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Showing posts from February, 2016

Why be Curious?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost The Poetry Foundation
I have been very focused on incorporating the 4Cs in my classroom and to support our teacher professional development for the past several years. I was initially inspired by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Recently, I have begun to add the 5th C of…

Why is Creativity So Important for Today's Learner?

In a previous post I discussed Collaboration as the first skill I dive into when I evaluate possible uses of an online tool or app. If I can't find a way to use a tool in a collaborative way, I may not invest much thought into using it. Once I've established how collaborative a lesson can be with a specific tool, I dig deeper to evaluate the other skills it can help develop. I always want to know how it can support and build essentials skills before I think about content. Don't get me wrong, there are some incredible content resources available for today's learner, but if I don't design a lesson that uses content to develop student skills, too often that content becomes quickly forgotten with no real learning gains. A great resource combined with a great lesson helps develop all of the 4Cs.
We want our students to be creative, but sometimes the whole idea of being creative is left to a student's own devices. For many students being creative starts and ends with …

The 4Cs and Google Apps for Education

Over the year's I've always looked to improve the way I teach and my students learn. Google Apps for Education has changed how I teach and how my students learn more than any other resource or idea. 

A few years ago I agreed to pilot Google Drive after spending years using Microsoft Office and Smart Technologies to support teaching and learning. Google was only a search tool that helped me find lessons and my students research ideas. My students collaborated on a variety of in-class activities, but we rarely collaborated using digital tools. My classroom was very teacher-centered. We focused on content first and foremost. The skills of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity were an afterthought. 

I won't tell you that I started using Google Drive and I immediately became a different teacher. I was probably a full year before I fully engaged in Google Drive.
The shift to Google Apps for Education also brought a change in my teaching. My classroom has b…

A Few of My Favorite Themes in Education Today

The pace of educational change can be staggering, but sometimes if you slow down and take a look at around you will discover how lucky today's educators can be. The internet makes it possible for ideas and knowledge to be everywhere. Educational technology has invaded classroom across the world. There number incredible resources and tools to enhance learning and engage students is staggering. 

The educational world is full of buzzwords. Like them or love them they are unavoidable. Here are a few of my current favorites:

Life-long learnerStudent-centeredDifferentiated learningBlended learningPersonalized learningPersonal Learning NetworkConnected LearningThe 4Cs (or 5 or 6 or 8 depending on who you talk to.)Google Apps for EducationFormative Assessment

On my radar:

Maker SpacesCodingDigital Literacy
With so many choices it is often difficult to decide what is best for learning in my classroom. There is not enough time in the day to try everything that looks cool. My solution is my Perso…