Donald Schon (Schön) – learning, reflection and change

Donald Schon on learning and the loss of the stable state

The loss of the stable state means that our society and all of its institutions are in continuous processes of transformation. We cannot expect new stable states that will endure for our own lifetimes.

We must learn to understand, guide, influence and manage these transformations. We must make the capacity for undertaking them integral to ourselves and to our institutions.

We must, in other words, become adept at learning. We must become able not only to transform our institutions, in response to changing situations and requirements; we must invent and develop institutions which are ‘learning systems’, that is to say, systems capable of bringing about their own continuing transformation.

via Donald Schon (Schön) – learning, reflection and change.


VoiceThread as a Digital Portfolio « TeachingSagittarian

VoiceThread as a Digital Portfolio

I’ve been twittering the past several weeks about using VoiceThread as a digital portfolio for our Student-Led Conferences this semester.

In the past, my students have used Photostory3 to show and talk about their learning as a starting point for their Student Led Conference with their parents. I’m now teaching in a mac school so Photostory3 was not an option. After considering iMovie (and all of it’s amazing features) I felt that it had too many features that might be distracting for what I wanted. The ease at which a mac allows you to record your voice, and video using the inbuilt webcam and mic was still going to be the foundation of recording our learning but I still needed to find a suitable platform. A wiki was a consideration and then the brainwave of VoiceThread appeared in my head late one night!

The more I considered VoiceThread, the more it’s interactive features appealed to me. Using Photostory3 meant a final product. Nothing more added, no room for comment by parents and unless you sent the exported movie file, or embedded it on a wiki, no way for other family members in different parts of the country or in other parts of world, to see it.

Using VoiceThread was easy! We’ve already used it several times this year, so the “tool” and how to use it was already established. Here’s the step by step organisation we used to complete a digital protfolio for each student in Room202.

Step 1:

Sign up students for an individual account each in VoiceThread.

via VoiceThread as a Digital Portfolio « TeachingSagittarian.

Undergrads Who Twitter May Do Better, Study Finds

The students who used Twitter showed a significantly greater increase in learning engagement than those in the control group. Twitter not only increased students’ contact with instructors, but also with one another, making it possible for them to support one another in a virtual learning community, the study authors pointed out.

The Twitter group also had higher grade-point averages at the end of the semester.

via Undergrads Who Twitter May Do Better, Study Finds.

Flip, Skype and iPad find everyday usage in Lisa Boeglin’s class at Scott Elementary » Evansville Courier & Press

Flip, Skype and iPad find everyday usage in Lisa Boeglin’s class at Scott Elementary » Evansville Courier & Press.

Boeglin and her class Skype twice a week. Local authors read their books over it. Parents join in “Happy Birthday” songs because of it. A girl even met her newborn brother over it.

The girl’s father Skyped from the hospital less than two hours after her brother was born.

Boeglin also uses Skype for her “Math Problem of the Week.” A guest gives the children a math problem that relates to a real issue — I have three cans of corn and she has one. How many do we have together? — and the children Skype their answer two days later.

Survey: Teachers choose technology over textbooks

A recent U.K. survey finds that nearly 70% of teachers believe that classroom technology is more important to teaching and student learning than the use of textbooks, and about 30% of teachers believe textbooks will eventually disappear from classrooms. The joint survey by the e-Learning Foundation and the Times Educational Supplement also finds that teachers assume that students have access to the Internet at home, which may leave those without such access at a disadvantage. Telegraph (London) (11/12)

Marshmellow Challenge

Great video on teams working together to construct the tallest structure out of spaghetti, tape, string and marshmallow.  Key lesson is to spend more time on the process of design; constructing prototypes versus jumping ahead to implementation.   When designing anything, focus on the process and iterative stages in order to reach a successful “tada” moment.

marshmallow Challenge