So. It's been another big week here.
Today has seen us get our first FRONT COVER story for @teachingtimes' School Leadership Today. There are over 5000 subscribers so we are hoping that people enjoy it. The Editor does and has even asked us to pen another piece for her. Great news, eh? For a sneak look at our article on 'Teaching in a Global Classroom' please click here. Here are some pictures for the nosey ones of you out there!
Also, Julie has just had her radio interview with Houston Public Media posted online. Based on our work with the Harvard Research Project, Julie was interviewed about our app guide for families. To listen to her (and I suggest that you do!), please follow this link.
Hope you enjoy this!
If you have any views on working in a global classroom or using technology for engaging families, please contact us or pop a post below.
Here at TechnoTeaching we are obsessed with the benefits of global education. Today I learned about a new initiative called “The Global Project.” It turns out that Mrs. Wideen, one of the talented teachers whose blog I read regularly, is taking on “The Global Project” with her students.
With the goal of “making the world better,” Mrs. Wideen asked her students to “identify a need, create a plan, and then reflect the outcome.”
You’ll want to read her account of how a drive to collect hats and mittens led to students learning about a project in Haiti (The Children’s Home) that children in poverty attend school.
Mrs. Wideen’s main goal is to “prove that you don’t have to be rich, or famous, or old to make a difference.” Through Kids Create Change, children can identify a need they want to address and then go for it.
For more information, share your ideas with Mrs. Wideen and other educators from all over at #kidscancreatechange. If you send documentation by April 13th, your project can be part of a collaborative book that Mrs. Wideen aims to create by the end of the 2015 school year. Drop us a line as well, via LinkedIn, to let us know about your students’ project.
As you may know, I do a lot of work around parental engagement. One question that keeps being raised it how home can continue the learning outside of the classroom. As well as ‘traditional’ apps for gaming, there are also those that can promote productive talk, remote reading with your family and even ones that enable parents to be directly involved in a student’s exam revision. Here are a few to get you started.
Reading with a child is something that technology can help with - even if they are not in the same room. There are two great apps that support this. Reado and Kindoma allow you to read with your child - remotely. This means that you can model how to read with a parent and a child when they are at home. Or if the parents want a way for Nanna to read - using her iPad - these are also great.
The two most popular apps for exam-aged students are Gojimo and RevisionApp. The former covers more age groups, including SATs and both the 11 and 13+ exams. There is a way for teachers to login and monitor the students’ progress - and there is no reason why parents couldn’t also do this. RevisionApp however is geared more for parents and there are “detailed parent feedback and progress reports” offered.
If you have any that you would add to this list, we would love to hear from you!
I realized the other day that Nic and I haven’t shared what we call our “TechnoTeaching Manifesto” with you. Well it’s high time.
Manifesto is an awfully formal word. But in a way we mean to be formal. These are the core beliefs of our practice. We hope that one or more will inspire you to think about and even re-envision your practice.
Soooo - Number 9 = Let’s hear from you. Write to us on LinkedIn to share your ideas, either Julie and/or Nicole, or please comment below. What have we missed? What would you add for 2015?
Some of you will remember that Nic and I took an Educational Leadership MOOC (a Massive Open Online Course) last summer through edX. Nic recounted her experience on our TechnoTeachers website and on Innovate My School.
Since then, many people have asked us what we think about MOOCs. Aren’t they going to replace college classrooms, and wouldn’t that be too bad? We know college tuition is painfully expensive, but do we really want to turn the next generation of students into automatons, learning at their computers, but without the valuable sorts of connections you can make at a University? And will the certificates students earn gain the respect of people in various organizations?
The answer seems to be No, No, and Yes. That is, while thinking about these three questions, I came across this article: “What MOOCs Teach Us” in MIT Technology Review (Jan./Feb. 2016). It is based on an interview with Daphne Koller, the cofounder and president of Coursera. She’s in a good position to weigh in, given that Coursera is one of the premier providers of MOOCs, with over 80 top universities and organizations. Here’s what she said.
In a nutshell, research findings about Coursera show that only 15 percent of the people who take courses are college age. The rest are either people who just want to know more about specialized subjects, or they are working adults who want to increase their skillset by taking courses (the latter make up roughly 50 percent of all students). As Koller points out, many people today experience a “skills gap.” Why? “The world around us is changing rapidly, and many of the skills you need today—data science, mobile apps, digital marketing—didn’t even exist a decade ago,” Koller explains. So true! I’m relieved to know there is a name for what I’m experiencing—“a skills gap.” And I suspect that many of you are also learning how to adapt to rapid changes every day.
As for the value of MOOC credentials in the real world, a recent study by RTI International shows that such certificates are gaining respect every day, with 73 percent of hiring managers saying they regard MOOC certificates positively - both for the skills learned, and the tenacity on the part of learners to complete a course.
So, all 21st century learners, what do you think about MOOCs. Are you ready to try taking one in the new year? Were you thinking about something in the educational field—or perhaps one in history or the arts? Write to us on LinkedIn and let us know.
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This is where Jules and Nic will post articles, links to interesting sites and things that we think our TechnoTeachers will like.