As a new school year begins please take the time to unPACK each of your courses. By focusing on the Key concepts, Context, Application, and Purpose you can establish an environment that will help keep your students engaged and learning. Read more in UnPACK your Courses in the Improving Practice section of this blog.
Have you ever been excited about an innovative instructional strategy or tool you used in your classroom only to be chastised by a colleague for rocking the boat? There are ways to gently encourage your peers to improve their teaching practice. Read more in Growing a Culture of Innovation in the Improving Practice section of this blog.
I spend a good part of yesterday with a delightful delegation of Indonesian professors here on an Internship Program on Establishing Centres of Technology in Polytechnic.
As part of a CiCan–Humber College partnership they spent the day at Conestoga looking at our Institute of Food Processing Technology, the Centre for Smart Manufacturing, our Applied Research program, and at Project Based Learning. That’s where I came in.
Read more about how Project Based Learning can support a Polytechnic Education in PBL as a way to Professional Practice posted in the PBL section of this blog.
Special thanks to Jeff May for the photo.
We are privileged to be educators in today’s world. Advancements in technology provide us with myriad opportunities to enrich and enhance the learning that takes place in our classrooms. As we reflect on how we can integrate technology into our classrooms it’s important to keep in mind something shared by one of our CEDP facilitators “There is an important distinction between using technology to do conventional things better, and using technology to do better things.”1
Read more about how to successfully integrate technology into your classroom in Stretch Your EdTech Comfort Zone posted in the EdTech section of this blog.
(1) Thanks Steve G.!
Research on active learning shows that engaging with the content makes it stick, peer learning supports better learning, and students’ enthusiasm for learning is increased. But does active learning work for all students? What about the introvert who is not particularly comfortable working in groups? There are ways we can tweak our classes to make active learning more inclusive.
Read more in Active Learning and the Introvert posted in the Insights section of this blog.
If you’re looking for a starting point when researching anything to do with education, check out my 2015 Tweets posts in the Resources section. Here you’ll find a categorized recap of my tweets (@profNancyNelson) for the last year. From active learning and assessment through to teaching and tools, you’ll find research, ideas, strategies and tools that you can use to improve the teaching/learning environment for your students.
Here are the slides from this week’s workshop on Maximizing Learning for All:
As you are planning your classes this fall remember that you need to “design to the edges“. The Universal Design for Learning (UDL)  helps frame our planning by suggesting we:
- recognize that our students are individuals, each of whom bring strengths and weaknesses to the classroom
- ensure our students know what and how they are supposed to learn
- plan an active class that will engage and motivate our learners
- ensure class materials and resources are accessible to all learners
- assess students according to what and how they learned
 For more information on designing to the edges, watch Todd Rose’s TED Talk on The Myth of Average
 For more information on UDL check out the National Center of Universal Design On Learning and CAST