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As I approach the midway point of the course I’m taking, Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, the concept that is sticking with me the most is the idea of where knowledge comes from in the classroom of 2016. As Bates (n.d) points out in his text, we have moved far from an isolated objectivist and behaviorist classroom to one that is constructing knowledge in a connected fashion.  Not only are students connected to information via the Internet, teachers are connecting to a broader audience of other teachers, and teachers are accessing digital tools to enhance, personalize, and broaden the learning experience for their students.  The year 2016 is truly an age of information opportunity.

In turn, this can be overwhelming for a teacher when trying to develop lessons. This information opportunity can be quickly seen as information overload.  Teachers want to help students find the “right” and “best” information when they go online.  I find teachers are eager for some assistance. This week I chose a question from one of my teachers, as my triggering (weekly) question, “I am trying to get an idea of some different formats for a few of the assignments I am creating. I just would like to see some of the layouts again to have some ideas. I want the 5th graders to do a research project on a career. First I would like them to explore what their interests and skills sets are and come up with a slide presentation about that. The next part of the presentation would have info about a career with the skills and info about schooling/training. I’m just working out how to put together the assignments in Google classroom.”

This ties in nicely with this course’s focus on the ISTE Student Standards.  The Standards call on students to be active learners.  This includes such verbs as:  apply, create, identify, collaborate, publish, communicate, develop, contribute, plan, locate, evaluate, process, and more.  My plan is to follow ISTE Standard 3, Research and Information Literacy, with this teacher and assist her in planning strategies to guide the inquiry, helping her find ways for the students to locate, analyze, evaluate and synthesize information from a variety of sources and media, and report results.  By sharing and discussing the Standard, I hope to push the teacher to a level of SAMR greater than Substitution and greater than level 1 or 2 Depth of Knowledge (Aungst, 2014).

This is another great week of problem solving and pondering in EDTC6102.  I’m asking myself the following questions this week and encourage you to consider them as well,  “What does researching and showing evidence of understanding of a career look like in 2016?  What websites are available?  Of the plethora of websites available, which are best suited to inquiry for students? What media tools are available (videos, fusion tables, interest surveys, podcasts, video interviewing, etc)?  How can students best gather, evaluate and use the information they discover?  Most importantly, how can students collaborate on their projects and creatively and effectively communicate this learning in an engaging authentic way?”

Sources:

Aungst, G. (2014). Using Webb’s Depth of Knowledge to Increase Rigor,  Edutopia.  Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/webbs-depth-knowledge-increase-rigor-gerald-aungst

Bates, A. W. (n.d.). The nature of knowledge and the implications for teaching. In Teaching in a digital age (2). Retrieved from http://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage
/part/chapter-2-the-nature-of-knowledge-and-the-implications-for-teaching/

International Society for Technology in Education. (n.d.). ISTE Standards for Students. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/ISTE-standards/standards-for-students