Information for New ITS

Archive for September, 2010

Harvesting Kernels of Knowledge from Educators’ Fields

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Reflecting over many events of the past week, it is important for me to share that we are surrounded by many excellent teachers and administrators that support and nurture new teachers and veterans everyday.  Many of these educators freely share their wealth of information on the web to build stronger instruction with rigor and relevance for our students. Project based learning and lessons delivered with a driving questions provides that rigor and relevance for our learners.

It is up to you to harvest these lessons.  The web abounds with many examples of projects that provide step by step directions and resources that guide and steer the relevant learning. Utilizing quality activities created by other educators models and inspires future instructional practices. Can you harvest the kernels from these excellent educators’ fields to build rigor in our classrooms?

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” – Pablo Picasso

Four For Friday – Project Based Learning Resources

Exemplary Projects shares a great list of projects from PBLnet.org. Be sure to view the other  great resources at this site.

Problem and Project Based Learning Projects – Cindy O’Hora provides a wealth of projects at Mrs. O’s House. The activities cover a wide variety of topics and offer many levels of difficulty.

PBL Co-Laboratory – Here is another resource from the Buck Institute for education that shares a small collection and also provides an opportunity for you to share back. You can easily register and begin to search these projects by grade level, subject area and time frame.

Driving Questions – PB Works provides some great examples of driving questions for your projects that were created by camp participants at Edutopia’s PBL Camp. These questions were derived by using the Gulf disaster as the starting point for meaningful learning.

Photo courtesy of Chris Bartnik Photography

Driving Questions – Project Based Learning

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Recently Edutopia shared a post from Mary Beth Hertz, Which Tool do I Choose? Hertz shares that an educator must start with standards and goals but asks that all important question, “how can you know where to put a tech tool in if you don’t know what’s out there?” It is important to know new tools and how they can be used to share new stories of learning. However learning must first be driven by questions aligned to standards and then the path can be taken to steer the learning toward a choice of communication. The driving question is paramount.

The favorite for Friday shares steps in developing an engaging, standards focused project centered around a driving question(s). The Buck Institute for Education maintains this awesome resource with five design principles for effective project based learning. Abundance of information at both sites provides valuable resources to design and implement quality projects.

Can you follow these principals and craft a driving question to engage learning?

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mafouz

Favorite for Friday

Five Design Principles for Effective Project Based Learning

  1. Begin with the End in Mind
  2. Craft the Driving Question
  3. Plan the Assessment
  4. Map the Project
  5. Manage the Process
  6.  3D Character and Question Mark Courtesy of SMJJP @ Flickr

Learning on the Fly – Share

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What opportunity can I take today to learn something new? As life long learners we are constantly trying to keep up with the latest and greatest by learning on the fly to improve our personal performance. Using Share, a new authoring tool from Tech4Learning, learning on the fly was recently accomplished by jumping right in and producing a few web pages to share out word cloud sites. Share provides many features for students to reflect and create interactive presentations, animations and web pages using text, images, video and voice. Tech4Learning provides a free evaluation of Share you can download and use for thirty days. Challenge yourself to see what you can produce while learning on the fly with this application or by investigating some new ways to use word clouds to engage learners. Can you encourage yourself to try new things out of your comfort zone and share these new skills with your personal learning community?

Five For Friday – Word Clouds

5 Favorite Online Word Cloud Applications – Here are a few word cloud applications beginning with sites for young students to reflect and compare and others to create and embed in other products.

Top 20 Uses of Wordle – The Clever Sheep not only offers great ideas but provides examples and added resources for each idea.

Interesting Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom – Tom Barrett’s Interesting Ways is a great collection from educators across the globe.

Ten Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom – Inksights, a great resource from Andy Fischer, provides some great ideas in other content areas.

Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom – Jen Wagner share her ideas and also shares Guess the Wordle, a web site that provides a new wordle, Monday through Friday, centered around simple topics on Monday to more complex on Wednesdays.

Image Created Using Image Chef- Word Mosaic

Disclaimer – This is not an advertisement of Share but a quick peek to see the possibilities of usage in the classroom and to keep learning on the fly.