Tag Archives: student

Ten Minutes of Connecting: Day 12 – A Deeper Look at ‘Curation’ in Professional Practice

Over the past few days we have been looking at tools to help us share valuable information and learning with others in our Professional Learning Network.  By sharing, you are telling others that you believe something is worth their time.  It is also a way for you to sort the content you want to look into more deeply in the future.

Content curation can be deeper than simply organizing information.  In the video below, Robin Good compares curation with choosing food when you are hungry.  When we need to find information on a topic, “Googling it” isn’t enough any more.  There is just too much out there.  We want a deeper understanding.  We want to read an explanation of the topic – a remix of sorts.

Similarly, when we are hungry, just going to a fast food outlet and grabbing the quickest thing on the menu is not necessarily what we want.  We would like something more substantial.  We want to be able to choose the restaurant and then enjoy what the restaurant has to offer.

As educators, how can we begin to think more critically about the information we are taking in?  How can we more effectively share that information with our network?

Curation is also a reflective process.  Reflecting on content helps us remember it more clearly, and to build on it as we take in more information.

Sue Waters has written extensively on the process of curation.

Click on the image to read the full article.
Click on the image to read the full article.

 

As important as curation is for our own professional learning, it can be argued that students need to learn curation as a key 21 C skill/competency.

 

Click the image to find the original post at edumanity.com.
Click the image to find the original post at edumanity.com.

 

Barbara Bray explores this topic further in her blog, and asks, “If  you don’t take the time to read the contents and just Scoop-it, then is the resource really useful and valuable?

Curation skills can include:

  • understanding keywords and tags
  • scanning text
  • reading and summarizing content
  • building connections
  • choosing appropriate resources
  • sharing resources
  • promoting and branding topic”

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Certainly content curation skills are important for educators, as we model the kind of learning we want for our students.

How do we properly attribute the information we are sharing?  This is a poorly understood aspect of online curation. If you want to explore further, this post attempts to address the issue: The Curator’s Code.  You can find more here: Brain Pickings on the Curator’s Code.

Honouring your source of information is the underlying thinking behind the idea of a curator’s code.  For example, if Mark posts a terrific article on Twitter, and I go and read it, I wouldn’t share it on Twitter again without adding via @markwcarbone, just to demonstrate that Mark shared it first and sent me off to learn from it.  Honouring your source is always the best practice when sharing and remixing.

Take a few minutes today to consider the role of curation in your professional life (both sharing and learning), and as a critical skill for our students.  We have posted some reading below, as well as a video conversation on the topic of curation.

As we work through this week we will explore tools for deeper levels of curation – more than just sharing links.

 

Resources:

Sue Waters: Curation – Creatively Filtering Content

Barbara Bray’s Curation Scoop.It Page

Students Build Knowledge Together: Langwitches Blog

Edudemic:  20 Free and Fun Ways to Curate Web Content

50 Ways to Curate and Share Web Content

Curation as a Tool for Teaching and Learning

Robin Good on Curation:

Day 28: Engaged Learners Need “Just Right” Feedback

Written and shared by  Rita Givlin

This year I have been introduced to the world of wrestling and have drawn many parallels between feedback in wrestling and my school’s focus on using ongoing, timely, descriptive and effective feedback to improve learning. Competing mid bronze medal match at CWOSSAA, this wrestler is appealing to her coach for help. Highly engaged but not yet successful,  she needs feedback!

wrestler

What exactly is feedback?  Grant Wiggins says, “Feedback is useful information about the effects of an action in light of a goal.” This wrestler’s goal is to win and at the moment she is stuck and needs feedback to succeed.

What feedback will move her learning forward? Feedback needs to reflect only the most important steps needed to move towards achieving learning goals. Imagine this coach saying, “great job” or “good effort” both of which are true but not effective. Fortunately with timely, descriptive and effective feedback (“Pull your arm out. Get her shoulder on the mat.”) she persisted through this challenge and won! Susan Brookhardt in How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students  calls this the Goldilocks Principle – “Not too much, not too little, but just right.”

Like the wrestler, our students want, need and value feedback which will help them reach and exceed their goals. In the video clip,  Austin’s Butterfly,   Ron Berger  clearly demonstrates the importance of ongoing, timely, descriptive and effective feedback in accelerating and improving learning. How much learning is lost when students do not receive feedback that they need and deserve?

As a learner and beginning blogger, I too need and welcome your “just right” feedback.

Rita  is a vice principal at Wellesley Public School in the Waterloo Region District School Board.

Connect with Rita on Google + or Twitter

View Rita’s Blog

Day 24: Learning About Feedback

Written and shared by Michelle Parrish

I’m learning about feedback, and the intense process involved with it. Yes, I said “intense” – you’ll see why. 🙂

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 Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Comprehension Test

 

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Lyrics

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Interview

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Comic

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Collage

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Journal Entry

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 6.58.19 AM Bulletin Board – Back Wall of Classroom

 

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

 

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

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 Bulletin Board – Student Samples

 

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

 

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

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 Bulletin Board – Student Samples

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

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Individual Google Docs, with Hyperlinked Feedback

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 Individual Google Docs, with Hyperlinked Reminders & Feedback

It’s all of 15 seconds – certainly a VERY SMALL PART of the 100 hours of video that is uploaded to youtube every hour!

But it’s a lot more than 15 seconds to the Grade 8s. To them, it’s a reminder of the steps involved in using teacher feedback. Steps? Yes, there are several steps actually. And sometimes they don’t remember them – which totally disheartens me because I know I was late getting home for a supper my hubby made last week! Late – because I was recording audio feedback to guide my students in their next day’s assignment.

So, it’s really, REALLY important to me that they use their feedback – important because I know they need the feedback to do their best job, and important because I was late for supper when my husband was cooking (a rare event indeed!). So, if I’m going to take the time to give feedback, I need to make sure they are using it for their learning.

In the flowchart (which was actually recorded on a whim for a friend, and not at all intended for its 15 second spot on youtube!), there are 7 steps.

1. Pick a book you like.
2. Read what other people did to be amazing (see bulletin board photos in slideshow).
3. Listen to the reminders for that task (audio recordings for each task were embedded in the google doc)
4. Listen to the feedback given on previous tasks (audio recordings were hyperlinked in each student’s google doc)
5. Use the planner, set goals to show what you know (see planner photos in slideshow)
6. Monitor your brain’s activity – check on what you’re doing (we talk about metacognition whenever I remember to!)
7. Hand in your best work!

The Grade 8s were advised that they needed to follow the chart as they prepared for their work. It was fabulous to see them moving around the room. Some were reading the bulletin board and some were conferencing with their peers (sometimes my feedback directs them to a peer who can provide a specific example of a particular skill). Others were listening to feedback and writing down their goals. A few were grabbing the planners and success criteria handouts. I was circulating, providing some one-to-one support where it was needed. I was able to focus my time on some key issues and struggling learners because every student already had some feedback to guide them in their next steps.

Now if only I could figure out how to remove the nasally tone from my recorded feedback – whose voice is that anyway?

Michelle Parrish is a learner and teacher in Northwestern Ontario, and she is most happy when working alongside her grade 8 students.

Follow her on Twitter – @mproom31

Day 5: It’s the Little Things!

Shared by: Heather Theijsmeijer

Secondary Math/Physics/BYOD teacher at Manitoulin Secondary School (Rainbow District School Board).

http://byodasap.blogspot.ca

Twitter Handle: @HTheijsmeijer

 The other day, I was handing back assignments to my grade 12 Data Management class, when I was asked a surprising question by one of my students.

“Hey Miss,” he said, “do you still give out stickers when we do well on tests?”

Yes, an 18-year old, grade 12 boy.

I had forgotten about that. For years, I would place little star stickers – sparkly, colourful ones – next to students’ marks on assignments and tests when they got over 90%. I would try and do it on every item handed in for evaluation – from large projects right down to the smallest 5-mark task. There were some assignments on which no one received stars, and some where pretty much the entire class got 90% or higher, but regardless of the “importance” of the assignment, my rule stuck.starsticker.jpg

Photo Credit: Enokson via Compfight cc

 

I wasn’t sure it was making any kind of a difference in terms of motivation. I had seen a few students, over the years, carefully peel the stars off their work and stick them in rows on their binder. Others would compare stickers (“I got a blue one – what colour did you get?”), and some would ask why they didn’t get one. But I hadn’t heard anyone ever say, “I’m going to work harder so that I can get a star!”

And the majority of the students never did or said anything about the stickers, at least that I could see. Sure it was fun (from my point of view), but was it making any kind of a difference in the classroom?

I stopped doing it earlier this year when I went to mark a bunch of assignments at home and had inadvertently left my star stickers at school. It was such a little thing, that I didn’t think it would be noticed. And it wasn’t. I handed back the assignments and not a single student asked why there were no stars.

So the practice fell to the wayside. It’s funny how quickly you can fall out of a little habit like that when there are a dozen things on the go at once. And over time, like I said, I had forgotten that I had even done it in the first place.

Until the other day, when one of my students asked out of the blue if I still gave out star stickers.

“Do you remember that?” he said to another one of the boys at the table.

“I loved those stickers! They were the best!” the second boy replied.

“Wait, you guys used to get stickers? I want stickers too!” said a third, who had never had me as a teacher. “Why don’t we get stickers?”

(Aside: who knew grade 12 boys were so into stickers?)

This made me realize something important – no matter what we do in the classroom, the students notice. Every little act, gesture, comment; even if they don’t acknowledge that you do it, they notice. This can be a good thing – those little star stickers ended up being something they enjoyed, just as I’m sure little comments and tidbits of motivation are, a smile, or a nod of encouragement. But it can also be a negative experience they notice – every eye roll, unhappy face beside a poor mark, every time we neglect to make time for them and their questions.

Anything I can do to make my classroom a happier place for my students, no matter how trivial, I will try. Effective immediately, not only will I go back to using stickers to celebrate success, but I’ll also try harder to deliver as many smiles and messages of encouragement as I can. Because even if they don’t respond, they’ll notice.