Monday, February 17, 2014

What I Learned @teachSDA

Good Morning Everyone!  I hope you had a good weekend?  Things warmed up here around Atlanta and I had a great time at my son's 8th birthday party.  The best part of the party for me was the whole family touch football game.  

Don't forget if you have a chance to join us tonight at 8pm on twitter, #teachSDA.  We will be talking about the oldest instructional method in formal education, the lecture.  The first and second articles in today's list are setup articles for our discussion.  We have also started to add 'badges' for those who participate in the discussions so you can easily track your PD (Personal Development).  Our hope is that in the future Conferences will recognize the time teachers invest in growing a personal network and participating in making their craft better.  If you haven't heard of 'badges' there are a couple of articles about them on the list too.

So without further ado!  On to the articles:

1. The More I Lecture, The Less I Know If They Understand
I recently wrote that Understanding by Design is agnostic about any specific method or pedagogy. The bottom-line question has to do with validity: given the goals, what follows? Thus, it makes little sense to say “I never lecture” or “I always do authentic assessments” as if it were a question of ideology or personal taste. As educators, we should use the methods that best work to achieve our goals.
To that end, let’s consider as dispassionately as possible the oldest instructional method in formal education: the lecture.

2. Are You Not Entertained? How to Build a Dynamic Lecture
Since the 1990s, I’ve mothballed the lecture -- "where the teacher talks and hopefully the students listen" -- with other scorned practices: popcorn reading, multiple-choice quizzes, test-prep drills, lower-level "recitation" questions, crossword puzzles and the like. But the fact is that few practices are completely bad or good given the infinite variety of students, curriculum choices and instructional strengths. Besides, making teachers wrong for professional choices blunts their power.

3.Recognizing, Supporting, and Attracting Adult Learners with Digital Badges
Digital badges offer new ways to recognize and support learning.

4.  Integration of Digital Badges to Acknowledge Professional Learning
For some time now, we have been hearing about digital badges and how they can be used to guide, motivate, document and validate formal and informal learning.  In recent years, Digital Badges have evolved from what were originally static images, to a tool used for capturing and communicating knowledge.

5. 5 Tips for Un-Professional Development
I’ve been to a lot of EdTEch conferences in Australia and overseas, and they usually fall into two simple categories: the ones that are worth the registration fee, and the ones that aren’t even worth the travel time. That might sound simplistic, but bear with me. What sets apart a great professional learning experience from a poor one is quite basic: what can you do in your classroom or your school the day after that you couldn’t do the day before?

6. Snow days may be better for student performance than trudging ahead with classes
An interesting and relevant study out of Harvard examines how snow days affect student performance with a surprising conclusion:  Calling a snow day may be better for student performance than convening classes during bad weather.

8. The Classroom and the Cloud: A Bright Forecast for 2020
What will the classroom of 2020 look like? As I look ahead, many of the trends we're seeing today will continue to expand learning beyond the classroom walls to connect educators, students and real-world experiences.

9, 27 Characteristics Of Authentic Assessment
What is “authentic assessment”?

10. How Free Play Can Define Kids’ Success
Free, unstructured playtime gives kids a chance to discover their interests and tap into their creativity. It’s a crucial element for building resilience in children, an attribute they’ll need in order to become happy, productive adults. That’s Kenneth Ginsburg’s thesis and the core of his book Building Resilience in Children and Teens.

11. Nurturing Literacy: Tips and Resources For Developing Lifelong Readers
The importance of early literacy cannot be understated. Countless studies have shown that students who start reading earlier are better prepared for the academic road ahead. Not to mention, early readers are much more likely to become lifelong readers.

12. 100+ Teaching With the iPad Hacks: A Curated Playlist of Quick Start Resources
The Resources in This Playlist Contain Hundreds of Tips, Insights, and Suggestions for Getting up to Speed and off to a Good Start Teaching With the iPad.