Monday, November 25, 2013

From Letter to Editor to Authentic Online Influence

This teacher elected the development of a class blog as the professional goal for the year. It was discussed that one way to get used to the blogging ideas was to have activities posted at the class Google Site copied to the blog environment to see how it might look like. So I was happy to see an activity posted, which was a great step.

This was a great opportunity to show how a classic activity could be upgraded on the blog using the SAMR model. So I created a model post as follows:

At the substitution level, we make a direct transfer from what we do on paper to the online world. Which is a totally fine step.

At the Augmentation level we add some tech functions to improve what we do. That would be adding links and images to your blog posts that help make connections ( see my sample)

At the Modification level we start to change our teaching/learning activities. That would be represented by my sample activity Letter to the Editorwhere students would rewrite thinking about the new media and the ways letters to newspaper editors can be sent nowadays. When the students use the newspaper media to send the letters, it becomes authentic.

At the Redefinition level we use technology for activities that were not possible before. At this level we can start thinking about direct comments to articles at online newspapers that get answered back and start a connection with what students are doing. The New York Times has even a Learning Network page for contact with schools. A paper from Ohio State University on Opinion expression during social conflict: Comparing online reader comments and letters to the editor actually indicates "more balance in both the range and tone of opinions from online reader comments than reader letters".

Friday, September 13, 2013

Student created eTextbooks for Integrated Science I Labs

Integrated Science I is using the Lab plans from EduChange and they wanted the students to create their own online textbooks. Their initial idea was to have students create individual etextbooks by copying and pasting from their Lab report files developed by EduChange. My presentation to the teachers was focused on how we could get some collaboration and differentiation into the etextbok creation. I first shared the following image of the SAMR Model indicating those possibilities.

SAMR Model from Rueben R. Puentedura, adapted to indicate levels of integration in notetaking

I also shared with them the following ideas for differentiated student roles for etextbook creation.

Suggested student roles to differentiate etextbook creation

Challenges of Time Constraints
One of the main concerns presented by the teachers is the time constraints for having a collaboratively created etextbook. As they are following EduChange Labs, those are prescribed to fit exactly their schedule, leaving no time for extras. So after some discussion we came to the following agreement, which seemed not only to improve the etextbook notetaking as a learning exercise but also to help teachers in their asassessment task.

eTextbook Notetaking as a Learning Exercise
The rationale for students taking on different roles in the etextbook creation is to allow for different perspectives and styles in notetaking and labs to emerge. That allows students to look at the topic in a different way, which will hopefully encourage interest in the etextbook as a study guide. Instead of the student creating a notebook with his/her own notes, different students will contribute with different parts of the etextbook . A step forward would be to have students on a single role negotiate their notes and either select the best one or mix the best parts of all of them. But for the sake of time, students will use notes from a single student each time, in that particular role.

eTextbook Facilitating Assessment
In the discussion with the teachers, it became clear that the eTextbook can be helpful in their task to assess student completion of their EduChange Lab docs. Instead of checking every student for every lab doc, teachers can assess the student contribution to the eTextbook. That would create a rotation and student roles would be chosen at random, making sure all are evaluated at some point. In this way students will have to keep up with good notes to be ready for the eTextbook.

Sample eTextbook
This is a sample eTextbook based on what the teachers described to be their need, and what would facilitate the work as it is based on the students Lab docs.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Different entry points to the SAMR model?

Looking at Allanah's blog Life is not a race to be finished, it was interesting to come across a SAMR classification that I would not normally do. In her example, she places ebooks on the "Modification"stage. Normally, I would see an eBook as Augmentation. This is because it adds some functions to a similar paper version. But in her case, she describes moving up from a reading activity to an active writing/reading task. That is a modification of the initial read only activity, as now students are writing their own ebooks that will later be read.

From Hallanah's Blog: Life is not a race to be finished

In a discussion with Silvia Tolisano, we agreed that it is possible to have different entry points to the SAMR model and the sequence of activities leading to modification and redefinition is very important. What is "Augmentation" for one scenario can be a "Modification" in a different scenario. This depends on the "traditional"task and how it is being modified and redefined.

PD and Benchmarks: SAMR, TPCK and Core Values

Silvia Tolisano and I started talking about the SAMR model, as as I showed her what I am doing for my PGSP goal, we started brainstorming how to use the model with teachers. Here is our whiteboard with ideas:

As part of this discussion we had a Skype call with Maggie Hos-McGrane who is the ATC for ASB Primary School, as shown on a previous post.

From our talk with her Silvia and I brainstormed a Learning Hub for Graded, that would include our SAMR/TPCK/Core Values model for benchmarks not only on skills but also in literacies. See the models below. Those will be presented at the ATC meeting to support Erin’s  development of the learning hub.

Drawing made by Silvia Tolisano based on the model we discussed on the whiteboard.

Drawing made by Silvia Tolisano using iThoughts, representing our brainstorm for a Learning Hub

We are thinking as a next step to get some sample activities for people to select the corresponding SAMR stage, as we are discussing that there may be different entry points to the model depending on what your initial goal was and how you are moving up the model.

SAMR Models views from ASB Elementary School ATC

Silvia Tolisano arranged a Skype call with Maggie Hos-Mc-Grane, who is the Tech Coordinator for the Primary School in ASB. She has worked with SAMR and we wanted to learn about her personal insights and experience at ASB. Maggie's blog is called Tech Transformation.

It was interesting to see how ASB has done an audit of all integration projects labeling according to Bloom's Taxonomy.This audit was a way to see also in terms of a SAMR model, in which stage most teachers were and how to move up the SAMR by moving up Bloom's Taxonomy.

Maggie also shared with us the website where ASB reports the result of their research: ASB India Findings 

We then talked about professional development, as it is closely related to moving up the SAMR model. At ASB, after the audit categorization, they are making "individual PD plans" to help teachers move up the Blooms'Taxonomy scale in their projects. They are working with Firefox Badges to start assigning badges to teachers that can be recognized as useful credits elsewhere. (Badges Online Issuer)

SAMR Template for Teacher Projects

After some discussion with Silvia Tolisano on the use of exact images from another author, even if we are building knowledge on top of that model as the scientific community does (provided we give credit), I decided to create a template that looks slightly different than the original image that I have been using. The template is also useful as a blank slate where I can plug in new class projects. I will end up with a collection of those.
The template is the following. My choice was to use similar colors because I believe the colors also represent the stages and it is important to see those repeated in different interpretations of technology integration projects using the model.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Integrated Math Blogfolios

Ms Ange in Grade 9 Integrated Math I, has taken the challenge of having student individual blogfolios to reflect on their math learning.

Sample Student Math Blog
After some research looking at student blogs in math, I found one example that is not perfect ( it was difficult to find student math blogs). But at least it  provides a reference for some important elements in the blog. This blog was shared with the teacher and the following comments highlighting interesting elements was also shared.

Student Math Blog:  DavidA_Learn

Use of Images - Peer feedback
I like the way he has images of anything, even math written on a napkin (3 types of identities).  For this post, we can see two comments.Peer feedback through commenting is very important:
Boy oh boy you weren’t kidding! I can see the quilt pattern in the background! I like how you compared it to a puzzle, great analogy, and so true! (in this case it seems to come from the teacher)

Also, sometimes he includes some form of reflection ( which is key). He writes in a very sloppy way, but it is interesting to see his struggles (Freaky Function): 

My reaction… I will be honest I didn’t know the difference between sin^-1(x) and                 sin(x)^-1 . .....but I learned that sin^-1(x) is the inverse. and sin(x)^-1 is the reciprocal and inverse and reciprocal are not the same thing.....the activity that we did REALLY helped clear  All this up and teach me A LOT.
One very important aspect was the discussion on the labels to be used, that could live through all the grades in the HS and that could also link to previous grades.

The conversation started with my suggestion of the use of class / grade / core values as labels:

LIST of LABELS: Class, Graded Core Values
Grade 9
Integrated Math I
Critical Thinking
then your main math learning goals

As the teacher started to list labels associated with math learning goals, the list started to grow too much, so I suggested getting ideas form the Common Core:

LIST of LABELS: Common Core
(Problem) interpretation
Perseverance (in problem solving)
Abstract reasoning
Quantitative reasoning
(Mathematical) argumentation
(Mathematical) modelling

After some discussion on how the Math Dept uses AERO standards,  how they are similar to the common core, and how grade 9 students may have difficulty with some of the label terminology , here are the final labels that covered core values and math specific goals:

First Student Blog Post - Goal for the Year
To complete the blog setup process, I suggested that the students create their first blog post about their learning goal for the year, already using one of the labels. Here is a sample of a student post.

The model below has been created from a template now created for the purpose of doing the SAMR analysis.