Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What procedures support students so that they can build AMAZING, STUNNING and FABULOUS digital portfolios?

Ken Robinson  Creative Schools
Abraham S. Fischler   TheStudentIsTheClass   www.TINYURL.com/historyofnova  www.TINYURL.com/FischlerEbook    www.TINYURL.com/Fischlerposters
Dan Pink   danpink.com
Neil Postman  www.TINYURL.com/postmanquestions
Matthew J. Blazek   www.TINYURL.com/blazekprojects
Joe Bower  blog
Daniel Amen ANT Therapy (how to talk back to Automatic Negative Thoughts) and Building Better Young Brains www.TINYURL.com/sunamenants
Alfie Kahn  Alternatives to grades
Dennis Littky   BigPicture.org  www.TINYURL.com/LittkyRadio
Elliot Washor  www.LeavingToLearn.org
Eliot Levine  One Kid at a Time
AJ Juliani  EMPOWER  What Happens When Students Own Their Learning ?
John Spencer     "The Creative Classroom"  http://www.spencerauthor.com/
George Couros  The Principal of Change  and the Innovator's Mindset
ConnectedPrincipals.com

You might have heard some of these names.  If you are a parent, this blog post is my attempt to let you into the world of "transforming education."

What is "the transformation of education"?
Here's an excerpt from a blog post by Dr. Fischler (dated July 2006).

The Problem

At the present time, teachers are working hard but we are still not fulfilling the demands of our students or our society. Why not? The schools are set up with an agrarian calendar and teachers are responsible for teaching to a class as a unit. Time is fixed and the only variable is performance – some pass and others fail. And, if the persons who fail do not make up and achieve the proficiency that the test is measuring, they drift further and further behind. The consequences are numerous and punishing. How does this instill a love of learning? This approach does not take into account a truism: ‘all students can learn but they learn at different rates and have different preferential learning styles’.

Instead of asking the student to fit the administrative structure (i.e., the class and arbitrary time periods for learning subjects and achieving competencies), we must provide each student with the time and means to succeed. Rather than punish the student who learns more slowly than the arbitrarily chosen period, we must treat each student as the class.

We must find a way of doing this. Other industries have made similar changes* and it is now time for education to do the same.

*Take FedEx, who can tell you where any package is at any time. Look at banking, which is now available 24 hours a day through ATMs and you can go to almost any ATM to withdraw or deposit funds. Both industries invested in information and delivery systems to meet the needs of their clients rather than asking their clients to accommodate to a fixed structure. Now the automobile industry is enabling customers to order on demand rather than requiring them to accept whatever is available in the dealer’s lot. In the business world, however, there is competition that requires companies to adapt – education has not had this catalyst.

What is my vision and strategy for educational change?

I believe that we in education must make the investment to do the same for our clients, i.e., each student. What investment is needed?

There are three modes of instruction: 1) self-paced or CAI, 2) project or problem-solving and 3) discussion. Self-paced or CAI requires that each student have access to a computer and modem and access to the curriculum on a server on a 24/7 basis. Projects and problems should be relevant to students so they can relate to the given subject area.

For English and Math, we should implement CAI in the 1st grade (and continue thereafter). The reason English and Math are chosen is that these are the two cultural imperative languages. If you know these two languages and are motivated as a self-learner, you can teach yourself almost anything you want to learn. And, one of the goals of education is to create self-learners.

For all other subjects, the teacher can pose a project or problem that is relevant to the student. Once the problem is defined, the class can be broken down into groups of 4-5 students in order to research the solution to the problem. If complex, each of the groups may study an aspect of the problem. With these subjects, the student uses the computer as a research tool (after having learned to read). Students are taught to use search engines such as Google or Yahoo as well as the intranet made available by teachers gathering information relevant for the students.

Students working in a group learn cooperation, shared responsibility and communication (face-to-face as well as e-mail). Having produced a written solution to the problem utilizing the computer (power point) as a tool, they can then present to the class for discussion. They can also use email or a written report to other students as well as the teacher.

Arbitrary learning within fixed time periods would be eliminated, i.e., no 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. grades. Instead, students would be grouped chronologically with materials appropriate to their learning level and style using the CAI approach for English and Math, and the project/problem/discussion modes for other subjects. The projects given to the students match the level of English and Math competencies and are related to the students (their interests and their lives). For example, in 3rd grade, how would you study the amount of water that a plant needs to grow? I would utilize the students’ Math knowledge (learned through CAI) for science learning. Likewise, rather than studying history through memorization and chronology, it can be studied through problems based on the immediate environment for younger children and more abstract concepts in later grades.

What do we need to make this happen?
In order for this to be implemented, what do we need?

1) We need the people on board – parents, teachers, community leaders, etc.
2) We need the hardware – computers with modems and Internet access for each student.
3) We need the management system (many existing solutions can be adapted).
4) We need the curriculum – Computer Assisted Instructions (CAI) for Math and English and creative, relevant problems and projects for other subjects.
5) We need teacher training.


The procedures to "transform education" need to be listed.  Ken Robinson has some of the procedures in his book Creative Schools.
See the blogs of George Couros, John Spencer, AJ Juliani.
The writings of Gordon Dryden.
Here are 16 procedures that I've collected in a free download:  www.TINYURL.com/sun5Procedures.

Procedure 1:  Introduce projects that cover more than one subject
The Finnish Model

Procedure 2:  Writing is about rewriting.   
“Time is a variable”
Encourage students to improve and resubmit their work
www.TinyURL.com/delarosaSpeech  A. De La Rosa introduced the “time is a variable” flexible grading period to Miami Arts Charter School in August 2013.    

Procedure 3: Personal Learning Plans
Reading about personalized learning

Procedure 4:  Digital Portfolios
Ask students to display their best work
Read Tony Wagner   “the one thing schools can do”

Procedure 5: Presentations (Exhibitions in addition to tests)
“Stand and deliver”
exhibitions in addition to written tests
Turn to your neighbor:  Eric Mazur’s peer instruction network
In the
See pages 162-166 in Dennis Littky’s book, The Big Picture:  Education is Everyone’s Business

Procedure 6:  Alternatives to grading  (Narratives in addition to grades)
Read Joe Bower's blog http://joe-bower.blogspot.com/
See pages 154-161 in Dennis Littky’s book, The Big Picture:  Education is Everyone’s Business

Procedure 7:  Reduce lectures (flip the classroom)
Find other ways of presenting information to students
Peer instruction network  (Read Eric Mazur at Harvard)
Flipped Classroom
“Why I flipped my classroom” by Katie Gimbar  Youtube

Procedure 8:  Teach history in reverse
Read Personal History Workbook by Enrique Gonzalez

Procedure 9:  Publish a book and Build a Positive “Brand” (a positive digital footprint)
Read Jason Shaffer,  North Broward Prep School.  Search “jason shaffer huffington post personal brand”  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stacey-cohen/why-every-personal-brand-_b_11285702.html
Social media “cleaning”

Procedure 10:  Offer certificates (MoneyBeforeDiploma.blogspot.com)
Certified Digital Footprint Specialist
Certified Conversation Assistant
Certificates through INACOL

Procedure 11:  Create and display posters
Use Canva.com and BingBanners.com to encourage students to put their observations on the walls, including their commentaries about “lyrics that inspire me.”  This procedure is used at SunEd High.  

Procedure 12:  Use smartphones to extend and reinforce the learning

Procedure 13: Teach students how to fight automatic negative thoughts

Procedure 14: Feed the brains of teenagers
Dr. Amen has a list of “things to do to increase blood flow to the brain” in his book, Magnificent Mind at Any Age.

Procedure 15: Invite students to serve each other with clicks.
Let’s teach students skills that they can use in the real world.  Let’s give them opportunities to take the initiative and create jobs for themselves.  Let’s ask them to find a service that they enjoy doing for others.  Turn that service into a website and advertise their service.   Let’s show student show to make money before they earn their diploma.

Procedure 16:  Quotes of the Day
Offer students items to look at before they go to sleep.

Any of these procedures will help.  Put several together and you'll transform a school.

Let's get started.
Let's chat.   (954) 646 8246
Steve   SteveMFlorida@gmail.com



Monday, July 3, 2017

Just in case you are not convinced already that PORTFOLIOS are HELPFUL, see this Huffington Post article

In case you don't know about digital portfolios, here is an article that I found helpful.

http://tinyurl.com/sunhuffpostdp



Just in case you are not convinced already that PORTFOLIOS are HELPFUL, see this Huffington Post article

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Read the BLOGPOST by a group called MOUSE (featuring Marc Lesser, director of learning design at Mouse

YOU HAVE THE POWER OF ONE CLICK.   Please use your SUPERpower to spread the word about Mouse.org   MUCH OF THIS POST is a "repost" of a blog article by Daniel Rabuzzi

subscribe and follow his MEDIUM account.
visit https://mouse.org/

The following paragraphs from a MEDIUM post about DIGITAL BADGES is worth looking at:   Daniel Rabuzzi
makes these observations (in courier)   SEE HIS ORIGiNAL BLOGPOST   (I have annotated his post here with excerpts and links to other materials -- Daniel's resources list will help teachers who want to start using portfolios)




Marc Lesser (Senior Director, Learning Design at Mouse) is a leader in the national movement recommending portfolios and badges as complementary means to assess learner achievement. (For a sense of his thinking, read his “Improving the Way Education Supports Learner Identity: Digital Badges & The Information Age”). 

HERE IS THE KEY SENTENCE:
We at Mouse view portfolios and badges — in both their digital and physical forms — as central to our mission of closing the opportunity divide within technology.
.... In Kentucky, a national petri dish for system-wide educational change after the Kentucky Education Reform Act in ’90, we looked at the work already being done in Vermont: the Vermont Portfolio Assessment Program started in late 1980s, with evaluation led by Daniel Koretz
ANYONE WHO WANTS A LOOK AT LITTKY'S work can see the following:
>> TINYURL.com/LittkyChapter1   chapter 1 of his book The Big Picture
>> the NPR interview.   www.TINYURL.com/LittkyRadio
Daniel continues:  The Kentucky and Vermont efforts were also influenced by the thinking of Ted Sizer, Deborah Meier, Dennis Littky and others in the Coalition for Essential Schools, and the related Annenberg Challenge.
National education, government, and industry groups paid attention to the concepts, as the digital revolution began to upend traditional occupations and the idea of a “knowledge economy” with a “creative class” began to gain currency.  Let's think  about alternative credentials and portfolios ...
So, a call to action for admissions officers and registrars at colleges and universities: please help us together build a system of badges and portfolios that will help get many more young Americans to postsecondary education, and above all, into the majors, minors, internships and co-curriculars most appropriate for each individual.

HERE IS THE KEY PITCH:  We ask universities and colleges to endorse and eventually grant credit to badges and portfolios, not to replace but to complement & supplement traditional transcripts.
Additional Resources:
Digital Promise and LRNG are among the national groups that have emerged in the new millennium to continue the evolution of badges and portfolios.
SUBSCRIBE TO “Badge News,” an open, bi-weekly newsletter to stay attuned to the fast evolution of this dialogue. Read more about Badge News and sign up
TIP TO TEACHERS:  Read these reports and allow the information to inform your lesson planning.  Build a culture of portfolios.  "How does today's classwork build something that the studnets can display in their portfolios?"  If the classwork is part of a bigger project, then keep it.  If it's just a worksheet, scrap it.
HERE ARE REPORTS WORTH READING AND RECOMMENDED BY MOUSE.org  collected by  Daniel Rabuzzi   FOLLOW HIM ON Twitter https://twitter.com/danielrabuzzi?lang=en


Mary Hamm & Dennis Adams, “Portfolio: It’s Not Just For Artists Anymore,” Science Teacher 58 (1991); 


Thomas Reeves & James R. Okey, “Alternative Assessment For Constructivist Learning Environments,” in Wilson (ed.), Constructivist Learning Environments (1996); 

Elizabeth Hebert & Laurie Schultz, “The Power of Portfolio,” Educational Leadership (53:7, April 1996); 

Charlotte Danielson and Leslye Abrutyn, An Introduction to Using Portfolios in the Classroom (1997); 

Thos. Reeves, “Alternative Assessment Approaches For Online Learning Environments in Higher Education,” Journal of Educational Computing Research, July 2000.
Executive Director, Mouse
READ THE BLOGPOST on MEDIUM
THIS BLOG appeared on MEDIUM, an excellent blogging platform.
YOU HAVE THE POWER OF ONE CLICK.   Please use your SUPERpower to spread the word about Mouse.org

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

What books will help teachers become ADVISORS? What books will help students become INDEPENDENT LEARNERS? What will help create the PERSONALIZED EDUCATION?

Personalized education happens when teachers resist the "command and control" and instead "Commend and Listen."   

Joe DeMarino's book Personalized Learning (available on Amazon with LARGE SECTIONS availalbe in the "Look Inside" feature) covers some of the attitudes of the teachers who encourage students to personalize their expereicne in High School.   See the link at TinyURL.com/demartinopersonalized and  TINYURL.com/sunpersonalized

Here are some of the excerpts.   The introduction is heart-breaking.  The section about attitudes of teachers who promote personalized learning comes below.  Keep scrolling until you hit the words "ATTITUDES OF TEACHERS"

THE INTRODUCTION


















ATTITUDES OF TEACHERS

























Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"Authentic Audiences" argument -- Crossbraining offers this support for digital portfolios

Another article.  There are dozens of articles out there extolling the virtues of creating a website to display student work.










Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Rubrics are the key to making good projects, portfolios and exhibitions: "Not there yet" is better than "incomplete" or "unsatisfactory"

Look at these definitions or labels that an article about  rubrics gives


https://facultyinnovate.utexas.edu/teaching/check-learning/rubrics

DEVELOP A RATING SCALE.

Rating scales can include either numerical or descriptive labels.  Usually, a rating scale consists of an even number of performance levels.  If an odd number is used, the middle level tends to become a catch-all category. 
On the chart below, the highest level of performance is described on the left.   A few possible labels for a four-point scale include:
4
3
2
1
4 points
3 points
1 point
0 points
Exemplary
Excellent
Acceptable
Unacceptable
Exceeds expectations
Meets expectations
Progressing
Not there yet
Superior
Good
Fair
Needs work
Excellent
Good
Needs improvement
Unacceptable
Sophisticated
Highly competent
Fairly competent
Not yet competent

DEVELOP INDICATORS OF QUALITY.


Incomplete 
On the way
More is needed

Anything is better than "unacceptable."

LINK TO THIS TABLE