Bloom's Taxonomy and ICT Tools

by frances 29. March 2010 11:41

I have just organised for my student teachers a Learning Activity involving Learning Styles and ICTs. In researching for this lecture, I came across this wonderful material about Bloom's Taxonomy and ICT Tools. This same material was reported in Tech&Learning in a simplified manner as "Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally" - it is set out in a very tidy manner.

I love the fact that so many of the Web 2.0 Tools are Free or Open Source Software [FOSS] - this is great news for teachers!

The ICT Tool Category within "Bloom's Taxonomy and ICT Tools" article includes Word Processing, Presentation Tools, Desktop Publishing, Geographical Information Systems, Instant Messaging, Audio Tools, Video Tools, Mind Mapping Tools, Graphics tools, Project Tools, and, Modelling Tools. Although this article was reported in 2008 it still has relevant "possible tools" for each category.

As teachers, you can make this listing of relevant ICT Tools up to date by using Jane Hart's Directory (2009 & currently being updated daily the 2010 Tools).

Jane's 12 categories are: Instructional tools; Live tools; Document and presentation tools; Blogging, web & wiki tools; Image, audio & video tools; Communication tools; Micro-blogging tools & Twitter Apps; More collaborative tools; Social networking and collaboration spaces; Personal productivity tools; Browsers, Players & Readers; and, Mobile Tools.

Jane has listed hundreds of Web 2.0 Tools to use within the classroom and for training purposes! It really is any exciting place to be as a teacher.

As far as WebQuests go, as a teacher you need to make sure that you have more of the Higher Order Thinking Skills [HOTS] Web 2.0 tools present.

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Article Review | What is a WebQuest?

Building Better Principals

by frances 24. March 2010 10:18

This entry has nothing to do with WebQuests but it caught my eye and leads from my comment on the NY Times article on Building Better Teachers reported on 4th March 2010.

The Herald (a newspaper in regional NSW, Australia) reported yesterday (23rd March - Inequity in what Hunter schools stimulus money will buy) about inequities on how the Federal Rudd Government monies to schools was spent. Instead of praising Black Hill Public School principal Brian Adamthwaite to the hilt about his decision to project manage the building of "the first permanent buildings at the school in its 128-year history", the newspaper concentrates on comparing other schools that didn't take this initiative!

What a Principal - Mr Adamthwaite certainly lives up to the school's motto: Endeavour and Achievement!



It goes to show that being a Principal (and a teaching Principal as well!) is more than meets the eye!

Congratulations Brian on a job well done! 

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Article Review

Should the Federal Government allow Australia to sell uranium to Russia?

by frances 22. March 2010 13:21

In the news over the past few days has been the proposal for Australia to sell uranium to Russia.

This would make an excellent WebQuest topic! It is authentic and current!

There have been headlines like:

Sydney Morning Herald: Can Russia be trusted with our uranium?

Jewish paper Haaretz.com (Oct.2009) had a heading: Russia confirms plans to help Iran enrich uranium

The Nuclear Threat Initiative: Russsia: Uranium Mining and Milling Overview gives their slant on the production of enriched uranium!

What diversity of opinions! There also seems to be a wealth of information on the Internet for teachers to find resources!

Have a go at creating a WebQuest around this issue! Let me know how you go!

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Ideas on how to use News topics as WebQuests

The Fate of the Blue Fin Tuna has been left to politicians!

by frances 20. March 2010 19:10

Yesterday, the news headline "Bluefin tuna trade ban blocked" [ABC, 19th March 2010], attracted my attention.

This article explains the background of the decision of delegates at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

This would make a great WebQuest as there are various antagonistic views and it is an authentic, real world issue.

The perspectives are

1. Conservationists who wanted the ban on the Atlantic bluefin tuna trade because of a massive decline in their numbers due to overfishing;

2. Japanese lobbists who apparently wined and dined delegates to say no to the banning.

3. European Commission who are concerned about the species becoming extinct.

4. Greenpeace who condemned Australia (although Australia voted YES to the ban) and other countries for their failure to stop the export.

It could also incorporate the fate of the Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT)

The map below shows the SBT's fishing areas.

The big question could be: Should the fate of the Alantic Bluefin Tuna be left to politicians?"

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Ideas on how to use News topics as WebQuests

Taking Part in the Learning Process

by frances 6. March 2010 12:14

Recently I read the following blog comment....

"Students become better citizens [Ed. after talking about what to have included in the American History Curriculum] by taking part in the learning process and by improving their personal skills on filtering information, synthesizing data, formulating a good argument, and by presenting their own thoughts, arguments, and beliefs clearly and effectively. These skills are not embedded in technology but technology is embedded in these skills. The real problem is that we have too many teachers who are jam packed with knowledge and content and not enough skills themselves to teach these overarching learning skills." (Source: Tech&Learning: TL Advisor Blog: Scott Meech)

Whoopee!!!

Yes - this is what WebQuesting is all about! Getting students to construct meaning and learning with the content present rather than just being "filled" with content to have it "regurgiated" at exam time!

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Web Tools to improve a WebQuest

Web 2.0 Tools

by frances 5. March 2010 16:45

Recently, I came across a Tech&Learning TL Advisor Blog - 100 Web Tools to Enhance Collaboration (Part 1) by Ozge Karaoglu. [Although only 20 Web Tools were cited! - maybe the other 80 will be in the next part(s)]

Karaoglu describes the following Web 2.0 Tools that would be of interest to teachers:

  • CoSketch - CoSketch is a multi-user online whiteboard designed to give you the ability to quickly visualize and share your ideas as images.
      
  • Stixy - an online bulletin board - Free
     
  • Grou.ps - "This is an online community site creator - you can have talks, wiki, blogs, calendar, video, files, photos, links, groups, map, chat, music, games, funds, contact & ask." (Source: website) It is free. 
      
  • ImaginationCubed - is a multi user drawing tool.
     
  • GroupTweet - "GroupTweet turns a standard Twitter account into a group communication hub where members can post updates to everyone in the group using direct messages. When the group account receives a direct message from a group member, GroupTweet converts it into a tweet that all followers can see." (Source: website)

      
  • Ning
      
  • Wallwisher - an online noticeboard maker 
      
  • PageFlakes - is a social personalised homepage. You can add Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, photos, music, videos, calendar, to-do list, message board, RSS feed. (Source: Techlearning)
      
  • WriteBoard - Writeboards are sharable, web-based text documents that let you save every edit, roll back to any version, and easily compare changes. It is free. (Source: website)
     
  • Wiggio - Wiggio.com is a free, online toolkit that makes it easy to work in groups.

      
  • WeToku - is a free tool that allows you to record an interview and insert it into your blog. All you need is a webcam.

  • Webnote  - a tool for making notes on your computer and you can share this with others.
      
  • PalBee - Free web video conference, meetings & video chat rooms. "You can also use PalBee to record your own presentations and store them online." (Source: website)
      
  • Phuser - Personal message boards and private shared discussions for groups, teams, friends. It's free and you can create 5 Phuses." (Source: website)
     
  • WikiDot - For site creators, with Wikidot.com you can create your own web projects in minutes. You use a mix of forums, wiki pages, templates, modules, custom themes, add-in packages, and reusable site templates to create almost any collaborative web project imaginable.

  • Creately - allows you to create professional looking online diagrams. Free for 3 collaborators otherwise small payment.
     
  • DoingText - doingText is a web based text editor for collaborative writing. 30 day free trial otherwise a small payment depending on the number within a group.
      
  • SpringNote - Springnote allows you to create pages, to work on them together with your friends, and to share files. It is free.
      
  • MeBeam - create your chat room

Great names aren't they!!!

Let me know if you have used these Web 2.0 Tools within the classroom.

I could see how they could be used within discussions and collaboration in a WebQuest.

 

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Web Tools to improve a WebQuest

Building a Better Teacher - NY Times

by frances 4. March 2010 19:04

"Building a Better Teacher" by Elizabeth Green* and published in the New York Times on the 3rd March 2010 is an excellent article to read! [although 9 online pages long!]

In essence, Green reports on Doug Lemov's investigations on what makes "a quality teacher". Lemov explored the problem of different student outcomes based [as collated through standardised American tests] solely on the quality of teacher classroom management, after all the other extraneous elements were accounted for. Lemov has created his taxonomy of good classroom management [The official title, attached to a book version being released in April, is “Teach Like a Champion: The 49 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College.”]. You can read some segments of the book (PDF) here to get an idea of the classroom management techniques explored.

Lemov ignores the content of the lesson and concentrates purely on the classroom management techniques as a way that all teachers can teach and all students can learn.

But what about the passion of the content? What about the way content is delivered to students?

However, the article is balanced as it provides another dimension. Green goes on to ask the question... "Is good classroom management enough to ensure good instruction?" She describes the work of Heather Hill, an associate professor at Harvard University, who realised that even if a teacher has good pedagogical techniques but they don't know their subject matter very well - then students still do badly on standarised testing.

Hill is a member of a group of educators, who, like Lemov, are studying great teachers. But whereas Lemov came out of the practical world of the classroom, this group is based in university research centers. And rather than focus on universal teaching techniques that can be applied across subjects and grade levels, Hill and her colleagues ask what good teachers should know about the specific subjects they teach.

The wellspring of this movement was Michigan State’s school of education, which, under the direction of Judith Lanier, one of the original Holmes Group members, took the lead in rethinking teacher education. Lanier overhauled Michigan State’s teacher-preparation program and helped open two research institutes dedicated to the study of teaching and teacher education. She recruited innovative scholars from around the country, and almost overnight East Lansing became a hotbed of education research. (Green, 2010, NY Times, p 6)

This group of researchers consider both the mechanics of teaching as well as teachers knowing their subject matter as essential to be a quality teacher.

I think it is extremely important to give all teachers Professional Development (Teacher Professional Learning - TPL) in pedagogy. Lemov's taxonomy could be a good tool especially for student and beginning teachers but teachers also need to know their subject material very well and be passionate about it!

One way to address both these requirements is to use great WebQuests - they have sound pedagogical techniques behind them (Problem Based Learning, Higher Order Thinking Skills, Constructivism, Cooperative Learning, Social and Emotional Learning) and the content should have been created in such a way to get students to think and become passionate about the learning.  

*Elizabeth Green is a Spencer fellow in education reporting at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the editor of GothamSchools.org.

Here is some video examples from the Uncommon Schools that use Lemov's Taxonomy as classroom management techniques

Social and Emotional Intelligence

by frances 3. March 2010 15:23

Here are some videos that I think you will find useful in understanding but also the ramifications of being aware of SEL within the classroom.

Attending to SEL within the classroom also means that projects like WebQuests can be worked on effectively and so Higher Order Thinking and Learning can occur.

Both videos are developed by Edutopia

 

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What is a WebQuest?

Social and Emotional Intelligence

by frances 2. March 2010 14:24

Here are some resources on SEL that I recently gave to my University student teachers that you also might find useful:

Queensland DET - Social and Emotional Learning  
  

Kids Matter: SEL

SEL: What is it?     

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What is a WebQuest?

Social and Emotional Intelligence (SEL)

by frances 1. March 2010 13:42

Using WebQuests involves tapping into students' Social and Emotional Intelligence especially when students take on Perspectives or Roles within a WebQuest!

This can be a very powerful thing! Students taking on a different perspective to solve the problems or issues presented in a WebQuest can get them to look at the problem in a way they have never considered before.

For example, I was team teaching in a NSW country school - a Year 6 (or Stage 3) class. We were getting the students to work with a WebQuest on Rainforests. I asked a particular boy (a rather big boy) to be a Logger as a perspective. He didn't want to take on this perspective as he pointed out to me that his family were "Greenies" (in a very strong Australian accent). I persuaded him to take on this role. After the lesson, he came up to me and said "I'm going to tell my Dad about you and this work!".

I was pretty taken back (and concerned about the size of the father!) but bravely said "What will you tell him?" And he replied, and blew my mind away... "Loggers they need jobs too!" He had emotionally connected with the perspective he was given and this had a great influence on his ideas and thoughts!

Remember the image of IQ and EQ:

When you are creating or using a WebQuest, be sure to take your student's EQ into account when allocating perspectives or roles!

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Tips on how to improve a WebQuest | What is a WebQuest?

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Other WebQuest & Educational Blogs

As I come across other WebQuest Blogs (& Educational ones), I will list them here.

Jane Hart's Blog (Jane is a Social Technologies Guru in UK)

Scot Aldred's Blog (Colleague at Central Queensland University and guru on Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

The Innovative Educator

Digital Education Blog

Blogging Corner Carnival

eLearn Magazine Blog

Dr. Lisa Neal Gualtieri, Editor-in-Chief, eLearn Magazine

Primary School.com.au Blog

Charlie Sullivan - Charlie does a fantastic job collating websites for Primary schools.

De Tools Blog

This blog by and for online educators and features free web based tools applications and resources. Author: John Goldsmith.

Bright Ideas: a blog by the School Library Association of Victoria

The Book Whisperer

This blog is written by Donalyn Miller, a 6th Grade teacher in Texas, who is reknown for encouraging students to read!

 

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Created WebQuests

Champions of Justice
Federator
Gold Force
Community Shopping Centre Planner
Can you get the party started?
Reminders of our moral conscience
The Petrov Affair
Careers
My Business Rules
Pluto's planetary status