Friday, July 29, 2011

e-Wrapper Cluster Mini Conference

Rachel Boyd was kind enough to ask me to present at her cluster's mini conference held at Everglade School yesterday.

I had a few technical hiccups before my workshop but thanks to Hey Milly I got a Plan B sorted although this meant we both missed Trevor Bond's keynote presentation. My workshop topic was 'Using e-Portfolios to promote student-centred learning' and despite the technical limitations it seemed to go well and I received positive feedback from the participants. The people who attended the workshop were all interested in implementing e-Portfolios into their own schools in the near future and they posed some very pertinent questions about how to get buy-in from teachers, how to manage the workload etc. A few have already made plans to meet with me again to continue the discussion ...

This was the presentation I used at the workshop although I've deleted the student examples due to privacy.

Luckily I managed to catch Trevor's questioning workshop later in the day and my notes are below.

Questioning: Our most important cognitive tool

Trevor Bond

Can join this questioning wiki and contribute to it.

Questioning is the engine house of thinking. De Bono

Two types of questions:

* expressed - to gain info

* unexpressed - the process of thinking

Questioning is our most important intellectual tool. Neil Postman

If this is truce what does this mean for classroom practice?

Questioning is at the heart of:

* engaging meaningfully with text

* understanding what we see

Thinking is when you talk to yourself and your mouth stays shut. De Bono

There is no learning without thinking.

In schools we create and foster an environment that discourages question asking. "When I ask questions my teacher gets angry." Eg frustration, a look, frown, ignored, body language, sigh

Preschoolers ask 50% of questions at home, changes 0.02% at college.

Skills of an effective questioner:

* identify need or problem

* identify the relevant contextual vocabulary

* ask a range of different types of questions

* take them to a variety of appropriate sources

* persist, editing questions as necessary until they acquire the needed information What is a good question?

* relevant

* gets you the information needed

* can be taken to intelligent and non-intelligent sources - eg human vs resources

At this stage Trevor ran out of time so unfortunately we missed out on all the other goodies he had planned to share.