and other collaborative online platforms. Online learners have the power to participate in online discussions when and how it suits their needs. Regardless of their physical location, preferences, or goals, Personal Learning Networks are a valuable eLearning resource. Here are the top benefits of Personal Learning Networks, as well as 5 tips for integrating them into your eLearning course design.
Friday, September 2, 2016
It's no longer enough for teachers to get a credential and then sit back and teach the same content year after year.
Richardson says to be part of modern learning, teachers need to actively educate themselves about the context students live in and how they can improve as educators.
"There's never been a more amazing time to be a learner," Richardson said. "How are we in education not running towards that in our own personal lives and embracing that?"
It's not just about connecting on Twitter with other educators or asking for professional development about technology. If teachers are waiting for a planned PD about something they are probably already stuck. "You have to have the disposition of an eight-year old to find your own learning," Richardson said.
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Tuesday, August 30, 2016
The education soft skills that are the most useful, effective, and versatile for everyone in education—from student to admin—are here for you to consider.
Sunday, August 28, 2016
How The Activity Learning Theory Works
Vygotsky's earlier concept of mediation, which encompassed learning alongside others (Zone of Proximal Development) and through interaction with artifacts, was the basis for Engeström's version of Activity Theory (known as Scandinavian Activity Theory). Engeström's approach was to explain human thought processes not simply on the basis of the individual, but in the wider context of the individual's interactions within the social world through artifacts, and specifically in situations where activities were being produced.
In Activity Theory people (actors) use external tools (e.g. hammer, computer, car) and internal tools (e.g. plans, cognitive maps) to achieve their goals. In the social world there are many artifacts, which are seen not only as objects, but also as things that are embedded within culture, with the result that every object has cultural and/or social significance.
Tools (which can limit or enable) can also be brought to bear on the mediation of social interaction, and they influence both the behavior of the actors (those who use the tools) and also the social structure within which the actors exist (the environment, tools, artifacts). For further reading, here is Engeström's own overview of 3 Generations of Activity Theory development. The first figure shows Second Generation AT as it is usually presented in the literature.
There is a new platform for immersive learning games that's taking classrooms across the world by storm. Based on the same principles as interactive Escape The Room digital games — which challenge players to use their surroundings to escape a prison-like scenario — Breakout EDU is a collaborative learning experience that enhances critical thinking and creativity while fostering a growth mindset in students.
There are two types of games available for teachers to run in their classrooms: the physical games (which are the main games) use the Breakout EDU box (or any box with a hasp that can be locked) with a set of locks, and the digital games which only need internet-connected devices.
Gameplay revolves around a Breakout EDU box that has been locked with multiple and different locks including directional locks, word locks, and number locks. After listening to a game scenario read by the teacher, students must work together to find and use clues to solve puzzles that reveal the various lock combinations before time expires (usually 45 minutes). Teachers can either purchase the Breakout EDU kit, which includes a plastic or wooden box and a set of locks, or the individual pieces of the kit can be ordered from Amazon directly. Either way, it takes about $100 to get started with the physical games; the digital games are free.
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You want to teach with what's been proven to work. That makes sense.
In the 'data era' of education that's mean research-based instructional strategies to drive data-based teaching, and while there's a lot to consider here we'd love to explore more deeply, for now we're just going to take a look at the instructional strategies themselves.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Visible Thinking involves several practices and resources. Teachers are invited to use with their students a number of "thinking routines" -- simple protocols for exploring ideas -- around whatever topics are important, say fractions arithmetic, the Industrial Revolution, World War II, the meaning of a poem, the nature of democracy. Visible Thinking includes attention to four "thinking ideals" -- understanding, truth, fairness, and creativity.