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Blogging is the New Persuasive Essay

Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in Making The Shift, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices, Web Tools That Deepen Learning | 46 comments

I think blogging is the new persuasive essay. If we’re trying to prepare our students to think critically and argue well, they need to be able to blog. It allows for interaction. It allows for ideas to be tested. And the best posts anywhere in cyberspace tend to have a point that can be argued.

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Flipping Bloom’s Taxonomy

Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Less Teacher, More Student, Passion Based Learning, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices | 109 comments

I think the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy is wrong. I agree that the taxonomy accurately classifies various types of cognitive thinking skills. It certainly identifies the different levels of complexity. But its organizing framework is dead wrong. Here’s what I propose. In the 21st century, we flip Bloom’s taxonomy. Rather than starting with knowledge, we start with creating, and eventually discern the knowledge that we need from it.

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Why I Love Project Based Learning

Posted by on Apr 6, 2012 in Less Teacher, More Student, Passion Based Learning, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices | 13 comments

While some teachers may wonder about the merits of PBL, I’m sold. My high school students have learned much more in an inquiry classroom than others did when we had a traditional one. PBL allows them to have a say in what they learn and how they present their knowledge. Every semester I’m impressed by the hard work and energy my students pour into their projects. Here’s the story of our biology projects this year.

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My Students Put Their 21st Century Skills to the Test

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 in Less Teacher, More Student, Making The Shift, Passion Based Learning, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices | 4 comments

This exciting and demanding opportunity for my students to serve as ejournalists at Canada’s National Rural Congress is the “exam” I’ve been preparing them for. I think this is the future of education: authentic tasks; embedded, mobile, BYOD technology. What students can memorize and spew back on a Biology or English final has no ability to tell me how they will perform in a high pressure situation like this. But I think they’re up for the task.

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Teacher Fails: Let’s Talk

Posted by on Feb 2, 2012 in Less Teacher, More Student, Teacher Leadership 2.0, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices | 11 comments

I recently blogged about the importance of cultivating a culture where our students are expected to fail sometimes — it’s part of taking risks. We need to do this as teachers too. The first step, of course, is to create a culture of trust and support among teachers, and that’s hard in the midst of high-stakes testing and the publishing of teacher and school rankings. The only way this will happen is if we’re honest.

I’ll go first.

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