26 Tips to Help Students Become Better Learners


Here is a cool chart featuring some important tips to help your students be smart learners. You can use this chart in your class with your students as a motivator to boost their learning moral or as a checklist for assessing their learning habits. While some of these tips are straightforward such as tip 6, 9, 11, other tips are a bit generic (tip 23, 25,26). Overall, these suggested tips cover several skills students need to work on to be better learners. These skills include sensory-motor skills, communicational skills, emotional skills, inter and intrapersonal skills, and critical thinking skills. They also touch on key areas integral to effective learning including: introspection, creativity, confidence, imagination, networking, passion, sharp observation, experimentation among many others.

Here is a quick round-up of the tips featured in the graphic below:
Be accountable
Believe in yourself
Connect the dots
Deconstruct new skills
Engage with others
Focused practice
Get started
Hypothesize, test, adjust
Use your imagination
Find joy in learning
Personal knowledge management
Listen more
Make space
Build a network
Find a passion
Question assumptions
Use spaced repetition
Tinker with things
Unlearn and relearn
Be vulnerable
Be willing to fail
Exercise regularly

This chart is created by learnstreaming.com


Does It Matter What School You Went To?

Originally posted on Tall. Black. One Sugar:

Department for EducationMuch has been made about the fact that the new head of the Department of Education (DofE) Nicky Morgan, and her team, are by and large privately educated. The photo attached has evidently proved to be a huge problem for many. I am curious as to why so many see this as problematic and based on what evidence?

Firstly let me state that the quote at the top of the picture “this team represents modern Britain” was a comment David Cameron made about his cabinet reshuffle and not the DofE. Just to be clear.

So lets address some key points here.

1. Shared Experience
There is the assumption that without a shared experience of state education, people who are privately educated will not be able to understand or empathise with those in state education.

I am curious as to why this is the thinking behind it?
Yes of course there…

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The Educator as a Maker Educator eBook

Originally posted on User Generated Education:

I self-published an eBook: The Educator as a Maker Educator.  It is available through Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Educator-as-Maker-ebook/dp/B00LYLQT0Y/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405867667&sr=1-2



The Maker Movement and the accompanying Maker Education are inching their ways in both formal (school) and informal (after school – camp) settings.

Whether it’s a paper airplane or a robot that walks, kids have always wanted to create functional objects with their own two hands. These days, many educators are channeling that natural urge to build with help from the wider maker movement, which has spawned maker faires and dedicated make spaces” in classrooms and media centers around the country. Pam Moran, superintendent of theAlbemarle County Public Schools in Virginia, contends that American classrooms of the past regularly fueled this type of creativity, and now is the time to bring back that spirit of innovation. “I see the maker movement as being a reconnect, both inside schools, as well as…

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Skills system in London is ‘broken’ and failing to prepare people for work


London’s skills system is “broken” and needs a radical overhaul if future generations are to meet the needs of the city’s businesses, a group of MPs has been told.

London Councils, which represents all 32 London boroughs and the City of London, wants changes to the way the capital’s FE colleges and training providers are funded.

Giving evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group inquiry on small business productivity yesterday, Peter John, London Councils’ member for employment and skills, said the skills gap was getting wider.

A lack of local influence, poor labour market information and a “flawed” system of incentives for skills providers were leading to Londoners losing out on jobs and firms struggling to fill vacancies, he said.

“The skills system, as it stands, is not fit for purpose. There is a disconnect between the skills London is producing and the skills businesses, especially small businesses, need.

“Too much funding is being wasted on courses that employers do not need or want such as hair and beauty, car mechanics or health and safety.

“We need to address this urgently if we are to avoid producing a generation of Londoners unprepared for the labour market.”

Some 99 per cent of London businesses are small companies, which employ half the capital’s workforce.

Earlier this year the UK Commission for Employment and Skills found that businesses with fewer than five staff reported that one in three vacancies is hard to fill because of skill shortages and a lack of suitable candidates.

A report by London Councils published last year found that almost a quarter of vacancies in London were due to skills shortages, according to employers, with a particular lack of provision in growth areas like marketing, sales and the creative and cultural industries.

Mr John called on the government to overhaul the way colleges and training providers are funded and to devolve more powers to London boroughs so they can match provision to local needs.

He said funding should be devolved to London Enterprise Panel to manage the adult skills system at a London level. Currently this funding is agreed at national level, and although London gets £550 million a year, the employment rate still lags behind the UK average.

The All Party Parliamentary Group, chaired by Brian Binley MP, has been taking evidence since April.

Skills is one of its six areas of inquiry, including the quality of the education system and its responsiveness to employer needs.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said it was already building closer links between the world of work and the skills system by giving employers more influence over courses and qualifications.

It said this included putting employers in the driving seat in the delivery and design of high quality apprenticeships. Last year more than 77,000 Londoners were participating in an apprenticeships.

A spokeswoman said: “Employers tell us some school and college leavers’ literacy and numeracy levels are not good enough, that’s why English and maths requirements have been strengthened, specifically for 16-19 year-olds.

“The National Careers Service is helping to bring together schools and employers to help young people develop job-ready skills, and is working directly with Local Enterprise Partnerships to provide schools with expert advice on the world of work.”

How To Use Bloom’s Taxonomy To Write Learning Outcomes


How To Use Bloom’s Taxonomy To Write Learning Outcomes

By: Scott Davis Business Analyst, Pearson

It is often quite difficult to relate inputs to outcomes in the world of education. Traditionally, much work has been done to develop and provide inputs into the process of education. These inputs, such as a textbook, an assessment, a learning technology or platform, a course, a qualification, a high-stakes test or professional development for teachers are put into the hands of an educational leader, a skillful teacher, or an eager student. And, for all of the investment, expertise, and care that go into their creation, that has typically been where the involvement ends. Rarely has one been able to measure or predict the learning outcomes from using these inputs.

If we are going to really understand how we might be impacting student learning we must do two things. First we must define our student learning outcomes – these are the goals that describe how a student will be different because of a learning experience. The focus should be on what a student will be able to do with the information or experience. And second, we must measure if the program or service implemented to facilitate the learning was effective.

Defining Learning Outcomes

It may be difficult to know where to start in writing a student learning outcome. And you are not alone in facing the challenge of relating educational inputs to learning outcomes and understanding your impact on student learning. Learning taxonomies are a valuable tool for classifying learning objectives. A helpful and frequently used resource when writing student learning outcomes is Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Skills. Bloom’s Taxonomy refers to a classification of the different objectives that educators set for students (learning objectives). The taxonomy was first presented in 1956 through the publication “The Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, The Classification of Educational Goals, Handbook I: Cognitive Domain” (Bloom 1956). It is considered to be a foundational and essential element within the education community as evidenced in the 1981 survey “Significant writings that have influenced the curriculum: 1906-1981″ (Shane 1981).

The committee identified three domains of educational activities or learning (Bloom, 1956):

- Cognitive: mental skills (Knowledge)
– Affective: growth in feelings or emotional areas (Attitude or self)
– Psychomotor: manual or physical skills (Skills)

The domains are further subdivided, starting from the simplest behavior to the most complex. The first of these domains is the cognitive domain, which emphasizes intellectual outcomes. This domain is further divided into categories or levels. The divisions outlined are not absolutes and there are other systems or hierarchies that have been devised in the educational and training world. However, Bloom’s taxonomy is easily understood and is probably the most widely applied one in use today.

Various researchers have summarized how to use Bloom’s Taxonomy. Following is one interpretation that can be used as a guide in helping to write objectives using Bloom’s Taxonomy. The major idea of the taxonomy is that what educators want students to know (encompassed in statements of educational objectives) can be arranged in a hierarchy from less to more complex. The levels are successive, so that one level must be mastered before the next level can be reached.

The original levels (Bloom, 1956) were ordered as follows: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation.

Additional Information:

Bloom, B. S.; Engelhart, M. D.; Furst, E. J.; Hill, W. H.; Krathwohl, D. R. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York: David McKay Company.

Shane, Harold G. (1981). “Significant writings that have influenced the curriculum: 1906-1981″. Phi Delta Kappan 62 (5): 311–314.


7 Strategies To Support Students Who Can’t Afford Technology


7 Strategies To Support Students Who Can’t Afford Technology

7 Strategies To Support Students Who Can’t Afford Technology

by TeachThought Staff

For all of its potential, education technology suffers from a flaw that public education has struggled with since its inception–equity. However you want to phrase it or refract it as an issue, the bottom line is that some people have more than others, and that creates gaps. Lots of them.

So we thought an over-generalizing and necessarily reductionist post that takes a swing at a timeless and painful theme that has more to do with social justice than teaching may be a good way to get this week started.

7 Strategies To Support Students Who Can’t Afford Technology

1. Write a grant proposal to purchase inexpensive technology

Grants take a special kind of personality to obtain. Some people just have a knack for finding, picking, applying, and qualifying for them–so much paperwork, bureaucracy, minutiae, and tedium. But if the technology you’re seeking is beyond the reach of your average book drive or bake sale, this might be the only way.

And there’s power here, too. Play your cards right, and you could end up with a completely overhauled classroom.

2. Ask local businesses to sponsor a classroom or club

Someone with enough money to help, but that is locally-owned would be ideal. Smaller banks can be useful here.

3. Solicit donated used electronic equipment through drives or related campaigns

Ask parents or the community to donate old technology. Ask Best Buy or some giant chain to support what you’re trying to do. Email us and we’ll share it via twitter to see if anyone out there can help. There are ways!

4. Purchase used, inexpensive gadgets and offer them as prizes for academic success

Even if craiglist or eBay aren’t your thing, you can get brand new Android smartphones for $50, and used for even less. No that money doesn’t have to come out of your pocket, but, well–that’s what district budgets and grants are for.

You could have a classroom set of used smartphones for less than $1000 if you’re resourceful enough.

5. Have students brainstorm ideas to help solve this issue themselves

Speaking of resourceful, students may or may not have “good ideas” to help here, but empowering them to try to address the issue on their own can be powerful, especially for older students. Being resourceful is an important “soft skill,” and requires practice, no?

6. Crowdsource it

Donorschoose, kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other platforms can help you socialize the needs of your classroom.

7. Design learning experiences where they don’t feel left out without it

If all else fails, design learning experiences where the students that have access can use it, and the ones without it don’t feel like outcasts.

This isn’t easy but it can be done through grouping strategies, after school use of school technology, or ensuring that the non-technology roles that the tech-less students have are even more compelling than everyone else’s.

5 Strategies To Support Students Who Can’t Afford Technology; image attribution flickr user karlisdambrans

iCollege sails close to the wind

Originally posted on The Scan:

The Australian    |   16 July 2014


iCollege, an online education start-up, has defended its claims to be accredited by an international accreditation agency – the International Vocational Standards and Accreditation Agency (IVSAA) – that is registered to its own address, saying an equivalent couldn’t be found so they had to set up their own.

Victor Hawkins, managing director of the newly ASX-listed company, said its claim that it “has adopted the IVSAA’s “Code of Professional Conduct” is not duplicitous, even though its website does not make clear the IVSAA is registered to the same Subiaco Perth address as iCollege.

According to Hawkins:

We are very transparent about it — we put out a notice to the ASX about six weeks ago.

It might be on the ASX site but we couldn’t find it.

Hawkins said the iCollege directors established IVSAA after it could find no equivalent…

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How Can Google Glass Be Used In Education?


It may not be quite ‘mainstream’ yet, but Google Glass is still growing, both in number of users and overall popularity. The idea of having a heads up display in front of you while you move through your day brings a lot of different options – but how can we put that to use in a classroom? We’ve written a few different things on Google Glass (and other wearable technology) in the classroom, but since Google Glass is ‘officially’ buyable (it was only available to developers for awhile), we thought some additional ideas might be fun and useful. The handy infographic below offers a look at the vast capabilities of the product along with some classroom ideas that fit with those features.

Using Google Glass in The Classroom

Glass is currently available to “Explorers” (sort of like a beta testing group) for $1500, but anyone can become an explorer and buy the product (as of this writing)
The market for Glass is estimated to be about $10.5 billion yearly
It can be implemented for many different uses in education, such as:
Supplemental material for lectures
Close ups of lab work
Safe viewing at a distance
Medical training
Documentation of field trips
Virtual field trips
Student monitoring
How-to films
Record practice videos
Student presentations and performances
Learning while participating
Remote group work
Remote tutoring
Teachers capture notes
Record lectures/classes
Performance evaluations


I’m the heir to Gove – and teachers’ pet



Nicky Morgan, the new education secretary, aims to press ahead with her predecessor’s reforms, but also to be less confrontational with schools

Nicky Morgan rejected calls to ease rules on parents taking their children out of school during term time (Jeremy Young)

THE new education secretary today warns teachers that she will continue to push ahead with Michael Gove’s radical school reforms despite his cabinet demotion to chief whip.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Nicky Morgan dismissed claims that she has been sent by David Cameron to call a halt to reforms, pledging instead to open new free schools and expand grammar schools where parents want them.

While Morgan said she would be “nice to teachers” — a move designed to distance her from Gove’s confrontational style — she insisted there would be no backsliding on Gove’s reforms simply to placate the unions.

10 Things That Learners Pay Attention To (And How to Use Them in eLearning)



Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 @ 11:44 AM
Even more than other types of education, eLearning must struggle to attract learners’ attention: the Internet is full of distractions, and adult learners are both busier and more free to indulge in distractions. Helping students to pay attention is a primary concern of training professionals, so here are some optimal methods to win the attention game in eLearning.

1. Problem-solving.

Adult learners are almost always taking an eLearning course for a specific purpose rather than just for fun. Focus on giving them what they want: answers to their real-world problems. You should be able to put yourself in the learner’s position and answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” If you truly want to grab their attention, you’re going to need to have answers to this question specially. After all, people will pay much more attention to aspects they consider relevant to their own lives and past experiences.

Grab your learner’s attention instantly by presenting a problem that keeps them reading. Headlines are a good way to apply this strategy: present your lesson as a “How-to”, laying out clearly what problem the rest of the lesson or module will solve. Dominant headlines, especially when placed in the upper left corner, typically draw the eyes first. In fact, they also tend to capture attention faster than images. Make headlines meaningful to help your learners find the content they need easily. Keep them relevant, simple, concise and irresistible.

2. Comparisons.

Studies reveal the brain pays more attention to what’s new or different. It’s natural for people to get curious about something new, foreign, weird, unpredictable or different. When eLearning content is surprising or unexpected, ignoring it become impossible. According to Carmine Gallo’s blog “Why TED Talks Are Impossible to Resist”, experts in the subject explained that “Our brains are trained to look for something brilliant and new, something that stands out, something that looks delicious.”

To get your learners to pay attention for a long time, you need to keep giving them new things to think about, but obviously you don’t want to stray too far from the topic. Making a comparison, simile, or metaphor helps focus attention. Plus, if you refer to a familiar aspect of the learner’s life, they may find it easier to grasp your point.

3. Visuals.

A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words. People are naturally inclined to pay attention to images because they are easier to digest and faster to understand than large blocks of text.

Use an image to draw learners in and set the tone of the lesson, then use other visuals to add meaning to your words. Both showing and telling your message doubles its impact.

Also, start replacing long chunks of texts with relevant visuals. In fact, a Nielsen study finds users pay attention to “photos and other images that contain relevant information, but ignore fluffy pictures used to “jazz up” pages.”

4. Questions.

Questions invite someone to actively participate in learning rather than just passively absorb data. Asking a question encourages people to think and reflect about what they’re learning, which helps them not only retain more information but also learn strategies to use what they’ve learned. Plus, it feels good to solve a problem on your own.

5. Emotions.

Emotionally-charged stimuli capture people’s attention immediately. On top of that, the brain remembers an emotional experience better than anything else. In eLearning, you can make this work for you by encouraging emotional response. Many of these tools, such as compelling stories, videos, images, and visually engaging screens can evoke emotion; try to connect emotionally with learners, and they will learn more and better. Create shocking, impressive or surprising moments that grabs your learner’s attention right away.

6. Stories.

Storytelling is a natural human brain pattern: stories are better remembered, better understood, and simply more listened to than other forms of communication. If you craft your lesson into a simple narrative, people will be more likely to listen to the whole thing and much more likely to remember it later.

Try not to force the point too hard: people feel more engaged if they can come to their own conclusions. As the saying goes, “Show, don’t tell!”

Check out this presentation: How to Tell a Story So People Pay Attention

7. Contrast.

Are there any elements here that are in contrast to things that came before? The human brain asks this question on a regular basis. Its hardwired to look for contrast as if its survival depends on it. Truth is the brain will always pay more attention to things in contrast to other things.

Boredom, most of the time, is produced by stasis, so keep things moving to encourage learning. There’s no need to be too obvious about it; subtle changes of font can be more effective than switching the whole color scheme. The goal isn’t necessarily to be consciously noticed, but rather to focus the brain’s natural priorities.

8. Controversy.

There’s nothing like a small shock to get people’s attention, so start off your lesson with a fact, statistic, or statement that will startle readers. There’s no need to get too extreme, but leading with the most shocking information is a good way to grab attention. Hard measurements are ideal here, percentages and dollar values especially, to get people thinking. Rather than save your conclusion for the end, consider starting off with it, so people will want to know how you got there.

9. Brevity.

People, especially adult learners, are busy, and they’ll appreciate it if you make your information as easy as possible to skim. With so much information out there, skimming helps decide whether to put in the time to read the whole thing. What’s more, learners prefer shorter, bite-sized pieces of information because they cannot sustain attention on a task for an extended period without pause. That’s because of the ebb and flow of our energy. A study, in fact, revealed that the average attention span online is about 8 seconds.

Instead of spending 90 or more minutes taking a course, learners will enjoy consuming short, snappy yet meaningful content. Organization is key: headings and subheadings provide a clear outline. Also, keep paragraphs short and simple, with 3 to 4 sentences each and no unnecessary words.

10. Lists.

Numbered lists create a sequence of events, offer a mini-table of contents, and set an up-front expectation that adult learners find extremely attractive. Plus, lists help break down information into bite-sized chunks. They do as much to keep you organized as to keep the reader interested. In short:

Lists make it easier for readers to consume most of your content.
They discourage distraction and help readers make sense of your content quickly.
Provide a visual break for your learner.
Combine these strategies, and you will quickly see a dramatic increase in your eLearning effectiveness.

This French tech school has no teachers, no books, no tuition — and it could change everything


PARIS — École 42 might be one of the most ambitious experiments in engineering education.

It has no teachers. No books. No MOOCs. No dorms, gyms, labs, or student centers. No tuition.

And yet it plans to turn out highly qualified, motivated software engineers, each of whom has gone through an intensive two- to three-year program designed to teach them everything they need to know to become outstanding programmers.

The school, housed in a former government building used to educate teachers (ironically enough), was started by Xavier Niel. The founder and majority owner of French ISP Free, Niel is a billionaire many times over. He’s not well known in the U.S., but here he is revered as one of the country’s great entrepreneurial successes in tech.

He is also irrepressibly upbeat, smiling and laughing almost nonstop for the hour that he led a tour through École 42 earlier this week. (Who wouldn’t be, with that much wealth? Yet I have met much more dour billionaires before.)

Niel started École 42 with a 70 million euro donation. He has no plans for it to make money, ever.

Within Reach: 6 Education Trends Driving Classroom Technology

Within Reach: 6 Education Trends Driving Classroom Technology

Predicting the future is difficult. But identifying elements of change in education today can provide clues for how things will develop in the near future.

The New Media Consortium’s annual Horizon Report, now in its sixth year, is set to release its 2014 findings later this summer. A preliminary report from the consortium, released May 20, identifies six trends that are driving technology in today’s K–12 schools, including flipped classrooms and the expansion of open learning platforms.

The findings are broken down by how soon their impact is expected to be felt in the classroom.

Within a year

Rethinking the role of teachers: The expansion of technological tools beyond the textbook learning environment is slowly reshaping teachers’ roles as guides and mentors, according to the report.

Shift to deep-learning approaches: Also known as real-life learning, or project-based learning, there is a growing trend toward connecting curriculum with real-life circumstances, giving context to everyday classroom exercises.

“The hope is that if learners can connect the course material with their own lives and their surrounding communities, then they will become more excited to learn and immerse themselves in the subject matter,” the report explains.

Within five years

Increasing focus on open content: One of the driving forces behind massive open online courses (MOOCs), open content encourages sharing information, including curricula, resources and learning materials, as well as instructional practices. According to the report, the goal of open content is to create a library of material that is “free of barriers to access, cultural sensitivities, sharing, and educational use.”

Increasing use of hybrid learning designs: As the Internet of Everything makes its way into K–12 classrooms, more teachers are leveraging students’ online skills by adopting teaching methods that use online components. Hybrid learning models, such as flipped classrooms, use the school day for group and project-based work, reserving after-school time studying instructional materials such as text and video.

More than five years

Rapid acceleration of intuitive technology: Technological barriers are breaking down with the simplification of interfaces, such as touch screen technologies and motion-sensing cameras. As those barriers continue to fall, new educational activities will be developed to heighten learning, according to the report.

Redesign of the traditional school day: The expansion of project- and challenge-based learning approaches are reshaping the roles of teachers, calling for school day setups that enable students to move from one learning activity to another more organically, according to the report. New approaches to the school day are being developed to better connect each class with its subject matter.

For more on these trends, check out the full preliminary report online.

Keep up with the latest tech trends in K–12: Sign up for our e-newsletter


5 Reasons Going Paperless Won’t Work – InformationWeek

Originally posted on Executive Training Dubai:

5 Reasons Going Paperless Won’t Work InformationWeek The reality is that, for most organizations, there are multiple places in their workflow where the analog meets the digital, and where technology still hasn’t been able to replace important…

Source: www.informationweek.com

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