Beyond English: Why Writing Belongs in Every Classroom

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Given the benefits of writing on reading skills, comprehension, information retention, higher-order thinking, and quality of learning, it makes sense for all teachers to focus on increasing the time they dedicate to writing in their classrooms.

Dr. Catlin Tucker

Dr. Catlin Tucker emphasizes the importance of integrating writing across all subjects in education. Tucker argues that writing enhances learning, academic success, and helps students develop relationship skills and manage emotions.

She highlights how writing boosts reading skills, comprehension, and higher-order thinking. It underscores the necessity for educators to support students through the writing process, leveraging it for a deeper understanding of material and emotional well-being, regardless of the subject taught


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Are We Entering an Edtech Renaissance?

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I remember the days of the early 2010s as a number of edtech tools we now all know and use regularly first hit the scene. And everyone talked about the coolest thing they’d seen and how it would “revolutionize the classroom.”

Plot twist: It didn’t.

Now, we see all the hype around AI and the onslaught of new AI apps made specifically for education. Of course, I’m excited about the potential, but I also see the problem of focusing on the wrong questions.

Catlin Tucker has a good take on what’s happening right now in the world of edtech:

It reminds me of the early days of the edtech boom when I would attend the Computer Using Educators (CUE) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conferences, and the most popular sessions had titles like “50 Tech Tools in 50 Minutes.” I remember questioning how effective those sessions would be at improving teaching and learning. Yes, attendees were exposed to a list of fun tools they might use, but they were not learning how to use those tools in service of strong pedagogical practices. That is the same concern I have now.

Scrolling through Instagram or TikTok, I see endless videos of teachers sharing AI-powered tools. They demonstrate the efficiency and simplicity with which these tools generate lists of questions, create quick assessments, and plan lessons or entire units. I can appreciate the excitement since lesson planning is a time-consuming endeavor. The piece of the design puzzle missing for me is how educators can use these AI tools to architect student-centered learning experiences that better meet the specific needs of learners.

Catlin Tucker, PhD

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3 Pillars of High-quality Blended Learning

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Catlin Tucker continues to lead the way in blended learning. Her most recent post outlines the three pillars of high-quality blended learning.

Tucker describes the three pillars of successful blended learning are student agency, differentiation, and control over the learning pace. Student agency involves giving students meaningful choices in their learning process, such as content-based choices on subjects or topics and process-based decisions on learning approaches or resources, fostering a sense of responsibility and engagement.

Sale
The Complete Guide to Blended Learning: Activating Agency, Differentiation, Community, and Inquiry for Students (Essential guide to strategies and … student learning in blended environments)
  • Catlin R. Tucker (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 232 Pages – 07/05/2022 (Publication Date) – Solution Tree Press (Publisher)

Differentiation, the second pillar, requires adjusting teaching methods to address each student’s unique needs and abilities. This could involve varying assignments based on proficiency levels or providing structured guides for students who need additional support. The final pillar is student control over the pace of learning. Misalignment between the pace of learning and the learner’s needs can lead to disengagement or distraction; therefore, granting students autonomy over the speed at which they learn enhances engagement and success. By integrating these pillars, educators can create robust blended learning environments, enhancing student engagement and improving educational outcomes.

Beyond Homework: The Evolution of the Flipped Classroom

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As the landscape of education continues to evolve in response to global disruptions and digital advancements, blended learning models have surged in popularity. Among these is the flipped classroom model, a strategy that leverages video instruction to mitigate potential obstacles that make it challenging for students to access information presented live. However, I often hear the question, “Can I use the flipped classroom if I don’t assign homework?”

Catlin Tucker

Catlin Tucker explores the evolution of the flipped classroom model and discusses its potential beyond traditional homework assignments. The author reflects on how the concept has transformed over the years and provides valuable insights into its current state.

Tucker emphasizes that the flipped classroom is no longer limited to a mere reversal of in-class and at-home activities. Instead, it has evolved into a more dynamic and interactive learning experience. The traditional model involved students watching video lectures at home and completing practice exercises in the classroom. However, Tucker suggests that educators can now take advantage of various digital tools and instructional strategies to enhance the flipped classroom approach.

Sale
The Shift to Student-Led: Reimagining Classroom Workflows with UDL and Blended Learning
  • Tucker, Catlin R. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 270 Pages – 11/09/2022 (Publication Date) – Impress (Publisher)

One key takeaway from the post is the importance of leveraging technology to make flipped learning more engaging and personalized. Tucker suggests incorporating interactive videos, online discussions, and collaborative projects to foster deeper student engagement. By diversifying the resources and activities, educators can create a more inclusive and interactive learning environment.

Another significant point highlighted by Tucker is the need for intentional planning and scaffolding in a flipped classroom. Educators should design clear guidelines and structures to support students in their independent learning endeavors. This involves providing explicit instructions, organizing content in manageable chunks, and offering continuous guidance throughout the process.

Tucker also explores the concept of differentiation within the flipped classroom. She suggests tailoring instructional materials and activities to meet the diverse needs of students. By providing a range of resources, teachers can support students with different learning styles and abilities, promoting an inclusive and equitable learning environment.

UDL and Blended Learning: Thriving in Flexible Learning Landscapes
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Novak, Katie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 234 Pages – 05/28/2021 (Publication Date) – Impress (Publisher)

In conclusion, Catlin Tucker’s blog post emphasizes the evolution of the flipped classroom beyond its original concept of homework flipping. By embracing technology, intentional planning, and differentiation, educators can create a more engaging and student-centered learning experience. The flipped classroom has the potential to transform traditional teaching practices and foster deeper understanding and collaboration among students.

Link to the original blog post: Beyond Homework: Flipped Classroom


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or are curious to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!