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Category: Knowledge Roundtable (page 1 of 3)

Posts featured on the Knowledge Roundtable blog

Making Project-Based Learning Authentic

GettingSmart.com GUEST COLUMN | by Sheldon Soper:

Students who participate in high-quality project-based learning develop skills, processes and products that are an ideal match for the demands of the 21st-century, but creating authentic projects is key for engaging them.

Read more at GettingSmart: Making Project-Based Learning Authentic | Getting Smart

Using Learning Styles to Reach Students

HowToLearn.com GUEST COLUMN | by Sheldon Soper

There has been plenty of pushback against the claims that learning styles are a sure bet when it comes to facilitating student understanding. As with everything in education, there is no panacea to make learning magically happen. However, that does not mean learning styles have no place in a teacher’s toolbox.

By recasting learning styles through a lens of student learning preferences, educators can ensure they are offering academic help and support in ways that significantly up the likelihood of student engagement and, in turn, growth.

Taking things a step further, this same understanding can lead to purposefully differentiated instruction practices. Mixing and matching teaching techniques aimed at different learning styles can give students the opportunity to turn diverse learning experiences into complex understandings.

Read more at HowToLearn: Using Learning Styles to Reach Students | How To Learn

A Fair Opportunity for Success

Prevent technology gaps from creating achievement gaps.

EdTech Digest GUEST COLUMN | by Sheldon Soper

Technology-driven classroom workflows need analog components to ensure students without reliable access to technology outside of school are not left out. Otherwise, the technology gap between those with access and those without will quickly manifest as an achievement gap.

Read more at EdTech Digest: A Fair Opportunity for Success

Cultivating a Learning Culture that Empowers Students

As a middle school social studies teacher, one of the very first things I teach my students each year is a unit on culture. Sure, the concept of culture is first up on my curriculum guide, but the overarching concept of culture is something that is essential to setting the tone for a productive year.

We begin the unit as most would expect: we define culture, we identify our own cultural markers, and we examine the cultural makeup of key civilizations throughout history.

But then we take a turn. I shift the conversation from cultural identification to cultural activism; we look at how the problem of cultural extinction is rapidly changing the face of our world. The students engage with stories from the past and from the present about how real people are faced with the challenge of carrying on and preserving cultures that are fading away forever.

For my students, the culture unit is no longer about defining cultural elements, it becomes about cultivating and preserving cultures in the face of increased globalization.

This may seem like a heady ask for a room full of 12-year-olds (…and it is), but by infusing a sense of agency into the learning, students buy in. They aren’t learning because they have to, they engage because they have a felt need to learn. By learning about culture in this type of classroom environment, I am setting the table for a classroom culture that will empower my students to be active learners.

Empowered learning is engaged learning

This trend of trying to motivate students to learn from an intrinsic place can be truly challenging. I have spent time as a part of a Learner Active Technology Infused Classroom (LATIC) cohort over the past three years that has worked to try to bring about this fundamental shift in our respective classroom pedagogies. It’s a lot of work, but it’s important work.

The studies are out there, but any educator who has had the experience of watching a student or even an entire classroom of students chasing knowledge knows the impact of a learner-driven environment.

In order to do so, whether it is in a classroom or a small group tutoring environment, there are a litany of considerations that need to be made:

Read More…

3 Steps to Encourage Student Mindfulness

Any teacher will tell you, it is impossible to teach a student who is not in the proper head-space to learn. Thankfully, there are things educators can do to make their environments more focused and peaceful places to learn.

Promoting mindfulness skills with students doesn’t require any complex curriculum or extensive professional development. You can start creating a more mindful space for learning by following 3 simple steps…

 

Read more…

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