I've moved the blog!

I've moved my blog to www.coolcatteacher.com as well as all of the posts from this blog. Learn more...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Research news and views #edreform



English: A panorama of a research room taken a...
English: A panorama of a research room taken at the New York Public Library with a Canon 5D and 24-105mm f/4L IS.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Research news and information I've been reading lately.
  • Professional Development Adds Up for Maine's Math Teachers | Edutopia
    "Professional development is the essential vitamin for boosting learning with laptops, according to researchers studying Maine's one-to-one program. David Silvernail, director of the Center for Education Policy, Applied Research, and Evaluation, said a two-year randomized control trial of middle school math teachers was "successful on all fronts." Researchers examined the impact of high quality, ongoing professional development that included face-to-face and online workshops, peer coaching and mentoring, and site visits."
  • It is important to read things even if you know from the title that you'll disagree. This article is sure to spark controversy and be embraced by those who want to keep a traditional classroom in rows where kids listen to lecture. While I'm not in an ivory tower, my experience in the power of the face to face classroom has convinced me that when I teach and integrate all different senses that students learn better. I've also seen (and quoted in Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds in the Choice chapter that discusses differentiation) that dual encoding (listening to words while reading them) improves the ability to learn to read. (I'll have to look in the book for the sources of research.) I do think, however, there are some good points here, although I firmly believe their conclusion that students are going to learn no matter how they relate to content -- is inaccurate. The lines are being drawn between those who want to change and use technology and those who want the status quo. Nonetheless, if you lose your ability to read things you do not agree with, and engage in thoughtful conversation, then you miss the point of being well educated. Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this study.
  • Researchers and institutions should continue to take note that Open is really the way things are moving. You may want to look at Scholastica. I could see schools creating their own journals. Now that would be fascinating. "With traditional journals suffering from rising costs and increased disinterest in print subscriptions, online open access is looking more appealing than ever. The team behind recently launched Scholastica is offering a new platform for those interested in joining the movement." It makes a great point that an academic paper is a poor discussion forum and gives you other options for creating your own open journal.
    tags: news research

  • ISte'S CARET database has now been replaced by TREx. I've noticed some sessions at ISTE about how to use this tool. It has an "add content" button which tells me they are crowdsourcing the exchange of research.
  • The cyberbullying research center focuses on collecting information about cyberbullying. If you're studying and sharing information on cyberbullying, you'll want to delve into this website.
  • "This massive network of researchers in the asia region now has 50 million researchers and claims to be the largest online network of researchers in the world.
  • If you work with young children and teach reading, read this article. When reading to young children, focus on the words. It seems that running your finger under thee words and drawing attention to the words makes a big difference in helping chidren begin to read. This current research on children and reading is important enough to share, discuss, and further research.
  • IN the Speak up 2011 report, students say that 46% of them have used Facebook to collaborate on school projects. Interesting report that also shows the flip side where 65% of principals say they will not allow personal devices in the next school year. (What is odd is a study I shared a few weeks  a go on my blog says that almost 50% of students are receiving text messages during class NOW in schools where cell phones are BANNED so really, this is just window dressing.) "Students want more control over how they use technology in school, but many classrooms are still making it difficult. That’s according to the most recent Speak Up 2011 report, “Mapping a Personalized Learning Journey,” which reflects the views of more than 416,000 K-12 students, parents, and educators nationwide surveyed on how technology can enhance the learning environment. They survey is produced by Project Tomorrow, an educational non-profit focused on raising student voices in education policy discussions. The theme for this survey focused on individualized learning paths.
  • Have a purpose in life. It may help you have higher quality life dementia free. A group of 900 relatively healthy individuals from the Chicago area were selected for a study about preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Before the study began, patients were Alzheimer’s-free, and they also answered questions about their purposes in life. During ongoing studies, about 16 percent of the patients were found to have early stages of Alzheimer’s. The individuals who scored the highest on the “purpose in life” test were found to be 2.5 times more likely to remain free of the disease throughout their lives."
  • I find this research from the UK hard to believe since my children were reading by age 5. My children test as being gifted (although 2 have learning differences). I guess it depends on the kind of "lessons" they are exposed to. We use a marvelous multisensory approach to teaching children at our school that I'd hardly call boring "lessons." This research was done in the US. What do you think?
  • Sensory Substitution devices (SSD)'s are shown to help the blind read in a recent study. This is being touted as an alternate to the prostheses that will help the blind see which are said to be very invasive. If you work with those with special needs, this research will interest you.
  • A very interesting topic over whether teaching has become a "fenimized" profession. I think one point to realize is that teaching may be "feminizied" but I doubt that administration or professional development is if the representation of men in edtech PD can attest. I think this is something to note and be aware of as we look at schools. This is out of the UK.
  • Unearned praise always hurts kids. Tell the truth in a constructive way but be truthful. Teachers were not as critical and gave more praise when told the student was a minority. This bias hurts students in the end.
  • New research shows multitasking gives you an emotional boost whilr harming productivity and cognitive functions.
  • Jane Hart shares a presentation from Hans de Zwaart about the quantified self and learning. I have to admit that this is the first I've heard of the "quantified self movement" but he says it has big consequences for how we learn in the future. Jane is a nice writer and I learn a lot from her.
  • We all need to be active. I think we need PE for kids AND teachers. We'd all feel better, live longer, and probably be less stressed out this time of year. I'm spending all my time in the classroom right now and it makes it hard to feel good when not working out like I need to. Take time to work out this week and I will too! "New research suggests people who are obese and lacking physical activity in their daily lives are at higher risk of developing common forms of cancer. We've known for years now that being overweight can lead to many health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes, but new evidence now shows it's also a cause for cancer. And it's not just excessive weight. Those who live inactive lifestyles are also at a higher risk.
  • Here is an interesting point as I research inquiry based learning and move to look in a database that is largely built from overseas. Many places called "inquiry" "enquiry" so in this set of lessons across the curriculum, I have to search using the term "enquiry" to turn up what have been tagged as "inquiry based" lesson plans. There are many nuances like that as you start looking at best practices across the world to remember. Eventually, hopefully, language searches will translate between common languages (like English) to help us bridge best practices. If you're looking into inquiry-based learning (or equiry-based depending upon where you're from) - this is a database of lesson plans from Kindergarten up in different categories.
  • As I'm reading on inquiry based learning, I came across another article, I'd like to share. In this article, it discusses how inquiry-based learning projects are driven by students. This very much aligns with the questions we ask on the Flat Classroom and other projects. The one point of meaning that I'm working to understand (and finding different answers depending upon the site) is that some differentiate that students should develop the questions rather than teachers "handing them" the questions. I have a lesson plan I sent through Diigo where the instructor designed a lesson around the question "Can there be giants?" and called in inquiry based. Under this article, it may not be called true inquiry based, and yet, I'm wondering if the question is intriguing and of interest and can be used in a way to teach if it really matters where the question originates.  My class is a mix of student-created inquiries (Freshman project) and project-generated inquiries (Digiteen, Flat Classroom). Interesting. Look forward to reading and understanding more (and sharing with you.) This is another nice article on the topic. Feel free to share yours. "Inquiry-based learning" is one of many terms used to describe educational approaches that are driven more by a learner's questions than by a teacher's lessons. It is inspired by what is sometimes called a constructivist approach to education, which posits that there are many ways of constructing meaning from the building blocks of knowledge and that imparting the skills of "how to learn" is more important than any particular information being presented. Not all inquiry-based learning is constructivist, nor are all constructivist approaches inquiry-based, but the two have similarities and grow from similar philosophies.
  • As I was reading up on inquiry based learning, I found a research paper from 1999 that has been cited almost 500 times. In this paper, you have an overview of inquiry based learning and how the use of technology is an excellent support for inquiry based learning. (They call it TSIL - technology-supported inquiry learning.) This paper talks about the potential and Opportunities. This is a PDF that I'm reading and filing in my personal research cabinet.
  • Extending the school day may not have the benefits that some claim, especially since we're just giving kids more same-old same-old instruction time. This article from the Washington Post is worth a read. "But the extended day approach being implemented in many schools as a result of the department’s push to increase instructional time  falls short.  It largely ignores the deep body of research on what makes effective expanded learning.   Instead, too many schools are merely adding another hour or so of regular class time onto the school day.  Not surprisingly, two very recent studies suggest we might not accomplish much with this approach to improving schools. "
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
Enhanced by Zemanta
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Disqus Comments for Cool Cat Teacher Blog