Learning and Teaching at Gilson College

Learning for living, Character for life, Hope for the Future


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Learning, Learning, Learning not Apps, Apps, Apps

Daniel Edwards writes on his ‘…blog [which] chronicles the trials and tribulations of 1:1 iPad deployment in a large secondary school:

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‘An app on its own is like a thinker without thoughts!’


‘…It may be the nature of the beast that apps alone form the basis for conversations about new technology in the classroom. However, the success of tablet provision in the classroom is NOT underpinned solely by apps…alll too often I see reference to ‘look how I can present these words across a picture to engage my students!’ or ‘Check out how this random name app selects my students.’ Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure these opportunities have a place as part of the process, but they certainly aren’t a reason to use tablets in the classroom. The power of learning with new technology lies with the teacher and the ability to choose the appropriate tool for the right intention. Moreover, success directly relates to the relationships between learner and educator, and the learner and learning…’ 

(Emphasis mine)

Read Daniel’s full post here: Learning, Learning, Learning not Apps, Apps, Apps


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1:1 iPads – Working with fewer apps can make for more success…

English: An image of an iPad 2.

English: An image of an iPad 2. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://bit.ly/17zVL20

This recent post, ‘iPads in the Classroom – Can we make it simpler.’, linked above,  from Daniel Edward’s blog, SydEd, is worth reading and noting! By both administrators and teachers. Daniel’s good advice is relevant to us at ASV, especially as our schools and teachers develop their 1:1 programs and apps lists.


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Some excellent English usage, and other Infographics from huntingenglish

Alex Quigley, (I identified Alex from his twitter handle, @HuntingEnglish ) writes on his blog of the same name:

I have to say I am mildly addicted to finding these great infographics. They are an excellent way of presenting a vast amount of information in a lively, visually interesting way. I am set on finding the best of them and when I get some time in the summer actually creating my own!

Alex certainly has found some very informative and useful infographics, which you might be able to put to good use in your teaching and learning programs.

FOLLOW THIS LINK:
Infographics | huntingenglish


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Celebrating Teacher Learning: Justin Martin reflects on his 2012 PL Journey with Web 2.0

The Action Research-based (AR) whole-school teacher professional learning cycle at one of our schools – Gilson College – culminates each year in a Celebrate Teachers’ Learning day, where 12 staff members are asked to present about their current learning and its effect for their development as teachers, and the results for their students. This year the school celebrated the day on Monday, October 8.
During 2012 Year 4 teacher, Justin Martin investigated use of Web 2.0 with his students. Part of his creative AR presentation included a song. The video and words are posted here. Thanks Justin for permission to share.

Justin writes:
I wrote this song for a presentation I did as part of Action Research at my school. I was able to present in any style I wanted and so I re-wrote ‘Vincent’ by Don McLean. The COWS mentioned in the song stands for Computers On Wheels which we use at the school…not actual moo cows. Hope you enjoy.

Web 2.0

(to the tune of ‘Vincent’ by Don McLean)
Using IT right
 That’s what I set out to do
 Reading, thinking, playing too
 Learning as I go along.
 Talked with all my group
Worked out what I wanted to find,
Twitter, wordle, wikis, blogs
And other Web 2.0 tools!
Now I understand
What all these things do for me,
I know these will help my pedagogy.
The kids will learn and all is good.
They did not listen,
They did not know how!
Perhaps they’ll listen now.
Looked round at different blogs,
Found one I liked the look of:
www dot kidblog dot org
Messed around a bit.
Posted different things,
Not really knowing what to do
Mistakes there were quite a few
But I’m glad I persevered!
Now I understand
What all these things do for me,
I know these will help my pedagogy.
The kids will learn and all is good.
They did not listen,
They did not know how
I hope they’ll listen now!
Some problems that I faced:
Kids not knowing what to post,
So I let them go I gave them rope,
And really let them have a lot of fun!
COWS had minds of their own,
The internet was really slow,
Children could not get it at home,
And so I had to work with what I had!
Now they understand
Why they do these things for me
It helps with their pedagogy
They are learning and all is good.
They started listening
They are  listening still,
I hope they always will!
Thank you Gruen


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TED: Susan Cain: ‘The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking’

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert or somewhere in between (ambivert), Susan’ Cain’s TED talk is important viewing, and should be shared widely.

http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

As well, Susan recently wrote a very interesting opinion piece in TIME Ideas – ‘Why gadgets are great for introverts’.

In all planning for learning and teaching in our classrooms we must consciously consider the introvert as well as the extrovert and ambivert students!

After viewing the TED video or reading Susan’s article you might like to use one of these Thinking prompts to help in your reflections:

Claim-Support-Question

  1. Make a claim about the topic
  2. Identify support for your claim
  3. Ask a question related to your claim

Or

Inspiration

  1. What feelings do you have after experiencing this?
  2. How were you made to feel this way?
  3. What would you like to do with these feelings? 

If Susan’s TED talk, her article and your reflections have whetted your appetite for exploring further I recommend that you read Susan’s book ‘Quiet – The Power of Introverts’. There is an eBook version too. Here!

A tweet today also lead me to Royan Lee’s blog, where he posts about his analysis of data he collected about his students, their personality types, and the effect of their use of social media and digital devices on their learning. Royan’s  ‘…mom ‘n pop research…’ (Action research) is linked here: Social Media and Introverts: by Royan Lee

Take Susan’s Quiet Quiz: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert?

Related Articles:

Embracing Introversion: Ways to Stimulate Reserved Students in the Classroom 

Introversion and the Invisible Adolescent by Mark Phillips


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‘Ten Roles For Teacher Leaders’ by Cindy Harrison and Joellen Killion, ASCD

Every teacher is a leader – in their classroom and in their school.

This principles of teacher-leadership outlined in Cindy Harrison’s and Joellen Killon’s article published in Educational Leadership in September 2007, Volume 65, No 1, ‘Teachers as Leaders’ continue to hold true and are worth thoughtful consideration by every educator.

Cindy and Joellen write:

‘The ways teachers can lead are as varied as teachers themselves.

Teacher leaders assume a wide range of roles to support school and student success. Whether these roles are assigned formally or shared informally, they build the entire school’s capacity to improve. Because teachers can lead in a variety of ways, many teachers can serve as leaders among their peers.So what are some of the leadership options available to teachers? The following 10 roles are a sampling of the many ways teachers can contribute to their schools’ success…

Roles for All

Teachers exhibit leadership in multiple, sometimes overlapping, ways. Some leadership roles are formal with designated responsibilities. Other more informal roles emerge as teachers interact with their peers. The variety of roles ensures that teachers can find ways to lead that fit their talents and interests. Regardless of the roles they assume, teacher leaders shape the culture of their schools, improve student learning, and influence practice among their peers.’

The roles they outline are:

1. Resource Provider, 2. Instructional Specialist, 3. Curriculum Specialist, 4. Classroom Supporter, 5. Learning Facilitator, 6. Mentor, 7. School Leader, 8. Data Coach, 9. Catalyst for Change, 10. Learner

Read the full article and more about the roles here :


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How useful and effective is homework?

Mathematics homework

What is the value of homework? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently my two daughters whose children are at different ends of the education continuum (one has a boy in his first year of school, and the second a boy in Year 10 and a girl in Year 9), raised with me the issue of the relevance and value of their children’s homework.

Then within the space of two days the subject of effective and relevant homework was also brought up during a school leadership meeting.  

And we all know that this topic also pops up in the media from time to time.

I’ve had the following article bookmarked for a couple of years and while I wish to share it with those involved in the conversations mentioned above, I thought I would also repost it here for the benefit of readers who may also deal with the issue of the effectiveness and relevance of homework from time to time.

The article is

Five Hallmarks of Good Homework

Cathy Vatterott, in this article published online on ASCD’s Educational Leadership website, reinforces my views ad the answer I gave my daughters as I recommended that they approach my grandchildren’s teachers with their concerns.

Cathy writes

 ‘Homework shouldn’t be about rote learning. The best kind deepens student understanding and builds essential skills…’

Cathy Vatterott goes on to write:

‘…For tonight’s homework,

  • Write the 10 spelling words 3 times each.
  • Write definitions of the 15 science vocabulary words.
  • Do the math problems on page 27, problems 1–20 on dividing fractions.

 Check any homework hotline, and you’re likely to find similar homework assignments, which look an awful lot like those we remember from school. But do these tasks really reinforce learning? Do they focus on rote learning—or on deeper understandings?

The Fundamental Five

The best homework tasks exhibit five characteristics.

  • First, the task has a clear academic purpose, such as practice, checking for understanding, or applying knowledge or skills.
  • Second, the task efficiently demonstrates student learning.
  • Third, the task promotes owner ship by offering choices and being personally relevant.
  • Fourth, the task instills a sense of competence—the student can success fully complete it without help.
  • Last, the task is aesthetically pleasing—it appears enjoyable and interesting (Vatterott, 2009)…’ Read more…

EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP ASCD Online August 2011 | Volume 68

Best of Educational Leadership 2010–2011 Pages 10-15

My advice to my daughters was to approach their children’s teachers to discuss the relevance and value of homework given, and my advice to teachers would be please make sure homework is related directly to what you are teaching right now as well as to the learning intentions that you have outlined to your students.

For reflection:

  • Do you believe homework is necessary and valuable to student learning and achievement?
  • What homework do you give?
  • What do you do to make sure the homework set supports your present teaching and learning goals for your students?