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How Can Schools Prioritize For The Best Ways Kids Learn? | MindShift | KQED News
"Educators know the world has changed and are increasingly acknowledging that it’s time to be asking different questions about what it means to improve education. Richardson travels around the world for his work and can point to examples of schools and districts that are asking themselves difficult questions to propel change. The successful ones are letting the answer to the question, “How do kids learn best?” drive everything they do in schools.



Schools need to have a clear vision, rooted in today’s context and a set of practices that reflect those two things. When he consults with schools, Richardson said he most commonly sees a lack of vision based in how students learn. In his many talks he shares a list of things educators know intuitively about how kids learn best alongside a list of things schools do because it’s easier for adults. He says if educators want to shift education to the modern context, they need to prioritize things that help students learn best.

“It’s about doing work that matters,” Richardson said. “It’s about connections. It’s about play. It’s about cultures where kids and teachers are learners.” When schools have a set of beliefs about learning and enact those beliefs through practice, but don’t anchor what they are doing in today’s context, they may be doing something progressive, but also a little irrelevant. Beliefs and contexts without practice leads to ineffective teaching. The sweet spot for a very different type of education system lies in the Venn diagram of all three: beliefs, context and practice.

[diagram]

“Kids deserve consistency that is grounded in a belief system,” Richardson said. He has talked with students who hate that they have to adapt to completely different expectations, structures, and rules in every class. When a school isn’t unified around a vision the experience for students can be very disorienting.

To begin moving towards what Richardson calls a “modern education” system, he says educators need to learn, educate, articulate, and then do it.

LEARN

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.

EDUCATE

“You probably aren’t going to be able to do this by yourself, so go out and build capacity,” Richardson said. Parents, community members, students and school board members can be allies for making the shift. Richardson points to CCSD59 as an example of a district that reaches out to all parent populations, communicates about vision and practice through a blog and educates with its Facebook page. “They are constantly putting practice in front of people to build their capacity to engage,” Richardson said.

ARTICULATE

Articulating a mission statement about where students should be when they graduate and actualizing it with a vision that lays out how to get there, is a key step in slowly making the shift Richardson describes. It can be difficult to interrogate longstanding policies and choices, but if districts, schools and individual educators can’t reflect on what’s working and what isn’t, articulate a change, and begin doing it, the education system as a whole will become irrelevant.

DO IT

“This is really hard, but I think it’s worth it,” Richardson said. Teachers can start by picking one area of the curriculum and letting students own it. Then advocate for that practice, and connect with other educators who are doing it. There comes a point when talking about the need to change is no longer enough; educators who resonate with Richardson’s message, have to jump in and try it."

[See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxyKNMrhEvY ]
katrinaschartz  willrichardson  sfsh  2016  schools  education  learning  howwelearn  howweteach  teaching  tcsnmy  lcproject  openstudioproject  purpose  pammoran  britishcolumbia  schooldesign  technology 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Seven Pathways
"Our pathways are two things: Commitments for our professional learning - how will we learn to be contemporary educators - and promises to our students - what kind of educational environment are we building.

The Seven Pathways

Choice and Comfort

It is our responsibility to provide every learner with real learning space choices based on task-based and physical comfort-based needs, which not only allow their cognitive energy to be focused on learning but helps students to develop the contemporary skills needed to alter and use spaces to initiate and accomplish collaborative and individual work. This includes the availability of multiple communication tools and contemporary technologies as well as assisting students in understanding and creating a variety of learning products which demonstrate student choices in curriculum, task, technologies, and media.

Instructional Tolerance

We will all support student learning environments where active, engaged learners routinely choose from a variety of learning spaces, collaborative and individual activities, and technology tools, including their own personal devices. Our environments will create student opportunities to learn best practices essential to entering contemporary learning and work environments and which enable students to sustain an open mindset and skillset in the use of evolving technology tools. These environments, pre-K through 12, will allow negotiated environmental rules which include and improve student individual and community decision-making.

Universal Design for Learning/Individualization of Learning

No child within the Albemarle County Public Schools should need a label or prescription in order to access the tools of learning or environments they need. Within the constraints of other laws (in particular, copyright) we will offer alternative representations of information, multiple tools, and a variety of instructional strategies to provide access for all learners to acquire lifelong learning competencies and the knowledge and skills specified in curricular standards. We will create classroom cultures that fully embrace differentiation of instruction, student work, and assessment based upon individual learners’ needs and capabilities. We will apply contemporary learning science to create accessible entry points for all students in our learning environments; and which support students in learning how to make technology choices to overcome disabilities and inabilities, and to leverage preferences and capabilities.

Maker-Infused Curriculum

Across our School Division we are committed to student construction of knowledge and skills through the processes of imagining, creating, designing, building, engineering, evaluating and communicating learning. We believe that it is essential that our students learn how to be "Makers" in all phases of their lives, rather than just consumers. We are committed to "Making" as "how we learn," and not as an "extra," and we understand that both "Learning to Make" and "Making to Learn" are essential in every day classroom practice.

Project/Problem/Passion-Based Learning

All Albemarle County Public School students will have consistent learning opportunities across the curriculum to construct knowledge and understanding through responses to authentic problems; to create projects that demonstrate higher order thinking and knowledge acquisition, and to pursue personal interests by making real choices in project forms and media, even when those choices might lie beyond pre-determined expectations. Students will always be encouraged in the use of differentiated pathways as ways to both learn and demonstrate lifelong learning competencies.

Interactive Technologies

In every classroom, every day, we strive to create open learning environments in which students make individual choices as they use technologies to develop classroom work and assignments, and to provide opportunities for our students to actively make tech-based product investigation and choice as part of their study of curriculum. Our students will, regularly during instructional time, use those contemporary technologies (both school provided and individually owned) interact with external experts and students in other communities in order to build learner competencies in the use of the technologies of this century for information access and communication.

Connectivity

We will continuously develop and use activities that engage students in learning networks, including asynchronous and synchronous communication with external experts, access to digital content including primary sources, and interaction with other learners locally and globally who represent a variety of demographically diverse communities. We will, every day, promote and value collaborative projects and knowledge development representative of principles of global and digital literacy and effective, and which demonstrate appropriate global, national, community, and digital citizenship."
albermarleschooldistrict  irasocol  pammoran  technology  connectivity  projectbasedlearning  passionbasedlearning  making  mekers  curriculum  pathways  interaction  universldesign  learning  individualization  howweteach  howwelearn  teaching  education  schools  tolerance  instruction  choice  comfort  toolbelttheory  schooldesign  communication  pbl 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Maker Movement Reinvents Education
"Ten years from now, primary and secondary education may look more like a scene from Tim Allen’s workshop in The Santa Clause than Ben Stein’s economics class in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In some schools, like San Diego’s High Tech High, it already does."



"Tony Wagner, current expert in residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab, and the founder of Harvard’s Change Leadership Group, calls High Tech High his “favorite school” and says of what goes on there, “That’s the future.” According to Wagner, the idea of school as a place where knowledge is transferred from teacher to student, whose success is measured by the accuracy of his/her regurgitation of it, is antiquated. This instructional model does not foster what Wagner believes is the most essential skill in today’s world: the ability to innovate.

In his most recent book, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World, Wagner profiles some of America’s great innovators and observes a pattern in their youths: A childhood of creative play led to their development of deep-seated interests and curiosities, and these passions fueled their intrinsic motivation to set and achieve career and life goals. Another trend Wagner found was that the adults in these innovators’ young lives nurtured their imaginations and taught them to persevere and learn from failure. “What we’re learning about innovation,” says Wagner, “is the importance of failing early and failing often...failing forward, failing fast and cheap. The whole idea of trial and error is something that is antithetical to our formal systems of education.… In fact, we penalize failure.… So there’s a complete contradiction between the world of schooling and the world of innovation.”

THE MAKER MOVEMENT is a global community of inventors, designers, engineers, artists, programmers, hackers, tinkerers, craftsmen and DIY’ers—the kind of people who share a quality that Rosenstock says “leads to learning [and]…to innovation,” a perennial curiosity “about how they could do it better the next time.” The design cycle is all about reiteration, trying something again and again until it works, and then, once it works, making it better. As manufacturing tools continue to become better, cheaper and more accessible, the Maker Movement is gaining momentum at an unprecedented rate. Over the past few years, so-called “makerspaces” have cropped up in cities and small towns worldwide—often in affiliation with libraries, museums and other community centers, as well as in public and independent schools—giving more people of all ages access to mentorship, programs and tools like 3-D printers and scanners, laser cutters, microcontrollers and design software.

At schools with makerspaces, students are already starting to follow the pattern that Wagner observes among young innovators. Henry Simonoff, a ninth-grader at St. Ann’s School in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of New York City, is one such example. The summer after sixth grade, Simonoff went to a St. Ann’s computer camp, where his teacher, Lizbeth Arum, taught him how to model and make electronics cases using the 3-D design Web app Tinkercad. He discovered that he loved designing, so the following school year he took a 3-D printing elective and began experimenting with his own ideas. However, 3-D printing is a slow process, and the MakerBots in the classroom couldn’t keep up with Simonoff and his classmates’ creative demand."



"While this kind of education does result in the gain of measurable, practical skills, “it’s really about the problem-solving skills as opposed to the specific [technical] skills,” says David Wells, manager of creative making and learning at the New York Hall of Science. It’s about teaching kids how to break down their big ideas into smaller components in order to figure out a plausible first step. It’s about helping students become familiar not just with makerspace tools but, more important, with the process of finding, accessing and using information to teach themselves how to do whatever it is they want to do, and make whatever they want to make.

As Wells says, “We’re developing the ‘I can’ mentality.”"
lcproject  openstudioproject  education  schools  future  learning  hightechhigh  makermovement  makerspaces  2014  pammoran  tonywagner  larryrosenstock  making 
september 2014 by robertogreco
On Parenting, Learning, and Possibilities of the City | A Space for Learning
"I will never be comfortable in my own skin in a city. I need to be able to see the sky without a multi-story building obscuring the view. Walking in a forest sans the cacophony of taxis and emergency vehicles always feels safer than venturing deep into Olmsted’s well planned Central Park woodlands.<br />
<br />
However, I’ve also learned to appreciate cities from my son. He views cities as places of delight; intersections of rich cultures and an artistry of space.<br />
<br />
I’ve grown up as a parent while observing my millennial grow into an adult. I feel he’s learned some important life lessons from me, but I’ve also learned many critical lessons from him as well. I learned the power of Skype when he lived in Valencia, Spain. I learned don’t call, just text when he spent time in Mexico City. And, I learned to experience, not reject, buildings, people, sidewalks, dogs, parks, graffiti, museums, sounds, smells, and the sky of cities."
pammoran  differences  urban  rural  cities  parenting  preferences  appreciation  2011 
july 2011 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: The art of seeing (Part II) The Practice
"When I observe a school I start by watching how I, and how kids, approach it. I watch how the corridors operate, both when filled with movement and (if) when empty. Empty corridors during a school day speak loudly to me. So do classrooms with one kind of seating, one kind of lighting, or one "teaching wall." I watch the feet of kids in a class. I watch them fidget… [many more examples]…

This multiply-focused kind of observation helps me to begin to deep map a school…

the linearity and single-focus of traditional education has, perhaps, robbed you of, or severely limited, your human observation skills. Tens of thousands of hours of single subject lessons, of staring at teachers, of conference sessions divided into "tracks," have stunted the human abilities you had before you entered school. So, if you feel out of practice, here are a few ideas: Eavesdrop…Look for something you haven't looked for before in a place you've been a million times…Stare…Talk to strangers"
irasocol  noticing  observation  learning  schools  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  schooldesign  lcproject  tcsnmy  students  perspective  eavesdropping  staring  strangers  conversation  understanding  2011  howto  tutorials  adhdvision  adhdwalk  deepmapping  sensemaking  publicschools  sla  chrislehmann  pammoran  children  people  howwework  howwelearn 
june 2011 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: The art of seeing
"we must stop being blinded by our incredibly limited view of "science." Rather, we must learn to see again, to see widely & complexly. To build our own deep maps of the people, places, & experiences before us. You cannot describe the experience of a middle school English class w/out knowing what happened in the corridor before class began, or what happened the night before at home. You cannot describe the work coming out of a 10th grade math class w/out understanding the full experience of students and their parents with mathematics to that point…And you cannot tell me about the "performance" of any school if you have not deep-mapped it to include a million data points—most of which cannot be charted or averaged or statistically normed.

Human observation & deep mapping are hard, but hardly impossible. These are skills which we all had before school began, and which we must recapture. We'll start by putting down our checklists…& in the next post, we will start to practice…"
seeing  observation  observing  deepmapping  learning  education  unschooling  deschooling  science  progressive  administration  management  tcsnmy  lcproject  schools  irasocol  nclb  billgates  gatesfoundation  arneduncan  rttt  checklists  adhd  adhdvision  pammoran  salkhan  jebbush  matthewkugn  robertmarzano  instruction  training  gamechanging  salmankhan 
june 2011 by robertogreco
The Pendulum or the Butterfly? » Edurati Review
"We will loft education anew when we generate an ever-increasing ratio of educators who believe in a mission to create spaces of inspiration for learners and learning. It will take more than 1 or 10 percent of us speaking the poetic and political voices of passion, joy, and drive to create those spaces in which young people and educators can thrive in these contemporary days. Our vision must become a vision of lift, influence, and power that creates a front channel for our voices, shifting us out of the backchannel. We need our best educational technologists, our courageous leaders, our creative geniuses to create the front channel we must become. It’s our job, and our time, to increase the inspiration ratio in every community in this nation." [via: http://speedchange.blogspot.com/2010/04/easter-monday-proclamation-of.html]
pammoran  education  reform  policy  2010  schools  publicschools  learning  lcproject  change  politics  us  priorities 
april 2010 by robertogreco

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