Ken shelton is speaking about "Generation Now" speaking on three themes: Information Literacy, Digital Citizenship, and Publication and Collaboration. I am so pleasantly surprised that he is talking about topics we value in eMINTS PD.
He has set up a Today's Meet for the session to backchannel formally and informally. You can find the conversation at http://today's meet.com/eMints2013 . It is so great that he is introducing this tool now so that when I have my session I won't have to explain it before my participants start using it to capture my session.
This has been a great start for our conference reinforcing what eMINTS values and introducing some new ideas and tools.
The eMINTS Conference 2013 starts tomorrow and it's going to be another AWESOME conference. For me, there is nothing better then collaborating and learning from others. As a life-long learner, opportunities like this are too few-and-far between and they energize me and build me up.
eMINTS staff, administrators, techs, trainers, and teachers, are gathering for the event. We have presenters and attendees from as far away as southern Alabama and Utah. The excitement is in the air and very infections. It's so fun reconnecting... so fun in fact, that for over the past 3 hours I have filled my time visiting with my eMINTS friends. Unfortunately, I haven't been doing what I should be, which is getting ready for my presentations. I better get to work on that now right!
If you don't get to attend this year, I hope to see you next year. Even if you aren't here, you can still experience the conference by checking the eMINTS website for links to presenter resources or search for the #emints hashtag on Twitter and Facebook. I plan to add some blog posts and tweet about sessions I get to attend. I can't wait to share the great ideas and resources I learn about. If you don't already follow me on Twitter I am @higginsb. I will also be adding links to my Higginsb Pinterest Learn board.
Check back and let me know what you think, like, wonder, etc.
See for sources - by bitznbitez ( was lucias_clay )
This week I ran across "From the Principal's Office: The End of Standardized Testing? Hey, A Guy Can Dream..." by guest author, Patrick Larkin, an Assistant Superintendent from Burlington, MA. It seems that Patrick and I are on the exact same page (along with tons of others-see reference in his post for his original inspiration)....enough already with the over-done, never ending, high-stakes testing and all the pre-tests that go along with it. Seriously, when do teachers have time to teach? And when do students have time to learn how to become better learners?
Larkin's article includes a news clip from HLN, where Sam Chaltain, suggests that we need to think about alternative forms of assessment instead of the one-size-fits all, standardized tests. He suggest those assessments should be personalized so that the assessment reflects where a learner is and then guides that learner to where they want to be. For this to happen, educators need to analyze the markers for success and then form assessments around those markers.
As I read the article and watched the video it all reminded me of an Edutopia article from many years back (2007 to be exact) where they quoted an Indian Educator who stated, "Here (in India), when we want the elephant to grow, we feed the elephant. We don't weigh the elephant." "Don't Weigh the Elephant -- Feed the Elephant: Feedback Is Key in Assessment" is essentially about teaching students that they are the master of their domain. It focuses on a study done by Carol Dweck, Lisa Blackwell, and Kali Trzesniewski. Their research found that when students learned to appreciate their brains and see them for the malleable tools they are, then those students could become more intelligent. They call this having a growth-mindset. When educators encouraged students to have that growth mindset, the students achieved at higher levels, their self-esteem grew, and they were more motivated to learn.
A couple of years ago I was introduced (not literally) to Carol Dweck's and read her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. I found it to be a great read for teachers, parents, and administrators filled with recommendations for how to help students develop and keep a growth-mindset and be life-long, self-directed learners. I have to say, no test is going to teach that.
As you think about the barrage of tests that we bombard students with, what is the fix? How do you "feed the elephant"?
As an eMINTS Instructional Specialist, it is my goal to support teachers through coaching, collaborating, and consulting.
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