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Designing engaging and rigorous learning experiences

Yesterday I led an online workshop for Toddle at the Inquiry Educators Summit (TIES).  It was amazing, even though there was a Zoom outage in the UK and eastern USA during the time of my presentation.  Thanks to the amazing support in India, I was still able to deliver my presentation – and it was really odd because I could not see either my slides or the audience.  Although my intention is to provide a fuller account of this workshop, including a downloadable resource that Toddle can add to their Learning Library, I’m going to give a few brief reflections here.  First of all here were the intentions of the workshop:

  • Learn how to incorporate higher order thinking skills into student learning experiences and assessments
  • Consider how to get students to think and dive deep into their inquiries
  • Understand the importance of giving students voice, choice and ownership in how they show their understanding
I’m always amazed at the wonderful notes that participants take using sketches.  It’s a really creative way of taking notes and I’d like to share a couple that were made during my presentation and then shared on Twitter.  Obviously Sketchnotes done live over an hour’s presentation cannot cover everything, but for me looking at these later it was interesting to see the main points that were seen as important during my session.  This first one is from Lucy Elliott, a PYP Coordinator in China.

Looking at this one I can see the message that comes up clearly is that teachers are the designers of learning.  I can see references to Bloom’s taxonomy and the importance of designing so that students are using higher level thinking skills.  In particular that creating involves new and original work/thinking.  I can also see the reference to the SAMR model.  Again I see lots of verbs being used to provoke higher level thinking and reference to the importance of asking open-ended questions.
This one is from Shailja Datt, a PYP Coordinator in India.  This also mentions Bloom’s and the SAMR models, and the verbs that can raise thinking.  This one also includes the other “R”s that I feel are important:  rigour, redefining the task and return on learning.
I’m very grateful to both these that were shared on Twitter as it helps me to reflect on my presentation.  I hope to receive the chat (which I also couldn’t see) later and at that point I will write a blog post to answer any outstanding questions.
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