Evaluation is a central component of the learning process without which we would not be able to gauge learning objectives and identify learning needs. The instructional process as a whole is informed and guided (at least that’s how it should be) by results gleaned from evaluative procedures. There are actually different evaluation models out there, the infographic below, features 4 of the most popular among them. The one that stands out to us from the list is Kirkpatrick’s model of training and education. This model is composed of four major levels:
- Level Four - Results: To what degree targeted outcomes occur, as a result of learning event(s) and subsequent reinforcement.
- Level Three - Behaviour: To what degree participants apply what they learned during training when they are back on the job and attitudes based on their participation in the learning event.
- Level Two - Learning: To what degree participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills.
- Level One - Reaction: To what degree participants react favourably to the learning event.
Read here to learn more about the other three evaluation models.
Does music education really improve kids cognitive skills? The answer, in our view, is hard to determine and it requires a series of longitudinal studies across different cultural and ethnic groups. However, certain small-scale studies such as the ones cited in the visual below do provide a preliminary evidence in favour of the correlation between taking music lessons and improvement in certain cognitive skills. For instance, in a study of 96 children aged 5-7 years old, those who received 7 months of supplementary music and arts classes earned higher mathematics scores than those with the schools’ typical music and arts training. In another collection of studies that involved a larger base of participants from high schools, researchers were able to identify a strong correlation between music instruction and higher reading test scores.
Always according to this infographic, music education was behind the blossoming of some great creative minds in the history of humankind (i.e Leonardo da Vinci, Issac Newton, Thomas Edison, Galileo Galilei and many mothers). More specifically, the visual cites six key areas positively impacted by music education: math skills, reading skills, memory, IQ, SAT scores, and planning. Read on to learn more about how music education improves human cognition.
RefME is a web tool and mobile app that you can use to automate citations, reference lists and bibliographies. RefMe also offers a bunch of powerful features that will definitely help students in their research. Some of these features include:
- Generate citations by scanning book or journal barcodes using your phone’s camera.
- No Barcode? Search by Book/Article Title, ISBN, ISSN, DOI or URL.
- Citing a website? Simply paste in the URL or use RefME.com, which syncs with the app and is perfect for websites.
- A wide variety of citation styles including APA, MLA, Chicago and AMA as well as most school/college-specific styles.
- Add notes to your citations, both in the app and at RefME.com.
- Export via Email or Evernote using the app.
- Send your work straight to MS Word, EndNote and more from RefME.com.
GoConqr is a free web service that gives students and teachers a place to organize mind maps, flashcards, quizzes, reports, class notes, and more. The service was designed for students and educators, and you can use it to store your own notes and class materials, or use it to collaborate with classmates.
GoConqr has specific templates for storing mind maps, flashcards, notes, and quizzes, so they're the easiest to add. As you upload them, you build out a collection of study data that's easy to refer back to when you need to brush up for an exam. The service's study planner also makes it easy to build a schedule for your classes and your after-class study sessions, so you can make sure you're studying the right topics at the best times. Plus, everything you post can be made public or private, and shared with friends on or off the service, so comparing notes and quizzes is a snap.
You have to be careful with a tool like GoConqr though - there are so many features and options that you may spend more time organizing information than actually reviewing and committing it to memory. However, part of the study process is getting your notes and quizzes organized, and the mind mapping tool makes it easy to connect thoughts and ideas that may have been presented verbally in class. Hit the link below to give it a try.
Here is another excellent graphic on flipped learning that we want to bring to your attention. As you see below, “Flipped Learning: The Big Picture” provides a visual illustration of the concept of flipped learning in terms of what it has to offer to students learning both in class and at home. According to this graphic, flipped learning positively impact the learning that takes place in the classroom in the sense that it:Encourages student understanding, enables differentiation, ensures access to expert support, enables student engagement, creates a supportive learning environment, and provides opportunities for collaboration. Read on to learn more about how flipped learning supports students learning. Read more here.
Math games can too often present the learning goal as an obstacle to overcome. Shooting aliens to solve fractions is an example. The result is a moment of fun punctuated by the chore of performing a task. In other words, the game actions - or core mechanics - do not match the educational goal.
The Land of Venn is an ingenious geometry game that aligns learning to fun. It smartly avoids being “edutainment” by putting play first. It is a universal mobile application in which you draw lines and shapes to learn about lines and shapes. The narrative, which is silly and amusing (as is the catchy music), is a tower defense game. By performing the actions of geometry, players internalize the concepts. It is a clear example of constructivist learning - learning by doing. For example, children connect points (each point is a different enemy) to draw an isosceles triangle. As a result, confidence in abstract mathematical concepts is built as mastery of levels is met.
Flipped learning or Flipped classroom or is a methodology, an approach to learning in which technology is employed to reverse the traditional role of classroom time. If in the past, classroom time is spent at lecturing to students , now in a flipped model, this time is utilized to encourage individualized learning and provide one-on-one help to students, and also to improve student-teacher interaction. While the instructional or teachable content is still available in class, however this content is mainly designed in such a way to be accessed outside class which is a great way for struggling students to learn at their own pace. Read more here.
Electronic Learning, conventionally known as e-learning, is a digitally mediated type of learning. The standard way of lesson delivery in e-learning was and mostly still is computer and hence the traditional definition of e-Learning as computer mediated learning. However, now with the huge advancement in web technologies and the emergence of several other devices that have more or less the same computational functionalities as computers (e.g tablets, Chromebooks, hand-held devices…etc), e-learning now can be facilitated through different devices.
e-Learning has several advantages. Some of which, according to Virtual College, include: it is cost effective and saves time, it is available anytime/anywhere with Internet connection, and it makes it easy to track course progress.As a form of digital learning, e-learning is divided into two main categories: synchronous e-learning (involves real-time interaction between participants) and asynchronous e-learning (participants can take the course at their own time and pace). Check out HERE to learn more about what e-learning is all about and how it can be implemented in different learning settings.
Chalk is an excellent web tool that teachers and educators can use to reduce their paperwork. Chalk allows users to convert any document into a form that can be easily signed or filled out online. As a teacher you can use this tool to distribute forms to be filled out and signed by others (e.g parents, students, school personnels…etc).
Chalk works with all kinds of forms including permissions slips, registration forms, evaluation forms, staff time sheets and many more.If you want to use data you have in store to prefill forms, you simply upload the spreadsheet containing that data into Chalk and use it to personalize your own forms.
Some of the interesting features offered by Chalk include: the ability to track people who have filled out your form, share forms using a generated link, recipients do not have to have an account with Chalk to fill out received forms, distribute the same form to many recipients, collect attachments along with forms, and many more. Chalk offers a free trail period after which you will have to pay to use it.
Pyonkee is a powerful iPad app for teaching kids and adults about coding. Pyonkee has been developed from the open source code of the popular coding app Scratch from MIT Media lab. This means that learners can use millions of Scratch projects for reference. Pyonkee provides student friendly programming environment where kids can use it to learn programming through engaging games and activities. They will also get to program their own games, animations and stories and boost their creative and collaborative skills. Pyonkee’s user interface is optimized for touch interfaces. It also supports pinch out/in display and font scaling for some devices. Sound recorder and camera are also provided for importing your sounds and pictures into the projects.
7 Learning Zones is a beautiful visual created by Edutopia featuring an interesting system teachers can use in their classrooms to organize and manage students learning experiences. This system is composed of 7 zones, each zone targets a specific area in the instructional process and suggests some examples of what it is designed for.
The 7 zones included in this visual are:
- Discovery Zone. This one is for providing a central focus, sharing examples. recording observations and using the data.
- News Zone. This is for displaying the learning targets, managing class-work and homework.
- Supplies Zone. This one is for sharing reference materials, creating hubs for students work, and providing a place for lost and found.
- Community Zone. This is for assessing progress, clarifying and correcting misconceptions taking notes and planning ahead.
- Quiet Zone. This is a place for quiet zone for reflecting, reading and writing and studying.
- Teacher Zone. This is to help you define the professional space to work with learners and adult visitors.
- Subject Zone. This last zone is for providing examples and resources for connecting subjects.
Download the "7 Learning Zones".
One program that is doing an unbelievable job of gamifying math is Prodigy Math Game. Prodigy is a free, adaptive math game that integrates Common Core math (1st-7th grade) into a fantasy style game that students absolutely love playing. Prodigy takes game-based learning a step further and provides teachers with a powerful set of reporting and assessment tools that allow them to easily identify trouble spots, differentiate instruction, and better manage classroom time. Prodigy has recently expanded its content offering to include skills that align to the Math Florida Standards (MAFS) and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). As a web-based game, Prodigy can be accessed at school and at home on virtually any device.
Prodigy is extremely effective at engaging students using an adaptive technology to cater to each individual. Prodigy’s personalized approach quickly identifies gaps in students’ understanding and works with them by pulling them back to prerequisite skills and then scaffolding them forward through more difficult concepts. Prodigy has also built out tools like virtual manipulatives, which teachers can use to walk students through solving certain problems. Prodigy also has a fantastic assessment feature, which allows teachers to customize content and align the game with what they are teaching in class. Assignment questions are integrated right into the game so students have no idea they are working on an “assignment”! The program is very user friendly and makes teaching math easier and more enjoyable.
Sign-up your class for free in less than 2 minutes, and see why teaching math will never be the same!