Heick, T. (2014). Teaching google natives to value information. Retrieved from
Heick suggests enlightening millennial’s (who grew up computer savvy) on the importance of information and research. This generation has used Google, specifically, to answer all of their questions, thereby appreciating information less (because of its simplicity). Heick acknowledges that this not a black or white issue, but maintains “while neurological functions may not [be] change[ing],
how students access, use, share, and store information is.” The logical answer is to be cognizant of this reality and provide practical advice. Heick suggests the following:
“1. Is sounds counterintuitive-intuitive, but periodically create information-scarce
circumstances that force students to function without it.
2. Illuminate – or have them illuminate – the research process itself.
3. Do entire projects where the point is not the information, but its utility.
4. Use think-alouds to model the thinking process during research.
5. Create single-source research assignments where students have to do more
This article is provides an interesting analysis of a complex issue. Heick concludes that she does not have all of the answers, but she does include some insightful examples. The main point of the article is that we cannot expect students to ignore technology, (nor do we want to), but they can be more thoughtful in their research.
ET – Learning Styles
IL – Critical Thinking
Z – Fun
Thomas, A.M. (2013). Hands-on science with squishy circuits. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/annmariethomassquishycircuits.html
In this Ted talk, Thomas proposes having children use play dough to create their own “squishy circuits” and learn about electricity in the process. Specifically, she suggests making home-made play dough for this project, including two different recipes. The first one calls for flour, salt, vegetable oil, and cream of tartar. While the other is the same except that it calls for sugar instead of salt. Thomas explains that when the different play dough’s are incorporated the sugar dough “has a resistance 150 times that of the salty dough,” while the “salty dough conducts electricity.” The end result is that circuits have been created. She displays the play dough on a table and later in the presentation demonstrates the different things that can be done with it. For instance, she connects wires which causes the circuit to light up. Thomas also connects a piece of play dough to a motor, creating a spinning-tail motor in the process.
This is a great example of project-based learning. I can see how this project would be both fun and educational for children. Its amazing that children are doing such complex work: designing circuits, but are doing it in a creative, age – appropriate way. My friend recently completed a lesson on electricity for 5th graders. I plan on recommending this talk and lesson to her. Perhaps she can use it next year.
CA- Written Curriculum
ET- Standards-Based Education
Heick, T. (2014). Curriculum that questions the purpose of knowledge. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/learning.com/learning/curriculum-questions-purpose-knowledge/
This article discusses the status of curriculum in schools examining its role in learning. Heick begins by giving a framework of curriculum, breaking it down to what it has been in the past in comparison to how it is now. He defines curriculum as “that which is to be studied-a set of planned learning experiences to promote mastery of knowledge and skills.” This is is the traditional model, which is directly based on educational guidelines. Heik makes an analogy comparing “academic standards” to the ingredients found in baked goods. By themselves, standards do not sound appealing, however, it it how they are translated or advertised (into assignments) that makes them not only more recognizable, but more palatable. If the purpose of the curriculum is to teach certain skills, than educators need to decide why these lessons worth learning from a student’s perspective. Specifically, the content should be promoted as something relevant, interesting, and applicable to their everyday lives.
I like how Heick is starting an honest conversation about curriculum and its connection to learning and how it effects everyone: teachers, students, and the community. Until educators question why old methods of teaching are not resonating with students, they are not likely to change. It is important for teachers ask themselves, why am I including this in the lesson and what is the intent? Not only are well thought out lesson plans more interesting (for the students), it is more likely that they will learn
something from them.
the educational paradigm. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 32(1),
26-42. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048623.2001.10755141
authentic assessment of an information literacy program. Libraries and the
Academy, 8(1), 75–89. Retrieved from
Diversity is on the rise amongst postsecondary students. A higher education degree is becoming the standard nowadays for gainful employment. So, as the American demographic landscape changes and the necessity for higher education escalates, instructors seek to accommodate a wide-array of ethnicities, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds. Experiences shape the way we learn, so students with a varied and vast array of experiences will undoubtedly respond to curriculum in vast and varied ways. Information literacy is a significant part of this conversation. Theoretically, if a person knows how to locate, access, analyze and use information, then he or she knows how to learn! This article deals with the challenges of teaching 21st century information literacy skills to a diverse student population. The author writes, “Good teaching should take account of both the social and cultural background contexts of the student cohort and the teaching staff, and the resulting dynamics contained in classroom interactions.” Teaching information literacy in a sociocultural literate environment requires special attention to particular nuances. Librarians may symbolize gatekeepers in many cultures. This means that only the librarian has access to the information and will only share it with certain people assuming they meet the criteria for lending. It is important to break down this stereotype and frame information literacy in a way that relates to the student’s experience. The author cites an example from China, “many libraries in China continue to have closed library stacks, so students’ experience with library collections is quite different from those of individuals studying in North America.” Additionally, students from rural or low socioeconomic home cultures may not be familiar with how libraries work or the function of libraries in education. This article was great at framing the idea of 21stcentury information literacy skills within the context of diverse populations.
As distance education becomes increasingly popular, instructors seek ways of fostering an online environment where students can more easily interact and collaborate. There is a unique pedagogy behind distance education, which requires a distinct approach to curriculum design. Online interactivity will make use of web 2.0 tools such as wikis, blogs and podcasts. Students and instructors will be able to communicate in real time and delayed time. These types of activities will help students feel connected to their learning experience. This connectedness is constructivist in ideology. The more active a student is in his or her learning process, the more likely they are to comprehend the curriculum. Creating information in the form of a wiki or blog and then exchanging ideas with peers and instructors is a great way to raise questions and nurture an environment where discussion is valued. This phenomenon of online social learning processes is a direct reflection of modern society’s fascination with social networking and digital communication. New learning management software is delivering an educational experience that encourages contact between students and faculty, develops reciprocity and cooperation among students, and gives prompt feedback. A bit of information that I found particularly helpful in this article was the distinction between instructional and learning theories: “Instructional theories explain how to achieve the desired learning outcomes, while learning theories describe how learning actually occurs.” This was helpful in my mind because up until this point I had trouble distinguishing between the concepts. Ultimately, technology will influence the way instructors design courses and the theoretical approaches they use to reach students who are separated from the institution by distance. Collaboration is an integral aspect of learning, so it is important that opportunities for interaction and collaboration combat the restrictions of time and space present in distance education.