I was honored to give the below interview for Flipped Learning Network. In the video I share my journey from early adoption to development of a more comprehensive inquiry pedagogy.
Slowly but surely, my Biology class has transitioned from a typical high school class with a focus on the "Double Helix" and mechanics of "Mitosis" to a class that leverages such structures and processes to tackle human disease and illness. Essentially, a Medial Biology class. I am blessed to teach at a school that allows me this freedom. A huge focus of the course has been leveraging student diagnosis of medical case studies as entries into inquiry cycles. For example, our unite on Cellular Respiration began with students diagnosing a patient with Type II Diabetes. Click here for our class website which contains templates for all case studies.
Given this approach, it is natural that our typical class text book does not serve my/our needs anymore. Although images and vocabulary related to such things as Cellular Respiration and DNA are nicely represented in the text, my current pedagogy catalyzed more questions about the current state of diagnosis, research and disease pathology. To this end, I found myself curating journal articles for students to read rather than assigning reading fro the text. Although the literacy skills of 9th graders makes this process challenging, feedback from them has indicated that they enjoy the challenge and actual scenarios so long as the reading is not "too long". I love 9th graders!
Next year I plan to structure and pre-curate articles for them to read. I have played around with many different ways of doing this, and have decided that including them in one spreadsheet would be best. This way, students can make a copy of the sheet, share it with me, and then in ONE PLACE they can have the article link, a place to summarize their reading, and a place for me to offer feedback. Although a google form submission, or a website with embedded pdfs for example, sounds nice, the accountability and simplicity associated with all work being in one place, in my mind, will decrease Extraneous Cognitive Load while also creating a single, easily visible resource. Click here for the current template. Note, it's a work in progress and the plan is to stock this sheet with all the readings. See a screenshot below.
Mother's Day 2018 is almost coming to a close, and in the name of my amazing wife and Mother to our four children, I am struck with the urge to use the last little bit of energy I have today to giveaway 10 copies of Spark Learning to fellow educators in her name. An incredibly talented Special Educator Teacher, my wife was instrumental in supporting and counseling me as I prepared for TED and subsequently unpackaged the TED Talk's tenants in Spark Learning.. I will mail a copy directly to the first 10 people to register by completing the form below. In reading the book you are supporting work I am extremely passionate about, and in turn, sending love out towards all of the amazing mothers and wives in the world who serve as models of intellect and wisdom for all of us.