Jan 2016


During the past few years, I have closely followed the education studies published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Overall, I find great significance in their findings. However, I was discouraged when I saw recent news articles coming out of the OECD’s latest report on the use of computers in school. 
For educators, as a term critical thinking is similar to words like democracy, global, and organic: You hear people use them all the time, but no one seems to understand exactly what they mean.
Critical thinking apps aren’t the sweet spot of mobile app design.
Most of the more popular apps are focused on social media, productivity, or what always seem to be mindless games (we’re looking at you Kim Kardashian and Candy Crush). The fact that most apps don’t force users to think critical doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible, however. The lack of cognitively demanding apps is more of an indictment of the users than the technology itself.
Seventeen months ago, I made my first flipped learning video. And then, unexpectedly, it happened: I crossed the century mark. That is to say, I made my hundredth video. What have I learned along the road between one and one hundred?
It’s not about the video.
In my previous column, I shared some tips on how to support new educators in a personalized learning environment. But getting veteran teachers on board is just as crucial in ensuring success.
3D printing technology allows students to imagine, test their imagination, then build what they imagined from scratch.
Problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity skills all may be utilized and enhanced in a 3D modeling world.
How to Make Your Questions Essential
Grant Wiggins and Denise Wilbur – ASCD
The well-known aphorism that “writing is revision” applies particularly well to crafting essential questions. With more than 30 years’ experience in teaching through questions and helping educators create great unit-framing queries, we’ve repeatedly seen the wisdom of this saying.
But what makes a question essential in the first place? Essential questions foster the kinds of inquiries, discussions, and reflections that help learners find meaning in their learning and achieve deeper thought and better quality in their work. Essential questions meet the following criteria: