Wednesday, February 28, 2007

High School Students Bored and Think About Dropping Out

The results of a survey completed by the University of Indiana School of Education released today reports that high school students (read a summary here). The team surveyed 81,000 students regarding their opinions of high school and found that students were generally bored because they disliked the material and experienced inadequate teacher interaction.

Some of the descriptives that were most compelling included:

  • 75% of students reported being bored because the material was uninteresting
  • Nearly 40% saw the material as irrelevant to their lives
  • 60% responded that they didn't see the value in what they were being asked to do
  • Students responded that activities where they learned with or form their peers to be the most exciting and engaging. 80% responded debates or discussions were exciting or engaging while 70% responded that group projects were exciting and engaging.
  • Nearly 22% of those students surveyed have considered dropping out.

Students continue to send the message to educators that the methods we are choosing to deliver content or educate our students are failing. Students are also clear, they want the material to be relevant, engaging, project-based, and interactive. In addition, they want their teachers to interact with them, not simply lecture.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Join the Discussion (in more ways)

Global Learners hereby invites all readers of the Principiante Global Blog to join the 21st Century Teaching and Learning Wiki. With the wiki we hope to achieve the following: (1) Define what a student needs to know and be able to do in the 21st century, (2) articulate what teaching must look like to meet the demands of these students, and (3) outline the professional development and product-based learning that must occur for students to be successful.
We have designed this space as a wiki because we want open collaboration and input. Please join the discussion.

Friday, February 23, 2007

It Matters What You Put on Top of Your Slide

Beyond Bullet Points has a great post today on whether it matters what you put in the heading of a powerpoint slide. It turns out that ion research performed by Michael Alley slides that include a headline type heading resulted in significantly more student learning than when slides included only a general heading.
As Cliff Atkins points out in his BBP post, that means that teachers should be writing entire sentences on their slides.
BTW: Check out the difference between the two slides in the picture to the left (Wow!).

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ethics and Blogging

Thanks to the guys over at Profy I was able to read this great article about why people seem so much meaner on the internet. If you haven't yet experienced being flamed on a blog, in IM, or in some other medium you are sure to experience it some time future. Daniel Coleman wrote an insightful article on why this occurs (in a psychological sense). Given John Albright's post yesterday on ethics and classroom blogging I think this article would a great read for all school administrators, school psychologists, teachers, and students.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Blog Blah!

In a recent article in T.H.E. Journal, Patricia Deubel, Ph.D., discusses the ethics of blogging in the school setting. Some great ideas and references for building a structured blogging environment when using blogs in our schools. Dr. Deubel stresses teacher moderating and student monitoring. "In the end, ethical self-monitoring is what ensures that the blog is a vehicle of trusted content."
Check it out online.

Friday, February 16, 2007

No Boundaries

In order to create a global learning environment, we must discard our sense of traditionally defined classrooms. The classroom is no longer four walls, some desks, a black(or white)board, and one teacher with many students.

The classroom exists in the students' minds and in the global community. Students will become leaders in the online communities in which they live, work, and play. We must facilitate this process by creating an atmosphere that fosters collaboration and communication with the world. The best way to accomplish this is using the web and employing such sites as ePals.

Check it out and turn your "classroom" into a "classworld"!

School 2.0

There is no one path to the School of Tomorrow.
Technology is rapidly breaking down school walls and letting the world in; harnessing it is key to building tomorrow's schools and students. Integrating it into the learning ecoysystem is everyone's responsibility, and will ensure multiple paths to success.
cited from School 2.0

School 2.0

Be sure to download the brainstorming map (pdf file)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Merging the Diverging

Click diagram to see text.

Increasing there seems to be a divide being created between what we teach in our schools and its relevancy to student lives and relevancy to what will be required in the next decade. This is not to suggest that literacy, math, and writing are no longer relevant, but rather the mechanisms for teaching these skills and the context within which they are made relevant may be diverging.

As we rethink pedagogy in the coming years and examine what content, skills, and competencies are truly necessary we should be finding ways to merge what is diverging. There are four domains to consider: (1) what schools teach in terms of standards or content, (2) how we currently teach it or what strategies we use, (3) what are those skills or competencies that will be most valued in the 21st century, and (4) what do students actually do in their everyday lives. The challenge is to merge those areas into a strategy.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Gift of the Human Imagination

"If you are not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with something original."--Sir Ken Robinson

To be inspired about the potential for educating our youth in the coming years see this TED presentation from 2006. Sir Ken Robinson leaves no doubt that as we consider altering the way we approach teaching and learning that we should swing for the fences. Learning should not be a contrived and irrelevant experience, but should focus on creating problem-solvers that understand how to exploit their strengths. Our goal should be to have Kick Butt Users every step of the way (teachers and students).

Uth TV

UthTV is an online collaborative site for sharing media work created by youth.
Students may post photos and videos to share with the world.
The site also has a specific area targeted to teachers with suggested work for classroom discussion, workshops, etc.
Check it out. Great site for us to push.

Producers, Presenters, Participators

The basic skills our students and teachers must possess as Global Contributors are the ability to communicate and collaborate in the online worldwide community in a safe, secure, and confident fashion.
Producers: of interactive content, from podcasting to blogging to videocasting to digital sharing and beyond.
Presenters: of information, not just to their classmates in the local classroom, but to the world.
Participators: in shaping their learning and their direction in the world.
Our task is to define each of these roles and the skills we expect of each student and teacher.
For example, a producer of 21st century content should be able to host and/or contribute to a blog; create and publish a podcast; create, edit and publish a video presentation. A presenter should be able to develop dynamic content for presentation to both classroom participants in schools and online (similar to producer). And a participator must be able to use all the 21st century tools available to collaborate and communicate with the world.
The end result will be investment of students in their learning and their future.

Digital Kids: Who are They and How They Learn

Some good discussion of what 21st Kids are like and the culture they live in now. Look beyong the vendor's interest (Apple) and ponder on some of the data that is presented. Is it any wonder that many of today's HS students feel a huge disconnect between their school life and the rest of their world. If we can just begin to move closer towards providing a school environment that more resembles the world of "Digital Kids" we are bound to see greater improvement in student achievement and involvment in their education.

Digital Kids

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

YouTube in the Classroom

Great article that talks about some of the potential uses of YouTube in the classroom. Teach students positive relations with the real world (70 million views per day on YouTube) must be one of our goals.

Digital Text Can Do Better

Does this help clarify how the web is changing what we define and how we define what students are expected to know and be able to do.

Student email

Should hs students have email accounts? YES! If we are to propose real world communication skills I believe it is imperative that we allow email accounts for hs students as well as other forms of electronic communication. This being said I believe we must also provide the necessary parameters of safety, etiquette, and decency standards. One option is to setup controlled student accounts that more than likely will not be accounts that follow the students after hs. Option two is to set up accounts such as hotmail, Gmail, yahoomail, etc. that would allow for continued use after hs.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Curriculum Wikis

The recent release of curriwiki has attracted a significant amount of attention. It was featured on the frontpage of eschool News and has been covered in numerous blogs. Curriwiki is described as a community of educators working together to create quality materials that will benefit educators worldwide. When it comes down to it curriwiki is a place that anyone can upload school related materials. For example, someone can upload a powerpoint or a link to a cool website. Curriwiki is a place to share materials.

Curriwiki is not a curriculum wiki. A curriculum wiki is place where educators and (perhaps) students could collaborate on the essential learnings and the best mechanism to get there. The curriculum (or comprehensive course of study) must be (mostly) open for editing and altering. A curriculum would be a place educators could share materials, but those materials must be aligned with some expected learnings. Instead of some outside force being the sole owner of the expectations and the path to get there, the participants in a true wiki are joining the ownership team.

Does anyone know of any examples where the curriculum is truly dynamic and available for mashup? Where minimally the teachers are participating in a constant way in setting the learning trajectories?


Gabcast! How to Podcast #1 - Gabcasting for 21st Century Teaching and Learning

First Published Episode