Encoding and Decoding

Anyone connected to ICT and education is familiar with the word "code" - and recently "Teach the kids to code" is all the rage. It usually implies that we should teach kids the fundamentals of computer programming. (In this post I'm going to use the word "kids" as a code word for "learner of any age".) But if you think about it, we also teach kids to code, as in reading and writing, all their lives, all the time.  Let's explore this ...

The Right Questions

This morning I read this post by David Hoffeld, on FastCompany: Want To Know What Your Brain Does When It Hears A Question? "Questions hijack the brain. The moment you hear one, you literally can't think of anything else. And that can be a powerful tool." I began to think about questions, specifically Inquiry Questions as they appear on IB unit of inquiry planners...and I wondered if the research described in the FastCompany post (focused on sales and management) would be useful to us in ...

Check Twitter Settings

The use of Twitter by Donald Trump has prompted a hacker, WauchulaGhost, to point out security precautions to the President and also serve as an alert to any Twitter user. Many IB teachers use Twitter and post to IB-related hashtags # and follow @ postings relating to IB programmes. Hashtags, official and unofficial, include: #IBPYP #PYPinquiry #pypchat #PYPexhibition #mypnextchapter  #IBMYP #MYPchat #MYPSciences #mypphe #IBDP #ibtraining #ibgeog #IBGlobalPolitics #ibpsychology #IBprogrammes #IBcommunitystories #learnerprofile #InquiryBasedLearning #servicelearning #IBlearnerprofile #IBeducation #internationaleducation IB teachers also follow postings from accounts such as IBO, ...

Alternative Facts

This week a post on The Adventures of Library Girl (a blog by written by Jennifer LaGarde,  the Lead School Library Media Coordinator/Digital Teaching and Learning Specialist for New Hanover County Schools in Wilmington, NC.) titled Fake News, Alternative Facts and Librarians As Dedicated Defenders of Truth pushed me to think about the idea of Fake News and how librarians, classroom teachers, ICT teachers and schools in general have been working for decades to help students sort the wheat from the chaff when ...

Computational Thinking for All Educators

Recently there has been a lot of talk about "coding", and about the difference between "coding" and "programming".  In several of the articles I read discussing these issues, a free Google online course was mentioned:  Computational Thinking for Educators.  So I went to investigate.  The "real time" experience of this course is over, but all the materials are online, and you are welcome to explore it at your leisure as a self-study program.  The course was designed to help Humanities, Math, ...

Not so secret ingredients in learning with technology

Part of my morning routine, after looking through email, is checking through new Scoop.it and Flipboard postings.  I often have to check the date a story was posted originally, because even though it is "new" on the sharing sites this morning, it may be "old" news, and has been shared and re-shared again and again, only now turning up in the thread of a subject or person I follow.  That's what happened this morning: an interesting title caught my attention scooped ...

The IB Learner Profile, ATL and Anti-Plagiarism Software

I recently found myself involved in the review of a school's Academic Honesty Policy, which led me to some background reading, which (as often happens) caused me to fall down an internet rabbit hole: First stop: NPR ED "Turnitin And The Debate Over Anti-Plagiarism Software" (August 25, 2014, Heard on All Things Considered) [audio mp3="http://blogs.osc-ib.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/20140825_atc_turnitin_and_the_high-tech_plagiarism_debate.mp3"] Coming as I do from the IB world, this phrase in the post caught my eye: The fact that anti-plagiarism software can't tell the difference between accidental and intentional plagiarism is just one reason ...

Differentiation with Social Media Tools

This week I was notified of a change on a shared Google Spreadsheet I "follow" which is collecting "Differentiation with Social Media Tools". As I write, there are  109 online social media tools listed, with the type, URL, a short assessment or review, and suggestions for content, process and product differentiation. The page was built and is maintained by John McCarthy, an Education Blogger  at Edutopia - George Lucas Educational Foundation. You can learn more about him on his web page. Linked to ...

Responsible and Ethical Use of Digital Resources

The beginning of a school year is the time when the responsible and ethical use of digital resources in IB schools is presented as policy. However, implementation of the policy tends to be only formally addressed through limited approaches: Integration of IT in specific grade levels or subject areas. Often specific references are made to the use of digital resources in subject guides, Teacher Support Material or teachers use social media to support teaching and learning. The new ATL micro-website ...

Universal Design for Learning in the DP

This morning I read a brief blog post by Jennie McKenzie titled More Universal Design for Learning (UDL) needed in the IB, which I quote here in it's entirety, as the author has asked that readers share the link : "I just finished reading a summary on the need to employ more UDL in IB schools. One of the main challenges for the DP is the very nature of the limited assessment format... which is under pressure from higher education's limited assessment format. Here is ...