Tag Archives: PLN

Friday Thought: Be Reflective

2 Jun

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I was told this week Andrew you must reflect more on your practice. It was a timely reminder. I have heard a few times recently when discussing the importance or reflection as part of the school improvement process. When digging deeper into what is meant by this, I have found that in some cases there is a lack of understanding as to what it really means to be a reflective teacher. Too often, when we think about being a reflective practitioner, the reflection process is limited to evaluation; what went well and what did not. In some instances, reflection may include what might I do differently next time. A peer tells me often it is about process.

Being reflective is much more than that. Reflection must involve action. True reflection in education cannot happen without the the thoughts of what might be done differently next time actually translating into planning for action and taking action. There is no point saying that all teachers are reflective if there are lots of thoughts but no action. How does that really improve student learning?

Collaboration is an important part of being a reflective teacher. Reflecting on your own can have its limitations in terms of having other people to bounce ideas of, having other people to challenge each others viewpoints, having other people to give us the necessary feedback to critically reflect and, most importantly, other people to share our journey with. I recognize my own PLN here.

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NZ Catholic Education Convention 2015

10 Jun

Useful Links:

Twitter for educators in 60 seconds:

What’s a PLN?

Prezi Presentation:

http://prezi.com/bf-tgefukgzn/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Kahoot

Padlet

How to do a Blog: Blog Live from Catholic Conference

10 Jun

  

I owe so much to the people I have connected with. I am sure you feel the same way. Just being at this Conference makes me realize I am part of something bigger, and pretty special.Whether face to face or virtually, I have been able to connect and work with dazzling people who have challenged me and opened my eyes up to so many possibilities. These people have challenged me and asked me am I being the best I can be?

I wonder sometimes just how different my career, and life for that matter, would have been if I wasn’t able to make those connections.

I have just explained why we should use twitter, or why we should blog, why we should join communities or even why we should join/create a PLN. I hope I have challenged others and got them to do/try something new. Try the Pond. Being an innovator.

I am not telling you anything you don’t already know. Connecting with other educators opens us…

What Effective Feedback Is and Isn’t

11 Aug

 

As I prepare students for their next assignment I have stirred considerable interest in feedback and feed forward in conversations with students and staff.

Effective feedback is an enormous topic – and a crucial one for us to understand due to its powerful effect on student achievement.  Few aspects of teaching and learning have more potential to raise achievement.

To be effective, feedback must be goal-referenced, understandable, and immediately actionable.  Feedback should not be advice, evaluation, or value judgements.

Marge Scherer, editor of ASCD’s Educational Leadership, says that the best feedback “describes what the student has done and helps the student decide what to do next.” – notice she used the verb “describes” and not “evaluates”.

John Hattie and Helen Temperley, in their 2007 Article for Educational Review “Assessment: Feedback to Promote Student Learning”, gave us the three essential questions:
1. Where am I going? (What is the goal?)
2. How am I going? (What progress is being made towards the goal?)
3. Where to next? (What activities need to be undertaken to make better progress?)

Hattie and Temperley called these: feed-up, feed-back, and feed-forward.

Grant Wiggins does a great job of further describing what effective feedback is and isn’t in his article: 7 Keys to Effective Feedback.

For Effective Teacher-to-Learner Feedback:

The key to effective feedback actually comes BEFORE the students begin their work.  Effective feedback requires well designed learning goals and success criteria against which students’ progress can be compared to formulate good feedback.  The timing of the completion of the work must be planned so the feedback can be given DURING the learning process, not after it.  Feedback loses a great deal of its impact if it is accompanied by a mark or grade.

To maximise the effectiveness of the feedback, teachers must:

Set clear, concrete, specific learning goals and must demonstrate what success will look like:
Do the students know what success looks like? Are the criteria clear enough for students to measure their work against it to identify gaps?

If you have the time and want to dive into some indepth study of Learning Goals, the Ontario Ministry of Education has put together a  short-course: Learning Goals & Success Criteria (6 videos of approx 8mins and a 57 page self-study guide).

Thanks to my PLN for providing me with this information this week.

Reponse

Thanks for the questions and feedback on online learning.

I hope this is useful. In my teaching environment we commonly use the discovery approach to learning. Students have little trouble with the discovery approach to learning (Constructivist), so long as it is purposeful, engaging and directed at using the processes of cognition that improve learning. The experience of this pedagogy is that it encourages teachers to deliver lessons that are accessible to the Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic learner. The research of Kolb and Fry and also of Peter Jarvis, serves to remind us that in designing Online Courses, it is necessary to cater for the wide range of learning styles that exist (Smith 2001). Online Learning, should allow students to experience the Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic aspects of learning. This suggests that the online delivery of courses should draw on rich-mixed forms of media, to ensure maximum engagement with the students. Please contact me for references noted here.

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