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Category Archives: Education

PODCAST: #RunYourLife

13495163_10157116396435445_2761635682743991100_nThis is my first-ever Podcast experience. Andy Vasily, an educational consultant, co-author with me, former colleague, and friend of mine involved me in this. At first, I was leery, nervous even, but Andy made me feel at ease with his questioning and banter.

The range of conversation covers ideas about: perspective and cognitive dissonance; rethinking SAMR; differentiation and personalisation; reframing educational experiences; blended learning; findings from John Hattie, Richard E. Clark, Seth Godin, and others; and even God.

Find out for yourself why I might even Podcast again, if asked in the far-off future:
http://21clradio.com/?powerpress_embed=2629-podcast&powerpress_player=mediaelement-audio

 

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Brainstorming: With Anonymity and without

I was reflecting for a moment on the picture here, where Design Thinking was in action, and was thinking about how we often ask students, teachers, parents, administrators, workers, and so on to add their ideas to a wall through a brainstorm method.  But I was also thinking about accountability.  I wonder if it would be better to create a system like this where everyone needs to have their name attached to their idea.  My theory is that it would help in two ways.

The first is that the overall architect(s) would be able to return to the brainstorm and see who’s name is attached to the idea.  This way, if there is a problem, they can quickly follow-up with that person to get a clearer idea of what they were writing about.

The second idea stems from the fact that I assume people will put more effort into an idea if they know their name is attached to it.  With anonymity could come sloppiness, laziness, or downright silliness.

Where I think it might squash some of the better ideas because people may not want to put them forth since their name is attached, to counteract this, people could be asked to come back to the wall or another wall for another turn at it.  This time, they could put any idea that came to their head, but could do it anonymously.

I would argue that using both methods would be most useful because most ideas would be well thought out and articulated from those who had their names attached, but the second method would enable out-of-the-box thinking and the bizarre ideas to flourish.

What do you think?  Has this approach been done before?

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2015 in Design, Education

 

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Has the IBO always gone overboard with criteria?

At the Nanjing International School, we use both the IBO curriculum and we are trying to adopt NoTosh’s ideas about Design Thinking.

I might argue that since we are trying to follow both the IB Design Curriculum AND Design Thinking we ask students to choose from at least one strand in each criterion.  In my teaching career with MYP, I have noticed most times every item from the IBO’s level 7-8 criteria does not make sense for students to complete.  They are not realistic and rather than student being informed by the process, they are bored out of their mind.

A case example:
If students would like to make a website, they might only choose:

Criterion A: Inquiring and analysing
The student:
i. explains and justifies the need for a solution to a problem for a client/ target audience
ii. constructs a detailed research plan, which identifies and prioritizes the primary and secondary research needed to develop a solution to the problem independently
iii. analyses a range of existing products that inspire a solution to the problem in detail 
iv. develops a detailed design brief, which summarizes the analysis of relevant research.

Criterion B: Developing ideas
The student:
i. develops detailed design specifications, which explain the success criteria for the design of a solution based on the analysis of the research (in this case, a website layout)
ii. develops a range of feasible design ideas, using an appropriate medium(s) and detailed annotation, which can be correctly interpreted by others
iii. presents the chosen design and justifies fully and critically its selection with detailed reference to the design specification
iv. develops accurate and detailed planning drawings/diagrams and outlines requirements for the creation of the chosen solution.

Criterion C: Creating the solution
The student:
i. constructs a detailed and logical plan, which describes the efficient use of time and resources, sufficient for peers to be able to follow to create the solution
ii. demonstrates excellent technical skills when making the solution. 
iii. follows the plan to create the solution, which functions as intended and is presented appropriately
iv. fully justifies changes made to the chosen design and plan when making the solution.

Criterion D: Evaluating
The student:
i. designs detailed and relevant testing methods, which generate data, to measure the success of the solution
ii. critically evaluates the success of the solution against the design specification based on authentic product testing
iii. explains how the solution could be improved 
iv. explains the impact of the product on the client/target audience. (IBO, 2014)

Following this idea, teachers would still have something to mark for every criterion, but it would be more succinct and we could enable the FUN back into the learning.  I would emphasize that we would want the students to choose and (verbally) justify why they have chosen those criteria.  Along the lines of Design Thinking, we want the kids to: “be immersed, synthesize, ideate, prototype, and then display” (NoTosh, 2015).

I think it is important that we follow the rules, but as educators we need to realize when the rules should be broken if we are ensuring that our students are not enjoying the subject matter.

Thoughts?

 

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Excellent Song and Music Resources for Parents and Teachers

It has been a while since I posted anything directly to my site.  I thought I would consolidate four of my favourite resources into one post here that are a seemingly endless and FREE collections of excellent online resources for music, singing, dancing, and nursery rhymes.  Without further adieu:

Bus Songs – This one is great for young kids.  It is sortable and searchable.  For example, if I want to find all the songs that are about Transport; of course they have that…and I can see which ones have audio and which have video.

Bus Songs

Cosmic Kids Yoga – Youtube – This channel is neat because the yoga instructor takes you through a story and teaches different moves.  The stories are done with ‘blue screen’ techniques so it seems like she is in far off or imaginary places.

Cosmic Kids Yoga

Just Dance – Youtube – I have seen kids in grade 5 (age 10) who all love the videos from this channel.  This means younger ones will like them too.  The teachers are able to sit back and have the video teach the kids the dance moves.  Forget the square dance.  It is time to doh-see-doh your partner over to these fun, hip videos.

Just Dance

Intellidancing – Youtube – When you have had enough of yoga, hip-hop and pop dancing, and nursery rhymes, it is time for a little modern, conceptual dancing and movement.  This is when these videos are for you.  Enjoy.

Intellidancing

 
 

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Graduated Licensing for COPPA and CIPA

by default 2014-05-30 at 11.39.49Lately, I have been working with elementary students through our Digital Citizenship curriculum. Of course, part of this curriculum is about online safety, bullying, and other worries through social media. In continuing my research around COPPA and CIPA laws I have started to wonder about the 13 year old age limit that has been determined to be the cut off for those who are and are not able to use social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and the like. For example, Facebook states that no user may have an account or have an account made for them by an adult if they are under 13 years of age, as shown here.

Instagram also clearly states in their first term that users must be 13 years of age.

But there is no graduation to this level. There is no scaffolding or built-in support and I wonder why. For example, in Canada and other countries there is graduated licensing to drive a car. This means that a user, or the driver in this case, needs to learn along an experienced user who will guide them through the pitfalls of their learning journey.

I would argue that learning on social networks also needs this hand-holding. But I would also argue that starting to teach a child at the age of 13 is too late AND that having a child care for their account would necessitate ownership by the child of the account.by default 2014-05-30 at 11.38.05

Therefore, I propose that a system needs to be built, with COPPA and CIPA adjusting their regulations in such a way that kids can sign up with a parent or guardian, that the adults receive updates about account activity, and that this feature eventually fades out over time.  Possibly at the beginning of account activation there has to be a two-party login, where both parent and child have their own password.  It sounds complicated, and probably is, but it seems short-sighted that the age 13 is a magic, non-arbitrary number that ensures that a child is safe and has healthy online habits that are ready for social situations.

What are your thoughts?

 

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Self-regulation technique helps students focus in class

See on Scoop.ittech | design | education

Self-regulation, a philosophy of education that is moving into public schools in British Columbia and other parts of the country, helps students reduce stress that can prevent them from focusing and behaving properly in class.

Thomas Adam Johnson‘s insight:

Revving up the engine or calming down the brain – this article presents techniques for dealing with both sides of the energy spectrum with students.

See on www.cbc.ca

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2013 in Education

 

The Flight From Conversation

See on Scoop.ittech | design | education

We use technology to keep one another at distances we can control: not too close, not too far, just right: the Goldilocks effect.

Thomas Adam Johnson‘s insight:

Some deep advice about connectedness, loneliness, and too much technology use today.  I write a reflection about this subject here.

See on www.nytimes.com

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Education

 
 
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