Edmodo and the NSW Quality Teaching Framework

Because I am a nerd, I enjoy reading education documents. OK, not all of them – just the ones that I feel might help me to be a better teacher. I was introduced to the NSW Quality Teacher Framework in my first year of teaching, but it only started making sense to me in my third or fourth year – when I started trying to do things in new ways and when I wanted to create my own ‘units of work’. I think the QTF is awesome – maybe just cos it affirms my own thoughts about quality teaching and learning. You can read it here.

A few months ago I was asked to present on Edmodo at a high school … not a terribly unusual story. The night before I had been thinking about the QTF and some of the ways I ‘cover’ the elements of the framework as a teacher. It didn’t take long for my brain to jump to edmodo and I began making the connection between the QTF and edmodo. At the request of a Twitter colleague, I am making public my scrawlings about edmodo and the QTF. It’s pretty skeletal but maybe it’ll help you ‘sell’ edmodo to your colleagues or executive, lol.

Deep knowledge

The knowledge being addressed is focused on a small number of key concepts and ideas within topics, subjects or KLAs, and on the relationships between and among concepts.

+ EDMODO:

-      small groups

-      folders

-      whole-group discussions

Deep understanding

Students demonstrate a profound and meaningful understanding of central ideas and the relationships between and among those central ideas.

+ EDMODO:

-      back-channel

-      notes

-      assignments

Problematic knowledge

Students are encouraged to address multiple perspectives and/or solutions and to recognise that knowledge has been constructed and therefore is open to question.

+ EDMODO:

-      online debates/silent discussions

-      character accounts

-      back-channel

Higher-order thinking

Students are regularly engaged in thinking that requires them to organise, reorganise, apply, analyse, synthesise and evaluate knowledge and information.

+ EDMODO:

-      individual and group tasks

-      small groups

-      calendar (PBL)

Metalanguage

Lessons explicitly name and analyse knowledge as a specialist language (metalanguage), and provide frequent commentary on language use and the various contexts of differing language uses.

+ EDMODO:

-      online discussions using metalanguage

-      quizzes

-      embedded games/flashcards

Substantive communication

Students are regularly engaged in sustained conversations about the concepts and ideas they are encountering. These conversations can be manifest in oral, written or artistic forms.

+ EDMODO:

-      small group/whole group

-      image/video embedded as stimulus for silent debate

-      polls

-      connect with other schools

-      assignments

Explicit quality criteria

Students are provided with explicit criteria for the quality of work they are to produce and those criteria are a regular reference point for the development and assessment of student work.

+ EDMODO:

-      assignments (resubmit, annotation)

-      PDFs and Word Docs added to posts

-      peer-assess using posts and replies

-      small group discussions

Engagement

Most students, most of the time, are seriously engaged in the lesson or assessment activity, rather than going through the motions. Students display sustained interest and attention.

+ EDMODO:

-      embeds (games, flash objects)

-      quizzes

-      badges

-      role-playing games (RPGs)

-      connecting with schools from around the world

-      PBL

-      back-channel

-      24/7 learning

High expectations

High expectations of all students are communicated, and conceptual risk taking is encouraged and rewarded.

+ EDMODO:

-      feedback loop (goals/medals/missions)

-      badges

-      assignments (resubmit, comments, annotations)

-      gradebook

-      parent accounts

-      links to resources/model responses

-      embeds (how to vids)

-      peer-assessment

Social support

There is strong positive support for learning and mutual respect among teachers and students and others assisting students’ learning. The classroom is free of negative personal comment or put-downs.

+ EDMODO:

-      notes (discussions; replies)

-      peer-assessment

-      direct messages with teacher

-      small groups

-      sharing found resources (links and embeds)

Students’ self-regulation

Students demonstrate autonomy and initiative so that minimal attention to the disciplining and regulation of student behaviour is required.

+ EDMODO:

-      calendar (PBL)

-      student back-pack (cloud storage)

-      resources and activities accessible online 24/7

-      applying feedback from peers and teacher

-      assignments

Student direction

Students exercise some direction over the selection of activities related to their learning and the means and manner by which these activities will be done.

+ EDMODO:

-      shared folders of resources

-      quizzes

-      embedded games/flash objects

-      polls (what shall we do)

-      PBL

-      links

-      video

-      cloud storage (back-pack, google docs)

Background knowledge

Lessons regularly and explicitly build from students’ background knowledge, in terms of prior school knowledge as well as other aspects of their personal lives.

+ EDMODO:

-      polls for prior knowledge

-      quizzes for prior knowledge

-      online discussions

Cultural knowledge

Lessons regularly incorporate the cultural knowledge of diverse social groupings (such as economic class, gender, ethnicity, race, sexuality, disability, language and religion).

+ EDMODO:

-      connecting with students in other countries

-      bring in experts from other cultures

-      embed videos

-      add links

Knowledge integration

Lessons regularly demonstrate links between and within subjects and key learning areas.

+ EDMODO:

-      cross-KLA groups (“essay-writing”)

-      badges (what are they mastering in other KLA?)

-      PBL

-      polls/quizzes for connections

-      videos

Inclusivity

Lessons include and publicly value the participation of all students across the social and cultural backgrounds represented in the classroom.

+ EDMODO:

-      24/7 online access to resources and discussion

-      back-channels

-      small groups for differentiation

-      calendar

-      badges

-      assignments (feedback, comments, resubmit)

Connectedness

Lesson activities rely on the application of school knowledge in real-life contexts or problems, and provide opportunities for students to share their work with audiences beyond the classroom and school.

+ EDMODO:

-      connect with other schools

-      small groups for interests (sport, hobbies, music, celebrations)

-      edmodo as workshop and blog as showcase

-      public edmodo posts/page for easy blogging/audience

 Narrative

Lessons employ narrative accounts as either (or both) a process or content of lessons to enrich student understanding.

+ EDMODO:

-      embedded videos

-      embedded flash objects like xtranormal

-      RPG – teacher as historical figure/thinker/character

-      students tell stories as posts

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