Liked Augmented Collective Intelligence by Ken BauerKen Bauer

I signed up for a course run by the one and only Howard Rheingold and am excited to start this week. I will be posting to the course site internal blogs but will share excerpts of my experience out here in the open as well.
Here is the work for the first week, the course kicks off with a video sessi…

Liked How to Make Students Care About Writing (The Atlantic)

McKamey argues that the most important skill for a teacher is his or her ability to build trust with a student, which develops when students can sense that the educator is willing to hear their ideas, thoughts, and musings despite their challenges with grammar, low grades, or test scores in previous classes. This doesn’t mean that teachers need to cushion their feedback with fake praise, but it does mean, she thinks, that schools should help teachers develop skills to recognize what all students, including those who might be considered “low achieving,” do in their classrooms—instead of focusing mostly on what they don’t do or know.

According to Pirette McKamey too much feedback on writing is based on personality, rather than what is actually written on the page. What is important then is building trust and believing in every student. This approach reminds me of the wider strengths-based learning approach.

These project outlines are all based on my PBL model, which is explained in my two books Are Humans Wild At Heart? and Why Do We Tell Stories? Both of these are published through Hawker Brownlow Education and are full of projects for English teachers to run with their students.

Please, please if you use these projects OR if you use my model of PBL (discover, create, share), it would mean SOOO much to me if you credited my work. Many of the Praxis projects below were co-created with my very creative colleagues James Blanch and Kate Munro. Please respect our hard work by being thoughtful in your acknowledgement of your sources.

Bianca Hewes collects together a number of her project outlines that she has created with Canva. As with Kath Murdoch’s inquiry journeys, Hewes provides some great provocations. Although some of them could easily be translated, their strength lies in thinking differently. In addition, I too like Canva and use it to create the covers for my monthly newsletter.
Liked Burberry burns luxury goods worth millions (BBC News)

“Burberry has careful processes in place to minimise the amount of excess stock we produce. On the occasions when disposal of products is necessary, we do so in a responsible manner and we continue to seek ways to reduce and revalue our waste,” a spokesperson for the company said.

via Boing Boing
Bookmarked How well do we ‘face up to’ racism? (Anne’s Angle)

Multiculturalism is not an outcome but a process.  Racism may not be deliberate BUT anti-racism is always deliberate.

Anna Del Conte provides some take-aways from a course on racism. Some of the activities included what racism is, a timeline of diversity in Australia and listening to stories. Another resource I am reminded of is Dan Haesler’s interview with Stan Grant. In part this stemmed from Grant’s speech addressing racism.
Bookmarked 21 simple design elements that will make any School Assessment Task sheet accessible by an author (EduResearch Matters)

Access can be made easier or more difficult depending on the way the assessment task is presented; both in terms of visual presentation and in terms of the language used. The number and type of procedures required can also differentially affect students’ successful completion of the task.

This approach to analysis helped us to produce a list of recommended design elements that will be useful to teachers as they plan and write up their assessment tasks.

Haley Tancredi, Jill Willis, Kelli McGraw and Linda Graham reflect on the assessment task sheet so common in the secondary classroom. Responding to the challenge of accessability, they collect together a number of design elements to support all students.

Visual accessibility

The layout of the task sheet helps the students access the important elements of the task

– The most important information is easy to find
– White space is used to separate sections
– Text size aids readability (11 or 12 point font with 1.5 line spacing)
– Margins are left-justified
– Visual cues direct student attention
– Information that is irrelevant to students is not included
– Procedural accessibility

Consistency and clarity of instructions

– Authentic context is relevant
– Common access barriers have been addressed in the design
– The task, objectives and criteria align
– Students are able to respond within the prescribed conditions
– Enough space and resources are provided for responses
– The assessment is scheduled to give students the best opportunity for success
– Processes for evaluating quality are clear
– Authentication strategies are included
– Student feedback on the draft task was sought
– Teacher peer feedback on draft task was sought
– Linguistic accessibility

Directions are clear

– Instructions are clear and direct
– Sentences are short and simply structured
– The language is free of bias
– Specialist language is defined using student-friendly terms
– Information is stated once only and if it needs to be referenced more than once, consistent terminology is used

Replied to Teaching Critical Thinking? These Mythbusters Activities Will Help (The Tempered Radical)

Our goal is to help students recognize that gaps in thinking aren’t something to be afraid of.  They are something to be openly acknowledged and then addressed through deliberate attempts to gather more information.

Bill this is fantastic idea. I like the use of a graphic organiser to scaffold the thinking. It reminds me of the Zoom In routine, where it is impossible to ‘know’ what the image is, therefore forcing student to justify their interpretations.