Mar 16, 2019

How to Immediately Implement Dynamic Learning? #shakeuplearning

To Implement Dynamic Learning it is important to keep the characteristics in mind.




Here are a few examples, and many more example lessons are available on https://shakeuplearningbook.com/ and the free quick start guide available here https://shakeuplearning.com/blog/shake-learning-free-quickstart-guide/

Characteristic 

Beyond the bell
Beyond the grade level and subject

Strategies 
Students help set learning goals
Vision board
Tracking goals 
Design thinking process
Genius Hour
Maker project

In my mind, this is similar to Backwards Design or planning with the end in mind. Think about the learning objectives, the characteristics, and the 4 C’s mentioned earlier (and discussed here).

Start small, and reflect. Make gradual changes! Small steps add up, and we can think about ways to take our learning objectives and include more Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, or Critical Thinking, or to take learning Beyond the traditional boundaries.

There are some fantastic examples here of how to do this with the G Suite.

Here is another excellent resource that helps to pull these pieces together.

Mar 2, 2019

What is Superior about Dynamic Learning? #shakeuplearning

What is Superior about Dynamic Learning? #shakeuplearning 

Shake up learning calls for learning activities that go beyond one and done activities. Learning can (and perhaps should) break the boundaries of the school day, due dates, and the prescribed curriculum.

Shake up learning calls for learning activities that go beyond one and done activities.   Learning can (and perhaps should) break the boundaries of the school day, due dates, and the prescribed curriculum.


This new style of learning and teaching involves the following:

Risk-taking

It is important to model risk-taking and teach students to face their fears.
  • FAIL = first attempt in learning
  • This can be taught through modeling, explicit teaching, and asking questions that don’t have just one right answer.
  • This can also be reinforced through teaching about famous failures, and those who have overcome a difficulty. 

Breaking barriers and bad habits

  • Real learning can happen anywhere, anytime, and is driven by interests and curiosity
  • Real learning is not one size fits all
  • Grades should represent understanding and learning, not compliance

Always learning

  • Learning can happen at a variety of times and places, not only in a traditional lesson in the classroom. 
  • This involves teaching students how to find answers on their own
  • How to curate resources
  • How to search effectively
  • Troubleshooting. When students have difficulty finding something, or you have difficulty with a resource, use this as a teachable moment! 
  • Learning can be a la carte and publicly available - Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook groups, etc

Sharing your voice/connect

  • Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and your work, as well as your students’ work. This doesn’t mean that you are claiming to be an expert but is a reflection of your learning and your talents.
  • Share through Social media, Twitter, blogs and develop a personal learning network

Unleashing creative thinking

  • Do not give a formula for an activity
  • Use activities that are more open ended
  • Authentic learning experiences, out of the box projects that don’t have just one correct answer

Going global - share student work with an authentic audience

  • Publish work rather than turn in or build online portfolios
  • Use hashtags to find the audience
  • Google hangouts and skype

Empowering students

  • Learning experiences that are more personalized
  • Choices - choose devices/tools/topics/readings/goals, etc… use menus?
  • Encourage curiosity
“Ask students what problems they want to solve, rather than what they want to be when they grow up!”

Dynamic Learning is characterized by constant change. It grows and evolves along with the learner collaborating, creating, and communicating to demonstrate progress. It extends beyond the traditional boundaries.

For more information, check out this podcast and this infographic, as well as the website Shake Up Learning.
 

Feb 16, 2019

Why is it so important to Focus on Dynamic Learning? #shakeuplearning


Why is it so important to change the way that we teach?

I have been lucky enough to be part of a professional development book circle on the book Shake Up Learning! By Kasey Bell.  I want to share with you some of my biggest takeaways, in a series of 3 posts. 
Shake Up Learning

The book is available here.  Kasey also offers many additional resources on her website https://shakeuplearning.com/, the webpage companion to the book https://shakeuplearningbook.com/ and her Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/shakeuplearning/ (as well as other social media).  These are fantastic resources, that I absolutely recommend that you check out on your own.  I am just glossing over the highlights, and her resources are fantastic!

However, as I am processing all that I have learned in this PD, I wanted to share it with you.  

Why is it time to Shake Up Learning??

At this time, in the 21st century, we are at a tipping point, or a change point in education and in learning.  So many resources and so much information is at our fingertips all the time! 

This change doesn’t start with technology but starts with the way people and students learn.  Technology can be a tool to help reach these goals.  

Think back on the history of education. (What is the Purpose of Education?) The purpose of education, originally, was a factory model. It was designed to create a labor force and to create students who are prepared to go into the workforce.

Our needs and the goals of education have changed. The needs of the workforce have changed. We no longer just need compliant laborers, we need problem-solvers and workers who can think creatively, and work more independently.

The educational system is broken and ready for a change.  Many of us know this. It’s time to Shake Up Learning.

Technology has changed the way we learn


In this day and age, anything we want to learn is at our fingertips.  We can quickly and easily connect with people across the world. We can instantly record video and show it live to anyone in the world. 

We can listen to podcasts, read blogs, look up journal articles instantly, etc.

Think about when and how you have recently learned something. How did you do it?  Did you pick up up a book?  Go to a library?  Or did you search online?  Connect with people in a group or discussion board? Was social media part of your learning process?

The Rise of the Entrepreneur


People are no longer working at just one job for their careers and being provided with benefits and security.  It is much more common for people to change jobs, etc. than it was in the past.  What worked previously isn’t working today.  Rather than the skills that were needed in the past, students need different skills now, such as curiosity, problem-solving, perseverance, risk-taking, ownership of learning, becoming resilient, creativity, dig in, develop grit. 

We need to find ways to teach these skills in our classes.  We need to have students producing their own work and practicing these skills. 

The Role of Technology


Technology is not a solution, but it is a tool.   It depends on what students do with the apps and technology.    Technology can be used in many ways to practice these skills and to engage students.  Students can (and should be) creating original product types, having the choice, etc.  They are going to be online and using the technology. We need to teach them to use it productively and improve their skills.   Ideally, when planning and working with technology, the Shake Up Learning text says that we should incorporate the Four C’s - critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.  Students are going to be online and using the technology.  Part of our job is to teach them to use it effectively and educationally. (more information on that thought process here).

Feb 2, 2019

Kinetic and Potential Energy Interactive Guide

Kinetic and Potential Energy Interactive Guide



I wanted to share a web resource with you that recently was brought to my attention. It is a really unique guide to potential and kinetic energy that includes interactive activities, examples, and plenty of sources for more information.

This would be a great resource to use to do a Webquest or other lesson with your students.   

This guide invites readers to learn more about all forms of kinetic and potential energy by using interactive graphics.  As you transition through the resource, each form of energy is broken down and explained in further detail.   The main content covered is outlined below: 

Potential energy is broken down into four types:

·        Chemical potential energy is present in every animate and inanimate object. Chemicals in a battery can be converted into motion, giving them chemical potential energy. 
·        Elastic potential energy is found when an object is in a deformed state but can be returned to a static state. This object is said to have elastic potential energy when it is either stretched or compressed. 
·        Nuclear potential energy is comprised of the force binding protons and neutrons because it causes the atom to weigh less than the sum of its parts. 
·        Gravitational potential energy is the ability for an object to do work in relation to a gravitational field. 

Kinetic energy can be broken down into four types as well:

·        Mechanical kinetic energy is observed when an object is in motion.
·        Electrical kinetic energy is seen when the electrical current carries the charge from a battery to the light bulb. 
·        In thermal kinetic energy, an object’s temperature can be transferred by convection, conduction, and radiation. 
·        In magnetic kinetic energy, magnetic fields are the effect of electric currents and the strength of attraction or repulsion on an object. 

Kinetic and potential energy also can work in harmony. All forms of kinetic energy are derived from a previous state of potential energy. An example is the chemical potential energy from a battery that is converted to electrical kinetic energy and transported to the bulb to produce light, which radiates thermal kinetic energy.




Jan 19, 2019

IGIST Aim Far!



Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for writing this review

I want to share a book with you that is particularly relevant and engaging to middle school readers.  The book, IGIST, is available here, is recently published.  It is geared more towards girls, but I gave it to my twelve-year-old son to read first. 

The book can be read like a traditional book, or through an app!  The app still contains the content, but also additional interactive features.  It is called an ‘immersive novel.’ This is sure to engage more reluctant readers, by allowing them to be part of the story and interact with the story in a new and different way.   You can check it out at https://igist.com/ 

So, why was this book created??   The author mentioned that in the past science fiction writing has inspired inventors and scientists. However, many of these famous pieces of literature focus on men and are somewhat outdated now.  

This book is part of a series where “there is a strong, smart female version of Tom Swift in order to inspire my daughters but hopefully more young women (and everyone) that they can be a great inventor and a scientist.” -- LS Larson, Author of IGIST

My Son’s Review

As I mentioned, I first gave it to my son to read:  He loved it!  He actually likes to read but is a pretty picky reader. He texted me from school during the day to tell me how much he loved the book! 

He says his favorite part was when the main character got into IGIST and was so happy about it.  He recommends this book for teens and older tweens, as well as anyone who likes Science,  Science Fiction, or Fantasy.  He thinks that while it would be appropriate for younger kids, they would not as much out of it. 

He gives this book an overall score of 8/10 because the story was good and exciting to follow, and it also showed character traits such as determination and problem-solving, as well as confidence, in the main character.  


My Thoughts: 

As a female science educator, I love the idea of a novel with a strong female teen character. When possible, I love to try to bring different gender, age and racial role models for students. The idea of being able to do this through a book is fantastic.  Then on top of that, the creation of an app really makes it unique! Kids are used to interacting with the world around them in such different ways now that an app is a perfect way to engage young people and draw them into a story even if they might not traditionally be a reader.   I hope this book can encourage many more kids to be interested in science.


Jan 7, 2019

5 Days of New Year Science Cheer! Sign Up to Receive Gifts


If you aren't on my email list, use this opportunity to sign up! 

Click here!

A group of science teachers are hosting 5 Days of New Year Cheer this week!  This is not a random raffle or giveaway, there are deals everyday this week. Friday all email subscribers will receive a huge gift from myself and the other science teachers. BUT this is only for email subscribers, so get on the list before Friday!


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