Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Things That Have Me Thinking-Nov 28

Wanna know more about my Things That Have Me Thinking series? Read more here.

Practical PBL-The Challenges of Ongoing Assessment: Problem-Based Learning is growing in its use thanks to multiple resources available. However, one of the challenges that remains is how do we ensure each student in the groups "pull their weight?" Assessing student participation has always been a sticky subject for me. Rewarding or punishing kids with grades and scores doesn't sit well with me. This article lays out several different methods of assessing participation in PBL lessons. Most seem effective but I still wonder, are there better ways?

The Art Of The Explanation: I dunno if you know anything about Common Craft but their videos that explain Web 2.0 tools, the economy and even Zombie attacks are wonderful. Lee LeFever has written a book explaining...well...explanations. Filled with ideas and practical advice on how to communicate better, it is one that is on my list for a few folks for the holidays. So what has me thinking are the ideas of communicating our ideas. How can we teach kids to communicate better while still using things like social media and asynchronous communication tools?

Six Tips To Help Teachers Move From TechnoPHOBE to TechnoFab: This blog post from my good friend Jennifer LeGarde is one that I have been passing long to folks for a little while now. Her advice here is solid and really practical. Best part of it all is it's so true. Meeting teachers where they are, providing time to play and listening are just a few of the tips that are so simple but mean so much. So what has me thinking are what are some other ways to help technology and technology professional development more approachable and what can I do to provide better technology PD for my teachers?

Google Search Literacy Lesson Plans: One area that many students are weak in is search. Moreover, how to do an effective search for information and how to vet information once they find it. Google is a starting point for many students. But the shear amount of returned results there can be overwhelming and kids ability to search effectively can go out the window. Google has developed several lesson plans addressing everything from picking the right search terms to understanding search results to narrowing search results and more. Each area comes with a beginner, intermediate and advance lesson plan so these could be used K12. So what has me thinking is, why are we down this path anyway? Why are we still not doing a good job of teaching kids where their information comes from and why are we still not doing a great job of teaching kids good search literacy skills? Seems to me that it is as important as any other subject kids learn.

That is what I am thinking. What about you?
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