Teaching: The Opposite of Magic?

» 26 August 2015 » In Commentary, Teachers » No Comments

The Great Levante in Wellington, 1941

Like all youngsters, I went through the phase of wanting to be a magician - got a how-to book, assembled a few props and began to practice my “illusions.” I even put on a “show” for a few (younger) neighbor kids. That phase didn’t last long, but I learned that magicians rely on secrecy and redirecting the audiences’ attention.

Magician didn’t work out for me, but I’ve had a long career as a teacher, now teacher educator. As I finalize plans for my social studies methods class, I find myself thinking that good teaching is the opposite of magic. Unlike magicians, teachers draw attention to how thing are done. Teaching is thinking made visible. And if that’s true how do you teach how to teach?

My methods course is based on the premise that it should model the instruction we hope to see these pre-service teachers using in their classrooms. So, for example, it’s not enough to talk about PBL or student-centered learning. We have to use it in our methods instruction.

We know that students need a more authentic audience for their work than the teacher, so our methods course assignments have a public product. Our work has received recognition - including this shoutout from one of our inspirations – Sam Wineburg of the Stanford History Education Group. #humblebrag. 

My methods students are participant observers. They don't simply following my lesson, they experiencing the learning as a “student” and then put on their “teacher hat” and reflect on “how did he set that up?” Unlike the magician, we make the thinking behind the lesson planning visible.

This year our University of Portland program is transitioning to edTPA. There's much for all of us to learn and I'll be doing that right along side my students. 

Here’s a visual intro I prepared for my students. It illustrates the three goals of the course and examples of how they are taught.

  1. Learn to think like a historian (or other social scientist).
  2. Become a skillful instructional designer.
  3. Develop skills for reflection, growth and professional networking.

Click to view intro mediaClick to view intro media

Image credit: National Library NZ on The Commons
The Great Levante in Wellington, 1941
Opera House Wellington, The Great Levante … Hows Tricks, 1941, Chromolithograph, Printed Ephemera Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Eph-D-CABOT-Magic-1941-01

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PD Should Model What You Want To See in the Classroom

» 05 August 2015 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, How To, PD, Projects, Publishing, Teachers » 1 Comment

Student-as-historian-featured

Here’s how a Library of Congress-funded PD session incorporated flipped/ blended learning, PBL, collaborative Google tools. Free iBook and PDF for download with all course content and showcase iBook “The Student As Historian ~ Teaching with Primary Sources from the Library of Congress”

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Flip PD with Versal and Create More Collaboration Time

» 01 July 2015 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, How To, Teachers, Web 2.0 » 1 Comment

deconstruct-currier-featured

Here’s how I used Versal (a free LMS) to flip a portion of my Library of Congress-funded summer teachers’ workshop.

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How To Think Like a Historian

» 29 June 2015 » In Guest post, History / DBQ's » 1 Comment

Richard-of-Wallingford-featured

Google Hangout – Our Library of Congress TPS workshop queries historian Dr. Adam Franklin-Lyons about how historians think.

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Teacher’s Guide to Ed Design

» 23 June 2015 » In Ed Tech, How To, Presentations » No Comments

devsigner-featured

I’m pleased to be presenting at the Devsigner Conference in Portland Ore June 27-28. My session will offer perspectives on designing engaging learning experiences that motivate students, provoke their reflections and monitor their progress as learners.

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How to Find Primary Source Documents

» 09 June 2015 » In Events, History / DBQ's, How To, PD » No Comments

Main-Reading-Room-featured

Finding online documents can a challenge, so I put together a 12-min video of three search strategies that I find effective – locating curated content, using the native LOC search tools and using a search operator. [site:loc.gov]

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Student as Historian: Library of Congress Summer Workshop

» 04 May 2015 » In Events, History / DBQ's, Teachers » No Comments

LOC-featured

I’m excited to offer a workshop this summer for 20 Oregon teachers and librarians (grades 4-12). It’s jointly sponsored by the Library of Congress, the TPS Regional Program & NWRESD. Participating teachers will receive $500 stipend at conclusion of the program.

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How to Create Interactive eBooks with iBooks Author

» 29 April 2015 » In Ed Tech, How To, Presentations, Publishing » No Comments

iBooks-Author-widget-featured

I’m offering an iBooks Author training session for faculty at the University of Portland. Here’s two videos that demonstrate interactivity of iBA widgets and how easy it is to input content into your iBook.

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5 Ideas for Teaching in a Digital World

» 22 April 2015 » In Commentary, Ed Tech, Events, Presentations » No Comments

have-the-courage-to-be-less-helpful-featured

Life’s become an “open-book” test. So what does that mean for schools? Last week I gave the keynote at 5th Annual Ed Tech Summit on the beautiful Southern Oregon University campus in Ashland, Oregon. I offered 5 suggestions for teaching in the digital world.

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Teaching and Learning in a Digital World

» 31 March 2015 » In Ed Tech, Events, History / DBQ's, PD, Presentations » No Comments

Featured--Pappas-keynote-Ed-Tech-Summit

I’m pleased to be the keynote speaker at the Southern Oregon Ed Tech Summit 2015 in Ashland Oregon (April 17, 2015). Here’s a preview of my keynote and two breakout sessions.

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