Can Students Really Self-Differentiate?

Take a look at the screenshot below. It shows a learning activity containing a menu with two choices. Clicking the right button leads to a problem that the student must solve, and clicking the left button leads to an example that shows the student how to solve that sort of problem. This activity is one … Continue reading Can Students Really Self-Differentiate?

Do We Want Our Students to Struggle?

Like so many buzzwords in education, it's hard to pin down what people mean by the term "Productive Struggle". Of the two meanings of Productive Struggle I've heard being used most often, the good meaning is uncontroversial, and the bad - and more popular - meaning encourages teachers to abandon principles of effective instruction. The … Continue reading Do We Want Our Students to Struggle?

Instructional Videos: Perfect for Learning Styles, Popular with Students, and THE FUTURE of Education!

Last week I attended a government-sponsored training on instructional video that began with three weird reasons for why teachers should use more instructional video: Instructional videos cater to students' learning stylesInstructional videos are more popular with students (i.e., they like them) than alternative methodsInstructional videos are the future of learning I'm sure fans of this … Continue reading Instructional Videos: Perfect for Learning Styles, Popular with Students, and THE FUTURE of Education!

Cringe!

My last blog post seems to have been this site’s 200th post. What a journey it’s been. Long time readers may have noticed that Stephanie (my wife) used to contribute about half of the posts on educationrickshaw.com. Lately she’s been too busy being one of the best literacy specialists in the country to be messing … Continue reading Cringe!

Can a theory improve your teaching by educationrickshaw.com

Can a Theory Improve Your Teaching?

If much of what we learned in teacher training was not very useful once we got to the classroom, and if some theories we were taught, like learning styles, were just plain false, it's tempting to conclude that theory has little to offer the busy teacher. Having used cognitive load theory to streamline my teaching, I can't agree.

Beliefs, Evidence, and Educational Technology

Frequent readers of this blog will know that I am the Director of Educational Technology at a 6-12 independent school. My role is to design and implement the strategy around online learning and train teachers how to integrate various online tools into their lessons. This post is a reflection on whether my beliefs about teaching … Continue reading Beliefs, Evidence, and Educational Technology

PD Opportunity on Cognitive Load Theory

As readers of this blog will know, I've recently been writing a bit about cognitive load theory and how it's led to changes in my thinking and teaching. I debated some of its foundational ideas on a recent podcast, as well. After presenting on CLT in the fall, NWAIS asked me back as part of … Continue reading PD Opportunity on Cognitive Load Theory

Is Working Memory Fixed or Can it be Trained?

Many teachers allow students to play "brain games" as part of the curriculum. When I say "brain games", I'm referring to short - often fun - activities that are unrelated to the core content, but which are thought to engage the mind or make you smarter. When I was a student, if I finished my … Continue reading Is Working Memory Fixed or Can it be Trained?

Videos, Podcasts, Infographics, and Articles for Bringing Research into Practice

Many educators are eager to learn about evidence-based practices but don't know where to start. One barrier is that most research articles are paywalled, which requires teachers to buy an expensive subscription or e-mail the researcher in order to gain access to research. Another is that learning how to read and interpret scholarly articles requires … Continue reading Videos, Podcasts, Infographics, and Articles for Bringing Research into Practice

Does More Learning Happen When Students are in the Driver’s Seat?

Most teachers will be familiar with Khan Academy, or similar learning programs, that offer a mixture of 1) problems to solve and 2) instructional supports that students can use to learn how to solve the problems. Common instructional supports in online learning environments include partial hints (e.g., click here for a hint to get you … Continue reading Does More Learning Happen When Students are in the Driver’s Seat?