Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Best of the 2008 Inbox Blog

Effective writing assignments and strategies for teaching nonfiction along with the summer series of blogs on 21st century tools for the classroom were Traci Gardner's most read Inbox blogs this year.

Just in case you missed them, here they are again:

What Makes an Effective Assignment?

Strategies for Teaching with Nonfiction

Mind Mapping Graphic Organizers

Google Lit Trips: Literary Maps Meet 21st Century Literacy Skills

Wiki: Collaborative Authorship Made Easy

Twitter: 140-Character Professional Development and Writing Tool

Until next year...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How Do We Change Assessment?

In her recent perspective piece, "Winds of Change in the Assessment World?," Kathleen Blake Yancey states, "I think most of us, if asked about assessment and testing, would say pretty much the same thing: we have more tests and bad tests than ever before."

BUT WAIT, Kathi gives us hope that things may be changing as she shares two new and very different assessment programs: the Insight Resume used by Oregon State University and a portfolio assessment used by the Virginia Beach Schools, written about in her November 2008 Council Chronicle article "Assessment Models Worth Sharing."

What emerging trends in assessment are you seeing?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

So What Is 21st Century Learning Anyhow?

None of us has escaped the technological and media explosion of the 21st Century but most all of us need ways of working to use the new tools of our world to help prepare our students for the now and the later.

The NCTE Definition of 21st Century Literacies and the just-released NCTE Framework for 21st Century Curriculum and Assessment give teachers ways “to think about their practice and how it relates to 21st century learning,” as Bill Bass notes. See Bill’s complete explanation on his blog . Franki Sibberson, Bill’s Executive Committee colleague, adds to his comments on her blog.

But a picture is worth the proverbial 1000 words. See YouTube video The Networked Student on Alec Curos’ blog . The video was inspired by CCK08, a Connectivism course offered by George Siemens and Stephen Downes during fall 2008 and depicts an actual project completed by Wendy Drexler’s high school students. The Networked Student concept map was inspired by Alec Couros’ Networked Teacher.