6-29-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST
Tuesday’s #edchat topic was a difficult one with a very wide scope. It was also a frustrating one with twitter problems causing all twitter clients to freeze and run slow. Despite the numerous problems we kept on with the discussion and our very intrepid guest blogger Tania Ash (@tcash) has produced an amazing summary for us. I think you will agree that it is a magnificent job! Thank you Tania. Tania is a great evangelist for the use of technology in education (you can read her bio at the end of her post).
Though part of one big education system, K12 and Higher Ed are sometimes viewed as two separate entities that may or may not be working hand in hand. For many students, the transition between K12 and Higher Ed is a difficult one. Students entering Higher Ed must deal with new learning environments and approaches, demanding curricula – many factors intersecting that can affect student performance. Though K12 and Higher ed share the common goal to produce competent, confident and productive members of society, there is a definite need for improvement in terms of the ways in which they work together to strive towards positive change.
Though this #edchat conversation was about K12 and Higher Ed working together to promote positive change, there was also related discussion about pedagogical practice in Higher Education. Many edchatters found fault with the more traditional, lecture styles used in Higher Education. Higher Ed teachers were perceived as being very specialized in their domain-specific subject matter, but edchatters called for professional development, collaboration and networking for teachers at all levels (including Higher Ed) to become better pedagogues. In a follow-up blog post, @readywriting, a college professor pointed out that college professors are under pressure to conduct research instead of improving teaching, and that, while university professors may need to work at becoming better teachers, they should also be given credit for being passionate and competent in their field.
As is usually the case for #edchat conversations, the hour ended all too quickly with many new ideas and questions to mull over. Thanks to @ShellTerrell and @rliberni for being outstanding moderators!
Here are some of the main themes from the discussion:
- General agreement that there is a gap between K-12 and Higher Ed
- There needs to be more dialogue and collaboration between K-12 and Higher Ed
- Professional development and knowledge of sound pedagogical practice are necessary at all levels
- Though it is important for teachers to be well versed in their domain content, they must also understand how to service all learners. This is true for teachers in K-12 as well as in Higher Ed.
- Transition between K-12 and Higher Ed must be well supported
- K-12 and Higher Ed are part of a same system working towards student achievement
@rliberni: I think one end of the progression that is edu should feed the other – it’s a cycle
@Todd_conaway: Less blaming, more conversation, more integration of long known K12 practices in Higher ed.
@cybraryman1: Schools need to know from higher ed how to better prepare students for their level of learning
@Parentella: Perhaps start mtgs with transitional teachers 2 brainstorm ideas on smoothing out the transition
@Todd_conaway: What looks more like a “work” or “life” environment, a K12 classroom or a college classroom?
@Ron_Peck: Higher ed and k12 need to be on the same page of what the positive change looks like.
@ShellTerrell: In most Higher Ed lecturing is still the main instructional practice! We need more prob solv & discovery
@lindseybp: Experience each other’s daily realities-do regular onsite visits combined w/online community 2 cont conversation. Share curriculum
@mhuskerfan: Higher ed and K-12 both need to shift teaching methodologies to more PBL, real life applications to meet our 21st Century Learners.
@ColinTGraham: Pastoral support is also important, since many Ss will be moving to an unfamiliar environ. at college. Should work w/ HS b4hand…
@cybraryman1: There should be joint meetings, workshops, edcamps to bring educators on all levels together
@zecool: Too many times, focus is on institution (Prim., HS, HE). Ultimately, should be only 1 focus: the student. It’s a learning continuum!
@vickyloras: K-12 should be a smooth transition to higher ed, no discrepancies and lack of connection should show at all
@K12Learn: Both K12 & Higher Ed need 2 explore integrating tech throughout- that is what this generation knows & uses & it will continue …
@johnsquared1829: Could student teaching be expanded more? Like med school…different ‘levels’, lots more time; more one-on-one w/ pros
@tcash: Working together on joint projects – common objectives – might help open dialogue btwn Higher Ed & K-12
@Dramanique: I think college advisors should visit HS to discuss w/ counselors what stdts should b focusing on for future majors.
@Ron_Peck: Positive reform can happen and begin with better student teaching focus.
@cybraryman1 There should be learning exchanges & opportunities for lower level students with Higher Ed profs. Seen this with Science
@ColinTGraham Maybe the push for reform in Higher Ed needs to come from the students themselves by showing them other ways of learning in K12…
I would ask that the following question is added to the poll next week:
My request is somewhat unrelated to the topic at hand. I am currently working on a research project for a graduate course. My goal is to explore the potential of using Web 2.0 technologies to develop metacognition in learners, via the creation and use of an electronic portfolio and student-led conferences. Any relevant questions would be really great! For example:
- How do we measure metacognition? Then, how do we help students develop metacognition and assess?
- Should learning portfolios be lifelong portfolios that students can take with them wherever they go? What kind of tools can be used to create portfolios that are portable and can evolve with the learner?
- What are the best ways to encourage students to reflect on, and take charge of, their own learning?
To follow the complete discussion see here
For the stats on #edchat participation see here
As ever, there were some great links shared:
My name is Tania Ash (@tcash). I am a 5th grade teacher in Rabat, Morocco. I love teaching in an international school because of the built-in diversity and the stimulating challenges inherent in being part of such a transient community. I facilitate a student-led ecoAction group that has successfully undertaken projects such as bringing paper and plastic recycling to our school community. I am also the lucky mom of a fantastic preschooler. In my spare time, I am a graduate student in educational technology, currently doing research on the potential of Web 2.0 tools to improve student learning. I rely on my PLN, especially the Twitter community, for my daily source of inspiration. I am honored to have been asked to create this guest post!
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