Today we practiced using TED Ed for flipping our classrooms with videos. TED Ed makes it very simple to find helpful videos and set up thinking, questions and discussion topics. This tool is a wonderful addition for my class, as it could provide quick and intriguing homework and it could help further learning if there are teacher or student absences. Due to time constraints, I chose to focus on writing a friendly letter, as it is something that we visit a lot in 5th grade and appears on my students KET test in the spring.
It’s important that as educators, we take leadership roles in our school communities and challenge products and ideas that cross our school’s doorway. We must be informed, critical consumers of research. According to Willingham’s book When Can you Trust the Experts?…we should follow these steps in analyzing and deciding on products or ideas that seem like good (and massive) school adoptions within our peripheral sense:
1. Strip it and Flip it
2. Trace it
3. Analyze it
Our group used Willingham’s steps and researched BrainGym. We found that the website was aimed at our emotional connections and played to our peripheral knowledge of how beneficial movement is in learning. The site makes big claims without any statistical backing or reference to supportive research. However, the founder Paul Dennison, has no medical training and the research mentioned online is misleading. Unfortunately, this BrainGym curriculum has been adopted around the world without educators questioning the adoption.
Today we were given a quickfire to practice our editing and filming skills, in preparation for our Understanding Understanding project. Our inspiration was Preston dancing to Footloose. Here you will find my group’s contribution to dancing in public with an iPod. Please keep in mind that we had about 10 minutes to edit our film, but there is evidence of improved skills in that we tried using the Rule of Thirds, steadying the camera (while on the go) and use of lighting.
We were given the challenge to improve our video-making skills after having viewed our Ch. 4 and 5. The professors gave us a mini-lesson on specific shooting strategies, lighting and stability issues. With having had this extra instruction, our mission in creating a more-perfect video was trickier, especially given the time constraints, and given the new content of Ch. 7 of Willingham. My group chose to present on the theme of how novices and experts think.
Today we held two different formats of discussion about Willingham’s Ch. 4 and Ch. 5.
First, we discussed Ch. 4 face-to-face. I noticed that not everyone participated. I didn’t participate much, as I heard a lot of comments that were repeated and thought my ideas were thrown out to the class. Secondly, we had an “online class” discussion using edmodo.com. While I was able to participate more on edmodo, my thought processes were scrambled up and it was difficult to follow conversation threads. Here are some shots from today’s conversations online.