Friday, June 22, 2018

Modern Learning Environments and screen time - pros and cons / project based and personalized learning / is evaluation harmful ?

Too many experts
Education Readings

By Allan Alach

Every week Bruce Hammonds and I collect articles to share with teachers to encourage a creative approach to teaching and learning. I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

The Snares And Delusions Of Education Research

In the end, when it comes to research, only one thing matters. Does it work when a teacher uses it in her classroom?If the question comes down to, "What are you going to believe--the research or your own eyes?" most teachers know which one they're going to choose.’

Dare we disturb the universe?
‘Those who have worked in schools will know the timetable controls everything – who learns what,
when and with whom. Often in schools, the person who wields the most power is the one who is in charge of timetabling. Get that wrong and the system ends up coming to a grinding halt.’
With Student Trauma, It’s OK to Set Boundaries
Student trauma impacts teachers, too. Taking care of yourself isn’t a necessity its a luxury
‘As educators on the frontlines, teachers regularly encounter students who have experienced
significant hardships in their homes and communities. But psychologists and mental health practitioners say that the impact of trauma goes beyond the kids and reaches into the lives of educators who work closely with them day to day.’

Modern teaching trends a “monstrous threat to social justice”
A recommended read.
Some of today’s school settings, typified by open-concept classrooms and heavy use of digital devices, are “downright dangerous and causing harm”, according to a leading New Zealand educationalist.’ Kevin Knight

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

Stephen Newnham – in defence of 21st century learning
Another recommended read - a response to the above article about modern teaching
‘I believe there is some validity to what Mr Knight says, but bundling open plan learning environments,
pedagogy, use of digital devices, and collaboration together under the banner of 21stC learning
and labeling it 'monstrous' with little data to support this claim is using a very blunt chisel to carve out
a complex argument, specially when his chosen target in low decile schools in east Christchurch.

Children, Learning, and the 'Evaluative Gaze' of School
How a watched pot loses the desire to boil.
My mother looked up from the sink where she was doing the dishes. “What’s that?” she said.
I looked at her and announced: 
“I just realized that you should never do anything you love for school, because that will make you hate it!”’

EdTech is Driving Me Crazy, Too
So, yeah, the current crop of ed tech “solutions” is driving me a bit mad because they’re not solutions at all. They’re masking the problem. Which unfortunately seems to be what we want. Because treating the real problem is
“more than we can handle at this point.”’

Screens in schools: The good news
‘Australian schools have leapt feet first into the age of digital learning. Our classrooms hold the world’s record for the highest daily usage of the internet,
and virtually every Australian student uses a computer at school. But is there any evidence that our technology-filled classrooms are actually producing better outcomes for our kids? Actually, there is. Quite a bit, in fact. Here’s a round-up of some of the recent findings.'

Lingering Fears from Outdated Screen Time Recommendations Stunt Parent Buy-In
‘I know what screen time can look like when it is not optimized for learning. But over the past two years,
as our district has rolled out our 1:1 device initiative to an increasing number of grade levels, I have also witnessed the benefits that some types of screen time can have on learners.

11 Powerful Characteristics of Adaptable Learners
Most of what is learned in the traditional approach to school is not adaptable learning. It is
discrete learning. It's focused on a specific body of knowledge and isn't
always transferable to new situations. Yesterday's learning is in silos with distinct separation among the disciplines.It's the type of learning that was useful in a world where you could train for a profession
and be assured of relative stability in that profession for many years.
Gone are those days.’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Transforming schools through Project Based Learning (PBL).
'American educationalist Thom Markham is an enthusiast for Project Based Learning (PBL)
and believes that the most important innovation schools can implement is high quality project basedlearning. He provides seven important design principles for teachers to ensure project based
learning is of the
highest quality.’

Inquiry based learning -an approach to personalised learning.
The paper describes and explores the key elements of an approach to personalised learning which
is rooted in student experience and choice, learning shaped by the learner's interests which is rooted by their curiosity and purpose. The approach to pedagogy described takes seriously the 'self hood' of the learner while at the same time not abandoning the rigour of specialist knowledge in the various subject fields.’

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