One of the key ideas in Mason's book involves the pitfalls of teachers acting by routine only. Professionals become professionals, he acknowledges, by developing perceptions and skills, and by ‘routinising’ them. But Mason says that routines also deaden us. When things seem familiar and we react according to pattern or habit, we may not really be seeing what’s there. That means that we may not be doing as well as we might. The art of noticing is to keep open to new perceptions while standing on the base of skills, routines, and knowledge that enables us to function as well as we do. The discipline of noticing is to keep such noticing productive, and this is at the core of Mason’s agenda.
Martin McKay from Texthelp discusses the use of data from 12 million users to develop a set of nationalised writing norms.
Google has gathered so much data, in so many areas, that it’s now crunching it together and creating features that Apple can’t make—surrounding Google Maps with a moat of time
Google’s is in fact making data out of data:
Google’s buildings are byproducts of its Satellite/Aerial imagery. And some of Google’s places are byproducts of its Street View imagery.
For a different take on Google Earth’s 3D imagery, watch this video from the [Nat and Friends]:
Using an inquiry based approach to teaching and learning is multi-faceted. At its heart, inquiry is a stance – it’s about how we talk to kids and how we think about learning. It is also about how we plan and the contexts we both recognise and create in which powerful inquiry can thrive. These contexts can be highly personal (one child’s investigation into their passion) and they can also be shared contexts that bring learners together under a common question. These shared inquiries form a powerful ‘backbone’ of the primary classroom.
- HOW CAN WE DESIGN FOR OUR WELLBEING?
- WHAT MAKES A HEALTHY HABITAT?
- HOW CAN WE TEACH OTHERS ABOUT THIS SPECIAL PLACE?
- WHY DO PEOPLE PLAY?
- CAN WE CREATE OUR OWN RESTAURANT?
- BIN CHICKENS: WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
- LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS…WOULD YOU BUY THAT? WHY?
- WHY ARE MUSEUMS IMPORTANT – AND CAN WE CURATE OUR OWN?
- WHAT’S MY STORY – WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
- WHAT’S REALLY ON YOUR PLATE?
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ADAPT?
- WHY IS MUSIC IMPORTANT?
She pulls out some of the key aspects that went across all the different inquiries:
For the most part, the inquiries:
were authentic! Kids investigating something for a real purpose – with a genuine high-stakes outcome (often known from the outset)
were integrative. The journeys described allowed a range of learning areas to be meaningfully connected
involved experts from outside the school – this meant kids having to communicate with people in various fields
were shared – the learning gained from the inquiries went beyond the classroom and was shared with the wider community in some way
were emergent – these inquiries could not be planned in detail. The authentic nature of the journey meant that teachers and learners had to think on their feet and plan as the inquiry unfolded.
got kids out of the classroom visiting restaurants, going to the museum, the local nature reserve…many of these inquiries depended on experience beyond the classroom walls.
were often ‘design’ focussed.
This is not a list of questions and/or units to roll out, but rather a source of inspiration. Along with her post on ten practices of an inquiry teacher, they provide some guidance going into the new year.
A poorly wrapped present for 2018, a new SPLOT. It’s really more of an extension, the SPLOT Box is an extension/update of the older TRU Sounder one (made for building collections of audio content). As a media “jukebox-ish” thing, this one can offer a site to share/collection audio content.
This style of technology isn't new, but the method of its use - and the kinds of people wielding it - is.
One of my big takeaways from Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well is the fact that we often have multiple issues present in any feedback conversation that confuse, disorient and lead to conflict. When this occurs we need to be explicit and signpost that this is the case with a statement like, “I think that there are two topics here. Let’s discuss each topic fully, but separately, as both are important. Ok. Let’s loop back to the start and start with the first topic.”
If you are thinking ahead about your year... and the kinds of inquiries you might engage your students in, consider an inquiry into the ocean - and our connection to it - as one of your learning contexts. Resources abound. There is no shortage of experts and organisations and plenty of rock pools still left to gaze upon in wonder. If you are asking yourself : What's worth inquiring into? You might find this video clip helps answer that question. How will your teaching contribute to the imperative to care for this precious blue planet in 2018?
A dilemma that faces many educators new blogging is the question of whether they should be publishing their students’ information and work online. They might wonder if their class or student blogs should be public for anyone to see, or private for a limited audience (or no one) to view.
Personally, when I supported classroom blogs they were closed as I was not comfortable that everyone who needed to be was fully aware of the consequences. I think though that Kin Lane’s advice on APIs can be applied, approach everything as if it is public even if it is not.