Muddling through the blogosphere

August 7, 2011
by blogwalker

Advancing Network Uses – Best grant ever!

Lucky me! In the last school year, I received an Advancing Networks Uses Grant (ANU), a wonderful grant that allowed me to showcase how technology is changing classroom practice  in my district.

I titled my ANU proposal Teach 21, and promised to document 21 classroom examples that would make visible effective integration of technology across grade levels and subject areas. Using an Edutopia-like model, for each classroom visit, I teamed with a videographer (Krishna Harrison-Munoz or SECC’s Doug Niva, Jon Joiner, or Abbey Jaraski). Showing good teaching is always more powerful than simply telling.

So in a year when teacher-bashing in the media has become a common occurrence, I was seeing what the public really needed to see: good things happening in public education.

All 21 lessons – plus a bonus lesson – are available on the Teach 21 wiki. For a quick sampling of the scope and variety, you might want to visit:

Several lessons were greatly extended through the use of interactive videoconferencing (with PORTS, NASA, and Magpi). Many of the lessons also include online samples of student products. All of the lessons tap into technology and extend teaching and learning in ways not possible with traditional textbook-driven lessons.

In a year of mud slinging and deep cuts to public education, I want to broadcast in as many ways as possible the awesome work of my ANU colleagues/mentors/friends. I also want to thank them for welcoming me into their classrooms and for inspiring me in more ways than I could have imagined. The ANU Teach 21 grant truly = my best grant ever:-)

December 19, 2010
by blogwalker

How to Retain 90% of Everything You Learn

I like to start my mornings with a cup of coffee and the latest edition of The nwp Daily. I used to start the day with a visit to my Google Reader and Bloglines accounts to see if my favorite bloggers had posted anything new.  The nwp Daily has really streamlined the process of staying current for me because many of my smart, smart NWP colleagues are up before me, already gleaning the latest gems about teaching and learning – and not just blog posts, but Tweets too. Everyday I receive a wealth of thought-provoking ideas, questions, resources, research, etc., to ponder, to return to – and to share.

And so it was this morning, when I clicked on link in a Tweet from @mrami2 (Meenoo Rami), and opened‘ s article How to retain 90% of everything you learn. It’s not that the hierarchy is earth shattering; but it certainly affirms what good teaching – which certainly has a direct impact on learning – is all about:

To summarize the numbers (which sometimes get cited differently) learners retain approximately:
90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration.
20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading.
5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from lecture.”

This school year, I’m coordinating an Advancing Network Uses (ANU) grant from California’s K12 High Speed Network (via ARRA funding). The grant has allowed me to showcase teachers in my district who are extending teaching and learning by integrating technology into the core curriculum. To date, I’ve filmed 12 of the 21 classroom lessons I’ve promised the state. In all 12 lessons, students have opportunities to collaborate and create, part of the criteria for their teachers being selected for the grant.

Since reading the Psyhchotactics article, I now realize these talented teachers (fearless explorers) also bring one more gift to their students: whatever the final product might be, students’ collaborative work also involves students immediately teaching or implementing all or bits of the initial lesson. Kind of an “ah ha moment” for me.

For a peek into why I predict students in my ANU Teach 21 grant will retain 90% of what they learn, check out a field journaling lesson in Lesley McKillop’s class:


I’ll be back next month to share snippets of Teresa Cheung’s Stories from the Heart project and Terri Mills’ Listen to the Wind project (which are exemplary not only for all of the above reasons on retaining learning but also for learning English, both informal and academic).

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