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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Incredibly Useful Google Apps Correlated to Bloom's Revised Taxonomy #bloomstaxonomy



Now we're getting useful! Some time back Kathy Schrock created a very useful Bloom's Taxonomy grid correlated with Google Apps. While we know some of these tools aren't so useful (i.e. Google Buzz) the way Kathy has laid this out is incredibly useful. Info-graphic type websites that allow us to digest a lot of things in a simple glance are the way we need to go to be efficient!

Digging deeper, I found a website http://visualblooms.wikispaces.com/ made by Michael Fischer (@fischer1000) dedicated to visually representing Bloom's Taxonomic Heirarchy. The presentation below is on the homepage.


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It is time we use these tools to take a lot of information and make it usable. Time for infographics.
So, I'd like to make a challenge. Anyone else care to follow the lead and make useful infographics aligning free apps and tools to Blooms Taxonomy?

Take the Bloom's Taxonomy challenge and make useful information to help teachers.

You can leave a link to your graphic below or just tweet it and tag it #bloomstaxonomy (Yes it is long but there are people already using this tag.) I'm following this tag now.

We all keep saying that education isn't promoting higher order thinking but are we talking about what higher order thinking looks like?

After a week of teaching kids how to build a PLN, subscribe to appropriate searches in Google News, bookmark, select tags, summarize the content -- all with every student having a different topic -- I'm exhausted. This is tough teaching. Higher order thinking often requires a higher order of teaching commitment. You have to coach each student.

A short verbal exchange this week

A student came in on Friday and said,

Student "Mrs. Vicki, I'm too tired to think today, can't you just give us a worksheet."
Me: "We don't do worksheets in this class. I don't give homework but I need your brain with me for 50 minutes." 
Student: "But Mrs. Vicki, who has my same topic so I can look on their screen and see what they are doing so it will help me." 
Me: "No one has your same topic. We're going to have to figure this out together. I'll be here to help you and you can talk with others about your topic for ideas. 
Student: "This is hard." 
Me: "Yes, but after we get going, it is going to get easier and you're going to know something. I don't care about what you memorize, I care about teaching you how to think. Let's get started."

If you think all the kids are going to be excited about moving up the grid and thinking, you are wrong. Memorizing and doing worksheets are easy. If the kids are sufficiently docile, they can quietly work on a worksheet and a teacher could read a magazine. When you move towards higher order thinking your body must move out of the chair into the classroom. I literally now move in a clockwise manner around my room to make sure I help everyone equally. I do this the entire class period, especially when launching authentic research like we did in 4 of my 5 classes this week. This is tough. It is hard. It isn't easy. It requires a lot of energy on my part and it requires brainpower on their part.

Let's talk HOTS
Let's start using our Twitter bandwidth to talk about higher order thinking and promote conversation about #bloomstaxonomy in creative ways that help us share best practice. Sure, we need to talk reform of the system but for me, I care more about ongoing improvement of my own classroom because that is one thing over which I have 100% control.

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