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Can Individual Tests Really Measure Collaboration?

Ed Surge – Stephen Noonoo

“At the end of next school year, thousands of high school students will sit down at individual workstations, laptops in hand, for an end-of-course exam. But in a rather novel twist this one’s not just about what you know—but also what you can figure out. That’s the idea at least behind the latest summative assessments from Project Lead the Way, a project-based STEM curriculum, which is introducing new tech-based question types to measure a raft of noncognitive skills from collaboration to general problem solving (in addition to subject-specific questions about engineering or coding concepts).” (more)

How to keep today’s kids focused

The Toronto Star – Ana Homayoun

“Over the past year, there has been a deafening debate over the importance of creating tools to promote responsible technology use. In January, two of Apple’s shareholder groups asked the company to look at the addictive effects of iPhones on children. Google’s recent developer conference highlighted tools to help users better control smartphone usage. For our youngest generations, there’s certainly reason to believe that a focus on managing distractions is just as important as promoting good digital citizenship.” (more)

Lessons for 21st-Century Learners

Edutopia – Jennifer Osborne

“Collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and creativity are the 4 Cs of a 21st-century learner, according to the Partnership for 21st Century Learning. Given that technology use continues to expand in schools, it’s worthwhile to think of how that technology can function in assignments designed to develop the skills our students need.” (more)

Bringing the 5 Cs into your classroom

E-School News – Gregory Firn

“The learning spectrum is broad: On one end, there’s the student who loves a challenge; at the other exists one who consistently doubts his or her ability to successfully complete that challenge—and there are countless other types of students in between. Whether students are best suited to a traditional lecture, independent reading, or working with peers in a more visual environment, it’s well known that no two learn in the same manner.” (more)

The 3 superpowers of collaborative nonfiction writing

E-School News – Ken Haynes

“Kids love to tell and share stories, but writing nonfiction is different, because they have to take concepts or events and not only understand them, but convey that information in writing. For many kids, it’s hard enough to show what they know verbally, but having to develop and then convey their thoughts and levels of understanding in writing can be very difficult.” (more)

Introvert-Friendly Cooperative Learning

Edutopia – Bekah Landfair

“Walk into any elementary school classroom, and you’ll likely see the desks clustered in little pods to easily facilitate small group discussions. Look at a high school class syllabus, and it will boast a group project or two. Open up any recent instructional strategy book, and you’ll find the buzzy phrase cooperative learning scattered throughout.” (more)