I learned a lot over the past couple of days. My board brought in Donna Fry (@fryed) and Tim Robinson (@timrobinsonj) to guide our group’s learning, and several folks from the board’s central program team were helping out as well. Check out #elADSB for a bunch of new Twitterers, too.
Here are some prompts that we were asked to respond to, and here are my (rather brief) thoughts.
1. What questions, wonderings do you have with respect to our problem of practice?
How do we encourage collaboration that isn’t false collaboration? How do we ensure that the collaboration is meaningful and valuable? I don’t want to force collaboration among students when it doesn’t make sense.
What does a rich task look like in a course which has a lot of technical, procedural learning? Is it enough that there is inquiry in the task, or does it need to be “authentic” and relevant? I’m concerned about fauxthenticity: forcing an unrealistic application out of a concept just so that we can say it’s “real-world”.
2. What key learnings have you had over yesterday and today?
I need to provide more structure for self-monitoring and self-reflection for my students, and then ensure that they follow through on that self-assessment. They’re still kids, and they need a firmer hand with organization and checking on their learning, or they may neglect important stuff (or even delude themselves into thinking they understand concepts that they don’t).
I need to consider including more face time in my course – maybe having “Math Chat With Mr. G” or something on certain afternoons… Even if some students can’t get me live, I shouldn’t prevent it for those who can.
3. Moving forward, as a result of your learning, how do you envision your courses/practice changing?
I need to be more careful about connecting students with each other instead of encouraging them to rely on me.
I need to set up a fast, reliable, easy-for-me-to-check-in-on self-monitoring system for my students.
I will set up Adobe Connect or Google Hangout time periodically.
I’m going to work on figuring out when requiring collaboration makes sense, when students should be working independently, and when they just have a choice (most often?).
I’m going to make some plans and then ask someone else to give me suggestions about them before I implement them. :)