Student Engagement Visual

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Saw this on Twitter (fromvia @edutopia) and thought it did a nice job (however sobering / scary it might be…). One of the comments on it too suggested adding a Carryover Level beyond the green that indicates that students carried over what they learned outside of the class(room).

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Online Testing Cheating Survey Results

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Last fall (around this very time), I had an unexpected meeting off campus on a day when I had scheduled tests. Rather than have the tests covered, I decided to let my students take the tests as a take home / take-where-they-want. After the test, I was interested in the experience, both in general and, specifically, about cheating, and so I surveyed them, the results of which are here.

This year, when the same test came around, it was back in the classroom but still on the computer, but I was still interested in both the test taking process and cheating, so I administered a modified form of the same survey. Here are the results of this year’s survey:

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.47.17 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.48.39 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.48.45 PMExplain (briefly / in bullets) your response to the previous question.

because its a lot more efficient and it just feels like less pressure.
I enjoy writing my answers down and typing isn’t my forte.
I find it easier to type on computers rather than writing.
It makes the test go faster.
i would like to keep doing the tests on the computer because they are more organized.
It is a much simpler way of testing and it fits this class well considering how often we use our computers anyways.
It’s easier to write out long essays/paragraphs Faster, so more time to think
I believe it is easier to do it on the computer personally because I have always done better on computers.
Although it is easier to write on a computer, I think that computer tests are more distracting and I think we should still be writing on paper for tests.
-I just don’t like doing things online. I’m old school!
doesn’t really matter if its on computer or paper to me, either way is fine; might as well save paper
I like online tests better because I want to write more for my responses because my hands hurt when i write.
The detailed directions scared me to not cheat. I have cheated on tests before, its pretty easy. When the teacher is walking around it is a lot harder to cheat.
Choose which statement best describes you and the test. * No correct option. Disregard answer.
its nice to type I do better work on a computer
It is much easier doesn’t hurt the wrists either
I like typing better than hand writing.
Its easier to type than to write it out.
Its easyer and dont have to worry about writing clearly
If the need was felt to cheat, I would’ve cheated. However, even though I didn’t read a page of the book, I read the sparknotes. The sparknotes allowed me to excel during the test and ace it without the need of cheating.
I like online tests
-Spellcheck is helpful
It’s easier to type answers than to write them and typed answers are usually more in depth.
Never in my life have i cheated nor will i every attempt to cheat because i’ve learned to accept failure rather than take the easy route out
i find it a lot easier to type instead of writing because it is quicker and less painful for the hands.
its nice
I like being able to see my work typed it makes me edit it more freely
I find it easier and way more time efficient to put down information and my ideas by typing. Writing I have to erase if I want to change what I wrote while online all I have to do is press “delete”.
I like typing my responses better on a computer, but I don’t think that I would cheat if I had the chance on a computer.
Online tests are ight, I like ‘em
I just hate testing on technology
I think its easy to get your thoughts out typing because it can go much faster than writing it.
It was nice to be able to type on the laptops rather than to have to write out many paragraphs and essays.
I would like the format for the future tests to be online. Personally I like typing responses rather than writing
I like writing better
Please include any other thoughts about the test approach here, including but not limited to whether or not you know of anyone that cheated (no names) or whether you thought the approach helped or hurt your test-taking.
cheating is bad!
i didnt think it made a difference
I like the idea of an online test but it’s not the online part that I didn’t like. The test itself was difficult and too open ended to even be considered for a right or wrong answer.
I liked the test approach because it helped my my test-taking. I prefer to take tests online rather than the more traditional way.
Is looking at sparknotes pre test considered cheating? Even as just a review material?
easy tests discourage cheating, give easy tests to remove cheating.
I have no other thoughts about cheating on tests nor do I know anyone who cheated.
It was annoying having people be able to look over your shoulder or at your screen. I took the time to complete the work, so them getting the answers without having to try is pathetic.
I liked the online test!
got nothin
I thought the online approach helped me write more in depth answers. It helped me in my opinion.
it helped
I thought some of the questions were wordy
I liked the test format but did not know of anyone that cheated on the test.
Beyond the obvious potential contradiction of no one saying that they cheated vs. some other answers that suggest that there was cheating, the most interesting answer was that over half the students’ impulse to cheat was decreased by me circulating during the test.

Making Rubrics Interactive

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Saw this post on Edutopia and found it a very intriguing idea. Still not sure how I feel about QR Codes (truly efficient? or gimmick that looks great to outsiders but that students will rarely actually utilize?) but I do like the idea of linking content directly to the rubric.

iNACOL 2014: Innovation in Teaching – Personalized Learning Risks, Rewards, and Challenges (Kerry Rice)

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Program Description:

Innovation in teaching is sometimes easier said than done. It takes a certain amount of risk-taking, often with extensive effort and no guarantee of success. This session will showcase an innovative approach using personalized and project-based instructional methods in an online course designed to instruct teachers in online teaching methods. Learn about the challenges and rewards of this approach and witness the results as teachers (as learners) share their experiences and their final projects.

  • Prof & Fulbright Scholar at Boise State
  • Three grad students with her to present
  • an online school in a brick and mortar setting / institution
  • focus on Rice’s Advanced Online Teaching
  • online learning should promote: learner autonomy, active participation, collaboration and community building, authentic assessments, acquisition of 21st c. skills
  • a move from constant targeted instruction + constant time = learning to variable targeted instruction + variable time = constant learning

iNACOL 2014: 30 in 60 – LMS Tips and Tricks (Tim Chase)

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Program Description:

It’s a LIGHTNING ROUND with Tim Chase and his crack-team of LMS-using compadres: 30 better ways to leverage our Learning Management Systems. The best practices we demo in this 60-minute blitz are NOT based on any one LMS, and we’ll show how we can use them in Canvas, Moodle, Edmodo, Schoology, and more. Hybrid learning and fully virtual classrooms will both benefit, and if we — breathlessly — get our 30 tips shown in time, we’ll open the mic for more quick tips from the floor.

  • elearning Design and Instruction for Baker Charter Schools (Web Academy)
  • Oregon Virtual School District Trainer
  • 1. Naming with Numbers: first number is week / unit; second is order of assignment for that unit (I think I do this).
  • 2. Naming with Points: include point values in assignment name (good call; I spend a good amount of time hunting down points, especially for non-traditional assignments).
  • 3. Keep a Backup. I mostly do this, but maybe not as much as I should. He uses a GoogleSite: each page is an assignment. Now he uses GoogleSlides. Each slide is an assignment. Sidebar navigation makes it easy(er).
  • 4. Common Cartridge. LMS’s can be Common Cartridge compliant, which seems to be a universal platform / language that will allow transfer between LMSs.
  • 5. Title at top of Text. Include title of page at top of textbox, so that you don’t have to rewrite / recompose title when copying and pasting.
  • 6. Use GoogleDrive for Videos. Download from YouTube, upload to GoogleDrive (or I use Vimeo). Align titles of videos with assignments.
  • 7. Use GoogleDrive for Docs.
  • 8. Syllabus. Using LMS to create a landing space for different courses and platforms. Use GoogleDocs to create syllabus and headings to create a table of contents that links to each unit.
  • 9. Resubmit. Allow resubmission along the lines of the mastery approach.
  • 10. Project Checklist. Provide it, and then copy checklist and include in submission (to ensure that they saw it). And if in the submission, it can be copied into the feedback.
  • 11. Control Click. Allows for batch opening of tabs / links (maybe platform specific?).
  • 12. Bookmarks / Folders. Bookmark everything you need to open (and only those), and then use the Bookmark All Tabs to create a folder.
  • 13. Grading Discussions. Make an assignment that asks students to copy and paste their participation in a discussion into a separate document.
  • 14. Chat Room. Creates camraderie (?)
  • 15. Peer Review (of portfolios). Portfolio ups work as does the peer review of those portfolios.
  • 16. Collecting Parent Info. (I do this already.)
  • 17. Rolling Point Totals. 100 pts per week for easy charting of grade.
  • 18. Status Checks. Have students review their own work in terms of their grade, missing work, work that should be resubmitted, current work, etc. [I like this idea.]
  • 19. Solicit Comments. As part of project checklist: how much time did this take? what did you think?
  • 20. Portfolio. Link-submit.
  • 21. Join Codes / URLs. An efficient way to facilitate joining online courses.
  • 22 & 23. Multi-Paste. Browser Clipboard is a Chrome plug-in? that allows multiple clipboards? I think I just like keeping them in Evernote.
  • 24 & 25. Screen Recording. Screen Record the grading process. He uses SOM / Screencast-o-matic and Screenr.
  • 26. Build rapport with tech support.
  • 27. Subscribe to Notifications from you Help Boards.
  • 28. ?
  • 29. Audience-generated tips are here.
  • 30. Feedback loop.


Very good. Very dynamic speaker.

iNACOL 2014: Mastery Next – The Future of AP and Blended Learning

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Program Description:

Davidson College is collaborating with multiple partners to create digital lesson modules to help students master difficult, AP-level work. This session will focus on the design of the partnership, managing expectations, teacher training, and the role of project management in a multi-partner environment. Attendees will participate in design challenges modeled after the partnership design, and be provided opportunities to engage in blended learning modules in table team environments.

2014-11-06 10.28.09

  • What is Davidson Next?
    • creating stand alone modules for the most challenging concepts within hs AP courses
    • make them available for free to students and teachers
    • modules hope to be rolled out summer 2015
  • How do we ensure that students are career and college ready?
  • TPAC [?] model: Venn diagram of technological knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, content knowledge
  • Partners include: College Board, edX, 2Revolutions, Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
  • Using edX’s platform and creating mini-MOOCs that focus on specific concepts
  • majority of pilot teachers are calc teachers
  • over 1200 students using the modules
  • September 2014: pilot kick-off; throughout the year = feedback; post-AP-exams = further refinement; summer 2015 = nationwide launch
  • starting with three subjects: AP Calc (AB & NC); Macro; Physics (1 & 2)
  • each unit will have 2-4 instructional videos
  • teachers are current AP teachers rather than college faculty
  • interactive learning tools are being developed (which currently don’t exist on edX), e.g. vector drawing tools for Physics
  • teacher support: AP Summer Institutes and Workshops as well as PD MOOCs

An interesting idea, especially the modular nature. I suspect AP teachers will find this useful, though the limited nature of the content is understandable but also tantalizing. (Sounds like some success needs to be identified to get more funding to expand the course / module offerings.)

iNACOL 2014: Blending the Unblended – An Unexpected Journey (Michael Bitton)

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Program Description:

How one private school took the giant step of bringing blended learning to their traditional classrooms. During the session, the speakers will discuss why they chose to blend, the challenges and successes they have encountered, as well as practical advise on how anyone can begin to incorporate a successful Blended learning program into their own school.

  • Jewish day school in Brooklyn, K-12, about 2,000 students
  • became involved with flipped / blended a few years ago and got a grant to implement
  • focusing on the nitty gritty of implementing a blended approach
  • prepare to fail: year 1 will lead to lots of failure and big failures
  • fail forward
  • definition: a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace + at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home
  • types of blended learning
    • lab rotation
      • a regular face to face instructional time
      • students rotate to a lab location and learn online
      • example: Rocketship Education (what is this?)
    • flex model
      • majority of time students are on computers in a large space
      • with breakout sessions: teachers rotate and pull students out for help as necessary
      • Carpe Diem in AZ an example
    • station rotation
      • classroom divided into three stations: teacher-led instruction, online instruction, collaboratve activities and stations
      • KIPP Empower LA an example
  • what are the possible pedagogical outcomes?
    • not all outcomes might happen each year
    • data-driven instruction
    • differentiated instruction
    • individualized or personalized instruction
    • deeper learning (i.e. up Bloom)
    • creation of independent, self-directed learners
    • more engaging learning atmosphere
  • designing a program
  • what is the goal of the school?
  • blended learning is the tool rather than the end / goal
  • make sure that blended learning is aligned with school goal / vision
  • this school’s goal is to prepare students for college and work
  • which grade levels and subjects?
  • specific target areas / academic goals? students reading better? achieving better in math? etc.
  • getting people on board
  • who will lead the blended learning program?
  • the leadership area (admin & dhs) and teachers
  • in this school, admin was on board but dhs were never told that blended was happening and so there was some push back from them; they weren’t on board in the way they should be
  • teachers should be open-minded and innovative; ok to fail
  • PD should not be one and done
  • the week over the summer, consultant comes in, presents, etc. but then no follow up
  • ongoing support and training are necessary
  • without that ongoing support and training, teachers will revert to the old approach
  • have teachers visit schools that are farther along / doing this
  • identify teachers at other schools who overcame similar problems that your teachers are facing
  • PLNs
  • support teachers; without support, there is no motivation or incentive to continue; have administrators come in in a positive way to increase the feeling of support
  • peer to peer observations
  • in year 2, master teachers who did it the previous year can help the rookie / year 1 teachers
  • collaborative planning time
  • you must let your teachers vent
  • technology infrastructure
  • the right device: this school decided that they just needed a device that will go on the web so they went with ChromeBooks, and they are not 1:1, i.e. students do not bring them home but rather the school uses carts
  • IT Staff Support that focuses on the blended environment, i.e. triaging the blended classrooms first
  • finding the right content provider
  • you will fail, fail, fail while looking for digital content providers
  • most schools will overhaul dcp after year 1
  • ask around / research: what are other schools using?
  • to buy, to create, or to do both / mix? this school does both; they have a dcp but supplement that with teacher-created material
  • available dcps now number in the 100s
  • include teachers in any demos that dcps provide
  • things to consider with dcps / demos:
    • instruction vs. practice; instruction = content delivery while practice = drilling; Khan Academy has both, videos for instruction and coaching for practice; companies have different weightings in these two areas
    • grade levels: make sure that the dcp grade level is commensurate with yours, i.e. one 9th grade algebra course might be more advanced than what your students are doing in 9th grade algebra
    • content and curriculum alignment
    • user interface: fun, engaging, easy?
    • length of lesson: in a 90 minute block of station rotation, that’s about 25 / 30 mins of online instruction; the first dcp lessons were 50 mins, which meant that students had to do the rest at home, which made it a disaster
    • adaptive vs. set vs. playlist
      • adaptive: assessment adapts content to student’s skills based on formative assessment
      • set: module 1 must be completed before module 2 is completed
      • playlist: teacher chooses which modules and in which order students receive content
      • this school uses playlist
    • types of assessment
    • data availability: how easy is it to pull data
    • available professional development
  • dcps tend to still be focused on elementary content; high school content is more limited; their first dcp for hs was essentially an online textbook with assessments (rather than a more holistic, integrated approach to content, like the elementary programs have)
  • backlash: lots of it, from teachers, students, school
  • teacher
    • role change
    • used to a set way of teaching: sage on the stage
    • connecting the different stations
    • help teachers develop a system within which they create meaningful stations
    • data collection didn’t happen year 1; not the focus; focused instead on getting the program going
    • meeting curriculum standards and getting students ready for tests
    • this school had to suspend blended learning for a week to prep for Regents
  • student
    • student mindset: huge paradigm shift
      • students begging teachers to teach them directly; felt like they weren’t learning
      • a new system whereby they had to think on their own
      • they were doing well on assessments but still felt like they weren’t learning
    • time management
      • pacing themselves / managing their own work and time, especially if they didn’t get through what they needed to in class
      • teachers made a checklist of work for the week to help students manage time and work
  • school
    • teacher backlash
    • parent backlash (similar to students); made a mistake with both parents and students of not giving enough intro / lead in to the blended approach
    • internet issues
    • class schedule

They noticed that while grad rate was high, so too was college dropout rate because students were having difficulty managing time and accessing help ahead of time. [Would be interesting to look at this at WHS.]
Interesting. I like especially the idea of committing to failure and using that to improve and move forward. I like that the complaints / backlash didn’t lead to a scrapping of the approach.

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