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Conference

Making It Your Way: Online PD on Your Time!



NEW! Making Thinking Visible for Student Understanding

What is “thinking” and what does it mean to make it visible?  Across grade levels and subject areas, teachers can employ strategies(routines) that deepen students' content learning through the development of their thinking.

Based on research, Project Zero at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education came into existence to explore how good teachers were able to use strategies that could reveal how students come to understanding. The "Thinking Routines Toolbox" was a direct result, outlining specific protocols which advance students' thinking in a manner that is visible to the teacher for informing instruction but, more importantly, in the development of thinking moves or dispositions that assist students in deeper understanding and learning In this way, students combine the ability and inclination to think, while also developing the sensitivity as to when it is appropriate to use a particular type of thinking.

In this course, you will look at why Making Thinking Visible is beneficial for advancing student understanding, and explore Thinking Routines that can enable teachers and students to "see" the thinking involved in making meaning and learning”. You will also learn about the importance of related documentation, student reflection, and other considerations that lead to the development of a Culture of Thinking. Possibilities for blended learning will be presented, along with useful resources, and examples of routines in action.

Your completion of the course will be to select a Thinking Routine from the Toolkit at Harvard's Project Zero and incorporate it into a lesson plan for your students.

 



Instructor: Jane Gorman
SelectUnitsUnit TypeHours
0 7

NEW! Hacking Writing: Design Thinking for All Content Writing

What is hacking in education?  It’s teachers being innovative and working to bring their practices and their students into not only this point in the 21st Century, but to prepare them for the future as thinkers and communicators.  The key is preparing them as designers of writing, This  course explores hacking writing in all content areas. 

Why all content areas?  Every teacher, no matter the content, is a teacher of writing.  Every content area has its own writing demands, and we need to be mindful that we have to teach the writing we expect.  We can’t assume someone else did that.  This is true whether it is a five paragraph essay in social studies to reflect on the Civil War, a conclusion to an experiment, a solution to a math problem, a tech guide in computer class, or an argumentative essay in English/Language Arts.  We must be aware of what we expect when we ask students to write anything, and then make sure we carefully teach and model  those types of writings, including time to practice and become proficient.  Nothing is more frustrating or invites more negativity for students than being asked to write when they haven’t had instruction and experience with that type of writing.  We need to provide the means for them to be successful makers of writing.

So what is hacking writing?  It is being aware that in these times, students can publish digitally immediately.  They can garner a wide audience within hours.  This demands a different skill set than what has been needed prior to this digital age when a writer needed to be accepted by a publisher or editor to be published.  That means writers now need to be design thinkers, makers of writing.  Writers now need to iterate on the familiar aspects of writing, while they may invent new ways to communicate to their readers and call for their responses or actions.  This also means we as teachers are challenged to redefine what writing is, and how we might create opportunities and facilitate writings students create that are future oriented, and future ready.  This may mean we provide various tools, think in a new way about how our space in a classroom functions, what are the protocols and prototypes for the writings we expect, and how we define “perfected” works, ones that are ready to publish to the possibility of a wide variety of readers, and even a global audience. 

In this course we will explore design processes and how they marry with the writing process.  We will investigate how to get started, what are the key components of hacking writing, and start thinking about what we can do immediately to implement instruction that centers on instructing and engaging future ready makers of writing, and do this in an environment that is student-centered, no matter what content and grade level you teach.   


Instructor: Chris Riley
SelectUnitsUnit TypeHours
0 7

NEW! Effectively Using PhET in Your Lesson: Expand the Simulation

Online simulations stimulate students’ curiosity and provide opportunities for students to see concepts in action in a learner focused, interactive environment. They support collaborative, inquiry learning, providing real world connections. Students learn through exploration and discovery as they test their knowledge with multiple representations. Simulations are available for every age and every subject matter with topics ranging from understanding how elections work to science labs to empathy.  And yet, simulations are an underutilized tool in education and often used ineffectively.

This course explores the ways simulations can be integrated into a lesson plan.  You will learn why it is important to use simulations with intention and how to do so with purpose. The course will focus on the simulations developed at the University of Colorado Boulder, PhET. PhET simulations are among the best known, most inclusive, free simulations available. They are award winning and research backed. PhET simulations can be run online or can be downloaded onto a computer. The simulations are scenario based and allow students to see the cause-and-effect relationships.

In this course you will explore the PhET website that provides teacher resources and guidance. Although the course focuses on PhET simulations, the same principles can be applied to any simulation used in any course.  

Your completion of the course will be to select a simulation from the PhET suite of sims and incorporate it into a lesson outline for your students.



Instructor: Laura Smith
SelectUnitsUnit TypeHours
0 7

NEW! PBL- Project Based Learning and Blended Learning

Perhaps you are an experienced PBL facilitator but are looking for some ideas, information, or tools that you can add to your toolbox. You might be new to PBL and are looking for some resources to help you begin. Most of all, you might be looking for ways to bring PBL into the online and blended learning environment.

I encourage you to take a journey with me in this course as we look for ways to support the important PBL Gold Standards. We will look at the PBL Gold Standards published by PBLWorks several years ago. These replace those Eight Essential Elements that were part of the BUCK Institute (BIE) teaching before they transformed into PBLWorks.

This course will provide links to some free tools, information, ideas, articles, and concepts based on PBL. My hope is that you look them over and polish a Gold Standard or two with one of the resources I provide. It might be a thought to emphasize a Gold Standard using an online or blended idea, or it may include making a new PBL, or re-engineering one you have done in the past. Of course, if you want to try multiple resources, go ahead, Keep in mind that it is important that we take small steps, so just one is fine.

Keep in mind also, that after looking at these Gold Standards, we will be examining them under the lens of blended and e-learning. I often say that while PBL does not require technology, using technological tools will amplify and deepen the learning in Project Based Learning. You will even discover that PBL can be done both in the blended environment, or totally online. It is my hope that you enjoy this journey we take together.




Instructor: Mike Gorman
SelectUnitsUnit TypeHours
0 7

Design Thinking in Every Subject: Creativity and the Design Process

We want our students to be problem-solvers, creative thinkers, team members with excellent collaboration and communication skills AND masters of the content our subject area or grade level demands. Design Thinking and, specifically, the framework provided by the Engineering Design Process can assist with the culture shift that allows students to think creatively and with empathy while designing solutions to challenges across grade levels and subject areas.


Complementary to existing programs like Makers Ed, PBL, STEAM, Portrait of a Graduate, and Deeper Learning, the Design Process incorporates the use of an iterative process (with failure along the way) that encourages both convergent and divergent thinking resulting in a unique end or solution. This takes students to the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy and demands that they investigate facts and ideas to determine what they need to know  and how that information informs their end design, whether it be a story, storyboard, sketch, prototype, physical model or something else.


In this course, we will look at why Design Thinking is beneficial, explore how models for the EDP (there isn’t just one!) advance curriculum, the 4 Cs, and even SEL and other character qualities. We will also look at some blended learning possibilities, resources, and examples of activities and projects. Your completion of the course will be to adopt or adapt an EDP process and incorporate it into a planned lesson/project for your classroom. (Perhaps this is something that you want to improve - not a great lesson already in your repertoire!)




Instructor: Jane Gorman
SelectUnitsUnit TypeHours
0 7

Sketchnoting: A Strategy for Significant Engagement

Sketchnoting is a significant strategy and tool to add to your Teacher Toolbox.  It can be used at any grade level and any content area, and is appropriate for your diverse learners.  However, like any process or protocol, it needs to be modeled and practiced, though it can quickly become part of best practices for students to use in a variety of ways. As you will discover during our work together, sketchnoting activates the brain in a variety of ways, and can be done both as an analog or digital activity.  Each has its own means to build connections to information, and its greatest potential is in activating higher level thinking skills such as synthesis and making connections.  Students can use this technique also to  brainstorm, collaborate (it works well on Zoom, Collaborate Board, etc) and build on ideas from others.  It is appropriate for all your students, and can activate the visual to verbal skills needed, especially by your special education and English Language Learner students.  Sketchnoting can be integrated with any standard and/or curriculum, and can build necessary literacy skills needed in all content areas.   


Sketchnoting is a key component of most design processes.  Students can tinker with ideas and make adjustments throughout any process they are working on.  Furthermore, sketchnoting, as you will come to understand, can be an important college and career readiness skill, one that enhances their ability to understand and share information and ideas. As you will see and we will discuss, sketchnoting accomplishes many of our educational goals as educators. I’m looking forward to our learning work together!!    



Instructor: Chris Riley
SelectUnitsUnit TypeHours
0 7

Future City STEM Workshop: Virtual Teaching Strategies

Future City is a project-based learning program where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. 

Future City STEM Workshop: Virtual Teaching Strategies will provide an introduction to this award winning STEM program.  Teachers will be given Best Practice Tips on how to use online technologies to guide your students through this class project. Webinar sessions will include a program explanation, curriculum value, collaborative technology resources, engineering project design and management, and competition expectations if a school chooses to compete remotely. Many of the sessions will be asynchronous allowing teachers to work through the sessions at their own pace. Synchronous sessions will also be offered allowing teachers to experience many of the online tools and interactive discussion to share successful strategies and ask questions. Schools registered with Future City do not need to compete but have access to a variety of resources provided by National Future City and the Indiana Regional Competition.

Click HERE for more detailed descriptions of this course.  To learn more about this STEM project based program, visit: www.futurecity.org 

 

The Future City Workshop is offered to Indiana Teachers by the Indiana Region 8 Education Service Center through generous funding from the Schwab Foundation in collaboration with Purdue University Fort Wayne.    



Instructor: Laura Smith
SelectUnitsUnit TypeHours
0 7

It's in the Bag: Transforming Maker/STEAM Projects into the Blended/eLearning Environment

As teachers, we recognize the need to prepare students to be successful on standardized tests; however, we also have long understood the importance of giving students the opportunity to learn through hands-on activities.  These two objectives do not have to be mutually exclusive. Implementing Makerspace and STEAM activities into the curriculum fosters critical-thinking and problem-solving skills which extend beyond the classroom.  Makerspace/STEAM strategies are designed to engage students in active learning. Studies confirm what teachers have intuitively known all along; kids learn best by doing!

As educators, we have been creating a Makerspace/STEAM culture to transform our classrooms. At the same time, the classrooms themselves are being transformed through technology. We now find ourselves teaching in person, online, or a combination of both. How can teachers translate the important skills found in Makerspace/STEAM to this everchanging blended classroom environment? 

 

This course will help you do just that. We will learn how to successfully take our Makerspace/STEAM projects into the virtual world. You will be provided with project ideas, helpful hints, and hands-on activities that will engage your students this year.  With an emphasis on the 4 C’s (critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration), this course will provide opportunities for active learning in this constantly changing educational environment.




Instructor: Laura Smith
SelectUnitsUnit TypeHours
0 7

Student Owned Inquiry: Quick, Easy and Effective with Question Formulation Technique

Do you want to make student owned questions come alive in your classroom? We all know that inquiry is important to authentic learning. The ability to inquire  is the key to student engagement, excitement, and ownership. It allows the standards of any subject to come alive, have meaning, and provide connections between the subjects, and of course, out to the real world. 


The Question Formulation Technique (QFT) was developed to help educators facilitate student owned inquiry. It really does put the learning in the students’ hands. It is an easy yet powerful protocol that works across subjects and grade levels. It provides the key to deeper learning and allows students to reach the height of Bloom’s Taxonomy. QFT also promotes those important portraits of a graduate including communication, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. It is an important element to help students before a lab, in the middle of a math problem, in the midst of research, analyzing the fine arts, in the study of history, creating a project in PBL, or solving a current or future problem.


You will discover a technique rich in resources to accommodate your curriculum. You will also be provided a free gold mine of  resources to add to the process.  Teach your students that the true joy of learning is not always in finding the answers, but asking the question. After all, answers always lead to more questions. Your completion of this course will provide Professional Growth Points and a Certificate but most of all, will allow you help your students own their learning in every lesson. Sign up today to ensure a spot, and bring your entire team!    




Instructor: Mike Gorman
SelectUnitsUnit TypeHours
0 7
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