How can online discussion forums inspire students to positively contribute to and responsibly participate in the digital world?

Besides being a Spanish language teacher, for the last three years I have hosted and co-coached a VEX Robotics team. Every time I learn a new ISTE standard, I think of how VEX Robotics exemplifies that standard. ISTE Standard for Educators 3 addresses how “Educators inspire students to positively contribute to and responsibly participate in […]

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MasteryPaths provide environments that accommodate learner variability, and foster learner-driven activities.

Traditionally, curriculum and course modules have consisted of a linear path that all students follow. This linear path to learning is especially true and prevalent in face-to-face lecture style classrooms, where all students are presented with the same content at the same time. Even online, many courses continue to follow a linear path where all […]

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Research on digital tools for the World Language classroom

Since I began teaching in 2002, I have seen spurts of enthusiasm guide the adoption of new teaching tools and materials, many of which soon become abandoned. Innovation and experimentation have permeated the teaching profession for centuries. This was true from the beginning of formal education in the United States when Horace Mann saw uncharted […]

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CREATING A COLLABORATIVE LEARNING EXPERIENCE IN CANVAS

I have used CANVAS as a student in several college classes, but I have not used it as a teacher in a Spanish high school class. This school year, when teachers had to teach remotely, the school district where I worked adopted CANVAS as the one and only LMS. Before the pandemic, each teacher was […]

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Designing Learning Experiences Through Surveys

As a teacher in a district that is working diligently on improving student achievement, I attend A LOT of professional developments. Some are absolutely fantastic; engaging, helpful, and I actually can see myself practicing… but more times than no…

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Supporting Educators and Coaching While Working Remotely

Coaching is such hard work and has been made even more difficult while having to work from home. This is what has been running through my mind lately and stood out even more as I started thinking about my inquiry … Continue reading

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Open Education Resources in Action

Introductory Section In a previous blog entitled Open Sourcing Education, I explored the topic, or “what”, of Open Education Resources (OERs) while this post looks more at the application, or “how”, of OERs.  OERs have an intriguing history that is mostly tied to the evolution of the internet with some influences from other open sourcing …

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Student Ownership With Rubrics

My most recent area of focus has been on learning about ISTE Educator Standard 6 – Facilitator. I have always been eager to find ways to encourage students to take ownership of their learning. It is so important for students to understand that their education, quite honestly, is in their hands. And while educators are there to help support, and guide, students self-motivation and determination can help boost them to an entirely new level of success. So when I was reading through “Facilitator” I was excited to see the focus on not only that concept, but also about challenging students to use creativity and innovation to solve problems and communicate knowledge.  Thinking of this standard, I was hoping to find a way for students to incorporate all of these things into one routine or process. This led me to my guiding question.  What digital tools can allow students to self-assess and track mastery of the ISTE Student Standards? In previous inquiries, I have looked into students having the ability to use their own creative process to demonstrate their understanding of concepts. My original goal was to try and find a platform that would enable students to have a visual checklist of sorts that showed the ISTE Student Standards with criteria to represent mastery. I then would utilize it for students to self-assess their skill level for each standard and have the opportunity to “check off” the standards that they have met, while being self-aware of the standards that they still needed to focus on.  After searching for a while, I didn’t find a specific platform that would allow for this process. However, it wasn’t necessarily the platform that I was after, but the process of self-assessing and coming up with a unique experience for students to demonstrate their competencies. I figured that the best way for students to do this, was to use rubrics.  “How Do Rubrics Help?“ “Rubrics are great for students: they let students know what is expected of them, and demystify grades by clearly stating, in age-appropriate vocabulary, the expectations for a project. They also help students see that learning is about gaining specific skills (both in academic subjects and in problem-solving and life skills), and they give students the opportunity to do self-assessment to reflect on the learning process.” Edutopia defines a rubric as “multidimensional sets of scoring guidelines that can be used to provide consistency in evaluating student work”. A rubric gives a set of criteria to match a skill set to a level of understanding. Rubrics can be not only used for teachers to grade students, but for students to better understand success criteria.  In today’s education world, students have more and more opportunity to demonstrate their understanding through endless mediums. While rubrics have been around for a long time as a way for teachers to grade students’ understanding or demonstration of skills, they don’t have to stay in the hands of the teachers. Using rubrics for students to self-assess, or allowing students to create a rubric for themselves can be an empowering way for students to not only take ownership of their learning, but also for them to deepen their conceptual understanding of topics.  #1: iRubric Student login Pros: Students have 3 options for rubrics… to build a new rubric from an idea, to edit an existing rubric, or to make a copy of an existing rubric and repurpose. Cons: The process to create an account has a lot of information to enter including first and last name, their state and zip code, and two challenge questions that you have to enter personal information for. I was able to create a generic account using “Studentonetwo” and other random information, however I would be uncomfortable having my students use this site and enter all that information in.  Teacher login Pros: You are able to search pre-existing rubrics made from other educators. For example, I found many ISTE standard rubrics that have already been created for immediate use!  I could see myself using iRubric to create a rubric for students and have them self assess on paper. However, I am looking for something that would enable students to display their “toolbox of skills” in an easy layout to immediately identify ones they have mastered versus ones to work on. iRubric is slightly challenging to navigate and I would be uncomfortable having my students create their own rubrics using it.  #2: Rubistar Without logging in, you can search for pre-made rubrics. However, I didn’t find rubrics specifically for ISTE standards when I was searching. The feature for creating a new rubric also continued to have an error code pop-up. While you may have luck searching the database, it might not be worth it due to the exorbitant amount of ads.  #3: Teach-nology Of the first three rubric creators I found, teach-nology allowed for me to create a rubric without having to create an account. While it was fairly basic and not entirely editable, it was easy to entire criteria in, and quite fast! A drawback for student usage would be the amount of ads. There are MANY ads. But for a teacher to create a rubric for students to use, this is a great place to start.  #4: Google Classroom Rubric Creator If you implement a Google Classroom, their rubric creator is an easy way to create a new rubric, reuse a previously created rubric, or import a template from Google Sheets, for a posted assignment. While this is extremely convenient and works effortlessly within the Google platform, it does not allow for students to work through the process of creating a rubric for their assignment, which was my main intention.  Mindset Shift As I researched ways for my students to display their mastered skills, I didn’t necessarily find an exact solution. I did find some great rubric resources for my students to be able to use to create rubrics and work through the process of thinking about their learning. But looking back to the original standard, 6c states “Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.” So while I have found some great rubric creators, and I plan to use them at the beginning of the process to help demonstrate and scaffold, I am comfortable with students choosing the method in which they want to create their rubrics.  How do you help promote student ownership in your classrooms? I’d love to hear from you! References Create or reuse a rubric for an assignment – Computer – Classroom Help. (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 2020, from https://support.google.com/edu/classroom/answer/9335069 Lane, M. (2018, May 14). 10 Data Tracking Apps You Can Use In Your Class Tomorrow. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.gpb.org/blogs/education-matters/2016/12/13/10-data-tracking-apps-you-can-use-your-class-tomorrow Murray, J. (n.d.). Technology in the Classroom Tools to Create Rubrics. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.teachhub.com/technology-classroom-tools-create-rubrics Person. (2008, July 15). How Do Rubrics Help? Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.edutopia.org/assessment-guide-rubrics Rubric Maker – Where to Create Free Rubrics Online. (2018, April 30). Retrieved from https://www.pbisrewards.com/blog/free-online-rubric-maker/ Schrock, K. (n.d.). Assessment and Rubrics. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.schrockguide.net/assessment-and-rubrics.html

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Creativity and the Classroom

Creativity, that is really what this post is about. When I was reading through the ISTE Educator Standards I was immediately drawn to the Facilitator standard, specifically 6d which states; “model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, … Continue reading

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Open Sourcing Education

Introductory Section One of the earliest definitions for Open Education Resource (OER) comes from the UNESCO 2002 Forum on Open Courseware: “teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation, and redistribution by …

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