By Allan Alach
I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why is online learning ‘all fur coat and no knickers’? We design to forget.
‘Online learning has gone down the ‘all fur coat and no knickers’ route. It’s more presentation than pedagogy, more look and feel than learning. Rather than focus on what makes learning a success in terms of retention and recall, it allows the learner to skate across the surface of a thin layer of nicely designed but thin ice. It often creates the illusion of learning by illustrative graphics/animation that, as Mayer often showed, actually inhibit rather than help retention.’
3 Ways to Combat Recipe Learning
‘Rubrics were all the rage so I thought that by giving all the same project and using the rubric I was differentiating for my students because they got to decide where they fit on the rubric. What I didn’t know at the time was I was expecting all the same level of work. I hadn’t designed an effective summative assessment.
I had assigned a recipe.’
What Are The Benefits Of Learning To Code As A Child?
What are your thoughts about this? I’m not convinced.
‘So instead of watching people jump on the coding bandwagon because we said so, we decided to write an article that discusses the benefits of learning how to code as a child. That way parents and schools can make an informed decision. Believe it or not, some of the advantages that we are about to share may shock you. Well, without further ado, here is our list of the benefits of learning to code as a child.’
Creativity is a distinct mental state that you can train
“Our results suggest that creativity can be characterized as a distinct mental state—one that can be nurtured through training, and that can reflect the quality of the finished product.”
Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:
Teach Kids When They’re Ready
A new book for parents on developing their kids’ sense of autonomy has some useful insights for teachers as well.
‘The measuring stick is out, comparing one kid to another, before they even start formal schooling. Academic benchmarks are being pushed earlier and earlier, based on the mistaken assumption that starting earlier means that kids will do better later.
We now teach reading to 5-year-olds even though evidence shows it’s more efficient to teach them to read at age 7, and that any advantage gained by kids who learn to read early washes out later in childhood.’
How To Ease Students Into Independent Inquiry Projects
‘Too often teachers enter the inquiry pool in the deep end, heading straight to Free Inquiry, as I had done with Chris. We can’t blame them; the essential questions students ask and the demonstrations of learning students create are incredibly meaningful and resonate with their audience. But beginning your adoption of inquiry by diving right into Free Inquiry could result in overwhelmed and underprepared inquiry students. In our experience, without flipping control in the classroom, empowering student learning, and scaffolding with the Types of Student Inquiry, students will not feel as confident, supported, or empowered through our inquiry journey.’
The 5th ‘C’ of 21st Century Skills? Try Computational Thinking (Not Coding)
‘There is growing recognition in the education systems around the globe that being able to problem-solve computationally—that is, to think logically and algorithmically, and use computational tools for creating artifacts including models and data visualizations—is rapidly becoming a prerequisite competency for all fields.’
Creative thinking and the new Digital Technologies curriculum
‘In this book, Resnick states that kindergarten (where students are free to follow their own interests and direct their own learning) nurtures creative thinking because it allows students to naturally iterate through a creative learning spiral: learning how to start with an idea, build prototypes, share them with others, run experiments, and revise these based on feedback. In contrast, the current education model (which was made in—and for—the industrial era) restricts teachers’ ability to create lifelong kindergarten type environments.’
Embracing the Whole Child
Fully engaging students can include using their interests in lessons, checking in on them emotionally, and being ourselves.
‘According to education researcher Maria del Carmen Salazar, an overuse of such things as scripted and mandated instructional curricula can hinder educators and students from developing meaningful relationships. And that rigid, standardized approach to teaching contradicts so much of what we know from whole-child education research. It can sabotage the humanness of all those beings growing and exploring daily together in one room.’
From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:
Linda-Darling Hammond: Lessons for New Zealand from America
‘“The Flat World and Education’, a book by Linda Darling-Hammond is a must read for educationalists and politicians who want to develop an alternative to the technocratic style of education that has been slowly destroying the creativity of students and teachers in New Zealand and, in turn, the social fabric of our increasingly troubled society.”
Are we brave enough to live for the future?
‘The past seems a simpler place to think about – the future is so messy and unpredictable. Years ago educational philosopher John Dewey wrote that the best preparation for the future is to live well today. Good advice. Hindsight bias, it seems, drains the uncertainty from the past while looking into the future is just so unpredictable. This uncertainly interferes with our judgment and provides us with a bias to conservatism.’
Re-imaging education; lessons from Galileo and Brazil.
‘Education stands at a crossroad caught in the lights of market forces ideology which blinds all but a few to beginnings of a new era some call the Second Renaissance – a new creative era.’