Monday, May 08, 2017

Do You Discuss with your Students to Check or Create Understanding?

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Are you discussing with your students to Check for Understanding or Create Understanding?

It seems to me that these are not mutually exclusive.  I would submit that you would want to begin with Creating Understanding and then integrate questions throughout the discussion to "check for understanding."

I could see that it would be of value to share this chart with my students at the beginning of the semester and to use it as a guide for discussion throughout the semester (and for the rest of our lives.)

What do you think?

Monday, May 01, 2017

Mirror Displays on your Mac with a Keystroke
I realize that I am WAY behind on postings for Dr. Z Reflects.  It has been a busy semester.  I just discovered something that ALL THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW!!!!

Did you know that you can toggle between Mirroring Displays and Not Mirroring Displays with just a keyboard shortcut?

That's right.  You don't have to click on the Apple menu to get to the System Preferences to get to the Displays and then click on the Arrangement button in one of the Windows that appear on your screen so that you can click or unclick the Mirror Displays option.

Command - F1 is the answer!!!!

It amazed me when I first tried it.  I was tired of all the wasted steps and hours of tedium that I have incurred as I have flipped between Mirrored/Non-Mirrored display settings.  It's amazing.   I merely Google searched for "Mac OS utility mirror screens" and I discovered this wonderful keyboard shortcut at OSXDaily. 

This is a quick tip and I hope that it made your day the way it made mine.

Are you still out there?  Is anyone still watching Dr. Z Reflects?  Should I begin writing again?
If so, leave a comment below or Tweet me at @zeitz

Have a GREAT and Flipped Day!!


Friday, March 24, 2017

Using Blogging in the Classroom
Reading Blogs
Blogging is today's newspaper, book, magazine, and thinking pad all rolled into one.  The beauty of a blog is that it provides the creator with a true freedom of expression.  It allows us to create freely and express ourselves in ways that weren't available 20 years ago.

This form of expression is ripe for the classroom:  
  • Many teachers at all levels use blogs to provide a painting easel for students to create. 
  • Some teachers use them to share information about what is happening in their classrooms (a much more direct form of communication than sending newsletters home each week. 
  • Many teachers use blogs to share their projects or ask advice of other educators.   The opportunities are endless.
Here are some examples:

Student Creations
Sharing What's Happening in the Classroom
Sharing Ideas with Other Educators
The best way to learn about blogging is to read blogs. Select at least 3 blogs concerning your educational interests to follow throughout this class. You can select from the list above, or you could look for suggestions at 52 Education Blogs You Should Follow ( or you could Google it by entering the term, Blog, and then your area of interest, Universal Design for Learning.

Following Blogs
Once you have found the blogs you want to follow, you need to find a way to get to them easily.  Yes, you could bookmark them in your browser and then click on them daily.  BUT, there IS a simpler way. 

It is possible to use a Feed Reader to check your blogs daily and inform you when something new has been added.  There are many of these feed readers, but to make it simple, I am going to suggest using Feedly.  

Here is a short video on how to install Feedly as a Chrome Extension.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I am happy to announce that I have just received word that ISTE has accepted my proposal to present Explore Twitter Tools for Global Collaboration as an Interactive Lecture in San Antonio on Tuesday, June 27 from 1:15 - 2:15 CDT.

I gave another presentation similar to this in Denver in June of this year.  It was with an amazing team of Anne Mirschin, Amy Jambor, Toni Olivieri-Barton, and Angela Gadtke.  This year I know that I will be presenting with Anne and the other amazing participants may show up depending upon whether they can make it to ISTE 2017.

This is a fun hour of engaging our audience in an ongoing Tweetchat during the interactive lecture.  We introduce them to the medium and then show them a variety of ways that we can use Twitter to connect with other educators around the world.  All the while, there is a Tweetchat running on another screen which includes the 80 members of the audience as they respond to our ideas and provide a myriad of other innovative experiences and suggestions.

Our Presentation from ISTE 2016 in Denver

Will you be coming to ISTE 2017 in San Antonio?  If so, please give me a ring and we will be able to Meet-Up in Texas.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Need YOUR Feedback on the ISTE Standards for Teachers 2017

The ISTE Standards have been a driving force since the 90s.  These standards have been developed for students, teachers, administrators, coaches, and computer science teachers. 

Every 9 or 10 years, the ISTE Standards are Refreshed.  This means that a team of ISTE leading educators review the present set of standards and evaluate how well they are still addressing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that our present students need to flourish in our technology-driven world. This team asks for input from educators the world over.  Using these ideas, they create a new version of the standards and then release them in "draft form."  Educators around the world are asked for feedback and to hold discussions with their peers about the proposed standards.   Based upon this input, they finalize the standards and then release them at the June ISTE conference.

ISTE Standards for Students

They don't do them all at the standards in the same year.  In fact, they work on one per year. This year they released the ISTE Standards for Students 2016.  While it was evident that the ISTE Standards for Students 2007 were greatly influenced by Bloom's Taxonomy of Higher Order Thinking Skills, the 2016 Standards are based upon students assuming causative roles in the world.

The 2016 Standards for Students challenge students to assume the roles of Empower Learners, Digital Citizens, Knowledge Constructors, Innovative Designers, Computational Thinkers, Creative Communicators and Global Collaborators.   You will notice that there are 7 overall standards instead of the 6 standards in the 2007 set.

 Is this just a repackaging of the previous standards?  I don't think so. This model was created to place the students in the center of the learning expectations.  It is all thoroughly encapsulated in this graphic from the ISTE website.

ISTE Standards for Teachers 2017

This year the ISTE Standards for Teachers team has been working to update the Teacher Standards just as the Student Standards team has completed.  They have gone through the interactive process of developing these standards and they have released them in DRAFT format for us to provide feedback.   These standards are not as directly aligned with the 2016 Standards for Students. They are organized to provide a connection with the Student Standards.

The 2017 ISTE Standards for Teachers see teachers as having two primary roles - Empower Educator and Learning Catalyst:
  • The Empowered Educator is a Learner, Leader, and Citizen. These three standards are designed to encourage educators to develop themselves professionally.  They embrace the need for continuous learning as well as the teacher's leadership role in transforming learning with technology.
  • The Learning Catalyst is a Collaborator, Designer, Facilitator, and Analyst. These standards provide direction in more of a classroom environment. They foster the need for working collaboratively as an educator to Design, Facilitate and Analyze their students' learning.

Provide Your Own Input for these Standards

What do you think about the new organization of the educator's role?  

These new standards acknowledge the many hats that educators have to wear inside and outside the classroom.  They acknowledge that our role is not just to "teach stuff."  It also includes the roles of visionary, organizer, designer, expediter, assessor, implementer, and so much more.

You have the opportunity to provide your own input into developing these Teacher Standards.  The ISTE Team is calling for you to read their new standards and provide feedback on the draft of these standards.  (see below)
This is the page you will visit.  Nothing fancy.  It is just a Google Doc containing the proposed standards and links to pages where you can complete feedback surveys.

You will notice that you have the opportunity to provide feedback as an individual.  They are calling for feedback teachers, administrators, college students (future teachers), parents, even k-12 students.  Your voice can be heard so Make It So!!!

Get Your Colleagues Involved. 

Another option is to get a group of your colleagues together to discuss the new standards and provide your group's feedback.   You can create your own group discussions by downloading the Refresh ISTE Standards for Teachers Forum Toolkit.   Download it and discuss your future opportunities.

Share your ideas. Create your future.

Leave a note in the Dr. Z Reflects comments about your opinion and maybe something about what you shared in the ISTE questionnaire.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

After the Election . . .

I don't know how you have been handling your students' feelings after the election, but I discussed it in my class on Friday.   I began the discussion by saying 

I have been reading a number of things about teachers asking their students about how they feel after the election, and I just wanted to open up the discussion to you.  After 9/11, I didn't know what to do so I just taught my lessons and didn't even discuss the incident.  Students came to me saying that they felt cheated because they didn't have a chance to share and deal with their feelings.  I don't want to do that this time so do any of you have feelings that you want to share?  This isn't a discussion about politics.  It is about feelings.

Some of my students shared some deep feelings of fear and anxiety.  Some of those who didn't feel threatened still felt anxiety. Some students felt that some of the reactions we heard about on the news (i.e., closing down a college so that students could deal with the results of the election) were not the reactions of adults and that we just had to deal with it.  

It was a good discussion and we talked until they had nothing else to say.  I shared that I was available if anyone wanted to talk. I think that it was a positive experience.

I was prompted to write this email after reading a posting on Jennifer Gonzalez's blog, The Cult of PedagogyShe decided that the best thing to post a "To Do List" of things that teachers can do in a situation like this.

I recommend reading, After the Election: A To-Do List, and maybe sharing it with your students.  BTW, this is a wonderful blog filled with posts, podcasts, videos, and teaching materials that you may find useful in your everyday teaching - I know that I have.

What are your experiences?  
What suggestions do you have about dealing with these emotions?

Share them in the Comments section below.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

30 Resources for Stopping Bullying at YOUR School
What are YOU doing to stop bullying at your school?  

Bullying comes in many flavors. It can be angry gangs on the playground. It can be a punch in the shoulder or repeated namecalling in the school hallways as students move between classes. It can be "cool" girls making fun of others to add to their feeling of superiority. It can be "macho" boys intimidating their gay classmates. It can be a class of students standing around a special needs student calling him "Stupid." It might be kids (or parents) waging anonymous online wars against a classmate who "rubs them the wrong way."

Fortunately, the anti-bullying movement is actively engaged in a fight against this aggressive behavior in our schools and in the general public (online or not). The U.S. government has taken a stance against bullying and supported with the website and grants for fighting this problem. The most important thing is to be informed of what can be done.

Here are some resources that I have found you might find valuable in building your program:

Stop Bullying Songs:

Bullying Stories

 Stop the Bullying Programs

Stop Bullying Websites

Stop Bullying Articles

Stop Cyber Bullying

NOTE: This is based upon a posting I did on Stopping Bullying back in 2013.  After talking about it in class today, I realized that it shouldn't languish in old posts.  It needed a rebirth. I have added some resources.  
Do you have other stories of success, programs for fighting bullying or ideas about how to combat this unfairness?  If so, please provide your ideas in the comments below.
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