Skip to main content

Developing Higher Order Thinking Through Blogging

Presenter - Brad Overnell-Carter, Assistant Head at Island Pacific Schools.

The idea that students are digital natives is a myth. Like any other idea up for adoption, there is a normal distribution of interest in and ability with social media and other emerging web technologies among K12 students. To be sure, many are quite comfortable, if not always wise, users of social media such as Facebook or IM. But none of the potential educational advantages of such tools or of cloud computing are self-evident; and just as students had to be taught to see a pencil as a learning tool, they need to be taught to see the web as a learning tool. Just as we say let’s do some writing, not let’s do some penciling, we ought to focus on ends, not means, when introducing new technologies to a whole school or even a single classroom of students.

This session explored the relationship to technology in general and in this light, how best to frame emerging technologies for so that students--and teachers--can see how they can use them to boost learning. Over the past year, we have developed a workflow using blogs to extend classroom discussions and encourage higher order thinking in students.

Brad says: There's a lot of hullabaloo about technology these days and let me say I am a bit old-fashioned in this regard: I like Homer and Milton; I think Greek and Latin are fine things to know; and, were it not for the squeaks, I would prefer a chalkboard to my Mac. Unless technology lets me do something I couldn't otherwise do with a stick in the sand, I don't see much sense it.

Despite this, Brad feels that the only way to make fair assessments of emerging web technologies and the way they are shaping how we teach is to get dirty with them. He moved the whole school over to Google Apps in the fall of 2009 and over the past year have led our staff and students in experiments with wikis, blogs, instant messaging, and web conferencing. A Stick in the Sand is where he blogs about making emerging web technologies work in grade schools.

Blogging allows students to analyze and synthesize about the content they are writing. Blogging allows for students to develop their thinking rather than formal writing. This also becomes a great way to communicate to contribute later to a sychronous session. When students have the opportunity to share their thoughts it builds self-confidence as a learner.

One of the driving questions in education - What happens to education (teachers and students) when information is so accessible? What should we do with this information that is found? We need to start looking at 21st century skills and have students to start help students start to be self-directed in extracting the content then analyzing and creating inquisitions to drive learning.

When grading blogs, here is a sample of the rubric he used for his courses.

Some really great resources were shared. Here is one worth looking at, which has currently been updated and set to release in July 2010. Education for a Digital World.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

E pule kakou . . .

Aloha all,
I was trying to think so hard of a "techie" tip and finally gave up. I even googled "tips and tricks" for various programs and then thought "I can't blog about something I don't actually use!" Then, as I was sitting in my Papa Makua class, doing all kinds of protocal and thought about how we keep looking for a short pule to do to open our meetings. I had `A`ali`i write a pule in Hawaiian. He was worried about the grammar and structure of it so I asked Kelly C. to kökua by editing and doing an audio recording so you can hear the pronunciation. Hope it's helpful :)

E ho`omalu käkou
E kö mäkou makua i loko o ka lani
Mahalo no nä pömaika`i a pau. Mahalo no ke ali`i lokomaika`i o Pauahi a me këia kula nei. E `olu`olu, e kia`i iä mäkou i ke alahele küpono me ka lökahi.
Ke nonoi ha`aha`a nei mäkou i ka inoa o Iesu Cristo
`Ämene

`Unuhi (translation):
Let us pray
Our Father in heaven
Thank you for all the many blessings. Thank you for the generous Pri…

Papa Kuʻi ʻai a me Pohaku

As part of our huakaʻi last month to Papahana Kuaola and the opportunity to work in the loʻi, I wanted to continue that thought by sharing my experience of making a papa kuʻi 'ai (poi-pounding board).

In 2008 with the encouragement from me and my co-worker, Pili Wong, Earl Kawaʻa offered to teach a papa kuʻi ʻai papa to those of us that were interested in learning what our kūpuna did as a daily way of life. For our kūpuna they had loʻi in their yards and grew their own kalo, the major source of starch in their diet. They steamed it and pounded poi or kept it whole and sliced it and ate it like bread with butter or condensed milk.

Kawaʻa was very specific on our kuleana and the commitment he required of us. Our first task was to find an au koʻi (handle) for our koʻi (adze tool). I found myself suddenly looking up at every tree I saw looking for the right branch for my koʻi. My husband found mine at a jobsite from a Haole Koa tree otherwise known as the Leucaena Leucocephala tree. I…

Highlights from the Adobe Photoshop SkillPath Seminar

Last week, Jenny Tanaka and I attended an Adobe Photoshop seminar in Waikiki at the DoubleTree hotel.

A  few major benefits of attending seminars like this include the following: seeing what is possible in the program, becoming better equipped to do research into Photoshop's features, and watching a "Photoshop guru" put some tricks into action.





In reviewing the highlights of the seminar, this post will focus on 3 things having to do with beginner-level use of Photoshop:
I.  ShortcutsII.  TricksIII.  Applications

I. Shortcuts 
One of the wonderful (albeit daunting) things about Photoshop is that there are multiple ways to do just about anything that needs doing. This can be pretty intimidating for a beginner, so it is good to start learning keyboard shortcuts if you want to start learning Photoshop. The early part of the conference went over a few of the shortcuts that our lecturers would be using throughout the day.

Basically, we were given a very small taste of the many, …