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Showing posts from September, 2015

What are some 21st Century Innovations every class can achieve?

Recently I have been challenged to look at pedagogy to discover some 21st Century Innovations that were not just based on technology and could be applied to a majority of classrooms.
Video The use of video in the context of a lesson has significant impacts on both content retention and student engagement with McInerney  and McInerney (1998, p.166-167) claiming that the technology provides students with ‘greater control over their own learning’ with benefits amounting to enhanced understanding resulting in ‘self-confidence, independence and autonomy’ within learning experiences. In the realm of language education, a key component across all key learning areas (KLA), Mejia (1999) extols the use of video as ‘valuable tool that can enhance a classroom experience’ through the acquisition and development of ‘listening, speaking and writing skills’ and using multiple ‘playbacks’, activities that include independent, group and whole class situations can elicit successful outcomes through ‘plann…

What are Mystery Locations & Why?

Mystery Locations is an educational game where your class uses GHO or Skype with another class somewhere else in the world. The goal is for each class to determine where the other is located using critical thinking, collaboration and geography skills.
Why Mystery Locations? According to Paul Solarz (2013) “Reasons to Do a Mystery Skype” are numerous: Geography Skills Critical Thinking Skills Listening & Speaking Skills Student Directed Student Resourcefulness Collaboration Global Community of Learners Future Partnerships Authentic Purpose for Research Supports and links to the Curriculum Connecting Classrooms around the World Whilst this video is promoted by Skype it gives educators a snapshot of the educational benefits of Mystery Locations.

Ways to Play Within my educational context I have used 3 particular styles to play. 20 questions - recommended for beginners and younger children. Students prepare 20 questions and 5-10 clues.

The Not Perfect Hat Club

Earlier this year I was blessed to connect with Jena Ball and Marty Keltz founders of Criterkin. Jena was an author of numerous children's books and Marty an Emmy award winning producer. As part of this conversation I was exposed to an initiative they they were working on. Their goal was to create a movement that taught emotional intelligence and shows the importance of relationships. This plan was well thought out and put together with the intention to engage a variety of younger audiences.

As the year went on I had multiple virtual visits with Jena and Marty. Jena while she was writing would come and meet my class, sharing the opening chapters of the Not Perfect Hat Club. As expected my class was delighted to meet a published author, which instantly improved their own creativity in writing but the surprising element was how quickly they took on the message Jena had to share. They were able to empathise with Newton, a well breed but abandoned golden retriever. They connected his …

Learning Spaces

The next paradigm shift that is going to take in education in Australia will be the ready adoption of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) taught in a holistic and blended way. As part of this shift, makerspaces are going to become more common to allow students ways to express understanding and knowledge in practical and physical ways. They will use cardboard and craft, electronics, computer based tech as well as robotics and blended learning to achieve this (Cooper 2013).

The Makerlab (an alternate name for the makerspace area) will be spaces or units where school budgets will be directed towards sparkfun kits, littlebits, makeymakeys and Ardinos. They will also provide students access to smart robotics for enrichment and reinforcement. These spaces are being designed to shift students understanding by moving to teach students about physical computing and how all things work in processes and systems. These understandings can be easily seen through active part…