Photo by Vek Labs on Unsplash

I think the COETAIL designers has a bit of fun with the resource for the week – a huge, yet valuable, list! Some were very familiar (bit on Design Thinking and PBL), some took a new look on things I’ve experimented with (game-based learning) and some were completely new (challenge based learning). I’ve decided to start this post with some encouraging thoughts from the readings and transition into moving forward with deep learning. 

What was encouraging?

Drive for redesigned assessment

We need to develop measures for both deep learning outcomes and for the new pedagogies and learning environments that support them.

Fullan and Langworthy, A Rich Seam

I’d like to think that in international schools we are a bit further along with assessments, particularly with standardized assessments. At YIS we administer the ACER International Schools’ Assessment (ISA). It’s just one way that we collect data, but it isn’t used to evaluate teachers or rate student ability – something I can’t say about testing when I was a US public school teacher at the beginning of my career. The ISA does give us an opportunity to see how we are growing as a school and allows some insight into how compare with similar international school. 

But it isn’t all about standardized assessments… how do we better develop our formative and summative assessments to assess new learning outcomes? How to we measure deep learning outcomes? How can we support high student expectations to drive success?

A new look at gamification

I was a bit reluctant to click the link the resource about gamification in the classroom. It’s something I’ve looked up a bit in the past, but was always deterred by the idea of completely developing a game-based curriculum. However, when I read the quote below I was a bit excited about the possibilities of gameful design.

I prefer (and teach) the concept of gameful design. The distinction is subtle but important. Whereas gamification equates to making a game of an activity, gameful design looks at the various aspects and intrinsic motivators that are embedded in successful games (and in other nongame events) and asks whether those elements can be replicated and woven into classroom and online activities.

Kevin Bell, Gameful Design: A Potential Game Changer

Bell describes it perfectly – it isn’t creating an entire game from your curriculum, instead it is about borrowing elements of gaming and applying them, when constructive, in your classroom. 

Digital badges in education is something that continues to interest me. It certainly has links to gaming achievements (watch Microcredentials & the Evolution of Badges to Recognize Learning), but doesn’t come without its challenges (see The Seven Deadly Sins Of Digital Badging In Education). I’m keen to explore more and experiment with how might look like at our school. 

Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash

How do you support your colleagues in becoming deep learners?

As a coach, I spend most of my day working with teachers to improve student learning. Spending time diving into deep learning these past few weeks had me recently thinking about how I can share some of this with the teachers I work with every day. To start, I’ve put together three deep learning tips I hope to share with my colleagues:

Develop strong learning goals

Deep learning requires students to become leaders of their own learning – they are able to develop and follow their own learning goals, These goals should be “guided by clear and appropriately challenging learning goals, goals that ideally incorporate both curricular content and students’ interests or aspirations.” (Fullan and Langworthy) They should be developed by the student with support and guidance from the teacher. 

Develop the capacity to lead to student control

Student agency is an important aspect of deep learning, but it doesn’t mean we teach from the sidelines in a less-engaged role. Instead, teachers are activators, they drive help the students develop capacity, they work with students to construct and monitor their goals, they are present! The teacher has a proactive role, not a sidelined role, in moving the learning forward in the classroom. 

Focus on the pedagogy, then the tech

“Technology, strategically integrated with the other core components of the new pedagogies, unleashes deep learning” (Fullan and Langworthy), but just layering technology on learning without first focusing on the pedagogy isn’t promoting powerful deep learning.

However, using this as an excuse for not learning the tech isn’t going to help… We need to know the tech so we know when it links to the pedagogy. However, don’t worry too much, that’s when your PLN plans a huge role.