Student

Reducing the Distance in Distance Learning – Education Rickshaw – Education Article

Educators continue to ask both the right and wrong questions about distance learning during this online learning period. In a recent post, I argued that instead of squabbling over which technology we use, or whether a synchronous format has advantages over an asynchronous format, we should look at distance learning through a different lens. Specifically, we should look at how we can reduce the psychological distance, aka transactional distance, between teachers and learners through pedagogy. What do I mean? During this…

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Help! I’m Trying to Teach My 9-Month-Old How to Crawl and it isn’t Working. – Education Rickshaw – Education Article

I have a 9-month-old daughter who still cannot crawl. I’ve tried having her build up her strength through various leg and abdominal exercises. I’ve shown her interactive diagrams and YouTube videos of babies crawling, and I’ve read her the definition of crawling from the dictionary. I’ve modeled the correct way to crawl so many times I’m wearing holes in the knees of my jeans. The doctor told me that this is totally normal and not to worry, but today when…

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Transferable Skills Are Cool. But Do They Transfer? – Education Rickshaw – Education Article

There is a widely-held theory that by learning an instrument, playing chess, or even swinging a Wii remote around in P.E, students’ cognitive abilities and academic skills will increase, which will help them be better thinkers across the subjects. This isn’t a new theory; people used to think taking Latin unlocked something inside you so that you could learn other things easier. As a teacher, I hear claims all the time that this puzzle app or that brain-training scheme will…

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Has the Coronavirus online period proven that all teachers can use technology? – Education Rickshaw – Education Article

I love online learning. I love it so much that I decided to get an online degree in it. Working in a physical brick-and-mortar school is a pleasure, for sure, but I’ve long been interested in bringing the best of online learning into the face-to-face classroom. This is not because I think these tools are cool, or because I wish to replace human interaction with a dystopian educational system in which every child receives personalized training from a computer. It’s…

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“Beliefs” About How Students Learn can Only Get You So Far. – Education Rickshaw – Education Article

What are your beliefs about student learning? How do students best learn? If you’re like me you’ve been asked at the start of a PD session or a faculty meeting to discuss your deeply-held beliefs about some aspect of student learning in a Think-Pair-Share or a gallery walk. Or maybe you were interviewed for a teaching position and asked to expound upon them. Beliefs are fine when it comes to religion or values. Beliefs fall short when it comes to…

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How to Make the PYP Design Space Accessible, Flexible, Responsive? – Education Rickshaw – Education Article

Since moving into the role of PYP design teacher I have been playing with ideas about how to provide students access to their design space, which at my school we affectionately call The Pit. The students come to me two or three times every 8 day cycle for 45 minutes at a time and whenever possible I try to facilitate connections between their regular homeroom classroom and my classroom. Check out that article about transdisciplinary design, here, as well as…

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Lessons from Cognitive Science that I’ve Used to Improve my Teaching – Education Rickshaw – Education Article

I  recently gave a presentation called The Cognitive Science of Creative Subjects at Learning2Asia, a conference which I thought was an incredibly well-run by Nanjing International School. The format of the workshop was really fun: Teachers do mostly hands-on, design-related experiments on themselves to sort of demonstrate how different principles in cognitive science work. I also tried to translate the principles into useful classroom applications, and to tell the story of each of the research studies that the workshop was based…

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Is Math Anxiety Totally Avoidable? – Education Rickshaw – Education Article

Math and me have had a tumultuous relationship. When I (Zach) was in high school I had a pretty bad math teacher, whose cynicism and poor teaching skills – students were meant to “discover” the solutions to problems before receiving proper instruction – played a role in my decision at the time to never pursue a career that was related to math. During my junior year I studied in France and chose to take the Literature track, which meant less…

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11 Books to Start a Book Club for Teachers – Education Rickshaw – Education Article

I love professional book clubs. If schools are serious about teacher agency and differentiating professional learning for teachers, administrators should consider teacher book clubs as an option. The following is an updated list of 10 books for professional book clubs that I’ve had the pleasure of either facilitating, attending, or just think could be great if used in a book club. I hope you find them useful in starting up a book club in your school or learning organization! Constructivist Instruction:…

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Teacher Confession: The Student I’ll Never Forget – Education Article

I have a teacher confession to make. I failed him. Not “gave him an F” failed him but failed him as a young man. A student with a future ahead of him, someone who could one day be a father, a councilman, or even president. But I failed him. It was my second year as a teacher. Based on the number of students that were going to the 5th grade, there was a slot available to me to teach my…

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Readers Recommend – Education Article

This is reading promotion idea that’s inexpensive, low-tech, includes student voice, and I totally nabbed it from the amazing Librarian Tiff five years ago and I still love it! It’s kind of what you can call an oldie but a goodie. I don’t put this display out at the beginning of the school year. I’ve found that it’s good to bring it out mid-year or connected to a reading promotion lesson activity like Speed Dating with Books to generate interest.…

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How would your students grade you on Rate My Professors? – Education Rickshaw – Education Article

I recently had the chance to distribute a survey to students in my design classes, one of those school-wide ones that all students have to complete on all of their teachers. I was happy with the results. It included questions such as “My teacher likes me” and “My teacher takes time to speak with me about me learning.” Like most educators, I’m deeply aware of the implications that the answers to these questions might have for learning; What students think of their…

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What Separates a Great Collaborative Meeting From A Waste Of Time? – Education Rickshaw – Education Article

There is research that suggests quality teacher collaboration within a professional learning community can lead to increases in student achievement and professional satisfaction among teachers (Kinne, 2013; Olivares, 2014). The key word here is “quality”. While collaborative planning meetings have been commonplace in the three schools I have worked at, I have found an enormous amount of variance and inconsistency in the quality of these experiences; Some sessions are enriching, and others end up (too often) feeling pointless. From my conversations…

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If You Don’t Teach it, Who Will? – Education Rickshaw – Education Article

To get me started on this post, I asked Zach the question, “If I don’t teach my students how to use the internet safely, who will?.” His answer was what I had expected, “Hopefully their parents?” Although talks with my students have revealed that many parents are doing a fantastic job of teaching their children how to use the internet safely, many parents aren’t. It might be a mixture of parents lacking in technology skills themselves and not really knowing…

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Should You Raise Your Kids Abroad? – Education Rickshaw – Education Article

If you’re a fan of our website, you know that it’s primarily a blog about teaching and learning overseas. Stephanie and I were both trained and certified as teachers in the United States, and soon after took our first international teaching jobs at an elementary school in Vietnam (Check out our video cruising around the traffic of Ho Chi Minh City). This blog’s not normally about parenting, and we’re not parents. Although, because we recognize the research that student factors…

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A Transdisciplinary Approach to Design – Education Rickshaw – Education Article

In 1975, a couple of phycologists confirmed an interesting hypothesis: If you send a learner underwater in a scuba suit to memorize a list of words, they will remember those words better when tested underwater than when tested on land. But if the learner learns the words on land, they will remember them better on land than underwater. The principle became known as the encoding specificity principle; Learning content is associated with learning context (Martinez, 2010). What are the implications…

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