Education Consultants Turning Your Vision to Reality

Articles and Infographics

By on May 26, 2013 in Articles and Infographics | 0 comments

This post is excerpted from the book, STEAM Point, written by Susan M. Riley. Assessments are changing to reflect a more robust, integrated approach to education that comes with the Common Core State Standards.  It’s important to recognize both the possibilities and the challenges that lie within this new era of assessment data.  Data is king in the world of education, but all data changes depending on the lens through which you are viewing it. When using various assessment strategies, it is important to know what data you are looking at, what it’s limitations are in telling you about student achievement, and the very focused information it can target about a student’s comprehension and growth.  As you gather this data, be sure to synthesize it for yourself and others in a way that is valid and reliable.  Use the following metrics as a tool to make decisions about what instruction needs to occur next in order to move students’ growth forward. When looking at the data you collect, be sure to think about or ask the following questions when completing a data review: 1. What data was I trying to collect with this assessment?  What do I want to know about my students’ learning? 2. What does this data tell me? 3. What does this data NOT tell me? 4. What complexity factors (attendance, student groups, prior knowledge, parental support, scheduling, etc) may have affected this data? 5. As the teacher, what does this data reflect of my performance? 6. What professional development do I need to more effectively teach this material to these students? 7. What are the next steps in terms of instruction that we need to take to move students forward in their learning?   Share this:ShareClick to print (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new...

Read More
STEAM Resources for Any Classroom

STEAM Resources for Any Classroom

By on May 19, 2013 in Articles and Infographics | 0 comments

Today, we’ll be focusing on the many resources that are out there for STEM: from explaining what it is, to sample lessons, to ways that it connects to the Arts.  This is a living list, so please feel free to add any resources you have found in your travels in the comment section below! STEM presentations: Creating a Global Focus on STEM education is a very well-done powerpoint that gives a “big picture” to STEM. The STEM Education Coalition has a whole section of resource links to over 50 different presentations worldwide. The Journal highlights how teachers and administrators are looking for resources to support STEM. What is STEM education is a prezi from Todd Ensign that was provided to West Virginia teachers.   STEM/STEAM Lessons: How to Smile is a site that houses fantastic math and science activities, with a dose of creativity thrown in. PBS STEM Resource is a phenomenal site with lessons for K-12 in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math as well as professional development for teachers. STEAM Education Lessons provide several high-quality STEAM lessons that you can browse through.   STEAM resources: The STEAM Academy is a terrific site for advocating and sharing authentic STEAM projects and efforts. Planting T’s is a website dedicated to promoting design thinking in K-12 education. Working in Scratch: Putting STEAM into Cross-Curricular Collaboration is a prezi that gives practical applications for using the computer program SCRATCH in the arts classrooms. Going from STEM to STEAM is a prezi about how creativity and self-expression give life to technology and science. 100+ STEM and STEAM Resources Livebinder has a variety of tools, videos and resources for you to browse. Share this:ShareClick to print (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new...

Read More
8 Ways to Create a Networked Classroom

8 Ways to Create a Networked Classroom

By on May 19, 2013 in Articles and Infographics | 0 comments

Networking is a hot topic everywhere we go.  We are the most networked society in the history of the world, and yet many of our classrooms do not yet reflect this change.  There are still many classrooms out there that operate as an island, which does a disservice to our children and our teachers.  There is no reason that in the 21st century we shouldn’t be seeing an explosion of the networked classroom as a standard of good teaching.  Our students are wired to learn from their peers through gaming, the arts, and technology and it’s time that our classrooms mirror those access points which lead to student engagement and self-directed learning.  Here are 8 ways to move towards a networked classroom both online and in-person and refresh your teaching through the year: Pinterest.  Pinterest is one of the hottest growing social media trends today.  I dare you to logon and only stay for 60 seconds.  As with any social media, you could lose hours just scanning the site.  However, if you use it intentionally, it can be a really valuable classroom resource.  What’s great about Pinterest is that it’s all based on visuals – the better the visual/art, the more people will click on it, repin and share.  And you want them to share, because that’s how you’ll get to spread ideas.  And that’s what we are really looking for in our classrooms: to spread ideas and learn from others.  Starting a Pinterest site is easy and you can setup boards for classroom organization ideas to math tutorials to dance techniques.  The options are endless, and so are the learning opportunities! Learni.st.  This site is similar to Pinterest, but with an educational spin.  It’s a bit more organized in terms of categories and allows for better searching of topics and information.  For the teacher, it’s like going to a bookstore where all the best resources are free.  When you click the “education” tab, you’re shown boards with the top web 2.0 tools, top apps for the classroom, online courses and TED talks for teachers.  For the student, it’s a great way to explore a variety of sources and begin to disseminate information based upon its value to a...

Read More
Re-imagining Your Parameters

Re-imagining Your Parameters

By on May 19, 2013 in Articles and Infographics | 0 comments

I have sat in a variety of sessions, meetings and calls about “reimagining” education.  Many of these focus on thinking beyond what our current curriculum entails and starting to use tools that have been in existence for a decade already.  This isn’t exactly reimagining or innovative.  Instead, it’s taking our old way and adding some teenage tools as a top layer.  I don’t know about you, but that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  Yes, I believe whole-heartedly that education needs to reform and change and that it is not even close to adequate.  However, I also believe that if we want to change, we must not only change our tools but our very parameters for teaching and learning. Forget the Box It’s not enough to simply “think outside the box”.  Forget the box – forget the sides and reform the contents.  Design something that allows for expansion and contraction, is fluid, engages teachers as facilitators to problems that haven’t been solved yet and providing the avenues to help tear apart the web and find the “how”.  I heard a great quote by Alan November that “no one should answer questions that can be Googled”.  He’s right!  Why are we wasting time with simply providing the answers for our students when we could be guiding them to finding the answers that exist and developing answers to the ones that don’t exist already. It’s Time to Reboot You know when your computer gets stuck and you need to just hold the power button and let it reboot?  Maybe it needs a rest or it’s just overloaded.  Maybe it’s getting old and it’s a sign to upgrade.  Maybe you just moved too fast.  In any case, our educational system needs a reboot.  I would venture to say that every class, school and district needs a reboot in some capacity.  In order to reinvent education, we need to reboot the system.  Perhaps, we need to only replace some parts that aren’t working – and we need to be honest about that – or we might need to upgrade the whole thing.  But if we are going to be able to reimagine our parameters in order to reimagine our possibilities, the time for a...

Read More
Personalized Learning in a Global Network

Personalized Learning in a Global Network

By on May 19, 2013 in Articles and Infographics | 0 comments

Recently, I was privileged to hear Richard Culatta from the US Department of Education Office of Educational Technology speak about Personalized Learning at the K12 Educational Congress.  What was so powerful about Mr. Culatta’s presentation was his laser-focus on the critical need for diagnosing, teaching and assessing students through personalized strategies and methods.  We know this is the way to go as plenty of research has pointed out, and that students are stuck in a one-size-fits-all model of education, yet we are still struggling with how to make this approach work.  Obviously, there are technology tools that can make this easier and some exciting new tech pieces that are coming down the pike, but I have to ask – what happens to the learning after you personalize it and where are the arts in the conversation? Let’s address the arts piece first.  As I have often said, the Arts are the access point to student learning and achievement.  Talk about the ultimate personalized learning avenue: the arts allow for the flexibility, creativity, and collaborative innovation that we desperately need within a personalized platform of learning.  Take an art class about impressionism for example.  Students can discover about not only the impressionistic style, but also the history of how it connected to world events, the color mixing techniques of the artists and the ratios that were involved in the creating those colors, the textures of a piece and what layering means both literally on the artwork and figuratively within the art.  Teachers can facilitate a dialogue about any or all of these connections and then students can guide their own learning to marry these disciplines in order to create a new work that expresses their own ideas.  This is definitely a personalized approach.  It has to be – art speaks differently to every human being and there is no wrong or right answer. The difficulty for the teacher lies within “diagnosing” which arts will serve as the best access point to that integrated content for each child.  For this, you must include choice.  Not all students have to create an impressionistic painting.  Maybe, some of them can complete an impressionistic marketing piece for a local political campaign.  Maybe some of them can create a...

Read More
How Do You Teach Innovation?

How Do You Teach Innovation?

By on May 19, 2013 in Articles and Infographics | 0 comments

One of the central questions that many educators struggle with in any classroom is in regards to teaching creativity.  After all, how do you teach innovation?  How do you instruct your students to be innovative?  There’s not really a formula or a step-by-step tutorial that we can give someone that will automatically allow them to create the next Facebook or develop the next iPad.  We know what the components are: creativity, innovative thought, collaboration, critical thinking skills and analysis.  But how do you teach someone to innovate? We’ve prepared a new infographic that outlines the process by which innovation naturally occurs.  This happens over considerable amounts of time, but by knowing this process, you can encourage your students to engage in the very same practices that Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs used to help them create and shape the world that we know today.  This is not a 5-step plan to innovation, nor is it intended to be a way to provide instruction on how to innovate.  Rather, this provides the framework for the innovative process that you can put into place anywhere (classroom, job, or home) and through this you can engage in specific tasks within each area.   Download the PDF version Share this:ShareClick to print (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new...

Read More