Sunday, January 20, 2013

Googling, CBL, and the Value of Mistakes

The Value of Mistakes
If we don’t allow students to fail in the classroom we are setting them up for failure in the real world.  If we see knowledge as just enough to “pass a course” then we miss the point of learning.  Sure, students might get the ‘right answers’ on an exam but know little about solving problems. 
(By way of Joyce Rosario)

Why “Googling It” Is Not Enough
Young people who’ve grown up in the digital age often have the impression that everything anyone needs to know is located somewhere on the web—so devise assignments that show them it isn’t so. Ask them to find a book in the library that hasn’t yet been scanned by Google Books; require them to consult with a research librarian, who will give them a sense of how many and varied non-digital resources are available; have them conduct an oral history project, collecting stories from living people that can’t be found on a website.

CBL and the Common Core
While the Common Core documents adamantly state that the standards do not dictate how teachers teach, they have naturally resulted in important discussions about how the teaching and learning process needs to change to address the "shifts" inherent in the standards. This becomes particularly apparent when reviewing the College and Career Readiness anchor standards embedded within the Common Core. Developing students who are self-directed; demonstrate discipline-specific expertise; comprehend and critique; appropriately respond to their context; and back up their opinions with evidence demands a much more experiential and interactive learning environment than is currently found in many schools.

"Library of Congress" CC photo by mateoutah
Library Of Congress Unveils Massive Common Core Resource Center
Like a superhero, the U.S. Library of Congress has just swooped in and unveiled an enormous new (and free!) resource that’s all about the Common Core. It’s located at and worth checking out.

Igniting Change from the Middle
1. Act before talking. Model the way. Do what you hope others will do.

2. Don’t ask do. Push the edges of your authority and responsibility. Don’t wait for permission.

3. Don’t tell. Stop telling those over you what they should do. They resist when they feel pushed. Do it yourself.

Five Critical Mistakes Schools Make With iPads (And How To Correct Them)
The most common mistake teachers make with iPads is focusing on subject-specific apps. In doing so, many completely overlook the full range of possibilities with the iPad. I think of a Latin teacher who declared the iPad useless because he couldn’t find a good Latin app.
It simply didn’t occur to him use the VoiceThread app to record his students speaking Latin, or perhaps create a collaborative discussion of Cicero. 

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