Category Archives: Know the content and how to teach it

11 Ways Finland’s Education System Shows Us that “Less is More”.

One could do worse for a framework to review what we all do as educators. Well worth the time to read and reflect.

Filling My Map

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When I left my 7th grade math classroom for my Fulbright research assignment in Finland I thought I would come back from this experience with more inspiring, engaging, innovative lessons.  I expected to have great new ideas on how to teach my mathematics curriculum and I would revamp my lessons so that I could include more curriculum, more math and get students to think more, talk more and do more math.

This drive to do more and More and MORE is a state of existence for most teachers in the US….it is engrained in us from day one.  There is a constant pressure to push our students to the next level to have them do bigger and better things.  The lessons have to be more exciting, more engaging and cover more content.  This phenomena  is driven by data, or parents, or administrators or simply by our work-centric society where we…

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Another new tool for creating a learning channel

Image representing Thinglink as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

I’m grateful to my colleague, Teresa, for introducing me to the tool ‘Thinglink’ (http://www.thinglink.com/learn) recently. Simply, it allows you to upload an image and place links to online resources – video, audio, text, etc. – on the image in places that resonate with that resource. So, for example, a map could have video links pinned to cities marked on them; a picture of the human body could have links to explanatory notes; an image of punctuation marks could be linked to audio explanations of each, etc.

I think I’ll use this tool to encourage my students to make connections themselves – a creative way to collect research links on a particular theme or topic.

Diigo as a classroom collaboration tool

I’ve just started using Diigo with my Year 12 English students. They’re doing some background research into the novel 1984 and I wanted them:

  • to keep track of web pages that were relevant
  • to record the bits of those pages that were particularly relevant
  • to share what they find and
  • to be able to search through their collaborative efforts to pinpoint particular ideas – ‘totalitarianism’, or ‘propaganda’, for example.

So we all created Diigo accounts and I created a group to which they were all added. I then reminded them of effective web searching strategies (using the resources that Google provide – useful!) Before they set off on their individual contributions to the collective list.

With only a simple demonstration, they were highlighting, adding sticky notes, tagging pages, and sharing with the group. Easy! To go a step further, we have added the RSS feed to the year group’s Moodle course so that our updated resource can be shared with their wider cohort.