Tuesday, April 10, 2007

How Should 2.0 Transform our Models for Curriculum Planning and Evaluation?

New sources of information and new ways of learning

How do these impact our traditional models for 45 minute lessons? Should elementary school teachers still teach all subjects? How does Classroom 2.0 effect the administrative instruments designed to review and support excellence in the classroom? How should Classroom 2.0 effect teacher preparation and models of lesson planning and assessment?

These are among the myriad of questions which have been causing me to focus on the practical side of class/school 2.0. I have spent some of my timeover at Steve’s Ning site and enjoyed making some new connections and getting a perspective on the diversity of people who are interested in what is going on with everything “Deuce”.

But the more I read on Ning and read through my aggregator the more pressing the practical questions become…This is my time of year for hiring and for planning for next year and so issues of models and expectations are important and I have an obligation to my faculty to consider the impact of change and effective practices that will help us achieve our vision.

45 minute lessons and 180 teaching days

We can (and have) play (ed) with block schedules but this is not exactly the issue. The issue is deeper. As we talk about myriad source of information, constructing meaning, global conversations and students building “texts” how do we deal with the finite timeframe of school. The 180 days are not going anywhere soon and as educators we may try to look at more holistic solutions and developmental groupings rather than the traditional grade levels but in the end we have a finite amount of time in which we have an obligation to facilitate learning.

The more I work on constructing model classes the more my learning options expand. How can we encourage exploration and following interests with our students and still hold them to some kind of timeline. Clay you are building a text with your students so how do you handle the time line.

Multiple subjects vs specialties

Should all teachers play to their strengths? Can anyone teach everything well?

But even more to the point as we move away from reliance on textbooks how do we work through this time of transition and learning curves. As we ( educators) struggle with the digital learning curve (understanding and using Web 2.0) it seems that teachers would be more effective in making the transition if they were playing to their strengths. It is a time consuming task to get started using Web 2.0 to build a class even in a subject that you know but if you have to learn the content and build the class it takes a Herculean effort.

Tools for supporting and reviewing curriculum

The last two questions above are related. I am writing about this topic for LeadersTalk this week ( it will post on Friday). Basically I am asking about the efficacy of the “7 point Lesson Plan” in Classroom 2.0 and also standards for formal observations and walk -throughs. I do not believe our current models are adequate. I think we need a new model for planning and providing constructive feedback. The following is part of my post…

In some ways, I would say planning is more critical than ever because learning will not take place in discreet packages. The teacher and the students need to know they are on a journey and what the expected destination is as well as the mile markers along the way. A syllabus for K-8? Why not?

What about the plans for an individual lesson. We still need to make those 180 days count and so there needs to be a definite focus for each day but will I see an anticipatory set, review, whole class instruction, modeling, semi independent practice, independent practice and closure? Should I see this?

New expectations and new models for formal observations will also mean new models for teacher preparation which is the last question I raise. Right now I am happy when a teachers has some exposure to the tools of the digital world and sees their value. At some point however it has to encompass more than that…it will need to reflect a pedagogy that sees knowledge and learning differently.

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7 comments:

Tyler Fonda said...

Barbara,

At the risk of being too promotional, I have to point you to www.plansforusblog.com.

I am a founder of the company PlansForUs which is building a word processing/social network platform to aid teacher's lesson planning.

As the husband of a 1st grade teacher, I have seen the need to create a better way to gather ideas for lesson planning. I hope that you and your readers will keep an eye on us. We plan to launch our site May 1st.

Clay Burell said...

Hi Barbara,

You ask, "How can we encourage exploration and following interests with our students and still hold them to some kind of timeline. Clay you are building a text with your students so how do you handle the time line?"

The Wiki textbook (http://brokenworld.wikispaces.com) has not been difficult to manage at all, so far (but at the same time, it's not a very student-centered project--the only choice students got was to choose which chapter of WWI to WWII history to turn into a textbook chapter). All students have drafted their re-write of the textbook chapter (paraphrasing skills, reading comprehension, writing), added multimedia (using del.icio.us searches, rss searches, etc--research skills), made a presentation (normally powerpoint, but that's fine, and they're improving impressively at that, since their slideshows are published on the wiki), then given, with their partners, lectures to the class with using their powerpoints. We video the lectures, capture them in iMovie immediately after, and upload them to Google Video daily (speaking skills).

To keep the other students learning from these student-taught classes (rather than zoning out), they are quizzed each class on the content from the prior class' lectures.

Finally, students self-assess their embedded lectures with a rubric my English dept colleagues made.

They'll do the whole process again in a "Cold War" wiki textbook, and be graded for their lectures that time as an oral test grade (this first round is just a quiz grade for the lectures).

So the wiki textbook project is really traditional in terms of content, but offers a legacy product for future students with multimedia offerings a paper textbook obviously can't offer.

Above all, my objectives for this project (like all my projects, really) are about literacy: reading, writing, speaking, listening, researching.

And collaborating.

Did I answer your question about time management? I get about 2 chapter lectures per 80 minute class from my students (though the over-achievers are going overboard, which is good and bad). The schedule fits what we're doing.

I can't imagine getting anything done, though, in a 55 minute class. Why?

Clay Burell said...

Hi Barbara,

You ask, "How can we encourage exploration and following interests with our students and still hold them to some kind of timeline. Clay you are building a text with your students so how do you handle the time line?"

The Wiki textbook (http://brokenworld.wikispaces.com) has not been difficult to manage at all, so far (but at the same time, it's not a very student-centered project--the only choice students got was to choose which chapter of WWI to WWII history to turn into a textbook chapter). All students have drafted their re-write of the textbook chapter (paraphrasing skills, reading comprehension, writing), added multimedia (using del.icio.us searches, rss searches, etc--research skills), made a presentation (normally powerpoint, but that's fine, and they're improving impressively at that, since their slideshows are published on the wiki), then given, with their partners, lectures to the class with using their powerpoints. We video the lectures, capture them in iMovie immediately after, and upload them to Google Video daily (speaking skills).

To keep the other students learning from these student-taught classes (rather than zoning out), they are quizzed each class on the content from the prior class' lectures.

Finally, students self-assess their embedded lectures with a rubric my English dept colleagues made.

They'll do the whole process again in a "Cold War" wiki textbook, and be graded for their lectures that time as an oral test grade (this first round is just a quiz grade for the lectures).

So the wiki textbook project is really traditional in terms of content, but offers a legacy product for future students with multimedia offerings a paper textbook obviously can't offer.

Above all, my objectives for this project (like all my projects, really) are about literacy: reading, writing, speaking, listening, researching.

And collaborating.

Did I answer your question about time management? I get about 2 chapter lectures per 80 minute class from my students (though the over-achievers are going overboard, which is good and bad). The schedule fits what we're doing.

I can't imagine getting anything done, though, in a 55 minute class. Why?

(Hate to duplicate the comment, Barbara, but I just installed cocomment and want to see if it will capture this comment on my Beyond School widget. Fun!)

Anonymous said...

Can you link to "Steve's Ning site"?

Barbara said...

Done..sorry about the omission

Ms Sigman said...

Barbara,

Some of my thoughts on this subject are in my blog entries, but I would also like to add to your ideas that I believe that just as we have English literacy standards we should also have tech literacy standards for schools. Being comfortable in a digital environment is a must for students entering the job force tomorrow. Students should be taught in all of their classes the skills needed for web 2.0 or 3.0 or 4.0 or whatever comes next. Mostly though they need to learn to think for themselves, be creative and be flexible. As we develop new ideas though I can also see a time when there will be a need for tech literacy standards :)

Beth

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