Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

August 2, 2011

In light of education reform, what will a teacher look like and be doing 10 years from today?

 

#Edchat 08 – 26 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Great video isn’t it! I love the idea that we will be able to access the internet EVERYWHERE! I learned about this video from a student who works for Corning and he told me that all of this is possible now. The incredible flexibility of glass as a material for technology is mind-blowing and to think that it is such an ancient product – it makes you think! Can you imagine greeting your students on the door of their refrigerator each morning  before they come to school? It’s so exciting! And how about the whole wall that turns into a screen – awesome!  I want one in my classroom! The world might look SO different in 10 years from now.

This was our topic last week at #edchat and we have a really amazing summary here written by Tracy Brady @mmebrady) who is a vibrant and innovative edchatter and this was a great ‘blue-sky thinking’ #edchat session. Tracy has really captured some of that excitement and buzz that was flying around twitter during the hour. I’m sure you will love reading her summary here and you can find out more about Tracy and her work as a French teacher in New York at the end of the post. Thank you so much Tracy for this great post 🙂

This topic provided for a phenomenal opportunity to discuss our “educational wishlists” and imagine the future.  Thinking back 10 years at how different things were, I think most of us realize that although much has changed (technology) sadly, much still remains the same (bureaucrats, the have-nots, row seating, farm-based schedule, standardized tests…).  Many of the ideas put forth were fascinating, exciting, thought-provoking, fill in your own blank.  Looking to the future is always a fun exercise, but it was also pointed out, that we need to focus our efforts on the classes of 10 minutes from now — exert control over our own realm.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  •  Classrooms will be paperless
  •  Will the digital divide widen or narrow — (between students as well as schools)  will the bureaucrats still be in control? where should the $ be spent?
  •  Classrooms should be more student centered with passion based learning and more individualized instruction — “communities of inquiry”
  •  Teacher prep needs to change significantly
  •  Communication will be improved as learning continues outside class walls and time (perhaps year round?) — mobilization, globalization, and collaboration
  •  There will be more flipped /blended classes — the human element (interpersonal) will always be necessary
  •  PLN/PD needs to be ongoing — teachers will need to continue to develop their own skills to continue to be relevant
  •  We should see the end of standardized tests — authentic assessment should replace it
  •  flying robots — it is hard to envision the future based on how different things were 10 years ago — like predicting a hurricane
  •  We will see the end of filtering websites, and  teach digital citizenship  instead.  We will take advantage of the digital native status of students AND teachers — byod
  •  We will see new learning spaces (not just formal rows inside classroom walls)
Here is a selection of some of the comments: 
 

CoachB0066 Looking at the economic landscape I believe that BYOD programs will be more popular than pure 1:1 programs

USCTeacher 10 years-teachers will be even more tech savvy, assignments will be submitted paperless, and schools will continue refining tech use

inquirebook @mmebrady I think tech will continue to change so fast that everybody will have to constantly learn and adapt.

inquirebook Technology is really just about connecting students to teachers and to each other, and connecting all to information.

stumpteacher My hope is that in 10 years our government listens to teachers and not businessmen/cheaters

stumpteacher @cybraryman1 I would hope the teachers continue to step back and empower students. Give up more control of learning to students.

NoodleEducation @rliberni would like to see technology provide objective assessment on a more holistic level for indiv students to replace STD tests

allisonletts @MarkWinegar one step: students pursuing a passion during classtime–learning how to learn independently about something fascinating

USCTeacher @rliberni Think about the communities that will be able to form! Not 1 building, 1 community, but 1 world

2footgiraffe @NathanSandberg @stumpteacher agreed. Tech is not the answer in education. It is just one part of student engagement.

CTuckerEnglish I’d like to see a move to customize & individualized instruction using tech integration to meet diverse needs if students

lauwailap1 In 10 yrs:Hoping teachers will have more control + input in the curriculum, which should be flexible+allow us to constantly innovate.

love_teach Schools need to prep them on how to facilitate learning and how to guide students to discover their own knowledge and tools

after_school 10 yrs from now more kinds of people will be recognized as teachers: museum/library/afterschool staff, kids leading othr kids.

CrudBasher I predict in 10 yrs, the most valuable skill in the world will be the ability to learn anything at anytime.

saraallen91 2 prepare tchrs 10 yrs from now, we have 2 prepare them 2 constantly challenge their thinking, experiment w/ new tech, & take risks.

Akevy613 In 10 years learning should be mobile and global and move way beyond the walls of a classroom

pernilleripp
I hope in 10 years teachers start to get respect again

inquirebook @cybraryman1 I hope augmented reality is ubiquitous–another change to our relationship with information.

drdouggreen @ShellTerrell Let’s stop building schools with rows of identical classrooms and more open areas. Some are.

ShellTerrell Perhaps 10yrs from now we have better solutions to improving schools rather than firing teachers

mrbarranca @drdouggreen @beyondtech1 That’s a great point. Can’t teach new teachers 1980-1990 practices and expect them to then be cutting edge

CrudBasher You can plan the education system in 10 years in the same way you can plan a hurricane. #beyondcontrol

drdouggreen @jenniferg92 All teachers must be comfortable learning from students. It empowers both.

MaryAnnReilly The division we know among teacher, student, coach, mentor, and community member will blur. We will need new language to name.

chrisemdin I love the idea of predicting what you want things to be like in 10yrs. Imagination is the seedbed of possibility

 To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

ShellTerrell: Educators on Google+ http://bit.ly/oz4qK8  #edtech #edchat

CoachB0066:  We need to focus on educator prep (teachers and admin) to change pedagogy #edchat We can infuse all the tech… (cont) http://deck.ly/~WT9C4

cybraryman1:  What role will Blended Learning http://tinyurl.com/483kbhl  have in the future? #edchat

briankotts: The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here http://bit.ly/dT2u47  #edchat #ukedchat

SnaPanda: RT @rscon3: Check out: Sharing values in the classroom: When, How, Y & Y not http://bit.ly/pJdN41   video by @brad5patterson #eltchat #edchat

findingDulcinea: Awesome commentary on EdTech RT @mcleod My opening remarks at Iowa Education Summit http://t.co/8Oul1kM  #edchat #sschat

iObservation:  New York State Education Department Approves Dr. Robert Marzano’s Teacher Evaluation Model http://bit.ly/mnnS86  #cpchat #edchat

Kerry_EasyBib: @NMHS_Principal was featured in USA Today in a great article about social media and the future of the classroom http://ow.ly/5NHL6  #edchat

drdouggreen: @malcolmbellamy Colleges serve to widen gap between haves & have nots. Check my summary of Academically Adrift http://bit.ly/oCig5G  #edchat

cybraryman1: What role will Augmented Reality (http://tinyurl.com/346ogtf ) play in education in the future: #edchat

cybraryman1: My Student Centered Classrooms page: http://tinyurl.com/454czsq  #edchat

rliberni: Here’s a great vision for the future with tech everywhere! http://youtu.be/6Cf7IL_eZ38  #edchat

cybraryman1: Personalized, passionate learning http://goo.gl/fb/jJhR3  #edchat

iObservation:  Video: Robert Marzano on His Career in Research http://youtu.be/G0yOZpPSu7s  #edchat #education

cybraryman1: I can see more Self-Directed Learning http://tinyurl.com/3yzrakm  with teacher there to faciliate the learning #edchat

drwetzel: What is the Technology Footprint in Your Classroom? http://t.co/9A67ruv  #edtech #edchat #elemchat #teaching #education #web20

tuchodi:  @ShellTerrell From our school district http://bit.ly/q7JzvN  #edchat

web20education:  Pls rt I work #edtech20 #socialmedia #curation project gateway to knowledge in #education20 , I need #PLN help #edchat http://t.co/WvMFXQh

cybraryman1: @lauwailap1 See Open Doors School-Business Partnership (left column down) http://tinyurl.com/4zyk5qq  #edchat

engaginged:  Interested in global collaboration? Here’s a great project: Challenge 20/20: http://t.co/CyxrsYo  #globaled #edchat

AAEteachers: #Education is hurt by #politics according to Arne Duncan. #teachers – what do you think? | http://is.gd/xIS2v3  #edreform #edchat

CrudBasher: @SamGliksman Reading expressions online. http://bit.ly/nzWq8I  #edchat

Social_LMS: 2011 Learning Tools Directory : http://t.co/YjZLRGb  #lrnchat #edchat #ednewschat

mjgormans:  10 Steps to Transform Past Lessons for 21st Century .,, If u r at #BLC11 plz stop in at 1 of my sessions http://t.co/XNrOJ9A  #edchat

OECD_Edu: PISA – Against the Odds: Disadvantaged Students Who Succeed in School http://bit.ly/nbEIdO  #edchat #ukedchat #finnedchat

joe_bower:  Assessment wagging the dog http://t.co/iT9TXPe  #abed #edchat #edtech

web20education:  I update #curation story #googleplus gateway to #semanticweb #web30 in #education20 http://t.co/EOISqqY  #edtech20 #edreform #rscon3 #edchat

My name is Tracy Brady  I am a French teacher (middle and high school) in Central New York.  I strive to push against constraints of time and space to globalize my students’ learning experience.    I am a strong proponent of BYOD and thinking outside the box to bridge the digital divide.  My colleagues don’t always know what to make of my wild ideas, but then again, neither do my 2 beautiful daughters (Florica and Aline).  Sometimes it takes a little bit of crazy to get the job done.  #edchat is an invaluable tool in my PD arsenal, and I am honored to have been asked to write this summary.  My blog can be found at http://mmetechie.blogspot.com
 

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat

Challenge:

If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think? Leave a comment!

June 14, 2011

What advantages could be gained by using criteria other than age to group kids in classes?

#Edchat 06 – 08 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Thank you to Pam Wesely (@pamwesely) for this summary on what turned out to be a very interesting chat. There were many ideas and many reservations too which all made for a very thought-provoking discussion. Pam has captured all of this to great effect in this summary. Thank you Pam for a great roundup of the ideas and themes and a thoughtful commentary on the topic. Find out more about Pam in her bio at the end of the post.

The participants in this #edchat talk all heartily agreed that grouping kids by criteria other than age has been under explored in current educational practices.  We were able to identify an array of positives to grouping by things other than age, often focusing on the ability to individualize instruction and encourage peer-to-peer mentoring and cooperation more effectively.
    Beyond this response to the initial prompt, participants in this #edchat discussion addressed several other related topics, notably: WHAT CRITERIA the alternate groupings would have, WHAT SCOPE the alternate groupings would have, WHICH LEVELS of students are grouped by age (and which should be), and WHY we currently group students by age.  As I tend to be more conservative in the #edchat discussions, I was pleased to see participants even offer reasons why this grouping does make sense in some cases.  
    Upon reflection, I see lots of areas where educators can expand on this discussion, notably in including and considering other stakeholders in education; developing the notion of groupings that vary throughout one child’s day; and considering the ways that peer mentoring can become more a part of classroom practice.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • Decisions about promotion that completely disregarded age (as @LHoog eloquently put it, putting the «child genius who’s 8 with 14-year-olds”) was not seen as preferable.  Participants still felt for the most part that age (or developmental level) needed to be considered in grouping students.
  • Participants shared personal experiences about observing older and younger students working together – both well and not-so-well.
  • Types of alternate grouping suggested included interest/project grouping, ability grouping, mastery grouping, achievement grouping, and grouping in peer-mentor relationships.
  • Perhaps the most common rhetorical flourishes critiquing age grouping were references to non-school-based contexts – the idea that «ages are mixed up in X context, why do we force such an unnatural grouping in schools!» with X context being playgrounds, adult workplaces, sports teams, etc.
  • Where some participants thought that avoiding age grouping would help students find like-minded allies of any age, others argued that the academically adept but socially underdeveloped would suffer if advancement were based on academic criteria.  
  • An important point of contention that emerged at the end of the discussion involved how, exactly, teachers would decide how students would advance to the next level, if not somehow by age.

Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

 @nancyrubin: Group stronger academic students with those that need a little more help for peer mentoring opportunities.
@MertonTech: The biggest issue is that academic maturity and social maturity are not always the same.
@USCTeacher: Many factors could be used to categorize students: age, gender, economic standing, performance – how are we to determine what is fair or works?
@tomwhitby: If age was not an issue, social promotion or non-promotion would not be one either.
@darcymullin: Multi-aged groupings (or other methods) also force us to look at our pedagogy and re-think what and how we deliver instruction.
@QZLPatriotHawk: This is not a one-size-fits-all debate. I believe you have to look at the students as individuals. Schooling is so much more than about academics.
@CTuckerEnglish: Maturity can be an issue, but there’s value in having older kids lead, support & guide younger students.
@rliberni: I think the older kids also learn from the younger ones – re-igniting their curiosity.
@JasonFlom: I think there need to be opportunities for ages to mix, regularly, but social development is so key early on.
@ShellTerrell: I’d like to see parents, students, & teachers collaborate in placing the student.
@karimderrick: We should also not group by subject….but instead by project! How great would that be!!
@tomwhitby: Ability should be a part of it but too much emphasis on any component will affect the result. Balance is the key.

@coreydahlevent: Is the question about age or ability, or is it about TEACHERS allowing or NOT allowing extended learning?
@karimderrick: Mixed-age groups would ultimately be more natural – same age groups is a product of factory schooling.
@Sam_EnglishEd: In mentoring group, 17-yr-old to me: “I don’t want to be with these little KIDS.” These KIDS were 14-15. Complaint often heard.
@BrandiJClark: Focus on the learning, not the sifting and sorting.
@malcolmbellamy: We mature at different rates, and not according to the year we were born.
@mrmadden77: I’m still concerned with ability grouping – worried that focus will become too much about curriculum, not enough about the child.

@JohnMikulski: For ability grouping to be successful, there has to be fluid movement from one group to next when student shows improvement.
@JasonFlom: “Fluid movement” for a teacher is one thing. “Fluid movement” for students in social groups is another.

To follow the complete discussion see here  
For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

@NextGenLC:  What’s been your experiences with programs like this? “Some schools grouping students by skill, not grade level” http://ow.ly/5caH4  #edchat
@NextGenLC:  @pamwesely This #edchat has me thinking about Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers’ argument about cutoff dates for kindergarten http://ow.ly/5cbf0

@NextGenLC: @brandiheinz Me too. Just found this post about the “Outliers” argument: http://ow.ly/5cbqX  #edchat

@allisonletts: the Changing Ed Paradigms Video by @sirkenrobinson http://ow.ly/5bgEa  #edchat

@davidwees: Here’s a study about pros and cons of older/younger sibling pairs. Some good stuff, some not so good. http://bit.ly/iHBGZ1  #edchat

@nancyrubin: Collaborative Learning: Group and Teams in the Classroom http://t.co/yAndKbk   #edchat

@karimderrick: Assess perf in proj orientated groups NOT using criteria – but comparative judgement http://bit.ly/dP6O8E  Bye, bye stand tests #edchat

@darcymullin: @JasonFlom check out this awesome school in Aus. Very cool http://bit.ly/lefZ72  #edchat

@pamwesely: @rliberni That’s true after I tweeted that I remembered this great film abt a 1-rm school – Etre et Avoir http://imdb.to/8r71Rt  #edchat

@ToughLoveforX: @WendyGorton @ShellTerrell Crowdsourcing Authority in the Classroom http://ilnk.me/8d36  by @catinstack

@mister_jim: #edchat sorry, a bit behind but aren’t we missing the point? Teachers enable learning situations. Shouldn’… (cont) http://deck.ly/~kiq6j

@irasocol: http://www.fsd.k12.ca.us/menus/k8/addmat.pdf   #edchat the K-8 advantage

@irasocol: Philadelphia K-8 analysis http://www.csos.jhu.edu/new/Comparing%20Achievement.pdf  #edchat

@johnpassantino:  Students progress at own pace: Adams County District Standards-based Education model http://bit.ly/lO5ut3  #edchat

@tomwhitby: My latest Post dealing with Filters, Bans & AUP’s: “How do we fit the policy to the need?” http://nblo.gs/iM77n   #Edchat

                                                 

Pam Wesely is an Assistant Professor of Foreign Language and English as a Second Language Education at the University of Iowa. She teaches teachers and people who want to research education.  Her research interests include K-12 student, teacher, and parent beliefs about foreign language education.  She also harbors a growing interest in how teachers use Web 2.0 tools to connect and teach their students.  She is a former middle school French teacher and Concordia Language Villages counselor/administrator.  You can see her professional website at: http://sites.google.com/site/pamelawesely

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat

Challenge:

If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think? Leave a comment!

June 13, 2011

Starting out in ELT

The room was dark. It was hot and humid. A mix of climate and fear made it impossible to keep cool. Soon it would be time to begin. The gentle days were over, the days of acclimatisation, of bonding, of learning the language and playing the tourist. This now, today was the reason I had come here, the reason I had made the decision to leave family and friends and travel half way around the world. This was the start, the first day of many days. It was time to step forward and make a difference.

 The tables were ranged on rows with two people at each table. I made my way down to the front where a large black board stood on an easel. I turned and looked at the smiling faces, eager, expectant. My heart raced and my mouth felt dry. Here were the university’s finest. Lecturers and senior lecturers all poised to begin the final hurdle that lay between them and their Masters and PhD courses in the US, UK and Australia – the English language exam. They were medics, dentists, engineers, mathematicians,  all experienced and dedicated and I was here to make their academic dreams become a reality. I was 21 with my degree in Music and English linguistic studies barely 3 months old and my 1-month teacher training course having been spent largely around the tourist sites of Edinburgh (the weather during my training course had been so good that none of the students had turned up to class).

I took a very deep breath, handed out copies of Kernel Lessons Intermediate and opened the first page. This was it, the first lesson! Would I leave them begging for more or running for the hills?

We began. the Kernel Lessons book came with a piece of A4 green card which was used to cover the writing on the right hand page so the students could discuss the cartoon pictures on the left – this was technology 1977 style! We moved slowly through the pictures, removed the green cards to look at the reading passages and then talked about their own daily routines. Things seemed to be going fine.

Time to use the blackboard. As I turned to pick up the chalk I tripped over the waste-paper basket and did a little impromptu dance. My pride dented, but with no obvious harm done, I took a piece of chalk and began to write. The chalk disintegrated. I took a second piece and a third. By about the sixth piece of chalk I was able to scribble a few words on to the board – these were duly copied down. As I returned the chalk to the box I noticed something moving inside. I shook the box and a small whitish cockroach scuttled out and flew off into the corner of the room. I gasped, they laughed. I laughed, they smiled. Our journey had begun.

It may not have been the dynamic start to a career (which has now spanned almost 34 years) that I might have hoped for, but I still remember that first lesson; how I felt, what went wrong and also what seemed to work. Our first steps are often faltering and tentative, but given good support we can blossom and grow and our learning  journey can be a blueprint for those of our students.

My first group of students seemed intimidating to me given their relative ages and status, but I was lucky, they too were teachers and they understood how I was feeling and with their support I was able to create a bond which ensured that everything would work out well. Having good support is very important at the beginning of a new career. Being a teacher puts you very much in the limelight and ‘on stage’ it is not always a comfortable place to be. You need people to turn to for advice and moral support.

Being mentored by a more experienced teacher has great value. They will often have faced the same issues and problems. They can share their own journey, which will have been similar and also see things with more of a bird’s-eye view. This advice and knowledge can be invaluable to a new teacher. I feel, however, that there is another dimension to stepping into a new career which is equally valuable and that is the support of people who are in the same boat. This solidarity helps us to see that we are not alone in facing new challenges, that others are experiencing the same doubts, apprehensions and also achievements. It is important to be able to celebrate the successes within our peer group and commiserate when things go awry.

Being part of a group with experienced mentors and other ‘new’ colleagues can certainly give us the very best safety net for the start of what, with such support, is guaranteed to be an amazing start to a wonderful career.

My own experience as mentor and mentee (I am currently working with a mentor myself), requests from new teachers for mentoring help and my firm belief that we work/learn better as part of a group has led to my setting up my own online EFL/ESL teacher mentoring programme ™ELTMentor. The programme combines the best of web-based training with ‘hands-on’ advice and support from both experienced teachers and also the ELTmentor community itself. We are about to have our second session – sign up to join us.

June 7, 2011

What additions or changes can colleges make to better prepare teacher?

#Edchat 05 – 31 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

This #edchat topic was a very interesting one. There seemed to be many different experiences among the group. The summary has been expertly prepared by Michael Zimmer (@MZimmer557) and he has brought together all the threads into a great digest of all the thoughts. As he explains here our world today is somewhat different from the one many of us trained for. Thank you for a great post Michael. You can find out more about Michael in his bio at the end of the post.

Having missed the passed few #edchats because of other obligations, it appeared that I returned for a thought-provoking discussion about teacher education programs.  My personal experiences were mixed.  I had several good professors and several others who obviously were out of touch with what education was like in the 90’s and now in the 21st Century.  Education is constantly going through various reforms, especially lately, yet little emphasis in those reforms has focused on teacher education programs.  Are they working?  Most educators have heard the statistic that half of the new teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years.  If that is the case, then shouldn’t there be a focus on those that are preparing teachers for the workplace?  If teacher education programs are properly preparing students for the classroom this statistic would not be so staggering.   

    Another issue facing teacher education programs is preparing teachers to teach in the 21st century and prepare teachers to use educational technology.  In my personal experiences in teacher preparation there were two things that were constantly emphasized: My Philosophy of Education and Creating Lesson Plans, which is something over time that has had little impact on my actual teaching.  Beneficial classes would have been how to integrate and use technology with students.  Teacher education programs need to hire professors that are knowledgeable about this technology and how to use it.

    When I look back, it is interesting to me that my teacher education program was about 24-30 hours of course work, but my content area was 3-4 times as much.  If teaching is the primary goal at graduation from college, shouldn’t there be an equal amount of classes.  It is apparent that all that content knowledge won’t help teachers if they don’t get a quality education on how to be a great teacher.  During student teaching we would return to campus and meet with groups of other student teachers.  There was always stuff planned for us.  It would have been more beneficial for us to communicate with each other our experiences. 

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • More in class time with students and teachers.  There needs to be more interaction between college students in teacher education with teachers and students in the schools
  • More classes related to learning how to use technology as an engagement tool.
  • To much focus on methodology and theories and not enough focus on real world teaching
  • More mentoring among teachers and professors
  • More opportunities for teachers to get into the classroom while in the teacher education program
  • Professors need to go back to the classroom so they are not out of the loop on what is going on in the classroom
  • More focus on why they teach the content, not necessarily what they content is
  • Teacher preparation needs to include more about classroom management, dealing with parents, the extras duties that come with the job, special education, and school law
  • More emphasis on what it means to teach in the 21st century

Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye.
@CTuckerEnglish: I felt really prepared for teaching, but not for teaching in an increasingly digital society.
@davidwees: Every teacher’s college should spend some time talking alternative education systems. (especially in the 21st century)
@maryannesacco: More time with practical in-class experiences with cooperating teacher–PT conferences, lesson planning, teacher pd meetings
@teachersnet: It can’t be repeated too often: pre-teaching programs must include more classroom management training
@stumpteacher: IMO teacher ed programs I have been in and worked with miss the boat. Teaching kids how to teach 30-50 years ago. Not current.
@iteach4change: teacher ed programs need more on tech, special needs, and politics/finance of education; also more on culturally responsive teaching
@davidwees: Teacher education systems should spend time focusing on building people who expect to learn continuously, rather than sporadically
@kegluskin I had many field placements in different grades &urban & suburban environments which helped me feel comfortable in all settings
@cybraryman1 Yes teachers should be prepared for all different types of learners
@ericjuli Teacher Ed programs should teach high school teachers to believe they teach kids first, not content
@Tina_Barr: More mentoring in the classroom as part of the college curriculum could prove effective
@davidwees: If our classrooms are supposed to be student centred, so too should our teacher colleges.
@tomwhitby: teacher prep might improve if cooperating teachers were trained as to what to do w/student teachers.
@ShellTerrell: Teacher Ed programs should have a course designed on effective communication w/ parents, admin, students! Not enough comm in edu
@davidwees: How many teacher colleges invite alumni back to talk about their experiences? Share their ideas?
@MZimmer557: Allow more teachers with Master’s in education and administration to teach the courses…not professors far removed from classroom
@Whtevri4c: Faculty should go back to the classroom for a semester every three years to stay current.
@tomwhitby: College classes can make good teachers. Great teachers are made from their own classes
@davidwees: Idea: 1 year of preparation followed by 1 year of teaching, followed by a summer (at least) back in teacher college.
@txlibraryguy: Tech skills, theory and practice are great, but young teachers need confidence and coping skills or they won’t stay in profession.
 @chrisemdin: Teacher prep is missing metacognitive reflection. Teachers must learn to think about how & why they teach the way they do

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

 As ever, there were some great links shared:

http://davidwees.com/content/apprenticeship-model-teaching

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7587781.html

http://www.gapfillers.co.uk/default.aspx?atk=6684&vrk=6720

http://mbfxc.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/i-am-change /

http://wrightslaw.com /

– @mbfxc:  http://t.co/V1csZ63  #edchat

My name is Michael Zimmer (@MZimmer557) and I am currently a Technology Integration Specialist in a school district in Kentucky.  I will be returning to the classroom next school year to teach Social Studies and am looking forward to using and integrating several of the things I have learned since using Twitter professionally.  I also write the blog: The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness

 

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat

Challenge:

If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think? Leave a comment!

March 4, 2011

How can K12 and Higher Ed better work together to promote positive change in education?

 #Edchat 03-01–2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Grateful thanks to Carl Anderson (@anderscj) for this week’s #edchat summary. It was a great discussion with several participants from both ends of the spectrum and in-between to so a wide range of ideas and experiences. Carl has captured this beautifully in his summary. I hope you all enjoy the post. Thank you Carl. See Carl’s bio at the end of this post.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion:

  1. k-12 and higher ed need to collaborate more
  2. lack of communication and connection between all levels of education
  3. Do all students need to be prepared for college?

Contrast between k12 and higher ed pedagogies

  1. disconnect between how we teach and how we learn at all levels
  2. What is the purpose of school/education?

Here is a selection of some of the comments:

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye.

@cybraryman1: K12 schools should establish more partnerships with those in Higher Ed and work together to better education #edchat

 @franze98: . @ShellTerrell we have partnered w/ local community college to offer dual credit courses. shouldn’t all do that? #edchat

 @rliberni:  In fact how closely to Primary and secondary schools work together? Are we all in our own boxes? #edchat

 @tomwhitby: We need a better connection for what K-12 expects of new teachers from college Edu programs. #Edchat

 @leahmacvie: I don’t understand why some colleges are hesitant to partner with K-12 that could offer them future enrollments. #edchat

 @pschoolsystems: Do you think the #CommonCore State Standards will aide in communication between K12 and HigherEd? #edchat

 @leahmacvie: Bringing in K-12 teachers to discuss w/ highered teachers helps to illustrate the types of tech experience and skills students have. #edchat

 @QZLPatriotHawk: How many teachers said they didn’t learn anything of substance until they student taught? More practicum time needed. #edchat

 @TeacherFreeman: Why is it important for teachers to be familiar with curriculum in grades they do not teach? #edchat

 @ShellTerrell: I think in low-income areas a collaboration btwn K12 & Univ helps Ss begin to be college minded Good point! #Edchat

 @leahmacvie: @unhmba Our charter’s are getting students thinking about college much earlier than 11th. Is that a good or bad….. #edchat

@QZLPatriotHawk: Teaching cannot be taught without seeing it in action and getting dirty. Should look more like an apprenticeship #edchat

 @Saveby: #edchat If I remmbr Sir Ken Robinson mentioned a kindergarten sign saying “college begins in kindergarten”. I think here lies the problem

 @isteconnects: In my experience, K-12 is light years ahead of higher ed when it comes to teaching w/ tech #edchat

 @tomwhitby: If the goal of K-12 education is to get everyone to go to college it is unattainable. #Edchat

 @tomwhitby: I have yet to see any real agreement as to what the goal of education should be. #Edchat

 @lemino: If my son’s teacher (6th grade!) says she’s tough on him bcz she’s preparing him for his future education… #edchat

@wmchamberlain: Do we teachers emphasize traditional colleges/universities too much to the deficit of trade schools? Are we creating social classes? #edchat

@isteconnects: Maybe local K12 tech leaders could offer teaching workshops for profs? Anyone see that happening? #edchat

@wmchamberlain: What about students that don’t want/need college? #edchat

 @jorech: If K-12 ONLY prepares kids for college, we are doing them a huge disservice. #edchat

 @EduTechSmith: to me education is not to get kids into college. it is to prepare children to be self-sufficient adults who know how to learn & grow #edchat

@teachnetcom: There’s a disconnect between academia and the real world. We’re not exposing students to enough in HS bc we’re too busy w standards. #edchat

@Smichael920: if schools r preparing learners 4 future society whats the purpose of testing & memorisation? #edchat

I would ask that the following question is added to the poll next week:

  1. For you, what is the purpose of #edchat?
  2. How are school systems addressing the production gap?
  3. What invisible technologies effecting schools & society do we need to be aware of and how do we work to minimize their harm?
  4. Data Walls:  accountability or child exploitation?
  5. What might a world without schools look like?

To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here

As ever, there were some great links shared:

briankotts What Can TED Do For Education Reform? http://bit.ly/dHt8Os  /via @GOOD #edchat #edtech #ukedchat

MSMS_tech: Students & guidance counselors need to be better able to evaluate college teaching quality and value of degree http://bit.ly/fH9S3c #edchat

andycinek: #edchat here is what I am doing with my Eng 101 class. Students lecture and we use twitter back channel for discussion http://bit.ly/99QKKu

andycinek: @tgwynn Agreed! (throwing pencils in the air) WOO HOO! Cut to: student dance sequence http://youtu.be/cEi2hKbgo0c  #edchat

Dr. Michio Kaku @michiokaku: The Problem with the learning system in school P.2 http://youtu.be/X6o_q0NoeNo  #edchat #ukedchat #eduswe #dkudd

delta_dc:  @jleung10 thanks for sharing http://t.co/z3VHVvN  it makes some good points but I think the following is the most important. #edchat (1/3)

@ShellTerrell Lots going in States around redefining teacher highered. Interesting article at the Economist http://ilnk.me/63c6 #edchat

My school (PDS) has a mentoring program to give a yr’s practice of field work for college students http://tinyurl.com/4rl5r7p

@jorech: What about students that don’t want/need college? This might happen http://imdb.to/9mbNmF #edchat Seems more likely than ever

ERStrategies: #Districts must drill down to understand student needs in more detail http://ow.ly/42MFl  #cpchat #edchat

anderscj: @Smichael920 #Edchat Purpose of testing and memorization = mandate soft bigotry of low expectations http://is.gd/VgoonY

ToughLoveforX: In New York City at big step forward in teacher HigherEd http://ilnk.me/700c  #edchat might be replicable

kbakerIEE: Strong correlation w/P2A http://bit.ly/fvtWq3  :”Tough Choices or Tough Times” http://bit.ly/fBHO73  #edchat #edreform article via @ericjuli

@evmaiden Colleges can ignore messiness of the data because consumers of higher ed are willing, mostly paying. http://bit.ly/gwweLj

Carl Anderson is currently a technology integration specialist for East Metro Integration School District 6067 in St. Paul, MN, an online art and technology teacher for Connections Academy, and an adjunct instructor for Hamline University’s Graduate School of Education. He was a classroom art teacher for nine years before his current positions. His research interests include technology mediated differentiated instruction, virtual worlds, alternative pedagogy, project-based learning, and equity issues related to technology and schools. Carl is a frequent conference presenter and school technology consultant.  He blogs at Techno Constructivist and is @anderscj on Twitter.

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

  1. Edchat: Join the Conversation
  2. Using Tweetdeck for Hashtag Discussions

More Edchat

  1. If you would like to join others in transforming the discussion into action, please feel free to join the Edchat group on the Educator PLN ning.
  2. Jerry Swiatek does an incredible job of posting each archived transcript on the Edchat wiki created by Steve Johnson. This way you can look back at your favorites!
  3. Find previous summaries here on this blog – see edchat category on right sidebar
  4. Follow other Edchatters and make sure you are on this Twitter list if you participate in Edchat!
  5. Read summaries of the 7pm EST/1 am CET Edchat discussions.

Challenge:

If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

January 19, 2011

Learning together – the value of sharing

January saw not only the dawn of a new year but also the second professional workshop for teachers of English held in this little corner of Yorkshire.

When I first advertised the event I wasn’t sure anybody would want to brave a wet, cold English winter for anything – so imagine my great surprise when the first reply came from a teacher in Brazil!! I have to admit I did worry and sent out as many snowy, grey winter pictures as I could but undeterred, Cecilia (@cecilialcoelho) was determined and arrived on a dull January day in the Yorkshire market town of Northallerton along with her compatriot Wellington (@wellingtonros) and two Greek teachers Dina (@DinaDobru) and Maria (@mariazygourakis).

After half an hour to unpack, we got straight into things – English afternoon tea (tea and Christmas cake), a candle-lit christmas tree and an hour of introductions. After five minutes it was as if everybody had known each other for ever and so some of us had – we had met on twitter!! One thing about teachers is that we are rarely backwards at coming forwards and we so like to talk!! So, plain sailing so far.

After a shared dinner we gathered in our makeshift cinema to watch the first of the 3 Bronte films planned (we never made Jane Eyre deciding instead to go to the pub!) The Tennant of Wildfell Hall.

The following morning we set out for Bronte country to see their house, walk the cobbled street they had walked and stride across the moors that had been the source of much of their inspiration.

Haworth did not disappoint. A cold, misty January day is probably the best time to see it when studying the Bronte novels. There was still enough cheer in the Christmas lights to lift the mood of the place and it is certainly a great example of how life might have been in nineteenth century Yorkshire. We didn’t manage the walk but did stand on the edge of the moors to see the terrain and certainly froze for the photo opportunity!

Freezing on Howarth Moor

This visit seemed to set the tone for the rest of the week. It grounded us all in the place and the mood but more importantly in togetherness. It was different, new, interesting and we were learning about each other, our teaching lives, our aspirations and our loves and hates.

The trip ended with a visit to the old Victorian station in Howarth (this is the train line used in the Railway Children). We were lucky enough to arrive just as the last steam train of the day was about to come into the station a great end to a long, yet interesting visit.

Here we were, a group of strangers brought together by the common bond of our profession and the desire to share and learn from each other.

Back to the Victorian Era!

The opportunity to live and study for a whole week allowed us to fulfill this desire in a very relaxed way. We returned home, ate and watched the first part of Wuthering Heights with the reality of the moors and the surrounding areas in our blood.

Our 6th member of the group @shellterrell arrived very late on the Monday after a horrendous journey that took her crisscrossing over the US and Europe. She arrived bloody but unbowed and was able to spend two days with us before going on to Cambridge and London.

During the next two days we explored ideas, methods and tips for teaching skills, vocabulary, grammar and for helping our students to get the most out of their English learning. From the most experienced to the least, everybody had something valuable to contribute. We worked hard morning and afternoon but also laughed a lot. We had afternoon tea, ate Greek delicacies ate a wonderful Brazilian meal and were introduced to caipirinhas!

On the Wednesday (January 5th) being Twelfth Night I had planned a party which included a special meal (we ate goose), a traditional Christmas play (A Mummers Play) and then some Parlour Games (namely Charades, Articulate and a Questions Game).

Some Brazilian Dutch Courage!

We began the evening with more caipirinhas – once the players had chosen and donned their costumes – which were, I have to say, very impressive!

The play was great and everybody performed with great gusto!

The games were great too and we ended up playing until quite late – all games were ones that could be easily played in the classroom to practise vocabulary, question forms,  tenses and a host of other items. We had a fun evening!

On the last two days we explored more ideas and experiences around speaking and reading. Copious amounts of tea and coffee were drunk as we shared resources both online and offline, demonstrated activities using the computer, whiteboard and anything else to hand (including the contents of my bathroom cabinet!).

On the Friday we got an extra surprise as it began to snow!  Out came the hats, scarves, boots and gloves! Out came the cameras and bang went the session! It was such a lovely and magical end to the week’s activities.

Playing in the snow

The group spent the Saturday exploring York and then it was over :-(.

Looking back it seems an age ago and while we were together it seemed like much longer than a week.
So why am I telling you about this?
Well, because to eat, sleep and breathe our subject, our teaching, our ideas and experiences together was a unique experience. I provided the physical platform for this but the fact that it worked and was a valuable (I am speaking for myself but I think/hope the others agree), very enjoyable and thought-provoking week is, I think, worth sharing!
I will leave you with some of the handiwork!
See post on the first worshop – Creating a teacher workshop
Find out more  about teacher workshops in Yorkshire
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