Monday, April 15, 2019

Module 7: Learning Spaces

Developing Learning Spaces is becoming increasingly important.  You will have the opportunity to identify the learning space that you want to create and then design it.

What ARE You Thinking?

What do you consider when you are thinking about creating a new learning space.  This short video takes you on a journey through the mind of a Learning Space designer at the University of Oklahoma.

Try It with YOUR classroom: 

What can you do with your own classroom?  Jennifer Gonzalez (Cult of Pedagogy) shares 12 ways to Upgrade Your Classroom Design.

In-Class Activity: As a design team, break into a Zoom breakout room and progress through the steps 12 ways.  Discuss how you would apply this to your personal classroom or workspace.  We will share our ideas after we come back together.

What are the Effects of Changing Your Space?  

How does it affect how your students work?  How does it affect how you work?   Listen to this CoolCatTeacher podcast where she interviews a middle-school English teacher about what changes she made in her classroom, what it cost, and what effect it had on her students. 
My Kids Hate their Desks! (and What I did about it!)

What about on a GRANDer Scale?

Now that you have Changing Learning Spaces on your mind.  Review these books to learn more about what you can do with $100,000.  You will be charged to create a unique learning space for your final project.  Develop insight about what is possible.

This is an introductory booklet that explores transforming learning spaces. It includes Entrances, Teaching Spaces, Vocational Teaching Spaces, Learning Centers, and Social Spaces

Research on Learning Space Design: Present State, Future Direction
This document reviews the research on how learning spaces affect learning success. This review explores both formal and informal learning spaces.  Ultimately, it provides an overview of learning space design research.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Module 6: Universal Design for Learning/Assistive Technologies

The world isn't equally accessible to all people. There are many challenges that we have to be able to function and succeed in our worldly activities.  In the past, people have tended to emphasize the deficits in others' ability to function in the world. This has led to always talking about people being handicapped and disabled. This can cause a great divide between groups. 

Here is a TED Talk (TEDMED) video of Emilee Mullins who talks about what the term, disabled, means to her. She is a double amputee who is an Olympian runner and motivational speaker.  This will cause you to rethink your perspective of what it means to be called "disabled."

Having Special Needs
Consider, if you will, that all humans have special needs. It is just a matter of degree. It might be the need for glasses for reading, the need for an auditory reader because someone has vision problems or the need for alternate means of communicating because someone has Lou Gehrig's disease or cerebral palsy.  As we get older, we might review articles on our computer screens at 150% so that they are easier to read.  It's all a matter of degree.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a combination of pedagogy and technique that acknowledges the different levels of needs. UDL uses brain-based research to identify the need for addressing multiple methods of representation, expression and engagement of learners with information and knowledge. It involves instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments. 

The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) is a leader in the field of UDL. Here is 5-minute introductory video on UDL.

UDL is all about presenting new ideas through different perspectives. Here is a Canadian Star Trek video perspective about UDL. Watch this and decide if it is an effective method for representing information in another format.

How do you feel about UDL now?  Did you understand what the videos were trying to convey?  Was one video more effective than the other?  Is it enough to just represent information in a different manner or does design play into the situation as well?

For Visual Learners, this UDL Infographic depicts the various cognitive areas of UDL, applications and resources that you may find useful in your classroom. 

The Difference between Universal Design for Learning and Traditional Education
So what is the difference between UDL and K-12 Traditional Education?  You need to understand that before you can even hope to implement it into your classroom.  The Understood Team created a useful chart to compare the two approaches.  Review it with your classroom (or learning/teaching experience) in mind. It addresses a number of aspects including focus, accommodations, classroom setup, and grading.    

Differentiated Learning
Recognizing that students have varying backgrounds, levels of readiness, preferences in learning, and interests is important if you are going to be able to address their needs. You will need to Differentiate your teaching styles to address their learning needs. You try to meet students where they are from an educational perspective. UDL is a strategy that is based upon differentiated learning and teaching. Read this article, Differentiated Instruction and Implications for UDL Implementation, to see how these strategies work together.

Assistive Technology
While UDL involves strategies to benefit all learners, Assistive Technologies (AT) are devices (some electronic and some not) that increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. UDL is a teaching practice while AT is something that you can touch. 

There are many Types of Assistive Technologies. (These technologies are grouped by manufacturers but they are explained on each of the websites.)  Not all AT are electronic, but this list includes a variety of ways that people can interact with technology to function in the world. They may involve input devices that control computers using a variety of methods. They may be output devices that allow computers to communicate with people through Braille, voice, visual representation or even physical activity. 

Examples of UDL and Assistive Technologies

iPads in the Special Ed Classroom
This is a blog run by a special education educator. This page is a treasure-trove of resources. It explains a variety of benefits of using tablets (yes, I know that it is iPad-based, but think "tablet") as computing tools for students. These are from the teacher's, student's and education's points of view. Explore the many resources in the right column as well.

Universal Design in the Workplace
Universal Design can refer to learning or it can refer to accessibility in the workplace. This can mean a great deal when we want to make the workplace a welcoming environment for people with special needs. While UDL has 3 areas of implementation, UDW (UD in the Workplace) has 3 as well: 1) Workplace environment, 2) Workplace technologies, and 3) Workplace policies and tasks.

UDL Resources at the CAST UDL Exchange
UDL Resources can be difficult to find, share and use in your classroom. CAST has developed an exchange where for storing UDL Resources, Lessons and Collections (of Lessons). You can go here to find the tools you want to use or it provides you with the templates to create these for your use and to share with others.  

How Do We Apply Universal Design for Learning?
Now that you have been introduced to UDL and experienced the needs for using such strategies, the question remains about "How to implement UDL strategies." The Readings and Watchings that you just completed will provide a strong foundation for the activities that you will be completing for your assignment.

Return to your eLearning Module 6 to receive your specifics for the Assignment.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Module 5: Digital Citizenship

What is Digital Citizenship? 

Being a digital citizen raises the responsibility level for everyone involved.  Watch this introductory video to begin to develop a background in digital citizenship.

Children who are on the web need to be careful about who they meet, how they meet them and what they share.

Parents need to make students aware of the dangers that lurk on the web as well as share with them the wealth of information that is theirs for the taking.

Richard Culatta, CEO of ISTE, challenges educators to take Digitial Citizenship to the next level. He is proposing that it can be more than acting properly on the web.  He talks about a number of ways that social media can be used to better the world.

Teachers need to incorporate Internet safety into their curriculum and make it part of their everyday program.

Here are some resources for learning about Digital Citizenship:

Common Sense Media
This is a great resource for all sorts of media online and off. Common Sense Media's mission is to "empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology."  They provide reviews about movies, television shows, books, apps, and games.  Beyond reviewing media, they create extensive curricula that can be used in the classroom.

Provides a variety of resources about Digital Citizenship.  They have identified 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship as the norms of appropriate and responsible behavior on the web.
Cyberwise has collected a wealth of resources on Digital Citizenship.  They have sites, books, and even games about digital citizenship.   An interesting perspective is their Digital Citizenship Outdoors pages. 

Throughout this module, you will have an opportunity to explore and plan a digital citizenship program for your school. It is not just for your students. It is one that will include your colleagues, your students, AND their parents.

The intent of this project is to create something that will be applicable to your existing teaching/training situation or might be used when you have your own teaching/training environment.

Begin by going to and register as a member.

You will notice that Common Sense Media is more than just curriculum for teaching internet safety.  You will find that they like to share their opinion on things like movies, games, websites, and apps through their Ratings and Reviews section.  Look at all of the tools that are available in the Common Sense toolbar. Explore this section and consider how you would actively integrate it into Professional Development for Parents and Teachers.

Review the overall mission and opportunities available through Click on the Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum Training Link in the Online Training section.  This page will provide you with an overview of the curriculum, an intro to the parent education modules, and finally an online training about teaching students called Raising Kids in Our Digital Media World.

You are change agents in your schools and training institutions.  You are making a difference by making informed choices and recommendations about building a safe educational learning environment.  Become familiar with online resources such as the Common Sense Media.  

ISTE Digital Citizenship Essential Elements

ISTE has defined 9 Essential Elements of Digitial Citizenship.  These elements define how to best use technology in school, home and the community.

These are grouped into Respect, Educate, and Protect.

ISTE offers a Citizenship in the Digital Age infographic for these 9 essential elements .

You can also download a booklet called Digital Citizenship Defined.
This booklet explains, in detail, each of the elements.  It also provides an assortment of case studies where schools dealt with digital citizenship issues.  It is well worth reading.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Module 4: Triple E Framework

Knowing about how Technology Integration is good, but how do you take it to the next level where your students are fully Engaged?  What can you do with technology to Enhance their learning experience so that it is more meaningful?  How can your lessons Extend beyond the classroom?  These are all goals of Dr. Liz Kolb's Triple E Framework.

   Artwork for #81 Learning First, Technology Second #motivationmondayWe are going to learn about the Triple E Framework this semester and then use it to create lessons that are more meaningful for our students.  We are reading the book and here is a 10-minute Teacher podcast that involves Vicki Davis interviewing Liz Kolb as a foundation for learning the Triple E Framework.

The Learning First, Technology Second book does a good job of explainging the lesson development process.  The Triple E Framework website extends what you find in the book but I find the format easier to understand.  Dr. Kolb has another 10-minute video, Triple E Framework Introduction, that more deeply describes the framework while taking you on a tour of their website. 

I enjoy how she discounts the need for memorizing the 3 questions for each E.  It is important for educators to understand the overall meaning of each of the areas.

As you go through the book, you might benefit from hearing Dr. Kolb review the chapters before you read each chapter.  Admittedly, there are a few chapters that don't need any introduction, but they can help with others.

Here is a link to a set of chapter YouTube videos.  She created these videos as part of a book group she was leading.  

I especially appreciate her Final Reflection video.  She goes beyond the framework to implementing effective learning environments.   Enjoy it.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Module 3: Technology Integration
Integrating digital technologies into your curriculum is much more than just adding a computer to the lesson. Technology must be considered as a tool that will support learning experiences. It must be selected based upon pedagogical needs rather than the other way around.

Effective learning involves challenging learners with situations that are relevant to their lives and are challenging enough to interest them and engage them in the learning process. When educators discuss levels of intellectual challenge, they typically compare higher-order thinking to lower-order thinking.  These terms are best described by using Bloom's Taxonomy.

Thinking Blooms
Bloom's Taxonomy was first published in 1954 when Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues wanted to create a hierarchy of terms that they could use when they were describing various types of questions that they might use on a test.  Since then, the taxonomy has taken on a broader meaning which educators used to also describe educational activities.

In the 1990s, one of Bloom's students, Lorin Anderson, lead a group of cognitive psychologists who reconsidered Bloom's taxonomy and reworked it to reflect 21st century learning. You will notice that the new taxonomy has changed the static verbs to active verbs by adding "ing" to the end. They also removed Synthesis and placed Creating on the top.
While Bloom's Taxonomy is not an emphasis of this module, it is a common ground for all educators. 

Kathy Schrock created a page called Blooomin' Apps.  She provides an interesting graphic where she proposes that Creativity is the main hub of ALL levels of thinking.   

Further down the page, Schrock actually aligns a plethora of online apps with the various Bloom Levels.

Is there any sense in classifying teaching strategies, questions, online tools using an organizer like Bloom's Taxonomy? Can pedagogical activities actually be restricted to one of 6 classifications? Probably not. Grouping tools like these are designed to provide vocabulary for discussions between professionals.  Using these classifications I can distinguish teaching for memorization or developing problem-solving skills.

Adding Technology to the Mix
Technology can be used in a learning environment but will it make a difference? It all depends on HOW technology is used. Like Bloom's Taxonomy, technology can be integrated through a variety of ways. These may include teachers who operate at a basic level by using PowerPoint presentations to support their lecture-driven methods. They also include the teachers who step back and encourage students to use these tools in innovative ways to create new projects and experiences.

The problem has been to find a vocabulary to define these various levels of integration.  Apple Computer sponsored a decade-long research project entitled Apple Classrooms of the Tomorrow (ACOT). This project involved providing technology-rich classrooms by filling them with Apple IIgs computers AND providing one for each of the students' homes (20th century 1:1 computing.)  As they examined the various levels on which teachers used technology, they identified 5 stages including: Entry, Adoption, Adaption, Appropriation, and Innovation.  Please note that these levels of adoption exist in any teaching/learning situation whether it is in corporate, PK-12 or post-secondary settings.

SAMR -  Substitute/Augment/Modify/Redefine
Another model that is popular in schools today is the SAMR model. It was developed by Ruben R. Puentedura, Ph.D. to describe a ladder of implementation that occurs as you integrate technology into your curriculum. 

Here is a video that describes the four levels of SAMR:

Did it make sense?  Would you be able to identify and define the 4 levels of SAMR?
If not, here is a Pinterest board that I found that is dedicated to SAMR.  Did you find anything that better fit your learning style?

How would you match the ACOT 5 stages and the SAMR model?  Do they directly link to one another?

ACOT 5 Stages                             SAMR
Entry                                               Simulation
Adoption                                         Augmentation
Adaption                                         Modification
Appropriation                                  Redefinition

How would YOU compare the ACOT 5 Stages and SAMR?  Explore your ideas using this Google Drawing.  You can't change the original, but you can make a copy of it and then modify it any way you can imagine.

Visit this Sophie tutorial about "Using SAMR to Transform the Classroom" by Tammy Austin.  Watch her video and then take the quiz in the upper right corner as many times as necessary to master the SAMR concept.

Technology Integration Matrix
The key to successful integration requires a system to integrate the research on Learning Environments with what has been learned about technology adoption. In 2005, the Florida Department of Education created their Technology Integration Matrix (TIM).  This is a matrix that uses a series of 5 steps in technology adoption that is similar to the ACOT set.  It also has a set of desired learning environment characteristics which include Active, Collaborative, Constructive, Authentic and Goal-Directed. 

USE THIS MATRIX: While the Florida TIM was the original, I would like to suggest that you savor the  Arizona flavor of this matrix. It is essentially the same but it has video examples sorted by grade level.  Past students have noted that this matrix is easier to understand and use.

Go see Arizona TIM and play around for a while to see what they have to offer.  You will find video examples of lessons and lesson plans for a variety of subjects.

Below is a 13-minute video of an ISTE presentation that describes the Arizona TIM.  It is quite informative.

NOTE: I have been looking for such a matrix that displays this in a corporate training format, but to no avail.

Here is a link to some summary descriptors for the TIM.

Barriers to Technology Integration
Change is not always easy.  Even if innovation can obviously improve learning situations, there are a number of things that can get in the way.  In some cases, it has to do with institutional barriers that get in the way.  Review (look for the highpoints) an article, Barriers to Adopting Emerging Technologies in Education by Rogers.  This article looks at potential problems in the PK-12 as well as the University level schools.

Return to the Module 3 assignment description to see what you can do with all of your newly developed knowledge. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Module 2: Creating 21st Century Learning

The 21st Century Classroom may use technology to enable students to access tools and information, but it isn't what will enable us to reach the needs of our students. We will address our students' needs when we take the time to identify their needs and act accordingly.  

You may have seen Eric Sheninger at ITEC.  He is an accomplished educator who is presently the Director of Technology and Innovation at a school district in New Jersey.  He shares his perspective from a district perspective about what it takes to optimize education today.  How does this compare to what you are doing in your schools?

On a more teacher-oriented basis, here is Kayla Delzer who is sharing how she has reimagined learning and how she addresses it in her 3rd grade classroom.

21st Century Skills
It's been said that if Benjamin Franklin arrived in the 21st century, he would be overwhelmed by the mass of technology and humanity, but would feel "right at home" in a school classroom. Students' needs have changed but we typically have "21st century students being taught by 20th century teachers in 19th century schools."

What is the difference between 20th and 21st century schools? 
Standards are nice, but what is a 21st Century Education, really?  

Tony Wagner in his book, The Global Achievement Gap, states that there are 7 survival skills in Today's Global world.  These skills include:
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Collaboration across Networks and Leading by Influence
  • Agility and Adaptability
  • Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
  • Effective Oral and Written Communication
  • Accessing and Analyzing Information
  • Curiosity and Imagination
These skills can't be taught through textbooks.  They must be learned through active learning in the classroom by the students. Teachers cannot teach knowledge.  They can create situations through which students can learn.  

Learning in our schools must be "Teacher Lead, but Student Driven."

What is the Difference?

A good perspective on 21st Century Learning is shared in by They consider the difference between 21st and 20th Century Learning. Their chart defines the difference on this page.  This discussion is well-considered. They provide a chart that compares 20th Century and 21st Century Learning.

The characteristics begin with:
  • 20th Century Education is teacher-centered with a fragmented curriculum, students working in isolation memorizing facts.
  • 21st Century Education is student-centered with real-live, relevant, collaborative project-based learning.
Take some time to review and digest the rest of the table.  Does it fit your idea of 21st Century Learning?  Does it fit your vision of what you want to see in your classrooms?

Spend some time reading and digesting these ideas throughout the rest of the page. There are many links that join a variety of resources. Follow all of the links and at least review their contents as you build your vision of a 21st Century Classroom.  

What is a 21st Century Educator?
These previous resources have addressed what a 21st Century Educator should do.  But how can they be identified?  Alan November is a writer and educator who has spent his life defining student-centered learning.  He updated interview questions that a principal could ask to see if a prospective educator has an updated perspective of learning and education.  Review his questions and consider how your colleagues would answer them.  Consider how YOU would answer them. 

Interview Questions for New Teachers in 21st Century Schools
by Alan November

Identifying a 21st Century Classroom

Capturing, Sharing and Resolving Perplexity 
I discovered a Math Teacher who captured the essence of 21st Century Learning, Dan Meyer. Dan Meyer is not just any math teacher. He has defined his teaching at the art of dealing with perplexity. He begins his lessons by challenging his students by asking questions and posting problems.  Dan Meyer presented the opening Keynote at the CUE 2014 conference in March. Spend 45 minutes watching his presentation and you may develop a new perspective on teaching.  He talks about how to make learning meaningful for your students by making problems/learning perplexing instead of just engaging.

Characteristics of Student-Centered Classrooms (Iowa Core)
Is your classroom (or classrooms where you are taking classes) student-centered? One of the most important parts of creating 21st Century Classrooms is to make the students active learners in the process. But the question remains, HOW?  You will also find these 5 Characteristics of Effective Instruction useful as you begin to use the following Walkthrough assessment tool.

21st Century Classroom Walkthrough
Principal Shawn Holloway (Manson Northwest Webster in NW, Iowa) talks about assessing effective instruction in his classrooms using a walkthrough procedure. He created a check sheet that he used as a guide in his reviewed what he saw in classes as he Managed By Wandering Around.  

Here is a link to a Google Doc version of this MNW Walkthrough Form
You will use this as a guide for evaluating yourself or a colleague in how you/he/she/them  teaches.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Module 1: Introduction to the Class and New Literacies
Welcome to your RWLD.   This RWLD is your resource page that includes an assortment of Readings, Watchings, Listenings and Doings. This multimedia approach was designed to improve the learning experience in multiple ways:
  • New Gen Learners (Millennial/Gen Y ages 18-35 and Gen Z ages 4 - 17) are able to process multiple forms of input. The RWLD approach provides content that includes text, video, audio, imagery and interactive.
  • Even older learners enjoy differing ways to absorb information. RWLDs address differentiated learning needs as well.
 Your assignments will be found in the eLearning website.  They may be mentioned in the RWLD, but the real instructions are on each of the assignment sheets.

This will be an exciting semester.  The modules will be released as time progresses, so you won't be able to review the whole course content at this introduction.  

Let's begin by reviewing some of the resources we will be using.   These are not your assignments for this week, they are just an opportunity for you to review some of what we will be using.
This week explore the concept of New Literacies.  As noted earlier, the specifics of these assignments are not here. They are in the Module #1 folder on eLearning.