Time for Tinkering, Messing & Innovation!

Student Choice + Student Engagement = Authentic learning 

Sounds so simple, right? But how do we actually do this as educators? (Isn’t there an app for that?)

How Course Design Puts the Focus on Learning Not Teaching MAY 15, 2013 ~ DEBBIE MORRISON

The Connectivist learning theory puts the student at the center of their educational journey and requires students to go through the learning process of Blooms Revised Taxonomy.

Bloom’s and Revised Bloom’s give us a learning process. Before you can understand a concept or fact you must remember it, To apply a concept you must understand it first, To evaluate a process you must have analysed it etc.

SOURCE: [New] Bloom’s Taxonomy Digitally by Andrew Churches (Tech & Learning)

This week, I have been working on revising our Grade 4 Social Studies unit. One thing I noticed, was that our current unit stopped at the ‘sorting out’ phase of the inquiry cycle. There wasn’t an authentic opportunity for students to go further, make conclusions or take action. How can we make the shift from constructivism to connectivism?

Using the Inquiry Cycle as a guide, we rejigged the unit in a way that presents the content students need to know, as well as the opportunity to dig deeper, make their own conclusions and take action. Now we need to figure out what this will really look like. How do we help students access the resources they need to gain knowledge, but still give them the academic choice?

For this project, I am going to try using Thinglink and Flipboard as student resources. Students will be able to find and access different resources that will help guide them through the Inquiry Cycle and provide them with appropriate resources in their learning journey.

By modeling the use of appropriate digital tools and building in academic choice, we empower students to be at the center of their own learning. When students are at the center of their own learning, they are engaged and motivated. When students are engaged and motivated, they begin to hang out, mess around and even geek out!

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Jennifer Byrnes

My name is Jen and this is my 10th year as an educator. I am a fourth-grade teacher at the American School of the Hague. I have lived and worked in the US, Uk, Italy, China and the Netherlands. I have taught grades K-4.

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1 Response

  1. Shannon says:

    Hi Jen,
    I really appreciated your images, especially the diagram depicting different perspectives and instructional methods based on learning theories! I am just starting a Master’s in education and these theories are coming up a lot. I also thought your starting quote was a great hook for your post: ‘Student Choice + Student Engagement = Authentic learning’. This post show such practical applications of both theory and technology in your classroom. I really admire this and I look forward to reading more of your posts!

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