Podcast: Reflections on Teaching Strategies That Work

» 11 December 2012 » In Commentary, Ed Tech, Reflection, Teachers » No Comments

I had a great time recording a podcast with Mark Hofer and David Carpenter for their series Ed Tech Co-Op. Go to show 26: Peter Pappas (Dec 9, 2012) via Web | iTunes 

If the art teacher taught art, the way I taught history, his students would be sitting there watching him paint.

Mark led off by asking me to reflect back on my some of the driving themes in my career. I confessed that as a novice teacher, I mimicked my experience as a high school student and taught primarily via lecture mixed with an occasional “guess what the teacher is thinking” whole-group discussion.

But I recalled an “aha” moment after repeated visits to the art class in the classroom next door. I realized that if the art teacher taught art, the way I taught history, his students would be sitting there watching him paint. I remember that got me thinking …

Our podcast continued with a lively discussion about what works in the classroom. Below are a few of the prompts they tossed at me. No ed theory or brain research in my responses. Just my candid and unrehearsed thoughts ranging from “why teaching should be the opposite of magic” to “how schools are not teaching good digital hygiene.”

  • Can you talk a bit about how you shift responsibility for the learning to the students. 
  • How did you support a constructivist model is information-laden, high stakes courses like AP / IB?
  • Did you get much push-back from your students and how did you deal with it? How do you deal with parents and administrators?
  • What do you say when teachers tell you “I’ve got so much to cover, I don’t have time for more student-based approach?”
  • Tell us more about your post “Why Johnny Can’t Search?” and how librarians and instructional technologists can partner to improve student information skills.
  • How is the analytic process different in different subjects – say science vs history?

See these posts for more on subjects raised in the podcast:

Stay tuned to Ed Tech Co-Op – a collaborative effort between the College of William & Mary, Alexandria Country Day School, and other educators interested in technology integration in K-12 classrooms.

Image credit flickr/ visual.dichotomy

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Animated Guide to 8 Essentials For Learning

» 28 November 2012 » In Commentary, PD, Strategies, Students, Visualizations » No Comments

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This clever and fast-paced 6-minute animation provides insights into how teenagers learn. An “insider’s guide” to the teenage brain, it answers the question – “If you were a teenage speaker brought in to address a crowd of teachers on the subject of how you and your peers learn best . . . what would you say?”

Done in hand-drawn whiteboard / voiceover format it sets out eight essentials for learning, including my favorite – reflection. Share it with your students and see if they concur or use it as a discussion starter for your next faculty meeting.

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Free Webinar on Higher Order Thinking – the Student Perspective

» 26 January 2012 » In Ed Tech, Events, PD, Presentations, Web 2.0 » No Comments

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One of this year’s resolutions was to begin offering webinars. (not that I don’t enjoy airports) I recently completed my first pilot (description below) and I’m looking for three school sites who would like to try a free pilot webinar and offer me some feedback.

I think professional development should model what we want to see in the classroom. So I’d like to start with an 45-minute experiential webinar called: “Higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) – What’s that look like in the classroom?” We’ll watch a few short video clips, do a few activities to model instruction at different levels of Blooms and then reflect on the experience.

Find out more and submit a request for free webinar. I will select from requests that demonstrate you’ll be easy to work with!

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9 Questions for Reflective School Reform Leaders

» 22 November 2010 » In Commentary, Ed Policy, Leadership, Reflection » 8 Comments

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Schools will need to become places that create engaging and relevant learning experiences, provoke student reflection, and help students apply the learning to life. Here’s nine reflective questions for school leaders to consider. They’re organized around three themes and a concluding recommendation.

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Watch Problem Based Learning in Action: Apollo 13

» 28 October 2010 » In Strategies, Students » 10 Comments

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While our students have been conditioned to “learn the basics – then solve the problem,” that’s not how life always works. Knowledge can be put into practice in a problem and a problem can be used to generate a body of knowledge. Watch this clip from “Apollo 13″ for a good example of problem-based learning in action

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Teaching Continuity and Change: Crowdsourcing My Lesson Idea

» 25 August 2010 » In How To, Projects, Social Web, Strategies, Teachers » 4 Comments

I’ve been invited by the folks at the education department at the Smithsonian to do a guest blog post. I have an idea for a document based question (DBQ) that explores the historic perspective of continuity and change. I thought I’d “crowdsource” my idea to my readers for some feedback.

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The Reflective Principal: A Taxonomy of Reflection (Part 4)

» 07 January 2010 » In Commentary, How To, Leadership, PD, Reflection, Strategies » 4 Comments

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I’ve developed this “Taxonomy of Reflection.” – modeled on Bloom’s approach. It’s posted in four installments and includes reflective guides for students, teacher and principals.

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The Reflective Teacher: A Taxonomy of Reflection (Part 3)

» 06 January 2010 » In Commentary, How To, Leadership, PD, Reflection, Strategies, Teachers » 23 Comments

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Part III of IV: The Reflective Teacher. Teachers are often so caught up in the meeting the demands of the day, that they rarely have the luxury to muse on how things went. Moreover, teaching can be an isolating profession – one that dictates “custodial” time with students over “collaborative” time with peers. In an effort to help schools become more reflective learning environments, I’ve developed this “Taxonomy of Reflection” – modeled on Bloom’s approach.

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The Reflective Student: A Taxonomy of Reflection (Part 2)

» 05 January 2010 » In Commentary, How To, Leadership, Literacy, Reflection, Strategies, Students » 21 Comments

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Part II of IV: The Reflective Student. In an effort to help schools become more reflective learning environments, I’ve developed this “Taxonomy of Reflection” – modeled on Bloom’s approach.

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A Taxonomy of Reflection: Critical Thinking For Students, Teachers, and Principals (Part 1)

» 04 January 2010 » In Commentary, How To, Leadership, Literacy, Reflection, Strategies » 47 Comments

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Part I of IV. In an effort to help schools become more reflective learning environments, I’ve developed this “Taxonomy of Reflection.” – modeled on Bloom’s approach. It’s posted in four installments and includes reflective guides for students, teacher and principals.

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