What are the successful components of online learning environments according to your text and other resources? A successful online learning environment must be developed using a Learning Management System (LMS) as referred to on page 363. If you don’t have a system to use, it is much harder for teacher and student to fulfill the requirements of the class. Another huge component is communication. Teachers and students must communicate their needs and requirements. The third component I have found that is crucial is a timeline of events. I also believe the blended learning discussed on page 364 really allows for teachers and students to get the best of both worlds. The face-to-face for certain topics must be handled personally and not thru the computers. Sometimes it is just harder to explain things in an email. I have also attended many classes that were similar to our Blackboard management and they added synchronous online meetings. I think the synchronous time allows for better instruction and discussion. Communication was bi-weekly with these synchronous meeting and it keeps all students and teachers on the
In what ways has our curriculum changed in response to a changing world? In what ways do you feel we still have much progress needing to be made? The first time I read Daniel Pink’s book, I loved it. Why should we be doing jobs that a computer can do for us? I believe that we are getting to the point that if you can find the answer using Google, you should not have to memorize that answer. Society has the internet at its finger tips. We need to teach students how to decipher and use that information responsibly, but the answers are all there. The 21st Century Skills described on page 360 of our text is what all students and teachers need to learn. I have been teaching these skills for the last 5 years. It was hardest at the high school level where students truly believed that they knew more about technology than I did. Some of them knew some software better than me. Most students consume the technology, we need to teach them how to produce responsibly with technology. I don’t think technology is everything. But I think it is an amazing tool to use for differentiation, writing, critical thinking, group projects,etc.. I believe we need to embrace the technology and not ban it from our schools.
How can we support students in becoming critical consumers of information? We need to teach them how from an early age. We need teach them how to use the amazing databases provided through our libraries. We need to teach them to not use Google to find answers, although many times you can find them there. We need to teach them all this by allowing more technology into our classrooms so that we can model this for students and allow them the practice to use the technology. As a said above, consuming the information is only one part of the picture. I believe teaching them how to work with students from around the world will prepare these students best for our future. My passion is global collaboration and we need to learn how to do this ourselves and teach our students.
Based on your text and video resources in this module, what strategies do you (or would you) find most useful for evaluating curriculum? What strategies assist students in the transfer of learning to other classes and contexts? Be sure to reference your sources.
When I think about evaluations of any kind, I believe that they should be on-going. I believe that we can always improve on what we are doing. When I first started teaching, one of my administrators talked about curriculum as “Shelf Art”. He meant that we create it and then just leave it on the shelf. Curriculum is meant to be a dynamic document that could be changed all the time. Out of the models in the book, I related most to the CIPP model in Chapter 13 of our book. This model discusses “The process evaluation is the provision of periodic feedback while the curriculum is being implemented.”
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program has a built-in section for each Unit of Inquiry that asks the teachers to reflect on the learning after completing each unit. The reflection includes these two prompts: “Record a range of student-initiated inquiries and student questions and highlight any that were incorporated into the teaching and learning”, and “Record student-initiated actions taken by individuals or groups showing their ability to reflect, to choose and to act. ” The IB emphasizes the importance of all teachers to reflect on their units immediately after. Because we are inquiry-based, these prompts will allow the teacher to reflect on how much of the learning was student initiated.
The IB program also requires IB designated schools to complete a self-study year to allow the school community to reflect on their curriculum and how they are implementing the IB program. After the self-study year where all stakeholders are involved. The evaluation team then visits the schools to see if the self-study documents reflect what is really happening in the school. I love this idea because it starts the evaluation inside the school and then allows for outsiders to be invited in to see how curriculum is working.
The IB cumulative project in the Primary Years Program is called the Exhibition. The Exhibition is for students to work collaboratively in a group to study a problem that is in our society or in the world. The students research the project and find some action to take that will assist in solving the problem. The students should think globally but act locally. Although this is at the end of their elementary school careers, all teachers assist the students in preparing for their exhibition.
These IB tools should be used in conjunction with the state standardized tests. These tests should not be looked at as a snapshot because a snapshot only shows what a group of students accomplished in one grade level. These tests should be studied to determine if there are trends in the curriculum by following a group of students through the school years to determine if there are holes in the curriculum.
I agree that the transfer of knowledge creates learning at all grade levels. The IB schools must use transdisciplinary maps to show how all non-classroom teachers are engaging the students regarding their Unit of Inquiries. For all teachers to be instructing students on the Key Concepts of Form, Function, Causation, Connection, Change, Perspective, Responsibility and Reflection. This allows students to transfer their knowledge of these concepts in all aspect of the school. I am also a big believer in journals and reflections. All our students must reflect after every unit on what they learned about themselves and the topic during the unit. When I taught high school students, I noticed many students were surprised when they reflected on what they learned and didn’t realize how much they had done until after the lessons were completed.
Last year, we asked some of our 4th and 5th grade students to help us with a problem. We wanted to redesign the library. We wanted more room for meeting and reading. Students formed groups and came up with a new design. They had to measure the library and use a Computerized Architecture Design program to map out their new idea. The students were engaged and were able to transfer many math skills into an authentic learning experience.
How do they celebrate it in Argentina?
Take a look at what one teacher shared with me: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1HWIqO2a-ZMzQK069qfyoxf_WDCqbQg6hRM_teMWMP9A/edit?pli=1#slide=id.p
Since I have lived in Shanghai, especially where I am living – 20 minutes south of city center, the Chinese people tend to stare and if they do engage in speaking, they tend to say “hell-o” in such a way that sounds like they are mocking us. You hear this “hell-o” many times. If you reply, the Chinese people typically say “Hell-o” again.
The other morning as I was waiting for my breakfast burrito. A man who was dressed in construction clothes turned to me and said the silly sounding “Hell-o”. I turned and said “hello” back. The man started laughing, so I turned away to wait for my breakfast burrito. I could hear him talking in Mandarin to his friends and then he says “hell-o” again and starts speaking some broken English to me. He asked where I was from and what I do. The kindness of strangers can make you smile especially when it is a surprise.
This week we had great weather in Shanghai. I was riding my bike when I realized I am spoiled. Weather like this week is common-place in Colorado. Colorado claims to have over 300 days of beautiful weather. I like it here. I could live here longer. But I love living in Colorado. I am spoiled.
I did feel like the warm weather made everyone here happier. People seemed to be smiling and enjoying life. Does better weather make people happy? Or does it make me happy so the world looks brighter?
Chinese people are pretty serious and with nicer weather they are definitely outside joining being outdoors more. Why do they like to be outside? It is very social to be outside. People still go for a stroll or exercise by walking briskly and slapping the sides of their bodies to help with circulation. (at least I think that is why they do it?)
In China, nice weather also means the sun might be fighting its way through the pollution and that is a positive thing when pollution is a large problem. What else do they do outside during their strolls. They watch older men playing cards or Chinese Checkers. They watch women of many different ages doing Chinese line dances. They watch in the mornings people doing Tai Chi. They watch grandparents taking care of the grandchildren with toys and bikes going everywhere. If I knew the language, I would be able to say more about the amazing sense of community that they have during these outside hours.
A day at the largest park in Shanghai – Century Park. Frank, Matt and I rented a bike/car to bike through the park which is sprawling. The bike was hard to peddle with three of us riding, but proved to be entertaining. Frank pushed us a lot of the time or we switched who had to walk. Many Chinese families come here with their tents to spend the afternoon in nature. We quickly found the bumper cars and went twice. The bush sculptures they have there amazed me.
Yuyuan Garden was a separate trip. Tucked in the busy part of Puxi. This little Garden was crowded and rocky, but I love rocks. The last picture is of Matt in Zen Veg a cool little vegetarian restaurant we got to a lot. I made this video in Animoto because I have run out of image space on my blog.