#Edchat Summary: Bringing Students into the Discussion to Improve Schools by @inquirebook

Guest post from @inquirebook in the #Edchat Category & other 12noon NYC summaries found on Berni Wall’s blog!

Today’s #edchat topic, How do we bring students into the discussion on how to improve the school environment? was intriguing. In the discussion, most participants pointed out that we cannot invite students to the table unless we are also prepared to work with their suggestions. A few focused on how a shift in culture needs to occur, one in which students take ownership of their own educations and learn to advocate for themselves. Some pointed out that students who are allowed to make their own choices often make bad choices, but others argued that the only way to learn how to make decisions is to make many decisions. The group generally agreed that if students are invited to offer suggestions, they should also be part of solving the problem, not just leaving adults to do the solving.

At a future #Edchat I’d be interested in discussing, What alternative models would allow the government to ensure school quality without relying on high-stakes testing?

Main Themes of the Chat

  • We need to listen to students.
  • We need to help students develop a sense of ownership in their educations.
  • To do so, we need a shift in school culture.
  • Students need to make decisions–many of them–and mistakes in order to learn to be problem solvers.
  • Digital solutions could give everyone a voice and provide students a format they understand.

Thought-Provoking Comments

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that inspired me and made me reflect.

@TJwolfe_: First of all, let students speak!! Stop lecturing and start listening! #edchat
@tomwhitby: We cannot invite students to the table unless we are willing to accept what they have to offer. #Edchat
@inquirebook: I think we first ask students what the goals of school should be–a guiding question for their inquiry. #edchat
@TheresaShafer: Have open forums for students, not just elected student councils. #edchat
@jessievaz12: We recently asked our 6th gr stdts to brainstorm ideas on how to improve transition from 5th. Amazing what came out. #edchat
@tomwhitby: We need the leadership to accept the fact that the learning environment needs change, and opinions for that change. #Edchat
@davidwees: If our schools are to be representations of our democracy, they must be more democratic. All stakeholders need a voice. #edchat
@Aaron_Eyler: How about realizing that just because they are kids doesn’t mean their ideas aren’t better than those with degrees? #edchat
@davidwees: Students learn how to make decisions by making decisions, lots of them. #edchat
@tsocko: Put the discussion in a format that kid communicate…digital! #edchat
@inquirebook: If students take ownership of their education, it ceases to be something *done* to them. #edchat
@tomwhitby: Teaching kids HOW to learn seems more important than WHAT to learn. Involving kids in the decision process is a HOW to learn thing #Edchat
@jheil65: Hard to change the environment w/o first changing the culture. . .Create the kind of school you want and the environment will follow #edchat
@21stprincipal: Students have to believe they have a say in what happens in their school. #edchat
@tomwhitby: If kids own an idea, they are more likely to support it. Works for teachers as well. #Edchat
@shfarnsworth: We must teach our students to transform their voice into a mean for change. How to inspire/create action! Responsible Citizen #edchat
@monicaannebatac: Students must learn 2 be activists & advocates for themselves – in school & beyond. – & also listen 2 and consider other voices #edchat
@jaluribe: Participation has to start in kindergarten. Older students can be like birds in open cages. Believing they can’t fly. #edchat
@CTuckerEnglish: Including all student voices is logistically challenging. Using an online forum might allow for equity of voices in convo #edchat
@TJwolfe_: We need to make school decision making into a teachable moment for everyone! Students included. #edchat
@ShellTerrell: Getting students involved in edreform begins with a question & continues with implementation of ideas #edchat
@Aaron_Eyler: It is totally a heretical thing. Ppl in charge didnt get listened to in school so they don’t listen to kids today. #edchat #breakthecycle
@CTuckerEnglish: If we engage students in process of determining how to best improve schools, that creates buy in & accountability. #edchat

To follow the complete discussion visit the transcript here!

More Resources

As ever, there were some great links shared:

@readingrockets: What makes a school good? http://ow.ly/6gDjp
@Inga_Ros I spoke about that at the #140edu You can see my presentation here http://t.co/TIKYnXo
@edutopia: Worth a read. RT @kylepace: What Schools Can Learn Frm #Google, IDEO, & Pixar http://t.co/42W2sfz

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 3000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat

Challenge:

If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment!

______________________________________________________________________________

I’m Rob King, lead author of Inquire: a Guide to 21st Century Learning. It’s a student handbook that teaches 21st century skills, study skills, inquiry, and project-based learning. I’m also editor in chief at Sebranek, Inc., the parent company of Write Source, UpWrite Press, and Thoughtful Learning. To learn more, go to www.thoughtfullearning.com.

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#Edchat Summary: Social Media’s Impact on Professional Development for Educators by @USCTeacher

Guest post from @USCTeacher in the #Edchat Category & other 12noon NYC summaries found on Berni Wall’s blog!

Today’s #edchat topic, What effect has social media (SM) had in your development as an educator? Is SM for every educator?, was intriguing. The topic pulled in both personal reflection for participators to think about their usage of social media as an educator as well as think about social media globally as a part of their profession. What was also great about this topic is that it made participators think not only about their usage of social media, but their colleagues, giving them a broader perspective on social media in general and in the education world. Personally, social media has changed my world in regards to professional development and building a PLN – I’ve been able to connect with educators all over the world as well as watch students in the program I work for (the MAT@USC) connect and share across oceans. Social media might not be for everyone in the “first person” sense, but at a minimal, is necessary to use and develop with colleagues.

At a future #Edchat I’d be interested in discussing, How can we encourage using SM in higher-ed? — Are there benefits?

Main Themes of the Chat

  •  Social medial allows professional development amongst educators
  •  Professional development has become global and personal thanks to social media
  •  Twitter can be used as a springboard to other things – depth, collaboration, projects
  • Social media may not be for every educator, but it effects all educators
  • Teaching both students and teachers how to use social media will help us learn
  • Social media must be taught by doing

Thought-Provoking Comments

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that inspired me and made me reflect.

1. @tomwhitby: How can we hold kids responsible for misusing SM when we refuse to teach it to them responsibly? #Edchat
2. @monicaannebatac: YES! Safe, responsible use of SM is necessary from teachers and students alike #edchat
3. @drdouggreen: You convince others what they are missing by having them sit next to you during an edchat. #edchat
4. @davidwees: SM is a tool WE can define edu reform & transform #edchat
5. @CTuckerEnglish: SM can be overwhelming 4 new user. Trick is to start slow. Find a tool that works & appreciate benefits then branch out #edchat
6. @jessievaz12: I love SM because it has awakened my passion in my prof. It makes me want 2B more progressive & find something to share w others #edchat
7. @MrMatthewRay: The world has changed rapidly – education has not. It must. SM is huge component. #edchat
8. @isteconnects: All educators should have basic understanding of social media. It’s ignorance that breeds fear of the tools #edchat
9. @teewhyare: that’s exactly what social media is intended to be: one large classroom w/ no tuition. This is my playground and class. #edchat
10. @davidwees: What would happen if every school was connected by at least 1 person through social media to every other school? #edchat
11. @courosa: i don’t know if SocMed is that which is unforgiving – it’s ppl that are. SocMed just exposes our raw humanity. #edchat
12. @timbuckteeth: we teach kids to cross street safely, must do same with SM – they’ll be using it anyway. #edchat
13. @inquirebook: I like the immediacy of Twitter. I get my breaking education news here. #edchat
14. @cybraryman1: I love the fact that when I do not know something there is always someone in my PLN who has the answer. #edchat

To follow the complete discussion visit the transcript here!

More Resources

As ever, there were some great links shared:

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 3000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat

Challenge:

If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment!

______________________________________________________________________________

Sarah Fudin currently works as a community manager for the University of Southern California’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, which provides aspiring teachers the opportunity to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential online. Outside of work Sarah enjoys running, reading and Pinkberry frozen yogurt.

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Are Teachers Leaders in Education? #Edchat Summary

6pm CET/ 12pm EST Edchat Summary

In this week’s Edchat we tried tackling this difficult question, “Are teachers leaders in education? Should real change involve teachers or those that have “real power” such as Administrators?”

Although many agreed changed was needed in schools across the world, we came up with many different conclusions on where this change should begin.

What some #edchat participants had to say…

j_allen I think change has to involve teachers…they need to buy in for it to be legit
WPrettyman First time: Don’t teachers have “real power” with students?
dlourcey For real change, to change a culture, it has to happen at the model in chief level. Admin must lead and learn.
johnmclear A good leader will inspire teachers to lead their own dept decision making processes
ShellTerrell Are teachers leaders in education? I would say definitely but they need support of parents, admin, students
Tamaslorincz Good evening from Dubai. I think admin know how to run an institution but know little about education, they need teachers.
cybraryman1 Unfortunately many admin & upper level decision makers are too far removed from the classroom.
fernandocassola Leadership should be shared by both, because som things need to be worked by admin and others by teachers and dont forget students..
nashworld In our district, admin directly supports “middle level leaders” in a leadership symposium of teachers who naturally lead by actions
olafelch @WPrettyman The smart answer would be, “yes, if the students let you!” ;o)
dlourcey Absolutely agree. Teacher leaders are the movers and the shakers. The early adopters will help influence the naysayers
MatthiasHeil Admins are good admins if they stand in bad teachers’ way…
MissCheska Teachers as leaders in Edu? Yes, they are the ones in the classrooms; they know what works/what doesn’t
foes4sports Ideally, real change involves both, but if your admin. isn’t techy, you don’t have any choice but to push for change personally.
olafelch @aeringuy Then why is change / modernisation in teaching so slow?
WPrettyman @olafelch Granted! Good Admins will teach through their own ways of interacting with students and faculty.
elanaleoni I’ve seen change happen from the bottom up, starting with parents and also from the top down w/ admins. (Depends on the culture)
MissCheska Who says there must only be one body of leaders in Edu? Structure of edu relies on collab b/w all parties involved
raffelsol Teachers that lead the change are those that USE technology OUTSIDE of school and see the impact on their lives.
esolcourses IMO, impossible to implement real change without admin involved. IME, getting them on board isn’t always easy
dlourcey Teachers who are less comfortable need to get in the sandbox, play, get dirt, mess it up, and relearn.
elanaleoni Yes, if you get a groundswell of movement around it, anything’s possible.
olafelch @esolcourses I agree. But progressive admins also have problems getting teachers on board. It cuts both ways.
cybraryman1 You cannot leave out student and parent input into these changes.
esolcourses getting admin to shift their viewpoint can be a problem. Esp. with subjects traditionally taught without using tech
MissCheska Good admins give their teachers room to grow and lead, but give the support they need to be successful in all they do
ToughLoveforX Are teachers leaders in education? || Yes in discovering what works. But for sustainable change, it must be admins.
daylynn Teacher leader has ability to guide admin to approp tools/methods & show how successful & relevant.
tomwhitby system makes too simple for Admins & Teachers to develop an “us & them” mentality that hampers cooperation/ collaboration.
MrR0g3rs all r impt, but if u don’t get the admin, u might as well bang wall w/head
Mattguthrie Teachers have to innovate & admin sometimes necessary to make it policy on schook level to drag along resistors/late adopters
rliberni @tomwhitby here schools expect new teachers to have a view at least on tech
infodivabronx Do the research, start w/ a small pilot project, gather data, and get admin to buy in. No small task

Some questions & points that arose:

ShellTerrell If admin’s vision is different than the teacher’s vision, is real change realistic?
elanaleoni Q: How many of you can say that you have a close relationship with your admins?
olafelch Then why is change / modernisation in teaching so slow?
tomwhitby Do educators defeat themselves by trying to involve everyone in decision making?
MissCheska @dlourcey What kind of incentives would admins enforce to get less comf teachers on board??
reportertanya Does real change have to mean technology, though?
fernandocassola Don’t you think that the community needs to be involved in the school planning / admin? It makes sense or not?
olafelch the question I hear most often from Admin is, how are you going to get the staff to use it?
foes4sports Perhaps we need to consider this: Is it STUDENTS that lead the change?!
dlourcey How does this change take place if teachers have the attitude, “just leave me alone and let me teach?”

Links that were shared:

nashworld Teacher leaders can effectively tap on admin shoulders by the use of open media. Example: http://twurl.nl/g7zwus
nashworld Again… skip down to “administrative support” on this post for my opinions on this: http://twurl.nl/ybv26j
fernandocassola I thnk the model of leadership proposed by the school2.0 is the most fantastic method of teaching. see this http://bit.ly/4Qmccd

Note: Read the entire transcript by clicking on @jswiatek’s archive

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat

Challenge:

If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.

If you enjoy this series, you may want to subscribe for free to receive regular updates!

Do you have a great project/event that is creating change at your school? Leave a comment!


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7 Tips for Student Engagement with E-portfolios

Yesterday, I posted the #Edchat summary. The topic: What makes a digital portfolio effective? I received a comment from Ray Tolley, who let me repost this for you! I found the information really useful and I hope you do, too!

Ray’s Advice

I was recently asked, “can anyone shed any light on the “theory” of successful student engagement using ePortfolios in the vocational area of learning?”

And this was my reply:

This is not an uncommon problem, particularly with purpose-designed systems.
The issue, in my opinion is one of ‘ownership’.

1: If the system you are using is just a tool for subject delivery/assessment there is little motivation for the student to do yet more form-filling.

2: In some institutions the e-Portfolio is just used as a content delivery system as a substitution for a VLE which might not be capable of managing the tutor/mentor feedback and peer-review that an e-Portfolio should be capable of managing. And this is where, I suspect, that the popularity of Web2.0 has intruded itself.

3: It is an educationally recognised fact that the e-Portfolio needs to ‘belong’ to the learner. If there is no self-identity, no self-representation that shouts out “This is ME”, there is little chance that any but the most studious will invest time and effort in doing something that is obviously not ‘mine’ but the College’s.

4: The e-Portfolio should contain personal information that helps the tutor/mentor to better understand the learner and thus develops a better student-teacher relationship. The more information that the learner is allowed to include, including rich media, the better the relationship can become.

5: Of course, the organisation, layout and choice of pages and sub-pages, the templates chosen and colour-schemes, of avatars etc are all part of the psychology of ‘ownership’. It is quite often these very obvious presentation choices that immediately tell the experienced teacher much about their students than might be intended.

6: However, perhaps the most important aspect of the e-Portfolio is what tools are embedded to provide formative feedback, peer review, polls, surveys and comments that really begin to support the type of student activity we should be seeing in the classroom, with or without walls.

7: An obvious requirement of e-Portfolio functionality is that the learner needs to be able to control who-sees-what. A good e-Portfolio will allow the control of audiences so that concurrently different readers will see different ‘views’ of the one e-Portfolio.

I could go on for ages, but hope this is a start. Please check out my links below:

Best Wishes,

Ray Tolley FEIDCT, NAACE Fellow, MBILD
ICT Education Consultant
P: http://raytolley.v2efolioworld.mnscu.edu/
B: http://www.efoliointheuk.blogspot.com/
W: http://www.maximise-ict.co.uk/eFolio-01.htm
Winner of the IMS ‘Leadership Regional Award 2009′


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What Makes A Digital Portfolio Effective? #Edchat Summary

6pm CET/ 12pm EST Edchat Summary

Smiling School Boy

Every week, @rliberni or myself, @shellterrell, will be providing you with summaries of the 6pm CET/ 12pm EST Edchat discussions! This week’s #edchat started with a buzz as educators, parents, and learners from around the world discussed what makes a digital portfolio effective. Overall, the general consensus was that digital portfolios are an effective means of highlighting students’ and teachers’ projects and experiences, getting parents involved, establishing a positive digital footprint, preparing for careers, and motivating students to take charge of their own learning.

Topic: What do effective digital portfolios look like? How should they be assessed? What needs to happen to move in this direction?

What some #edchat participants had to say…

cybraryman1- I see digital portfolios as repositories of student work in a digital format. #edchat
kylepace- Effective digital portfolios must have clear, consistent guidelines. #edchat
angelbrady- A digi portfolio shows growth and is reflective of their work. All media (if possible) should be displayed #edchat
MissCheska- Educator portfolios, like those of students’, should celebrate and keep track of PD growth #edchat andycinek- Digital Portfolios need to have a scope, show growth and have relevance beyond high school #edchat MrR0g3rs- #edchat technically most important is that portfolio is easily accessible. No use using niche software if no one can view it.
technolanguages- #Edchat I did portfolio assessment with a small group of students. But it is really hard work to do it with a class of 25.
kanor74- Guidelines are good, but there needs to be allowances for design and creativity, too! #edchat
msstewart- We use student blogs, tagged 4 specific classes & assignments as student portfolios. Used across disciplines-math, Eng, History,etc #edchat
andycinek- Digital portfolios need to begin with “Why” and never end, but always be applicable to student growth and development #edchat
AtomiClint E-portfolios are a convenient place to collect and share media representing your PD history. We provide them with our 21PD package. #edchat
colport- I am hoping to use e-portfolios to bridge the home school gap AND as a means of showing assessments via e-books #edchat
andycinek- I think a combination of Google Docs and Wikispaces. They have worked for me and are always accessible #edchat
AmmarMerhbi- Mhara is an open source software that is sever based ( can be linked to moodle , to result in mahoodle) great tool #edchat
kanor74- Capzles and This Moment provide chronological embeds or links to show growth or progress on work. #edchat
cybraryman1- You have to 1st start with education then employ the technology #edchat
johnmclear- #edchat @kylepace I did kinda put an About Me section on my site, only gets a few clicks per week, has v basic info but does job
jsovick- For year to year use of portfolios I would highly value non proprietary formats. The more open the better! #edchat
cybraryman1- I feel you have to concentrate on content first. Dissemination is easy. #edchat
rliberni- I think blogs are very flexible and reflect the writer #edchat

Some questions & points that arose:

elanaleoni- @MissCheska-Do you know of any educators that keep track and celebrate student dig. portfolios? #edchat
etutoria- I would like to start my ePortfolio as a teacher. Some tricks and tips? #edchat
MrR0g3rs- @kylepace @andycinek what is a good software for tracking growth? Google Docs tracks revisions right? xackr- @andycinek Why use a USB stick? Why not give each student a gmail account and let them use Google Tools as lifelong digital stash #edchat
charlie1312- currently eportfolio problem = too many alternatives! Livebinders is good, but I think google apps / docs is better? #edchat
kylepace- @andycinek I was going to say something similar. Why wouldn’t a wiki work? At what age should this begin? #edchat
elanaleoni- What’s the most important part of an edu e-portfolio? Having a blog, LinkedIn, Twitter? #edchat

Links that were shared:

andycinek- My student protfolio vision http://bit.ly/5gMyrK #edchat cybraryman1- Ditial Portfolio sites: http://cybraryman.com/teachertools.html #Portfolios #edchat
Marisa_C- #edchat What can you put in a portfolio – some ideas http://tiny.cc/DtINa
Blythe_Musteric- @ShellTerrell I really like your digital CV! Very nice! http://bit.ly/4B48XU #edchat
AmmarMerhbi- Google sites is a great eportfolio tool Check out Dr. Helen’s http://bit.ly/5CeVQZ 4 resources on google sites andstudy articles #edchat
Marisa_C #edchat Here is another useful site http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic82.htm

Note: Read the entire transcript by clicking on @jswiatek’s archive

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat

Challenge:

If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat.

If you enjoy this series, you may want to subscribe for free to receive regular updates! What do you think makes an effective digital portfolio? Leave a comment!


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