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Education

Spoon-Fed Learning

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Speaking about the opportunities there are for learning in our world today through technology, I asked educators in the room to do a “Twitter Video Reflection” and share their learning back to the hashtag.  Since many of them were new to Twitter, they didn’t know how to do it, so I decided to not help them.

Not a type…I decided to not help them.

Here’s the thing…they all figured it out. Some took longer than others, and some figured it out after they saw that someone else could.  I actually think it went faster than if I would have shown them step-by-step.

Too often we talk about how we want to develop learners as students, but we still set up too much of our professional development where we will walk people through every element of any type of learning.

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Education

Does learning in your school take place more by design or chance?

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This notion of careful curriculum design and planning is something that I believe is vital to improving student learning in a school. This is particularly true given teacher differences with a school and between schools.

In the context of this post, learning by ‘chance’ is to mean that learning happens completely randomly; it will largely depend on the student’s teacher and what they do and do not do in the classroom.

I have seen it from both sides now. I have seen parents and students come and see me to request that they avoid a particular teacher or be placed in a particular teacher’s classroom. As a relatively new parent myself, I have thought about the chances that this year will be a good or not so good learning year for my son.

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Education

Leading with research in mind

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SmartBlog on Education this month is exploring the science of learning. Join us for original content in which experts explore trends in learning research and highlight teaching strategies that can help improve student performance.

Much and more has been written about student learning. And it well should be, as the learning of all students — whether young or old — is how we help our society, and the people who make it up, to be the best possible. Lately, happily, even more of that writing has been researched-based. Consider, for instance, the column written regularly by Sarah Sparks for Education Week that focuses on how we learn and what the research says about that. Or, an increasing reliance on research connected to the Next Generation Science Standards in all of the National Science Teachers Association’s peer-reviewed journals.

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Education

Learners Are the Driver

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Although it is no longer used, I still find the image to be a very powerful visual for what learning can look like in schools.  The ideas are not necessarily separated from one another, and are all intertwined in some way, which is what learning really looks like. The “3 E’s” (Ethical Citizen, Entrepreneurial Spirit, and Engaged Thinker) are the bigger goals, but they also show what is important to get to those bigger ideas.

I am sure that people can look at this and pick it apart, and create something better (which I actually think is a good thing since we shouldn’t just accept it without the component of critical thinking), but there are two things that are very compelling to me when I look at the above image.

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Education

Innovation Is Not a One Time Event

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Image created by @SylviaDuckworth

One of the things that have to really see is that innovation in school is not about a day, a week, or a class.  Although creating those experiences are great, if you look at these characteristics above, how can we promote them through what we do everyday in school?

Empathetic – Have students write from the perspective of a character and understand how they would communicate within the modern time frame or in their community.

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Education

The 70/20/10 rule and considerations for teacher growth and development

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How do we most effectively promote the professional growth of our teachers so that it has a high impact on student learning?

While significant efforts are made in so many schools to improve teacher professional growth and learning, I continue to question how can we do this better?

Essentially, how can we ensure greater application of our own learning to ensure that it benefits our schools, teachers and students?

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