Sunday, December 7, 2014

Collaborative Learning Tips, Exploring Virtual Caves, and Creating Real World Math Problems with Google Earth

Five Ways to Bring Innovation Into the Classroom
Design thinking isn’t just for engineers and designers. It can be applied to every aspect of learning — from generating ideas to the iteration and execution phase. Here’s how educators can foster innovation in the classroom.

Looking For Real-World Math Problems? Try Google Earth!
Another of Petra’s favorite lessons helped algebra students understand variables. He put them into teams and asked them to use search and rescue patterns to find a missing paddler. At first he didn’t give them much information. The students had to figure out what variables would affect the search and researched the real-world answers to those variables, like finding out how fast coast guard boats travel. Then they developed a search map using Google Maps.

20 Collaborative Learning Tips And Strategies For Teachers
At the beginning of a project, you may want to give more direction than the end.  Serve as a facilitator, such as by gauging group interactions or at first, providing a list of questions to consider. Allow groups to grow in responsibility as times goes on.  In your classroom, this may mean allowing teams to develop their own topics or products as time goes on.  After all, increased responsibility over learning is a goal in collaborative learning.

Ensure Success This School Year
One of the most important ways an educator can grow and learn is to get connected. Joining Twitter, reading blogs and contributing to an online community are all ways that you can hear about the good things that are happening in other classrooms/schools and learn from others. These places can also serve as a virtual sounding board when you run into a problem or need a solution. October is Connected Educator Month so there are many opportunities to learn how to be a connected educator including book studies and free webinars.

Thousands to explore Jenolan Caves online in Australia's 'biggest school excursion'
"Our science education specialists designed activities for students to complete while they explore the caves with their avatar," she said.

"Students discover how the caves form by investigating samples they collect from the caves. They can also discover local wildlife, classify species and learn about the history of the caves.”

The Best iPad Apps to Use with the SAMR Model
SAMR model is a conceptual framework developed by  Dr. Ruben Puentedura to help you better integrate technology in your instruction. SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. Each of these four levels correspond with a set of tech-based activities and learning tasks. The strength of SAMR model is that it provides teachers with a robust method to gauge and assess the efficacy of the technology they and their students use in class. 

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