Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dr. Helen Barrett's EPortfolio Academy Online

You can pay for a faciliated course and credit or participate for FREE independently/selfpaced. This begins the first week of January. Below is information provided by Dr. Helen Barrett:

The course content of the first course of the E-Portfolio Academy is online as both a self-paced and facilitated course:
Introduction to E-Portfolios in K-12 Schools

The facilitated course is open for registration through Paypal or school purchase order:
(Send me an email for the mailing address to send a school purchase order for group registrations... or attach PDF version to email.)

The content of the two versions of the class is the same. There are three differences between the self-paced and facilitated classes:
1. The facilitated class has a cohort of students who go through the content together and carry on a facilitated asynchronous discussion.
2. I will be directly involved in the private discussions and will lead the cohort through the content, including live events.
3. The self-paced class is free; there is a charge for the facilitated class.

The discussion schedule will be provided only to members of the facilitated class through the Edmodo group. The discussion will be asynchronous, so there are no specific times to be online, but I will be scheduling some Google+ hangouts which will be synchronous (live), but not during the first couple of weeks.

The course interaction will be facilitated through an Edmodo group (private educational social network), Google+ Hangouts, and email group. Be sure to sign up for Google + and an Edmodo (teacher) account. Right after the New Year, I will also send invitations for the private groups to all registrants. The first facilitated course cohort will begin between January 2 and January 16. The next cohort is scheduled to begin in early April.

There are also supplemental courses:

  • Implement Electronic Portfolios with K-12 Students using Google Apps
    Specific focus will be on the use of GoogleApps for Education. This course is for teachers who have already decided to adopt GoogleApps for Education. The content of this course includes the content of the Introduction course, with additional in-depth focus on using GoogleDocs, Google Sites, Blogger, YouTube, Picasa, Digication, Teacher Dashboard.
  • Implement Electronic Portfolios with K-12 Students using Mobile Devices
    Specific focus of this module will be on the use of iOS or Android Mobile Devices.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Seven Practices for Effective Learning

Seven Practices for Effective Learning

7 Practices for Effective Learning.docx

McTighe, J, & O'Connor, K. (2005). Seven practies for effective learning. Assessment to Promote Learning, 63(3), 10-17.


This particular article hits right in my area of key interest. As a learner and teacher I have identified how having clear targets and sound assessment practices improves student motivation, satisfaction and ultimately success! In This article first identifies three categories of assessment: Summative (what has been learned?), Diagnostic (pre-assessment), and Formative (concur within instruction to guide teaching to improve learning).

Highlights of the 7 Practices:

1. Using Summative to frame the goals! Wow, that's a great idea! Creating the summative assessment and presenting to the class at the beginning of the course as a means of explaining the learning targets is brilliant! Simple but makes so much sense! "By knowing what the culminating assessments will be, students are bettter able to focus on what the teachers expect them to learn!" The example given suggests having a knowledge based assessment as well as a performance based assessment. - Let the students know what knowledge you will be testing them on and what they need to "create/perform" to demonstrate that they know how to apply that knowledge!

2. Show criteria and models in advance. Another simple and effective strategy! Show the students examples of finished work that meets the criteria, exceeds the criteria and show them what doesn't cut it. Use the rubric as you show these examples and have them identify where they fall in the rubric and why. Then, while the student is completing the work they have a much clearer picture on what they should be doing!

3. Assess before teaching...find out what students know by giving a formal or informal diagnostic assessment. This way you know where to begin!

4. Give choice. Students embrace choice and everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. By providing choice in output options you give students an opportunity to demonstrate competency using their strengths. This is motivating for the student. Make sure the choices reflect the target!

5. Provide feedback! Yes, students need to hear if they are on or off track. Encourage them when you can as this is very motivating.

6. Encourage self-assessment and goal setting. One thing I liked to do is conference with each student during a project while others were working. This way we could look at where they were at, what their personal goals were for the assignment and assessment and see if they needed any additional support to get there. It was a great way for me to see - who could slip through the cracks if they didn't get more attention and who was flying on their own.

7. I LOVE #7! "Allow new evidence of achievement to replace old evidence of achievement." I just had an issue with my son's teacher who gave him a ZERO because he couldn't get his fingers on the assignment he completed when asked. Turns out it was in his binder all along. He completed all the math problems and she gave him NO credit! My other son's math teacher gives him partial credit when he replaces evidence of learning.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gabe Zichermann - Gamification in School

Why is it that the kids can sustain attention to video games for hours on end? Why can they learn things from scratch, fail and try again until they succeed without any adult pressure?

Fluid intelligence helps us problem solve - 5 things people do to improve this: 1. Seek novelty 2. challenge yourself 3. think creatively 4. do things the hard way 5. network -- hmm.... Do Video Games Make Us Smarter????

Friday, December 9, 2011

This is a first run of a "visual rubric" I created for a graphing assignment. Feel free to give advice, critique... It is another way to accommodate visual learners.