"Here’s a teacher professional development idea that I hadn’t heard of before. And it comes in three-minute chunks called LessonCasts. In a session on Saturday, Nicole Tucker-Smith, a former assistant principal in Baltimore County, described how she’d set out to solve one of the most challenging issues related to teacher PD: How do you provide PD that’s neither overwhelming for new teachers nor repetitive for seasoned teachers? Is there a format that can be truly valuable for everyone? She decided to use a form of teacher-led PD in which teachers record themselves explaining a teaching strategy that they are strong in to a colleague. The two- to three-minute voice recording is accompanied by a PowerPoint or a video and, Tucker-Smith explained, is meant to offer something the listener can put into practice right away. “It’s not a lesson plan. It’s more like a teacher-to-teacher conversation. As a teacher, when I wanted help, I never asked to see a lesson plan. I asked, ‘What did you do?’"
Educators using iPads in their classrooms can now access training, free of charge, to learn how to incorporate these devices into their instruction.
Sophia.org, a social learning and teaching Web site offering tutorials on a number of academic subjects, has teamed up with Capella University’s School of Education to produce a new iPad Prepared Certification program. The new four-part tutorial series, developed by faculty at Capella University, aims to show teachers how to implement and use the Apple tablets in their classrooms effectively.
Would you like to make a few small changes and see immediate results? Here are five things you can do tomorrow — without spending money, without learning new programs and without adding stress to your life — that will improve your effectiveness, thus improving student learning and behavior.
"The secret in using Twitter well for your own learning is as much about knowing how to effectively slice-up raw information, as it is who to follow and how to share responsibly. The searchable hash-tag function is the key here. It should not be viewed only as a tool to tell what starlets are blowing up big at what time. It’s a way to tap into the structured debate and conversations that take place just below the madness of the world sharing its thoughts in real-time."
I’ve included one of them below. What would you add to the list?
1. Visible Learning for Teachers: John Hattie
John Hattie has developed a global wealth of research in order to provide evidence for what works in education. The findings are fascinating and thought-provoking: strategies like homework are exposed, whereas strategies like formative feedback are heralded. The motto of the book is ‘know thy impact’ and it explains there is no ‘silver bullet’ answer, but that we must approach our teaching with passion and ‘deliberate practice’, focusing in upon the evidence of what works for our students. Don’t be put off by the statistical analysis or the science of a ‘meta-analysis’ - even this English teacher got a hang of the numbers! ‘Visible Learning’ – the original Hattie text, for which he has based this sequel – was rather grandly labelled “the Bible” in one review, but it really is a seminal work. A must read!
With 8 tips borrowed from actual classrooms. Here are two:
1. WELCOME AUTHENTIC QUESTIONS.
Good projects start with good questions. Listen closely to students to find out what makes them curious. Instead of presenting them with ready-made assignments, invite student feedback when you are designing projects. Make sure your driving questions for projects involve real-world issues that students care about investigating.
2. ENCOURAGE EFFECTIVE TEAMWORK.
Projects offer an ideal context to develop students’ collaboration skills, but make sure teamwork doesn’t feel contrived. If projects are too big for any one student to manage alone, team members will have a real reason to rely on each other’s contributions. Teach students how to break a big project into manageable pieces and bring out the best ideas from everyone on the team. Offer them examples of innovations (from the Mars rover to the iPad) that wouldn’t have been possible without team efforts.