You can just sit there

percolator

Image: WeCoffee

You do not have to be doing all the time. You don’t have to always be trying new technology, software, ideas. Sometimes you just have to sit with what you have. Your brain and mind learn from repetition and practice and an opportunity to engage with educational theory. You have to allow time for the new things you have been learning to percolate into your system and practice so they take hold as real change and knowledge. It’s the action of repetition which then leads to refinement because you are thinking about what you are doing and then have the time and space to improve and enhance. In many respects it is the theory of games. You go over and over certain aspects of the game until you have mastered the skills and ideas. Then you level up and take on new knowledge and ideas and work on those. It is no different with classroom technology. There has to be time where you just do what you do with technology so you can see how to get the best out of it and then know what you are looking for next or can embrace the next stage in implementing a different approach , idea or device with technology. ReSit therepetition and practice then  talking about it , sharing, lead to growth.

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The Seinfeld Guide to Bloom’s Taxonomy

I use Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy all the time. It is stuck on my filing cabinet in my classroom.  I have been a bit of a fan of Bloom’s Taxonomy ever since I heard about it. With technology there are so many ways to represent Bloom’s Taxonomy. A version for every learning style and approach. Zaidlearn has a great collection of the digital versions of Bloom’s Technology. I am also a bit of a fan of Seinfeld  so this version of the taxonomy appeals to me. There was a Seinfeld episode where George does the opposite to free himself as a person and it is one which has stuck in my mind .It has given me a great way of changing myself when I am stuck and can’t think of anything else.

Matching expectations

As an educator this slide presentation gave me something to think about. There are times when the generations clash in a classroom with regard to technology and this slide presentation made me think about it more as a mismatch of expectations rather than a clash. It need not be about a power struggle nor position bargaining. A lot of the problems in schools with regard to technology could well be related to what we expect – as teachers, as students, as administrators. Do we expect school use to be the same as home use? Should school use be brought in line with work place use? Do we change our expectations of IT according to our age, culture, gender, personality? Should we just use technology just because it is technology? The slide presentation looks at ways of managing expectations to ensure successful outcomes so maybe we need to look at this more closely. It is one of the reasons I have been trying to encourage the use of mobile technology with the younger students. They do have an expectation it will be part of their day. We need to look at the expectations of staff and students and see whether they are reasonable, rational, acceptable…whatever we want to think …in an educational environment. A lot of that means we have to talk, discuss and look at the options and implementation.

TeFL Domain 3 Challenge 4

Are we sharing and reflecting? Sharing how we learn and go about something has to be adopted and developed as second nature. For some it might seem as time wasting because it’s not directly about content, but if you do it properly, the sharing and reflecting will deepen a student’s capacity to actively use and build on content. You are giving them tools to think about it and strategies for processing. Some of our courses have reflection built into them but the challenge here is to stop students making broad generalisations and trotting out platitudes. They need to be guided to think about impact, change and how their knowledge can be used and developed. Twiducate has become a regular habit for engaging students in reflection and exploration of ideas and they love it. They respond readily. Another thing I do is bring them examples of what I want them to do and get them to have a critical look at them. What do they think is good? What do they find is offputting? What annoys them? What could be improved and how? They are slow to respond because they do not like to critique work, but once they get going – and I usually use the 3 good things and 3 things which could be better – to get them going, they warm to it. We then look more closely at technique and skill and I find they are more attentive that way because they want to be good. I also find that oral presentations with a multimedia approach make students far more aware of what can be really engaging and what can really put you off. Again, afterwards, we look at some tips and tricks to make things better. They live in a visual world. It is important to show them and let them see for themselves how something can be good if uses skill and expertise. Over time they realise that slapdash isn’t a good approach. The important thing about sharing and reflecting together is that it strengthens good students and reinforces their skills and knowledge but it also offers ideas and approaches to students who struggle. Bit by bit they can pick up on ideas and strengthen themselves without being humiliated or shown up.

TfEL Domain 3 Challenge 3

Have you noticed their effort and commitment? Challenge One is here. Challenge 2 is here. This challenge is a little bit harder than it looks. Times have changed , as have students . The internet challenges I used to get completed in a double lesson have had to extend to 2 double lessons this year. I was watching why the students were so “slow”. They weren’t being slow. They were being exceptionally thorough in their research. It was important to them they had exactly what they wanted and that they understood what they were choosing to answer the questions. They were also stopping to read information properly instead of just meeting my requirements. I praised them for that approach and gave them the extra time. I often use Twiducate to get feedback about assignments so that I can better understand how students have approached an assignment and so that I can better see what they value. It is also important to build reflection into as assignment. I have learned just recently that my year 8s are not as good at research as I had thought and so something I set them was hard but they had tried to complete it in their own way. It is important to stand back and think because students have a lot of ways of doing things these days and plenty of ways of getting on the wrong track. I am now very mindful to get them started in the right place and offer the next step.

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