How to use a classroom blog:
Students can blog at any time on my weebly website. Student blogposts are not assigned as a grade, they are assigned as a participation reward. Students may blog for Dojo points, which they receive a prize at the end of our grading period. Students have two weeks to post a comment on the most current blog. Replies are not rewarded with points, however, I do highlight students who are actively participating during classtime.
Rules and guidelines for posting blogs in our class website:
Needs analysis: without it, we are dead in the water, or, at best, taking a wild guess at what content is needed for training or re-training for our audience whether they are clients, students or our presentees.
There's no way to create an effective lesson plan or curriculum without knowing the needs of your audience. What's their technology experience? A lesson for a group of highly knowledgeable techies may be faster paced than if you're starting with an audience that's inexperienced with tech. If you know your audience well, such as a teacher who will have the same roster of students, then you won't need to perform a needs analysis for every lesson; however, if your audience is new to you OR you aren't sure who your target audience consists of (such as when you are presenting to a large group of attendees at a conference) then you may have to do your best to create a more general lesson and allow more time for your learners to understand your content and ask questions as they may be learning your content AND the technology used to create the content simultaneously.
The ADDIE model for curriculum development is a bit time consuming, yet thorough form of lesson planning. You're sure to have every detail covered for your next lesson when following the ADDIE model. If you've had many years of curriculum development and lesson planning then you may be able to speed the process up, just by practice alone.
Sure, there are simpler forms of lesson planning such as backward design (which I use most often when planning) but you can't beat ADDIE for making sure you've gone through the process. If you aren't familiar with how to plan a lesson or you are just getting your feet wet as an Instructional Designer, keep in mind that this process will take time to get the process done. You may need to redo a part or parts of the model in order to make the model flow better or to create an assessment that better suits the needs of the lesson.
In short, the ADDIE process is a bit longer process, but this method is arguably the most effective way to create engaging lessons, complete with assessments and, the most important component, reflection.
Because in the end, there's no point in creating a lesson unless you know how to create a better one!
Teachers are aware right from the very beginning of their careers how important it is to encourage a student to reach their full potential. Students are told many times that they can achieve anything they put their mind to. This trend, however, seems to disappear as students grow older and enter high school and college. But an attitude of being able to do anything with hard work and persistence is still crucial to success.
This concept has been termed Growth Mindset, a means of encouraging students to continually learn more, grow, and keep trying harder. Students who internalize this skill and who firmly believe that it is true have an easier time learning new concepts and subjects, while those who believe that their abilities are fixed and unable to change have a difficult time and generally have lower standards of achievement.
A TED Talk by Eduardo Briceño explains this idea and discussed research on this subject, saying that, “Results showed that the students with the growth mindset--those who thought they could change their own intelligence--increased their grades over time, while those with a fixed mindset did not...The difference between these two groups? A different perception of intelligence.”
Achievements and success are not merely byproducts of natural talent and luck. Most of the time they result from hard work, dedication, and a belief that intelligence is something that can come to everyone. Stanford Professor Carol Dweck stated, “[This] shows that being mastery-oriented is about having the right mindset. It is not about how smart you are. However, having the mastery-oriented mind-set will help students become more able over time.”
Being mastery-oriented, as Ms. Dweck states, is a by-product of the development of executive functioning skills. Executive functioning skills are tools of self-mastery, ways in which students can learn how to handle themselves, their time, and the responsibilities that have been given to them. The development of these skills comes through patience, practice, and hard work, which in turn can lead to patience, practice, and hard work when dealing with new skillsets or other tasks the students will be confronted with. As self-mastery grows, so does a student’s confidence, leading to an attitude of growth mindset. And with a growth mindset, there really is nothing a student won’t be able to achieve.
Does your school offer a program in which students can learn and understand the "Growth Mindset" paradigm? If not, contact Academic Success. Founder and Chief Academic Officer, Lynn Smargis, offers a comprehensive, easy to follow curriculum with engaging activities which gives students the executive functioning skills for Growth Mindset in your classrooms. Check out Student Success 101 FAQ's page for more information.
Briceño, Eduardo. “The Power of Belief: Mindset and Success.” TED. Nov. 2012. Lecture.
Dweck, Carol, and Sarah Green. "The Right Mindset for Success." Harvard Business Review. Web.