How can we help teachers excite students? For that matter, how can we help teachers get excited? One way is through the use of supplemental materials that help students learn textbook information in different ways. If we rely on textbooks to help teachers teach, we limit their ability to teach the students. Textbooks give information, but they do not give students a means of moving that information off of the page and into real life. Materials and activities that ask the student to move beyond the textbook help them learn (Reddy, 2013). The added materials offer instructors useful resources and activities to help design lessons that will engage students. Activities used with textbooks help students practice what they are learning. While some supplemental materials help students work with the content, others offer instructors activities that can increase interest and learning. Some examples of helpful materials include worksheets, group discussion prompts, and hands-on activities. These materials help reach more students and are written with different learning styles in mind (Reddy, 2013). Supplemental materials such as lesson plans, [...]
The Worst Fake News Story in Education Ever: Those Who Can’t Do, Teach Any professional associated with education knows that teachers not only can do but must do much more than teach. Do some of these roles sound familiar? Conflict resolution specialist Data analyst Administrative professional Diplomat MC/Entertainer Communications manager And we haven’t even discussed content or curriculum development yet. In a 2014 study, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that teachers spend less than half of their time in school actually instructing students. Some of those non-teaching moments are unavoidable and necessary. But according to the same study, the second largest use of time by teachers is individual planning and preparation of lessons. What if we could reduce that time? What could teachers accomplish with those extra hours? Is it even possible to reduce prep time? It is--if educators take the leap and decide to outsource some content creation. We’re not talking about finding some faceless Internet vendor whose only experience with a classroom has been as a student. There are writers out [...]
Students around the world are logging in to participate in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). A MOOC is traditionally open to anyone and all content is free. The openness of a MOOC leads to enrollment in the thousands with students of varying backgrounds. Students who choose to participate in MOOCs are motivated differently than those who enroll in traditional online courses. Traditionally, no credits are earned by taking a MOOC. Students are instead motivated by personal interest or professional development. The nature of a MOOC is changing. Top universities are now using MOOCs to gain wide exposure. Students can get a taste of what the university has to offer. Some universities are even offering university credits at a fraction of the cost for completing their MOOC. The large scale of a MOOC, and its openness to students from across the globe, changes the delivery of the course. MOOC lectures can be accessed at any time and the course is self-paced with no due dates. Three elements should be kept in mind when developing a MOOC. Peer [...]
Your project needs quality instructional design elements or modules. Finding the best vendor for the work can be a challenging proposition, especially when you have never done it before. This post is designed to provide an actionable checklist that you can use to ensure you are hiring the best possible instructional design vendor. Strong credentials in instructional systems design. It is often tempting to place a large amount of content into a template and present it as a learning course. With educational standards in place, this seems to be a logical and quick process. This approach, however, often ignores your learners’ needs and learning styles while negatively impacting your enterprise’s goals. Look for vendors whose instructional designers are skilled in modern learning methods for varying audiences and topics, and have instructor-led training (ILT) and eLearning as integral aspects of their focus. Pre-established and clearly defined processes. Qualified vendors will maintain a core group of instructional design professionals that understand adult learning approaches and adhere to solid project management methods. With these sound qualifications, a professional group [...]
The most effective Teacher Professional Development (TPD) programs treat teachers as lifelong learners who want to integrate new curricular methods, content, and strategies into their classrooms. The Learning Policy Institute culled findings from 35 reports to describe the most effective TPD. Effective TPD is: ● Content focused ● Collaborative ● Sustained ● Coaching based ● Ongoing How can you include these elements into your TPD planning? Use the following steps. 1. Incorporate real-world modeling situations. The classroom shouldn’t be the first place teachers use new strategies. Instead, TPD should offer teacher opportunities to model classroom approaches to other attendees. Some examples might include: ● Interactive lectures ● Field or lab experiences ● Inquiry-oriented activities 2. Build in time to let teachers implement lesson plans and receive feedback. The best TPD gives teachers opportunities to try out their newly constructed lesson plans within weeks. Afterward, scaffold in time for feedback on other teachers’ new lessons and rubrics. This peer-to-peer collaboration can also last long after the TPD if teachers are given opportunity and means to share [...]
Education hashtags on Twitter are a powerful way to sort information. The hashtag #studentsfirst has been popular this August as educators prepare to head back into classrooms. Recent conferences such as NPC17 and ISTE17 energized the education community this summer. Providing educators with resources and supports seems to be a surefire way to make sure that student needs are met completely. As the old adage goes, teachers who remember to put their own oxygen masks on first are well equipped for a new school year. What should be in a teacher’s toolkit? A solid plan for classroom management. Whether the students are graduate or kindergarten level, whether the classroom is digital or face to face, building a learning community and establishing norms for communication is important. Many teachers are fans of The First Days of School by Harry K. and Rosemary T. Wong. For digital classrooms—there’s an app for that! Engaging resources for students, mapped to curriculum goals. This is where things can get tricky for teachers. Do engaging resources [...]
Educational developers should know these five things about standards.
Develop performance tasks in science with these three strategies.