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Randi Wilkinson

  • If I had to choose the most valuable thing I’ve learned through my COETAIL journey, it would be the power of community and the ways to stay connected through space and time. Through the courses I have found great […]

    • I just love google maps as a student tool for learning! It always surprises me how underused it is. I’m sure that your project share is going to inspire many educators to take a risk and use it with their students.
      It was awesome to hear your students talk about how their group needed to function and the ways that they were communicating and organising themselves. The skills of collaboration and communication are certainly developing in the project. Thanks so much for sharing!
      It’s been an absolute pleasure to have been involved in your CoETaIL learning journey Randi – I do hope that you will continue to share the work of you and your students!

  • Warning – Hot Topic!

    Homework, especially for elementary students, has been under heavy scrutiny lately in the media. There are articles about schools who have discontinued it altogether, data that shows […]

  • My Course 5 Final Project is a regionally collaborative project involving classrooms from the 6 Gulf countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This is the second year we have ran the project, but […]

  • Last spring, after the culmination of my Course 1 Project, Together in the GCC, I asked the participating teachers to reflect on what they would change our next time through the project. The feedback gathered […]

  • Randi Wilkinson posted a new activity comment 3 years, 5 months ago

    Hi Yolanda!
    First – thanks for the huge compliment of featuring my infographic on your blog.
    I loved your final video project and completely agree that the main thing that popped up in Course 3 was ‘Tell a Story’! And like you did with your video, you can even tell a powerful story with mostly visuals.
    Congrats on being more than half way…[Read more]

  • My school has had 1:1 laptops from 1st grade on since its inception 7 years ago. We aren’t strangers to using technology in our classrooms, but at times we have lost sight of how to use it to enhance teaching and […]

  • Randi Wilkinson posted a new activity comment 3 years, 8 months ago

    Philip Arneill’s Course 5 Project is exactly what we should rebrand ‘Flipped Classroom’ as!

  • I went back and forth about what to do for this project, as my aspirations for originality warred with my need to check off a goal for my school’s use of technology. In the end, I knew that learning and […]

    • Hi Randi,
      I love that you are planning to offer Minecraft to your students in an after school setting. At the beginning of the year I had really wanted to incorporate Minecraft in my class but it seems that it wasn’t meant to be (at least not yet). I keep encountering obstacles that’s been preventing me from my goal. Firstly, we use Chromebooks and learned that those aren’t compatible with the game. Also, our principal had a bad experience in her previous school, dealing with kids who were addicted to Minecraft. Our school’s tech integrator finally suggested that we test out Minecraft EDU as an after school activity, however there were some issues with buying the servers. I can’t wait to hear about your experience implementing Minecraft and especially how the teachers respond to your efforts.
      One thing I’d like to ask is how do the parents at your school feel about gamifying education? I have had quite a few parents approach me with their concerns about students being hooked on playing computer games or watching youtube videos about the game. Have you had such cases? How do you handle it?
      I came across an article by a parent/educator with her thoughts about minecraft and I think she does a good job of addressing the paradox of Minecraft in education.
      http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2012/08/minecraft_teachers_love_the_game_but_as_a_parent_i_m_worried_my_kids_are_addicted.1.html

  • Randi Wilkinson posted a new activity comment 3 years, 8 months ago

    Hi Leah,
    I love this idea and I’m totally rooting for your first option (for the selfish reason of learning from your battle;). I’m very interested to see if the badges creates student motivation in the kids that need it most. I can so many ways to use this idea, but I’m already scheming on how to make badges a part of the school-wide digital…[Read more]

  • Randi Wilkinson posted a new activity comment 3 years, 8 months ago

    Hi Tracy,
    This was such a hard post for me as I get overwhelmed thinking too much of the future, which inevitably leads to how I can plan for it in order to control it! So I really like your idea to control what you can – yourself and your attitude!
    I think an important part of a growth mindset is expecting to fail. I’m reading Brene Brown’s…[Read more]

  • Randi Wilkinson posted a new activity comment 3 years, 8 months ago

    Hi Katherine,
    This sounds fantastic! While I’m sure it’s busy and exhausting, it sounds like the energy from the all the learning keeps everyone going.
    You make a good point that scaffolding the collaboration is a tricky and necessary task. I think that there are at least 5 books on my Kindle about working with people who think differently or…[Read more]

  • First off, this is a huge topic and one with endless answers. Although I agree with A.J. Juliani (and Elon Musk) that these types of changes need to be thought through using first principles thinking rather than […]

  • Randi Wilkinson posted a new activity comment 3 years, 8 months ago

    Hi Matt and Alexis,
    I completely agree with you both that the purpose should come from the learning objectives first, rather than the tech tool.
    However, as a technology coach, I find this stance is a scale, and at one side are teachers who when asking themselves, “Will using the tech make the learning relevant for the students?” and “Is this t…[Read more]

  • Randi Wilkinson posted a new activity comment 3 years, 8 months ago

    Hi Amanda,
    The way you describe using video sounds more liked the Flipped Learning I mentioned in the reply to Jeff. I think the real difference is if a teacher is applying these types of techniques without ‘Flipping’ the way they see education; teacher-centered to student-centered, passive lecture learning to inquiry based learning, memorization…[Read more]

  • Randi Wilkinson posted a new activity comment 3 years, 8 months ago

    Absolutely agree with your new version of a ‘Flipped’ classroom and it actually sounds like Flipped Learning. The ‘I’ in FLIP stands for “Intentional Content” and explains that teachers need to determine what they need to teach and what materials students should explore on their own. Educators use Intentional Content to maximize classroom time in…[Read more]

  • I have never formally tried to flip my classroom, and before this week’s research I wasn’t clear about my beliefs around reverse instruction or a flipped classroom. I will say that although I have used tools […]

    • So much focus when flipping is put on the video or the homework when the real change in what makes it work is what you do with the kids when you have them in your classroom. How can/does homework lead to better use of class time not just practice of something we’re learning? To me that’s the real switch. We need to stop using homework as “practice” and start using it to drive instruction.

      I agree with you last statement….are we giving students the skills of search…and could them searching for the answer be the flip? Not us making videos for them, or giving them videos to watch but rather giving them questions to go and investigate on their own? What if flipping wasn’t about them passively watching content…it was them actively searching for content?

      It drives me nuts to watch teachers waste their planning time doing the searching for students and then tell me they don’t have time to “teach students to search on their own” if you took just 10 minutes a day for the first month of school to teach students how to search, curate and use information….teachers would free up their own time by allowing students the freedom to find answers on their own. Some kids watch videos, other students read, some look at pictures. I don’t care how they learn….as long as they can find the information themselves and with the guidance of a teacher start making sense of that information.

      I think we need to rebrand flipping.

      The New Flipped Classroom:
      Student doing the searching not the teacher
      Student doing the discover of the content not the teacher
      Students asking the questions and finding the answers not the teacher
      The teacher raising their hand asking clarifying questions not the student

      Just a thought…..

      • Absolutely agree with your new version of a ‘Flipped’ classroom and it actually sounds like Flipped Learning. The ‘I’ in FLIP stands for “Intentional Content” and explains that teachers need to determine what they need to teach and what materials students should explore on their own. Educators use Intentional Content to maximize classroom time in order to adopt methods of student-centered, active learning strategies, depending on grade level and subject matter.
        You also made a great point with the question how can homework lead to better use of class time? Some teachers might argue that kids are less motivated these days, but I think it is because students have become wise to the fact that traditional school practices are irrelevant to their lives.
        Thanks for the comment and thanks for helping so many educators ‘Flip’ their thinking about 21st century teaching!

    • Hi Randi,
      I agree with you that as educators our role is so much more than content delivery. Creating content specifically for our students, or selecting the appropriate clips for them to watch is a great time saver so that we can maximise our time with the students for more important things- like enhancing understanding, applying knowledge and developing social and emotional skills. I’m having some success with short video’s after a unit of inquiry that help sum up assessment tasks or provoke ideas with my student’s, especially EAL learners who may not get every piece of information from a learning experience the first time around.
      Thanks for an interesting post!
      Amanda

      • Hi Amanda,
        The way you describe using video sounds more liked the Flipped Learning I mentioned in the reply to Jeff. I think the real difference is if a teacher is applying these types of techniques without ‘Flipping’ the way they see education; teacher-centered to student-centered, passive lecture learning to inquiry based learning, memorization to authentic problem solving.
        By the way, saw your Minecraft post for your course 5 project; interested to see your process and results! We’re trying something similar 🙂

  • In the  Introduction to Project Based Learning booklet, Buck Institute defines standards-focused PBL as a systematic teaching method that engages students in learning knowledge and skills through an extended in […]

  • Before I began teaching internationally, I worked at Walter Bracken STEAM Academy in Las Vegas. I was lucky to land the job right out of college, and from the first day of my first class, I was an elementary […]

    • Hi Randi-

      I see you’ve transitioned from the classroom into a more school-wide role. I’m curious how you are enjoying that….it is a move I have considered.

      As I was reading the description of your first school, I was amazed at how similar my first school was! We were one of the first 1:1 schools in the state, we had no administration outside of the principal (who was paid at almost the same level of teachers), we had an open-door policy, flexible off-time-table-learning-days, and a huge emphasis on project-based learning. It was so incredibly different than where I am at now. I wouldn’t say better or worse, but very, very different.

      I am struggling to really understand what the takeaway message of the TPACK concept is. It leaves me feeling like I am inadequate in all three types of knowledge. It seems to imply that I need to be supremely educated in not just my content, but pedagogy and technology. With 24 hours in a day (and it might be nice to spend some of those hours not thinking about school), I don’t know how to ‘use’ TPACK to become a better teacher. Hopefully the more we carry on in course 4, the more clear it will become.

  • Randi Wilkinson posted a new activity comment 3 years, 10 months ago

    Well done Fiona and Trina! I can’t wait to help with this project and see what the kids come up with for the parent share; something I’m sure we will use more than once. I know it was a lot of extra time, but I appreciate the detail you went into for this lesson – seems like it will be able to transfer it right into the 1st grade Atlas planner and…[Read more]

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