Thursday, July 16, 2015

Welcome to Pagoda

Pagoda (formally Haiku) is the the new name that we are proposing for our virtual learning environment. The VLE has not changed.

  • All new teachers have had accounts created for them in Pagoda.
  • Select Haiku icon and you will be automatically logged in.
  • Some new teachers had Haiku accounts with a account. These now have been merged with a new account.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Are we weakening our capacity for deep processing?

Are we weakening our capacity for deep processing? (

With the amount of data we can access increasing and coming at us at an ever increasing speed it seems that we are increasingly consuming in bite size chunks. The apps and sites we use are breaking up the data to aid speed of consumption.
But is this trend having an affect on our ability for deep processing? The blog post by Jedd Bartlett examines this issue.

Quotes from the blog

"Does the consumption of ephemeral content — those bite-sized, self-destructing user interactions — go hand in hand with a weakening of our capacity for the kind of deep processing that underpins mindful knowledge acquisition, inductive analysis, critical thinking, imagination, and reflection?"

"What does this mean for learning?
We have always skimmed newspapers and magazines to get the essence of a piece of writing. We teach the skills of effective skimming and scanning because these abilities are as important as the ability to read deeply. Carr believes that the problem is that skimming is “becoming our dominant mode of thought. Once a means to an end, a way to identify information for further study, it’s becoming an end in itself—our preferred method of both learning and analysis”."

"Do your classroom observations of children's learning habits substantiate the claims of short attention span, skimming, and (more particularly) resistance to deeper engagement?  If so, what can we do to help students as they navigate these new waters? How can we adapt pedagogies to support learners as they explore different ways of approaching different forms of content, and for different reasons?  What new strategies or new literacies will children need, and what are the implications for the dispositions and media consumption habits that learners will bring into the classroom in the future?"

Are we weakening our capacity for deep processing?

KWH Model upgraded for the 21st Century

KWH (What do I know, What do I want to know and How will I find out) has been a model that has been used for years for structuring the search for knowledge.
Melissa Enderle, shared these charts and insights from the Langwitches blog.

Key points about the charts
  • REFLECTION being an integral part of the learning process
  • the understanding that through technology tools our access to INFORMATION has exponentially expanded as well
  • our ability to take ACTION beyond affecting people we are able to reach face to face
  • that technology tools allow us to express and communicate in OTHER FORMS of media beyond words and text

Links from Langwitches blog

Project Zero’s Visible Thinking Routines 

Art Education and technology @ the Guggenheim

Collaboration - What is it?

An interesting blog post about collaborative teaching. Are we really collaborative?

Collaboration, so much more than parallel play  Greg Carroll (Core Education)

Quotes from the blog post

"Thinkers like Fullan (eg 2011) and Timperley et al all claim that collaboration is central to their understandings around school development and teacher professional learning."
"But what does Collaboration look like? Really ….? How do we know it when we see it … hear it. … experience it?" 

Illustration: Greg Carroll 2015

"In my experience we often see confusion between these three ‘levels’. People often refer to cooperation as collaboration in particular. True collaboration is actually still quite rare I believe.  I have also seen quite a few so called Modern Learning Environments where in fact the teachers are simply cooperating to use the space/s provided. They share the physical spaces and places, and sometimes some of the students, but also are largely ‘the rulers of their own kingdom’ in a series of classrooms without walls in a big open space."

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Great YouTube channels for Chemistry and Physics

Science in general is all about understanding how the world around us functions. It investigates the laws 
governing the internal workings of the universe and attempts to prove or disprove theories and assumption
pertaining to it.  For students, understanding scientific phenomena is integral to their overall intellectual 
and cognitive growth. It thrusts them into a world of exploration and problem solving and, 
most important of all, it unleashes their creativity and satiates their curious and probing minds.

In today's post, we are sharing with you some excellent YouTube channels particularly curated for
chemistry and physics teachers. The channels provide a plethora of educational videos explaining 
different scientific phenomena through a physics and chemistry lens. 
For science teachers, this list has you covered.

1- Institute of Physics

The Institute of Physics is a leading scientific society. It is a charitable organisation with a worldwide 
membership of more than 50,000, working together to advance physics education, research 

and application.

2- The Fuse School

The Fuse School is a charity that makes free education in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths, EFL 

and ICT - for kids & teachers around the world.

3- Crash Course

The popular YouTube Channel Crash Course has this wonderful playlist feature a number of videos 

on chemistry and physics

4- MinutePhysics

MinutePhysics provides educational videos covering questions related t physics and chemistry. 

The explanations are beautifully visualized making chemistry learning an enjoyable journey for kids.

5- Periodic Videos

'Your ultimate channel for all things chemistry. A video about each element on the periodic table. 
The channel uploads new videos every week about science news, interesting molecules and other stuff 

from the world of chemistry