Take a Risk

 A few teachers have mentioned that they have tried to take a risk with their lessons, either by trying to integrate technology, flipping their classroom, or putting the learning directly in the hands of students. It is important for us to encourage our students to take risks in their learning.  We can encourage them to try out a new presentation technique or to explore their creative side.   Inorder for our students to succeed in the 21st century world, they will need to learn to be creative, innovate, and think outside of the box.  What better way to promote innovation and creativity than by modeling it ourselves in the classroom.  

So here is the challenge for December….take a risk with one of your lessons.  Here a few ideas to get you thinking….

  • Try out a new type of technology–have the students create videos explaining their science lab results or math problems….and then post it online
  • Integrate a new app such as Voicethread for a collaborative online discussion/presentation.  
  • In English, reach out to the offer online of a book the students are reading to Skype with the author.  
  • In Wellness, have the students make movies illustrating proper fitness techniques for a workout of a day video ad.  
  • In history, use Google Earth to track historical events or have them create a timeline electronically
  • In world language–have the students create their own practice examples on the vocabulary, post it online for others to respond to prompts.
  • In business–have students contact business leaders or entrepreneurs or follow them on Twitter.  Do twitter chat.
  • In art–have the students create digital portfolios of their sketchbooks

www.flippedlearning.org/webinars

Please share your risk-taking lesson with us, so we can come see it and share new ideas!

Level of Technology Integration

The Following is an assessment of your level of technology implementation (LoTi).  Where do you think you fall?  Where would you like to be?

Table 1. Levels of Technology Implementation (LoTi) (after Moesrch, 2010)

Leve l Category Description
0 Non-use
Instructional focus ranges from a direct instruction approach to a collaborative, student-centred learning environment. The use of research- based best practices may or may not be evident, but those practices do not involve the use of digital tools and resources.
1 Awareness
Instructional focus emphasizes information dissemination to students using lectures or teacher-created multimedia presentations. Teacher questioning and student learning typically focus on lower cognitive skill development. Digital tools and resources are used for curriculum management tasks, to enhance lectures, or as a reward for students who complete class work.
2 Exploration
Instructional focus emphasizes content understanding and supports mastery learning and direct instruction. Teacher questioning and student learning focus on lower levels of student cognitive processing. Students use digital tools for extension activities, enrichment exercises, or information-gathering assignments that generally reinforce lower cognitive skill development. Students create multimedia products to demonstrate content understanding in a digital format that may or may not reach beyond the classroom.
3 Infusion
Instructional focus emphasizes higher-order thinking (application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation) and engaged learning. Teacher-centered strategies include concept attainment, inductive thinking, and scientific inquiry models and guide the types of products the students generated. Students use digital tools and resources to carry out teacher-directed tasks that emphasize higher levels of student cognitive processing.
4A Integration (Mechanica l)
Students are engaged in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources, but the teacher may experience classroom management or school climate issues, such as lack of support from colleagues, that restrict full-scale integration. Teachers rely on prepackaged materials, assistance from other colleagues, or professional development workshops. Emphasis is on applied learning and the constructivist, problem-based models of teaching that require higher levels of student cognitive processing and in-depth examination of the content. Students use digital tools and resources to investigate student-generated questions that dictate the content, process, and products embedded in the learning experience.
4B Integration (routine)
Students are fully engaged in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources. Teachers are within their comfort levels promoting inquiry-based models of teaching that involve students applying their learning to the real world. Emphasis is on learner- centered strategies that promote personal goal setting and self-monitoring, student action, and issues resolution that require higher levels of student cognitive processing and in-depth examination of the content. Students use digital tools and resources to investigate student-generated questions that dictate the content, process, and products embedded in the learning experience.
5 Expansion
Students collaborate beyond the classroom to solve problems and resolve issues. Emphasis is on learner-centered strategies that promote personal goal setting and self-monitoring, student action, and collaborations with other diverse groups, such as people from another school, another culture, a business, or a governmental agency. Students use digital tools and resources to answer student-generated questions that dictate the content, process, and products embedded in the learning experience. The complexity and sophistication of the digital resources and collaboration tools used in the learning environment are now commensurate with the diversity, inventiveness, and spontaneity of the teacher’s experiential-based approach to teaching and learning and the students’ level of complex thinking (analysis, synthesis, evaluation) and in-depth understanding of the content experienced in the classroom.
6 Refinement
Students regularly collaborate beyond the classroom to solve problems and resolve issues. The instructional curriculum is entirely learner based. The content emerges based on the needs of the learners according to their interests, needs, and aspirations and is supported by unlimited access to the most current digital applications and infrastructure available. There is no longer a division between instruction and digital tools and resources. The pervasive use of, and access to, advanced digital tools and resources provides a seamless medium for information queries, creative problem solving, student reflection, and product development. Students have ready access to, and a complete understanding of, an array of collaboration tools and related resources.